Women

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

 

Live, Laugh, Love...

I woke up one morning in July of 2012 and decided I was no longer happy with my job.  While I loved the people that I was working with, the tasks I was completing each day filled me with no joy.  There was no excitement; my professional life was stagnant.  It was then I realized I was much too young to be having these feelings.  In my head I had 3 choices; stick it out and be miserable, find a new job in a new company, or relocate to our company headquarters in California.

Live

"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15 (New Living Translation)

Laugh

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."  1 Peter 1:6  (New Living Translation)

Love

"Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  (New Living Translation)

After much prayer and discussion, my husband & I have decided to LIVE.  I was offered and accepted a job at my corporate office in California.  I've moved ahead of them which isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  A small price to pay; we'll all be together again soon and I can't wait.  Until then, I'm entertained nightly by my family via Facetime, they are a LAUGH a minute!  All of these things are made possible for me because I believe in a God who grants the desires of our hearts and because I have a husband who LOVES me enough to follow me to another new city, and be both Mother & Father to our daughter while I pursue new opportunities for my career.

STOPLIGHT PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank you giving me life and for guiding me through it.  Thank you for making your will for my life the desire of my heart and for guiding me through life.  Help me to listen for your voice amidst the static that tries to throw me off course.

My Family This is my beautiful family.  I love them for supporting me in everything I do and can't wait to start this new adventure with them.

A Date for the Busy Couple

Is it even possible to have a normal date (as you once did) and a candle lit dinner amidst every thing the world is bringing you.  Maybe you're new social life consists of party after party for those under the age of 10 and, to be honest, you're too tired to even think about a date.  How does today’s busy couple stay connected and still feel that they have time for each other? What I've learned as I work with busy women to create a Personalized Fitness Plan, is that most women are overwhelmed with life.  How in the world do you make time for exercise, much less have quality time with your husband?

For my marriage, we have to sometimes get creative and think outside of the normal dates we once had when our life was simpler.  Yet I still feel connected since we've made it a priority to find ways to spend time together.

A date for this busy couple may look something like this.

  • A walk or run

When my husband and I need to catch up or discuss certain things going on in life, we love putting on our shoes and going for a run or walk.  We tell the kids to grab their scooter or bike and head outside with the family.  While they are busy seeing who is the fastest, we are getting connected and spending quality time together.  We've also from time to time made a commitment to work out or train for a local race together.

  • Have Lunch

We don't always have time for a long dinner nor can we always make arrangements for a babysitter, so we schedule lunch.  The key words for a busy couple are “schedule it".  It's more likely to happen if you set a specific date and time and put it on the calendar that just having good intentions to make it happen.

  • Friend exchange

Some times we just need to have one hour for dinner.  We're fortunate to have best friends who need the same.  Babysitters can be expensive and not many want to waste one hour….which may be all they get.  Find a couple who's willing to keep your kids for an hour or two for a date night and be sure to find a time to offer the same to them.

The key is thinking outside the box.  You can still have romance and quality time.  It just may not be the way you once did.

 

Smile Pretty

I think 'cheerfulness' is an underrated characteristic. Women want to be beautiful, intelligent, successful, sassy, et cetera, et cetera. But I rarely hear 'cheerful' at the top of the list. And we always seem to have something in our lives to complain about. When people ask how we are, we can often respond with negativity. "I'm not feeling well."

"I lost my job."

"I'm so annoyed with so-and-so."

"I'm so broke."

"I'm just too busy."

There's always something to gripe about and blame our bad moods on. Now, I don't want to trivialize the things we go through in life. I just want to throw it out there that at times, we get too caught up in our own pity parties. We allow our negativity to drain the energy of those around us. Be honest with yourself. Are there days when conversations seem to become all about you and your frustrations? Are there days when you just don't feel like smiling and being cheerful at all?

Proverbs 17:22 "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength."

Recently, I spent the night in the ICU with my sister so she wouldn't be alone when she awoke throughout the night. Before I went to the hospital, my husband said, "Be happy in the room so she stays calm." With all the tubes and machines, it wasn't an easy sight to see. I felt the furthest thing from happy. I was frustrated, worried, and sad at what was happening.  But my husband's words stuck in my head. I knew that the best way I could help the environment was to put my sad face aside and be as cheerful as possible. Which meant smiling big every single time she woke up, making jokes about everything I could, and singing "Happy Birthday" to her in my most horrible voice.

The point is, I didn't feel cheerful. We often don't. But one way to make the world a better place is to simply be cheerful in your interactions with others. Cheerfulness is one trait I've been trying to cultivate within the last couple of years. Everyone has their negative stuff going on, but we really can pour into a person's life just by being cheerful. More often than not, let's show off our smiles and be a light. Let's walk into a room and bring positivity!

Prayer: God, help us to walk with Your joy in our hearts. Even when our troubles drain us, let us bring positivity and cheerfulness into the lives around us. Let us be lights! Amen.

Fashion Goes Global

As someone who tries to stay current on the latest trends and fashion I must say it is absolutely exhausting. There are times I leave the house and clearly could not care less about what Vogue says in style, it just gets hard keeping up! However, there is a new trend that I hope catches like wildfire and people never tire of, and that is the trend of social entrepreneurship. The most well known brand associated with social entrepreneurship is Toms. Toms have traditionally made canvas flats for men and women, with a distinct design. I am a fan. The shoes are comfortable, flexible in all seasons, and perfect for packing and traveling. Recently though, Toms have updated their design for a current summer trend, wedges. For each pair of Toms purchased, the company donates a pair of shoes to someone in need. The wedges shown below can be purchased at Nordstrom but Toms are sold at a variety of stores, including Whole Foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I must admit, I have saved the best for last-- my favorite summer trend, the bright colors! Hot hues are everywhere and I love it. I was elated when I saw Kate Spade partnered with Women for Women International, an organization which provides employment for women in places like Rwanda and Afghanistan. The results are dynamic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer there is no lack of color or options. Desginers have made it easy to celebrate the most carefree time of the year. Let your eyes indulge and let your heart feel full when you shop socially responsibly!