Thursday, December 30, 2010

Compassion

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
Plato

I am learning compassion right now. Loving others by being compassionate. Nobody's "lawn is greener"; everyone has their battles, we may not know them, but all people struggle with something and everyone has their weaknesses. I am learning to be understanding. How could I not be when my own shortcomings are vividly displayed before me all the time? That would be total hypocrisy.

And right about now I have to pack for a fun New Years cabin trip. I can't decide how I feel about packing. I think I both like and hate it. It's a love/hate relationship. Hope you all have a splendid New Years as you reminisce over the past year and prepare to face the upcoming year with hope and a renewed strength that only the Lord can provide :)

Blessings,
Alla

Monday, December 20, 2010

what does love look like?

This song by Misty Edwards, called Arms Wide Open, has such amazing words:

And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through me
I could not escape those beautiful eyes
And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, a heart exposed
Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding

Love’s definition, love’s definition was looking at me
Looking at Him, hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep

This is how I know what love is, this is how I know what love is

And as I sat there weeping, crying
Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love

He said to me, “You shall love Me, You shall love Me
You shall love Me, You shall love Me”

With arms wide open, a heart exposed
With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding

If anybody’s looking for love in all the wrong places
If you’ve been searching for love, come to Me, come to Me
Take up your cross, deny yourself
Forget your father’s house and run, run with Me
You were made for abandonment, wholeheartedness
You were made for someone greater, someone bigger, so follow Me
And You’ll come alive when you learn to die.

I was reading Prince Caspian to the kids, and this may sound silly to you but, God even spoke to me through that. Lucy is this character who delights in Aslan, and all she wants is to be with Him. Even when everyone else stops hoping in Him and lets circumstances stand in the way, she is faithful to Him and in complete adoration of Him. She just loves Him.

Then I spent a whole day with my lovely and amazing friend, Anastasia, and I just saw her whole heart on fire for God, and realized how much I lack of it. We had the best conversation that day.

And it hit me...that's all He wants from me..my love..my whole heart. My whole adoration. Not dutifully obeying Him with reluctance, not at all.

My New Year's Resolution list is going to be different from all the previous years. In fact, it's not going to be a list. It's going to be one prayer.
My prayer is that God will make me fall in love with Him...
only then will everything fall into place.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Africa

How I desire to go to Africa someday. Really I do.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nanny Diaries

And thus, I must begin the nanny diaries. A mini-series that relates my own nanny experience with my wild niece and nephew. Their parents are in Mexico till Saturday..and so since I am one of their last young single (therefore available to help) and (beloved I hope) aunts, it has befallen on me to watch these cuties. It didn't occur to me how much work I would have to put in. However, it has been a blessing to be able to serve and get to know them better. Perhaps, you'd like a run-down of our schedule? Waking up at 6:40 [barely], doing Angela's hair [she likes braid concoctions], breakfast [french toast, anyone?], studying for history and science tests [thermal energy wha?], checking homework [no, I will not write an essay for you.], dinner ["no more borsh'' they demanded], present wrapping [you know..elementary gift exchanges], dealing with separation anxiety [I get anxious when they fight and so I must separate them], tucking into bed [all three of us in their parent's bed..at least it's huge right?], and Prince Caspian story time [they like when I read in British accents], followed by Bible time and a prayer fort [needed: flashlight, blanket, and prayer, neat]. And I left out other details. Can you believe it? I have huge respect for what my sister does now. Whoaaaa. I wish I was more cool like Mary Poppins and could sing. Now, that's a superb nanny. I guess the closest I'll ever amount, is popping a musical into the dvd player. Oh well.....wish me patience, blessings, and for my sanity to remain intact :)

Clarifications:
*oh oh, lest you think that I can make borsh..let me be honest, and say that the borsh they were complaining about was my sister's borsh...I have never made borsh, and still do not know how. My mother is outraged. I am an object of scorn among the Russian society, and get sentences thrown at me such as "what if your husband will love borsh?! What then?!" Okay, so it's not that dramatic. But, I assure you all one day..I will..learn how to make borsh.

*I said British accents...in case you are confused, there is indeed more than one type of British accent..
if you are interested in obtaining a British accent, I am considering giving lessons. Contact me.

*I understand separation anxiety can be a serious issue, and am by no means making light of it. Only pointing out a minor form of it.

*Braid concoctions: Yes, I do hair. Contact me if you want a braid for a special occasion like a wedding or birthday. My services include: a side braid, mean messy bun, and the "updo" (a fancier way of me saying pathetic ponytail). So yeah give me a call.







Monday, December 13, 2010

I love

I love aiports, planes, and people watching at airports (people fascinate me). And airports are such bustling areas filled with a variety of different people, they're like a melting pot. It's the perfect place to people watch. I, unexpectedly, had to fly to the Seattle airport, because my flight left without me. No, the reason was not because I was wearing shoes that did not go with my outfit. [On the plane there, the flight attendant literally said, over the loudspeaker, that he'd be coming around to see if our shoes match our oufits or else ha.] It was because the line to check in bags (at 6am!!) was so gigantic they had to put me on a different flight. But flying is fun, so I was alright with that, even though I was a bit nervous at first. :)

I also love my mom's crepes. They're perfect with a delicious cup of coffee. Thanks mom.




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Comfort Me

Lord hear my plea
Come comfort me
My heavy burdens at your feet I lay
Help me to find your rest without delay
Finish this race in your enabled victory
Meet your face wrapped in full glory
Want to fight to the best of my ability
To lose the pride, and embrace humility
Help me cultivate that heavenly mind
Leave all the earthly worries behind
To make you the focus of my adoration
To always come to you first, no hesitation
Lord make these things complete in me
And till my last breath, your servant to be

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Film!

Finally found a wonderful website with great deals on polaroid film. I am delighted. And this time, I'm positive it won't come with embedded alcohol advertisements (yes, this did happen).

Hopefully the arrival of the film is at hand soon! :)
These neat images were found on that website as well, they have more good ones on there.






Monday, December 6, 2010

Challenge

I have decided I will stop inflicting harm on my hair with a straightener. I am going three months without straightening my hair. It's my new challenge. Natural, yeah. I'm sick of wasting time straightening my hair. Hello waves and curliness. I'm stuck with you for life. Phew.. glad I got that out there, and off my back.

Wow, I just made a blog post about hair! I can't believe it! This is highly abnormal activity...should I be concerned about myself?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

much more


Today, I found myself utterly bewildered. I was thinking about great novels and brilliant writers of past, and due to my usual inquisitive thoughts I wondered “how did they do it?” How in the world does one sit down and write something as exceptional as Mere Christianity or the Screwtape Letters? What inspired Dostoevsky to come up with ingenious novels such as, The Idiot or Brothers Karamazov, just out of the blue from the imagination of his mind? How did Austen gather ideas for Pride and Prejudice and so eloquently present notions and characters to the reader? How did Alexandre Dumas devise the intriguing story of the Count of Monte Cristo?

History’s pages contain countless superb minds, such as these, who rank high in my book. As more of these questions pressed upon my mind, I decided to do some research. I looked at biographies of the authors' lives. Research did not prove itself unhelpful. I gathered that these authors could write the way they did, because of their ability to observe life and things around them through certain perspectives that allowed them to see the bigger picture through the common details, that people usually discard and take for granted. They were not content staring at the surface but dared to peer deeper into things, gathering grander ideas through smaller notions.These authors had the chivalry to ask questions and look for answers. Writing is more than fanciful words and sentence structure, that is but a small component of it; it is so much more.

And here I find myself, a little eighteen year old girl with little life experience and not too much vast knowledge as I’d like to have and not even a lick of the writing capacity those characters had, fumbling to think of a story, struggling to write something good. Nevertheless, I will keep on writing, I will keep on reading, and I will keep on observing, leaving the rest up to God.

image

Ridiculous

My parents have the most ridiculous tree, that we first got ever since I was a baby. It is a huge fake tree. Arrayed with atrocious silver tinsel and random pops of color everywhere, it has no color scheme; this thing screams for attention. It is crowned with one of those cheesy angels on top, and a cute old Santa Claus is placed underneath. Simple is not this tree's creed, just the opposite. Two sets of lights are always placed on it, the regular white ones and then the rainbow ones (surprised? I think not). Some of the ornaments we've gotten 16 years ago and still have! So I remember all of them. It's probably the most obnoxious and ridiculous tree you've ever seen..but it has grown on me. Albeit, I love it! It's my most favorite tree in the world, and even if it was placed next to a neat classy one, I would pick mine hands down! I miss this old tree. In fact, if my parents ever got rid of it, I'd be very unhappy. When I was younger, after everyone in my household would crawl under their blankets and no creatures were longer stirring, I'd stay up by the fireplace looking at that tree and just delighting in it. Mom said that they already put up the tree this year!! I think I'll have to take a picture for you when I go visit. It sure is a sight for sore eyes ;).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Over yonder


Pretty soon, I'll be flying (by myself) over yonder to where my parents live. Sure, it's a short flight, but it'll be fun. According to hearsay, there are mounds of snow like buckets being dropped from the sky in that part of Washington. It probably looks like a blissful winter wonderland that one can compare with to the likes of Narnia. I will be very wary of strange looking doors and suspicious if I come across any closets containing wool coats..hmm...
I am going away for almost two weeks. And for the first week, I'll be a nanny, babysitting my niece and nephew (while their parents are in Mexico..lucky much?). They're both not babies anymore, so we can actually do fun activities together! I am filled with excitement and I have much fun planned for those kids.
I'll betray a bit of what will be going down in my hometown:
Exciting stories, Christmas movies, Christmas magic, volcano making, gingerbread house making, gift wrapping, snow forts, indoor forts, snowball fights, sledding, snowman making contests, games, and much more. Oh the bliss.
Also, I get to see some of my dear old friends. Hoorah. One of the best parts: mom and dad! I miss those two.
Can't wait !
p.s. I'm sure I'll still miss my home over here though...
correction: I know I will ;)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christ

It is past Thanksgiving, and I'm still thankful. I am thankful for everything I have. But I am most thankful for Christ.

You are so beautiful, I want to be more beautiful like you. To be a reflection of you, in order for your name to be praised. I'm thankful for your cross. I run there and throw my hypocritical, cowardly self at your feet. There is freedom and peace found in you, let me find more of that. Let me forsake all things I cling to, in order to know more of you.






image


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Impossible?

Often, we are only happy when good things happen to us, but when our neighbor is rejoicing over something good that happened to them..deep inside we don't really care much. We're probably having a pity party because it is not happening to us. Most of us (myself first on that list) aren't even good at listening, we just desire our voice to be expressed and heard. There are numerous examples like these. Bottom line is, we are self-focused and ridiculous.
I'm tired of me. I don't want to pretend. I want it to be real. I want to love people with a genuine love. I want to care deeply, to really listen and try to understand them. I want to have a heart that cares for others. I want to find joy in helping others, have delight in their blessings, find happiness in the good things that happen to them, hurt for them when they have pain or trouble. You've probably noticed the reiteration with "I want". But the emphasis on want is supposed to be a sure indication, that I have yet to obtain these beautiful characteristics, and can only sigh in desperation knowing I lack them all. Surely acquiring these things will banish selfishness, evil motives, apathy, envy and all the other sins that bring misery. Wishful thinking and impossible come to mind when I think of ever becoming this person, especially knowing me..but with God all things are possible.

Lord,
I want to learn real love.
But I am so selfish, help me.

I can only look to Jesus Christ's example and be in awe.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Found


Sometimes, when you are a Christian for a while, you forget that once upon a time you weren't a Christian. People start telling you that they see God changing you, and this excites you, because of course it's proof that you're His child. But then, after your walk with God is not so novel to you anymore, you began to subconsciously forget who you were and what He delivered you from. You may even start thinking that you are so "godly" and admire your goodness. Ick. But I think we're all tempted with this.
The day before yesterday, I told somebody my testimony. Ironically, it ended up encouraging me perhaps even more than them. I remembered where I was when God found me. The day He found me, I was a horrid girl living for myself, confused, empty, and scared. I didn't think I had hope. I did not love Him, but He poured out His love on me. He rescued me, and gave me hope and a future with Him.
No matter where I'm at with my walk with God or where I will be in many years down the road...I never want to forget that girl I once was the day He found me. It's vital to be reminded that all the good in us, is only because of Him. It's vital never to puff up or think we've done anything on our own. Anything beautiful in us, is not what we have contributed, but because of His grace.
Next time you are tempted to puff up..remember who you were, when He found you.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How To.

Title: Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable


  • Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  • Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  • Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  • Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
  • Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  • Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  • Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  • Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
  • Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.