Monday, November 25, 2013

A Stress-Free Thanksgiving!

Stress Free & Holidays- Do the two mix??

Well maybe not entirely, but you can do your best! I mean let's be honest whenever there's family involved it is usually stressful on some level. Ha!

I like to be as stress free as possible! It's in my nature. I don't like to stress- it's no fun! I like to be one step ahead if I can. Now this doesn't mean I always accomplish being ahead or being stress free but that is always my initial goal.

What is stress?

Stress is result of a lack of trust in God, it's a sin. I never really thought about it that way until I sat down and pondered it a moment. Talk about convicting! Even in the little things, God wants you to trust Him!

Stress creeps in when we have fallen behind in our daily tasks or if we haven't communicated properly with our spouse, etc. For James and I it used to be on Sundays that we would fight stress. Why is that? Who would want us stressed out on Sundays so our minds aren't on Christ and Christ can't be honored and glorified-Satan. So be mindful of this truth when you are about to stress out and go loco on your family. Stop and pray! God cares about you more than you know!

With that in mind here are some simple and practical tips to help your Holidays have a little less stress!

#1. Make lists! If your life is insanely busy, write down a schedule and prioritize what you can get done before Thanksgiving. Grocery List, To-Do List, etc. You'll feel better once it's all written down. Delegate what you can. And don't be too prideful to ask for help! Sure you can do it all alone but if you don't have to--don't! ( It's a little bold of me to say that but I used to be that prideful person who tried to do it all myself. I didn't want to bother anyone but I found life is so much more happier when asking for help! ) 

#2.  If you haven't gone grocery shopping--get out there! The sooner the better! The stores will just be insane by Wednesday. I know, I know, you just haven't had time. Well it's time to make time!

#3. Cook ahead! I have a friend who cooks her turkey the day before and has it all cut and ready to eat. She keeps it in broth so it doesn't dry out and warming in the crockpot. Genius Idea! I made the -from scratch- green bean casserole and the sweet potato casserole a few days ahead and put them in the freezer. Pull them out and put them in the fridge about 48 hours ahead of time and pop in the oven the day of! And anything else you can cook ahead of time- do it! 

If you make rolls from scratch- let the dough rise about an hour, then punch the dough and form the rolls. Put them directly in the freezer before letting them rise the second time. When you're ready to bake them, put them into the oven frozen and turn on the oven- don't preheat! The rolls will thaw, rise, and bake to perfection! Time saved! Your welcome! :)    

#4. Clean house- one room at a time. One day at a time. Don't leave all the cleaning to the day before. And it doesn't have to be perfect! No one will inspect your ceiling fan…Well I may but I won't be there, so no worries there!

#5.  Relax, ! It's just food! What doesn't get done, will get done eventually. Don't get too busy to not enjoy your family and friends! (Remember the story of Mary and Martha?!) The dishes will get done later on- so sit enjoy the food and fellowship! And make your Black Friday shopping list and strategy!

And if all else fails and dinner is a complete disaster- there's always Cracker Barrel or Papa Johns!

#6. Last but certainly not least- Give thanks to God! Every good thing is a gift from the Lord. (Remember stress is sin-& stress wrinkles--no one wants those!)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

So Happy Week of Thanksgiving to you! May the Lord bless you this holiday season. Hope I could be of some tiny assistance and your holidays are a little less stressful! 

Stay tuned for some pumpkin coffee cake muffin, pumpkin cookies, and green bean casserole from scratch recipes!

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:20

Saturday, November 23, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Take a Benadryl…

Well that's what I have to do since I'm oddly enough allergic to them. But anyways back to my point...

We all know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." 

Simply, make the best of your situation. When things don't go the way they are planned, be flexible.

For me, it means finding a new "normal".  Starbucks, Aldis, Target, The Limited- these are a few of my favorite stores, and none of these are here in Siberia. So do I sit around and sulk?

No, I can't! So I've been trying to make lemonade.

And even though Siberia sounds desolate and isolated it really isn't that bad. At least not here in the city of Krasnoyarsk. So here's what I've found.


"Travelers Coffee"

All organic delicious coffee! And at the mall there's a Cinnabon where we like to grab Americano's and the ladies there remember us and our order! They smile every time we show up and I just smile back. They know I can't speak Russian so we just spend a few moments smiling. So I have my new "Starbucks" two of them!


Metro is a grocery store that's a lot like Sam's Club and a Super center Target combined. You don't need to put a quarter in the cart to use it but they don't bag your groceries like Aldi's! It's not as awesome as Target but it'll do!

Papa John's:
"Papa John's!"

 They just got Papa John's here in Krasnoyarsk about a year ago! And pizza is best shared with friends! This is my friend Katie!

Welcome to Planeta -The Mall- The Limited:

And my favorite part is the palm trees!! God put palm trees in Siberia for me! They have a lot of stores I recognize like Nike, Lacoste, Lush, and even a Sephora! Well a Russian version but it's still a Sephora! 

See so living in Siberia isn't all that bad! Don't get me wrong, there are times it's difficult and I get really homesick. I teared up when received our first care packages from my mother and father in law. I was excited to see grocery bags from Giant Eagle and a Bath and Body Works bag. ha! But I will talk more on that in my next post about Thanksgiving and how to make home made green bean casserole! You'll never go back to the canned kind. 

So life is what you make of it! And God cares about the little desires of your heart, like palm trees and coffee! (I'm sure there will be coffee in heaven. And we will sit around and listen to Jesus talk!) Make sure to keep your eyes on Christ and everything will fall into place. Trust God completely, He knows what He is doing. Remember? His ways are higher than our ways! 

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man

 that trusteth in him.  Psalm 34:8

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The verses God put in the Bible just for me!

So I am very excited about this post!

I have been praying for the past month that God would give me a verse or two.
Not just any verses but verses that I could claim for my own. Verses that would remind me when the days are tough and seem fruitless, why we are here and lift my spirits.

Now that's some high expectations for some verses (well from me but not for God)!

So how does a person find specific verses like that? Is there a book we can go to to magically find a life verse or special verse?

The answer is simple…

Read the Bible. And pray.

There is no "magical" way of locating verses like that but through prayerful study of God's Word. Sooo you gotta read and stick with it. It will amaze you how much more you get from reading the Bible when you intentionally pay attention. Well it amazed me. :) 

I have been searching in God's Word for these verses. Searching for a hidden treasure. I knew God would give me the verses eventually.

The other day, I opened up my Bible and it opened to Isaiah 57. I flipped back a few chapters and decided to start reading in chapter 55. I wasn't reading in Isaiah in my devotions but I thought, why not take a little read. Not knowing that I was about to find my verses!

The Lord gave me Isaiah 55:8-9 when He called us to go to Russia for the first time. My heart was scared and I didn't understand why God would move us to a new ministry so soon (and so far away!).

The Bible says clearly in those two verses that God's thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. And as the heavens are higher than the earth so are His ways and thoughts are higher than our own. It doesn't get any more clearer than that! And as children of God, we are to simply trust God and live by faith. That means not knowing where are next step will be, but trusting the One who does know.

So I read a little further and in my Bible I have verses 8-13 underlined except verse 10. But today it popped out to me.

Isaiah 57:10
"For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:

(11) So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

Are those not perfect verses?! 

It got me thinking

The truth in these verses are so simple but yet so powerful. 

When it snows (or rains)- the water doesn't go back into the clouds- it stays on the ground. Pretty basic truth. But something I really never thought about. And God compares the snow/rain to His Word, the Gospel. 

When God sends the Gospel message to a place, (insert your place of residency--Hawaii-Florida (can you tell I'm daydreaming of tropical places?!)-Africa-Hungary-Brazil-Cleveland-Texas, Siberia .etc you get the idea) His Word will not and can not return void. The Bible says clearly in verse 11 it will accomplish that which pleases God, it will prosper where God sends it. And God has sent me and my family to bring the Gospel to Siberia, Russia. Simply, He has a purpose for us being here and that is to spread the Gospel of Christ. And God will do the rest of the work! 

 Just like the rain and snow bring water to the ground to help the earth and plants to grow (seed to the sower and bread to the eater) so will God's Word be everywhere it is planted and sent. So may I encourage all of you who are around this world planting the Gospel- God is always at work. His Word can not return void. You don't have to be a missionary or pastor or pastor's wife to do the work of the Lord. God may have not called you to be in ministry but that doesn't  mean your position or place in life is any less important. Your responsibility to share the Gospel is very important. You may know people at work that only you can come in contact with that your pastor may never meet. Do they see God in your life? 

Let's get busy about the Lord's work! And when your efforts seem fruitless, be mindful of these verses. It shall prosper whereto I sent it. 

God is good! I'm so thankful He gave me these verses! How about you? Are there verses that you are searching for to claim as your own? I would love to hear about your life verse or a verse that has spoken to you in recent days. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beautiful Nail-Just One

Our First Youth Activity: Girls Night!

What girl doesn't like to have their nails painted and be treated like royalty?

Okay, maybe you're the exception…but all you other normal girls are with me, right? You sit down, they cater to you make you feel so special and that it's all about you…I love getting manicures and pedicures. Pedicures are my favorite because you get to sit in the massage chair, and soak your feet, they massage them for a minute, and lotion…ahhh I'm feeling relaxed just thinking about it.

I have a confession…

I used to be a really bad steward of my money…

When I was a teenager about 14 years old, I would regularly get my nails done. The acrylic french tip kind. A total waste of money now as I look back on it. But I enjoyed it! I could be wearing my pajamas and still feel dressed up because I had my nails all fancy! Ha! That's what happens when a teenager starts working at the age of 14 and doesn't know what else to spend her money on. In my defense I always had a savings account. But I do like shopping. :D

So here's a YouTube video that is one of my favorites. If you've never had your nails done at a salon, you don't know what you're missing out on! And if you have- you can totally relate to this video!

Comedian Angelina Johnson- Nail Salon

**You truly aren't allowed to finish reading this post without clicking on the link above. Four minutes you won't regret. Promise!**

Okay now that we've had our laugh for the day, I'll get back to our youth activity!

Meet the ladies! (There are six teen girls that I've met that come to church. Four out of the six were able to come! Praise the Lord!  
Dasha & Marina 

Alina, Yana, & Dasha

So I gave them the spa treatment while they taught me some Russian words!

Spa Treatment:
They first soaked their nails, then I put cuticle removal on them and removed and pushed back their cuticles. Soaked again. Then I cut and filed their nails, then painted them!

They were a fun bunch! They wanted me to surprise them with their nail colors and designs, so they covered their eyes with their scarves and didn't look until I was all done.

I only got to 3 of the 4 girls that were there-I'll do hers Sunday after church. :)

When they arrived I had oatmeal raisin coconut cookies awaiting them with tea.  I accidentally brought out the powdered milk instead of the sugar. They had all poured the milk into their drinks and took a sip and then looked at me with a weird face and asked if it was sugar. 

I said "Da!" and smiled really big! 
(Yes in Russian- my favorite word haha.) 

And then I realized my mistake! Oops!! ( Which is the same in Russian and English!) And we all laughed. It was fun trying to have conversations back and forth. When we would get stumped we would type it on my phone into Google Translate and then be able to understand each other. It was such a great time! I'm so thankful they took time to come. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them! I have a feeling we will become really close with the people here in the village over the next 5 months. I pray the Lord can use us to see new souls come to know Christ and those who are saved that they would grow and be discipled in the Word. 

We are starting a Youth Bible Study Night on Tuesday next week. Please pray with us that we will see many of the teens come and God will work in lives! We had some teens show up this last Tuesday thinking we had church- so that was very encouraging! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sink or Swim

What a difference a week can make!

Last Sunday, as most of you know I was having a hard time adjusting to my new surroundings. But as always, the Lord has been faithful. It has been such a great week!

We have been super busy since we have arrived here in Russia. There's a lot of work involved as far as paperwork is concerned. And that means driving from this place to that place back to this place, and so on. Our friends, David and DeeDee Sterling, were wonderful at helping us get to all the places we needed to go the first couple of weeks. Then they left us :( and went back to the States on a needed furlough. Insert us- taking care of their home and church while they're gone.

Currently, we are working on applying for our permanent residency visas. I'll spare you all the boring details, but there's a lot involved. So with everything going on, we have yet to find a tutor for me. We have a couple of options but nothing has opened up. And I am so antsy to start learning.

Well they say the best way to learn a language is to sink or swim. A person must immerse themselves in the culture and language to learn. So I decided to jump in the deep end and hope I could at least doggy paddle!

All bundled up and ready to go for a visit! 
I decided to start with our neighbor, Babavara (Grandma Barbara in English.) 
Me & Grandma Babavara

She gave Jacob a couple outfits for his birthday, so of course the nice thing to do would be to dress him up in the clothes and take him to see her. So that's what I did!
The first time I went to visit her with DeeDee and her daughter, Rebekah, she initiated me into Russia. I had to try this...

What is this? Cold, gelled fat. There's a name for it, but basically it's animal fat from a chicken- put in the fridge to gel up and get cold and then they eat it like a cold soup. YUCK!! So after trying this, I felt like I officially became a missionary. If that's the worst thing I have to eat then I'm not doing so bad! 

So our visit went well. She kept talking in Russian and I would try to understand her and vice versa. I really had no clue as to what she was talking about the whole time. I picked up the word "machina" which is car and a few other basic words. I did a lot of pointing and sounds. Good thing I know sign language! In 20 minutes time, she gave Jacob two pieces of chocolate, one orange candy, and one orange clementine!  I believe it's safe to say, Jacob will be back to visit often! 

Then Sunday rolled around, and I wanted to do more than just sit there. And James asked if I could teach a lesson and he would translate. Perfect! So I did just that. During the preaching, I took the two 5 year old girls to do a craft. 
Then afterwards, he told the three teen girls they could stay a little while longer with me. I was nervous at first, but we had a good time laughing and trying to communicate. Thank you Google Translate!  I would type a message on my phone and have it translated and then I would try to say it and if I couldn't I would have them read it. It was wonderful to be able to spend some time getting to know these young ladies. 

My heart was so full at the end of the day. And we could only thank the Lord! He is so good to us. We had a total of 13 in service for church that day. And we hope to have our first "Girls Night" youth activity this week and start a midweek service for the teens as well. It was wonderful to serve the Lord in some capacity even though I don't know the language yet. 

So my encouragement to you is this-- Don't let anything hinder you from serving the Lord. Maybe you are shy or don't know too many people yet. The best way to get to know them is to work along side of them! The list of excuses can be endless.

Everyone can do something! What can you do to get involved in your church? I'm sure your Pastor or Pastor's wife would have a few suggestions! I have heard it said that 10% of the people in a church do 90% of the work. Why is that? How much more could we do for Christ if everyone got involved?! 

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me
Philippians 4:13

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 19:26

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes and Home made Syrup!

Russia Fact #1: There are no pancake mixes or cake mixes
Russia Fact #2: Real Maple Syrup is now available here for $16 for a small bottle

Because of facts #1 & #2 I get to make a lot of things from scratch now! Which I don't mind. Most things taste better from scratch. However, I had yet to find a pancake recipe that I liked better than the box mix...until now! 

With all my running and marathon training I discovered a beautiful thing...I got to eat all the carbs I wanted! And my favorite thing after my long distance runs, were pancakes with peanut butter (great for protein right after a run!) and real maple syrup (great for the taste buds). Leave it to me to fall in love with two of the most expensive things here, peanut butter ($18 for a large jar) and real maple syrup ( not the pretend Aunt Jemima stuff but the real stuff!). So I was able to sneak 2 large jars of Jif Peanut Butter into my suitcases. :)

Okay so enough chatter...

Back to the fluffy pancakes.

I googled "fluffy pancakes" and went with the second recipe that popped up. (Where would we be without google?!) And they were so fluffy! (insert the voice from the little girl on Despicable Me as she grabs her fluffy pony.) 

Okay here's what I discovered... If you swap out the milk for flavored creamer you get even fluffier pancakes. So what ever flavor you like- vanilla, pumpkin, caramel macchiato. The choices are endless!! Now here's a disclaimer, I've only used regular creamer and the pumpkin, so experiment at your own risk! There's no flavored creamer here so I just used regular milk. The butter here is soooo rich and flavorful- so that makes up for it!

* I tripled the batch of dry ingredients and put it in a container with the recipe on it. So now I have my own pancake mix all ready for next time! Then just scoop out 1 1/2 C of dry mix and add wet ingredients.*

Fluffiest Pancakes Ever:


1 1/2 C of flour
1 TBSP Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 TBSP Sugar
(If you don't have flavored creamer Add 2 tsp of Pumpkin spice and 1 tsp of cinnamon).
*A dash of cinnamon if you like!

Mix dry ingredients. Then add wet ingredients. 
Turn on Griddle or Frying Pan to let warm up.

1 1/2 C Milk (or  Pumpkin flavored Creamer)
1 Egg
3 TBSP of melted butter
A splash of Vanilla for added flavor :)

Mix the batter but leave little lumps. Let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile start syrup.
 **Batch makes 6 medium size pancakes- perfect for two adults and one super cute baby.**

Home made Pancake Mix! I mixed 3 batches of the dry ingredients.
Measure out 1 1/2 C of dry mix and add wet ingredients. 

Mmmmm don't those look fluffy?!

Maple Extract I sent my friend here in Russia
 from Amish Country! 
The syrup is awesome! 

Today's batch! 

Good thing I brought two of these Jif jars with me! 
A happy home starts with fluffy pancakes!
This plate is the batch doubled. 

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Russia, God Are You Sure?

On deputation, I was given some good advice from a veteran missionary wife. She told me to never forget the calling on my life to Russia. To remember that this is exactly where God wants us, because there will be days that are hard and to not second guess God's calling on our lives.

That piece of advice stuck with me! And I always want to be mindful of the reason we are here. The Lord gave me many verses to confirm His calling on our lives and to burden my heart for the mission field.

You see when James came home from a men's conference, He knew the Lord was calling our family to go back to Russia and the time was now. But I wanted the calling to. And not just the calling but I wanted to be excited to go to Russia just as James was excited.

As some of you know, I wasn't exactly jumping up and down when James came home and unloaded this huge bomb on me. Yes, I knew it was his heart's desire to one day go back to Russia and be a missionary; but I thought it would happen years down the line or that maybe he would forget. :) After about a week of battling with the Lord on it, I surrendered to His calling on our lives. I knew in my heart just as I was saved, that Russia was where God wanted us. And even though I was scared of the unknown, I would simply live by faith and trust my heavenly Father. (Thus the name of this blog!)

And let me tell you, there is nothing greater than following the Lord. God has blessed our lives beyond our imagination. For starters, He blessed us with the cutest boy on earth, our son, Jacob! And He has always provided for us. It has amazed me to watch God go above and beyond our needs. God's dreams have become my dreams. And I wouldn't trade my life for anything this world has to offer. Sure there are sacrifices that have to be made but it's just a small price I gladly pay for the One who died for me!

These are some of the verses the Lord has given me to burden my heart for Russia.

I Timothy 1:12 
"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus." 

1. I'm still in awe that the Lord would use some one like me. I count it a great privilege that God would use me as a missionary. I feel inadequate and unworthy but I know all God wants from me is a willing heart and spirit. I truly am so blessed to have such a special calling on my life. 

Romans 10:13-15a  
"For whosoever shall call  upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?..."

2. The Bible is very clear that anyone can accept Christ as their Savior. It is our prayer and hope to spread the Gospel of Christ everywhere we go not just in Russia. God has specifically called us to Russia to reach those who have never heard the gospel. 

There are many towns and villages in the Far East (and all over Russia) who have never heard the Gospel of Christ. They have never held a Bible in their hands. How can they know for sure that heaven is their home, if we don't tell them? How can the know the God of peace, of joy, of comfort, of healing, of heaven- if we don't go? The answer is simple, they can't. They live in darkness waiting for someone to bring the Light.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4
"But if the gospel be hid it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 

3. If the gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. We heard a pastor once say that his church supports too many foreign missionaries. He would rather support local American church planters than take on another foreign missionary. It broke my heart that this man thought that world evangelism wasn't important. Do we need more churches in America, of course! But why should someone have the  opportunity to hear the gospel twice before a person gets the chance to hear it just once. We must spread the Light of Christ to every nation.

Matthew 9:35-38
"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw he multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." 

4. There is a huge need all across this world for the Gospel of Christ. To fulfill the Great Commission is three fold- Going to all nations and Teaching them the gospelBaptizing them; and Discipling them (Matthew 28:19,20). If we could just get a glimpse through they eyes of Christ of what he saw that day, to have an ounce of the compassion he had for those people- oh how I think it would change our lives forever. How sad it is that there are so many people who have rejected Christ and many who have never heard. 
John 4:35 
"Say ye not, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest."

5. The Bible says the fields are white already to harvest. When the fields are white unto harvest, they have passed the time that they should be harvested and the plants will soon die. This world is a mission field, that is white already to harvest. Our life is but a vapor that is here for a little time and then vanisheth away (James 4:14). We must not wait to tell others about the gospel or hope someone else will do it. Our time is short. The time is now. 

God has used these verses to give me a burden to reach Russia and this world. I pray that the Lord will help me to have that same compassion and love he had on the multitudes with the Russian people.  
I want to love them like Christ loves them. I want to see Russia through the eyes of Christ. 

I am so thankful for God calling us to Russia. There is such a need to spread the gospel here and around this world.

So yes, I am 100% sure that Russia is where God wants me! Yes, it is out of my comfort zone and away from my family, but there is no greater place to be than in the center of God's will.

How about you? Do you see people as Christ sees people? May we all be mindful to share the good news of Christ! Praise Him publicly so others may be drawn to the Light that shines within you. 

Russia- My Journey Thus Far

Moving half way across the world to a country you have only visited once for a short period of time can be a little scary.

However, the Lord truly gave me an excitement to move to Russia. I can't explain it, but knowing that this is exactly where God wants us was the most comforting thought.

The first few days everything was so exciting and new. It was fun!

But then reality settled in.

I started to feel so overwhelmed by everything...

Allow me to explain.

Here are some things I don't take for granted anymore.

Talking to family. Saturday, I wanted to call my sister and family, but couldn't because it was the middle of the night. It was hard to not be able to call them when I wanted to.

Running is one of my favorite things. It's relaxing to get out and go for a run. And I can't just lace up my shoes and go outside to run. I have to put on ten layers of clothes because it's cold. I have to dodge mud (which hasn't been too successful.)  I can't feel my face or hands at times. It's just rough! And this is just the beginning of winter here... 

Then of course there's the language barrier. I can't just run to the store and buy groceries.

I can't drive to the nearest Starbucks and get my favorite iced tall americano with one pump of classic and extra caramel drizzle. (Which by the way is in Moscow 5,000 miles away. Someone told me the distance from LA, California to NYC is closer than Moscow to Krasnoyarsk.) My Starbucks app can locate the nearest Starbucks but when I try pulling it up is says location unknown. Go figure!

And just when I've hit the bottom, Pandora and Netflix don't work in Russia.

Insert sad face. :( 

All of this piled over the last 10 days and just hit me on Sunday.

I couldn't talk with the sweet girls who were playing with my hair and kissing my arm. I couldn't join in the conversation with the adults, so I went in the next room to try and be alone and feel sorry for myself for just a minute and pray. 

Then walked in this sweet little bubbly 3 year old blonde girl, Angelina. She came in and sat down right next to me and started talking. Of course, I couldn't understand her and just smiled. She probably wondered why I wasn't talking back to her. She was the only kid there at the time ( the others were coming later) so she was probably bored sitting at the adult table too. After not being able to find any toys for her to play with, I found the balloons that I had used for Jacob's party. So I blew up a balloon and we played! We laughed and played and her spirits along with mine were lifted!

Insert happy face. :)  

The next hour was the teen and children's church service and she sat down right next to me and wrapped her arm around mine and another little girl, Veka, did the same on my other arm. Angelina told me not to worry that she would teach me Russian. It was like the Lord telling me, that everything was going to be okay and He was going to take care of me. I read in Matthew 6 this morning about "taking no thought of your life but seek ye first the kingdom of God." In other words, Don't worry, God will take care of you! And I sure needed that reminder. 

Matthew 6:33,34
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these thing shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

What a blessing it was that the Lord used Angelina to lift my spirits right when I needed it. And then to again encourage me in my Bible reading this morning. It is so important that I am daily in the Word. I can't do this alone nor am I suppose to! I'm so thankful the Lord has called us here and that He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. 

I truly appreciate the prayers as we adjust to our new home here in Russia! I know it's Satan that wants to discourage me and get my focus off of God and the reason we are here! Please pray that we can find a tutor for me so I can learn the language! 

          Isaiah 26:3,4
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust though in the LORD forever; for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Stay tuned for more post about life here in Russia! This is just the beginning!  

My two little friends! Angelina is on the left and Veka on the right.  These girls just love on me and it melts my heart! They are so sweet!