Purpose

pur·pose

/ˈpərpəs/

The journey of determining a career, a talent, a home, or a relationship through which to fulfill your unique calling; the essence of who you are and who you want to be, finding the reason to do your best and be your best every day in every area of life 

Overcoming Shame from Abuse in a Grit and Grace Life

If you were a victim of child abuse or neglect like me, you very likely have experienced or do experience some level of shame. In my case, it plagued me for many years, yet I had no idea what it even was. Shame from abuse is hard to pin down because it assumes many forms. But it has the same message. It tells us that we are inferior, a mistake, fundamentally flawed. Shame is not the same as guilt. Shame focuses on self. Guilt focuses on behavior. Shame says that “I am bad.” Guilt says that “I did something bad.” Instead of saying “I made a mistake,” a person who experiences shame says that “I am a mistake.” Think of shame as […]

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For the Woman Who Wants to Be Strong

I would have never considered myself a strong woman seven years ago. In fact, I wasn’t a strong woman seven years ago. I was weak, wishy-washy, and wandering aimlessly. But then I was thrown into the fire. At 21 years old I lost practically all of my hair to Alopecia Areata. I never dealt with this condition as a child, so it really came out of nowhere. Going bald as a 21-year-old girl felt like living a nightmare, but it’s one of those life-changing experiences that helped shape me into a woman. It made me a better woman. A better person. And I can truly say that I would never wish those difficult years away…for although they were filled with grief, they were

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How to Discover Your “Why”

Sometimes I feel it would be easier to be a member of the animal kingdom rather than humankind. Despite the fact that animals aren’t allowed to wear clothing (in most cases) and have to forage for their food, they live each day without the pressure most humans feel to do something significant with their time on earth. Most days, I’m happy to be a part of a race that values doing good and changing their community, but with the earth so filled with needs, and so many humans gifted with various passions and abilities to use, there are days I wish I could move through on auto-pilot. Days I wish someone would grasp my chin and say, “this is your purpose in

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What it’s Like to Be the Mom of a Multi-Racial Family

I have been given the incredible opportunity to be a part of a multi-racial family. The role I have been chosen for is “mother.” My husband and I have two biological children: a charming boy (now 20 years old), and a creative girl (now 17 years old). We have adopted two children: a charismatic boy from Haiti (now 12 years old) and a corybantic girl from our hometown (now 3 years old). Yes, I had to look up that word, but it seemed to fit her well! “Wild or unrestrained, especially in pursuit of pleasure.” We have one foster baby, the cutie patootie (Urban dictionary definition: “someone so cute that the word cute itself has to morph into something cuter”), who is

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5 Things to Do When You Don’t Recognize Yourself

We occasionally run into moments in our lives where we don’t recognize ourselves. Some days, these times are courageous, daring, bold! You did something you never knew you could do. You realized you have something in you that you never knew before. You found your gumption, your strength, your assertiveness. Some days, these moments are lonely, sad, and confusing and the same rules apply: you did something you never knew you could do. You realized you have something in you that you never knew before. You found your base level, your deep character flaws, your underbelly. What do you do in those moments, good or bad, when you don’t recognize yourself? 1. Take note of the moment. Time is fleeting. It spends itself without us

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A Woman of Grit Without a Hard Heart

A Woman of Grit Without a Hard Heart

The ability to push through, face hardships, and confront challenges requires a quality we refer to as grit. We’re not talking about the irritating piece of something that gets in your eye or the type that is on sandpaper to wear down or smooth out a piece of wood. Grit is courage, fortitude, and determination. How do we take on life challenges without hardening the heart? How can one master what’s ahead without becoming that difficult, worn-down kind of person? Therein lies the battle. Here are five things you should never forget when life requires grit: 1. Grit does not mean aggression. The strongest ladies possess quiet, confident strength—picking up the gloves only when necessary. 2. Move forward. Proceed with calm thoughtfulness, never quick reactions.

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4 Ways You Can Join A21 in the War on Human Trafficking

For many of us living in the United States, the idea of human trafficking happening in our corner of the world seems hard to believe. Sadly though, this issue is just as pervasive here in the U.S., as in places like South East Asia and Eastern Europe. Human trafficking touches every part of the globe, from small villages in Africa, to major cities like Bangkok or London, and upper middle class cities in America. We may have watched Liam Neeson in the movie, Taken, busting down doors to rescue his daughter who was captured and about to be sold into the sex trade, and wish we could channel that heroism and go fight some bad guys. Well, I’m sure for most of us

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Tips For When You Want to Set Goals and Actually Meet Them

It was high school math class, and as usual, I was daydreaming. My eyes met an obnoxious banner in the back of the classroom that read, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” There was something so irritating about that stupid banner! That phrase had been preached to me many times in my young life and continues to interrupt my daydreaming but this time it was in a good way. I don’t want to spend my life daydreaming…I want those dreams to get feet and actually go places! This happens through making a plan of action! Goals are great but without a plan, they are just taking up space in the journal beside your bed. I have never been much

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7-Brands-That-Are-Helping-Women-Around-the-World

7 Brands That Are Helping Women Around the World

I love shopping, and I really love seeing women live into their purpose. All the praise hands for the fact that adding social responsibility to quality, stylish goods is now trendy! More and more often we have the chance to buy handmade beauty and create opportunity for another woman all in one purchase. We’ve compiled a list of 7 brands that help women in various ways by means of selling products that we simply adore. Our 7 favorite brands that better women across the world: 1. Sseko (Uganda) Sseko employs women who make really pretty leather shoes and handbags. Customers can even create their own “dream sandal.” Sseko provides a way for Ugandan women to earn dignified incomes, sends women in Uganda to college, supports local farmers in East Africa, and even offers an opportunity for

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3-Reasons-You-Should-Share-Your-Story

3 Reasons You Should Share Your Story

We all have stories. We’ve lived our varied lives, and while some details may overlap, our stories are specific to each of us. Our experiences, good and bad, tender moments bursting with joy and light and the heart-wrenching darkness of grief and pain are being woven together to create our unique tale. I have a story. I have stories, even, and I can tell you that the tone of the story changes with each season that I’ve been in. Whether I’d count it as remarkable or not isn’t the point—it belongs to me. It’s mine to share or to keep tucked away, just like your story belongs to you. Some details are light and casual, like the city I was born in and

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Do Women Need to Be "Empowered" in Order to Display Strength?

Do Women Need to Be “Empowered” to Display Strength?

When speaking to the world of women’s issues, one of my least favorite words in the entire world is empowerment. Not only do I find it entirely overused, but I believe our gender already has within us an enormous amount of innate power. However, I don’t think we always understand what that means, and I certainly don’t think we draw from it as often as we should. When discussing the second movie installment in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Dakota Johnson (the actress playing the role of Ana Steele), was asked by Entertainment Tonight what she did to prepare for the sex scenes. Her reply, “ shot of whiskey… mints.” She also said, “He does pushups and I just like lay there and drink whiskey.” As

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4 Unique Shops That Empower and Rescue Women

My shopping strategy has transitioned somewhat over the past couple of years since two things happened: I got connected to Instagram, and I stopped being afraid to order clothing or footwear online. Instagram has allowed me to find all kinds of handmade items and one-of-a-kind boutiques that I might never have otherwise stumbled upon. And my lessening fear about repackaging and returning apparel purchased on the computer has saved me lots of time and gas. Especially since many stores offer free shipping…and some of them, like Nordstrom, paid postage on returns! One thing I especially love to discover, whether in person or online, are stores that have a purpose—those whose profits are used to rescue women out of poverty, addiction, prostitution and

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Three Cords Haiti Life Transformation For At-Risk Women

Three Cords Haiti: Life Transformation For At-Risk Women

Colorful bolts of fabric vied with the whir of multiple sewing machines for our attention as we stepped out of the heat and dust and into the small blue building. As I tried to take in the sights and sounds of busy hands, pouncing needles, and soft chatter, a beautiful young woman named Guerline swiveled her chair around. What she said captured everyone’s heart: “Oh, maybe I could use one of those if I have a baby one day!” She was eyeing my daughter’s Solly baby wrap, a massive length of fabric that was wrapped around her body and holding my infant grandson safe and snug against her chest. Guerline had never seen one, and her excitement was palpable. We could understand

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5 Tips on How to Make a Change the Right Way

Are you facing a life obstacle? Career not going as planned? In need of financial help because your spending always outweighs your income? Are you stuck in a bad relationship that needs some work (mother, sibling, friend, boyfriend or husband)? Have circumstances in your life forced a change that you weren’t prepared for and now you have to figure out a new path? Change is a good thing. Yes, I do mean that. We don’t grow or gain strength and character if we remain unchanged. We also will miss countless opportunities and discoveries about what we are both capable of and good at. But how to do it well? Now that is a challenge. Here are 5 tips on making a change the right way: 1. Review. Look

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Can You Start A Career Later In Life, Absolutely

A Stay at Home Mom Shares How She Started a Career Later in Life

Depending on whom you ask, being a stay at home mom can be: fulfilling, exhausting, joyful, mundane, and so on and so forth. Often times, it’s a mixture of all of that wrapped into one—or several—little bodies. Tack on the fact that every woman is different, with her own unique circumstances and feelings, and you’ll find a variety of perspectives. However, I will be so bold to say that many SAHM’s can feel a bit lost from time to time … like a piece of their identity is buried under the dishes, diapers, and discipline. Perhaps that’s where you find yourself today. If so, this story is for you. It’s a story about a woman who has lived through many seasons of life—one of them being a SAHM. Though

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How Running Became About More Than Fitness to Me

How Running Became About More Than Fitness to Me

Gripping many of the cities across our great country right now are the cold temperatures associated with winter. Though I may not feel it currently in my new home of Bonita Beach, Florida—where the average daily temperature for the past few months have fallen sublimely in the mid-80s—I am reminded of the 5 years I spent in Charlotte, North Carolina during my post-graduate life, starting out in the working world as a young professional. One of my favorite hobbies and ways to exercise was running. I had always been a sprinter when running before, so I challenged myself over the course of several years to build up some stamina, so that I could cover more distance and discover the city this way.

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Sweat and Sacrifices… Earning the Title of “Olympian”

Sweat and Sacrifices… Earning the Title of “Olympian”

The 2016 Olympics have entranced us all. There’s simply nothing quite like watching the best athletes in the world compete against one another and shine. Talk about grit! We had a special opportunity to chat with Holly Herbers, little sister to U.S. Olympian beach volleyball player, Brooke Sweat. We asked her to share a bit about the journey that has led their whole family to Rio, as one of their very own has earned this most special honor… As I sat in the Miami airport, eager to begin our trek to Rio, I couldn’t help but think of the journey my sister has been on. She is one of the strongest, bravest, most loving, and selfless people I know. She has sacrificed so much over the last

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