It’s Day 22 of being back to blogging, and as Valentine’s Day approaches, many are asking others, Give me your heart. Most often, this is a romantic request. For me, working in the social service industry as a Women’s Center Director for a homeless shelter for women and children, my prayer has been that God give me His heart –– for the hurting. Daily I work with those the world considers “the least of these” and am learning such valuable lessons on servant leadership. The most impactful one is viewing them from His perspective. The addicts, those with developmental disabilities, the mentally ill, the poverty stricken, the promiscuous, the traumatized. I look at them and see them as God’s beloved daughters and precious children. They are beautiful and lovely to me. Because God has somehow answered my prayer and given me His heart.
Not only do I feel as though my prayer has been answered, I’m humbled to know that others see it as well. In dealing with a situation regarding one of the non-compliant residents, I basically expressed what my dear Aunt Birdy used to –– If not for the grace of God, there go I. That realization allowed me to move from a place of judgement to one of empathy. Witnessing this, one of the amazing staff members I inherited teared up and said something that let me know I’ve been granted what I really desire this Valentine’s Day. “You really do have a heart for them.”
My prayer is that all of us who work in social service/ministry would be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and demonstrate our Father’s heart for the ones we serve. What a beautiful expression of His love…
It’s Day 7 of being back to blogging, and as I contemplated what word of encouragement to send to a loved one struggling with their identity, I heard these lyrics from Tenth Avenue North’s song “Control”: The King of heaven wants me!
Talk about a word of encouragement! As the song played, I sang with all my heart:
God you don’t need me
But somehow You want me
Oh how You love me
And somehow that frees me
To take my hands off of my life and give You control
The King of Heaven wants me
This world has lost its grip on me.
If you’re like my loved one and struggle with your identity in this world, please know you’re the one that the God who has everything loves so fiercely that He desires an intimate relationship with you. Resting in that knowledge, I hope can relinquish control and feel the world loosen its grip on you. Then you can be truly Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and give the King of Heaven thing He really wants.
It’s Day 252 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and though I had an uber productive work day, and then Zumba, I switched gears afterward to prepare for Valentine’s Day tomorrow because I heart my hubby! When I was in school for my Masters in Leadership and Coaching, one of the things that excited me most was learning how to build a coaching toolkit. Putting that knowledge into practice today in order to customize coaching tools to fit Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, my holistic coaching agency, was such an enjoyable task that the day flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to put work away, go dance, and then shop for a few items that will show my sweet husband how much I heart him!
Pink Collar Valentine’s Day Planning – You don’t have to break the bank to get bang for your buck. All of these items and others can be found at your local grocer. Add a shopper’s discount card and you may have $ left over for a romantic dinner date! Hope you’re inspired!
A Meaningful Message
Faith is the foundation of our relationship, so I appreciate the fact that Hallmark and Dayspring offer a small selection of faith-based/Christian cards. This evening I found one with all the elements I look for: A hint of pink amidst the red (a pink envelope is a bonus!), a message that captures the essence of our life together, including the ups and downs, and gratitude that God blessed me with the one my heart adores. Tonight’s find even has a touch of humor. It features two squirrels in love, which is appropriate because my handy hubby works diligently to keep the ones that inhabit our yard (the woods basically), from eating the grass on the side of the house. Every year after he lays new sod, we watch from our kitchen window as they make short work of his hard work!
A Tasty Treat or Two
Food and drink are usually part of my husband’s gift. Because he’s very health conscious, I try to avoid giving him something super sweet and was pleased to find fruit juice/veggie drinks in red and pink that he’ll enjoy. All the pleasure, none of the guilt! Well, a little guilt because I got him a cake pop – pink of course!
Setting the Mood
Finally, creating a romantic atmosphere with decor is one of my fave parts of the holiday, so a pink glitter “LOVE” sign – set amongst the brie cheese of all places – was a serendipitous find! Apparently Kroger, our local grocery store, likes creating atmosphere too because many of the wedges wore glittery hearts…Then again, perhaps the marketers just know the way to our hearts is through our tummies – with yummy cheese!
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose woman for whom God blessed the broken road, I’m truly thankful to have someone special this holiday. That said, I never want to forget those who don’t. My prayer for you is that you will experience the love of friends and family in a way that it seems God is giving you a hug with skin on it. And for those of you who are in a romantic relationship, I pray you don’t take it for granted, especially because of longevity. You never know if this Valentine’s Day will be your last..That’s why I want my hubby to know how very much I heart him!
I won’t be blogging tomorrow so I can spend the evening with my sweetheart. So, on Valentine’s Day, and always, I hope you are Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and fully comprehend this this: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NIV). Jesus did that – because He hearts you!
It’s Day 221 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project and one of the best times I’ve had with my children in a long time reminded me that though umbilical cords are cut at birth, our heartstrings are tethered forever. From the time I woke up early this morning, the ravages of divorce were at the forefront of my mind. It’s not natural for a mom to be apart from her babies at Christmas, but alas, that’s where divorce has us…Before rushing out the door to spend time with them, rather than doing my daily devotional, I glanced at the dedication in a new book, Perennials, by a favorite Christian author, Julie Cantrell. It reads:
“For my children
and for all children
and for the child in all of us —
May you always know the truth: you are loved.”
Wow. I’m amazed by God. Even when I don’t slow down enough to take the time to read His Word, He still speaks to me and reveals exactly what I need in that moment. In his infinite wisdom and omniscience (the state of knowing everything), He had the author put those particular words to paper and then allowed me to see the page right when I needed them most. If I wasn’t already a believer and in love with God, this would have sealed the deal for me.
And I believe my children experienced the deep, abiding truth of my love for them today. We reminisced and relieved shared experiences that make it apparent how alike we are. We sang, and quoted lines from books, movies, and plays. We laughed so hard it hurt! Time flew by and all too soon it was time to say goodbye until the New Year. After hugging and kissing me, Levi turned and backed away, never breaking eye contact before he had to in order to go out the door. I sense, like me, he didn’t want the connection to end.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose mom, parenting children where divorce ( a major D or challenge), can rob and steal time, I wonder how my babies have both outgrown me. It seems like only yesterday when they operated to remove her after she’d reportedly died intra-uterine. Post surgery I learned she was alive but a miscarriage was supposedly imminent. Cameron Liv (her name was and still is my prayer for her) is doing just that fourteen years later. And Levi (if you rearrange the letters in his name, they spell “live” also) came out with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. His mouth, fingers and toes were already blue. He not only lived but did everything fast in his efforts to keep up with his big sissy, hence my nickname for him: Dash. Whenever I say his name, I’m affirming him to live and make the most of the dash between the date when he entered the world and when he’ll leave it.
Thankfully the doctor finally got Levi’s umbilical cord unwrapped. And like he did with Liv’s, he cut it. But unlike my twelve-year-old son as he hesitated to turn away today, perhaps fearing the broken eye contact would cut off the connection, I fully know the truth that I’m loved by my heavenly Father and understand that NOTHING can separate me from it (Romans 8:31-39, NIV). Not broken contact, or a physical separation. I pray my children will one day fully understand this truth about our relationship too. Because even though the cord was cut all those years ago, the strings to our hearts are tethered together forever.
I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose this Christmas and remember me and my children in your prayers and thoughts as we spend the holidays apart. Thank you!