Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Math, Meetings & Sunshine

So, let me just begin this post by stating the fact that I am not good at Math.  I am not good at the subject, but I also am not fond of my class either because it holds so much embarrassment for me.  My teacher allows all of the students in class to use this website called where you type in your math problem and it gives you the answer.  It gives no explanation of how it got the answer; it just gives it to you just like that.  She always says “you’re going to use websites like that when you have to use math in everyday life so why not use it now?”  I have to say, I am glad she feels that way because it makes getting an A on a math assignment about 1,000 times easier.  However, when we get to class on Monday and Wednesday morning and she wants us to put problems up on the board, I have no idea how to even begin to solve them because I used that website.  Therefore, I always look like an idiot because I don’t ever know the answers, and I am in class with all kinds of business majors and other people that are geniuses at math.  Today I worked so hard and finally got the right answer on the problem that was assigned to me (or so I thought) and went to put it up on the board only to discover I did the wrong one.  And might I add the teacher didn’t have a problem with telling all of my classmates this.  The problem I was supposed to do, I never figured out and when I asked the girl sitting next to me for help she looked at me like I was stupid.  Onto another embarrassing math story….(I could go on forever with these, I have a lot!)

Every time we have class a student has to give a devotion before class starts.  Monday was my turn.  Over Thanksgiving break one of my Facebook friends posted a video that was really amazing and I knew immediately that that was what I wanted to share for my devotion.  A man by the name of Zac Smith was diagnose with cancer and basically the video is him giving his testimony and he talks about how he doesn’t know how long he is going to live or if he will win his battle with cancer, but whether he lives or dies he knows that God is GOOD! I loved it because I thought it taught such a good lesson on not taking things for granted and living every day as if it were your last.  Apparently my classmates didn’t agree with me.  They thanked me for sharing such a depressing video to start off class with.  I guess maybe they didn’t see the message that I saw through the video?  Afterwards I sat back down and started nervously playing with my earrings only to discover I was wearing two different ones.  One small gold hoop and one big silver one.  I know they all thought I was ridiculous.  Hahaha!  This class makes me very eager for Christmas break. 

I had a meeting tonight at school.  It was for all Elementary education majors.  It was very informative but made me so overwhelmed about all that I have ahead of me.  But, I am so glad that I even know what I want to do with my life.  I see so many people that are in that struggle of determining what they want to major in and do with their lives and my heart aches for them because it’s such a huge decision.  That is when I stop and thank God that He has always placed that desire in my heart to be a teacher.  I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember.

Everyone here at Regent has been so busy because finals are coming up.  I have so many projects due and exams to study for in the weeks ahead of me.  But I know that when it all is done I get to go home for a break.  I can’t believe that in the two short weeks I have home for Christmas break we celebrate Christmas and New Years.  Time is going so fast and I can’t believe this year is almost over and before I know it I will soon be done with my 3rd year of college. 

Today I was very thankful for the sunshine.  Yesterday was such a cold and wet day.  Every time I see that it is raining outside I put on my rain boots and the sun always ends up coming out and there aren’t any puddles and I just look, well, dumb.  So yesterday I didn’t put them on because it didn’t look like it was raining anymore and boy was I ever wrong. It was raining so much and my feet got absolutely soaked.  I’ve decided I will always wear rain boots if I see even the slightest bit of rain because having dry feet is so much better than having wet shoes and sitting through hours of classes freezing your butt off.   

This will have to be the end of my blog for tonight.  I gave myself only a short break from writing my paper to do something fun and this is what I chose to do, and now I must get back to homework. ..      

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Thankful Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays ever, and it always is a good reminder of all that I have to be thankful for.  Not only family and friends, but also, just the fact that I am a child of God and that He loves me enough that He died for me.  What an amazing thing to be thankful for.  I have my whole life ahead of me and I cannot wait to see where God will lead me and how He will use me. 

This Thanksgiving was a bit different than our usual Thanksgivings.  There were only 5 people at our table instead of 6.  We tried Skyping with Dad while we cooked in the kitchen, but service was awful and so that complicated things a bit, so we didn’t get to talk much.  I am proud to say that since my cooking skills have improved, this is the first Thanksgiving that I have no just made the sweet tea and set the table.  I actually cooked, and nothing was burnt or ruined. I’m getting good at this. ; )

Once we all were ready to eat our dinner we got out the laptop and called Dad on Skype because he wanted to pray with us before our meal.  It was an emotional event of course.  Dad isn’t just the turkey carver, but he is the head of our home.  He provides for us and he is the glue that holds us all together.  But we are so thankful that over the last 9 years of being in the Army Dad has only deployed twice.  We are so thankful for that and know that we are on the home stretch. 

After eating until we were stuffed we played games and watched movies.  It was such a nice relaxing afternoon.  I even took a little snooze.  Usually our tradition is to set up our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving, but we were all sitting around and decided, why not today?  Let’s start setting things up right now.  So, we got all of our Christmas decorations out of the attic, put on the Christmas music and started un-wrapping everything.  Well, were we ever in for a surprise!  After opening up boxes and pulling stuff out I noticed a piece of paper laying in one of our Christmas boxes.  Immediately I noticed the name signed at the end of the letter that was written and it said one word: Dad.  So, I called everyone into the room and we read a note that my Dad hid for us to find on the day we set up our Christmas decorations.  It was so sweet!! I am so thankful for having my Mom and brother and sisters with me this Thanksgiving and that they will be with me for Christmas.  I can’t even fathom being alone in Afghanistan, like my Dad is.  He is truly my hero.  I have been praying for him so much and that time will go quickly for him and that he won’t be too lonely over the holidays. 

I am so thankful for such a great Thanksgiving.  God has blessed me with the most amazing family I could ever imagine, and such great friends who are always there for me and always love me no matter what.  One of my teachers challenged all of us students this week to make a list of 100 things we are thankful for.  What a challenge.  I think I may do it, although the day is almost over.  After listing all of the basics you really have to think hard about the things you are thankful for.  I always just think of obvious things like family and friends and my house, but what about things like just breathing, or being able to worship my Savior freely.  So many thing I take for granted, and I can’t wait to make my list of all of the things I am thankful for, and to really think hard about it.  I don’t want to take anything for granted.  I want to be so thankful for everything I have and everything I am blessed with every day and not just on Thanksgiving. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Great weekend and things to look forward to

I often don’t have the best of luck.  It makes life quite amusing and, I must admit, I love it. I am sweaty and out of breath!!  But, let me tell you why.  Regent has two dorm buildings.  Each one has only 4 washers,  so let me just tell you, it is a rare occasion to get more than one washer at a time and it turns laundry day into a huge event after lugging laundry up and down the stairs several times.  After getting back to school from a weekend at home I had a bunch of laundry to do and went downstairs to check if there were any washers free and ALL 4 WERE EMPTY!!! So you know what I did? I ran as fast as I could up to my room, sorted my laundry and ran back downstairs with a basket so full of laundry I could hardly carry it just to find that all the washers were full except for one.  So I had to carry most of the laundry back up to my room again, but I consider myself lucky compared to the guy using the washer next to me who forgot to get the gum out of his pockets before doing his laundry.  It was a huge mess that I am so thankful I did not have to deal with.  Trust me; there is always a bright side to everything! 

It was a really fun weekend at home.  It’s always nice to go home to my Mom’s smiling face and home cooked meals and to have all of us siblings together.  Saturday we spent the day with friends from our college Bible study back home (Newport News).  It was such a beautiful day that we spent all of it outside playing croquette, corn hole, Frisbee and lots of other fun stuff.  We got so into Frisbee at one point that we had 6 going at one time.  It was a major challenge for me considering I can’t throw a Frisbee straight to save my life.  It was a very fun day.  I always miss my friends back home when I am at school.  They are so fun! 

The only thing that could have made this weekend better was if Dad were home.  We had a great Skype date with him today after church, but it is not the same as having him here.  The deployment is almost over though and we couldn’t be happier.  I am so excited to have my Dad back home.

Over the last couple of years I have made up a bucket list of my own.  Just things that I really want to do at some point in my life.  I have marked two off of my list. 

1)      Be a counselor at a summer camp

I have always wanted to be a counselor at a summer camp.  I have had the opportunity for the last two summers to be a camp counselor at Camp Open Arms.  It is one of my absolute favorite things.  I love working with the kids to help them not only have a great time but to learn about God.  We help them not only build a relationship with God but we teach them how to have a quiet time every day and help them have a better understanding of who He is and what He has done for us. 

2)      Lead someone to Christ

This is also something that I have accomplished through Camp Open Arms.  I love having the privilege to share my love for God with these kids and it’s something I will never get tired of doing. 

I am currently working on checking off another two items on my list.

1)      Read the entire Bible

This is something I am ashamed to say I have never done before, but I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I am learning so much through reading God’s word and I have no doubt that as soon as I finish I will start over and read it through again. The second thing I am working on is:

2)      Read all of the Sherlock Holmes books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I love reading The Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes! The insane brilliancy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is something I will never understand.  He is an amazing writer and I love reading all of these books. 

I am so excited about checking more things off my list.  But keep in mind these are small things off my list, and there are much bigger things I want to accomplish in life and I cannot wait to see where God leads me.          

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Me and my bright ideas...NOT!

My brilliant ideas never quite turn out how I imagined them to.  If you know me well, then you know I hate exercising.  It just is boring to me and I never feel good afterwards.  It always makes me miserable because I get sore and I always just feel….well, blah! So the other day I decided that I was going to start working out.  After all, it is quite pathetic that my arms are sore after carrying groceries to my dorm room on the second floor.  Ok, not quite pathetic, VERY!!! So I started this morning.  I got up extra early and went down to the gym.  It was kinda awkward going into our small school gym to exercise and finding some of the boy’s football team intensely working out.  It made me feel even more pathetic that I was lifting tiny weights and breaking a sweat over it.  After working out I REALLY remembered why I hate working out. I felt like I was going to puke! It was not fun. So, needless to say, I am trying to decide if I will keep this up. Hopefully after a couple of weeks of working out my body will get used to my new hobby and I will have some muscle. ; )

I am really trying to work on not judging people before I really get to know them.  When I walked into class this morning there was a whole row of guys sitting at their usual table and sitting in front of them was one girl who was turned around facing them and flirting an insane amount with every one of them.  I kept rolling my eyes and thinking about how obnoxious it was to sit there having to listen to her flirt.  But then, I thought to myself:  Jana, you don’t even know this girl.  You have no clue what her life is like at home, outside of school.  Maybe this girl has a really rough life at home.  She might not even have a Dad.  What if she is just dying for some sort of male figure to pay attention to her because she’s never had someone make her feel special or loved.  You really can use that saying “Never judge a book by its cover” in any situation, including mine with this young girl.  I’ve decided that instead of judging people, I should pray for them instead.

That just about sums up my thoughts for today. I am now off to soak my aching muscles in a nice hot bath.    

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Intial blog post

Welcome to my first official blog. I feel like I have erased and re-written this so many times. I guess it is nerves because I have never made a blog before and am a little frightened about posting things about myself on the World Wide Web. It also is very hard to give a nut shell of your entire life in one short introductory blog. I guess I can give this a try….

I am a middle child (sort of). I have twin sisters that are 22 and a younger brother that is 16, so I am in the middle of them. Me, Hayley and Heidi are all college students at a university in Virginia Beach. Hayley is taking online classes from home and me and Heidi are roommates in the dorms up at school, which is only 30-45 minutes away. Just enough to feel like you’re on your own, but close enough to go home whenever you want! I also have a younger brother, Nathan. Everyone always says “poor guy” because he has grown up with 3 older sisters, but honestly, I think he loves it. ; ) And I always say he will make a great boyfriend one day because he won’t mind watching chick-flicks with his girlfriend after putting up with them all these years.

My parents…words cannot even describe. I have the best parents in the entire world, and I know everyone says that, but for real, it’s true!! My Mom is so loving and caring of others and always puts them first. She homeschooled all of us kids and had so much patience with us. She is the most amazing cook, and I am trying my best to be more like that, even if I burn down the Regent dorm rooms in the process. My Dad is a Chaplain in the United States Army. He is actually serving a year term in Afghanistan right now. He has been there since February of this year and comes home February 2012. It is less than 3 months away now and I am so excited! My Dad is the most Godly person I know. He always knows just what to say to make everything better. And I love his passion for God and to share His love with other people. Put them together and you have the best parents in the entire world!

I am studying to be an Elementary Education teacher. I am so excited because my love for kids grows more and more every day. They are so funny and I can’t wait to have my own class room and students one day. Although I want to live and teach in Virginia, this isn’t where I was born and raised, which brings next, the question I dread for people to ask me. “Where are you from?” It’s so complicated because although I was born in Tennessee, I actually lived in Arkansas but all of my family (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) live in Louisiana because that is where my parents are from. People try and tell me I have a country accent, but I don’t believe them. ; ) But, I can see how it could be true since I have never lived out of the south. Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia….we just can’t get away from the good ole south.

Well, that about sums up me right now. I hope when you guys read my blogs that you take something from it, whether it be a good laugh or a new insight to my ever growing love for God. I am so excited about all of this. I have been journaling since I was 9 years old and I am excited to share little bits with all of you!