Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Good Woman

As I type, Eric is on his way home with Sammy's passport in hand.  YAY!  This is always an exciting time for us as our kids become "real" Americans.  He applied for Sammy's S.S. card while he was there as well.  The whole time before and during his trip my prayer has been that God would give him opportunities to witness.  He has told me about 3 men that he has talked with so far.  The first was a Turkish muslim.  Eric said it felt weird because while Eric was witnessing to him, the guy was also trying to convert Eric to muslim.  He kept telling Eric to just  read the Koran.  He told Eric that Jesus was going to come back and tell everyone that the muslim religion was the true way.  The second guy actually started talking to Eric first, calling him a sect.  Eric explained to him that we are not a sect and that we believe the Bible.  The guy was an orthodox and most claim to believe the Bible, but he quickly started to try to find fault with stories in the Bible and said that he did not believe the Bible.  He wasn't even willing to read the Bible to get his stories straight.  The third guy (the taxi driver who drove him to the embassy) was a little bit more receptive and took the tract that Eric offered him.  God is giving him opportunities to witness, even if he has been met with a lot of opposition.  The second guy reminds me a lot of Pasha, Eric's translator.  He is always looking online for faults with the Bible and brings it to Eric without even looking at the verse in context.  After he looks at the verse in context with Eric he always seems to agree with Eric.  He is traveling to Russia on a business trip right now and I've started praying that God would put a Christian in his path to witness to him.  How exciting it is to see God answer prayer! 

Well, since Eric is away, I was in charge of the family devotions tonight.  I almost decided to just pray and sing with them since Sammy was screaming, the girls were SO hyper, I was exhausted, achy and not feeling well...  Then I thought about Proverb 31 and the virtuous woman.  I thought, "It might be a little over their heads, but they're already learning what a bad woman is, they might as well start learning about a good woman."  Because Sammy was still screaming, I laid him in the other room while we did devotions.  We started going verse by verse, talking about each verse as we went.  Anna was so intent on it and even offered examples sometimes.  As we read, I was so convicted about how I have slacked in some areas of what God considers truly beautiful and what make up a good woman.  With that still heavy on my heart, I sang Jesus Loves Me to them and turned off the light.  Anna said, "Mama."  "Yes, Anna?"  I replied, thinking she was wanting a drink or something.  "You're a good woman."  WOW!  She gave me that title, even though my house is not always up to par, I'm sometimes lazy, don't always have meals ready on time, I could go through every verse and find something that I am doing wrong...oh, yes, I have my excuses, but in light of the Bible I know they are not really all that good.  Lord, help me to become that virtuous woman...that good woman!    

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Heading Outside

It is a beautiful day here and probably as soon as the girls are up from their naps, we're headed back outside.  "Just us girls" (as Anna put it) took a walk down the dirt road and over the bridge by the river.  It was so fun to hang out with my girlies.  We threw rocks in the river, watched the babooshkas lead their goats out to pasture, saw some kitties, puppies and ducks.  Definitely need to do that more often.  As I am typing, Sammy is giggling and playing with one of the girls' koala slippers.  I love his happy sounds.  Poor Eric is again sick in bed with a stomach flu.  We were thinking it could be something that he was eating or drinking, but Lina is sick as well.  Please be praying that he gets over it quicker this time and that it stays away.

Valentina came yesterday to watch the girls while I went with Eric to pass out tracts.  I ended up just sitting in the car most of the time because I couldn't really pass out tracts while holding Sammy.  It was still nice to just go along and when we got back, Valentina had brought a little bit more order to the home.  Between all of the sicknesses and the remodeling (THE ROOM IS ALMOST FINISHED!  I am SOOOOO excited!  Off the subject, so I'll talk more about that in a different post.), order has been a little hard to keep.  Don't know what I'd do without Valentina!

Well, my mind is very flitty right now and I hear the girls waking up, so I'll leave you with these few pictures.

 Anna pushed Lydia around for a while, then decided that it was her turn. 
But, Lydia gave up after a few tries.

Eric visited with Kristina's mom on Tuesday and on the way home picked me up these....

Five, beautiful red roses.  So beautiful that I thought they deserved a photo shoot.

He also found some information about an allergy/asthma clinic here in Kharkov.  Lina gave me the web site for it.  It looks (and sounds) pretty good.  I think my asthma is getting better, but will probably still try to make an appointment.

Lastly, I promise, Sammy's passport is ready and Eric is planning on picking it up on Thursday.

Well, heading outside to get me some fresh air!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Learning to Be Still

"But Martha was cumbered about much serving..."
Luke 10:40

Do you remember this post?  Well, it seems I still haven't learned.  No matter how hard I try, no matter how much I don't like it, I always seem to going back to being a Martha.  At first glance that looks pretty good.  Serving is a good thing, right?  Until you read...

"And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."  Luke 10:41,42

My heart always cries out when I read those two verses!  I don't consider myself worried about many things, but I definitely always have a million things on my mind to do.  I never seem to be able to sit down and relax...whether at church, at home or even when I'm doing my devotions.  I don't feel like myself unless I'm able to do something.  I love my "serving" job at the church, it sometimes feels like the only "ministry" that I am able to do.   Recently, Lina's mom came to visit me and went back saying that I was a busy bee...always going about doing something.  I loved that (pride?) and it probably only encouraged me more.  Lately, though, the Lord has forced me to just relax a little and let things go.  When I say forced, I literally mean that.  For over a month now, my asthma has continually gotten worse.  So much so that some days I don't get "anything" done (unless you count cuddling with my babies :)).  I am forced to relax as it can be a struggle just to breathe some days.  When I was in America I was given two options: 1) live by the ocean (or sea water) or 2) use a steriod inhaler.  Well, we obviously can't do the first one, unless God calls us to do so and neither of us really feels like the steriod inhaler is a good option.  My sweet husband recently found a natural "pharmacy" and asked what they had for bronchial asthma.  He brought me back some essential oils, herbal "candy" drops and teas to help.  I have found that if I use those first, before using my regular inhaler, that I either don't have to use my inhaler or, if used, my inhaler actually works.  He has given me back massages and "pats" during some of my mid-night coughing attacks.  He has also looked into sending me to a salt "cave" (room).  I really don't know what I would do without him.   Thankfully, my attacks seem to be getting fewer and weaker...which came at perfect timing because our family has had some type of stomach virus which put Eric in bed Thursday through Monday!  The rest of us haven't had it as bad.  The girls complained about upset stomachs and Sammy cried all day Saturday and Saturday night, but they all seem to be doing better now.  Eric has still been complaining about his stomach, so we'd really appreciate your prayers concerning this.   

With all that has been going on, I haven't been able to take many pictures lately...besides the fact that I'm usually carrying my inhaler, a salt inhaler, essential oils, etc. and don't have much room for my camera.  But I have managed to snap a few pictures lately - all with Eric's phone.

We've been taking more walks to the wooded areas to help me get outside and avoid the smoke from the neighbors' burning.  Life in the village has a "slow" quality to it and you'll almost always see men fishing  

or along the river.

I also did a small photo shoot for my sister....Thanks for the dresses!  They're beautiful!

Eric took a photo of Max and Sammy.  It looked adorable without the cropping and editing, but even cuter after.

Lastly, took this picture on the same walk as the first picture.  Thought it was fitting for this period of my life.

Lord, teach me to be still so that I may know you!


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