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Archive for May, 2009

We were in our new van so Vitaliy *and I* could relax, and I was, as usual, running here and there helping the girls–taking Skyla to the potty, getting them food, toys, etc. . . . Frustration, that infiltrating kind that builds up silently inside, started overtaking my heart, and pretty soon, I birthed out sin in my words to Vitaliy, sharply pointing out my state of non-relaxation.

Vitaliy, my king of care and patience, took over with the girls and I guiltily picked up my Bible to start my reading for that day . . . Leviticus. . . . And the Lord opened up a treasure in this unlikely spot of Scripture reading.

Chapter one describes the procedure for offering a whole burnt offering. Living in Ukraine, I see more animal parts and organs in the store than I saw in the States. Maybe that’s why the words became so vivid. . . . Cut up the body, lay the pieces on the altar, wash off the organs, lay them on the altar, put the fat on the altar, burn it ALL.

This became real to me, applied to me. Romans 12: I am the living sacrifice. Are my arms and legs tired from serving others? Cut them off from my selfishness and lay them on the altar. Is my heart offended from self-pity? Wash it off and lay it on the altar. Is my mind wanting to plan and satisfy my own desires? Wash it off and lay it on the altar.

And burn it all up in God’s holy fire.

The more I pondered this image, the more I realized. . . . A burnt offering leaves ashes. But in this case, it’s a living sacrifice. So from the living ashes grow fruit–patience, joy, meekness . . .

From the ashes grows the person I long to be in Christ.

Leviticus 6 instructs the Israelites to offer a whole burnt offering every day.

Yes, Lord, here I am, on the altar, every day.

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I’m currently reading Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson (thank you, TG, for sending all those wonderful, “gracious” parenting books!). You’ll find their ministry site here.

I would like to talk about this a little. I am a terrible, inexperienced parent in many ways, and becoming a mother has revealed a monster side of me that I never knew existed. For one, I have sin issues with my anger especially.

So God is so faithfully working on me, teaching me, helping me be teachable, and this book has been His words to me right now. For example, in Clarkson’s section on “Directive Discipline,” he has chapters about

  • Sympathy versus strictness
  • Encouragement versus guilt
  • Nurture versus neglect, and
  • Instruction versus Information

I am so convicted and taught and ready to be changed.

Strictness demands obedience first; understanding is optional. Sympathy seeks understanding and expects obedience (89).

The English word encouragement means to instill courage or boldness into another person. In contrast, discourage means to remove courage, leaving in its place fear or resignation. Encouragement in discipline means giving your children the courage or strength to do or be what is right. . . . By its nature guilt discourages children because it’s based on shame and fear. Guilt can’t lead to maturity . . . (91).

“In the same way that husbands are to nurture the lives of their wives, fathers are to nurture the lives of their children (103).  

Rather than the focus being on what I had to say or on my reactions or insights, the focus was on what God had to say. The power of God’s Word is undeniable. (116).

God encouraged my heart to be willing to change and become a more godly mother.

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I love tea things–I have dreamed of opening a tea room–and here are some beautiful tea sites!

Tea Graces–a Christian ministry of hospitality through teas–lots of unique resources!

Sweet necessi-teas–many beautiful tea products and accessories

Thistledown Cozies–also beautiful products/accessories

Enjoy browsing!

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going out

Skyla dressed herself up today to go to the mall and play in the nursery. We haven’t left the house yet . . . I love her creativity, though this time we will proabably change a few things 🙂

she's just so CUTE!

she's just so CUTE!

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Over a year ago, maybe two, we started a Mommies’ Night Out once a month. I really enjoy it as a way to connect with Americans, something I don’t do a lot right now.  

Considering we’re all missionaries, it’s a fairly transient group. We almost always have exactly four ladies come, and 2-3 of us are regulars. We mostly talk about our kids–schooling decisions, parenting, etc. It’s nice to chat, get insights from others’ experience, and have things in common.

In this photo is Alla (L) and Kelly (M)–they are both regulars with me right now, and then Rachel  (R) came for the first time this month.

MNO

Thanks, girls!

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Papa

This is how the girls fell asleep last night.

13girlsfallasleep

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TulipGirl reminded me!

Have you thanked your midwife today?

weighing Skyla

weighing Skyla

This is Debi (well, her back anyway), my wonderful midwife who assisted at both Skyla and Victoria’s births. God used her to keep me from a c-section with Skyla, and she traveled here to Kiev for Vika’s birth! She’s wonderful!

 

Debi with one of her many babies

Debi with one of her many babies

Exodus 1:15-21

 

And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the men children alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwives come in unto them. Therefore God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God, that he made them houses.

 

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