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:)