Archive for the ‘marriage’ Category

That’s a nice thing about marriage– we can share dreams.

Sure, we each have to give up some dreams, but how neat it is that other, new, together dreams come to take their place.

Someone quote me on that.


So, I wasn’t even sure what “marriage” goals to make for this year. I think I wrote three things. But how great it is, that our lives are not bound to our New Year goals lists 🙂

Vitaliy is a naturally sporty guy. I mean, he’s good at sports. I mean, he is especially talented in strenuously sporty things. He taught himself to kayak. He skis incredibly well. He rock climbs….

And yes, he still married me.

You know, he’s been so nice about fitting himself to what I enjoy– sitting in a café with a tea or coffee. It took a few years, but he’s doing it himself now, with joy.


So … I know he wants us to do sporty things together. It’s been put off a bit by pregnancy and small, breastfeeding babechkas (babies).

But today was the day. I remember skiing once as a teen. I don’t really like it. But! Now I’m 40. My life is renewed somehow. And I also need to mention that Vitaliy is a fabulous teacher. Patience out the roof, and an uncanny ability to analyze and explain small steps of doing something successfully.

I’m also ready to learn –this was not always so. And from him–this was not always so either.

Today was more than awesome. We went to a small skiing hill in Kiev, and … I really liked all of it. The terrifying moments, falling (about 3-4 times), learning to lean on the outside leg to turn, etc. Wow. We had so much fun. And it was romantic. And we laughed and smiled and chatted. Riding the ski lift might be my favorite part. 😀 I improved remarkably fast, and it soon became a lot of fun.

Us, at the bottom of the hill:


Us at the top of the hill–Kiev in the background:20160111_140903_HDR

Well, my favorite part was this: Sometimes, he would hug me from behind, put his skis outside of mine, and we skied down the hill like this. He’s that good. … It was so fun. (He said he taught Skyla to ski this way. With her, he can actually lift her up to make certain moves.)

Cool. We did his dream! And it was awesome! Let’s do it again!



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I don’t live in a world of negativity or sarcasm towards husbands/men, so maybe I’m not as vocal as I should be about how … I’m debating adjectives … wonderful, amazing, incredible … my husband is.

I am just so … blessed. I know a woman can be blessed even by a difficult

marriage– it has so many of its own valuable lessons– but I am just so blessed by a wonderful marriage.

I will clarify that we have had disagreements and arguments and are not supernaturally endued with some specialness. we’re just ordinary.

But I do think, often, about how much Vitaliy has contributed in a very positive way to my spiritual growth, my understanding of God and His ways, and he is attentive to a lot of personal details that make a marriage easier and sweet.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her … Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself, for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it,  just as Christ also does this church. Eph 5

reading me portions of his current e-book and discussing it

reading me portions of his current e-book and discussing it


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I know that not all marriages age with sweetness, but many do, and how thankful I am to have these examples in my life.

The last few months I’ve noticed a much deeper level of trust and peace toward Vitaliy in areas I questioned and struggled before.

I was reminded of this yesterday. I’ve been asked to help an orphan in the warring part of Ukraine. And of course I’m all ready to do this great thing after 2 minutes…. This is not the first time I’ve been asked such a thing, and not the first time I’m ready to jump at it.

But Vitaliy doesn’t respond to these needs in way I do. … And I’m realizing that I can trust myself to him in this, too, and not question if he cares.

Of course he cares. He cares about many things, one of the first of which is me. And the many things going on in our lives. He cares about orphans, too, in a big-picture way.

And it helps me realize there are many ways to help orphans that do not require that I take all responsibility upon myself. There are resources, other Christians who want to help, etc.

… So I was thinking yesterday how pleasant it is to have grown to a deeper level of trust toward Vitaliy in issues that touch me deeply. To ask him different questions in working through these needs.

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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 …

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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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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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Vitaliy says the most interesting things sometimes.

You know, one of the aspects of his personality that he has a hard time with is that it’s hard for him to just chat with people. There’s a lot to be said for being able to chat with people. But he really struggles with it.

The flip side of this is that he is an extremely serious thinker. I might think in a year what he thinks in a day, and only because he told me what he was thinking.


My point.

Yes, there was a story in here somewhere.

Oh yes. …. So I’ve been doing a little summer Sunday School with the church kids b/c the regular SS is taking a 2-month break. And I see all the young moms standing around outside with us during the service with their little kids swarming all over the sunny steps of the House of Culture we rent for our services.

Our church went through a wild change very fast. It used to be a church of mainly unmarried youth. But of course, they up and married each other, so we have a gaggle of young moms who are now busy running after little kids, breastfeeding, disciplining, worrying about allergies, pregnant, pregnant again, …. yada yada.

It’s easy to get whiplash going from a young gal involved in ministry to a mom who can’t put 2 minutes together to save her life, much less think about ministry. Remember Titus 2. The list for “young [married] women” is like twice as long than for any other category of people addresssed in that chapter.

It’s like a little clue now, isn’t it.

So …. getting around to that interesting conversation. That I had recently with Vitaliy.

I say: I think some of the moms have a hard time feeling involved in church b/c they can’t really do much ministry right now.

(Going on in my mind: My own searching wonderings about what I’m supposed to be doing in church; a young mom saying to me recently that she doesn’t feel involved in church …)

Vitaliy says (not exact quote, but the general idea): Let them be busy with their kids and home. It’s what they need to be doing right now. … It’s a test. Just being busy with ministry can cover up a spiritual emptiness inside, even to that person. So it’s good for anyone to just put ministry aside for a time and check what’s really in his heart toward God–to see if there’s a substantial relationship there and not just a vapor of ministry activity.

… Selah.

And I smiled. And I became ponderful.

And i released my little struggle trying to force-start, think up some kind of ministry to get involved in.

And I think, after writing all this, that maybe it’s the time of just building personal friendships.

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