Greeting



Hello and welcome to the blog of one crazy mom!

Here I want to share about my life, my struggles and successes, the brighter pieces of my life's mosaics and the darker ones, too. They all are a part of the masterpiece God is working on, it just takes time to see a bigger picture.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Purely for fun :)

How many Christians does it take to change a light bulb?


Charismatic: Only one. Hands already in the air.

Pentecostals: Ten. One to change the bulb and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Presbyterians: None. Lights will go off and on at predestined times.

Roman Catholic: None. Candles only.

Baptists: At least 15. One to change the light bulb and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad.

Episcopalians: Three. One to call the electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to talk about how much better the old bulb was.

Mormons: Five. One man to change the bulb and four wives to tell him how to do it.

Unitarians: We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists: Undetermined. Whether your light bulb is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb or tulip bulb. A church-wide lighting service is planned for Sunday. Bring a bulb of your choice and a covered dish.

Nazarene: Six. One woman to replace the bulb while five men review the church lighting policy.

Lutherans: None. Lutherans don’t believe in change.

Amish: What’s a light bulb?


P.S. The funny part is, I grew up a Baptist, went to a Methodist Bible College, worked with Menonites/Amish, married a Pentecostal, and have friends in many other church denominations. Many of these things are kind of true of the way the churches run. 


The article was borrowed from a John Mark Ministries website.

A Tired Sigh...

I was so very excited to finally share my love story with the world! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to write the most exciting part for the longest time now. I am simply so. very. tired.

My OBGYN says the baby is still pretty high and not considering to enter this world any time soon :). Well, it must be good news at this time since both Bogdan and Daryna have been terribly sick lately. It all started so innocently - some cough and slight fever. Now it's getting out of hand again. Kids are running fever and coughing non-stop, sometimes to the point of barfing. I've started using Netti Pot to rinse their noses - I've found myself quite in love with this simple yet effective thingamajigger!

My belly is getting so big and round, I feel like a huge watermelon. Sleeping has become quite uncomfortable at this point...

So I guess, the story's grand finale would have to wait till better times. Sigh!..

On the brighter side, thought, we did manage to go to San Diego Zoo a couple of days ago, just in time to entertain two sick kids who would be so miserable in four walls. Here are a few pics of the highlight of the week:
Daryna even allowed us to put a bow on her hair to look pretty for the zoo!
Bogdan is showing off his souvenir coin.
Enjoying a ride.
That's as close as we came up to ice and snow this winter!
Foot massage was well worth a quarter!

Hopefully, our little ones will get better very soon so we can go on enjoying our days. Wishing you all safe and healthy days, too!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Just Photos

Two posts ago I set out to share our love story. The last part is the most exciting, at least for me :). However, for the lack of time and energy on my part, I'm afraid my readers would have to wait a little longer for the grand finale :):). Instead, today I just want to share a couple of fresh pictures from our life journey. Well, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I guess you're about to read one of my longest posts now ;)

Ladies are having a conversation...
 
This must have been the bravest bird in town!
Bogdan is being really generous :)
Sweetness
Under the Thinking Tree
Only 3 weeks till the due date!
A warm January evening in the park
(now, this part of California I like :)) 
Where are we gonna put the third one?! :)

Off to bed! :) Have a blessed week!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Waiting

In summer 1998, after a broken engagement, I was called to ministry in a small village church, where I spent all my weekends and holidays. On week days, though, I worked in a Christian organization that trained youth leaders in the former Soviet Union. One of my responsibilities was to call a group of people who gathered in our office for a monthly get-together of youth leaders' network. I met so many wonderful people! I must have fallen in love with dozens of them! :) But there was one guy that got my special attention. The thing is, every time I called our network during office hours, he was never available. So I had to call him from home. Once a month we had the nicest conversation over the phone but never got a chance to meet in person. Illya had become a dear friend whose face I never saw. And when I invited him to my birthday in hopes of finally meeting the guy who had my heard beat faster, he had to say "no" since he was leaving to study in the States...

Quite a few things happened after that. I was growing desperate to find that perfect man God had in mind for me. There were a couple of people I was strongly interested in, and a couple of those interested in me. I was proposed twice, but not once I felt at peace. So I waited longer. Several Bible verses helped me and gave me hope:

- "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31);

- "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, the LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him" (Lamentations 3:22-25);

- "In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly" (Psalm 5:3);

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him" (Psalm 37:4-7).

In December 2000, I went to New Mexico to visit our sister church and tell them about all the wonderful things God had been doing in our village church. Just shortly before that trip I felt in my heart that God had prepared something different for me and would most likely lead me in a different direction. I started working with a couple of young people who I saw as future leaders in my place. 

Just days after I returned from the trip, when I finally made it to my work (with jet-lag and my notorious habit of being late), I got a phone call from the States. It was Illya. I hadn't heard from him since he left to the Stated in spring 1998, and now, literally in the middle of the night in the States (it was around 4am his time), he called our office to talk to me! Of course, he had a "legitimate" pretext - he needed Joe Gordon's phone number (Joe was a youth coach in the USA who worked with our organization). Joe's number at 4am?!, I thought. Oh well, here you go! :) However, before I was able to locate the needed number, Illya went ahead to ask how I was and what God was doing in my life. My heart was beating like crazy at the voice of a long-forgotten friend whom I hadn't even met!..


To be continued...    

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Once Upon A Time...

... there was a girl that dreamed of loving and being loved. But with her share of unfortunate relationships, she didn't want to rush things anymore. So she waited, and watched, and prayed, and waited more... That girl was me.

I grew up in a broken home - our father turned his back on God and on his family. I was the oldest of three sisters, our mom worked extra hard to make ends meet while trying to mend the relationship with our father. Mom was a devoted Christian, a woman of faith, a person who had more grace and warmth in her heart that anybody else I know. I say "was" because two years ago she went to be with her beloved Lord and Savior, after fighting a brain tumor. But her faith, her love for God and people made a huge difference in her daughters' lives. One thing she always taught us was trusting and obeying God. Mom and our grandma kept on praying about our future, so we girls wouldn't have to go through the same family situation our mom went through. I credit them for a good life my sisters and I have now.

So when I started dating, I was horrified of making a mistake. After a pretty messy relationship that left me empty and sad, I decided to take it even more seriously. Eventually I got engaged to a good Christian man who was an outstanding children's pastor and a youth leader. We both trusted our relationship to God and kept ourselves open to His guidance. It was a great time of growth, both spiritual and personal, a time of gentle and clean romance, a time I will be always grateful for. But as we were approaching our wedding date, we both felt in our hearts that God was leading us apart. Nothing went wrong, we just knew that God had led us this far but now wanted us go our separate ways.

I was perplexed, for a better choice of a word. WHY, GOD?! Hadn't I trusted my walk and my life to You? Wasn't it You who brought us together and encouraged us in our relationship? And then You decided to end it for us?! I struggled for several months, trying to somehow understand God's reasoning and to learn to trust Him again. The answer came rather unexpected. As I was working as a translator for an American team in one of the Ukrainian villages, I found myself highly involved in youth and children's ministry there. The people I worked with asked me whether I had any special training since, apparently, I had all the needed skills and the right techniques. Then it stroke me. Yes, I had the best training even! For the whole time I was dating that youth/children's pastor, I was at his side, watching, helping, learning. During that summer I was called to become one of the youth leaders in that village where I served until I got married and followed my husband to the USA. I will share our amazing, totally-out-of-this-world love story in the next post :).

God didn't make a mistake, neither He played with my feelings and my heart. He was simply working in my life in His own way, creating pieces of the mosaics which I was yet to see...


Monday, January 17, 2011

In The Nesting Mood

Wow, I don't find myself that very interesting in keeping up my blog anymore! There are so many wonderful things to share, yet I have completely occupied my mind (AND my time) with something else - getting ready for the our new baby's arrival! It seems I had a late start with this child - usually I would have been all set to go by now (the due date is February 12th!). But when you already have two kids, the third one seems such a natural thing that you almost forget to prepare! :)

We have finally set up the crib and a dresser/changing table, I have washed all there is to wash for the little one (hopefully!), bought two huge boxes of diapers :), and in the true spirit of nesting have started a huge task of tidying up the whole house :):):). Now, that is quite a challenge, you should know, as it also means going through dozens of boxes in our garage that haven't yet been sorted out since we moved here half a year ago!! The most unbelievable thing is that I actually enjoy it! It definitely must be pregnancy hormones, dimming my conscience! ;) The Salvation Army will truly enjoy the large bags of stuff I've set aside for them to pick. And my husband just might stop calling our garage a big dump! :)

As for the baby, he is enjoying himself, as far as I can tell. Now he managed to move himself into a breech position, just weeks before being born (no, it happened BEFORE I did all the bending and cleaning! :)). None of my two kids did that, so this one might be special in his own way. Tonight my husband and I enjoyed looking through baby pictures of our two older children, and now can't wait to see what kind of personality will our little Matthew Peter have!..

 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Reflections...


The holidays have come and gone, leaving us happy and tired. The kids had the most fun, of course! Opening the gifts, cracking the party poppers and goofing around is a fail-proof ticket to a great celebration. Although I must admit I was totally wiped out and exhausted, I am grateful to God for yet another wonderful time He gave to us as a family!..

Ahh, the beauty of a peaceful Christmas morning,
before the gang is awake...
Kids are working on their gifts! :)

    


My very own super special hand-made
gift from our son - the best gift ever!..




















P.S.  And my mother-in-law totally loved her photo book that I spent the whole day compiling :). She has told all her friends about it. So I guess I'll be making more of those ;)