Sunday, April 13, 2014

The birth-month so far...

If I could have a theme for my idea of celebrating my entire birth-month, I would call it, "Everyday Celebrations".

Each year in April I am just more mindful of saying Yes to fun and lighthearted things. Examples....

Frozen movie night
Me time at the Bontanical Gardens
Calling friends far and near to catch up on life and share
Small splurges....just because I feel like it
Reunion lunches with wonderful Godly women
Skate Night
Cleaning and organizing on purpose
Rising very, very early to work on my fitness....and kinda liking it
Holiday weekends with my family
Writing in a brand new, amazing journal

And we are only 13 days in! I can't wait to see how the rest of the month unfolds. I have high hopes for wonderful things!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

When Eminem makes you stop and Think

It is intriguing how you can hear a song just one time and it just gets you. Like right in the gut.
That's how it was last night with the Eminem and Nate Ruess song Headlights.
I think it was because my teenage years were filled with the much too graphic yet still genius music of Eminem. I never owned a CD, but if it came on the radio then I knew it.

And even back then, I remember thinking, his music, and his talent, they went much deeper than some flash in the pan. Because he was rapping from the heart and it was a place filled with straight up anger, and dysfunctional living. And it was 100% opposite from my life in every way.

So last night to hear Headlights and think back to the intense words he spoke in my teenage years about his mama. To hear him in Headlights, well it kinda took my breath away. Because in this season where I feel like I am having to grow up. I see that I'm not the only one. EVERYONE changes and grows up. EVERYONE has to mature. You cannot escape that, though you can hold it off for a time. No matter your up bringing or wealth, your faith, your fears, your status, or your job. My generation, and the ones who have gone before, we are grown-ups now. And the babies of my friends will be grown-ups one day too. Time was never meant to be frozen.

In gist Headlights talks more about his troubled and very sad childhood. But while the emotion is there, and I mean he shares it openly, the song made me want to cry actually. Anyway, that deep seeded, bitter, uncontrollable anger is not present. I don't even know where he gets the strength to share as he does. I figure he raps sorta, kinda like I blog, to get the feelings and thoughts out of his mind.

Anyway, despite some language, I got a lot out of Headlights. It was a vivid reflection of the lives that many of my students face. Daddy gone, Mama struggling with her own issues, and kids left to fend for themselves, and not doing a very good job. Because this world is not made for children to have to be grown-ups before their time. Those are the stories you don't want to hear because they tear you up and in some ways make you feel absolutely helpless.

There comes a time in life when you learn that there is nothing in that place of holding on to resentment. And even though you might have gone through some truly unspeakable hardships and pain. The letting go, the moving on, the extending forgiveness, those are the things that will save your life. Looking back and basking in bitterness is not only lonely, but it will steal your life right from under your nose.

Whew! Who knew one song would get me so stirred up. But such is life. I think I will continue to think about this topic, about how much we can grow up when we accept it. And about how much change is actually possible when you open yourself up to goodness and forgiveness. I have no idea, but maybe Marshall has grown in faith, in some sort of way. Who knows right? However it has happened he is transforming. And that is something we don't always notice, though it is happening to us all. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Keys to Rest

One sign of a more grown-up Sabrina, she seeks peace and calm when it is needed.
The other me, she rushed and always said Yes, and volunteered for all sorts of things. She did not use much discretion in weighing what was worthy and what could wait. And so she was busy, and loved being busy.

Now, at almost 29, I still can be busy, but I also can be calm. I know what makes me peaceful and so I add that to my life when times get frantic.

This weekend, I came to one of my favorite places to rest. I packed up my laundry, and some books and a basketball bracket (and highlighters) and went to stay with family that loves me. I came for a mini getaway and the plan was nothing fancy. And I stuck to that plan. And it has felt just perfect!

If I don't take these times, to rest well and bask in the stability of love. Well then, I get tired and it is harder to see the sunny side of life. It gets more difficult to remember what really matters.

Now I know who and what demand things from me and drain me. And it is powerful to be able to tell life, that I have the key to the other side. Life throws me trials at work and I know now that a walk at the Botanical Gardens will clear my head. Life sends me this never-ending loop of sometimes impossible thoughts and cares and I know now I write in my personal journal, or come here to blog.
Life invites sadness and grief both for myself and family and friends and I spend time in prayer and release. Life always requires something of me, whether my gauge is full or empty. And I get it now, that I need to monitor myself. And then act. And this weekend of rest has me ready to start a new week.

*I am going to be leading the Bible study group at my school for these last 9 weeks. As we all learn about the Fruit of the Spirit and practical applications to our calling as educators, may I also see these traits flourish in my spiritual and personal life*

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Resolutions

Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.
Robert H. Schuller
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.

Spring is almost here. March 20th is the first official day! My Spring Break in Florida was definite Spring weather, and then I had to drive back to rainy, gloomy Athens. But Spring is coming here too. It just needs a little more coaxing!

2014 has been a speedy year, because we are already half of the way into March. This time of year always gets me thinking. I will welcome 29 in a little over a month. And I believe in celebrating my whole birth month. Why? Because you are only as young as you feel. Because I think birthdays are special and should be memorable. And because I love myself and spending time with those who love me too!

For some reason, my life is pointing me to re-evaluate my goals and such, as Spring and growth enter the calendar. So here is what has been passing through the mind of Sabrina recently.

1. Health goals are at the top of my list. Winter did not exactly encourage me to exercise and eat better. Instead I was choosing comfort foods, and more rest. But I need a kick in the pants to get back to work. So here we go. 2 months of no soda and french fries (that will take me right up to Becca's wedding). And tracking my steps as part of my new insurance should be an encouragement.

2. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, & self-control. Do these seem familiar to you? They are the fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23. This Spring, as the world wakes up and blooms in beauty, well I want to see some of these traits grow and take over my spirit and character. There are so many days, where I feel like a grown-up woman. And approaching 29 is probably a good time to feel that way;) Anyway, that woman often is confused, but she also needs to always be kind. And I figure some faithfulness, peace, and patience are exactly the kind of flowers that I need to tend in my spiritual garden. I always believe in being the very best Sabrina possible, and that means I have to grow. I don't have the luxury to stay stagnant and complacent. That will age you before your time and tire out your soul.

3. Transitions are coming. The blog has been quieter than usual, but life has not. Life has been full and asking me the constant question of what do I want for my future? These decisions that are coming, have been months in the making. And I am already feeling peace about some choices. And of course some choices leave me trembling, but this is the time for change. And as Spring changes to Summer, yours truly will be making moves. But first I need to end up these times, in this place, with the wonderful people who have made Georgia home for the last 4 years (more details to come).

I absolutely LOVE the quote from the start of this post! The spring will come. And if I pay very close attention and have more faith, it can change my life.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Brave Lately

"Taking no chances means wasting your dreams." Ellen Hopkins

Are you a cautious person or a risk-taker? Maybe you fall somewhere in the cloudy middle?

Me, I am cautious to the extreme. I was probably born that way:) Taking risks is not my thing. I always think, "Hmmmm why would I chance it? What might happen if X,Y, or Z happened? That sounds freaking crazy/dangerous?" etc.

Growing up I observed how much one life affects another. And so I tried hard to not be the reason someone was crying or upset or confused. I wanted to bring happiness, and good things to the lives of people I loved. I could be worried for them, but I didn't want them to have to worry about me.

I would say that I am a strong woman. Confident in my smarts, and selected skill set. I grew up gobbling up books and travels and sometimes hiding behind excuses. I was very friendly but I kept myself away from a lot of foolishness. It was not fun for me and again, I saw the emotional consequences as far greater than a few moments of fun feelings.

Growing up I was known for my stable personality traits. You didn't call up Sabrina last minute for anything. Because, I have never felt any shame about turning down an invitation. I often gave advice and tips, but if it was not followed the first time, well then I was done. I didn't believe in wasting time or my breath. I was not the friend you could tell ANYTHING to. Nope, there was some stuff that I didn't want to hear because to me it was foolish. Too much drama, too much back and forth.

Well, lately I have been more consistently brave than I have ever been in my entire life. Who would think that this 28th year would hold some of my bravest moments?

I have made work decisions that will have far reaching consequences and bring new things to my life. I have stepped out on faith and right now the path is unsure. I am a part of a waiting game that could take months to play out. But, there is a part of me that I don't usually listen to, and it says to go ahead and try. I think the time is right for a change and a move. To welcome in new things, and go looking for more joy in my working life.

I have adjusted, well I think, to my sister being married. In November, I would have looked ahead and predicted more lonely moments. I thought I saw this whirling mass of confusion and feeling left out. But instead it has been a natural transition. Melanie is grown-up, in fact she has been for years, and lo and behold so am I. Our grown-up bond as sisters has deepened to include her husband, and some areas have been reduced, but all is well.

There is a special, new (well actually I met him freshman year at FSU) person in my life. He is both an unexpected and yet completely comfortable part of my life. The brave part of me has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 3 months (almost). I am feeling courageous (sometimes) and happy and in a very wonderful place:) He is a blessing to me!

"Courage is found in unlikely places." J.R.R Tolkien

Thursday, February 13, 2014

30 before 30- My Official List

Three winter weather days, give you plenty of time to think about your life:) And nap, there is a lot of time for naps. So, I gave myself yesterday evening to get thinking again about my 30 before 30 list. I started it back in January. Starting April 28th 2014, the following list will be in my mind as I live through the year leading up to 30! Can't wait, I can't wait to get started! I'll use this blog to report back on some of my accomplishments and "growing edges".
Realistically, I don't think my goal is to have done everything on this list in one year. But if I make efforts to complete these goals, and actually complete most of them. Then I will be a happy and content Sabrina. I am also excited because this list is very "me"!!

start the birthyear with the 29 gifts challenge (Day 1- April 28th 2014)
host a dinner party to welcome in one of the seasons (Fall is my favorite)
go on a cruise
celebrate 30 in a BIG way
celebrate 30 in a quiet way
travel to 5 places that I've never been before
sleep under the stars
watch a full sunrise and full sunset from the beach
finish reading Julie and Julia and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
cook or bake 24 "new to me" recipes (2 a month hopefully)
take a surprise visit home to see my parents
maintain my weight, below a "magic" number
plan a trip just for the sister and I
read through the New Testament
clean out my email ( all 3 accounts)
buy a pedometer and track my steps
adopt a classroom for a school year
update my scrapbook
use the scanner I got and really organize old memories, pictures and papers

go to a concert
start a personal prayer warrior project (daily, dedicated and specific prayer time)
sit down and write family history (Stewart and Miles)
incorporate yoga weekly
take piano lessons ( I have been wanting to do this for over 10 years)
go sailing
swim/feed dolphins
get serious about my finances ( I am thinking Financial Peace University)
send 30 cards to our military and the sick and shut-in (use church bulletins to help with this )
try horseback riding again
end the birthyear with the 29 gifts challenge (Day 1 Cycle 2- April 28th 2015)

* I don't think I am going to change anything. But I do oficially have until April to get this list just right!*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Starting up 2014

This morning I get to sit here and watch the sleet blow outside my window. It has been a true winter this year in North Georgia. Last year was mild, and this one has made up for it by leaps and bounds.

No school today, and I am predicting with the upcoming ice and snow and freezing temps, that we won't go back until Friday. We will see. All I know is that Friday is Valentine' you can just imagine what that will be like:) Oh yeah, and I actually have a Valentine this year (insert happy dance and smiles)!  My daddy called me from Florida with sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. I tried to hide my envy. Even though actually it was a beautiful day on Sunday. The weather, just like life, and I do mean exactly like life, is so very full of change.

I don't know where the 31 days of January went. But, here we are. Already in February. When you take it one day at time, the time really just goes on by.

The family is well. Mel & Rashaan are happily married and thriving. Blessing! My parents have stayed busy but also gotten time to relax. Blessing! My grandma is having some health struggles, I pray for her precious spirit and life, a lot. I am working and budgeting and contemplating life in the late 20's. I still am needed at my work, and feel like I go in daily and do my best. I can always do more, but what I am doing, it is good. Blessing! My friendships have continued to deepen and reinforce all of the good things in my life. Blessing! I still have growth and forgiveness to show in my life, but I think time will work things out.

I will be 29 this year! Yeah, always exciting, yet not full of the stability that I would have predicted. And, I think that is OK. It is quite possible that there are better, and different things in store for me. We will see if I have the courage to go after them. And the courage to rewrite and rethink how I have seen my future playing out.

I'm reading Fearless by Max Lucado, and already I am surprised by how much I am pondering. Also, I am rereading Thou Dear God Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits by Martin Luther King Jr.

So all in all. This start to 2014 has gone well. This year holds the possibility for great change. I pray God lead me and guide me to and through these times and this season of life and growth.