The One Where I talk about Health

These past few years of college have been a whirlwind let me tell ya. From being a freshman saying “I’m so stressed and busy” to looking back and being like “GIRRRRL, you had no idea what being stressed and busy was.” I this blog I will talk about my personal health struggles throughout school, both mentally and physically, as well as giving some tips to myself and others that want to join me to keep working toward better overall health.

I will start with the fact that I have had non-diagnosed depression that goes in its phases since I was in probably 8th grade or High School. That being said, college has only made some of those symptoms worse at times, although with some help from finding joy in certain things, I have learned to cope and sometimes its completely gone. When my Junior Year started, I was already stressed about what was to come. I quickly realized that I had developed pretty severe anxiety throughout the year that had seemed from a couple different things. I had never really dealt with anxiety before in this extremity. I stopped doing many things I enjoyed because I was overwhelmed, stopped enjoying things that I was doing that were causing the anxiety and not quite acting like myself. This anxiety turned into other intense emotion including jealously, hatred, fear, loneliness and many others.

Before my sophomore year I spent the summer working at a camp, during my sophomore I used to do yoga nearly everyday for 30-45 mins at least, and the summer before my junior year I worked out at least 4 days a week while living in Kansas City. I learned to use working out, and yoga to cope with other things in the past, but as soon as the anxiety hit at the beginning of my junior, I felt trapped and unable to talk myself into anything work out related and sometimes even social events (which if you know me, you know I love people). In those times of working out, not only had I lost weight and gained muscle, but I gained confidence and a better sense of self to stay grounded and positive in where I am in my journey of life.

Another reason that has played into my health issues, is that because I’m busy and don’t feel like I have time to make a good and healthy meal, then I eat out. Not that eating out is a bad thing, but at some points in my college years, its been a way to common occurrence. I have gotten to the point where my body just doesn’t feel good or right because of the things I am constantly putting in my body that don’t have a good nutritional value to them. In the fall of my junior year, I went vegetarian, and I still am (almost a year and a half), other than the occasional eating of meat here or there (probably about once a month). I started eating this way, yes because I love animals, but mostly because of the way it made me feel lighter and better. (IF YOU WANT ANY TIPS ON GOING VEGGIE LET ME KNOW). I will say though that it has not always been of help to me because I tend to eat things that may not have meat, but still are no good for me.

With that being said, my senior year has been anything but easy. I came in with a lot of anxiety still in the fall and was not working out because I felt to stressed and busy. One day I even had the worst and longest panic attack I had ever had resulting in not getting to participate in two classes.

Although it hasn’t been easy I made intentions with myself to think more about self love, and positivity in this new year, which is now two months in. I have been working out more (still not enough) and honestly still not eating very well, but that’s one reason I wrote this blog.

Next Week I want to begin a new health journey, with working out and eating healthy. I am using two apps to help me get my feet planted and adding in some of my own stuff as well. I am using the app C25K to train up to a 5k and maybe even a 10k. I am using the Livestrong app called MyPlate to log my food, but also they give you weekly grocery lists to get things to make recipes they give you (which is a little difficult as a college student because a lot of groceries at one time can be expensive. I want to start doing yoga nearly everyday again to put my mind and body at ease. I am writing this is my blog to hold myself accountable and maybe people will join me as well. Im ready for a journey of change in my health.

Here are some tips that I want to suggest to find peace in anxiety and to start a journey of self love:

  • Don’t only workout because you don’t like the way you look, do it to better yourself, to plant more self love in your heart, and to gain muscle to be a strong woman or man.
  • Take time out of your day to do yoga or just sit/lay with your eyes closed but mind awake in silence. Even if its just for 5 minutes.
  • Set intentions for your day to be better than the one before.
  • Choose healthier eating choices than the day before, but also reward yourself now and then for doing well in a really hard change.
  • Most importantly, Remember that God does not give you more than you can handle, trust him.

Starting a new health journey is extremely difficult sometimes. But I am so ready to feel better mentally and physically by being more aware of my body and its needs to feel better.

I would love to hear other peoples thoughts, journeys, or from anyone who would like to join me. Accountability is huge, and it makes it so much easier to stick with something. LETS DO THIS.

Comment on the post or on my Social Media post if you want to join me!

Thanks for tuning in to my blog,

Peace & God Bless,

Amberlee Faith

 

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I’m back : What I’ve been up too the past couple of years… with a bit of ranting.

I know that it has been a long while since I have written any blog and part of that is because I have been a busy bee and have honestly not been able to find time. BUT, in my final semester of undergraduate I decided to make time and bring this back. I have missed being able to write my thoughts down and share some of my happiness and struggles with everyone who reads. In the future post (which I will plan to do every week on Thursday from now on, give or take a few depending on the week and what it entails) I want to talk about more specific topics, but for this come back blog I want to give people an insight of what has been going on with me the past couple of years and my recent thoughts on some things I have experienced. Get ready, cause here I go!

As most of you know my senior recital was Monday night, but I didn’t get to that moment with ease, the last few years have been tough for many reasons. I’ll start with my sophomore year at the end of the year I got sick and I lost my voice for the whole last month of school. This was really difficult for me, because literally my whole degree is based on singing and I couldn’t sing. I didn’t get to compete in one of the competitions I normally get to. I could barely make it through my Final Juries. I had to take a lower grade in the class because I could barely finish my work because it was painful to sing. I was so thankful for the generosity of that professor though given my circumstances. Whenever I was in cars even with friends, or just by myself I couldn’t sing anything not only because it hurt but because I took a risk of hurting my voice even more than it already was. Even the first month of the summer after I left school, I could barely sing. I was just about to lose it because it is what I most love to do and all the sudden I couldn’t do it anymore. I can’t tell you how many times I was in my voice teachers office crying and thinking that I wouldn’t be able to sing again (which obviously was incorrect but I was being dramatic), but most people don’t lose your voice for a whole month from being sick. Anyways, moving onto the next few years. My junior year started out great and I was doing two shows in the fall and then we had two more shows in the spring as well as a tour. In the fall I was managing pretty well with stress but it was still really difficult trying to believe in myself and knowing that I was capable of doing what I was doing. I had basically taken three months off from singing throughout the summer because of what happened at the end of the year before. So my voice was no longer… I guess you could call… in shape. It took me a while, almost a whole year even to finally start gaining back what I had before. I was given some really difficult pieces for my voice lesson and for my junior recital that would be in the spring, but when I came to my final jury of that first semester the teachers told me that my voice is sounding strange and that I should change to some lighter rep.  For me this was really hard to hear because I felt like I was going back and no longer going forward. So for my junior recital that was in the spring I learned eight new pieces over the winter break just so that I could change to the lighter rep for my voice. Learning 8 pieces, memorizing them and doing them well in a month would have been a big challenge for anybody and honestly I couldn’t have done it without the help of God. I somehow made it through to my recital and it went really well. Later in the semester I was dealing with a lot of inner battles like what I wanted to do and wondering what people‘s reasoning were behind some things that were done regarding to me, and wondering if I was really good enough to be doing what I was doing. I got to take part in an opera and it was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. But during the time of the opera I started having these strong doubts in my abilities and thinking I was not good enough and that certain people were better than me because of ways I had been treated. I was questioning a lot of my capabilities because I was never really given a chance to show them fully. I know very well that I can be overlooked because I’m nice and sweet and easy going, although, I never knew that that could be such a defining thing, and I never plan to changing that about me. It was then that I truly realized that performing was something that I loved, But not something that I wanted to do professionally for the rest of my life. My junior year with all the shows recital to Canada tour that we went on was one of my most stressful years that I’ve ever had, I literally didn’t know if I would make it through the year and I got to The end of it and had to thank God, because I wouldn’t have gotten there on my own. I didn’t really start to have big progress again in my voice since after losing it my sophomore year until my senior year rolled around. Last semester I came in with a lot of anxiety and pressure on myself to try to be better than the year before and really push myself. I was working on more difficult rep, and I finally started to find my beautiful and freesounding singing again. I was part of a Broadway Revue, and part of the children’s opera again in the fall both of which I enjoyed. I started started preparing for my senior recital. My recital music that I have worked on these past few months was not easy by any means. My voice teacher really decided to challenge me to sing harder rep, and believed in me enough to give the difficult music that he did. The music made me really nervous and over the Christmas break, because I had to learn five of the pieces and come back memorized. I was able to do this surprisingly and when I came back my voice teacher was so excited to be able to actually do the rep he chose. He was telling me it sounded good in my voice, and that was a relief.  Then a few weeks into the semester I had a big realization in my singing. I finally realized a new technique that people have been telling me for years and I have just never fully understood, just in the day in time, it clicked. After this realization I I finally started to feel better when I sing, and other people could really tell a difference. If you don’t know much about singing classical music or any music for that matter, one thing to know is that having tension is not a good thing. I had a lot of jaw tension because of TMJ,  and was never really able to get past it. Until, this semester when I had this realization. I am so thankful for this journey I have had in these 4 years being here. I have learned so much and met such great people that have supported me through it all from near and far.

On a side note: I wanted to bring this up in this blog because I don’t want to dedicate a whole one to the issue. I’m going to be very frank, every single person for their recital works very very hard for hours upon hours and years upon years. For music majors, you won’t understand it, until you’ve done it yourself. You want everyone that can be there to be there to support you on your BIG NIGHT (unless they have prior obligations that can not be worked around). Supporting other people, even those you may not be as close to, is still very important. Homework should not be an excuse to miss considering the recitals are never longer than one hour. Being with your friends is not either. As Music Majors we know we are a bit different than most people, and we have to show up for each other in these big moments. You’ll never be to the point where you can no longer learn from another person as you watch them. This is just something I had to address because not only did it happen at my recital (and yes I realize the people that didn’t show up) but also I have seen it at previous recitals. I challenge you guys, whoever is reading this, that as a music major or a friend of someone who is, to SHOW UP for people in the future. Let them feel loved on their big night by your presence at their recitals. Even if you can’t stay and talk after, at least show up for the time that you can. My rant is over. The end.

Anyways, back to My main point: I couldn’t have done any of this if it weren’t for the Lord being with me every step of the way and also family, friends, and professors for supporting me. I’ve had lots of ups and downs, and a lot of doubting, and somehow he has brought me through every single situation. I hope for a great rest of the semester for everyone including myself, and thank you for listening to me ramble and rant tonight. You are all loved so much!

Peace and Blessings,

Amberlee Faith

My Summer in Kansas City

Where do I even start? Well lets just say when I found out last year that I would be spending pretty much my entire summer up in Kansas City, I really wasn’t that excited to be away from the place I knew so well with my friends, Texas.

Almost anyone who knows me can tell you that I have a heart for adventure and exploring. When I’m at school, I don’t really have a lot of time to do much exploring in the tiny town that I go to school too (not like there is really much to explore), but this summer I’ve broadened my spectrum of the earth, new people, and new places. In many ways, this summer has been full of personal growth that I never could have imagined, even if I’m just now realizing it at the end of my time here.

When I was still at school in the spring, I was so stressed by trying to look for, apply for and get a job while trying to do my first opera, and all of my classes. But, then one day my Bonus Moms co-worker and herself went to lunch and were talking and she told Roxanne that she needed a nanny because her last one fell through and she didn’t know what she was going to do. Roxanne then said that I was looking for a job for the summer and then everything just kind of fell into place. I was so blessed to have found a job that made me enough money to finish paying for school things, and able to have some money to explore the city while I was here. I got to spend time with some very energetic kids that like to keep me on my feet. Working with this family and kids this summer has been nothing short of a blessing, even when the kids are straight up stinkers.

This summer I was also able to spend more time with family that I don’t normally spend much time with, and get to know them better. My sisters have become some of my best friends (even more than before). I’ve been able to spend more time getting to know my bonus brothers, and bonus mom, as well as more time with my Dad. Even though I haven’t made many friends here because its really hard to with my job, I have been able to embrace the urban atmosphere of the city and enjoy it by myself and make the most out of each moment in the city.

I have also taken many chances on things I normally wouldn’t this summer, whether its riding the tallest waterslide in the world, braving the craziness of driving downtown often, or finally getting into a habit of working out. I’m doing things I would have never imagined. Riding the tallest waterslide in the world was just the beginning of learning to face fears whenever they come about in my life. As well as the tallest waterslide, driving around this big city has been intimidating at some points, but I’ve actually come to love it, because there is something new and beautiful on every corner that you can just stop and explore. I will definitely miss this aspect of my time here when I go back to Texas. Also, All last year of school, I tried and tried to get myself to workout regularly and with the busy-ness of school, I could just never make it a habit, as hard as I tried. This summer I have finally been able to make exercising a habit, and something I know I need in my week a few times. The days that I’m so exhausted from working are the hardest, and yet when I still endure the tiredness and go workout, I feel even better afterward. Working out has definitely become something that I now can’t imagine not making time for.

This summer I have learned most importantly how to love myself, and love other people more. I’ve learned how strong I can be in certain situations, and how to simply be present for people that I care about. I think sometimes people, including myself don’t realize that people have problems and struggles that are in the inside that they won’t tell you about, and being there for people even when you don’t know what is going on, that is true friendship. They need you more than you think they do, so be there and take time to care for them.

Everyone has a journey, and everyone’s journey is at a different spot. God is always right there with you on that journey. I’ve learned this summer that there are many things I don’t NEED in my life that I once thought I did. I’ve learned also that I am worth so much more than my past and that I am not defined by any one thing. I have found out more about myself this summer than I can fit into this blog post, I could go on and on. I just want to say that this summer has been such a HUGE blessing for me. From meeting Joe Jonas in my favorite coffee shop (where I am currently writing this blog post) to having a chance to travel more than normal, and not having to pay for things because of someone else’s kind heart.

I’ve figured out this summer that I am 100% a city girl and I could see myself living in the city for the entirety of my life (lol). I am so in love with city living, whether its in Los Angeles, or Kansas City or wherever, its where my heart is. I honestly don’t know what I will do when I go back to little bitty Belton, TX for school. But, I know that is where God wants me to be in this point in my life and I’m going to make the most of every second of this next year. Also this summer after some thinking and talking to someone in the field, I think I have finally found something that I want to pursue as a career, and it is just the beginning (ask me about it if you want to know more!).

While I’ve been here, I have missed my Mom and good friends SO MUCH. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I LOVE being around friends and so this summer hasn’t been super duper easy. Since I’ve only seen 2 of my friends for pretty short amounts of time this summer. But, I know that being in Missouri this summer was right where God wanted me to be, for multiple reasons and so I am very thankful for this experience. At one point I almost did something else for a month of the time that I was supposed to be here because it had more to do with my career path, and as fun as that would have been, it didn’t allow me to have money for school, and now that I look back it also wouldn’t have been right for me this summer. God knew where I needed to be, everything fell right into place to be here in Missouri this summer and I’m glad I decided to follow what God wanted instead of being stubborn and trying to do something else. So thankful for my experience here, the places I’ve gone, my job, the people I have met, my family, and so man other things. This summer has been one for the books for sure. So glad I had this experience, and I look forward to many good things coming this school year.

 

Thanks for reading! Goodbye for now Kansas City, see you soon!

Peace & God Bless

Amberlee Faith

& Be Kind

Hey guys,

So if you didn’t have a chance to read my last blog post, it was called “Have Courage” so I thought it only right that I made one called “& Be Kind”.

Let me just say that in the past few years and months, I think many people have seen how much our world is full of hate. But that does not mean that you have to join in, it means you need to stand out, and be kind. You never know when something nice you do could, make someone smile, or even save his or her life.

Sometimes being kind is not the easiest thing to do if someone is rude to you or not doing what you may be asking them to do, but that’s when being kind is the most important. When someone experiences you being kind to them even when they are not kind to you, it can shake their whole world and it can really change their perspective.

There are so many ways that you can do kind things for people, whether they know it or not. Here some ways I can think of:

  • Pay for the drink or meal of the person behind you in line for either of those.
  • Open a door for someone, whether they need help or not.
  • If someone hands are full, offer to help them carry things.
  • Buy a homeless person a meal somewhere and give it to them.
  • Park further away from a building so that someone else can park closer.
  • Pick up trash that someone else left on the ground (Being kind to the earth).
  • Clean up the house or apartment, when you know your family or roommates are stressed and have had long, busy days.
  • Leave someone a letter of encouragement to find, whether its in your house/apt or in a random restaurant for a stranger to find.
  • Give someone a compliment, whether you know them or not, and really mean it.
  • Say positive things about someone when others are only thinking about the negatives in them.

 

All these things are so important to remember because they can truly change someone’s day in an instant. If you have the monetary capability to pay for someone else often, then do it. Use your money for good and not for yourself. When someone obviously looks like they need help, with a door or carrying things, then don’t make them ask you. Assess the situation and realize for yourself that they need help, because they won’t always want to ask for it. Some people may come off as very confident, but everyone likes a good compliment or encouragement from others, so don’t hold back from those things because you may just compliment them on something they are actually insecure about.

Being positive to people who are being negative about a situation or a person can really open up their mind to see the big picture. Also, focusing on the positives in life in general just makes life much more joyful in the long run than choosing to see the negative. Looking at the positives in someone makes you realize that we are all beautiful because we are made in the image of God, and that not one of us in this world is perfect. Everyone has their quirks, but some of those may also be their insecurities, so be kind to them.

Most of this I wrote before the saddening events that happened in the last few days, but all of this applies even now. Being kind and helping others in this time is CRUCIAL. So many people are fearful of what will happen next or what our country is coming to, but the truth is, you can make an impact, by having the courage, being different, and simply being kind and compassionate to others. Also, yes people have different views of all of the things that have been happening, but be kind to those even if you may not agree with them. Realize that ultimately, everyone wants to just feel safe and not worry, but also realize that the only way for peace and restoration to come is through prayer and the work of the Lord in our country. I know it can be hard to remember to be kind in these times, but know that there is a God so much bigger than everything happening that is holding your hand through it all.

Choose to be kind to others, choose to have courage within your self. Don’t live in fear, but choose to LIVE.

 

Have Courage & Be Kind.

      Peace & God Bless,

Amberlee Faith

Have Courage

 I think many times in people’s lives, including my own, we tend to shut down when something scary or unusual presents itself. This is something that in the past 8 months or so that I’ve been working on. 
It’s easy to not want to take risks and to live as easily and safely as possible. But is that what we are called to do?

In the bible it says:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭

Yes it means to be courageous and strong in your faith. But it also tells you to not live in fear. Go out, and take chances, because you may miss the chances you didn’t take.

    I learned this a lot in the past 8 months, whether it was learning a super hard song, being vulnerable with friends, or doing something I never thought I could or would. 

   One of the most recent situations where I realized this was so important was when I went to Schlitterbahn Kansas City and road the Tallest waterslide in the world. Whenever I woke up that morning I had really No intention to ride the ginormous thing. Then, I sent out a poll on Twitter (as one does) and asked if I should. Most people said yes! My bonus mom (what I call my step mom) Roxanne told me that she would do it with me, so I thought, WHY NOT. 


When we arrived, well before we arrived I could already see the slide sticking up above everything around it (since its 17 stories tall) and I remember saying “it doesn’t look THAT tall” . So we got there, got in the lazy river and relaxed and eventually the two of us left the others to go ride this Record breaking waterslide.. When I got up next to it I immediately got nervous and got in line anyway. Standing in line, there was a cover to keep people out of the sun (but also secretly kept people from seeing how tall the slide was before they climbed the stairs to ride it). We began talking to people around us and I became less nervous. Then, when we had to get our armbands and wait I’m a different line, you could see the slide clearly and I was about to hyperventilate, thinking “what am I getting myself into, I can’t do this”. We began climbing the stairs to the top (which was so many) and it made us become out of breath and it didn’t help that every platform had a sign showing how tall you were. There was a sign saying “you are now taller than the Statue of Liberty” and many others and it honestly freaked us both out. When we got to the top and I was waiting, I looked out at the view, which I loved but also made me realize how high I was about to slide from… I told Roxanne I didn’t know if I could do it. She told me she would turn around if I did. But, I told myself “no you’re doing it, you can do it, God doesn’t want you to live in fear, take chances” so I got in the raft, still thinking “I can’t do it, but I guess I am” then the gate opens and there we go, almost vertical going 70ish mph down this 17 story slide. I made no noise, but actually really enjoyed it. When I got to the bottom, all I could feel was joy, and realized that I conquered my fear, and how fulfilling it felt to have done this. I decided that if other opportunities arose Like this one, then I would think back to that moment and remember that God wanted me to Live my life to the fullest and therefore was holding my hand the whole way. It was one of the best feelings. 

 So next time you find your self, nervous, frightened, or scared, remember that God is right there with you and you can do anything. Live your life to the fullest and remember all you have to do is HAVE COURAGE.
Be looking for my next blog “& Be Kind” coming to you next week!
Peace&God Bless

Amberlee Faith

God is good yall

So as most of you know, I’ve been spending the last 4 weeks working in Kansas City, Missouri. I will also be here for 6 more weeks, but the past week has been definitely a memorable one.

Last Tuesday, one of my best friends Jessica came to visit for my birthday week, although her flight was delayed and I worked the next morning. That night I only got 4 hours of sleep and I didn’t even get a chance to spend time with my friend who was visiting. I was a little upset that her first day in the city, I had to work and she had to be bored at my house, but never would I have imagined what the next day would bring.

Wednesday night we were planning our adventure for Thursday and trying to plan what coffee shop we wanted to visit that day. We also talked about how it would be amazing if we went to get coffee on Friday at the same place as Joe Jonas (since he was coming into town for his and Selena Gomez concert and he always goes to coffee shops before shows on his snapchat). Anyways, we decided we should go to Quay Coffee on Thursday (because it was honestly the best I tasted on my Downtown Kansas City Coffee tour).

Thursday morning we woke up, not knowing what the day held for us. We decided to go get coffee at Quay, then head to Opera House coffee & Food Emporium for lunch. When we arrived at Quay I ordered my favorite drink, and sat down at a table. Jessica decided she would tweet Joe Jonas to try Quay while he was in town, thinking that he might come Friday morning before the concert. Then, in the middle of jamming out to Fergalicious in Quay, Jessica stops singing and then tells me to look, and what do ya know? IT WAS JOE JONAS & HIS BAND DNCE STANDING 4 FEET FROM ME ORDERING THEIR COFFEE. Jessica whispered to me “Are you sure its him?” because like WHAT ARE THE FREAKING ODDS THIS HAPPENS TO US. I Literally started couldn’t breathe because I was so in shock. My heart was pounding and I just COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS WAS HAPPENING. I start whispering to Jessica to go ask him for a picture because I honestly just couldn’t do it. Especially since Joe is my favorite Jonas Brother. Sure enough after whispering about it and just experiencing this moment, Jessica went to throw away her coffee and asked him to take a picture with us. She then told him we had tweeted him about Quay and that we were going to be at the concert Friday night because it was my birthday! He and his band began to move over for a picture, but we stood and talked for a minute and He and his band wished me a Happy Birthday. This may sound crazy but I couldn’t believe he was standing here two feet in front of me, and I looked to him after conversating and we met eyes for like 3 seconds. It was great. After getting together for the picture, he then took Jessica’s phone and took a selfie of all of us together.13600025_10206764086688153_5662696561253444339_n

And then we decided to leave to not bother their chill coffee time together. When we left Quay. When we left Quay Coffee and passed the windows, I couldn’t help but softly scream and jump, as well as call my family and friends to tell them about what Jessica and I had just experienced. We then left the River Market area of Kansas City and went to mid downtown to see the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, visit a cute little shop called “Aquarius” and then headed to The Plaza shopping center.When we were at the shopping center, my one goal was to find and outfit for the Selena Gomez and DNCE concert that we were going to the next day, for my Birthday. We quickly found the outfit after walking around in the heat of the day and becoming all sweaty,. Then when we came out of the last store, we noticed it was sprinkling. We began walking back to the parking garage, and as soon as we got to the car, it began pouring. I couldn’t help but think that the events of this day were nothing less than blessing from the Lord. I could not be more thankful. We also saw online before we went to bed this night that Joe Jonas would be handing out free doughnuts at The Doughnut Lounge downtown. We decided why not go and see Joe Jonas again!

When I woke up Friday morning (On my 20th birthday) we went to have brunch at one of my favorite places called First Watch.

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After this we went to get our nails done, and went back to the house to get ready for the concert.

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We left early so we could try to catch Joe at the Doughnut Lounge, but we were sad when we got there and the line was for blocks and blocks to meet him again, so we decided to leave (even though we got in the news video for this event lol).

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We were still happy that we even had the chance to meet him once. After this we went to Liberty Memorial, which has the best skyline view of Kansas City that I have EVER seen, and took pictures.

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Then right before the concert, we met my family at Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen for my birthday dinner (They have one of the best burgers I have ever tasted by the way).Before we met for Tannin though, we had to find parking close the Sprint Center where we would be seeing the concert that night, or else all the parking lots may be full after we eat and we couldn’t leave the car in the restaurant parking lot. So, we found the Kansas City Power and Light District parking garage which was right across the road from the Sprint Center so it was perfect, and we got a ticket to pay on the way out. So we walked to Tannin from the parking garage (which I think walking through downtown of big cities is always so cool and fun) and then we ate and my dad drove us back to the Sprint Center for the concert. When we got to the concert, we had plenty of time to buy the merchandise for the singers beforehand because the lines moved so quickly. Then, when we went up the escalators to our seats, a woman greeted us saying that they were giving us tickets for better seats (we did not argue with that) and we ended up sitting at the bottom of the next section down as we had tickets for (pretty amazing seats). The concert with Bahari, DNCE,

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and Selena Gomez

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was all imagined and was SOOO AMAZING. When we walked out of the Sprint center and to the parking garage after the concert we got to experience the Kansas City Power and Light District feel of the city and we loved it so much. Then, we got in the car and started to head home, we started driving out of the garage and saw no one taking money for parking, and we ended up not having to pay for our parking (BEST DAY EVER). We got home safely and we couldn’t stop talking about how perfect the past couple of days had been and how many blessings God had given us in this short amount of time.

Saturday we slept in and went downtown to have another kind of coffee and spent a couple hour walking around and sitting in Union Station (because it is one of the most beautiful buildings ever). It was both relaxing, and fun. Then we had dinner and the #1 BBQ place in the country, Kansas City Joe’s, formerly known as Oklahoma Joe’s. It had again been a great day.

Today, which is Sunday and Jessica’s last day in the city, we went to church with my family. We then went to a Mexican Restaurant my dad suggested called Cantina del Sol and thought it would be funny to play Selena Gomez and Aly and AJ songs on the Juke Box in between the person who was playing rap lol. After lunch we went to spend a few hours looking at beautiful art at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum (one of my favorite places to be in the city).

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Then we ended our last time downtown together at Quay where the whole amazing weekend had started. We reminisced on meeting Joe there and even made some friends with the baristas as they were closing and we were leaving. Then we just came home and relaxed.

This past week has been filled with so many blessings. It has been such a blast being able to be a tourist, meet celebrities, see concerts, drink coffee and so many other things. I’d have to say it been one of the best birthdays ever, but none of this would have happened without the wonderful plan the Lord has had for us. I am so thankful for friendships and opportunities he has given me and this will definitely a week I will never forget. So I want to say thank you to the Lord and tell everyone that he is indeed a GOOD GOOD FATHER. Also, be thankful, through the good and the bad, because it always just building you to be more rooted in Him.

Thanks for tuning in to my birthday week story you guys.

Peace&God Bless,

Amberlee Faith

LAST BLOG (kinda)

Yes, this is my last blog, but ONLY the last blog to have to turn in as a grade. I plan to continue writing my thoughts on music on here. So for this lasted graded blog, I wanted to take the readers on a journey of the past three weeks that I have had.

Two Thursday ago, I woke up with a terrible headache and knew that I was getting sick, which I was, later that day I ended up with a pretty high fever. But, all I could think about at the time of feeling sick was, “NO, I can’t get sick, I have a competition to sing in on Saturday.” So I went to a voice lesson still and tried to practice before I realized I had a fever. Once I knew I had a fever I went to rest as most people would (even though, I’m stubborn and always have to be doing something, so it was really hard for me to “rest”) so that I could heal quickly and be able to sing Saturday. I was sad that night that I couldn’t go to a choir concert to support my colleagues and friends, and felt so helpless laying in bed and doing nothing.

I woke up the next day, with no headache and feeling much better, and instantly went to take my temperature to see if Id still be able to go to the competition the next day, and guess what! NO FEVER! But… I also had no voice. All I could think at this point was “Really?” So I spent that whole day resting and drinking hot tea, and trying everything I could think of to get my voice back for the competition.

I woke up Saturday for the competition and realized I had a terrible cough and still didn’t have much a voice. On the way to the competition with my voice teacher and friends, I decided there was absolutely no way that I could sing, notes wouldn’t even come out of my mouth. As the day went on, my voice got no better and I was honestly bitter and sad for the first half of the day. THEN, I realized that, God’s plan for me was not to sing that day, but instead to encourage my friends and colleagues as then competed and also to turn pages for the accompanist’s so that people who were competing wouldn’t have to do it In their stressful day. I was surprised of how much joy came over me when I realized that I DID have a purpose that day, and I wasn’t there for no reason. I also realized that I needed to stop relying on my own wants and what I think is best for me and to fully trust God, that everything that happens in my life is for a reason in his good and perfect will for my life.

The next Tuesday after this competition we had a choir performance of Handel’s Messiah, which I was so excited for after working on it all semester. But, when Tuesday came around, I still didn’t have a voice. I instantly got upset again knowing that all my hard work was going to waste.

Almost three weeks have gone by now, and I have a voice, but it still doesn’t feel the way it should when I sing. I was able to make through an audition by the grace of God. I also have struggled getting behind in my class called aural skills, which I have to be able to sing in and it hasn’t been easy.

Music has always been somewhat of an escape for me, and it has been so hard to not use music to escape with the things going on in my life. I keep wishing for my voice to come back so I can use it. Not being able to practice and do school work as well as doing music for fun, has been very discouraging for me.

Recently one of my roommates reminded me that yes, going to friends and music to escape our crazy lives is not a bad thing, but who we should be seeking the most is the God that holds our lives in his hands, and knows what we will be going through next. Its not that I didn’t already know this to be true, but God definitely used her to tell me what I truly need to hear in this time.

So many musicians get so caught up in their music, that they forget who gave them the talent to sing or play an instrument in the first place. God. God gave that to you. This is something that I remind myself, even though when I can’t sing it can be hard to remember, but when I do, I feel more peace than I could ever imagine. All this being said, God’s plan is far better than our own. Also Why not use the talent God has given you, fully for his glory? That’s when you will truly have peace and sound you best, Is when it is truly all to His glory.

In this time of really struggling to remember that God really does have my voice and all of this semester in his hands, the verse that has helped me immensely is Isaiah 40:31 which says:

“but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run ad not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

            This verse meant so much to me because I felt like I had lost my strength and just about gave up. But it reminded me that God will not let me fall, He is carrying me through this whole journey called LIFE, and LIFE will go on with the Lord, all you have to do is not let yourself get bogged down so far that you start thinking that you’re a lost cause. God is ALWAYS there. All you have to do is talk to Him.

 

Even though I did relate this blog to music, It can be applied to anyone that’s having a hard time knowing that God is in control of whatever situation that you are worrying about. But I just want to remind you that GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH. He knows what is best for you even when you can’t see the good in a situation. All you have to do is put your faith in him and trust him.

I hope that everyone has a great end to the semester and that you are able find the Joy of this life by seeking the Lord in all you do.

Peace and God Bless,

Amberlee Faith