Goals 2020, spiritual disciplines

So, I sense God leading me to practice some new spiritual disciplines. I was thinking how it’s kind of different– not making goals that have accomplish-able ends, but rather, making my goals the establishment of habitual practices.

It feels more like … work.

But maybe it’s exactly what should be.

Here’s the reading list I’ve started in my bullet journal (disclaimer: I read widely and with discernment 😉 ):

I’ve started my reading and study and practice, though I don’t have any type of plan laid out yet.

I’ve been trying the practice of Silence during prayer. It’s hard to be silent, to turn the many thoughts and conversations of my mind off, and simply sit before God and ask Him to speak to me if and when He wants. And I’ve found that the times of silence themselves, I don’t get a lot. But then later, I’ll have a major breakthrough or insight into some long-standing issue. 

I wanted to share a fabulous quote from this Jay E. Adams pamphlet, “Godliness Through Discipline.”

Structure alone brings freedom. Discipline brings liberty. Our whole age has been brainwashed into thinking the opposite. Today we are told that we can get freedom and liberty only by throwing over structure and discipline…. The order is–first, structured discipline, then freedom; there is no other.


I have more books coming in the mail. And here’s what I have already, from digging through the library I have collected here already.

New Year is coming!!!

So, I really like New Year life reviews and direction taking. It’s a double-whammy for me because my birthday is December 30, so I feel like it’s a new year in date and in age at the same time.

Around Oct-Nov, I start getting a clear vision of what the next year’s foci will be, and I start my new practices right away, I don’t wait ’til the new year. So I have already warmed up and see what’s working.

2019 is looking pretty simple. I think God is leading me to go back to praying for at least one hour a day. I may make this more with shorter prayer times in afternoon and evening. But we’ll see what God is wanting with all that as I go along.

In 2017 when I did this one hour of prayer/day, I studied several books about prayer in conjunction with this. This year, I may study The Lord’s Prayer in conjunction with praying.

I will show my new prayer journals soon. But I had another goal come up this morning. It just suddenly clarified in my head– a lot of things from the last YEARS came together to release me into a new thing. I also think one special “older woman” is specifically praying for me, and she contributed to this, too.

It suddenly dawned upon me how satan was/is using my old dreams and desires in times of weakness to make me even more weak. I’m going through the 40s change– my dreams of childhood are having to die and resurrect into reality. And this has been some process for me.

Here is a New Year/New Life resolution for 2019: This year, I want to receive from God joy and contentment. I will refuse to entertain “what if,” “could have,” “might have” … I will live with thoughts of thankfulness for each aspect of my life and God’s leading, will, and blessing.

So, at least for a year, I will put away these ramblings of weirdness into my past desires. It might make my future clearer 🙂 And with prayer, I think God is going to do His transforming work!

So, that’s my 2019 so far 🙂

“Attitudes, Attributes, and Emotions of our family”

Proverbs 31, and praying over today’s events

Praying Daily for your Husband –downloaded from Inspired to Action

the kids’ Education– general, specific

Praying over our marriage vows


odin obichni den i kak zhit eyo radi chevo to bolshe

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 🙂

half of the year of prayer

God led me this year to not set any Bible reading goals or plan and just to spend a year focusing on my prayer life.

God was several years in leading me to this year. This year of learning more to pray.

I’m at the end of the fifth month of this year. And some of the greatest events of our life have happened in these five months.

1.) Prayer. 2) Huge life events.

Around month three (March), I realized these two factors are tightly interrelated.

The humbling lesson is that I really pray with so little faith. I’ve started to think that faith “like a mustard seed” is just putting something on my prayer list– I have some level of faith, I guess, that I even put it on the list, though I feel like I then pray with no expectation or belief that it will really ever happen …

So, it’s been a happenin’ year, we could say.

I wanted to record the enormous-to-me things that have happened so far this year.

  1. We’ve added some supporters. We’re almost half-way to where we need to be financially.  It doesn’t sound big, but it’s been a process of seeing God lead me in various, personal ways that has been really neat.
  2. We applied for Vitaliy’s Green Card…. After thought and prayer, we had decided not to do this, but I keep it on my prayer list and was “mentioning” it to God for direction, and that direction came when Vitaliy’s visa was twice denied. We applied for a Green Card. It’s a big move for us.

3. I wrote a small book. I wasn’t even praying about this specifically, but I think it’s more related to praying about being more fruitful. This book details the relational, sanctificational steps God led me through in my early years of motherhood.  It’s still it the editing stages. I’m trying not to hurry.


4. Vitaliy and I both moved into being more open to fostering or adopting a child. I’ve been praying about this for years. I still don’t know if it will ever happen, but we’ve shifted in this to being more open and ready.

5. We are actually buying an apartment– actually an apartment that has enough room for us all (and a few more)! This amazes me. It’s been on the list, I’ve dutifully mentioned it to the Lord,  but I’ve not believed it would really happen. And the amazing thing is that it happened in a way that it made us open to spending money on having more room to live in, which has been a growing need.  (I want to write a whole post about this experience.)



Signing papers.


Good thing the bank has a big money counter thingy.


6. I asked Clay Clarkson about getting his book, Heartfelt Discipline, translated into Rusisan, and he is! Even now! This is so wonderful to me! This book had a great impact on my thinking towards my children that really helped me become more Christlike. He’s even willing to make a corresponding video series through the book, plus translate others of their books!

7. God’s been giving me opportunities to witness to people.

I’m laying on the floor, figuratively speaking, in amazement over all this. It’s been quite a year.

weight loss, 2017

So, I’m sharing the good, bad, and the ugly about weight loss.

Back in November, I stopped following Phase 3 of the Curves eating plans–that’s the maintainance-keep-adding-muscle-losing-fat phase.

I figured I’d “take a break” for the holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. Then, I’d start back again…. You know.

Ha. It’s March and I’ve never started back again. I keep working out three times a week though.

So they offer a repeat Food School– a four-week group where we are back on the diet together and we work on motivating ourselves to keep at this discipline for life. I love doing this work in a group!

So I’m all re-excited about this. I’m back on Phase 1 for a week (1200 cal), to re-set my metabolism. The dietician who leads the class says if it’s too hard with breastfeeding (it was hard the first time–I was feeling really bad sometimes), then to move to Phase 2 (1500 cals). I’m breastfeeding a lot less now, so maybe it will be fine.

It’s not so much the calories that are important. It’s what kind of calories they are– a healthy combo of proteins, carbs and fats. (I’m not going to argue about what’s the right thing, there are just too many opinions. I’m just going to follow this diet because it’s varied  and I have great results on it and it keeps me pretty healthy.)

I’m feeling all poophead that my fat percent is back up to 36.8 (I started at 38.something, then got it down to 29.6). And my muscle is down from 31.7 to 27.9.

But I don’t stay poophead for long! It’s still a huge improvement. And on we go again.

I’m excited!

the New Year starts

So, I’ve had an interesting first 12 days of 2017. I want to record some things. I love having these journal-like blogs.

  1. I’ve been praying for an hour a day, and it’s …. so interesting. I combine it with fitness– walking or working out. It’s really becoming more and more transformative.
  2. I calculated that since starting to raise support a few months back, we’ve moved from 40% support level to 46%. God is doing a work in this– and it’s not so much about money as about love and sharing and opening my heart. I’ve been asking God to return to me the heart of my teenage self when it comes to passion for missions and raising ministry funds and relationships.
  3. The girls are moving into more independent homeschooling. This is good for us all. I was slowing them down.
  4. I had a crisis one day, realizing that God is brining midwifery back into my life. I had put it into a tomb. But He’s bringing it back in his way. I’m excited about this. At this point, I’m just looking to follow step-by-step what God wants. I’m interested by this because it was a clear motion from God, that this is HIS will, not just something I love. And He’s making it come in a way that it is the right priority in my life, not some all-consuming thing that it so easily can become….. I have a plan and a time line, subject to God’s intervention, of course. It will not be soon, but that’s OK. If it is to be, it will be in the right time.


2017, I love you already

Vitaliy often says to learn to see where God is working in your life and catch the wave. So I’ve been doing that.

And oh, how I love to dream about things. To imagine. Seeing the awesome potential of things just kills me sometimes. Like I always want to buy something old and broken down because I see what cool potential it could have if I sanded it, repaired, glued, varnished, repainted, stenciled …

But so often, I just bought the thing and never got around to fulfilling that potential 🙂 So I’ve learned to enjoy visionary self and not have to spend that money, for example. Or keep that old thingamabob that I just know I could paintsandrepurpose….

But I’ve also learned just to take ahold of the things that are truly valuable to me, and work on the potential of those certain things. Doing the actual work is hard for me. Once the dream becomes reality, and it’s not all glittery anymore and… fooh.

However … things are worth working on.

So, this year is here!

One thing I’m doing it keeping a DID journal– just in my planner– I don’t like using a planner as an appointments/to-do thing. I’ve decided to record what I DID.

This is what I wrote on Sunday: body brushing, mask, cleaned out frig [I read about a woman who goes through her frig every Jan 1, and pitches all the old stuff, and wow, did I need to do that], what I made for lunch [reverse menu planning, because menu planning for whatever reason, causes my blood pressure to rise, so hey! record after the fact, then I have a planned menu for the next week or month!], “church gave card and cake and prayed for me” [celebrated my 41st birthday!], 1 hour of prayer walking.


From Vitaliy I am learning to love actually doing (and not just dreaming about doing) something with what I have where I am. He is the master of this. He’s a do-er. I’m the dreamer. So hey, I can learn!

Also, because of the nature of my current goals and resposibilities, I’m trying to ruthlessly shave my life down to a very few goals for the next year and a half. I realized that I have lots of time, but I don’t have matching nor endless quantities of emotional energy to do all the things I can.


Homeschooling. I don’t really look at this as a goal, but I try to create dreams and aspirations around it so that I enjoy it more. I’m also … coming to a point where I can be even a little bit honest with myself, that I don’t really enjoy most of homeschooling. I like having my kids at home. That’s about it. I don’t like being in charge of educating them. I’m 5 years into this deal, so I’m not speaking out of nowhere. And I’ve tried tons of stuff. Part of my issue is that I think I don’t make most of the work independent, which is could be by this point. Part it is one of my children who just is not going to stop suffering through school no matter what we try…. Anyway… lots of analyzation here that I won’t go in to. … We would like to put the girls in school for a year when we’re in the States if we can swing it financially. Just to try out that option, too. Homeschooling, for me, is a major energy drain, so I have to keep it front and center and keep it moving forward.

Fundraising. God has been moving here. My goal is for us to be 100% by Dec, 2017. I finally feel like I have the beliefs, support system, and a plan to make this a reality. I’m devoting a lot of my mental, time, and emotional resources to this for the next year or so. {Dear reader, we need you to pray about supporting us… }

Prayer. Every year my spiritual goals look like this 1) Bible reading 2) prayer 3) Bible memory. … The problem that has evolved is that I love Bible reading and studying, I am very experienced at it– it’s EASY for me. I’m very exercised and proficient in this discipline. So, all my time, emotions, etc, runs to that…. About 4 years ago, God starting telling me that I need to pray more. But He just cooked that idea inside me for about 4 years, and now it’s time, and He’s made a way. So I have no Bible reading plans or goals, and my goal this year is to pray for 1 hour a day. And to memorize a verse of Titus each week– to memorize the whole book. So far, I’m doing it in both Russian and English.

I have a few other smaller goals but those are the major ones.

Allelujah. Amen!