I met Sarah during my freshman year of college - I was personally in a time of serious turmoil and was even filling out applications to transfer to a different school. Sarah lived in the same dorm as me, and her neighbors and roommate were all so close. They took me in and reminded me how to have fun :) We have been close friends ever since. And drumroll, she's getting married this weekend!!! I'm teary just thinking about it. We've grown so much in the past six years, and our friendship has been such a blessing. (She's even featured on the blog here!) Sarah is a natural leader, and a rock-steady friend. I'm thrilled to get to introduce her to you!
Tell us about yourself! Hello lovelies! My name is Sarah Boleslawski, but I am oh-so-happy that in just 3 short days, I will become MRS Sarah Brooks! Much less of a mouthful… I am currently employed for a wonderful software company, BoardVantage, that‘s based out of Menlo Park, CA. Luckily, I work from the DFW area, so I still get to call Texas “home sweet home”. I was born and raised in the northern part of H-town (Houston for non-locals) and went to school in Abilene, at ACU, where I met the lovely Mrs. Knight (We even lived together for a year!). I love, love, love, anything to do with puppies. I love puppy breath, puppy ears, puppy paws… just about everything. I have a rockin’ group of girls, and a studly fiancé (Aaron), who are my steady community and my sanity over the years. I am a proud aunt of 6, and couldn’t have asked for a better, or crazier, family (including my new family-to-be).
What inspires you? I am most inspired by music, dance, and writing. Even when I’m in the worst of moods, a great song full of passion and emotion can turn my day around. I cry a lot when I listen to music, whether it’s happy or sad, but especially when it’s some great worship music (I’ve even cried listening to “The Climb”, embarrassingly enough). Dance has always inspired me – to pursue dreams, to take care of myself, and to make it through trials I don’t understand. I’m also an avid journal-er and writer.
What are your gifts and talents? One thing my close friends and family always tell me is that I am a GREAT gift opener… apparently, I always seem like every gift I get is the best one ever, and it makes me laugh because I don’t notice it. I honestly am so thankful for anything I ever receive, especially because I prefer to be the giver. I also think that because of the way I grew up, I’m pretty good at seeing another person’s point of view. My favorite thing to remind myself is of perspective – it’s so important to put yourself in another’s shoes, and try to see things from more than one direction.
How do you use your gifts to serve others? I think it’s important to use my gifts to show others that they are not alone, or that their ideas aren’t necessarily wrong or ridiculous – because of our life experiences, God has given each one of us a different and unique perspective on life, which makes life SO wonderful and exciting! I also hope that the way I receive gifts continues to give others as much joy as I get myself from them!
What would you do if you had nothing holding you back from your dreams? If I could right this minute, I would open an inner city dance school. It would be a place where kids can come and learn about themselves and their body in a positive light. I would show them that you can worship and feel and heal through dance, and that there is always a safe place for them there. I would also love to work with kids who are orphaned or have been displaced in the future. I’ve thought a lot about foster care or adoption, and I’m excited to see where God leads Aaron and me as we build a family together.
Tell us about a season of suffering that lead to good things in your life. I had to think a lot about this question. I often tell Aaron that I worry something terrible is around the corner, since our lives are so good and full of exciting things. He always reminds me that living in constant fear of what could be ahead is a terrible way to live, and means that you’re not trusting in God, no matter how much you say you are. I have turned into someone who worries about everything; how the plane will stay in the sky, bumps I feel on my skin, if I’m going to be skinny enough on our honeymoon, and if someone I love will be hurt on their way home from work. It’s become a terrible habit, and has been detrimental to my spirit. It’s funny how something so small can create havoc so large on our bodies and self-image. Worry isn’t just an emotion; it affects the way we live, and can keep us from incredible experiences God wants us to have.
So my prayer for you (and myself) is this; do not worry about tomorrow. Live your life and pray to accept and start each day with wisdom and grace. Your hearts deepest desires, your hurts and fears can be given to someone who actually can comfort you and give you rest and ease of mind. Even when life takes an ugly turn, part of having faith and following Christ is the knowledge that this world isn’t our home, in the deepest part of our being. If I did not have faith that Christ has already made a home for me with him for eternity, I don’t think I would have the strength to turn on the morning news, or vote in our country’s elections. As controlling as I would like to be sometimes, I am so incredibly thankful that I don’t have control of my life, or anyone else’s life around me. Remember that when bad things happen, God doesn’t create those events or stage them in your life, but he can take the pieces and create something wonderful and comforting in time, if you let Him.
I know that Aaron and I will face many trials ahead in our marriage, but I luckily have found a man that wants to go into battle with me, because let’s face it; we are in spiritual warfare everywhere we look. He fears and loves the Lord as much as I do, and through this, and trusting in Gods promise, I know that we’ll be okay. Whatever comes.
Share your proudest moment. There is a work going on in Honduras that is very close to my heart. I’ve worked with Mission Lazarus for over 10 years now, and had the opportunity to bring others from ACU with me a few years ago. When I started, it was just about 5 people. Then over the years, more and more grew interest. Some of my closest friends ended up staying for years, or interning over the summer. This past year, my dear friend Sarah led a group of over 20 college kids to Mission Lazarus to help the community there. As always, I heard stories of how ML actually changed these students hearts, and I am so thankful and proud that this tradition has carried on, and that students are finding themselves, and purpose through serving others. I know it’s not a moment, but I really could not think of an opportunity better than this that God has used me for so far.
I feel my purpose in life is to... love others deeply.
“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14
To meet more Rubies, check out the rest of The Ruby Project!
All images via That's Pretty Ace