Fashion

Middle Age Conundrum

I’m standing in my closet staring at everything I own. I’m experiencing the same futile hope I get when looking into the refrigerator hoping a meal will spring out of it. I’ve been here in my underwear for at least five minutes just staring at the different fabrics and silhouettes. I huff. My husband gingerly enters the closet hoping to get us out of the house on time to meet his coworkers. “You look beautiful in anything sweet heart,” he says. He is super well-trained, FYI. “You have to say that,” I retort. Undeterred, he pulls out a top he knows I love and says hopefully, “What about this?” What he doesn’t know is since gaining about 15 pounds of middle age spread, I only have one pair of pants I can wear with it, and they’re dirty. I tell him the reason I’m not wearing that, and he realizes we’re about to go down the rabbit hole.

“What about this skirt?”

“No shoes work with that skirt.”

“These are good…”

“I’ll look like a streetwalker in those!”

“Why do you have streetwalker shoes?”

“Because they are not streetwalker shoes with pants. They are with skirts.”

“You can’t wear heels and skirts?”

“Not those heels with that skirt. Not at my age.”

And there we have it. I’m not mad at my husband. I’m not lacking in nice things to wear. I’m mourning the loss of youth, taut forearms, no side boob, and a smooth profile that didn’t need Spanks. I used to know how to dress for my body type. Now, I go to the standbys that always worked, look in the dressing room mirror, and wonder when my mom got here. Then, I realize that that ten pounds of sass shoved in a five-pound sack is me. It’s okay for older ladies to have a maternal span of hip, a huggable flap of “chicken wing” under arm, and breasts that look better when under an apron that smells like cookie dough. It’s what makes grandmas like my mom awesome. I’m just not ready to go quietly into that stage of my life, despite the fact that I have recently become a Mimi (just can’t call myself grandma; sorry).

Go ahead; remind me to embrace all the wonderful things about being in my forties. I do love the perspective I have now, the ability to say no without guilt, and the wisdom I have gleaned from years in the workplace and in church with amazing women and mentors. The latest mental hurdle is to love the body God gave me, and extend to myself the grace to accept aging and all that comes with it. The last thing I wanted to be was a “classic” beauty…in the same way an Edsel is a “classic” car.

God’s amazing design for our lives is that we need Him in different ways at different ages. The things we need to release to Him will change as we grow; the perspective will shift towards things that matter to Him. What does not change is God’s grace that is new every morning, and that my Lord cares exceedingly for me and my self-worth. I know the scriptures about how a woman is to conduct herself, that clothes and adornments are not the most important aspect of true beauty, and the great cost at which Christ redeemed this body. Yet, I can’t help a little wistful remembrance of the way I looked when I was athletic and lithe. As long as it remains wistful, and does not rob me of joy or bring shame into my life, it can spur me to take better care of the only body I will ever have; that I might serve the Lord in greater capacity with all this wonderful perspective that age has bestowed on me. Because our Father loves us so, he gives us good gifts with which to attain the heights He has called us to. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, which has blessed me with peace for self-image, kindness to encourage others and myself, and self-control, for when there are donuts in the breakroom.

Romans 5:1-2 in The Message says, “By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.”

And I will stand tall in the promises given me at so great a price…just not in those shoes with that skirt.

 

YOU'RE INVITED

Gather Her || 11.17.16

 

Fashion + Faith + Friends

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion
11.17.16
6:30 – 8:30 pm

SpaSocial
720 O’Connor Dr., Round Rock, TX 78689
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun, and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

November Guest Speaker: 

CW’s own, Crystal Breaux, Life Purpose Coach.

Crystal will share her story of how the Created Woman pillars was the process she walked through to discover her own life’s purpose. It’s real #GirlTalk

 

November Fashion Partner: 

Kristen Ellis – Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot & SpaSocial/Holiday makeup

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth + Real Girl Talk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder


SpaSocial

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

 

Giving God Your Dreams

It was the same routine day after day. Waking up to go to a job I was uninterested in, staring at the clock hoping time would move faster, and finally getting home only to dread repeating it all over again the next day. I felt unmotivated…purposeless…and unfulfilled. Monday through Friday was something I wanted to fast forward through so that I could get to what I loved. The weekend. My free time to do whatever it was that I wanted. And for me that was everything fashion.

My idea of a perfect day was scavenging the sale racks of Zara or Nordstrom and spending hours browsing fashion blogs and Pinterest for inspiration. I loved the challenge of putting together different pieces and creating a stylish look with a limited budget. I dreamt of working in the fashion industry and doing exactly that. But Monday showed up again, and that was just a hobby. I mean surely it could never be a career. At least not one that I could possibly make a living off of and get a college degree for, right? And surely not something I could do if I wanted to live my life honoring God.

I was in college and was very undecided on what career path I was going to take. I loved fashion, but I couldn’t help but worry that fashion was just “for fun” and that my college degree and career needed to be something more “important”. I knew God wanted me to do something meaningful and I didn’t think it involved fashion. I then decided that I needed to handle my life’s dreams on my own so I continued to work jobs and take classes that made me feel successful. I worked hard and advanced in every professional position I held. There was something missing. I was just going through the motions. Frustrated, I prayed and prayed for God to show me what it was that he wanted me to do in life and to put me on that career path.

It was then that I heard him ask me, “What is your true dream? Why is it that you are not pursuing that dream?” I was shocked! There was no way that God could want me to pursue fashion. I was so sure that THAT dream was way too small for God to care about. How would a career in fashion and living life as a Christian align? What if I really went for it and failed? Plus, I wanted to bring others to know God; how exactly was he going to make that work with fashion?

I needed a step-by-step plan of how that could be possible. Yes, I confess that I was questioning God and demanding that he give me answers! Horrible, I know! I was leaning on my own understanding and not having faith that he would work everything out. I doubted that our God of the universe had put a specific dream in my heart early on and had been putting together the pieces to fulfill it all along.

It was then that I decided to trust God and change my major to fashion. I was finally ready to let God into all areas of my life, and not let fear continue to get in the way. One year later at a career forum, I met Heather, the founder of Created Woman, and God showed me exactly how he planned on using my dream. What I had been picturing turned out to be so much smaller than what God had in mind. He opened my eyes to a whole new way of viewing my dreams and introduced me to my life’s ministry - evangelism, bringing other women to know Christ through my God given gifts. It is amazing the way God used my dream and turned it into a life of honoring him. He took my career field and turned it into my mission field. In a place that I wasn’t expecting to see him in, he showed me that there are no limits to his reach. When I gave God control over everything, he gave my dreams purpose and fulfillment.

If you are longing to know the deeper purpose of your dreams, know that God has placed it on your heart for a reason. If you are unsure of how your dreams honor God, pray that he would reveal that to you, and trust that he is already working out the plan. God knows the desires of our hearts and longs for us to come to him with them. When we give our dreams to God, the results are bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine!

When Life is Out of Control, Clean Your Purse

Someone asked me recently if I’m an “organized person”. The answer to that question five years ago would have been a big NO. Two giant letters. N. O. Organization and neatness are gifts that come naturally to others, but for me at that time it was a permanent struggle. My kitchen table regularly had stacks of mail, some of which were unopened time sensitive letters, no one could ride in my car without me first cleaning the passenger seat and floorboard to give them proper space and cleanliness – sorry!, and my desk could not be seen under the sea of cluttered papers, folders, and books. Maybe it was the way I was raised, or a lack of personal discipline, either way; I was clearly not an “organized person”.

What is the big deal, right? What is the harm in clutter? One thing to consider is that the problem may be bigger than you think. Meaning, disorganization in our lives often starts small and gradually build as we increase our tolerance for the mess. We may not even know we’re doing it!

Our lives are made up of many seasons – hard ones, joyful ones, anxious ones, fearful ones – one overlapping the other. There have likely been or will be seasons in your life where organization will be pushed aside as your last priority and for very good reasons I am sure. Usually these shifts happen during major life changes. The key here is to identify and recognize the problem as soon as possible and rectify before the mess gets too big.

Here is the problem with clutter. As clutter grows, so does the underlying, energy sucking feeling of being overwhelmed. You feel like your body is collapsing in itself and the pressure keeps building and building bricks to an unbearable weight. Instead of walking into your work space with feelings of expectancy, possibilities, creativity, and positivity, you are met with feelings of pressure, anxiety that there is never enough time to get anything done, and even feelings of failure before you’ve even begun. You may not notice the clutter anymore, but your subconscious mind does. Your subconscious mind is involved in every decision you make and every action you take.

Author and organizing master, Pete Walsh says that clutter will affect every area of your life. Every single part of it. “You want a life built on a solid foundation, but you can’t even see the floor beneath you. You want to lose weight, but your kitchen is overwhelmed with appliances you never use. You want to build your career, but your office literally makes you feel ill. You want to change? This is where it starts: your home. Where you live, breathe, rest, love, and create. Forget the self-help books. Get rid of the clutter. Get organized. If you do, I promise that every aspect of your life will change in ways that you never imagined possible.”

If you are feeling overwhelmed and out of control, let me give you this simple piece of advice, clean your purse. Why start with your purse? Your purse is with you all day. When you are searching for your car keys on your way out of the house, when you put on lipstick on the way to work, when you pay for lunch, when you are on your bathroom break, each time your cell phone rings, you are in and out of your purse all day long and it is most likely always with you.

Even though cleaning out your purse is one small thing, it can have a big effect on your mental state and focus because of our daily interactions with it. You may be thinking, “I have much bigger clutter problems than my purse.” I believe you, and you will soon need to pay attention to the other areas of disorganization like your closet, office, kitchen, pantry, car, etc.

Have you ever heard the saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything?” I dare you to look inside your purse right now? What do you see? Do you see chaos, trash, forgotten to-do lists, and clutter? I believe our purses can be a kind of barometer for how organized and effective we are in life. A reason why you should start with your purse is precisely because it IS a small thing. When you consistently do the small things, the big things will happen too. Or as I like to think of it, as my purse goes, so does my life.

[title subtitle="You're Invited"][/title]

Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author.

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side our hurts and hangups we may have experience in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

The Big Surprise Shocker: Journal #19

Journal entry: “Lord, thank you for the many blessings of yesterday.”

Simple. That’s all I wrote at the beginning of my journal entry when I opened it up this week. I knew I had a great week and made so many strides towards many projects we are working on at CW. But until I started writing it down, I had only felt joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Then, the big surprise shocker happened.

Okay, here’s where I need to back up a bit.

This past year, I’ve been sharing how I’ve sort of gone back to school to learn how to properly run a foundation; launch a ministry that is more effective and intentional. Through coaching with a non-profit coach, taking classes, and the prayer of mighty friends, the fear of failure over time has slowly subsided. Especially over finances. In the past, one of the thoughts that continuously ran rapid in my mind was, “why would anyone want to give?” Then I got the slap in the face that it wasn’t about the money, it was about the women we are helping. Oh yeah, that’s right!

The thoughts then turned to why wouldn’t people want to give? That was hurdle #1.

Hurdle #2 came when I finally said out loud at our team retreat this summer that we were headed somewhere bigger. And that bigger meant physically bigger – a building bigger. A big building where women can come to find refuge in a lovely environment to meet with their dream launcher friends, where we would gather for our monthly Gather Her, hosts other non-profits or churches for their events and team meetings, a place where God-ideas can came true and women everyone walk out knowing who they are created to be! Much. Bigger.

….Gulp!

Maybe it’s time to pause, because I sure had to pause after I heard the idea. I mean, who am I?

But then, who am I not? I am a child of God, a daughter of the King, chosen, loved and more than a conqueror just like you!

Okay, back to the big surprise.

Last week while I was on the phone with my coach talking through our financials as we enter into fundraising season – of course, we are not ready to break ground, buy a building or start looking at decorations – she said what we can do and should do is hire an architectural designer to draw the building. With that said, the action step would be to include the action of creating a design plan as part of our fundraising package. “That’s a great idea,” I thought! But then the fear said, ‘Where in the world do I find a designer?”

So here’s the timeline:

  • Tuesday: I pulled out our budget for 2017 and added line item “Architectural Designer” and then stared at it. For a really long time. What dollar amount do I put on that big blank staring back to me?

 

  • Wednesday: You could say it was a random act or maybe it wasn’t, but I stopped in “randomly” at a local co-working place and as I was getting the tour, I commented how I loved the design asking who their designer was because I, too, was looking for one. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the kind lady who was giving me the tour walked me straight over to a woman sitting in the corner who was working on her designs. She was an architectural designer! Okay, so that may not be a big deal to you, but it is to me! I mean its not in my daily routine that I meet architectural designers!

After our introduction I explained the vision of the building – a place for everyday women just like me and you who have found themselves sitting on the sidelines of life and are ready to dive back into life, a place of healing and where dreams are birthed, a place where women can become the leaders they were always meant to be and learn how to make a difference in their community, church, and family. The much bigger.

So here’s the BIG SURPISE!

As I was journaling my simple, “Thank you,” the Lord gently and quietly spoke to my heart that the “chance meeting” with the architectural designer that I don’t meet everyday didn’t happen until I took even the small step of faith to write it down (Habakkuk 2:3). Just by writing it down it was as if I recognized the need and planted a seed of faith that this is true.

An idea that seemed bigger than me, God showed me He’s bigger than any idea!

What’s bigger than you?

[title subtitle="Vision Statement for CW Building"][/title]

The Created Woman building is a place where God-ideas are created and brought to life! It's where dream launcher friends gather to launch dreams that impact communities. It’s where women can grow in their faith in a lovely environment that feels safe and warm while equipping themselves and each other on how to walk out their purpose!

[title subtitle="We need your ideas!"][/title]

Tell us below what you think this building – a meeting place, a place of gather – should be called? Give us your God idea in the comments below.

Fall Fashion

You can feel the drop in temperature. The smell of pumpkin spice bread is in the air, and you can’t help but feel the excitement of a new season quickly approaching. It’s finally fall! Time to move on from our lazy summer days and get back into the swing of things. And if you’re like me, and mostly every other woman in the world, fall means fashion! While the autumn leaves are falling, it’s a time to feel cozy in our favorite layered looks. We get to bring out our leggings, booties, and have an excuse to add to our collection of oversized sweaters (yes!).

Living in Texas, any cooler weather is appreciated. So to celebrate, I’ve put together some go-to casual fall looks that can be worn to lunch with the girls and easily transition to a business meeting downtown. The best part about all of these looks are that they are staple pieces that you can mix with other pieces in your closet and wear again and again. Comfy, stylish, and versatile!

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A tan moto jacket will forever be one of my favorite jackets to wear in the fall. It has a casual feel while still bringing a cool, chic element to the overall look. Paired here with a high-waisted jean skirt and always on trend ankle booties. Mix in a tan fedora hat (that you can live in this season) to complete this effortless look.

Pairing a black high neck knit top and a black velvet skirt with a beautiful burgundy blazer is the perfect way to get a professional chic look. Add in a wide brim fedora and suede knee high boots to take this outfit up a notch for a truly elegant statement.

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There’s just something about a pretty little flared mini skirt that makes you feel feminine and lovely! Black leather, contrasted with a cozy soft camel sweater gives an edge to this luxurious aesthetic. And I just love this Stella & Dot black and cream striped clutch to go with it! Talk about a perfect date night.

the-new-chic

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This last look is probably my favorite to wear this fall. While I usually like to think of my fall wardrobe consisting of warm oranges, burgundies, and browns, there is just something so “cool” about showing off a fall gray. A soft grayish blue flannel matched with a suede A-line mini skirt is perfect for a casual and chic October day. Style with a midnight blue fedora and light gray knee high boots. I just love taking a casual plaid top and turning it into a classic and chic look that can be dressed up or down!

I hope these looks have inspired you and your search for new fall wardrobe pieces! I hope to help you feel confident and thankful, instead of stressed out and overwhelmed when you look into your closet. I would love to respond to you in the comments below and hear your fall ideas! For more fashion ideas, come to our monthly Gather Her gatherings, where every month local Austin designers showcase new collections!

With Love,

Sarah Burns

[title subtitle="You're Invited"][/title]

Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through our monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author.

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side our hurts and hangups we may have experience in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

A Shiny New Life

 

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.”

Ephesians 5:8 {NKJV}

   When I read God’s Word, I normally reach for my two favorite Bibles at home, my tiffany blue colored Bible that my sweet husband gave me and my ginormous (is that a word?) study Bible. This week, I was prompted to change up my routine and search for another Bible in the house to use. I knew that God was calling me to locate my pink one, my very first Bible from almost 15 years ago. Embarrassingly, I found it collecting dust in my closet. I didn’t know why I needed to grab that specific one since I had two other perfectly good Bibles at reach on my nightstand, but it all made sense to me once I had that book back in my hands.

   Holding that pink Bible again was like holding a pink newborn baby in my arms. I instantly began to feel all the good feels from that time when I was young and passionately in love with the new life in front of me! I was never going to be the same, in a good way, after experiencing Christ’s love for me.

   After those reminiscing thoughts, a verse from my pink Bible caught my attention as I opened it.  How appropriate this verse was at that moment.  

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  2 Corinthians 4:6

   Yes, life was shiny and new for me when I first became a Christian.   My quiet time with God was turning out to be a special reminder of his love for me!  Before I began to think that morning was all about me, the Holy Spirit led me to a sobering thought that there are other hearts in the world that God wants to be shiny and new, too.   Instantly, certain people came to mind for me to pray for at that moment.  With 2 Corinthians 4:6 on my mind, I prayed Jesus light over their hearts.  Only the light of Jesus has the power to save hearts!

   The Book of Acts has one of the most remarkable heart conversion stories. Saul (popularly known as Paul in the New Testament) was an enemy of the Lord when he was stopped on his journey to Damascus.

“As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.” Acts 9:3 {NKJV}

   The Bible goes on to add that Saul was blinded for three days upon experiencing this light, which was identified as Christ through the conversation shared between Saul and this light. Once Jesus had Saul’s sight restored, Saul’s heart and life changed forever. Saul was no longer persecuting Christians, but leading them in the movement to preach the Gospel to the nations.

   Saul’s story is just one of a million stories of heart restorations that happened over time. Every human heart needs Jesus today as it did over 2000 years ago.  I want to share the following song that I think sweetly encapsulates today's message.  Yes, it is widely known as a children's song, but it really speaks to every heart of a believer, including mine.  Would you sing this with me today?

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Father, thank you for sending your light to this world, your Son, Jesus.  Our hearts were once dark, but now they are shiny and new!  Thank you for your rescue!  May Christ shine bright through us so that others, who do not know you, will take notice and desire you, too.  Save those hearts that do.  We love you, Father.  In Jesus name, Amen.  

  • Has the light of Christ rescued your heart?  If so, meditate on that memory of when and how that happened.  If not, you can invite Jesus to become Lord and Savior over your heart right now!
  • Who needs Jesus' light over their heart right now?  If anyone comes to mind, this is the time to stop and pray for that person(s).  
  • If a believer, does life still feel shiny for you?  If not, invite Jesus to operate on any hurt that your heart has received lately.  

 "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light."   Genesis 1:3, NIV

 “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”   John 8:12, The Message Bible 

The Perfect Mistake & Girl Tribes

Have you ever roamed the aisles of Target on a lazy Saturday afternoon to look up from admiring an overpriced throw pillow and see a woman with tired eyes searching for the perfect picture frame or hear a couple fighting about dirty dishes an aisle over and wonder what their story is about? What are they going through today? You’d like to go over to the woman and put your arm around her. She looked like she could use a hug – but you know, that would be weird, right? Because who does that. But you have the same tired eyes and could use a hug too.

You were up all night with a teething baby, a deadline, and a snoring husband. Picture frame girl just broke off her engagement leading to a sleepless night of Ben & Jerry's and two bags of Cheetos. She was searching for a gift for her best friend's upcoming wedding that she's contemplating even attending. It'd be too hard. While you stared at the throw pillow deciding whether or not to splurge because, heck, you birthed a little human and you deserve something nice and are there other first-time mamas who understand the feeling, picture frame girl glanced in your direction with a big thought bubble over her head:

I need someone to talk to who has been where I am. I need someone to understand. My friends are living blissful perfect lives and I'm a wreck. Well, at least it seems that way. That lady looks tired too. What's her story?

She has a story. You have a story. Stories are meant to be shared. Especially the hard and messy ones.  

People want to be with likeminded humans. Not perfect people. Someone they can relate to. Having a "perfect" life only pushes people farther and farther away because they can't relate to someone who talks like they have it all together. They want to know you're struggling too. And lets be real, we all are. We need our people, our girl tribe, connecting face to face and lots and lots of Jesus to even make it through dry seasons, joyful seasons, and seasons where we don't even know what's going on. Creating an unapproachable barrier around your struggles, pain, disappointments or pretending that life is peachy and will forever stay that way will only bear surfaced relationships or even no relationships at all. I have the perfect angel who doesn't cry and enjoys teething and has been sleeping through the night since the day we brought her home and I lost all my baby weight two weeks postpartum said no mama ever. And if you have, you can't be in my girl tribe.  

Our people, the ones we call true and dear friends, want to know that they can come to you knowing that if you've been through it, there is a chance they can come through it as well. Even the people we are just starting to build a relationship with or the mama you happen to strike up a conversation about the best baby products and how much you need grace and Jesus, say, in a Target aisle, want to know you're heart isn't made of porcelain but has weathered a few storms.

Don't hide behind the fear that your crap moments will scare people away – those moments are the ones that build the most vulnerable and fun girl tribes. Those are the moments that in turn bring you closer. Let your guard down. You have stretch marks covering your entire stomach. Me too. You wanted to divorce your husband after a couple months of "I do" because marriage is so darn hard. Me too. You had a miscarriage. Me too, a couple actually. 

Being perfect is overrated.

Picture frame girl wouldn't be spending the last of her allotted grocery money on another carton of ice cream if she knew her friend Jana went through a similar life event but was too embarrassed and insecure to share her story.  

Love and share without an agenda, love your people, be the church because every mistake is beautiful. You might even call it a perfect mistake. So ladies, serve your girl tribe with your stories. The big and small ones, the funny ones, the I'm-going-to-cry-again ones, and the ones logged deep, deep, deep in your soul.
 
If you're looking for a girl tribe, Created Woman wants to serve you by inviting you to our first CW: Gather Her event. It is an evening of fashion and faith meant to refresh her (you) through power messages, food, pampering and a time to share, create, and grow with other dreamers and women of purpose. Real women sharing real stories around the table. 
 
Click here for tickets! And here for Facebook invite and details. 
 
YOU’RE INVITED
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TOPIC: “WHEN WOMEN MOVE FORWARD THE WORLD MOVES WITH THEM”

kirsten-profile-bwSpeaker:

Kirsten Dickerson, CEO and Founder of Raven + Lily, is a leader in the social business and ethical fashion industry. Motivated by a belief that each person is valuable and uniquely created, Kirsten is dedicated to empowering women to discover their full potential. She is passionate about promoting social business models as a means of providing a dignified way to alleviate poverty, especially among at-risk women.
Kirsten and her filmmaker husband live in a “tiny house” in the country outside of Austin, Texas on Green Acres, a boutique retreat for artists, families and sojourners. They have a minimalist lifestyle, and are enthusiasts of slow food and slow fashion, and the positive impact they have on people and the planet.
CW: GATHER HER 

An evening of fashion and faith meant to refresh her through power messages, dinner, pampering and a time to share, create and grow with other dreamers and women of purpose.

There’s something special that happens when women who live on purpose gather around a dinner table. The conversations are life changing causing a shift in momentum in where we are going.

~ A movement ~ An awakening ~

That’s why Created Woman has designed a monthly gathering called CW: Gather Her for women who desire to and are living on purpose and for a purpose on the 3rd Thursday of every month at the Arthouse Austin.

You’re invited to be refreshed, renewed and sharpened so that you can continue to be and become who you are created to be, run your race with endurance and show up well!

Click Here for tickets

Facebook Invite and details

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Pictures courtesy of Austin Art House and Leandra Blei Photography

 

Not Bigger, but Better Not Successful, but Effective

Journal entry #10

(Previously Published. Updates on what's happened since this post at bottom of page)

“I just want someone to tell me what to do! I don’t know where to go and what to do it’s too much! I see the vision but I’m wildly spinning on wheels. I’m tired and exhausted! Just tell me!

I need someone to take my hand, that’s all! This thing, this vision, has so many legs and I’m trying to do it all by myself and nothing is getting accomplished. Maybe this will work. Maybe that. Ugh! Somebody…take my hand! Please, I’m desperate!”

Living abandoned, obeying my purpose and trying to live it out doesn’t mean all the answers will just be there. There are steps we have to take and to be honest there was a moment I had no idea what my next one would be or should be. Even though I’ve received ample amount of help and support through the CW Family and our coach, I could tell there was still that one thing missing. I could feel it! I just knew there was something else….

So I kept asking and praying and asking and praying.

While standing in the kitchen one evening, I was expressing to my husband Hoit how I just want someone to tell me what to do, and I’ll do it!

You see, I don’t want to just do or be a consumer. I want my daily tasks, vision, and heart to be effective to the generation I have been called to. Not great, not bigger, but better.

So what is it, Lord? How can we be more effective? Who is that person, that idea, that thing that will tell me, “Now, this is the next step.” Over and over I kept repeating the scripture in Isaiah 30:21,

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

Then one day on a beautiful afternoon a few weeks ago, I sat at my desk looking out my window with my earphones on as I listened to a webinar for non-profits. My husband, who also works from home, played with the kids during the hour meeting so I could fully concentrate without distraction. During that call I received confirmation that we, the Created Woman Foundation are different; something I had been feeling for a while and even wrote about it in my journal entry #9. We are not just a non-profit, we are a ministry and we need additional tools. I totally believe it was a God moment, a God thought that came into my head that went something like this:

“If there is an organization like this for non-profits and organizations that help launch church plants, surely there are organizations that help launch ministries. Right?”

With that thought, google came to the rescue!

There it was, or should I say, there they were! Yes, places do exist! There’s help, wisdom, someone to take my hand and tell me which way to go step-by-step. Provision!

You see, when God gives you a vision, provision is right by its side like a package deal. Too often we mistake provision with being financially stable and find ourselves stuck thinking but we don’t have enough. But sometimes it comes in a way of detailed plans, a how-to if you will. Provision of the how. For me, provision came only after I confessed what the vision actually was – an actual ministry. (Journal time: Have you confessed yet what you are called to do? Release any fears or misconceptions and take the time to write out your confession. Then read it aloud. When you use your voice and speak the words, they begin to build bridges of truth in your vision and heart.)

After that, all I had to do was ask! “Lord, what’s your provision,” and He showed me.

I felt a weight being lifted; one that I didn’t even know I had.

You see, I have a vision to help women to find their “Go” and everything I do is reaction to that vision. I don’t want to react to what others are doing, how pretty they are or what others think I should be doing. I want to react to the purpose God has given me in a way that’s effective to the here and now and for the generations to come. {CLICK TO TWEET}

I want to react in a way that makes us better and build efficiently so that we can be effective. Because if we are effective, we have successfully launched.

Remind yourself.

Not bigger, but better.

Not successful, but effective.

[title subtitle="So what’s the reaction?"][/title]

Well, there’s a lot of behind the scenes going on in the CW Family which means you might not see us in front of the scenes very much in the next few months. But please don’t think that we or I am gone. Quite the contrary!

Like I mentioned, we got our building plans, if you will, and it’s time to build.

We are in a time of building structure. We are putting up walls, laying down the floors, wiring and plumbing are up next so we can open our doors like they are new. A place and environment that is safe. We are creating a structure so that we can talk, grow, and successfully launch each other into the very purpose in which we are created to be.

Sure, this is all symbolisms, but you get my point. There’s no physical building (yet!), but the structure is being built behind the scenes for our programs to flourish so we can mentor and teach women of all generations and seasons of life.

We want to help you discover your “Go” by providing you strategies and practical tools that are relevant, tangible, and life-giving.

We are being intentional.

To sum up, we are designing every detail that will soon come to light and we can’t wait to share them all with you! Little by little, each will be revealed, but in the meantime we will continue to bring you fresh and thoughtful posts each week.

Stick with us. Pray for us. And if it’s in your heart, contact us and let us know you want to be a part of the building process.

The bottom line is this: We want to be effective. And in order for us to be effective, we have to be efficient, thorough, and detailed.

Not to be bigger, but better.

Not to be successful, but effective.

Journal Time:

Have you gotten stuck in the routine of your purpose losing the effectiveness of your “Go”? Stop, confess once again who you are and ask for provision. Not to be successful, prettier, more popular or gain more followers, but to be effective and leave a legacy for the generations to come.

What’s your provision?

[title subtitle="Join the movement"][/title]

lunch and learn

Created Woman is hosting a Lunch & Learn on August 3rd at the Arthouse Austin for women who love all things fashion and faith. During our time together, I'll be sharing the vision, where we are going and then we will break into different groups as team members share on different programs and outreach opportunities with a time for Q & A.  Here's why:

CW is growing! It's an exciting time so we are inviting you to grow with us as we impact women around the world through fashion and faith. So, if you are a #LegacyBuilder and have the desire to create a movement that will last for generations to come, then mark your calendar for August 3rd.

Who are we looking for? Glad you asked!
Writers - Speakers - Stylists - Outreach - Advisory & Governance Board - Social Media - Editors - Event Coordinator - Mentors - Administration - Financial Support

~ Don't fit into anyone of those categories? ~ 
No worries, we've got you covered! Join our CW Ambassador Program where you'll get to be a part of different areas of the Created Woman Foundation. We'll help you find your niche!

Lunch & Learn
8.3.16
11:30am - 1:00pm
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Austin Arthouse
11505 Anderson Mill Rd,
Austin, Texas 78750

CW Advisory Board & Family will be on hand to present different programs and outreach opportunities and answer your questions.

Box lunch provided so be sure to reserve a box and RSVP on our fb page page or email us at heather@createdwoman.net

[title subtitle="Previous Journal Entries"][/title]