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.
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?
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 35 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project, and while I’m still savoring my daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday yesterday, it’s in light of today’s Dayton shooting. Shortly after we finally wrapped up the special day right around midnight, the 250th shooting in the US occurred an hour later, just 45 minutes away. For a brief period I worked a few exits north of Dayton for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and drove through it daily. And now that I’m the director of a homeless shelter for women and children whose executive director pastors a church the residents attend twice a week, this shooting felt very close to home personally and professionally. To fall asleep chatting with my birthday girl about the already fond memories made –– we share a room at what I now think of as the Savvy & Chic sanctuary –– and to wake up to the fearsome news that nowhere seems safe anymore shakes me to the core. So, after spending time praying for the situation, we continued the Sweet 16 celebration but did it in light of the Dayton shooting.
As if the above wasn’t bad enough, my new 16-year-old discovered the other mass shooting that occurred in El Paso, Texas not a day earlier. What kind of world do we live in where an innocent girl’s milestone birthday memories will be forever marred by back-to-back mass shootings? She and her brother are eighteen months apart, almost the same span as the sister murdered in Dayton at the hands of her brother? Death is one of the Ds –– challenges not only women but that we all face. And while I blog about how to minimize barriers in order to maximize beauty and our best lives, the only suggestion I have for this one is that we put faith over fear and pray. For our country. For the families and loved ones of the victims. For my Sweet 16 year-old daughter in light of both of these shootings.
I pray you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and join me in praying for our land to be healed. God’s Word tells us, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV). God bless you and bless the USA.