Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And then I Laughed

It's been an unstable time in my life. You have probably guessed that from my last few posts. However, as the title suggests, through it all, there are times when all you can do is laugh and smile. You have no choice! And those are great, refreshing times.

Seeing a gorgeous rainbow in Athens, GA after reading a dear friend's travel blog where she mentioned the rainbows of New Zealand.

Getting the news that the "old wives tale" game at the baby shower I helped host was actually spot on. And really did predict the sex of the baby. Nuts:)

Watching the slightly confusing yet reliable way that my sister gets things done.

This perfect quotation. As someone who works with kids, I feel like it sums up how they keep you on your toes and are totally and completely random in the absolutely best way!

It's appreciating the small things that make life better!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stay vs. Leave

It is an odd feeling to be in limbo. That place between what was and what is to come. It's a place I am coming to know well. Because, though internally I swore that I would KNOW where my future was taking me by the summer; the summer is almost here and things are clear as mud.

One huge, gigantic idea is whether I stay or leave. I am 99% set on staying in Georgia. That is a given. Sometimes when I get nervous or completely unsure, I will weigh the options of going back home to Florida. But I just don't think that is where I am supposed to be at this moment. I could be wrong but I am praying that I'm not.

But then there is still the question of do I stay or leave Athens? And I go back and forth and up and down and all around with that one. Currently, I just cannot find any peace with this struggle, so I guess that means I need to keep working at it.

Stay or leave? Sometimes I feel almost crazy because there are many reasons to stay in Athens. So, then why this tug to go somewhere else? I really need to be able to trust God and myself. Currently I feel like I don't. I want to but it is harder than I imagined. And I won't be at real peace until this huge decision is made. I know that it takes time, but time is ticking by!!!

Anyway, as soon as I know something for certain, I will be sure to share. Until then, any extra prayers for an increase in my faith would be appreciated:) 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Stewart

Mel Bell
Mac Meep
Melanie Rose Stewart

I can assume that you know how much my little sister means to me. To know me, you also have to know about Melanie. Maybe it's the 13 months between us. Maybe it's our common interests and friends. Maybe it's because we are both striving to grow into Godly women. Maybe it's our amazing parents who have always made family important. Maybe it's the trials, or maybe it's the triumphs.

Whatever it is. I count my sister as a huge blessing in my life, and I always will! I want to take time and wish Ms. Melanie a fantastic and amazing birthday! I know we will be doing "not fun" things like moving on your actual birthday.
BUT, always remember that you are loved and appreciated. You have a brand new job and you are going to do great things. You have a wonderful boyfriend who adores you and fits right in with our family. You have an amazing number of friends who appreciate you! There is also our family who loves you to death. And of course there is me, your best friend forever who also happens to be your sister!
 HAPPY BIRTHDAY MELANIE!!!! The best wish I can make for you is that God's perfect will be done in your life:)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Friday Tunes

My Friday Tunes segment is back! Now I am not sure how the summer is going to effect/affect my blogging. It is already sporadic and might get worse;)

However, today here is a beautiful song from Christina Perri:) Enjoy your weekend and Memorial Day. I will be helping the sister move and celebrating her 26th birthday!!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Feels Bad

Yesterday I wrote a short post about things that are currently making me feel good. I started with that because those things make me smile and are more exciting to share. But, the flip side of the coin is that there are things that make me feel bad. By bad I mean frustrated, uncomfortable, struggling, and teary.

Here are some things that are making negative waves in the ocean of my life (beach reference...I already miss it!).
Looking at my budget and seeing that I was a tad too happy buying graduation "necessities".
Measuring myself against the hundreds of other job applicants who want the same jobs as I do.
Slight body image issues.
Missing prayer group and my faithful friends who keep me grounded and reminded of a Godly way to live.
Politics and the upcoming election (I want to just plug my ears because people can be so horrible!).
Making hard and difficult decisions. And maybe owning up to the fact that I can be stubborn and that, stubbornness can be a problem.

Whew, it feels good to get that stuff out of my ever swirling mind. Here's hoping that by owning up to the good and bad I can find a happy medium and a more grounded way of thinking.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Feels Good

I have been sporadically updating the blog. I have not forgotten, but the happy whirlwind of graduation and job searching has kept me busy, busy. Then I spent some glorious and truly restful days in South Carolina with my friend Stacey and her mom. In fact I just got back yesterday. The beach was just right (a little rainy and cool) to ensure rest. And the trips into Charleston and Seabrook were magnificent!

Here is what is making me feel good currently.
Coming home and then getting back on the road again.
No schedule. Finding time to let the day unfold as it will.
Being off the grid (almost) for a few days and devouring some books! ( Act like a Lady Think like a Man, Catching Fire, and Outliers).
Getting ready to head to FL for family time and a wedding.
Preparing to help Melanie move apartments, and celebrate her 26th birthday.
Seeing that my 10 year high school graduation is next year.....and the planning has begun.

PS- I will update and add graduation pictures soon. This week is hectic, but I have not forgotten:)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New Things

I have sometimes under-appreciated new things. Experiences to be exact. Sometimes the newness can be overwhelming to a person like me who enjoys stability. Sometimes I get so busy mentally comparing things that the excitement of the new has worn off before I finally feel comfortable enough to relax, take a deep breathe, and enjoy.

There are many new things on my life horizon. And at least as far as jobs go, I am actually feeling excited about some new prospects. Two years ago I would have told you that there was not much of a chance that I would work at any other level but elementary....but the new thing is that, that is changing. I can see myself trying a high school or even college setting. Who knew?

Many different folks have inquired into my dating life recently. Although there is nothing to report. I would enjoy dating more...which would be a new thing. Because I have never dated much at all. Part of the excitement of Metro Atlanta is more dateable options than my previous life locations. Call it age, or seeing my sister in a serious and loving relationship, but I am cautiously taking some of the bricks down from the fortress I built up around getting to know someone romantically.

This summer will turn into a season of new things. And I am pretty happy about that!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Never Enough

If I sat down and wrote for days on end. If I called each and every special person to me. If I prayed specifically for each of you.

Even if I did all of these things, there would never be enough words or deep enough emotions to express how much your encouragement has meant to me over the last 2 years. And Yes I mean YOU. I doubt you take time to read my little blog unless you know me in some aspect. So whether you recognize it or not, you have been an integral part of this journey. And boy has it been a journey!

This I can say for sure. Leaving Tallahassee, and leaving Florida was not easy but it was necessary. I found so much joy in teaching, but I have discovered my true purpose in counseling. And I could not have done that without you all.

It might seem overused, but my spin on an old saying is that, "It takes a village to get a Sabrina through graduate school!" On my best days and my worst days God always provided me with someone. Someone to
cry with
pray with
walk with
reason with
and encourage me.

And it would be horrible if I did not take some time and THANK YOU all, for all that you have done. True caring is displayed by action. When we love and appreciate each other then we are not afraid to join in their life with them, even if only for a while.

I have been so many emotions during this experience up here at UGA. But I was never unsure. Yeah, I have had crystal clear moments where I have missed teaching like a physical pain. But I have never wanted to toss in the towel. Your support and positive, thoughtful, Godly, thoughts and actions helped me know without a doubt that this counseling thing was a good fit:)

I graduate on Friday! I am so excited I can't stand it. And I am also scared. And that is the amazing thing about this time here. I am more connected to myself than ever before. I can admit my triumphs and struggles more easily and that is a freeing experience.

Because I could go on and on, I think I better stop right here. Thank you for every single last thing that you have thought, done, or said to encourage me. I was born into an amazing family, baptized into a life-changing family, and have been blessed beyond measure by friendships that continue to inspire me.Thank You.

Monday, May 7, 2012

See you Later

As I sat down to type this I almost titled it Goodbye. But I just could not do that, so I changed it to See you Later. If I really have to say a final goodbye to my cohort I would probably break down in uncontrollable tears. Not the pretty kind either. The red eyes kind that just won't stop, accompanied by that shallow crying breath (you know what I am referring to;)

Even with saying See you Later I know I am going to get emotional. Because there are 10 other people who I have spent TONS of time with in these past 2 years. And it was more than time. We have memories that will always mean so much to me. From first introductions, to retreats, to marriages/babies, to the "real world". From growth and change to trials and tribulations. My cohort has been my academic family. And I will miss them with all of my heart.

But See you Later implies that we are not done yet. And that is my wish. I pray that I will have my cohort with me in one way or another for years to come. Even if I only see them a few times over a span of years, I know that I need them in my life. If you have not met them, I blogged about my buddies here...at the end of our first summer. So here is one final letter to my cohort....the Class of 2012.

Dear everyone,
 I am grateful for this experience at UGA. In a short time I will have my Masters degree and still be figuring out what comes next. But, I hope you all know that this would not have been the same without you. Every time I see my diploma in the future I will think of us. Because in so many ways we made it through this together. Thank you for loving me and caring for me and appreciating me. I pray for abundant blessings to be ever present  in your lives:)

Sam: Congratulations on your new job! Thank you for your needed personality in our group. Keep making wise choices and telling hilarious stories!
Stacey: My dear friend, I can't wait to see what your future holds. As long as you continue to care and work hard, anything is possible! I love you dearly and know that years from now we will still be sharing life experiences.
Bronwyn: Thank You for being so kind, personable, and amazing. Girl, I am going to miss you more than words can say. You will always be in my heart Bronwyn and I will always be there for you if you need me.
Liya: Wife and soon to be mama. All in the space of 2 years! When we shared dinner at Doc Chey's so long ago I could not have pictured this. Go forth and continue to create unique and beautiful things:)
Jessica: I already know that you are going to be a wonderful counselor. Thank you for being my friend, from the first tape all the way to graduation and beyond. Good Luck with everything, I know it will all work out:)
Jane: Jane, I don't even know what to say. You are so good at so many things. Your future is truly limitless. No matter what, hold onto your genuine love for people and abundant joy. They are 2 things that I think are uniquely Jane.
Natalie: It is evident that you are passionate about helping students, and that is so admirable to me! Enjoy all the new beginnings in your life:)
Lauren: I am so very thankful that our friendship has blossomed in the last year. It makes me smile to know that at least for now we still have our Florida connection. You made it, and now you and Matt can enjoy the wonders of married life, have fun:)
Marian: Savor all of the new and wonderful changes that are in store for you and your family. Your honestly is easy to see and I have appreciated it along the journey.
Chiemezie: I look forward to hearing more adventures and life stories as you figure out your next steps. Above everything else keep your spirit of freedom. I know already that you are going to do unique things:)

With much Love,
Sabrina M. Stewart

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Mama Hen

Since I was young, people who have known me for a while have commented on my "mama hen" type ways. Now being a mama hen type could probably have a negative and positive connotation. But you know me, I choose the positive!

Caring and concern have always been my trademarks. It's the fundamental reason why counseling and I just click. I have been interested in hearing people and helping people for years. Now, I have more polished skills and a toolbox of interventions.

In a pleothra of situations my caring nature (aka being a mama hen) has helped me form authentic relationships. As much as I can, I try to get involved with life and not stand around on the outskirts. As someone described me and my work with our campus college ministry. I "jump in feet first". Later someone corrected that and said it's more like I "jump in head first":) I would amend that and say I "jump in heart first". Sappy sounding but true. You can tell I care about something when I'm all in. Giving as much of myself as I can and being present in the moments. I personally think it's a God refined talent.

My part-time job up here has been mentoring student-athletes. I have learned MANY things, and definitely gained a new perspective and appreciation for those talented students who find a balance between both roles. Throughout my two years I have worked with many students, and it has been highly rewarding. In a twist of fate (aka God's will) I ended my last semester with two girls who I had worked with since I first started at UGA. Julia and Sarah (changed their names) are two of the sweetest girls I know. Besides working with them, our friendship quickly grew into something real and tangible. We always focused on school, but life was not off limits. So as Sarah transitioned to Georgia from her home in the Mediterraeien, we bonded. Bus routes, taxes, medical issues, people issues, etc. Then you have Julia. She is a gentle giant who loves fun but also works hard. She has grown so much in all arenas. I am as proud as punch of both of them:)

So when I had to say good-bye to them Wednesday, it was difficult. Though I approached it with inner strength their genuine hugs and thanks crept right over my barriers and made me tearful. I will miss those girls so much! For a bit after the sessions I sat in my car thinking about just quitting the job search and staying on at UGA working with the student-athletes;) I realized how much you can come to care for people. Even when you don't purposefully set out to do it. The side effects of having a loving heart I guess:)
* I graduate on Friday! More posts on this special time are coming soon.*