Friday, June 29, 2007

Kingdom Comes!

When anger fills your heart, when in your pain and hurt
You find the strength to stop, you bless instead of curse
When doubting floods your soul, though all things feel unjust
You open up your heart, you find a way to trust

That's a little stone, that's a little mortar
That's a little seed, that's a little water
In the hearts of the sons and the daughters
The kingdom's coming

In the mundane tasks of living, in the pouring out and giving
In the waking up and trying, in the laying down and dying

Thanks to Sara Groves for those beautiful lyrics. It's the everyday. The mundane. The picking up of the cross. That His everlasting Kingdom comes.

I love Fridays. I especially love them at 5pm. Before that time came today, however, I visited South Whitley with my mom. That little town needs a lot of help. I made a list of the 46 businesses (vacant and otherwise) that are a part of the study. Oh boy.
Brad and Brenda did not get beat in Euchre last night. I guess that means G and I will keep trying . . . we'll be inviting ourselves over again, I'm sure.
I'm in a New Zealand picture mood.

Beaches, Amy, and rain. Lovely things in a lovely place.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Humble Vessel

Guess what? I'm not perfect. I just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone was thinking differently. I keep getting glimpses (great big scenic shots, rather) of my imperfections and inadequacies and failures. I am a sinner.

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him." 2 Cor. 2:14

Praise God! It's not me (and can never be me). I can never earn it or deserve it. He leads me because of what Jesus did. I am simply the humble vessel of His glorious gospel. I truly owe him my life, my allegiance, my love.

"What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?" Matt. 16:26 Am I concerned about the eternal? About the kingdom of God?

On to other (somewhat less-important) things . . . I helped the other interns pick up trash on our property for 45 minutes this morning. It was delicious; I enjoy every chance I can get to be outside. I sang to myself and half-filled a trash bag with random pieces of garbage. The straws that I found confused me the most: how in the world do they get there? Do people spit their straws out the window when they're done drinking? Odd. I also have lovely blisters now from walking around in not-yet-broken-in sandals. Ouch.

I spent over an hour last night choreographing for dance tonight. After the little girls' ballet lessons, I'm meeting with some older girls to just dance for fun. We're learning a ballet/modern piece to a song by Sara Groves and a jazz/hip-hop piece to a song by Ayiesha Woods. I haven't choreographed in a while, but I was having a blast once I got into it.

The weekend was great! So many fun things. Rollerblading at the Roller Dome with Gary. Lunch with Ashley Geiser at Shoaff (beautiful sun!). Sushi and the "All for One" play with my Mom. Biking/running/walking on Saturday morning. Afternoon and evening with the Stauffer family. Nursery Sunday morning with 15 crazy toddlers. Two and a half hour nap. Lindsay's graduation party. Party at the Wallin's house.

Can I just say that I love summer?
Jana Alexis

PS: G and Sally----my name was ranked 971 this year and nonexistent in 2003. Sally and I both "beat" you, G. You can stop boasting now. :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

the family

Little bits about my wonderful family:

Jason and I had a great laugh at work last week. We visited the downtown library with three other guys from work. The head researcher met with us for three hours and he was . . . interesting . . . to say the least. We talked about it the whole way back to work and both of us were laughing so hard that we cried. Good times.

Brad said that Jess and I need to start a post-it note conversation because we never see each other anymore. I usually leave in the morning before she gets up and then I go to bed before she gets home again. Sometimes I miss her a lot. I'm definitely feeling the need for some good Jana&Jess time.

Last Thursday Mom and I spent some time together. We made dinner and cleaned up and talked and just generally enjoyed each other's company. Friday night we went to watch Emma's softball game. Saturday I let Mom put me to work for five hours: errands, cleaning, and cooking. I don't mind helping, especially when we go at it together.

Jordan is my big little brother. I've enjoyed watching a few of his baseball games. Last Wednesday he talked and talked to me about his experiences helping with the Survivor Sports camp. I loved to hear about it. I'm sure enjoying becoming his friend.

On Father's Day (what a great dad I have!) we helped my grandma unpack in her new condo (which is 8 minutes from our house, instead of 30 minutes). I fell asleep on the couch when we got back home. Later Mom, Jess, Jason, and I played euchre while we waited for the ribs to cook. Oh, do I love barbecue ribs!!! After dinner we watched "The Prestige." Good movie but I was not in the right mood. I got too scared and it took them 10 minutes to explain everything to me at the end.

I love my family!
I've been reading 2 Corinthians the last few days. I don't think I've ever focused on it before. Good stuff. Clay. Weaknesses. God's glory. That's what it's all about.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Knocking Process

It says to knock and the door will be opened. Yet, have you ever considered what is truely involved in the knocking process?

Knock and it shall be opened unto you. Draw nigh to God.
Knock--the door is closed, and you suffer from palpitation as you knock.

Cleanse your hands--
knock a bit louder, you begin to find you are dirty.

Purify your heart--
this is more personal still, you are desperately in earnest now--you will do anything.

Be afflicted--
have you ever been afflicted before God at the state of your inner life? There is no strand of self-pity left, but a heartbreaking affliction of amazement to find you are the kind of person that you are.

Humble yourself--
it is a humbling business to knock at God's door--you have to knock with the crucified thief.

To him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
(Oswald Chambers)

Friday, June 8, 2007

A New Face

I'm done switching blogs now . . . I think. Hopefully this new face will last me a little while. My first blog--travelingrace--was specifically for my Australia semester. The second--trustgrace--I developed for the second half of my junior year. (I wasn't traveling anymore, so a new name was necessary.)

I'm sure you've noticed the theme: grace. Grace. This new title is so relevant. I have been granted grace. I am saved by grace. His grace is sufficient and more than enough. His grace still amazes me.

The weather is nasty. But I don't mind. I quite enjoy storms. However, I would rather be at home, curled up on the couch watching a movie (preferably The Inheritance) than here at work.

I finally was able to talk to my Long Island friend, Amy. It had been way too long since our last conversation but we picked up right where we left off. My Australia-sister-for-four-months is really an amazing young lady. I'm so glad our friendship is continuing strong.

Gary and I went to the downtown library last night. It's amazing! (And the company wasn't too shabby either.) I think I have a new favorite place. Jess and I decided that we need to go spend 3 hours there on a Sunday afternoon . . . soon. In a library I love to browse the aisles, find a book, sit in the aisle and read a bit, and then find another book to begin all over again. Sometimes I grab an armful of interesting books and find a comfy place to read.

Sean's graduation party is tonight. Excited to spend time with the CGS group.

In His grace,
Jana Alexis