Monday, January 28, 2013

Jonny-boy; who's growing up so fast

Friends, I'm going to introduce you to the little getting big Jonny-boy. He's smart and handsome and the baby. Though he will argue on that (being the baby...). This kid loves people around him, and genuinely cares. He randomly comes up to one of us and will ask if we need help. Naturally I think it's cute and all, but I try not to forget to thank him much for being considerate; he's learning a good trait of a man. And then I go tell all my friends about my awesome little brother. 

This kid loves to create, whether it be a cardboard house for the cat or a picture painted with egg yolk paint. Everyday I see him long to strive for good, and he really loves God. His dimples show big when he smiles, and his sisters just love to tease him about it; but deep down we all really like them. And his laughter is the best medicine for any of us. 

If someone is having a rough day, Jonny-boy is just so thoughtful. He'll be quiet, and play by himself; but every time I see this it makes me want to go run and laugh and be a little kid with him outside. But even if that's what he wants, he listens to Mommy when she says it's time to read a book. And he does love to read too. 

Now, granted, there's some rough edges in him. He doesn't always obey, carrying in the daily amount of firewood and putting dishes away are probably his dreaded jobs...and he'll let us know, but deep down this kid is such a great little brother. I'd never ask for any other. 

xo, Sveta

Friday, January 25, 2013

frozen


Photography is like a moment frozen in time. [no pun intended]

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Thankful For...

January 16th - Getting to see my first birth (a homebirth!). This was an amazing experience, and I want to go to more. I don't think I could be a midwife, just because if that's what you do you have to available all the time...and I'm one who likes to travel and busy all the time. Also, I'm thankful that Jackie (the mom) had a [mostly] easy labor, and that her little girl [Juliette Elizabeth] arrived safe and healthy. And screaming her head off! haha.
Isn't she a beaut?
January 17th - Thankful for safely arriving in MI (Youth retreat trip), and I'm also thankful for the funeral I attended on the way up...I learned a very good lesson through the sermon.

January 18th - Thankful for the Lemmon Family (our pastor's family) and them treating me just like one of the family.

January 20th - Thankful for Fr. Gene and Mrs. G and all the work they put into these retreats each year. 

January 21st - Thankful for meeting a young lady at the retreat...we'd met before, actually, but this time we sat at lunch together one day and were able to have an encouraging little chat. 

January 22nd - Soosooo thankful for a safe ride home from MI. In the middle of Ohio, we came to stand-still traffic for as far as we could see. We soon learned that we missed, by 5 minutes or less, a 50 car pile-up. Wow. Praise God for protecting us! 

January 23rd - Today I'm thankful for this song: 



Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer,
With His blood He purchased me,
On the cross He sealed my pardon,
Paid the debt, and made me free. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"Just follow Me"


The anticipation is huge in our home. When do we get passports, Daddy? Mom, did Dad mention anything new yet? Are we really going? What will I do there?" "Did you get the tickets, yet?!? Come on, can't we tell anyone? So many questions, and so many of the same answers: "All in good time. God will provide. We'll see what happens. I'm not sure yet what you'll be doing." And then finally, the week of Christmas: Yes, you can tell people now. Then on January 1st, we bought the tickets. 
My family, and one of my best friends (Kat), is going to Africa.
Yes, you read that right. We are going to Africa. I am going to Africa. It all seemed like such a hazy thing; far off in the future. But we have our passports, we bought our tickets. We have suitcases, we are making plans. We are praying and trusting God. 

Yesterday morning as I laid in bed, I thought about how different life would be in six months. I got up and prayed, then started school, but I could think of anything but Tanzania. I wondered how the ladies dressed, what the scenery was like, how the singing sounds, and what kind of dancing they do. So I gave up on the school and went to Google, and Pinterest. I searched these things, plus I read my Dad's accounts of his past trips. I soaked it all up like a dry sponge soaks up water. I learned how to tie an African head wrap and had fun 'ooooing' and 'awwing' over the simple beauty of the land and people. In my head it played over and over I'm going to Africa. I never wanted to go there. Why is God sending me? Well, it's my family, but I'm part of it. But I'm so excited to be apart of this also. I have many questions, but in the end I simply have to trust my Savior and Maker. After all, He has the pen to write my life story and I am just the main character of the story living the life that that pen writes. It doesn't make me any more special than my sister who is called to be in college and serve God there. It doesn't make me any more special than you. We are all God's children, but we are all different and have different stories.

Something God has been telling me, over and over, is live in the now. Serve God where I am, with the resources I have, and love the people here. I want to encourage you to do the same. I may be going to Africa, but that does not make me a better missionary for Christ. I was  looking at opportunities for missionary nannies, and on the website they also had American missionaries who needed help. It made me realize that we too need missionaries just as much as a remote jungle in South America does. There are people all around us who need the love of Christ, and you can be that love. When we let Jesus in, His love and forgiveness comes too and it is only with that love and forgiveness that we can love others. I guess what I'm trying to get at is, God placed you where you are for a reason. Maybe you are only supposed to live a life of Godly example and work an ordinary life in an ordinary place. Or maybe you are to go to a more remote/exotic place and serve as a more outward missionary. But whatever the place is, just serve God with your whole being. I remember a question I asked God a few months ago that basically went like this: Jesus, what is it YOU want me to do in my life? Where do you want me to be? How do you want me to serve? I just want some answers, God! Please show me... Just moments later the answer came, clear as a cloudless sky, Just follow Me. And it's true, it's as simple as that. Just follow Christ and that is all that matters, the rest will come as it comes. 

Serve God. Live today. Love people. Be a Jesus follower. 

Click on the picture to go to my Dad's website with more info on the mission.