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.