Monday, April 21, 2014

I Don't Want to Go Back to Russia Part 2

Hello my friends!

It's been a month now since my last post---Can you say slacker?!

My last post got a lot of attention and I didn't want to leave you with the thought that I'm still struggling with being in Russia. I hope that's not the impression I left, but that's what I think when I read the title!

So it has been two weeks since we landed on Russian soil. Allow me to share what the Lord has been doing in that short amount of time.

Let's go back to the beginning of April...

The day before we left for Russia, James was sick with a stomach bug so it was up to me to tie up all the loose ends. I put on my Super Woman cape, the giant metal arm bracelets and of course the crown and charged the day!
Every mom and wife has one of these outfits that they mentally put on in the tough days! (Okay so she didn't have a cape but she sure needed one! Sheesh Wonder Woman put some clothes on! Maybe I won't admit I loved watching the show growing up... :) )

Okay so back to reality, I put on my cape, and tackled the to-do list while taking care of both James and Jacob. Poor guys! I managed to squeeze in lunch with my sister in laws, Hannah and Sharon,  and chocolate fondue in the evening with my sweet friend, Christina, and a late night Kreepy K-Mart run for another duffel bag with my other sweet friends Kristina and Kaitlyn, which turned out to be really fun even if I did "bump" their mail box...oops. It was such  great last day! I even found some great deals on little girl clothes last minute, good thing we got the extra duffel bag. :D The Lord knew I would find those great deals and need the extra bag. See? God always knows!

I was so thankful the Lord had blessed me with such a great day. A day that had great potential to be really exhausting and stressful ended up to be great. The power of prayer! And to be honest, I was ready to go back to Russia both in my flesh and spirit. I was sad to leave America and my church family, but I knew in my heart that Russia is exactly where we needed to be. I can say it was the Lord that did the work in my heart and I'm so thankful I let Him.

The trip over was great, exhausting but great! Jacob slept for 8 hours on the 10 hour flight and then slept some more on the other flights. So we were able to squeeze in some sleep as well--at least I did.

Sleeping baby= happy parents!

When we landed in Krasnoyarsk, we hadn't yet found a place to stay. We were hoping to move into our apartment sometime later that week and the other missionaries were doing their best to help us. We were actually able to get the keys to our apartment the same day we arrived! And my awesome husband with his jet lag and lack of sleep ran around town all day and moved our furniture from the village to our new place in the city. What a guy!! We were able to spend our first night in our new home. I can't even explain to you how nice that was! We haven't had our own home in over 2 1/2 years! It was such  weird feeling to unpack and not have to think about packing it all up in a few days or weeks or months! I wanted to cry tears of joy, but the most I could manage was watery eyes and a thankful heart!  I will share photos on my next post. We are getting some furniture delivered this week and after it's all assembled I will take photos!

I'm so thankful I didn't give into my desires in exchange for God's desires and plan for my life. Not that I really had an option but my life could be miserable right now if I inwardly held onto what I wanted. Little by little the Lord showed me my weaknesses. He helped me to overcome them through hiding God's Word in my heart and daily leaning on Him. And one by one I began to let go and trust God. Do I understand how God can use this Floridian girl in the middle of Siberia to make a difference? Nope! But that's what trusting God is all about and living by faith. We don't have to understand but we do have to trust Him. What I thought was a sacrifice (leaving the States) is really nothing compared to what Christ gave up for me when He humbled Himself and came to this earth to save me.

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. 
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Philippians 3:7,8,10

One of my favorite things is running. And moving to the city I thought it would be even harder to find a safe running route. Well I found a 7 mile route I could do, but it wasn't as enjoyable as an open road (hopping on and off sidewalks, crossing the streets, dodging pedestrians, cars and dogs, etc). 
But then...
I discovered the island that is only 2 miles from our home. (Yes I know an island in Siberia! There's a huge river that divides the city.) It has running paths and trails. The whole island (well half of it) is designed for runners/walkers/cyclists/roller bladders, etc. It's all for recreation. I love it! And the sunrise is amazing across the water. The one thing I was most disappointed about turned out to be better than where I was running in the States. And God did that just for me. I know something like running may seem silly to some of you, but it's the one thing I enjoy doing for my health and for me. I decided before we left I wasn't going to worry about it. And I believe God blessed that. He gave me my very own island! I was so happy to see other runners too! I'm not alone! 

God desires to bless you and your life as well. What is it that you are holding onto? May I encourage you to just "let it go" (insert song from Frozen-okay sorry not spiritual but I know some of you were singing it!) and let God take care of it. You may not understand how God will take care of it but may my life be a testimony of how He always takes care of all things, even silly things like running. Holding on to problems and your own desires only makes you happy for a moment and then miserable the rest of the time. Trust the One who loves you more than you can imagine. I tell Jacob every night when I put him in bed, "Mommy loves you so bad and Daddy loves you so much, and Jesus loves you even more!" It's hard for me to comprehend God loving me more than my parents or my son more than I, but I believe He does. And what a comforting thought that is. Trust God who loves you "so bad" (my nephews and nieces say this all the time so we stole the phrase from them!). 

Have a great week! Until next time! 

"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:11,19

My running island! 
Isn't it beautiful?!