Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...Looking Back To The Way It Was

I honestly can't believe it's the last day of 2012. With this thought in mind, I'd like to take a few moments to reflect back on this year.
Looking back to January 2012....what happened...Well, probably one of my greatest discoveries was coming across my bible study that I currently go to called Platform. One of my friends out of the blue invited me one night, and it's just been so wonderful ever since. My bible study is part of this ministry called Steiger International ( which is a worldwide ministry that ministers to the secular global youth culture through many forms, wither it be music, art, dance etc....It was definitely a God coincidence to come across this bible study. God simply has a perfect timing for everything. Because of the discovery of this bible study, they have inspired me to go to Steiger International's Radical Missions School in Krogis, Germany this summer. Seriously one of the greatest unexpected blessings of my life so far.
Another amazing blessing this past 2012 was having the privledge of attending North Central for the spring semester. God grew me in so many ways, and the lifelong friends that I made, it's so priceless. Every genuine experience. Then in May 2012 I had yet another blessing of going on a month long missions trip to Macedonia. This experience radically shook my life up. Macedonia changed the course of everything. I'll never forget walking the streets of one of the poorest villages (Shutka) and God simply whispered ONE word to my whole being my eyes walked by this road of garbage....the mid day sun shining on my face....I knew this moment was coming, but I didn't expect it so soon. I could remember the tears that filled my Lietuve eyes and just stopped walking and stood frozen on this Macedonian road in shock that it took God bringing me ALL the way to southeastern Europe for me to listen to his voice...Lithuania had been His heart for me all along.....

I remember my flight from Macedonia to the United States was so dreadfully painful. I was crying my eyes out on my flight from Skopje to Vienna. Leaving Europe is like leaving my heart behind EVERY.SINGLE. TIME. I look forward to the day where I will buy a one way ticket to Europe and NEVER have to leave my heart behind again. Things were honestly rough my first couple weeks back in the U.S. It was my first summer living in the cities by myself and working. Definitely one of the hardest summers of my life, but God helped me get through it. Looking back, ever since I got back from Macedonia, I noticed that culturally I never really adjusted back. My heart was SO strong with simply living European culturally. Mid summer things were really at a standstill. God was either going to have to break through or else....I don't know what would have happened. It was honestly a miracle. I remember within 72 hours God blessed me with a place to live in the fall AND a full time job. I remember praying, "Jesus, if it's your will for this Lietuva 2013 fundraising year to be, you make it happen!" and HE.DID......

So August 2012 was when my Lithuanian fundraising year began (and my first date, but that's for another time, another blog, another story)  I was so stupidly naiive to think taking a year off to work was a FREAKIN.FREAKIN. hellishly LONG.TIME. One of the hardest things I had to do in August was leave North Central University.  My dear God, I'll never forget filling out that dark pink form in the Student Life office....kissing my worship arts major (at the time) goodbye. This was probably the greatest step of faith I EVER took. Trusting that God believe it or not had something even BETTER in mind for me. Worship leading means EVERYTHING to me. If I didn't have such a strong relationship with God I honestly would have not had the guts to do this. So for the past 5 months working full time has been a very interesting perspective of life. I still can't believe I'm alive, if it wasn't for my Jesus, I would have died in the middle of this fundraising a LONG time ago. God has taught me so much through this non-traditional year....

#1 Money will either be your God or Jesus will.
#2 The most important things in life are priceless
#3 Don't disown the dear souls in your life who live in America, and helped you get to where you are today.
# 4 Must pursue your passion even when your heart is "dried out" and the exciting feelings have left and you "feel" no inspiration.
#5 We can't define our God given passion by feelings, if we do, we're going to lose it QUICKLY.
#6 NEVER let your music passion be silenced. SCREAM.IT.LOUD.

2013 honestly, I can't even begin to IMAGINE what lies ahead. So many changes in my life are going to take place. Hopefully having the chance to go to a music missions school in Germany, than onto finishing my college education in Lithuania. This path of life I have chose will NOT be easy, it's honestly probably the HARDEST way to go about life...but seriously, who EVER said following Jesus was going to be a walk through the fluffy pink clouds?....excuse the following expression, but I'm HELLISHLY TERRIFIED at what lies ahead, but I chose to take my step of faith and trust God. I decided to FORGET what society thinks, and chose to follow my God given passion in 2012 and carry this on through 2013 and the years to come. It was the hardest decision of my life, but in the end I know it will be the MOST.WORTH.IT. I still can't believe I have the guts to actually do this year. Is this even real life? Am I seriously that freakin crazy?....Looks like I am.... I pray that wherever 2013 takes you, that you would have the boldness to always be true to yourself and your God given passions, visions, and dreams.

Until next year,
~Ruslana Evelyn.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Tragedy of the 100 Percents

This morning I was having a lovely conversation with my dear Ukrainian friend, and we were discussing how we feel about being literally "100%" of our nationality. For me, it's such a blessing. Since there are roughly only 3.4 million Lithuanians in the world, I feel so honored to be part of this Eastern euro craziness.
 As I got older, I started thinking  about the question that I'm sure most of us "100%'s" eventually face the reality of. Would we marry someone who isn't "100%" of our nationality?  Since we are very rare in today's society, would it be worth marrying "outside" our cultural boundaries?

How I would go about answering this struggle...that's not an easy question. I think it depends where you culturally stand. For me personally, living life thus far, American men honestly don't seem to understand culturally where I'm coming from. I can say I'm Lithuanian, make them some Lithuanian food, show them various traditions, music, movies and the overall essence of the culture, but at the end of the day, they don't seem to fully grasp the concept of how much my culture is engraved in my blood and what it means to me. This goes both ways, take for example, American men who like football. I can't stand football or sports in general (besides Euro futbol) so I won't fully culturally understand them, just like they don't fully culturally understand me, if that makes sense.  Also, I would prefer to marry someone who shares the same cultural background when it comes to historical events of the past. Most American men don't understand what its like to grow up with parents who went through communism.

If you want my honest view of young American men in general...they are very indirect. I'm not God, I really have no idea what you're thinking! I can make all these assumptions about you wither they be beautiful or ugly, but unless you communicate how you actually feel, I have NO FREAKIN IDEA. You are also quite shy. Don't be afraid of us Eastern Euro women, we are really not that scary. We might walk around with a haunting serious poetic death stare on our face...but behind our "death in our eyes" look lies a sweet smile of a young girl in a pink dress, skipping around in the daisies...well at least cough cough some of us....=P Obviously there are also those certain individual American men who are just a little too direct, you know...ask for your number in 10 seconds....but whatever...

As for European men, culturally I feel like we are alot closer. When we greet each other we're practically making out! Just kidding, more like a hug or a kiss on the cheek...(or if you're French...3 kisses on the cheek =P) I personally, like this cultural style. I laugh at these cultural differences, NONE of my American guy friends would be caught dead greeting me with a kiss on the cheek....its just not EVER going to happen. (If it does, it's probably cause you just read this blog post and were simply just curious lol) Also, when a  young European gentleman ( I say gentleman meaning a Euro man of high standards and good quality) says that he LOVES you, dang.....he's being seriously serious. They will make themselves VERY clear.

At the end of the day, we can endlessly laugh at the cute foolishness of young American and European men, but on a more serious note, I honestly wonder how the world will look nationality wise 100 years from now. The following thought I'm about to describe is a perspective of life that came across my mind while I was ridding a bus through the mountains of Montenegro (strange place for such thoughts, lol right?)  There seems to be a trend in which people are marrying outside their cultural boundaries. If this trend continues, and I assume it obviously will, we could one day live in a world where there literally are no "100%'s" left. I feel like God could use this to show the world that He truly does exist, and that we are all connected somehow. We as creation started out as "100%'s" but then in the end we will be so mixed with all of each others blood, every country in one person....

Monday, December 3, 2012

If Communism Never Happened

Lately so many things have been on my mind. As this Lietuva Passion 2013 year continues, slowly, but steadily moving forward, I have lots of questions about life that I pray one day there will be an answer too. If not in this beautiful life, then one soon day in heaven with my dearest Jesus.

One question that haunts my soul to no other is what my life would have been like if I would have grown up in Lithuania and if my parents never came to America due to Russian communism. That thought just kills me....

 The.Lithuanian.Lithuanian.Me. I think about it, and I know that I would have not had a relationship with Jesus. I would have this view of God like the majority of the world has, some historical figure, who is irrelevant in today's society.  I also would be speaking Lithuanian and Russian, and learning to speak English. The passion for Christian music would have not even existed. I would have been like, "So, what exactly is Christian music?" I probably would have discovered some other genre of music. I don't think I would have been outgoing, since the seriousness of a European lifestyle would have got in the way. I might have had a little artistic side, but I don't think I'd be bold enough to dress colorful like I do here in America. I wouldn't have had such a passion to love my dear brothers, sisters, and friends. I probably would be loving, but not to the extend as I do now with loving Jesus. The nightmare in the back of my mind, which would have been reality, I wouldn't have met YOU, yes you my dearest brother or sister, and I can't even begin to imagine my life without having met such a beautiful soul as yourself. It's always been a struggle wondering what the "Lost 20 Lietuva Years" could have been like.

I'm so thankful to have grown up here for a while, this is where I accepted Jesus as my savior. My passions for European/Russian music missions and my dearest brothers, sisters, and friends, dressing very colorfully, being artistic, and having quite the outgoing American influenced personality....It's been such a blessing. Everyday, God reveals more and more to me, why He desired for me to grow up in America for part of my life. So it is slowly starting to make sense...kind of. I question why He chose me out of all my Lithuanian relatives. Like honestly, this whole life I have now, came SO CLOSE to not even being, dearest friend, you'll never even begin to know....

So if you ever wonder why I'm so passionate for reaching my dearest European/Russian generation for Christ, it's BECAUSE, I could have been one of them!  I know there is at least a handful if not more dear souls in my generation who have this situation in which there parents fled from their home country, and started a new life in America, but had to leave their relatives behind. I honestly think that it's a unique situation to have grown up in, but most of society really doesn't understand what it means to be in these circumstances.
 I feel in my heart its at least part of my responsibility to tell my dearest brothers and sisters about Jesus love for them and what He did on the Cross, so they can become all that God has called them to be and fufill their passions, visions and dreams that God has placed on their heart. It agonizes my heart to see my European/Russian generation searching for truth, for a hope in their heart, for purpose, for meaning as to what this beautiful life is all about. I can't just sit and not share what Jesus has put on my heart....

So as these last 6 1/2 months of my life in America come to a close, I am SO FREAKIN EXCITED to begin this new Lithuanian chapter of my life, it's seriously LONG overdue, like I left my heart in Macedonia, and I physically came back to the U.S., but I need to find my heart once again, cause it's somewhere lost in will be sad to leave my American life behind, but I can't be in two worlds at once unfortunately.

It will always be this beautiful war of two worlds, that somehow I'll just have to learn to embrace....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Forgetting You

There came a time,
where I simply had to draw that line,
once and for all,
I loved you,
but in my heart,
I have disowned this country,
and with this,
I chose to leave the last 2 decades of my life in America,
completely behind,
it was so hard,
ever so painful,
but it had to be done,
It's time to forget the old,
 what was in the past,
step on that plane,
as I sweetly toss you red rose petals,
and disappear off into the golden sunset,
so you can have a bittersweet memory of my tears for you,
A new beginning awaits,
a fresh start,
without you,
but forever in my heart,
like the eyes of a blonde hair blue eyed boy,
I once remembered...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Embracing "Poorness"

Ever since I started this financial raising year for my Lietuva 2013 passion, in my heart I feel like God has taught me so many beautiful expressions of life I would have probably not learned if I wouldn't have gone through this non-traditional year. Growing up, I seriously thought that when it came to life after high school, I would simply go through 4 years of college, double major, and travel the world after that. We my friends, serve a God who has this way of taking what we thought we were going to do, and loves turning our plans upside down, even the opposite direction, and blessing our lives in ways we never imagined.

I honestly never thought I would be that young Lithuanian lady who would take a year off from college to raise funds for a passion God placed in my heart. Not in a million years. I only do this year because I'm completely trusting the vision/dream God inspired me with this past summer. Even if people might judge me, or look at me like I'm completely crazy, I've come to peace and the realization of what it means to REALLY embrace YOUR OWN God given calling in life, and not compare myself to others and their God given callings. and honestly, that  IS really hard for me to do most days.

This year has taught me what it means to "Embrace Poorness". Obviously I will never even begin to taste the essence of what being poor means compared to other parts of the world. By poorness, I mean literally starting from nothing, and making something. This is my first year living in an apartment and setting money aside for basic essentials. It's been a very interesting learning how to balance paying bills and raising money for Lithuania. I really feel like my financial eyes have been opened this year. I'm honestly glad I realized this when I was 19 rather than 10 years from now. I've also realized, very soon in my life, transitioning into full time music missions, It's not the highest paying job for sure. I'm completely at peace with that. I just think that if I don't follow this music missions passion on my heart for Lietuva, Eastern Europe and Russia, who's going to do it? Honestly I look at society, and I feel like most people would not be willing to give up their lives to love people throughout the world doing radical music missions. This might sound harsh, but in some aspects it's reality. I also understand that people obviously can have different callings in life other than music missions which is great as well! I want to make a living and be able to pay for the basic essentials, and support those around me when I can, but other than that, I don't want money to be my main motivation in life. I've been blessed to travel to 14 European countries over my life time, and I've gotten to witness first hand how my dear brothers and sisters around the world live.

Reality is, we can live off of so little...let me repeat this....Reality is...we can live off of so little....

So this year, especially after getting back from Macedonia this past May, I've tried my best to live off as little as I can to support my dearest European/Russian brothers and sisters. It's not easy, and it's definitely more of a heart thing for me as well.

At the end of the day.....

If I only get the chance to live this beautiful life once, I want to be caught dead singing about Jesus love to my European/Russian generation.   <3 <3 <3

P.S. ...............................and especially for all you lovely young men out there who don't respect this, and think I'm some cute young Lithuanian skipping around in the pink wildflowers, you honestly really don't know who I am, and I  am NEVER going to change myself for you, so you can take your acoustic guitar, and just walk out  my door....seriously.....

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Forever Lost in Your Глаза

What happens when you feel in your heart that your passion has died?
As if someone took the mid summer starry night sky of your soul and ripped in in half  like a common white piece of paper.
The doubt that grips your very being like a black hole,
but you know that your only choice left is to go through the deathly darkness,
and finish strong,
because you know if you give up,
you will look back with regret,
and the pain of "What could have been" will haunt you for the rest of your life.
I've come to peace with time,
time is time,
so be it,
let it be painfully slow,
let it fly by gladly,
seasons of life will come and go,
the kisses of lovers,
the smiles of friends,
Just embrace each precious moment your dearest Savior gives you,
Don't worry if your path of life feels so overly hipster or beyond the road less traveled,
Trust that God knows what He's doing,
even if at the current moment it seems like there's no freakin way it will 'work out",
because in the end Jesus's grazyna aistra (beautiful passion)  for you will fall into that perfect place,
like the sweetest melody your heart has ever sung,
as you forever lose yourself in His Глаза (eyes).....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Scars of Communism

You think you know me,
but you never will,
Your heart is not understanding,
it's so judgemental,
You think I'm American,
 HELL to the no,
You'll never understand what it's like to be Lithuanian,
You think you can travel the entire world, go to every Eastern European and Russian country,
and understand what it's like to be eastern european,
 but you've only scratched the surface,
all my life,
I've never felt like I belong in this country,
On the outside,
it may look like I have it all together,
 but that's purely habitual and cultural european ettiqutte,
it's how we were taught,
it's in my blood,
I'm so tired of being that outcast,
it's like everyone has been brain washed,
am I REALLY that different?
Yes, reality is I am,
Like it or not, You're American minded,
I'm colorfully and creatively European minded,
and I don't care what you think of me,
Judge away,
think I'm crazy,
I don't care,
because I know God smiles down on those souls who dare to show the world how ORIGINALITY is done,
it's like I'm in a trap that I've been dying to get out of for 20 years,
did I have a choice in this matter?
it was NEVER my choice to live here,
but somehow God took this Lithuanian that randomely or shall I say divinely coincidentally that ended up in America,
and turned this life into a beautiful masterpiece,
that otherwise would have most likely not happened in dearest Lietuva,
some days its so hard to smile..
oh this deathly hard Letters to Lietuva trial..

The price of the scars of communism, somehow must be paid...
and my life is one of the many, many, endless eastern european stories of how indeed it sadly has....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Goodbye Is Not Forever

I remember when I fell in love with you,
and realized in the same moment that I never could have you,
It crushed my soul and tore it to pieces,
how your kindness touched my heart,
I will never forget,
I prayed my whole life to meet someone like you,
My heart couldn't believe that you actually existed,
I look up to you,
you have no idea how much I admire the essence of who you are,
it's so beautiful,
it's like for the first time you understood my passion for music ministry,
and why it's so important to put the heart before the performance,
My heart smiles every time I see you,
I'm so excited to see where God takes you in this life with your passion,
It's so sad to see you leave,
but I guess I'm leaving as well,
two opposite ends of the world,
But I know in my soul that our goodbye will not be forever,
who knows,
I'll be walking gracefully in a field of Lithuanian wildflowers into the setting sun,
I'll turn around,
and surprisingly,
you'll be standing there...

Monday, November 12, 2012

12 Years of Musical Perspective

Several days ago I posted this status:

After being passionate about music ministry for almost 12 years...I am so humbled by the perspectives God has taught and shown me over the years...It's SO FREAKIN NOT about being that 'cool musician", cause if it is you're never going to reach people, it's empty and worthless. Our dear brothers and sisters throughout the world will be reached because of our LOVE and passion for Jesus. Otherwise our musical efforts are merely in vain.....It's when we forgot about our musical selves, and turn our eyes to the One who gave us our musical passions when radical change starts to happen....

I just wanted to elaborate on what exactly I mean by the above. As many of you dear brothers and sisters know, I am VERY OVERLY PASSIONATE about music ministry. So yeah, simply looking back 12 years to when this whole dream started. 
My dad gave me my first Christian music CD when I was 8 years old (this was also the year I accepted Christ into my heart for the first time in my life, I firmly believe that when this happened, that's when God anointed my heart with a music ministry passion), it happened to be the band Plus One (I feel like this dates me, dang, I'm so FREAKIN OLD). I absolutely fell in love with the colorfully creative lyrics, and just the depth of the meanings. I remember I would stand and sing in my room for hours on own little singing musical world. My dad introduced me to the Christian music radio station "The Refuge" 90.3 when I was 10 years old. I look back on this life and my heart has so many warm memories associated with every single song on that radio station. Christian music got me through some of the most HELLISH times of my life growing up. Maybe that's why I've never grown tired of this genre of music. It's always SO uplifting and full of hope and life. I was seriously THAT GIRL who memorized every song, every melody line, every lyric on that radio station. 

I then discovered and started going to Christian musical festivals (Sonshine and Lifelight Festival) between the ages of 10-18. Every festival, Every concert, every beautiful soul that I got to meet and every precious memory that happened during these beautiful times in life, I will forever hold close to my heart. I wish every one of my dear brothers and sisters in this beautiful life would get the chance to experience what I experienced growing up at these Christian music festivals. This is also where I got the chance to REALLY observe the Christian music scene. My views have changed obviously from 8 years to now  at 20.

I know for a fact, when I was 8 years old, I wanted to grow up to be a Christian musician. and the really smart thing about this situation is that deep at my heart at a young age, I knew that I didn't want to be in the music scene for the money or fame. I never remember having thoughts of  "I WANT TO BE A POPULAR MUSICIAN" which is really strange if you ask somewhere deep inside my soul, I knew that my music passion was not for myself, but for God.

With that said, I noticed that my view was not SO in the Christian music scene sometimes.... As I got older, every concert later, I realized how blind and in the dark I had been with "Christian musicians". Obviously no band is perfect, and never will be.  Several weeks ago at bible study, I was challenged with David Pierce's (founder of the worldwide ministry Steiger International 10 Principles of ministry when it comes to music and the arts in general. There are 3 types of bands:

1.) Christians ministering to Christians
2.) Christians "ministering" in the secular music world but hide their message
3.) Christians who minister to the secular music world and make their message about Jesus KNOWN.

I'm not going to sugar coat this one, I, Aiste, HAVE BEEN SO HURT from various musicians of my past. I will not mention the names of the bands, because I feel like that would be rude and disrespectful on my part. I have forgiven them, and only by God's grace have moved on, and let Him heal my scarred musical Lithuanian soul. Honestly if I wouldn't have gone through those heartaches with various musicians, I don't think I would be the same strong person that I am today. It was HELL for a little while, but God taught me so much during those moments. (and yes, the majority of them were what Christian society calls "Cute young Christian musician men" enough.said) 

Up until a few years ago, I simply thought I was going to major in my worship leading passion, find a church somewhere in Lithuania, Eastern Europe or Russia to be a worship leader at, and life would be well.
I discovered the ministry Steiger International last January, and God completely shook my worship leading passion up. Because of this ministry God lead my heart to, I now see myself using my current music ministry Grazyna Aistra to reach the DARKEST places of Europe and Russia for the rest of my life. As much as I like leading worship in a cute little church (there's obviously always a time and place for that, respectfully) I really believe being a Christian musician for me means reaching society outside the church walls, in the most broken, scarred, and unlikely places that your average Christian musician would most likely never go to.

That sums up where my heart is right now musically ministry speaking. I can't even begin to describe to you dearest friend the COMPLETE PEACE my heart feels. All my life, I've always felt this empty musical hole in my heart, worried how this music ministry passion God called me to would play out. I was SO concerned with thoughts of  "im not good enough, musical society will think I'm stupid, my family and friends will think I'm crazy etc." But I've come to realize, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. It never will. If God called you to your musical passion, He will see you through, and you NEVER have to feel like you don't measure up in musical society. 
Cause reality is, every band can try to make a difference in society and make this world a better place. the end of the day, if Jesus is not at the center of my musical passion...I'm going to break it to you and not hold back, your contribution to musical ministry society is in vain...I mean seriously, will a 12 year old Albanian girl even CARE about your band's "FREAKIN COOLNESS"?....NO...her soul is searching for a melody that only Jesus can give her...(Just saying)

It's not about the money...the fame....the girls....the all comes down to your heart. What is REALLY your intention of your music or art? I know not everyone is called to global music ministry, so whatever God has called you to, passionately embrace it and run after it with all of your heart.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

There Will Always Be

The following poem was inspired by my crazy Lietuva 2013 passion...

Those big shy glazed hazel brown eyes reflected the  bright illuminating stage lights,
She stood there quietly,
lost in a sea of colorful noise of thousands of souls,
sweetly smiling at her musical inspiration,
praying one day she would grow up to be just like him...

many years later she realized the reality deep inside her heart,

There will always be those lovers who say they love you,
but lies flood their scandalous seemingly sweet lips, (EF)

There will always be those people who hate your freakin guts,
wish you the worst, and desire to see you fail because they are jealous of your beautiful heart.

There will always be those doubters who doubt your God given passions, visions, and dreams

There will always be those dark, haunting, depressing and scarring days where you want to simply just give up.

There will always be those true dear friends who believe in you, laugh with you, cry with you, sing with you, dance with you, and be complete fools with you.

There will always be those days when God leaves you absolutely speechless and tears are endlessly streaming down your face as you realize the sweet warmth of His ocean wide Love,

and she decided that a choice had to be made, give up on her passion,,,,or go through the blackest fire...

She chose the blackest fire, knowing that there would be
but  in the end, it was for His glory, and it was SO  going to be WORTH IT...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

European Etiquette

For all of my dearest friends...who ever wondered...what exactly is this whole "EUROPEAN CULTURE" thing that you're so obsessed about...this is for cough cough "funny" Lithuanian perspective...

Someone once told me that Russian women are the most beautiful women in the world...Reality's true....I'll just stop right there. and I'm Russian btw....Lithuanian women? Russian women? the same....=P Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania are known as the "Baltic Beauties" or so I've heard from my dearest Lithuanian cousins. When we Baltic Beauties wake up in the morning, we can't help but smile brightly when we look in the mirror. We don't even need to worry about make up. (and if you're lucky like me, your hair looks crazily awesome as well) We're naturally beautiful. It's in our eastern european genetics....

How a European carries oneself. Well, if you've ever wondered about my "Lithuanian seriously poetic haunting death stare"...LOL It's normal in the European culture to have a very serious expression on your face, and walk in a confident, tall posture, with your chin slightly raised. It's just what we culturally do. If you're riding a bus in Europe, EVERYONE is deathly silent. No one is talking to each other. If you laugh, RIGHT AWAY they will be able to point out that you are American. (Not going to lie on this one, this past summer when I was in Macedonia, I LAUGHED ALOT on european buses...)

A European's eating habits are distinct as well. First of all, eating food with a fork and a knife is pretty much a dead give away if you have European food ettiqutte. I remember last year when I was in college, I literally was the only European soul that ate with a fork and a knife. A true European man...he ACTUALLY cough cough has this etiquette too. I honestly admire this alot about European men. As the saying goes, "A European man eat's his mama's food". By this, we Europeans or I pray at least some of  us still like to eat healthy and close to natural food as possible. If you have ever wondered why Europeans are so skinny...obviously many other factors other than food influence this (smoking, exercise, genetics etc) it's because their eating lifestyle is simple and healthy food. For me, being Lithuanian, by "healthy food" I mean eating natural meats, veggies, cheeses, kefir (Russian jogurt) and fruits. The Lithuanian food lifestyle is more on the low carb side. I'm sure you've heard this, if not the PORTION SIZES in Europe CAN be alot smaller. I learned this summer, depending what REGION of Europe you are in such as Southeastern, food portion sizes tend to increase. Having smaller portions and smaller plates is normal. It's expensive to eat out at restaurants so most people just make their own food.

Eating a meal as a family is a very important cultural element in Europe. Also when one sits down for a meal in Europe, the food is usually already on the table, you have your plate and eat like that.

I've also noticed in some cases that we Europeans would rather buy a piece of nice and quality clothing than food. Looks are HUGE. Every European country has it's own unique and colorful style. Fashion is a daily habit, especially for my generation. I've said this many times before a European WOULD NOT be caught dead in sneakers, sweat shirts, sweat pants, or baseball caps. That would be mere fashion SUICIDE. From a very young age, we are taught to "dress up".  When you're walking the streets of Europe, everyone simply just looks so stylish or professional. Wither it be skinny jeans, converse, scarves, colorful sweaters, black leggings, high heels, or flower print summer dresses...the artistic color is found everywhere... One of my favorite European fashion sayings by my favorite French author Mireille Guiliano, (my paraphrase)  "A French woman dresses up to take out the trash, because she never knows who she may run into". All I can say to that is....AHMEN.

I will FOREVER LOVE European culture. It's part of who I am, and even living in America, when I have to stand alone in this European Passion most's SO worth it....=)

Monday, October 8, 2012


I've been wanting to write out what I personally like to call 
THE PASSION PRAYER...for the longest time.
God gave me these words when I was on my missions trip to Macedonia, May 2012. I pray this prayer over ALL of my family, relatives, friends, my dearest brothers and sisters all over the world, every person I've ever met...and I guess you could say the more mysterious/controversial side of this prayer, is that I pray this prayer over "strangers"....people I've simply never met,as I'm walking the streets of this beautiful life. I believe every morning when I wake up and I'm walking somewhere wither it be work, or just enjoying life, the people I see I know God placed in my path for a reason, so I say The Passion Prayer over them. So the instant I met you, I secretly prayed this prayer over you dear friend, without you even knowing....How much more "Russian spy?" can one get? =P  I honestly believe EVERY dear soul I've EVER met in this life is NOT AN ACCIDENT, but a DIVINE APPOINTMENT. So...if you've ever wondered what was REALLY behind those scandalous  Lithuanian deep brown hazel eyes....

Father God, into your hands I lift up my dear brother/sister.
I pray in Your mighty and holy name,
that You would revive those passions, visions, and dreams that have been made dead inside their heart.
I pray that you would make them alive in You again.
I pray that You would give them the boldness, courage and fearlessness to pursue these passions, visions, and dreams until their last dying breath.
I pray for any struggles they may be going through that You would be with them every step of the way, smiling down upon then.
I pray for all the joys of life they are experiencing that You would give them the heart to keep that sweet spirit.
Into Your loving hands I commit my dear brother/sister to You Jesus.

CUTE. Christianity.

Today as I was walking back from downtown Minneapolis, God inspired me to write these following words.
As I was looking back on Monday night's bible study...(.just an FYI Steiger International's Platform bible study is SO FREAKIN AMAZING, you've pretty much missed out on life if you haven't gone yet...just saying....) It FINALLY hit me...
I was thinking of how judgmental the American church can be.( I mean this in general, I'm NOT pointing out ANY specific churches, just to make myself clear from the beginning)  Honestly, there are times I feel like such an outcast. Let me explain. So basically, I like to dress VERY artsy. It's just simply who I am. Black knee high high top shoes, wine red colored shoe laces, fishnet leggings, red dresses, and black leather jackets, wild 80s style hair and wine red lipstick. Being inspired by color, art, and fashion is the essence of who I am. To not let someone express their artistic self of who God created them to be, is simply...SUICIDE. Walking the streets of this life, this world is SO FREAKIN COLORLESS. Everyone is the same...Same...SAME....where is the vibrant laughter that sticks out in society? I believe when it comes to Christianity there are many ways one can express themselves. For me, I've realized that the colorful way I dress, It blends in with the hardcore European/Russian music punks. I look exactly like them with my Eastern European facial structures, and my clothes. What makes me different is that I have a fire inside my heart for Jesus. I believe that God truly uses how we express ourselves on the outsides to reach our dear brothers and sisters for His kingdom. I'm NOT "choir girl Christian" who dresses in black skirts, a cream pink blouse, and has my hair perfectly straightened. HELL.NO.  and you know what? There's NOTHING wrong with that. Express yourself in the way God created to be. With that thought in mind, He will use every essence of who you are,  to reach that certain people group, including that artsy side that He has given your beloved and blessed soul.

I've always sensed there was something different about me from day one. I could just tell everyday that I was somehow set apart from the rest of society. Even if my parents would have never told me I was Lithuanian, I just knew in my heart something was different. I look back on this beautiful life, and ever since I was a baby my mom (she's quite the amazing artist herself, she paints with oils, acrylics, these absolutely beautiful colorful Lithuanian masterpieces) would do arts and crafts with me, teach me how to paint, the whole arts spectrum. Art was in my blood from the beginning. I discovered Christian music when I was 8, specifically, I discovered Christian PUNK ROCK music when I was 10 years old, I'm talking like FM Static, and Hawk Nelson. This is where I believe I got into the whole "punk rocker essence". To me, there was something simply so fascinating about cute Christian musician men with blonde fohawks, dressed in black skinny jeans, leather jackets, and the lace up leather boots. I just freakin LOVED the look. I also remember going to Chrisitan music festivals between the ages of 10-18, I would love to creep on the "punk rock" fashion style of all the Christian musicians.......Also, throw in the many times I traveled to Europe when I was growing up....I went to Lithuania when I was 1,8, and 15. Rome, Italy at 16. London at 8. Iceland,Norway,Finland at 15. Macedonia,Serbia,Bosnia,Montenegro,Albania,Kosovo,Austria this past summer at 19. So having been immersed in this beautiful European culture, I've gotten to experience quite a diverse spectrum of  what is known as the "Euro style" 

So combine the elements of colorful artsyNESS as a child + Christian musician punk rock look + Euro style = Aistė Miškinytė's fashion.....=)

I've always had the mindset of "European fashion" for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my parents would dress up for every occasion you can think's simply European ettiqutte to look good wherever you of my favorite quotes from a French author (her name slips my mind) is "French women dress up to take out the trash...cause they never know who they may run into"....that's pretty much how I feel when it comes to dressing up. In America, sometimes people look at me weird, or are like "Why do you dress up all the time!?!?!....I've NEVER seen you in sweatpants or a sweatshirt or sneakers!" What I say to that?...AHMEN...If there's one European fashion's that, "A EUROPEAN would NOT be caught dead in public in sweat pants, sweatshirt, or sneakers"...if you don't believe me...honestly...ask one of your European friends for their insight on this. I feel like sometimes in America, my sense of colorful fashion is looked down upon and not appreciated, and I DO KNOW for a fact I stick out, and you know what I DONT FREAKIN CARE...This world needs more people who are willing to take the risk and stand out with their God inspired artsy fashion!

So whatever artsy style God has called you to express yourself by, don't be afraid to completely embrace who you are...He will use your sense of unique fashion for His glory! 

Monday, September 17, 2012


Two weeks ago, when I was chillin at my dear church,
I was challenged by my pastor's message on Passion...

As many of you know,  I am VERY PASSIONATE when it comes to the topic about the passions, visions, and dreams that God places on our hearts.

Think about it for a few seconds, have you EVER in your life met someone who seemed to have an "INSANE Passion?"...That person who you thought was just absolutely crazy and out of their minds???

Just an FYI, I don't sugar coat or hold back...this is Straight.UP. reflections...

I feel like this world has died. Everyday I meet people who seem  to or have seriously just given up on the passions God once placed in their hearts to pursue. It just makes my soul cry.  I always LOVE seeing the best in my dearest brothers and sisters. Seeing who they ARE in Christ. I believe if we REALLY started to see ourselves and others through the eyes of Jesus, this world would literally fall off it's axis.

The unending question is,...what happened? Dearest brothers and sisters, what happened? Why did we stop running the race? Why did we listen to the world's lies, and let it define us?

Why does one have an insane passion? What causes a soul to simply  "lose practical logical sense" in the world's eyes and pursue a path of life in God eyes that makes perfect sense?

Just thought I'd share from my personal experiences of  life so far.... So, this year is what I would love to label as the "The Insane Passion Year."  I don't even know where to begin, ever since I got back from my missions trip to Macedonia this past May, God totally shook the plans of my life. I thought I was going to go to North Central University for the next 4 years, major in worship leading, go into full time European/Russian music missions, meet some musician guy and life would just be absolutely beautiful!....LOL =P Oh but how truly NAIVE I was at the time...While in Macedonia, God confirmed on my heart, hands down thee most craziest ideas I've ever heard...I was honestly TERRIFIED at first...the doubts, worries, fears, flooded and murdered my mind. The word IMPOSSIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE! IMPOSSIBLE! SCREAMED IT'S LIES inside my soul....So what's this "Insane Passion" you ask? Well...God has inspired me to work this entire year to save up money to transfer to Lithuania Christian College next Fall 2013. Normally, I've noticed society doesn't usually save money for a European college. I've always been an overly adventurous soul, willing to go as far as I can, to the point where most people would just give up. You can say in some aspects I have the gift of  "over-perseverance". Sometimes it's a blessing, other times, it kinda kills me.  While attending LCC next year hopefully, I plan on starting my music ministry passions as well. God has inspired me  to start Hillsong Lithuania, and my own personal musical side project I like to call "Grazyna Aistra". With these two music passions, I pray for the opportunities to be able to do music ministry on the streets of Lithuania, Russia, and pretty much all of Eastern Europe. I'm also hoping to be part of The Baltic Initiate, (One of Eastern Europe's key church planting movements) and hopefully plant coffee shop churches throughout Lithuania and Eastern Europe.

I've learned over the years, I have to STOP caring what other people think of me and my insane passions. Let them JUDGE, JUDGE AWAY. I DON"T FREAKIN CARE..(I don't use strong expressions unless I really mean them) You know, honestly, "I don't give a SHI*" of what people think. The ones who judge, mock, laugh in your face, dearest brothers and sisters, their opinions DON'T MATTER. Remember.This. It ONLY matters how GOD SEES YOU. And He is ABSOLUTELY ENTHRALLED by YOU, AMAZED AT YOUR BEAUTIFUL SELF. Jesus believes in YOU. and HE FOREVER WILL.

So why do I even bother to pursue this insane passion?

 Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
--Gil Bailie

This is hands down one of my life quotes. This world needs that ONE person who will go ALL THE WAY, literally to their last dying breath, all out for their God given passions.

If we don't, dearest brothers and sisters? WHO WILL!?!?!?! Who will be BOLD and DARING to show this world who Jesus REALLY IS, by simply following Him with our insane passions?

If there's one thing I know, It's.Not.Going.To.Be.Easy..... dearest brothers and sisters, I "hate" to be honest with you....=P REALLY HONEST. DEATHLY.HONEST.  But God has promised only GOOD to those who love Him, and that He will be with you every BREATH, every STEP, every TEAR, every LAUGH, every SCAR of the way as you pursue your Insane Passion for His glory....

Cross That Line ~Superchick

I pray that everyday, we would be inspired to..."Cross That Line" for Christ...<3

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lost Under Your American Sky

Those sweet fall days
when God placed you in my life
it was unexpected
I was focused on leaving the country,
you are what I like to call the "American surprise"
I was left speechless,
I knew the prayers I prayed,
you were seemingly the answer?
The surprises of God,
what an unpredictable, beautiful, risky adventure,
I am in awe of this moment,
how close it never came to be,
if it weren't for this world's scarred historic past,
I would have never touched American soil,
I'm left speechless,
This whole life,
I look back and laugh,
it's just so crazy,
out of the millions of dear souls in this world,
I happened to cross paths with you,
I'm sure God looks down from heaven,
waiting in overly excited anticipation,
like a child on his 5th birthday,
for two souls to meet,
it's so scandalously mysterious,
like secretly smuggling your name,
into a Serbian's hands...


Thursday, August 30, 2012

That Akward Moment of Life When You're in Europe Part 4

That artistically inspired moment of life you FINALLY come across "that European bridge" you dream of being proposed to <3 <3 <3

That adventurous moment of life you find yourself walking the streets of Podgorica, Montenegro with your friends and you have absolutely NO IDEA where you are going...#lost.under.Your.Montenegron.Sky.

That sketchy moment of life one of your friend's asks the lady cashier at a Montenegron gas station where the closest place to exchange American Dollars to Euros is, and she says, "Keep walking straight, go under the bridge, and take a right and there will be a man standing in the corner that will help you." =P =P =P

That awkward moment of life you're white water rafting in Montenegro, and you see a group of people chilling to your left on the river side and you randomely yell, "LABA DIENA, Kaip jus sakisi man draugai?!?!?!?!?!?!" (good afternoon, how are you my friends? in Lithuanian) and they all fall silent and there is this VERY awkward! =(

That moment of life you are truly convinced one of the white water raft tour guys IS RUSSIAN because he has the most deeply/cold/blue/piercing/intimidating/poetically/serious/haunting eyes you EVER seen! #Russian.Men.EyeZ. <3

That FREAKIN HILARIOUS moment of life you find yourself "chilling" in a bush in Kosovo at 12am in the middle of nowhere.....#Europe.has.NO.BATHROOMS.

That glorious moment of life you have FINALLY made it back to the border after 10 miserable bus hours and it's 1AM, you're beyond tired, hungry, and the Macedonian border security lady makes everyone get out of the bus to check passports and you are so TICKED OFF you come very close to giving her your most "haunting.scary.and intimidating Russian stare!: #WOW!...REALLY!?!?!?

That artistically inspiring moment of life the bus driver randomly stops the bus in the middle of nowhere within the Albanian mountains, It's 10pm and you find yourself lying down on the rough rocky ground, star gazing, and you start singing "So Far Gone" by Thousand Foot Krutch...<3 #Lost.underneath.Your.Albanian.Sky...<3

Guess what I did in Kosovo at 12am.....I......I..........=P #Real.Missions.Life...

That sketchy moment of life you walk into a European internet cafe for the first time ever, it's night time, the cafe is underground, there's graffiti on the walls as you walk in the "tunnels" that are almost pitch black and there is an overall creepy space theme going on...

That funny moment of life you and 6 of your friends on your missions team are making your literal "Last Macedonian Supper" and the cheese you are cutting is very watery/milky white and Josh is like "that cheese is leaking!" and you're like, "This is freakin REAL EUROPEAN CHEESE...the cow was probably milked this morning!" and Josh is like "EWWWWW!!!" #FREAKIN.REAL.EUROPEAN.CHEESE!

Lastly.... That deeply sad moment of life you're riding the bus to the airport in Skopje, Macedonia, it's 3am, and one of the last songs you hear on the Macedonian radio is called "You & I"....<3 <3 <3 #eternal.tears.forever.falling...................

On a more reflecting note, thought I would include some serious life shaking moments as well:

I'll never forget that moment walking by a young Bosnian man about my age...staring straight into his deep, saddened blue green eyes, and I could just feel his pain, his scars...his hopelessness...this very moment motivates me and reminds me why I do music ministry in the first place...

Pastor Dragon's Wife's sermon summary: NEVER.GIVE.UP. Never give up on prayer. No matter how long it takes, 1 day, 1 month, 1 year, 10,20,30,40 + years, keep on praying with the SAME PASSION & mater what! God WILL MOVE in His timing...<3

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The world screamed NO,
They laughed at my passion,
they didn't believe in me,
It was like I was suffocating breathing in it's toxic air,
it was like a tsunami,
pulling as hard as it could to drag me under into the abyss,
and drown,
so deep,
that there would be no chance to ever recover,
and a vision that COULD HAVE changed the world,
just died,
and laid there quietly, overgrown with black green murky seaweed,
screaming in silence,
 no one hearing her cries,
forever lost,
in a moment of history,
that eternally passed,
but amongst the darkness,
there was a glimmer,
ever so little,
a diamond so small,
no one would ever have bothered to notice,
when everything seemed forgotten,
and so broken,
so dead,
out of nowhere,
He reached out His loving arms,
looking into her gleaming deep sea blue eyes,
and sweetly said,
"My precious daughter,
Don't give up,
My precious child,
the passion I gave your soul,
there is still hope,
a tear slide down His glorious face,
My dear child,
I weep for you,
your heart,
your soul,
your smile...
precious daughter,
just hold on one more day,
and you will see,
how every moment in your sparkling life,
 was meant to be,
every beautiful soul you've ever met,
every heartbreak,
every disappointment,
every soul scarring moment,
every laugh,
every tear,
every joy,
every depression,
every golden sunset,
my precious daughter,
I love who you are,
never change that,
for someone else,
or for the world...

After The World ~Disciple~

Was I there, through the worst of all your pain?
Was I there when your blue sky ran away?
Was I there when the rain was flooding you?
I hope you would feel, those were my tears,
falling down for you,
falling down for you...<3


Monday, August 13, 2012

I Did This For You

I've questioned many times,
why I chose to pursue this journey,
Robert Frost's "road less traveled",
I could have taken the easy way,
the safe way,
the secure way,
the pain free way,
but that would have murdered my soul,
leaving me lifeless,
At the moment,
my mind can't seem to picture those individual faces,
those beautiful souls,
my precious European & Russian brothers and sisters,
To the young Lithuanian Christian man I pray that actually exists in this world,
I don't know who you are...YET....
but I do this for you,
for all the young Lithuanian boys and girls,
with those big innocent and sweet hazel brown eyes,
who have God sized passions and dreams to make this world a better place,
I do this for you,
for the young Russian musician,
who has the passion,
to shake the darkest corners of Europe and your homeland,
for Christ,
through our hearts for music ministry,
I pray one day I know who you are,
I do this for you,
To the 4 year old orphaned Polish girl,
with the deepest sadness a precious daughter should never have to go through,
to bring a light and hope to your pink flower soul,
any day,
any second,
I do this for you,
To the young Macedonian man who broke my Lithuanian heart into a trillion pieces,
and left this stained glass  soul shattered on the white sidewalk to die,
I  choose to forgive you,
it hurts like hell,
but God has changed my heart,
a wise Bosnian man once said,
"We must suffer to their hearts..."
and oh how these words of wisdom,
shook everything I knew,
now I realize what it means to "Take up my cross daily"
now it makes perfect sense, of what it takes to suffer to the hearts of every European and Russian soul,
I would have rather risked going too far,
Than watch love wither away,
Like a spotless dove white flower,
Pulled out from underneath the Millenium cross,
all it's chances at life gone...
To Letters to Lietuva,
my beautiful country,
my Lietuva,
you'll look back 10 years from now,
and realize,
how everything made sense,
all the chaos and craziness,
all the joyful moments,
all the heartbreaks,
all the crying and tears,
all the get to this place,

New Design~Thousand Foot Krutch:

I've never felt this way before
I've never come so close
I've never worn so thin
I'm stepping out
Instead of closing in
Left myself behind
When I made up my mind
No turnin' back this time
This is my new design...

Sometimes I feel so alone
It feels like I'm standing out here on my own
I've never felt so far from home
It's comin' on, it hits me
When I step outside my zone
Cause sometimes, I feel so alone
It feels like I'm standing out here on my own
I've never felt so far from home...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


She sat on the cold hard wooden,
she just wanted to cry,
and give up,
 her heart couldn't take this,
she was so sick and tired
of being left hanging,
out in the cold,
How could he do this?
Why was he such a liar?
a flirt?
a fake?
why was he so kind at first,
why was she foolishly fooled?
why did he leave so suddenly?
why had his heart turned into the Siberian tundra?
he was European charming on the outside,
but his heart was a poisonous red apple,
She doesn't didn't understand,
this culture,
seemingly warm,
but reality was,
their hearts were decieving,
their hearts were cold,
scars, oh deep scars had yet to be healed,
from the beginning she sensed the painful seriousness,
one look in his eyes,
she just knew something had happened,
something so scarring,
he would never tell,
not even God,
it was just lost too deep in his soul,
she wanted to throw the stupid hardcover dark blue colored book into the fire,
furiously rip out EVERY SINGLE page,
and shred it into a million pieces,
and make him watch it turn into mere gray lonely lifeless ashes,
he wouldn't even bother to shed a single tear,
that's how heartless he was,
but deep in her soul,
she knew she had to simply forgive,
and pray that one day,
a glorious light would smile down upon his dead face,
and dark coal blackened heart,
she had slowly learned to believe in the beauty of second chances,
remembering a dear friend once told her,
"sometimes, in life we must suffer to their hearts,
suffer to their hearts,
SUFFER to their hearts,
oh Father God,
I pray,
I'm on my knees,
crying out to you,
give me the strength by Your loving grace,
to suffer,
suffer to their precious hearts,
suffer to his precious heart...


Thursday, August 2, 2012


What happened to you?
I always wonder,
As I sit on the front porch swing,
swaying in the warm summer breeze,
as the sun sets,
you are like a mysterious shifting black shadow,
here in the evening,
gone by morning,
why did you leave so suddenly?
why didn't you tell me?
why did you forget to say goodbye?
These questions beyond murder my soul,
my heart,
you don't strike me as someone who would leave another hanging,
your kind eyes,
was I decieved?
your precious smile,
were those lying lips?
My heart does it's best to see the absolute beauty in humanity,
that's what I did for you,
I saw the beauty in you,
I hope that you would do the same for me,
I looked past everything,
and saw who God created you to be,
 it was more glorious than an endless mountainous Albanian sunset,
I'll never forget your distinct voice,
your laughter,
your hugs,
your heart,
even if it means not seeing you for a week,
a year,
ten years,
until we cross eternity's path,
your beautiful soul,
forever opened my eyes,
and my heart will eternally smile at all the dear memories shared....

I remember the times we spent together were not used to feel like dreaming...except we always woke up...never thought not having you here would hurt so much... <3~FM Static

Tonight~FM Static:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Stained Glass Eyes

We grew up two worlds apart
We were so close but yet so far away
Two decades later we cross paths
I remember shaking your hand
As I looked into your deep black brown eyes
There was something inside of them,
You didn't know,
but I knew,
You know what it's like being in a cultureless culture,
trying your best not to lose your identity,
and assimilate with the rest,
What it's like to grow up with people,
who firmly believe there is no hope for their homelands,
that have been scarred by communism,
that old mindset,,
you know exactly what I mean,
 and somehow finding hope to rise above all this,
and pursue our dreams,
ignoring the word impossible,
and just smiling boldly,
giving each obstacle in our lives the death stare,
until it disappeared,
the beauty of language,
your accent is like a Tchaikovsky melody,
Oh how I can't wait for the day to completely lose the accent I gained while living in America,
what a glorious day that will be,
 you understand food culture,
the art of eating cabbage rolls,
simple, healthy, natural non preservative food,
living in a culture that does not know how to eat,
that does not have a food culture,
You actually get those cultural inside jokes,
that the rest of society just stares blankly,
totally lost,
you think you know me,
but you really don't,
I think I know you,
but do I?
Oh the poetic  European seriousness of how you carry yourself,
I try my best not to laugh,
cause I totally do the same thing,
just standing there speechless, like the young man holding the saukotis,
what is REALLY behind those shattered stained glass eyes of yours...<3

Monday, July 30, 2012

Letters To Lietuva: Day #384

In honor of this new crazy season up ahead, I decided I'd dedicate quite a bit of blog posts to the following reflections, "Letters To Lietuva".......I haven't decided if Letters To Lietuva is going to be blog posts, an actual physical journal, or a mix of both. In honor of this PASSION, this VISION, this DREAM God has placed in my heart to pursue; the goal of moving to Lithuania in 385 days, to start doing music ministry in Lithuanian churches and on the streets, to attend Lithuania Christian College to major in teaching English, and simply to love on all my dearest Eastern European/Russian brothers and sisters and win these nations, each precious & beautiful soul for Christ!  This 385 day journey, I know straight up, WILL NOT BE EASY. It will be one of the hardest challenges to overcome that I have EVER faced in my life when it comes to spirituality, health, finances....but I truly believe if my dearest Jesus has called me to this fate, to rise above this mountain in Christ's name, I believe EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE with my Jesus. In the end, it will be worth it...Every hellish day, every sunny day, every colorful stained glass moment that lies ahead....I dedicate these following writings, every single my dearest brothers and sisters of Eastern Europe & Russia.....This is all for you....<3

Day #384

Well, yesterday I got a call from the Ukrainian Deli that I got the job....I was left absolutely SO speechless. I couldn't contain my excitement. I screamed, danced and sang around my room like a 5 year old child! Was this real life? I couldn't BELIEVE at how faithful God's hand was...Realizing all that it took to get to this place, for this very hour, I am SO humbled that God trusts me with this job at the Ukrainian Deli. This job means the WORLD to me. Having the blessing of  working with Eastern Europeans in America, and realizing that this deli is where all the Ukrainians, Russians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles etc hang out, it just seems too good to be true! All I can say, just observing how God has been shaping my life, this Ukrainian job, was meant to happen. I can't even begin to IMAGINE what God has in store. I'm SO FREAKIN EXCITED to meet each dear European and Russian soul. Just realizing all the beautiful memories that lie's going to be one lovely year that I'll remember forever....

On a more funny European side note....So far, experiencing the European/Russian men culture, I'm going to make a thoughtful perspective of what I THINK the Ukrainian men at the deli will be like. They will be young, close to my age, married, cold, not welcoming, and be very serious.They won't even bother to talk to me. From my experience with these types of men, it takes a while to crack their eggshell...but ONCE you  do....dang...there's no turning're friends  (or more LOL) for life! It will be cough cough VERY INTERESTING to see how these cultural interactions unfold and all those lovely awkward moments that lie ahead!

It's such a poetically serious moment seeing my life right before I enter the doors of the UK Deli for my first day at this job, then after realizing all the moments of life that happened were meant to be in Christ...I wish I could paint a picture, some metaphoric abstractness representing this turning point in life....I will never be the same....

I will most likely not leave this job SINGLE....=P

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Never Turning Back

I dedicate this following poem to all my dear friends who have gone through that point in life where you are at a cross road, waiting for God's direction of what exactly to do....<3 

It was going to be one crazy year,
She honestly didn't know if she had the strength and courage to run down this path
it was so overly hipster,
she couldn't even find the heart to laugh about it,
the doubts, worries, fears drowned inside her mind,
Was this possibility of life even possible?
Was this dream worth dreaming?
How could one month turn a life upside down,
She felt like God had taken her plans,
crumpled them up into a paper ball,
then ripped this paper into a million tiny pieces,
as He happily danced and skipped around in the wild flowers,
and said, "My child, I have something far greater in store for you..."
She saw this coming,
oh how it ever so was going to come,
it made such perfect sense for this time, this very hour,
it was too perfect,
but oh the struggle, the heartache, the perserverance it was going to take,
She didn't want to imagine,
the reality of doubters in her life,
she felt frozen,
but knew that she had to take that step off the edge, trusting that Jesus would catch her,
She cried out "Father God, I can't do this, I can't, I can't, I can't, I CAN'T!!!!!'
He stretched out His loving hand, looked into her eyes, and whispered, "My beautiful daughter, I believe in you, oh my precious daughter,  how I believe in you,
I will believe in you in those moments when everyone else around you ceases to,
I will believe in you in those times when you want to give up on your passions and dreams,
I will believe in you on those darkest nights,
My child, I will believe in you forever...."
 She felt the greatest wave of peace surrounding her,
and knew that it was time,
time to take that passionate risk,
to redeem a nation of broken people,
keeping her eyes on the One who gave her the song inside her heart, 
even if it meant leaving everything behind...
and never turning back...

 Wherever The Wind Blows by Pillar:

"I've been here for so long,  I think it's time I move on, so tell me where it is, that I need to be...wherever the wind blows, you will find me there...<3"

Sunday, July 22, 2012

That Awkward Moment When You're in Europe...Part 3!

The beautiful realities of life that took place on the dear streets of Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia & Montenegro...Don't laugh too hard! and YES...these following moments SO DID happen....

That fun/awkward evangelizing moment of life you are walking the down town streets of Bitola, Macedonia handing out flyers for the Convoy of Hope outreach event, to random European people, and you give a flyer to this beautiful young Macedonian man and you stutter to say your 6 word Macedonian sentence 3 times, but by God's amazing grace his eyes and smile are filled with understanding and compassion...

That fashion moment of life you buy your first pair of aviators, and it makes you look at least 52.651% more!!!!

You can take my sense of European fashion away, strip my leather jacket, scarf, aviators, black lace up boots, worst case scenario, can't take my Jesus...............................................................................................and Eastern European =P

That funny moment of life a very kind Macedonian lady likes you alot, and attempts to hook you up with her 22 year old son Doma....=P

That moment of life your cultural professor drops you off in a random village within the Macedonian mountains and just drives

That awkward moment of life you are handing out outreach flyers in this mountainous Macedonian village of Krivolisk, and there is an overwhelming amount of young Macedonian men surrounding you...

That funny moment of life you write your name on a Macedonian boy's had since he kindly asked and then 30 other Macedonian children want your name written on their hand and they run outside and start screaming AISTE! AISTE! AISTE!

That beautiful unreal moment of life you're riding back to the church with your missions team  and the pastor  starts singing "How Great is Our God".

That coincidental moment the last worship song in the Negatino church service is "Svetlina" (Here I Am To Worship)  and your Makedonian name is Svetlana, which means light, and it happens to be the very first worship song you ever learned and your favorite one! 

That awkward moment of life you and your 2 friends are walking back from the downtown streets of Negatino and you are locked out of the church. You ring the door bell twice and the electronic system unlocks but you can't open the door. You yell to the 3rd floor and ask your professor for the keys and he throws the keys to you to unlock the door, but it still won't open! 15 minutes later, one of your other friends FINALLY opens the door for all of you....#........................................................

That funny moment of life you're about to give your testimony and you introduce yourself, "Jac sum Aiste!" and the entire church congregation is like "Laden-Chi!?!?!?! (ice-tea!?!?!?!Q) KAKO!?!?!? #Even.Macedonians.don'

One of my dear friends, "Aiste, you know what I was thinking? You're 100% Lithuanian, so that means you're going to marry a guy who is also Lithuanian? Me: "Um......well.........................................................................................................................
as long as he is either cough cough Macedonian,...............................................Lithuanian, Russian, Estonian, Latvian, or something that ends in an "IAN" than at least my future children will be half and half....just like a latte!"

"I take NO initiative, I don't even tell them how to spell my name, and they STILL find me!!" ~Svetla

That crazy moment of life you're at a Macedonian resturant and before you eat your meal, your professor makes your entire missions team stand up and do a little Makedonia Dancing as he prays for the meal...#DANCE.PRAYING....Totally.European.Hipster.

Joko: "Svetla, you kicked that soccer ball SO almost knocked someone's head off!!!1" Svetla: "Ahmen, that's how I play FUTBOL!!!" #don't.mess.with.the.Lithuanian.

Svetla: "I may come across as a cute, sweet, happy, smiley, musicy, artsy, fartsy, Russian/Lithuanian hipster......BUT I have a dark tornado sky Thousand Foot Krutch European futbol side as well...." #TOUGH.LITHIE.

That moment of life you FINALLY do that one beyond crazy thing you've always wanted to =P

That moment of life you're at a Macedonian pizza restuarant and  the two songs is "Paradise" and "That's What Makes You Beautiful" comes on the radio as you!

That financial crushing moment of life you accidentally lose 1,000 Denari....#DANG.

That moment of life you bet Hannah .5 denari you will meet a Russian in Nis, Serbia and .oooooooooooooooooo1 denari that you will meet a Lithuanian....#Lithuanians.don'

That terrifying/awkward moment of life you're getting impatient as you're waiting to cross the Serbian border and as you are plotting  on how to "hop the fence", a Serbian security guard bangs your window, stares at you for 3 seconds, then walks away...#Svetla.Is.A.Russian.Spy.SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

That coincidental moment of life you find yourself waiting to cross the Serbian border and you are discussing ideas of how you wish to be proposed to: "On a bridge somewhere in Europe overlooking a city.....and "he" sings and plays one of my favorite songs on the guitar....#don't.get.any.ideas....I.never.said.anything...=P

That moment of life your professor says, "I have a confession to make, I've never been to Nis, Serbia....all I have is a map of the city, other than that....I have NO IDEA where we are going...we could be back here in an hour, or late at night...#Serbian.Adventure.

That moment of life you "accidentally" crash a Serbian wedding....#Like.A.Boss.....YEAH

(this one is truly GOLDEN, Never will I forget!) That language moment of life a young Serbian man walks up to you after the church service, he says his name, you say yours, he doesn't speak don't speak you just stare and smile at each other! #I've.decided.I'! (Serbians understand Macedonia, pretty much all of former Yugoslavia does)

(This SO happened, I honestly don't know how =P) That awkward moment of life you exchange facebook names with this young Serbian man, and the pastor STORMS over and snatches the piece of paper that has your name away from him, he says "Izvini (excuse me) and then the pastor writes down the young Serbian man's name on another piece of paper and gives it to

FINALLY,  thee last awkward European moment................................(in the part 3 series anyways...=P)

That sneaky Russian spy moment of life you smuggle your facebook name into a young Serbian man's

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Unrealized Aftermath: Part 2

( Part 2) continued...

What really killed and sickened my heart was just how I had taken my "American blessings" for granted.
I simply just couldn't live in this American culture anymore. While I was here, my dear brothers and sisters of Europe and Russia were over there, suffering. The American dream was not me. The whole traditional American mindset of , "Go to the college of your dreams, put yourself into $40,000 or more in debt like "everyone else", and have a nice life," was something my heart could never do. I recently talked with one of my dear European friends, and I'll never forget how moved I was after our conversation. My generation of European friends, simply had NO childhood. sound a little too hard core for you? that's. reality. My dear brothers and sisters in Europe had to "grow up" alot sooner than your typical American boy or girl. I feel as if people in general in America have this false mind set of "Oh, Europe is such a wonderful and happy place!" In some aspects, it is, but reality, it's a harder life.Why else do you think my parents chose to escape Russian communism and move to America, knowing in the back of their minds that they would have to leave ALL of their family, friends, and relatives behind?

Financially, in Lithuania, reality is people live from pay check to pay check. There is no need to even open a bank account. The unemployment rate is 18% and the total population of Lithuania is 3.4 million. Everything in Lithuania costs the same as it does here, but they make twice as LESS.  But the beauty of it all, is that God has confirmed in my heart that I am called to go to such a place....I believe in order to reach a a dear country, a beautiful group of unique people for Christ, you must live among them. Not you in your rich a** "missions house" but actually living THEIR way of life financially, physically, etc to really get a taste of what it's like....

What REALLY ticks me off about America's Christian music scene is that it apparently "forgot" that there is an ACTUAL world outside it's bubble. Slowly, there are a few American Christian bands who have started touring in Europe, which is SO refreshing to hear. I also do realize the perspective that if an American Christian band is called to stay in America to evangelize to American people, that's totally fine. What continues to bother me is how NON international worship leading in America is. I do realize that throughout the world there are various Hillsong churches, and music ministries that do exist in this area. Just from observing worship leading in America I feel like sometimes we get so consumed about becoming "the best worship leader" "the best music ministry" "the best church"  that we forget about that sad, orphaned Albanian girl walking the the lonely dusty mountain streets....

I challenge you, dear future worship leader/Christian musician...You sing your songs about Jesus to the world. You reach people here in America for Christ. You make a good amount of money being in your cute Christian band. You become the most famous Christian band in the universe! Perfect.....?
Who is going to reach that orphaned Albanian child? Who is going to love on that young Bosnian man and bring light to his eyes? What Christian band is going to go those dark European/Russian places that otherwise would have not ever been set foot in? Refresh your memory, why exactly are you in your "Christian band?" Is it for the right reasons? I  realized in my heart that I was called to go to those places with my music ministry. Let's be deathly honest, your average American Christian band will most likely never go to the darkest corners of Europe or Russia. They will be too consumed in their own musical success and lives to even bother. That's where I DREW THE LINE. I wasn't going to be part of this "average Christian band" lala. SO NOT me....An orphaned Albanian child isn't going to care if you are the greatest worship leader on earth. They just want to be LOVED....Let me repeat, THEY SIMPLY WANT TO BE LOVED! Same with that young Bosnian man, it is CHRIST'S LOVE that is going to reach the world NOT our music professionalism....This is what I believe is THE HEART of what music ministry is about. Simply loving your dear brothers and sisters for who they are, and being on the same eye level with them, and not letting your stupid musician status get in the way. Simply doing music ministry from the heart. Heart to Heart. Personal relationship to personal relationship.FORGET about the freakin stage. Just sitting on the cold dusty ground with your guitar, smiling and looking into the deep blue eyes of a young Russian girl, the sea green brown eyes of a young Montenegrin man, as you sing the song God's heart gave you....

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Identity Struggle

I am identified as "American" by my passport
Otherwise I choose to be completely embracing my 101% Lithuanian self
Both my parents are Lithuanian
My dad is from Vilnius
My mom is from Marijampolė
Communism made me "Lithuanian-American"
If it weren't for communism, I would be "Lithuanian-Lithuanian"
If it weren't for communism, I would have never set foot in America.
I would have most likely not been the same person, my crazy over energetic, obsessed with Christian music ministry, loving my dear European/Russian brothers and sisters/ colorfully creative artistically inspired self,
That honestly does scare me,
I will NEVER identify myself as American...EVER...
 I've made my choice,
I choose not to assimilate,
 Cultural assimilation is's deadly.
Imagine a world if we were ALL Americans.
ALL Japanese.
ALL Russians.
ALL Nigerians.
ALL Lithuanians.
ALL Bolivians.
What if every unique culture just chose to assimilate into one mass-mega culture?
What a TERRIBLY boring, lame, and unOriginal BLAH world that would be...
My heart is Lithuanian, My soul is Lithuanian, the very blood flowing inside my veins is 100% Lithuanian....
Jesus created every beautiful culture to express themselves in their own unique and special way to glorify Him...<3

Sea Glass Brown Eyes Reflections: Montenegro

While I was  on my month long missions trip in Macedonia, I had the blessing of also stopping in the countries of Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo & Albania. The following reflection was inspired by 1 out of the 3 pastors in Montenegro...

Just a little background info, Montenegro is a country in the mountains, literally at the top. Our missions team was in the city of Podgorica. There is about 1 million people total in this country.

(straight up writings from my Macedonian journal)

May 30th, 2012

Drove 8+ hours to Montenegro. Crossed border. Overall physical view of city not that impressive. Met the pastor of one of the three evangelical churches in Montenegro. He is the sweetest man I've ever met! He's like a 2nd Dad to me. To see the joy in his eyes and heart at the sight of our group of young college students loving Jesus was priceless. The mini sermon he gave was such a God wasn't even funny! 

"You must have a dream...even when a certain situation in your life seems impossible." ~Pastor Mirchay~

"Never let anyone take away your God given dream...Hold onto it, no matter what it takes, You must keep that hope alive inside of you... " ~Pastor Mirchay

God directly spoke to me through Pastor Mirchay. His golden words forever changed my heart perspective. He said there are a total of only 50 believers in Montenegro.The reality that he still has a smile on his face and a never ending perserverant hope that his country will experience revival one soon day really inspires me. The reality that having 20 christian college students from America in a European churc room is already a higher population that the number of people that normally attend a European evangelical church service, made my mouth shut.I used to be SO obsessed with mega churches and finding the largest church in Minneapolis as possible and making sure they have the greatest worship music ministry program ever....

Now my perspective has changed....
The European evangelical churches that barely have 20 people per service are SO ON FIRE and hungry for God, their worship is SO authentic, passionate and straight up from the heart. There is a HUGE need for worship leaders in these European churches....

I challenge you dearest friend, what do Pastor Mirchay's two previous quotes mean personally to you in your own life? What dreams do you need to hold onto?....Do you need a God sized dream?....Why is it so important that we keep the hope of our God given passions and dreams alive?........

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sea Glass Brown Eyes Reflections 3: Double Shot Espresso's & Churches

Continuing my thoughts of how God transformed my life on my month long missions trip to Macedonia.....

Going to Macedonia, one of reasons I was SO EXCITED was to see what the music ministry/worship arts scene was like. I didn't realize God was going to place even more passions and desires on my heart as time went on in this dear country. I've known for quite a few years that God has placed the calling on my life to do music ministry in Europe and Russia............. While I was in Macedonia, God placed the idea of church planting and coffee shop ministry on my heart as well. These ideas I would say aren't exactly "new"....It was more of God reminding me what else I had kind of left in the dusty corners in the back of my mind. I remember back in October there was a church planting conference at my university, and I can honestly say, that was the first time in my life the idea of ACTUALLY planting churches in Lithuania hit me. Being in Macedonia, confirmed this desire, that sometime in the near future, by God's amazing grace, that I would be blessed with the opportunity to plant churches in my dearest home country of Lietuva. I was seriously FREAKING OUT at this very concept. I was like, "God, are you kidding me??? you must be joking!!!! I, Aiste Misknyte, planting churches in Lithuania!?!?! How much more crazy do You want to get!?!?!" I absolutely LOVE how when we as God's children don't believe we are qualified or good enough to accomplish these passions and visions Our Creator places on our hearts, He simply whispers to our soul "I BELIEVE IN YOU, precious son, precious daughter, I believe in you, oh how I believe in the song My heart gave to you..."

So what does church planting in Lithuania look like?.... I've been praying about this perspective since October...and as I continued to pray over these past few days, several days ago, God placed another thought in my head that SERIOUSLY made me want to RUN out of my room....I heard two words..."Hillsong...Lithuania..." I about DIED. My soul came alive and BEYOND freaked out at the same time. There are currently 13 Hillsong churches throughout the world: Hillsong New York, London, Paris, Moscow, Kiev, Germany, Stockholm, Cape Town, Brisbane, Sydney, Melborne, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, & Konstanz.

So adding Hillsong Vilnius to this list couldn't possibly be THAT HARD could it?....LOL This creative idea God gave me is still VERY NEW, I'm trying my best to "digest" these thoughts...I would honestly LOVE if somehow within the next 10 years a Lithuanian Hillsong church actually became a reality. To be a part of the process of starting this church would be such a HUGE honor and a blessing. I think it would be AMAZING to see Hillsong  church plants in EVERY country.....(cough...cough dearest Macedonian musicians...I Believe in you....=P) I know that these churches would be such a light and a joy to each dear brother and sister who comes across them. Just thinking of all the lives that would be forever changed through the heart and passion of worship...I can't stop SMILING!

3. Words. COFFEE SHOP. MINISTRY. As I was walking the streets of Macedonia last month, I was reminded of the fact of how much my dearest European brothers and sisters LOVE their coffee. It's such a common element that almost all of humanity can relate to....ESPECIALLY Europeans...and it got me thinking, finding or creating coffee shops that would simply be for the purpose of ministry. The thing I really like about coffee shops is how "relaxed" of a setting it is...the fresh aroma of coffee, the colorful artistically inspiring walls, the beautiful hipsters....This is THEE PERFECT atmosphere for ministry to happen. Just think, someone walks into one of these European coffee shops, they get their usual double shot espresso, and in the background to the right as they are just about to walk out they hear these sweet acoustic melodies of how much their dear Savior loves them...I think this is truly beautiful.....Europeans...Coffee...Music....a match made in heaven I say!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sea Glass Brown Eye Reflections 2: The Art of Living Simple

Continued Reflections of how God transformed my life on my one month missions trip to Macedonia.....

The currency that Macedonia goes by is called the DENARI....For about 20 Euros ($25 American dollars) you get about 1,200 denari. Fruit and veggies cost between 40-150 denari. Eating out at restaurant costs between 200-600+ denari. Shoes cost between 500-2,500+ Denari. So as you can see the exchange rate with American dollars and Euros is very good.

I wouldn't consider myself to be an impulsive spender of money, and being in Macedonia really opened my eyes and changed my perspective on finances.... My missions team spent a week in the village of Shutka, putting on a vacation bible school for the children there, and it happens to be one of the poorer villages in Macedonia. The people of Shutka, (Romani who live on the outskirts of of Skopje, Macedonia) make about 300-500 denari OR LESS per heart was left speechless. For having barely anything, they are such a happy people. Garbage surrounds the village of Shutka, it's on the streets, the grasslands, everywhere. Life is not easy for the Romani, but they still somehow manage to put a smile on their beautiful face....I honestly had one of those moments where I thought to myself, what am I Aiste, doing here in America, attending a Christian college that costs $25,000 per year, while my dear brothers and sisters of Shutka, are suffering? My heart was stung by this thought....think of what $25,000 converted into denari could do for this lovely village of Shutka?.....I was seriously DISGUSTED that I had somehow managed to spend this money for only 1 YEAR of a college "education".....Just thinking how the rest of the world, and how they don't even spend as close to that much money for college as America leaves me speechless....

This is the point where my life as I knew it turned completely upside down. I started reconsidering EVERYTHING and why I do what I do....Why do I spend $25,000 per year for education? Is there a more financially savvy option to go about getting a degree? Is it even worth getting a degree, or should I go straight to the mission field? Should I even stay in America to finish college? Should I move overseas to where my heart is for my dear Lithuanians, Europeans and Russians? Those thoughts murdered my soul.....

I just knew that something in my life at that very moment was going to change, and oh was that change going to take everything I once knew, and crumple it up like a piece of paper, get thrown away, and leave me in a new place, a new world, a new time zone, with a new passion and perspective....When I got back to America, I decided I was going to commit to living a SIMPLE life as possible. It's disgusting how much "needed stuff" that I brought with me to college my first year. I told my parents when they picked me up from the Minneapolis airport at the beginning of this June to just leave all the luggage, and boxes that I gave to them at the beginning of May at home. So instead of 2 luggage's of clothing I now have just one....On my Macedonia missions trip we were only allowed to take 1 carry on and a backpack for 28 DAYS. I thought my professor was BEYOND INSANE...How I was I going to survive with just a freakin carry on and backpack for 28 Days!?!?!?! Dear friend, let me tell you, I am living proof that this is ENTIRELY POSSIBLE. I don't know how I managed to do it, and still dress as European as possible cough...cough..... when I could...(we were kinda forced to wear these terribly UGLY angry bird shirts for several days... that just murdered and scarred my Lithuanian fashion soul for life, dear friend, that's just the start of it, writing about all the European fashion crimes I unwillingly committed while in Macedonia...that is for another blog post...=P) Another really PATHETIC memory I look back on is when I visited Rome, Italy for 10 days 2 years ago with one of my church youth groups. I PACKED A FREAKIN LUGGAGE FULL OF CLOTHING FOR 10 packing perspective for international trips has forever been altered....

Going back to the perspective of "The Art of Living Simple"....I'm so glad God placed this issue on my heart. I make every effort I can to save every penny and spend my money in a more wiser manner. I try to buy only the basic essentials of what I really need wither it be food, clothing, paying rent, bills etc. I'm very much a HIGH FASHION young Lithuanian woman, so stylish clothing in some aspects, is still one of my weaknesses...=P Speaking of clothing, I noticed that the people of Shutka, literally dressed like a "million bucks" as the saying goes. You could never tell that they are from a poor village. I seriously thought they dressed alot better than I do when it came to European fashion.....which screams ALOT. It's interesting, I also noticed that a European would rather spend their money on quality fashion clothing than food....So different from America...=P

It is my goal every day from now on to just simply enjoy life. Getting to know my dear brothers and sisters throughout the world for who they are...their beautiful souls and hearts...and simply being thankful for what I have and not focusing so much on the materialistic side of things...Simply building genuine lifelong relationships with God's creation and learning to live with a little....with a HUGE smile on my face....