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 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 31 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and as we head toward my daughter’s Sweet 16th birthday this weekend, I’m sentimental about a lot of things, including my high school best friend and how wonderful life is while she’s in the world. My freshman year was so hard. I didn’t start at my college prep high school until freshman year while almost everyone else did 7th grade. They’d already formed their cliques and made it painfully clear there was to be no acceptance of a black girl who wasn’t “black enough” to fit in with the them. But I wasn’t white which made admittance to that group a no go as well . Add the fact that my middle school boyfriend dumped me for an upperclassman who went all the way with him right away after I hadn’t in almost three years…I became a social pariah. All of her friends bullied me to the point where there were days when I honestly wanted to die. Then sophomore year, beautiful, popular Josette did more than befriend me. In many ways she saved me. Love and gratitude for our lifelong friendship made us wrap our arms around each other and sing along as we watched Rocketman on the big screen and a young Elton John, masterfully portrayed by Taron Egerton, serenade his best friend Bernie with “How Wonderful Life Is While You’re in the World”.
Life has taken us down different paths and hasn’t always made it easy for us to get together. But when we do, the thirty-four years that have passed since we were sophomores fade away and we’re both Sweet 16 again. Connected at our core. Giggling over guys. Grateful to God for each other. And always singing songs…Part of the reason I wasn’t considered “black enough” is my love of a wide variety of music, including that of Sir Elton John. Josette and I share that and sang throughout. We also shed several tears. You see, my sweet, strong Swan Soul Sister is a recent D –– challenge women face –– survivor. In the form of a breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy. With amazing faith, positivity and reconstructive surgery, she’s minimized this barrier and is maximizing beauty and her best life. In doing so, she’s become one of my she-roes. Which makes life even more wonderful while she’s still in the world.
I pray you have a special Swan Sister who’s been in your life as long as Josette’s been in mine. And that even if you aren’t a fan of Elton John and wouldn’t want to see the movie ––- which was weird and wonderful (from my favorite “Benny and the Jets”!) –– with them, you still may want to let them know “How Wonderful Life is While You’re in the World”.
It’s Day 27 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and last night’s 50th birthday get-together put a new take on The 3 Gs. I’d just turned 26 when I started teaching with Terry and Brenda at a small Christian school. In our 20s, 30s and 40s, we became a tight trio. I dubbed us The 3 Gs –– thinking at the time we were from three different generations. Though I learned they’re both Baby Boomers and I’m Gen X, the name has stuck for two decades. Then last night, after visiting my Petite Retreat –– which Brenda pointed out is HUGE –– we went to her home where she’d prepared dinner. Our place settings had a plate that described her as Shoe Girl –– she has more than me and that’s saying A LOT; Terry as Cafe Girl –– she’s a natural foods guru and a Fresh Thyme manager; and me as Shopping Girl –– Need I say more? With that, the 50th Bday get-together was the last in a month of festivities and one of my favorite because it put a new take on The 3 Gs!
Doing nearly half of my life with these beautiful, smart, godly Pink Collar Savvy & ChicSwan Soul Sisters has contributed so significantly to me being able to minimize my Ds –– barriers women face –– in the form of domestic violence, death, divorce, domestic court issues, depression, and the list could go on. They’ve been in it with me faithfully and have loved and supported me well enough that I’ve been able to maximize beauty and my best life. Now I’m looking forward to the next Bday where we’ll officially be in our 50s, 60s and 70s. We’re already planning a trip to celebrate that. Until then, I’ll be forever blessed by my 50th get-together and how it put a new take on The 3 Gs!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and get together with those women you’ve done life with. May you talk, pray, laugh and cry like we did last night. And may you continue to help one another minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best lives, too.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic lifestyle blogger, being interviewed for “Cincy Lifestyles” yesterday at my favorite local TV station as the spokesperson for a Chick-fil-A Get Moovin’ 5K Fun Run to benefit Hope House Mission where I’m the Women’s Center Director was a blessing, an honor and truly, “My pleasure!”.
Being able to speak about how I could have benefited from being a resident at Hope House when I became homeless at the end of an marriage cycle filled with domestic violence –– a D or challenge women face –– but now share my mess to success story to inspire residents is one way I’m minimizing that barrier and maximizing beauty and my best life. All to His glory!
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic today and share your story. Not only does someone need to hear it, it will help you minimize your barriers and maximize beauty and your best life, too.
Also, if you’re in the area, I hope you’ll check out the interview on WCPO, Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 10am and then join us for the 5K Fun Run.
It’s Day 22 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and my most recent D or challenge women face –– this time in the form of a disabled car –– allowed me to not only attend Sunday service yesterday but to be blessed by someone serving. From the time my car needed a jump after I taught Zumba class Thursday until last night when she called to get the final update that the car is back on the road and that I’m safe, my Swan Sister, Sonya has helped me to minimize this D. She’s a regular Zumba participant in my Sunday faith-based class, and although she had a meeting after church to plan for the children’s church camp where she and her hubby are serving as counselors and couldn’t attend, she wanted the dance class to go on. In addition to driving me around and partnering with her husband to try to get me the best deal on the parts and labor needed, she also picked me up for Sunday service as yet another extension of her serving.
If you’ve ever been without wheels, it can stink! Instead, Sonya made this a sweet experience for me because of her servant’s heart. And I finally got to visit a well-known church for the first time, participate in praise and worship and listen to powerful preaching on prayer. Then she made sure I got to teach that Zumba class even with her packed schedule. Though she was more than willing to pick me up and drive me on to the next leg of the journey, thankfully another Swan Sister and her car repair savvy fiancé took over and didn’t stop until the right part was secured and installed. Two more sacrificial examples of serving.
What could have been a lousy weekend turned out to be a lovely one spent wrapped in God’s love and provision. Both of these couples attended church yesterday then gave more of their time to bless me… There was a phrase stenciled above the door of my childhood church –– “Worship begins when you enter; Service begins when you depart.” Having a disabled car allowed me to see these words come to life at Sunday service and through their serving.
I pray you will be Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose and help minimize someone’s barriers to maximize beauty and their best lives –– at Sunday service or through serving them at home or work. You may find it’s an effect way to deal with your own Ds.
Despite a recent D or challenge women face –– my car is down and in the shop –– I still got to dance this morning! Thanks to these Pink Collar Savvy & ChicSwans ––Sonya for the ride, Cherie for the Dance Fusion class, and Cookie for the photo! All such a blessing! They helped minimize my barrier to maximize beauty and my best life!
Hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chictoday and surround yourself with a support system that helps you minimize your barriers and maximize your beauty and best life, too.