Possibilities Institute
A Devine Life - Blog

A few months ago my youngest daughter, Jade, ran her first lemonade stand during our neighborhood’s
annual flea market. It was a wonderful experience for both of us.

We got up early on a Saturday morning and made 5 gallons of lemonade. Jade made her signs
advertising the lemonade for $ .50 a glass and then we were ready for business. After 4 hours of
working the stand, Jade made $51.65. She was super excited.

But the lemonade stand was so much more than making money. We learned so many valuable life
lessons.

1. Strengthened Math Skills
Jade just finished first grade and she worked all year on addition and subtraction. Now she was
able to apply her skills in a setting where it really mattered. If you don’t get your math right
when you are dealing with other people’s money (and your own), you can really suffer the
consequences. At the lemonade stand, Jade ran her own cash register (with mommy’s
oversight) and had count the money given to her and make change for people who bought
lemonade. She was able to see the importance of having math skills and how the “stuff” you
learn in school are the foundation for success.

2. Entrepreneurship
This lemonade stand was Jade’s own business. She went to the store and purchased the
supplies, made the lemonade, did the marketing and learned about what a profit was. It taught
her so much about running a business. She also learned how as a business owner, you are
ultimately responsible for the business. At one point during the morning, she got bored (as you
could expect of a 7 year old) and wanted to stop. I had to explain to her that it was her business
and she had to run it. She could not rely on others to run her business. It was a great lesson as
to what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

3. Giving Back
My girls have always been taught about giving. Whenever they get any money, they know that
10% has to go to church, 10% goes to savings and 10% goes to charity. Teaching children about
giving means a lot more when it is money that they earned. After all receipts were in, Jade had
the opportunity to choose something very special to her that she wanted to support. She was
so proud to donate her money to a worthy cause to help a family in need.

At the end of the day, I know we both got so much out of this experience. This was truly more than a
lemonade stand.

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As I increase my presence on social media, I routinely use the hashtag mompreneur. I love the term
because for me, it accurately describes who I am. I am a Mom who is also an entrepreneur and both of
these roles explain and define who I am and what my priorities are.

I recently read an article where a female entrepreneur took issue with the term mompreneur. In this
article, she explained that she felt it marginalized women who were Moms and made them appear as
less serious business owners.

I totally disagree.

Being seen as a mompreneur clearly expresses talents and skills possessed by women entrepreneurs
who are also Moms.

To be a Mom, you must possess the following skills that are also needed to run a successful business.

1. Prioritizing – First, Moms know the value of prioritizing. As a Mom, we have multiple demands
facing us every day. We have to understand how to prioritize and get things done so that
everything does not fall apart. This is a useful skill for an entrepreneur as well. As a business
owner, you find yourself in a similar position of having to address multiple demands and putting
out fires. Many people are depending on you. Being able to effectively handle prioritizing at
home helps you in running your own business as well.

2. Listening – Moms have great listening skills. Moms do more than just listen to people speak but
we have a keen ear that allows us to read between the lines. We know the right questions to
ask to get to what we really need to know. As a Mom, we can usually decipher body language
and detect when we are not hearing the whole truth. The most important skill you can develop
as an entrepreneur is the ability to listen and understand what your clients’ needs are which
ultimately makes you more successful in business.

3. Care & Compassion – Being a Mom is the most caring and compassionate job there is. Every
Mom I know feel they didn’t know what true unconditional love was until they had children.
Having children, we get up in the middle of the night to nurse a sick child, we stay up late
worrying when they are out and we sacrifice to make sure they are happy. Care and compassion
are innate qualities of Moms and are must have skills for an entrepreneur. With customer
service being key to the success of your business, having a caring and compassionate business
owner is a plus.

4. Organization – To run a household, you have to be organized. Between your own commitments,
getting children to their many activities, keeping a house, etc., the only way to get everything
done that needs to get done is by being organized. Those organizational skills help
tremendously in running a business.

5. Do More with Less – Moms are the masters of doing more with less. It would be great to have
unlimited resources, but many of us just do not have that luxury so we are constantly
improvising and making sure you get things done with what you have…very much like an
entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats in their business. They are usually
juggling many roles and responsibilities and have to get things done with limited resources.

As a high-achieving, successful professional, I wear my Mompreneur badge with pride. Being a
mompreneur is great and I don’t feel marginalized at all. I am able to spend quality time with my
children while showing them the importance being self-sufficient, independent and being their own
boss. Mompreneurs delicately handle the balancing act between family commitments and work, which
I believe makes better families and better businesses.

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A few weeks ago, I took my girls shopping for some spring clothes. My youngest, a real
Fashionista, wanted a lot of items and I had to slow her down and tell her that mommy did not
have money to buy all of the things that she wanted. Her response to me was, “Why can’t you
just put it on your credit card?” That question brought back memories of me asking my mother to
“just write a check” when I wanted something she told me she didn’t have the money for.

This was a vast contrast with my oldest, who had her own money to shop with. Every time she
would see something she liked, she would check the price tag and check to see how much money
she had left. Unless she absolutely had to have it, the item stayed where it was.

Part of being a successful woman is equipping our children to be successful as well and this
shopping experience really hit home to me the need to make sure we are raising financially smart
children.

Raising financially smart children in this day and age can be a real challenge. Their world is
filled with material desires and marketing from an early age…I-pods to hoover boards to
whatever the next technology item is and the list goes on and on. When we as parents make
financial mistakes like over extending ourselves, kids often don’t learn good financial habits that
teaches them about money.

So how can we as parents pass on smart financial lessons to our kids?

1. Walk the Walk
The most important thing you can do to raise financially smart children is to practice
smart finances yourself. You can’t expect to teach your children a lesson you do not
follow yourself. Spend less than you earn, get rid of debt, and build a savings and make
sure you talk to your children about why you’re doing these things.

2. Talk with Them about Money
Take every effort to talk with them (in an age appropriate way) about money. Explain
why you spend less than you earn and why you’re saving for retirement. Explain some of
the spending options you have and why that means you can’t afford a new computer or a
great vacation every year. Teach them about debt and how debt affects you long-term.

3. Give them opportunities to learn good financial habits for themselves
Teach your kids to start saving at a young age. In our house, we teach our children
whenever you get money, you must save 10% and that you give 10% for tithes. Our
children are required to put aside these amounts of every dollar they get before they can
start considering how they will spend the rest. Try opening a savings account at a local
bank and let them make their own deposits. If they save change, let them collect enough
that they can roll. Rolling spare change can be a great family time activity that is both
fun and educational.

Also, help them craft a budget and show them how to stick to it. Also, seek out financial
education opportunities so they can hear these same concepts from others. When my
oldest was 8, we signed her up for a financial ministry class at church. This 10 week
course taught her about handling money God’s way. She loved the class and it was a way
of reinforcing what we had already been teaching her.

4. Encourage them to be entrepreneurial
It is valuable for children to learn they need to work in order to have better things in life,
so it’s a good idea to encourage them to be entrepreneurial early. I have seen children
start businesses from babysitting or a lemonade stand to becoming an author and selling
their book or opening their own hair accessory line. Starting a business gives them the
opportunity to see that in order to earn money, you have to work hard. It also teaches
them about business basics which will be skills that will take them a long way in life.

Teaching financial lessons is one of the most important things we can do as parents to prepare
them for future success. Teaching them well will lay the foundation for financially successful
children who can fly on their own when they leave the nest. What better legacy could you
ask for?

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Welcome to A Devine Life. Now you probably think this blog is named after me and that it will be all about my life and experiences. Well if that is what you thought, you would be on partially correct. I do plan to share some experiences but A D.E.V.I.N.E life is about all of us as women. D.E.V.I.N.E stands for Doing Everything Victoriously While Intentionally Navigating Expectations.

As a wife, mother, practicing attorney, elected official, and entrepreneur, I often get women ask me, “How Do You Do it All”. Although I would in no way profess to have the perfect answer that works for everyone, I will share with you that what I have learned about work life harmony and living a life where you truly feel fulfilled and less stressed starts with managing expectations of others and not allowing other people and their opinions define you and your priorities.

Have you ever had a full schedule and can’t see how you could fit anything else into your day when a close friend calls frantic and asks you for a favor that will mess your whole schedule up or at least take you on a detour from what you had planned? When that ask comes, what do you do? Do you try to cram their priority into your already over scheduled day? Do you say yes, without any clue on how you will get it done but are afraid to “let them down” by saying no?

As high achieving women, balancing the demands of work, family, personal relationships, our own goals and dreams, we tend to want to be everything to everyone. We juggle many priorities and sometimes do it pretty good, but inevitably, there will come a time that one of the balls we are juggling is dropped. Then what. If we have properly managed expectations for ourselves and with others, we will be able to pick it up with no problem. If we don’t, when we drop the ball, it just may be irretrievably broken.

I look forward to sharing with you in this blog how I manage expectations and truly find harmony between the demands of work and life. No one’s life is perfect but we must start creating that “perfect” environment to help us truly be happy and live our Devine lives.

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Spring Forward

March 14, 2016

Are you ready to Spring Forward?

This weekend we “sprung forward” and started daylight savings time. Daylight Savings time helps us enjoy an extra hour of daylight and most folks welcome it as it extends the daylight hours so we can do more in our day.

It also signifies the beginning of spring.

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Traditions

November 27, 2015

As working parents, inevitably we struggle weekly with how to balance the demands of our careers yet be ever present for our children.

As parents, we tend to stress about things that don’t matter all that much.

I read a parenting blog earlier this year and the author was naming 5 things that your children will remember about us as they get older. One of the things he listed that really stuck out to me was family traditions.

Kids remember with great fondness the “traditions” you establish whether it’s a weekly family movie (or game) night, a place you regularly travel for family getaways, the way you celebrate birthdays and special events or any other special tradition.

As I think of traditions my husband and I have started with our girls, the majority of them center on the holidays and making sure they don’t get sucked into the commercialization of Christmas. For example, the weekend after Thanksgiving we go out and get our Christmas tree. Then we spend the evening decorating the tree, while listening to Christmas CD’s, baking chocolate chip cookies and drinking hot chocolate. There is nothing like the time we spend together as a family, just us.

As my girls get older, I realize how quickly time flies and that one day, they will be grown and out of the house. There will always be demands at work, but those demands cannot be allowed to keep me from special moments with the children.

Consider the traditions you are establishing with your children. Create those special moments that they will remember. It doesn’t have to be grand or extravagant. Be intentional about creating some traditions that they’ll want to pass onto their own children someday.

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By Jamie Devine

This article appeared in The State on December 30, 2014 .


Columbia, SC — They were nine simple words that I will never forget: “I am sorry but we cannot find a heartbeat.” Our world changed just like that.

My wife, Tameika, and I were happily awaiting and preparing for the birth of our third child and first son, James Henry. We went to our regularly scheduled doctor’s appointment only to hear those nine horrifying words. Disbelief, numbness and hope were all felt at once. But I quickly went into protective mode as a father. I remember asking “OK, doctor, what are our next steps?” We were told we could go home to wait to induce or induce the same day. We decided to induce that day. Aug. 28 was both a birth day and death day for my perfect little boy.

The memories of that day are so vivid. I remember the six to eight hours I had with James Henry, holding him and loving him. Having a father and son moment with no one else in the room. I remember watching my wife mothering her child after he had already passed. I remember handing my son over to the nurse, knowing I would never see him again, worried that he would be alone without me. These haunting and disturbing memories are emotionally draining. Although these thoughts have eased over the weeks and months, they still show up from time to time.

My life has changed forever. My hopes and dreams for James Henry are gone. It wasn’t until days after the funeral and everyone left that I realized James Henry was not going to be with us. I was angry, frustrated, questioned God and cried. But only when I expressed myself by talking about my emotions to my wife was I relieved. Those days we spent alone, while our daughters were in school, meant the most to me and helped me to cope and understand life more.

Although the medical term for this type of birth is stillborn, James Henry was still born and he will never be forgotten.

Jamie Devine

Columbia

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By Tameika Isaac Devine

This article appeared in The State on October 8, 2014.


Columbia, SC — Until you or your loved ones have been affected, it can be hard to believe that one in four women in the United States has experienced the loss of a baby in pregnancy. That’s a million pregnancies a year that end in miscarriage, stillbirth or the death of a newborn child. Stillbirth (loss after 20 weeks of pregnancy) occurs in nearly one in 160 pregnancies, and miscarriages (loss before 20 weeks) occur in about 15 percent of pregnancies.

Two months ago, I never could have imagined that I would become one of those statistics. Jamie and I were anxiously awaiting the birth of our third child, and I was experiencing the easiest pregnancy I had ever had. But on Aug. 28, our world was changed forever.

I went to my doctor’s office for a regular prenatal checkup and was told that my baby did not have a heartbeat. At first, I was sure there must have been a mistake. I was two weeks away from my scheduled delivery date. I had heard his precious heartbeat just three days earlier, and it was strong. But the look on my doctor’s face told me there was no mistake. In that instant, I joined a secret society of mothers with babies born into heaven.

In the weeks since my precious angel baby went to be with the Lord, my family and I have been blessed by the outpouring of support from this community. However, many families who suffer a similar loss must grieve in silence, because infant loss is rarely spoken of publicly. It has always been considered a private loss.

Thankfully, that silent grieving is beginning to change, as more people begin to share their stories about miscarriage and stillbirth and there are more opportunities to come together and find others who can share their loss.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated October as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.

The loss of a child stays with an “angel family” forever, and the emotional and physical impacts are often challenging for others to truly understand. Having support through grief is critical to recovery, and raising awareness is the first step to making sure families have access to available resources. I hope by sharing my story, I can help raise that awareness.

Tameika Isaac Devine

Columbia

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