Vow To Stand Out
“Number 43! Calling number 43!”
As I stood up to walk towards the welfare counter with one hand on my pregnant belly and the other carrying my then 13-month-old son, I could hear conversations going on around me.
“Yeah, I've got a record deal coming up with So Def Records! You should listen to my demo.” was the conversation to the left of me of one man raving to a woman he had met in that welfare office that day.
“My baby daddy is such a jerk, he pulled up to my house with his new girlfriend and I yelled at him and told him he needed to pay his child support and that ain't no other woman gonna be takin' care of our kid except me!” was the conversation to the right of me.
My heart sank further and further into hopelessness as I walked closer and closer to the application counter. I knew what I had to do, and I had to swallow my pride to do it, because we had nothing left. George and I had twelve dollars in cash and negative balances in our bank accounts. With three mouths to feed and another on the way AND on the verge of eviction from our apartment, we had nowhere else to turn but to government assistance.
How do we get out of our normal to set ourselves apart from the rest?
I asked the Lord why we struggled and lived in poverty. I asked Him how we could possibly be a living testimony for Him when we have nothing. I was brought to my knees praying fervently for many nights, weeks, and months and I felt like God had abandoned me. Abandoned us. But as I was walking to the application counter of that welfare office in Las Vegas on that hot summer day, I finally heard God speak to me and say,
“Be still. I am with you.”
And at that moment, I felt a fire and desire of hope return and my faith begin to grow. It was at that moment in that welfare office where I made a vow to stand out and set myself apart despite all of the challenges happening around me. Although I need help this time, I will not stay in this situation. I will not depend on welfare to financially raise my family.
It's been seven years since I was last in that welfare office. In my heart, I knew God was trying to teach me something and the season wasn't going to last. It was the most painful part of my life and even openly writing this story brings tears to my eyes.
Because amidst the welfare assistance, the eviction, the bedrest and delivering Juliana six weeks early, the job losses, the piles and piles of health issues, and the pain of the death of loved ones, I could still find peace in Jesus. It was a peace that was beyond what I could humanly understand. It was a sense of joy that was beyond comprehension.
It's been seven years since I made that vow, and that vow still stands to stand out.
A friend of mine, Rosie, used to constantly remind me that failure is really an opportunity. And to look beyond our problems to try to understand what God was trying to show us, teach us, mold us to become…? And she was right. Call it a “from rags to riches life story” if you want, but I call it “our struggles became our successes life story”.
It was through those struggles that taught me humility, servanthood, compassion, confidence, empowerment, and inspiration. It was through those struggles that I grew to become the woman I am now. And it was through those struggles that have shown me that there are so many women and moms out there wanting to so badly make a difference for their family, friends, and themselves. There are so many moms who have lost themselves and what they really stand for. There are so many moms who have forgotten to take care of themselves first so that they can effectively care for their children.
Your story may not be the same as mine, but I know you. You're the modern mom who wants to stand out in the sea of “normal”. You want to know that there is more to life than just living.
You want to find YOU again.
And for those of you who are aware that you are unique and are often told of how your life as a mother should be, I know you too. All those times I've been called weird, strange, not all there, and different – I will take those remarks as compliments. I guess you can say I'm the Daisy in a field of roses (literally).
This is the very reason I created The It Mom. I may have started off with a notion of saving money and couponing, but as my life has evolved and changed, my blog has changed with me. It's not just about saving money anymore, it's about saving you from losing the real you that you were called to be.
And I'm not here to judge you, criticize you, mislead you, or shame you. I'm here to help you let your voice be heard, to let your confidence shine, and to do it all strategically. I'm in it for the transformation and what the power of transformation can do for us moms.
But transformation doesn't just happen, you have to plan for it.
It's so hard to say goodbye, but it's time I do. For the last five years, TheItMom.com has evolved through the good times and the bad. This blog has been my haven of whatever I've wanted to post in my life. It's been my diary of what I've been comfortable posting publicly, and it's been a way for me to supplement my income as an amazing side hustle.
But God opened my eyes to purpose, and that purpose isn't just about me…it's about you, The It Moms of the world who want to stand out. I'm often asked what The It Mom means, but I cannot categorize you in any type of specific box. I can't say beauty, because it isn't all about cosmetics, anti-aging skin care, or hair. I can't say fashion or style, because what's the point of dressing trendy or stylish when you have nothing of substance to offer? And no, ‘IT' does not stand for Information Technology! ‘It' means you are ‘It'…you are everything you could possibly be in your life.
You are confident, savvy, influential, beautiful, and stylish in your own seemingly effortless kind of way. Yes, effortless! We were once the hot mess moms who quickly figured out the secret to success —
I can attest that we will still go through those hot mess days every so often (hey, I didn't say we were perfect!), there will be many more better days ahead if we continue to build this community of support and encouragement amongst each other.
Imagine living a life where everything you do seems effortless, because you are strategic in every way. You make time for yourself, you make time for your priorities, and you make time for rest. You always look so well put together, because you organized your life to do so.
From here on out, this blog will be about YOUR story, your transformation, your mommy makeover, your ideas, your hopes, your inspirations, and your desires to stand out and set yourself apart. And I'll be there every step of the way. We're going to have so much fun!
Our mantra going forward is this…
Do more of what makes you happy.
Choose to do the right thing.
Live life honestly.
Live life authentically.
And most of all, be honest with yourself.
And we have some juicy topics and events that we encourage you to join in…from weekly pillow talks with hubby and I on marriage to creative writing opportunities for YOU to share called “Fact or Fiction” – you will want to come back for more each week! It's soap opera style story telling at it's finest – I mean, what's a good story without drama in it, right?!
My hope is that I too can stand out and set myself apart from all the blogs out there that you could be reading right now. Not for popularity or fame, but to witness transformation in your life and say that I was part of it.
What's the point of doing all this if no one is transforming?
Now that you know of all the new things happening in here, I want to hear from you. Answer these two questions in the comments and I have a fun surprise to announce next week!
1. What is one thing in your life that you've been wanting to learn more of?
2. What is one thing that makes you feel vulnerable that you'd wish someone would bring to light or talk about?
I can't wait to ride this adventure of life with you. xOxO -Daisy Teh