kak mi zhenilis

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Как мы женились

Я хочу записать что-то, который случилось много лет назад– летом 2003 года, я думаю– до того, как мы были женаты, и это было частью истории, ведущей к нашему браку.

Я об этом довольно редко говорю.

В первый раз, когда Виталий сделал мне предложение (выйти за него замуж), я сказала «нет». Потому, что я была слишком напугана, чтобы сказать «да». Хотя на самом деле я хотела сказать «да». Но да, значит, рисковать многими вещами, и я не люблю рисковать.

Итак, пошло второй круг с этим вопросом, и мне нужно было решить, буду ли я говорить «да», и вытий за него замуж? Я действительно хотела сказать «да».

Раньше, кто-то упомянул о том, как Бог обычно использует узоры в том, как Он ведет нас. И я видела узор в моей жизни – когда у меня было огромное решение– что-то который только я могла бы различить правильное или неправильное это для меня (т.е. о чем-то не явно написано в Библии), наступал момент абсолютной уверенности. Я имею в виду какой-то внутрений явление Святого Духа, и я знала без единого сомнения, что если бы я сделала или не сделала этого (как личную волю Бога для моей жизни), это было бы грехом для меня.

Обычно это сопровождалось длительным, интенсивным желанием сделать это– интенсивным желанием, которое Бог не выполнил довольно долго.

Я помню, как это происходило, когда я много раз пытался приехать в Украину как миссионерка. Бог всегда так или иначе сообщил (никогда через обстоятельствах, которые обычно сообщил мне  противоположным) – Он сообщал моей душе, что ТЫ НЕ МОЖЕШЬ воспользоваться этой возможностью, и если бы я это сделала, я грешила бы против Его воли для меня.

Но однажды я получила электронное письмо с нужде преподавателя английского языка в небольшом библейском институте в Украине, и в тот момент я знала от Святого Духа, что это мой призыв … Ну, это был очень отчетливый тип знания.

Итак, лето 2003 года– Виталий. Я должна это решить. И я сказала Богу, что это такой серьезный шаг (выйти замуж), что я не могла бы это сделать, если бы Он не дал мне этого уверенного, отличного знания, что это Его воля.

И я постилась. В течение примерно 3 недель пила только жидкости или что-то в этом роде – вода. Я часами гуляла в лесу, слушала музыку похваления, и молилась о разных вещах.

И вот, настал тот момент, когда Бог служил мне через Его Святую Духу, и я знала, что я должна сделать это (жениться на Виталию). Я тогда жила в типичным, старым, украинским доме (даже стиральной машины не было). Я сидела на кухне, читая книгу Франсин Риверс Сад Лиоты, и это было в течение всех этих дней поста, и внезапно я ЗНАЛА. Я знала с этим уникальным знанием, что должна выйти замуж за Виталием.

Я стала на колени у своего стула и помолилась … что-то, я не помню, что.

Я вспоминаю все это потому, что вчера вечером я была очень, очень благодарна за это знание, за это верное руководство от Бога. Зная, что эта жизнь и все последствия для меня, и для наших детей– что все это не какая-то случайность или ошибка, или результат случайного или плотского решения.

В таких случаях, Бог также работает. Но вчера вечером я утешилась и укрепила себя с этми прошлым опытом, когда Он с увереннным голосом дал мне знать Его воли. Спасибо Тебе, Отец.

Zakrivayu odny glavu zhizni: grudnoye vkarmlivaniye

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Закрываю одну главу жизни: грудное вскармливаине

Двенадцать лет.  Да. То же самое время, что и от первого до двенадцатого классов (в нашей Американской системе школы). За исключением нескольких месяцев, я кормила грудью двенадцать лет подряд.

Я подумала, и решила эмоциональный тон, который я застрою в конце этой главы моей жизни– хочу быть благодарным и радоваться. (Могу и плакать и грустить, но почему не празновать, как Авраам праздновал отлучение Исаак в Бытие 21:8 “Дитя выросло и отнято от груди; и Авраам сделал большой пир в тот день, когда Исаак отнят был от груди”.)

Мне действительно понравилось этот период жизни. Ну, я не люблю все, что касается грудного вскармливания – это иногда скучно для моего тела (сидеть или лежать, когда я этого не хочу), и боролась иногда с неудобными телесными искажениями (ха ха), и с постоянными просьбами из грудного ребенка, и т. д.

НО, Большая Картинка Жизни: я благодарна, что я так много кормила грудью. Благословения перевешивают минусы. Это легкий и относительно восхитительный способ связаться с моими детьми, служить им эмоционально, успокаивать их, и т. Д. Мне нравится, как Бог разработал грудное вскармливание. Как и во всех Божьих замыслах, это У.ДИ.ВИ.ТЕЛЬ.НО!

Ни одно из моих слов не может передать то, что в моем сердце об этих 12 лет грудного вскармливания, и все это означало для нашей семьи, но я хотела что-то написать. На памать.

Я навероно больше об этом напишу на будущем, когда у меня есть что-то глубже сказать, но сейчас я просто иду через этот переход.

staying engaged, ie, keeping a soft heart

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So, relationships. (And this post assumes basically healthy persons involved, not abusive situations.)

This is an important relationship principle that I’ve notice with the gathering of years in marriage:

Keep choosing the soft heart

One miracle God did/does at salvation is trade hearts– He gives us a heart of flesh where once we had a heart of stone. God talks of this in a prophecy He spoke in Ezekiel.

“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ez. 36:26

“”And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” Ez. 11:19

 

I know those are prophetic words, but the principle is a great one. In relationships, especially marriage, there are moments when we are tempted to harden our hearts towards the other person– to harden in a way that begins to permanently change the way we relate to the other person.

This is very dangerous. It’s a hardening, a closing of your positive, loving thoughts and emotions, a refusal to give your goodwill, limiting your connection, your friendship.

It’s so tempting because you feel so justified in doing it, so angry about something. But in reality, it’s walking into Satan’s plans for your destruction. It not how Jesus, the Relationship Master, walked.

One night the year we were first married, Vitaliy and I had argued about something, and we were laying in bed grumpy, back to back. And I was tempted to harden my heart. And I remember thinking something like, ok, so he makes me mad, but who else do I have to go to for comfort? So I made myself turn back over and hug him for comfort.

And it was one of the best precedents I could ever set. Because we’ve had to do that over and over. Choose to turn back, choose soft, choose to remain engaged and committed to friendship, to our vows to love.

In other words: Say No to Drugs Hardening Your Heart

And if you’ve hardened, God is the Master Softener. Really.

Closing a chapter of life: breastfeeding

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Twelve years, ya’ll. The same time as going from First through Twelfth grades. With the exception of a few months, I’ve been breastfeeding for twelve years straight.

In deciding the emotional tone I’ll take at the ending of this chapter of my life, I’ve decided to be thankful and to rejoice.

I’ve actually really enjoyed it. Well, I don’t love everything about breastfeeding– it’s kind of boring for my body (to sit or lay when I don’t want to) and I struggle with the bodily contortions required, the persistent asking of various kids, etc.

BUT, Big Picture, I’m thankful I’ve breastfed so much. The blessings way outweigh the minuses. It’s an easy and relatively delightful way to connect with my kids, serve them emotionally, comfort them, etc. I love how God designed breastfeeding. As with all God’s designs, it’s AY.MAY.ZING.

None of my words can convey my heart about 12 years of breastfeeding and all it’s meant to our family, but I wanted to put something down. For the record.

I may come back to this when I have something profound to say, but for now, I’m just walking through the transition.

how we got married

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I want to record something that happened years ago, in the summer of 2003, I think, before we were married, that was part of the story leading to our marriage.

I don’t talk about this a lot.

The first time Vitaliy asked me to marry him, I said no. Becuase I was too scared to say yes. Though I wanted to say yes, actually. But yes meant risking a lot of things and I’m not a risk lover.

So, we were into our second time around, me having to decide if I was going to say yes. I really wanted to say yes.

But, someone had mentioned before about how God usually uses patterns in how He leads us. And I had seen a pattern in my life– when it was a huge decision that only I could discern right or wrong, that if it was right, a moment of absolute surety would come. I mean, some gift from the Holy Spirit that I knew without a single doubt that if I did or didn’t do this thing (as God’s personal will for my life), it would be sin.

It was usually preceeded by a long, intense desire to do it, an intense desire that God would not fulfill for quite a while.

I remember this happening as I tried so many times to come to Ukraine as a missionary. God would always communicate somehow– never through circumstances, which usually communicated the opposite–He would communicate to my soul that I WAS. NOT. to pursue that opportunity and that if I did, I would be sinning against His will.

But then one time I got an email asking for an English teacher for a little Bible institute in Ukraine– and at that moment I knew, from the Holy Spirit, that this was my call– Well, it was a very distinct type of knowing.

So, summer of 2003, Vitaliy. I have to decide this. And I told God that this was such a serious step that I would not commmit to it unless He gave me that sure, distinct knowing that this was His will.

And I fasted. For about 3 weeks, it was only liquids or something like that–water. I spent hours walking, listening to praise music, and praying about any number of things.

And then, that moment came when God ministered to me, through His Holy Spiirt, that distinct knowing that I HAD to do this something (which was marry Vitaliy). I was living in a basic oh-so-Ukrainian house, (There was no washing machine even.) I was sitting in the kitchen reading Francine River’s book Leota’s Garden, and it was during all these days of fasting, and suddenly I KNEW. I knew I had to marry Vitaliy.

I got down on my knees by my chair and prayed … something, I don’t remember what.

I am relating all this because last night, I was very, very thankful for that knowing, for that sure direction from God. For knowing that this life and all it’s repercussions in my life, my childrens’ lives, that all of it is not some fluke or mistake or coming out of a casual or fleshly decision.

God works just was well in those cases, too. But last night I was comforting and strengthening myself with this past experience of experiencing the surety of His will. Thank you, God.

lessons from birth: it’s not just a body giving birth

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I want to snatch these 5 minutes to type this out, otherwise it will speed by, and I won’t record this.

I was at a birth 2 nights back, and I was having so many thoughts as she was laboring, and I was with her. We were in the darkened kitchen/livingroom with the half-sized Christmas tree with it’s lovely lights winking in the wee hours of the night.

Her husband and little baby were sleeping in the other room. She was hands and knees going through the intensity, quietly moaning, rocking. I was quiet, rubbing down her back.

It was a rich time in the mostly-dark night when I have to stand in one place and think about one thing. First I began by asking myself, Why am I even here? Her body can do this. She doesn’t need me here. It’s a beautifully-designed hormonal, physical process that her body and her baby will just do together.

And my mind wandered to those ancient midwives, Hebrews, Shiphrah and Puah, and how they saved boy babies lives by not murdering them at birth as Pharoah had commanded. They had been there. They had stood in the nights by quietly laboring women.

And it dawned on me, gradually, after I left that birth …. More than a body is giving birth. More than a hormonal process is happening. A woman’s soul is passing through an amazing experience. She’s having a trial, too, a hardship, even one that brings great joy. And it’s wonderful to have someone near you in the birthing, the working out that only your body can do and experience.

I can’t experience her pain, but I have expereinced the same event and it’s pain that was for me. And I can stand near and comfort her soul and body as she passes through what is happening to her.

… Those were some of my lessons from this beautiful night. Understanding that birth IS a hormonal process (involuntary) is essential. But it’s spiritual, too, in many ways. It’s more than a woman’s body giving birth. .

two things I really like about American Christianity

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Two things I want to touch on that I like about American Christianity, that I’ve noticed might be somewhat “American,” but I really appreciate what they’ve added to my life. (And it might be the same in other western cutures, I just don’t have a deep experience with other western cultures as I’ve had with non-western cultures. So I don’t know if these two things are characteristic of “Western Christianity” or if they’re “American,” so I may be mis-labeling).

One is the focus on having a personal relationship with God. Perhaps we miss some things because we don’t so much emphasize our collective relationship with God, but I really appreciate the emphasis on the personal.

Second, I appreaciate the American wealth of information and books for intellectual growth. While information doesn’t equal a growing relationship with God, when one is in a relationship with God, fellowshipping with all these other Christians through their books and knowledge adds a lot to my life.

I may enjoy these two things because I’m American and I don’t know differently, but I’ve seen alternatives to this— lack of personal emphasis and lack of knowledge– and it’s made me appreciate these things.

 

trying to figure out Jesus, Social Justice, Suffering, Serving

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I’m sure reams and reams have been written about this already, but I’m going through this process of exploration and discovery myself right now, and I’m not really ready to “read all the answers” in some book. I want God to give me answers through the process. I discover so many things in these processes, I almost dislike the end, when resolution comes. (Though that’s good, too.)

Word to the wise: I like questions. I like open, exploratory, many-answers questions, and leaving some things indefinite. Some people hate this, and if you are like that, I appreciate you, and you might just want to step away now. 😀

I’m trying to work into this topic, but as you can see, I keep circling and circling without really starting. Let me try to start.

Title:

Social Justice Jesus vs. Suffering Jesus

I’m not writing criticism; I’m trying simply to write my observations and experiences and then try to make sense of it to incorporate it into my life.

I grew up with what I kind of understand now to be a Social Justice Jesus. Jesus sees wrong, He rights the wrong. He may suffer doing it, but at the end, He’s the hero, and right wins.

I’m shocked now at how much this sounds like Superman, or any number of American films.

I was with a Georgian (the country) woman last night, talking about hard it is for Vitaliy and I to watch any movies together. Ukrainian (Soviet) movies are so depressing—war, the hero dies, the lovers are parted—it’s just … so pitiful. He says they are written this way because this is what really happened.

Whereas, I love American films—Harrison Ford, Denzel Washington, you know …. Action, good/bad, justice, ethics-loving heroics. Resolution for the heart and head.

And she said, yes, Georgians joke about that, too, how American films have “perfect” endings. And she talked about the Georgian expression—something like, when something good happens, something bad is not far behind. And how they live with an expectation of bad things happening and good things are only momentary and easily dissolved.

Which brings me to suffering Jesus. As an American I don’t think I would have listened to or accepted anyone teaching me about suffering Jesus. I mean, a Jesus who sees people suffering and doesn’t try to Save! them from that social/physical suffering. How can one see social injustice and NOT take (political? physical?) action to correct it? It didn’t fit into my picture of Christ.

The suffering Jesus who was killed at the hands of the Pharisees & co. and the Romans. All His life, He saw many social/religious injustices that they were doing, and He didn’t try to fight or change them really. He suffered them.

Living in a post-Soviet country for 15 years has messed with my brain, messed with my Social Justice Jesus image. I was the Social Justice Jesus follower when I came to Ukraine, and I eventually realized why Ukrainians weren’t fighters—because if you fight for justice, you get killed and justice doesn’t end up happening; things could just get worse. I was just in a conversation with a Russian pastor, and he was also talking about this—that revolutions don’t work; they just bring so much suffering, and then politically, things get even worse.

That’s their experience, and it becomes their expression of Jesus. Just like Americans’ experience becomes their experession.

Now, I’m going to switch tracts and try to outline some problems I’ve seen and personally experienced with the Fight-for-Justice Jesus paradigm:

First: I experienced anger. Ungodly anger, directed towards A. those directly doing harmful things B. those in the higher “systems” that created the system where this injustice was perpetrated C. towards the victims because they continue to walk into it when they really had other, however-non-socially-acceptable options. D. Those who weren’t as upset about it as I was.

This anger began to deform me. And I finally realized that my anger was simply harming me, limiting interaction with those on all sides that I hoped to help, and that my anger would change basically nothing about the situation. Plus, I realized my own anger was the same type of anger that was in the hearts of those perpetrating injustice! I was no better than they were!

Second: I realized that God had not put me in a position to influence the whole system of injustice. Well, not in a leadership position. I could pray. I could put a bandaid on things here or there. But I wasn’t the one God would use to enact systemic change.

I think many of us flounder with this. Because we want to do something. But our “arms,” so to speak, don’t really reach into the realm of actually changing the systems. Nor into the hearts of those perpetrating all this.

I also realized that “victim” is a relative terms. The victim might be a perpetrator when occupying a different place in the system.

Some answers to all this I’ve found so far:: We … maybe have to become content with the smallness of our lives. That we can “only” reach the individuals God puts in our paths. Or we can “only” send money. Or we can “only” write a letter or make a phone call here or there. We will not be Superman changing the entire fabric and direction of a place.

Second:: I had to forgive. And I had to start acting out towards all sides with love. And is this not the cornerstone of justice and reconciliation in Christianity? I had to forgive and open my heart for God’s love to come for all the people in these situations. And to humble myself, to not use my rightness to injure everyone, in all my big desire to “help.” For rightness without love stops being right. It’s not Jesus’ rightness. It’s rightness in the service of our flesh and satan; a rightness that destroys very people rather than destroying the dark spiritual forces around those people.

And sometimes I have to counsel victims, and … I can’t counsel them to fight for social justice for themselves. I have to counsel them with that God has counseled me– to be the suffering Jesus, to know Jesus experientially in injustice.

I guess I’m trying to find how to express in my own life Serving Jesus. Because Jesus set Himself against the systems of the scribes and Pharisees. But Jesus also suffered it; He suffered great injustice and disrespect without demanding that it be righted. He did both in service to us.

So I’m searching for the expression of the Serving Jesus, pondering, thinking about this.

odin obichni den i kak zhit eyo radi chevo to bolshe

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один обычный день … и как жизнь ее ради чего-то больше

Виталий рано ушла, чтобы преподавать курс Кайрос (о сердце Бога для народов, миссионерстве, и как церковь выполняет Великое Поручение).

Мы с детьми остались дома, занимались школой, уборкой, и т.д. Мы ходили в Магелан (наш ТЦ) вместе, обедали.

Потом мы шли домой и смотрели “Властелин колец”. Мне очень нравится эту историю. Она явно показывает добро против зло. И она тоже показывает, что жизнь состоит из чего-то больше чем своей cобственной жизни. Есть что-то больше, для чего стоить жертвовать, и не просто жить ради собственных удоволствий.

Надеюсь, что так и живем 🙂

vibiriya bole trudnuyu molitvy

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Выбирая более трудную молитву

Молитвенная жизнь Иисуса полная, совершенная, и в ней столько уроков!

Вот, краткий пример урока, который очень тронул меня. Иисус в Гефсиманский Саду перед Его страдания.

Душа Моя теперь возмутилась; и что Мне сказать? Отче! избавь Меня от часа сего! Но на сей час Я и пришел. Отче! прославь имя Твое. Иоанна 12:27-28а

Такой момент! Иисус позволяет нам близко видеть то, что происходить в Его молитвенную жизнь, в Его разуме, когда Он молится.

Он осмотривает то, что был бы Ему легко просить: “Отец, спаси меня с этого часа”.

И да, сколько раз я так молилась?! “Просто дай мне обойтись эту болью, пожалуйста, Боже. Ведь, такая боль не может быть Твоей волей для меня”! …. Не так ли?

Мне даже не приходит в голову, что есть другой путь? другая просьба? Иисус это знал.

“На сей час Я и пришел”.

Он выбирал правильную молитву. …. Он знает волю Отца, Их план, придуман прежде сотворения мира. И Он молился о том, чтобы Божья воля была совершена на земле, как и на небе.

“Отче! прослав Имя Твое”.

Такой пример для меня: В молитве Он выбрал более трудную молитву.

Он выбрал правильную молитву. Он выбрал молитву, в которой состоял Божей план, Божей слави, и Боже воли.

И это Человек, за которым я следую…. Иисус, уча меня как молиться.

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