21 December 2005

Riding that wave...

"Just ride the wave Jesus has blessed you with right now, DONT BE AFRAID to stand up on your board and surf....you might fall (but the water will break your fall) or you'll just ride that wave all the way to shore." --a quite wise analogy from my good friend Rachel...

So on my walk in the first deep snowfall here in Ukraine this was my discover:

There are two ways to walk here in Ukraine. You can rush over the thick layer of ice and risk a broken tail bone or waddle like a penguin and feel your toes gradually freeze. Today I chose the later, and made it home just in time for my toes to defrost.

On my left, this morning, was a young man who decided it was better to release the contents of his stuffy nose on the ground rather then in a hankerchief that would be put in his pocket. I burst into a fit of laughter as Zoya tried to hush me, "Melanie! What is so funny!? He just spread his germs and infections on the ground!" But I couldn't contain my outburst of amusement.

Then, on ahead, we trudged through the icy streets of Donestk, Ukraine and looked ahead as all that was in clear view was mounds of hard white ice/snows. Some big and some small white mini-mountains. How to walk through this? I looked down at my two heavy parcels in both hands and laughed out loud--it was like climbing Mount Everest sometimes--that difficult (although I never have climbed Mount Everest) But the laughter run clear throughout our journey as sometimes I felt like we were heading towards the Mines of Moria in hope of an easier route. (and sometimes that easier route was a crowded trolley bus.)

The sidewalks had long disapeared admist the ice and snow yet somehow Zoya and I discovered a place to walk. The slushy water looked rich enough to drink (or not) and the impatient cars that zipped by knew little caution. I tried to warn the two busy teenagers who rushed past with a broken Russian "Быт осторожна!" but they ignored me completely...not my fault!

"I was hoping the train was my big number...I don't know what it is to get me over, I don't know what it is to get me over....but you gotta be there."

18 December 2005

Everything Is Illuminated

So I sit, in a internet club with Japanese students in the backround rambling to someone over messenger. The old gentlemen next to me and I just exchanged smirking glances and directed our eyeballs back to the computer screen in front of us. I look outside and snow is falling gracefully. This morning I kept praying as I starred out the window, "Please, Jesus, just a little bit of snow...please! Christmas is in one week! Please!" and sure enough, that is our faithful Jesus...sending His faithfulness in everything big and small. So, right now, I see the little and I reckon that calls for trust that His faithfulness leaks into the big things as well.

I strolled the streets heading towards the internet, Christmas melodies playing gently in my ear and I had just a chance to laugh. To laugh about all the craziness that is going on and all the stuff that could go on for the rest of my life and just thankful that I can hope...and that hoping is okay. Though...Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.

So, while I was here, my parents saw "Everything is Illuminated." Now, if you haven't seen it, please, please, please SEE IT! Not only does it have our talented and attractive actor Elijah Wood, but also it takes place in Ukraine! It's a for real movie and I walk the streets here and wonder if these people realize that their country is being seen in theaters all over America?? It sure isn't playing here...although The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe comes out Dec. 27...but haven't seen any pictures for the other...so, anyway, Everything is Illuminated, see it and tell me what you think (of course not what happens) and know that he goes through Odessa and other parts (Odessa is where Andrey and Irina live!) I dunno, maybe its just me, but...ya know.

A quote comes to mind and I will end it with this...

"Remember, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

11 December 2005

"Table two, your order is ready."

This one goes out to the dancer in each one of us.

Or, a random shuffle on the iPod...in return for the blessing of Kate's post :)

1.) When You Hold Me-For All the Drifters ...a song of my brother's old band, that Jaci Valesquez took and re-did...she actually did a really good job.

2.)One Boy- Bye Bye Birdie Soundtrack...I remember the first time I watched this movie with Andrea and...I forget who else.

3.)Rainbow Connection--Willie Nelson...Oh this song rings soft and melodic for the soul. So simple yet so deep. Wouldn't it be cool if Willie Nelson was your uncle?

4.)Don't Pass Me By--The Beatles White Album...haha. I LOVE this song. It's one I remember dancing around to in England...it sways so perfectly. If I remember correctly I listened to it a lot in the month of January after being in Kansas for a month :)

5.)The Might of Rome--Gladiator soundtrack...oh this movie is good. I saw it on tv a few weeks ago...of course dubbed over in Russian, but I sat on a stool close to the TV and listened for the english.

6.) Help!--The Beatles...a song that Rachel played in the car last Christmas. We were driving to the airport and she blasted it, Teri and Mindy in the back and me in the front seat, (of course :) The words are priceless.

7.) Carrying the Banner--Newsies...what else to say? I spent half of my life singing this song...

8.)In Christ Alone--Capernwray Version.

9.)Landed--Ben Folds Songs for Silverman...I kind of sort of wish I could have written this song, haha. It's just so good.

10.)Deeper--Delirious? ...one of my all time favourite Delirious songs.

11.)Castle On A Cloud..Les Miserables...wow, this just gets more and more random.

12.)I Know Who You Are--Ginny Owens...I heard this song for the first time in October and Jesus used it more then once to speak to me...to remind me and to bring me to reality.

13.)Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas--Judy Garland...Ooh, what a beautiful moment in the film and...I will miss me home for Christmas a wee bit.

14.)Kto Ani--Russian Praise Music...I thought one of the best ways to learn a language is to listen to music in that language, but I think maybe it's good to know how to pronounce the words before you sing them :)

15.)Thank You--Led Zeppelin...Oh, classic.

16.)The Truth--Gattaca soundtrack

17.)Main Title--Take Off--The Rocketeer Soundtrack...I think I took Kate's advice on this one and listened to it as I flew over the ocean towards Ukraine.

18.)Scammed by a Kindergartner--Home Alone Soundtrack...I know we all remember that part in the movie.

19.)Two Of Us--I Am Sam soundtrack...so, I cheated a little and skipped some others, but this one is just...it's just...ya know...from me to you, sealed and everything :)

So, since Kate only did 19 that's all I shall do as well :)

alwaysalwaysALWAYS be yourself.

05 December 2005

I Dig Music.

Something strange happened to me when I got to Ukraine. It's like music came alive to me again...yes of course, I greatly savored my moments of pure bliss singing at the top of my lungs on the highway, passing strangers and fellow drivers, but here it's a bit different. First of all, we live in apartment blocks and we always have to "consider our neighbors." and that's right, since I got here three months ago I haven't sung at the top of my lungs...except for those couple of times in the shower, but, a ya know. So, where do I fuel my need for musical escape?

It's in the little musical box I bought, by God's pure grace, a year ago. My iPod. I take it every day on the 1/2 hour bus drive into work, sometimes crammed between people (haha, and I mean crammed...sometimes in ways that I thought was only meant for a husband and a wife) sometimes sitting starring out the window, or sometimes just walking and trying to protect my ears from the bitter wind. But new music has touched me, as well as taught me how to break out into a move in my room late at night (listening with headphones, of course.) but one of my favourites...the one that the first time I heard it, I felt that it was from some movie I had never seen. Is it? Anyway, I mouthed it at the top of my lungs- Queen's "Somebody to Love." and than, more recently "Don't Stop Me Now." These songs are real classics. I didn't really know Queen but put them on my ipod more out of respect but as each song came on shuffle I couldn't change it. Especially, "Don't Stop Me Now." I felt that right there, sitting on that ancient tram, I just HAD to start dancing. I couldn't, of course, but I wanted to.

'Cause I'm having a good time...

Also, the new Coldplay cd, which my brother said was "so-so" but I really...really enjoy it. Each song is pleasant and smooth and full of talent.

I recall a moment in the not so distant past when someone stood on the top of a high hill and yelled, their arms spread out like a plane and shouted. "I dig music."

I couldn't agree more.

me-bon-who-lives-over-the-ocean inspired this post and late night walks just to listen to the music and think. klass.
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