Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cold Air---Finally

My air conditioning hasn't been working for the past week. They finally fixed it today. Three guys were in and out of my room for an hour trying to get it working. Just in time too—Holly moved in today. :)

Most of the girls in my building are here. It's so nice to hear feet and people and laughter. I'm going to like all these girls a lot. I know it's going to be a good year.

Backing up. Moving in the freshmen was quite the experience. It rained . . . it poured . . . we got drenched (as did their stuff) . . . and it was a blast. I probably should not have carried so many heavy things; my shoulders and back were complaining later. I guess they still can’t handle work like that. Thanks to Nora's massages and my ice pack, I'm feeling much better.

Side note. Brooke and I are only in charge of 51 girls, not 52. My bad.

Exciting news. Holly and Charity and I are all finally together! I love my two roommates! Charity and I had some sweet times over the weekend—at Chicago and chatting in our room and walking to Dollar General. I know more wonderful memories to come with both of them.

Last night Brooke, Rachel, Jenny, and I went to Rachel’s house for dinner. She lives in Chesterfield, about an hour away. Fish on the grill. Great conversations. Laughing at an SAT vocabulary CD. Good times.

Sunday all of the RAs went to Chicago with the freshmen blocks. Cities are one of my favorite places ever, as is water—and I got to see both in the same day! I enjoyed getting to know a few freshmen better. Ten of us walked to Navy Pier, ate lunch (fried rice and an iced coffee for me), and then walked up and down Michigan Ave.

I love the wide eyes I get when I tell the freshmen that I’m a senior. It makes me feel old and experienced, although I’m really neither of those. My name is so hard to remember, so I started telling them “Jana Banana” as a memory aid in hopes that will help. My luck—it will be spread around campus in a few days.

Time to slip outside for some me-and-God time. Oh. Yes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

One Week Down

One week is finished already and I won't even start classes for another week. That's a weird feeling. RA training is going well. Today was our last full day; the freshmen start moving in tomorrow.

Random happenings from the past week:

We served at Center for the Homeless on Friday and Saturday. I stacked chairs, organized cabinets, cleaned dirty dishes, played tag with kids, cut up tomatoes and cantaloupe, let girls play with my hair, and served lunch (which was my favorite part).

Sunday we had worship and a short devotion together and then enjoyed an amazing buffet brunch at Tippecanoe Place. Amazing food! I spent the afternoon with God . . . much needed and so encouraging.

I’ve been to 16 sessions so far for RA training. We’re learning about everything from Exploring Leadership and Emergency Procedures to Conflict Resolution and Mission Statements. So much information is packed in my head right now.

I really like my RA/RD team. My co-RA is Brooke Gilbert (who actually grew up in Leo). The other RAs in the apartment next to us are Jenny and Rachel. Together, Brooke and I are in charge of 52 girls. Our RD is Julie. She and her husband, Travis, are the RDs for the Founders Village apartments. The guy RAs are Zach K., Nate, Adam, Danny, and Zach B. It’s a good team. We ate dinner together last night and played Taboo and Fast Scrabble.

Just so you know . . . even though I love words and I love to write . . . I stink at word games. Taboo. Scattergories. Fast Scrabble. Yep—I’m awful. Thank goodness I'm not playing to win.

Some other things that happened: CPR training, leveling the sand volleyball court, shopping for dorm decorations, playing fast scrabble, Ritters excursion, role playing/responding to situations, and a bus tour around Mishawaka.

Honestly, I’m not quite sure what I’ve gotten myself into with this RA thing. Can I do this? I’m not so sure. However, I was reminded today that I may not be able to do this . . . but God sure can. Trust God. Love people. Leave room for grace. That’s about all there is to it.

He is a gracious God.
Oh—may I not forget that amazing truth.
Jana Alexis

Thursday, August 16, 2007

1 through 10 and 19

1: more year to go at Bethel College
2: pictures already hanging on the walls
3: desks in our living area
4: hours to basically unload and unpack everything
5: minutes to listen to my alarm after my nap
6: packages of lightbulbs in the cabinet
7: bags of cookies from Grandma in the freezer
8: people bowling tonight
9: months until I'll live at home again
10: minutes until I should be in bed
19: pairs of shoes currently in my closet

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

One More Week

Whew. It's warm. Or maybe it'd be more apt to say: it's hot! The temperature was 96 degrees when I drove back from the dentist today. I was going to get up to go on a short jog at 5:45 this morning. Forget that! I turned off the alarm and got right back into bed. It's a good thing, too, because I probably wouldn't have stopped sweating by the time I needed to get ready for work.

Vacation in Virginia was a great time with extended and immediate family. Highlights include: laughing with Jessica, kayaking in the mountains, lots of good food, shopping in the quaint Lexington downtown, being bothered by Jordan and Dad, spending an entire day reading and sunning, driving in the mountains, talking to Mom, and pineapple shakes.

I had lots of good reading time on the trip: Insiders, In the Grip of Grace, Great Expectations, the Bible. There seems to be one consistent theme. I am learning that failure and weakness and imperfection in me grants Jesus a door to be Who He is: my Savior. “Our hunger, then, is not a yearning to be avoided but rather a God-given desire to be heeded. Our weakness is not to be dismissed but to be confessed.” (Max Lucado) I truly need Him. "How gracious He will be to you when you cry for help!" (Isaiah)

One more day of work. One more week before I go back to Bethel College for my last year. One more Sunday and Wednesday with my church family. One week to pack up all of my belongings—headed for the attic or the dorm room. That last one scares me the most at the moment. I haven’t even printed my packing list yet.

I had a thought tonight. The more I can accept God’s grace, the more I will be able to be gracious to others. I’m not so good at that, however this thought encourages me to keep at understanding His grace. Perhaps slowly I will learn to share a fraction of that grace with those around me.

Okay. Time to work on my resume. I have one interview tomorrow and then another on Friday for after I graduate. Oh Lord—help me and give me wisdom.

In His amazing grace.