Monday, May 26, 2008

Real Life Begins

No more need to wear a sign. Praise God: I have a job! I start work tomorrow at Ambassador Family Enterprises as the Executive Assistant. They are a holding company (overseeing a steel company, a boat company, and a foundation) and a think-tank of sorts. My duties will include secretarial jobs and also project/research work. I'm so grateful for God's provision.

I'm excited about the job but that means my 3-week vacation is over. I've sure enjoyed this time to just relax and organize and be with my family and get sun. My friends in Indy adopted me for the weekend again. This time we went boating after church on Sunday. Perfect weather and great friends--can't get any better than that.

Real life begins. Am I ready for this? I'm ready for a steady income (what a concept!), a schedule, and a purpose for my day (beyond relaxing).

I feel like I'm coming into my own again--fortifying the foundation of me. Transitioning back to life in Fort Wayne has been rough at times but I'm trying not to rush myself. There is time. Through it all, God is so good and faithful to me. His assurance and friendship is sweet.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. . . . He restores my soul. He guides me . . ."
Psalm 23

Hanging in there,
Jana Alexis

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Help My Unbelief

I need to wear a sign: "No. I do not have a job yet. Still interviewing. Thanks for asking."

I sure love watching my brother Jordan play baseball.

I have been sitting on the couch for the last 3 hours. Just relaxing.

I talked to one of my favorite mentor/friends yesterday: Marissa.

I am very happy and excited for my engaged sister.

I rode bikes with a group of old friends yesterday. Praise Jesus for laughter.

I will post pictures of my new room soon.

I love Jesus. All that matters is Jesus. He is my true life.

I believe--help my unbelief.
I trust--help my distrust.
I have faith--help my doubt.
I am complete--help my perfectionism.
I am courageous--help my fear.

Just a clay jar who knows Jesus.
Jana Alexis

Monday, May 12, 2008

Turkey Run

Now begin the wonderful summer updates. Aren't you excited.

This past weekend I went camping with my friends, Greg and Liz, and three of their friends: Bryce, Grant, and Keith. We arrived at Turkey Run on Friday evening. It rained but we set up camp anyway and it cleared up later on. It was beautiful on Saturday. We hiked and relaxed and ate cookies and hiked some more and played frisbee golf (which I enjoyed despite my feeble attempt at throwing a frisbee).

Saturday night it started raining when we went to bed . . . and rained some more . . . and kept on raining. The picture below is of Liz and I wringing out my sleeping bag. I slept on top and, thank goodness, the water didn't soak all the way through until the morning. We were literally sleeping on a puddle. Exciting times, for sure.
I thoroughly enjoyed all of the laughter during the whole weekend. (And it's completely fine that I couldn't join in with all those "Dumb & Dumber" quotes.) And I just soaked in all of the scenery and relaxation.

The weekend was like a deep breath . . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Finals Phase II

As promised, here is the completion of my "finals" week run-down. I spent a lot of time organizing, cleaning, and packing. God has blessed me with so much . . . it's definitely time to clean out my collection of stuff.

I also spent a good amount of time checking girls out of their rooms. This involved hanging around my room until they were ready and then using a check-out sheet to make sure there was no new damage to the room. Probably the least-popular aspect of the RA job.

Wednesday night was a come-and-go RA fondue dinner. I enjoyed the shrimp and also the bread dipped in cheese. Then on Thursday night the female RAs from Founders went to dinner with our RD. Noma in downtown South Bend is an eclectic Asian spot with a dress code. It was snazzy. I enjoyed my pad thai with crab meat and shrimp. Delicious! It was a great night to finish up the year.

My girls--Holly, Nora, Charity, Megan--and I tried to do some special things during the last week. This included:
  • Pizza at Holly's house on Tuesday night. Mrs. Birkey made her amazing pizza and we celebrated Nora's 23rd birthday.
  • Roommate breakfast at Sufficient Grounds on Thursday morning. Holly, Megan, Charity, and I laughed entirely too much.
  • Brunch Saturday morning at Holly's grandma's house with Holly's mom, sister, grandma, aunt, and Nora. Holly's grandma is a wonderful entertainer and it was a wonderful girls' morning.
  • Rollerblading with Holly at Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon. It sure is beautiful in the spring!
  • Reminiscing and worshipping Jesus with Holly. We enjoyed remembering all that God has done over the last four years and all of the wonderful memories.
  • Tim Tam slamming party and watching "The Majestic" on Saturday evening. I ironed our gowns and Holly painted her toenails while we watched.

Friday evening was the Graduation Dinner. Mom, Dad, Jason, and Grandma came. Holly and her parents were able to sit with us. It was a wonderful evening of music, food, speeches, and celebration.

I think that brings you up-to-speed.
What a week.
J.Alexis

Monday, May 5, 2008

Graduation!

Yesterday, Sunday, May 4, was the culmination of four years of study, hard work, tears, tests, and good times. I graduated from Bethel College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude. My family--Dad, Mom, Jessica, Jordan, and Grandma--and friends--Greg, Liz, Chris, and Alex--came to celebrate with me.

No worries. I will complete the overview of "finals" week . . . but this post is dedicated to yesterday. It began at 6:15am because I woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep. Holly and I attended the early service and Sunday school at Grace Church. Then we sipped an Italian ice while we journaled at Bella Vita--our favorite coffee shop. Lunch at Fazoli's completed our time together before we headed back to the room to finish getting ready.

The day just seemed so relaxed and joyful. We lined up in the ER auditorium at 1:30. I was in this surreal mode--couldn't believe it was actually happening. At 20 after 2pm all 400+ graduates walked through campus on our way to Weikamp gym. It was packed! I couldn't believe how many people were there. The whole ceremony went smoothly. The speaker did an excellent job: I'll remember Luke 7:11 and "touch the coffin." I'm sure it seemed long to the spectators but I enjoyed watching all of these people I know get their diploma.

My favorite moments of the ceremony:
1) Receiving my diploma and grinning the whole way across the stage.
2) Seeing Jordan when he came down to take pictures right at the end.
3) Singing "To God be the Glory" and just worshipping.
4) Seeing my family and friends in the bleachers as we processed back to the ponds.


Next was hugging and picture time! My face hurt from smiling but I didn't mind. I took pictures with everyone, even laughing and tree-hugging shots with Holly. (It's tradition.) Afterwards, we headed to Applebees for dinner. Charity and Nora joined us. Greg entertained the whole table. I enjoyed chatting with everyone. Lots of laughter and talking. Then we packed up the rest of my stuff and headed home.


Relief. Joy. Exhaustion. Satisfaction. Gratitude. Peace.
Those are just a few of the feelings that rushed through me yesterday . . . and continue to overwhelm me. I just wanted to soak in every minute of it.
Big sigh.
I made it.
Praise the Lord!
Jana Alexis

Friday, May 2, 2008

Finals Phase I

I know. I know. I didn't have to take any finals. And classes have been done since last Friday. Yet, at times this feels like a true "finals" week because I'm trying to wrap up e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g from four years. So many emotions and highs and lows and anticipations and goodbyes. Holly and I decided we don't particularly like this stage of fluctuation. But, I'm trying to ride it and enjoy this time as much as I can.

There's so much to share about this past week. Here's random thoughts in no particular order. And there's so many they may need to spill over into another post . . .

I made a quick trip home from Sunday evening to Tuesday morning. Five and a half hours of interviews on Monday was exhausting. No conclusive job information yet. I'm just trusting! (trusting Him, of course)

I did have one test this week---an SAT-like test for the business department to help them see how well they taught the seniors. Wednesday morning at 9am. No studying required. Not a big deal. And I remembered quite a lot, I thought.

Sleeping has been a struggle this week. Too much on my mind.

The weekend with the roommates--Charity, Megan, Holly--and Nora was amazing. Friday night we went to the South Bend Chocolate Cafe after getting dressed up. I enjoyed a delicious raspberry cheesecake and real hot chocolate with Charity. We finished up the night at Midnight Breakfast.




Saturday morning we all got up at 8am to eat a chocolate chip/almond pancake breakfast prepared by our wonderful Holly. Then we headed to Goodwill for a 50% off sale. I love thrift shopping and I especially love helping other people shop. There is a method to my madness. Meg, Charity, Holly, and I all hit a clothes jackpot and Nora found a sweet Polaroid camera. $20 was my limit and I only spent $19.26. :)

That accomplished, we quickly grabbed our beach stuff, picked up lunch and coffee drinks at Sufficient, and headed to Warren Dunes. It was freezing and the wind was blowing (which means the sand was blowing like crazy) and we still had an amazing time. Naps on the beach wrapped in blankets was the first order-of-business. Until Charity decided it was time to wake us all up and do something. So, we climbed to the top of the big dune.

We came back exhausted. I was covered with sand---still found some in my eyes the next morning. And that dune climbing wiped me out. But it was certainly worth it for tradition and new memories sake. I had a marvelous time with my Bethel friends.

This verse was running through my mind as I fell asleep last night: "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious . . ."
I'm clinging to that.
Jana Alexis