Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

Lattes, Leadership, Loss and Love

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day and yesterday I spent precious time with two of The Lattes discussing leadership, loss and love.

Service on Purpose/Smart at Work (Professional Life)

Four of us –– three African America and one Caucasian, coffee with a little milk –– became close when we worked together as Leadership Coaches. Though we missed what our Milk brings to the mix, coming together made it a sweet Sweetest Day. Five years ago, I left the agency with the goal of maximizing  the Masters in Leadership and Coaching I’d soon earn. After a few almost but not quite right roles, this week will mark a year as Women’s Center Director – my perfect service on purpose fit! Terri soon earned a coveted spot as the agency’s first minority  Team Leader and Delorise recently came up through the ranks to claim the same title! So much leadership among us and reason to celebrate…

Serene at Home (Personal Life)

Still, our rejoicing was tempered by a D ––  or challenge women face –– the unexpected death of Terri’s beloved husband of nearly  30 years on Labor Day. Heartbreaking. But hopeful. With a family history rife with Ds  –– in the form  of divorce and dysfunctional relationships –– for me their marriage serves a beacon of hope. Their kind of  love is rare but does exist! As Terri deals with her incredible loss, she can often be heard to say, “I go to gratitude”. Having been loved so well, she knows she’s among the blessed and highly favored. And of course, because we were at my Petite Retreat, talk turned to decorating and Shabby Chic style. Terri even laughed about being able to finally put her floral comforter on the bed now!

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The Lattes sans (without) our Milk!                                                                 Delorise, Terri and Me, Pink Collar Coach.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Being with my lovely, smart, strong Swan Sisters made me go to gratitude, too. Though I no longer see them on the daily, our hearts are connected and the time brought healing. The Lattes are leaders at work and in their families. In fact, Delorise adopted a toddler four years ago when his mother died of cancer though her two girls were in their preteens and teens… They have capacity for great love and to grieve losses graciously and find reasons to laugh. They are SO Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose. I’m blessed to have spent time with them because they truly demonstrate  how to deal effectively with the Ds to minimize barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives.  I just pray our Milk, appropriately named Joy, can join us next time for an even more perfect blend of The Lattes!

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

 

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Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

Replacing vs. Repairing Broken Things

It’s another Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose day & I’ve been pondering replacing vs. repairing broken things. Happy fall decorating recently ended in destruction –– another D or challenge women face. Peppa Loveday –– a My Furry Valentine gift from my hubby, hence the name ––  scrambled off the dining table when I scolded her for jumping on the harvest themed table runner I’d just laid out, taking my Simply Shabby Chic cloche (glass dome)  with her. When it crashed to the floor and shattered to pieces, I felt a piece of my heart break too. Of all my Simply Shabby Chic decor, the cloche covered floral arrangement was the item I’ve displayed in a spot that has seen daily use over fifteen years –– for meals, homework and as the desk where I ran my business full-time for a while, wrote my book and blogged consistently for a year. Emotion flooded me –– rage, regret and remorse. I Did Not Love my Valentine kitty for a few days and let her know we’d broken up over her breaking my cloche! The search to replicate it began immediately after clean up and it wasn’t until I found another as close to the original as I could get that my emotions ebbed. Below is what I learned about replacing vs. repairing broken things.

Serene at Home (Personal Style) 

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Original Simply Shabby Chic cloche covered floral arrangement.                                      Everything except dining chairs is Simply Shabby Chic from Target.         Dining Chairs are Shabby Chic inspired from a local antique mall. 

Because of the great value I placed on the cloche, had it been possible, I would have painstakingly pieced it back together. But some things are broken beyond repair. No amount of glue, patience or time could restore the cloche. Rather than continue to despair, however, I set out on a quest to replace it. Online searches proved futile –– the choices were not the right either in  look, size  or cost, and that was without shipping.  Next I scoured my go-to shops –– TJ Maxx & Home Goods –– but came up empty handed. Rare! Then I checked  Stein Mart. Tuesday Morning. Both to no avail.  By this time I felt like Goldilocks when I tried Hobby Lobby where the cloche seemed to be too big and At Home where it was too small. Desperate, I finally returned to Hobby Lobby –– the day after the 1/2 off sale and overpaid for one that is most similar and almost but not quite the right size…Nevertheless, all the time, travel plus trial and error it took to find a cloche to replicate the look of the original  was worth it. The old one couldn’t be repaired, so a beautiful new one has replaced it.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

Like my cloche, at times we feel  too broken for God to fix or use us. Yet He can do anything including mend a life that has been dealt so many Ds that the damage seems beyond repair. Even so, sometimes it is. But this experience has shown me that doesn’t have to be the end of our usefulness. He can take a broken life and replace it with one that’s not only brand new, but one that’s more beautiful than before.  That’s my prayer for you.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters

It’s Day 58 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m feeling blessed to be surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Smart at Work (Professional)

I’m not gonna lie. Today has been a roller coaster ride. My work day started off well with me rising early to present about Hope House Mission where I’m the Women’s Center Director, at an AK Steel/United Way event. Because the former is featured in JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy and the latter has Bold Goals around Income and a Stable Families Initiative, drawing the connection between these and our work proved to be a natural fit, so I felt well prepared. What I wasn’t prepared for was being blinded by sunlight while trying to get to an unfamiliar location, traffic issues and dumb directions –– a new D or challenge women face ––  from my GPS, that had me discombobulated by the time I arrived!  Once there, however, what I shared was well received and set me up for a great work day on the professional front.

Serene at Home (Personal)

But like the glaring sunlight that blind sighted me, so did some personal dysfunctional relationship dynamics  that plunged me into a  depression.At times I feel as though I’ve been dubbed “The Queen of the Ds”…Rather than focus on my family of origin or the one I’ve created, instead I’m choosing joy and gratitude because I’m surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters.

Sense of Style (Packaging)

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Saturdays often have me Surrounded by Swan Soul Sisters (2 weeks ago).   Me, Pink Collar Coach, in the middle with Marina & Kibby on either side. My outfit all Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx with exception of shoes, Stein Mart.

Summary (Putting it Into Practice)

It’s easy, and oh so tempting, to let myself get sucked into a pit of despair, but I believe God allows me to go through the things I do so I can share how I’m able to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best professional and personal life ––  all to His glory.  In this instance, being Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose means blogging (writing about painful occurrences to render them historical) and surrounding myself with positivity from my Swan Soul Sisters.

Spirit-Led (Prayer)

I pray when you’re facing personal and professional Ds this post will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose in order to minimize them, too.

Be savvy & chic, 

~Pink Collar Coach

Seasons of Her Soul, Book 1 in the Lee’s Legacy Series (Publications)

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 
I am currently working on Book 2, Hold on Her Heart. Stay Tuned! 
Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 25, 2019 (via Beth Moore event)

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 25, 2019 (via Beth Moore event)

Good morning, Pink Collar Swans,

Another takeaway from this weekend’s Living Proof Live 2019 Beth Moore event. I’ve shared this Scripture before, but not this translation which was included in our study guide. If you’re anything like me and are grappling with any personal or professional decisions – another of the Ds or challenges women face ––– it’s so good to know our Heavenly gives us sound judgment.

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As you prayerfully consider all the pros, cons and implications of your decision, my prayer is that you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and not fear but move forward confidently in this knowledge that He’s fully equipped you with everything you need to make the best choices in order to minimize your barriers and to maximize beauty and your best life.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 24, 2019 (via Beth Moore Event)

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – August 24, 2019 (via Beth Moore Event)

Dear Pink Collar Swans,

What a transformational weekend I’ve spent with one of my dearest Swan Sisters at Living Proof Live with Beth Moore! My cup is running over with all I want to share, but for now, until I can process, here is an excerpt from our study handout:

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I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and let these truths sink into the depths of your soul today and always.

Be  savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care at My Petite Retreat

Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care at My Petite Retreat

Good morning, Pink Collar Swans,

It’s Day 54 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and this post is coming out from my Petite Retreat this Friday morning where I’m keeping calm and practicing self-care. The non-profit faith-based shelter where I’m the Women’s Center Director was offered complimentary tickets to a Beth Moore conference this weekend, so yesterday I decided I’d take today off and spend it at my not-so-tiny tiny house before heading to the event this evening. Working in what I consider full-time ministry is Service on Purpose, but sometimes it takes its toll. Between dealing with the Ds –– challenges women face ––– in my professional  life as two of our team members have received devastating diagnoses this week, and in my personal life, mainly  in the form of dysfunctional relationships, in order to minimize these barriers and maximize beauty and my best life,  I needed time to keep calm and practice self-care at my Petite Retreat.

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Though  this isn’t my first time serving as a Director, it is the first time I’ve dealt with a terminal diagnosis for a direct report. Being at my best to bless her and to support the staff who love her will require stamina and strength. I’m grateful for this time away from the center at my home/office with the Lord to build up both. And as I prayerfully consider some major decisions regarding personal relationships, I need clarity and space to receive wisdom on which path to walk, as well as a way to process (writing). Keeping calm and practicing self-care here provides all of these.

So I’m thankful for this short respite at my petite retreat.  Not only will  taking time away from the trauma to spend the day writing and the night with Swan Sisters help me in a professional capacity as I serve staff and residents, it enables me to minimize the barriers we’re facing and to maximize beauty and my best life.

If you’re anything like me and are facing Ds in your personal and/or professional life, my prayer for you is that you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and  intentional about keeping calm and practicing self-care.  Whether that means taking a much-needed day off, attending a conference or simply stealing away to pray and spend some time alone with God. (Jesus  himself modeled self-care for us  –– Luke 5:16). Doing it in a place that soothes your soul is even better… Then you’ll be able to minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life, too.

Be Savvy & Chic ,

~Pink Collar Coach

 
To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at 
 

 

 

 

 

Back to My Writing Group Roots

Back to My Writing Group Roots

It’s Day 52 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m thrilled to say last night I went back to my writing group roots. Back in 2010, when my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, was still a rough draft –– and I do mean rough –– I began attending a small writing group that met near the Kinder Care where I was director. By day I dealt with the Ds ––– challenges women face –– in full force there amongst Middletown’s rust belt’s demographic –– poor women and children living in poverty and despair as accurately depicted in J.D. Vance’s  Hillbilly Elegy.   By night I wrote.. Middletown Area Christian Writers or M.A.C. provided the sounding board and support for me to finally get the story out of my head and heart and onto paper. Then a career move led me to become a life coach but too far away to continue attending the group. I attended another wonderful group for a while and have tried others, but there’s just something about getting back to where you got started. Returning last night felt like the best homecoming. A complete welcome back into the fold that makes me so grateful I finally got back to my writing group roots.

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Front and back cover picturing Lee Edwards, the protagonist and heroine.

Still, the writing reunion was also bittersweet. I’d stayed away  long enough that I missed the chance to see a dear member who passed away a few weeks ago…But I was blessed by those who had read my novel despite not seeing me for years. Critique time offered the opportunity to hear what other writers are working on and revealed how talented and multi-faceted they can be as was demonstrated by an older woman writing a novel in a genre I would never have imagined. Being selected as a beta reader for a successful author, Linore Rose Burkard,  who published a Regency Romance trilogy –– one of my favorite series ––  with a major Christian publisher is an honor and a thrill! I can’t wait to have a sneak peek at her Regency time travel!

And of course, getting to share the prologue of Hold on Her Heart, Book 2 in the Lee’s Legacy series, yielded invaluable feedback and suggestions on what’s right and wrong with what I’ve done thus far. It also motivates me to keep writing –– something I’ve done much too little of since stepping into my role as Women’s Center Director. Having one of our board members as a fellow writing group member, though, and hearing her tell how God has me in the right place confirms the fact that even though I haven’t written as consistently as I’d like, God will use my ministry at the shelter to strengthen me as a writer.

If you’ve never checked out Seasons of Her Soul, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and take a moment to learn how Lee Edwards minimizes her barriers –– mostly in the form of domestic violence  –– and maximizes beauty and her best life.  If you do, maybe you’ll want to read Hold on Her Heart which I hope to finish by the end of the yea.  Now that I’m back to my writing group roots.

Be Savvy & Chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

To preview/purchase the print or Kindle version of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, please visit Amazon.com at