Thursday, December 29, 2011

Positive Growth

A while ago I came up with my New Year's goal for 2012. It is simple, and straightforward. And in that I think I will have success. My goal for this next year is Positive Growth.

I am not limiting it to certain areas. Because I really want to celebrate all the positive growth that can occur in my life in one year.

I am also not going to set up bars or ways to measure how I am doing. Instead I am going to walk out into this New Year not encumbered by heavy and hard to keep resolutions.

I am going to free myself to be simply happy. To celebrate positive growth and how it shapes a full life.

Part of my goal is to Help More....please read more about that here, and then leave a comment if you have any ideas for me:)

A brand New Year is coming and I am fully aware of that fact. What a perfect way to begin!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Help More 2012

"Enough is abundance to the wise."

In some ways I want to work on small simplifications in 2012. One that literally popped into my head this evening was the idea of helping more. Help is a very general and broad word. So, let's flesh it out a little bit.

I would love to be able to commit to helping a different charity for each month of 2012.  Whether it be actual volunteering or a cash donation. I would enjoy doing research on needy causes and then using what I have to give to others. Along with this, I would like to send at least one encouraging card each month of 2012. I know that if I keep my eyes open I will have chances to write to others and maybe bring a little sunshine to their day.

So you see, in 2012 I do want to help more. If you have someone who would like or maybe needs a card, please let me know. Also, if there is a charity that you know of who is doing a good work, please let me know that as well. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday Tunes: Christmas Day Edition

Merry Christmas and Ho Ho Ho to you and yours this Christmas Day!  Here is a song to end up my December Friday Tunes selections, you can rehear the magic here, here, and here. I saved one of the best for last. I find this version of O come Emmanuel by The Civil Wars to be one of the most gorgeous pieces that I have heard in a long while. Have a great Christmas filled with fun and family and simple joy:)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday Tunes: Christmas Eve Edition

Oh Whitney! I needed to add some more soul to my Christmas music love list. You can't deny the beauty of classic Whitney Houston! Christmas is almost here, have a blessed one!! Oh yeah, this is Who would have Imagined a King from the movie The Preacher's Wife.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I spy

This morning I just sat and soaked in the atmosphere of my hometown bedroom. It's the bedroom that baby Sabrina slept in back in 1985. Of course, it has transformed since the first days of a small white bassinet and buttercup yellow walls.

Some things have remained. A beat up old Snoopy doll that slept next to me many nights. Jewelry boxes stuffed with memories and treasures that I just could not bear to let go of. Photos of moments captured during this 26 years of life. Feminine bedroom set, a wonderful and practical gift from a teenage birthday.

Some things showcase change. Two toned purple walls, hand-painted one Thanksgiving. An almost bare closet that once was bursting with the clothes of two sisters. Two very different in one space:) A junk drawer that held middle school notes, class of '03 memories, European travel stubs, and mementos from weddings and baby showers. A ragtag bookcase that sheltered my most favorite things (my books) throughout the years.

I spy a room that has been a part of a well lived life. A room that feels as natural and comforting as the skin I'm in.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

5 semesters

My mama reminded me that I have been in grad school for 5 semesters! At first I was going to disagree, but then we counted them together....and she was right! (as she almost always is:)
5 semesters.....all I can say is WOW! (well not really all, that would be too short a post!) I am in a relaxed and silly mood if you cannot tell!

Anyway, the summer of 2010 has long passed, and I stand here at the cusp of the Spring semester of 2012. My last part of grad school. I am in awe a little bit, I will just admit that.

This UGA experience has been deep, and full of discovery, it has been new, and honest, and bright, and yet it has been at times a struggle, and a test. Wrap all of that up, and bake it for a while and you pretty much have my experience.

I have had two years to learn a new trade if you will. Morph from 3rd grade teacher to being a school counselor. I am beyond humbled to find that I fit really well into this new roll. It has not been a stretch to take on counseling. Instead it has been more of an uncovering. More like a journey of discovery.

I have plans and goals for my future. I have been praying and asking for a long time now.....about 5 semesters to be honest. And right now I do not know at all what I will be up to after graduation. I want to know, because in that answer lies the answer to many more decisions. But today is enough. And I can wait and work and grow towards my future.

I am glad that I have this blog. I will need its reminders as I enter 2012 and live each day and the changes that come along.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Tunes: Christmas Edition

Oh Boy oh boy! Today is Friday and here is a lovely holiday song. I just love it!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

For baby Asher

Good, good Morning!

There is a little baby out there who just melts my heart every time I get an update on him:) Really, he is just full of so much love, and loved by so many people that it brightens my days.

His name is Asher. His amazing mama Kassy keeps up a blog about his life....and I love it!

His story is not easy to tell. It is not short and sweet. But it is so full of love, and hope, and joy through suffering. To me his story reminds me of miracles. And I needed and still need that reminder.

I encourage you to check out his showcases the highs and lows, the smiles and tears, and the amazing power of our God to hear and help and heal.....and to provide for us through every challenge!

I love Asher for his little life and happy resilient spirit.
I love how Asher has helped me continue to stretch and grow my prayer life.
I love how he reminds me to simplify.....and to be happy.
I love his supportive parents (especially his mama) and how they are sharing his life so that others can have hope.
I love his journey......because it really is  "a journey in hope".
I love how Asher is my reminder to give thanks....and to have strength.

It will be baby Asher's 2nd Christmas! If you have been reading the blog then you can see how much he has grown. At this season of joy, I wanted to share Asher with you because quite simply he brings a lot of joy to my life.....even over the many miles! Merry Christmas baby boy:)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

That's not me!

"I love myself the way I am and still I want to grow...."
Jai Josefs

Who am I? And in asking that question comes, who am I not? (Incorrect sentence structure I am sure;)

I am NOT......
*very flexible
Changes throw me. I really have cultivated a fine appreciation for doing things my way. Schedules and consistency can creep up and become idols.
* adventurous
Sky diving......tasting new and exotic foods.....the rush of adrenaline.....those are not things I all.
Now I think I am funny and I know I can be sarcastic. But that joyful silliness is not inherent in me.
*quick to make decisions (aka spontaneous)
I think about EVERYTHING. My mind is constantly doing risk analysis over situations. When Sabrina commits to something it has been prayed and thought over.
*as forgiving as I need to be
I can hold grudges. I get my very delicate feelings hurt. I can react in anger and fear and worry that all grows from the mistrust of getting hurt again.
* normal and typical
Maybe no one thinks of themselves as "normal" but I certaintly don't. My words, worldview, and passions are all unique to the life that I lead. I think that I stand out and am memorable in a positive way. I am trying to live a life that is not a stale copy of someone else, but instead a fresh blend that shines like me!

It is a blessing to have some personality. Even if it does sometimes illuminate and introduce some struggles in our life. The one major change in me since starting grad school is that I now am much more comfortable with looking inside myself and working with what I find there. Things don't just happen to me anymore. I accept that I am present for everything and responsible for my choices, thoughts, actions and reactions. I am more aware of all of the parts of me, including the parts that are difficult and not so strong. And that is a step in the right direction, I just know it is.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Home Again

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing."
Camille Pissarro

I will be heading home soon. I have not been to Jacksonville in many months. I can't wait to be with my family and oldest friends! There is a deep pleasure in going home and reunions, and Florida weather, and old routines, and the ending of 2011, and the starting of 2012.

What will I be doing over the next few weeks? How about....

*visiting my grandma and sharing amused laughter and day long shopping trips
*walking up and down the beach, and reflecting on the harmonious serenity in God's nature
*meeting up with Cherika and Julie for a reunion  (I miss you both a lot!)
*family, family, and more family
*playdates for the kiddies and time to talk for the adults
*no shopping....I have that all done this year!
*worship and hugs at Chaffee Road
*DVR, cleaning, and organizing at the house
*and all the other things that are bound to happen during my time back home

Since, I prayerfully plan to look for jobs in Georgia in 2012, I need to make my time at home count. It is a wonderful thing to be at home. I hope to enjoy and savor it!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


as defined by
pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous

Driving away from my busy but rewarding Internship the word graciousness floated gently across my mind.

I couldn't shake it....actually I didn't want to shake it. I drove around thinking about the idea of graciousness.....and I just could not define it. So after a needed nap I looked around online and found the definition above.

How can I be gracious? What are ways to show graciousness to others?

I just get this glowing feeling thinking about the serene beauty of a life that displays graciousness.

What would that woman sound like? Because I know the world needs to hear her voice.

What would she think? Her thoughts have the power to both help and comfort

What would her home be like? Light, and laughter, and wisdom all combined

Who are her friends and what is she passionate about? She loves to love people who inspire her and help her be her personal best, and she fights for oppressed voices and people.

Hmmm, I think there is still much more to unpack here. But the thoughts are not ready I will revisit them again. It's a brand new week, amen for that!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pinterest Quotes

I really like Pinterest. It is huge and yet personal all wrapped up together. Here are some prints and things that I need to print/purchase ASAP. Reminders if you will, of some of the things that are most important to me:) You can find more on my page here.
Even more important as a new year gets ready to come along!

Oh yes, it has been one tiring semester. But the big day is coming in May! 

I actually loved this one so much I printed it and put it in my daily planner:) I love this whole idea of positive growth (my new life theme).

Absolutely gorgeous graphic of the Fruits of the Spirit. I try and keep this idea in my heart as much as I can. 

My constant struggle. Yet this is a great reminder.....I need it about daily;) 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Tunes: Christmas Edition

Can you feel my excitement over the Internet waves (or whatever they are called)!!!!
Michael Buble is my musical love. Then he puts out a Christmas album and I melt like a piece of peppermint bark.

Happy Listening!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Just....

Oh it is a great morning to be alive:)

Nothing fancy has happened, I just have some unexpected free time in my morning schedule. I just have some quiet time to breathe deep and draw in the peace that surrounds me. I just have all of my needs met by a gracious God and many of my wants. I just laughed so hard last night at a White Elephant game that I almost cried. I just saw a full moon and brilliant stars shining above and reminding me of my true place. I just have a family who I love and cherish. I just have areas of both strength and weakness.

I just am in graduate school during the final exam period. I just was able to purchase gifts for my friends and family for Christmas. I just have time to read my morning Bible study. I just can write on this blog about my life and thoughts. I just have a blooming prayer life, that is my refreshment.

Ok, maybe you get my point by now. But I just had to make sure. Though many people would say the above are "just" part of life. Nothing fancy, nothing amazing. I am growing to disagree with that.....a lot!

 I am seeing over and over again that Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit we shamefully neglect. That it can be snatched away just like any other emotion. But people "just" are not as dedicated to fighting for it. I mean that, I wonder when did we settle on this idea that though we have sooooo much, so ridiculously much, we must suffer. We must suffer in loneliness, we must suffer in fear, we must suffer in ignorance, we must suffer in hurt, we must suffer in stubbornness. Why is that? Why does the bad, and hard, and difficult outweigh the magic, and joy, and the cheerful? Why in the midst of a lush life (and I will just announce that we as Americans have a lush life) must we focus our being on what is just not going right. Our grandparents did not do this. And that is probably why they had greater life satisfaction. I think it had to be. Because, in 2011 I see people who have as much stuff as a king, but are as unsatisfied as the frozen, cold, barren Arctic tundra.

The older generations, now they lived in times of great suffering....and I mean true suffering. War brides, family troubles, blatant racial tensions, economic woes. Yet it is the more current generations that have caught the bug. The "it's deep and mysterious to be unhappy" bug. And I don't even mean over sickness, or complete and total financial ruin, or death and carnage. Oh no, I mean over the "other". The things that our grandparents would scoff at. The things that humans on almost any other continent would be amazed at.

On a morning that for me is happy and full of possibilities, I know way too many others who are working through some pain and confusion. And I worry that being unhappy and dissatisfied for too long, well that it could become permanent much more quickly than we imagine. I worry that unhappiness clouds our judgment. That it changes our words and thoughts without us being totally aware. I worry that if we get led so far down the road of suffering, that the dark and oppressive environment, and the road littered with a multitude of others who are having troubles; I worry that those things keep us stuck. And bewildered because all of a sudden our emotions have gained control over us and we are both out of control and also searching at the same time. And that is never a good combination. Because at the moment of desperately needing to be filled. We can turn to some pretty dangerous things. Things that will chain us to that path for days, months, and years.

Oh, that we all could embrace this "good life". That we all could see the strength through the struggle. That we could wake up anew to our lives, and just cherish them for all that they are. That we could stand strong and proclaim our Joy to others. They say you need to be the change you want to see in the world. So, I will begin with me, by claiming my Joy, by resisting the bold negativity that is shoved down our throats by society, by sharing a smile and words that are coming from a place of deep hope, faith, perseverance, and life.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Disney with Kiddies: 1

Though I do not have kiddies of my own I do LOVE Disney. And I have been going yearly since I was 3. So I think that qualifies me to be able to share a few tips and hints.

You would think Disney and Kiddies would be an easy combination to figure out. Both are cheerful and just so gosh darn cute. However, I have seen my fair share of overtired, sobbing children and stressed parents at the home of the mouse in Orlando. So, the biggest key is that you might not get to do it all. But you can prioritize and see many of the things your kiddie and you want to experience together. And leave feeling like it truly is the "happiest place on Earth".

1. Get there early. We can be honest.....the kids are already up. The Disney trip is not really the time to sleep til 10 and then eat a leisurely breakfast and roll in around noon. That's more of a beach schedule. You will get more done in the first two hours of the park being open than any other period (well besides parades.....but you will want to see those with the fam). Go online and find out what times the parks open and then be there at that time or close to it.

2. Remember there are 4 parks that make up Disney in Orlando. Magic Kingdom (most people mean this when they say they are going to Disney), Animal Kingdom (hidden gem!), Epcot (fabulous during the holidays especially), and Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM....and home of my favorite show ever Fantasmic). Families with young children will want to pick a park and stay there. With older kids you can park hop (for a price) between the parks for a more varied experience.

3. Know before you go. Before you go, do your research. Look online at park maps and for any special events happening during your trip. Know your budget....and then leave room to wiggle. Disney is a theme is a fantastic example of the Disney marketing magic. And you will have to spend some money while you are there. Figure out in advance what ballpark you are aiming for.

4. Enjoy the food. This is a mama and daddy tip. While the kiddies might be fine with juice boxes and cereal, make sure you try some grub. They have it all, and overall it all is good.

5. Remember it is supposed to be fun! Really, I think sometimes people plan their Disney trip down to the T and then get there and feel overwhelmed. The kiddies are going to have fun.....that is a given. Mama and daddy will have fun too if you act more like a kid. Be flexible, be amazed, be relaxed:)

I hope to share more on this topic at another time. Because I have so many more things to discuss. But I have a friend going to Orlando this I need to get finished for now! Enjoy:)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Crafts and Such

I can tell that the end of the semester is nearing (happy dance!). The main indicator is that I have TIME again!!!
Time for rest.
Time for crafting.
Time for cooking and baking.

Thank Goodness! Here are some pics of my latest crafting & cooking adventures. I am in no way a photographer......that is someone else at another blog. But my pics get the idea across;)
So far all the new recipes have been delicious. And the new crafts have turned out cute!
Most of the inspiration to get cooking & crafting again has been through Pinterest. It's a cool site and many friends had recommended that I give it a twirl. Thanks!
Yum, Yum for homemade chicken nuggets. These I will make again. Thanks

 Then there was this yummy squash and zuccini cheese bake! Thanks again

I had seen this idea on Facebook and such around the web. I LOVE it! I am not so great with there were a few little glitches with this crayon wreath.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Fun thumbprint reindeer cards! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Song as Prayer

I am very aware of ways to continue and deepen my prayer life. There are other areas in my Christian walk that are sometimes shallow and changeable......but not this area. Oh no not prayer! Because I am really into communication, and that spills over into how I pray and talk to God. In fact, I communicate well with others because I have found my specially crafted prayer times with the Lord.

I am not tied to one spot. I am not tied to the same words. I am not even tied to a specific length. And in all of that is freedom. Amazing freedom! The freedom to meet God and talk to him right here and now. In the moments, and find the refreshing and thankfulness that makes my soul smile.

Lately though, including this evening at the gorgeous UGA Christmas concert, I realized that songs can be prayer. I mean, take a listen to Angles we have Heard on High, and tell me that is not a prayer of absolute praise to God the Father. Voices lifted in song....including my own warbles, are another way for me to express my prayers. So many songs glorify God much deeper than my mere Thank You. A variety of songs address God in his other names, more than just Father. Songs flow up and down and open my heart and mind to see God differently. To experience him anew. To see prayer differently. Because to me, now I know, that whether I say it or sing it or mix both, it all makes up prayer.

In this season of light and love may I sing and pray and pray and sing often. May I delve deep and worship and pray in ever new ways, as a year wraps up and another one comes knocking:) May God's will be done in my life and the lives of all those I love! Amen.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Twice as Nice

If it's a Friday (which it will be in like 12 minutes) then you can expect some musical delight from your favorite neighborhood blog;) Yeah, I am in a good mood right now. Mix my favorite season with the upcoming weekend and I have a serious case of "perma-smile"!

I started with a holiday/winter song last week. Then my musical world was rocked by a group on The Sing-Off. So I just have to share my Pentatonix love with you all! Below are my 2 favorite performances by this stellar group. The first is ET by Katy P. which actually is a song I can't stand. So I was floored that this version is a personal favorite. Then you get an old school hit with Let's Get it On by Marvin G.