Five Questions: Sarah Lenora Gingrich

Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are.

My name is Sarah Lenora Gingrich and I am a wife and mother of six children in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I own a small soapmaking company, write regularly, keep bees, weave, and try to transform my urban plot into a small permaculture farm, one seed at a time.

What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share?

I greatly enjoy sharing the simple joys of life: thoughts on what I’m reading, things I’m cooking or planting in the garden, the interactions I have with my animals and bees, and even my sorrows as I can readily ask for prayer and counsel. I feel called to share an open-hearted, grateful approach to life and faith that does not shy away from sorrow and crosses, but presses into them as a student and disciple.

The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way?

As my work is centered in my home (even my soapmaking studio is on our property), I have few opportunities to share my life and my faith in a casual and natural way. Through photos and short essays I feel like I can invite friends near and far to be witnesses in my bumbling salvation. I greatly benefit from their feedback on issues both theological and societal. The difficulty is learning to keep my heart soft when others are harsh and condemning or misinterpret something I’ve shared in vulnerability. I find redemption just literally everywhere, because social media allows me to see the many facets of my friends’ lives, so if I disagree with them vehemently on some topic, I am tempered by all the evidence for their goodness in other ways, and I feel like they too are confronted by my humanity.

What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory?

My first visit to an Orthodox church was as an adult a short number of years ago.  I was absolutely enchanted by the beauty each of my senses was experiencing; the chants, the way of the candle light, the incense, the iconography; it was what my soul knew as home.

What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it?

I hope that people would leave my presence comforted, that I raise children who feel loved both by me and by their Lord, and that I squander nothing that God has placed in my hands to serve Him.

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