Being Homeless Once Gives Me a Heart for Houston

Being Homeless Once Gives Me a Heart for Houston

Day 117 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project has me thinking about kindness. In the literal wake of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it has wrought on the Houston, Texas area, I’m taken back to eleven years ago when I was made homeless by some very unkind acts. Most of you know I have a wasband. And what I’m about to share is no secret to many of you who know me personally. But to those who don’t, or with whom I’ve not shared it, I was made homeless when my abusive marriage came to an end. I won’t go into the details, but to say it was devastating can’t begin to describe what I experienced.

With only the clothes on my back, and I’m talking Sunday church clothes that consisted of a camisole, lightweight cardigan, flimsy skirt, flats, and undergarments – I was forced out of my home, in February, never to return. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I’m a total nest featherer and so can probably imagine the extent to which I’d poured my heart and soul into the house we’d lived in for eight years. At thirty-six, everything I’d ever cherished, collected, earned, made, purchased, been given, had handed down, or inherited was in that house.

As much as the loss of the material possessions was incomprehensible then – imagine having NOTHING at all to function or even survive, like clothes, food, toiletries, medicine,   etc. And that was just the first few days. Later, even after you’re in a shelter or if you’re blessed, a home – someone else’s or your own –  it’s dishes, kitchen utensils, office supplies, small and large appliances, tools. You name it, you need it. I’ve come such a long way from then, but I still feel it, even now. Every once in a while I’ll think of something I once had and realize it was a casualty of what I call “the dastardly deed”. In fact, I just remembered a wall pocket I loved and lost today.

Still, those things mean NOTHING compared to the memories and recollections they evoked. My Aunt Bertie (Birdy to me) and Daddy were the most important people in my WORLD. They died when I was 20 and 30 respectively. I don’t have a single picture of either of them. That’s a hole in my heart that won’t get filled until I see them again in heaven.

The dastardly deed also caused me not to know where my children were for nearly six weeks. Talking about all of the other ways I didn’t have what I needed for them when we were reunited doesn’t bear thinking about or I’ll start crying and won’t be able to write. To this day, when they children need family photos for projects, I can’t produce any. The other stuff is physical, which is brutal. But never can the toll taken by the emotional turmoil be minimized.

All of that to say, to an extent, I get what they’re going through in Houston. My heart is tuned into their heartache. It was only the grace of God and the kindness of a few that got me through my ordeal.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic Chick who still feels a little trepidation sharing my story in such a public way, I was compelled to do it anyway. I don’t have a huge following or large social media platform, but I do have this tiny spot in the blogosphere and want to use it to do good. To be kind. If you’re like me, you may feel overwhelmed and inadequate to make a difference for those in Houston. The bad news is, the needs are so great that any contributions we make will only help a little. The good news is, we all have the power to pray for the people impacted by Hurricane Harvey. That will help more than we’ll ever know this side of heaven. As far as I know, it’s the best way for us to be kind.

This little Shabby Chic inspired sign sits in my living room as a daily reminder.

Be savvy, chic & kind,

~Pink Collar Coach




Pink Collar Savvy & Chic HGTV Star Joanna Gaines Slams the Rumors

Pink Collar Savvy & Chic HGTV Star Joanna Gaines Slams the Rumors

Joanna Gaines dressed in Shabby Chic style. Dreamy. Photo from pop

Day 81 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic  on Purpose Project was a rollercoaster ride. With a lot of important personal and professional phone and face-to-face meetings on my agenda, I didn’t expect the ugly rumor weed to rear its ugly head in the middle of my day with all kinds of allegations about a woman who exemplifies everything Pink Collar Savvy & Chic.  If you’ve ever read one of my posts on a Tuesday night, it’s usually written as I watch Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip on HGTV’s hit show Fixer Upper. 

My love affair with interior design began when I was a little girl and it lead me to earn my first degree in that field. Then, straight out of college, I worked as a designer for one of Cincinnati’s then premier design firms. I landed some A-list clients and loved that part of the job but hated selling things, which caused me to return to school for my teaching degree. Even so over the last twenty-five years, I’ve always done freelance work and then launched Pink Collar Savvy & Chic, which includes interior design consultation services.

All that to say, Joanna Gaines is a girl after my own heart. Add the fact that she’s a faith-filled woman of God and that makes her my Sister in Christ. Receiving an email full of rumors that she was  fired for breaking her contract, had been hiding things from Chip about her dealings and was making statements about HGTV holding her back didn’t ring true to me. Still, the email caused me to do some research, all of which seemed to indicate that there might be some truth to the rumors.

That is until I came upon the article below from The Christian Post. In it, Joanna Gaines refuted all of the rumors in this and other articles written by the same online newspaper about this trending topic.

Source: ‘Fixer Upper’ Star Joanna Gaines Slams Rumors of Her Leaving the Show for New Career

The designer is requesting help from fans to stop the rumor by way of sharing the posts containing the truth via social media. And I’m a HUGE fan.

I’ve been one since I watched the pilot episode back in October of 2013. If I remember correctly, it came on about 1AM. I was up because I’d just had a hysterectomy and was on  what was supposed to be a six-week medical leave. Due to complications, it turned into nine weeks. Watching that episode may have been the first time I was able to focus on something other than my constant pain. And everything I’ve seen and read of Joanna Gaines, including her book, The Magnolia Story has inspired me – as a woman of God, wife, mom, creative spirit, designer, blogger. She even sports a plaid shirt with such style that she’s got me wearing them! That fact alone speaks to how influential she’s been in my my life. Joanna is multiracial with Lebanese, German and Korean in the mix. As a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl who is a bit of a melting pot myself, I LOVE how she owns her unique beauty and sense of style. And whether you have any interest in design or not, it’s pretty hard not to notice the phenomena she (and Chip) are. Just check online, media, bookstores, furniture retailers, etc.

As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Chick, I hope you’ll join me in helping another one to by reading/liking/sharing/reposting this blog post and/or the above link. We’ve all been a victim of rumors ourselves at one time or another. Let’s spread the truth to slam the ones about our Savvy & Chic Soul Sister. I’d appreciate it and know she will too. Thank you!

~Pink Collar    Coach