Ok girls…if you follow me on Insta or FB then you probably saw my post with my big announcement about the book I have been working on for the last several months. It’s taken a lot to get to this point and to allow myself to put this out there and tell you all what I was doing, but I couldn’t be more excited about it.
The book is about 90% of the way done…final chapter is underway now. I have no idea what will happen next. I have no idea where it will go or if it will turn into anything, but I can tell you that the process has been truly amazing. I have learned so much about myself and I feel so confident in the fact that I am being called to put these words on paper for a bigger plan that I don’t know about yet, that all I can feel is excitement for what’s to come.
So, I wanted to share the first chapter with you all here. Give you a little taste of what I have been working on. Give it a read, let me know what you think. Thanks babe 🖤
Chapter 1: What is a unicorn?
“You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous and my soul is fully aware of this.”
Have you ever looked up the definition of the word unicorn in the dictionary? There is of course the definition you would expect of a mythical horse like creature believed to have one horn. But there is a secondary definition which is “something highly desirable but often hard to obtain.” My translation of that is something that lots of people want but you have to work really hard to be able to get it.
I am a 35 year old mama to 4 kids…at one point in time I had all 4 under the age of 3. Yes, you read that correctly and yes I know how babies are made and how to keep it from happening. Yes I have a TV in my house and yes I realize that we really crammed them all in there. No I’m not crazy…well at least not completely.
I work full time outside the home in sales. I travel somewhat regularly with my work and it can be high stress at times.
A little over a year ago I started a blog and became super active on social media with it. I wanted to create a place for women to be inspired and motivated to make themselves a priority. To realize that their health and fitness and personal well-being are important. To see that making yourself a priority doesn’t mean you care less about the other priorities in your life. That in order to be the best for those around you then you have to first focus on yourself. I wanted to share my passion of health and fitness with those around me. It’s been part of my life for some time now but over the last few years after having kids, working out and trying to eat better and take better care of myself has become a huge part of my life. I am constantly asked for advice on how to lose baby weight, what workouts are safe during pregnancy, where did I find the time, what does my diet look like. After a while of being asked these questions by those close to me I decided to start putting things out for the rest of the world in case there was someone else it could reach and help as well. From there it just started to grow and evolve into so much more than just health and fitness. It was a passion I was fulfilling to share positivity, inspiration and advice to those around me. It felt like something I was called to do and began to enjoy so much.
I also often times get questions about how I manage my family. Friends and strangers alike often comment on my kids’ behavior. That they are just “so good” and “I don’t understand how you do it with 4 so young.”
I will say, my kids are pretty well behaved, though they of course have their moments and challenges just like any other kids. But we manage to make it work.
I find people regularly wondering how I work full time, have 4 kids so young, and manage to stay fit and even write and do my blog and create workouts and content to share with other women. “How do you keep it all together?” “How do you always look so great?”
Ha….those last two really make me laugh as I’m writing them because that’s sooooo not what’s going through my head, but we’ll get to that later.
I’m not telling you these things to brag or say look at me and how great I am. I’m just giving you a little back story. I want to explain how I got to this place. Here writing these words to you. Why I felt like I might have something to share with other women that could help them. Because at the end of the day, I truly felt a calling from God to put these words on paper. I felt led that somewhere out there was someone…or maybe many someone’s…that might be able to benefit from something I say here.
One of my dearest friends Kate started calling me a unicorn several years ago. She would always say to me “I don’t understand how you do it. How do you have 4 kids under the age of 3, work full time, manage to work out all the time and somehow always seem to be calm, cool, and collected? You’re such a unicorn.”
I always used to laugh when she said it and shrug it off. Then she would refer to me like that in public or when telling stories about me to other people. It became a little joke between us.
Fast forward to the day I told her I was writing a book. She was actually the very first person I was brave enough to announce that to. I started my text to her about it by saying “I’ve decided to write a book. Title is still a work in progress, but basically I want it to be a book about sharing the different things I’ve gone through in my life and things I think have helped me to get to where I am and get through certain challenges that I’ve faced in terms of kids, work, seasons, and life in general and share some real life ways that might help other woman through similar situations.” Her response was “Oh….well your title is “How to be a unicorn….or at least seem like one to your friends.” And so was born the inspiration behind the title of this book.
Now listen, let me very clear about something from jump street. I don’t have it all together by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t do everything right. I don’t have the perfect family or kids or marriage or job. I don’t have the perfect body or hair. The perfect house or talents. That’s not what this is about. This is about the fact that while I may feel like there are plenty of things that I’m terrible at or struggle with or have no clue how to do, there are things that others see in me that they find to be inspiring. Things that maybe they struggle with or need help with or just admire. When I finally was able to come to terms with that…that there are things about me that people admire and think I do well (because as you’ll hear later, insecurity is one of my biggest struggles and weaknesses), that I may do or have done things that other people want to do but could never imagine actually doing, that made me stop and think. Even though I don’t feel like I’m doing anything exceptional, maybe I do have something I can share. Maybe I’ve learned something through my life experiences that could be helpful to someone else.
Let’s talk about my personal meaning of a unicorn for a second. Let me start by saying a couple of things. Kate calling me a unicorn is really just her way of saying that she both admires different things that I do and also finds it hard to wrap her head around how I do some of those things. Basically, that boils down to that fact that Kate sees some strengths that I appear to have…some gifts that allow me to do certain things that she admires, and she wonders how I do it. Those are unicorn qualities or traits if we refer back to the original definition. Things that are highly desirable but seem difficult to obtain.
Think about this for a second. Is there something your best friend does that she is really good at that you couldn’t imagine being good at? For example, one of my best friends is incredibly thoughtful. I mean crazy intentional and thoughtful with things. She remembers my birthday and my kid’s birthdays. She remembers when I say I’m traveling for work and wishes me a safe flight or checks in on me to make sure I’ve arrived safely. She gives little meaningful gifts for no reason but also puts tremendous thought and intention into big gifts. She puts together the most practical yet special teacher gifts for all of the occasions at school. She does the cutest and most elaborate things for her kids to celebrate their birthdays and holidays. She takes time to tell people how incredible they are and how much she loves and appreciates having them in her life. She is just so thoughtful.
I on the other hand find myself buying a candle on the last day of teacher appreciate week, don’t remember key dates for people unless Facebook tells me about them, and any gift I give is the most basic and predictable thing ever. Clearly, she and I are very different in this sense.
My friend’s thoughtfulness is a unicorn quality in my eyes. Something that I love about her and would love to see in myself, but I just can’t figure out how she does it and could never see myself being able to accomplish it. That makes my friend a unicorn.
My point here is that we are all unicorns. We all have strengths and gifts inside of us that are unique and special and while they may seem small or insignificant to us, they might be huge to someone else. Our strength is often times someone else’s weakness. What may seem like nothing for you to do might be the biggest challenge for someone else. My friend probably doesn’t think twice about all those things I mentioned above. They are just part of her and what she does, and they don’t seem like a big deal to her. But they are a huge deal to me.
My goal with this book is not to talk to you about how my friend calls me a unicorn and why I’m so special and awesome. (although I may or may not tell myself that in the mirror before a big sales presentation for work.)
My goal here is to show you that each and every one of us are unicorns. Each of us are special and awesome. Each of us have special gifts and strengths that we were given for a reason and a purpose. What I see in myself and in others many times, is that it is often hard for us to see our own unicorn qualities. The things that we do well or are special and unique to us.
We can spot them a mile away in a friend, but when we look introspectively we tend to focus more on the negative or the things we feel we don’t do well instead of seeing those unicorn qualities in ourselves that others see.
Can you relate to that? If so, trust that you are not alone.
I believe that there are some fundamental things that you can control that will significantly impact the way you view yourself, your attitude, your perspective, and your purpose, you just have to be intentional about your focus on them.
I believe there are a lot of traps that we fall into in our daily lives that keep us stuck. Sometimes it’s feeling stuck because you feel like you are barely getting by in life or stuck because you have a constant feeling that there is something more that you should be doing. Or maybe it’s stuck in negativity or self-doubt or insecurity.
If you feel like you can relate to one of those situations, then this book is for you. If you truly want to better understand and develop yourself, it takes intentionality. It takes effort. And discipline. And work. And sacrifice. And compromise.
If you know you have something more that you were meant for but just can’t figure out what it is or don’t have the confidence to allow yourself to see it, then this book is for you. If you constantly find yourself wallowing in self-pity about how others are better than you and wondering why you don’t have the gifts they have, then this book is for you. If you find yourself in a constant internal battle of negativity, self-doubt, and insecurity, then this book is for you. If you frequently feel out of control or behind or overwhelmed, then you’ve come to the right place.
Because like I said earlier, we are all unicorns. We are all strong, uniquely created individuals with special gifts and talents, but if you do not make focusing on that a priority then you will never fully realize your potential. If you’re stuck in one of those states or seasons above, it will be virtually impossible for you to see the things your good out. The things that you have that others don’t. The things that you could use to benefit others or fulfill a bigger purpose.
Obviously, unicorn is just a fun, and right now very trendy word if you ask my 4 and 5-year-old daughters, but it is just meant to be a symbol here. A symbol of how special and unique each of is. But the thing is, we have to be able to see that in ourselves and embrace it in order to fully fulfill our own lives and the plan for it. We have to be able to identify both our strengths and our weaknesses in order to use, develop, and leverage them the right way. Sometimes what you’ll find is a weakness can turn into one of your greatest strengths if you work on it. Sometimes your strength is your friend’s weakness but with your help she can change that.
There are a few key things that I think will go a long way in helping you to start identifying and embracing your own unicorn qualities and strengths. That’s what I want to share with you in this book. Things that I think are a must to opening yourself up to see all that you are capable of. And once you start to focus on them, things will start to change in a very exciting way. Your perspective, your attitude, your confidence, and the way you view and feel about yourself.
You’ve probably heard someone say before that God’s plan for our life is always so much better than anything we could ever think of for ourselves. He has a perfectly designed architectural drawing for your life and put you on this earth with a purpose to fulfill. He also equipped you with your own set of skills, talents, strengths and unicorn abilities in order to fulfill that purpose. Uncovering and embracing those gifts is, in my opinion, one of the most fun, exciting, and liberating things you can do for yourself.
So, my ask as you start this book is to open your heart and mind to that fact. That you have a bigger plan and calling for your life. That you have something amazing in store for you. That you have strengths. And they aren’t the same strengths that your best friend has. And whether they seem big or small, they are absolutely significant and not without purpose. They are uniquely yours and were given to you for a reason. Isn’t that exciting? I sure think so.
Writing this book was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I learned so much about myself. Trying to figure out what I wanted to say to each of you that would take the time to read these words. Trying to set aside my fears and get out of my comfort zone and do something I felt called to do. Because if I’m being real, I was absolutely terrified and paralyzed with fear to do this. Like it legit makes me sick to my stomach even as I sit here typing this right now. As a matter of fact, I actually wrote a book about 11 years ago, right after I graduated college. I’ve always loved writing and decided it would be something fun to do in my spare time. It was a fun fictional book that I fully completed and sent out to about 50 publishing companies. Not one single response. How’s that for defeating? No one had even the slightest interest in entertaining my book idea. So why in the world would I try again?
Well, to wrap up this chapter I want to tell you the story of when I decided that no matter how I felt about it or how terrified I was or how much I thought no one would care at all to read about my life’s experiences or words of advice, that I was going to do this.
One day in mid 2018 the thought popped into my head that I wanted to write a book. Just as quickly as the thought appeared, so did a barrage of thoughts of insecurity and criticism about why that was a ridiculous idea. There was of course the fact that I mentioned earlier about previously writing a book before that amounted to nothing. But on top of that my idea for this book was a real world non-fiction book about life. I wanted to talk about things I have learned about myself. My strengths and my weaknesses. How I do some of the things that I do and why I felt like I should share them with the world. I wanted to talk about being a mama and birthing 4 babies and marriage and personal development and struggles and finding my passion. I wanted to share my thoughts and advice on how to help other women find their purpose and their strengths. To embrace them and develop them. I wanted to tell other women how amazing and special they are and how they were created for so many great things.
My insecurity told me that this was ridiculous. That no one would want to read that. Who was I to think I could write a book that anyone would pay actual money for? Who was I that I was worthy of having some mama out there in the world that was busy juggling laundry and work and grocery shopping and making macaroni and cheese while trying to figure out how to get her kids to eat a vegetable, to take time to read my book?
Lots of insecurity and negativity surrounded this thought. So, I tried to shelve it. Put it aside. File it away as one of those things you might think or dream about but that is never actually going to be a reality. You know that filing cabinet…you most likely have one of your own, covered in dust with a few things tucked away inside.
Then on December 9, 2018 I was sitting in church waiting for worship to start. Bryan…the husband…wasn’t there that day so I was sitting there alone and my mind got to wandering and landed on the book again. Ugh. (eye roll emoji) I was getting tired of thinking about it. Tired of going through the reasons of why it was such a stupid idea. But that day I thought of 3 specific reasons of why it was a ridiculous idea. The first two weren’t new to me.
1. I had written a book before that no one was interested in. Why would this be any different?
2. What did I have to say to anyone that was important enough to be put in a book?
The next thought I had was a new one though – it hadn’t come up before this day.
3. I am 35 years old. There are young 20 somethings out there that are building empires and making millions. I’m too old for anything that I am doing or have done in the past to be special enough to share with people.
Then worship started, and I pushed the thoughts away and began to sing. Part way through the worship I heard God speak to me incredibly clearly. And I know that might seem weird…in fact when I used to hear people say that I always wondered, “like how did you hear him? I mean it’s not like it’s an audible voice, so exactly how did you know it was him?” So, I get it. And honestly, I can’t really explain it.
In that moment I heard “I will give you the words and I will get the words where they need to go.”
Ok. Well that was pretty direct. But like I said before, anytime something like that happens I’m always questioning whether that was truly God talking to me or if I just made it up in my head. Do you know what I mean? I mean how do you really know you didn’t just think of that? So even though in that moment it felt very real to me, my doubts took over as they so often do, and I pushed it aside.
Then the sermon started. And what happened next I will never forget. It was by far the most incredible “God moment” I have ever experienced. Because while I can think things in my head all day long and wonder if they were me or God saying them, this was undeniable.
The topic of the sermon that day was about how God gave us his son for lots of reasons, but one of them was to provide us with guidance for our lives. The pastor started to tell a story about a prophetess named Anna who was tasked by God to tell people about the coming of Jesus. He was reading a specific passage (Luke 2:36-38) and it mentioned that Anna was “very old” and estimated to be about 105 years of age at this time. Then he paused after reading that and said, “you know what this tells me? You’re never too old to be used by God. God chose an old woman in this story to prophecy about his son. God chooses imperfect people to fulfill his perfect plans.”
At that moment it was like I could see God standing in heaven with a smirk on his face doing a mic drop.
I had just been having an internal battle about the fact that I thought I was too old to do anything special and that my life experiences at 35 weren’t worth sharing with anyone. And then I get hit with that?! I’d say that’s pretty hard to argue with, even for me.
So, I made the decision that morning to do this thing, give it my all, trust that God has a plan bigger than I know and that there is a reason for this. A bigger purpose than I can’t even imagine. And that purpose may be helping one mama out there who feels like she can never regain control of her body after giving it over to her kids or one woman out there that is trying so hard to crawl out of the hole of insecurity that she is in. Or maybe it’s someone out there who is just trying to find her way and her purpose. Or maybe it’s a woman looking for something to help her uplift and inspire a friend who’s suffering.
It could be anything….and that’s the beautiful thing. I have no idea what the greater plan or purpose is for me putting these words down on paper, but he does. He has a plan and a purpose that I probably couldn’t even handle if I did know it right now. But I do know one thing. If something I do or say or spark here helps even just one person in a positive way, then it’s worth it. If I can be a light for the kingdom, if I can spread positivity and kindness, if I can motivate, inspire or uplift, if I can teach something that helps someone to be a better version of themselves…that helps them find their purpose or their peace or their passion….well then I’m all set here. It was all worth it.
So that’s what I’m here to do.
My hope is that at the end of this you will walk away feeling refreshed and focused. You’ll walk away feeling important and special and unique in the best ways possible. You’ll walk away having had some epiphany moments of your own and having learned something new about yourself. You’ll walk away confident that you have strengths that the people around you don’t and that you have both a duty and desire to use those strengths for the greater good of those around you and to fulfill a bigger plan.
I hope that you will walk away with a new-found sense of confidence and purpose for your life and a desire to always continue growing personally, challenging yourself constantly, loving yourself more, and focusing on being a light in what can often be a dark world.