Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Giving Hope

Oh my goodness it's been quiet here for so long! Brian may have started a rumor that I'm not writing here because I'm writing a book. And while, it's true that I absolutely am going to write a book, I haven't started yet

I do have this deep desire to write though. It's definitely a desire of my soul, and I feel it beginning again. 

Anyhooo....

Did you know that April 24th is National Pay it Forward day!? What if we did something big and blessed a lot of people between now and then? Sounds good to me. 

If you know my story at all, you know that several years ago, my heart was captured by a little girl named Ellie Kate. Ellie suffered from a rare and serious condition called NKH. You can read more about NKH here. You can read more about how Ellie Kate impacted my life here


Ellie's momma, Ryan, along with her friend, Amy, are the co-founders of an incredible organization called Hope Link. Hope Link's mission is to connect mother's who have children with rare or undiagnosed disorders while providing encouragement, hope, and support through fellowship and prayer. 

These mommas spend most of their days in and out of appointments and therapies. They live lives that most of us can't even imagine. They are solely devoted to their babies and children. I have never seen a more selfless group of women. Their courage and tenacity has inspired me. They have helped me to understand that fear is only a real thing if you allow it to be. These women are the definition of Hope. They are the hope for their families and their children. They are advocates, fighters, doers. They are women of prayer who serve each other selflessly. 

Hope Link exists to bring them hope. Many of these mommas have babies in heaven and they continue to be a part of the Hope Link family....serving, giving, supporting. 

But today, as we anticipate National Pay it Forward day, I'm asking you to give them a little bit of hope. We are creating a Giving Circle. It's a circle of people who all believe that moms and families who have children with rare or undiagnosed disorders, should have a safe place, a group of people who support and love them. 

You can join our circle, with a $10 recurring monthly donation. Join our circle here.

You can read more about Hope Link and what your $10 donation will contribute to by clicking here


Thanks for loving these families. They truly deserve it. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The most honest my story has ever been.....

It is so easy to become jaded.....to question and doubt all that you are and all that you do. 

The voices in our heads tell us that we're not enough and that we don't deserve what we have. And eventually, we start to believe them. 

We step back and we question and we wonder if what we're doing is the right thing. 

Six years ago, I was teaching 8th grade English. Brian was selling high line cars, and Addison was 9 months old and learning how to walk. 

And more than anything, I wanted to be home with her. I loved my job, but I loved her more. The reality was that we were in credit card debt up to our eyeballs and there was no way I could quit my job...unless I was willing to cut out cable and cell phones and groceries and heat and a/c. We live in the south. There was no way I was cutting out heat and a/c. 

Quitting my job wasn't in the cards. 

However, I don't like it when I don't like the options at hand, so I sought out other options, and by sought out other options, I mean I prayed like crazy that we would win the lottery (that we didn't play) or I would find $20,000 on the sidewalk. 

Neither of those things happened. 

But what did happen was something I never expected. Through a series of events involving about 80 tiny lip gloss like containers filled with deliciously scented wax, a Scentsy catalog, a little research on the internet, and $99, I signed up to be a direct sales consultant. 

If we were friends 6 years ago when this happened, you laughed when I told you what I was doing, but I didn't care. 

I knew absolutely nothing about sales, let alone direct sales, but I didn't care. 

I was scared to death that I could never sell a thing to anyone, but I didn't care. 

All I cared about was her.

She changed me. She made me so much more than I ever could have been on my own. 

And somehow, despite my complete lack of knowledge about all things direct sales, I did okay. And I somehow convinced other people that they should do it with me. It would be fun. 

And it was fun. 

And 3 days before my 1 year anniversary as a Scentsy consultant, I promoted to the highest rank possible. I cried in my living room on Halloween. I was the company's 23rd SuperStar director (along with about 30 other people who promoted the same day that I did), but we'll call it 23. 

And life went on. Baby #2 came along not long after that. I spoke to a crowd of 800 people at a Scentsy event 3 days before he was born. 

And business was good and momentum was good and life was good. 

Then I battled fear for a long time. It's a lengthy story that I'm sure is somewhere on this blog. {Best of luck finding that post.} 

But I worked and I worked hard, and I knew why I was working. For them. We wanted more. We still weren't out of debt.  Brian was still working long hours at the car lot, and life still wasn't what we wanted it to be. 

So I worked. I sold product and people joined my team and our company grew. 

And before I knew it, Brian quit his job. We started making more money than we had ever dreamed of making, and our marriage was as unhappy as it had ever been. I couldn't help but wonder what we had gotten ourselves into. It turns out that money really doesn't buy happiness.  

But the Lord is so gracious and so patient. We moved to house #2. We started to like each other again, and all was well in the Dalke house. 

Then one day, we felt the Lord calling us into foster care. So we went. In the process, we couldn't get a foster baby fast enough. The day we were finally approved as foster parents, we received a call that there were 2 babies. A 1 year old and an almost 2 year old. Siblings that had been living in the shelter for 7 days. And could we take them? 

We did. And they wrecked my world in the best way 2 small people can wreck someone's world. They changed everything for us. 

And our business kept on keeping on. 

And those babies made me want a baby of my own. And before they moved out, I was pregnant with baby #3. 

Then we almost moved to California. We really tried to. We tried to buy 3 houses, and it just didn't work out. 

And instead we had a baby on Halloween 5 years after that day I cried in my living room. This Halloween, I cried in my hospital bed because I knew we couldn't move to California even though we had already sold our house and we had to be out in a little less than a month and a half. 

As we drove baby #3 home from the hospital, Brian and I talked about California and about Oklahoma and about where we wanted these babies to grow up. And we both knew that it was here. 

So with a newborn in hand, we frantically began looking for house #3. It would literally have to be a miracle. I was not settling for anything less than the space we were looking for (I swear this is the last move we're making!), and we had no where near the time we realistically needed to close. 

But we looked. And we found the house we had been looking for all along. A house we never could have bought, on a lot that we never could have afforded. The perfect spot, with the perfect space, and now we just had to make it happen in the perfect time. 

It ended up all working out by the grace of God alone, so we moved and we began to settle in. 

Before we knew it, that little girl that I worked so hard to stay home with was going to 1st grade. Off she went. 

But she wasn't happy, and we weren't happy. The little girl who had always loved school was bored and annoyed by the thought of 1st grade. Not exactly what a momma wants to hear. After a lot of prayer, we took her out of public school and started homeschooling. Brian teaching 2 days a week, myself teaching 3 days a week. 

And that's where we found ourselves last year. Adjusting to life in a new house with 3 littles while homeschooling. 

I suddenly felt trapped. This incredible "job" I had, had afforded all of this and so much more. I was grateful for sure. But there were moments where I felt trapped. I felt like I was stuck and I couldn't get out if I wanted to. 

We depended on the money. It was our lively hood. Even if I wanted to just be a stay at home mom, I couldn't. Not now. We were too far in. 

So, last year, I coasted. I did everything I was supposed to do. I did more than I was supposed to do, but if I'm honest, there was something missing. 

The passion, the fire, the drive, the inspiration, it was gone. I didn't know where it was and I didn't know how to get it back. 

I tell you this story to tell you that last year isn't the end of the story. It's not the end of my story with Scentsy or direct sales. It's really only the beginning of my story. 

When I recently walked away from social media, I asked myself a lot of hard questions. I was able to think clearly for the 1st time in a long time. I knew what I thought. I wasn't confused by what everyone else thought. 

And somewhere between turning off all the voices of negativing in my head (thanks social media) and sitting on a beach watching the waves roll in, I was reminded of why I love my job. 

I honestly don't know why I forgot. 

Because this is my story, but at the same time, it's only one of thousands of stories. Direct sales is a business that creates personal change in people. I have seen so many people in my circle of friends and family who have been remarkably changed by their experience with the Scentsy family. They are better people. More generous people. More well rounded. More real. 

And in the past few weeks I have been so beautifully reminded that I get to be a part of that change in people. I get to sit across from them at coffee or at lunch or over the computer and hear about the way their business fits into their life. I get to hear about why they're working and what they want. And I get to be a part of the change that happens in people when they decided to ignore the voices of fear and doubt in their minds and do something bigger with their lives than they ever thought they could do. 

I guess this is my apology. 

I was never negative. I was never negligent. I was never absent. I was just uninspired. I forgot for a moment why it is that I work. And it's not complicated, and there is no mega dream board or 12 month goal plan. It's simply them. 


And him. 


and us. 


 This place and these people and this life is the reason I am a Scentsy Family consultant. They are the reason that I will continue to choose to run my business with passion and purpose this year. 

And whether you're a customer or a consultant or a friend or a fellow blog lover or an IG follower, my hope for you in 2014 is that you too will work with purpose and passion. 

Here's to 2014.....May it be your best year yet. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Let's Send Taylor to Kenya

I'm honored to introduce you today to a precious little girl who has a true heart for the Lord. Taylor is 17 years old and will be taking a mission trip to Kenya this year. 



This is her story in her words:

God works intricately with his creation. He allows events to take place, brings people into our lives, and takes us places we couldn’t ever imagine. And it’s all to his glory. Have you watched to see his hand working in your life lately?

There was a young girl in Kenya who was given a wonderful opportunity to come to America. This young girl went to school and graduated from university, but this was not all that God had in store for her life. She took this opportunity to return back to her homeland of Kenya to extend love and purpose and a future to the people. This woman’s name is Beatrice. She now has a ministry, Maisha International. The hand of God was working, and continues to work, in this woman’s life. And it’s all to his glory.

While Beatrice was attending school in America she babysat my brother and I. I remember many times that she would come to our home. We would watch The Lion King while she braided my hair, just like her’s, and I would ask her when she could take me to Africa. She always told me that if it was in God’s plan we would go together. I’m so happy to say that God has provided clear direction that Kenya is where I’m suppose to be this summer! Little did I know that a prayer offered to God out of my young heart so many years ago would come to fulfillment. And I get to experience this with my childhood African sister!

I look forward to sharing the love that has penetrated my heart with others half way around the world. I feel truly honored that God would choose me to be used as his vessel. I am open to whatever He has for this trip. Likewise, I’m open to whatever He has for my future.

This will be the summer between my senior year of high school and my freshman year of college. His hand has always been intricately working in my life and this is yet another example of his greatness. God has created a whole world filled with new people and places to experience. I want to travel to the ends of the earth to tell people about my savior. I pray that there will be many more opportunities in my future to experience new places and to share the light that is within me for his glory.

Thank you so much for your time and I hope you will join me in prayer and support. Please pray for myself, and the team that I will be traveling with. Pray those with whom we will share, that their hearts will be ready to accept the gift of salvation. Please pray for Kenya.

Her heart shines so brightly through her words. I hope you would consider helping Taylor get to Kenya. There are multiple ways you can help.

  1. Go to my Scentsy website by clicking here and shop from Taylor's fundraiser. A large portion of your order total will go directly towards funding Taylor's, trip. 
  2. Give online directly to Maisha International by going to http://www.maishainternational.org/ and fill in the field to direct donation with Taylor Dickinson Mission Trip. 
  3. Mail a check to: Maisha International, P.O. Box 570, Oklahoma City, OK 73101 Add Taylor Dickinson Mission Trip on the memo line of the check.
  4. Pray. 
Thank you in advance for supporting Taylor as she follows the lead of the Holy Spirit to serve in Kenya. Oh if we could all have the courage and strength that Taylor does! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Be brave and find margin


Oh what a week it's been. 

Something is changing and shifting and moving, and whatever it is, it feels so incredibly good. 

Somewhere along the way, I became complacent. Just coasting. Going through the motions when it came it my business. I don't know how it happened. I could blame it on multiple things, but why start the list? We all have things we can point to for excuses. Let's not even go there. 

Let's just go forward...move on. 

I'm thrilled that this new found passion and purpose is sticking around. I was a little worried it would fly out the window after a week of trying harder. But the passion is still here, and I'm still choosing my business this year. 

On a side note, choosing my business allows me the incredible freedom and ability to choose my family and to choose homeschool and to choose so many other things. This is a significant side note. 

I write the side note to tell you that it's easy to get carried away. My to-do lists this week were long. How do you make up for a year of complacency? I'll tell ya, it involves a lot of to dos. 

So if you're on this crazy journey with me, I want to encourage you to create margin. Oh margin, that fleeting, unicorn like time that sounds like a good idea, but that doesn't truly exist. 

So that is true. Margin does not exist unless you make it exist. (And no, you can't make a unicorn exist just by wishing it, but you do have the power to create margin in your life.)

Margin is basically extra space....time. It's time for your family, time for interruptions, time for God to move in your life. Our culture literally has no clue what margin looks like. 

We work ourselves to death. It's so incredibly important that you find that extra space in your day, in your week, in your month for the important things in life to truly live. Choosing your business this year does not mean sacrificing your family and your values. God and your family always have to come 1st. 

So in the midst of the laundry and the toys and the school day and the babies and the errands and your "real job" and everything that comes along with life, you have to choose to be brave. You have to choose to do hard things. 



The only difference between successful people and people living in mediocrity is that successful people decide to start. They decide to be brave and try a little harder to do a littler better. 

I'm reading this awesome book by Jon Acuff called Start. In it, he talks about how brave we have to be to step out of the easy, mundane and routine, and into something greater, and it all begins with starting. Choosing to start. He says: 
You have to be deliberate and intentional and focused. You have to be a Starter. And then you have to be brave enough and prepared enough to react when a surprise presents itself.

Jon talks about how we can't map out the beginning to the end and expect it to turn out exactly the way we planned for it turn out. Honestly, we have to start knowing that the way we get to the end may be nothing like we expect it to be.

When I started my Scentsy journey 6 years ago, I never could have planned it out this way. I had no clue. The best things that have happened in my life and in my business since then are things that I never had on my radar. People I would meet. Friends I would gain. Experiences that would change me.

I'm glad I didn't have the finish in mind when I started. I just knew I needed to start, and that was enough. It made me brave.

So tonight, I'm praying 2 things over you: Margin and Bravery. Know how and where you need space and time, and create it. You'll have to be disciplined about making sure there is margin in your life, but it is possible.

And after you create Margin, be Brave. Do the things that you know you might fail at, just to say that you tried. And try a little harder to be a little better one day at a time.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Choosing my business this year.......
 (Thanks Jaime Pilcher for the reminder that it really is about being braver than we feel. I love you and never saw you coming in my plans. How grateful I am that there were bigger plans than mine in play.)


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Choosing My Business in 2014

It's time to begin again. 

Do you ever just feel like you need a do-over? 

I think we all do sometimes. It's probably the new year that has me all excited about new beginnings and beginning again. But the new year also has me reflecting on the past year and looking at challenging myself to do this year a little differently. 

This year, I want to choose my business because I believe it has the ability to change people for the better. I've watched the Scentsy family help people change the course of their lives. How could I not want to see that happen in others? 

To live the life you always dreamed of. That's the goal right? 

To be finically free. To stand behind a product that you are passionate about....a product that you love. That's what I want. 

So this year, I'm choosing my business, not because I have to, but because I want to. 

I want to see life change in others. I want to share the incredible opportunity that our company allows people. I don't want to be stingy. I want to generous. 

I want to lead and love and share. That's what direct sales is really all about. 

Some of you may feel like you've just been going through the motions for a while. Honestly, all of last year, I went through the motions. Somehow, I lost a little bit of my passion, and it showed. 

So that's why I'm campaigning for a new start. A do-over of sorts. Let's scrap last year, and start again. 

Maybe you've never really run your business at all. You've sold a little here and a little there, but you've never looked at your Scentsy, Velata, or Grace Adele business as a business. Maybe you've wanted more, but never known how to go about getting more. 

Wherever you find yourself today, I proclaim today as a new day! Let's just start again. Let's remember why we signed up, what we hoped to get out of all of this, and let's run businesses that thrive. 

I want a business that creates value in the life of others. I want my business to contribute to my community and the lives of my customers and the lives of my team members. That sounds a lot better than mediocrity doesn't it? 

But before we move towards choosing our businesses this year, there is one more thing we have to address. That nasty F word. 

Fear. 

It stops us in our tracks and keeps us from moving forward. Running a small business isn't scary, but putting yourself out there and failing is. It's what we're ultimately all afraid of.....what if I try really hard to make this work, and it doesn't? 

I get the fear. I was there. But there has to be something bigger than the fear. For me, it was the face of my little girl. Addy was 9 months old when I started selling Scentsy and I desperately wanted to be at home with her. I wanted to take care of her. I was willing to take the risk of failure if it meant that I might succeed in the process. 

So what is your Big thing? What is it that will allow you to push past the fear and do something great? What is it that makes you want to be a little better everyday? 

Let's name it. 

This is your year. Choose your business this year. Forget about the fear. Push it out the way. And let's start over together. 

Your challenge is to commit. Post this picture to social media with the hashtags #IChooseScentsyFamily #IChooseMyBusiness and tell us what your reason for working is. Let's hold each other accountable. Let's do something big this year. 

Then follow along. All year long, I'll be blogging about my business. We'll start from the beginning. We'll do things that make successful consultants, and we'll do it together. 

What do you say? 

Are you choosing your business this year? I know I am. 



The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014

With a ten second countdown, a year is gone just like that. And here we are in 2014. 

January 1st seemed like an appropriate time for me to come out of my non-writing funk and join you back here. It just seems necessary. Plus, after having not written for so long now, the thoughts in my head are nearing the fireworks explosion level anyways. 

What a year it was. What a month it was really. A wild and crazy, joy filled, grief filled, month.

We started the month of December by spending a magical 7 days in Orlando at the House of Mouse. While our fellow Oklahomans were stuck in negative temperatures and the ice/snow storm of the century, we were swimming every night at the hotel and slathering on sunscreen before hitting the Magic Kingdom. 





We even talked about extending our stay for a couple days. The weather was just so nice and we were loving every minute, but we decided we would all be ready to be home after 7 days away. 



We came home as originally planned, and the very next day, my grandfather passed away unexpectedly while walking into his friend's home to play cards. 

It came as a shock to all of us, and life was suddenly turned upside again. I unpacked suitcases full of swimsuits and Disney souvenirs and immediately repacked for a trip to my mom's house. We didn't know how long we were going to stay. It didn't matter. I repacked as best I could, found another house sitter, and away we went again. 


We spent the next week and a half back and forth between our house and my mom's house as we made preparations for my grandpas' funeral, and before we knew it, it was all over, we were home, and it was December 20th. Christmas was here. 

It just didn't feel like Christmas. It felt different and rushed and unexpected. 

But it didn't feel bad. 

On December 20th (the day before my 30th birthday), when I would usually be preparing for a day of baking and movie watching and Christmas song singing, I was completely unprepared for Christmas. We did not have a single present wrapped. Nothing baked. No shopping done for food on Christmas day. 

We would leave again to begin the Christmas festivities on December 23rd. Our house was beginning to feel like a hotel. 

But as I prepared for the days of Christmas celebrations ahead, in the middle of the chaos and unplanned events of the month, all I could find was peace. My grandfather in heaven, Ellie Kate in heaven for a year, my family together for days on end. There was so much laughter and love and Jesus, and whether the presents get wrapped just so, or the goodies get baked or not, Christmas is not about those things. Christmas is about love and laughter, family and Jesus and nothing else. 

So this month, I have learned to trust the Lord. I have trusted him for a long time, really, but this month I learned to trust his timing and his perfect plan. I would much rather have things go according to my plan, but that's not the way the world turns. To trust his sovereignty is what I want to do. I want to know in my soul that no matter what, I trust him....for the small things, the big things, the most important things and the seemingly insignificant things. I want to trust him Him in all of it. 

Until today, I was protesting the "word of the year" thing mostly because I forgot what mine was in 2013, so I don't think it was super effective for me. But today that word, Trust, would not leave my mind. Just trust me. Don't worry so much about being better and doing better and trying harder. Just do what I ask you to do, and trust me. 

So I will. And I'm officially making my word of 2014 trust.  There, now I can be in the cool kids club. 

Praying that your 2014 is one filled with trust too. 

Proverbs 3:5 (NASB)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hope for the Holidays

There are dozens of them. Dozens of families a part of an incredible community, raising children with rare, serious, or undiagnosed disorders. Most people pray for happy, healthy children. Not everyone gets the healthy part. Thus, life is different for these families. 

Incredible, inspiring, humbling....just a few words to describe our Hope Link families. They are a part of a community that no one necessarily desires to be apart of, but they are a part of it. It is the most beautiful community I have ever laid eyes on, and I am honored to have seen small, intimate glimpses of it. 

Sometimes I feel like I'll never be able to do enough. I'll never be able to help enough, serve enough, give enough to this amazing community. And other times I know that anything and everything helps. 

This weekend we are hosting a giant, multi-vendor, Hope Link fundraiser at our home. Over 15 vendors, Christmas music, cider, hot cocoa, Christmas cookies and a warm cozy fire...plus, each vendor has generously donated a door prize. 

Hope Link will be here with information about their incredible organization with a prayer bowl for you to pick a name of a Hope Link child to pray for over the coming weeks. 

I hope you can join us. If you live in the Oklahoma City area, we would love for you to join us. Saturday, November 23rd 10am-3pm. For more information, contact me directly via email at allisondalke@gmail.com.