Welcoming Change

Featured

It’s so exciting, isn’t it?

The feeling of freedom, when you’re no longer tied down to the actions of others.

The moment you realize, deep in your heart, that your reactions are not controlled by the behavior of others, or any outside circumstances. (Do you see the chorus of angels singing, with a light shining down from the heavens on you? It’s there.)

The freedom that comes with the first time you realize, your old self would have had a crazy emotional reaction to the situation you were just in, but YOU were there.

YOU were there, with your inner child (the part of yourself that wants to freak out like a three year old anytime you perceive you’ve been “wronged” by an outside source).

YOU were there, comforting yourself, reminding yourself that the actions of others are just that… the actions of OTHERS. Not to be confused with the actions of you… and definitely not in control of the actions of you.

YOU were there, helping yourself in the process of letting go; letting go of the crap you wanted so badly to pick up from whatever outside source your inner child thought you should freak out about.

There’s still some resistance going on after the event has taken place. You find that you’ve surprised yourself by remaining calm, when, in the past, you would’ve just lost it. And part of you wants to resort back to those days. Because, let’s be honest here, change is kind of uncomfortable. Even good change.

What will you do in this moment? This moment that’s creating a life-changing shift. You used to believe that your emotions were in control of you, but you now realize that’s just not true… this experience has shown you that your old beliefs, what you thought were completely right, completely true… are not true anymore.

What happens next? It’s definitely more comfortable just to go back to what used to work. But I have a sneaking suspicion that if you try to go back, you won’t be in integrity with yourself because you know there is a better way. And that better way is found when you walk in your truth.

This confrontation of change brings in the awareness that if I try too hard to define who I am with my beliefs, my opinions, my “facts” that I know to be true, and that if I am always “right,” my way is the only way… how on earth will I be confident in who I am as a Divinely beloved human? How on earth will I respond when my paradigm is shattered by a new realization, a new revelation? How can we survive if we’re not willing to evolve with the world around us? How can we move into our purpose if we’re so stuck in the way we think things “should” be? Because when we take a step back, and open our eyes, we will find that things are so incredibly different than what we were taught.

We were trained for this life by people who did the best they could with the tools and knowledge that they had, but who came from their own perspective.

If you ask 50 different people to tell you what happened at the same event, you will have 50 different stories. How is that possible? Which one is the truth? Well, they’re all true, at least for the person who shared their perspective.

Our truths are defined by our past experiences, so how could a thing be true for somebody if they’ve never even experienced what it feels like?

At the end of the day, I believe each human being is doing the very best they can. From this perspective, it’s so much easier to feel compassion and love for each individual we meet, for all of our brothers and sisters on this planet.

When rooting and grounding ourselves in love, and speaking and acting from this place, how many beautiful and amazing gifts will we see show up in our lives?

I have a sneaking suspicion the results will overwhelm our hearts and the amazing lives around us.

Mouthy Little Thing, Isn’t She?

Featured

I’m laughing at myself. I have a strong desire to sit down and write, but what about? I’m not exactly sure yet.

Still over here laughing.

 

Did you know that we literally speak life and death with the tongue?

I’m in awe over here. It’s just so amazing to see the results show up in my life.

Just earlier I was talking about my trip to Paris in the spring, a trip I’ve wanted to take for probably half of my life, and then I opened up my laptop and saw a sale on flights to Europe. GASP!!! I just laughed. I love seeing the effect my words have on my existence.

I feel like I always return to this, maybe because it literally is my life right now. Seeing how powerful our words are, it reminds me to change my story to create the life I want.

If I’m walking around saying how tired I am all the time, my body is going to stay in alignment with the words I’m speaking, because my brain wants to be right. So I’ll just keep staying tired.

 

NO THANKS.

 

When I speak energy and vitality over my body, I feel an instant shift.

Keep special guard over the words of your mouth.

My prayer for today: Help me to be aware of the language I use, and to create life all around me, everywhere I go, and to speak life into all of the lives around me.

At an Empower Young Living Event I attended this past weekend, a presenter shared a technique she uses when she said something she did not want to come into her reality: “Cancel, Clear.” Like when you’re erasing something you’ve typed on a computer.

So notice your words, consciously speak abundance into your life, relationships, family, career, home, fitness, etc., and if something slips out while you’re in the process of re-writing your story that you tell yourself and others, remember that you have the power to “Cancel, clear” anytime, and then speak more life into your existence.

 

Can you imagine all of the possibilities that you can bring into your life with this simple change?

 

Here are some examples for you:

Old story: “I don’t have enough money for that.”

New story: “I am resourceful, and if that is valuable to me then I will find a way to bring it into my life.”

 

Old story: “I have a really hard time losing weight.”

New story: “I am on a journey to being my healthiest version of myself.”

 

Old story: “I just don’t have the time to do all the things I want to do.”

New story: “I prioritize what is important to me, and I have time for everything that lights my soul up.”

 

Old story: “I have a hard time making money.”

New story: “I make money easily and effortlessly.”

 

Old story: “I’m afraid of what other people will think of me.”

New story: “I walk in my truth and by doing so I give other people permission to do the same.”

 

Old story: “I can’t do the things that I feel are calling to me because I am always with my other responsibilities.”

New story: “My responsibilities better equip me for the new ideas and pursuits that are calling to me. I find time to do what is most important to me.”

 

Whatever your old story is, I dare you to take it and reframe it.

Look for how it is giving to you, how it is helpful to you, and how it is serving you.

Whenever you catch yourself speaking your old story, “NOPE! Cancel, clear!!” And then speak your new story into your life.

And watch for the miracles that start showing up in your life. 🙂

 

Stay mouthy,

Amber Lee 🙂

It’s Time

Featured

“Your mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination.”

I’ve heard this statement several times, although I don’t have all the “facts and science” behind it. I’ll check it out later. But right now, what’s more important, is that I stay focused on writing this.

Have you ever woke up from a dream that felt so real? Like it actually happened? I have, several times. (Hence I believe the above statement to be true.)

I woke up from a dream where I had taken full responsibility for my actions in life. And it felt ECSTATICALLY AMAZING.  

I am so grateful for the dreams I have that teach me a lesson, or give me much needed reminders, to help me stay focused on what is calling to me. (Thank you God.)

In this dream, I had decided to DO what I knew I was supposed to do, because I was tuned in to my gut, intuition, listening to God’s guidance, following my heart.

I woke up feeling like this experience had actually taken place; I feel compelled to act, to step into my bravery and courage. To return to the things that I know are written on my heart, to share love and light in the avenues that are before me. To release the fear around being who I truly am, this unique woman that God created me to be.

Our beings are divinely inspired, thought of before we were even created.

Think of how amazing you are. You are created with love and light.

Think about the miraculous world which holds our existence. We are all moving through our galaxy so fast… our beautiful Earth is orbiting the sun at around 67,000 miles per hour!!!! (See https://www.space.com/33527-how-fast-is-earth-moving.html  for more info! It’s amazing.)

We are miracles, literally flying through space, speeding around a giant, beautiful star. I am in awe of the magic we are.

Which brings me to this: It’s time.

It’s time to stop pretending you are insignificant. Because you ARE significant.

It’s time to stop playing small. Because you are anything but.

 

******Do you know who you are?******

 

It’s time to step into the magic that you are.

It’s time to acknowledge the fears that claim to be real, thank them for trying to protect you, and take action anyway.

It’s time to see the abundance of love that permeates our existence.

It’s time to step into the reality that you are enough, that you are fully equipped, that you are on a journey that is on purpose.

It’s time to take radical responsibility for what your life looks like, fully accepting that you chose your life as it is in this moment, and deeply knowing that you have the creative power to change it.

 

******Do you know WHO you are?*******

 

With much love and light,

Amber Lee

Releasing What Holds Us Back

Featured

There are so many things going through my head about opinions right now.

I trust that my words will flow through my fingers in the way that is most beautiful and helpful for our souls.

 

We feel a strong calling towards a thing, and that thing feels so right and resonates so deeply with our souls, because it is our purpose calling out to us. You know what I mean… when you have this brilliant idea or vision, and you just KNOW it’s what you’re being called to.

There’s a brief moment of excitement, and then, a little “frenemy” named fear may try to sneak in… He’s kept you small and safe in the past, or that’s how it appeared. But he’s also held you back from your biggest dreams and desires because sometimes those dreams and desires call us to go through some scary sh*t. And we perceive that scary sh*t as danger.

It’s at this point that we have a choice and that choice has to be made in an instant. We can choose to let that fear make us small, and keep us stagnant, OR we can say thank you for your input, dismiss it, move past it, and expand into what we’re being called to do.

Opinions of Others

That overwhelming fear that can say many different things (it usually knows what to say in order to get your goat). For me: “What will they think of you?”

The opinions of others are vast; if you only allow yourself to move forward when you think you will have approval from everyone… baby… you’re going nowhere.

Every single person has their own vantage point, their own opinions. Each vantage point is different than anyone else’s. So if you’re running around trying to please everybody, you’ll be spread thinner than flat Stanley going through snail mail. Because there are more than 7.5 billion people on this planet.

Caring about the opinions of others stems from a craving for approval. Why am I seeking outward approval? Now we’re getting somewhere.

If I’m approved of, that means I’m accepted. Ouch.

If I’m seeking approval and acceptance that means I don’t currently have it, because you don’t seek for something that you already have. Double ouch.

 

Reminder: I have already been given that approval and acceptance from God, and I can approve and accept myself exactly as I am. I can love myself exactly where I’m at right now, as I’m exactly the way that my Creator created me to be.

When I’m full of that love and compassion for myself, flaws and all, I can show that same love and compassion to the people in my life. And suddenly, I’m not so much concerned about what it is others think of me; instead, I am focused on the learning opportunities that arise as I notice the feelings that come up for me day to day around staying in that love, and sharing that love and compassion with others.

So when it’s time for us to make that choice, the choice of letting the fear in and crippling us from taking action OR saying “thank you for your input,” letting the fear go, and choosing to stay rooted and grounded in love, let’s choose love, and act on it.

Whatever it is that we choose to act on will create a rippling effect. What we focus on, what we CHOOSE, will expand and show up more in our lives, and will flow over into the lives of the souls around us.

 

We get to choose.

 

Creating Your Day

Featured

Even on the days I don’t get my morning time, I am fully able to bring about a truly magnificent day and radiate love, light, beauty, joy, peace and abundance.

This is really breaking down a new/old story for me, if that makes any sense whatsoever. It’s a new story, because I just started implementing this morning time a few months ago. It’s an old story, because it no longer serves me.

Here is the old story: “I need my time alone in the morning so that I can have a good day.”

There is definitely truth in this, as in having time to myself really gets me in line and aligned with who I want to be and what I want to focus on.

Here’s where the story doesn’t serve me: I had the notion that if I didn’t have this time to myself, I would be cranky, rushed, annoyed… you get the idea. You may know exactly what I’m talking about.

My new story: “I set my day up for success when I spend time alone with myself first thing in the morning, and if for some reason I don’t get that time, there are so many other ways I can set up my day for success, happiness, and whatever I want to create in my day!”

This might be a type A personality trait kinda deal, but I take things super literal. Like it is either one way, or it’s a completely different way.

“Oh WAIT!!! There’s an in between way!!!”

-My mind, realizing that not all things are either black and white

 

It’s so important to keep yourself flexible. (Physically, yes, but that’s not what I’m talking about.) Keep your mind flexible and be able to let go of things or ideas quickly. I could get by without being in a “go with the flow” state before I began motherhood, but now it’s VITAL. Or you’re just going to be frustrated and resentful.

(It would have been amazing if I could have learned how to let go and go with the flow more before I became a mama, but the circumstances of motherhood forced me to learn this quickly, since I’m interested in KEEPING my sanity! I think the easier you can let go of expectations and go with the flow, the more you will have the ability to thrive instead of just survive.)

Since I’m in the middle of learning all of this, and I know I will continue this learning journey… well… FOREVER, it seems good and right to explain a little of what my process is currently looking like.

It’s freaking hard to go with the flow. I’m in the middle of a crap-storm right now. And that’s why I’m writing this. Crap-storms ARE where you can learn some of the best lessons.

So how can I remember to release my expectations of what should happen, let it go, and just go with the flow, ESPECIALLY on the days where I didn’t get time in the morning to center and focus?

I’m glad I asked.

 

Get outside in nature, out beyond the sometimes confining walls of your house. When you get in nature, you can feel the limits being taken off of you because you can physically see the expansiveness of nature, and how free and limitless it is.

 

Speak! Confessions, affirmations, whatever you wanna call them, just say them. Here are a few I have written down and displayed:

I choose to feel happiness, abundance, and joy.

I am powerful, I am creative, I am made of pure love and light and peace.

I am open. I bring in peace, light, love.

I take action. I decide and choose.

(It’s really fun to make these up for yourself; I encourage you to give it a try.)

 

Ask yourself these questions (and then answer them):

What blessings have entered my life?

What do I WANT to focus on?

What do I want more of in my life?

How can I bring more joy and love into my life and the lives of my loved ones?

(What you focus on expands, so asking yourself these questions will bring your focus and energy to things that will help you and lift you up.)

 

(As I’m brainstorming what helps me in these situations, I am realizing that these answers are the answers that come up for me for so many different situations. Interesting, huh?)

 

I’m gonna break it down nice and simple (for myself mostly, because I need it explained in an easy to comprehend manner). You, yes you, are responsible for YOU- all of you. Your attitude. Your frame of mind. Your beliefs. Your outcomes. Yep. I said it.

You are NOT a victim. You ARE a creator, made in the image of Your Creator, and that’s who you are.

You get to take your circumstances, view them from the vantage point of “what can I learn from this situation?” and “This circumstance is bringing about my best good,” EVEN IF IT’S A CRAP-STORM.

Ahhhhh… it feels good to get that off of my chest.

So, not mentioning any names (ahem**AMBER**ahem and whoever else is feeling this is ringing true for them)– next time you are walking around feeling sorry for yourself for whatever reason– Recognize it, Take Responsibility for it, and kick that victim-mindset to the curb.

You are an amazing, brilliant, magnificent human being, and you CHOOSE how you be.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you, and I hope this brings you whatever it is you are needing right now.

Love to y’all.

 

From Hurting to Healing

Featured

Have you heard the saying “Hurt people hurt people?”

Being hurt is a part of our world, part of our human experience. It may bring pain, but think of all the beautiful things that can bloom from it as well… Flowers grow through shit. Beautiful things can come through hardships.

(Beautiful things can also come with ease, without pain or suffering. Just wanted to clarify.)

When people are hurt, it is easier for them to project their hurt outside of themselves in order to feel better, to protect their hearts.

In a reactive state, when a person is focused on survival, the projection of pain can come in the form of more pain, more suffering, more hurt.

This cycle can keep repeating. When a person’s pain is triggered, this reactive, survival instinct kicks in again, and up goes walls, and other forms of protection.

 

Let’s take a step back.

Why do we get hurt? What is it exactly that hurts us?

I’m not entirely sure of these answers, and I think the answers to these questions may be different for everyone.

 

I would venture to say that we get hurt because when a person we love is having a difficulty or hardship going on in their lives, we somehow turn the situation around and make it about us, and what hurts us is that we give truth to the judgment placed on us.

The person going through a hardship reacts in hurt, and we are on the “receiving end.” If we can take a HUGE step back, and remember that this person we love is going through something, that this outward act of “meanness” or hurt is actually a cry for help, we would be better equipped to show up in that relationship in a way that can stop the hurt cycle. We can then be there for our loved ones, being an example of love and encouragement in a time when they need this support the most.

So, we somehow are in the position to get hurt, and instead of allowing that hurt to sink in and take root, we take loving action.

 

This action says “I’m here for you. You are loved. We are on the same team. You are beautiful and glorious and perfectly imperfect. Your presence in this world is for a reason. Your light is brilliant.  You are guided by the Creator. You are more than enough.”

And by sharing Love, we’re spreading Love. We stop the cycle of hurt, and we start the cycle of Love.

 

 

Your New Stress Story

Featured

A question I was asked recently and have been pondering ever since:
“So what can we do to let go of the stress that makes us a way we don’t want to be?”
When listening to Cathy Heller’s podcast featuring Jen Sincero (author of You are a Badass), Jen said something that brought up this thought in me: Stress is a story that I hold onto. I am completely able to rewrite that story. It definitely does not serve me. It’s time to rewrite that story.
This is super intense for me. Stress has been part of my story for so long. But I have some really great news… We create our own reality.
We get to choose our own beliefs. We get to decide. (Insert me screaming like a little girl here, because that’s how excited I am about this.)
So, Amber, you’re telling me that I don’t have to live with this overwhelming, never-ending, sometimes debilitating stress that takes over my body and life?
YESSSS!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!! Freedom!!!!
So here’s the fun part… take out your pen and paper. We’re gonna do this together.
What is your story around stress? What were you taught about stress? How does it impact your life now?
Here’s mine:
Growing up, I saw lots of stress around every part of life. Money, marriage, kids. Those are the things that stick out to me. Those are the things that made up everyday life for me, so it seemed that everyday life was stressful. I was taught that we always have stressors, and I may have taken that as “you will always be stressed,” because this is how life had been for me since becoming an adult several years ago. (This is why I’m so excited about this! I have believed that this is just how life is for like, 11 years. And then today when I had this revelation, I was like “wait, what???? This isn’t how life has to be? There is another way?” Talk about shattering a paradigm!!)
Ok, now that that’s done, let’s shift gears. What is your *new* story? Write it down! (Seriously, take as much time as you need and write out ALL of your thoughts! This is how we change our beliefs about things that we were taught growing up, things that we thought were absolute truths that are absolutely opinions!!!)
Here’s my new story:
I cope with stress in freaking amazing ways. I AM a badass (thanks Jen Sincero; I’m so going to read her book). When stressors come my way, I take deep, healing breaths and step into my flow and truth. My life is beautiful and I enjoy it to the fullest every single day. I radiate peace, and joy, and light, and love, and abundance. My body and mind can relax, because I feel safe wherever I go. The world is my playground and I am an explorer, an adventurer. My body takes amazing care of me and I love to live life in a vibrant way.
Now it’s time to write down your new story. Go ahead! Do it!
Now write down a short affirmation that you can say anytime your old story comes up. Here’s mine: “I breathe deeply and trust myself. I relax and let go of stress in vibrant ways.”
I am way excited about the shifts that are going to happen here!!!! BEST DAY EVER.
I hope this helps you break free and live life soaring like an eagle, as bold as a lion. You are loved.

Put on Your Boss Pants

To go someplace you have never gone before, you must do the things that you have never done before.

If you want something new in your life, or you want to make changes, you are going to HAVE to DO new actions! You can sit around and wish things were different, but isn’t that what you have been doing so far? And are you any closer to where you want to be?

I’ve been talking about (let’s be real here- complaining about is a much more accurate description!) getting my financial house “in order” to my spouse for a LONG TIME. This morning, while it was still dark outside, this thought came to me: “GET your finances where you want them to be.” They’re not going to do it on their own… money/finances are a TOOL. They cannot DO anything FOR you. You have to use them and make them do the work you want them to do.

OR you can passively watch and see if they do any magic tricks. (Good luck on that one.)

 

After this kick in the butt (for my mind), I am applying these same principles to other areas of my life where I “wish” I was better at something or I “wish” I had more time for something. I can wish all day that I was better at soccer. Will that make me better at soccer? NOPE! Action is required. Where attention goes, energy flows. Start putting your attention and focus on what you want it to be on… INTENTIONALLY… and begin taking actions around your thoughts… and turn your dreams into your reality.

joshua-earle-14603-unsplash

Your present moment is a direct projection of your past. Where you are in this current moment is a result of yesterday. If you don’t like where you are today and you want tomorrow to be different, decide what it is you want your life to look like and take steps in that direction. They may be tiny steps, and that is totally ok. In fact, that is more sustainable than humongous leaps and bounds.

Small steps. If you’re like me, this may be hard for you to swallow. I want to make all the changes NOW. If this is you, take 5 deep breaths. Focus on your breath. Out loud, say three things that you are grateful for; keep going if you want!

Be present, AND keep your goals in sight. Be so GRATEFUL for everything you have, AND keep doing the work to bring so much joy, love and light into your life and the lives of your loved ones. Be content with your beautiful life, AND stay focused on your growth.

Reading Cycles

 

My mother used to read to my brothers and I, and one of her favorite books to “act out” was “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”  She really did act it out too… She would transition voices for each of the animals in the story, and … I think this was our favorite part… she would act out each sneeze (which was very, very dramatic).

61sDP6w6UmL._SX411_BO1,204,203,200_

We would usually read during the day, right before naptime (or quiet-time, since we didn’t necessarily always nap). The image that comes to mind is my two brothers and I, in our shared bedroom at our small apartment. (We lived here when I was in kindergarten and moved shortly after.)

I personally love reading to others, and I feel this is because of the investment my mother made in each of us children. Also, my father taught me to read at four years old. My parents separated when I was very young, so I visited my dad on weekends. He still tells the story of how he taught me to read in 3 weekends using the Hooked on Phonics program. “Your mom called me when you got home, and exclaimed, “Mike!!! She can read!!! Not just look at the pictures and make up a story, but she can ACTUALLY READ!!!”

In third grade, I was blessed to be in the class of my favorite teacher ever, Ms. Keiholz. I was so sad that I had to move on from her class, but I always said hi to her and gave her a hug every time I saw her. After fourth grade, my mother decided to homeschool us kiddos, and I was able to go into Ms. Keiholz’s class and help some of her students during reading time. I would sit with a student that needed some help and we would take turns reading out loud.

In high school I participated in the drama club and was part of the Speech and Debate team (Just to clarify… I didn’t actually debate… they had several different events that revolved around speaking activities). Storytelling drew my interest, and during my junior year, I was able to place in two different competitions with one of my favorite stories, When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins. 61erYWupHRL._SY423_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg(I also participated in Speech and Debate during my senior year… but I met my future husband, got engaged, and was totally engrossed in wedding planning and my grades.)

I still LOVE to read… but of course I get easily distracted by all of the things that I “need” to do (I’m a busybee- it’s something I’m working on). However, when I do get caught up in a story, it is wonderful! My favorite genre is historical fiction with a tad bit of romance in it… and my favorite author is Jane Kirkpatrick, who just happens to write in my favorite genre! (If you’re at all interested in reading some of her books, I highly recommend A Sweetness to the Soul; it’s truly one of my favorites!)

And now, as I look down and see my ever-growing belly- at least until mid-October that is- I think about the wonderful times I will get to spend with my daughter, reading to her, teaching her how to read, and she eventually reading to me, her daddy, her future brothers and sisters, and someday, a long, long time from now, her own children.

 

Hard Work U, Hard Work Me

College of the Ozarks is a small, private, 4-year Liberal Arts College located just south of Branson, Missouri. I graduated from this institution just three and a half months ago, and I look back on my time there with great fondness.

This college is also known as Hard Work U. The students here don’t rack up student loans. This college focuses on the importance of graduating debt-free, and helps students accomplish this by offering several workstations where each student puts in the hours and earns their education.

Workstations include the Farmer’s Market, the dairy, landscaping, Dobyns Dining Room at the Keeter Center, the student cafeteria, dorm workers, the Ralph Foster Museum, the Jones Theater Company, Christian Ministries, the music department (this was my workstation for the duration of my stay here), laundry, the fire station, construction and several faculty offices… and there are many more.

As a graduate of College of the Ozarks, the importance placed on hard work is something that will stay with me forever. I saw myself as a hard worker before going to school here, but now it is engrained in me. I’ll tell you why.

I have been somewhat of a perfectionist for the majority of my life. So naturally, I want to get really good grades in school. Before C of O (another nickname for College of the Ozarks), this was rather easy for me to accomplish. People all have different gifts, and mine was in the area of schoolwork and doing well on tests. My classes at C of O challenged me, and I had to up my game in order to keep my good grades. In some cases, I had to take my level of dedication to a whole new level. Just ask my husband… he remembers those evenings of endless study, followed by going to bed, then getting up before the sun to study some more.

My first B came in a class called Aural Training III (sight singing and ear training). This is embarrassing to admit, but this class made me cry. Now, I’ll tell you I’m SO proud of that B. I worked so hard and couldn’t get it “perfect,” but I gave my all and that’s why I’m more proud of that grade than almost any other grade.

My workstation was a different story. My first few semesters, my job was very easy. I worked in the music department, and simply did whatever someone asked me to do. I scanned student IDs and stage managed at Wednesday recitals, cleaned and ordered supplies for the office, wrote a few newsletter articles, helped with band moves and organized music for professors. As I came out of my shell and began to grow as a person in different qualities, I started seeking more responsibility in my workstation and it was definitely handed to me. My last two semesters I was **in charge** of the newsletter, and had so much more going on than my previous semesters… including preparing for my senior recital and graduation.

What you can take away from that was my life was REALLY busy. How did I make it through?

I made it through like all the other students made it through—dedication to hard work, the backbone of C of O. I made it with the guidance of my professors and peers, and the encouragement from seeing friends and co-workers around me push through their hardships. **AND** in no way can I leave this out: C of O is committed to Christ. Being surrounded by a community striving to bring God glory through serving others is what it all came down to. I can’t tell you how many times I felt pressured beyond what I thought I could handle, and just when I needed it most I would be reminded that God never gives us more than we can handle, that He is our strength when we are weak, that I don’t have to rely on my own strength to accomplish what needed to be done, but that I could lean on God’s strength and He would fuel me in my need.

Honestly, I don’t remember everything from all of my classes during college. (I wish I did, but one can always go back and review.) But learning what I’ve shared with you here is something that I value greatly, something I’ll keep forever, and something I hope you will find and embrace, wherever you may be.