nashville

wisdom and grit

Can I really do this for thirty years? Why isn’t loving them enough? It always worked at camp. My lessons are awesome, why don’t they care? Don’t cry. Never let them see you cry. They said it was a tough class. I am tough too. Don’t cry. I was made for this. Why do I feel so disrespected? Why can’t they just want to learn? This is not like the teacher movies. Can I really do this for thirty years?

These were my thoughts as I was a few weeks into my first year teaching. One student has just thrown a chair, prompting another student try to pin him down on the ground in anger. Meanwhile, another student was making paper guns and pretending to shoot them machine gun style around the room. Chaos. Expletives rolling around in my head trying to regain control of my thirdsters.  That same day I watched another one of my student’s mom come up from the county jail to say goodbye to her son. She had been sentenced to 10 years in a Kansas prison. Welcome to teaching.

I could try to describe to you what teaching is really like, but you’ve seen the memes. They hilariously scrape the surface and expose a larger problem that is a broken education system.  I spent the first four years teaching third grade in a socioeconomically disadvantaged traditional public school. I now have spent the last few years at a departmentalized socioeconomically disadvantaged public charter school teaching second-grade literacy.  The trenches can be beautiful, yet rough these days and it got me thinking about how I have persevered thus far. Among many attributes, it came down to these two: wisdom and grit.

Wisdom.

I remember a paper mentor explaining the difference between knowledge and wisdom. “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. I went through a lot of training to become a teacher. Even with a Master’s in elementary education, head knowledge does not equal expertise application. Even with all my teaching internships, nothing can fully prepare you for picking your first class of students up from the gym that first day of school. I distinctly remember thinking, “This is my class. This is my class?!!” I remember having these grand expectations and plans for how my classroom was going to run. Within the first month, that plan was blown to smithereens. Yet I kept showing up. Trying again. Failing one day. Soaring the next.  Learning from the mistakes. Gaining fuel from the mountain tops moments. And yet today I still love teaching.

Wisdom has also taught me it is less about control and more about building the relationship. Trying to “control” my class has only left me frustrated and bitter. Seeking relationships with these less experienced humans have built a safety net of trust between me and the student. This is the magical space where learning can take place. Just last week one of my students had gone to town with a blue crayon to the inside of his desk and then attempted to draw the middle finger on his work that looked nothing like a middle finger and everything hilariously phallic. At the top of his paper he had written, “foke you!” Bless, you spelled the sight word “you” correctly! I thought.  (We have been working hard on that.) This boy and I had a conversation about the situation, named an appropriate consequence, and we moved on back to learning. I knew me shaming him into “never doing it again” would never work, but the community that we have built in the classroom allowed safe space for this conversation to happen. Not every situation goes this smooth and I do not always handle every situation with calm grace. But I’m a still a student too.  In the middle of handling a student who just ripped up her test, (can I blame her?) reminding another student to stop chewing on his desk drawer, and attempting to introduce today’s read aloud, wisdom reminds me grace is for me too and God’s mercies are new every morning. PTL.

Wisdom has taught me to embrace failure. Failure alone is not a bad thing, it’s the choice we make after the failure happens that determines the trajectory of our success. So.many.times. I’ve failed. My first big taste of failure was when I failed statistics in college, not because I never went to class, but because I actually did not understand the material and did not take the necessary steps to get the extra help. I thought I would be fine and it would just all work out. Because it always had. With only two tests and a final, I was sunk. I thought my life was OVER. It actually hit my GPA that semester enough to strip me of a leadership position I had been elected into. Cue the tears. Cue the shame. I remember bawling in my dorm room closet to my mother, sobbing “I will never recover from this!” I retook the class the following Fall and ended up with a solid A and I understood the material! My life did NOT end and my GPA was eventually repaired. Even though it took me a little while to work through that shame, I persevered. Wisdom has taught me that everybody fails.This is comforting and helps me to know that even in failure I am not alone and there are cheerleaders all around.

In my school, we have a mindset of what we call a “culture of error.”  We help students embrace the idea, to make mistakes is a pathway to learn something new. Basically, failure is okay because this is how we grow. We want them to make mistakes because it opens the door for healthy dialogue and exchange of ideas. We want students to not be afraid to share their thoughts and answers. I tell my students “What doesn’t challenge you doesn’t change you.” Wisdom has taught me to dust yourself off and use those mistakes as fuel for trying again.

Grit.

When my Pops asks how many days of school I have left before a break he always says, “Aw girl you can do that standing on your head!” This may not be the definition of grit, but I think it’s the same idea. “You’ve come this far, you got this.” is what I think.

Grit is more than just enduring those final days before a break, it’s showing up and being present. Every. Day.

Grit is getting out of bed the next morning when the day before your patience never showed up to school.

Grit is choosing to altruistically love your students no matter what baggage they try to sling your way.

Grit is choosing the lane of confidence and worthiness,  even when you may be feeling a little bit lonely and less-than.

Developing grit is a constant work in progress and takes a lot of self-care. I am grateful for the friends and family who regularly call, facetime, bonfire, etc, with me to make sure I’m staying healthy. A friend called last week and I told him the stories from the day and he just laughed and laughed. Not meaning to be mean,  but he was reminding me how fleeting these moments are and to embrace the hilarity of it all.  I’m also thankful for my paper, podcast, and spiritual mentors who offer wisdom and mindfulness practices that help clear my soul and see the beauty that is me. Developing grit has allowed me to have the capacity for greater compassion in the classroom. It has allowed me to see beyond myself and see the greater good being done around me and through me.

I’m still very young in the world of teaching and still learning a TON about these two. I love that in teaching no day is ever the same. EVER. This can be both a little terrifying and yet completely exhilarating. And the little minds that come to me each day are THE BEST GIFT. They are bright and full. Full of their own bits of wisdom and grit that teaches me too. Can I really do this for thirty years?  Who knows and who cares. Right now my focus is loving the present. Gaining new wisdom and practicing grit.

Make it beautiful,

imageSara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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nashville

What brought you here, won’t get you there.

Two years ago I moved to Nashville! I didn’t know it then, but I had outgrown my flower pot and needed a place to let my roots run free. Nashville was fertile soil.  Through some humbling pruning to my heart and ego, the woman I am today is blooming and my roots are running deep.

I remember being in my various ministry roles a few years ago and feeling happy with my work, but also very exhausted and worn, knowing I needed to step away. My well was running dry. However, this ticker tape kept running in my head, “These ministries need my help. These kids need my  help.” Being needed made me feel like I belonged. As a 2 on the Enneagram, helping is my greatest gift, but without boundaries I give and give until my roots run dry. I was also teaching in an under-served elementary. Again thinking, “I can’t leave, these kids need my light!” Talk about PRIDE (This is the vice of a two on the Enneagram.) I seemed to think I knew what others always needed yet I had no idea what needed.

What started out as leading from a place of abundance-my purpose became wrapped up in my need to be needed. It was wrapped up in the need to always help others.  Helping others can be great within good boundaries. But when let run buck wild you often: help people who don’t want or need your help, you don’t help them the way they need it best, and the help usually comes with strings attached.  I could feel myself slipping in and out of my authentic self. I knew I felt a little “off,” but how could I ask for help? Making your needs known is scary. It’s vulnerableI did not want to seem needy or be rejected. By not making my needs known that is pretty much what happened.

Through the counsel of friends and family I was able to come up with an exit strategy that was both healthy and healing for me and left the ministries and school safe and secure. It was a long process though and I fought it a lot- that ticker tape chasing me. I knew that if I didn’t step away I would be forced to or I would self destruct. I was surprised how overwhelmingly supported I was by my community when I acted on what I needed, not the needs of others. It was even more amazing how the next steps of my future plans fell into place easier than I have ever experienced.

When I arrived to Nashville it was like starting over, but not for the reasons I know now. I thought I would take all the best parts of my past and make them into something beautiful in this new chapter. That may work for some, but throughout ALL my seasons of change, this has never worked for me. I am thankful God is relentless in love and patience.  God was and is teaching me that God wants to do a NEW thing. Not a new thing sprinkled with remnants of what used to be. I remember cutting off all the hair on “Wedding Barbie” thinking her hair would grow back. When it didn’t I tried gluing her hair back on her head. Can you picture it? Gross. Remnants of what used to be-no thanks.

I am so grateful for those opportunities and experiences because they shaped me into the strong resilient woman I am today. I would be lying if I said I never had any “fear of missing out” moments (CAMP), but there is also peace and excitement knowing God is up to something. Something new.  I could jump into all sorts of familiar leadership opportunities, but I can bet the fruit would be half as sweet than if  I allow the one who created me to create in me.

Even in my first few years of teaching, I had this “pie in the sky” almost “savior mentality” toward my students. A few years in I swallowed this hard truth, “They don’t need saving. They are tiny brilliant humans with limitless potential regardless of whether am their teacher or not.”  This was difficult to hear because if I am not needed, What is my purpose? Why am I teaching? Why do I exist? (That escalated quickly I know) Fast forward into year seven and realizing teaching is so much less about me and more about how I teach because I have a passion for justice. I have a light that overflows within me and is called to dark places. I get the opportunity to come alongside their journey and plant seeds of hope and possibility.

Two years in a new city has definitely taught me you can’t always take the old things with you and expect to build something new.

You’ll just end up with another version of unmet expectations.  You’ll end up with a mediocre version of something your heart longs for instead of something brand new and miraculous like only the Spirit can create.  I am reminded of the story of the Israelites coming out of slavery. God provided for them by sending manna from heaven. As they moved toward the promise land they expected manna, but God used new ways to provide for the people. This was confusing and sometimes scary, but God always proved faithful.  When I remember God’s faithfulness in my life it quiets my fears and comforts my soul.

At my best I am joyfully creative and an altruistic giver. In a way Nashville feels like I am returning home to myself.  It’s simple, but hard for me to swallow sometimes,

I am loved. I belong. I am enough.

I don’t think it is coincidence when I first moved to Nashville I ended up at a church called The Belonging. It  was here I found space for the Spirit to fill the well of my soul and to heal my heart from scrapes from the past. It helped clear space for a new foundation.

My roots are spreading confidently these days and which direction they will run is unknown. This can be intimidating at times, but I cling to the big bursts of hope God keeps putting in my path. I choose to let this journey be exciting rather than worry what’s next. Speaking my needs and setting good boundaries is always a work in progress,  but I am getting quicker at recognizing when my roots need water. I have a greater awareness about why and when I help others-making sure my own needs are watered first. I  definitely don’t have it all figured out, but my compassion toward myself and others is increasing which has made me a better friend to my community and to myself.

A dear friend reminds me often, “You can do hard things.”  These past two years transitioning to Nashville have been hard at times, messier than I anticipated, but each time I made it through. every. time.  even more resilient, more beautiful, and more full of joy than the last. I know that my biggest and brightest blooms have yet to be. Cheers to Nashville Chapter 3: doing hard things and making it beautiful with every step.

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Sara

 

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Melamine Connections

I remember soon after my grandpa died my grandmother, Granny Opal as we call her, moved into town to what used to be the Broadmoor apartments. I remember even as a nine year old it being a hard transition for her. Moving from a large farm near the Osage, where freedom was abundant and peace was guaranteed- to moving to a small one bedroom where noise was abounding and the kitchen was barely big enough to boil a pot of water. We lived just a few miles away and that meant more visits and sometimes even sleep overs. Sleepovers with Granny was right up there with Christmas morning.

We would sing old hymns on an old Hammond organ. Granny had a powerful bluegrass twang that could rival Dolly. She would always make sure to give my sister and I a chance at playing with all the knobs and buttons to create our own original sound. Just a Closer Walk With Thee was one that always stuck out to me. Something was comforting in those lyrics knowing Jesus was always walking with me. “Daily walking close to thee, let it be dear Lord, let it be. ” We would then sit around the small wooden kitchen table playing Gin Rummy, Granny chuckling about how ornery my dad (Pops) was and how it was even a miracle that he is alive today. Usually while my sister would help line up the flowered quilt patches with Granny, I would have races with my micro machines around her braided multi-color rug- right in the middle of the kitchen floor. Just before bed, Granny would pull out some of her old night gowns she had as a girl and let me wear one. Pastel blue, with modest lace detail that went all the way to the floor. I always felt just like a princess getting ready to sleep in her royal chambers.

And then my favorite part of the entire sleepover.

I always awoke to the smell of coffee (yes imagine those old Folgers commercials). I would patter into the kitchen where Granny would invite me up on her lap- hair still in pink rollers and still in her pastel green nightgown and I in mine, and we would drink coffee together. Black with a lump of sugar. Who cares if it was unhealthy for a little girl to be drinking coffee- it was our thing. We would take turns sipping out of a little melamine green tea cup.  We would sit and rock and she would read from the paper or tell me stories about when she was my age. “Oh Sarie Mod,” she’d always say cheerfully.  Sit. Rock. Sip. Repeat. I remembered my heart feeling so full and connected. Connected to her life and legacy. Connected to her compassion and healing hugs. Connected to simplicity and a slower pace. Connected to the gift that was my Pops and the rest of the Amick/Withers clan.  I don’t think I really even liked the taste at that age, but with each bitter sip I was reminded how I belonged and how I was so deeply loved. Deeply loved.

I feel like it was yesterday that I was sitting on my Granny Opal’s lap sipping on the good life. I was 11 when she passed- it was around her birthday, which was always right around Mother’s Day. I still have that green melamine tea cup. I spend most Saturday mornings soaking in the sun, journaling the good, gory, and miraculous, often drinking from that cup. Still black with a lump (or three) of sugar.

Even as I wait to become a mother (and a granny) of my own kin, each time I sip from that green tea cup or any cup really- it takes me back to Granny Opal’s lap where I am reminded how I am deeply, oh so deeply loved.  I am present to the love that continues to pursue me and surround me. And even when that day arrives, I will continue to live passionately reaching far and wide to make room at the table so all know they belong and are oh so deeply loved.

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Make it beautiful,

Sara

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A resting place to wrestle

Holy Saturday. The day between death and new life.

There is nothing glorious about this day. It invites me to sit in my own muck and feel what I have been “too busy” to examine in my own heart. Who wants to do that? It’s painful to feel rejection and fear all over again. In my short time on this earth, I have come to realize recounting Jesus’ experiences and recounting my own experience, is necessary to live in freedom. For me Lent is a reset and resting place to wrestle. I am not naturally the most self disciplined person. My temperament is sunny and optimistic. “Keep running your race- it’ll all work out!” When I keep running I never stop to acknowledge any pain or problems. I have gone through seasons where I think if I just keep going, the hard stuff will eventually disappear or I’ll have buried it so deep no one could ever find it. Yet eventually I grow weary and burn out. The weight of the hard stuff literally crushes me.

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I believe this is where transformation begins. It is not until we acknowledge our own muck that the Spirit can lead us out of it. It’s in our own muck where the Spirit waits to heal us. To listen.  To say, “Hey- You are not your feelings or thoughts!” To comfort. To bring us out of the darkness and into the light. New light. Refreshed and refined. Not taking with us the things of old, but allowing the Spirit to intercede new peace and joy into our lives. THAT IS SO ENCOURAGING.

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In my journey toward living whole and free- Lent is a gift that provides the space to gently walk through any muck I may have in my heart, mind, and soul. Each year I get stronger dealing with the “hard stuff” and it doesn’t crush me like it used to. It doesn’t feel good, but it’s part of the process to find my inner gold. To let that inner gold shine, I must continue to develop and practice self compassion.  Extend grace to myself when dealing with the “hard stuff.” This Lenten season I have been practicing meditation through lectio divina provided by the The Liturgists. These forty plus days haven’t been easy and at days I resisted because I new waiting there was the hard stuff–but more encouragingly  the Spirit. Just waiting patiently to offer peace and healing. Each day of meditation I have felt the roots of peace growing deeper. This season of Lent, I feel God is rewiring me to the goodness of my true self. My inner gold.img_4324

Holy Saturday in all its darkness, gives me hope because the light is coming. Darkness is defeated. What a glorious truth we don’t have to stay stuck in the hard stuff because light and love has overcome. As I allow myself to breath in this truth, day by day, my inner gold sparkles a little brighter.

But your dead will live, Lord; their bodies will rise— let those who dwell in the dust wake up and shout for joy— your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead. _Isaiah 26:19

 

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Make it beautiful ,

 

Sara

 

 

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Spring just might be my new favorite season

Spring is HERE! Rain, budding gardens, Lent, March Madness, Easter, snow days. Many of my favorite things all in spring.

Captured below are moments during my spring break where I was able to rest and renew and soak up the joy around me.

  1. Had a lovely weekend getaway to Ashville, North Carolina to celebrate my roommate who is getting married this June! #highlyrecommend #sixsusans Tupelo Honey was a definite crowd-pleaser with its homemade southern biscuits and shrimp and grits! 

2. Traveled home for a short trip- long enough for me to squeeze in one of my favorite activities: golfing with Pops. #onpar

3. Quality time with my hometown best Cassie always makes my cup overflow! #faithandgrace  Gumbo Bottoms Ale House is always a must for gathering with my JCMO people.

4. Did I mention she gives the best presents? #palletwinerack

5. SISTER! #soloved

6. Fishing on my cousin’s farm. #needtodothismore

7. Drew caught a perch all by his self! #proudaunt 

8.   Oh Amelia Sue #futureresister #proudaunt 

9.  This has been a dream of mine- to have my whole family attempt a breakout room and WE DID IT! #familythatplaystogetherstaystogether

 

10. So sweet and long overdue for time with my college best Jesslyn. #sororitysistersANDsamecollegemajorsANDroommates

11. Even though I have mostly given up dairy- I can’t help but stop for a chocolate shake at a little diner in Illinois called Little Nashville on my way back to Nashville. #treatyoself 

12. Barefoot season is almost here. #whatarethesepurpleflowers

13.First spinach and kale harvest! This makes me so happy to have my garden growing again! #abundance

14. Nights out with my hometown girls remind me no matter how far I go, love is always near. 

I love spring. Rain washes away the old and cleanses the earth making fresh ground for new life. What a time to be alive.

 

Make it beautiful,

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Sara

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The lie I believed.

At 30, I have never felt more beautiful. I’m single, which is definitely not where I thought I would be at 30. If I am being completely honest, it’s not where I wanted to be at 30. Yet here I am and I am thriving. I am genuinely able to look in the mirror and see beauty and wow of how God has created me. It hasn’t been an easy road to get here. There are lies I picked up and started to believe along my journey. I don’t blame anyone for these lies, they come from a variety of corners in my life.  I always heard that your 20’s is when you “find yourself”, which rings true, but for me my twenties was about finding freedom from the lies I had believed about my image, about what it meant to be a woman, and a follower of Jesus. This may end up being a series, but for now I’ll start here:

Lie: You’ll never get married because of the way you look. #unworthy

“You’re too fat and no amount of exercise and eating right will change that.” This was a lie that was always running through my head as a teen.  I was always very athletic growing up, staying active, playing all the sports, and yet I hardly remember feeling secure about how I looked. Gymnastics made my hams too huge. Soccer made my calves too skinny. Swimming made my shoulders bulky. Then at 15 my chest decided it wasn’t done growing. And grow it did. I remember being so annoyed because I had to change my jump shot to make a way for my budding bosom. I equated being skinny with having lots of friends, a boyfriend, and even being a starter on the basketball team. I’ve never felt comfortable in a bikini, it wasn’t until my late 20’s did I feel like I could rock a one piece. Thanks Landsend.

Throughout my years growing up I thought boys didn’t like me because I always had a little extra that I never seemed to get rid of no matter how hard I tried. Or if they did show interest it had to be only because of that budding bosom. Then there was the constant people pleasing so I would feel like I would always belong and so I always had friends.  This sounds like growing up was super painful, but it wasn’t. I have always had an optimistic outlook on life, but there was definitely always a twinge when I thought about my image and how that tied to my desires of marriage and family. “If only I was a little bit thinner, life would be better.” I thought. This thinking when left unchecked crippled my authenticity and ability to invest in real relationships. I eventually did have a few boyfriends in high school, those relationships fluttered away and the lie stayed.  I give praise for the handful of summers in my 20’s where I had the opportunity to counsel at church camp called “That Camp God and Sex.” (yes it was awesome and I’d be happy to answer your million questions over coffee) I was reminded at this camp over and over again how I am wonderfully made, whole and complete on my own. These summers helped me uproot a lot the negative thoughts about myself and forgive myself for the way I treated my body. I am extremely proud of the shame I have shed along my journey.

But like shame can, it creeps back in when we are weak and worn, stressed, etc. For me it always brings insecurity and fear with it. It’s a sneaky beast and before you know it you find yourself napping way too often to numb the discomfort that’s eating at you. Or literally eating whatever you want because-  “Who really cares?”   When they say comparison is the thief of joy, my hand goes up high. There is temptation to wallow in shame, insecurity, and fear again and jump on that hamster wheel of  “Look at what he/she has” “Why can’t I still lose the weight?” “When is it my turn?”  “If I only looked a little bit more… ” I can remember not swimming a single time in four years at my high school church camp because I was ashamed of what I looked like in a swimsuit- and I love to swim! I can remember being in all my friends weddings throughout the years and comparing myself constantly and running down that negative body shaming rabbit trail.

I know better now. I am so over being exhausted of always slamming myself for what I ate or why I don’t look more like her,  or why that relationship didn’t work.  Yes I still have days where my feelings overwhelm me and shame tries to speak its lies, but those days are fewer and I am stronger. I am stronger at recognizing when and why those feelings are creeping in. I am thankful for the strong warriors of friends and family I am surrounded by who know how to remind me of who I am when I can’t. I have developed healthy ways with shutting the shame and insecurity down. I have found joy in taking care of my body, mind, and soul. Not in a controlling sort of way, but being gentle to myself, and spending more time on my own self care. These acts of self love do not instantly make it all go away, but the Spirit’s always there reminding me, “Carry on, warrior, you are wildly loved.”

When the storm of lies starts to form I combat them with truth:

  • I am made whole and complete.
  • I lack nothing.
  • I have nothing to prove.
  • I am completely loved on my own for exactly who I am .
  • Their yes is not your no.
  •  I am forever accepted, held, and known.

 

Eleanor Roosevelt is noted for saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I have a hard time accepting this because our world does not do a great job of celebrating how beautiful we really are. The pressure to conform and compare-made to feel less than is overwhelming, making it hard to see the beauty in each other.  However, I do think we have a choice in how we react to the images we see and the words we hear and read. I also believe God wants us to be secure because we are created with purpose and for a purpose. Secure in how much we are loved. Secure in our limitless potential. So secure so we are not shaken by our circumstances (or what we see on Instagram or Facebook) and so secure we are able to operate from a place of celebration and abundance, instead of scarcity.

I am on a marathon journey of wholeness and freedom. I no longer believe “I will never get married because of the way I look.” I believe I will get married and find companionship better than I ever dreamed. I believe I am very beautiful.Wonderfully knit. Shame, insecurity, and fear have no place to take root in my heart any longer. Instead, I will water my heart with truth so it will continue to grow in security with deep roots of  hope and love. #worthy

 

Make it beautiful,

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Sara

 

 

 

 

 

PS. How do you love yourself when the storms come? How do you stay remain anchored in security? I love hearing other stories of self love and care- drop me a note!

 

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January 12

I turned 30 a month ago and it was magical. It began at midnight with a phone call from my old camp partner in crime Ben singing and playing me a silly rendition of happy birthday. Then I woke up to the house decorated by my roommate and a gift of the largest jar of popcorn I have ever seen! She knows the way to my heart- take note guys;) At school I was showered with balloons, cookies, and coffee from my colleagues. I also happen to share my birthday with two other teachers, which led to my principal leading the whole school in a sing-a-along of happy birthday! That night my 5 closest Nashville gals treated me to my favorite hang out at Bastion where we shared treats and our favorite memories from the past year.

That Friday my whole family came in town to celebrate! Praise, for ice could not keep them away. I was so grateful for their persistence to beat the weather, especially from my sister. Stephanie kept praying and making plans A-Z of how they would make sure they were there.  BOTH my brothers surprised me by showing up!  I spent ringing in 30 surrounded by my closest friends and family both new and old. Missed a few Missouri gals due to weather, but all in all to have everyone there was THE best gift. We enjoyed the best strawberry cake. (Strawberry? yes strawberry. so incredible. Check out Anne’s Cakes. The night carried on effortlessly. I love when all my worlds collide! The party would not have been complete without a late night jam sesh with my favorite camp counselors. Foot tambourine included. The night was a rich testimony of the sweet fruit of relationships I have cultivated over the years.

The next morning my camp friends gathered for brunch and then they were off to travel back home. I spent the afternoon with my brother and nephews exploring quirky candy shops and listening to the music always spilling out of downtown. The evening concluded with family Christmas at my house. We feasted on Jet’s pizza and left over chocolate cake. I realize how rare it is to have whole families together. This was a damn near miracle. I am so grateful. Now only if I could convince them to move here;)  Through big hugs and little tears everyone was back on the road early the next morning.

It was amazing to me and helpful to them to see my life here in Nashville. It was helpful for them to see the city where I thrive and am full of joy. It’s a joy to me to see them embrace change and new in big ways.

30 is the year of new beginnings. Living loved. Living free. For 2017, I chose the word  freedom to guide me. I am free to live my most authentic self. With the Spirit as my guide,  I am free to show big love unconditionally. With no strings attached, I am free to soar to new loves and passions, new wonders and experiences.

 

My sister and I spent a day over Christmas break having some great quality “sister” time. Thanks Stephie for capturing the beauty of beginning 30.

img_3597img_3596img_3595img_3588img_3589img_3590img_3591img_3592img_3594img_3587img_3586img_3584img_3579Make it beautiful,

Sara

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