Marvelous Memories! (part 2 of ??)

Memory 2:  MUSIC!!

One of the rules at VOICE is that we cannot listen to music.  We can sing or play instruments, but we can not listen to CD’s, youtube, ipods, or mp3’s.

You don’t realize how much you love something until it is taken away.  I knew I loved music (of course!) I just did not know how much I incorporated it into my daily life.

Since my room was on the top floor (#4011) I became accustomed to running up and down the stairs.  The stairwell made an awesome place to sing (because of the echo) and I sang almost every time I walked, no, ran somewhere. 🙂  That’s the other thing I discovered about myself.  When I have to get somewhere on a college campus, why walk when I can run??

My favorite parts of the week were group worship time.  All 70 (or more ?) of us would join in the auditorium.  We would pray and then anyone could go to the front and share about how they had seen God working in their life.  The testimonies really encouraged me.

Afterwords we would sing!  We sang: “Jesus, Thank you“, “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)“, “Offering“, “Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)“, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us“, “How Great is Our God“, and “我的心,你要称颂耶和华“.

My favorite song was “我的心,你要称颂耶和华“.  It is always neat to sing praises to God — even in a foreign language using words you don’t understand.

Kelsey taught some of us the sign language for, “How Great is Our God,” and so we sang and signed it in front of the group one night.

Tim did an amazing job on the songs for the “Queen of the Dark Chamber” musical.  The lyrics are excellent, and although some of the songs were challenging to learn, I now cannot get their melodies and harmonies out of my head.  🙂

I’ll mention one (wait, two!!) last memory under music.

I love to listen to the piano.  Even though I can only play a few songs, I can sit for hours listening to others play.  It seems to me that almost everyone could play the piano, but I remember best: Brianne (the musical’s pianist!), Natalie, Alex, Caleb, Daniel, Erik, Eric, Jemmie, and Samuel.

One song in particular became a sort of theme song for our TESOL group.  “What Grace is Mine” by Keith and Kristyn Getty.  I’ll leave you with the lyrics.

What Grace is Mine

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light,

Called through the night to find my distant soul.

And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,

That I might live and in His name be known.


So I will go wherever He is calling me,

I lose my life to find my life in Him,

I give my all to gain the hope that never dies,

I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him.


What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me,

Beneath His wings my wakened soul may soar,

All fear can flee for death’s dark night is overcome,

My Savior lives and reigns forevermore!

A Conglomeration of Topics

Back in January I posted my New Year’s Resolutions.  I thought you’d all enjoy a quick update on the things I’ve been doing since then.

1. I am studying Russian with a lady friend of mine once a week.  This is greatly improving my conversational and grammar and vocabulary skills.  I also get to drink чай (tea) with her, which is a fun way to learn new words and phrases.

2. I have added a new post once every 2 weeks pretty consistently–though I did miss a few weeks in February/March.

3. I journal (or write a friend) regularly now, which is nice.  I’m sure someday it will be nice to go back and read what I was thinking about at this time of my life.

4. I had forgotten this was on my list.  ooops!  I better get a start on those 2 new alphabets. :p  (probably Karen and Arabic)

5. Nope, haven’t done that yet either. (learning how to read the base clef)

6. I learned my first and middle name in Arabic, but I have not memorized Arabic numbers (1-10) yet.

7. Every day (usually once in the morning and once in the evening) I’ve been weight lifting.  It’s fun, mostly, and I am stronger.  At least, my arms are. 😀

8. Although I really like the idea of starting a Book Passing Club, I have not made it a reality yet.

9. I really enjoy reviewing submissions of English students on livemocha. 🙂

10. Every time I think I have read everything there is to read and know everything there is to know in the Bible I find so much more!  Verses that I have read over and over again suddenly have new meaning to me.  It’s been amazing!  I’ve especially grown in Romans, Colossians, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs.

11. I can’t say I have a strong relationship with all of my siblings, but I have talked for hours with and become much closer to one of my sisters.

12. For my studies, I have read The Canon of Scripture by F.F. Bruce, several parts of books relating to Catholicism(one was: Roman Catholicism), some books about Islam (including: Secrets of the Koran by Don RichardsonUnveiling Islam by Ergun and Emir Caner,and Escape from Islam by Hass Strong), and some missionary stories that talk about suffering (If I Perish by Esther Ahn KimThey Would Not Be Silent by Harvey YoderGod’s Secret Agent by Sammy TippitThe Heavenly Man by Brother Yun, and Iran: Desperate for God).  I realize I did not have Catholicism on my list, but it’s become one of my newer study topics.

13. I’ve had the chance to read one (or two ?) friends’ partial books, but I have not finished reading them and they have not yet finished writing them.

14. I play piano almost every day, and sometimes more than once a day.  I have started to learn 2 new songs.  (1/3 of my 6 new song goal)

Now that you are caught up on my goals, I want to add a few more things that I hadn’t planned on at the beginning of the year.

First off, I’ve been sick (Sunday @ 6:40am – Monday @ ?) with the flu.  By God’s grace I was able to attend two (2) different baptism services (at two friends’ churches).  It was wonderful being able to sing, listen to a sermon, watch the baptisms, and talk with old friends who I hadn’t seen in years.  I came home, slept for three (3) hours, and then was sick four (4) more times before my stomach calmed down and allowed me to drink some energy stuff (around 22:30).  I rested all day and was able to listen to a lot of music, read e-mail, write this post, and go to my sisters violin concert (you did great, sis’!). 🙂  I had to miss Russian classes, but I practiced a bit of verb conjugation on my own.

Secondly, I now have a Russian teacher!!!!  I know I mentioned it above, but I am so thankful to have a real live, in person, teacher! 🙂  Thank you Lord!!  She’s an answer to prayer.

Thirdly, I got my restricted drivers license!  🙂  I am an official driver.  I cannot drive anyone outside of my family without a licensed driver, but I can drive my siblings and myself (of course) anywhere.

Fourthly, on Saturday I am taking the SAT.  My nerves are trying to get the best of me.  I am continuing to take practice tests until Friday.

Fifthly (and lastly), I’ve been blessed to be able to attend an afternoon church service that is in both English and Russian.  My favorite part of the service is singing the worship songs I know in English, in Russian.  It’s exciting to be learning songs in my new foreign language.

I’ll leave you all with that.  How have you been??  What’s new??  Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?  How are they coming along?  🙂

2012 Resolutions ~ 2012 Goals

This year I decided to make a list of “New Year’s Resolutions”… I have come to realize, however, that this list is more of my “2012 Goals”.  So, whichever heading you think this list should go under, here it is.


~ Be able to speak simple conversations in German and Russian.

~ Blog post at least once every 2 weeks.

~ Journal regularly.

~ Learn 2 new alphabets.

~ Learn how to read bass clef notes.

~ Learn Arabic numbers.

~ Exercise regularly by walking to the library and/or weight lifting.

~ Start some sort of Book Passing Club.

~ Help English students weekly on livemocha.

~ Continue to grow spiritually and study the Bible every day.

~ Have a strong relationship with each of my siblings.

~ Study thoroughly:

Origin of the 66-book Bible,

Suffering in relation with a good God,

and Islam

~ Help edit friends’ books.

~ Play piano daily (when I’m home), and learn at least 6 new songs.