Archive of ‘себя’ category

when old questions resurface

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I’m very thankful God doesn’t tire of my questions. I go through cyclical phases of questioning the value of my life, and God takes me cyclically deeper and deeper into His ways.

(I’ve had to become OK with my cyclical questioning, too. I think it’s an essential part of my personality.)

So a few days back, I started feeling all my familiar poopiness about my life–why am I here? why am I alive? what is the value of what I do and am?

This time, God led me to delve into Sally Clarkson’s teachings. She’s a great vision-caster for moms, and I need vision. And I listened to several of her podcasts and lectures, and one was about leadership.

And as I read through the verses she attached, I was very struck by Proverbs 4:18, “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.”

And I realized that my life, as a righteous person, is not dimming out because I’ve buried several dreams and stopped doing some ministries I love. I feel as though my life’s gotten dimmer the last few years, like my reasons for being excited about life have slowly been put out. And I’ve become an un-excited person. A person who doens’t really look forward to waking up another day, a person who’s enduring years not understanding their value.

In this new apartment we bought, we’re up very high– the 23rd and 24th floors! And one window looks out on the sunrise and other windows look out on the sunset.

And this verse that “the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn” has special meaning for me now that I’ve watched a few sunrises. They are gorgeous.

And God says my life is like that. It’s ilke that NOW. This is another answer to my cyclical questions about the value and meaning of my life.

And I will accept this by faith. And I ask God that I would experience this reality in the complete unity of my person—the reality of my life becoming brighter and brighter.

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.

 

moy 42 rozhdeniya: net nachala, net kontsa

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Итак, сегодня мой 42-й день рождения.

Я чувствую, что я в таком жизненом ситуации как описана Дональдом Миллером в его книге «Миллион миль за тысячу лет». Он описывает поездку на бардарке в темноте, и он рассказывает о том, как в каждом жизненом поездке, вы добираетесь до трудной середины – волнение и радость начала, когда с ожиданием отталкивали с берега– эти чувства рассеялись. И великое предназначение, к которому вы пливете еще не видно.

И вы находитесь в этом трудном среднем месте, где вам просто нужно грести веслами по вере.

И в последнее время я чувствую это место. Подобно тому, как Бог призывает меня к тому времени, когда дисциплины сложнее, потому, что нет особые волнения или радости от начала или конца. Это просто верный гребля.

Брак, воспитание детей, домашная школа, служение, отношение с Богом …

Это хорошее место. Место, где нужно идти глубже в другом, более сложном, более зрелом способом. Держать огонь живым и ярким, когда нет ни начала, ни конца.

Дорогой Бог, пожалуйста, встреть меня и благослови меня в этом месте. Хочу быть полностью верным до захватывающего конца!

My 42nd birthday: No beginning, no end

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So today is my 42nd birthday.

I feel like the situation described by Donald Miller in his book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He describes a boat trip in the dark, and he talks about how you get to the hard middle– the excitement of pushing off from shore has dissipated and the great destination to which you’re going is also not yet visible.

And you’re in this hard middle place where you just have to paddle by faith.

And lately I feel this place. Like God’s calling me to a time where disciplines are harder because there’s no excitement of the beginning or the end. It’s just faithful paddling.

Marriage, child rearing, home schooling, ministry.

It’s a good place. A place where one has to go deeper in a different, harder, more mature way. To keep the fires alive and bright when there’s no beginning or end in sight.

Dear God, please meet me and bless me in this place. May I be completely faithful to the exciting end!

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.

Vitaliy priyehal domoy i moi zhizneni uroki

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Виталий приехал вчера– он неделю был далеко от нас, в Монголии.

Вечер был веселым– встретили, разобрались подарками, пили монголский чай (он же находиться на границу Китая).

Когда я вышла замуж за Виталия, я конечно не поняла все “последствия” нашего союза. И Виталий тоже не знал 🙂 Никто не знает! Кроме Бог.

И это хорошо.

Иногда, мне кажется, что я должна жертвовать слишком много из своих мечтов ради детей, и ради того, что я имею муж-евангелист. Он часто в разъездах, жизнь бывает очень спонтанно– трудно планировать.И еще и еще…..

Раньше, мои жертвы ради брака оказались для меня большие, тяжелие.

Но с годами, некоторые мыслил, факты, и истина мне утешают и направляют:

  1. Виталий очень много и для нас жертвует тоже. Это не только я. Он во многих тоже ограничивает себя.
  2. Вообще, я выбрала жизнь, которую я хотела. Мы миссионеры; я рада, что у нас 4 детей; я рада их обучать дома. И конечно, в этих решеньи есть то, что приносить мне неудобство. Это и везде.И с этими решениями, я должна отказывать от других вещей.
  3. У меня есть друзьи, которые работают, развывают себя не в рамке семьи. Им конечно легче, ни так ли? …. Кажется, что им тоже сложно– переживают о детях, имеют неудобство и жалоби с работой, чувствую что спешят слишком, что жизнь не такая, какая они представляли. Итог: Когда есть дети, получается по-любому, что надо много жертвовать.
  4. Служение и работа Виталия мне наполняет. Он часто мне говорит, что все его плода–это и мои плода тоже. Я очень рада для того, что он делает.
  5. Я учусь сосредоточивать на благословении и радости в этом моменте, на этот день, и не думать о том, что не имею и не делаю.
  6. Я очень рада, что я развиваю в сферах, которых я некогда раньше не думала. Это мне очень ценно

 

my personal health habits

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So, around 40, it dawned upon me fairly quickly that, wow, this body’s going to go downhill pretty fast if I don’t become more humble and self-controlled in my habits. And that in order to take care of my family long-term, I need to take care of myself. The realities of my aging body taught me that taking time and money to take care of myself is not selfish, it’s necessary. I’ll pay out one end or the other, so why not pay out of the prophylactic end?

So, over the last 2-4 years, I’ve been regularly incorporating new habits into my lifestyle. Most of these habits I try to do in the morning (except exercise and Bible reading). I have the most energy, drive, and self-control in the AMs, so that’s when I try to get them done, bam,bam,bam. That’s what works for me anyways.

About healthy habits: there are slews of them. I’ve had to experiment and choose ones that fit to my life and my style 🙂 Yours may differ. Important thing is that we’re doing things to maintain our health.

Habit one: Oil pulling with coconut oil for 20 minutes. I do this very first thing. Why? Oil pulling keeps my teeth healthy, removes toxins, and a bunch of other stuff. You can google it.

Habit two: Drinking half to a whole liter of warm, lemon water. Why: To generally clean and alkalize my body.

Habit three: Body brushing. Why: to move my lymph system, which is important to health and immunity.

Habit four: I try to drink half a liter to a liter of green or pink smoothie a day. Why: easily digestible, real nutition.

Habit five: Exercise. I workout at Curves three days a week. Other days, and even on those days, I also try to do one or two Ballet Beautiful workouts (on youtube). I like Curves because it’s just a feminine atmostphere, it’s weightlifting, it’s all women, and it’s community. I like Ballet Beautiful because it’s short time periods, small space friendly, and extremely effective at shaping slender muscles. Why: Maintaining muscle mass, hormone health, overall health.

Habit six: Looking nice. The world wants us to be ever-panting after beauty yet never feeling satisfied with ourselves. On the other side, God created us with a sense of beauty, and He can give us a satisfaction with how He’s made us. I’ve found it important to learn about style and dress in a nice way, (not saying classy even) just generally nice.  I don’t wear makeup every day, but I have starte wearing jewelry a lot more. I love my perm, too. Dressing Your Truth helped me a lot with this.

Habit seven: Being alone. I am at an age with my kids where they can take care of themselves for a while, and we live close to a mall for this reason, so I can be alone and read my Bible, pray, journal, and maintain my personal relationship with God. Why: This is just as much a part of my health as my physical practices. A close relationship wth God is essential to life, especially abundant life. Also, as a heavily-introverted, home schooling SAHM, this is how I maintain myself in the marathon.

So! Those are my health practices as I “embrace” (to use an overused word) aging.

one key to spiritual growth

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One helpful thing I’ve observed about growing in a real relationship with God in the last few years is this– well, maybe it’s two things:

First: Take it all personally. Every single detail, the timing of every single detail, every pressure (and don’t they seem to come in clusters?), every annoyance, every joy, everyeveryevery. It’s all God’s desire to communicate Himself to us. They all work together for good, to make us like Christ.

Second: Take other people’s sin towards you as from God– not as if God did the sin, but in the sense that He allowed exactly it in order for you to get to know Him more. Forgiving people, over and over, learning to love them … it can be terribly painful (and I’m not at. all. talking about remaining in abusive situations), but it’s exactly how we understand and experience Christ. For example, there are one or two people in my church who drive me nuts, and whose sin has really hurt me personally. But I’ve learned more about Christ through those relationships than I’ve learned from all the people I get along with comblned.

(Exception: Not all learning is painful! I really enjoy learning about God and experiencing Him through Vitaliy. He teaches me so much about God and growth, and it’s usually nice– over coffee and/or on our long drives.)

Bonus: Those things above, plus truer friendship with God, can only really be accepted by us if we agree with God’s goal for us, which is to make us like Jesus, not to make us comfortable.

And thank you, dear God, for your Comforter in the discomfort.

AND! Long-term, there is a neat type of comfort in having lived a righteous life. The hard is so worth it.

my life as a garden, the next big step

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Things are happening in my heart that I need to analyze and record.

(Just pass over this if your not into introspection.)

There are moments of spiritual growth when God just brings together lots of influences to open certain things to me. And it usually starts after years of preparation– years of being bothered by certain things.

So I’ve been bothered the last few years by lack of satisfaction in home schooling, and bothered by my struggle to forgive certain people in our church, well, particularly one person.

Years go by, I live my days, things happen, good things, but still, these two things have, as a pattern, troubled me. And I pray about them, do what I can, as God shows me.

Like the unforgiveness: months back, God showed me to just stop the thoughts, just stop thinking so much about this person/situation and giving it so much “air time” in my brain. Just. Stop. That helped a lot to clear out my mind and be able to not be focused on negativity.

With home schooling, I have been reading, studying, understanding more and more. But I’m still not satisfied by it or enjoying it.

Years ago, I went through this Big Deal with learning about child discipline–the years of preparatory dissatisfaction, then all the influences coming together to bring it all together and teach me something very transformative. And God brought me to this place of joy, where there is a lot of healthy, emotional satisfaction and joy in my relationships with my kids now, as a pattern.

So now, in church relationships and home schooling, I feel like God has done the years of preparatory work, and now He’s going to move into the transformation phase, and I need to write about it. So I can figure things out better, and analyze and enjoy the process.

Phillip Keller, in his book A Gardener Looks at the Fruit of the Spirit,” starts out by talking about types of soil in our hearts. Not just for salvation, but as Christians, the soil of our hearts for bearing the fruit of the Spirit.

And I start to see parts of my heart in the “road” soil he describes, the soil that has been tramped, tramped, tramped down and will not bear.

For example, I started to envision my relationship with this person in my church, and you know, my critical thoughts just tramp, tramp, tramp down the “path” between us. It is impossible for joy to grow in this relationship. It’s impossible for kindness to grow in the path of this connection. It’s impossible for meekness, self-control, goodness, faithfulness, and peace to grow where my critical, suspicious thoughts are tramping, tramping, tramping down the soil.

He talks about our amitions as things that also tramp down the soil. And I’ve been analyzing for a long while now why I am home schooling.  I’m fairly sure it is the will of God for me to be doing this, though we are open to other options. But for these years, this year, right now, it’s pretty clear that home schooling my kids is God’s will for me.

But just doing His will doens’t mean I’m doing it for the right reason–or maybe I could say I could do His will but for wrong or selfish reasons. I have my own little ambitions about home schooling, it seems. Like I have this fuzzy ideal in my head about what our home school should be, and I think that this is my ambition, to achieve this … feeling, or ideal. Where I am the center.

So my ambition is tramping, tramping, and the section of my life’s garden is not bearing peace nor joy.

So that is where I am right now. There are other threads of influence in these realizations:

Love is a major theme because of 1 Corinthains. 13– I spoke about this at a baby shower and from Keller’s book we’re going through how the qualities of Love in 1 Cor 13 match with the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. And how Love is the life of God, and the fruit of the Spirit come only as the actual presence of God (not like in a package separate from God).

Krasivie veshchi

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Красивые Вещи

Одно яйцо, сделано в вафельницы

Букет цветов

Книга пуритансие молитв

Чашка для чая

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