Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ready, Set, Go!!

It has been three weeks now. We were engulfed in preparing for resident assistants (RAs) to arrive. Meetings and training followed with a final push at the end to have the dorm ready for freshmen check-in. We welcomed eight RAs into our building and spent time at a mountain home training with the entire staff from all buildings. It's amazing how bonds can form among people in only a week.
The final push consisted of staying up until 2:30 p.m. to complete the last of hall decorations and waking at 8 o'clock to welcome 120 freshmen at 9:00. Things went smoothly and orientation began. We met in the new chapel for an opening event and spent the following couple of days watching people settle in and say good-bye to family.
To date we have a great class that is quieter than last year (so far) and make going to bed by midnight actually possible. So for now we are settling into routines and still learning names. We only have about 100 left to memorize! No problem, right?!

Sunday, August 3, 2008


My cousins call him Paw Paw, but I have always called him Uncle Vernon. In his 70s he has seen a lot, including the recent passing of his wife, my Aunt Doris. It was good to be in Alabama last weekend and to have some overdue conversations on how he is doing. As I sat in church on Sunday morning I was reminded of his influence. A true gentleman with a soft, giving heart I have always greatly respected and admired him...even when his family was tough on him. Years ago he and my aunt responded to the need for a church that accepted the outcast so Church On the Rock was established. And all those excluded from traditional churches or unchurched altogether were welcomed in and began to grow. It is a beautiful thing to see biker guys sitting beside little old ladies in hats. My heart smiled. This is what it's about!

While I saw all the cousins, went to a birthday party and talked to my Aunt Kas, I was reminded of my roots. Raised in a small, rural town in South Georgia I was shy and backward. I went to school covered in a heavy coat because of insecurity and spoke only a few words during a day until I returned home. I was dorky, and I was quiet. I was a nobody.

But in my state of nobodyness, God loved me. He gave godly Christian parents and a rich heritage of uncles and aunts, like Aunt Doris and Uncle Vernon, who love Him. And He made me a somebody...using them to share much of that love. It's a revealing blog that's been on my heart to share and that has been postponed time and again the past two weeks. This is the testimony at the core of me...a nobody turned somebody because she was loved by Jesus and the family He gave...