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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Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore & Back to Baseline with Blogging

Though it’s been a little over a month since my last post, I started this one on Living Proof Life 2019 with Beth Moore on Day 56 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project (reset) and am just going to pick up here 5 weeks later to get back to a baseline with blogging…

The event turned out to be truly transformational and provided what I needed to sustain me through the personal and professional Ds –– or challenges women face –– I was already dealing with and those to come. Originally when the nonprofit where I’m the Women’s Center Director offered complimentary tickets for the two day conference, I’d hoped to use it as a team building activity for the whole group of women I lead. But due to staffing constraints and a D  in the form of a diagnosis for one staff member, it wasn’t to be.

Instead, my Swan Sister, Kibby and I made the most of the opportunity. Various other Ds limited our time together this summer, so meeting for dinner –– a good D! –– beforehand and riding together saved gas, parking fare and allowed a chance to catch up. Aware of my dysfunctional relationship Ds, Kibby –– a prayer warrior ––  had me share. And by time we entered the venue to worship and look at God’s Word with Beth Moore, expectancy filled the building, our hearts and those of the 5,000 plus women who’d convened for Living Proof 2109.

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Me, Pink Collar Coach, in a favorite lace dress, pumps and floral bag.               All Calvin Klein from TJ Maxx.                                                                              Kibby is pretty as a peach in a unique sleeveless top that flowed into a train and gorgeous dangly earrings.

Both sessions started with praise and worship. If you’ve ever been in a an auditorium filled with this many women lifting their voices to the Lord, you know it’s a glimpse of what we have to look forward to in eternity.  With our hearts turned toward heaven, we were ready to receive Beth’s teaching and she didn’t disappoint.  Her message, “In the Same Boat” drew from the different accounts in the Gospels about Jesus and the fisherman/disciples who became fishers of men. As an expository teacher, Beth breaks down the history, geography and etymology of words in her lessons. I took a whole booklet of notes over several hours of teaching, but my main takeaways were “From now on ________.” and “I’m saying no to ________________.” My fill in the blanks relate to the dysfunctional relationships and have empowered me as I move forward differently –– another great D!

Since the event, one of my closest friends lost her husband unexpectedly and it rocked me because divorce runs rampant in my family and  they were one of the only examples of a happily married couples (29 years) I’ve had. They loved the way a  I Corinthians 13 tells us to… Then my staff member’s terminal cancer diagnosis took her from us two weeks ago tonight, two days after her birthday. Looking at the dates of  her sunrise and sunset my focus has been on the dash in-between and how she maximized it to the fullest. Both of these deaths have added significance to my “From now on ___________.” and “I’m saying no to ___________________.” I’ll never be the same.

Taking what I learned from Living Proof Live 2019 with Beth Moore, I’m going to be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and put the teaching into practice (TIP). Beginning with getting back to a baseline of blogging. Pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and determine ––– an awesome D –––  your “From now on ______________.” and “I”m saying no to ______________.”, too.

Be  savvy & chic ,

                                                                                                          ~Pink Collar Coach

 

 

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – January 12, 2019

Pink Collar Coach’s Positivity Post – January 12, 2019

pink wings

Wishing on Wings

So blessed to be his daughter,

So proud to bear his name.

So thankful for his friendship

And love that never changed.

Been missing him for 18 years,

Longing for an eternity more.

Praying I’ll see my hero’s face

As I walk through heaven’s door.

Days spent wishing –– for that very thing,

Not a single one of them has passed

Without his wind beneath my wings.

I’ll love you forever Daddy,

~Pink Collar Coach 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Practice Self-Care

Keep Calm and Practice Self-Care

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.

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Keeping Calm and Practicing Self-Care is Key! 

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.

Be savvy & chic,

Pink Collar Coach

 

Sister Let Me Be Your Shelter

Sister Let Me Be Your Shelter

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.

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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.

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Coach

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Pink Collar Mom – Made of More Than Many Made Her Out to Be

Pink Collar Mom – Made of More Than Many Made Her Out to Be

It’s Day 267 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I’m delighted to learn about a Pink Collar Mom who’s made of more than many made her out to be. On Halloween I blogged about the tragic death of our handyman, Mark, who hadn’t reached thirty. He was killed working at a landscaping company when the industrial mower he’d been using to cut grass near a pond flipped over and pinned him underwater. Raised in poverty, Mark had a rough life. Still, he was one of the hardest workers I’ve ever known. And from what my husband tells me, never more so than when he learned he was to be a father. Excitedly expecting his little girl in January, Mark made it clear his child would have it better than he had. But with his death, it seemed mother and baby would have a rough go ahead. My husband, who’d become a mentor to Mark, was devastated by the loss and naturally expressed concern for the baby’s mother. We all wondered how she would manage. This afternoon my hubby paid them a visit and it appears this Pink Collar mom is made of more than many made her out to be.

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Mark’s beautiful baby girl. A Cygnet.

Since I was working on the map for the sequel to Seasons of Her Soul  – Hold On Her Heart – and was in my zone, I declined my hubby’s invite to accompany him. Even so, I was anxious to hear how the visit went and feared I’d get a gloomy report when he called on the way home. Seldom is my husband effusive but he told me, “People say all babies are beautiful. I don’t think they are. But this baby is beautiful.” We went on to discuss how mom is doing and I was elated to hear in addition to receiving a death benefit, she’s working as a veterinary assistant. She loves animals so kudos to her for operating in her strengths zone! Greg even got some advice on how to handle one of our Ds – two delinquent kitties! In addition to doing well in the workplace, she’s also a good homemaker and has created a clean, comfortable environment. Mother, baby, and their three kitties appeared to be happy and in good health. Not a gloomy report at all!

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When Greg walked in  the door I demanded to see Rory’s picture and he said it for me,                  “She sure is a cutie.” I concur. 

Though no tears were shed hearing the above, I did tear up when Greg told me: “She said she came home one day to find Mark painting in the baby’s room. There were names all over the wall. Mark said ‘Rory’ was the one he liked best, so that’s the one she picked.” That and the fact that I would have named a daughter with Greg the same thing (I did name a cat that) was enough to choke me up, but when I consider how Mark had come to view my husband as more than a mentor – he saw him as a father – it isn’t lost on me that he chose a derivative of “Gregory” as his daughter’s name. There’s no way to know for sure this side of heaven if that was his intention; I do know for sure Mark would have loved that it turned out that way… but not near as much as he would have loved her.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, I’m so proud of Rory’s. She’s dealt with one of the biggest Ds – death, buried her baby’s father, birthed his child, is working hard in the workplace and on the home-front, and has honored the man she loved. It doesn’t get much more Pink Collar Savvy & Chic than that, proving she’s made of a Whole. Lot. More. than many made her out to be.

How can you be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and let a young mom know she’s more than many make her out to be?

Be savvy & chic,

~Pink Collar Savvy