I’ve been back to blogging for about 25 days, and though Valentine’s Day was Thursday, I’m feeling especially grateful for My Furry Valentine today. Three years ago, my sweet hubby took me to our local animal shelter for the event by that name, and it was there a two year old gray beauty, Peppa, stole my heart. I added Loveday –– a character in a favorite Rosamunde Pilcher book entitled Coming Home –– and am reminded how much my husband adores me each time I say it. You see, he really wasn’t in favor of our first kitty, Skylar Belle, joining our blended family, but gave in to my needling for my kiddos to have a pet. They were my first consideration in giving her a sibling, but he confided that he really got her for me. That knowledge and Peppa Loveday’s docile spirit made her my constant companion. In fact, she now resides at the tiny house I rent for personal and professional use. And today, docile as she is, she earned her keep by serving as a mouser and dealing with an unwanted visitor. Her feline feat has endeared My Furry Valentine to me even more!
As Peppa Loveday sits at my feet while I write, she reminds me that we females can be ultra feminine, pretty, sweet, and meek. But it doesn’t mean we aren’t intrepid too. Though she is skittish –– I believe she was abused by the original owners who named her then dumped her off at the pound –– this trait has been evident in Peppa Loveday from the moment we brought her home. While Skylar hissed and growled, Peppa never once cowed to her bullying. In fact, most of the time she simply responded by sitting serenely and looking at her like, Really?
When I tried to bring Peppa over to the tiny house, at first she wasn’t feeling it and let me know when I tried to put her the pet carrier. Not wanting me to get scratched up again, my husband got a large dog crate, put her food and water inside and trained her not to be afraid to go in. That’s how we finally got her over to what I’m beginning to think of as “My Petite Place”. Having her with me makes it feel even more like a home/office. And it makes me feel my husband’s love all over again. After all, not only did he go to great lengths to get Peppa Loveday for me in the first place, he’s gone above and beyond to bring me My Furry Valentine.
It’s Day 24 of being back to blogging, and since I didn’t have my kiddos on Valentine’s Day, we’re celebrating now with little gifts given with great love. I went to a German bilingual school and began my lifelong love affair with Gummi Bears in first grade when our teacher gave them as a treat. The love affair with roses started shortly thereafter. My children were delighted to receive the former, specially packaged for the holiday with only the red and white candies, and my sweet hubby surprised me with white roses lovingly arranged in an uncommon red vase. The thought and time put into finding favorite things for others not only bless the recipients but make the giver feel pretty good, too. Yet another benefit of little gifts given with great love.
Besides making a holiday special, inexpensive little treats like these –– all purchased at the local grocer –– can encourage others and lift their spirits. So the next time you’re out doing the weekly shopping, why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and pick up a little something for that someone in your life? You never know, a little gift given with great love could make a BIG difference in their day.
It’s Day 23 of being back to blogging, and in preparing to celebrate Valentines Day with my hubby, I’m reminded it’s little gifts given with great love that are often the biggest blessing. Back when I was newly in love with my preppy husband, I went on an elaborate shopping spree and purchased several updated classic argyle sweaters for him. At the time, his reaction –– appreciation for the thought but NOT the gift –– surprised and hurt me. But that was before I understood he didn’t wan’t his classic clothing and or any other aspect of his appearance updated. Over time I learned he doesn’t wear cologne, hates jewelry and doesn’t enjoy my taste in art, books or music. What he does value is quality time spent, heartfelt messages and favorite fat free foods! Armed with this knowledge, I skipped Zumba for an early date night (so we could beat tomorrow’s crowds), added a hand written note and symbol of our love story to a faith based card, and gifted him with fat free Fig Newtons. Sounds pretty simple but he was blessed by these little gifts given with great love.
It isn’t necessary to break the bank to make Valentines Day special. Instead, with a little effort, thought and time, the holiday can be one that reflects the things that are meaningful to your relationship. When this happens, there’s a magical opportunity to create a lasting romantic memory –– which I consider priceless. Based on our sweet time together this evening, I believe my hubby agrees. Though there were no extravagant gifts or grand gestures, there was lots of laughter and lobster dinner! We enjoyed these little gifts given with love. Another thing there’s lots of.
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 20 of being back to blogging, and while scrolling through pictures on my phone searching post inspiration, I came across one the perfect photo op. The term, short for photograph opportunity, was originally coined to indicate the opportunity to take a picture with a celebrity or of an event. But as I looked at this picture, it took on new meaning for me. You see, it’s of a corner in bedroom I share with my fifteen-year-old daughter at our tiny house and was designed to fulfill her request for a vanity area. I began renting the house for personal and professional to run my business, Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, and to have a special place to spend time with my children.
At first my husband wasn’t on board with it, which caused some discord –– another D or challenge women face. Following a particularly rough patch, he brought the beautiful bouquet of my favorite pink roses to my new job as a repair attempt. Originally I took the picture in a fit of I don’t want flowers, I want to resolve the issue! Eventually I got over myself and can now look back and see my husband’s heart. It makes me mindful of the chance to be prayerful about all it represents –– a true photo op.
In a world where cameras on our phones make snapping a picture something that often occurs several times a day, I still want to make it special. Through blogging it’s become a way for me to chronicle the simple and significant in my life. Being intentional about maximizing photography opportunities by attaching prayers of ACTS –– adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication –– to my reminiscing over pictures elevates them from simply snapping away to powerful photo ops.
So the next time you hit that button to capture that perfect picture, I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and not miss out on the photo opportunity that’s present too…