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.
It’s Day 7 of being back to blogging, and I wish every sister in need would let me be her shelter. Yes, I’m the director of a women’s center –– a homeless shelter for women and children –– and am blessed to be able to provide a safe physical place to stay. But I’m talking about something that goes beyond a building. I’m talking about being a safe emotional, relational and spiritual place of safety for women whose needs run so much deeper than needing a roof over their heads. I’ve poured out my heart to these hurting women all of my life –– in personal and professional settings –– prayerfully believing they would see Christ in me and be drawn to Him. And I’m so thankful to say the times this has happened I’ve felt blessed and humbled beyond measure to that the Creator of the Universe would use little insignificant me. Today, though, I learned of the loss of a sister…Ugh! I don’t even have words to express my sorrow. Because I literally pleaded with her, begged –– in vain –– for this sister to let me be her shelter.
As a believer, I’m going to hold on to the hope that this sweet, beautiful young woman may have recalled the truths I spoke over her life –– that Jesus loves her –– and that my prayers for her to accept the gift of new life He offers were answered. I have to choose to believe she is safe in His arms tonight. I also don’t want to lose another sister to the Ds (challenges women face i.e. drinking, drugs, depression, dysfunction, domestic violence, etc.) and have to let you know that if you are ever in need of a safe haven –– emotionally, relationally or spiritually –– I’m here. So be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and reach out sister. Let me be your shelter.
It’s Day 6 of being back to blogging and I’m still glowing from time spent with one of my BFFS –– we’re high school sisters by heart. In many ways, Josette saved me in the 10th grade. While in junior high I’d tested into a Walnut Hills, a college prep school , but unlike most who did, I didn’t start as a 7th grader, which meant all of the cliques had already been formed by the time I showed up as a freshman. Thirty-five years later, I can honestly say it was one of the worst periods of my life. I was bullied for being a Peppermint Patty –– black on the outside and white on the inside –– and didn’t fit in with either group of kids. Add to that the fact that my junior high boyfriend AKA best friend dumped me for an upperclassman who rallied her friends to bully me too, and there were days when I felt I’d rather die than go another day. Only my faith, family and friends outside school got me through. Beautiful, funny, sweet Josette befriending me the following year remains one of the things for which I’m forever grateful. God knit us together in so many ways that we truly became high school sisters by heart.
Thirty plus years later, though life has not afforded us very many opportunities to spend time hanging out, every interaction feels as though no time has passed. Our discussions no longer center around cute boys, Prince and challenges with our home lives. Now they’re about dealing with the Ds ( the challenges women face like divorce, diagnosis, etc.) but the level of comfort, ease and depth of connection remain the same. This was the case when I treated her to a 50th birthday dinner a few months ago. And the birthday was the best I’ve ever spent with her because she’s conquered a huge D as a one year survivor of stage 4 breast cancer and a double mastectomy. I have ALWAYS loved Josette. Now I absolutely treasure and look up to her more than ever.
The thought of losing my high school BFF has made me more intentional about not letting as much time pass between spending time with my Swan Soul Sister….Hopefully my sharing will inspire you to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and do the same with your old friends. After all, you can always make new friends but you can’t make old ones like high school sisters by heart.
It’s Day 428 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and though life has thrown me for some loops and prevented me from blogging for an entire week (the longest lapse since I started in May of 2017), I’m back in the saddle! Some of my loops have been Ds – personal challenges that can negatively impact my professional life –– but many of the loops have been good ones. Last week I wrote a few scenes for the sequel of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul, promoted the book, scheduled to speak at a book club, had great life coaching sessions with two clients, advocated for myself and others effectively, and indulged in some much needed self-care. Not only that, I did some temp work that has continued into this week. Hence any lapses this week…So while I didn’t post or blog consistently, I’m thrilled that I’m still minimizing my barriers and maximizing my best life, including getting back in the blogging saddle!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose entrepreneur and beginning blogger who is monetizing my blog, weeks where life has me hitting the rails can be tough on my bottom line. Even so, there are life lessons to be learned from most situations and often they’re applicable personally and professionally. Facing barriers myself makes me more empathetic, knowledgeable about resources, resilient, and connected to other women and opportunities. Besides, while I wasn’t able to blog or teach my Zumba class Friday, I made up for it in other lucrative and overall productive ways. Always, the trade off of not working on what you planned to work vs. the plan God has for us is so worthwhile. We Pink Collar Swans should remember that when Satan tries to buck us. Because even when he’s successful, God is right there to dust us off and get us back in the saddle again.
If you’ve been thrown lately, be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and get back in the saddle, 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
It’s Day 421 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and I feel so blessed by time I’ve been able to spend with a female friend of the canine kind. Because I’m a life coach who supports women facing Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– I often deal with diagnosis, depression, and domestic violence, etc. Recently I’ve encountered women who have service/therapy dogs who provide constant companionship and emotional support. And I just read about an accomplished fictitious character who had two English Labs who lent moral strength for her in both personal and professional settings. Seeing how richly these dogs contribute to the lives of their people, spending time with the trained therapy dog of friends this weekend proved even more meaningful than usual. Juneau is trained through Canines for Christ, a non-profit that provides pet therapy by showing Christ’s love through giving. My Swan Sister Kibby’s fiancé, Roger, takes this 120 lb. Alaskan Malamute (she looks like a baby polar bear!) to visit different events and organizations where children, the elderly, veterans and/or just people who need to be encouraged. I was one of the latter on Saturday and Juneau did this for me in in spades. Simply being in her loving presence lifted my spirits and I’m so thankful for my female friend of the canine kind!
Juneau and another friend’s dog Jezzy –– short for Jezebel –– helped me to overcome thoughts of depression, loneliness and stagnation. Since my pet therapy session, I’ve felt energized in my coaching and writing. Just today I completed needed revisions and wrote a whole scene for the sequel of my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. I’ve also gotten enthused about an opportunity to speak at a book club meeting next month. Furthermore, I’ve checked many other items off of my to-do list for this week. Of course much of that can be attributed to Juneau’s people, Kibby and Roger. Kibby blesses me in some way or another almost weekly, but this time around Roger’s kindness and generosity are what touched me the most. He’d texted me last week and asked about the make and model of my car because he wanted to replace a lug nut! I didn’t know what that was, but he not only took care of that, he checked my oil, cleaned bird droppings and smudges off and suggested I go to Auto Zone for a free diagnostic. Then he told me to bring him the print out for any work that needs to be done!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Swan facing some Ds, I can truly attest to the power of pet therapy. Juneau absolutely shows Christ’s love by giving, as do Kibby and Roger. And it’s clear to me that Juneau’s giving spirit is aligned with her master’s…They say all dogs go to heaven. Well, I personally believe there will be a special doggy mansion there for Juneau, my female friend of the canine kind.
It’s Day 414 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m pleased to have pulled off my daughter’s 15th birthday on a budget. I’ve not made it a secret that I’m dealing with some Ds –– personal challenges that can negatively impact professional performance –– and that means I’m keeping a close watch on my pocket book. The great thing is, what started out as a barrier –– limited resources –– turned into an opportunity for me to minimize the barrier and maximize beauty and my best life. Given the fact that she had a party and sleepover at her dad’s on the actual day and that I would be taking her and her brother to something she’d requested a while back –– an Escape Room –– I felt she’d be happy with a few little treats. That being the case, when a dear friend gifted me with a Walgreen’s gift card and two Larosa’s (our hometown pizzeria) gift cards at the end of our lunch date last week, I knew how I’d use them. The former purchased some girly gifts –– Maybelline’s Baby Lips (she loves them), pink nail polish (she’d been eyeing mine), and her favorite candy bars. The latter were used for yummy pizza, salad and sodas. And because I love themed gifts ala Rachel Ashwell, I also purchased a cupcake themed bag and card from the drug store. Then I shredded a coordinating color of copy paper to make “confetti” filler. Next, a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we’re members of the Kids Birthday Club yielded a huge complimentary confetti cupcake. Finally, though there were no Groupons available, I scored a $12 a person deal for “Escape from Alpha Station” at our local entertainment spot. With that and our waitresses’ tip, I was all in $40 –– talk about a birthday on a budget!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose shopper, I’m thrilled about being able to make the most of what I had. More than that, though, making the most of the time with my children was the best part of the day. Liv truly enjoyed her gifts and promptly applied not one but both lip shades. And as all three of us shared the cupcake she poured over her card and gave me a hug far sweeter than the pastry. The Escape Room (www.funattheweb.com) was a blast. Levi displayed his high level of intelligence by deciphering one of the main clues, but alas, because we were in the room with lots of other people resulting in a bit of chaos, we didn’t escape. Still, seeing him and Liv work together so well did my mommy heart good. We shared pizza, so much laughter, and explored some ideas about the future while taking a walk. By the time the night ended, I knew though the birthday was on a budget, it was one of the best.
Are you Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose about planning birthdays or other special events on a budget. At home? The office? You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a large return on investment.