Hi Darlings, Every time someone asks me what inspires me I want to burst into tears, because I immediately think of my kids and husband. You might find it hard to believe, but I am asked that question often; in interviews, conversations and emails from women all over the world trying to find bits of inspiration to help get them through the day.
When I was 15 I ran away from home, not just down the street to a friend’s house, but across the US from Chicago to Los Angeles, and like all delusional teenagers, I knew nothing was ever going to happen to me, “Bad things only happen to other people but certainly not me.” As you can imagine, I quickly found out that not only could bad things happen to me, but they could and did happen…a lot.
I became a teen mom; I was homeless, I begged strangers for money; I was in abusive relationships over and again, I was homeless again with my now oldest daughter and I struggled to get through every day knowing that there was something else I was supposed to do with my life. There had to be something else I could offer my children.
I was overworked, exhausted, and as a single mom, was at a point in my life where I thought my lot in life was to struggle. I would come home from work, lock myself in the bathroom and cry hysterically and sometimes uncontrollably until I could manage to walk out of the bathroom and make dinner for the kids.
Even through all the terrible things my kids and I suffered through during those years, I always knew that one-day I was going to do something great. I met my husband in 2005, and that day changed my life forever. He was someone who I knew was going to make me better just by being around him. He was joyful, faithful to his beliefs, and loved me more than anyone had ever shown me. He taught me, and my girls that love did not come with pain and hardship, but it came with understanding, patience, kindness and unconditional acceptance.
Shortly after we were married I began to share my love of sewing, fashion and crafting with the world via my blog. At first it seemed like such a superficial hobby but I quickly learned that my blog was empowering women all over the world to start a new hobby, step out on faith, find their creative spirits, and just make themselves feel and look better. I was amazed at the amount of emails that came across my desk of women sharing their stories with me, and telling me that I had helped them overcome a challenge in their lives, a tragedy, a job loss, a divorce, and that’s when it all hit me… I was sharing my life with these women who were just like me at different points in my life.
I started to look at my blog in a whole new light and realized that my sharing, inspiring and empowering of these women was what kept me inspired and motivated. Every day that I wake up I think of the hardships, the struggles and pain that I have been through, but instead of crying, I smile. I smile because it was just a moment in time, and I overcame it, moved on from it and now embrace it because it shaped me into the mom and woman I am today. It reminds me that we are not alone, and when you are going through something, there is someone else going through it too, and if I can use my talent and faith in God to spread love, then I’m doing my part to give back what has been given to me.
I am inspired by the look in my children’s eyes, their approval of me and my accomplishments. I am inspired by my husbands unwavering love for me, and I am inspired by the countless women who work every day to make a better life for themselves and their families.
I stood in front of 200 women this past July during my annual conference, and as I spoke about my life, as I faced this group who had come to hear me speak, I realized just how far I have come, and I burst into tears. I tried so hard not to cry but at that moment I realized that these women who looked to me for inspiration were, in fact, the ones inspiring me.