Monday, October 6, 2014

"Single Sara"


I’ve always wished for a spell that allowed you to permanently lock in place the effects of a completed chore, or a lesson learned, so that you wouldn’t have to do it more than once. Do you ever finish vacuuming your room and think, “I’ll have to do this again in a week. Why can’t the carpet just stay pretty forever after this one, sweaty, 15 minute sesh I just had?” Changing the cat box? Once was already one too many times for that thing. You’re telling me I’ll have to keep doing lunges and squats forever if I want my buns all firm and perky? Less materially than chores are the moments you want to freeze when you just “get it.” When you look in the mirror and totally accept who you see physically. When you don’t feel a shred of jealousy from your friend’s good news because you honestly are selflessly and utterly happy for her. And the big one for me - when you truly believe that God is good, all the time, which means that wherever He has you in that moment is exactly where you’re meant to be.


But life doesn’t work quite like that does it? I think there must be something to the discipline of cleaning up a messy house every week. And dragging your butt out of bed for a workout not just three days a week or until you see results, but constantly, as a rhythm of release and therapy and increasing in strength. And there’s for sure a reason we don’t learn a lesson once and retain it forever, like robots that were just upgraded to a newer model, our Creator hitting His head and realizing He should have pre-programmed us with more skills and gifts. There’s something to that “thorn in my side” metaphor that (annoyingly, yet beautifully) reminds us that we were never meant to be perfect. And we all have our “things.” And more likely than not, we’ll spend the rest of our lives having to surrender the lies and the hurt and the pain and the ugly parts of who we are, and re-learning the truth and the beauty and the grace that was meant to replace all of it. Sometimes there are seasons of “getting it.” Months and possibly years where the Truths are nested deep in our hearts and we can draw from them quickly and easily. There are other times where we have to start over every morning. A painful reminder that we’re not there yet. And that we can’t always change our hearts and our minds with our own strength. I want to think of this entire process as a gift, but some days all I want to do is chuck that “gift” in the ocean and search for the nearest “EASY” button to press and make everything better.


That’s a lot of build-up for what I was actually wanting to write about. So thanks for sticking with me. I haven’t figured out an eloquent way to verbalize this current struggle of mine so I’ll just say it: being single really, really sucks sometimes. I’ve been single for over 3.5 years now. Minus a few dates here and there and guys who’ve occupied my heart and mind for far too long without a real relationship attached it to. But no boyfriend. No one to bring over to dinner with my family. No one to sit next to me at church when I have no one to go with. No one to hug and kiss goodnight and know that the next day they’ll still want to call and hang out with me. No plus one to my friends’ weddings. Just Single Sara. And yes, that is me throwing a disgustingly pathetic pity party for myself, and allowing my identity to be defined by my relationship status, but those are the sad thoughts I think, and the stupid truths I believe. Not every day, but a lot of days lately. Even writing this makes me mad, because I used to always tell myself I’d never be this person. I’d always be strong and happy and independent even if I wasn’t married by 30, 35, 40, whatever. But since I am human, and therefore not perfect, I haven’t found a way to be fully satisfied no matter where life has me. And I figure there’s a good chance I’m not alone in these feelings either. So I will write from my heart, even when my heart doesn’t look like how I want it to.


While reading “The Meaning of Marriage” (a book I highly recommend for everyone), I came across a quote about singleness that really struck me. The author quoted Paige Benton Brown's article "Singled Out by God for Good" saying, “I am not single because I am too spiritually unstable to possibly deserve a husband, nor because I’m too spiritually mature to possibly need one. I am single because God is so abundantly good to me, because this is His best for me.” Whoa. I’d never heard it like that before. It changes things when you learn to set aside your expectations for where you think you should be in life, or even where the world thinks you should be.

For me, right now, the lesson I have to continually re-learn is trusting that God is good, all the time. No matter what. No matter how I feel or where I am in life. Because when I remember He is good, that means His plan for my life is better than my own. That He knows the best and perfect timing for every chapter I am to experience. And in those moments, I get it. There is peace and assurance and hope, even if I know I might have to go through all of this again tomorrow. Thank goodness God never said, “get it right this once or else.” Instead He says, “pick up your cross daily, come to me all of you who are weary and burdened and you will find rest for your souls.” Amen.


From my heart,
Sara B.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

From NSFW to SFW

Lulu's top, Forever21 tank dress, Old Navy booties

Well helloooo there! Man, I almost forgot how this thing works it's been so long. There's so much to say and clearly not enough time (or space) so I'm gonna keep it real simple and say that I hope to be back soon :) 

While my heart has been hoping to use this space more for writing and less for fashion, I had an idea for something (a potential series?) that could possibly be helpful to some of you! So outfit post it is to welcome me back to the blog world. 

Lately I've been trying to get real creative with outfits to keep me from shopping, and I've realized my closet has a lot more possibilities than I give it credit for. I'm sure I'm not alone when I admit I've bought an item - or passed up on one entirely - that in my mind has no place in the classy, "normal" outfit-wearing world. For example: crop tops, backless shirts or dresses, bathing suit cover-ups, etc. Things you would never wear to work or to meet your boyfriend's parents or to anything that you wouldn't want people thinking you're dressed totes inapropes for the occasion. So then we assign different clothes for different events, and hardly stray from those rules in our mind, which keeps us from being creative with how many different ways we can actually wear something.

That's a lot of words to say: in this case, I took a somewhat backless top and threw it over a simple, casual dress so I could wear it to work since it never sees the light of day otherwise. The day before that, I wore a crop top that I had really only labeled as my "Stagecoach shirt" with a high-waisted skirt  and am proud to say I felt totally appropriate leaving the house in it. So I'm hoping to post a few more of these kind of looks in case it helps you get creative with the clothes you have. I miss you guys and this place a lot. Have the very best day, I'll try not to stay away as long next time ;)








xoxo 
Sara B.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Stuck


This space - and the activity of blogging - has become such an area of contention for me lately. Feelings of longing swirled with obligation and disappointment enter my heart every time I remember my blog and how long it's been since the last time I've written. It's hard to filter the voices to find which is the right one. The one telling me to be more disciplined and return to a passion of mine, the one telling me to give myself grace and let it go, the one from others saying I should start my blog back up again. And then there's the reality of time and what I'm physically even able to accomplish every day. I have a full-time job, relationships to maintain, weekend plans and getaways. It's hard to believe there was a time when I knew how to balance all that plus a blog, because lately it has seemed impossible.

But after a few months away, I started to learn that "giving myself a break" actually came at a cost. It was a slow seep into a stagnant every day rut that took me weeks to pinpoint. I felt it most at work. I have felt uninspired and lethargic and mostly kinda "meh." It's not a feeling of sadness or depression, just a a feeling one might have when you're running (or maybe walking in my case) on a treadmill and recognizing you're not actually going anywhere. You're stuck.

After dropping several outside commitments and hobbies of mine in the name of rest, I realized that ironically the things I gave up so I could have a life were the very things that were providing me with life to begin with. They were things that benefitted other people besides myself. Projects that ignited my creativity and made me excited. Challenges I conquered and felt a sense of accomplishment after the fact. It's no wonder I'm experiencing feelings of unfulfillment in other areas of my life when I stopped pursuing the things that were most true to the core of who I am.

In all this I had an important revelation that I had lost sight of somewhere along the way. I can best summarize it in a quote that you no doubt have pinned on your Pinterest quote board somewhere, but it's truth is profound and crucial for the way we conduct our lives: "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman. As much as I love certain aspects of my job and what I do there, I was not made to do PR. That isn't what makes me feel alive (don't worry co-workers who might be reading this, I'm not quitting). What I do in those 8-10 hours I'm at work every day is probably not going to change the world. But the things that light me up inside and make me feel invigorated? The things I was born to do? Pursuing those things might actually change the world. And I don't want to lose site of that because I have tunnel vision towards my next paycheck. I owe it to myself and to the world to pursue the unique person I was created to be.

So I'll start small. With this new post that took me way too long to write. With the discipline to actually get up early and run this morning. And with a commitment to not forget about the things I was born to do, but instead to push forward with a tenacious heart that recognizes the weight and beauty of the perfectly individual calling that was placed on my life. It's time for me to get un-stuck.

(And because it's been awhile, here are a few pretty snapshots from my life these past months):








From my heart,
Sara B.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tres Chic


Hi! Welp, I chopped my hair and thought that was a worthy reason to pop back into the blog. I was ready for a change and am real happy I didn't end up chickening out. I'm thankful I have a hairstylist I love and trust so much too (her name is Tera Tanner and she works at Proper Hair in Costa Mesa if you're searching for one!) Change is good for the soul guys (I really wanted to use "y'all" there but felt like way too much of an imposter. It's my goal to work that into a real sentence of mine at some point this year).

I hope your 2014 is off to a good start so far. Did you pick a word for your year by any chance? In the past I've spent more time talking about this (see here for 2012 and 2013's words), but this year I thought I would briefly share my word for now. Perhaps for added accountability, or just to encourage you to participate in this practice if you're willing. But the word that clearly came to me for this year was "Rest." To those that know me well, it's not surprising that I'm pretty much always busy. It's a trait I've come to really dislike in myself, yet I'm never quite sure how to go about changing it. I think for starters I have to get real comfortable with the word 'no.' More importantly, I need to recognize that it's less about turning something or someone down, but rather about saying 'yes' to a life for myself that embodies balance, purpose, grace, and calm. In return, I can pour a much better version of myself into the things I do choose to keep on my calendar.

The second aspect of "rest" that struck me this year has to do with letting go of my frantic and futile attempts to better myself on my own, and instead resting in the restorative and transformative love and peace found in Jesus. How I want to be someone that rests in Him first and foremost. 

Please let me know if you chose a word for your year. I would love to hear it. Have a very happy weekend :)




Forever 21 'Tres Chic' sweater, Old Navy jeans, No Rest for Bridget jacket, Zara shoes (old), Zou Styles clutch (c/o)

xoxo,
Sara B.

Photos by Miss Kelsey

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sequins Forever

Forever 21 top + blazer, Old Navy jeans (similar), Alloy shoes (similar)

Every time I go to buy something with sequins, I think that I must be making a terrible, impractical mistake. That one human should not own so many sparkly objects in their closet. But then every time I wear them I'm reminded that sequins are always a good choice. They make me so happy (see this photo for evidence). I love finding ways to incorporate them into everyday outfits and don't even mind all the "it's no longer NYE" comments I get ;) Happy Monday friends!




Photos by Kelsey

xoxo
Sara B.