liz n david

I recently wrote about talking to friends from the orphanage and hearing about losses and changes in the staff. However, the circle of life continues.

I may have mentioned before how having a small child has given me something new in common with many friends, including Russian women I’ve been friends with since our teen years at summer camp outside of St. Petersburg. Some of these girls were like my little sisters, but now an 8-9 year age difference doesn’t mean so much when we have motherhood in common.

Even as a Christian who grew up in a stable home, motherhood constantly keeps me humbled and can feel like a blank slate when it comes to ministry experience! However, I pray that Christ’s love which is rooted in me would indeed give me something to share with these fellow mothers, who in most cases grew up lacking at least one parent.

One expectant friend is a counselor at an orphanage I had visited for years. She is actually older than me, but expecting her first child, and not a believer. As she prepares for a planned C-section next week, we have been in touch and encouraging one another.

Our church is also ministering to mothers in need, as some single mothers with small children have recently joined our congregation.

Logistically, having small children means that there is less face-time, either due to lack of transportation, nap schedules, or those sniffles that kids always seem to catch. I cling as much as I can to whatever communication works, which is often via social networking. An encouraging word can mean a lot, even if it is in writing with informal online lingo! It doesn’t help to sit around waiting for the moment when you have “more free time.” I’ve found that it’s better to grab hold of whatever you can do today, in those 5 minutes, with the last bit of strength.

Soon it will be my turn again, as we are expecting a baby girl in July. For about 3 months (pretty much the whole winter) I barely left the house because of health reasons. Now it is spring and I am seeking to glean as much as I can from this season while I have some energy. My husband Andrei (pictured below, center, at a teaching assignment in Omsk) and I are pouring as much as we can into our family life, our own health, our church ministry, and other commitments, before we head off to the U.S. this summer to face another big transition to parenting 2 children. Even now it seems like we are constantly fighting the flu or a cold, but we still have a sense of God’s purpose for this time.

And of course, we are in the season of Lent in this part of the world. With a late (and therefore warmer) Orthodox Easter this year, the evidence of new life in God’s creation all around us bears witness to the New Life in which we hope.