It’s Day 26 of being back to blogging, and though I’m unsure about a lot of things right now, one thing I’m certain of is that I’m fully living Pink Collar Service on Purpose. That’s basically my version of At Work on Purpose –– for women. To be perfectly honest, there are days now that I’ve transitioned from running my business –– Pink Collar Savvy & Chic –– full-time to my new role as a Women’s Center Director that make me wonder how I’m going to do it all. Be a wife, mother, author, blogger, life coach, leader, Zumba teacher and maintain my walk with Christ. Then, in the midst of serving all these ways, in ministering to others, I feel that Every. Single. Thing. on my own journey is being put to use blessing another woman and know to the very core of my being that I’m doing exactly what God created me to do in just the way He designed me to do it. And I’m in awe and wonder that I’m fully living my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose.
Am I still exhausted and a bit overwhelmed? Yes, but it’s the best kind of worn out. I want my life to be poured out and used up serving and showing others the love of Christ so that they too can live their best lives. I got to do that for a woman over the last two days in a way that will impact me forever and Lord willing her for an eternity. Thinking on that restores me and inspires me to serve another day….That doesn’t mean I’m not ready for bed, though!
What about you? Are you giving of your time, talent and treasure to bless and minister to others? Through work, volunteering or in another capacity? If you are, chances are you may end up like me –– too zonked to go to Zumba and too done for a date night with your significant other –– but you’ll sleep well knowing you’ve been emptied out to fill someone else’s cup by living Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Service on Purpose.
It’s Day 22 of being back to blogging, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are asking others, Give me your heart. Most often, this is a romantic request. For me, working in the social service industry as a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter for women and children, my prayer has been that God give me His heart –– for the hurting. Daily I work with those the world considers “the least of these” and am learning such valuable lessons on servant leadership. The most impactful one is viewing them from His perspective. The addicts, those with developmental disabilities, the mentally ill, the poverty stricken, the promiscuous, the traumatized. I look at them and see them as God’s beloved daughters and precious children. They are beautiful and lovely to me. Because God has somehow answered my prayer and given me His heart.
Not only do I feel as though my prayer has been answered, I’m humbled to know that others see it as well. In dealing with a situation regarding one of the non-compliant residents, I basically expressed what my dear Aunt Birdy used to –– If not for the grace of God, there go I. That realization allowed me to move from a place of judgement to one of empathy. Witnessing this, one of the amazing staff members I inherited teared up and said something that let me know I’ve been granted what I really desire this Valentine’s Day. “You really do have a heart for them.”
My prayer is that all of us who work in social service/ministry would be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and demonstrate our Father’s heart for the ones we serve. What a beautiful expression of His love…
It’s Day 21 of being back to blogging and I’ve just finished getting groceries, gas and gearing up for the work week. All of my career, I’ve been adamant about getting any items that needed to be done for the week out of the way on the weekend. The thought of working all day, then trudging through the supermarket or almost running out of gas on the commute leave me exhausted and ready to for bed. And waking up to the decision of what to wear, only to find that the outfit is dirty, damaged or doesn’t fit anymore is one of my worst nightmares. It’s not that I’m that annal about what I wear…Wait, who am I kidding? I really am that annal/OCD! Besides it causing an extreme amount of stress, it usually result in running late as well. My hubby thinks I’m a bit over the top about the whole preparing for the work week (and each day), but I’m a better wife, mother, leader, employee and even Christ follower when I’m taken care of my business. Then I can relax and enjoy the rest of my weekend and/or evening. Like tonight with all of this plus housework and blogging done, I’ll be able to enjoy Victoria and my latest novel before bedtime…The point is, I’m a huge advocate of getting the groceries, gas and getting in gear for the work week!
Getting in gear for the work week includes getting my work outfit ready. As a Women’s Center Director with two standing Monday meetings –– one a house meeting with all of the residents first thing and the other with our team of counselors and case managers, I go approachable, pulled together professional. Setting my outfit out the night before as well as prepping my agenda for the first meeting on Friday helps me to start the week off calm and confident. Not only do I stage this outfit, I pack my bag for Zumba afterward and throw it in the car in case I have to stay late at the office. This ensures I can go straight to my workout when I do get off work.
If you’re anything like me, your personal and professional life can throw in some unforeseen variables. So why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and plan what we can ahead of time? Doing so will not only help you be balanced, it will also help you be the best version of yourself and those you serve. Just another benefit of getting the groceries, gas and in gear for the work week.
It’s Day 17 of Service on Purpose (this replaces the On Purpose Project) and my day consisted of church, teaching Zumba, blogging, books and coaching a new client to build a writer’s website. Though I’ve been blogging consistently for over a year, I still consider myself a novice. Even so, I’m intentional about living out my purpose –– using my strengths to coach, encourage and inspire others –– and am willing to give it a try. Still supporting a fellow writer and Swan Sister to build her writing website definitely felt like a bit of a stretch for me….I’ve done it and so am not an imposter, however, doubts regarding my ability to coach her through the process plaqued me as I prepped. If you’re anything like me you may have experienced how it’s sometimes easier to do something than to show someone else how to do it. Considering my qualms, I felt such gratitude when this morning’s sermon talked about how serving and helping someone else helps us to grow our capacity. It may even help us to reach the next level. I’m not an expert on any of the above tasks, but I am willing to utilize the experience, knowledge and skill I do have to bless others…In turn, maybe I’ll be blessed with my blogging, books and building a writer’s website.
In the end, we had a wonderful session. Not without it’s bumps, but those had more to do with the host site not cooperating than me not knowing what I was doing! My client was satisfied with the progress we made and she even sent me a text stating how much she learned and appreciated the information and coaching. And with that, she quieted any niggling doubts that remained.
She also confirmed what the sermon and my spirit say to me. We don’t have to be SMEs –– Subject Matter Experts –– but we do have to be SMEs ––– Someone Making Effort –– to serve others. When we belly up to that, God will level up not only our capacity but our confidence for the next time around. If we’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and faithful to serve, He’ll cause us to soar. Be that blogging, writing a book, building a writer’s website or whatever acts of service He calls us to.
It’s Day 15 of being back to blogging and I’m sad to share a woman’s story of how she committed self-sabotage. Many of us who are in the social service field/ministry or any helping profession feel called to do the work because we long to make a difference in the lives of others. For me, doing so with women allows me to fulfill my purpose. I feel so blessed that I’m now in a position as a Women’s Center Director where I’m able to assist the ladies who reside in our shelter to achieve transformational change and sustainable success. Homelessness is often the main barrier that brings them to us, but usually they have ended up that way due to multiple barriers. Finding housing for the residents and their children that is often a challenge. So when a single woman with a child and a myriad of physical, emotional, financial, and relational issues turns down an apartment because she’d prefer to wait for something more to her liking, she’s committed self-sabotage.
Another instance of this is when a woman is offered an affordable studio option –– newly renovated and furnished –– with rent based on her limited income and physical barriers to employment, but she would rather go back to coach surfing while she tries to get a job that pays enough for the exorbitant rent on an upscale apartment with amenities. Even when told she can sign a short term lease on the studio while she addresses her health issues and searches for a job, she’s adamant that it’s just not for her. She’s committed self-sabotage.
After doing all I can apart from literally begging these women to reconsider, I’m relegated to sitting on the sidelines as the scenarios play out. In the first instance, I’ve already seen that it’s not a pretty picture. In the other, I fear the outcome will be similar. Then I’m left to ask, Why? But I realize I may already know the answer, She fears success. And while I’m not a therapist, I do have one on our team, and she confirmed my suspicion. They fear success.
Pondering this phenomena, it occurred to me that it’s not only the population of women we serve who struggle with the Ds or challenges women face (i.e. depression, diagnosis, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional relationships, etc.) who are subject. Any woman, for any number of reasons, can fear rising to her full potential and may self-sabotage. ..
Rather than letting this discourage me, it’s motivated me to share a self-sabotage prevention strategy. I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and come back tomorrow to read.
It’s Day 10 of being back to blogging and thanks to 13″ of snow here in Cincy, I’ve enjoyed a winter weather writing weekend! Since starting my position as a Women’s Center Director back in October, I hadn’t written a word of Hold on Her Heart, the sequel to my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Yesterday and today, however, due to being snowed in, I not only made wonderful progress, I did it on my first book’s one year anniversary! Being a God-thing girl, the significance of that isn’t lost on me. I’m humbled and amazed that He continues to bless me with the will and the way to live my purpose of coaching, encouraging and inspiring women. This time in the form of a winter weather writing weekend!
Balancing personal and professional responsibilities can feel daunting, but when they’re aligned, rather than conflicting, they can complement each other. In my situation, my first novel is drawn from personal experiences with domestic violence that led me to become involved in supporting other women to overcome it and other challenges. I call them Ds –– as in DV, divorce, dysfunction, depression, death, diagnosis, etc. (So much of life’s icky stuff starts with a D!) Twelve years after breaking out of the cycle of abuse with my wasband (he was my husband) and being homeless, my vocation is as the leader of a homeless shelter. And my avocation allows me to run a life coaching agency, blog and write books. It’s all interconnected and part of the perfect plan God has for my life. Total God-thing!
Whether you are an aspiring author or a full-time homemaker who wants to be more intentional about the time you spend with your family, my prayer is that you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and maximize the opportunities God provides for you to do what feeds your soul and blesses others. On your lunch break. While the kids nap. In the still of the night. During the wee morning hours. When He provides a winter weather writing weekend.
Hope you’ll check out my book on it’s anniversary!
To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at
It’s Day 8/9 of being back to blogging and in yesterday morning’s work prayer meeting a wise organizational leader reminded us to keep calm and practice self-care. In social service/ministry, we often deal with trauma. And trauma is vicarious. It can transfer from those we serve onto us. If we’re not careful, it can infect us and make us physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually sick too. Keeping calm and practicing self-care is the key to preventing this in our work/ministry lives.
What I’ve found, however, is that those of us who are nurturers often find it a challenge to provide ourselves with the same level of care we generously lavish on others. This was evident in the meeting when those of us who were dealing with the death (a huge D or challenge!) of a young woman and mother kept voicing concern over how it impacted everyone else. But when the group circled up around the two of us who worked closely with her and knew her best –– both of us women –– the depth of our pent-up pain manifested itself in tears that once released refused to be staunched despite the box of tissue we wept through. So why were we selfish with ourselves about our need to grieve and weep? It’s only natural that the loss of someone we tried so hard to save is devastating. In fact, when Lazarus died before Jesus could arrive to save him, the Bible tells us, “Jesus wept.” – John 11:35 (NIV).
Becoming completely vested in someone else involves experiencing their triumphs and their tragedies. In that sense, exposure to trauma is an occupational hazard. But its vicarious effects can be mitigated by acknowledging the myriad emotions we experience through being a part of another human’s life when the outcome is not what we hoped it would be. Sometimes the work still results in a world of hurt. And when we’re hurting, it’s not only ok to give ourselves some TLC, it’s necessary because we can’t help others heal if we won’t do it for ourselves.
So if you’re anything like me and are at work on purpose to serve others –– on the home front or in the workplace –– and sometimes feel your world is spinning out of control, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, keep calm and practice self-care.