Welcome to MyOrthodoxFamily.com! Tell us who you are.
I’m Jes! I’m 28, married and have two little boys. I value heritage and deep roots; I want to be really good at baking bread and I really love gardening (I’m only a novice). I love embroidering, reading, writing, and kayaking when I get the chance. I hold two bachelor’s degrees: one in Bible and one in Psychology (both from a Protestant University). I’ve worked many places, my favorite being in an in-patient eating disorders clinic. I just finished my job of many years as a barista and I’m looking forward to some time at home, focusing on what really matters to me. I am a catechumen in the OCA, and I can’t believe how I’ve lived my whole life without Orthodoxy at my core.
What do you most enjoy sharing? What do you feel most called to share?
I love sharing about theology, apologetics, and philosophy. Especially with my background, it’s so important to me to help others (especially women and mothers) understand the differences between the Christian theologies. There is nothing like Orthodoxy; it’s such clean air to breathe, and I pray fervently that more women and mothers can really grow in their understanding of God through theology (and grow in their closeness to Him) through anything I share. Glory to God if ever it’s been, or will be, true.
The world of social media is complex. What do you see as difficult and as redemptive about sharing your journey in this way?
It’s difficult to navigate the socio-cultural climate of our day. This year has been such a challenging one for so many reasons. It’s easy to be distracted by everything, to be distracted away from what matters: theosis and our union with God in eternity; know and love God, and love people. I don’t want to add to the millions of voices who have so much to say about the events of the world. I pray only that what I share is used for a salvific experience with the One True, Living God. I’m humbled by people who message me to let me know how they’ve been looking for whatever ‘answer’ I’ve shared. I’m so grateful, also, for the beautiful friendships I’ve made in the Faith because of social media. Glory to God for all things.
What is your earliest, distinctly Orthodox memory?
My earliest memory would be with my extended Greek family; though then I only thought Orthodoxy was another Protestant denomination. One of my childhood friends became Orthodox and taught me how to cross myself “the right way.” I then stepped foot into an Orthodox Church on my own during my first month of college. It’s been a road to get to where I am, but Orthodoxy has never left me.
What do you hope will be the mark you leave on the world as you pass through it?
In the words of St. Seraphim of Sarov, my fervent and ardent prayer is that I may be granted the grace to “acquire the spirit of peace so that thousands of souls around me will be saved.”