Archive of ‘церковь’ category

giving up my rights

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Years back, I did quite a bit of reading and writing and rolling around in thoughts about gender. It’s, you know, an issue today. And being placed in this time of history, it’s something I’ve had to wrestle with in my current culture. So, I have my own thoughts, opinions, and things I’ve worked out for myself.

But what I realized yesterday, was that I also have sin in my heart about this issue. I was in a (Russian) conversation yesterday online, and a guy was joking about women’s “nerves” and “hormones.” It was belittling. And immediately, my gender red light started flashing internally.

I tried to jokingly say that maybe war is also a result of men’s hormones, no? Well, hormones may be involved, but so are our sin natures.

Anyway, I think I did an OK job of controlling my words and not getting in to the issue deeply (talking with someone who’s just going to defend his own point is pointless). But I felt yuck about the conversation. And I was praying and asking God, why do I feel this way? I don’t see wrong in my words.

But it’s in my heart, I think. Irritation and inflammation in me rose up.

and that’s a signal.

That I have let this question become more important to me than it ought to be. Because why would I even consider hurting a brother over it?

And so I’ve been thinking about that, about how our culture teaches us that we have to fight for our rights. But God teaches us to follow Christ, who laid His down and died.

And here’s the thing. It’s not until I lay down and die to my right (my right to speak the truth about this), it’s not until I die to that, that I will ever be able to speak in a way that touches this guy.

If I have defending my rights/truth as the higher value of my heart, they will all know it, and my words and tone will show it.

But if I have laid down my rights, taken on the humility of Christ, then God, if and when He wants, will make a moment for truth and love to be spoken, maybe through me, maybe not, and to touch this brother in a transformative way.

It may never happen. There may be other issues God wants to talk to him about and not this one.

But I will lay down and die to whatever rights I think I have to hurtfully speak truth, so my own heart is not poisoned and my well of love polluted by valuing this truth in the wrong level of priority.

So help me God.

baking and love

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So, tomorrow (today, as I’m writing this after midnight our time on Saturday) is Zhatva at church! It’s the annual harvest celebration. This year I decided to get even more emotionally involved, in a good way.

I’ve been praying for specific ways to show love to our church. Not that they need it— I need it. I need to love our church.

So, it came together right now in baking and cooking for Zhatva. I have so enjoyed this process of making all this stuff! It’s rainy, fall weather, I turn on Christmas music, get the kids playing with flour, and here we go!

I will admit that not everything has turned out. But a lot has! … I love cooking for holidays 🙂

So, here it is in photos:

Setting up Andre to make his own flour-water dough

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Here’s Una, saying hi to the world as she plays with her flour

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The messy table with a thousand projects going at once

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I made four chickens 🙂

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I made pumpkin bread from real pumkin puree– real pumpkins are everywhere right now, so here is some, after it’s been boiled (in chunks) dripping out the excess water in the cheese cloth (like we do with tvorog).

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Wow, these kids are cute!
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Some pumpkin bread

20161008_140152All around, an awesome day!

learning to “like” again ….

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So, you know, I talked about how I want to learn to like my church again.

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A couple things I’ve noticed. Stopping the evil internal dialogue has gone a long way. A long, long way.

And you know, to do that, God got serious with me. It was like He was communicating to me: Now is the natural moment that I’ve shown you this issue (your negative internal rehearsing of sins), and you need to stop it now at this natural moment of conviction/healing. If you don’t stop it at this natural moment of growth, things will go downhill in a bad way.

(hilarious skit:)

Second, years ago, when all this negative started happening … Anne, the individual, went into hiding. It was not time to talk about my secondary convictions, to show people who I am as a person, as an individual believer, to talk about the personal ways God was leading me to do such and such. It was a time of …. some hostility. And so, I just didn’t see any point of inflaming or entangling things with other life issues. I’m an avoid-conflict person, so I just hid huge, important-to-me parts of myself because I didn’t feel safe talking about them or sharing those parts of myself with my church.

So, in order to start “liking” my church again, I need to give myself the courage to be myself openly. Not in a brash, in-your-face, do-it-my-way kind of way at all. But more of, this is the good ways God’s led me, these are the deep things my heart cares about … kind of thing.

And, I’m starting to feel the safety, in my church, to do this again. To be uniquely who God made me to be, and enjoying their unique-nesses, too.

Third …. I think God has led me in a specific way to open myself up to making personal friends in church (with other moms). So I’m putting myself ‘our there’ for that possibility. We’ll see what comes of this, but I think overall, it will help me make church folks more able to see me as a person, get to know me, mutual enjoyment, etc. It’s hard for me to do, actually, because I like being alone. But, learn and grow! Learning to give up the comfort that I want to so carefully keep around me.

So, that’s where I’ve come so far, with nurturing a more mature “like.”

this pastor’s wife’s trauma

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I always imagined myself a missionary. I never imagined myself a pastor’s wife. Never. Ever.

Warning; I need therapy, counseling, etc. Until then, I’m blogging. It’s cathartic.

Vitaliy was ordained as an evangelist in 2009, and he was *one* of the 3 pastors of our church. He was not the main pastor.

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But then.

Then.

We came back to Ukraine (from a visit to America) around 2010, and while we’d been gone, our church had exploded.

I can’t write details. It’s like big-legal-trouble details. And the sad/key thing is that it all involved the informal and formal leadership structure of the church.

There’s a lot I’m not going to write (you can thank me) because I have, cyclically, worked through forgiveness issues. I will just say, it was a baptism by fire into being the main pastor and his wife. It was having to do *at least something* with unrepentant or sadly trapped leaders.

It’s been six years, and the fall out is still hanging around. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m pathetic.

But here’s my today thing: In order to grow normally spiritually, I want/need to start enjoying my church again. I’ve dealt and am dealing with the forgiveness, the patterns of rehearsing their sins in my thoughts. I’ve committed to keep a guard over my mouth and stop the damaging, internal dialogue. Now I really want to start just liking them all again.

So, how to go about nurturing and re-creating “like”? 😀 It’s a cool question. …. I may be back with more.