|Kh. Krista West "The Opinionated Tailor"
This morning I had to drive around quite a bit, and as I was driving I was listening to podcasts by a friend of mine, "The Opinionated Tailor," Kh. Krista West. Krista is a professional vestment maker, a calling she takes very seriously, so seriously in fact that she has taken upon herself to research and write the only book in English completely dedicated to the history and meaning of Orthodox Church vestments. On her pod cast at Ancient Faith Radio, she is currently reading through chapters of her manuscript (which I expect will be published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press when she is completed). And while listening to the historical development of Orthodox Church vestments may not be for everyone (although I find it very interesting), in between talks on vestments, Kh. Krista gives talks on other topics, talks on motherhood, Church life, and practical aspects of the interaction of these two realities.
I found two talks I listened to this morning particularly insightful and helpful. The first is on how to prepare for Lent as a family--a family with children. Krista gives the practical advice to plan together as a family before lent begins what and how as a family you will engage Lent. Not everyone can or should keep Lent as strictly as possible. Discussing Lent before Lent begins helps both at the basic level of planning (what will and won't be eaten by whom, and what services will or won't be attended by whom) and it also helps at the level of spiritual struggle. The goal of fasting is to think less about food, not more; to be more at peace, not less; to pray more, not to be crushed by guilt.
The second talk that inspired me this morning was about the importance of adorning the Church. As Krista points out, this is something that makes no sense in western culture. We ask ourselves, "Couldn't the money be better spent on helping the poor rather than just making the Church more beautiful?" Krista challenges this thinking. Krista provides an insightful theological foundation for the adornment of the Church--and she does it from the perspective of a busy mom, a busy mom who muses while refinishing the cabinets in her bathroom. I was deeply challenged to reconsider some of my own priorities and attitudes by this talk.
I highly recommend Kh. Krista's talks on Ancient Faith Radio ("The Opinionated Tailor"). And I especially think every mother and father, or potential mother and father, should listen to the two talks I have highlighted here.