Saturday, December 29, 2012

Food & Friends- 2013

“You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.” 
― Julia Child

For 2013 I want to keep on sending out cards of encouragement. But, I also want to add a monthly event to my calendar. And since I know myself, if I want to have any chance of actually being consistent, it needs to be something that I enjoy.

So, each month of 2013 I want to have at least one guest in my home and share a meal.
I'm loving this idea! First, because it is a blissful combination of the things I and relationships.

I have grown up getting to know people by eating with them. I hope that this never changes.
And now, with my own place and plenty of space I want to welcome the joy and fun that comes with having people over and eating.

It's pretty simple.
I will cook up some of my old favorites...I don't want to experiment too much and have the meal turn out wrong.
I will invite friends and maybe even a co-worker or two over to eat and share memories with me. I will try and invite the obvious people, and maybe a few newbies as well.
I will be present in the moments and enjoy these times and the blessings that overflow!

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.” 
― Jane AustenNorthanger Abbey

Friday, December 28, 2012

Positive Growth- Reflection 2

Last year my goal was general Positive Growth. Almost a year later and I am pleased to report that my goal was accomplished in a number of ways.

Helping More was one subcategory of Positive Growth. Here I wrote about some ideas that I wanted to implement in my daily life. 12 months later, and I was able to write cards to others each month. From friends to strangers, I was purposeful as I looked for ways to encourage others. And I really didn't go in with the expectation of getting cards back in response. Sometimes it's just good to put good out there, the world is desperate for it.

I was not so successful with helping or donating to a different charity each month. But, that is OK. My effort is worth something. Combined, the cards and trying to donate, all culminated in positive growth and maturity in my life.

On another level, this year I was able to be a better friend. And in my life that looked like stepping back and taking a chill pill. I tuned in and tried to be aware of the needs of my nearest and dearest. There are those I was able to confide in regularly, and those who I was able to communicate with more sporadically. I invested in the friends who wanted to invest in me. And I was much more satisfied. I accepted new definitions for my friendships, and along the way deepened the necessary bonds that make for friends for life. I have had time over the last few months to spend quality time with my ladies. From Target reunions, to Halloween pumpkins in Rhode Island. From pizza to help return some normalcy to those who are grieving, to walking tours of Boston. From trips to Tallahassee, to prayer group in Athens. I have enriched the friendships that I have and come to see them as the blessing that they are meant to be.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Positive Growth- Reflection 1

It was 2011, and I was wanting to actually have a goal for the New Year that I would keep.
I wanted to be different, and committed to something for one full year.
So I knew I was not going to be specific, I was going to make it easy to keep my goal for the New Year (2012).

A year later I am proud of myself. I think that I achieved my goal. That is a satisfying feeling!
So I wanted to look back at some of the ways that Positive Growth was a part of the life of Sabrina in 2012.

Due to a variety of factors, I am healthier this year! I lost 17 pounds, and that right there is something to be celebrated!! The weight loss has influenced my blood pressure and complexion. It was a gradual thing, and something that I will have to work on daily. But now I know that it can be done. I am so very proud of myself. If you have ever struggled to lose weight, then I know you will understand my pleasure. People have asked, how did I do it. Well it was purposeful. And it was in some ways deliberate. But, there was no magic pill. It was a combination of increased movement. I am walking up and down the halls of my work A LOT. I need a pedometer;) Then add, eating less to the mix. I am satisfied with less now, and that was brought on by my early morning routines, and inability to eat lunch at a normal time. The stress of work was the catalyst at the beginning, but that does not factor in much anymore. I am happy with how I look, and know that there is more work to be done. Positive Growth in the health department...CHECK.

Compared to last year, my personal spiritual growth has flourished. What a blessing! That is because I was tested. And I failed, but God has re-established himself as my foundation. I could write a book about the trials and waiting that was dumped on me this year. But I won't. I will say, that I was building my life on crumbling foundations. My will, comfort, consistency and pleasure were the bricks that I had been stacking. And boy oh boy, when my house started getting pressure, the foundations crumbled. And I was left weak, confused and fragile and desperate for God. And I learned that we need that place sometimes. Because that is a place of quiet and a desperate search to know God again. After much personal work and learning, I am glad to report that the rebuilding project is coming along. I am growing in trust in God and his will. I am backing down from the way that I want it to be, and embracing they way that it actually is. Increases in my Bible reading, morning devotionals, time in prayer, quiet time with God, and singing songs of praise and worship are evident to me. Positive Growth in the spiritual realm....CHECK.

*Part 2 coming soon*

Monday, December 24, 2012

I GET it Now

It has been quite the emotionally exhausting day. Never has a Christmas Eve been full of such back to back sad news and loss. My heart has been heavy this day and my soul has experienced anguish as I mourned for those who mean so much to me.

And I usually don't take time to write on the actual holidays, because the days are so busy and distracting. But I wanted to have some remembrance of this day, and the grown-up lesson that I finally understood in full.

Tonight the four of us headed to Daytona to see some of my family. My beloved grandma is fresh out of a hospital stay and I was yearning to see her. She is still spunky Laura, but she is not 100% well either. The house was full of family and food! It was full of family chatter and the joy of being with those that you love.

And, because some of the sad news involved dear family friends, and because my grandma is still weak, when my daddy asked everyone to come pray...they did. And in one of those moments that is perfect in simplicity, we lifted our voices and sang a few songs. And my heart could have burst, it was just so full! Sitting on the edge of a bed in a room filled with family, I finally understood. This Christmas is not about material gifts. It is about memories and people and love for our blessed families. I understood that though Santa bought me a fantastic gift to GA, it could not and will not, fill my heart like the love and joy of being with my family in moments of peace.

I get what it is all about! At this season which should be so joyous, but has been tougher than many would like, I was able to experience the true spirit of the season. We stripped away the false comforts, the layers of the hustling and bustling world, and our own differences. And we gathered around, without order, but with a specific reason. And that reason was just to be together. The TV was off, no cell phones were out, tempers were tamed. We were our very best selves in that moment, and it made me realize just how special this life can be. In some ways, those 20 minutes redeemed the last few months with their stress and growth. Praise God for what he has done. Praise God for what he is doing. Praise God for what he will do.
Good Night and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Goldilocks and my Life

The story of Goldilocks is a widely known tale. A little girl breaks into the house of some bears, and enjoys their food and household items. The part of this tale that relates to my life is when it's time for our friend to sleep. She tries one bed and it is TOO hard. The next is TOO soft. But that third bed, that one is JUST right.

Well, I have worked two jobs in two different cities. And I am praying to God that the next place will be just right. Because I'm not feeling this extreme thing.

I loved my first job! In fact I loved it too much and it spoiled me. I was in a place where I was taken care of and encouraged. Happiness abounded. And I was lulled into complacency. I was tucked away in this beautiful place, and it was good. But the truth was, it was too soft. There were challenges, but also I found myself becoming way too comparative. Example (I hang my head in shame about this now) comparing Christmas gifts from the families to what others teachers were getting. I was always thankful, but there were other emotions that had no place in my heart. It was not the permanent place for me, and I can't exactly explain it, but my soul was not calling me to stay.

I like my second job! It is tough and worthwhile. I am in an interesting town, but I do not fit in here. Not at all. And the truth is that I don't want to fit in here. And maybe that is part of the problem, it is quite possible the problem lies more within me than I think. Anyway, I find myself having to dig deep to trust God, yet he has been faithful and led me to a place of amazing spiritual growth. But, in all honestly, this job is too hard. I don't have the depth yet and I don't want it to change my spirit. I know that I needed to toughen up some, but I refuse to become like some of the people I work with (worn-out, cranky, and having given up on the kids). I would rather just work at Target or something. It is not the permanent place for me, and I can't exactly explain it, but my soul is not calling me to stay.

I can't see even a speck about what is next. Job three? Will you be just right? I want it to be (OH so VERY much), but I am not putting my hope in the actual job (and that is a struggle). I am putting my hope in God. He will provide, and there are lessons in being humble that I am sure will come along with a New Year. I'm hunting for something in the middle, something with lows and highs, that has some good old fashioned normalcy. I have my own dreams about what this could look like, but I'll not share those just yet. I'm learning to give things time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Tunes- Christmas

Oh my Friday Tunes, I have missed ya! I have not been slacking. I'm still singing off key to all types of music daily;)

But, at my favorite time of year, I wanted to share a song that I am just loving. Thanks ABC Family for your original holiday musical movies!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

First Read of 2013?

I can always depend on NPR to introduce me to new books, that I need to read.
Working often crunches into my reading time. Well, at least getting to read new books. I have a habit of re-reading books that I love. I find it VERY a familiar blanket. And no amount of work can change that.

Anyway, with a new year coming, I think I want to start out 2013 reading The Pushcart War. You can read more about it here.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


This sweet season has made me feel more at home in Athens than ever before.
My Christmas tree is beautiful and fills up my living room quite nicely.
Parties, and card writing are fun diversions.

This at home feeling is pleasant. I am really liking it!
With 4 more days left of work, I feel ready to head back to Florida, in a positive state of mind.
Small things like standing in the hallways laughing with new friends at work, are welcome signs of positive change!
I'm checking the weather to see if we will have a shorts and T-shirt type of Christmas.
I'm also rewatching holiday favorites on the DVR (my new favorite hobby).

My gifts are wrapped and ready. My baking plans are all set and ingredients await mixing.
I even worked with a sweet, thoughtful friend to fill stockings for my co-workers and her patients.

It really is the most wonderful time of the year! Blessings and peace to you during this last part of 2012!
Like I always tell the kids at school, "Have a good day, and make good choices!"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Kindergarten Babies

I just realized it, I am more than just sad for the senseless tragedy in Connecticut.
I am mourning, and I need someway to share these heavy thoughts and feelings that overwhelmed me, as soon as I read the horrific news.

Death sometimes will get to me, mass death gets to me even more. But, the death of our babies...I can't separate myself from that. Because I was a teacher and I am a counselor, both at elementary schools.

As I have traveled far and near, I have never seen a barren Kindergarten class. They all are colorful and full of vibrant life. There are not many quiet Kindergarten classes. I mean, how can there be? Because the babies are still young and they shout out answers and giggle and sob because we have not taught them to mask their emotions. If a Kindergartner feels someway about something, well you will know! They don't understand what being a "grown-up" is. Kindergarten classes are a place of profound growth and being in a group. Most of them have tables instead of desks. Because children are leaning very important social skills along with academics. It makes me smile, because I bet if you had the chance, you would have gotten to know some sweet, rambunctious, and kind children in that classroom.
* Note- They also like to dance and move their bodies. A wiggle break aka dance party is a must for many of our babies to get them through the day:)*

When you walk in a Kindergarten class, well if they know you, be ready for hugs and that order. Wait, scratch that, because they do not have to really know you. The babies are welcoming, because there is no other way to be for them. You can expect to gain their absolute attention with a kind smile. Make them an offer and they will trust you to do as you say. And please oh PLEASE don't disappoint them! They don't understand being fake and just making promises that you have no intention of keeping.
*Note- I pray the parents and families involved will one day find hope in the fact that those precious Kindergarten children knew that they were loved. There is not even a question in the minds of children that age, that you could not love everybody. That is a small ray of sunshine among the torrential downpour.*

What about a Kindergarten teacher? She/He is a very special type of educator. The ones I have met, have infused absolute dedication and love of learning with amazing creativity and talent. They decode crunched up, scribbly sentences. They embrace children who are distraught, because they lost their turn at centers. And if we will admit it, they probably have gotten "looks" about choosing to educate our smallest babies. But, there passion remains unphased.

So, I guess I am in mourning, because a crazy person decided that today he was going to literally kill such innocence.  I am tearful, because our precious, precious little babies had to experiences moments of pain, and confusion. I cry out, because it is a parent's absolute nightmare to know that not only must they bury their small child. But, that they could not be there with them at the end. I cannot fathom the pain and anger and sorrow. It is too much to carry alone and I pray for all of the support that the community will need now and for years to come.

An elementary school has always been assumed to be a safe place. And I still agree with that. I was talking with my mother and she was trying to imagine any ways to increase safety at our elementary schools. We discussed some ideas....but you know what? The truth is that each of us, is one evil, selfish person away from tragedy  People have access to all sorts of things. People are mentally unstable, and very, very angry or very, very sad, or a tragic combination of emotions. I believe it's only by God's grace that so many of us do experience such safe lives. But, don't be lulled into complacency or be terrified into hiding.

Instead, be serious about your life. And be very thankful! If there are estranged people in your life, see this as a chance to forgive. Now would be a fantastic time to get help with addictions. Can we all just try even harder to find our purpose? To stop walking around numb to life. Or, if you must be numb, can you stop dragging others down with you? Can we calm the needless drama and desperate search for things that will not in any way bring us fulfillment? Can we take responsibility and mend what we have broken? Can we even just admit that we have broken parts of ourselves that need some fixing?

Ok, I'm rambling now. And you might have been thinking that for a while now;) I am no preacher, but I will end with this. There is hope, that though some man meant it for evil today, those babies eternal lives are taken care of by a God who personifies love. And if you don't know him, or don't walk with him anymore, or whatever the case may be. At least take some moments of serious thought. God is not far off, if you are searching for him.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

2013: Peace be with You

I felt kind of guilty about already setting my 2013 yearly goal, when there are weeks of 2012 yet to go.

But, it hit me right between the eyes. And, it is just the best, straight-forward, life lesson. So, I'm not going to fight it! Especially because it is something I need desperately.

Next year, my personal goal (aka resolution) is "Peace be with You". I was literally inspired by this section of scripture one morning.

John 20:19-29

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Apostles Commissioned

19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled,[a] for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.
21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Seeing and Believing

24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas,[b] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Yeah, that phrase "Peace be with you" is used 3 times! I'm listening God;) And though I know it was used as a common greeting back then. I still think it is an appropriate goal for a stressball like me.

2012 was all about positive growth. And I accomplished a plethora of things that fit under that goal. I will post more on that later.

But, with me contemplating a move and possible change in job. Well, I am going to need peace more than I ever have before!

I easily slip into over thinking and anxious thoughts. I want to be peaceful so badly! Now, I am going to spend a year focusing on it. I think it will all work out for good.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Today was an up and down day. But praise God, more up than down.

I wanted to celebrate a few the fabulous weekend creeps up.

Let's celebrate birthdays. My sweetest friend turns 30 this weekend. And she has planned a fabulous ATL party. YAY! Happy Birthday Stacey. You deserve for every birthday wish to come true.

I am overjoyed to celebrate the baby shower of coming TWINS. This time last year, my friend was not pregnant but wanted to be oh so bad. And now this...God is faithful:)

I can celebrate a nap and getting the pleasure of waking up a little later in the morning!

My heart cherishes and celebrates the amazing and warm email that my mama sent me, thanking me again for hosting Thanksgiving. Amen for loving family.

Celebrations abound!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Change- The Signs

Maybe you are like me. Or maybe not. But often times, I cannot always see the changes in myself. Year by year and month by month, decade by decade (OK, well yes I can see those changes), and finally day by day.

I live with me all the time. And I am coming to know myself (the bright and dark) better and better.
But, there is mighty change happening. And sometimes I don't see it. I don't hear the changes in my speech, or see the changes in my body, or feel the changes in my spirit.

It takes seeing the date to make me realize ...WOW we are in far I have come since New Year's 2012. Or seeing the "babies" of friends growing up so very quickly. That makes me realize that one year is FULL of change, no matter if I recognize it or not.

The signs of change are evident in my journal and prayer journal. They are clear in the nature that God made.  They are present in the lives of friends and the friendships that bless me. I was never one to embrace change, unless I had been well forewarned. And it's not like I have arrived or anything. But, maybe I am just more comfortable with the fact that change is necessary. And that change happens to all people, at all times.

I am praying for some Godly changes to grace my life in 2013 and beyond. I am very unsure what they will look like however.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November 30

The month of November is officially over. It was a blessed month!
What am I thankful for, on this last day on the month (well, this post is a few hours late)?

I could pick many things. Like the brilliant sunshine that is glowing through my window, that reminds me of fresh starts and forgiveness. Or being thankful for hosting my 5th annual Christmas party! But this morning, I choose to be thankful for Scripture from the Holy Bible.

With so many truths and stories and psalms, and prophecies, and poems, it is difficult to choose even just a few to be extra thankful for. In general, when I am in need of a certain scriptural reminder or uplift, I end up reading just the right thing.

Here are 4 scriptures that mean a lot to me. They all represent a different stage in the life of Sabrina. I am grateful for each one and its truth and beauty.

1. Hebrews 11:1- This is one of the verses that pops up in my mind as I reflect on my pre-teen years and my faith foundation. Life has transformed since those times. But this verse has remained strong and consistently true.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

2. Proverbs 27:19- This was my Senior quote in our yearbook. I did not know much then, but the truth of these words touched me. And I wanted anyone who read my quote to know that I believed in sincerity.
"As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man."

3. Psalms: 61:2- It all seems a blur sometimes. The span of four years in which I lost 2 beloved aunts, and 2 cousins. The years of my daddy's prostate cancer diagnosis and Melanie's wait for a new kidney. BUT I do remember that again and again and again I came back to this verse. It literally helped me when my spirit was discouraged and in the darkest pit. Thank God for his mighty love and reminders to have strength and look to him!
"From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

4. Luke 6:32-36- As I struggled with that first month of my new counseling job, this verse made me cry. Because I was failing so miserably at loving those who were angry and not kind to me. The outside might have looked ok, but I had many bitter thoughts and blame to throw around. And I had to re-read these words. I had to pray them and read them slowly, often. They helped my battered spirit and encouraged me to keep on trying through my failures.
“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."

* Thank You for helping me quickly and easily locate these favorites of mine. I am not so great with memorizing scripture

Thursday, November 29, 2012

November 29

Tonight I am thankful for the passage of time. Are you like me? Have you learned yet that God is faithful?
This time last year I had no idea about my future. All I knew was that I was going to take myself to a UGA holiday concert (fabulous by the way!!).

Fast forward to just one year later. One little year! And I am living a life that I had no real idea about 365 days ago.
If you had asked me at that concert, last year, I would have said that I would be living in Metro Atlanta or somewhere in Florida. And yet, somehow, here I am, still in Athens. I cannot explain it. It has been good for me however.

Last year I was faithful. But now I have been tested.
Last year I was VERY concerned about my will. But now I have learned to be humble.
Last year I kept myself too busy. And now, I enjoy peaceful moments or meditation and prayerful reflections.
Last year I was stressed, because I still thought I was in charge. And it was taking a toll on my health. But now, I am healthier and I am taking it one day at a time. Because that is just about all that I can handle. And I have lived and learned to be OK with that fact.
Last year I was blind to the realities of this place that I call home. This year...oh, this year. My eyes and mind and spirit have been blasted awake to the true realities of some of the people and children in this city. And no matter what happens in the next 365 days, I won't be able to go back to being so very naive. Once you have been broken (even if it is for a good purpose), if you do it right, the new you; that new you is stronger, brighter, better. But there are some fundamentals that will always be different.

This evening I am thankful for the passage of time. What will November 2013 hold? I will just have to wait and see. And the new me, she is growing to be very content in that fact.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28

Today I am thankful for entertainment.
Below is Skyfall by Adele. I am really enjoying the song. AND
I loved the movie. Go team James Bond! If you have not, you should go see it. AND
You should really listen to the song. Adele is magnificent!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27

Yesterday, as afternoon faded into evening I munched on a homemade pecan tart (Yum and Thanks Amanda!)
As the night settled in, I sat with three of my spiritual confidants.
We had missed one week of gathering together, and with Thanksgiving now over....we had much to share.

Praise God for these women in my life! I have been thankful for them before, and written about them here.
But this week as I sat there, I was able to bask in the fact that we need each other to help share the various and unpredictable loads of life. We need each other's thoughts and Godly wisdom. We need the smiles, and gasps and hopes for the future and prayers for the present.

I cannot write deeply enough about our times together. I can't describe the work that God is doing in our 4 individual lives. But I know that it is good. I know that it gets me outside of myself and into the lives of my friends. I truly care for them, as I care for myself. And that is only possible because I have allowed myself to get to know them on a whole new level. I am beyond thankful for my girls! May God continue to help us "grow up" and figure "it" out.

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26

Today I am thankful for a small video clip called The Interview with God.
A sweet friend shared it with me back in undergrad. And a few times a year I go back and watch it.
The fantastic scenic photos and wise words are a calm reminder of God's love.

You can find it here if you need a little inspiration to be thankful for today.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Allowing myself to miss

I am officially on the post-Thanksgiving low that accompanies a blessed time with family and friends. For the last week I have been surrounded with those who have known me for years and years. And it was good!

And so today I sit here, and ponder going back to work. And I know that once I get back in the grind I will be fine. But, right now I am allowing myself a little pity party. In a quiet apartment that was just filled with the laughter and energy of family.

I am allowing myself to feel sad because in truth I miss my amazing family more this year than I have ever in my entire life. And it would not help anything by burying that feeling away. I might as well allow it to have its place, so that I can move on to the many other things that are good in my life.

I am allowing myself a few tiny tears for the small and random bursts of loneliness that come upon me during this season of family and friends and couples and groups. For though my sister does not believe it, I would like to date casually or seriously. And thankfully I am not desperate or anything, but there is a slight frustration in feeling like I am in a dating desert, while others just have to crook their finger and could have all the dates that they wanted.

I am allowing myself this time of missing because a new year is coming. And I am more confused about 2013 than I ever was about 2012 (that is for another post).

To wrap it up, it is good to write some of this "stuff" down. I'm not invincible, or really that tough. I'm just Sabrina a woman who has grand dreams and wishes and believes in being positive. I'm just little ol' me living this little ol' life and finally allowing myself to sail with the ups and downs. And I have many ups, I really really do!

November 25th

I am grateful today for a feeling. I am thankful for positivity.
This world is in desperate need of joy, happiness, and positive people, who are doing positive things for others.

And it really is a simple concept. But it gets complicated as we "grow-up". We have to time it right, buy it soon, tell it in the perfect way. And by doing this, time goes by and we take on more and more of the negative, do nothing attitude of our culture.

So, today I am thankful for all of those people who are actively positive. Who grin, and hug, and smile, and laugh, and help, and love, and shine forth the rightness of positive feelings to those both deserving and those who need a second,third, or fortieth chance.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November 22, 23, & 24

With the guests and events surrounding Thanksgiving, its been more difficult to get on each day and write my thanks. Here are the last three days of things that I am thankful for! 

November 22- As I looked around my kitchen I saw many things to be thankful for. My sister and her boyfriend cooking rolls. My college age cousin stirring mashed potatoes. My mom posing with a pound-cake as my aunt tried to snap her picture. Well, it was obvious that my family, both near and far, are my blessing. God has provided me with a loving family who know me so well (which I love and find comforting). We are normal; ups and downs, laughter and anger. But my large and ever expanding family, I am thankful for them.

November 23- After a wonderful holiday I was thankful today for rest. Naps, a slow schedule, changing weather. It all added up to a wonderfully restful day. It was fantastic!

November 24- Today I am thankful for my unique self. I can be quite a mess at times. But I am thankful that I am maturing, changing, and getting to know more about what makes me "tick". I am thankful for 27, though it is not the dream that young Sabrina had envisioned, and that is OK. I am thankful that I am forgiven by a good God, and trying, and even among my mistakes I am thankful for my perseverance.

November is wrapping up. 6 more thankful days left. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

November 21

It is pretty and chilly morning that is supposed to warm up into an even more beautiful day!

I am thankful today for my life in Athens. I have been here now for 3 years! And that time has been filled with all sorts of opportunities. New friendships, deeper faith, new knowledge and a new career.

It has been quite an experience and I am thankful that I have been able to live and thrive here. I am not promising that I will be here for an indefinite amount of time, or even another year. But for now (and that is what is important) I am grateful for having settled here. I am thankful that I have a place to welcome my family. And I am thankful that I have a job that is difficult but necessary that keeps me here for the time being.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Single Girl's Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving: 2

Howdy folks! If you missed it, here I wrote a bit about hosting Thanksgiving day as a single lady.
Tonight I am back with a few more insights before the big day is upon us.

I am happy to report that so far I have escaped the stress of the season. By starting early, and taking time to plan, I look forward to enjoying the moments of Thanksgiving with my family that I have missed so very much.

More Tips:
1- Remember all of the "other" food that you will need. I mean Thanksgiving is more than just the actual meal. I have a snacky family, so I need munchies readily available, and these are the things that I don't usually buy and keep around (I am trying to lose weight). So, grab some chips/dip, cookies, popcorn and drinks for those late night cravings.

2- Accept help! When it comes down to it, by offering my place and preparing many other "things" I am actually not making much for the actual Thanksgiving day meal. And that is OK! Single ladies, for once cut yourself some slack. You do it all each and everyday and you do it well. You don't have to add another mountain to your life. Invite others, and then delegate. They will be so happy to not be hosting, that they will do and bring whatever you say.

3- Pep talk time. In the midst of having family around, there are always those sensitive issues that come up in conversation. Dating (sigh, I wish I could plug my ears) being the main one. Go ahead ladies and give yourself a little pep talk before the well meaning family arrives. If you are like me, then your life is going good. There are a multitude of things to be thankful for. And not having a boyfriend is a minor hiccup on the road map of your life. So, just look at your beautiful self in the mirror and remember, your family loves you. And they are just curious. Lovable and curious. If they boldly ask dating questions, answer and then keep the conversation moving right along.

4- Set the mood. It really is the tiny things that make your guests feel welcome and wanted. Even though the family conversation will be boisterous (at least in my family) have some type of mellow background music. Also, have those little touches that make a house or apartment a home. Pictures displayed, magazines to read, candles lit, turkey crafts complete, you get the drift ladies!

Happy hosting!!

November 19 & 20

I'm back in Athens. Made the trip from Tally to here in about 5 hours. Not too shabby.

November 19-
Yesterday I was thankful for Tallahassee, Florida. There is SO much of the life of Sabrina that was written in that place. 4 years at FSU and 3 years in the working world. I have treasured friends and relationships in that town. I am thankful for all of the support that is still available to me in that city. And I am thankful for all the growth that has occurred in my life since I have left for GA. I will always have love for the life that I lived in Tallahassee. Looking back, it held heartache and struggles, but it held joy and goodness as well. What a blessed woman I am to have had such a time and such amazing people in my life. Thank you all sufficient God for providing for me then and always.

November 20-
Today I am thankful for Bluebelle. My little car and I have made many trips in her short life. She is cute, and kinda sassy and special like me;) After having a car that broke down off and on, I am thankful for a dependable car that is good on gas and a fun ride. I am also thankful to have transportation, because it really makes life way more convenient.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 16, 17, & 18

I wanted to take a moment from a blessed trip "home" to catch up on my thanks.
Riding along quaint country roads is a time when communion with God and thanks abound.

November 16- God granted us a peaceful day at work! I was so VERY grateful for that. In the simplicity of my words please read between the lines. God worked mightily and I was delighted. Hint of possibilities to come? If it be God's will!

November 17- It might sound silly, but today I am thankful for errands in my old stomping grounds. The scenery, the friends, the simple fun of random mall visits, overdosing on pizza, and getting spoiled by sweet Southern hospitality. I am thankful for each and every thing.

November 18- In the lesson today at church the main idea was this. "You are not first." And I also took away that to truly follow God in my daily life, I need to lighten my load. Sometimes, looking back to the past, wanting to be comfortable and "happy", and wanting "my plan" for the future are heavy mental burdens. But I am thankful for Godly truths and reminders about how I can keep growing in my Christian walk. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

November 15th

I am enjoying how natural and easy my thanks are becoming. I don't have each day planned out and pre-written. I just go one day at a time and end up daily with at least one thing that stands out for me to be thankful for.

Tonight I am thankful was a magnificent crescent moon! Huge yet fragile and thin in the darkening evening sky. I wish I could have gotten a picture. But a mere picture would not have done it justice. I actually gasped when I saw it, because it was just so beautiful and amazing. Isn't our God beautifully good?

PS- I'm heading to Florida for a few days. So if I get behind, I shall surely catch up! Just know that each and everyday I am working on being actively thankful:)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14th

I felt like the bad cop many times during work today. Yuck, I hate that feeling. But this was going to be a tough week anyway. Sigh! You have to pay your dues to earn a week off for Thanksgiving!

However, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Sometimes you have to say it grudgingly  Or sometimes, you say it after a mini rant about being a grown up and work conditions etc. But the most important thing is keep on being thankful. At the very least, at least I got a chance to have a tough/tiring day at work.

Tonight I am thankful for teaching a Thanksgiving themed lesson to little kids at church.
The reminders that we should be thankful for "everythingggg" were necessary.
The sweet laughter as we warbled along with a medley of songs; Thanksgiving is Coming, Jesus Loves Me, Jingle Bells, and Deep and Wide (that's what you get when K and 1st graders pick the songs) was hilarious.
The sweet innocence of the babies was just downright refreshing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13th

I'm thankful for 2 songs today.
One is my favorite Christian hymn. Come thou Fount of every Blessing. I stumbled across this precious lullaby version on You Tube. There are no words, but I already have them memorized so that is fine with me.

The other is my favorite song out of all my Pandora stations. Whip Appeal by Babyface. I could sing it all day. It's dated for sure, but it's my jam!

Monday, November 12, 2012

November 12th

On Mondays I get the privilege to pray with some dear friends. Our "prayer group" is an anchor and just so very good for my spirit.

Today I am thankful for our group, and how God is helping us grow up, despite obstacles and changes.
I am also grateful for prayer requests. I believe in the power of prayer! And sharing with others helps us know what we can pray for. I often pray in both specifics and generalities.

In case you were wondering. Or have some extra quiet prayer moments. Here are my prayer requests for the week.

June James- Hospice has been called in
Nathaniel Stewart- (my uncle) making better health choices for his heart
Gaines Elementary School- strength and support for the staff, love and stability for the families, and any additions of support staff to help carry the load
Safety in Thanksgiving travels and those who will be missing loved ones this year

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11th

Today I am thankful for hope. Yes, I am thankful for a thing that is not scientifically measurable.
But it is real and powerful and I have seen it change things.

Merriam-Webster defines hope as to expect with confidence.

It is not easy to choose hope. You might get odd looks, or openly mocking comments. In fact there are situations in life that seem to want to crush our hope. But somehow it prevails. It does not give up.

 I think that we should keep hoping. Because there is a strength in hope. And a sort of elevating power. The rest of the world might see the gloom and despair. But I am going to try my best to have hope for better. A new day and a new chance and a powerful God who cares.

As I was writing some cards, I found this verse in Scripture and I enjoyed it so much that I started including it in the cards. Psalm 71:14 But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.

During this beautiful season, may I cling to hope and its shining light that transforms situations and people!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Single Girl's Guide to Hosting Thanksgiving: 1

Thanksgiving gobbles are drifting through the November air. And yours truly is gearing up to host Thanksgiving.

As the title suggests, there are some differences between hosting a holiday as a single lady. And I figure I would blog about them as the festive and thankful day approaches. So today is T-minus 12 days until my apartment will be filled with those I love and delicious Thanksgiving food.

One thing I realized was that I did not want to be stressed about hosting this holiday. I get enough of that at work. I want this Thanksgiving to be delightful and natural and family-oriented. No manic attention to small details (do the stripes in the napkins match my carpet?). No last minute runs to the grocery store (How on Earth do I not have salad dressing?). No worry that there will not be enough food for everyone to take hefty amounts as leftovers (Oh no! My cousin only got 2 slices of pound cake to take home!)


1. I started cleaning and tidying today. No need to put off the inevitable. I know this is a special occasion because I cleaned behind the microwave. Bonus points? With the big clean done, I will just have to do a quick brush up the actual week of Thanksgiving.

2. The menu is all set and everyone knows what items they will be bringing. *Hint- Don't forget to plan a light meal for that Wednesday evening. The family will be there and they will be hungry. But it can't be too heavy or you will ruin the eating adventures of the next day. (I am making chicken corn chowder)*

3. I have already planned and mapped out my spacing. I'm a single girl who lives in an apartment, so I don't have acres of space to fit everyone. But I definitely have enough room. If I plan it carefully. 7 guests. 2 tables. An "interesting" assortment of chairs, and kaboom. Thanksgiving seating 101 complete.

Stay tuned for more updates. I still have decor on a budget, timing of the actual gathering, and last minute kinks to work out and then share.

November 10th

As I type this I'm smiling thinking of my first text of the morning.
MS- radio Christmas music has started!!!!
SS- Yayyyy!

How can I not be thankful for a sister who appreciates so many of the things that make me happy.
My bond with my sister is wonderful. I am thankful to have her in my life for about a million reasons.
Here are 10 of them.

1. She is fashionable and makes me care a little (a lot) more about how I look from head to toe (on certain days).
2. She is compassionate and works to right many of societies wrongs against our aging population.
3. She is funny, and hilarious, and silly, and goofy, and sometimes just a little nuts.
4. She has struggled and triumphed and is the best example of perseverance.
5. She is open to trying new things, and letting people get close. I many times am not, and she scolds me often;)
6. We have a network of connected friends and that is awesome.
7. Knowing her and myself, I get to understand a whole new depth to how family works.
8. She is spirited. Passionate about the things that matter yet also willing to be flexible.
9. She has always let me take care of her. Less now than in our past. The nurturing part of me, got its start by being a big sister to her.
10. She is our "free-spirit hippie".

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9th

It was a time of great and profound loss.
A young life taken in combat, a cousin who sacrificed his life for a comrade.
A family broken but miraculously bonded tighter than ever.

The years have flown by, but Veteran's Day, and the holidays remind me of my cousin Julian. And the thousands like him who gave the absolute sacrifice so that we can live in freedom.

The memories around that time are actually very fuzzy. In the span of 2ish years I lost a cousin, 2 aunts, and Melanie went on dialysis. Emotionally taxing! But I remember mourning my cousin. And I remember having to grow up really fast and help my mama mourn her nephew.

This day I can be thankful. Thankful that I have tried to live a life that Julian would be proud of. I have tried to give back to those who are struggling, and not just take my freedom for granted. I would want him to be proud, just as I am proud of his absolute sacrifice.

The pain is inescapable.  But I have learned that if we let it, time will heal our wounds. And being thankful for a life well lived and a life given in bravery and courage, now that is the deepest and most sincere type of thanks that we can offer.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8th

I have acquaintances, buddies, friends, FRIENDS, and friends-sisters. What a blessing:)
I appreciate each group and all of the ways that I need them and they need me.

Today however I am thankful for two in particular. Julie and Cherika and I share a lot of friendship history. The time just seems to be flying! But, this year we are all struggling in some ways with our jobs. And you would think that there would be nothing to be thankful for about that. But there is, because we get each other's problems. And we can vent as needed. And we can discuss daydreams and the realities that keep us planted for right now.

I am not sure why all three of us are having hard times at the same time. But it's good to be able to share. Because feeling lonely and frustrated is the worst:( I'm thankful for these blessed friends, hopeful for our futures and wishes and desires, and ecstatic that I will get to see them in our old stomping grounds very soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November 7th

I'm thankful today for singing. Don't equate that with the assumption that I sing good. But I do sing with spirit and a pretty uncanny memory for lyrics;)

I enjoy letting my wobbling tones echo in the shower, out the car window, or in my office after school. I enjoy the beauty of voices united in song at church. There is a special beauty associated with singing. Especially when you really feel the words. Like singing "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" soon after receiving a much wanted job offer. Or singing "You can't Always get what you Want" while drumming on the steering wheel after an angry melt-down over the unfairness of life.

And with this holiday season sweeping in, I'm about to wear our my voice joyfully singing about this hopeful and happy time of the year!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall Break-Photos

Before it gets too late, I wanted to share some of the fun from our Fall Break trip to New England.

                                         View from our hotel window. What a beautiful place by the piers.
                                          How much do I love Quincy Market? You could eat and shop for hours!
                            Freezing but gorgeous view at the Quabbin Reservoir. It provides all the water to Boston.
                                          Melanie "cooking" at the Culinary Arts Museum in R.I.
                                           My sister and I at the massive Yankee Candle flagship store! It was crazy huge.
                                         Just one of the thousands of pumpkins at the Jack-o-Lantern spectacular in R.I.

November 6th

Today I choose to be thankful. I would not say that this day's post is the easiest to write. The words are not already flowing from my mind to my fingers. But, I want to try.

Today is election day, both national and local. And I am thankful that I get a chance to vote and make my opinion known. That I get a moment to have my voice heard. I am choosing to not even begin to go into all of the negative. Instead, just to focus on the gift of freedom and the goodness of the whole concept of voting.

I pray that God's will continue to be done. And I pray that I continue to do the best in my life, before I go depending on a bunch of national matters to solve my problems. My trust is in the Lord who made Heaven and Earth. Amen.

*I've taken a little Facebook sabbatical until the election blows over however.*

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5th

I only work two official days this week. Today and Friday. A conference and holiday take up the rest of the week. In the simplest words ever, I am THANKFUL for that fact!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4th

It's Sunday morning and time to welcome in a new week filled with God's will and mercy.

Today I am honored to be thankful for my wonderful daddy. It's his 58th birthday today and I am just so happy to have him as a leader and example in my life. My love for him grows as I mature and realize what he has sacrificed to provide for our family. Also, the medical student in me knows that men especially are susceptible to more health issues as they age. So celebrating 58 years is important!

Being full of gratitude seems to make my spirit glow. I am enjoying how it draws my interest away from myself and towards others. I want to wish my daddy a HAPPY and BLESSED birthday and birth year, and proclaim that he is a good man, father, and husband and I am thankful for him each and every day. I am also even more thankful to God for providing him in my life.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 3rd

Welcome to Saturday. After a lazy Friday evening, I have a few things in the planner for today.
Some Zumba, time at the library, and cleaning. Then I will settle in for some cheesy Hallmark holiday movies:)

Today I am thankful for blogging. In particular I am thankful for this communication tool that lets me keep in contact with my friends. Technology is sometimes vastly frustrating, but it is great to have this little bit of space to write and share. The brain can play tricks on us and "change" our remembrances of an event. But going back and actually reading what we were feeling. Wow, now that will open your eyes.

I am thankful because I have precious friends near and far and I get to share in their life through their blogging. I especially think of my high school friend Kassy who so diligently writes and posts pictures and videos about her family and her amazing son Asher. I always get so much joy from reading her blog.

When I started this blog with the help of my friend Annie, I was not even sure what changes life would hold. I'm very thankful that I have this live journal of my life for the past few years.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2nd

I'm thankful today for a Friday evening filled with "me time".
As I listen to the moms and married  ladies at work, I realize that while family is wonderful, they are time consuming.

So being single and able to take an evening for slow showers, Disney movies, cinnamon rolls, and reading is something to be imminently thankful for! It's quite possible that years from now I will be looking back and realizing even more how good evenings like this are. It's also a good thing to write down these special things that shower my life in gratitude.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1st

How thankful can one person possibly be?
VERY, VERY thankful when you actually realize how amazing this life is!
How complicated the process of simply breathing is.
How magnificent the night sky is when it is dusted with stars.

As we enter November 2012, I want to blog daily for one month. (I hope it works out...stay the course Stewart). Each day I want to blog (long or short) about something that I am thankful for. So, here we go!

November 1st:
There is nothing like a well timed vacation. Hopefully all vacations are fun and relaxing (I guess that depends on who you are traveling with). But this vacation that I was blessed enough to take to Boston, it was perfectly wonderful. I needed a vacation and I would have settled for anything outside of the state of Georgia.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island were the great escape. I am thankful for getting away from it all and gathering wonderful life experiences along the way. I am thankful for friends who make such fabulous hosts and show you a new city and region. I am thankful that I had the days accumulated to actually take time off. And I am thankful that I was able to leave the burdens of work behind and go take time for myself. I had to go check in with myself, and thankfully I found that I am OK. I have definitely been better, but I'm still doing just fine. Fall vacation, I am oh so thankful for you!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nature is Gorgeous!

I was never a camper. Mother Nature and I had an uneasy alliance. I stayed put, for fear of clumsily destroying nature. And she stayed away, for fear of causing me a disgruntled meltdown. Yeah, I was prissy and careful and not prone to spending excess time in nature. I am still prissy and careful ( an honest admission).

At 27 I know that things have changed. Nature is a close friend now. But for the life of me I can't pinpoint when it shifted. Now, I see the beauty of nature as amazing and awe inspiring! Really, have you stopped and felt the cool breeze blowing across your face? Or stood still and heard the crashing of the waves? Or reached out and picked up a crunchy handful of leaves, or soaking wet sand? It's kinda amazing. I love so many of the aspects of the miracle that we call nature.

Maybe it's because I see a reflection of my changing life in the seasons of the trees. Sometimes blooming and sometimes looking like death and decay. It could be because a part of my soul gets it now.... The sunshine does look brighter after the rain! And that is the same exact principle that has played out in my life over and over again. I am not exactly sure, but my soul smiles when I remember to acknowledge the sublime beauty of a baby blue sky. I sleep peacefully when moonbeams shine in my window. I slow down, when wildflowers spring up in cascades all along the highway.

Nature is gorgeous and I'm thankful that I am noticing it each and every day.
*PS- We should be flying back South later tonight. We didn't end up losing power, but the wind got pretty gusty. However, I'm a new lover of New England! It's amazing!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel & Adventure

On Thursday my sister and I got to "leaving on a jet plane" to Boston, Massachusetts. We were supposed to be back in Georgia as I type. BUT..... as life would have it, hurricane Sandy has come through and we are still here and will be here until Tuesday night at the latest.

This has been the type of vacation that you want to repeat. Delicious, and scrumptious food. Laughter and memories with my sister and an old friend. God's abundant nature shouting out that Fall is here. Observing the architectural differences between my beloved South and my new favorite New England. It has been a truly wonderful vacation.

I am a traveler. I love it and it loves me. The world and nation is too grand and vast to stay in your tiny bubble. I literally have travel cravings, to get out and see new and/or old things. I am feeling soothed now, that I have gotten to leave my typical life. I feel like I am breathing deeper, laughing harder, and seeing things much more positively than I was even a few days ago.

I look forward to all the travels that I still have left to do in this blessed life of mine. I'll post more info and pictures later once I get back to my computer. Right now I'm going to relax, watch the whistling wind, and enjoy the moments when nature changes your plans and you get to be still and calm.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Loss Stinks

"A dime in one hand and ten pennies in the other."

The saying above implies that you can have different situations in life, and yet still have the same result.
And that is how I am feeling about the amount of loss my friends and I have been dealing with lately.
In one hand you might have the loss of peace and serenity at work and in the other you might have the loss of a relationship. Or the loss of a beloved grandparent. Or the loss of the hope of having a baby. The list could continue on for ages. It's as varied as each individual who walks the earth.

It's some tough stuff, these personal and often private losses that we all carry around with us.
Lately, I have seen it over and over, that we all are the walking wounded (or will be at some time), just one good conversation away from a mini-meltdown about a variety of situations. And thankfully, in general, people are so busy that they don't have time to pry, so we keep on walking, working, and living, right there on the brink of some heavy emotional stuff.

I named this post "Loss Stinks", because it does. In the simplest manner loss is something no one wants. Because we know, as humans we are ingrained to know that loss is going to hurt. If you care at all about something, and it becomes lost to you, then you will hurt. And the hurt can last moments or years. It can resurface as we listen to a song or flip through old pictures, or visit a graveyard. And that is a vulnerable feeling. Not knowing when loss is going to creep up on us and leave us open. Shine a bright light on our emotions and reveal that we are nowhere near as "with it" as people think that we are.

This is my favorite time of year, this time from October to January  Yet, as I get ready to celebrate with joy, laughter, and merriment. There is a flip side to the coin. This season often brings up old losses and exacerbates new ones and the pain can be greater than ever. Your first Thanksgiving without a grandparent, sibling, child or spouse. Seeing the togetherness of families, couples, friends, and neighbors and feeling the acute loneliness of disappointed hopes and dead dreams. Thinking to yourself, "This was not supposed to happen to me." or " Why is it so easy for them to get the thing that I want so much." or "When will this (insert situation) EVER CHANGE! I am SO TIRED of dealing with this." Whew! I'm just being truthful and airing just some of the questions that can roll around in our heads during these difficult times.

So, what to do? I really wish I knew. I know what has helped me and sustained me through tough times past and present (growing faith in God and emotional prayer). But, you probably don't want to hear all about that. You want to know, what will work for you in your life. I guess the best I can suggest is this.....go find out. Don't get stuck, waiting for the answers to fall in your lap. Don't think that the "perfect plan" will get re-written on the paper you used to write out your plans before. Be an active participant in your life. Look around and assess the current situation both truthfully and humbly. Find the select few that you can trust for wise counsel and spend time with them. Ooops, there I go telling you what to do;) I'll back off. But, whatever you do, as you are dealing with your losses both great and small, don't get trapped in feeling alone. You are cared for and loved and appreciated more than you could ever believe. And because you carry your loss so well or so deeply, many people don't know to remind you of just how much you mean to them. So I will step up and say it. No matter your loss, and no matter your current emotional state, you are so special and there are many people who look to you for strength. What a nice feeling!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Faith in Action

Faith is a real, living and breathing thing. I know, because I've been wrestling with it for a few weeks now.
Sometimes I wonder if I had slipped into taking it for granted. I'm not sure of that, but I know now that my faith and I are the closest companions. And that is changing my life.

My life is like a swinging pendulum. Right and left, up and down, back and forth goes my feelings and emotions. But at the crux of everything is faith in what I am doing. I prayed for months for the right job. I asked for God's will to be done, and though I struggle, I truly believe that where I am right now is where he wanted me to be. And that is difficult because in the past his will for me has had obvious good things clearly evident. His will was good and I was good with his will. And now this.

My faith is being tested. Which is not a bad thing, but it is a difficult thing to grapple with.
Faith in Action.

The actions range from comforting grieving children, helping angry children open up and discuss their feelings, sitting in meetings feeling like a new and inexperienced novice, letting staff members vent so that they can go back to work, and so much more than most would even understand. No two days are the same. Though in general things are getting better (said with caution).

Many evenings (like 8:30) I fall asleep bone tired from my work. I still struggle to figure out how to leave the emotions of work at school. The tossing and turning of an agitated mind have been my friends more often than not. And from a woman who loves her some sleep, I know that this has got to stop.
Each morning though, a renewal of mind and spirit by a loving God helps me get ready for work. Which in some ways can feel like a war zone (on the worst days). Praying each morning helps set my spirit on God's will. Reading the Bible and a short devotional reminds me to be thankful for all parts of my special life. I also get my praise together by singing:) Looking back and knowing that positive changes are being made slowly, is something to smile about.

Faith in Action is figuring out how to show kindness and love in the face of disrespect, disobedience  and anger. It truly is standing strong when all you want to do is yell and use sarcasm just like all the other adults in  my kids lives. It is being so watchful of my spirit, and noticing if I start to even hover towards a "funk". It is changing my expectations and definitions of success. It is accepting help from others. It is being unsure and uncertain and still able to function. It is acknowledging that sometimes I'm lonely and sometimes I'm not. Most importantly faith in action is trusting God, and leaning on Jesus and knowing that the Holy Spirit is with me. All of the many other things I have often trusted have been taken from me. And I have felt dizzy and disappointed at various times.

But somehow I'm making it through. And in the end, I'm realizing that in order to build a faithful life, you will have to enter the construction zone. And you will have to sacrifice to get with the blue-print of the God who created it all. But in the future, the "new life" that has been built.....well that life will be abundant in beauty, grace, and humility. I look forward to that!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sweet October

Boo! That is about as scary as I get.
I have no appreciation for horror, and gore. Guts and carnage make me sick.
I used to joke that whoever wanted to ask me to go see a scary movie with them better be prepared for me to end up in their lap.....and then I would need them to stay the night with me, to help with the follow-up dreams.

A sweet and kind October is more up my alley.
Appreciation for the changing Fall leaves. Check
Feeling the weather drop degree by glorious degree. Check
Happy pumpkins and harvest decor. Check

Yeah, I think I will try and enjoy a mellow October. No scream fest for this little lady!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


A list of things that work for me when I need to de-stress for a bit:)

Pandora radio (Babyface, Aaron Neville, or Christmas stations)

Steaming cup of  hot tea. Fruit flavors are my favorite.

Thinking about travel destinations both far and near.

Planning parties and events with family and friends.

An early night of PJ's, DVR, something sweet and even some soda! (I've been trying to limit my soda.)

Being silly with my sister.

Talking to folks and listening to them too!

Rambling prayers.


Visiting my local public library. This has been a personal favorite for years now.

Arts and crafts.

Leisurely walks amid gorgeous nature.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Sometimes a Saturday is the perfect culmination of the week.
Today I don't have plans. Well, unless you call turning off my phone and napping as long as I want, a plan;)

A whole free day. No errands that involve leaving my home. Eating from the food that I already have in my fridge.

A day of peace. My thoughts can wander here and there. Lounging in my PJ's all day is a viable option! Maybe even 2 cups of steaming hot, fruity tea, if I so choose.

A weekend for me. I am going to enjoy being with myself. My "me" time as I have often called it. Filled with the things that make Sabrina smile. Wal-Mart brand pumpkin pie candle. Flipping through Real Simple magazine for inspirations for things I can't afford. DVR and Cupcake Wars, and phone calls with my buddies and family.

A Saturday that will be special. Writing in my journal and reflecting on life. Taking time to meditate on the fact that, YES, we really are already in October! Throwing away the rush and intense pressure and worry to always be working or worrying, and instead basking in the freedom of rest and peace and tranquility and glimmers or hope.

I don't know about you, but I hope that your Saturday is everything that you want it to be:)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wise Words- A 2 month reflection

I have been so blessed to have some wise words shared with me during these last two months of adjusting to my new job.
My family and friends have shared stories of some of their personal struggles in the world of work.
These are like gems to me, because they are the stories that get hidden away. They often don't get shared because they are not pretty and neat, but instead filled with the overwhelming reality that life is good, but it can be so very hard. Lawyers get thrown into the courtroom and actually get sick with fear/worry. Social workers have to become their own boss and work with clients that steal and rant. Teachers are left alone with no administrative support. Nurses learn to comfort those literally moments from death.

I am not alone. My experiences are mine but they are not unique. Struggles come to all people. And all people have struggled with something. I needed to remember that. Because feeling alone and incompetent can lead to some bad decisions. Things are looking brighter in some ways and I am so thankful! And thankfully at the most difficult, soul numbing times I tried my hardest to turn to God, prayer, silence, some tears, and talking to my faithful support team; than denial, drinking, and unhealthy relationships.
SN: I can smile about it now, but that first month I so wanted to find someone (a complete stranger) to take me on a date so that I could just dump all my work woes on them. I know, I know, that is ridiculous;) But desperate times call for desperate measures.

Yesterday a co-worker reminded me that I am not the exact copy of my fellow counselor. I don't have to measure myself against him and the hours he keeps, to, in some way prove my worth. Amen for that reminder. It just happened out of the blue, but you know what? I was listening, and I do need to remember that I am new. And that some of the burned out feeling I was getting was my own fault for hitting the ground running full tilt.

I've been increasing my Bible reading and like a parched person to fresh water I have soaked in the many verses that remind me that God is abundantly faithful. Just a few examples...
Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; And he inclined to me, And he heard my cry. He also brought me out of a horrible pit, Out of miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

All of these things combined have resulted in a changing Sabrina. I can't really describe it, but I guess you would call it growing up. Time and change come to all people, and this has been quite a time of change in my life. 2 months of school counseling complete. I guess I can sum it up this way, my hidden weaknesses have been exposed, but the process of becoming a better person (my character) is worth the victories and set-backs.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This time of Year

Football chants are wafting through the Fall air.
Fall pumpkins and fairs are full of festive families.
October brings Halloween and a trip to Boston.
November brings Thanksgiving, and I am hosting it this year:)
December brings Christmas in Florida and family and friends.
December will mark my 1/2 way point of working. It will be a time of reflection, meditation, and prayerful thinking towards the future.

Because work has been a mix of stress and effectiveness, I am looking SO forward to these things.
It is nice to find times of refreshment amid the bustle. I am even more appreciative of rest when life has you running.  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

For this I am Thankful

It might look dark and cloudy in my life lately, but there is always a silver lining. And many, many things to be thankful for. Such as.....
*peaceful, weekends that are a mix of alone time and time with friends
*writing personal entries in my journal as I sit on my porch enjoying creation
*hugs (yeah human touch and contact is important and refreshing)
*phone calls to my crew to catch up on life and share
*my church family and their listening ears, prayerful words, and concern
*a win for Florida State
*getting geared up for my absolute, favorite season of the year
*making fun plans, but not too many (I have learned that lesson already)
*truly experiencing God's goodness while in the midst of trials
*not giving up on myself or my situation, but instead clinging to God and his mighty power to save and rescue
*having a blog that reminds me of both times of feast and famine.

A new week is here. God is in complete control. Two more things to be thankful for:)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Weekend Tunes

Happy Saturday! It's a BIG Noles gameday. I'm a proud alumni and can't wait to see the game on the big screen tonight.
Woke up feeling relaxed, loose, and at ease. Praise God for that:)

I don't have any new music clips to share. But, if you have been listening to something good, spread the word by leaving a comment. Have a blessed weekend!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Oh Life!

I'm alive, I don't know if you were wondering since I have not posted in a while.
But as you can probably guess, life has been "off the chain" lately up here in GA.
The details would shock you. You would cry, and cringe, and probably get a head and heart ache sometimes. Everyone cannot handle that (I barely can some days) and for confidentiality sake, I won't share details.
But, the end of the matter is this. God is working through my fragile, weakness, and helping an entire community by strengthening a school.
In order to work in mental health you have to find a professional distance from the stories that you hear day in and out. If you don't, you will get burned out. That was, sometimes still is, me. But, I am learning. Some nights I am so emotionally and mentally exhausted I just fall into bed. Then others I toss and turn with anxiety (might as well call it what it is). Lately, though I have ordered myself to not bring my job to bed with me.....and that is helping.

Oh Life! As I drove past my old on-campus apartment, I could not believe how much I have grown-up in a year (2 months really). I still am sheltered in many ways but, boy was I naive. And boy oh boy was I ungrateful. If you have food to eat for every meal plus snacks. Family who tells you that you are loved. Transportation and funds for travel both across town and nationally. If you can read this and/or other writings written on a high school level. If you have never had anyone put their hands on you in anger and violence. Well, then your life is blessed beyond measure. I have been humbled and my world-view is changing. What I live as a "guarantee", my babies see as a dream.
 But, there is hope every time I talk to a child about growing up and college. Hope when our kids control their feelings better than most of the adults in their life combined. Hope for myself that I can live my life with Godly purpose and release the idea of control that I once thought I possessed. Thank You to my prayer warriors who have not forgotten me:) I need you and always encourage anyone, anywhere to send up prayers for myself and the work that I do with children.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The right place for me?

At 27, I wonder off and on, where is the right place for me?
Of all the places in the world where is my spot?
Now, of course I know that I would not settle just anywhere.
I might try something exciting, for a year or two, whether it be in the U.S. or abroad.
But I so want there to be a place for me to settle. As of right now, that settling will not be with a significant other, but who knows.

So, even though I can't pinpoint the exact spot, I have some fun ideas floating around in my head. And a little daydreaming never hurt anybody.

The right place for me would have green space. No ultra modern, urban flat. I want a yard one day, and a place to hang a hammock.

My place would feel homey, with a livable kitchen. I'm not looking for pristine and crisp lines. Give me character and scuffs, and memories displayed in items. My kitchen, oh now that will be my splurge!

A place for me would have entertainment. I'm not a clubber, or bar hopper, but having the option of heading to the movies, and going to see local musicians would be fantastic.

I would need to feel safe in this spot, especially if I don't have a husband. I want a neighborhood, and sidewalks, and friendships.

My place would need to have other singles like me. Not a ton, just some. I enjoy couples, but a place where there are no dateable options just would not work. I don't want to settle down in a place where my single status makes me stand out. You stand out enough in the South being single and 27, I don't need it to be an even bigger issue.

Finding this place would bring a smile to my heart. This place is a mixture of where I grew up and what my heart desires for grown-up Sabrina. My gut tells me that this place is not right down the road from my parents, nor is it in my current locale. It's somewhere in the South I bet, and possibly driving distance to the sea.

Getting from here to there, now that should be quite the journey.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Friday Tunes

With my new morning routine of waking up at 5:30, my Friday Tunes might become a little more sporadic. But I still love my music and will share my favorites with you as often as I can. This week, I have some truly beautiful tunes to share from The Piano Guys, a group of Mormon dads. Watch em, I think you will like their music and covers. Blessings to you and your family this wonderful weekend!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Slipping into Selfishness

Usually I don't disclose the things that occur right before I sit down to write. So, in some ways my words are in a vacuum. But, this morning I am going to try something different, because I think it gives a clearer picture of my life and current struggles and growth areas.

As I woke up to some "heavenly sunlight" streaming through the window of my childhood bedroom, my weary soul was renewed. This trip home has been perfection, because I was worn and hiding discontent behind a rapidly fading smile. But now I am ready to head back to work with a refreshed spirit and attitude.

As I literally got down on my knees in humble prayer this morning many realizations came to me. Like gifts of wisdom, from an all knowing God. A simple mantra floated through my head. Have FAITH. Have HOPE. Hold On. This is the boiled down and summed up reminder that I needed and I will come back to it often I am sure. Because for the last 3 weeks my faith has been weak and full of complaining. My hope has been depleted and beat down. And I was losing my grip. And boy do I hate to admit that! I was slipping rapidly into selfishness, self-pity and fear.

Yes, I can admit it. There is a selfish part of Sabrina and as I got more and more tired and overwhelmed and frustrated, that part of me was growing (I really believe it was feeding on the negative emotions). My thoughts were turned to how unfair my life was. I was constantly figuring out ways to escape as soon as the pressures of my difficult job increased. After looooong days of working with needy students and staff, I took refuge in turning my remaining energy and thoughts onto myself. Though I seemed strong (at least I thought I did), my weaknesses were mounting up quite quickly.

And then I came home. I ran home really. Scared, that God's will had taken me beyond what I could do. Home, revived me and I am thankful to God for knowing what I needed. I was desperate for something positive and familiar. And with my family all around me, and sweet memories to soothe me, I found myself again in one weekend. My troubles diminished as I basked in the amazing presence of my grandma. My vanity was reduced as I shared my work woes with my family and they reminded me of how vibrant and rich my life has been. They helped me see that I have been spared so much, and that these are rightly some of the hardest days of my life. And they helped me grasp the fact that, that is OK. It's normal. It's life. My faithful family reminded me that God will call us to go beyond what we could ever do ourselves. It's a vital part of the growing Christian life.

Selfishness is screamed at us in this life. What do you want? Where do you want to go? What will be the best for you?  Find what you like, the things that make you the most comfortable and then spend your life pursuing them. Run from hardships. Elevate yourself. Build up and gather all the best things for yourself and if you remember it, share a tad with someone else. But you should probably share with someone who is like you, because they are deserving and will in some way help you.

I didn't see my selfish ways clearly until I realized that I was bending over backwards for people who are so vastly different from me that it's not even funny. And I was unhappy about that. I was so used to getting, that I literally had to be forced out of my complacent and self-indulgent bubble back into real life. And that was a painful experience. It was like manually repairing a broken bone with no anesthesia. It is an intense thing to wake up to the reality of the flaws of our character. To finally understand the Bible when it says, when I am weak, then he is strong. To be weak is no fun, but the lessons from that place in life, they get etched on your soul.

Today I go back to life and work in GA. Today I am feeling renewed and peaceful. Today I am honestly thankful for the blessings that have come my way. The road ahead of me is unknown but I am changing into a much better version of myself, and with God's grace, I think wonderful things are ahead.