Archive for June, 2009

A Season For Everything

seasonal leaves

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

There is even a season for blogging and a season not to as I am finding this summer. As you likely know from previous posts and mentions of the decreasing amount of time that I have had to put into this blog during this season, this is a busy time in the life of our family, and a season where blogging isn’t fitting in as well as it has in the past.

I really enjoy writing here and am thankful for those of you who read, but I am wanting to make sure that I devote myself to my priorities before making time for my hobbies, and currently my relationship with God, my family, reconnecting with loved ones while in the US, and the work of support raising are priorities that are able to fill my days to the brim. Also, when I do write here, I want it to be something of quality and interest, but without the extra time to pray and prepare, this is a difficult task.

I also have a number of projects here that I hope to work on and I also have been intending for a long time to invite some other women to contribute to this site, but in order to make these changes I need a bit of time get them in place.

All this to say, I anticipate taking a break from now until about September, perhaps with a post here and there as I have time and inspiration.  If you wanted to be emailed when this page is up and running again fully, you can send me a message at and I will make sure to do so.

As for the photo challenge, sadly this is something that also may or may not happen.  I hate to stop projects mid-way, but I haven’t gotten much of a response and have little time to send out personal invitations as I did last time.  If I do happen to receive more submissions before Thursday, I will happily post them though, as I would love it you wanted to encourage one another in that way.

Thank you again to all of you who read here. I continue very much to have a heart for moms around the world to thrive and find joy, fulfillment, and encouragement in what we are called to, so know that even though I don’t know many of you, that I will continue to be praying for God’s blessings on your lives as you love Him, devote yourselves wholeheartedly to your families, and faithfully serve those around you! I look forward to being back in September!


Photo Challenge#2: His Beautiful Creation

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made…” Romans 1:20

babushka with flowers

(A Russian Babushka Selling Tulips)

God as our all powerful creator has designed His creation to be a constant, vivid portrayal of His beauty and greatness. I wanted to invite each of you to participate in our 2nd photo challenge by sharing a picture or two that you feel reflects the beauty of God. This can be a picture of people or a landscape, or whatever you would like. I am hoping that many of you will send pictures from where you are living now, but there are no strict limitations in that regard. The goal is simply to encourage one another and to share glimpses of the beauty of God as they have struck you. I hope we have a good assortment of pictures from both the U.S. and overseas!

Also, I invite you to send a prayer request somehow tied to your photo, like for the people or culture in which it was taken perhaps. It can be as general or specific as you’d like.

To enter: Simply select a photo or two and send it along with a title and a prayer request to me at Feel free to provide a blog link too so I we can read more about your life and experiences! I will post all submissions beginning July 3rd. This is not a contest, but simply a way to encourage one another and bless each other. Enjoy! I can’t wait to see your submissions!


(Beloved Babushkas; Our Dear Neighbors)

*** Due to its political history, the grandparent generation in Russia was the last churched generation that considered themselves as belonging to God. Most people today seek after the gods of money and sex rather than the God of all creation.  Please pray that the current generations will have soft hearts and will seek to know Him who created them.

A Special Praise

I was just reminded about a post titled  Souls Unseen from a few months back. I wanted to share the wonderful conclusion to this story with you!

Literally the day before we left Russia to come back on furlough (and then move to a new city in Russia) I saw the woman mentioned in the story. She was 7 months pregnant and absolutely glowing!  I consider it such a special gift from God that I was able to see her one last time before our move and to know the outcome of the story. Praise God!

(P.S. I will be announcing the next Photo Challenge on Thursday!)

A Break And Something To Look Forward To

Hello Mom Friends,

I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be taking a brief break from this blog as our family is in the midst of a busy week and will be headed out of town for most of next week. If you happen to stop by here and don’t find anything new to read, perhaps spend those few extra minutes praying for fellow moms around the world!

Secondly I wanted to let you know that I will be announcing the 2nd Missionary Moms Photo Challenge when I return! The last one was so much fun. I hope many of you participate this time too! Here are the links to the “Kids and Culture Photo Challenge” posts just in case you’d like to enjoy those again.

Kids and Culture: Part 1

Kids and Culture: Part 2

Kids and Culture: Part 3

God bless and have wonderful week!

Make-It-Yourself: Travel Items for Kids

travel bag

There is a nice market out there for products designed to make travel with children easier. These ideas are genius and I am always excited when I hear of new products in this realm. There are two problems with many of these items though.  1) They are expensive, and 2) they are often difficult to find overseas, depending on your location. Here are some make-it-yourself alternatives!

M.I.Y Potty-topper- This is a great item to have throughout potty-training and toddlerhood when visits to less than ideal bathrooms are frequent. Rather than buying 10 for $5, if you can even find them, make your own out of waxed paper. You might need to tape two pieces together to make it wide enough, but it is easy and cheap.  Make a big rectangle, cut a hole in the middle, and voila! Test the first draft on you toilet at home for size. You could even make it U-shaped since most little kids only sit on the very front part of the seat.  You can hold it onto the potty with tape or a sticker if you want.

On-the-go dish soap wipes- We got a box of these awesome “pre-soaped” disposable dish rags that were wonderful for cleaning bottles, pacifiers, sippy cups  and the like in airports and such. You can easily make something similar by adding squirts of dish soap to  sturdy paper towels and sealing them in a plastic bag.

Disposable baby spoons- There are a number of “toss or save” sorts of utensils on the American baby product market, but in my opinion they are way too nice (a.k.a expensive) to toss.  Sometimes you can find disposable sugar spoons for coffee that are way cheaper and about the same size if you are looking for disposable.

Stand-in pacifier clip- If your child loses theirs and you are desperate, why not attach a piece of sturdy ribbon  to a diaper pin and tie it to the binky? Two safety points: 1)make sure it is shorter than the distance around your baby’s neck. 2) only use a real diaper pin that has a locking feature. If you are crafty you could probably devise a cuter clip than most on the market by exploring “classier” clip options and stylish ribbon designs.

Recycled formula dispenser- My son was a bottle baby for the second half of his infanthood and I quickly learned that traveling with all of that bottle gear is a pain! I loved our Avent formula dispenser cup with the nice little spout that was small enough to pour into a bottle without making a mess.  Much easier than a ziplock bag! You could achieve this same thing by recycling a small-ish pill container, depending on the size of the mouth of the bottles you use and the size of the pill container.

Take n’ Toss changing pads– Again, waxed paper is your friend.

Home-made disposable leak-proof  odor-free diapers- Just kidding!

Do you have any money-saving mom-saving items that you toss in your bag for travel? Any ideas of things we can make for ourselves to save on time, stress, and money?

Suitcase Treasures



It’s 2 weeks until you board your plane back to your home on the field, and there is lots of shopping to be done! This is the time when we evaluate the space in our luggage and start filling in any little gap with what I am calling  “suitcase treasures.” You know what I am talking about; all of the fun, seemingly non-essential items that you will pull out to remind you of family, friends, and familiarity.

For me, these are generally items that revolve around coffee, tea, and my kitchen. I love Starbucks whole bean coffee, Numi’s Dry Dessert Lime tea, special baking ingredients, fun table linens, and other easy things that I can use for the sake of having friends over and enjoying good conversation. These things not only remind me of the loved ones that I enjoyed such conversations with at “home,” but they are fun things that I can share with friends as I invest in relationships on the field as well.

Then there are just plain comfort items. For me these are things like ranch dressing mix, Reese’s Pieces, Real Simple magazine, postcards and calendars of the Northwest, pretty journals, etc. All of these things evoke feelings of familiarity which can be so wonderful on the days where I am all together too aware of the fact that I am a foreigner in a foreign land.

Being that I am “home” on furlough, I have been thinking about the need to not be overly dependent on things from the U.S., but at the same time have become perhaps even more conscious of the value of having these comfort items that will remind me of my history and where I came from. I am thankful for the people, places, culture, and experiences that have shaped me into who I am, and it is amazing how a few little items from the grocery store pulled out and reminisced over can cause us to reflect on and deeply value these things in our lives.

I wanted to know what things you have brought with you to the field that you would consider your “suitcase treasures?” Are there any specific reasons or stories behind these things that make them special to you?


Real Simple



Must Reads

Hello! Like I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, with limited computer time these days I am saving my “big posts” for Mondays but am adding quick posts here and there as I get a chance. Today’s post is extra quick, but I wanted to recommend two blog posts that really touched my heart this week.  Please read them if you have a few moments of quiet sometime.

Mothering and Ministry– By “The Stay-at-Home-Missionary”

Flower seeds, my son, and a note– By Joanne at “5 Minutes for Faith’

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