Archive for September, 2013

I need all of you.

On October 1, Lord willing, I’ll be launching a campaign called “Funding Freedom” to raise $13,400 in 60 days.

I need you, each of you, to do one or more simple things to help me.

As you know, we have not raised monthly support that covers both our living and ministry needs. And we own this decision; we have chosen this 😀

For over a year now, God has been working with me personally about fundraising. I have blogged a lot about this (just search “fundraising” in the search box if you are interested) and continue to look to God’s leading me.

We have a wonderful, stable, mature supporting church in Chattanooga, TN, that loves us, knows us, and takes good care of us. I say that because missions is a work of the local church. Other than that, we have a few other great churches that support us and we have incredible friends who support us. Who so wondrously support us. And share in the fruit here.

God’s leading me into being more creative with fundraising, and I’m actually starting to really enjoy this and look forward to this campaign “Funding Freedom.” (If you didn’t know this already, I used to be a script writer for Christian home schooling videos. ;))

And I will repeat again: I need y.o.u., each and every one ofy.o.u.

Funding Freedom is raising money for the rehab center’s ministry needs for a year. Here’s is what you can do; it is very. simple.

1. You can give. It might be your pocket change; it might be an amount that really hurts you to give. Or it may be somewhere in between that. God will guide you.

2. You can promote this campaign among your friends. Social media is very easy to use! I’ll be posting campaign links on my FaceBook page, so you can share those with your friends. You can ask me to invite you to be an official promoter of the campaign. I need you to do either/or both of these things. And remember: it’s really very simple to do!

3. Pray for God to provide. He always has. He always will. And He delights in our asking.

4. Pray for my stamina during the campaign. So many videos and photos to share, so much we want people to see. God is so great. Endlessly great. And we want people to rejoice in His glory and work here.

So. I  need you, lovely friends.


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This week I sent in my fourth annual report. I’ve done a lot of work on this challenging, wonderful program.


I have been taking a break for the last few months. A complete break.

I was having minor earthquakes going on in myself, in a good way, and God has been re-aligning me in some new ways.

Midwifery is a whole-body-whole-entire-life experience, so these internal shifts are necessary and healthy.

I think Im ready to come back to studies in a different way, in a smaller way, and as a person with shifted priorities. It’s a good thing.

Next, I’m focusing on taking the Terminology Exam while I’m in the States, and attending a Skills Lab, and I’ll try to work on filling up my file and presentation on nutrition.

I’m ready to start working like a turtle. I prefer the rabbit pace, of course, but it sucks out too much from other things I must be living and investing in right now (home schooling, fundraising, etc).

Also, I have really no idea where the journey of this studying is taking me. That’s another reason i love Ancient Art Midwifery Institute. It makes studying a real journey in life; it’s organic (living) in that way.


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Vitaliy doesn’t read this blog.

Aren’t I glad.

Yes, I’m glad.


I love the Mitford series. It really inspires me to love my spouse.

So I’m praying about special things I can do to love Vitaliy.

I just did one thing. I will tell you about it, but I’m hoping to somewhat surprise him, so don’t mention it.

My sister-in-law passed on a link for a place that has cabins for rent with way-discounted prices for misisionaries. The lovely thing about this place–it’s very close to Chattanooga, where we live in the U.S.!!!!!

So, we’re having our 10th anniversary March 6, 2014. I admit, I break all female stereotypes in that I cannot remember the date of my wedding. Vitaliy said it outloud (without looking it up!) yesterday, so I have it in mind right now.

Good thing.

It’s also a good thing that no current child is dependent on breastmilk to sustain life, though Andre is calf and a half, sweet boy, and I’m hoping that by March, no mommy for a few days won’t be too traumatic to either of us.

So, I just booked us a week in a cabin. For our 10th anniversary. For 160 dollars.

Yippee 😀

Thank you, God.

Now, I just need to check if aunt and grandparents can babysit for a while.

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becoming a child again

John 14 and Matthew 18 are intersecting in my life. …

Today was a long day of home schooling. Doing two days in one.

It’s midnight now, and I have spent the last 6 hours wondering why I’m alive, the purpose of life, what will I do in my elderly years, and having an identity crisis.

I didn’t say anything to Vitaliy.

But around 9:30pm he offered to take me out for a little cafe date, so we went, and in the car, the first thing he said is that I’m a hero, and I’m doing a great thing with this home school, and he ought to buy me flowers.

I didn’t start crying, though my eyes thought about it for a moment, but I did say thank you, and what would I ever do if I didn’t have such a suppotive husband. …

I realized today that God is returning me to elements of being a child. Children don’t have many choices about what they’re going to do each day, if you think about it.

And nor do I have many choices, if I’m going to fulfill my responsibilities.

Children are disciplined (in the sense of ‘exercised’) daily to do and become; and they don’t have a lot of control over this process.

I am being exercised, disciplined, daily, to do and become, and I don’t have a lot of control over the way this is happening.

So, I’m feeling a bit like a child, in this sense, like God’s child. It actually is uplifting to see all this as God’s doing in my life, to teach me faithfulness in small things, to teach me good habits. To teach me good habits of teaching good habits.

To accept all the temptations that this time together brings as wonderful, appointed, planned-for-me opportunities to follow Jesus’ steps as He lived each day.

I am being an adult child. An adult submitting myself to the child-like elments of not being able to control, of having to submit myself to another’s plans.

And I want to milk these years for all their worth.

I was thinking, in slight desperation, that maybe I need to take up a hobby, start studying again, something to do when I’m not schoolingcookingcleaning …

And I considered this a long while, and I thought, well, not right now. I want right now to just pray during my free time. And to get close to God during these years that might be preparation for some other ministry after the kids are grown. Or maybe it’s prep for eternity, you think??

To enter into the divine school this life is for me right now. To submit, as a child, to the child-rearing God has going on with me.

“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mat 18:4 NAS)

Greatness, ha. But I can set my heart to learn something, to value this time for what it’s worth, rather than trying to relieve myself from it.

There’s more rumbling around in there … John 14 and all… but …. it’s late to be stringing thoughts together.

my lovely ballerinas and their pet quail

my lovely ballerinas and their pet quail

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for my mother

I don't remember this moment--so glad for this photo. It's so ... who we are ... :)

mom and I at my wedding, 2004

I’m reading Debra Evan’s book Kindred Hearts: Nurturing the Bond Between Mother and Daughter. And at the end of chapter one, the task is to write a letter to your mom and to your own daughters.

So I wrote a letter to my mom. I’m not supposed to give it to her, so I didn’t have anything public in mind when I wrote it. Debra lists ideas of things to write about, and as I wrote and then wrote and wrote, I was wonderfully reminded about tons of great things about my mom that I just love and appreciate.

And I want to lean on these things more as I am in motherhood and life now.

And I got to thinking, I should just give this letter to my mom.

Then I thought, why don’t I just blog this letter?? The world needs inspiring examples–I surely need them!

So here it is.

Dear Mom,      20 Sept 2013

I love most your wisdom. So often, your words at a certain moment, your “maxims,” your insights as you read your writings aloud to us–these things did a lot to shape me, to direct my thoughts.

You are the main reason I love to write, think, and read. Your values have shaped mine–clear thinking, discernment, truth-seeking.

I inherited your crusading heart. I love your initiative–seeing a problem and being part of the answer (your maxim).

I am thankful that you worked as school janitor and listened to books on tape at the same time–you made this time of double value–work and mental growth.

You worked hard, doing jobs thoroughly and all the way. “Don’t just clean it to say you did it; clean it to get it clean.”

And I’m thankful for how you took in Dad’s mom. For the camper years. For the way you’ve lived in little or much.

Thank you for not hindering our going out. That you probably kept sadness to yourself. It’s helped me be able to live in and immigrate to another country, marry someone of another country, without much heartache but real joy–to be a missionary without agony in these areas.

Thank you for raising us in a gracious way. Not shaming, criticizing, or arguing. Seeing Vitaliy’s family’s terrible relationships has helped me value what I never before even saw in you and Dad.

Thank you for letting me try things a lot. For letting me go out with you and your friends, to hear adult talk.

For making comments that helped me understand myself.

I love you, Mom.


Pass the tissues, ya’ll.

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i found treasure

DSCN5934Almost a year ago exactly, I found and printed off this little booklet–after watching Gina’s youtube presentation about the way she prays.

So I started a big notebook–full-sized pages–and had page dividers and blank pages to write down prayers.


I will tell you things as we go through these pictures of my prayer notebook.


Back to the present: The last week or two has been strange in that I have no delight in reading my Bible. I stopped reading It mostly. I’m not recommending this as a regular course of action, and at all other times in my life, I have just continued reading my Bible anyways (Amen. This is a blessed thing to do. This is one of the greatest disciplines to have in one’s life.) DSCN5937

I’m not sure why this time is different. I told Vitaliy about this, that I have no desire to read my Bible, which I usually run to do. And he said, why don’t you take a break for a while then. DSCN5939

Now, off and on for the past year or more, I’ve been wanting, been moved by God’s Spirit, etc. to pray more. I am not satisfied with my prayer life. Yesterday, I was reminded of this and bought a huge notebook to use for prayer.


You see, reading and studying and writing are what I naturally do. I love to read and study and write.

Did I mention that I love to read and study and write?

Surely by now you know that I love to read and study and write. DSCN5941

So what happens is, in my private time to pray, read, and study, and journal/write, I do it all but pray.

Well, I do pray some. But I don’t pray consistently or regularly. I read, study, and write consistently and regularly. But prayer gets short shrift.


I am even so wired about this, that I feel like I’m not really praying (when I’m sitting down to pray) if I’m not writing down every word.

I’m serious.

I’m cereal, as the girls like to joke.


So anyway, I had started this prayer notebook a year ago, done it for a few months, and then I made it too complicated and messy, trying to keep midwifery stuff, fundraising stuff, family stuff, all crammed in there.

so I set it aside. And went on reading and studying and writing. Praying at times throughout the day. But not praying regularly and consistently for my family and faith family as I should. DSCN5944

So I take this notebook down again today. And I see ways I want to simplify it—way to much writingwritingwriting. I see now clearer ways I want to divide things up, categories I need to pray for, things to emphasize.

Ways to make this great idea my own personal thing.
DSCN5946 DSCN5947

See what I found in it? Lovely treasures! DSCN5948

I checked off answered prayers … DSCN5950 DSCN5952

Found the things I want to be praying for regularly. DSCN5953

And this!!! “Moving out to house; finishing second building”

I started this page on 25 September 2012. A year ago, minus 2 days.


The last entry before I put this prayer book down says “3 Nov [2012] Indefinite delay of moving out.”DSCN5955

Big grin. And here we are!! All cozied up in our little house. The guys in the new building. … Wow, God. You did it!

And I found this page about the crisis pregnancy center starting up. And I see now all the answers to prayers, the hotline that rings almost daily now. …


Yes, I found a treasure. I’m going to rework this notebook and live in it for a while, praying the Scripture that I love to read, study, and write about.

And working on memorizing John 14.

You see, God wants me to learn to do the things I don’t do naturally. It’s discipline. And this treasure helps me taste the joy that will be multiplying in the years to come.

We have a very creative, communicative, personal God.

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DSCN5879I almost was a major idiot about hanging these curtains today.

There is a double-thick strip of ribbon across the top, and I grabbed a small pair scissors, and i was going to snip little holes across the ribbon so I’d be able to hang them on the little pokey-things that they hang down from (in Ukraine-style curtain hanging).

Vitaliy sees me, and suddenly, he has his own idea how he wants to hang the curtains. It’s more of a pain than just snipping holes, but he really wants to do it. … So, being an avoider of conflict and generally polite person, I leave the curtains with him and want to wash my hands of it all.

Because it made me mad that my idea was so simple and easy to do, and why should he care about this curtain and hanging methods, and I’m the crafty one, and can’t a woman be in charge of her own curtains for pete’s sake, and steam, steam, steam it all went on inside me.

So I was fuming over the stove, and suddenly, God gave me this thought: Just give him grace.

Now, I’m theoretically all about grace … so I think, OK, no problem, let him do the windows, it’s no sweat off my back, etc.

And God continued by pointing out that that wasn’t all-the-way grace either. Grace enters into and favorably participates in the other person’s ideas and choices in this type of situation, Grace does not just put up with them/avoid them.

So I helped him do his idea. I didn’t sigh, groan, or make disparaging comments. Then I hung the curtains.

It was fine.

It was grace. Rescuing me from being an idiot destroyer.

Maybe next time I’ll do even better, like get wildly excited about doing my things his way.


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