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.
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 & Chicand 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
This morning as I pray about many of the Ds –– challenges women face ––– in the form of debt, death, depression, diagnosis, divorce, domestic disputes, domestic violence, drug and alcohol addiction, dysfunctional relationships, etc., I’m reminded of a truth from a children’s book –– It could always be worse. That’s not meant to minimize the emotions, pain and suffering these Ds bring, but to bring perspective. No matter how devastating our Ds, if we look for His hand in the situation, we’ll find God’s provision, comfort, care, guidance, deliverance, peace, healing and love for us and will be able to see how we’re blessed in the midst of our mess. And that it could always be worse.
That’s my prayer for you today. That you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicand view your situation from this positive lens. When you do so, even if you’re unable to change or minimize the barrier itself, you’re mindset will be transformed and enable you to minimize the negative impact it has on you so you can maximize beauty and your best life. All to His glory.
It’s Day 49 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and this busy weekend has taught me a life lesson from my loads of laundry. For many of us, this week was Back to School. As the mother of an 11th and 10th grader who is divorced –– a D or challenge women face –– from their father, I had them this weekend and a lot of the time went into school-related activities and making sure they were set to return for the first full week tomorrow. Between a trip to the library, running my daughter to a birthday sleepover, feeding my ravenous son and keeping him entertained Friday, I did laundry. Same thing Saturday before and after I picked her up, fought construction to make it to Zumba, did the grocery shopping and banking, then made lunch and finally dinner, all while tossing loads in and pulling them out. This morning, as I listened to Joel Osteen –– I folded and put clothes and linens away prior to taking Liv out for last minute school supplies. (What ever happened to getting the list before classes started?). Though there were moments when I felt like I’d either been put through the wringer or the spin cycle –– this is my first time blogging since Thursday! –– there wasn’t one where I didn’t feel blessed to have these tasks to do for my children and home. That’s the life lesson I’ve learned from my loads of laundry.
You see, though sometimes I look at all of the bath towels and face cloths to be washed, at all the bedding and more clothes than I can keep up with, I’m often reminded of a story I once heard a story about a woman who sat all alone in her immaculate house and longed for it to be cluttered with the chaos of children…Because I don’t have mine all of the time, I can relate. When they’re here, it’s more joy than drudgery doing the mundane things for –– and with –– them. I touch the towels and am thankful they take care of themselves the way I taught them to. I look at the linens and love that they lie in them and sleep luxuriously when living under my roof. And I cuddle the clothes and am conscious of how quickly their time as children will cease. Each time I’m immensely grateful that despite a divorce, the Lord has –– for now –– blessed me to serve them. Yes, on purpose. Focusing on that allows me to minimize my D and to maximize beauty and my best life.
One day, they’ll be grow up and away and my washer and dryer will get a lot less use. Til then, I’m taking my life lesson from the laundry to heart and am determined to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and to treasure the loads.
It’s Day 44 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as despite the fact that it very well may signal the end of a relationship, I’m disengaging from dysfunctional discourse with someone. All of my life, I’ve tried to be a person who avoids conflict. Most of time that manifests itself in me not voicing my feelings or opinions because they differed from those of others. And I don’t really mind doing that with an inconsequential choice or topic. It really didn’t matter to me what game we cousins played as children, so I let them pick. I like most foods, so I’m usually up for the whatever restaurant whoever I’m with prefers. More often than not, I don’t have a dog in the fight of the moment. Sometimes, however, when the stakes are high –– when it’s a crucial conversation –– I’m compelled to have a discussion, debate or even a mild disagreement (Though these all start with D, I don’t consider them to be Ds as in the challenges women face). When the stakes are high, I attempt to keep the goal of a crucial conversation –– to preserve the relationship –– in mind. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m perfect at it. But am I intentional about it? I can say Yes with assurance. So when I’m doing my best to use the tools in my belt –– Using “I” Statements, Active Listening, Positive Sentiment Override, etc. and the other individual is aggressive, argumentative and downright argumentative, as I’ve gotten older and hopefully grown in all the life domains, I consistently find myself disengaging from dysfunctional discourse.
The recent pounding I took from an individual about one of the above items not being an unplanned expense reminded me that not everyone has as many tools in their belt. If they’ve only got a hammer, everything looks like a nail. That’s not a judgment call or superiority on my part. It’s actually pity that even people –– me included –– who love the Lord and may even love the person with whom they’re embroiled in conflict –– are so intent on making their point that it becomes more important than the person and maintaining the relationship.
For now, I’m choosing to press pause on this one. Prayerfully, the person will be receptive to learning about other tools they can add to their belt. Until that happens, I’m dis-engaging from the dysfunctional discourse and lifting the person up in prayer while I continue working on my own communication skills. By doing so, I’m minimizing the communication barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. I pray you’ll bePink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about adding communication tools to your repertoire as well. If you do, you can minimize communication barriers and live your best life, too.
Little did I know it when one of my most special Swan Soul Sisters, Kibby, and I had our first swim this summer that it might also be our last of the season. Life hit her hard with a family medical emergency while she already splits her time between two states caring for her mother who suffered a stroke last year. Though we normally spend several lazy summer days lounging by the pool, we haven’t made it back since this photo. I didn’t post it originally because of how cooky my hat looks plus the readers on top of my head! Not a good look!. But now that my kiddos head back to school tomorrow and she’ll soon head back to her hometown since the medical emergency is thankfully under control, it makes this moment more memorable ––– cooky hat, glasses and all.
As summer break winds down for many of us, I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and find ways to mark the meaningful moments. For me it’s posting a pic that I normally may not. Not only as a way to mark the last day of summer break, but to be intentional about expressing gratitude for my many blessings, like time with a special Swan Sister who helps me to minimize my barriers and maximize beauty and my best life.
My sweet Sister-in-law, Sue and my Zumba mentor/Swan Sister, Marina, both blessed me with TJ Maxx gift cards for my birthday last month. I spent them both well and had a few dollars left over, so I snapped up these Rachel Ashwell tumblers from the clearance aisle for $2 a piece. They now serve as Shabby Chic medicine cabinet storage. Shabby Chic Room Spray bottles (also from TJ’s) are too beautiful to be tucked away and line the top. It may sound silly, but my Shabby Chic medicine cabinet made my morning and getting ready for work lovely!
Stylish storage solutions can help minimize disorganization –– a D or challenge women face –– and will help you maximize beauty and your best life! I pray your day is Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, organized and filled with things that make it for you, too!
It’s Day 43 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and recently I experienced the joy of TJMaxxing life for a team member, JT’s, new little life. If you know me at all or have ever read this blog, the fact that TJ Maxx is one of my happy places is no secret. I’ve been a Maxxinista since long before the term came into use. The official meaning is “A person who shops at discount designer department store T.J.Maxx. One who finds unique and original designer items at discount prices. Some individuals are obsessed with the store and even know what days they have new merchandise arriving.” This describes me almost to a T –– one of my nicknames –– other than the word obsessed. Although I do know my store’s new merchandise arrives on Wednesdays….Sorry. Not sorry! Seriously though, I have yet to find another store where one can find as much quality bang for so few bucks. Take for instance below: A normally pricey Boppy, four Carter’s long sleeve Onesies and coordinating socks, a huge gift bag with tissue paper included for a fraction of what a small bag costs alone elsewhere! My team was tickled with what I chose on their behalf as the designated baby shower shopper. : ) Of course, this store makes scoring big simple! And being a good steward of resources! So thankful TJ Maxxing life enabled me to represent the team and bless JT’s new little life.
Shopping is one of my superpowers. I can spot great finds from across the store and leap whole aisles in a single bound in order to snag them at bargain prices. When I’m doing it, I know I’m operating in my strengths zone because I lose all sense of time and can do it for hours on end without tiring. For me, it’s a creative outlet. As I peruse clothes, shoes, and handbags, I’m styling my wardrobe or that of a loved one or client in my mind so we can own our unique sense of style. And when turned loose in the home department, I’m decorating personal and professional spaces to be beautiful, comfortable and functional –– the three tenets of Shabby Chic design –– no matter the decor style. Being able to shop for someone else feels like shopping on purpose because I’m helping them maximize beauty and their best lives. Doing this for JT –– a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Swan with a true servant’s heart who gives so freely of herself serving others –– it’s a privilege to serve and give back to her. In that sense I’m maximizing beauty and my best life, too.
So thankful for this godly woman, wife, mother, daughter and member of our team. And for my favorite retailer that allowed me to be a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Maxxinista who TJ Maxxed life in order to bless JT’s new little one.
What about you? Need a special something for someone at home or in the office? Why not be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and TJ’s Maxx their life and your own?