Ep. 07 Giving Community

Ep. 07 Giving Community

The beginning of the book of Acts shows a beautiful picture of what the early church looked like. One heart. All pursuing God. No one went in need. We’ve been studying the book of Acts this fall in Women’s Bible study, and once again God whispered to me, “Don’t forget what I did for you, and don’t forget to be open handed and to listen, be willing to do this for others.”.

Three years ago our family of four lived with our friends, the Hoyts, a family of six for two months. God taught me so much during that season of life, and has continued to do so each year as I reflect on our time living under one roof. The time for “giving” isn’t just during the holiday season, it is year round. God used the Hoyts to show us this, and in turn we actively strive to live this way.

It’s difficult to compact all that God did in our hearts in under 60 minutes, but we did our best to summarize our time together on Episode 7, “Giving Community”, on today’s podcast. It’s the perfect way to wrap up season 1. I hope this episode inspires you to take pause during the chaos of the holidays and reflect on God. Stop to listen to His voice, and be encourage to obey him…sometimes He asks us to give by writing a check, volunteering, or bringing a meal to a family in need. Sometimes He asks us to open our home to our friend. Beauty is found in obedience. Can you see it?

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Elf on the Shelf + Jesus

Elf on the Shelf + Jesus

This is not a theological argument if Christians can love Jesus and participate in Santa and Elf on the Shelf. I’ll leave that to wiser bible teachers. This is not a guilt trip if you don’t want to join in on Elf on the Shelf. Girl, you do you. I have a sorority sister, Katie, that has 5 kids and I see her insta stories filled with homemade meals and the cutest bento boxes for school. I will never be Katie…and that’s ok. I was wired to enjoy parties, excel at decorating, and naturally love finding ways to participate in culture and still serve Jesus.

If you like seeing your kids enjoy the Elf on the Shelf, but also love Jesus, and you’re not wired with the creative party gene, then, this is for you. I would love for Katie to show up in my house and pack my 2 kids bento lunch boxes daily, and since it’s not physically possible for me to come into your house nightly to move your Elf, then I want to give you the next best thing.

From the moment I introduced our Elf on the Shelf, I knew I wanted to use it to strategically teach my kids about God’s heart and that Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. And so, our Elf moves nightly, not reporting to Santa, but playing Elf games with the kids. Some nights our Elf is extremely creative, and some nights it’s more like hide-and-seek…he just moves to a new location. But every night, our Elf shows up with a new card revealing a deep truth about God’s heart. Five cards with five biblical truths over the course of 25 days. It’s a magical time where our kids can participate in culture, learn and hopefully believe in who God says He is.

Give it a try. Laminate the cards. Don’t feel guilty if your Elf doesn’t move. Don’t judge us moms that are Elf participating…promise my kid is eating a crappy lunch full of bad ingredients next to “Katie’s kids”. Find a mom like me in your neighborhood and give her a key to your house to move your Elf, ha! You better believe if Katie was my neighbor that she’d have a key whether she wanted to or not.

FREE DOWNLOADS CLICK HERE

*activity was originally created using The Village Church resources for Little Village and shared on my family blog in detail

Episode 6. Five Day Challenge

Episode 6. Five Day Challenge

Ready to grow your community? We challenge YOU to join us on a 5 day challenge to meet a new mom. This can be a new mom at your work, at your child’s school, in your neighborhood…wherever. The point is, meet a new mom, and especially if you don’t have a mom friend that doesn’t “look” like you, meaning, if you’re a SAHM then make a career mom friend and so on. Trust me.

Join our community on Instagram by following @AlwaysWorking_mom and using the hashtag #alwaysworkingmom

5 Day Challenge:

DAY 1. MAKE A PLAN. List neighbors, house number, or specific people you want to meet.

DAY 2. PICK HOW + WHEN. Leave a note on someone’s door, send a card to all the moms in your child’s class, invite over for dessert or pizza, or meet up at the park.

DAY 3. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. Take action. You can do it! Be awkward! You won’t die.

DAY 4. TRY AGAIN. Do stop trying until someone says yes. Don’t keep ringing your neighbor’s door everyday…that’s a bit much…but maybe give multiple neighbors a shout.

DAY 5. MEET UP AND DO IT AGAIN. Actually meet up. It’s ok if no one shows up. Do it again. And if they show up, then plan the next meet up for the following week. Keep it simple.

Join our community on Instagram for examples, advice on the challenge, and to “meet” other mamas that are taking action! Can’t wait to see how your challenge goes.

Episode 5. SAHM Life

Episode 5. SAHM Life

On today’s episode, I get to sit down with my sweet friend, Christine Bliss. She’s a 100% SAHM. No side hustling, no part-time job, and guess what…she’s still a working mom.

I love her perspective on judging less and pursuing “mom dating”. Not familiar with mom dating? It’s the awkward fellow-mothers blind dating during our current digital era, and the courage to put yourself out there and make the first move in pursuing friendships.

I highly encourage you and your friends to give this episode a listen, and for y’all to get awkward and pursue “mom dating” in your community today!

Listen to Ep.5 SAHM Life here

Episode 4 Starting a Business + Motherhood

Episode 4 Starting a Business + Motherhood

“You don’t have to have a crazy background in business to start a business.”-Allison Ellsworth

Are you thinking of starting your own business? Not sure if you have something special?

Listen to Always Working Mom Podcast Ep. 4 with Allison Ellsworth from Mother Beverage. Allison shares her journey as an Entrepreneur, Shark Tank deal earner, and the mindset required to push through.

In addition, use this worksheet resource to help you identify what your value and mission is. You’ll need the right mindset to pursue entrepreneurship and this resource will help you start in the right direction. I know it did for me! Download now

Listen to the full episode on Apple Podcast or where ever you listen to your podcast shows.

Resources

Podcast, Episode 04 on Apple Podcast

More Mindset help? Pre-order “Get Out of Your Head” by Jennie Allen “how we think, shapes how we live”

Episode 03. Creating Additional Income

Episode 03. Creating Additional Income

Kevin Plank, founder of Under Armour, Inc, was a college football player with an apparel side-hustle. Yankee Candle was created by a teenage boy, Michael Kittredge, from his mother’s garage. Spanx was created by Sara Blakely while she was working full-time selling fax machines. Side-hustlers.

Yes, not all side-hustlers hit the level of business success of these founders, but a side-hustle is a great way to produce immediate additional income. Sara Jonas is a dear friend of mine that has inspired me, encouraged me, and I hope you’ll listen in on her Ep.3 on Creating Additional Income.

She has an inspiring story of how she has navigated life as a SAHM while pursuing a side-hustle that fulfilled past financial needs, and currently is a place of creative joy. Dream with us, and start thinking of out the box.

Listen here for. Episode 3, Creating Additional Income

Episode 02. Motherhood Words of Wisdom

Episode 02. Motherhood Words of Wisdom

with Pat Conner and Vivian Knox

Pat Conner is a woman of wisdom, and she loves the Lord. She is so full of sage advice, and I have officially named myself her newest stalker. Stalker, in a good way…like share all that you know and teach me your ways, oh, wise one! You need to give this episode a listen, or two.

In under an hour she has showed me that we (yes, me included) have a bent towards judging other moms, and this judgmental society is fixated on putting other down to make ourselves feel better. Yikes! Pat has encouraged me, and I hope you too, to trade in our judgements for a phrase and action of support, “what you do is amazing! How can I help you?”. How wonderful our world would be if all mothers offered that phrase of encouragement and support, and in return accepted the help?! I want to live in that world, don’t you!

Her words of wisdom have given me several takeaways.

1. “Every mother works hard. Whether working in or out of the home, there is no end to the work.”

2. Our priority as mothers should be loving our children and knowing who they are. And pointing them to God, training them to love God with all their heart and to depend on Him. Let’s do quarterly heart checks on this together. How this looks for each mother will be different whether they work in or out of the house. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[b] You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9

3. Allyson’s 3 important truths to teach: 1. Mother loves you with my whole heart! 2. God loves you and God is in control! 3. God WILL take care of you!

What has Pat taught you?

You can find more about Pat Conner at https://patconneronline.com

Listen to Episode 2 here, Motherhood Words of Wisdom with Pat Conner

Episode 01: Working Mom

Episode 01: Working Mom

Hey friends! Thanks for joining me today. There is so much I want to share with y’all about what this podcast is all about, so let’s jump in before my ADD kicks in and I run down a rabbit hole. 

I’m Vivian Knox, and I’ve been a career mom since the day my first child was born in 2011. Originally, I didn’t want to be a career mom, but because of student loan debt I needed to work at least part time until our debt was paid off. I’m extremely grateful that God provided me with the opportunity to keep the job that I had been working at before children and have the flexibility to cut back on my hours. 

Fast forward from 2011 to now, I’m a career mom with 2 children, Caleb and Mila. Over the course of 4 years, which is a season of what I like to refer to as “the Storm”, God changed my heart…slowly…and painfully …and I began to love being a working mom and pursuing a career. My heart had changed, and I was happy. My work family was a gift and my joy overflowed. My career experience was working in medical business management and I had been working with the same organization for almost 10 years.

Here’s where it’s going to get ugly and I’m embarrassed about it, but I need to be totally transparent with you. In January this past year, I was chatting with my friend and coworker, who is also a mom of 2 little kiddos and is actively pursuing a career.  And I was complaining. Shocker. I was sharing my frustrations that I had to volunteer for a PTA board member because apparently all the SAHM were just too busy. EEeekkk. Now you know what a Diva I think I am. Here’s the deal, our elementary school had 2 positions still open on the PTA Board and they had been posting for what seemed to be forever requesting volunteers. So I volunteered and offered my precious non-existent free time to serve. In that moment I felt like Katniss, a courageous volunteer as tribute. I imagined all the moms raising their hands at me in tribute fashion offering their respect of such a grand and noble gesture I had made, all the while I was giving the SAHMs the side eye. My coworker and I had a good laugh while we complained about how we felt it should be up to the SAHMs to volunteer and do all the things…because you know…they have so much more free time than us career moms. We can just write the check. And we also laughed at the thought of what the SAHMs thought or were saying about us career moms. 

I feel like going diarrhea just retelling this story…because I sound like such a B. Although it wasn’t until later that same day that God convicted me of how prideful and ridiculous I was being. Why do I think my time or calendar is more precious than a SAHM? Why is there such a divide amongst us moms? And the guilt of contributing to that spawned this vision and hope of what it might look like if moms, all moms, started to judge less and support more. So what, if we don’t sympathize or empathize with one another! We don’t have to! What we CAN do is listen. Hear each other out, and offer support. We don’t have to elevate ourselves to feel better…what if we pursued community over competition and support. Gosh, isn’t this what we should be doing in all the hot topics today? Race, Religion, and Politics. We can agree to disagree without being assholes about it. What would our world look like if we chose to listen to one another, and offered support and community instead of division and judgement?

And my motto on opinions is put your money where your mouth is, and your words into action, or just zip it, please. 😉 hahaha…put that on a coffee cup and t-shirt. hahaha

But really. In that moment I became passionate for change, and how could I be a part of that change. How can a silly, prideful, nobody career mom make a small impact for inclusion, kindness, community and support. 

And so Always Working Mom was born through conversations with friends, and the realization that all moms, whether SAHMs, career moms, side hustlers, or whatever…yes, ALL Moms are working moms. Let’s start a movement to encourage moms everywhere to stop competing, stop judging, and start supporting one another. 

For months now, I’ve sat and imaged what that would look like. Groups of neighbors and friends opening their friendship circles to include other moms that don’t look like them or work like them, and having this diverse friendship and support system. 

I hope that you’ll join me in this movement! Every week this season I’ll be hanging out with my friends from all walks of life and sharing their stories to encourage you and help you. From an entrepreneur mom and Shark Tank deal earner to a grandmother with sage advice, we will sit together in hopes of sparking a movement in your community. Please join us by subscribing to this podcast and asking your friends to join our online community through Instagram and Facebook to connect and create a support system in your community. Together, we can make a difference for the better. So what do you say, are you ready to join our movement? 

Listen Here to our Episode 01