Thursday, October 22, 2009
I am back! Sheesh, it feels like so much has happened in these last few weeks or has it already been months!? I will take a stroll through my photos and see if I can remember some things that have happened........
This would be some of my random photos for photography class. I am so loving and learning in this class. Love it, love it, love it! My teacher is Harvey Spector, a very nice, very knowledgeable man in the arena of digital photography. This one with the spoons hanging from the ceiling would be my brother Seth help my boys with creativity. ;) As if they need any more ideas on how to lose all of Mom's untensils and everything else I am always needing, but can never find!
I have been encouraged to hear that many of you are actually reading my blogs, that makes me OH SO HAPPY! I realize that I really get a lot of enjoyment and fulfillment in knowing that my life is somehow affecting other lives. I think we all truly have a desire to affect others in a positive way. It's fun to have others a part of your world for sure! Thanks all, for you support, comments, and sharing of your hearts as well.
Of course many of you know that my LITTLE sister Faithy Lu got herself an amazing man and they are now married! They are such a wonderful perfect couple, they are so precious. I am so stinkin happy for Faithy, she really found a gallant prince! The wedding was so beautiful and wonderful. She chose fall colors orange and brown. It always amazes me the work that goes into something that lasts only hours. We went from setting up, rushing around thinking we might not make it in time, to tearing it all down hours later and thinking about what a lovely wedding it was.
This is some of the family before the wedding, being wild and crazy as usual. This is a Russian game brought into the family by my main man Ruslan, of course. My Mom had to flee the scene, she couldn' t handle her "boys" wanting to inflict pain on each other. BOYS WILL BE BOYS! I too will never understand it!
Then of course the main event! Faith was all smiles and so gorgeous. God is so good at matching us up with the perfect match. I know they will definitley be a "Happily Ever After.
The 2 cutest ring bearers ever!
This month, October 16th was Ruslan and my 10 year anniversary. I still can't believe it, it feels more like 5 years, maybe. We decided to go take a walk down memory lane. We went to Youth With A Mission, Richardson Springs, in Chico Ca, where we met. It was so much fun. We felt lots of memories flooding back, and we even hiked up to the falls, where we used to often go. This time it was so much fun cuz we could hold hands, hug, and do whatever we wanted because we now have a liscense to be together. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, we weren't allowed to have "relationships" during the Discipleship Training School.
It was so much fun. I am so thankful to have been given such a special gift of Ruslan. He is the perfect man for me in everyway. It has been our marriage that has fine tuned me in so many ways and is still sharpening me and teaching me so much. God really knew what He was doing when he planned for a man and a woman to become one. Ruslan is my dream come true and since I am writing this blog I will tell you that he feels the same way. ;)
This is us today 2009
This is us in 1999
Friday, August 14, 2009
We have contended for the last several months for the healing of a very special person, Jeff Duncan. When I say we, I am referring to the hundreds of people who have had the burden for Jeff's healing on their heart and mind constantly.
I am sad to say he passed on August 13th at 10:15 AM. But every step of the way even after his spirit left his body, we believed, and contended for his healing and then resurrection. I had not a single doubt that is WASN'T his time to leave this earth. It was some very intense proclamations and physical manifestations of break through and deliverance over his body, there were so many promises, his body even regained some of it's warmth which increased our faith but still no resurrection. Looking back at yesterday, I feel somewhat confused and not sure why we can feel the presence of God so strongly and agree with His will completely for the healing and resurrection and still not see it? BUT the incredible thing is after all of that, I feel this intensified strong desire to go after these things even more and with greater zealousness! For some reason my faith has increased and has become energized to know that God's power is even stronger than the power of death (I know it's sort of the opposite of what I would think would happen). I run forward in my total TRUST in Him, knowing that we are to raise the dead, heal the sick, and cleanse the lepers. I believe it with every ounce of my being! It has happened before and it will happen again, in my time, in my city. For some reason I feel this new fearlessness in the face of disease, sickness, and even death.
I may not always get FULL understanding, but one thing I am sure of and have no doubts in, is the UNCONDITIONAL GOODNESS of GOD! I, for some reason get this strong sense that He is fully capable of working things out for the good even in our feeble understanding, He sees the bigger picture, He has given us a big part to play in this whole scheme of things and whether I understand it fully or not, I can say that I 100% TRUST in His ways, and not mine. I feel such hope. I know that He will reveal more as I seek His face, and I also know some things may remain a mystery until I see God face to face in eternity.
Here am I Lord send me.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I just love chubby baby legs!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Well I have been going through a lot in these last couple of weeks, some very good, very deep, character training, and humbling, to say the least.
I said the very scary, but honest prayer to God, "LORD, I GIVE YOU PERMISSION TO HUMBLE ME."
I immediately started seeing that prayer come to pass. It's amazing how He seems to hear the prayers we kinda hoped he didn't hear, and we aren't sure why it feels that He sometimes isn't answering the ones we reeeeally want Him to? He does have His mysterious ways.
Well I started noticing it in the small things first. For example, a couple of weeks ago, we were talking at the table with a bunch of my family, and both of my parents. Someone commented on the mark on Ruslan's arm, his vaccination scar. He then was trying to figure out the two diseases it is protecting you against, and I blurted out, "Is it Syphilis?" (It just sounded familiar like I had heard it before) Ruslan looked at me very embarrassed and then gave me the benefit of the doubt, "Oh you were joking?!"
In that moment I was so temtped to just agree, it was the perfect out of a very embarrassing situation as everyone's eyes were on me. But I knew the Holy Spirit was right there asking me the same question, "So were you serious?" I had to be honest.... "Yes I was serious, why is that a horrible sexual disease or something?" I timidly asked.
Then, THE SAME DAY! I was telling this very serious sad story about a woman who had breast cancer and had to get a "vasectomy." Immediately my Mom kindly corrected me and said, "I think you mean, "Masectomy." I was so embarrassed! I thought it was vIsectomy for the guy and vAsectomy for the woman, I was WRONG!
Talk about humiliating, but I could totally see God in it as I laughed (and cried) inside, I know Lord, I asked for this didn't I?"
You see, I have always felt like I needed to make it apparent that I know EVERYTHING, although everyone but myself knows that is impossible anyway. I obviously don't have some kind of degree in medical terms, so obviously I might "botch" a few medical words up right? Who cares if people laugh at me, I am finding out it's OK that I don't know everything and no one expects me to. And if some people do expect me to, that is an issue in themselves because they too are probably afraid of being found out.
I noticed that since meeting Ruslan in 1998, I was always so intimidated by his vast amount of knowledge, and his incredible memory and understanding and love of History and Geography, my two worst subjects! So I would find myself feeling so incredibly IGNORANT every time he asked me a question. I constantly heard myself saying, "I don't know," and it was really humiliating, I thought he would think I was the dumbest girl ever! Well as you can see he either likes dumb girls or he found out there's more to me than my lack of knowledge in certain areas!:)
Anyway to make a long blog longer :), I am finding out that it's not only about what we know, but how real we are. It has been a painful, healing, vulnerable time for me as I let go of all of my safety, coping skills and reach out to my loving, Father God's hand, as He leads and guides me. I am finding that His system is so many times the complete opposite of the way I think I am supposed to act or be. I am just supposed to be me, and yes the truth is, some people won't like me.
I will have to save some of the other layers next blog this is probably long enough already.
I hope this inspires you to be you, cuz YOU are one of a kind and everyone needs to know what God put inside of YOU!
It's OK to be silly and have fun, life is fun! God is fun!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
He is so faithful, so loyal, so loving, and so full of integrity.
I love this man Ruslan. I have had the privilege of being married to him for 9 (10 in October) years!
He is encouraging when I feel down.
He is my help in time of need.
Ruslan is my friend even when I am not friendly.
He loves me when I am prickly and makes me laugh when I take life too seriously.
He knows how to be child like while still embracing responsibility
His patience with me leaves the soft gentle conviction of how much I lack this thing called patience.
His grace for me shows me a picture of God's unconditional love for me.
He has taught me things about myself that I never could have learned if it weren't for being committed to each other through thick and thin.
Ruslan has taught me how to let others be who they need to be without trying to "fix" everything or everyone.
His father heart for our children melts my heart everytime
We have grown together so much over these years I can hardly imagine how much better it could possibly get!
It never ceases to amaze me, all the goodness God has stored up for us as we serve one another in love.
I have found that true love is being dependent upon one another, not holding onto my independence.
Thank you Ruslan for being my forever love! Happy Birthday and Happy Father's Day!!!!
I love you, I love you, I love you.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Probably for the last 5 or 6 years of my life I have felt so adamant about NOT WASTING TIME! I get so irritated to see Ruslan play DUMB computer games for so many hours, or people watching youtube for hours and hours, or myspace, or someone watching movie after movie after movie. I always think of everything they could be doing that would be so much more productive or edifying etc...
I know there is some truth in it, but I also see there is some fear in it as well, not wanting to miss out on something important. Not wanting people to waste their lives and waking up sometime down the road when it's too late!"
But I see the Holy Spirit speaking softly to me that, "It's OK, I don't need to fear, I don't need to control other people's experiences, I can trust Him to reveal truth to other people." If I can't encourage and speak in love and truth then I don't want to be telling people or myself what I "should" be doing. I am beginning to see that the Lord is not afraid of me missing something, He is big enough to get my attention. He knows my heart is to do whatever He asks, to be a part of all that He is doing. I am so hungry for more of HIM!
He told me that if He could get ahold of Saul (Paul) who was knocked off his horse and blinded by the presence of God, not even seeking God or wanting anything to do with God! Then how much more can He reveal to me what He is doing and saying, I won't miss it! He told me to just enjoy my life to go after my desires (that He put in me); to enjoy my family, friends; my relationship with Him, and he will guide me and speak to me. I am supposed to enjoy the waves of God and ride with ease and if need be, He will bring me back to land as well.
Some Happenings this last week
Mama Luba's 57th Birthday (Sacramento) Our friends Dima and Yuliya
The power of support and friendship!
This was a "We love the Duncans" gathering. Jeff Duncan has Lou gehrigs disease and there were atleast 70-90 people who came from all over, even out of town, to pray and love on the Duncans. We are believing for his healing.
Laura and Jeff Duncan (next posting of them will be him walking!) Such a strong woman of support and love, Laura.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The Glory of Zion
and his glory appears over you.
I feel God moving quickly! I have this feeling inside of me that I must have more of Him, now! I feel like I know He is doing stuff, but I am not hearing as clearly as I'd like.
I could fully relate to Pastor Bill Johnson's word that I need to get my priorities in check and that I must lay aside things that hold me back. I must be willing to quiet myself and be still. I do not want to miss what God is doing. It's not even fear that I feel, but this longing to be a part of what He is doing. The best part is, I know He wants me to be a part of it!
So now the question is how? How do I focus while my darling little Joel (16 months) comes right in my face, as I am laying before the Lord, chirping "Hi. Hi. Hi!" I have found that he is willing to just lay on me, or be lifted up on my legs as I do leg lifts for a ride, while I am praying or worshiping. It is awesome because Joel is receiving as well, and I want him to be familiar with setting aside time for the Lord.
Then Ian (4yrs) bursts in needing his pants buttoned and zipped, so I do it, and continue on. Daniel asks if he can play a game, I give him his time and release him... back to worship. I am finding that God knows I have children, they are not a burden, or holidng me back, they are a part of all that I am doing, learning, hearing etc...They are the reason God wants to show me so much, how else would I leave a legacy, they are the legacy!
Daddy teach me to impart to my children all that you show me, teach me to be at ease and trust Your ways. I don't want prayer to be a boring religious ritual that my children endure! I want them to know what a Mighty, Powerful, Exciting, FUN, God You are!
The other day I was so excited because I felt this burst of excitement for new things when we were about to have our family prayer. So I said, "OK Lord, show me how to not be too serious in getting the kids to join in, I don't want to be religious!"
So the boys were sitting on stools (a story for another time) and Daniel started making a low playful screaming sound, Ian joined in, I joined in, and then Ruslan joined in. There we were in our living room roaring all together! It started out low and grew to a steady shout. Then afterwards Ian said, "OK, lets all scream "freedom" together!" I agreed, 1,2,3...FREEEEEEEEDOM! It boomed out of our mouths! It was a riot!
Afterward, I explained that that was a form of prayer. Sometimes I feel a deep cry coming from my stomach and it wells up and I don't feel release until I scream! They were pretty excited about that.
New things. We are trying to let God do what He wants to do, we don't want to be left out!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Hmmm........Where do I start? Well I first want to start with saying how awesome it is to TRULY trust God with everything, instead of just saying I do.
Last week I released my "LIFE" shirts to the Lord and said, "Lord, I give them back to you, I can't make it happen and I hate self promotion because it's not even about that, I need help to spread this message, that is so important to me. I pray you would put it on people's hearts to help me spread the word and help get these shirts out
Two days later I decided to text a sweet grade school friend whom I hadn't talked to in a while. I asked how she was doing and she ended up asking me how my "LIFE" shirts were doing and if I had found a sponsor, something I hadn't even thought of. I replied that I was leaving it in God's hands and was waiting to move forward on this one marketing idea but I needed $295 dollars, so I was just waiting to see. She then texted that she wanted to pay half! I was so stoked! I thanked her immensly and still couldn't believe it! Two days later from that prayer of leaving it in God's hands!
Then to top that off, I was standing in line at the deli, (at the court house waiting to know if they needed me as a juror), and the older man in front of me offered to buy my coffee and donut! I felt like God was totally showing how much he cares for all of my desires, even a yummy glazed donut!!!
I had a lovely time with my sister Faith on Memorial day! After spending some time at the lake with us she came over to our house for a bit and we caught up on our "girl talk," after about 3 hours! As we were talking I got such a clear understanding of how much I need girl talk, I figured I probably need it atleast once a week.
It has been really funny since being set free from religion and pride I have begun to notice things that I think I was in denial about. I found that some things I felt proud about, that they didn't affect me. However, they did affect me I just didn't notice how. So any sort of "NEED" was very hard (and still is sometimes) to admit. One of those funny things that I recognized was that sometimes at certain periods in my life, I just all of a sudden feel down, unmotivated, and incapable of being a mom or wife, etc... In the last few weeks I started to pinpoint how often I feel that way, and what do you know!???? It was approximately once a month for a "period" of about 5-7 days??? What a coincidence!! ha ha
So along those same lines I was realizing that around 3 or so I start to feel sort of sluggish and not much energy? So I was thinking maybe it's spiritual? But then I just asked the Lord and I started to think maybe it was my eating habits? That very night we were watching T.V. and this commercial pops up on the screen and it says something like:
"So for those of you feeling sluggish around 3 PM eat some nuts (it was advertizing the nuts) and don't let that blood sugar get to such a low!"
I was just laughing! Such a quick answer and in such a direct way! God is so cool how he speaks to us. I have really begun to recognize how many different ways He speaks. We just need to keep our senses open, ALL OF THEM!
By the way I tried that commercial's (God's) advice and I felt much better! I ate some fruit at about that time and I had some nuts and I didn't feel that sluggishness at all!!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Daniel is a great big brother, so full of compassion and patience. He is also trying to test out some boundaries of attitude, I think it's the age. But we are just nippin it in the bud before it turns ugly.;) He was wrestling in the pool with Ian and he got hurt a little, and then replied, looking at me, "Mom I guess I am just not a fighter, I am a dancer...a breakdancer!" I laughed and said, "Well it's good you know who you are."
Our little Joel so full of LIFE (wonder why??!:) He is always adding some new joy to everything we do. He loves water, I don't know many babies who don't. He loves dirt more than any of my other two, he is stuffing flowers, rocks, dirt, mud clumps, anything in, we are always having to tell him to spit stuff out. I just let him suck on the big rocks though, he's gotta experience some stuff right.
Susans 21st Birthday! We had a blast, she did an amazing job planning it all and just going for it. She did this whole formal Hollywood theme, the safetly pins on my dress were for a game. We even made a 20 minute video for the premiere showing that night. It was an amazing growing process. I love that precious girl, oops I mean woman!;) (My huz looked so hot!:)
My beautiful roses, thanks to our landlords, they used to live in this house and planted all these beautiful flowers and plants everywhere.
Seth (my brother) comes over on Tuesdays and Thursdays to hang out with us and my boys just love those days! They love their uncel Seth! He is exhausted here, cuz Mom had him get up early so she could vote before dropping him off.
Ian being Ian! He is learning to read, I am so proud of him, only 4 and just so wanted to learn.
Monday, I was feeling really down, a heavy cloud was over me the minute I woke up? I rarely feel that way, but I have noticed something different for the last week or 2? So I was trying to handle it on my own going to the Lord for my regular quiet time in the morning, but I just wasn't feeling ANYTHING! And I wasn't feeling any better. I went to call someone to pray with me and they weren't answering, I called someone else still no answer. I thought, OK I will go to Ruslan (I didn't want to add anything to his work load that day-but I couldn't shake it). It was so awesome, God was able to give such clarity to Ruslan, he just named the issues exactly and prayed with me as I repented for taking on control once again, and I felt 100% better, it was incredible! It was so tricky too, when I am trying to be in control, it feels like nothing I do helps, and I have no answers, because I keep thinking it's up to me! Duh! But it is such a subtle trap too. So once again "OUT OF CONTROL AND LOVING IT!"
Anyway, I am just enjoying being me and loving on my family, and trying things that I desire, just cuz I want to. :) I feel God's pleasure in that. Danny Silk mentioned last night that we need to "dream big and write small" meaning, we should dream big and think of the bigger picture who we want to effect, what difference we want to make, what plans we have, but we have to be able to narrow it down so that we actually accomplish it. We have to be able (if writing) be able to get someone else into our head and know exactly what we are saying and feeling. It just really encouraged me, to remember how to think practically alongside of being a visionary, which can be so exhausting sometimes.
I decided to just post some photos in the week of the Kalashnikovs. This was a busy week, as usual I suppose. :) Pictures tell 1000 words, I absolutely love photos. I am still trying to figure out if there is any other purpose than just that I love taking photos and to tell a story through them.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My Mom and I went to go pray for Jeff Duncan (who has lou gehrigs disease-and will be healed) about a week ago and as we were praying for direction beforehand, my Mom said, "I just feel like we don't need to have an agenda, we are just going to see what the Lord has in mind." for some reason I guess it was an impartation moment because something was deposited in me that day, and I have completely noticed the effect of it in every other part of my life since! Somehow it is easier to finally understand that I am not responsible for my husbands decisions
(good or bad), I am not supposed to figure out everyone's needs and meet them all, I can go somewhere to just have fun and not try and figure out my purpose there, I can live and enjoy life without feeling pressured to figure out what God wants to happen in every circumstance. I can rest and trust in His time, His way, and Him. I somehow see clearly now that as I go forth with the complete hunger and desire for more of God and to obey no matter what the cost everything will come into place. I don't have to make it happen. In the words of Eric Johnson:
"Jesus never promoted himself, and he was the most known man of his day."
He accomplished everything he needed to and lived out his full destiny. He also balanced his days well, time for people, time alone with God, walking in the power to heal, deliver, and set free, discipling and training up the next leaders, he had a perfect balance. That's exactly what I need, DIVINE ORDER! I feel like things are making more sense and I feel a renewed ability and hope for order and accomplishing goals. YAY God there is hope! A few things that we have started doing to just bring more order into our home have really helped here they are.
- We all do chores together at the same time-we set the timer for 30 minutes put on some fun music and do chores until the timer beeps
- We have a designated time for homeschooling and if Daniel doesn't finish his work in time he gets an extra 1/2 hour of school (he tends to procrastinate-thus the rule)
- We try and have prayer and Bible reading before breakfast (we are getting there)
- The boys are not allowed to eat breakfast until their room is in order (a workmen is worthy of his sustenence;))
Love you all!
(Photo by me- Manhattan Beach, Ca)
Monday, May 4, 2009
So anyway! Right now I am in the middle of figuring out which project to be working on???? Maybe you have some suggestions?
- I am needing to finish my book about my experience with the fasting, I have it all written I just need to finish editing and then formatting.
-I also have a children's book that I need to find a graphics design person who can help me for very cheap :( Or maybe I should just try printing it as is???
-I am wanting to exhibit my photographs in May's arthop here in Redding in June, so I need to order and pick some photos for that!???
-I need to make some connections for my life shirts. Actually I need $295.00 (once again money??) to become a member of Catholic Marketing Network so I can send out a postcard or something to see if any Christian bookstores want to carry my shirts.
- I need creative ways to make these things happen when I don't have the money yet?
-I need to figure out better marketing ideas for our Travel Agency Kairos Travel
-I want to finish the illustrations for my second children's book
So as you see I have a lot on my mind, now all I need is focus and a plan. Which thing first and focus- do it til its done! Sheesh!
Also Homeschooling and being a wife and mother of 3! I love being busy but I need order, I want to be a good steward of what we already have. I see ideas brewing and I feel motivation and excitement now I need order order order. I would love any suggestions. I know some of you out there are extremely talented in this area that I lack.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Well we had an amazing time! Time alone together to just be married and in love and then great encounters with God everyday at the conference. Plus a taste of the South.
Bonnie Chavda (Pastor Mahesh's wife) was giving away some free stuff on the first day of the conference and she prefaced this specific book with; "Whoever has a holy spirit filled, powerful, intense wife who drives you crazy, raise your hand!" I pushed on Ruslan quickly and said come one raise your hand, raise your hand! He felt funny and wouldn't do it, so I was bummed, I knew he would have gotten it cuz no one was raising their hands (probably due to the fear of their wives ha ha :)). So then right after that she offers a CD and I shoot my hand up showing my interest, and she looks over my head (so I thought) and says, "That fellow with the glasses." So I am looking over my head behind me and she says, "Next to that crazy woman in the blue who raised her hand." It was Ruslan! I thought it was so funny! So he went up and she ended up prophesying over him and speaking directly into his life. Also God was showing how much He notices Ruslan, it was so awesome!
During the conference I got a complete verbal convicting spanking from the Holy Spirit on the very first day. It's embarassing to say but I found out I am a narcisist and have been focusing waaaaay too much on myself, my agenda, my needs, my blessings, my relationship with God, my calling, my connections, my blah blah blah (it feels so yucky to even write it!) and the list goes on! It was so awesome though because I was able to completely recieve it and hear it. I am asking the Lord to deal with it cuz I have no idea where to start! I know it's a scary prayer but I gave Him permission to humble me.
I did get to give Mahesh my request for a foreward or blurb for my book, but I chickened out a little when talking to him. I didn't exactly explain the content of the letter, I ended up telling him how his book really helped me in my very first 40 day fast (which it did) and that I wrote a book on my experience. Then I mumbled something else (I can't remember exactly) and he opened the letter and saw it was a little more lengthy than what he wanted to read at the moment, so he thanked me and said he would give it to his secretary. I have no idea how it will turn out but atleast he has the letter.
In front of some cute church in Charlotte NC
"Bubba's BBQ" check out those curtains and woodpaneled walls!"
We tried some different local restaurants that were recommended by friends. The first being "Bojangles"-cajun chicken, then "Bubba's BBQ"-not very good pulled pork, potatoe salad,bbq beans, and hushpuppies (deep fried corn bread), then we tried this awesome place "Macs"- it was a biker bar/restaurant it was sooooo good. We had ribs, onion rings, collard greens (thanks Uncle David for the recommendation) and bbq chicken wings, oh and pickled carrots! It was a great experience. "Macs"
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