It’s Day 14 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project and though I turned 50 this week, I’m still under construction. This dawned on me as I stood beneath the framing for a new facility being built to house the homeless we serve at my organization’s agency. We’d met for our monthly corporate prayer but were given a tour of the new structure beforehand. Unfinished, it is still an architectural work of art and thing of beauty –– at least to my eye. And I imagine that’s how God –– the Lead Architect and Master Designer –– sees me. Raw, unfinished, rough. But something being built for purpose and beautiful. Still under construction.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose wife, mother, director, leader, author, blogger, life coach, Zumba instructor, and child of The Creator, I’m so thankful He’s still working on me. My great Aunt Birdy used to say, “I not what I want to be. I’m not what I’m going to be. But thank God I’m not what I used to be.” Amen, Sister!
I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, and realize He’s still working on you, Remember, we’re all still under construction.
It’s Day 12 (reset) of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chicon Purpose Project, and after a frustrating two days of not being able to upload pics to blog, getting the issue resolved lets me share about a special relationship, reasons and seasons. In a former career incarnation as a Director at a program that provided life coaching and education to adults, enabling them to achieve sustainable success, I had the privilege of training and leading a team of life coaches. Amazing as they all were, Julie and Valerie quickly developed their skills to the degree they became lead coaches in their areas of giftedness and interest. Working together and with our team like a well-oiled machine, we served clients and provided them with optimal transformative experiences that led to permanent change. Such fulfilling, fun service on purpose! That being the case, one of the hardest things about transitioning out of my role was not getting to work with this dynamic duo on a daily basis. Since then I’ve come to more fully embrace the notion that relationships are in our lives for seasons and reasons.
You see, I dreaded a career change meant the season for these women being in my life had come to an end. Instead it marked the beginning of a new reason. They encouraged me as I dove into operating my own business full-time to focus on publishing my debut novel, Seasons of Her Soul. Then when life threw me another curve ball, they stepped up to the plate and helped me get to a safe place personally and professionally in the forms of a tiny house for personal and professional use and a dream job as the Director of a Women’s Center… It’s about as perfect a fit possible for me to live out my purpose which is to coach, encourage and inspire women to minimize their barriers and to maximize beauty and their best lives. All to His glory.
Having Julie and Valerie, who have become my Swan Sisters, come celebrate my 50th, not only allowed them to check out the center, it provided an opportunity for us to catch up and continue our connectedness. It also proved it’s true some relationships are in our lives for a reason and others for a season. As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Swan, I’m glad to recognize sometimes it’s both.
Who in your personal and/or professional life is in it for a reason? A season? Both?
It’s Day 26 of being back to blogging, and though I’m unsure about a lot of things right now, one thing I’m certain of is that I’m fully living Pink Collar Service on Purpose. That’s basically my version of At Work on Purpose –– for women. To be perfectly honest, there are days now that I’ve transitioned from running my business –– Pink Collar Savvy & Chic –– full-time to my new role as a Women’s Center Director that make me wonder how I’m going to do it all. Be a wife, mother, author, blogger, life coach, leader, Zumba teacher and maintain my walk with Christ. Then, in the midst of serving all these ways, in ministering to others, I feel that Every. Single. Thing. on my own journey is being put to use blessing another woman and know to the very core of my being that I’m doing exactly what God created me to do in just the way He designed me to do it. And I’m in awe and wonder that I’m fully living my Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose.
Am I still exhausted and a bit overwhelmed? Yes, but it’s the best kind of worn out. I want my life to be poured out and used up serving and showing others the love of Christ so that they too can live their best lives. I got to do that for a woman over the last two days in a way that will impact me forever and Lord willing her for an eternity. Thinking on that restores me and inspires me to serve another day….That doesn’t mean I’m not ready for bed, though!
What about you? Are you giving of your time, talent and treasure to bless and minister to others? Through work, volunteering or in another capacity? If you are, chances are you may end up like me –– too zonked to go to Zumba and too done for a date night with your significant other –– but you’ll sleep well knowing you’ve been emptied out to fill someone else’s cup by living Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Service on Purpose.
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 16 of being back to blogging and I’m so thankful the weekend provides Pink Collar Swans with an opportunity to recharge our batteries and restore our balance. Whether you’re like me and spend your time in an emotionally intense social service/ministry setting, as a full-time homemaker or at any other job inside or outside the the office, the work week can leave us feeling run down and like we’re functioning on low power mode. When we see this happens with our phones –– when we see that red bar that indicates we need to plug in –– we drop what we’re doing and connect to a power source as quickly as possible. Conversely, when our bodies, hearts, minds, spirit and souls alert us that we’re run down, too often we ignore the warning signs and all but die…But what if we stopped this weekend and took the time time to recharge our batteries and restore our balance?
Tonight my sweet hubby wanted to do something. As much as I love him and know how important it is to spend quality time together, I also understand I’m a better wife, mother, friend, director, life coach, and Christ follower when I’m not operating on an insufficient charge and have my balance restored. So I took a rain check for tomorrow and look forward to not just a date night but a date day.
Now I’m blogging and vegging on the sofa munching on many of my favorite snacks while watching Ghost on cable for the first time in 20 plus years. May not be everyone’s version of an awesome Friday night, but I’m loving it. When the movie’s done, I’ll read my devotional and start a novel I picked up at the grocery store on the way home. Hey, if I’ve gotta shop, a trip down the Book and Magazine isle makes it worthwhile! After a good night’s rest and Zumba tomorrow morning, I’ll have enough energy to enjoy my husband, housework, and a host of other things like life working on the sequel to my debut novel. And coaching a new client. Writing is work but a part of the writing life I love!
So that’s the plan. Now I just need to implement it. What’s yours? To recharge personally and/or professionally? I hope we’ll all be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and put it into place so we can recharge our batteries and restore our balance!
It’s Day 15 of being back to blogging and I’m sad to share a woman’s story of how she committed self-sabotage. Many of us who are in the social service field/ministry or any helping profession feel called to do the work because we long to make a difference in the lives of others. For me, doing so with women allows me to fulfill my purpose. I feel so blessed that I’m now in a position as a Women’s Center Director where I’m able to assist the ladies who reside in our shelter to achieve transformational change and sustainable success. Homelessness is often the main barrier that brings them to us, but usually they have ended up that way due to multiple barriers. Finding housing for the residents and their children that is often a challenge. So when a single woman with a child and a myriad of physical, emotional, financial, and relational issues turns down an apartment because she’d prefer to wait for something more to her liking, she’s committed self-sabotage.
Another instance of this is when a woman is offered an affordable studio option –– newly renovated and furnished –– with rent based on her limited income and physical barriers to employment, but she would rather go back to coach surfing while she tries to get a job that pays enough for the exorbitant rent on an upscale apartment with amenities. Even when told she can sign a short term lease on the studio while she addresses her health issues and searches for a job, she’s adamant that it’s just not for her. She’s committed self-sabotage.
After doing all I can apart from literally begging these women to reconsider, I’m relegated to sitting on the sidelines as the scenarios play out. In the first instance, I’ve already seen that it’s not a pretty picture. In the other, I fear the outcome will be similar. Then I’m left to ask, Why? But I realize I may already know the answer, She fears success. And while I’m not a therapist, I do have one on our team, and she confirmed my suspicion. They fear success.
Pondering this phenomena, it occurred to me that it’s not only the population of women we serve who struggle with the Ds or challenges women face (i.e. depression, diagnosis, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, dysfunctional relationships, etc.) who are subject. Any woman, for any number of reasons, can fear rising to her full potential and may self-sabotage. ..
Rather than letting this discourage me, it’s motivated me to share a self-sabotage prevention strategy. I hope you’ll be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic and come back tomorrow to read.
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.