I am currently a "stay at home wife?" since I resigned from my job on March 23, 2011. Professionally I was a Pastor/teacher/counselor for 16 years. Today, as I am zooming towards the half-century mark I am once again redefining my life.
More importantly I am the grateful and happy wife of Kevin Larson and mom to Daniel and Kayla and soon to be mother-in-law to Monica.
If you were to look under extroverted, relational "animal" I am pretty sure you would find my picture!
I love Jesus and am so supremely grateful and full of joy that He rescued me from my dark life filled with bondage and gave me a brand new life of freedom and hope that I am compelled to give it away to any and all who will listen.
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In coaching we talk about the amazing and powering moment when a we partner with a client to achieve a shift. A shift is simply helping an individual or organization move from one place or position to another. This can be emotional, thoughtful, spiritual and even physical.
I had such a shift this week while participating in one of my courses. I was the coachee being coached by one of my cohorts while another was the primary “observer” and the remainder of our cohorts also observed. Side note the three of us are, for real, a rabbi a non traditional pastor (me) and a denominational pastor. God is too funny.
The situation I wanted coaching on was the issue of calling. My rabbi coach was absolutely amazing and my pastor observer was equally amazing and both insightful.
My coach made a firm request that I process my thoughts out loud using whatever words I wanted without relentlessly editing myself.
The shift happened as I shared. I realizes that two scriptures have “haunted” me for at least three years: Isaiah 43.2 and Jeremiah 18. The first says God will be with us when we walk thru the fire and the flood the second is about the potter and the clay.
My emotional,spiritual and mental shift regarding call came as these two scriptures converged with the struggle I was having reconciling what I thought was my life call to what is now my life reality.
The Holy Spirit spoke thru a rabbi to show me that the fires of affliction I walked through my last two years as a pastor were the kiln He, Jesus, my master potter, was using to to recast and remake me into this new vessel: a coach.
I’ve made a decision that I am going to only post outfits a week at a time. This past week I was in Minnesota helping my mom post surgery and the week before that Mexico was “revisiting” me via another attack of giardia so every day I was just exhausted getting done what absolutely needed to get done. And my creative mojo was not happening.
However, I am committed to my decision to be accountable regarding my committment to simplify and be fully integris regarding money spend on clothes so I will post weekly. I did not take any pictures of outfits from Mother’s Day on Sunday to today because I was basically in the same pair of sweatpants or worn out jeans and t-shirt. Ten hours of driving one way demands comfort and my mom needed help in the yard and painting.
Here are the outfits from last week:
Tuesday was a full day with client appointments meeting at my home office. Purple dress:Target, Purple Cami: Old Navy, White Cork Wedges: Jennifer Lopez for Khols
Wednesday half day with clients, afternoon Marketing and branding meeting, evening meeting a good friend for supper. I wanted to be creative yet comfortable as I was driving to a lot of appointments. Blue Jersey Dress: Ann Taylor Loft, Belt: Ann Taylor Loft, Tangerine Cardigan: Banana Republic, Braided Wedges: Candies
Friday I had early morning meetings with colleagues to discuss creating a network of professional referrals followed by a meeting with a not-for-profit leader to discuss volunteer opportunities. I had a jacket on with this for both meetings. Forgot to put it on for the photo. Skirt: Ann Taylor Loft, Mint Scoop T: CAbi, chandelier Necklace from Angie, Blue Ballet Flats: Ann Klein
Outfit #12 fell on a Sunday. I decided to push the envelope a bit for a Sunday church going outfit. For a couple of reasons. 1. I grew up in a conservative traditional church and attended a parochial school and didn’t get a lot of choice in what I was going to wear each day. And 2. Years ago, when I began to truly study the New Testament and the life of Jesus I discovered, to my utter delight, that he was a rule breaker. And by that I mean he was constantly pushing the envelope as it related to the rules man makes. He was clear, very clear, that he came to fulfill the law and the prophets but that he was not bound by the traditions of men.
I discovered that Jesus did all sorts of innovative things:
He spoke to women–even women with bad reputations
He taught women, they were among his followers and supports. Many women financially supported his ministry.
He healed women
He healed on the Sabbath
He allowed his followers to “work” on the Sabbath by breaking off grain to eat
He touched and healed the leper
He was friends with tax collectors, prostitutes and other disreputable sinners
He cast out demons
He turned water into wine, lots of water into lots of premium wine
Just to name a few.
Here is my break the Sunday rules outfit (sorry for the goofy grin):
Dress: Max Azaria, Pleather jacket: H&M, Leggings: HUE, Boots: Macy Bean, Handmade Discipler necklace a gift from my wonderful husband. He had it made special for me.
On Saturday Kevin and I spontaneously decided to attend the Mahomet-Seymore High Schools spring musical Oliver! for our date night. MSHS does a stellar job with their musical performances and Oliver did not disappoint. It was especially fun to watch several kids of our friends perform.
I wore black and white in honor of the drama
Black pants: Michael Kors, White cut-out blouse and black cardi: Banana Republic, Red satin ballet flats: Vera Wang, White watch: Michael Kors, Wrap bracelet: Francesca’s
This post is really just a great reason to brag about Kyle and Ellen Benefield, a young missionary couple in Mazatlan, Mexico. On Friday Kevin and I attended an informal gathering of friends who support the work Kyle and Ellen have been called to do in Mexico. It was a wonderfully relaxed evening and we were able to catch up with Kyle and Ellen, see their three handsome boys and listen to some great stories about what God is doing among them in Mazatlan. Kyle and Ellen originally committed to five years in Mexico. Well those five years have come and gone and they are still there, committed to serving and supporting the people in Mazatlan. Jesus said the world would know if we are His follower because we love. The Benefields are wonderful examples of this. They serve with love and humility. Not with an agenda.
Kevin and I have so much admiration and affection for Kyle and Ellen, they are truly living sacrificially in obedience to the Lord’s call upon their lives. And they do it with joy, humor and humility. I know they would say that by anyone’s standards in the colonia they live in they are rich. And it is true in that respect. However, it is also true that they sacrifice much: having family close enough to help out, safety (if you’ve kept up with the news you know that Mexico’s President has basically given up trying to address the drug cartel epidemic), close peers who support and care for them, and most of the conveniences we take for granted here in the states just to name a few. I am so proud of them.
If you want to know more about what Kyle and Ellen are doing check out their website here: Mexico Mercy Website They have some amazing stories of God’s intervention and favor.
Because I am committed to accountability, here is the outfit I wore on Friday. I chose to wear red in honor of Mexico Mercy.
Red printed Swing Top: CAbi, Red Skinny Jeans: Ann Taylor Loft, Nude Ballet Flats: Lucky Brand
The last two days have been busy with business meetings and creative planning. On Wednesday I interviewed a prospective Graphic and Marketing Specialist for this next phase of my business plan: branding and marketing myself and ReSet Enterprises. The person I met with is a very creative, innovative thinker so I chose to dress creatively and I added that punch of red for power and confidence. On Thursday I had two business meetings with prospective clients; the first an income generating client and the second an opportunity to serve and give back to our community through the not-for-profit arm of the business we are in the process of creating.
Think what you like, all the data and studies show that you get three minutes to make a first impression with someone. You do get to decide how other’s will perceive you.
Therefor I chose the creative outfit for Wednesday’s meeting because I knew the person would connect better with me if I didn’t show up in a black pencil skirt, white button down and black pumps. I also added that punch of energetic red because it is a confident and powerful color. It’s why the men and women in the C-Suite wear red ties and pocket squares. I chose more traditional business-casual on Thursday because of the nature of the two meetings. My morning meeting was a follow-up with a client who is hiring me as a business coach so he has already chosen to trust the buttoned down business woman he first met and my afternoon was with the Director of a local not-for-profit. So, I dressed accordingly, very business with the black slacks and white top but chose to soften the look with the green cardigan primarily because of the second meeting. You don’t want to go into a meeting where you are offering to volunteer your services and expertise in any kind of intimidating or aggressive manner. A soft, green, cashmere cardigan is open, inviting and welcoming. No hard edges.
All three meetings were very successful. Say what you want, it matters what you wear and how you present yourself. I know, we all wish the world would like us for what’s on the inside. The reality is, the outside package is the only thing others have to read as an indicator of what is on the inside.
People make a multitude of decisions about who you are, what you are about and if you are trustworthy within the first three minutes of meeting you.
Sorry for the poor photo quality. My photographer is traveling this week.
Wednesday: Polk-a-dot dress: a birthday gift from my friend Arlene (Loft), Red Belt: J. Crew, Red Pumps: Bandolino (an interesting fun-fact about these shoes: I was wearing them the day of our house fire, they are the only shoes that survived.)
Thursday: White top: Loft, Black slacks: J. Crew; Green Cardigan: Banana Republic, Black Booties: Calvin Klein
Mondays get a bad rap as far as I’m concerned. Let’s redeem Mondays! Here are five reasons why I love Mondays:
Attitude: Mondays are the perfect day to decide to have a great outlook and set the tone for your week. This is also a boost to colleagues, friends and family. Who doesn’t want to be around the person who has a great attitude and sees endless possibilities in front of them?
Architecture: on Mondays you get to be the architect of your week. You choose the structure and routine you need for your week to be satisfying and productive.
Assess: Mondays are your fresh start to the week. Now is the time to assess your goals and action items from the previous week. What did you accomplish? What did you mean to accomplish but didn’t get done? What challenges are ahead? What are you thankful for?
Action and strategy: This is my favorite! Mondays motivate to action. What needs to get done? What resources do you need to take action? When do you want the action be completed? Who do you need to help take action? How are you going to complete the action items?
Adventure: True confession, this is really my favorite! Mondays are great when it’s a day for adventure because it’s a holiday, your birthday, an anniversary or a mental health day.
The beginning is the most important part of the work. ~Plato
I love Mondays. It is the fresh start to the new week. You get to review your accomplishments from the previous week and strategize for the week to come. You get to make a new action list in order to stay on track with your goals as well as create some new ones. Mondays motivate me to think more creatively and dream bigger. In honor of Monday I chose to wear orange because it is a creative and energetic color. And because I work from home it is important that I get dressed and put myself together as if I was going in to an office. I am my own boss and the boss has set some pretty high standards for the office!
I started leading support | recovery groups back in 1996 and one of the most profound lessons I learned was the power of transparency and accountability. As the years progressed the groups grew from 5 or 6 to sometimes well over 100 people gathering every week to support and encourage one another on their journey to freedom and integrity. Having 100 plus leaders and participants watching you every week, not to mention the 2000 + people attending the church where I served at the time, will motivate you to stay clean so you can lead clean and have the integrity and equity to speak into other’s lives.
Why tell you that? Because the only reason I am posting about shopping my closet every day is for accountability. Once I said it to the blogosphere I knew I would have to be a woman of my word and walk in extreme integrity in this area.
As I am launching my business, ReSet Enterprises, I am committed to integrity, authenticity and transparency in everything I do. Being a “spendy girl” as my husband generously calls me, is the one area of my life that remains in the gray and I am determined to turn that around. For my husband and family, my clients and colleagues and for myself.
So the pictures will never be great and I don’t care who is reading or checking it out. Or if anyone every does. This is about being ridiculously transparent and obedient to God.
I didn’t post yesterday’s outfit because it was spring cleaning day and I didn’t think anyone cared to see me in my sweats.
Here’s today’s outfit:
Gray cardi and purple rouched T-Loft; Skinny Jeans-The Limited; Scarf-gift from my bestie Angie; Wedges-Mudd for Khols; Leather wrap cuff-Francesca’s; “Man’s” watch-Target. You can’t see them but I have on my super adorable bird earrings, another gift from my girl Angie.