Archive for the ‘stress’ Category


I sometimes joke about how I feel like I’m a war refugee, poring over the news, emotional ups and downs, being displaced from returning …

But today, I’m really glad for this time. Since the initial flurry of deciding to stay, changing all these plans, everything is now becoming calmer. There are¬†not months of obligations stacked over our heads here now, so we’re just able to … relax. It feels different. Nice.

My parents are leaving shortly for 2 years of missionary service in Bangladesh, and it’s so lovely having these last days with them and being able to send them off. It’s nice having extra time with my sister and her family, of whom we’ve seen much too little somehow.

It’s lovely enjoying the spring weather in Tennessee, having more time to order books ūüėČ

I mailed off our taxes, took care of urgent needs, and well, I do have about 7 packages that must be mailed off tomorrow. And we are still thinking how we’re going to pack or ship some things back …

But overall, I’m benefiting from the calmness, the empty calendar, the time to enjoy my kids and simple stuff like that …


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This is going to be a very self-analytical post, so … you really don’t have to read it.

Our church here in Chattanooga has been going through the 9Marks booklet about church membership called, Committing to One Another: Church Membership.

I know I’m not the only reason God has our church doing this study, but I think the timing (while we are here) has been *just* for me ūüėČ

When we came back to the U.S. at the beginning of November, I walked through the Atlanta airport¬† and … never wanted to return to Ukraine. … Ever.

It’s not that I wanted to stay in America. But just the emotional relief of getting out of the stress we were under in Ukraine … Stress I never really knew was even there to that level.

It wasn’t until the beginning of February I began to bear the thought of returning, then gradually, a desire to return resurfaced. This was a weird experience for me because generally, while I don’t love everything about Ukraine, I love living there and being in ministry there.

Our church started this study on church membership a few weeks back, so I’ve been applying it to my church membership in Ukraine. It’s one of the main, lingering stressors looming over me regarding our return.

I had a little breakthrough today, so I’m ready to put words around some of the stuff I’ve been trying to work through.

This last term I was a pastor’s wife. Well, Vitaliy was ordained in 2008 or 9, but I wasn’t really the main pastor’s wife until, by “default,” Vitaliy was given this role.

Let me resign yesterday.

The stuff that came out of our church during these last 3-4 years has left me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I kid you not. My heart is pounding as I type, and I would be crying but that I am sitting in a public place.

I realized today, as we read together in Sunday School Romans 12:9-11, that I have¬†very little emotions for my church now. I have a wall. A wall behind which I think lies a deep sadness and shock that I haven’t let myself feel for a while now, and so I have stopped feeling most emotions about my church all together.

It’s hard for me to rejoice or weep with anyone in my church in Ukraine. I just sit as a sympathetic¬†zombie listening to their problems, their joys … but I have closed something down about getting close to people and really feeling what they feel.

So … I think, in order to move on, I am going to go back to where I stopped it all up. And¬†I’m going to let myself weep about their sins and hardships. Mourn for their repentance or lack thereof. Let myself feel what they should be feeling. Forgive them, not for sinning against me, but¬†more for myself, so I can let go the hurts and¬†betrayal and shock.

And move into love. Really loving them. Somehow. With God’s Spirit. Less of my love, with its hidden expectations. And more of His love. With my emotions, too, as they are united to the Lord. And letting them love me. Humbling myself, letting go of any pride.

I don’t know all what I need to do. But God has been leading¬† this whole thing already. I’ve seen small breakthroughs in the last few weeks….

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Two weeks ago I didn’t want to go to the States.

We have tickets for Oct 31-March 31.

Today, I’m ready to go.

I want to go to our enormous used book store. All english, books without end.

I want to go to Wal-mart.

Nachos and cheese. I say no more.


See my mom, dad, sister, brothers, neices, nephews

Go to the English Rose tea room in downtown Chattanooga

Go to the MOMs group

25 days. Can I make it?

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stress and Moses

When I think of stress, I think of Moses leading the Israelits. Talk about stress. And he didn’t have any psychologists or cappuchinos! But he had what we all need–God.

I was thinking of stress this evening as I was driving. I feel stressed. Did you know that currently, if you are in a car accident in Ukraine (in Kiev, at least), the guilty party will have their car impounded until court and the car owner (of course) has to pay for the impounding time. That’s a lot of driving stress.

Some stressful situations are going on in our church, about four different situations. That’s stressful.

I’m working too fast on my midwifery course (by my own choice), and that’s stressful.

Tension and stress.

But you know what. I will not run away to America (where there is also stress, who are we kidding), hide somehow, or do immature things to escape responsibility. I will be an adult with lots of responsibilities and stand in the strength and peace that God has ever-waiting for me.

So my brow softens and my muscles loosen up . . . when I think that God is with me. My life will become harder and more complex, but I will live in the peace God gives.

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