Monthly Archives: February 2013

A Few Favorite Things

 The phrase “kindness is contagious” is well worn out but definitely rings true at California Baptist University. During this time of the year when spring is emerging, little bits of lovely things can go a long way in brightening a day.

There is nothing quite like those little extras to give you a breath of fresh air and add more spring to your step. Whether it’s an unexpected phone call, dinner with a best friend, or a really, really good cookie, some things are meant to be shared so that this little burst of goodwill can be passed on to other people.

This past week I was reminded of my appreciation for others and my enthusiasm for connection. I have received several little bits of encouragement that I feel obligated to pass on as I come into contact with other people. Blessings are not meant to be hoarded, and once the goodwill spreads, it doesn’t easily stop.

I have been reminded of the importance of rest and caring companionship as I experienced this past weekend. My weekend was spent in a restful state with one of my roommates as we stayed in our pajamas until 2, finished a few chores and made sure the other person completed the homework we had to finish for the upcoming week. It was so refreshing to mix a bit of lazy with a lot of productivity and encourage each other to complete all that we set out to do. Generally, my idea of a successful weekend would include at least one outstanding event involving a trip to the beach, movies, etc. This weekend fulfilled that idea of mine with just the restfulness and productivity of nights in to feed companionship. By Sunday night, I felt rested, prepared for class and ready to focus more on the people around me than on my own deadlines or fatigue.

I am also reminded of the importance of noticing your surroundings and allowing yourself to be affected by beauty. After the restful weekend, I was greeted by a chilly, yet sunny Monday morning. I saw this as just an extra little gift that God threw out there to remind me of how artful and creative He is in His decision to paint that sky and make the wind blow. Coming out of a few days of rest, I was all the more aware of how I should utilize my energy toward pointing out the beauty in others. Everyone needs a little boost after all, especially on an early Monday morning.

Another little thing that will lift my spirits in half a heartbeat is a cup of coffee. Coffee is my love language. Seriously, if anyone brings me this magic elixir without having to ask, they have melted me into a gushy ball of gratitude. A friend surprised me with a fresh cup for our morning class early this week, reminding me of just how far little acts of kindness can go. Not only did this action make my day, but it led me to be extra mindful of how to do the same back to her and everyone else.

I wonder if people always realize how far just a little bit of thoughtfulness goes. It can really change the course of an entire day and cause a chain reaction. I’m challenged once again to notice the beauty in everything, and come up with ways to give back the blessings I receive. I have been given fine examples of how to make someone’s day, and plan to pass those and more along as best I can.

I hope you find yourself in a week of blessing, friends. Even if you’re not, know that more are coming, and remember to notice the little things that contribute to a lovely day. An overall pleasant atmosphere is made up of a bunch of little pleasantries, and once they spread, the entire picture can change.

99% Inspiration, 1% Perspiration

Do you ever experience complete inspiration from someone you come into contact with? Someone who makes you want to be a better person or strive for greater things?

This semester I am blessed with great inspiration.  One of the inspirations in my life right now is one of my professors at CBU.  He teaches two of the graphic design classes I have to take for my minor. Not only is he an excellent professor who knows what he is teaching, but he also incorporates the right ratio of teaching and inspiration.

Although CBU has many wonderful professors, it is a real treat to have someone who makes you want to learn, besides just helping you learn. Professor Steve Cox makes me want to soak up all the knowledge he has and go far with it.  Something that he stresses often is that no one wants anything mediocre.  No one wants 10 mediocre designs if you can have one great design. His encouragement is always to strive for excellence.

As much as I recall, I have never experienced anyone who pushed me to strive for excellence. I have always had my own personal motivation. It helped a lot that my parents were teachers at my school pretty much my whole life, so I had to stay accountable for keeping up in my academic life. Even in my spiritual life, I have motivated myself to seek God and be the best Christian I can be. Maybe my inspiration in the areas of my life came from a desire to be the best in everything, but I never have been so inspired to be the best I can be just for excellence’s sake.

I have been blessed to have support from family, sufficient money to live, people who encourage and teach me, and no disabilities. But I have seen people with huge disadvantages do amazing, great things. Sometimes I wonder if being normal and having life easier than most is a disability in itself. When things come easily, it might be more difficult to strive for excellence. We may think: “If I can do an average, mediocre job of something, why make it perfect? Why try to make it better?”

I just watched a video on YouTube of a man who weighed 275 pounds and could barely run 10 yards without stopping, because he could not breathe. His dream was to run the Boston Marathon to raise money for his niece who had cystic fibrosis. Although his obesity was a big hurdle, he strove for excellence, and now he is healthy. He has run 12 marathons in 2.5 years since he ran his first marathon, and he has raised money to fund research for cystic fibrosis.  You can watch the video on this link:

It is inspiring to see people do great things and become better people. Strive for excellence and inspire others to do the same. Have a great week!


Visits and Perks

Let’s take a moment to think back to high school. Oh, yes: the inconsistent friendships, the pretending, and the unbearably awkward social interactions. I’m immediately reminded of that one time that I was dropped by my dance partner and landed on my head in front of my entire team. Some stories like this will never be forgotten, but thank the Lord that for this period of time, the phrase “this too shall pass” rings true.

The average high school experience also includes a powerful fear of merging friends with your family. For whatever reason in high school, it is generally known that your family is exceedingly uncool. Having your family members present at any event with friends was considered sure-fire social suicide. We tended to use our time in high school to try and separate ourselves from the constant presence of our family and spend much more time with friends. That’s what is considered normal and acceptable, using high school logic, anyway.

Thankfully, this high school truth usually reverses in college. If you’re anything like me, and you decide to move hundreds of miles away from your hometown to attend a university, (a choice I would surely make all over again), your family suddenly becomes just about the best thing ever.

After high school, I began to develop a desire to introduce all of my friends to my family and keep them a part of my life. I no longer fill my parents in on my life’s events because I have to–now I really want to.

The times when I do get to see my family are so much more exciting, as it only happens every so often during a busy semester. This past weekend, my parents and brother drove down from northern California to visit. I couldn’t successfully contain my excitement as I heard their knock on my apartment door. Visits are now eagerly anticipated, as we get to catch up on life and I get to show them off to my friends.

When your family visits your university, you suddenly come up with thousands of possible things to show them. I always have way too many events placed on my agenda when my family visits, one of the first being a trip to Target to stock up on everything that I lack. Believe me, you never fully appreciate free deodorant until you have to get used to buying it yourself. When your parents buy things for you, like groceries and movie tickets and an off-campus dinner, it’s a marvelous treat. (Thanks, family!)

After the initial shopping spree and dinner out to Thai food, I was able to take my family to Laguna Beach, the giant antique shop downtown, and to my new church. I had such an amazing time that I can fully appreciate a separate world from my high school years. Showing my family all the things I have discovered at my new home and connecting them with my friends and their families is such a huge thrill.

College most certainly depletes the high school mentality and brings a new excitement for bridging two worlds together. I guess that’s one of the perks of growing up!

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

The choices at CBU seem bottomless. What do you choose?


Brisco’s vs. ADC

 Food: one of the great loves of my life. I could practically be majoring in taste tasting considering the quality of the food we have. From Fresh N Fit to home-cooked classics, I love it all.

Brisco’s is probably one of my favorite places on this earth. The “grab and go” style suits the busy student life where we have 10 minutes to spare before our next class and just need a little nibble to keep our energy up. Between the three and sometimes four entrée choices, a wide spectrum is covered –from fresh sandwiches or burgers with specialty bread and soups to favorite Mexican or Asian dishes to fresh salads and wraps. Fresh fruit is always available as well as bagged chips, some sort of sweet like cookies or Jell-o, plus french fries or a specialized vegetable dish. Water bottles line the shelves in the refrigerators and a fountain soda machine sits next to a cappuccino maker, leaving no room for an unquenchable thirst. A cozy indoor eating area has plenty of work space for a late night study session plus comfy chairs and sofas. I frequent Brisco’s almost daily, sometimes swiping my card multiple times to stock up on water, fruit, or– let’s be honest– chips and cookies to keep me going throughout the day.

(My favorite Soup & Sandwich: Rosemary foccacia bread, chipotle mayonnaise, turkey, lettuce, onion, salt & pepper with cream of celery soup. My mouth is watering and I just ate…)

I have seen the inner-piglet work its way to the surface as a newbie walks into the ADC (seniors, faculty and graduate students are not immune, either), looking upon the glory that is the buffet. Every place you turn your gaze, some delicious dish is beckoning with a home-cooked aroma. Italian, Mexican or Asian, Southern style, pizza, and burgers and fries offer diversity almost daily, on top of the fully-stocked salad, fruit, soup, and dessert bars with occasional specialty choices as in Black History Month’s menu of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, lemonade, and jambalaya. You want a specific type of drink? It’s there – teas, soda, coffee, juices, milk, frozen slushies – you name it, we’ve got it. It’s impossible to leave hungry, or without grabbing a handful of cookies on the way. Before I got to CBU, I told myself I would not gain the Freshman 15 and I didn’t – Freshman 20 all the way!

(Must-try: Two cookies of your choice placed in a bowl, heated in the microwave, with your choice of soft-serve ice cream in the middle. Top with whipped cream, sprinkles, nuts, or all of the above, and share with someone, or eat it completely on your own. Sharing is caring, right?)


Recreational Center vs. Intramural Sports

 I grew up cheerleading for basketball and football and played softball for 11 years, so I am a thorough supporter of team sports. Recently though, I joined a gym and learned how to work out on my own without a team rallying me on. If I had to choose which I would prefer to do, I wouldn’t be able to. Either way alleviates stress and keeps the body active and healthy. Apart from our competitive sports, we have two easily-accessed means of athleticism.

Watching the Rec Center being assembled wall by wall for the past year and a half, I must say that I was afraid –out of sheer anxiousness and desire—that it would never open. It looked and sounded too good to be true; a floor-to-ceiling glass front wall, three stories, every machine you could ask for, several rooms for classes, and a multiple-courts basketball court. Little did I know that it also included an astro-turf soccer field on top of the roof, a twenty-foot rockclimbing wall, and racquetball courts. “Overwhelming” isn’t a sufficient word; I want to do it all. Classes are offered throughout the day including Cycling, Glutes & Guts, and 20-20-20, led by experienced students interested in physical training or kinesiology. State of the art equipment lines the walls with plenty of physical trainers to give tips and advice to aid your workout.

(Tip: reserve a racquetball court for you and a friend to challenge your agility, concentration, and coordination. The six-surfaced playing field gives a whole new meaning to “footwork.”)

 There’s nothing like playing a team sport. The bonds created and constant companionship contribute to a unified body of teamwork. I have to say, I haven’t ever been a part of an intramural sports league due to the fact my music schedule is pretty demanding, but I have seen plenty of games and had many friends be a part of these very popular activities. Football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer are some of the many rosters that beginners and all-state athletes can sign for.  Each team plays all the others, constantly working to get to the championships at the end of the season. Each team is student-led, sometimes consisting of a core of returners that invite worthy candidates to fill the open spots left on the roster, or most often, a group of friends decide they want to play for funsies or to hold the trophy at the end of the season as champions. The league generates a healthy competitiveness across the campus, uniting underclassmen and upperclassmen together over a sport each athlete enjoys.

(Remember: Football leads to the school-wide Fortuna Bowl, where the winners travel to Biola University for an inter-school championship. AND at Fortuna, the school brings in Chick-Fil-A or In-n-Out!)v

Penny For My Thought

Busy, busy, busy. The semester seems to be really flying by right about now. Midterms are quickly approaching, not to mention spring break

With that being said, professors are not messing around. Many are pushing out work assignments as fast as they can think of them. It can be a challenge just to keep up with all the papers and other assignments due. I often find myself going to bed late and rising early to meet deadlines; having a part-time job and other extracurricular activities does not help the situation.

I try to set short term goals in order to motivate me. For example, NBA All Star weekend will be here soon—and that’s only a few weeks from spring break. That’s one hump I have to get over.

If I can just make it to that point in one piece, I’m golden.

To prepare myself for the strenuous days ahead I keep some simple rules in mind: plenty of rest (where possible), exercise, and stay focused. During the semester I get very little sleep at night. To counter this, I take a short nap whenever I can. Also, I try to eat healthy every day to give me the energy I need to drive on. When I have time, which seems to be early in the morning or between classes, I work out. This keeps me in shape and ready to tackle the many tasks ahead from day to day. Finally, I stay focused. I never lose sight of my goals. I am here for a reason. The more I prepare for life and its many challenges, the more adept I will be to overcome.

All in all, I try to always remember California Baptist University’s motto, “Live your purpose.” Failure is not an option for me, and it should not be for you. Always remember that God put each and every one of us here for a reason.

Love: A Way of Life

Love is literally in the air and on the calendar, splashes of red and pink just about everywhere you turn your eye. Stores are flooded with customers searching for a fine chocolate for their own sweet or an expressive card to give to their loved one for Valentine’s Day. Love and friendship rules hearts at this time of year, as it has for generations and centuries before. I’m a typical 20 year-old-girl and fall for the sappy stories of couples throughout history like a child fawns over a small, furry puppy. Pathetic, I know, but love is what makes the world go around, right? Beyond the dream of a selfishly receiving love, the purest and sweetest of loves can be found. Growing up, I was privileged to have an incredible example of a true, biblical love.

Jack and Claudine Pless. Two finer people, I have never known. My parents were high school sweethearts, having met at church and began dating at 15. Completely polar opposites, my dad was the 60s version of a jock – sporty, musical, and somewhat of a mild troublemaker, whereas my mother was the sweet, shy, Audrey Hepburn-esque beauty.

They got married two years after graduation at 19 years old and began to build a life together that would last until my mother’s unexpected death at 59 years old. My dad grew more in love with my mom as the years went by, building her a dream house, surprising her with vacations to the east coast, and countless hours of watching her shop for collectible antiques “just because.” He showered her with praise and affection as his beautiful bride and mother of three children.

My mom thrived off making a home for my dad, constantly showing her appreciation in different ways and respecting him for his provision for the family. She loved him for his outgoing and bubbly personality, as well as being a hard worker and provider for our family. From an early age, Dad suffered from kidney issues, which led to kidney failure, bringing about mild complications from his early twenties that increased to a dire need for a kidney transplant by 40. By the time I was born, my parents had endured a kidney transplant and were fighting kidney cancer.

My mom assumed the role of ultimate provider for our family, a constant care-giver for my dad and his medical needs, while still being a mother to a young toddler, a teenage girl, and a 20-year-old, newlywed son. For the rest of my dad’s life, he received a disability check for his inability to work anymore after his fight with kidney cancer, which paid for our house payment while my mom worked as a florist to earn enough to pay the rest of the bills. I watched as my mother sacrificed her well-being, scraped pennies together, and yet made an enjoyable life for me on less than 100 percent energy and health, all with an unhealthy husband who was in and out of the hospital. I don’t know how she did it, considering what she had to work with, but her faith and trust in God’s sovereignty set an example.

My dad regained some of his health as I approached teenage years, but Mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away the day after I turned 16. Dad lost the love of his life and truly missed her more each day until he passed away from a terrible infection last summer. The theme I saw in 16 out of 40 years of marriage was that love conquers all: sickness, struggle, joy, and memories of bliss. I am extremely thankful for the roles they both played in my life.

When I think of “love” in this romantic season of the year, my parents’ relationship is ever present in my mind. The constant sacrifice and dedication through troubled waters displays to me the meaning of a commitment, giving a firm understanding of love beyond the romance. It’s a challenge, but what if we gave everyone we know and met the same love that we so willingly accept at this time of year? True love isn’t just romantic or mushy-gushy; the self-sacrificial element of it should reign supreme. I think if we were to put our neighbor’s benefit above our own consistently as we are called to do, we could possibly see an overall improvement in the Body. I thoroughly enjoy a sweet love story just as much as the next person, but the sweetest of all love stories is between two people who unrelentingly give without expecting to receive. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have true love than selfishness disguised as a mere figment of love.

Let our campus be the instigators of an attitude shift towards the day dedicated to love, and give to each other as my parents did: out of dedication, biblical principles, and responsibility for the others’ benefit. Let’s think of this on Valentine’s Day for the years to come, and possibly see love shown every day of the year– not just occasionally or on one designated day!

Show Some Love

This week is Valentine’s Day! If you did not know that, you should climb out from under your rock.

If you are aware of it, you probably are going through some thought process about the holiday.  It seems like every year all the single people are rallying with their cry of “Valentine’s Day is the stupidest holiday ever!” and “I love being single forever!” All the couples are in a frenzy planning the best Valentine’s Day ever and cooking up delicious goodies for their loved ones.

A man came into my office at the Academic Resource Center this past week proclaiming that Valentine’s Day was the worst holiday and that he would never enjoy it, even if he had someone in the future. That made me sad because, frankly, I believe it is a wonderful holiday, whether I have someone to be with that day or not.  But someone who was also in my office at the time made a good point. She said that Valentine’s Day does not have to be about romantic love.  It can be a day where you focus especially on showing people love throughout the day.

While we should always show love to others, we can set aside special time and focus to showing others love on V-day. For example, my college group at church is having a “Heart Attack” event where we go to the homes of people in our church and fork their lawns. On the forks we are putting hearts with notes of encouragement and appreciation to uplift and bless the people that we “attack.” Not only is it a fun time to build relationships, but we get to show members of our church how much we love and appreciate them.

I found even more ideas for using Valentine’s Day to show love on this website:

Some good ideas are to:

  • Write a letter. It is always fun to receive handwritten mail from someone you love, and in the midst of a busy week it could be really uplifting. Consider writing one to someone who is having a rough time or who is alone on Valentine’s Day.
  • Give someone a call! Call that friend that you do not get to see very much anymore and you may have lost touch with. They may have been wanting to hear from you and gotten left behind in the busyness of life.
  • Do some Random Acts of Kindness. This week, from the 14th-20th is Random Acts of Kindess week! Some fun ideas are to Pay It Forward at Starbucks, or buy groceries for a family who is under the weather.
  • Bake! Baking is not only good for the soul, but fun to do! Utilize this cold weather to stay inside and get warm by the oven. Making food for someone is a good way to their hearts, and lots of good relationships are formed over the eating of food.

I hope you all have a blessed Valentine’s Day. Love somebody!

The Mid-February Blues

My friends, BEWARE. Mid-February is upon us, signifying the return of annual weeks of “give ups.”

College students all know what I am referring to. After the first of January, all of us are filled with passion and determination to maintain all of our New Year’s resolutions. As active, hopeful young adults, we truly believe for one fleeting moment that we will, in fact, get healthier, read more and stress less. Unfortunately, we all recognize the fact that many, if not all, of these resolutions do not last the year. By mid-February all resolve is forgotten, and many of us shrug it off saying, “Oh well, there’s always next year.”

Believe me, I understand the difficulties of keeping up New Year’s Resolutions as well as the next hopeful. I set high goals and am bummed when they are not fully met. Once classes settle into a comfortable routine, it is easy to scrape on by and neglect new priorities made early in the year. I believe, however, that if you want something to change in your life, there is no better time than the present to start working towards your goals.

Let this post be my encouragement to all of us students to return to our priorities and continue on this adventuresome quest of resolving to achieve our goals. It does not matter if we have perhaps missed the bar already. Let us start from scratch and work toward a more well-rounded and healthy lifestyle during this next year in our lives as students.

I’ll first cover a New Year’s Resolution that is popular on campus, especially among all of my English major comrades. This goal is to simply read more books for fun. This is vitally important to edify the spirit and enrich one’s repertoire. Reading at least one unassigned book every month or so adds to a richer college experience and gives students the ability to extend the learning experience outside the classroom.

My advice for keeping this resolution is to first start small. Too often I’ll reach for the books that weigh as much as a large brick and bring dense concepts as well as lofty style. The goal to finish it usually crashes and burns when I lay on my couch, get 10 pages in and snap it shut in angry exasperation. We have all been there. So, rather than experience this once more, I have decided to start with the books I typically refer to as “cotton candy.” These are the lighter works with lots of shelf-appeal that I pick up in a bookstore and easily devour in a matter of days. When you start small, it is easier to develop the habit of simply reading for the pleasure of gaining new insights.

A second, wildly popular new year resolution goal that usually ends abruptly is physical fitness. Oh, yes, I know that this is a hard one. This is the one in which I go to the gym once and try running on the elliptical. We all know what comes next. I tire after what feels like an hour but is actually just five minutes, then collapse on the floor groaning dejectedly as I become sore before even leaving the gym.

My advice for achieving a healthier lifestyle is pretty simple: find a buddy and make it a routine. We all need a little bit of accountability to form a more difficult habit. At California Baptist University, it is fairly easy to find someone to go to the Recreation Center with as it is a nice, brand new facility and offers a little something for everyone, athletic or not. Find a friend who will accompany you consistently, then develop the habit. Once you get used to going to the Recreation Center, find the exercise you enjoy, and choose to do that. To make the time fly, you can even bring a book to read as you run on the treadmill or cycle. (See what I did there? Merging goals is the way to go!) Once one habit is formed, other adjustments will soon follow, developing into a healthier lifestyle than ever before.

As always, I must emphasize that in order to maintain a well rounded, driven life. It is important to stop and smell the roses as they grow. Always find time to meet someone new, invest in an old friend, drink some coffee and be amazed at God. As you budget your time and fit in all your new habits, remember to enjoy life, embrace opportunities, and serve the Lord in all you do.

Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

At this point in the semester, I’m literally forgetting what week I’m in. I use progress points like choir, Sunday concerts and piano lessons to gauge what time of the week it is. Recently, though, all of these things seem to be blending together. I can hardly finish eating dinner one night before I realize the sun is rising on tomorrow. I check off and add new things to my “Abber-Do List,” constantly thinking ahead and encouraging myself to finish the day productively so that I may be completely prepared for the next one. Then, of course, there are the responsibilities and goals I have for the week, month and year. Am I the only one suffering from this perpetual somersault of stress and constant worry? It’s amazing to see how the swinging pendulum of responsibility can rule each moment of my life if I’m not careful to take time to enjoy the now.

We started a song in University Choir and Orchestra called Don’t Worry About Tomorrow that we all were a little amused by because it is drastically different than our normal contemporary Christian music style. With the violins plucking chords, the bass grooving a simple line and the drums sitting back on the beat, the biblical message was painted in a reggae tone. Our director even went as far to call the song “unsophisticated” in comparison to our usual repertoire’s spirituality, but after performing it for the first time in concert this last weekend, I enjoyed it far more than I expected to. The repetition of phrases about the lavish sustainability of nature by God’s hand and His everyday provision began to write themselves on my heart. I actually began to question myself over a song I sing a few times a week: why worry about the things to come instead of enjoying the moments of the present?

The song’s text comes straight out of Matthew 6 as Jesus gave His Sermon on the Mount. The picture of the birds of the air—they neither reap nor sow, and they do not fall to the ground without the Father knowing—gives me the exact understanding of what it means to have faith. And even greater still, how much more will God provide for those who love him! The Creator of the universe, who rose man from dirt and spoke the stars into existence, knows what we need before we ask it of him. He provides little old me, Abigail from Modesto, with the “living bread” that will sustain me for the entire day. The song repeats, ”Let tomorrow worry about itself,” and to me, a college student with a million responsibilities, that appears to be nearly impossible. Biblically, it is so full of truth. The meaning of that simple song has caused me to be aware of what is happening in this moment, because the beauty of what I have been given today is so easily tarnished by the frets of tomorrow.

The concept is definitely easier said than done, but the final unsophisticated and elementary idea of Don’t Worry About Tomorrow strikes my heart and rings true…

Live today – don’t worry about the rest.

Dreams, Details, and Bigfoot

Time seems to be a temperamental character in my life. It goes quickly one season, entirely too slowly the next and then it switches tempo over the course of a single weekend. God must have designed our perception of time this way to serve a certain purpose. Changes in time throughout each experience reveals much about the way we handle events and what we view as important. As always, each week that passes teaches me to embrace each and every moment and even enjoy any little oddity that comes my way.

To illustrate what I mean by oddities and scattered occurrences, I will briefly explain my current dream situation. Lately, I have been having vivid dreams.

One such subconscious adventure included a camping trip with my family and a few friends from high school. We were in the wilderness of the Deep South, surrounded by swamp creatures and traveling circus performers. Each night, the performers at the campground provided entertainment for us, incorporating different swamp animals in their act. One evening, the lead actor announced his upcoming stunt featuring the largest, strongest and most mysterious creature in the entire swamp: the ever-elusive Bigfoot.

The details of my dream are fuzzy at this point, and I cannot remember the majority of what occurred after the show with the Sasquatch. I woke up just as my family and I finally made it to a different portion of the campground after avoiding capture with the help of an unusually friendly ‘squatch. I have no idea how we got there or what happened, but I most definitely wish I could have remembered our survival tactics so I could use these necessary skills in future camping trips that may go awry. After all, you never know when you will need to befriend or avoid a Bigfoot.

I will admit that this is not the strangest dream I have ever had (oddly enough), but this one did cause me to be reminded of how important it is to observe and cherish details in life.

Here, amidst the constant happenings of the college lifestyle, time moves by in scattered increments. It is easy to look at just the general picture and miss out on the details that pass you by. In between class, Woo Week, rock climbing at the new Recreational Center and coffee shops, I constantly fall into the mistake of living deadline to deadline and missing a few stops in between. This is why I constantly note the importance of building relationships both on and off campus, especially with fellow students and those in leadership. Once I stop whatever I am doing and break routine for a moment, I immediately see twice as much beauty than I had before. Conversations with a trusted resident advisor, reuniting with an old First-Year Orientation and Christian University Success Leader or simply conversing with someone new helps to open yourself up to new possibilities and enjoy the journey all students go through at California Baptist University. We surely are here for each other, and we should enjoy this unique time of fellowship as we strive to earn a well-rounded education.

As Christ lived a life aware of others and keen to advance the kingdom of God, so we as believers should do what it takes to observe life. Relationships, worship and service opportunities are all around, and it is a shame to miss out on any because of too much focus on routine. The time will come where we look back on life at CBU and think fondly on our friends and adventures, rather than that one paper you stressed over for a while. It is the details that we will remember; so let us embrace them now. After all, if the (unlikely) time comes where we all must learn to befriend a Bigfoot, the details are what we will want to remember.

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