Emily L., Mom, Writer, Speaker based in Omaha, Nebraska
On being a mom of 3 (all under age 4!), continuing her parent’s legacy and staying true to herself.
Can you tell us more about yourself and what you do?
“Both my husband and I work at a nonprofit called Abide. It focuses on the restoration and renovation of foreclosed residences in the most impoverished areas by collaborating with businesses and individuals to transform these homes.”
How did you get involved in the nonprofit world?
“When I was in elementary school, my parents founded a nonprofit in the inner-city of Omaha, The Hope Center for Kids. It’s an after-school program that provides a variety of resources to at-risk youth and children. 16 months ago, a tragic car accident took their lives, but through continued work at Abide and The Hope Center their legacy continues. My parents, Ty and Terri Schenzel, modeled a life that cares for others and is outward-focused and that’s something I try to model as well.”
What about breaking rules is fun to you—in style and in life?
“To me, breaking the rules is fun in the sense that I don’t have to have the same priorities as mainstream society. Big house? Fancy car? Designer handbags? Not my highest goals. I love living a life that is counter-cultural. I adore the diversity of my neighborhood. I love putting my career “on hold” to raise my babies.”
I feel more free than ever to be myself and wear what I want to wear.
How has redefining the rules shaped your success?
“I perceive being a rule breaker as busting out of the negativity or poor self-talk that we as women are so fluent in. I have with great intentionality, worked to create healthy patterns of thinking about myself and others.”
How has your journey influenced your style?
“After three babies, I can genuinely say that I am more comfortable in my own skin than I ever have been. I love me. It’s been a journey, but I feel my success boils down to being at peace with who I am. I celebrate who I am, and don’t focus on what I’m not. This also reflects in my style because I live out of the mentality that I am investing in me by feeding, exercising, and clothing myself in a manner that reflects my inner values.”
Don’t wish away the hard days. Learn from them.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to your younger yourself?
“Don’t wait to lose your parents to see the gift that is in everyday. If you fall off the horse (of life), get back up. Keep taking risks and don’t be afraid to love with abandon because loss only gives our hearts greater capacity to love again… if we let it. Life isn’t so much about what happens to you, but rather, what happens in you. You got this. Life will be beautiful if you determine to see it as such…. Oh, and your older self will absolutely LOVE being a minivan driver!”