Dec 17, 2014

HOSTAGE SITUATION

Before I moved to Ukraine, I had to attend a month-long missionary training.  Half was about language acquisition and the other half about life acquisition.  How do you adapt, how do you survive, how do you thrive in this new culture, this new life you now have?  During this training we were put through a hostage simulation.  Let's be honest, I was skeptical about it feeling real and not cheesey.  Oh man, was I wrong!  It quickly became real and scary as my group was thrust into a harsh, scary, life-threatening hostage situation.  The cardboard box we were shoved in turned into a metal bunker in the middle of nowhere.  The darkness was overwhelming; almost squelching our spirit.  The voices in the background were no longer our trainers and teachers but dangerous enemies who threatened our lives.  When the "terrorists" demanded sacrifices, people I barely knew became those who I loved and couldn't bear to see "die."  We had to choose people to sacrifice, who then had to choose their freedom, their life or their God.  It was intense...so very real.  Much more real than I ever thought possible.

I'm not a foreign missionary anymore.  I'm not in the field fighting for the lives of the Ukrainians no matter the odds.  I'm just a "normal" person now.  Working a "normal" job.  There are no terrorists around demanding a sacrifice, demanding I give up my friends, my life, my God.  For some reason I was thinking about this today.  Sometimes, even though I'm in the "normal" world, I am put right in the middle of a hostage situation.  I fight an enemy who is asking me to give up, to sacrifice my attitude or morals, or just my mood or work ethic.  Every day I fight.  Every day we are in a hostage situation; some days are more hostile than others.  We may not realize it, but we are there and we do fight. 

Some days I give in to the enemy.  Instead of choosing Joy, choosing Light, choosing Excellence, I choose a bad mood, easily angered.  I choose making fun of the person who may be a little different, griping about the person who may be a little difficult.  I choose slacking off, waiting until the last minute to actually do my job.  I choose the enemy instead of the God who chose me, and chooses me every day.  God chose me to go to Ukraine; He chose me to move back to Arkansas; He chose me to move to Colorado; He chose me to work in Financial Aid when I wanted to do anything but; He chose my life instead of the life of His son.  The least I can do is chose him.  In my every day hostage situations, my every day that the enemy tries to get me to choose him.  I fight to choose to be a light in the darkness of the "normal" every day life.  

SHAMELESS

I had a student come in my office today (btw, I work in financial aid again...sigh) not only to ask about her aid for the Spring semester but also to try and sell me her book.

Really?

Really.

I was shocked.  At first I thought she just wanted to share some fun news about an accomplishment, but then the sales pitch came.  "Are you interested in my book?  It's only $20!  Such a good deal!"

1)  That's not a good deal.
B)  I can't believe you're trying to sell me something...in the financial aid office...of a college.
3)  No, I'm not interested.

Congrats, though, on the accomplish.

Wow.

Dec 15, 2014

ADORATION


I can't believe I live here.


P.S.  I'm helping do some social media/graphic design with a church in Boulder.  This is one of the posts you'll see coming.  This is the view off HWY 287 in Berthoud, CO facing West.  Gorgeous.

Dec 6, 2014

BEN & DEE'S DAY O' FUN!

Christmas tree shopping and Hobby Lobby.  What a great time with my little man!





Dec 3, 2014

SPEAK UKRAINIAN WITH US!

Do you ever have those days, or just those moments, when you so very much miss the life you used to live?  The "you" you used to be?  That time when?  


Today I really missed Ukraine.  Living there, the people, the language, the food.  I don't so much miss the "me" I was while I was there.  If you know my story,  you'd know I got pretty messed up, but

there was an aspect of my life there that I desperately miss.  I know I've written about this before, so humor me here.  These things come in waves for me.  Today could be a result of a weird dream I had last night about a friend of mine and his moving to Ukraine.  I digress.

I miss walking to the market to buy fresh produce.  I miss going to Puzata Hata to eat varenyky, not-so-fresh cabbage salad, and skillet potatoes.  I miss the exhilaration and the utter privilege of the realization that I, Brittney Boatman, lived in Europe.  I miss walking around the souvenir market and buying cheap jewelry and art.  I miss how delicious McDonalds tasted.  I miss going to a cafe, ordering a fine cappuccino and tasty pastry and just sitting...because that's what you do.  I miss every other day being a holiday.  I miss Beer Mix and Desperado.  I even, for some reason, miss struggling through the no-electricity or no-water days. 
  


MOST of ALL I miss going to Christ Fellowship Church and seeing true, passionate worship.  I miss knowing the "American" worship songs in Ukrainian or Russian.  I miss serving because you want to, because it's part of life, because "why wouldn't you"...not just because you should, are supposed, or are trying to meet a quota.  I miss my friend Tanya and Yulia who just want to hang out and be with me even if that means we do nothing.  I miss being a part of something so small yet so big, so authentic, so powerful that I didn't even realize how big, authentic, and powerful it was until I left.  


I don't miss the programs or the events or the plans.  I miss just living life and seeing what happens.  I miss that kind of ministry...the kind that is real and impactful and changes lives forever.  Mine has been changed because of Tanya, Yulia, Igor, Elina, Sophia, Solomia, Dima, Max, Artyom, Nadia, Yulya, Mariana, Syava...and so many more.  It's  not because we did English camp together, which we did, or because we did youth group together, which we also did.  It's because we lived life together; we laughed, we cried, we ate, we talked, we listened, we were.  

I miss Ukraine today.  









  

Nov 28, 2014

MY LOVES

Seriously, who wouldn't love these two?!  ....and want to constantly squeeze and smooch them.....

Olivia loves her big brother (yep, that's Ben! He's so big!) so much.  Seriously, he can do no wrong in her eyes.  It's stinkin adorable.  

Nov 24, 2014

TAKE 543...*SNAP!

Ok, let's try this blog thing again.  My sister, Brooke, has started blogging again (she's so funny and clever), which has inspired me to try this again.  It's not that I ever really quit, I just stopped.  Is that the same thing?  I feel like quitting is a conscious decision to forgo action, whereas just stopping isn't necessarily on purpose...one just stopped.  That's me.  Life happens.  Ups and downs.  Mostly downs for me, thus causing stoppage.  Downs are the time I need to write more...it's therapeutic...but I don't.  I just...stop.  I stop communicating and crawl into a protective me-cave so as to ignore/hide from the downs.  That is until the downs kick in the metaphoric door and demand to be faced and overcome.

I'm making my way back out of the cave, so here I am writing, trying, engaging.

P.S.  I live in Colorado now and am back in Financial Aid, freelancing on the side.  Oh the changes!  Here's my website:  BritBoat Designs.  I also have an Etsy and Facebook.  I need to update them, as I've done some projects here and there since.  Check em out and spread the word!