Thursday, April 14, 2016

April- A Spendid Month

It's my Birthmonth!! A time for general celebrations, and great joy!

Now, I have been so mellow this year, knowing that I loved my 30th birthday and everything it held for me. And so, internally, I have calmed myself down as 31 approaches. I can't go big each year, or I might not have any friends left to share the good stuff with:) I am not worried about the family, they have to keep me at this point:)

Anyway, mellow does not mean, no celebrations. It just means less. So, I am going to enjoy a mix of times with friends and family, to usher in 31 in a more normal type way. And it feels just right.

Now, my gift to myself is a major de-cluttering project centered in my home. Prepping to move across town this summer, and to reduce my space in bright hopes of a future, home owning Sabrina. And by going through old memories, and also letting things go in the physical sense, has helped me feel lighter and less stressed in the mental sense. I just had too much stuff, and it was time for some of it to go. I have been telling myself that nothing will erase the good memories, but it is time for the stuff to go.

So, a garage sale is on the horizon. And turning 31 will be here in 2 weeks. 2 weeks!! I don't know what to expect of this next year. But, I know it will be good!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Risk and Failure

Right from the start, you might be thinking, hmmmm what kind of deep thoughts is Sabrina going to churn out early this morning (well I started typing at 8:00, but my chatty mom has been distracting me) when she is supposed to be on Spring Break?

And you would be right, sometimes this brain gets to whirling, and the thoughts just won't leave me alone. Often, I write in my personal journal, or call/text friends and family. And then sometimes, I come here to my tried and true blog, and just share some insights from my world.

This morning and for the last few mornings, I have been reflecting on seasons of change. Because, no matter how much young Sabrina thought I would be "settled" by now (and not even referring to marriage so much, as job, home, community), 30 year old Sabrina knows those childhood visions are going to have a vastly different timeline.

Anyway, here is what I am coming to realize. I think I am very good at taking the calculated risk. I think that I have both a fearless side and a fearful side. And when you blend the two, you get me! This mixture of a girl who looks around and believes in dreams and hopes, but also keeps her feet on the ground and lives in the land of lists and plans set in stone. No wonder, sometimes I feel like I have this internal flux going on. Like a rollercoaster, that I built myself to have dips and heights and valleys, and yet at the same time I want to tear down and build something less rigid, something more open and that does not take a safety harness to keep me upright. 

Risk and failure, the words themselves can still make me shiver. Somewhere in my head, I just do not want to lose. I want to win, be successful, have it all work out. And, I know I am not alone, but I also know who wants to admit such a thing. That the pursuit of getting what I want, even when approached in humble ways, still is a pursuit that will not satisfy. 

Risk and failure, now of course I have had failures in my life, and boy do I have the memories to show for them. But lo and behold, I am still here! Loving life and trying really hard to both love others and love me. The failures did not, in fact kill me, as I felt they would in the moment. I have learned some bittersweet life lessons from the rejections, twists, and "no's" of life. 

Risk and failure, I am coming to a new place in life, where I know I am being called to welcome these experiences. I am growing to a point where I don't run from them but instead I can be still and let life do what it will. Now, I don't think I will ever be the one to run towards risk, completely sure that no matter what it will be worth it in the end. But, if I can learn to embrace the challenge, and try something new, even if it does not fit in with my "plans", then I will have done a lot of necessary growing. 

So I guess this is me, saying that I am coming to accept myself more and more, for all that I am. Both the glowing creative spirit, and the over-thinking list junkie. She is actually quite something, this Sabrina who will be 31 in April. Here's to me being able to come back with a good and true report, of how life served me both lemons and sugar (depending on the days) and I stirred up a mighty fine tasting lemonade, that refreshed my spirit, and tasted so delightful, that mix of sour and sweet, that I drained the cup dry, and then was brave enough to go back and make another batch. Yeah, that sounds about right! 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Love, Caring, and Appreciation

I have said it before, and I will say it again, if you get upset hives at the mention of "a commercialized Valentine's Day" then stop reading now:)

For everyone else, Hi Friends! It's almost Valentine's Day 2016!! Yayyyy and Happy Dance!
For me, in my little corner of the world, it is always pretty wonderful to say, and show, love for all the people who make my life amazing. My family, my first friends in Jacksonville, my people here in Tallahassee (and those from my FSU/Roberts days), my Athens friends, and all the people who have made it a point to "be love" in my life.

It is so simple, I LOVE YOU ALL.....a whole lot! And for me, to love means that I think of you often, and our memories of life shared together; I pray for you (general and specific) and the situations that come and go in your life; I send encouraging texts, and I am still a huge fan of the phone call to check in. To me, to love, means long hugs, and laughter, and invitations to get together. If I cook or bake for you, then I love you. If I get crafty for you, then I love you too!

So, you can probably tell, I try not to hold back when it comes to love. It might sometimes lead to heartbreak or disappointments, but those I am finding, are always worth the risk. I don't think it will be a bad thing one day, when someone looks back and says, "You know, that Sabrina, she tried to be joyful, and she really did love people!".

This time in February is one, where many people enjoy the celebration of making care, love, and appreciation visible and tangible. And I am completely 100% OK with that! It makes me happy to see that though the world is constantly in flux, simple words and deeds still bring smiles to people. If there is someone that is in your heart, letting them know that you care for them, love them, and appreciate them, doing that will only make your life infinitely better. It's the kind of thing where you can't lose. You are a guaranteed winner, and how many times in life can we say that?

So, from my heart to yours, Thank You to everyone! I love you much! I care about how your life is going! I appreciate how you make my heart happy:)

Oh, and YAY for a super, awesome Galentine's weekend with my sister and lovely friends!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hi January

Dear January,
 Well greetings January, as you already know, you are a pretty special month, the start of all things new! This morning in particular feels like winter, but is sunny and light, like spring. Go figure! January, sometimes you do insist on playing games with the weather, at least for your friends in Florida, but I have not caught the horrid crud this season, so I am thankful.

 It has started off to be a really nice month. Back to work, and back to the ups and downs of public school education, there is no need to say more, we all know the drill there. But the ups, for sure out weigh the downs, and my skills are being used daily. Sometimes I feel like an administrator, and a little voice whispers...."Maybe." But a louder voice throws out doubts and questions.

 With the start of 2016, January, you have given me permission to look ahead, one of my favorite things to do! Looking ahead to what, you might be wondering? Well, tweeking my budget, and looking ahead to how this summer will change my money matters. And looking ahead with bright eyes and great hope and expectations to what growth will show itself in my financial life this year. I am SO much better than even a year ago. I can't wait to see what my planning and hard work will bring (and it is hard work for me to be better with money).

You also have given me permission to get off the "holiday treats and sweets" bandwagon, for though it was a truly lovely place, ummmm the waistline can't live there:) And so with less soda, and french fries as my battle cry (I have to find the humor in this, if I hope to really commit to change), I march on into a new year. I have great friends encouraging me, a healthy minded, health conscious mother always reminding me, and a bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet challenging me. So yeah, the struggle is real! But the results are satisfying.

 January, I just wanted to Thank You. I figure that you are just the rejuvenation that we all need, and I am grateful for that fact. 31 days, 31 segments of time to live with renewed purpose, love in truth, and practice faith in "real life". Thanks!

Very Dearly and Sincerely,
 Sabrina "Bree" Stewart

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Home for Me

It really is just wonderful to be home! So much of my personality was shaped at this place, and in this city, 18 years to be exact. Now, of course, there are changes a'plenty, especially in the city. But, my home, and its simple, ole-fashioned warmth and love, it has stood the test of time. And I am learning to appreciate that more and more, and to never take it for granted.

It came to me yesterday, like struck me right smack dab between the eyes! The fact that it is just so nice, and refreshing and good, to come home, to be home, to have a home.

You see, yesterday, Julie and Cherika and I enjoyed lunch and presents and errands together. And it simply made me happy, our trio of so different personalities! It was a time, that we take at the close of each year, to get together again, and be reminded, really, that our friendship is special, and that we love each other.

Then that night, my daddy and I went on a movie date. One of my favorite parts of my trips home:) And as we drove, and enjoyed a really wonderful evening watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens, my heart again remembered alllll the movies, and friends, and family who have composed 30 years of life with Sabrina. And when you look back over your life, if you are doing it right, you know you can look back with peace, and joy, and love. Acknowledging the difficult parts, but remembering that never did God leave you, and also knowing he has heaped blessing upon blessing in our lives.

And, of course, in true home style. When my daddy and I walked in the door after midnight, there is my jolly, smiling mama, wide awake! And she "encouraged" us to watch some of the Kennedy Center Honors with her (which was pretty amazing I will admit!). And soon she is hopping out the chair, moving and grooving to the songs of her youth, and Aretha Franklin singing the house down.

Yesterday, at so many times, I looked around and sent up quiet prayers of gratitude. Actually, I have been doing that since my break started last week. Gratitude for a reliable car, my sister and her loving husband, aunts/uncles/cousins, travels, quiet, home, my parents, my friends, a New Year and new chances, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, laughter, love......and the list goes on and on an on.

Home for me. In some ways it's my place of peace. It is memories, wrapped in the life, tied with the bows of joy and gladness.

Monday, December 28, 2015

In 2016

I can admit that it feels surreal to be at the time of year to greet a brand new, fresh year! It's also surreal that I have taken time since December 2010 (past posts here), to look ahead to the new year. Oh life, you are both unexpected and amazing! So, let's look ahead to 2016, and what it might have in store....

2016:
* Friends and family I know will have babies (the cuteness overload is real hahaha), and begin new relationships, and get engaged, and get married and some might beak-up. But growing families is definitely the theme of life in the 30's.
* People that I know and love will pass away or suffer through illness
. I will also take time for special remembrances of my sweet grandma, in February.
* This is the year to continue to be dedicated to saving more and paying back what I owe. I made such great strides in 2015, and I see myself building on that and that right there is mighty exciting! 
* June will bring fulfillment of some special answered prayers for my wonderful Julie! Wedding here we come:) I am the maid of honor, so there is much fun and planning on the horizon. 
* Staying in Tallahassee (I love my little life here!), yet finding my own place will be part of this upcoming summer. Also, possible transitions at work....time will tell.
* Getting to know someone, dating, relationships, etc. Sigh, it kinda takes courage for my "old-soul" personality to keep on trying in this very modern/hip world, but I will see where this area of life takes me. Be brave girl! Oh yeah, and be patient, that is important too;) 
* Turning 31, and all of the excitement a birthday brings to my world:) 
* With faith, I know the year will be full of growth and countless opportunities to be Christ-like in my words, thoughts, and actions. Focusing on Psalm 51:10, Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. I will pray and study and look for the ways this Scripture will manifest itself in my life in 2016. 
Travel, travel, travel! Starting 2016 in St. Augustine, and letting the year unfold with trips to places new and familiar. Already I know I will be going back to D.C. in March, for the Cherry Blossom Festival ( I cannot wait!!). 

For the past 5 (eeeeeek, time flies by!) years I have used the words below to end these posts. And if it's not broke then don't fix it, I say:)
Now with all of that said I will say this.....2016 is a completely unknown entity. Sure, I know some things but they are so tiny compared to what I have no idea about. The key is to hold fast to God, have faith and grace, love my family and friends, and be the very best Sabrina Maude Stewart that I can be.....that should not be too hard ( I am kidding) it will probably take me 365 days to kind of get it right!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fond Memories

It is sometimes my way, to get a little sad over the changes that 2015 has brought to my life. But for the next few days, and as we enter a brand new and sparkly 2016, I would like to change myself.

This is the time for fond memories of great love. My grandma, my loving, funny, sometimes outrageous grandma, she is free from the pain that was a struggle during her last months. And  yet I see her face in my mom's bright smile, and I DEFINITELY see her ways, in my mom's ways. So I am choosing to focus on that. To focus on the fact that she is here in spirit, and that spirit is a lovely thing. And that sometimes, if I slow down and look closely, I see that special spirit in myself.

This time of year is full of all of the fun and festive events that seem even better when you get to share them with friends, family, a boyfriend etc. But that too has changed this year. However, in changing myself, I choose to think about the wonderful, nice, and sweet memories, and then move on to enjoy the present day. In some areas of life, we are called to wait a while, and while it can be increasingly frustrating, in my gut, I know that it is what is right.

So, with a brand new year right around the corner, I keep on smiling and loving and laughing, because somewhere in that combination is the key to savoring the moments.

*I'm off to a family Christmas in Macon, then back to Jacksonville, and St Augustine to ring in the New Year with one of my oldest and dearest friends. Merry, Merry Christmas to everyone:) May your time with family and friends be full of abiding love and fond moments that will become fond memories.