Ladies on a Mission

I can hardly believe that it has been 5 years since this all began and yet it seems as though we’ve always been together as a team.

Sitting at my desk several years ago, God laid on my heart a concept far greater than anything I could have imagined on my own. Within moments the name “Ladies On Life” was scribbled on a post-it note with the names of ladies I felt compelled to ask help me. I took my time in contacting the ladies one by one. Deep inside I had hoped just one of the girls would decline helping with this endeavor and that would serve as my “sign” this was not meant to be. To my surprise, each of my dear friends gave a “yes” to the idea of this online magazine concept and together we began on this journey.

What you may not realize is that there were 5 young ladies I asked to help. My dear friend, Candace from Phoenix was a part of our early days and her role was vital to what you see today. She was the “midwife” of this dream and would encourage me to push when I was scared of the unknown. She held me accountable to what was in my heart and helped see it to fulfillment. Her contribution of encouragement helped to birth what is now Ladies On Life.

There are so many memories, it’s impossible to capture even a fraction of them in one article. I think one of my favorite moments was when the team gathered for our annual retreat a few years ago. It was the first night which as tradition holds is the night we have a team dinner in our condo and just catch up on our personal lives. As the team was gathered exchanging gifts and catch up talk, the door- bell rings interrupting our bonding time…we all look at each other as if this was a planned “surprise”. Kenika was quick to jokingly announce it would be a man at our door. To all of our surprise…IT WAS! This hilarious moment was captured on video as this seemingly innocent repairman knocked on the wrong door at just the right time now kicking off our annual retreat with a bang.

One of the most profound moments for me was when God spoke to my heart about 3 years ago for Ladies On Life to host a conference. I was completely scared out of my mind to step out on such a task. I put it on the back burner and decided that if not all team members could participate then we would not do it. This was an excuse or crutch rather that I used to not exercise my faith and obey what God had told me. The following year at our team retreat, our dear friend Michele DeCaul ministered to our team along with Pastor Riva Tims. Michele spoke to us saying God was calling us to do conferences and now was the time. I could not ignore such instruction and so together, we stretched our faith and in January 2012, Ladies On Life hosted our very first conference. The biggest reward besides seeing the lives of women inspired was to see God use this team to minister together in unity unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

In closing, I want to express a heartfelt thank you first to God for allowing us to come together for such a time as this. I’m also grateful to my mom who has stood the test of time with me and encouraged this dream when no one else knew about it. She’s always been my number 1 fan – her support makes me feel as though I can do anything! To the ministry supporters (Pastor Riva Tims, Michele DeCaul, Dr. Samantha Phillips, Pastors Andre and Jocelyn Williams, Pastor Lissa Bush, Dr. Janet DiPeitro, Dr. Stephanie Parson, Linda Chamberlain, Meka King, Pastor Idella McIntyre)…thank you for pouring into our team over the past 5 years enabling us to then pour into others.

Our faithful Ladies On Life readers and faithful supporters…we could not do it without you. You fuel us to keep going and help us to truly make a difference! We love you and are so grateful for you.
From the bottom of my heart: Bombi, Devon, Kenika and Sonya…I love you more than words can ever articulate. It is so humbling to have friends not only believe in the dream God has given you but say “yes” to make that dream a reality.

We’re truly Ladies On Life….ladies on a mission. Thank you for living, laughing and loving out loud with me.

All my love,
Trish

Dream Bigger

Have you everplaced a time limit on your dreams or goals? Whether it was a childhood dream to pursue a certain career, or a goal to visit a country on a mission trip.  Maybe for you it was to get married by a certain age, have X amount of children, work so many years, travel so many places, start a business, or have a certain value of money in your bank account.  Whatever it was, you more than likely said you wanted to see it by a certain date or age.  If you are one of the fortunate ones, that goal or dream was accomplished exactly when you desired it to be.  For others, it may not have played out like that.

This is dedicated to the “others”.  For as long as I can remember I wanted to do modeling and acting.  I never wanted to be a huge star, only just local or commercial work. Instead of Vogue magazine, I was very realistic and understood that I was more like a T.J. Maxx catalog kind of girl.  I did my first pageant at 16 years old, and at age 18 did local work here and there.  When I moved to Orlando, FL the dream was still there.  God opened many doors and I did a few odd jobs here and there but nothing substantial or truly memorable.  It became overwhelmingly difficult to manage school, a full time job and try to continue to pursue this dream that requires you to be available at all times.  That dream quickly became my “Isaac” offering and I gave it back to God no less than 5 times saying, “Here, you can have it, I surrender, it’s yours, I don’t need it more than I need you.”  I was completely okay with giving it up, although I have to be honest and say it was always still in the back of my mind as a, “So, what was that all about?” sort of thought.

Fast-forward six years since I last pursued it, and it all came back to me again.  I had been petitioning God about many other things in my life, and here comes this concept again, “what about modeling?”  If this was really a desire that God placed on my heart years ago, then He can still cause it to happen. Without hesitation or reservation I contacted the agency I used to work with and met with them. Like a whirlwind, they said they wanted to work with me again, and I signed a two-year contract.   God’s timing is perfect.  I can prove it!  When I was younger in that industry I constantly had to fight because there were certain things as a woman of God that I would not do.  But when you are in that age bracket that’s all there is to do. Now that I am a little bit older (not too much I hope), the majority of the work available to me is what I always wanted to do all along!  GOD’S TIMING IS PERFECT.  Not only is He faithful to His promises, but also He is perfect in the timing of those promises. I never would have thought at my age that I would be thrust back into this world, but now I can look back and say that there was never a more perfect time.

If you find yourself struggling to see your promises, dreams, visions, or goals manifest, you must remind yourself to dream bigger.  If it hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it isn’t in the works.  We have to expand our minds and our faith to be able to receive the promises of God.  If you are frustrated, it’s because your dream is not big enough, it has to extend much further than you.  Now that I am walking this thing out by faith, part of me thinks I am way too old to keep dreaming, but thankfully it is always overcome by the part of me that knows it’s never too late.

A Proverbs 31 Mother

“Her children stand and bless her” Proverbs 31:28. This verse is powerful because what mom wouldn’t want her children to bless her?  As we look deeper into Proverbs 31 there is a lot to be said about a mother and wife, but particularly the mother role influences the next generation through her children.  Our children are our ministries.  When I became a full-time stay at home mom, I learned how important our role is and even more so now as I have four little ones watching my every move.

Proverbs 31 describes characteristics of a godly mother. “She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.” (Verse 17) I love this passage about hard work because motherhood is a lot of energy and work. To be a godly parent takes hard work, consistency, and strength to stick up for godly principles and not to conform to this world.  Don’t compromise in this area of parenting because if you do you risk losing the blessings.

“She watches for bargains; her light burns late into the night.” (Verse 18) As I read that verse again I have to laugh because here I am typing this at eleven at night. Yes, I firmly know my candle burns late at night because that is when everyone is sleeping and I can get things done. Can I get a witness from any moms out there? Also, the other part of the verse is the bargain and yes I am a second hand shopper and love getting the deal. I think we as women are wired that way because if another woman gives us a compliment, we can’t just simply say “thank you,” we say how much we got that outfit on sale for.

The woman being described in Proverbs is in high regard and is on a level that we, as mothers, should strive for.  “She extends a helping hand to poor and opens her arm to the needy.” (Verse 20) This is one of the first characteristics we need to teach our children about serving others and realizing that it is not about us.  As a mom we learn that quickly in just our motherhood roles that you have to be selfless to be a mom. Take the time to find ways to serve and bless others and you will see the impact it makes on not only your family but your life as well.

As a mother our role is to be the backbone and glue that holds our family together.  Because we are the eyes of our household as verse 27 states, “She carefully watches all that goes on in her household.”  Our household is our safe haven and it is our job to watch what goes on in our family. We want to be women who fear the Lord in every role we have especially as a mom. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last, but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised,” verse 30 explains.  At the end of the day I want to hear the blessings from my children and the praise from my heavenly father saying a job well done. GOD is sooo good and He can be sooo good to you by teaching you to be a Ruby Mother.

The Other Pride

Are there really “types” of pride? I believe there are, because I have experienced it for my own self. I’ve come to put myself on blast yet again for the betterment of you, and here it goes.

Recently I’ve been in a slump. A funk. I mean feeling mighty low. The funny thing is, nothing major has happened. Nothing too drastic and dramatic. Matter of fact, I was recently promoted and have had some other surprise blessings come my way. This led me to wonder, “Why am I so distraught?”

For those of you that don’t know, I’m a single mama. I share custody with my daughter’s father. Every summer and winter school break, my big girl travels thousands of miles away to be with the other side of her family. This has been a routine for years. But recently, this send-off was the hardest yet.

While I’m feeling the separation anxiety, my girl is having the time of her life on summer vacay, as she should! Each time I got an update of all the fun she had, I grew more angry and sad. This is new, because usually I rejoice when she is blessed. But this time, I felt jealous that I wasn’t giving her all of the fun stuff.

Then a couple of weeks ago, a family member pointed out that I have grown a bit prideful. I listened. It was hard to hear, but I heard. A week later, a precious pal shared with me the possibility of my being a prideful person. She explained that it was not pride as in thinking I’m the “stuff dreams are made of”. This kind of pride would be the one that says, “I don’t need to reach out. I got this. I don’t want to look needy. I don’t want to ask for prayer. I just need to be strong”. Sound familiar?

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a handout hanging on the wall at work. It read: “Pride VS. Humility” BINGO! The light bulbs started turning on as I read it! I began to recall a few things I’d learned about pride; pride brings suffering and pain. Pride brings sin because it leads us off the beaten path, therefore we miss the mark. Lastly, pride surely is not related to faith.

Here are a couple of Biblical facts on pride: God hates it-as in it’s on His top list of stuff He can’t stand (Prov. 8:13), and He resists them that are full of it (James 4:6), pride-that is. YIKES!

I feel like I could go on and on about this subject, but I’ll leave you with some thoughts to ponder. Have you lost your joy? Have you been feeling jealous of others possessions and positions in life? Have you been pushing God and His people away? Could you have the “other” pride that doesn’t seem so obvious? The one that’s also called “self-reliance”?

May I suggest, repent of your prideful ways. Ask God to increase your faith in Him, because faith pleases Him. Let Him and His people love you in your broken times. He will not resist you when you are broken because the word says He’s near to the brokenhearted (ps 38:18).

By the way, the moment I realized my pride and repented of it, which started with a text to Trish of Ladies on Life…the pain and funk seemed to disappear. Well what do you know?

James 4:6 (NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”