Infertility Awareness 2017

This week begins our 4th year of unexplained infertility.

When we decided to “start” trying to get pregnant you could not have prepared me for what the past 36 months would be like. The buckets of tears I would cry after painful procedures and negative pregnancy tests. You could not have prepared me for how closely I would check labels on everything from mascara to ketchup. Or how many times I would have to quietly delete social media from my phone to stop from obsessing over others pregnancy announcements.

In the past 36 months I have gone from excited, to embarrassed, to outspoken. Excited at the thought of joining my best friends in the joys of motherhood, embarrassed that I seemed to be broken and unable to carry a baby, and now outspoken on the heartbreak that infertility brings. My life, and my heart is different. I am a different person.

I have panic attacks: Jesus redeems. I am weak to the point of inconsolability: Jesus is strong. My mind wants to live in the “what-ifs”: Jesus whispers truth. I mourn when my friends are joyful: Jesus gives grace. I am weary: Jesus gives rest.

My hope is not in my ability to carry a child in my womb. My hope is in the ability of Jesus to make me whole.

Month after month I read the story of the fiery furnace. Daniels friends were faced with the hardest choice of their lives and this was their response.

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17-18)

But even if He does not.

He could. God could have swooped down and delivered those guys from the fire. He easily could have said, “wow guys, thanks so much for sticking up for me and not bowing to the idols”. But instead Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fire and God got the glory.

He is good. So good. He is able to deliver me from my hurt. But even if he doesn’t, I will not give in to the devil’s lies about my ability to be a mother. Even if He does not, He will still receive glory. This is my prayer and my hope. That others would see my fight, my story, my hurt, and see God getting the glory.

This past week was Infertility Awareness week. I am thankful for the stories I have heard  this week from women and men, telling their stories and bathing each other in grace. If you know a woman or couple who is currently battling infertility, send them a card. Remind them they are loved and cherished. Because you never know when the dark moments come, and there could never be enough support.

sometimes you need a giant stuffed puppy to cuddle you better.

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6 Successful Poshmark Tips

I have been apart of the Poshmark community for a year now and many have asked me how I continue to be successful not just at purchasing great items and outfits for over half the cost, but also making a profit. Poshmark has easily become a second income that provides us extra date night money, cash to pay off debt, or spending money for vacation. It helps you declutter, upgrade your wardrobe, or simply find a steal of a deal on that pair of shoes you need for your sisters wedding. Regardless of your motive I have 6 Poshmark tips to help you jumpstart your closet into making sales.

 

#1) Take fantastic photos.

The cover photo is the first thing a browser sees. There may be hundreds of size 7 red pumps, you want yours to be the one that stands out. Start by using natural lighting. Find the room in your home that has the best natural light and use that as your photo and staging area. By using natural lighting you will be most accurately showing the color, texture, and style. Another tip when it comes to photos is styling. Let’s say your item is a blue dress. You could style the dress hanging up with a jacket and necklace, or laying flat with a pair of shoes and handbag laying next to it. Styling helps others see beyond the one piece into what their outfit could look like by buying your one piece. (bonus points if your “styling pieces” are also listed in your closet)

 

#2) Price Accurately

Having accurate pricing is vital. If your item is priced too high potential customers will avoid it and look for the same or similar item at a cheaper price. If an item is priced too low they will automatically assume it has a major flaw and will also avoid the item. It is easy to come up with an accurate price by first remembering or looking up (google for the win) what it cost new. From there you can search your item on Poshmark and see what others are selling the item for and make your price there. Remember when you want to notify others of a “dropped price” you must do so in 10% or more increments so this may play into how you initially price your item.

 

#3) Clearly describe item

As clearly as possible describe your item. Instead of saying “Blue Dress. Good condition”, you could expand and say “Darling Blue A-Line dress from J.Crew. Hidden zipper in back and cute pleats along the front. Cotton/Polyester blend. Worn in office with a jacket or cardigan. Good used condition, just some minor wash wear under the arms, barely noticeable”. You want to make sure their eye is drawn to the details once they click on your listing. And once they purchase the item you want to make sure you are shipping exactly what they believed they were buying. This will help you get better ratings and also a better seller’s reputation. Never, ever, lie and try to make a product sound better than it is, not only is it dishonest but Poshmark could easily band you for misrepresenting your listing.

 

#4) Interact with potential buyers

A key to success is not only being kind in your responses but being prompt. If someone asks you a question about your listing make sure to respond as soon as physically possible. Sometimes I am asked a question that I cannot get to right away such as, “Can you take an additional photo of the hem?”. Even though it will be several hours before I am home to take the additional photos, I will still respond in a timely matter to let them know I see them, “Hi @sarah921, I’m sorry but I’m at work right now. I will get you those extra photos as soon as I get home! :)”. Sometimes you can even engage in potential buyers before they even ask a question. If I see someone has liked more than 2-3 items I can comment on one and ask if they would like me to bundle up some listings to save them money, ie, “Hey girl, @shopaholic43, I see you have liked 4 different items of mine. I would love to bundle those up and give you a great discount! Let me know if you’re interested!”. Staying engaged is important when you have an online community such as Poshmark.

 

#5) Share Share Share Share…

Many people forget about “Self Shares”. A self share is when you literally share your listing with your followers. This helps your listing be among the first that pop up when users are searching for a specific item. Personally, I self share all of my items twice a day and then periodically throughout the day I will share items I believe to be “top sellers”. You should also share others listings. You can do this by finding people you follow and sharing their closet, or just from your home feed just start sharing away. Poshmark is a community that relies on each other for sales. So people whom you share will share back. Likewise, make sure if someone shares from your closet you make every effort to share back.

 

#6) Be quick to ship

One sure fire way to get good reviews and in turn more sales is to be quick to ship your sold items. It is as easy as getting free priority boxes or envelopes from the USPS, printing your shipping label, packaging it up, and dropping it at the post office! I use tissue paper, ribbon, and hand written thank you notes to package up my sales. That way it feels like Christmas being delivered to your door!

Remember, like anything worth having, making sales on Poshmark requires your time. For me, for the first few months that I was getting established, I deleted all games and some social media from my phone. Any time I was in a time wasting situation I would turn “sharing” on Poshmark into a game. In my first three months I made 80 sales and almost a year later have over 300. If you put the time into it you can have some fun spending cash and meet some fun people. If you’re just looking to update your wardrobe I have found everything from a bridesmaid dress, to swimwear, to henna, and some darn cute wedges for my upcoming vacation. Whatever you’re looking for, buying or selling, I highly recommend downloading Poshmark.

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Beauty is as beauty does…

 

Growing up with two younger sisters we were often seen in public in matching pink frilly dresses and sweet ringlet curls or up-dos that included an entire bottle of hairspray. I remember getting many compliments: “they are so cute!”, “how adorable”, “what beautiful daughters!” every time we went out. And it is true. We were three little cuties. But something about that word beautiful always set my mom off. I do not have one memory of a compliment that did not include the same comeback. I heard it so many times that now, as an adult, every time I hear the word beautiful I have a automatic response.

“Beauty is as beauty does”

Every. Single. Time. It was actually quite annoying. Because I just wanted to bathe in the compliment and dwell on the fact that the hour in the bathroom getting my hair done was worth it because people noticed. However, my mom was much wiser than I. She knew that no matter how much money we spent on our outfits or how much hairspray and glitter we had holding our hair together, none of that mattered if our actions were ugly. And she made sure to tell the complimenter. Because if we were throwing a fit, yet we looked beautiful on the outside, it didn’t matter.

“Beauty is as beauty does”

One can only be beautiful if their actions reflect beauty. This was what was ingrained in me as I grew up. As a female growing up at the  beginning of the airbrush, photoshop, auto-tune era, I am grateful for this mantra. Even as a child I could easily spot famous people who may be viewed as beautiful but had attitudes and actions that were so ugly that it didn’t matter what was on the outside.

“Beauty is as beauty does”

This is what For the Sake of Beautiful is all about. Finding the beauty in the heart and soul of people. Seeing things for what they are and not for what they appear. Taking things that matter and pulling from the inside beauty. Because I think we are all painfully aware that to be beautiful one needs more than a pretty face and a lot of photoshop.