These past two weeks I have been getting everything together with the help of my husband, family, and friends to get us to this point. We ordered clothes, get them in and organized, tagged, and then we needed to get product photos done to put up on our website. The entire time I was planning this out in my head I knew that I for sure did not want to be one of the models. I feel bigger than I normally am, a couple pounds more than I’d like, and I really had not been fond of the way my hips and thighs were beginning to fit into my clothing lately. Not to mention my arms either…I definitely didn’t want to wear anything sleeveless. I have been so down on myself that In my mind I had come to the conclusion that no one would want to buy my clothing if my body type was the one in them. I had been feeling either enough or too much. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not fit enough...too much of me, too much talking, and too much of myself that I was sure no one wanted to see.
And then it hit me. My full circle moment. I remembered that I got into this whole thing to show other women that they are beautiful, that their presence is valuable, and that they can become who God created them to be despite the world's standards and expectations placed on them. Heck I literally named my business after a Hebrew word meaning “valued”, yet I was not viewing myself as enough to partake in certain parts of what was going on.
This passion to awaken women to their value and beauty started on a beautiful day in downtown Los Angeles on the streets of Skid Row. I was working for Community Bible Church Bulverde for the summer with high school students and we were on a week long mission trip to serve the homeless community and that week wrecked me more than I can ever explain.
One of the days we were serving at the homeless shelter us girls were assigned to go to what they call the “day room” and hang out with the homeless women there. Like sounds great in theory but really?? Must of us from the northside of San Antonio with cars, a nice house, loving parents? I was already embarrassed to walk into that room with my over $100 pair of ____. Super nervous we went into the day room and we were able to talk with some of these women, paint their nails, just be there with them. I can remember hearing some of their stories and trying to not burst into tears...and I can remember the disgusted ”get away from me” looks that I was also getting from some of the women. I looked around the room and saw beautiful women with a story, with potential, with the desire for change, and just waiting for someone to look them in the eye and tell them that they mattered. Leaving the URM that day I heard the Holy Spirit put on my heart that my calling in life was going to be “Showing other women their value”.
I was excited to have experienced that week of serving and ministry and ready for what God was going to do next in my life. That falI went back to school and tried to figure out what the heck God was doing with my life. I was passionate about a million different things. I played with the idea of going to law school, getting my masters in nonprofit administration, continuing with photography, or going straight into women’s ministry. Nothing seemed to quite feel right or fit. But I kept holding onto the promise that God had given me and the purpose He had spoken over my life.
Fast forward a year later and I was married with no “real job” in a small town called Vero Beach Florida. Still trying to figure out what exactly God was calling me to do and where I fit in. I worked as a personal assistant, a substitute teacher, a photographer, and took a job part time at a boutique called Seahorse Lane. It’s humorous looking back now because I remember telling Taylor that I would never want to own a store or work in fashion even though I loved my job and loved the women I worked with even more.
I prayed and prayed that the Lord would give me some answer. Some idea of what I was supposed to be doing. I felt worthless, lost, and confused. Was I going to have a career? Be a stay at home mom? What the heck was this thing with women God kept putting on my heart? God where are you?
March of 2018 I was driving home from work. I had finally got into a rhythm with my new life there and I accepted the fact that I was in a season on unknowns, of no solid purpose, and of extreme rest (which is so not comfortable to me). I was turning into our parking lot excited that I was going to start cooking us dinner and get to see Taylor soon. As I pulled into my spot and put my car in park, the Lord literally put a vision in my head. Something I could have never thought of or come up with by myself.
I saw women of all ages, stages, and life backgrounds working in a clothing store. They were learning job skills, getting connected with women’s resources in their community, and being shown that their work and who they were had value in and of itself. It was a beautiful picture of work and ministry all wrapped into one.
Fast forward to today, to this moment right now, and here we are. I realize I won’t have a brick and mortar store for quite some time, or women that I can help encourage and grow their gifts, or a real and long term business plan. But I am showing up. I’m starting somewhere. I pray that my donations, time spent with employees, and even what I put out on the internet space is an encouragement to women and an avenue that people come to know and love Jesus.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes and something that truly inspired me to brave enough for all of this.
“We don’t need a plan to do these things. We don’t need to wait for just the right moment. We just need to show up, grab a parachute, and when it’s time, jump out of our shoes after people the way Jesus jumped out of heaven to be with us. Sometimes, we make loving people a lot more complicated than Jesus did” Bob Goff, Everybody Always