Saturday, January 3, 2015

This year will bring on 30

Everywhere I look, friends and acquaintances are turning 30, or already have at some point in the last few months.

I think it is a pretty great thing. A life milestone, that is a privilege, a responsibility and yet can still be packed with excitement and fun! 

I have seen the dread, the method of casual ignoring, the despondency, the happiness, and in my case the mounting enthusiasm that turning 30 can bring.

My 20's were very good years. A LOT of things happened to me and for me and around me and near me in my 20's; that shaped me into the woman that I am at this moment. A whirlwind of lessons that have stuck, and have given me backbone and hope, over time. And please know that my 20's showed me great grief and great joy. Both, life is about both. Both will come to you. Be a survivor, it is worth it!

And you know what my secret to 30 is, actually my secret to my 30's? Lean in close, you are not going to want to miss this....My secret is that going into my 30's I have a bold hope for all of the best that life can offer. Why in the world not? I am going into these years with my expectations high, I am going in still believing in dreams, and passion and joy and fulfillment. I am seeing my 30's as a time to share of myself, and also build for myself. That combination should work well.

There is a wisdom that this "old soul" has acquired and so there are some things I know.
I know that my faith is paramount, and no matter what 30 holds, if it does not bring me closer to God and help me be more faithful in my walk, then I don't want it. It is as simple and as difficult as that. Life will bring me back to this point again and again.

I know that feelings are important but that they are transient and fleeting. In my 30's I want a life that builds on my total character, not just one that feels "good". There is more to life than feeling "good" and I want that more, though I am sure it will come at a price.

I know that there is a better Sabrina inside me. In my 30's, if I can continue to be the authentic Sabrina, smiling yet a deep-thinker; quirky yet kind; praying yet pushing ahead. If, I can be those things and so much more, well then my 30's and I should get along just fine. Also, the better Sabrina will have to be honest with herself. If you can't be honest about the true starting line, well then you are not going to win the race. So, seeing my spiritual, familial, financial, health, and personal life as they are right now, and knowing that my 30's will bring growth; I start moving ahead. Baby steps sometimes and maybe leaps sometimes, but progress, I look toward progress.

Enough for now I think, but the well is not dry on this topic of turning 30. Not at all.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

In 2015

In 2015

2015 will be here so very soon! Here is my annual look into a brand new year. Past posts are year 2011 , 2012 , 2013 , and 2014.

*Friends and family I know will have babies, and begin new relationships, and get engaged, and get married and some might beak-up. But growing families is definitely the theme of life as 30 approaches.
* I have a back and forth relationship with fitness. But in the New Year, I want to try again to focus on health..starting with getting a bike!

*People that I know and love will pass away or suffer through illness
* It has been one year since my first date with Kenneth! I greatly, look forward to seeing how our journey develops in 2015:)
* Being dedicated to saving more and paying back what I owe (finally signing up for Financial Peace University in January)
* No moves this year, just continuing on (a stable season I hope) with a solid job and life in Tallahassee.
* This year, returning to focus on the foundation of my faith, " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." Deut.6:5 Aka The Greatest Commandment
*Vacations and trips with family and friends! Maybe I will even take myself on a "just me" getaway. No big trips, but a pleothra of small trips sounds just right this year.
*Turning 30!!!!, and welcoming in another year of maturity and awe. Oh yeah, and finishing my own 30 by 30 list!

For the past 4 years I have used the words below to end these posts. I reread them and they are still the perfect conclusion.
Now with all of that said I will say this.....2015 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!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ending up December

There is a special sort of peaceful feeling, of waking up in the bedroom that housed your childhood.
There is something intangible about resting my head on a bed that was gifted to me when I was in middle school. I feel the soul deep contentment of looking around this place that is a testament to a well lived life. Pictures, art projects, trophies, well read books, dust.....the memories this room has seen!

I have a deep seeded love for stability. It is wrapped up in my own personality, and the stable example of my parents. So, coming home always seems to bring me peace. The trips are sometimes short, but the "feel" of being home is something that I have come to count on.

2014, you have been good to me, and I look forward (with giddy excitement) to ending up this year! And I will admit, I brightly look forward to 2015!

This is the sort of morning for taking it easy. Hot tea, and thankfulness. Maybe I will get back in bed and try to go to sleep. Highly doubtful.

What's on the list for the next week?
*movie date with my daddy
*roaming/lunching/shopping with the 3rd Stewart sister
*daytrip to Daytona Beach to see my lovely grandmother
*3rd or 4th annual Gift-exchange and meal with Cherika and Julie
*Christmas with the Lee's (soooo excited!)
*GCSC reunions
*family time in Atlanta, and maybe seeing some of my cohort
*Gaines/Athens reunions

Good stuff, my life is full of such good stuff:)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

More Thanks (Ending up a grand month)

Today is November 29th, and I can't really account for all of the time that has flown by this year! 2015 is getting ready to begin, and I am excited!

November has grown my heart and spirit in gratitude. So, mission accomplished:)
This season will always be special to me. A perfect blend of weather, food, family, and friends. The experiences of Fall and soon Winter seem to be right on point every year.....they never disappoint, or maybe in truth, I refuse to be disappointed during these times.

Looking back over this week.....sigh:) SO much goodness and SO many things to be thankful for.
* Of course, there was Thanksgiving with my parents and the Lee's! It was so wonderful, and the growth of my little family literally warms my heart. Hosting my loved ones in the town I love and my new home was so comfy. The sharing of memories and laughter, was like a light, like sunbeams illuminating a life crammed full of blessings. We are a tight-knit group, bonded by love, and I am thankful for time to spend loving those who love me the most.
* There are those who don't understand it, but I saved so much money on Thanksgiving night and Black Friday. So, I am thankful for being able to purchase gifts for the special people in my life. My primary love language is "Gifts", so I really do connect with trying to get awesome and thoughtful gifts for people, and I am not rich, so the savings allow me to match up what I want to give and what I can afford.
* This week I got to spend some time, quietly sharing in celebrating Kenneth's birthday. It was fun to sprinkle in surprises here and there:) I am big into birthdays.....he is not exactly, but most men are not. And most people are not as high-octane about them, like me anyway! Most importantly, the quality time spent together was (as usual) just wonderful. I am thankful to have Kenneth in my life, we are good for each other:)
* I am thankful for my large extended family. Aunts, uncles, and cousins are always loving. I am thankful to have the family history that I share with so many others. I am thankful for my only living grandparent, my grandma and her life and how much she loves me and how my love for her is limitless! My family is strong, and we are all growing-up, maturing, as we continue to take on new roles and relationships.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gratitude this Week

I start trying to write down some of my thanks, knowing that I will never be able to get them all. But that is a marvelous problem to have, abundant thanks:)

This week (and may I just say...where has this year gone?) I have sincere gratitude for...
* All of my friends, both near and far. I know that I have amazing friends. I know that I have people in my corner who love me, and pray for me, and share life with me. We might talk daily or a sprinkle of times a year, but the depth is always there. I can't list all of the sweet and wonderful people who encourage me, and care for me, and I have learned how to be a true friend by surrounding myself with these special people. Thank You is not even enough to express how my heart loves all of my friends! And the inner-circle, the ladies who now are just like my family. They make my cup overflow with thankfulness:)

* This year, I have seen giving and compassionate hearts abound with helpfulness towards my school. We have an AMAZING business partner (Envision Credit Union)! We have had multiple churches adopt our school and some of our families! There is even a local law firm that supports a program to send food home to needy families on the weekend! And though I get to coordinate all of this goodness, please believe me when I say, that God has answered and provided, and has placed me here at just the right time to help. And that humbles me. I prayed for my "new school" even before I even knew where I would be hired, and I am seeing the answers from the prayers that I prayed way back this spring!

* I am thankful for all of the fun entertainment options this season. My DVR is full of Food Network and Hallmark. I have been to the pumpkin patch and the fair, and hosted a Fall party. And as I sit and enjoy a lazy Saturday morning, snuggled up and sipping my hot tea, I am thankful for peace and quiet. This move back to Tallahassee has been wonderful. I am thankful!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A week of Thanks

November, I love you. I know that in my life the focus on thanks, is the good soil I need in my spiritual garden. I mean really, you don't hear it very often, but we actually don't deserve anything. It is not our efforts alone that have gotten us where we are.

But the life focused on thanks, it is board and deep. To me it is a life of faith in Jesus Christ and his ultimate sacrifice. It is a life lived in this amazing world that God created. It is a life where I try so hard to be led by the Holy Spirit in how I act, think, and speak.

And all of the above, come to perfect culmination during November. A time to reflect on life, family, work, friends, passions, purpose, and more.

This week, here are just a few of the thanks that I have to share.
* I had sweet quality time with my grandma this week. She is out of the hospital, and yes she is changing each time I see her kind face, but she is alive and doing as well as can be expected. I will forever be thankful for all that she has done, is doing, and will do for me and my large family.
* I placed membership at my new church home today! I have moved many times, and it has always been my church family that makes the transition easier, and that accountability piece, for me is so important! I need faithful Christians to encourage me and support me and remind me of the real important pieces of life. I am excited to learn, grow and work at Meridian Woods Church of Christ:) And I already have a week filled with the companionship of new, wonderful people!
* I am thankful that I get to host a Stewart/Lee Thanksgiving here in Tallahassee! The plans are slowly starting to fall into place. It will be a delicious occasion, with family all gathered and being thankful for how much God has done for us this year. It's quite wonderful!
* I am thankful for my work and how we try and do our best to solve problems. The state of education around the country is not exactly that great, but I am working with dedicated people, and precious children, and that is a blessing. Also, my wonderful colleagues, selected me to win the Glen-Howell Minority Educator of the Year for my school:)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Thankful Week

This blog is real and a snapshot of my life at various moments. I appreciate it now, and I know in time, I will enjoy even more, reading back on life in my 20's.

I thought last week, that I would blog everyday. Using each day to write about something different that I was thankful for. However, life had other plans. And I can be "flexi" as my too cool kids say at school.

1, It's getting darker earlier which makes me tired earlier; I have the bedtime of a grandma.
2. Work is picking up, and the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is stacking up to longer days and evenings at work.
3. I am enjoying time with Kenneth, and also new and old friends alike in Tally-town.
4. Sometimes I forget. This mind is like a colander:)

So, this might end up being a weekly entry, as we speed through November. But you know what, that is fine. No one is judging this little piece of the world that I use to share about me. (Any real critics would have stopped reading long ago, due to the randomness of my topics, the spelling errors that I never can seem to catch, though I proofread I promise!, and who knows what else critics pay attention to).

One thing you can know though. I am grateful each day. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful and also sharing those thanks in prayer with my Heavenly Father. Usually the first thought in my mind, since I am a morning person and wake up pretty cheerful, is "Thank You God for waking me up this day. Thank you for the breathe in my body and the ability to live and do your will." And let me tell you, waking up with that mindset and that kind of spirit is a mark of how God has matured me. He is definitely not done working in me yet!

This week, oh this week, so much to be thankful for. Here are a few things.
* My wonderful, loyal, and amazing daddy turned 60 years old. I love him beyond words and he had a great birthday. Both relaxing and filled with family and friends.
* I  have been coordinating holiday assistance for needy families at my school. This week in particular I have felt so often, like the hands and feet of Jesus, I mean really working to provide and love those in need. And it just makes my soul content, though my mind tired at times.
*I got to visit home and the beach this week. It was short, but you know what? The minute I got on the road, my mind started to chill. I had been at the condo, probably 15 minutes, and I was as relaxed as if I had been there 5 days. Pretty cool!
* The fair with my roomie and our guys, was a fun, fun night of adventure and a double date to remember!
* After years and years, I got a new mattress. What an upgrade! It was a bargain, but still expensive. Yet I already am sleeping better, even after one night.
* I just adore fall. The weather and this time of thankfulness make me such a happy girl.