Saturday, May 7, 2016

Mothers Are.....

In tribute to Mother's Day 2016

From my heart to yours, a special tribute to ALL Mother's, and those we love dearly

Mothers are gracious. Do you notice her? The mother who puts others before herself. She might not have even entered the room yet, because she is making sure all is right for her guests. She might sit down last, because it is in her nature to make sure others are taken care of first. Deep in her heart, she automatically has this way of serving first.

Mothers are lovely. Have you noticed how amazing she looks? She might be covered in drool, flour, or even dirty handprints...but she is lovelier than any model! She smiles and it is a genuine reflection of the light that radiates from her soul. She can dress it up or dress it down, but she is a picture, that sometimes can't even be snapped fast enough to upload to Instagram or Facebook. Her spirit is pretty and her face outshines that because her beauty is timeless.

Mothers are quick! Wait a second, how did she even get that done? Seemingly in two places at once. She is discipline and she is comfort. She cooks and she cleans up the mess that we leave. She schedules and she shuttles us back and forth. She wakes up for late night feedings, and she paces until curfews are met. That special type of energy that is only fueled by unending love, that is one of her superpowers.

Mothers are gentle. I deserve a really good pinch for that crazy mistake, why did she just look at me instead? This world is harsh, so mind numbingly mean sometimes. But she resists that at every turn. She speaks and you listen. She summons and you get there. She shares a better way and you follow her. She is kind and treats all like they are hers, she is amazing, and soft, and not ashamed of that fact.

And, just one more....at least for this year. She is hilarious:) Did you hear what she just said? Sometimes you just shake your head because her jokes are just a bit corny, but you could never tell her that! She brings up funny memories from the past, and she is the one that can make you giggle.

So to all of the mothers out there. The new ones with "arm babies", the mature ones whose babies have their own babies now. To the mothers who can still run around the yard and those who are pushed in a wheelchair from place to place. To mothers who have lost and those who have gained. And especially to two special groups, so near to my heart. To the women who want to be mothers. To the silent struggle, to the desire that is unanswered yet. Have faith my warriors, know you are loved and I am praying for you. And to the women, the aunts, friends, family who are just like my mother. They are the women who assisted my amazing mama and daddy in raising me into who I am today. They are the women who still spoil me now from time to time.....and I appreciate that !  Thank You all!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

30 was....

Welcome May!
In my typical early-bird fashion, I have been up and about for hours this Sunday morning.

Before May starts up, I wanted to look back on my 30th year. A milestone birthday for sure! Here are just a few thoughts on the year I turned 30 and the life that played out.

30 was private....
I am big on communication. I love to talk, laugh and share, almost all of the time. But, as I look back, I see and know that I found the balance of private thoughts and time. Everything can be shared, but it does not need to be. Working though the loss of my grandma, I had to have some private moments and memories along my 30th year. Navigating professional life and decisions and grace in the workplace. I had to live out some scenarios and practice working on the "me" and not the "them". Growing through missing someone and taking life as it is, not as I wish it to be.  There were some very new and private feelings I had to work with. But, as 31 begins, my spirit knows that this private time, helped stabilize me. And I appreciate that.

30 was others....
I am grateful for the abundant family and friends in my life. I need them and their love, and support. Each so special to me, in so many various ways. The ones that make me giggle, and the ones that bring out the counselor in me. The ones that call me Maude, and the ones that call me Brina. The ones who shine a light, and the ones who need my prayers. 30, was a year when I tried to think and love outside myself. I had multiple occurrences of encouraging phone calls at just the right moment. I tried to be thoughtful of the new family dynamics without my grandma, and take extra time with my mama. One of my dearest friends got engaged, and being a maid-of-honor is a whole amazing experience that is other focused.  In large and small ways, I tried to remember this little saying..." There is a boss or someone who is in charge, and it is Not you Sabrina, not you!". Humbling but necessary for an A+, future minded, planner such as me.

30 was carefully budgeted like a real grown-up....
The money, Oh, the money. I could do a happy dance I am so proud of how I have grown in this area. I have a 30th year of Excel sheets, that show me that I for one, need a budget to keep me in check. I have had seasons of great travels, and frivolous purchases. But that was not this year. I was full of purpose, and it just feels so good to be getting my financial life cleaned up. Us, single girls in our 30's have to be money smart. And, for me to reach my 5 year plan, I needed success in this 30th year. Mission accomplished!

31, I have a feeling about you. I think you are growing a bright, independent, wise kind of Sabrina. And that feels good to me.

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.