Saturday, February 22, 2014

More Brave Lately

"Taking no chances means wasting your dreams." Ellen Hopkins

Are you a cautious person or a risk-taker? Maybe you fall somewhere in the cloudy middle?

Me, I am cautious to the extreme. I was probably born that way:) Taking risks is not my thing. I always think, "Hmmmm why would I chance it? What might happen if X,Y, or Z happened? That sounds freaking crazy/dangerous?" etc.

Growing up I observed how much one life affects another. And so I tried hard to not be the reason someone was crying or upset or confused. I wanted to bring happiness, and good things to the lives of people I loved. I could be worried for them, but I didn't want them to have to worry about me.

I would say that I am a strong woman. Confident in my smarts, and selected skill set. I grew up gobbling up books and travels and sometimes hiding behind excuses. I was very friendly but I kept myself away from a lot of foolishness. It was not fun for me and again, I saw the emotional consequences as far greater than a few moments of fun feelings.

Growing up I was known for my stable personality traits. You didn't call up Sabrina last minute for anything. Because, I have never felt any shame about turning down an invitation. I often gave advice and tips, but if it was not followed the first time, well then I was done. I didn't believe in wasting time or my breath. I was not the friend you could tell ANYTHING to. Nope, there was some stuff that I didn't want to hear because to me it was foolish. Too much drama, too much back and forth.

Well, lately I have been more consistently brave than I have ever been in my entire life. Who would think that this 28th year would hold some of my bravest moments?

I have made work decisions that will have far reaching consequences and bring new things to my life. I have stepped out on faith and right now the path is unsure. I am a part of a waiting game that could take months to play out. But, there is a part of me that I don't usually listen to, and it says to go ahead and try. I think the time is right for a change and a move. To welcome in new things, and go looking for more joy in my working life.

I have adjusted, well I think, to my sister being married. In November, I would have looked ahead and predicted more lonely moments. I thought I saw this whirling mass of confusion and feeling left out. But instead it has been a natural transition. Melanie is grown-up, in fact she has been for years, and lo and behold so am I. Our grown-up bond as sisters has deepened to include her husband, and some areas have been reduced, but all is well.

There is a special, new (well actually I met him freshman year at FSU) person in my life. He is both an unexpected and yet completely comfortable part of my life. The brave part of me has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 3 months (almost). I am feeling courageous (sometimes) and happy and in a very wonderful place:) He is a blessing to me!

"Courage is found in unlikely places." J.R.R Tolkien

Thursday, February 13, 2014

30 before 30- My Official List

Three winter weather days, give you plenty of time to think about your life:) And nap, there is a lot of time for naps. So, I gave myself yesterday evening to get thinking again about my 30 before 30 list. I started it back in January. Starting April 28th 2014, the following list will be in my mind as I live through the year leading up to 30! Can't wait, I can't wait to get started! I'll use this blog to report back on some of my accomplishments and "growing edges".
Realistically, I don't think my goal is to have done everything on this list in one year. But if I make efforts to complete these goals, and actually complete most of them. Then I will be a happy and content Sabrina. I am also excited because this list is very "me"!!

start the birthyear with the 29 gifts challenge (Day 1- April 28th 2014)
host a dinner party to welcome in one of the seasons (Fall is my favorite)
go on a cruise
celebrate 30 in a BIG way
celebrate 30 in a quiet way
travel to 5 places that I've never been before
sleep under the stars
watch a full sunrise and full sunset from the beach
finish reading Julie and Julia and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
cook or bake 24 "new to me" recipes (2 a month hopefully)
take a surprise visit home to see my parents
maintain my weight, below a "magic" number
plan a trip just for the sister and I
read through the New Testament
clean out my email ( all 3 accounts)
buy a pedometer and track my steps
adopt a classroom for a school year
update my scrapbook
use the scanner I got and really organize old memories, pictures and papers

go to a concert
start a personal prayer warrior project (daily, dedicated and specific prayer time)
sit down and write family history (Stewart and Miles)
incorporate yoga weekly
take piano lessons ( I have been wanting to do this for over 10 years)
go sailing
swim/feed dolphins
get serious about my finances ( I am thinking Financial Peace University)
send 30 cards to our military and the sick and shut-in (use church bulletins to help with this )
try horseback riding again
end the birthyear with the 29 gifts challenge (Day 1 Cycle 2- April 28th 2015)

* I don't think I am going to change anything. But I do oficially have until April to get this list just right!*

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Starting up 2014

This morning I get to sit here and watch the sleet blow outside my window. It has been a true winter this year in North Georgia. Last year was mild, and this one has made up for it by leaps and bounds.

No school today, and I am predicting with the upcoming ice and snow and freezing temps, that we won't go back until Friday. We will see. All I know is that Friday is Valentine' you can just imagine what that will be like:) Oh yeah, and I actually have a Valentine this year (insert happy dance and smiles)!  My daddy called me from Florida with sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. I tried to hide my envy. Even though actually it was a beautiful day on Sunday. The weather, just like life, and I do mean exactly like life, is so very full of change.

I don't know where the 31 days of January went. But, here we are. Already in February. When you take it one day at time, the time really just goes on by.

The family is well. Mel & Rashaan are happily married and thriving. Blessing! My parents have stayed busy but also gotten time to relax. Blessing! My grandma is having some health struggles, I pray for her precious spirit and life, a lot. I am working and budgeting and contemplating life in the late 20's. I still am needed at my work, and feel like I go in daily and do my best. I can always do more, but what I am doing, it is good. Blessing! My friendships have continued to deepen and reinforce all of the good things in my life. Blessing! I still have growth and forgiveness to show in my life, but I think time will work things out.

I will be 29 this year! Yeah, always exciting, yet not full of the stability that I would have predicted. And, I think that is OK. It is quite possible that there are better, and different things in store for me. We will see if I have the courage to go after them. And the courage to rewrite and rethink how I have seen my future playing out.

I'm reading Fearless by Max Lucado, and already I am surprised by how much I am pondering. Also, I am rereading Thou Dear God Prayers that Open Hearts and Spirits by Martin Luther King Jr.

So all in all. This start to 2014 has gone well. This year holds the possibility for great change. I pray God lead me and guide me to and through these times and this season of life and growth.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Contentment- Botanical Gardens

Today was a blessedly beautiful day! A hint of Spring, even though we are not done with Winter yet.

Soon after I came to Georgia, I came out for some "me time" and nature walks at the state Botanical Gardens. And 4 years later, it still calls me back. It calls me to get outside and walk. It calls me to pray and meditate on the great goodness of this life. I absolutely love the freshness and vitality of this most beautiful spot!

Today was wonderful. Wonderful is not even really enough to describe the beauty of the afternoon. Busy but not overcrowded. The mix of families and couples, and individuals was spot on. I liked how these people, like me, came out to see the gardens before Spring blossoms. Spring is coming for sure. And its obvious that the gardens will be full to the brim of people, wanting to bask in the lush vegetation.

But, there is beauty there now. There is a lot of hope along those winding paths. I kept thinking over and over again. This is the important time, this is the time of growth. The Spring would be nothing without the calm of Winter. The rains and cooler temps that shield and protect life, until the moment is right for emerging growth.

And of course I started thinking on life. I started remembering that though I want the answers now. That though I want the waits to end. It's not time yet. And I need to be thankful that I don't get what I want when I want it, but instead have to grow my character through the seasons of waiting. I have unanswered job questions. Geographic questions about where I should settle down. I have questions of family and friends. I have questions about relationships and friendships. But, the Spring is not here yet. And after walking about, I can be content with that fact.

I know that the internal and external Spring are going to be just glorious:) And so right now I watch over the seeds. I pray and hope over what the answers will be. All the while trying to control less and experience more. Yeah, that's it.... that is just what I need. To control less and experience more!