Suburban Strut. Many of you were followers a couple years ago when I blogged here. Many of you are brand new. I want to take a moment today and get a little vulnerable. I have a big conviction lately to tell y'all what this is all about and why I do it. Tell y'all why this is so important to me. Tell y'all what this blog will be and what it won't be. Also tell you that there are not enough negatives in this world to ever let me walk away from this. I want y'all to understand how you have been enlisted and are on this path with me.
Years ago, I used to blog at Footballs and Crowns...Life with the Browns, our family blog. I LOVED that blog and miss it everyday. I love going back and reading it and wish that I kept up with it like I did then. I think I will again one day, but there are just not enough hours in the day :). Though, I blogged about my kids and family 90% of the time, I constantly received comments from many of you beauties about our clothes, my hair, the house, etc. I would blog time to time about that, but one day, I had the same exact same feeling I have today and put it out there. I blogged a blog: "Do These Earrings Make Me Look Fat?" and it started like this:
"Hi, my name is Rachel Lynn Brown and I am a size 14 and happy. Not lying. Not in denial. I am happy with myself and feel blessed with this curvier body The Lord gave me. Wish I would lose some lbs? You betcha! Does my life revolve around that fact? Absolutely not! How did I get to this point of peace in side me?...let's talk!"
When I wrote that on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011, I almost threw up. It was by far, the hardest thing I have ever written. I totally put myself out there. My blog was read by family and friends (including facebook! AHHH!) and I went on record with very personal information. It took me 15 minutes to hit the post button once it was ready. I hit post and left my office for lunch. I called Shane bawling my eyes out and told him I had no idea what I just did. He was very reassuring - telling me there was a reason I was so convicted to write that specific post and he just knew it would be positive. I did not believe him and just prayed and prayed.
By the time I got back from lunch, my comments were blowing up, Facebook and direct messages were out of control, tweets were flying, and my email was full... all from many of y'all telling me you were in tears and thanking me over and over again for that post. I, once again, was in tears. I could not believe this. I never in a million years would have expected such a response. Women that I had no idea read the blog, were commenting and sending me emails. I was literally in shock. Right then and there, The Lord showed me what I had been praying years for, my "thing" or my "way" to further show His glory and His faith to others. A year later, after lots of praying, me being afraid, encouragement from others, and the support from my husband, Suburban Strut was born.
I launched the first Suburban Strut in 2012. I had an easier job and the kids were not nearly as busy as they are now. It was so much fun. But long story short, I changed jobs, the kids got insane busy and it became a chore. I loved posting and I loved helping y'all style yourselves, but it was like another job. After trying to make it work for a year, I took the site down. It was so hard. I knew it was something I was supposed to be doing, but honestly I pushed that to the back of my mind and validated it with just how busy our lives were. Satan was also working on me, telling me that I was just a nobody. Fashion bloggers were taking off then and I was NOTHING like them. Everything I stood for, went down the drain in my own life and I gave it up. All this confidence I shouted to y'all - needed to be turned around on me.
So fast forward to now. I have gained weight - I am not that 14 I posted about then. I am in a much busier job, I even manage people. My kids are older and have the most insane calendars. Shane and I are constantly running from one practice or event to another. We are living the life we knew we would, and honestly love it.
I now wear plus size clothing and I see how hard it is to find fabulous pieces. I also see and read so many posts and pictures of women that just need a big hug and told how beautiful they are. I see how many women compare themselves to others and feel bad about themselves. I would still get emails and comments asking for help or about my outfit, etc. I would always try to help, but I swear something held me back because I didn't want to go back down this road. Why? Because I was afraid. Now, fashion bloggers are a dime a dozen. There are sites dedicated to "hating" on blogs. I am a plus size mom that loves clothes. That's it. What the hell can I bring to the table?? I would get so mad at myself though because that is so not Rachel. I am confident in myself, but I was letting this blog hold me back.
I started praying hard about this. Everywhere I turned was sign that I needed to do this. But, The Lord was telling me, things are bad. If you do this, commit and do it right. It's time to get a hold of this spiraling out of control group called women. It's time to be an example and help others be one too. If I can just inspire a few women that help change things for my girls - that is enough for me.
So I decided after discussing with my family, getting some help with it this time (shout out to my "assistant" Alisha! Hey girl hey!!) - Suburban Strut is back. And with a freaking vengeance. Nothing. I mean nothing will hold me back this time.
You see, I never did quit thinking about Suburban Strut. I am raising two girls and I see the effects of mean girls. I have a very popular fashion blogger sister and I see the effects of mean GROWN women. I knew this time, SS needed to be bigger. I am on a mission to change "women". I want to inspire women to feel just as beautiful as they were made, and to let it be shouted from their mouths. I want women to be inspired to change the course and raise nice girls that are confident in themselves. I want women to smile and to laugh and to love more. No more hating ourselves because we are not the same size we were in high school or before we had kids. No more being afraid to wear something because we not small enough. No more staying at home and being miserable because we have nothing to wear or feel inadequate. No more comparing ourselves to others. No more cropping ourselves out of the few pictures we are in. No more missing out on our kids' lives because we don't like how we look. No more negativity. I want you to feel fabulous. The Lord wants you to feel fabulous. That is how He created you. This path you are on of negativity, is just that a path. Time to take a new course and change yourself.
Here is the deal, and this is what I remind myself of everyday...You are who you are. You can lose weight, you can take the time to treat yourself to a few new pieces of clothing or actually get your hair done. But today. You are you. If you keep on saying "I will be so much happier if I do this or this" - guess what? You won't. You will find something then to hate. So stop the hate. Learn to love yourself now. Take care of yourself now. Be happier NOW. You have today. Don't waste it. Don't waste another minute not enjoying your life, your significant other, your kids, your friends, your pets, etc. Scared of taking pics of yourself? Guess what? You can't hide. You are seen everyday and that is you. Love yourself. Get dressed and take a pic with your friends, husband or kids. Do you want to look back on any part of your life and think "Was I even there?". I know I don't.
You know what the best part is? When you, strong woman of your home, stop the negativity and start loving yourself and LIFE, your entire home will be warm. Your husband will be happier, so much happier! Your kids are going to be so much happier and will tell you just how beautiful you are. You will also be an inspiration to other women and girls. You will be inspired to inspire others because The Lord will help you. He wants us to glow and smile. He wants us to inspire others to see what He did in us. The minute we turn this train of negativity around - your light will shine and others will not be able to help but look at this hot mama "strutting" through life.
So what is it going to take to start this revolution of happiness and confidence? It's going to take prayer. It's going to take all of us opening ourselves up to having confidence JUST AS WE ARE NOW!! So if that means we have to take clothes seriously? I am up for it!! Now, I use the word "seriously" very lightly. But we all know the right clothing can change our day. A kick ass outfit can take us to blah to strutting like a boss immediately. I may not be the typical fashion blogger and feel self conscious in my pics, but I will always be me - just trying to inspire yall.
Love yourself now. No one is as beautiful as you. You own that beauty. You own that body. Sure it may not be what you want it to be, but it is what you have right now. Embrace it. Love it. Find that light that is dimmed right now and let it shine. Nothing more beautiful than a glowing, confident woman, no matter what size.
Let's start this revolution together! I know I am just a working mom in Arkansas that loves to shop, spends too much money, cusses too much, has wild children, and loves to write - but I know The Lord can create anything from nothing. We just have pray and believe. So come on pretty friends, who is with me?
And PS - it is still hard to hit post when I pour my heart out :).
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