christian business women

Mission Driven Monday--Julie McKevitt

Meet Julie McKevitt!

Have you ever wondered if your heart was big enough to welcome a child into the world? What about a second one? Have you ever wondered if you could make space for a new opportunity when the one that’s right in front of you is practically perfect in every way? Have you ever wondered if you have the courage to forge a new way?

Artist. Entrepreneur. Mother. And social activist.

Julie McKevitt paints the world with kindness and invites others to do the same. In this episode, we talk about staying grounded even while dreaming big and how sometimes the hardest won battles are those between husband and wife. This is a story about BECOMING. Join us and follow your mission, not the madness.

Important Links from this Episode:

Paint Love: Extraordinary arts programming for youth facing poverty and trauma

Julie’s Instagram: Follow the Kindness Day journey

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Mission Driven Monday--Jennifer Robinson

Meet Jennifer Robinson!

She and her husband are the founders of My Audio Pet, which was born out of a need to create new work for their family after her husband was let go from his corporate job. Jennifer and KJ hit the ground running, hustling hard, and putting one foot in front of the other until some big companies took notice, including Oprah Magazine and Good Morning America. She’s a firm believer in the power of prayer and her unofficial motto is: “Keep going.” God’s grace lives in the midst of the mistakes.

The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
— Isaiah 50:4

Important Links from this episode:

My Audio Pet: the tiniest, cutest, most kick-butt blue tooth speaker on the planet. Makes a great gift! Use Code MISSIONDRIVENMONDAY for 20% off until 10/31/2019.

Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit by Beth Moore


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Mission Driven Monday--Dara Buczynski

Meet Dara Buczynski!

Dara Bucynski opened Ephiphany Athens in 2014. But her life of faith and adventure actually began many years before. After adopting a daughter from the Ukraine and learning more about orphan care there, Dara decided to use her gifts to partner with global organizations caring for children around the world. Her beautiful boutique is grounded in a simple truth: "God decides you're beautiful." May this episode inspire you to follow your own mission (not the madness) because where purpose lives, love thrives. Thanks, Dara!

Important Links from this Episode:

Epiphany Athens: Check out their new arrivals! Free Shipping over $75!

Heart for Orphans: provides support and care for teens aging out of the orphan care system in the Ukraine and the former Soviet Union

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
— Proverbs 31:25

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Mission Driven Monday--Amanda White

Meet Amanda White!

What does it REALLY mean to find meaning and purpose in your life?

Today, Amanda and I addressed one of the biggest tensions we have as moms: Am I JUST a mom? Is that enough? Who am I and how do I navigate this changing, crazy world?

“I start fast.”
”I work hard.”
”I finish strong.”

That's Amanda White in a nutshell.

She's a writer, blogger, mom, and empathetic friend. Today, she's your friend too! I loved talking about what she's learning and how she's growing. Seriously, y'all, there's so much wisdom jam-packed into this episode. Don't miss it. Follow your mission, not the madness.

Until the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words,—‘Wait and hope.’
— Alexandre Dumas--The Count of Monte Cristo

Important Links from this Episode:

Oh Amanda: Helping You Impress God’s Word on Your Kids’ Hearts

Truth in the Tinsel: Experience the Christmas story with your kids

A Sense of the Resurrection: An Easter experience for families

The Disciplines of the Christian Life by Eric Liddell. ”I believe God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast, and when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

We Choose Virtues: Inspiring Character that Lasts

The Road Back to You: An Enneagram journey of self-discovery

We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place .... Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him.—Hebrews 6:19

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Mission Driven Monday--Amber Pert

Meet Amber Pert!

Amber Pert helps turn young dreamers into real-life doers. Her Navigator book series chronicles how leaders across a range of disciplines built their brands. Amber is passionate about purpose, and she brings it to life through the inspiring words she shares with young leaders. I loved hearing about her vision for the future because kids truly ARE our future. Experience is a great teacher, but for young people--learning from the experiences of others is EVEN BETTER. Follow your mission, not the madness.

Important Links from this Episode:

Wellspring Crew—Information and Navigator Book Series

Book she recommends: Measure What Matters

And a book I recommend: Barking to the Choir by Father Gregory Boyle

Millennials and Money

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The One Essential Ingredient that Makes Food (and Life) Even Better

The Beginning

When Gavin and I were first married, I was just learning how to be a homemaker. I missed 4-H the day we learned how to sew a button on a shirt, and I never had a Home Economics class in high school. Although my mom cooked every night, this was not an activity we did together. I guess I thought I would just be able to make stuff because my mom was good at it.

You learn how to cook by osmosis, right?

Wrong!

The first time I made mashed potatoes they turned out soupy and bland.

At 21, I was both health conscious and budget aware, so I made my signature mashed potatoes with margarine and skim milk.

Boy, was that a big mistake!

Good butter and real cream are essential to tasty mashed potatoes.

Since that first cooking fail, I’ve had many more disasters in the kitchen. Sometimes my disasters are the result of sweeping misguided attempts to act gourmet (like that time I tried to make a chocolate bowl using a balloon as my template) or just pure laziness (like that time I put the insert from the crock pot directly on the gas stove), but more often than not, my failings are the result of a single, seemingly inconsequential ingredient.

Like salt.

But any good cook will tell you salt isn’t inconsequential at all. Of all the spices I have in my cabinet (and I have more than 100), salt is the most important. If you leave it out, you’ll know.

The Question

Which got me thinking—is there ONE ingredient that’s essential to success in business and in life?

We create a recipe for success that includes hard skills like on-the-job training and experience, and soft skills like a strong work ethic, an ability to communicate effectively, and self-confidence.

But the most important thing—the one thing that ‘s absolutely essential to success—is someone who believes in you.

Someone who believes in you is the SALT that makes everything else work.

It reminds me of this verse we used to have painted over the fireplace in the keeping room of our old house:

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
— Colossians 4:6 NIV

Someone who believes in you (and tells you) is the most important thing.

The Lesson

It took months before I figured out I wasn’t really a bad cook; I was just using the wrong ingredients. Whole milk and real butter are ESSENTIAL to perfect mashed potatoes. But even after I started using those ingredients, sometimes I would still forget to add the salt.

In life, your words are like salt because there is nothing that hurts worse than an unkind word and nothing that soothes a wound quite like a kind one. I’m reminded how much we depend on them. From those first admonishments when language was just beginning and we heard this phrase:“use your words,” to the phrases we toss back and forth so flippantly in elementary school: “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you” to the lie that continues to sting long after the words have left our accuser’s lips: “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Words matter. They are ESSENTIAL. That’s not new info. It’s like telling you the world is round. This post actually started out as an outline of five different things that I believe successful people do. As I wrote, though, I realized that success looks different for everybody. So I deleted a whole bunch of paragraphs. But even though our definition of success looks different, our validation of it shouldn’t. We should encourage one another and inspire one another to do the very special and unique things we’ve each been gifted to do. As I wrote, I realized the people I admire most, the ones who are building things and leading things and serving people, and creating beautiful art are doing it not for themselves, but for others.

And I realized something else: Every good thing that has ever come my way has been the result of a connection with someone who kindly said, “I want to help.” And likewise, the times when I have felt the loneliest and the worst about myself have been when someone has said something unkind to me.

I want to get life right. Right now, I’m trying to figure out how I can be the SALT for someone else.

One of the ways I’m doing that is by featuring women I admire on my weekly video cast, Mission Driven Monday. Simply go to our website and scroll through our blog. We post new content every single Monday. I hope you meet someone who inspires you. It’s our effort to validate the work Mission Driven Women are doing in the world today.

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Mission Driven Monday--Steen Jones

Meet Steen Jones!

Steen Jones is a serial entrepreneur and writer who lives outside of Atlanta, Georgia. She has a husband, two beautiful teenagers, and a treehouse office that would make Tarzan jealous. When we say "Follow Your Mission, Not the Madness," what we really mean is: FOLLOW YOUR CURIOSITY. The world is full of beautiful things, and as seasons come and go, there's time for enjoying ALL of it. I hope you enjoy this fantastic conversation.

I promised you some pictures of Steen’s amazing treehouse office, so here you go!

The outside of Steen’s Treehouse—a tranquil little spot in the woods!

The outside of Steen’s Treehouse—a tranquil little spot in the woods!

The treehouse office—Inside. I think anybody could find their muse here!

The treehouse office—Inside. I think anybody could find their muse here!

Important Links from this episode:

And fun fact: We talked about Steen’s first business, COLORS, which trained women coming out of the sex industry on how to crochet. In the pic above, Steen’s wearing some of them. And in the pic of ME on this website, I’m wearing some of them too!

Steen’s TedX talk at Georgia Tech

Buy the book, The Door Keeper by Steen Jones

Learn how to WAKE YOURSELF UP with Wim Hof. Follow him on Instagram! Here’s everything you need to know about the Wim Hof Method.

Elizabeth Gilbert’s Book, Big Magic

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Mission Driven Monday--Kitti Murray

Meet Kitti Murray!

“Can we have coffee?”

We hear this phrase so much, it's become a bit of a cliche. Coffee is the conduit that supercharges so many new relationships. For Kitti Murray, the connection between good coffee and good stories became the impetus for the dream of a lifetime. She's the founder of Refuge Coffee, the most welcoming place on earth, in the city that's been described as the most diverse square mile in America. Where bigotry and hate and prejudice might have found a foothold, instead neighbors find shelter and love and support. Refuge provides a living wage to a dozen employees. That original question: "What if?" was answered with a resounding, "Yes, we can."

I've had a chance to experience Refuge Coffee firsthand, and if you ever find yourself in Atlanta, I hope you will too. Our differences make us beautiful and our shared stories create connections that cannot be broken. Thank you, Kitti, for following your mission, not the madness.

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
— James 1:27

Important Links from this Episode:

Refuge Coffee

The Grit and Grace Project

Giant Worldwide Leadership Coaching

Enneagram

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Finish strong TODAY.



Mission Driven Monday--Kim Gentry Meyer

Meet Kim Gentry Meyer!

Kim Meyer is an accomplished singer and songwriter with a passion for animal welfare. She's channeling her creativity and love for animals into a brand new project aimed at helping kids understand how to better care for animals. Kim is partnering with a children’s book author to write an accompanying soundtrack full of songs about animals. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Kim is living the dream alongside her husband, Adam, in Boston, MA. In this conversation, we explore how you don't have to be the BEST at one thing as long as you can be PRETTY GOOD at two or three different things. "Use all you have," is a motto we won't soon forget. Thanks for following your mission, Kim!

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’
— Erma Bombeck

Important Links from this Episode:

Animal Welfare Work: What Baxter Started

Kim’s Music:

Connect with Kim: Instagram Handle and Facebook

whatbaxterstarted.com and https://www.facebook.com/whatbaxterstarted/


The children's songs she wrote for the two books will be available at this site: https://petpunditpublishing.com/. The website is currently being redone, but they will be up soon. Stay tuned!

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Mission Driven Monday--Sarah Sasson

Meet Sarah Sasson!

Are you a risk taker?

That was the question I asked Sarah Sasson, Founder/Executive Director of Kula Project, an organization that provides industry training, business investment, and life and leadership skills in Rwanda. When I first met Sarah, she was a jet-setting woman on-the-go, with one foot firmly planted here in the United States and one straddling the ocean and chasing her heart to the faraway beauty of Rwanda, Africa.

Today, the incredible fellows of Kula Project are building profitable businesses, raising healthy families, and sending their children to school. It didn’t happen overnight, but rather over many, many years of fostering strong relational ties and empowering leaders—young and old alike.

In this episode, Sarah and I talk about the highs and lows of running a nonprofit, celebrating wins, and enjoying hobbies that have their own measurable results. I asked Sarah if she was a risk taker because I've always felt like she was a girl who knew how to take adventure to the nth degree. You know what? She's just like you and me. She's following her mission, not the madness, and that has made all the difference in the world.

Important links from this episode:

Check out the beautiful photography on her site! You can even sponsor a budding entrepreneur. And if you’d like to buy some of the yummy coffee produced by the Kula fellows, you can do that here.

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It’s time to DREAM BIG!

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How Do I Know What I'm Supposed to Do With My Life?

Last week, I attended a magic show hosted by renowned magician, Peter Morrison. For a full hour, our party was mesmerized by sleight of hand tricks, mentalism, and illusion. Plus, Peter is an engaging personality with a twinkling eye and a winning smile. You can’t help but sit on the edge of your seat.

Between sets, he regaled us with personal stories of his journey as a magician. I was struck by this little tidbit: “I practiced 8-10 hours a day 7 days a week for five years.”

Wow!

Is there anything you love so much you’d be willing to practice 10 hours a day for five full years? I often say, “I wish I could” when I see somebody doing something cool, never stopping to think how long it probably took them to get there.

That means the thing you love has to become your job before it’s actually your job. And it’s not rocket science—you will get better at whatever you practice.

So here’s two important questions to ponder:

  1. What’s the main thing that deserves your energy?

  2. Can you narrow your brand to discover the things you do really well?

Knowing who you are and what you want is a lifelong process, but the magic is in the process.

It’s time to start practicing now.

Pursue not only what interests you, but also what you’re good at. And remember what Greg McKeown said about priorities in his book, Essentialism.

Creating an essential intent is hard. It takes courage, insight, and foresight to see which activities and efforts will add up to your single highest point of contribution. It takes asking tough questions, making real trade-offs, and exercising serious discipline to cut out the competing priorities that distract us from our true intention. Yet it is worth the effort because only with real clarity of purpose can people, teams, and organizations fully mobilize and achieve something truly excellent
— Greg McKeown, Essentialism
  • Cultivate vulnerability. Believe it or not, this will actually give you more confidence!

  • Practice direction-setting. A lot of people start out with good intentions. Direction, not intention, determines destination.

  • Craft a process for the life you want. Be patient when it comes to the results. All rhythms also include seasons of rest. Be radically iterative through the process and you will find that you absolutely will improve over time.

“Who you are is continuously transforming through courageous creativity and a deep commitment to what you believe.”

I don’t know if I’ll ever love something enough to practice a full ten hours a day, and at this stage of life, I don’t have ten hours a day to devote to my one true love—but if I can find two or even five hours in a day, then that’s something worth pursuing.

What’s your thing?

Share in the comments below, and I’ll make a commitment to cheer you on!

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Mission Driven Monday--Amber Robinson

Meet Amber Robinson!

I met Amber at the Indiana Christian Writers Conference back in 2012. She was writing a book called Mercy Rising and working on a number of other projects. But she's not only a writer--she's a composer, pianist, and teacher, and her newest book, Piano Lessons for Kids, is making waves across the U.S. In this episode, we talk about Essentialism, Mission Statements, the lives we live, and the legacies we leave. I wish we lived in the same city because I know my life would be better if I could make time with Amber a regular part of it. Amber will inspire you to make music, create art, and just get out there and PLAY. Be like Amber and follow your mission, not the madness. I’m cheering for you!

Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.
— Booker T. Washington

Thinking Tree Books: This is an awesome resource! You’ve heard of home-schooling and un-schooling, but have you ever heard of FUN-schooling?

Mercy Rising: Simple Ways to Practice Justice and Compassion

Piano Lessons for Kids: Piano Lessons for Kids is the inventive book that unleashes a student’s imagination and love for music! This self-paced, 168-page book spans a semester or a school year, depending how often you visit the subject – once or multiple times in a week.

Adults need no prior musical training and are encouraged to learn right along with their kids. The audio/video materials make this possible.

Students will learn not just to read notes, but also to hear music, compose, and tell a story with the piano – all with songs they really want to play. Separating it from other method books and online programs.

This book – with essential audio/video instruction – solves the problem of having to purchase separate books for note reading, music theory, listening skills, and composing – it’s all here, in one book.

Essentialism: This book by Greg McKeown is THE BOMB, and if you’ve ever struggled with saying YES to too many things, this is the book to help you prioritize well.

The 90:90:1 Rule: For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions. Just get that project done. Period.

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There's No Place Like Home: Discovering Your Heart's Desire

‘I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas.’

’That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. ‘No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.’

The Scarecrow sighed.
— The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

When I was in college in Indiana, I would sometimes come back home to Georgia on an airplane. The first such trip was right before Thanksgiving in the fall of 1992. I hadn’t been home since I left in early August, and although I loved college, I was also homesick—for a hot bath in a clean house, a hot meal cooked by my mom, and a hot date with my far-away, long distance boyfriend. As the plane descended over Atlanta, I first saw the pine trees, green towers dotting the foothills and then the city, and even before my feet touched the ground, I was instantly transported back to this place I loved.

Early April is a beautiful time to be home. The cherry blossoms and dogwoods are blooming, and I noticed little buds peeping out on all the other trees. Lawn mowers are beginning to buzz, and a few people have begun pressure washing their driveways and decks. Life is exploding all around us, and this week, we get to appreciate it. All of it.

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Scarecrow couldn’t understand why Dorothy would want to go back to a place that was dry and gray. He didn’t understand the places we love are never really about the places themselves. They are always about the people. Dorothy could overlook the deficiencies in Kansas because as they say “love covers over a multitude of sins,” be they agricultural or otherwise. (In Georgia this week, I’m overlooking the billowing clouds of yellow pollen swirling around me.)

Dorothy: Oh, will you help me? Can you help me?
Glinda: You don't need to be helped any longer. You've always had the power to go back to Kansas.
Dorothy: I have?
Scarecrow: Then why didn't you tell her before?
Glinda: She wouldn't have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.
Scarecrow: What have you learned, Dorothy?
Dorothy: Well, I—I think that it, that it wasn't enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em — and it's that — if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?
Glinda: That's all it is!
Scarecrow: But that's so easy! I should've thought of it for you -
Tin Man: I should have felt it in my heart -
Glinda: No, she had to find it out for herself. Now those magic slippers will take you home in two seconds!
Dorothy: Oh! Toto too?
Glinda: Toto too.
Dorothy: Now?
Glinda: Whenever you wish.
...
Glinda: Then close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, 'There's no place like home'.

It seems too easy, doesn’t it? Like the thing we really want couldn’t possibly be right in front of us. But what if it is? What if your peaceful, purposeful life is right here?

We live in an amazing time in history, in a world that’s more connected than it’s ever been before. I can talk to my sister-in-law in China instantly any time I want. And for free! My teenage son is in California (without parents!), but I can track him on my iPhone, and my husband is getting his doctorate in Ministry (he’s such a smarty pants!) right from his office desk.

It’s fun to go away and see new things. Truly, there is no substitute for experience, but never for one second think that your heart’s desire must be somewhere out there. It might be right in your own backyard.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
— Matthew 6:21

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Mission Driven Monday--Amber Humphries

Meet Amber Humphries!

The motto at Mission Driven Woman is "Follow your mission, not the madness." It's a joy to meet someone who is fully embracing her mission, and Amber's is "Peaceful Home, Adventurous Life." She is an entrepreneur, blogger, speaker, and singer/songwriter. Amber’s many talents have led her to embrace saying "no" to fear (she's a city girl turned mountain woman) and “yes” to inspiring and empowering women in all stages of life transition. Amber is thoughtful and wise. One of my favorite parts of this conversation was when we talked about success and what that looks like during different moments in our lives. Also, I love the idea of warring opposites, and it seems to be a common theme among the women I interview: Big and Small, Open and Closed, More and Less.

People often say to Amber, “Wow! You’re living your dream life!”

Her response—”Why aren’t YOU living your dream life?”

Fun fact: Amber and her husband composed our Forever We theme song, and Amber sings the lead vocals. You can listen to the song here.

Important Links from this Episode:

blog http://www.citymousemountainhouse.cominsta @citymousemountainhouse
music http://www.jaredandambermusic.cominsta @jaredandamber
health journey http://www.amberhumphries.cominsta @amberhumphries
lipstick: https://www.beautycounter.com/product/beautycounter-red

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