Tag: wives who thrive

Meet Jamey Simpson

Meet Jamey Simpson

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to another coach’s wife who is also a writer! Jamey has recently released her first children’s book combining her background as a talented graphic designer together with her current role as a mother. I loved Jamey’s career advice and her perspective on using how her gifts and talents can bring joy to others as well as herself.

Jamey is the second children’s book author I’ve featured. You can refresh your memory with Alyssa’s story here. But now it’s time to meet Jamey Simpson.

Children's Book Author Jamey Simpson

Jamey is a graphic designer, author, photographer, media specialist, and momma to her own as well as all of her husband’s football boys. Jamey usually prefers to maintain all the comings and goings of things behind the scenes, but has recently stepped into the spotlight with the publishing of her first children’s book, Have You Ever Seen A Noopadoop? She and her husband enjoy supporting each other in all their crazy endeavors.

Here’s My Interview with Jamey

Tell me about your career

 To be honest, my “career” has looked like a patchwork quilt. I graduated from college with an Advertising and Graphic Design degree and then worked for a few years in advertising. After my husband and I started a family, I was blessed to stay at home with my three beautiful kiddos and focus on them as my main job. While they were growing up, I was able to express myself in many outlets along the way from coaching volleyball and track, to freelance graphic design, to photography and even remodeling houses. As the kiddos all made their way to school age, I accepted the media specialist position (and teach yearbook) at the high school where my husband coaches as my day job, but I maintain my freelance graphic design business as well.

Somewhere along the way, I began writing as one of my many outlets and have since published my first Children’s book! I’m super excited to roll out my children’s book. Have You Ever Seen A Noopadoop? It’s a fun, interactive experience for children, and it’s been really fulfilling to see all the kiddos who read it create something fabulous after they read it. I would encourage anyone who reads it to showcase their creations with #noopadoop so we can all enjoy!”

Have you Ever Seen a Noopadoop?
Image provided by Author

I have another children’s book in the illustrating phase as well as another book geared toward coaches’ wives in the works. My husband has written several books, and we are in the process of writing one together for coaches and their wives.

What part of your career are you most passionate about and why?

I’m not sure if this makes me sound like an ADHD chihuahua, but I tend to be most passionate about whatever it is that I’m doing at the time. This is probably because I dabble in so many things, but when I’m in the middle of a project, I just can’t rest until I see it come to fruition. When I’m in football season, it’s probably my sports photography and supporting my husband. When I’m at school, it’s probably trying to figure out how to reach the kiddos and make a positive impact in their lives. When I’m designing, it’s probably me trying to figure out how to make that player/team/sport look the most professional that they can. When I’m writing, it’s probably me wanting to come up with something unexpected. The one thing that can pull me away from any project midway, is my family. So I think it’s safe to say they are my strongest passion.

Why did you choose your niche?

I really do feel like a utility player when it comes to my career because I tend to flutter around trying new things, but if I were to choose a niche, it would probably be my graphic design work. Sometimes when I see someone who has done something particularly amazing in their field, I find myself wishing I could do whatever it is they do. Sometimes, I may or may not have tried to force myself into their mold, only to find that maybe even I do succeed, perhaps I should leave it to the professionals. Continually, I am drawn back to graphic design, particularly with a focus on sports graphics. I realize that the Lord has blessed everyone with a gift, and even though I sometimes wish my gift was something someone else has, I am very comfortable with the gift of design. I think that’s why I had so much fun illustrating my latest book; it combined something I always wanted to do with my design abilities, which in turn hopefully made it a successful venture.

Is there a non-profit/ministry aspect of your business?

Even though I charge for my services the majority of the time, there have been many times that I see I can use my gift to help others. I do most of the graphic design work for our church family, and for my husband’s football teams and other teams at our school. I have also found lots of joy in helping my senior kiddos at school with their graduation invitations.

When you dreamed of the ideal career where your strengths, passions, gifts, and talents would connect did you think you would be doing what you are doing? How are things the same/different? 

Like I mentioned before, I always knew I wanted to be a momma, and that has been a dream fulfilled with my own kids as well as all of our football boys and kiddos at school. When I was younger, I imagined working with computers would be good because I felt that would be a need that would continue to grow. My mother was a teacher, and growing up I never dreamed I would go that route. Now, as the media specialist at school, I find myself getting to teach kids design with my yearbook class, and I also have a role in working with their chromebooks. Looking back to see if there were traces of my design work and authorship, I can see that creativity and reading was present throughout my life, so I suppose it naturally fit into place. I may not have always been one of those kids that knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I did know that I wanted to be the type of person who wasn’t afraid to try new things and not quit before succeeding. I think this has helped with my endeavours along the way.

What is your best advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in your field?

Since my career seems to have so many different branches, I would send out a blanket encouragement to say don’t be afraid to try new things. Sometimes it may not work out how you planned, but I guarantee you’ll learn something from that experience and use it in your next endeavor.

Do you have any tips to share about balancing work and the rest of life? 

I would say prioritizing will always be your best friend. Life tends to balance itself when your priorities are in the right order.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

I’ve been blessed with a husband who is very goal-oriented. Anytime I slightly mention a goal I have, he is very supportive and encouraging. Sometimes he even nudges me out of my comfort zone because he tends to have more confidence in me than I may have in myself.

You can find Jamey



Instagram: jme_simpson

Twitter: @JSimpDesigns

Facebook: Jamey Simpson, Children’s Author

Are you Interested in a Monthly Spotlight Feature?

Are you interested in having a featured post on Wives Who Thrive? Fill out the linked Google Doc for a chance to have a feature on this monthly post. Interested in learning more about this monthly spotlight? Check out this invitation post.

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Meet Lindsay Hufford

Meet Lindsay Hufford

I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Lindsay today for my Wives who Thrive series! Lindsay and I are in the same Mastermind group and it has been so fun to watch her flower farm business in Michigan grown from last season to this season. What I admire most about Lindsay (although the list is long) is that she strives to approach everything with intentionality. She researches, processes the information, looks at things from multiple angles, relies on the opinions of experts, and then makes the best choices she can whether it’s about her business, her homeschooling, or her life. Lindsay sees others in the world as valuable contributors to our globe and looks for ways to partner in caring for her neighbor and the earth. I love learning from Lindsay and alongside her. If you’re in the Michigan area or know someone who is I hope you’ll consider supporting this awesome small business!

Lindsay Hufford Peck and Petal

Meet Lindsay Hufford

Lindsay Hufford is a small-scale flower farmer, home educator, chicken chaser, kitchen dancer, and mediocre knitter. Her favorite things include spending time with her family, exploring the natural world, reading, eating spicy food, and singing loudly in the car (to the embarrassment of her children). Lindsay believes sharing our stories will change the world. She writes about farming, homeschooling, faith, mental health, sobriety, and living an unconventional life. You can follow her adventures at peckandpetalfarm.com.

Tell me about your career

I am a flower farmer and floral designer. I grow seasonal, specialty cut flowers for my local area. I offer a flower subscription program to the public that provides monthly and biweekly bouquets in the summer months. I also design flowers for weddings and other events.

Just like other farming work, flower farming is physically demanding. It’s common to see flower farmers holding armfuls of blooms on Instagram, but so much unglamorous work goes on behind the scenes. I am busy tending flowers from February until November. Last year, I spent several days out in the frost pulling up dahlia tubers and planting tulip bulbs. Winter is a little quieter, but beginning in January I start thousands of seeds in my basement.

Our farm is very small; I grow on less than 1/4 acre and I am the only employee. This can make for some long days in the busiest times of the year during planting and preparing the garden for winter. In the late spring months, I am often out in my fields 8 or more hours per day preparing the soil, weeding, setting up irrigation, and planting seedlings. It’s challenging, but I love being outside and watching tiny seedlings grow into towering plants full of blooms. All the hard work pays off when I get to design with beautiful and unique flowers. Whether I am handing a bride her bouquet or delivering a simple arrangement to a seasonal subscriber, I am filled with gratitude that my job brings more beauty into the world.

What part of your career are you most passionate about and why?

Flowers connect us. They are a way of showing care for others in our most joyous and most difficult moments. Weddings, funerals, graduations, illness, new births, and more are all occasions in which people give flowers as a celebration or a comfort. In a world that seems increasing concerned with productivity and efficiency, growing flowers seems like an act of resistance. Beauty is so important to our lives. When I see all the varieties and colors in the floral world, I know God designed us to desire beauty.

I get to be a bringer of beauty, joy, and connection to people’s lives. It’s truly sacred work. I remember doing my first arrangement for a funeral. My friend’s grandfather had passed and she asked me to create an arrangement for the services. Knowing these flowers would bring some beauty into a very hard time brought up lots of emotions for me. Up to that point, I just thought I provided people with flowers. Now I see it as so much more.

Why did you choose your niche?

I didn’t set out to be a flower farmer. My degrees are in education, but I stepped out of the work force 11 years ago to raise our children. My maternal grandparents were farmers, and they instilled a love of farming in me. Our family had been growing vegetables on a small scale for several years which gave me a solid foundation in responsible agriculture processes. We decided to add a few rows of annual flowers to our garden a few years ago to help attract pollinators. Soon we were swimming in flowers, and I started to share bouquets with friends. Growing flowers brought me so much joy that we decided to switch over the growing mostly flowers and selling them to our local community. Flower farming allows me to use my gifts of creativity and problem solving while working in nature.

Is there a non-profit/ministry aspect of your business? 

I’m proud to be an ambassador in the Growing Kindness Project this year. The Growing Kindness Project was started by Deanna Kitchen of Twig & Vine Farm in Washington. The mission of Growing Kindness is to empower, educate, and encourage individuals to cultivate kindness and connection in their communities by growing and giving flowers. As an ambassador, I will be giving away a portion of the flowers I grow this year and giving away dahila tubers to encourage others to grow flowers to give away as an act of kindness.

I also strive to provide funeral flowers to families at cost. Bereavement is such a challenging period of time and financial constraints can be an additional burden. By providing funeral flowers at my cost of supplies with no fees for design lessens that burden.

When you dreamed of the ideal career where your strengths, passions, gifts, and talents would connect did you think you would be doing what you are doing? How are things the same/different?

I never imagined I would be doing this work! I had planned to re-enter academic life after the birth of our second child. Some complications after birth for our daughter changed our plans. Soon after that, we decided our family would give homeschooling a try, and we haven’t looked back. Homeschooling has been a tremendous joy for our family, but it greatly limited my ability to work a typical nine to five job. I value work and tried a few different work from home options that weren’t quite the right fit. Flower farming is seasonal and I tend to be busiest in the summer when our homeschooling is slower. I love getting to flex my creative muscles with each bouquet I make. Time in nature is crucial for me and I am so thankful my job forces me to get outside in all weather. While I never dreamed I would be a flower farmer, I am so glad God opened this door.

What is your best advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in your field?

Buy some seeds and start! You don’t have to break the bank to get started in flower farming. American grown flowers are seeing a resurgence in popularity (most flowers you get from the florist are still grown overseas) and locally grown flowers leave a smaller carbon footprint. Annual flower seeds are very inexpensive. If you have a small area of yard, seeds, and a good work ethic, you can have a small business that brings beauty and joy into people’s lives.

Do you have any tips to share about balancing work and the rest of life? 

Set clear boundaries from the start. I grow without season extension equipment (i.e. greenhouses) so naturally after our first frost my flower season is over. When working from home, it’s important to set your own hours if you can and stick by them. I tend to work for a few hours in the morning and a few more in the evening. I work around our homeschool schedule because my role as teacher is more important than my role as farmer. Without these strict boundaries in place, there is the possibility for lots of frustration and disappointment for myself, my family, and my customers. As Brene Brown says, “clear is kind.” Set clear, firm boundaries and everything will run a little bit smoother.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Stay curious. If I never would have thought about adding some flowers to our veggie garden, I wouldn’t have this career today. Be open to what God has for you and embrace new adventures with wonder and joy.

Stay in Touch with Lindsay

Website www.peckandpetalfarm.com

Instagram @PeckandPetalFarm

Facebook Peck & Petal Farm

Are you interested in being featured?

Are you interested in having a featured post on Wives Who Thrive? Fill out the linked Google Doc for a chance to have a feature on this monthly post. Interested in learning more about this monthly spotlight? Check out this invitation post.

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Megan Hall

Megan Hall

Megan Hall -Dauntless Grace

Have you heard about the enneagram? Did you know that you can mistype yourself? A few months ago I was editing my book and preparing a seminar for the Pursue Coaches’ Wives retreat and took a deep dive into some enneagram information. I’d long assumed I was a Type 2, so imagine my surprise when every test pulled different numbers. Under deadlines and in a bit of a panic Megan graciously and patiently guided me with questions and resources to help me clarify why these new tests were revealing Type 8 and Type 9 personality answers. Like any great coach she knew when to offer information and when to let me mull things on my own for a few days. The layers of the enneagram are incredibly extensive, but Megan kept everything bite-size. She eased me into accepting the reality that I’d mistyped myself and would need to dig a little deeper into the why behind somethings. Amazingly, enneagram coaching is only ONE aspect of Megan’s ministry!

Meet Megan Hall One of Many Wives Who Thrives

Megan Hall is a wife, mommy, teacher by trade, writer, speaker, and passionate follower of Jesus. She is the founder of Dauntless Grace (a ministry for women) and a certified enneagram coach. When she’s not working on one of her million projects, you can probably find her hiding under her covers in with a good book.

Here’s my Interview with Megan:

Tell me about your career

I have worked in public and private education and higher education for thirteen years. I also co-direct a women’s ministry called Dauntless Grace which is all about connecting women to a meaningful story. As part of that, I am a certified enneagram coach.

What part of your career are you most passionate about and why?

I’m passionate about being a world-changer! Whether it’s through disrupting education in K12s and universities or by connecting women to the beautiful story Jesus has written for them, I’m out to change the world.

Why did you choose your niche?

As an enneagram 4, I am passionate about helping people understand themselves. As someone with a degree in English education and a master’s in curriculum, I love figuring out the best way to reach someone where they are. My degrees and my enneagram certification and my jobs/hobbies all work together for that goal.

Is there a non-profit/ministry aspect of your business?

Yes, Dauntless Grace is an umbrella ministry (along with Shine Movement, a ministry for tween girls) under a 501(c)3 called Truth Productions. We accept donor funds and occasionally do fundraisers for new endeavors. We currently also offer enneagram coaching, staff training, women’s conferences, girls’ conferences, and we have a women’s retreat in the fall of 2021.

When you dreamed of the ideal career where your strengths, passions, gifts, and talents would connect did you think you would be doing what you are doing? How are things the same/different? 

I assumed I would be a teacher, and I was for many years. But I want to do something bigger than actually disrupts education! My dream is to start a school that encompasses all my passions.

What is your best advice for someone wanting to pursue a career in your field?

I would say, “always question the narrative.” Education has changed so much over the decades, and it’s an evolving field. There is always something new, and it can be easy to get stuck in routine. Don’t let that happen!

Do you have any tips to share about balancing work and the rest of life? 

Nope! I still struggle with this. All I know is that I do what God calls me to, and I try to ask the question, “What is mine to do?” each day.

Is there anything else you would like to share? 

God has a purpose and a plan for each life, and all of life is a journey to uncover that!

You can connect with Megan here:

Instagram: @EnneagramMegan and @DauntlessGraceMinistries

Facebook: facebook.com/dauntlessgrace

Final Thoughts:

I loved Megan’s answers, but especially her answer to the work/life balance question. How would your days look different if you paused to ask God “What is mine to do today?” and then waited for his guidance rather than simply diving into the day?

Are you interested in having a featured post on Wives Who Thrive? Fill out the linked Google Doc for a chance to have a feature on this monthly post. Interested in learning more about this monthly spotlight? Check out this invitation post.

wives who thrive
Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Supporting Small Businesses and Ministries

Since 2016 I’ve worked for a small Inbound Marketing agency based in Melbourne, Florida. We partner with clients in many different industries all around the globe with a multi-tiered approach to help each client tell their individual stories. I’m passionate about storytelling. It says so in my work bio. 😉 I love my job for many reasons, above all, over the years I’ve developed a passion for helping small businesses and business owners thrive.

Today there are a lot of business owners and employees who are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders wondering how long the COVID-19 global pandemic will continue. The stark reality is many companies will not survive this crisis. As a coach’s wife, I’m acutely aware of how generous small business owners are to their local communities. They are the lifeblood of many athletic teams, PTA fundraisers, school trips, church fundraisers, recitals, community concerts, and plays. Now is the time for community members to give back to the businesses that have supported so many events over the years.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that there were 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S. in 2019. Freshbooks reported in 2018 that 15 million Americans were self-employed full time and estimated that by 2020 the number would rise to 27 million. Clearly that number is now going to change.

Here are a few stats from 2018 that put small businesses and entrepreneurship into perspective:

freshbooks 2018

62% of small business owners don’t work with any staff.

20% earn less than $20,000 per year.

Life is Changing Rapidly

In the past ten days, our family shifted from packing for a getaway and meet up with our family in Minnesota at a water park in the Wisconsin Dells to sheltering in place and hunting for toilet paper online and in every store within our county. It’s jarring how quickly things can shift.

If you’re a small business owner you may have also seen a lot of your customers pause orders recently. It’s hard to know how to budget for business when you can no longer rely on projections and yearly spending trends. You’ve also likely had to make quick decisions about inventory or when and how to change your business model to adjust to daily changing rules with social distancing.

In our home, as our plans changed I suddenly realized I needed to stock up on food not only for the week home but for multiple days because our spring break was extended for an additional week. We were able to fill in most of the food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries we needed even though it wasn’t our typical shopping day thanks to a great sale at the grocery store and online pick up at Sam’s Club. This was just one tiny quick action we took. Consider how many business owners must take.

Another choice we made was to make a library run and stock up on books. The librarian mentioned we should make sure to sign up for digital access to things. He’d already heard they wouldn’t be open much longer. He was correct, they closed the following day and it will be a few more weeks at least before they open. As we chatted I realized how much life was going to change so we headed to my favorite coffee shop and bought several gluten-free pastries. I wanted them to know that even though I wouldn’t be around for a few weeks I hoped to see them when soon.

You Know Small Business Owners

Will you do me a favor? Will you take a minute and think about your neighbors, friends, and family. Make a list of how many people have a side hustle, own a business, or work for a small start-up company rather than a large franchise. Now. take that same list and consider who you know who draws a salary from mission support. For the rest of this post keep those people in mind.

Small Businesses Need Our Support

I know that right now many people are facing incredibly challenging months as we wait out our local and federal government responses to the coronavirus. There are so many unknowns. Workhours have already been cut, layoffs are occurring, and many people are looking for freelance work only to realize that businesses are cutting back in areas rather than hiring.

I believe many small business owners will eventually receive some sort of support, but which businesses will qualify and how long this who global pandemic is going to last is unknown. The instinct in such uncertain times is to buckle down and cut as many costs as possible. However, when it comes to the small businesses we believe in, we need to take time to think beyond the next few weeks.

When We Emerge

At some point, we will receive the all-clear to gather again in restaurants, churches, coffee shops, museums, co-working spaces, farmers’ markets, bakeries, concerts, and athletic events. We’ll wander around on a Saturday at the Farmer’s Market, stop at a food truck for breakfast, grab flowers and the week’s vegetables before heading out to meet friends at our favorite boutique to check out the latest trends in clothing.

But let’s pause for a moment. After weeks, possibly months without income, are you sure your favorite business will have the capital to buy supplies and reopen? If everyone stops their memberships or pauses purchasing, how can we expect that services will be available for us when we’re ready to resume normal life?

Businesses Still Have Bills

Just like households have rent, utilities, and loans to continue to pay even though we are facing a global pandemic. The same is true for businesses regardless of the size. Payroll, bookkeeping, software, website expenses, inventory, and office rent are just a few typical expenses a small business owner will pay every month.

We have to consider ways we can continue to invest in the businesses we love now, or they may not be around when we emerge from this current crisis.

Ways to Invest in Small Businesses Today:

  • Don’t cancel your memberships
  • Use date night money for take-out or delivery
  • Allocate money to spend on small businesses that you would normally spend on gas
  • Buy gift cards for the businesses you would normally be eating lunch or having coffee in with friends
  • If you have a monthly subscription where you purchase items, see if any of your friends want to take advantage of your wholesale discount.

It’s likely many businesses are going to start to run sales. Set your notifications so you don’t miss any announcements. When a Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal comes up, split the purchase with a friend. That way you both get to support a company you love and save money.

Take inventory of things around your house. I don’t know about you but I’ve been purging things like crazy lately just like we do every spring. It feels great to get rid of broken items and pass along things our boys have outgrown. As items in our house, break or wear down there are always things we need to replace.

As you replace broken items check out your local businesses. Even if you have to spend a little extra money consider the value of investing in that money in your community rather than elsewhere.

Don’t Forget About Your Favorite Ministries

One of the ways that people often tighten their belts in times of crisis is by stopping their giving to churches and nonprofit ministries. Just like small businesses the bills don’t pause for ministries during a crisis. In fact, in many cases ministries, finances are stretch thinner as people rely on extra support.

If you support missionaries financially or tithe regularly to your church it’s important to prioritize keeping these items in your budget even while we are all tightening our belts. It’s not an exaggeration to say that stopping your monthly giving could mean the difference between someone else affording their rent or paying for their groceries on a given month.

So, take a minute and review that list of small business owners. I encourage you to take some time to browse their websites as you’re hanging out at home this week. Make a list of a few items you need or want and figure out how to work them into your budget.

Make a list of restaurants and rotate where you order. Buy gift cards. Use them for future date nights and mark them for future gifts. You can use them to buy Christmas gifts for people in a few months or as a birthday or Christmas gift. Regardless of how you invest in small businesses in the weeks to come, my encouragement to you is to do so intentionally. You don’t need to go into debt to keep other businesses going!

If we all do just a little bit hopefully we’ll emerge from this horrible quarantine and discover all our favorite spaces waiting for us with adorable new seasonable outfits, the sharpest new lipstick colors, warm pastries, and delightful endless mugs of coffee that you don’t have to make yourself. Sigh…hang in there friends! We can do this together!

Are you a small business owner? Do you work with a ministry or nonprofit?

One way I support small businesses and nonprofit ministries is through my monthly blog post Wives Who Thrive. To learn more about this passion project read my invitation post here. To apply for a feature fill out this Google Doc so I can share your story!

wives who thrive
Andrea Stunz

Andrea Stunz

Have you ever felt deep down you were called to do something? Have you observed someone thriving in their career and thought how easy and fun something looked only to later discover pursuing the career requires extra education? Have you talked yourself out of pursuing something because you’ve convinced yourself it’s too late?

Meet Andrea One of Many Wives Who Thrive

Andrea is a wife of over three decades, a mom to three married adult children, and a Gimi to a gaggle of incredible grandchildren. She finds joy in her family, grace in her friends, beauty in every story, purpose in the sunrise, and wonder in my travels. Andrea describes herself as an adventurous survivor who finds hope for this earthly life in Colossians 1:17 which says, “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” (NASB)

Andrea is currently living a unique adventure. I asked her to share about her current career and she said, “It would be safe to say my life’s vocation is that of a wife and mom, and now Gimi, with a spirit of entrepreneurship tossed into the mix. I have always enjoyed finding ways to take care of my family while making a little pocket money or cushioning the budget in times when we needed a bit of extra. I am currently working remotely as an empty nester and full-time RV’er. As I work toward writing and publishing my own work to encourage and walk alongside women as we navigate our bumpy paths, I am a freelance writer, content creator, and proofreader.”

What part of your career are you most passionate about and why?

As you can imagine, freelancing can pair well with travel, but Andrea does have to plan ahead! When I asked her about what she’s most passionate about with her career here’s what she said, “I thoroughly enjoy the freedom to work from wherever in the world I find myself and to do it mostly on my own timeline and at my own pace. Does this make me a 52-year-old Millenial? I place a high value on travel and adventure, but with my freelance work, as long as I have frequent access to the internet, I can get my work done–and often I work from somewhere with a gorgeous view. Through our amazing technological advances, I enjoy the opportunities available to work remotely and to do what I enjoy doing while making some money at it.”

Is remote work sounding appealing? Check out my growing list of resources here.

Why did you choose your niche? 

“From childhood, I have enjoyed words. The expression of them in poetry and writing songs was a formative way to help me process my big feelings and sensitivities. As an adult, I’ve since learned how to manage this part of my life in a healthier way and much of that journey has included words–words in songs, words in books, words in blogs, etc. I identify as a Christ-follower first, but I relate to being an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), a Counter-Phobic, Enneagram 6w5 (training to become a Certified Enneagram Coach), an introvert, an empath, and a survivor. A true depiction of my passion for encouraging others through words, writing, and proofreading is in this quote by Dawson Trotman, “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips.” This is a proven process in my life, so I assume that in sharing pieces of my stories, I might encourage others in their stories as well.”

I also asked Andrea “When you dreamed of the ideal career where your strengths, passions, gifts, and talents would connect did you think you would be doing what you are doing? How are things the same/different?” I loved her thoughtful and thorough response:

“Well, my ideal career was always being a mom. I knew I would be good at it and I loved children and wanted seven of my own. As God would have it, I only had three. As I’ve learned about myself, I can see where much of this longing came from my spiritual gift of hospitality. I simply love caring for others and especially when those others are my offspring. I will always be a mom but with adult children, my parenting role has ended. I entered the world of blogs when they first became a thing. I fell in love with the online community. I then began doing what I came to call “cyber hospitality”. Helping others find things in foreign countries, sharing our family stories to either give a mental break to others in theirs or to encourage them to keep going, fed my soul. For someone who has spent most of her life moving and living in foreign countries, finding community in online space has been an invaluable gift to me. I know there are others out there who feel the same way. This fuels my passion and commitment to continue on in the world of caring for others by way of cyber hospitality.”

What I love is that Andrea understands God’s unique design for her life and she’s continuing to find ways to evolve and grow so she can continue to thrive in her passions. As a coach’s wife, I really appreciate Andrea’s passion for hospitality. While we’re not traveling overseas, her ministry helping others find things when they are in unfamiliar spaces is such a blessing.

Balancing Work and Life

I asked Andrea for tips on work/life balance and here’s what she said, “Oh, I’ve come to really dislike the word balance. I may change my mind someday but, to me, it seems like I’ve longed for but it’s a dangling carrot I’ll never ever be able to reach. But rhythm? Rhythm is where I think it’s at for me. Where balance is measurable, rhythm feels like a song. I could go on and on about this topic but Rebekah Lyons has already written the book. I encourage anyone who is chasing after the ever-elusive balance carrot, to read Rhythms of Renewal. She lays out the path of staying in a rhythm of renewal through, ‘rest, restore, connect, and create’. “

Any Final Words?

Andrea’s final (and most thoughtful) words for us were these: “If anyone looked at my life’s history, you would not see higher education, degrees, skills, training, or anything that would qualify me for the work that I do now. I have fought hard to survive and thrive in my world where much of what has happened has happened TO me, not through me. I am most proud of myself for staying true to my faith and battling through hardships and fears; knowing what I wanted and full-out going for it. I share my life with as many as will listen (or read) because I want you to be proud of yourself in this same way. Friend, I know you can because I know I can!”

Connect with Andrea

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AndreaStunzWriter/

Instagram @AndreaStunzWriter

Website: www.andreastunz.com where I share pieces of my heart in hopes of encouraging pieces of yours.

Are you interested in having a featured post on Wives Who Thrive? Fill out the linked Google Doc for a chance to have a feature on this monthly post. Interested in learning more about this monthly spotlight? Check out this invitation post.

Alyssa DeLosSantos

Alyssa DeLosSantos

Alyssa DeLosSantos Sow Kind Movement

Have you ever wondered what happens when life situations prevent you from achieving your dreams? You may find yourself on stage like Alyssa DeLosSantos or guiding a movement that challenges people to focus on kindness.

Meet Alyssa One of Many Wives Who Thrives

Alyssa is a Jesus lover, hope hunter, and storyteller. She loves her husband, her three children, her dog, and her friends {in that order}. Books, old windows, clean floors, intentional conversations, and metaphors are on her list, but she prefers not to say where. She holds the award of best driver in town, as issued by her husband who happens to also think she should open her own driving school! When she’s not juggling laundry, acting as the family cruise director, or discovering the best gluten-free cookie recipe, you can often find her sitting in her cul-de-sac enjoying community with her neighbors-turned-friends. She is a classroom teacher by training but spends most of her time outside the classroom meeting friends at quaint coffee shops, talking nonstop about the #sowkind movement, teaching at conferences and retreats, drafting blog posts that sometimes get published, and watching way too many Dateline reruns. She is a contributing author for A Moment to Breathe: 365 Devotions That Meet You in Your Everyday Mess.

I think it’s safe to say Alyssa has a lot on her plate! Her “day job” is teaching, however, today we’ll be focusing on her side hustle which Alyssa describes as a hashtag movement of kindness.

I asked Alyssa what part of her career she is most passionate about and why. She was clear she isn’t simply tolerating her day job too. Alyssa explained the reason she’s a teacher is due (in large part) to her high school English teacher and she loves teaching and encouraging students.

Alyssa explained “Childhood trauma kept me from really dreaming. Once I began teaching, I recognized the gift of leadership I had. While I never dreamed of teaching or starting a movement of kindness, there’s nothing I would rather be doing!”

The #sowkind movement

Interestingly, as important as the #sowkind movement is, Alyssa explains that the idea came together by chance. You can read more here. But I’ll give you a preview.

I’ve had an idea ruminating in my mind for several weeks. While dusting my floors (because I’m a little neurotic about floors), a random phrase popped in my head. Five minutes and the cost of a stamp. What? After a few minutes of contemplating the meaning, I decided to write it down. As soon as I wrote it down, two more phrases emerged.

Five minutes and the cost of a stamp.

Low cost. High return.

Movement of kindness.

I liked each of the phrases but I had no idea what it meant, how it all fit together, or what to do with it. As the words continued to occupy every waking thought, I decided to share the idea aloud with all manner of unsuspecting people. Every time I shared, another piece of the puzzle seemed to fall into place.

#sowkind mission

The #sowkind movement needs willing people to carry the ripple of kindness into their communities. We might not be able to change (THE) world, but we can impact OUR world one kind word at a time!

Can I join the fun?

You sure can! Select someone to encourage {tell them how much you appreciate your friendship, share a treasured memory, affirm the way they use their strengths to help others, etc.}, carve out five minutes to write out your thoughts, and put that labor of love in the mail. Don’t forget to include #sowkind within the letter or on the envelope. It will invite your recipient to explore {and hopefully join} the movement!!

Q & A

What is your best advice for someone wanting to start a movement like this?

Get a strong team of people to surround you, encourage you, and help you see through the weeds!

Do you have any tips to share about balancing work and the rest of life?

Is balance a thing? LOL!! (Fair enough Alyssa, fair enough 🙂 )

How can we get connected with you?




Are you interested in having a featured post on Wives Who Thrive? Fill out the linked Google Doc for a chance to have a feature on this monthly post. Interested in learning more about this monthly spotlight? Check out this invitation post.

Monthly Spotlight Wives Who Thrive
An Invitation for You

An Invitation for You

Monthly Spotlight: Wives Who Thrive Lessons from the Sidelines

Last week on Instagram I gave a tiny window of insight into my “real job”. Which is something I realize I don’t talk very much about even though it fills the majority of my time each week. In case you missed it here’s what I posted:

Tiny peek into a “normal” part of life for this #coachswife .
Working remotely means getting to work from home wherever home is and I’m SO incredibly thankful for each and every one of my clients.
If you had told me in college that I would spend time dissecting Google Analytics and website rankings, find researching keywords fun, write blog posts in my head and send a text or email almost every week saying “don’t worry you aren’t being hacked that’s just me”, well, I wouldn’t have even understood what you were talking about ?

I recently had my annual review and set another round of quarterly goals. It’s been a running joke between my boss and me that when he talks about Google Analytics my eyes glaze over and the truth is that I’ve had to fight the instinct to run when he pulls up the stats. However, as I’ve grown in my role as a Content Strategist and my boss has helped me to understand the way behavior analytics helps our clients better tell their stories for their target audiences I’ve become a convert. I even (finally) completed my Google Analytics certification after avoiding it longer than I should have and I’m still alive!

But somehow this job where I get to cheer people on and help them to clearly tell their stories, reach their audiences, and serve their target customers with ethical practices is a natural fit.

Sharing about my day job was so fun! And it also led to a few conversations with people curious to learn more about my day to day work.

That’s Where You Come In

I’m a huge believer in two things:

1) Cheering on women who are flourishing in life

2) Encouraging women as they pursue their callings

These days there are so many women courageously pursuing their passions in unique ways that require out-of-the-box thinking. Achieving any goal takes intentional work, but when you throw in aligning that goal with all the other parts of everyday life that women can’t ignore it’s amazing when we buckle down and pursue our passions. We achieve goals because we understand that even with late hours, or lower starting salaries it’s more rewarding to live life in the sweet spot of where our calling and passions intersect rather than to settle for second best.

Month after month I’m delighted to hear wives announce they are finally taking the leap to pursue their master’s degree, start that side hustle, or turn that side hustle into their full-time job. Other times wives share that they are re-entering the workforce after years home with babies and finding themselves feeling whole again, regaining confidence they didn’t know they lost.

My favorite stories are the ones like mine, where wives step into a career that didn’t even exist when they were in college and yet now somehow it fits them perfectly.

Are You a Wife Who Thrives?

Does this post resonate with you? Do you recognize yourself in these examples? Then I want to share your story!! Fill out this Google Doc and I’ll be in touch! I’ll be featuring a monthly spotlight for as long as the posts keep coming.

And in case you’re wondering, while this blog generally focuses on articles written to coaches’ wives and about coaches’ wives these spotlight articles are for any wife! I have no doubt that sharing your story will inspire someone to pursue their passions and dreams and that’s the goal.

Let’s be a community that cheers each other on as we all thrive in our gifts and callings!

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