Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15th, 2010

Half over!
The month is half over already, but it seems like only a few days are left instead of two whole weeks. The countdown to Christmas has begun, and this year I have taken an interest in the Twelve Days of Christmas folksong, using it to count down the days. It is interesting to research each verse and see what they mean! In my opinion, people had strange ideas in the ancient depths of history. I imagine, however, they will be saying the same thing about us in the future!

First off would be to report on my ambitious 5 Items List with which I finished my last post. The update is not as successful as I was hoping for, though.

1) Buy bus ticket to Kiev.

Yes! I bought my bus ticket for Kiev. I will leave Kharkov (teardrops!) on Sunday, December 26th, at 12:20 noon. This is the day after Christmas... praise the Lord that He provided even this year, with its monstrous twist of fate, to spend the holiday at home with my family. I will get into Kiev around 8:00pm that night, probably more around 9:00. My plane ticket is for dawn the next morning, Borispyl.

2) Confirm arrangements for the first week in OK before the dorms open

Yes! The way this worked out was so completely Providential. The Dean of Women, Vickie Jett, dealt with the needed arrangements for me and invited me to go right to the dorms! Even though the dorms are actually closed for three days still, she graciously said they would give me my room in advance rather than try to place me at a staff member's house. This is awesome. First, because I do terribly dislike staying in strange people's houses. Secondly, because I want as much time as possible to get moved in, and somewhat acclimated to this new life before the several hundred other girls come rushing in.

And... that's about where the optimistic news ends.

3) Get insurance on my car.

Ha. That was a nightmare from the start, and the problem is getting worse. I'm not going to go into detail on this public blog. But let's say there was a day when my health shattered, and the shockwaves of that moment are still hitting fresh and new even 9 months later. I'm working on the problems, but at this point is seems quite ridiculously impossible to fix. Which, is going to pose a huge problem. Not only do I need my car when I land at O'Hare... but especially to drive with my stuff from IL to OK? And to get set up at school? And for work? Yes. This is going to be a massive nightmare.

4) Confirm arrangements for the week transitional stay in IL

Well, this one has turned out to be the big surprise. It goes to show that constant things in the past are not always going to stay that way in the future! Cancer, heart problems, the holidays and a variety of developments have brought up some huge problems to work through. I know God is in control, but experience has taught me that doesn't mean He's obligated to give seamless and happy solutions to all the problems He allows. But I am just going to trust Him to point out the path He has preordained for us to take... and take it. Regardless, I really can't wait to get to Illinois.

5) Get my AT&T contract reactivated on my phone.

Well, I'm afraid to admit, I didn't even get started on this one after the frustration of the others. We'll leave this one for next week.... =)


I did get my Christmas shopping done! =D

I'm very excited about this, because it gives a great deal of pleasure to look at my neatly-wrapped gifts lined up on my desk, waiting for to be given to my dear family. (Yes, I have already gotten them all wrapped!) God has blessed me with a great family, and I am so grateful that He is allowing me to spend the best day of the the year, Christmas, with them.

This week is going to be more preparation for college. In fact, the last week of preparation! I leave in 10 days! If I can get everything done this week, that will leave the last Saturday nice and open to relax and enjoy the Holiday with my family. That's the plan! If only my life went according to plan.... =P

Instead of a verse this week, I wanted to share this song. I hope no one minds. (click on the underlined word "song" at the beginning of this paragraph to follow the link and listen to it!) It's by Casting Crowns, and I just love the message in this song. The original melody always struck me as rather... depressing... for Christmas. But the melody is completely changed, and this is an amazing rendition! The meaning of the words are very well highlighted, and I love it. It is an old carol that has long been a favorite.

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Everyone have a wonderful week! Let me know how the holidays are going for you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December nineth, 2010

I announced in my comment on the previous post my intention to update this blog weekly, to the best of my ability. The internet has been down for five days, to my great dismay, but here we are exactly a week later... and this post goes up. Thank the Lord for his small kindnesses, for they are still very kind.

This past week I have seen little to nothing of the male half of my family. My dad and the two most amazing guys in the world (aka my brothers) have been working sunup to 5 hours past dark every day on the church construction site, building the roof.

What, you may ask, does this have to do with The New Girl At School?

It means that with the house empty, I used a little liberty. The only mirror in my room rests ontop my bureau as a part of the whole, and thanks to my short height, I can really only see from my shoulders up. Also, my room is more or less a warm little cubicle - enough to move from the door to the bed, but not enough to open the closet if my sister is also standing in the room. So, in light of the new status of the house, I fixed these problems and carried my mirror (wow, it was heavy, elaborately framed in solid wood) into the dining hall and set it on the staircase. In this spacious corridor, with the mirror set to reveal my reflection head-to-toe, I dragged out all of my clothes from my room and had a try-on session.

Luggage limits are tight and I have a very bad habit of wanting to have at least 2 outfits for every given day, just in case. But now that some sacrifice was going to be required, I had to take drastic measures to eliminate the "so-so" pieces from the "I can't live without this!" pieces.

If this doesn't make much sense to you, consider that I have to plan for light winter weather into deep winter weather into rainy spring weather into warm spring weather into the first hot flashes of summer. That's a lot of different clothing demands. Also, the fashion guidelines for what colors to wear shift greatly over those three seasons, too! London greys and granite blues for January... daisy yellows and butterfly pinks for April...

It was fun. =) And it made me appreciate how well my parents provide for me, and how good God has been to my family in my life. Also, it made me realize that dominating color scheme of my wardrobe has leapt from blue and black, to burgundy and brown. Curious!

This week I also got over my inhibitions and climbed into the attic to retrieve my suitcases. Oh, the memories. So much traveling in my lifetime... and so many memories. Green suitcases, solid rectangular frame, HobbyLobby identity tags.

It's a little bit early to be packing yet... but I am keeping it in my mind.

As for the countdown... 18 days!!!!!!

Oh, I am so not ready.

The holidays are coming up soon, too. For the first time in my LIFE I will be greeting the New Year outside of Kharkov.... wow. And, right along the unfortunate tidings, I will be missing Christmas in the States by just a few days. Where is the justice in that? I would rather trade. American Christmas - carols, trees, lights, candy canes - in America. New Year - sleigh rides, fireworks, Ded Maroz, Ploshad Svobodi - in Kharkov. But.... it's not going to work out that way... alas.

The verse for this week is Psalm 101:2 "I will behave myself wisely in the perfect way." Wow! What a bold statement. With all the decisions lying before me (well... more like rushing at me with the speed of a super train hurtling along the rails full-speed...) in the next few weeks, it doesn't feel like that is possible. Wise... perfect... But it is a good goal to have. Isn't this verse just incredible?

My major goals for this next week are:

1) buy a bus ticket to Kiev
2) confirm arrangements for the first week in OK before the dorms open
3) get insurance on my car in IL
4) confirm arrangements for the week transitional stay in IL
5) get my AT&T contract reactivated for my phone

We'll see how it goes.

P.S. I need to finish my Christmas shopping, too!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December third, 2010

Hello, world.

Today I've started up a new blog. The beginnings are always the end of something else. And although I feel that I will someday return to my kharkovgirl blog, Memoirs of an MK, life is changing and I'm changing with it.

So much has happened in my relatively small and simple life this year. It is no longer small or simple. And as much as I can wish for things to return to the way they were... dream about it or pray for it... things will never be the same. I'm lousy at coping. It's been 9 months since I felt the first spasm along my ribcage in March and my life changed forever, and I'm just getting to the point where I feel that someday I'll be healthy again... maybe. It's been 7 months since I lost my college and the direction of my future, and I'm just now beginning to fill out the registration forms of another university. It's been 97 days since I last saw my best friend. Another 24 more to go on that one, but the visit will be briefer than the last by almost 50%.

This month I'm going to be packing. Pulling my suitcases down from the attic, dusting off the trace of time, and trying to think about the future. It's going to be hard.

I wanted to start this blog to help me through the first awful semester at the new college. But this month, before I even arrive, is going to be filled with some much preparation for that awaiting path that I decided to start up, now. To capture the moments that will lead up to the dreaded Day Number One....

God's Word has been a fundamental part of my life, and with each blog post, I would like to leave one verse that God is working in my thoughts.

For today... it's Psalm 139:10. A verse that was introduced into my life back in March, through the most unlikeliest of people, in the most impossible of situations, and for a very desperate purpose. Through every valley thereafter, this verse has stayed in my heart. Today is no exception.

Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139:10