Archive for April, 2014

22 weeks!

My non-ultrasound view of our baby:


This handy flip-chart has babies approximate size on one side and development info on the back.

Love it ❤


Halfway already!

edited to add: if you are interested in purchasing The Baby Egg, it’s about $16 on Amazon, and here’s another post about it here.


Read Full Post »


I love some things about home schooling. It’s like “life” schooling.

Monday I was sick and stayed in bed all day. When the girls realized that I was sick, they were so thoughtful and helpful! They made their own food and for Andre, kept themselves busy and quiet–and I let them watch movies after their self-schooling work was done. They took care of Andre, brought me things all day long, even gave me some massages.

Vitaliy brought back crabs and shells from his recent trip, and the kids were playing together, washing the shells in a bucket today.


I’m reading thatmom‘s new book, The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling: When the One Another’s Come Home,


and I want to think about this portion, to be more intentional about it:

[Most moms]…haven’t thought about the relationship factor of homeschooling and how valuable it really is. They haven’t acknowledged that the natural mentoring of children is more important than anything else we do as parents. Children can learn math and science and history and literature anywhere, but in formal classrooms they cannot build the kind of mentoring relationship that happens between a parent and a child who are homeschooling together. (pp. 28-29)


I hear them all laughing and playing with V in the other room right now. And Skyla brings up how many children we are going to have– she and I had a conversation about this the other day 🙂 She’s decided on 7 total–4 with this birth, then 3 adopted.— She tells this to Vitaliy, and he immediately counteracts that we need to have 27 children! — 10 girls and 17 boys.

Laughing in my sleeve here. ❤

Read Full Post »

Come, ye sinners

Our handbell group played this song today. And I just loved it as bells– it was such a hopeful sound! And it is such a hopeful message!


  1. Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
    Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
    Jesus ready stands to save you,
    Full of pity, love and pow’r.

    • Refrain:
      I will arise and go to Jesus,
      He will embrace me in His arms;
      In the arms of my dear Savior,
      Oh, there are ten thousand charms.
  2. Come, ye thirsty, come, and welcome,
    God’s free bounty glorify;
    True belief and true repentance,
    Every grace that brings you nigh.
  3. Come, ye weary, heavy-laden,
    Lost and ruined by the fall;
    If you tarry till you’re better,
    You will never come at all.
  4. View Him prostrate in the garden;
    On the ground your Maker lies;
    On the bloody tree behold Him;
    Sinner, will this not suffice?
  5. Lo! th’ incarnate God ascended,
    Pleads the merit of His blood:
    Venture on Him, venture wholly,
    Let no other trust intrude.
  6. Let not conscience make you linger,
    Not of fitness fondly dream;
    All the fitness He requireth
    Is to feel your need of Him.

Read Full Post »

The Holy Spirit has such a unique, powerful ministry among us.

There are so many books I’ve read, classes I’ve taken, the hours of reading and study. Whenever I have a problem, a question, an interest, something I want to change about myself … I run to books, to words, to the Internet … but I realized there is no end to these words and of themselves, they have little power to help me.

And there are some truths that, no matter how many times you read the words, you can’t grasp it or be transformed by it.

I think of all the things I’ve learned just because of the ministry of the Spirit in my heart. Amazing, really. The most valuable, needful things come from His leading, His teaching, His work …

And all the things I can never teach others, no matter how many words I say. The truths that they, too, can learn only from the Holy Spirit working inside them.

I pray for my children, that the Holy Spirit will do His work in them. For our church members. For friends. So many. We need the work of the Spirit bringing things together in our lives to teach us and lead us deeper and deeper into right thinking, right believing, right understanding, right conscience, right following of Jesus. …

I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Jn.1:33

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Jn 3:5

“I didn’t tell you this earlier because I was with you every day. But now I am on my way to the One who sent me. Not one of you has asked, ‘Where are you going?’ Instead, the longer I’ve talked, the sadder you’ve become. So let me say it again, this truth: It’s better for you that I leave. If I don’t leave, the Friend won’t come. But if I go, I’ll send him to you.” Jn 16:4-7

Read Full Post »

reminded of Romans 8

Our choir’s song this morning reminded us of some powerful promises God’s made to His children:

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Read Full Post »

Years and years ago, I had the idea to study the holiness of God … and I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too scary a topic in my mind at that point of my spiritual understanding. I think because I saw the strictness of God and didn’t understand that Christ’s righteousness really was mine.

But … thankfully, we change, we grow, we become mature in our understanding.  The Spirit has opened up to my understanding the spiritual riches and blessings that are mine: That in Christ I have attained all that God requires of me to give me His favor. In fact, my best strivings and goodnesses will never ever ever meet what God requires. Christ did it all. … That the focus of my life is not on my spiritual successes and failures, it’s not micro-analyzing myself. It’s digging down into the successes of Christ. The complete, total, comprehensive success of Christ in every single micro-detail.

More and more I come to love the righteousness of God. That He never sins. Not against me in my pains or disappointments, not against innocent children, not against anyone who’s never heard about Him– all the sins we accuse God of because Yes, He is all-powerful. But he never sins. I am freed more and more to love His righteousness, and I see how we really are the sinners. We are the ones bringing pain upon the innocents; we are the ones committing and guilty for all the sins we want to accuse God of being guilty for because He is all-powerful and doesn’t stop them.  God’s power in no way makes Him guilty for our sins. His sovereignty does not make Him unrighteous.

In fact, the more I can look on Him truthfully, the more I see how the very shadow of sin never even comes near Him. He is never even tempted to act vengefully or in selfishness. Never. Even. Tempted.

Because He is holy. His every attribute is clear, single. His justice is full of mercy. His love is full of righteousness.  His every attribute is simply full of every other good attribute. For example, His justice is love, it is mercy, it is righteous, His justice is full of every other perfect quality of Himself.

At one time, maybe a year ago, as I sat in the mall in Ukraine where I always sit and read my Bible and write, I sensed God asking me to be His friend. But the idea was presented to me in such a way that I understood that I was the one aligning myself to Him in friendship. I was the one who would learn, in friendship, to correctly prioritize His interests. He already has mine all covered. I’m the one that needs to learn friendship in this relationship. He’s already perfect at it.

And so, as God leads me along, His righteousness becomes more and more true, more and more real to me, understandable yet overwhelming. Beautiful. More and more Beautiful.

For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. Ps.11:7

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Cor 5:21

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Is. 61:10

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)    Eph    5:8-9

It is because of him [God the Father] that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. I Cor 1:30

Read Full Post »

I’ve noticed that I have a hard time listening to sermons and teachings on complementarianism and even headship/submission.

It’s not that I’m opposed to those things at all. I even believe them. I think I have these spasmic reactions to these topics b/c I’ve seen & heard about them being done so wrongly.

Let me clarify: I’m not talking about those who are different from me. People are free to live according to the Holy Spirit’s leading in working out the day-to-day of what this looks like. Marriages are widely varied mixes of temperaments, characters, weaknesses, strengths, interests, etc., and this all affects how these things will be put into practice.

But there are those who are rather rabid (quite prescriptive) in how they lay out applications of these principles.

One example: I go into marriage with the teaching that the man is ultimately responsible and he must make all final decisions.

And my husband … wants us to decide things together. Together. Together. Together. We both have to live with it, so we need to decide this together.

Fortunately, having listened to thatmom‘s podcast where she mentions how women tend to read all these marriage books that command how exactly a husband must lead, and they then strive to force their husbands into that mould. … I didn’t start forcing Vitaliy to decide things with just my humble input.

He wants us to decide together? Then that’s his leadership. And will I follow? or will I try to lead him by forcing him to decide? … No, I’ll learn to follow.

Anyway, this whole deal has confounded me a bit when I’m teaching or speaking to women. And it’s hard to listen to it in Ukraine, when I hear Ukrainians bringing in the beginnings of teachings … that I have already seen the end results of in the U.S. It’s hard for me to talk about it and figure out what to say.

I’m still thinking it through, if you can’t tell …

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »