I was in a local store shopping, and happens to be owned by one of my favorite people on earth. Every time I go in, she greets me and any of her friends with the tightest hug and biggest smile. She literally finds SOME way to fill my heart every time I see her.
I met her when I was in college. She was in a completely different life stage than I was. She had married a Lamesa boy which gave her connections to my hometown. She had a friendship with my mom and brother while they were both working on their health.
She moved to Lubbock and had a new precious baby boy, and needed a nanny a few days a week for a few hours. It worked out great with my school schedule. And she was incredible to work for. I always felt her intention to connect to me, encourage me, and challenge me.
She treated me like a peer. Never like I was some naive college girl that didn’t know anything about the real world. She talked to me about real things. I listened very closely. Because I actually was a naive college girl.
I got to hear the first concepts of her store. And how it was motivated by a need that she saw in the shopping world. And how her sweet son was so much of her inspiration. I saw the clothing racks line her house while she settled on a location.
And I got to watch her do it. I watched her go through the steps, go have meetings, and build this beautiful community of women and children over the next 10 years. Popping into the store periodically for hugs and small catch ups.
Her drive coupled with this very simple ”you can do it” attitude has always inspired me.
And I think it’s so important to see women breaking molds. Women that are tuned in to their purpose and are so motivated by love.
Today I went to the store for one of the last times, because she is shifting her business to have more flexibility and time with her family. I got emotional standing there, feeling inspired to have seen her do something so amazing in the last 10 years, acknowledging all the work she had done, the relationships she had built, and the things she had put back into our community just made my heart swell.
But also just having so much respect for her wanting to restructure her life to be with her family more.
I didn’t know it back then, but I would be drawing on her bravery 10 years later. To also do something that no one has done. Inspired by own children. And completely motivated by this irrational love.
Seeing her reminds my heart that it is simple...and I can do it.
Who is this person for you?
The woman that has inspired your heart to move toward your purpose.
Thankfully, I’ve had a few of these women in my life and each one have carried a different thing that I needed to see, know, or hear.
Think about the women in your life, brief impactful moments, or your day to day life...they both count. Because sometimes we need to see other women cross the bridge to safety before we feel safe to take the same steps. When you see them stand on the other side, it makes the journey feel less threatening. It feels attainable. If we can call to each other from across the water to reassure that safety...I think more women would have the courage to pursue their passions.
So many times I’ve stood on the edge of that bridge just counting the costs of that walk. Being so afraid that my passion would come to life at the cost of my most dear and treasured relationships. And when I’ve looked at these women who have crossed it, crossed it well, and still hold those babies tight, it has given my heart so much hope.
I want you to grab ahold of the gold within your heart and lead with it in every area of your life. And start calling out the gold in the women around you.
Find women that are brave and that love well, glean from them.
Find women that are in different life stages and ages than you, learn from them.
Find women that deeply offend you, and instead of running from them, learn even more about yourself by leaning into your offense. Learn to love the most offensive ones.
And find women that will speak to your soul.
That will call you forward in the gifts you have to give to the world.
And then find a young girl that needs your voice too. Invest in their hearts the way other women have done to you.
Because there is no point in conquering anything unless you can bring the next generations up after you.
And I think that is so the heart of God, to take your gain and to multiple it into the world one relationship and generation at a time.
When I began to leave the store, she handed me a bag with two soft bunnies, and a copy of the Velveteen rabbit, explaining that she had bookmarked a page, and scribbled next to her favorite paragraph. She told me to read it.
And when I got home, I sat down, I flipped to the page. And the words hit the most center point of my soul. I cried. And cried. And cried again the next day telling Mark the story. My heart needed those words more than she knew. And my heart needed to be seen by a friend that I admire dearly.
Find women that see you. That really see you. Women that take care of the people around them. That use the wisdom of their heart to call you across that scary wobbly bridges. Whose words aren’t shallow, but call you into deeper thought. Find them. And hold them like the treasure that they are because they are such a gift and your heart needs them.
Love you Michelle! Your heart and drive to do has inspired me for all these years. It’s such a honor to know you and to have been in your life when all this began. So many feels about your new adventure. And I’ll continue to cheer for you in all the things!