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I love life! I love the multifaceted things about it and about God.  I love to enjoy each day to it's fullest. I love my boys and I love change!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Dr. Suess prophesies again!

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."      

Dr. Seuss 

 

I just finished watching The Lorax, and I really felt inspired to write this blog. I literally was yelping and jumping up and down praising Jesus for the HOPE that is in His kingdom, I was yelling out "Thank You Jesus! You are so real, you are so exciting, woo hoo!" 

As Joel knowingly smiled at me, used to his Mama and her spontaneous out-bursts.


Oh my gosh! This saying excites me soooooo much!! 

Dr. Seuss is so prophetic!  I just love that he wrote these books years and years ago and isn't even alive and yet they are speaking into NOW today for us.

I don't know if many of you remember "Horton Hears a Who" and when it came out, but it debuted soon after Lou Engle talked about how God gave one of his students a dream about Dr. Seuss books and it was about that specific book that later became a movie.  It was in answer to their many prayers for abortion to stop.  God was speaking of the value of even one voice one tiny unborn voice and that "a person's a person no matter how small."

I just LOVE how God speaks to all of us and whoever is tuned in, even the unsaved people, they move forward with God's ideas.   So now as I watched the Lorax I saw so many parallels in what God is saying to us today.  Starting with confirming Josh's word at Christ's Center from last Sunday about planting that seed!  If God is telling you to plant a seed (give a hug, an encouraging word, call that friend, talk to that Mom, kiss your husband, rub your child's back, forgive that person that hurt you, reconcile with your sister, say hi to your neighbor, etc...) then do it! Don't worry about the outcome or don't take responsibility for the harvest, God brings the harvest, God plows the ground, we just get to partner with Him and listen to His heart and obey when He guides.  Each one of us has influence wherever we are. We can't look at our country and just assume we are doomed and that these big people, government, can just take over and tell us how to live, we must be asking God, what is our part? What can I do as a housewife, mother, photographer? What is my role Father? 

I loved how in the Lorax, it was the Grandmother who was speaking to the young boy reminding him of the past, history, and encouraging him to seek out the roots of the country what we were founded on? Then it was her who rode the scooter along side him as he raced to plant the seed that was given to him, to restart our present and begin a new legacy.  Not all on his own but WITH his family and his grandmother.  They were a team.  It was even the grandma that "broke up the fallow ground!"  The whole city had become one mind that had completely gone astray from their roots and their beginnings.  I am continually amazed at how powerless we can become when we start going along with popular belief.  If each of us will rise up where we are at and ASK GOD, "what is my role?" He will tell you.  You, personally and specifically, have a seed to plant!

I have been asking God and I have felt Him strongly remind me that my role is to be a voice, a voice of truth in any way I can.  It's starting in my home valuing family and putting family before career or success, putting God before family and making TIME for Him as a priority.  Loving my husband with my whole heart having a healthy loving marriage as an example to my children (the next generation).  My role is portraying God's beauty and reminding people of the greatness of God and His fun beautiful creative side, that brings joy life and celebration, through photography.  Allowing people to see the treasure in themselves through photography and encouraging words and prophecy.  As i have embraced these roles, I no longer feel powerless in the face of fear or politics or all the craziness happening in the world, because I am sowing GOOD seed, for a generation of purity, Christ mindedness, faithful marriages, whole relationships between family, honest business practices, a confident self image and worth in Christ not in the world's opinion of me.  I can honestly say I am living another of Dr. Seuss's prophetic statements:


“You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”
Dr. Seuss

This is how I feel about God and all that's brewing in His heart and mine

 

Please just STOP right this moment and ask, it doesn't have to be a long involved intercessory hour or hours, simply ask:

"Father what is the seed you have for ME to plant in my sphere of influence, starting today, right now?"

Now write down whatever He impressed on your heart and DO IT! :) And He may give you an answer for today or for the theme of your life, but always check back in ask daily. It's really quite fun!!

 

 

 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marriage isn't just about SEX (part 2)

Sorry to leave you hanging for so long.. :(  Yep, life happened again, for some reason it doesn't stop when I stop?

So I was feeling so confused and alone... (read part 1 if you are haven't already it will help you understand this better)
Finally I got up off of my bed.  Trying to have some time alone with the Lord to get answers wasn't working.  I needed to get outside of my mind, I needed a face to face with someone. And I knew I needed to share with Ruslan what was going on but I felt so afraid to share with him because I didn't want him to worry that it was worse than it was...but I think the truth is I still hate when I am weak, especially when it comes to insecurity because I have believed that if I share when I feel insecure, it will make me seem less lovable, less "all together" and beautiful. 
I came into Ruslan's office at home and sat down trying to not seem too pathetic, he asked what was going on.  I just started spilling out everything that I wrote on part 1 and he listened very lovingly.  I then realized from saying it all out loud, that because I felt rejected by some people I love, I suddenly was afraid that Ruslan would want to reject me too, and so therefore, I started rejecting myself before he could even get the chance (so strange how control works).  I realized that in my feeling "single and attractive" when being out by myself that day, I was still believing the lie that if I wasn't attractive to the world anymore then Ruslan would stop being attracted to me.  I started thinking about how NOT perfect I was and how my body was not the way I wanted it, and it was starting to scare me again to think of aging, and losing my attractiveness.  So then I had spiraled way out of control into a big fat lie!  Yet part of me obviously still believed that lie because it felt so real, so true.

The more I talked to Ruslan the more I realized as a child, I saw that my father wasn't faithful to my mother and it seemed that (from a child's perspective) once she became "unattractive" in his opinion, (gained some weight) he got bored and started looking somewhere else...being unfaithful, which then led to divorce.  So to me that meant once I get older, or gain weight, then Ruslan and I would stop being intimate and Ruslan would get bored and go find someone else.  Which also translated into
marriage = sex.  Our culture seems to say good sex is only when you have a perfect body and a certain size breasts.  Therefore, I was afraid that soon I wouldn't fit that description anymore and it was inevitable that someday Ruslan would be bored and done. What a horrible feeling! (It was pretty subconscious though sneaking up here and there)

Ruslan so kindly assured me of that being a total lie and that he didn't just marry me for sex (haha it even sounds funny saying it, but it felt so good to hear the truth breaking through that lie).  I also broke agreement with those lies that I believed since a child, and I asked God for His truth...which was so cool, because I heard him say Ruslan will never divorce you.  It just felt so reassuring because I know that God knows Ruslan's heart even more than Ruslan.  Ruslan of course confirmed that as well. :)

I definitely saw once again how much the Devil hates marriage especially successful marriages, and he has been using a very strategic plan to destroy marriages and make people believe that the exciting more alluring thing is never committing, and only focusing on the outward appearance.  I am so sad to see that so many of us have bought into it.  But praise God for His help in unveiling the lies, and for bringing inner healing and health.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Marriage isn't just about SEX

 I received a request to talk about SEX.  I realized, yeah, I haven't really talked much about sex.  What would I write if I write about sex?  And actually something recently came up.  I am recognizing the Lord wants me to share the processes He has walked me through so that other people can get that freedom to.  I don't always like walking through the tough things, but there is a joy and fulfillment in knowing that atleast it will help someone else along this journey of life.  This is a very fresh and recent revelation, and I am yet again surprised at only JUST NOW getting this clarity, this is DEFINITELY an area that truth comes and then being bombarded by our confused culture, starts to fade again.  Although with each incident, there is a deeper level of revelation that goes deeper than the last...anyway... I may be rambling so I don't have to start sharing what I am talking about...OK I'll stop lollygagging...

So I was in the car driving alone with out kids or husband and thinking about how I felt single again, and was remembering the single days and how I actually don't miss them much at all!  I also noticed that four different guys at four different stops, would look at me with a very flirtatious almost seductive look, and I could feel the familiarity of it.  I was excited to realize that that is what I used to struggle with growing up, was thinking I needed to grab the attention of EVERY guy who passed me by, thinking that it proved my sexiness, therefore my worth as a woman.  I never had a desire to have sex with them or wish that they would take me home with them, but just knowing that I was approved as woman.  Plus there was power I felt in knowing that I could catch many eyes (this is feeling very vulnerable right now...). 

Later on in life I have seen that I learned this way of thinking from something that happened to me (I'll share sometime, it wasn't family related), and also having a father who didn't always know how to affirm me as a woman, plus a mother who never knew her amazing worth and beauty.  Once I became a teenager my dad wasn't always sure how to show affection, and he really wasn't good with compliments, he would more often joke and do things like sing a silly tune, "we wear short shorts, if you dare wear short shorts..." I had to choose from one or two meanings in my mind; either he was saying my shorts were too short and I needed to change, or he was saying wow you are turning into a beautiful young lady and showing that you have beautiful legs.  I chose the second meaning because I also liked how other guys gave their approving stares or glances.

So back to being in the car.  I drove home and kinda had those thoughts still rolling in my mind.  That night I dreamed about a woman who was planning on getting divorced and I was very passionately telling her that is wasn't OK, it wasn't hopeless there was still a way to fix the marriage!  Another woman came and told her testimony of me helping her to not choose divorce and the first woman was intently listening.

I woke up from that dream feeling the sadness of divorce.

That day I experienced some major rejection having to do with some people very close to me.  It stirred up some old wounds of rejection that I thought I dealt with...  As I was in my room alone thinking about those lies and how real they felt, I wasn't sure where to turn or what to do, all I could think about was how depressed I suddenly felt, all I wanted was some form of comfort any comfort, something to take my focus off of feeling so isolated, alone, misunderstood, hurt...

"Where was all this coming from? Was it an attack? Was it going backwards in the freedom that I knew I had in this area? Lord what is going on??" 

I also felt like I didn't want to bring it up with Ruslan cuz I didnt' want him to think I was majorly struggling with something, but I felt so alone and stuck, like the walls were caving in on me...
I went another day trying to process this strange fear, pain, anger, and even self worth deteriorating.  I even started thinking about Ruslan probably getting bored with me, and not wanting to be with me anymore.
It was such a blindsiding, I was so confused.  Just two days earlier I was feeling wonderful, totally fulfilled completely happy, and loving life??  I knew there was some root issue or demonic attack, but I wasn't getting ANY clarity!?
(I am going to stop here for now but I will finish...)


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Words of Wisdom that have changed the course of my LIFE

I was sitting here thinking about helpful advice or words of wisdom, or basic revelations that I've gotten that really transformed my way of seeing things, and I wanted to share those with you now.

"Some things just take time" - I have mentioned this before but this one I used to fight more stubbornly than a goat.  I now recognize I was always in a hurry because I was driven by believing we were running out of time, because "Jesus is coming soon!" (I am actually writing more about that in my book that I am working on!)  I always have been more of an impatient, sort of dominant, "get it done" type of gal, so when I had to wait for the process of something it irked me to no end.  Or when I was working on a project and I was missing an integral part and it was gonna take an extra hour to finish, I would be so frustrated!  I needed it to be finished now! So I could get onto more important things. 
I have begun to recognize the HUGE value of wholly being where I am at and finishing something with all that I have got.  Stopping to "smell the roses."  Detaching myself from my goal to look my son in the face as he tells me his really important story about the frog outside.  Leaving the dishes in the sink so I can have an extra half hour cuddling with my huz.  Letting Joel drop the flour in the bowl while I crack the eggs in (even though it takes twice as long ;)).  I have found a new joy in cooking because of learning to take the time.

No trauma for children, if "atunement"is offered- This was LIFE altering for me!  A very knowledgeable Christian psychologist, Dr. Lehman, happened to visit our group when we lived in Redding, and this was one of the greatest nuggets I took home. Basically he shared that even if a very hurtful or harmful thing happens to your child, if there is someone healthy  to offer atunement then they will be able to process it and heal instead of coming to their own child conclusion which is usually very wrong and confused.
Having been abused at a young age (not by a family member and I will share that freedom at some point), I didn't realize that was the driving fear in my mind of protecting my children.  I was so afraid of anything ever happening to them and damaging their perspective, their innocence, or having to deal with trauma and every other horrible after effect"  So when I heard this incredible truth,  it was a gigantic mountain lifted off of my shoulders, and fear disintegrated.  I now had power to help if ever something did happen, because I know Ruslan and I are pretty healthy parents (not perfect), we love each other dearly, we love God, we love our kids, and we are in constant communication with them.  So yay!  We can know that if we love them unconditionally and are there for them through hard stuff it will all work together for the good! Praise Jesus!

This too shall pass -I think this one has helped A TON with children the most.  Tough stages for us have always been the "turbulent threes" we thought we were getting away with the terrible twos until BAM! Three hit!  And of course for me, birth is where I have always used this saying.  It helped so much to picture myself holding that darling baby that was about to present his/herself at any minute now, any hour now...anyway you get the idea. :) Oh and difficult stretching situations like nerves right before shooting a wedding, I would just think of the reality, that tomorrow this will all be done and I will already be editing these beautiful images, it's all gonna be wonderful, I can do this!


Ask more questions I wrote a blog titled this, but for those of you who missed it, this has been a more recent development, but a wonderful new found peace.  "You mean I don't have to know everything!?"  I can ask questions, and not assume that I should know what they are talking about, or that it might hurt their feelings if I admit that I didn't understand what they meant.  You mean,  I can ask if that facial expression really meant that they were disappointed in me, or angry with me, or annoyed with me? You mean you weren't even paying attention to what I was saying, you were just thinking about all the dishes you had waiting for you at home!?  You mean I can ask you for more information please!?
What a relief!!!!!!! :)

Slow down you will be happier - I was noticing one day how easily annoyed I was getting with everything, everyone, and anything that got in my way!  I stopped for a moment recognizing how poopy I was being.  "Lord why am I so easily irritated today?"
"Because you are in such a hurry." I immediately heard in my spirit.
"What!? How would that make sense?" I shot back.
So I began to think on that quite a bit and I purposely, literally just slowed down my pace of even doing dishes, instead of rushing to get it over with I decided to make sure I wasn't missing any spots and seeing if there was anything extra I could do that I usually didn't pay attention to, like washing the back splash by the sink.  Ever sense that day, I have paid attention to my pace when I am really moving fast and trying to hurry hurry hurry, I intentionally slow down, and remind myself this is what I am doing and I am going to do it well.  I welcome the Holy Spirit to commune with me as I do whatever it is I'm doing, and I welcome the interruptions from the children. I feel so much more peace, and joy when I remember to pay attention.  It has majorly shifted my perspective.




Sunday, July 21, 2013

God loves this Country and I do too. :)

I think my first tendency used to be to remain ignorant when it comes to politics...But I have come to realize even though that "feels" better it isn't taking responsibility for what God might have for me to fulfill, being born and raised in this beautiful bountiful country.  Growing up my Mom had a tendency to be more fearful and worrisome about the things going on in the world, and my Dad didn't seem to be aware of it or care much.  I guess with out realizing I chose my dad's way only because it looked a little more peaceful...However, neither way was the perfect way.  Both my Mom and Dad were living two extremes.  Now at age 33, I think I am finally understanding things a bit more clearly.

I for sure feel overwhelmed at some of the things happening that are negative, but I have always had a tendency to be moreoptimistic and choose hope no matter how bad things look, that has definitely played out in my favor.  When I think of our leaders and the corruption, it feels really big and impossible, but then I go to God, and I begin to soak in His presence just sitting alone with Him and worshiping to some music and I begin to feel His tangible love and mercy, and everything suddenly becomes lighter.  I often have no idea what to pray for our leaders or our country so I worship God until He begins to pour out intercession through me, and many times I just cry and cry and cry, but I feel Him using that and changing my perspective and hope begins rising up.  I sometimes see visions in my mind's eye and I pray into those as I feel the Spirit leading, and it feels so good, it feels like my prayers are actually accomplishing things (because they are!).  I continue to ask the Lord what is my part, what role can I play in blessing this country and reminding my country and my people that this is our Nation under God, indivisible, with LIBERTY, and justice for all!  Father, how do we come against the onslaught of the enemy in all the evil that we are seeing...???

Well here are a few things that He has given me to stand in the midst of dry bones, or hopelessness:

One step at a time: "How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."

I tend to think globally and of whole nations of people coming to the Lord, but I have found there is a lot of wisdom in Jesus' words, "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." That is, after we are loving God and allowing His love to flow through us so we truly love our neighbor.
But what does that look like?
Talk to your neighbor. :) Help them with their groceries, watch their children for an evening, offer your tools for their yard work, invite them for dinner, whatever you feel the Lord nudging you to do.  It is only by our daily walk and reaching our neighbor that we can change our neighborhood that we can release the Love of God to begin tearing down strongholds of division, independence, hatred, selfishness, political correctness.  After our neighborhood transforms, our town starts shifting, after our towns, our cities, after our cities, our states...you get the picture right. :)

Focus on YOUR sphere of influence, cuz you do have influence!
Remember that God has you where He wants you (unless you know you aren't where you are supposed to be)!  It isn't somewhere else, it isn't where revival is happening more, it isn't the next church where more spiritual things are happening, it's right inside of you. YOU are the resting place of God, if you will let ytourself be.  God said a broken and contrite spirit He will not deny, but He resists the proud.  He is looking for the hungry hearts who will do what they can with what they have, where they are at! :) Yeah!  It isn't somewhere in the future, it's now, in your backyard, at your bbq, at the movie theater, with your friends who you are embarrassed to mention Jesus to.  It's right where you are at.  Your friends are watching you, your family is watching you, you have influence and authority with the ones you love.  Jesus only moved with compassion, use that compassion and ask Holy Spirit what He wants to do today.  It's NOT somewhere else.

Find GOOD testimonies of what's happening in America.
There are actually some very exciting things going on ALL over America.  Think of Redding for example, 1000's of people are coming in every year to meet with God get more of Him to know how to reach their cities.  Here in Eugene Oregon, our Pastor's heart is to unite the Churches, imagine how powerful it will be when ALL churches start moving together in unity instead of fighting each other.  A huge abortion facility in Texas was SHUT DOWN recently! People are rising up and standing for life!

Ask God what your role is in your city, and what cause to stand with or for.
Don't compare yourself to other people's roles!  You are designed for something uniquely you!  You might be called to Mother your children and prepare the next generation to be pure and set apart.  You might be called to stand in prayer for people who are up front in visible ministries.  You might be called to bring change to the business realm having a business that is done in integrity and excellence.  You might be one who sows into feeding the poor or stopping abortion.  You might be one called to cook the most amazing meals to bless others and show God's extravagance!  You might be called to be the most loving neighbor anyone has ever encountered.  Only you know and God knows so start asking where do you begin.  What do you have in your possession?  Maybe you need to be sharing your beautiful roses with people who love roses.  Maybe you need to be dancing more, even in your own living room.  God will show you your part and it will be clear, it's not somewhere else!
I feel super excited about what God is doing in our nation, I believe it is never hopeless as long as God is on the throne! 
Also just ask God if there is something locally happening that you can be a part of in helping your community, or somewhere you can sow financially? Or maybe it's nursery in your church? Anything to help serve others...if you are already doing this ask God if you are to change anything or if you are on the right track?

DO NOT PARTNER WITH NEGATIVITY.
 It's like smearing Poo all over yourself and then everyone you come into contact with gets some on them too. It's not good!
 Ask God how He sees things.  Ask for His perspective.  Seriously!  Even as you are reading this sit still for 5 more minutes and ask God to reveal His view.  He may give you a scripture or a picture, or a song, or words. Pay attention He will speak to you.  Write it down, and when you are tempted to believe the circumstances, read that word, or ask Him again, He can show you more! :)

I love you all! I love this country!  And best of all God loves our nation!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Babies come from where???!"

I will never forget the hilarious jaw dropping, face contorting expression, Ian got on his face when I told him where babies made their entrance into this world. It has been quite a fun journey training these boys in the ways of life. :)

I have found that children are often the ones (in a healthy home, with freedom to ask questions) to let us know when they are needing more information.  I was unsure with my first son, being the first, when to give WHAT information. As I am on my 4th child and have learned as they've grown, I have loved seeing how each one is different as well.  But one pattern I have noticed is their curiosity and questioning seems to peak at about the same times in life.  I have found that when they ask a question I give them a little bit of info. if they aren't satisfied they ask for more, so I give more.  Sometimes a very basic answer was all they needed. Sure enough a few weeks, or even months later, they have a new question regarding the same issue.  For example Joel was asking where Abi came out of my body.  I asked him where he thought she came out.  He proceeded to suggest maybe from my belly, my foot, my side, and I just kept saying no, and pretty soon he was distracted and running off to go play wit his brother.  I didn't even need to explain yet.

Also it's good to pay attention to how the kids are reacting to things, for example.  One of my sons at about 7 years old seemed to be reacting VERY strongly to anything mentioning kissing, or when a revealing scene would flash on a movie that we would skip, or even the mention of the word sex, even if referring to gender.  So I was asking the Lord about it and asking my son questions about how it made him feel or was he afraid of something etc...He wasn't quite sure.  I found some great books (found here) about the basics of sex and reproduction, because I could tell there was some misunderstanding on his behalf.  As we started reading these books in the room just he and I, every time I read the word sex, he would make that face, or make a zerber sound cuz he was so embarrassed.  Finally I said, "OK honey, let's pray and ask God if there is a lie you are believing about sex, or if sometime in your life you learned it's something bad?"
He agreed and we prayed.
Immediately he remembered someone freaking out and shaming him for accidentily saying the word "sex when he was about four years old." It was another kid who had said, "Don't ever say that word! It's bad! Don't ever say that again!"
So he repeated after me:
"I break agreement with the lie that sex is bad."
 Then he asked God what His thoughts were about sex.
God told him it wasn't bad if it was in marriage.
I was so excited for him hearing God and I could see the shame lifting off of him, it was so precious.
We finished the book series and he was able to repeat the word sex with out hiding his face, making noises, or contorting his face. :)


I am so thankful to have God involved in the process of raising kids, because only He knows their every thought, and He has been so faithful to help me recognize things that I might not have seen.  He also knows exactly what they need when I feel clueless.

If you yourself feel uncomfortable answering the "scary" questions with your children, or learning to call them out and ask them the hard questions, then you yourself should ask God if there are any lies you have been believing regarding sex or informing your children in this area.  Children are very attentive and receptive, and they know if you are uncomfortable to discuss this and they too will feel some sort of shame about it.  The good news is God can heal us in this area, He has brought a lot of healing and clarity to me. I am so thankful!  Once he reveals the lies to you or brings up some memories of times when you got the wrong impression of sexual things then ask God to reveal the lies and break agreement with them.  You can also ask if there is anyone you may need to forgive.

I would love to hear any questions you might have regarding this issue.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

He wants us to hear



 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was NOT in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was NOT in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was NOT in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.  (1 Kings 19: 11-13)

When I read this passage, something was nudging me about it.  I couldn't figure it out so I read it again. "Lord, why did you first give all those powerful demonstrations of Your power, yet you were not in the power, or destruction of the mountain, not in the fire?? What are you showing me Lord?"

I read it again.

I put it down and went about my day.  Later it came to me, the Holy Spirit deposited it into my spirit.  He is telling me that He wants His people to realize HE IS SPEAKING! And He always has been. 
For a long time in my life, I kept waiting for these spectacular moments that the Lord would speak audibly, or thunder from the clouds, or give me a clear vision out of nowhere.  I would think, "Lord, I will do whatever you say, whatever Your will is, if only I knew for sure it was You."  But I realized after many years that that was part of faith, believing it WAS indeed Him speaking to me.  I have journaled for many years and have practiced very practically learning to hear His voice, and TRUST that it's Him.  As I have stepped out in small things, He has confirmed again and again that I am hearing.  I would even test it with things, for example; when someone was calling (before we had caller ID) I would ask the Lord who was calling.  Sometimes I was wrong, but sometimes it was right on!  I would ask for how to pray for someone and step out in what I was feeling that I heard (it usually felt like my very own thoughts) and the person would confirm that it was exactly what they needed to hear! I would ask Him to reveal to me where something was when I lost it, or if someone lost their keys or shoes.



I feel like He is so wanting us to understand that He longingly wants us to tune into our natural senses and see what we see, what we hear in our minds, what we sense in our hearts.  He IS SPEAKING, we need to know that He wants us to hear.  

As I was driving to ladies group on our beautiful route here in Oregon looking out over green pastures and fields covered with lush green everywhere.  I was completely enjoying God's creation and taking in His great love for me, thinking through the past couple of days, and I was suddenly recognizing that He had been highlighting  a specific person to me.  Then I began to think about how tickled I was that He kept reminding me, because I obviously wasn't getting it.  That's when it hit me, He really wants me to hear this, and He knows I will eventually get it if He keeps nudging me, even if if it takes three different instances! :)  It's a relationship, and He wants my input and interaction, He doesn't just speak once, and get mad at me if I didn't hear, or say "you weren't listening, your fault you missed out." He never gives up on me, He loves me, He wants me to hear!  I was so excited I had a perma-grin all the way to ladies group.
Here's a great representation of my excitement :)

 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

We don't have to teach our kids EVERYTHING...pheww!




I was at the park the other day admiring my sweet boys, Daniel and Ian playing on the park equipment, thinking about how Daniel is a pre-teen, and Ian is starting to seriously stepping into his own, being sure to challenge me on every suggestion, or requirement of him.  I was feeling so proud of them and their character and personalities, thinking I truly trust Daniel and his stance on life and his moral integrity, I am so excited to see how he will stand on his own and face life apart from us as his own person.  It hit me so strongly that I could fully stand in confidence knowing that my son is a well rounded good person, and will do well in life.  I realized I needed to start speaking more of my confidence in him and being sure to reassure him that I trust him in his decision making and to speak out loud my pride in him and his good works.

After the park time on our way home I did tell Daniel that I was very proud of him and I did trust him.  I could hear his gratitude in the thank you, and I felt so good about the peace I felt as well.

Of course, after that day, I have strongly been pondering this concept. What is our job as a parent in training our kids, how much do we teach them, how much do we teach by living the example?

Well it has started to become more clear, number one:I DON'T HAVE TO TEACH THEM EVERYTHING THEY WILL NEED TO KNOW FOR THEIR WHOLE LIVES!
I only need to prepare them with the tools to face the things they will face in this life. These are a few of those things I am discovering:
1. Putting a hunger in them to learn. 
 By stimulating their minds, not boring them with what I think they should know, not making sure they are getting in every possible detail, but by exposing them to many different ways of learning: computer research, writing, reading, learning from others who love to teach, trying NEW things, seeing how others live their lives, doing something that seems too difficult to do etc...
2. Expose them to the Living God.
God is big enough and powerful enough and loving enough to reveal Himself as we walk them to His door.  He says if they knock HE WILL open.  I believe our job is only to lead them to the door.  I feel that my example in my hunger for God, and my openness in worship, prayer, sillyness and unashamed faith and life in general is the most powerful tool I have to teach them about God.  I have found it's so important to teach my kids to hear His voice on their own,  because when they leave our home I won't be going with them neither will their Papa, I want them to know they will never be alone.  I also feel that asking them a lot of questions instead of just telling and teaching draws them out more than any other way. Exposing them to the Word of God to get their own revelations and experiences.
3. Having a thankful heart.
I believe if they can always find ways to be thankful no matter their situation, they will always thrive and look for ways to solve problems. This will also thwart that nasty spirit of entitlement.
4. Loving them unconditionally.
This of course can mean loving them enough to say no. To put up strong boundaries.  Trusting them to try things out and learn from their own mistakes. Believing in them.
Keeping up regular communication and speaking out when I am so proud of them or just love them.
 5. Keeping our marriage strong.
In my relationship to my husband I can totally see how important it is to keep our love strong because this is one of the strongest examples they have to learn from for their future lives.  When Ruslan and I are fulfilled and loving each other, then we are also MUCH better parents.

I know there's more but these were the basic things that help me keep it simple when I start worrying again that I haven't prepared them enough.  I am thankful for the grace we have as parents to learn as we go as well.  And I am so thankful that I am not expected to be perfect or teach my kids every single possible thing they will need to know when away from home. :) Phewwww!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm UNDONE!

I love His presence, it has become my very essence.
I see heaven it's reaching earth, we thought we were to pull, but I see, it's here, He's here, so near, so near.
Where are the angels, where are they now? I want to see beyond my eyes, I want to see. Open my spirit, open up open up, wake up, wake up, I'm alive, I'm alive! There it is I feel it, it's in my gut its beyond my understanding I can't comprehend it, but I feel it, my spirit longs for Him... leaping and leaping within, ready to explode and implode, yes! I say yes! I must release a sound, I must, I will, I am!
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!
LOUD!! and releasing, breaking, break open, break open, come and see come and see that He is good, He is real, He is near!
Where?
Right here! Oh my sweet sweet friend Holy Spirit, so powerful so full, so overwhelmingly everything, I have ever needed.

 I feel complete, with out a need.  So content completely content.
Sweets cannot even tempt me out of this sweet sweet presence. Entertainment is no comparison, it tugs at me as I rest in His presence... I am not interested.
I have found what I've been looking for!!!!!
Wings. I have wings! I'm flapping my wings, I'm flying, flying, flying, new places, new journeys, new revelations, new encounters, new ideas, new inventions, old ideas, good ideas, He has so many ideas! Arrest me for resting, cuz I know it's against our law, but I have found the key, I have found the trick, there is no trick, the truth is, ITS so simple.
He came He died, He rose, we are ALIVE! He lives so that I live! I am alive I am free. He loves me, I love Him, happily ever after, every single second of every single day!




Thursday, April 4, 2013

There is resistance to slowing down

www.jkalashnikovphoto.com


We are enjoying listening to the Loving on Purpose  parenting series by Danny Silk in our homegroup.  I absolutely love it! I get so frustrated every time when I see all the places I haven't been applying the things I've learned and yet so encouraged by the awesome perspective and clear vision of what Danny presents, and how valuable parenting is. This is my husband and my 3rd time through this and each time we learn something new, and apply something more. 

As we were watching this last session, I was seeing Danny's extremely patient demeanor, and the process he mentions walking the kids through, and I am sitting there thinking, SO MUCH TIME! It takes so much time, to get the the heart of an issue with the children, or to stop and clean up a mess with them teaching them to clean their own mess, helping them with options and choices, (it takes time and creativity to even think of good choices to offer sometimes), it takes time to help the child get to the place of cleaning up his mess in forgiving his brother from a true place of repentance instead of just plopping down an "I'm sorry!" Then I began to realize, "well if I would just take the TIME, to stop what I am doing and give the time needed, then I actually could handle doing all this responsible parenting." :) 
 Some days I do really well, and some days I get so caught up in my activities that I forget what and who the priority is.  I have begun to recognize when I am getting too hurried. If I am in the kitchen rushing around cleaning off counter tops, swinging around to wash the dishes and GET REALLY ANNOYED when one of my darling children walk in and I almost run into them. Or when I am racing to get my son to bed so I can have my down time, and I feel UNDONE when he wants me to come read to him and I just don't feel like it! When I am so focused on my task: blogging (supposedly helping others learn things in my process of learning haha), editing photos, making dinner, painting, wanting to have an alone time with the Lord...I start to see when once again I allowed other things to come before the kids. I am not saying that I can't do those things, but when I continually am getting frustrated at the kids for needing my help, or asking so many questions, or just wanting Mama to not be busy, then I am saying I need to pull back from my activities and put them first.

The same thing happens in my desire to spend alone time with the Lord, often I feel the wooing of the Holy Spirit to steal away for a moment and just rest in His beautiful presence and it's very tempting and I actually really WANT to, I feel the excitement in my spirit and yet I find myself suddenly on Facebook, or blogging, or finding a snack to munch on, or sitting down to "check out" in front of an entertaining sitcom.  Not that that those things are bad (I had my days of being extremely religious about them being bad), but I notice the PULL towards distractions. It's very constant daily, and there is an extreme resistance to slowing down, just sitting and letting your mind rest and receive or be renewed in His sweet peaceful presence, instead of filling, doing, learning, accomplishing! I find that when I am finally sitting, and lately I notice that sometimes that is only in the bathroom on the "throne," I realize oops I did it again, I haven't taken time to slow down today, because it feels so nice and I really start to hear and see a lot clearer, I get better strategy for the day, I don't feel like I am in constant GO mode.  

Soooooo I have been asking the Lord for wisdom (James 1, if you ask for wisdom you will get it!) and guidance, to recognize when I am being too driven, and not slowing down, because I function SO much better when I have a plan, I am nicer to people and MUCH more patient, when I am not always moving forward to accomplish my plans. I take time to squeeze my son and tell him how much I love his sense of humor, I stop and watch the silly video they have been begging me to see, I don't miss the Que of a moment where I untied heart strings in my snapping at my son.  I don't get annoyed when my husband stops me and kisses me as I am rushing down the hall to put away laundry.  Being in a hurry robs me of the present, cuz I am always pushing towards the future. Holy Spirit let it not be so in my life.

When I slow down things become much more handle-able.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Women we are getting a 2nd chance! It's not too late!

 
www.jkalashnikovphoto.com



www.jkalashnikovphoto.com
A few weeks ago, the year 1975, was highlighted to me 3 times in one day. So I decided to look up things that happened in 1975 in the world, as I started to read through events, certain events stood out to me like a soldier when a general enters the room (Kris Valloton), and I began to write them down.  The more I began to write the more excited I became! I could see a theme here. I feel like the Lord is giving women a 2nd chance.  Not that He ever gives up on us, but I feel like a national call to women is going out from the Father of Lights.  In 1975 He tried to release a powerful movement of women, but for the most part the Devil got in and stole and perverted the call. Instead of women rising up in their identity in Christ and walking in the purity and powerfulness of their destiny; they began to try and stand on their own, apart from God, apart from men, they decided that we are indestructible and we don’t NEED ANYONE!  What God truly wanted was for the women to recognize their glory IN the Lord, He wanted us to shine with HIS glory, not our own strength. 
So NOW IS THE TIME, for women to come to the Father, and lay down our “all powerful” prideful ways and cry out for help, and embrace the design that God created: our need for relationship, our need for Him,  recognizing the power of a covering and submission out of love and intimacy, the embracing of accountability, the stability of trusting others.

I say I AM IN! Yes God more! More! More! I need more of You! I can’t do it on my own.

(The events from 1975 are in black, the revelation I received is in orange- there were so many names that stood out and each time I looked up the meaning, I was so amazed!)

www.jkalashnikovphoto.com


Feb 2nd - US female Figure Skating championship won by Dorothy Hamill
Dorothy is Gift Of God
Barry Manilow's "Mandy" goes gold     Mandy is Loveable; a message was being sent to tell women that they were, LOVEABLE.
Jan 1st - International Women's Year begins OF COURSE! J
The Gypsy closes  
(gypsy -an independent, inclination to move from place to place) The gypsy, loner, independent thinking must END!
Space mountain opened –going high with God!
Jan 24th - Fastest Earth-bound object, 7200 kph, in vacuum centrifuge, England
Heaven kissing earth
Feb 11th - Margaret Thatcher defeats Edward Heath for Conservative leadership
Feb 20th - Margaret Thatcher elected leader of British Conservative Party
Women taking leadership was beginning in new levels
Mar 1st - Eagles' "Best of My Love" reaches #1
(Eagles- prophetic statement) God was wanting to give the BEST OF HIS LOVE, and IS wanting to now!
Mar 3rd - "Goodtime Charley" opens at Palace Theater NYC for 104 performances (A musical about Joan of Arc) A very brave and powerful woman who stood for her convictions
Mar 17th - Valeri Muratov skates world record 1000m (1:16.92)
Valerie means strength. God made women to be strong, but not to take the place of men, not to be strong LIKE men, we have a different strength which will only be unveiled when in the perfect balance, birthed from a place of identity in Christ, love, value, honor, interdependence and has the covering of a man or a church body, or a strong team of support, NOT ALONE
Mar 19th - Penn is the 1st state to allow girls to compete with boys in HS sports
I believe this is some of the beginnings of the enemie’s plan to make women think they were to be like men, instead of valuing a man’s place and a man’s strength, not valuing their place as a woman, it’s not supposed to look like a man or to COMPETE with men, we are to come alongside men to build up men, to let men be a strength to us in healthy ways they were created to be
Mar 22nd - "Letter for Queen Victoria" opens at ANTA Theater NYC
 Victoria-winner conquerer  WOW!
Apr 8th - 47th Academy Awards - "Godfather II,"
God wants to reveal Himself as Father to His daughters
Apr 12th - Linda Ronstadt releases "When Will I Be Loved" 
Linda means Pretty One.  Already, because of this misunderstanding of women “taking their place” they are beginning to feel alone and not loved
Apr 18th - John Lennon releases "Stand by Me"
I hear the man’s cry and the woman’s cry in this song WE NEED EACH OTHER
Apr 27th - Sandra Haynie wins LPGA Charity Golf Classic
Sandra means defender of the people   We are called to be nurturers, God put it in our DNA
May 3rd - Christa Vahlensieck runs female world record marathon (2:40:15.8) Christa means Christ-Bearer!  We are to be running with Christ not from Him
May 4th - Ed Bullins' "Taking of Miss Jane," premieres in NYC
 Jane means God Is Gracious.     There has been a HUGE misconception of God being gracious. The enemy has really painted a sick picture of God as a mean, merciless, domineering, tyrant, that women shouldn’t trust
May 4th - Maria Astrologes wins LPGA Birmingham Golf Classic
Maria means,Of The Sea Or Bitter.   There has definitely been MUCH bitterness sown in the hearts of women in this deception of them taking on the world alone
May 6th Bundy (a serial killer) victim Lynette Culver disappears from Pocatello, Idaho
Lynette means Pretty One.   Even in the natural “Pretty One” was targeted and violated, as it has been the plan of the enemy since the beginning of time. Thus far and NO MORE! Women we must recognize the plan of the enemy and stand in the opposite and stop agreeing with the lies.  We were created to walk in the fullness of our beauty inside and out. You are beautiful you are valuable, you are loved, you and not to be ashamed.
May 16th - Japanese Junko Tabei became 1st woman to reach Mt Everest's summit
Junko means Obedient, Genuine, Pure (YES GOD!)
We are to ascend the Mountain of God not our own mountain, God is beckoning us to come to him, He is wooing us to Himself.
May 16th - Wings release "Listen to What the Man Said" in UK
Our wings will be released when we learn to honor our men our leaders and listen to what they say we need their input. We are not to do it on our own.
May 17th - NBC paid $5M for rights to show "Gone with the Wind" one time
Taken into His presence, a deeper move of the Holy Spirit, encounters
May 19th - 27th Emmy Awards: Mary Tyler Moore Show, Robert Blake & Jean
Mary means of the sea or bitter
If we don’t become like Mary who was at Jesus Feet in the Bible, we will become bitter and empty inside. We don’t have enough love to meet the needs and demands of life, we must receive from Jesus’ love and we must give from our overflow

Jun 14th - Janis Ian releases "At 17"
Janis means God Is Gracious
Jun 15th - Carol Mann wins Lawson's LPGA Golf Classic
(Carol is a form of Charles) Charles means Free Man
Women be free! Free from your own deception, free from your own strength, trust in His strength trust. trust. trust.

As I was pondering all of this I also heard Doug Addison mention that the 70’s was the last revival in the US and the Christians judged it and didn’t like all the hippies and all the messiness of the move of God, so it sort of fizzled out eventually.  Father we welcome you back, we welcome your move no matter what it looks like!





Monday, March 25, 2013

I found God in my house!

My latest fun painting, I really enjoyed painting this, the butterflies are stickers :) It's sitting in my kitchen right now and it makes me so happy!
A few days ago Ian came in and said, "I'm bored Mama, what can I do?" I replied, "Did you have your time with God today?"
"ummm...no, yeah, I'll go do that now."
"I want you to go ahead and have some worship with Joel and help him practice worshiping and listening to God too."
They were excited but they wanted the door closed to the kitchen because they didn't want me to be "spying on them."

Fifteen minutes later, Ian came in all excited flashing an adorable Ian grin, and said he wanted to share about what he had seen.  He told me he saw Neptune on a lion in the sky.  I didn't even know who neptune was, but Ian did of course (he loves facts!).  So I asked him what he thought it meant, and he wasn't sure. I encouraged him to go and ask God what it meant.  He ran off with Joel on his tail.  Again he returned and said he saw a random person looking something up on wikipedia (I love how specificially God speaks to children)!  I told him that sometimes when I feel like Jesus is showing me something, I look up some of the things on wikipedia to let the natural speak of the invisible. He ran off all excited to see what he might find.  He returned a little disappointed, "There's so much about Neptune in the Roman mythology."
Well honey, how I do it is, I just read until something interesting stands out to me.
He ran off.
He came back all smiles, "Well the thing that stood out to me, was "the marriage of Heaven and earth."
I told him he should definitely write down what the Lord shows him so that he remembers how much God talks to him. He agreed.
Now I was even more excited!

So as I have been pondering this cool vision that Ian got, I have thought a lot about  how for so many years I had a tendency to separate the natural things from the spiritual things, only in the last couple years I have started seeing it from God's perspective. I had this wrong picture of being a Christian which separated me from the world in a more critical sense. Also things like separating "boring life things" from "exciting Spiritual things." I really didn't know that it was all related if I was a Christian.  I sort of passed up scriptures like:

1 Cor. 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God."

Romans 1:20
 "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. "

I knew that I was supposed to have quiet times with the Lord and I wanted to have quiet times, I did enjoy them.  But I started to notice that I would feel guilty if I didn't get a chance to have a "quiet time" and then I would feel like I was failing as a Christian and wasn't putting God first etc...the more I thought about it the more I realized somehow I was separating my life from God. By compartmentalizing Him, He was at Church, in my quiet times,  in my prayer time with the kids, in my intercession time...you get the point.

Now many years later, getting set free from a religious spirit (testimony to come someday :)). I have really seen that tendency in many lives of others as well, and I want to help people see that it doesn't have to be that way. I was extremely blessed by a teaching "Precious Vs. Important" that Jason Hague recently shared at our Church, Christ's Center. He is very eloquent at presenting concepts and revelations in such a clear concise way.  I was so excited to to hear God bringing this revelation to others as well.
I have been trying to be more intentional in focusing in and fully being where I am, when I am doing what I am doing, whether it's laundry, dishes, prayer, reading, computer time, worship or whatever. I intentionally take a moment to thank the Holy Spirit for being with me, for making anything I do become so much more life giving and enjoyable.  I so quickly feel His sweet presence as I take a moment in whatever I am doing to fully embrace His presence.  I also find that I recognize a lot more ways that God speaks to me, and I am not so afraid of reading into symbolism, or embracing the simple ways He truly can reveal things to me, it's super exciting.  I feel so much more free in my relationship to God and see so much clearer, as He has been teaching me to embrace my present, and not always be thinking about the future, or my "destiny," or feeling like I failed in the past.  I am living my destiny and I am enjoying knowing that I am not missing out on "more important things."  God knew a huge season of my life would be raising my children and being a wife, and He also knows all the things He put inside of me that might come after my season of "Mama," but it doesn't mean I have to wait to let out all this passion burning inside of me, I do it at home all the time with my kids, with my husband, with my neighbors, in the grocery store, at the movies, EVERYWHERE!

I was so tickled when one of my dreams came true in 2008 and we would be moving to Redding, Ca, to attend Bethel church!  I was super excited to be involved in such an incredible move of God and I imagined I would want to be at every meeting and trying out everything they offered.  My husband even had to make sure that I understood I still had to be a Mom and his wife, I couldn't just disappear into "spirit land." I agreed. Well the funny thing was I found myself recognizing in those two and half years, how much God was the same God at my house as he was at Bethel Church.  I began having major encounters with the living God on my living room floor.  I also had the joy of joining a prophetic prayer group of MOMS and wives, who would get together and just love on God, and experience His manifest presence in their home!  One of the biggest things I learned was how much God was real in my home and in my family and in my marriage.  We got to take a lot of great things from Bethel as well, but this was the biggest one for me, we fully took God into our home and our family, no more leaving Him at Church or in the room, or in the prayer group. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Russian American Life of the Kalashnikovs "VIDEO"

Soooooo, here was my thought...My heart is always to help you or anyone learn things the faster smoother way if possible (besides what we seem to only learn by trials and error), and to know you are NOT ALONE.  I have always thought it would be fun to try and make a "show" of our family life, because growing up I always loved those type of shows.  Well this is OBVIOUSLY a home video type quality and professionalism...
BUT a girl can dream right!  
So I decided to just give it a shot...then that got me thinking... hey maybe we can do this regularly and MAYBE it would be helpful to someone just to see the "normalness" of our life in the midst of reality, but with a twist of playfulness of course, and maybe we could address real issues of families, and maybe we could even teach parents about how to bring the reality of God's connection to His kids (our kids), and maybe we could just have a lot of fun while helping other families learn and be reminded of the incredible value God places on FAMILY and marriage! Yeah, that would be awesome!  And since I reeeeeeeally have a heart to remind mother's of their MAJOR role in raising up these: world changers, business people, world leaders, grocery store clerks, dentists, presidents, mothers, fathers, professors, preachers, teachers etc...MAYBE this could help them be reminded of that too! AND I would be able to share all this amazing stuff (that God has been revealing to me through encounters, revelation, life, and passed on from my Mother of course, and people who have sown into me) with out even leaving my home, because that is where my most important job is right now, right here in the home with my children and husband.  

So there ya have it.  If you have 7 Minutes, here is our first attempt at a glimpse into the Russian Family Life of the Kalashnikovs - living life, loving God, and raising up the next generation :)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_QW500l_pc













www.jkalashnikovphoto.com
(my wedding photography and more)

Friday, March 1, 2013

ASK MORE QUESTIONS!!! :)




Ask more questions! 


Growing up there was sort of an unspoken rule from my Dad that you don't ask questions, you just do what's asked of you.  My Mom on the other hand wanted us to ask questions more, but she herself wasn't aware that she didn't ask us a lot of questions when teaching us something so we thought that meant we shouldn't ask questions either.  Today it's fun to be able to talk with my Mom and learn more about her perspective as opposed to my child's view.  I am so thankful to have a good relationship with my Mom and to be able to grow closer even more today.

    As I have discovered that, I have wanted to apply that to my children, by asking more questions.  Along with that I have noticed that it's so easy to live my life with out communicating my feelings and emotions, or my process of healing with God, or things going on with my husband,  to my children... I am not saying I share everything, but I have found that sharing my process out loud clears up a lot of misunderstandings for the kids.  Even just explaining why some days I am more moody than others, or if Ruslan and I are having an argument, explaining that I am frustrated but not at them. Also asking them if it scares them when we argue in front of them sometimes.  They have said sometimes it bothers them but mostly they have recognized it's not leading to something dangerous like divorce, and I feel it's important to have them see that a marriage isn't perfect and we do have our bad days and have to work through disputes just like them as siblings.  They obviously can fully relate to that one. I have noticed that it's just natural for me to go talk to my husband or friends or siblings about my issues or revelations, or great ideas, or God encounters...and I still forget sometimes to share some of that with the kids.  Therefore I have had to make a point of learning to talk OUT LOUD to my kids when God does something neat in my life, or when I am frustrated about something, or when I am working through a challenge, or even talking about the fact that I am still learning how to be a better Mom with them.  And it's so fun too to hear their hearts and ideas, and to hear their life struggles, I have noticed it stimulates them to talk more about what's going on inside of them as well.  I absolutely LOVE hearing the inner workings of my children's minds and hearts, they give me great insight at times. Plus their perspective is just awesome.  This all leads to an openness to just step right into ministering to them as well, whether it be praying through a difficult situation with a friend or dealing with thoughts that they don't understand, or worries they have, or fears about God or the future, puberty, a confusing thing they saw on T.V. something someone said to them etc...  I can't always be sure that they are telling me everything but I trust that they have learned by example that it's good to share your heart OUT LOUD so that they can get input and insight and not feel all alone in a family where they are so loved.  

We have also been working on being aware of love languages, I wrote them on the dry erase board so that I would remember who has what and in what order, because they each have two primary love languages.  It's so fun to purposely love on them in their love language, I can totally see the look of fulfillment in their sparkling eyes when I speak out those encouraging words, or give a tight squeeze as one of them is about to run off to play a game.  I still forget some days and raise my voice (the kiss of death) to my "words Of affirmation" child, or get annoyed when my "physical touch" child is crawling in my lap squirming around and putting his head right in front of the work I am trying to complete on the computer, etc...But I have stopped being so hard on myself (most days) and realize the other grace that I have found in talking through things, is I can just as easily re-tie strings of emotional connection that I untied, if I am willing to humble myself and apologize for my harsh words or short fuse, and they are so quick to forgive. 

I have been so THANKFUL when they do ask questions about misunderstandings because I would have been so sad to have them think something was a certain way when it wasn't! For example:
We were driving in the car and talking about gifts and I happened to be telling Ruslan that I found out "gifts" is my 3rd love language and I hadn't realized that, all these years.  So then we were talking about gifts and what we like and don't like.  Ruslan starts to tell me that he really does NOT like getting candy as a gift for some reason, and at that moment he happens to look back and Ian is listening in, and suddenly Ruslan remembers Ian's last gift to Ruslan was CANDY! And he can see by the look in Ian's questioning embarrassed eyes that a wrong message was just sent!
"Oh no, Ian I DID NOT mean that at all. I mean I totally love it when it's from my kids, because there is a major salary difference there, it's the heart that matters to me, it means a lot to me that you would pay your own money to buy me anything.  I love when you get me candy Ian. I hope you understand what I meant."
Ian was put back at ease as he understood his Papa's explanation. And said "Oh ok, I was wondering?" 
 I even said after that, I am so glad we noticed you listening Ian! And I always want you to ask questions if you are confused or hurt like that, I would have been so sad to think you might have thought Papa didn't like your gift. We all got a good laugh, and "Phewww!" moment.

Raw Life

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