Monthly Archives: September 2013

Sidelines and Good Times

College football is a popular sport for CBU men to watch in the fall at their dorms and apartments, since CBU does not have a team of their own. Watching a game from your couch, though, doesn’t quite match the excitement of actually cheering with the other fans. And, then again, being a crazy fan doesn’t even compare to standing on the sidelines as an actual player on the team. Although there is no Lancer football team, every fall intramural flag football arrives with more support and participation than any other sport. As you can probably guess, I am on a team this year, and we have too much fun.

Last Saturday almost every team played one or two games out on the front lawn, which meant that my team had a long day of football. Since you get to choose your name, our captain decided on Bad News Bears with yellow baseball shirts for uniforms. I had missed our first game on Tuesday, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from our team. I played on a freshman team with my dorm hall last year, and we thought we knew what we were doing up until the first game. I guess I should have picked up on that sooner when the guys decided to draft me for offensive line. My 5’10” 150 lb. frame could not handle the stress of ex-high school football players that rushed at me on every play. Needless to say, my team last year did not win the Fortuna Bowl, but we grew as a dorm hall and had a blast either way.

I had higher hopes for my team this year, and after the first practice I could tell they were a lot more organized and ready to play hard. The front lawn came to life that Saturday morning with teams and refs in matching uniforms, as well as friends cheering and coaching their teams on. Our first game was at 11 a.m. against the Legal Aliens, also known as the international student team.  I played soccer my whole life so I kicked off. I That quickly became my role in the team. I played safety as well and blocked passes as they came, but that couldn’t stop the Legal Aliens from jumping ahead in the second half. No one really felt bad about it. In fact, I even left between games buy the yellow baseball shirt. I didn’t need it, but I was psyched to be out there with the guys.

The second game was against Goon Squad, and they definitely had those ex-high school football players that I encountered last year. Although we fell behind much faster, our team’s morale actually peaked in the last three minutes of the second half. We were on offense within yards of our own end zone when our quarterback threw to one of our receivers to complete our first first-down conversion of the day. Our sideline erupted with as much cheering as five benched players could muster up. We laughed our way through the final whistle, and the other team thanked us for a fun game, as well. That’s just how intramural football is supposed to be: a group of students enjoying a great sport together.

When Glitter Comes to Gloom

“We should do something creative to TWIRP the boys! Maybe we should make ‘em some big posters, and decorate their front porch…”

At the time, my roommates loved this idea. We had no interest in being mediocre TWIRP-ers. After all, TWIRP week only comes once a year! We were determined to make this one memorable for our amigos over in The Colony.

And boy, did we ever!

Last Thursday afternoon, I told my boyfriend that I needed to run by Wal-Mart to pick up some art supplies. He was sweet enough to go with me, but didn’t really question what they were for. His brain was probably about to overload with that day’s influx of microbiology and biochemistry knowledge, so he wasn’t super curious.

Later that evening, after an intense game of Apples to Apples with our unknowing soon-to-be TWIRP prank victims, my roommates and I sat on our apartment floor, staring at the assortment of markers, glitter, sticky notes, ribbon and glue, wondering when the best time was to surprise them with these posters. Since we wanted to secretly decorate their front porch, we couldn’t simply walk over whenever we felt like it. After all, it would really be disappointing if one of them caught us—like that moment when you’re TPing a friend’s front yard, and they step outside and catch you, as your hands reach up to string the roll over another tree branch. Major whoops.

So we thought, Hey! It’s almost the weekend. We can lose a little sleep tonight.

Our masterpieces, at their finest. ;)

And, with that, we got to work embellishing our posters to perfection before dragging them to my car with us… at 12:30 a.m., of course.

As we left Tower Hall, we got some pretty awesome looks from a couple of the night owls still hanging out in the lounge.

“Where are you going? … Are you TWIRPing someone right now?”

“Yes we are!”

“…Are they awake?”

“Guess we’ll find out soon!”

Actually, we never meant to get them out of bed. We were hoping they’d still be awake, since they tend to be late-nighters.

After parking the car far enough away from the boys’ apartment that they wouldn’t see if we decided to make a run for it, we gathered up all our crafty leftovers and our posters, and headed to their porch.

Next, we made sure we had a hiding place identified, where we thought we’d be able to watch them open the door after we knocked and ran.

As we strung ribbon around the porch to clip the posters onto, and dusted the ground with way too much star-shaped glitter, we listened carefully to make sure no one was going to come outside. Once the door was loaded with sticky notes for a final touch, Brittany and I ran to the hiding place. Then Lydia knocked and flew across the complex to catch up with us before anyone opened the door.

“Shhhhhh, stop laughing! They’re still awake, I hear them!”

Waiting… waiting… giggling… waiting….

No one answered.

Hesitantly, Lydia went back over and knocked again, even louder, this time sprinting back to us in case someone had been waiting behind the door for the second knock.

Waiting… waiting… giggling some more… waiting…

Still, no one answered.

Are they ignoring us?

Then my phone rang. I picked up, composed myself, and tried to sound innocent when my boyfriend asked if we were outside their apartment.

“What do you mean, ‘you think someone’s there?’”

“Well, someone keeps knocking. And when we ask who it is, no one answers. It’s happened twice, and it’s kinda sketchy.” He sounded irritated.

We all looked at each other. Ooooohhhh….

“Well… maybe you should just open the door.” I said, a twinge of guilt in my request.

“Oh. My. Gosh. Security is on the way!”

… Oh, shoot….

Well, evidently, we hadn’t figured that into our plan. Nervous and extremely guilty, the three of us made our way to the boys’ apartment, unsure of how this new situation would blow over. All three of them came out onto the porch – one fuming, one laughing, and the last looking completely aghast. He must have been the one who called security, I thought, feeling especially guilty now.

To my utter disbelief, the officer greeted us with a warm smile and said, “Hah. I figured this would just be another student’s prank. Don’t worry, you’re not in any trouble. Happens all the time.” All he wanted was my I.D. number, to double check that I was in fact a student, and assurance from us that everything was definitely okay. Astonished at his graceful mood, despite the unnecessary call to duty at 1 a.m., all I could muster was a continuous, “I am soooo sorry!”

Around 1:15 a.m. that morning, the three of us girls left with the bittersweet confusion of disappointment and relief, feeling only half accomplished.

So you see, that evening taught us just how easily light-hearted glitter can come to unfortunate gloom.

But, despite this slight let down, the three of us were able to discuss our mistakes on the drive back to our apartment, making note of how to make next year’s TWIRP a little more spectacular, and a little less stressful. Moments like these are all a part of the college experience, right?

And don’t worry, boys, we’ll make it up to you with this week’s TWIRP event “Create a Date.” We pinky swear it! :)

Zombies, and the Importance of Rest

Friends, this past week I had my first encounter with an acquaintance of mine who is feared by many and known widely as “Zombie Aubrey.” This figure emerges when I have neglected sleep, have not had an adequate amount of strong coffee and have spent entirely too much time buried in a textbook or glued to a screen. Think Jekyll and Hyde, or a less green Incredible Hulk, and that should give you an accurate picture of what happens to me when conditions are less than ideal.

Right about this time each semester of my college career, I have seen the dangers of wearing oneself thin and am reminded of three very important things:

  1. Sleep
  2. Leisure
  3. Community

By this time, I know I am not alone when I say that the homework has caught up to speed while many of us may still be fighting off the last traces of Summer Brain. I find that many of us begin to find the need to prioritize. I have discovered that my junior year has brought several classes that are less than easy, and I have decided to refer back to my tried and true methods that keep me functioning like a normal human being and keep the Zombie at bay.

I first have to emphasize the importance of rest. Granted, a large part of college life includes staying up ridiculously late, and this is a wonderful part of the experience. However, too many sleepless nights can be detrimental to functioning like a normal human being. Please, dear Readers, do not do this to yourselves. While you will have a lot of work to balance with fun, schedule your time so that you are not forced to get stingy with sleep. Sleep is very, very important. Not only does it allow you to continue to function normally, it also keeps you healthy and able to tackle your assignments with vigor.

As you strive to remain rested, add a healthy amount of leisure time to sleep. Find something that you love and make time for it, whether that is heading to the Rec Center to climb the rock wall, reading a book purely for fun, or catching up on Doctor Who. Always make time to unwind, if even for a moment, as it’s amazing what a few simple pleasures can do to enliven a person.

Accountability is also imperative to keeping oneself sane when things get hectic. Whenever I get the chance, I try to steal a moment to have a meal or quick cup of coffee with a friend to remain connected and talk through life. I am blessed to have friends at CBU who are, truly, saints. They are available to pray with me, laugh hysterically to ward off stress, or to simply talk about whatever might be on the mind. Taking moments to commune with close friends is the surest way to remain positive, stay on track with life, and remember what is most important to you.

While the semester gathers speed, don’t panic. You can avoid becoming zombie-esque. Just remember that this is a season, and we will ultimately learn so much from it all. Until next time, safe sailing everyone!

Blessed with the Best

One of my favorite parts about being at CBU is being able to live on campus.  I have lived both on and off campus, and–while I didn’t hate living off campus–it’s just such a different experience living on campus. It allows you to be a part of a special community, a community that I love being part of. Plus when you live on campus, you get to have awesome roommates.

In fact, my favorite part of living on campus is having roommates. It is such a blessing being able to live with girls who constantly encourage me and push me to further my relationship with God. That was one of the things I missed when I lived at home. Sure, I had my family as my roommates but there is something awesome about being able to live with people other than your family. It grows you in ways that you could have never imagined. It changes your perspective and allows you to see the world a little differently. It gives you an inside view of how other people operate in their day-to-day lives.

This year I was blessed with three amazing roommates. When school got out in May, Lauren was my only remaining roommate, and we had no idea who would join us in the fall. Being left with that thought at the end of the year was a little scary. It was going to be our senior year, and we didn’t want to have some crazy roommate experience. Therefore, Lauren and I began to pray. We knew that if we prayed for our future roommates and trusted in Him, everything would fall into place. Over the summer, everything started slowly falling into place.

As it turns out, one of my closest friends, Carley, was left in a room by herself, also waiting for roommates. Once I learned she was on her own, I told her we had an extra space and if she wanted it, it was hers. Of course she didn’t want to take it right away but told me she would think about it and let me know. Later in the summer, during one of our Skype visits, I told her I still had a spot available and asked if she wanted it. She said, “Yes!” From that point on we were both so excited to be roommates and live out our senior year together.

With Carley now in our apartment, Lauren and I knew that we still had room left for one more person. At this point, we knew that someone was going to be randomly placed into our room, so we all began to pray again. We finally learned the name of our final roommate, Ashley, a few weeks before school started. Like anyone would do, I searched for her on Facebook. However, she was nowhere to be found on any social media. That scared me a little bit, but I knew I just had to have faith that God had placed the right person into our apartment.

God perfectly orchestrated the placement of roommates. Ashley is one of the sweetest girls I have ever met, and she just happened to choose roommates last year that didn’t come back to CBU or decided to commute instead of living on campus.  Let me tell you, it was their loss. I have loved getting to know her and grow with her as a roommate.

It is so amazing to see firsthand how faithful God is to answer our prayers. I met Lauren our freshman year, because we lived on the same hall. I met Carley our sophomore year, because we were in the same choir. I met Ashley because she was randomly placed into our apartment this year. I don’t think I could have come up with a better room arrangement if I had done it all myself. God had a plan for this year, and it is already turning out to be better than I ever imagined. I can’t wait to see what else He has in store!

More than a Barbecue

CBU’s missionaries in residence live in a house on the edge of campus. For the time they are here, they’re working to help students from missionary families adjust and feel welcomed at CBU. Last Friday they hosted the first MK (missionary kid) barbecue event of the year, and I attended. That’s one thing you don’t know about me–I am also a missionary kid.

Just a quick explanation: I grew up in Lima, Peru, where my parents still work training and sending Latino missionaries to countries all around the world. When I was 15, my oldest brother started college at Azusa Pacific University, which resulted in my family moving to California for at least his first year. Since my other brother and I were finishing high school soon, my parents decided to keep us here until we graduated and started university as well. Needless to say, the culture shock was, well, shocking. I don’t think there is a more opposite comparison to Lima as south Orange County. It was my difficult experience in high school, however, that pushes me to be active in the MK group here at CBU.

I’ve lived in California long enough now to understand the culture and feel comfortable, but I know the new students who arrived this year will experience the same confusion I did four years ago. That’s why I walked over to the missionary’s house last week with my other MK friend, Scott Teichert, to meet some new faces. I’d been to one last year, but there wasn’t much of a turnout.

This year did not disappoint. The living room was packed with MKs from Turkey, England, South East Asia, Kenya, and more places than I can remember. There must have been at least 20 of us there, a much larger group than before. Although we all came from different cultures, we all knew how the other felt living in the U.S. for the first time. There is this mutual understanding that MKs have for each other that really brings us together. It’s hard to explain, but it’s there. As a FOCUS leader, I already met some of the MK freshmen and can’t wait to be involved with this group through the year. CBU really does welcome and help international students, which is support I wish I had when we first moved to the U.S. Now I can be a part of that, too.

Sing, Sing, Sing

Well friends, we are two and half weeks into school. For those of you who don’t know, I am in University Choir and Orchestra. We meet each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2-4:30 to rehearse. I absolutely love being in this group and having the opportunity to grow as a musician.


If you are familiar with the choir program here at CBU, you know that before school starts we have what is called “music camp.” Basically, it is three full days of rehearsing our music for the upcoming year. This year music camp took place on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before school started. Monday camp started at 11 a.m. and we went till 9 p.m. Tuesday was from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Wednesday was from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Needless to say, they were long days filled with a lot of singing and a lot of standing. Music camp is a very rigorous and overwhelming–but rewarding–few days.


If you think about it, when we sing for 12 hours straight, we have the privilege of worshipping for 12 hours straight. Sure, for those 12 hours, we are pounding out parts and focusing on how we sound. However, we have the opportunity to do it all for the glory of God, and the songs we sing are worship songs. Trust me when I say there are times during music camp and even rehearsals when I forget why we are singing. There are times that I become so focused on what notes and rhythms and dynamics I am supposed to be singing that I forget that the reason I am singing is for Him.


If you are singing in a choir here at CBU, I would challenge you to remember why you are singing and who you are singing to. I can honestly say that it changed my whole approach to choir and changed what I have been able to take from choir. If you are not in choir, I would encourage you to come listen to one on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon.  We would love to sing to you and invite you into a time of worship.

Dresses, Reps, and T.W.I.R.P. — Oh My!

This past week was an important one for first-time freshmen here on the campus of CBU. We were introduced to some of CBU’s old and new traditions, including Tower Hall’s first ever ladies’ photoshoot, campaigning for the student government freshmen representative position, and the classic “T.W.I.R.P.” week.

I think my roommates would agree with me if I were to say that two days into this week, we’re already walking deadweights from everything that’s been spilling into our schedules—but in a very good way. I would definitely consider this past week to have been an introductory “true college experience” for all us freshies.

Last Thursday at 5 p.m., my roommates and I ran outside to catch up with the other train of Tower Hall ladies, pumped for our very first photoshoot. We quickly realized how alienated we were beside all the dresses and curls, so we smiled awkwardly, backpedaled, and came back more suitably decked out.

A few minutes later, all of us girls assembled ourselves in front of a rusty old truck, using fun props like an empty picture frame and rustic, unhinged door for embellishment, and snapped a bucket load of cheesy, adorable pictures. That next half hour was filled with childish giggling and girly bonding that I’m sure none of us will forget very soon. I can’t wait to see the finished products!

That same lighthearted Thursday marked one of the most pressured days of the school year for some of CBU’s determined freshmen representative candidates. I remember one of my sweet roommates, Lydia Nolen, staring a hole in her application as she scrambled to come up with the perfect statement of why she is interested in running for the position of freshmen president and thinking of how gosh-darn proud I was of her for pursuing such an admirable goal. (She’d make a great rep, you guys, just sayin’).

As elections have commenced, so have the sightings of big rep campaign posters, entertaining rep videos, and a surprise from one of the reps, who decided to send her poster out to every nearby wireless freshman printer. Surprise!

While the photoshoot and continuing election process have both been significant influences this past week here at CBU, nothing has been as much as a standout as the classic T.W.I.R.P. week, which stands for “The Woman Is Required to Pay.”

Tuesday morning, my roommates and I rolled out of bed at 5 a.m., made our zombie trot across campus to the Community Life Office, and stumbled sleepily into the already very long line of girls ready to buy tickets for T.W.I.R.P. events. The line consisted of many pairs of yoga pants, scraggly knots of hair, and fuzzy blankets. A few sleepy troopers had actually laid down on the ground and fallen asleep (I salute them).

While I, unfortunately, never made it to the front of the line because of my once-a-week 8 o’clock class (it’s way too fun to be missed!), I and those who also were unable to buy tickets will still have the opportunity to take our men out for Monday’s free coffee house T.W.I.R.P. event and Wednesday’s original “create a date evening” (I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend to let me drive for that one). So truly, there’s something for everyone, and now all us girls are counting the hours until we get to reverse roles for a week and treat our significant others – or, simply a best friend – to a good CBU time.

Reflection upon this week has led me to become very excited about whatever next week will hold. CBU seems to offer endless opportunities to their students to learn, grow, and enjoy life together.

Blessings on this next week! You’ll be hearing from me very soon,

Natalie :)


Life, Stories, and a Multitude of Drops

I absolutely adore books. Not only do they prove to be informative, imaginative, and insightful, they have the ability to touch places within me that resonate for years thereafter. As Josh Riebock so eloquently puts it in Heroes and Monsters, “I have a crush on words.”

I was blessed enough to spend a great deal of time over the summer becoming acquainted with a variety of different stories and “crushing” on each of them in their turn. From Victorian novels, young adult literature, science fiction tales and everything in between, I found for the umpteenth time exactly how powerfully books can speak and how they can effectively inspire me to action. I believe that God uses both information and stories to move us to personal enlightenment and to inspire us to improve upon the world around us.

I found an example of this as I sat through chapel this week and was challenged to take a leap of faith and a larger act of service. We viewed a presentation from the CBU Office of Mobilization and were encouraged to apply to serve on an International Service Project (ISP).  This program allows students to raise the funds to travel to another country and do short-term missions in the hopes of bringing both help and hope to individuals encountered along the way.

As I sat through this presentation, I sensed the innumerable doubts that people around me might have in deciding whether or not to join a project. I know that, personally, my biggest fear when it comes to missions is the fear that I would not be able to do enough in that period of time to make a strong enough impact. How could I possibly hope to effectively serve another person whom I will only get a few weeks to be with?

I quickly answered my own question by thinking of a quote from a novel I read just weeks before the semester began.

In the story, a man had determined to abandon his previous career to become an abolitionist during the days that slavery was prevalent throughout the world. He imagined the arguments that others would provide to discourage this new path and responded with such simplicity and clarity. Another character frankly told the character, “Only as you gasp out your final breath will you realize that your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean.” The new abolitionist responds with, “Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” (David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas)

In the novel, I saw how the power of stories gives clarity to my own life. The character in the book addresses that, while the world has many problems to tackle, each person, each drop in a vast sea makes a difference. Each part helps to shape the whole.

I realize that while ISP is just one small way that we can be of service to others, it is nonetheless a valuable opportunity to make some mark on another person or group of people. No amount of time spent in service is too small and not one day spent loving others is too short. Every bit of energy placed into helping other people is certainly not wasted. One need only take the opportunity to serve and give their all to showing love in that service.

I am no more than a young American woman who has determined to live a life pursuing truth and service to the Creator and His people. I have nothing more than what I have been given, but I am constantly learning how my gifts can be used to contribute to the world. We can all act upon the opportunities we are given and use our knowledge to serve in whatever means possible. While this certainly is a big endeavor, the words of the character in David Mitchell’s novel communicate the truth that God values all of His people, and He will use us to make an impact on the world.

Service, in my eyes, always begins with an opportunity and a willingness to seize it. We have been born into different families, situations and economic statuses, yet we all have unique abilities that can and should be used for the benefit of our fellow man. God has created (and commanded) us to serve each other, and in this service we are to show others the same love that we believe the Creator has for each of us. We can all be used in any number of ways to achieve this goal, and we all have to begin somewhere. Let us use our single drop to benefit the multitude.

Leading and Enjoying New Student Orientation

CBU’s New Student Orientation is like no other. The university not only organizes a series of exciting events and worshipful sessions, but also demonstrates the unity between CBU staff and students. The time put in by all of the departments and student leaders sends a message that CBU truly cares about its students. I feel privileged to say that I contributed to that.

It was only a year ago when I was one of those nervous freshmen moving into Smith Hall carrying my guitar in one hand and keeping my nervous anticipation to myself. I remember meeting my hall mates and countless others while I was directed between different informational sessions, group games and worship services. Thinking back, I really didn’t know what was going on most of the time. I just followed the crowds of unfamiliar faces and let the friendly CBU upperclassmen show me the ropes.

This year, however, I was the friendly FOCUS Leader answering campus questions and hi-fiving every freshmen that passed by. Something I learned quickly this year was that my role as student leader greatly contrasted my role from last year. There is so much planning that goes on before the event, and during the weekend it was our job to keep it running smoothly.

The FOCUS team definitely stayed busy, but we loved being there every second. Right from the beginning on Thursday morning I was there at the first tables welcoming new students and handing them their ID cards and orientation name tags. It was exciting to know that I was a part of their first impression of CBU. That energy pushed me through the rest of the day which varied from moving students into Tower Hall and Simmons to handing out Lancer shirts at check-in. True, that did involve several trips carrying boxes of clothes and hangers up and down staircases, but I was feeling just as excited, if not more so, than the students I was helping. Just knowing how much fun they would have this weekend was enough to make me forget that I was even working. I can’t really call it work if I’m enjoying every minute of it. Then I met the students in my FOCUS group that night, and it was just amazing to talk with them and hear about their lives and impressions of CBU. From there, the weekend passed by quickly with fun events like Clash N Bowl and Price is Right. I honestly had more fun being a leader during all of these events than I did experiencing them last year.

That joy we felt while helping all of the new students really made the weekend special for us all. I definitely had no idea that I could have so much fun directing lost parents to info sessions or seeing freshmen reactions to the ADC. I can’t wait until next year to do it all again.

The Beginning of the End

As we started the first week of school, I had already been living on campus and living CBU life for almost a month.  For those of you who don’t know, I am an RA in West Colony. For three weeks we had training and prepared for all of our residents to move on campus. These weeks were packed full of sessions and staff bonding.  The days were long but extremely rewarding.

The first weekend that we were on campus all the staffs went on separate staff retreats. Let’s rewind to a few weeks before move-in day. West Colony staff received an e-mail from our boss, Ian, in which he stated his excitement for us to move-in and begin training. He also included two articles, one on fasting and the other on solitude, strongly encouraging us to read the articles before training. Fast forward a few weeks and we received another e-mail from our graduate assistant giving us a packing list, which consisted of the following:

- One change of clothes (make sure to bring pants and a jacket included in that)

- Re-usable water bottle

- Bible

- Journal

- Pens

- Flashlight (or headlamp)

- Sleeping bag

- Bug spray

- Closed-toed shoes

From the two e-mails I received I came to two conclusions:  First, we were definitely going camping. Second, we were going to be taking part in solitude and fasting.

We arrived in Big Bear around 10 p.m., when it was dark and cold. We were told to set up the two tents we had without talking—team bonding experience number one.  Putting up the tents went surprisingly well, and they stayed intact the entire weekend. We went to bed and after a long night of trying to get comfortable and stay warm, morning came. We got ready for the day and headed to our meeting spot, where we did a Bible study and were told the tasks we were going to complete for the day.  We were going to be fasting and partaking in solitude until 5 p.m., which amount to about seven hours.

Seven hours of solitude sounds like it would be awful, but honestly it wasn’t that bad. Here is what my time of solitude looked like: read my Bible, journal/pray, repeat. Seven hours seems like a long time to do these three things, but it was amazing. You see, the few weeks leading up to move-in day some crazy things had been happening in my life, and I wasn’t exactly wanting to talk to God about it. However, seven hours with just God and myself led to the interaction I needed. This time of solitude forced me to see what was really in my heart and how I really felt about things that were happening. It is amazing what God reveals to you when you just sit, read, pray, and be still. He revealed so many things to me that day, and it was wonderful.

After our time of solitude and fasting, we had dinner. This was probably the quietest meal we had throughout all of training because we were all starving, considering we had been fasting for about 24 hours. We played games and made s’mores for the remainder of Saturday night. Sunday we woke up early and headed down the mountain to Sandals for church, in all our camping glory.

That weekend grew us closer as a staff, even though we didn’t talk for most of it and also grew my walk with Christ. Solitude and fasting for a day was so much greater then I thought it would be. It was a great way to start off my last year here at CBU and helped me to start the year with a good mindset.

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