missionary trauma

So, I don’t know if it’s missionary trauma, or pastor’s wife trauma, or just being alive in a sinful world trauma ….

It just kind of builds up, the shocking things one has to hear, witness, face. I think I handle all this pretty well; I don’t struggle with depression or sink into despair or bitterness or hopelessness. I have struggled with forgiveness, with not withdrawing emotionally.

God once convicted me of cynicism towards our rehab center, and He helped me turn from cynicism to having His hope for souls.

But it does build up.

So something cultural/personal was shocking me a few days back, and I was examining this with Vitaliy, and in a follow-up conversation, I said maybe I’d like to talk to a counselor and just make sure I’m not becoming deformed by shocking things.

And in the conversation, I was thinking about how Jesus had seen many shocking things. And how did He deal with it?

And I thought: When Jesus was being beaten, tortured, and crucified, He wasn’t feeling shock at people’s sinfulness. He just didn’t feel that. He was ready to offer forgiveness, do God’s will, and see the glory of God in what was really happening.

That insight has given me a great new level of insight and freedom. Jesus didn’t feel shock at people’s sinfulness. I personally tend to get a little bowled over by this. And I start circling back around to this topic–feelings of being shocked. And that’s what starts layering up on me–my own reaction.

But this is showing me that I can just skip the feelings of shock. They don’t serve me. I can look at that person’s life, no matter what they have just brought out of their hearts, and see that God is working in them–that they have not done worse things already, that they are God’s children and have, as such, made many good decisions, too, etc. That is seeing His glory instead of their sin.

Answered prayer in 2019

God is bringing to a close my midlife “crisis.” (I just turned 44, by the way, so, great timing!) I would describe this experience as: Parting with all the possible lives I could have lived, and discovering in a new way the joy and greatness of the life God has planned for me.

Early in 2019, I wrote this commitment/prayer in my prayer notebook:

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.

There were days and days I would repeat this prayer and commitment.

And then, I stopped even noticing it. I started enjoying my life in a new way, a way free from comparisons of what my life could have been.

And now I look back at it, and it is an answered prayer. A lived commitment.

And I need to move on into living this life with even greater acceptance and openness to what actually He IS DOING in this life He’s made me for.

Den blagodareniye, 2019

День благодарение, 2019

В этом году Бог «усовершенствовал» несколько огромных проектов / дел / желаний, и я хочу снова сделать паузу, чтобы поблагодарить и выразить свою уверенность в Его делах, Его руководстве, Его сердце, Его совершенстве.

Во первых, Он сделал «Зеленую карту» Виталия и ускоренный процесс гражданства США. Это включало очень много факторов и заняло больше года.

Во-вторых, строительство / ремонт этой квартиры и покупка новую машину. Мои родители и фандрайзинг, через который Бог усмотрел эти средства… Просто удивительно.

В-третьих, крещение Скайлы и то, как она и Виктория расцветают в этом году. Они оба начали играть на инструментах для групп (гитара, барабаны, пианино), помогают в AWANA и иметь собственную небольшую заработанную работу вне дома.

Также стали легче путешествовать всей семьей и просто наслаждались семейной жизнью. Дети замечательные и удивительные.

Thanksgiving, 2019

This year God ‘perfected’ several large projects/deeds/desires, and I want to pause again to give thanks and express my confidence in His deeds, His leading, His heart, His perfection.

First, He completed Vitaliy’s Green Card and expedited American citizenship. This involved so many factors, and took over a year.

Second, the construction/renovation of this apartment and buying a new van. My parents and the fundraiser through which God supplied these funds …. simply amazing.

Third, Skyla’s baptism and the way she and Victoria are blooming this year. They’ve both started playing instruments for groups (guitar, drums, piano), helping in AWANA, and having their own small money-earning jobs outside home.

We’ve also started traveling as a family more easily and just enjoying our family life even more. Kids are rewarding and amazing.

Sozdana dlya svoye zhizni

Создана для своей жизни

Бог напомнил мне сегодня, что Он создал меня для своей жизни, для работы (дома с детьми), которую Он мне дал.

Я слушала проповед об осуждении и уверености, а затем читала несколько книг о материнстве.

И Бог напомнил мне, что быть мамой – роль, которую я чувствую больше всего в моих неудачах, некомпетентности, неподготовленности и т. д. – что это то, для чего Он меня создал. Он точно создал меня быть мамой. Он подготовил меня к этому.

То же самое с домашним обучением детей. Это работа, от которой я не смогла «сбежать»; Бог заставил меня сделать это. Это не значит, что я идеален для этого, но Он – мое обеспечение – Ему достаточно, чтобы выполнить эту работу. Он усмотрить все, что нам нужно для обучения, воспитания и подготовки наших детей к служению в Его Царстве. На самом деле, Он очень в это вложен – даже больше, чем я!

Прекрасное напоминание!

made for my life

God reminded me today that He made me for my life, for the work He’s given me to do.

I was listening to a talk about condemnation versus confidence, then I was reading some books about motherhood.

And God reminded me that being a mom– the role I feel most my failures, incompetence, unprepared for, etc.– it’s what He created me for. He exactly created me to be a mom. He prepared me to do this.

The same with home schooling. It’s something I’ve not been able to “escape;” God made me to do this. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect for it, but He is my provision– He is enough to do this job. He will supply everything we need to educate, disciple, and prepare our children to be His kingdom workers. In fact, He’s very invested in this– even more than I!

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.

return to birth work

A month or two back, a pregnant mom contacted me and wanted me to be her doula. It’s been a few years since I’d been a doula, especially for a birth house birth, but I thought it over and talked with Vitaliy, and then said OK.

So, nine days after her birth, I must say, I’m so very, very glad I took that break for a few years! I’ve been able to forgive, to make better emotional, physical, and mental boundaries for myself, and to come back to this (after my own births and pregnancies and breastfeeding are over) and just serve a woman.

Whom did I forgive? I learned to forgive medical personnel for the shocking, abusive way they conduct births and treat couples. I give them grace, that they are also abused people basically doing what they’re taught and being who the culture forms them into.

I’ve forgiven women for going to birth in these places. I have grace for them, that they are doing what they think is best, doing what they have the confidence to do.

By God’s help, I am with these people in the power of Christ, walking in His love and forgiveness and help, as He did on the earth.

God gave me a powerful way to help myself put boundaries around my mind. When I remember their treatment and how the birth went, when the video tape of memory plays in my head, I pause the tape, everyone in the room freezes, and I walk to each one (in my mind), and I bless them and pray for them to know the love of Jesus. Then I don’t start the tape again. If it comes back, I just do the same exercise. It transforms me, to be a life-giving person and not become hard and rude, nor crushed and sad and helpless.

I also stepped out of the room after the baby was born, to not witness the after-birth abuse. That boundary helped.

So another lady has contacted me, too, and God seems to say “let’s do it!”

Kogda “otlozhennoye udovletvoreniye” nachinaet tsvesti

Когда «отложенное удовлетворение» начинает цвести

Хоумскулинг (обучение на дому), как стиль жизни, в начальных годах, было для меня трудным делом. Иногда я пытался отказаться от этого, и Бог ясно дал понять, что это то, что Он хочет для нашей семьи.

И я хочу написать о хороших плодах (мое “отложенное удовлетворение), которые появляются сейчас. Мои две старшие девочки учатся в восьмом классе– им 12 и 14 лет. Есть еще сын во втором классе, и дочка (5 лет)– пока дошкольника.

Главные пдоды, которые мне нравится сейчас:

Девушки недавно выбрали/определили свои инструменты, чтобы научиться играть (Вика– фортепиано, Скайла – барабаны, гитара, вокал). Я читала, пока мы были на раннем этапе, в книге Рэймонда и Дороти Мур, их совет, чтоб детей начали уроки музыки чуть позже, около 10-12 лет. Тогда, по идеи, они дольше проявляют интерес. И, видимо, это сработало с нашими детьми. Я не говорю им ни слова о необходимости практиковать/тренировать; они делают все сами.

Они ходят на уроки без меня– мне не надо из сопровождать по дороге. Ура.

Они делают свою школьную работу в основном без меня. Но мне нравится, что я читаю Скайлу вслух каждый день. Она делает рукоделе пока я читаю ей ее школьные книги, и мы оба наслаждаемся этим временем.

Каждый из них зарабатывает свои деньги. Они преподают разговорный английский. Они используют эти деньги, чтобы платить десятину, иметь карманные деньги, оплачивать лагеря и конференции, покупать подарки и т.д. Я также сейчас плачу им нянчить младших (не всегда, но часто), потому что они берут на себя большую ответственность за свою финансовую жизнь, не просят у нас денег, и они учатся тратить, сберегать, и отдавать.

Я дала им больше свободы от некоторых домашних обязанностей теперь, когда они заняты, и я стараюсь больше подключать Андре и Юну. Это хорошо для всех нас 😉

Каждый из них организует свои собственные графики, чтобы выполнить все эти занятии и обязанности, и выспаться.

Я благодарна, что в нашей жизни есть рутина, чтоб выполнять школьных занятий каждое утро.

Чтение Андре улучшается, и я сейчас быстрее провожу его по математике, так как он успешен в математике.

Юна видит, что все заняты, и очень хочет «ходить в школу» с мамой, поэтому мы начали немного читать с ней (ей 5 лет) и иногда делаем интересные вещи с ней по программу (дошкольной).

Мне нравится учиться со своими детьми! Мы читаем такие интересные вещи! Альфред Великий, на пример, просто вдохновляет меня на обучение моих детей! Я люблю старых королей история, которые были хорошими во многих, и я вижу, как их христианские ценности часто выражались через обучение детей (и взрослых)– они хотели поднять уровень людей в их странах, чтобы они становились грамотными и образованными. Я могу написать больше о нем (и Карле Великом) когда-то.

Кроме того, мы читаем самые захватывающие книги – одна сегодня была о специях, и о том, как они играли роль в жестокости и колониализма. Я использую гвоздику и мускатный орех (специи о которыми мы читали), чтобы сделать Spice Cake, и я никогда не представляла, сколько крови пролилось на этих двух специи !!! И чтобы они когда-то использовались для консервирования (до изобретения холодильника). И мы читаем книгу «Сельские часы» (Rural Hours, на анг), которая питает мою романтичную, любящую–природу душу.

Итак, я просто хотела потратить некоторое время, чтобы написать то, что благословляет меня сейчас–то, что раньше меня иногда и казалось бессмысленно, и не видела в нем плюсы…. Теперь— это и полный, счастливый сезон жизни.

When delayed gratification comes into bloom

Homeschooling, as a lifestyle, has been a hard thing for me. I’ve tried to give it up at times, and God’s made it very clear that this is what He wants for our family.

And I want to write about the good fruits that are coming from it now. Now that my two older girls are in eighth grade …. They are 12 and 14.

These are the things that I really like that are now coming about:

The girls are choosing their own instruments to learn to play (Vika, the piano, and Skyla–drums, guitar, voice). I read years ago in Raymond and Dorothy Moore’s book, the advice to start kids in music lessons a bit later, around 10-12 yrs old, as they will retain interest longer, and apparently this has worked with our kids. I don’t say a single thing to them about needing to practice; they do it all themselves.

They transport themselves to and from their lessons without me. Hurrah.

They do their schoolwork mostly without me, but I love that I read aloud to Skyla basically every day. She works on a craft while I read her school books to her, and we both enjoy this time.

They each earn their own money by having English students. They use this money to tithe, to have spending money, to pay for camps and conferences, to buy gifts, etc. I also pay them now for babysitting (not always but often) because they are taking more charge of their financial lives, not asking us for money, and learning about saving, spending, and giving.

I have given them more freedom from some home responsibilities now that they are busier, and I try to train Andre and Una more. This is good for us all 😉

They each organize their own schedules to accomplish all these activities, commitments, and responsibilities, and get enough sleep.

I am thankful that our life has settled into a routine of doing schoolwork each morning.

Andre’s reading is improving, and I move him faster through his maths right now, as he is wired for math.

Una sees everyone busy and longs to “do school” with mommy, too, so we’ve started some slight reading with her (she’s 5) and sometimes do some little crafty things.

I love what I’m reading with my kids! Alfred the Great just inspires me about educating my children! I love the old kings of history who were good in many ways, and I see how their Christian values were often expressed through teaching children (and adults) to become literate and educated. I may write more about him (and Charlemagne) at some point.

Also, we are reading the most fascinating books–one today was about spices and how much a part of cruelty and colonialism they once were–I use cloves and nutmeg to make Spice Cake, and I never imagined how much blood was shed over these two spices!!! And that they were once used for preserving (before refrigeration). And we’re reading Rural Hours, which feeds my romantic, nature-loving soul.

I also want to note somewhere that I make all our own bread now in our bread machine– I love homemade breads. And I often spend Saturdays baking for church fellowship time after the service on Sundays. I really enjoy this.

So, I just wanted to take some time to write out the things that are blessing me right now. It’s a full, happy season of life.