It’s Day 42 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and as the weekend winds down and I prepare for the upcoming work week, I’m so thankful that at Hope House, teamwork really does make the dream work. If you’ve ever been at a job full of haters or where the environment is toxic, you know how the inching of the hour hand toward 6pm Sunday evening is accompanied by dread ––– another D or challenge women face – regarding returning to work. I’ve been in those ill-fitting shoes and eventually walked out the door of those jobs. Conversely, when the work atmosphere is positive and the team cohesive, in ten months as the Women’s Center Director I’ve not experienced anything but joy because I don’t have to go to my job, I get to! From leadership, to those in the administrative office, to the boots on the ground shelter staff, all the way down to the volunteers, Hope House Mission’s tremendous, collective, cohesive efforts make the dream of breaking the cycle of poverty and despair for homeless women, children and men work.
Serving on Purpose at a non-profit where I’m actually in full-time paid ministry is as close to professional heaven on earth as I can get.. I’ve been in a role where our team took a personality assessment, and though I’m a maximizer and tend to be super positive, my natural disposition was dampened down to the degree that I almost didn’t recognize myself. Shortly after that “team-building” activity, and I use the term loosely, I applied for and got a position where I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. You know it’s bad when you’re greeted on the first day with, “Are you sure about this?” by members of the team. My next role gave me tons of responsibility and visibilty…Too bad some saboteurs were having none of that! Content to run my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic business full-time, I was nevertheless compelled to go for my current Director position. And though I don’t gamble, I must say I feel I hit the jackpot. Everyday a group of spirit-led purpose-filled individuals strive to serve our clients. In doing so, I’m blessed to not only help them minimize their barriers and maximize beauty and their best lives, but to do the same thing with mine. Largely because of the way Hope House Mission’s teamwork makes the dream work for our residents and for this Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan.
It’s Day 41 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and I’m so motivated by the Chick-Fil-A Get Moovin’ 5K Fun Run with all proceeds to bless Hope House Mission. It’s not been a year since I became Women’s Center Director at the homeless shelter, so acting as the spokesperson for the 3rd annual Get Moovin’ race has been –– as they say at Chick-Fil-A–– My pleasure. Last night I’d gone to bed troubled by Ds –– the challenges that women face ––– in the form of dysfunctional relationships. Then I woke before the sun came up and read a devotion entitled “Light of the Dawn” that God hand picked for me. It provided needed assurance that “Even in darkness, light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.” (Psalm 112:4, NIV). Though I fail to be each of these at times, my heart is to be them all of the time. And my job–– this incredible ministry –– lets me put my heart’s desire into practice on a daily basis. Seeing so many volunteers, sponsors, Christian radio station Star 93.3, participants, groups, families, churches, businesses, and so many cute cows come out to support the event and cheer everyone over the finish line lifted my spirits and truly motivates me. In fact, this Chick-Fil-A 5K Fun Run makes me want to get moovin’ even more to bless Hope House Mission!
When dealing with life’s Ds, I’ve found when I’m able to put my own problems aside and and serve others on purpose, even when the problems persist, the pain is diminished. Having been homeless, working with the women at our shelter reminds me there is purpose in the pain. And that His plan for me is to use my education, experiences, everything, to advance our mission of breaking the cycle of poverty and despair –– another D –– one life at a time. By doing so, I not only help women to minimize their barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives, I do the same with mine. Waking up to that privilege, the darkness recedes and I’m able to walk in the light motivated to get moving to bless the residents at Hope House Mission. Even when there’s not a Chick-Fil-A 5K Fun Run with breakfast biscuits involved!
I pray you’re Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and motivated to be a blessing to others. Whether you’re serving on the home front or in the work place, when you do so, you’ll be able to minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life, too.
Such a blessing representing Hope House Mission as the Women’s Center Director this morning at the Chick-Fil-A Get Moovin’ 5K Fun Run! Terrific turn out and all proceeds benefit Hope House! Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Service on Purpose to break the cycle of poverty and despair –– a D or challenge –– so that women and children can live their best lives made it a special Saturday!
It’s Day 37 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project, and the Cincy Lifestyles interview on the Chick-Fil-A 5K Fun Run for Hope House Mission, where I represented my agency as the Women’s Center Director, airs tomorrow. Chick-Fil-A has partnered with Hope House Mission on this race for the 3rd year with all proceeds to benefit Hope House, which is celebrating 30 years of serving homeless women, children and men in Butler and surrounding counties. Acting as the spokesperson is such an honor and presented the opportunity to briefly share how I’m blessed to use my story of overcoming the domestic violence that led to my own homelessness to serve the women at Hope House. By doing so I’m able to minimize this D –– or barrier women face –– in order to not only maximize beauty and my best life, but to coach, encourage and inspire other women to do so as well. All to His glory.
As a relatively new blogger –– today actually marks three years since I signed up with Word Press, but I’ve been blogging for two years –– I’m still struggling with finding my niche or voice or both. I believe I’ve nailed my purpose –– not just for my business and writing, but for my life. Still, I struggle to engage readers. And being even more transparent, I compare myself to other bloggers who get tons of followers, likes and comments. Consequently, I’ve begun to really pray about what God wants me to write and the revelation scares me. I feel compelled to go beyond the surface –– deep into the really ugly Ds so I can really reach those who need to hear those stories. But I’m frightened about exposing that much of myself. This interview scratches the tip of the iceberg because I publicly reveal that I became homeless after my abusive marriage ended…And I have some haters…
Even so, I’m committed to following the leading of what I believe is the Holy Spirit in my life. Because ultimately, I want to my pain to serve a purpose in the lives of other women to let them know that if God can take all my Ds –– my rock bottom –– and use it as the solid foundation upon which I am building not only the rest of my life but the best of my life, He can do it for them. When it’s all said, done and written, pointing the way to Him and bringing Him glory through my personal and professional life is the real way to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic.
I pray this “Cincy Lifestyles” interview that airs tomorrow not only brings people out for the race but accomplishes that.
It’s Day 34 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and my daughter and I have had such a beautiful day –– Shabby Chic & Sweet 16! This morning I woke up at 5am and assembled a Simply Shabby Chic DIY banner proclaiming “Sweet 16” then proceeded to package all her presents in coordinating Simply Shabby Chic gift bags. Next I changed the table runner to one in robin’s egg blue from Rachel Ashwell’s The Prairie and spelled out Cami Liv with extra banner medallions. By that time she’d awoken and I loved on and prayed over her for a while before serving her requested Lucky Charms –– the marshmallows just happened to go along with the pastel theme –– and Sunny D in bed. Once she was settled with her breakfast, I proceeded to bake, frost and decorate her Bday cake with sprinkles in the soft rainbow shades and placed it atop my Simply Shabby Chic cake stand. The early morning and effort were so worth it because of the look on her face when she finally saw the Shabby Chic stage set for her Sweet Sixteen!
Though I thought this milestone birthday should be celebrated with a big party, my daughter had other ideas in mind. These included a shopping trip to Plato’s Closet –– a resale shop for teens –– and to Aveda, a salon that also sells face, hair and makeup products. She wanted Subway for dinner and then to eat cake and watch LaLa Land again! To my delight, apart from the eating, she wanted to do all of this just with me…I selected a birthday card for her that states “Every perfect gift, is from above.” (James 1:17). Yes, her life is a gift. By wanting to spend such a special day just as mother and daughter, however, I feel like I was given one all over again.
Being divorced –– a D or challenge women face –– can make birthdays brutal. Next year I won’t see her at all. And this year could have been very expensive with everything she wanted to do. But by having lovely things on hand, I was able to create a sumptuous setting without breaking the bank and could use my resources for her shopping spree instead. By being Pink Collar Savvy & ChicI minimized the barriers and maximized beauty and our best lives. So blessed with lots of Shabby Chic and a very Sweet Sixteen!
It’s Day 29 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and viewing myself on video was eye opening. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, some Pink Collar Swans surprised me for my 50th bday by showing up for my Thursday class. Among them, was a Zumba mentor, Marina, who instructs elsewhere. She filmed me teaching Save the Last Dance, which is at the end of my playlist and captured me in all of my sweaty glory! Even so, because we don’t have a mirror at the Y, I feel as though she gave me the gift of being able to really see what my students do when I’m in front of them. Boy is it eye opening! It’s like the first time I heard an audio recording of myself and thought, Do I really sound like that? My voice sounded so high and had a country twang to it…And while I heard the twang loud and clear in my, Boom! Stay here!, it’s also clear to me that the joy I feel while dancing doesn’t show in my face. The smile in my heart is eclipsed by the fight to breathe through my asthma. Not the takeaway I expected from viewing myself on video.
Me, Pink Collar Coach in my Calvin Klein Performance wear and New Balance shoes.
All from TJ Maxx.
Dancing is one of the most effective strategies for me to deal with my Ds –– the barriers and challenges women face. In fact, though I’d been doing it for a few years prior to my hysterectomy, it wasn’t until I returned to Zumba after complications with surgery due to an additional diagnosis that I realized I needed the exercise to not only regain my stamina and loose the weight I put on during nine weeks in bed, its psychological benefits are tremendous. I believe my students would say I smile and bring positive energy to the class before and after, but asthma or no asthma, I should smile some during! By doing so, I’ll be further minimizing my asthma diagnosis barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I’ll certainly look better while sweating!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and make the most of opportunities to critique yourself. Be it through watching a video, listening to a recording, or good old-fashioned self-evaluation for a performance appraisal…But here’s the catch: So often we’re only focused on our areas for growth. Instead, let’s focus on our strengths and maximize them. In my case, I’ve got everything going for me as a Zumba instructor because I love to dance and have been blessed with crazy good mentors who’ve helped develop this talent into a strength. Now I just need to amp up the smile factor to take my instruction to the next level. I suppose that’s the true takeaway from viewing myself on video.