Life


LIFEIt’s Valentine’s Day 2014. The day that reminds us of love, romance and all those sweet little things that come with it. This is my official, unofficial Valentine’s Day post. It’s not about the love and dreamy stuff that most people are thinking about today. I have never been much of a Valentine fanatic and having more than a few stuffed animals has always seemed like a big waste of fake fur to me. So, I’m sharing what’s in my heart, but it’s not necessarily the warm, fuzzy and romantic stuff.

I started my Valentine’s Day post about two weeks ago in my head. The topic was supposed to be “Love”—with an emphasis on special needs parents (and any parent for that matter) protecting their marriage and putting it first. But as I got closer and closer to Valentine’s Day, the words wouldn’t come. This is the only word rolling around in my head right now “Life”. I am re-reading a book in which the protagonist is questioning his life and that ever popular phrase “Life. Be in it”. Well, I’m really in it right now and so are many of my friends.

Thoughts spring to those facing serious illnesses and life changing events. Some are happy with what they have found in life so far and others are still searching. Many of us are approaching middle age and it seems almost impossible to imagine. We now have mortgages, babies, and real jobs. The other day I counted the years and couldn’t believe how much time has passed since college and dare I say it—high school. I found myself wondering about so many people I knew long ago; wondering how they fared and if they are well. I do hope so.

This thing called life is pretty incredible and I am enjoying it as best as I know how. There is an ebb and flow that can be counted on but not predicted. Seasons come and go and we never get them back. So, I am trying to take more time to stop, love and appreciate. How? By hugging my girls a little bit longer and probably way too tight. By telling my husband thank you for the little things and making sure he’s listening when I say he’s appreciated. By sitting still and giving the time to friends who need an ear to listen—even if it throws off a schedule or allows the girls time to rip the house apart. By enjoying the beauty of a cloudy day just as much as a sunny one.

Love is all around us today and so is life. With its crazy ups and downs we have so much that we could complain about. But why? We don’t always get the story that we thought would be written. But you know what? That’s okay for me. I don’t want to waste time thinking about things that could have been or asking crazy questions of why? I want to appreciate who I am, where I am and what I am as much as I possibly can.

My special needs daughter turned four this week and I am still celebrating, smiling and remembering the day that we brought her home. We’re not living the life that we planned, but it’s still a good one. If you’re like me, your story may not be unfolding as you hoped. But I think that’s a part of it. Whether it’s going the way you planned or not, are you leaning toward what means the most to you? What are you grasping a hold of and appreciating right now in this thing we call life?

Comments

  1. Maryann
    • February 28, 2014
    • 2:06 pm
    • Reply

    This post was great, even though it was not what you had intended when you started. I agree with celebrating all that you have!

  2. Missy
    • February 27, 2014
    • 8:20 pm
    • Reply

    I don’t think anyone’s life really goes as planned. I know mine definitely hasn’t! I never dreamed I would be 30 years old, unmarried, without children, & basically living in an efficiency apartment. I am working as hard as I can on those things & I know I will get there one day. All that matters is that I’m trying & I will have the life I want one day.

  3. Christina Brockett
    • February 26, 2014
    • 8:28 pm
    • Reply

    Life rarely goes as planned. The key really is to appreciate the moment- often hard to do when in the throws of the normal day-to-day.

    Thanks so much for your post, because sometimes we all need a little reminding.

  4. Aishah
    • February 26, 2014
    • 7:39 pm
    • Reply

    As my youngest, and most likely last, child approaches his 2nd birthday with what is know as the “terrible twos” in full swing, I find myself enjoying his little antics. I know I’ll miss them. My 3 year old’s incessant chatter. The funny, random things my kids say. I love it all. I have grown a lot in the past year on a journey to find myself. I’m still working on me but I appreciate life so much more and I’m more present and mindful. Thank you for sharing. I’m sure many people can relate. 🙂

  5. Jill
    • February 26, 2014
    • 7:18 pm
    • Reply

    I’ve been working for 3 years to reinvent my life, relaunch it, feel the stuff, all of it, deal with it and heal it so I can move on. With love, in love, radiating love and I’m getting closer every single day. I don’t waste time complaining. Or it’s really rare. Nowadays, I ask what’s the lesson I’m supposed to be learning? What’s the lesson? What’s the silver lining? Thank you for an uplifting post.

  6. Gina
    • February 26, 2014
    • 3:24 pm
    • Reply

    Love this!
    Sabrina, I am not the mother of a special needs child but I can relate to life not unfolding as I had hoped. I especially admire your optimism. Life is what we make it, to some degree. I hope your inspiration reaches far and encourages others to see the beauty right where they are right now. Your child is blessed to have you for a Mom. 🙂

  7. Alyssa
    • February 26, 2014
    • 12:12 pm
    • Reply

    What a beautiful post! It’s always good to remember, in the midst of everything, to stop and “smell the roses” and remember that things don’t always work out the way we had planned, but they work out exactly how they should. Happy belated birthday to your daughter, by the way 🙂

  8. Marie
    • February 25, 2014
    • 11:17 pm
    • Reply

    Very good reflective post . As I get older the word intentional come to mind. We need to be intentional in our interactions with others. Life can get so busy that it’s easy to get sidetracked and before you know it your little ones are grown and moving out of the house. Along with them goes the chance to cuddle one more time or hold their hand or comfort them when they’re scared. Be intentional now in showing your love. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Christine Boulware
    • February 25, 2014
    • 10:04 pm
    • Reply

    Life is definitely full of surprises and some surprises are easier to understand than others. Raising a special needs child, on the surface is unbelievably hard. There’s no playbook and it seems you are judged and advised by everyone, most of whom have no experience that informs their opinions. However, when you think about your child, really think about your child as a human being, an amazing person, you begin to see what a treasure your child really is…and you fall in love, every day.

  10. Amanda E
    • February 25, 2014
    • 9:42 pm
    • Reply

    Well written. This post brought tears to my eyes…

    “There is an ebb and flow that can be counted on but not predicted. Seasons come and go and we never get them back. So, I am trying to take more time to stop, love and appreciate. “… let this be said of me!

    I will hug a little longer and take the time to appreciate and enjoy life more fully! Thank you!

  11. Leslie
    • February 25, 2014
    • 7:18 pm
    • Reply

    It is so easy to get caught up in the bills, chores, etc… But I love our little life. We have two precious kiddies and one little one on the way!! Thanks for sharing. And I know completely how it is to start posts weeks (or even months) before in your head 🙂

  12. Marty
    • February 25, 2014
    • 4:44 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing. I agree – life should be appreciated for the now. No looking back. We are alive, we are lucky.

  13. Ces
    • February 25, 2014
    • 1:13 am
    • Reply

    Life may not turn out the way you planned, but it seems you found happiness amidst all the challenges. Like you said, you couldn’t stop smiling as you think about the day your brought your daughter home. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that matter more. I hope your daughter enjoyed her birthday! 🙂

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 25, 2014
      • 9:15 am
      • Reply

      Cecille,

      She had a great day even though we were snowed in. Yes, I am trying to find as much happiness I can in the midst of the challenges I didn’t expect.

  14. Julie@teachinggoodeaters
    • February 24, 2014
    • 10:15 pm
    • Reply

    I wonder if anyone’s life turns out as they planned! I know that mine certainly has not. I also can relate to what you said in the beginning of the post about planning to write about one thing, but the words just don’t come… I’ve had that struggle lately and it’s kept me from writing. Perhaps I just need to let go of what I think I should be writing about, and just write.

  15. Audrey
    • February 24, 2014
    • 9:24 pm
    • Reply

    Good for you for slowing down and places emphasis on things that matter. I need to do that more often.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 25, 2014
      • 8:04 am
      • Reply

      Don’t we all. It’s not always easy but I don’t like what I see when I’m racing by too fast to enjoy anything.

  16. Jill
    • February 24, 2014
    • 7:59 pm
    • Reply

    Life may not turn out as we imagined, but there is joy to be found everywhere and making the most of any situation.

  17. Becky
    • February 24, 2014
    • 11:59 am
    • Reply

    Yes, we don’t always get the story we thought we would get. But you’re right–it’s okay! Good post!

  18. April
    • February 24, 2014
    • 12:07 am
    • Reply

    I really appreciate how you equate love with life, “Love is all around us today and so is life. With its crazy ups and downs we have so much that we could complain about. But why? ” Exactly. Why complain? We have so much to be thankful for in life – and when we choose to love that is just an added bonus blessing for us and all those around us.

  19. Yolanda
    • February 23, 2014
    • 9:11 am
    • Reply

    This is such a Feel Good post. I love the way you view the world. Thank you for sharing your story and best wishes to your beautiful family.

  20. Tracy @ Using Time Wisely
    • February 22, 2014
    • 10:28 pm
    • Reply

    Life is a journey of ups and downs. Finding the good is sometimes difficult, but seeing a positive can turn the situation around. My daughter was dealing with a difficult teacher, she was encouraged to smile when it got really bad. She followed those instructions as her teacher would comment on her big smile at pickup. This information allowed me to talk through the difficulty and help her through her K5 year. Whew! We survived and are on the other side now. So, finding a positive really does help on this journey of life. Keep smiling!

  21. Heather McD
    • February 22, 2014
    • 3:33 pm
    • Reply

    This is a great reflective post. I have been thinking a lot of these thoughts myself lately. I had to have surgery and get a hysterectomy at 29. We always said we would have a minimum of 4 children and we only have 3. Even though life isn’t what I expected at 29, it is okay. I love my family. I love my husband. I love my kids. Life rarely turns out like you expected it to turn out.

  22. Wren
    • February 22, 2014
    • 1:04 pm
    • Reply

    Sabrina, thank you for the lovely photo of your precious child…and for sharing your perspectives. It is quite amazing how the way we see life can be impacted not only by what happens to us, but by how we choose to think about it and process it. Sharing time and love with those closest to us are indeed the key.

  23. Wren
    • February 22, 2014
    • 1:02 pm
    • Reply

    I adore the photo of your precious daughter. Thank you for sharing a part of your story! Like you, I have thought a lot about life over the past 14 months….and about love for the past 5. I had two serious surgeries in the fall of 2012 (completely unplanned, I might add). Walking out the recovery process has pretty much changed most of my life. Yet b/c I’ve had to stop and heal—-I’ve had the opportunity to really be thankful for my life and my relationships.

    Bless you, Sabrina–and your family!

  24. MommyLES
    • February 22, 2014
    • 8:01 am
    • Reply

    The life I have right now is not something that I have imagined or planned. I never thought that I will experience failed marriage and I have no plans of getting into another relationship after my failed marriage. But I believe the Creator has other plans for me, I have met a new partner and we’ve been together for almost a decade now. There are struggles and challenges, but it’s still up to you on how you choose to live your life.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 25, 2014
      • 9:46 pm
      • Reply

      Absolutely! Isn’t funny how we have our best laid plans and they are changed at a moments notice. Our plans aren’t always His plans.

  25. Bernadette
    • February 21, 2014
    • 4:42 pm
    • Reply

    I love the perspective. For me, I’m living in a space where it is perfectly okay to want what I want. I can totally be happy with what I have (a wonderful husband, a great job, a comfortable home, two amazing dogs) AND I can be upset about what hasn’t worked out. I can appreciate having the means to go out and adopt a child tomorrow AND I can be extremely sad that I have not been able to have a child with my husband. Embracing it all. And being an active author in my life and putting my life intentions out there because sometimes, acknowledging the upset and disappointment helps to unearth what you are truly about at the core when the going gets rough. I choose to live in my life fully – the appreciative good stuff and the bratty “but I want that too” “bad” stuff (smile). Great post! Thought provoking.

  26. Lori
    • February 21, 2014
    • 4:12 pm
    • Reply

    I am trying to enjoy my daughter as much as I can before she starts school next year. We have a lot going on (as does everyone), but I noticed I was saying “not now” to my kids way too often.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 7, 2014
      • 12:39 pm
      • Reply

      I like that “not now” comment; shows how much–probably too much–we are putting the brakes on things that THEY may need. Your comment made me pause and think about how much I say not now.

  27. Jasmine @ LearningWithMom.org
    • February 21, 2014
    • 1:02 pm
    • Reply

    I needed to read this! I have 3 kids ages 0-3 and I get so overwhelmed that I just want to check out sometimes. I need to be in the moment. These days are passing us by so quickly!
    Thanks for the reminder to be more present. =)

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 7, 2014
      • 12:37 pm
      • Reply

      Aren’t they passing quickly! And there is so much too do that it’s hard to stop. Keep staying in the moment. You can do it.

  28. Val
    • February 20, 2014
    • 7:41 pm
    • Reply

    About 6 years ago I started working on living with no regrets. Never being sorry I hadn’t spent time with this person or never told this person how I felt. We had a major life changing event happen a year after I’d made up my mind to live that way and it helped us get through a really rough time. There is always a ton of negative and always will be. Choosing to enjoy the amazing gifts we have isn’t always easy but it’s a really fun choice 🙂

    Happy birthday to your daughter!

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 21, 2014
      • 8:11 am
      • Reply

      Val, it seems like you made that change just in time to get you prepared for that big life changing event. Aren’t things just better when we CHOOSE to see and enjoy the simple gifts we already have?

  29. Cindy
    • February 20, 2014
    • 4:56 pm
    • Reply

    I really feel like life is going to take us where we are meant to go. even the good things that happened to me I never would have expected.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 7, 2014
      • 12:37 pm
      • Reply

      Yes, I agree.

  30. Amy
    • February 20, 2014
    • 11:31 am
    • Reply

    Oh, boy! Can I relate to this!!! My life is nowhere NEAR what I thought it would be! Also, I wonder sometimes about people I knew in high school. I wonder what they are doing and HOW they are doing. Then I wonder if they think of me as often as I think of them, and I certainly hope not! 🙂

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • March 7, 2014
      • 12:36 pm
      • Reply

      You certainly hope not. LOL. Is that a good or bad thing? With Facebook it’s not too hard to find people. But some people probably need to remain an afterthought. Thanks for stopping by Amy.

  31. Shelah
    • February 19, 2014
    • 10:40 pm
    • Reply

    That was inspiring! It reminded me of what Paul said in I Thessalonians 5:18, “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. He said to give thanks IN ALL circumstances, whether it be ideal or crappy.. Thanks for the reminder, Sabrina!

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 20, 2014
      • 9:17 am
      • Reply

      Thank you. I hadn’t thought about the reference to Paul; maybe that’s were my mind was leaning.

      • Shelah
        • February 21, 2014
        • 8:09 pm
        • Reply

        It’s amazing how the wisest principles about living our lives always come back to what the Bible says.

  32. DeDe@DesignedDecor
    • February 19, 2014
    • 10:15 pm
    • Reply

    Life is never as you plan it. We all have dreams and visions of how our life will be, but we don’t control it. We can only make the most of the things that are presented to us.

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 20, 2014
      • 9:18 am
      • Reply

      Well said DeDe!

  33. Paula H
    • February 19, 2014
    • 4:14 pm
    • Reply

    Such a reflective post. I think there are very few people who can say their stories are unfolding as they’d hoped. I know mine didn’t, but i’m totally fine with that. Its so important to take a step back and be thankful for where you are in life as it all goes by so very quickly. Happiness is choice regardless of your circumstances 🙂

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 19, 2014
      • 4:45 pm
      • Reply

      Paula,

      You are so right. I like what you said about happiness being a choice. A lot of people may not agree, but I think it is so true.

  34. Carol Kus
    • February 19, 2014
    • 1:18 pm
    • Reply

    I can definitely relate to your story Sabrina! I really can’t think of anything that has unfolded in my life the way I had envisioned. My youngest daughter was always very sickly. She also lost all of her hair at 3 years old and it has never grown back. As she grew, her health challenges (including Celiac) were eclipsed by the emotional devastation of not having hair (even though she really is one of the most beautiful people I know!). She’s 19 now, and her teenage years have been a huge challenge for her and for our family. I wouldn’t wish some of the things we’ve been through on anyone, but I’m also at a point where I wouldn’t trade anything for the growth and wisdom that have come out the dark, painful times! I lean on my faith and take nothing for granted. I express my love and my gratitude for the abundance of love, family, friends, and support that I have in my life….every single day 🙂

    • Sabrina
      Sabrina
      • February 19, 2014
      • 4:47 pm
      • Reply

      Carol–what a story! With peer pressure and bullying I can’t imagine what your family has gone through. How is your daughter now?

      • Carol Kus
        • February 25, 2014
        • 9:22 pm
        • Reply

        It’s really funny, before this past Saturday, I would say ‘not good at all’. She’s had an extremely rough time the last 3 years. But…..that all changed Saturday morning! She woke up knowing she should go into her job as a host at a restaurant without her wig. (She just felt like she needed to….and if she didn’t stop hiding behind her wig that day….she’d never do it!)
        It went incredibly well!!! She used to be embarrassed to be seen without her wigs. But now…she’s confident and she feels like she can use the wigs as accessories, instead of something to hide herself in shame. That’s a huge miracle! She has a 300+ person following on instagram for her style when she wears her “alternative-looking-blue-haired-wig” and I’m trying to convince her to start a blog!! She definitely has a message to share, and she could help to encourage so many other young people.

  35. Lynnette
    • February 19, 2014
    • 1:26 am
    • Reply

    Juliana, thank you so much for this message on gratitude. Right now, I am thankful for my home life, my health and my “Now”. I have conditioned myself to enjoy living in the moment. I am thankful for so many things. Gratitude keeps the heart in check!

  36. Joleen Tawfik
    • February 18, 2014
    • 11:47 pm
    • Reply

    My life is nothing like I imagined. It sure isn’t anything like I planned when I moved here to Indianapolis to be with my fiancé. So many things have happened since then that I never imagined. Good, Bad, and downright ugly but I wake up every day. I have two beautiful daughters, a fiancé who will be my husband in a few short months and that is what keeps me going. The vision I have after losing it for some time is what I appreciate more than anything. I may only have one functioning eye but I am able to see my girls grow up and that is all I need.

  37. Renae @Launderlife
    • February 18, 2014
    • 8:45 pm
    • Reply

    Happy birthday to your daughter. The moments are so much richer when we are actually present in them. Becoming a parent has me grasping to feel as many moments as I can. It goes so fast and I don’t want the next 20 years to just pass by. I want to live! Beautiful, real post. Thank you.

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