The Gal Pal Circle Spotlight- Meet Chris Bear
At Gal Pal we know every woman has a story to share with other women. When we share our life stories, we paint the foundation of who we are – individually, in this world and who we are as a collective. We can learn from each other because we have unique gifts, struggles and wins.
I am blessed with many besties. They all contribute to my life in a unique and beautiful ways. This is what inspired me to start the Gal Pal blog. Where would we be without our best friends? From an early age, friends teach us the ropes, giving us building blocks to learn how to love, communicate, and face life’s ups and downs.
When I was growing up, friends are what got me through my tough times. One of my childhood besties has walked beside me on many rocky roads of my life. I consider her someone who builds scaffolding around those in need. Living with the spirit of love.
My Gal Pal Chris Bear, has that gift. Her spirit (guided by the Holy Spirit) is driven to make a difference by building others up.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing”
Friends With History-
We have a long history together. A true sisterhood… where she is part of my family and I am part of hers. She knows my weaknesses and strengths, and I know hers. We have deep respect, honor, trust, with each other. We share our deep faith together, which has drawn us even closer.
My hubby, named Chris, and I as #1 and #2 back in the day because we were always so very much alike. We were middle, high school, and college cheerleaders together. We always order the same food at restaurants and are known to show up at parties dressed in same the outfits… which can be rather awkward but hilarious!
These days we still check-in so we don’t end up packing the same items on girl trips.
Reaching Out To The Homeless With Encouragement & Support
I was moved by a particular story Bear shared with me recently. While on a walk along the serene Santa Monica boardwalk, she described how she was emotionally distraught as she witnessed the multitude of homeless people scattered about the beach. Chris describes an overwhelming desire to do something to help the homeless.
As she rushed back to meet her daughter, she stopped to grab a coffee. When she turned the corner, a young teen caught her eye. Without any hesitation, Chris approached the sweet black girl that sat quietly on a bench with multiple bags and belongings drawn near.
Bear invited the the teen to have coffee with her. It turned out to be a beautiful moment as the young lady opened up and shared her mental health issues, family struggles and her life on the street. They prayed together and continue to communicate when possible still today.
This isn’t the first time Chris has approached a homeless person in need. There was another random opportunity to help one in need where Chris stopped to drive a women (and a carload of beloved items) to a shelter. She also works with The Seattle Gospel Mission on a consistent basis.
When I asked Chris to do this interview she commented that she didn’t have enough to share. I disagreed and noted that every women contributes to our world and, her empathetic loving spirit is inspiring. She agreed.
On Living A Beautiful Life
Q: What do you do to be your authentic, beautiful self?
I start every day (except on a rare, unavoidable occasion ) with at least a half-hour of quiet time (during Covid-19 it has become more like an hour) Before I hop on email or texts, I sit down in my living room, light my candle, get my coffee and spend time with encouraging devotionals, bible scriptures and in prayer….it Is is my spiritual food and it is essential to my well-being. It is my way of staying grounded in who I am, what is important, and what I can offer in and to the world.
Q: What’s the best advice about the life you have ever received?
I really try to gain wisdom and inspiration from anyone that I come in contact with-trying to be better about listening so I can walk away with that valuable nugget of wisdom. I have received many “nuggets” over the years; however, there are two things that have resonated with me—they may not seem like big things but have come in quite handy in times of insecurity or fear.
At one time, I used to worry about what people thought. For instance, I would often fret about something embarrassing, I remember what my wise girlfriend told me, “Chris people are way too busy worrying and focusing on themselves to worry about or even notice what you are doing”! I have come to believe that is so true. It’s so darn liberating!
Another phrase I often refer to when I find myself frustrated, upset, or worried about a particular situation I remember another girlfriend’s wise words “This ….(whatever the current situation) is just for now”. Well, that is something I can handle something that is uncomfortable for the time being and will pass.
Q: What age do you feel like you are right now? And why?
I don’t often think about my age truly-ask me that in about 10 years !! Fortunately, I am in good health and can do many of the things I want to do physically so no real complaints there, and I purposely don’t spend a lot of time looking in the mirror and try very hard to stay away from the magnifying mirror! I would then realize I truly am getting to be a senior !! I hope I always embrace age with grace and celebration because each day and each year is a gift
Q: What’s Your Beauty Secret?
I don’t do a lot in the way of primping and extra things like getting my nails done, or eyelash extensions (I genuinely don’t have the patience to maintain those). I do firmly believe in a good skincare regime with excellent products (see products below). I feel justified in putting my money into these things because the benefits are justified. I am also a believer in botox as a preventative measure, but keep it to twice a year!
Q: What woman has inspired you the most and why?
The older I get, I am discovering that when possible, I want to spend my time with women /people who inspire me in some way. I love learning new things, and I thrive on being encouraged!! I absolutely LOVE Maria Shriver—she is smart, faith-filled, and so encouraging! I subscribe to her Sunday Paper on-line—always so so good!
Q: What are the three events in your life that have shaped your life? Good and bad.
I don’t know if I can pinpoint specific events, but there are definitely areas/people in my life who have helped me to become who I am today. Having the privilege of being a mother has fulfilled me in such an incredible way. I have to admit I wasn’t great at it in the early years I felt like I was stumbling through it when the kids were young and made so many mistakes. Still, over the years I have come to a place that I know I am a good mother-not a perfect one -but a good one and I have three wonderful, amazing adult children who bring me such incredible joy—I am thankful every day for the gift of being their mother—they inspire me to be a better person!
My faith journey has played such an important part in making me the person I am. I am so much more at peace, more patient and forgiving than I used to be. And when I say it is a journey-it is life-long with many stumbling blocks and challenges, but it makes growing older and wiser( hopefully ) a great adventure!
I feel my next transition into being an “empty nester” will be defining time for me, and I am already reading books and giving thought to how I will, in a sense, be “fired” from the job I have held for 25 years. I don’t fear I won’t be close to them in the heart, but physically, it will be very different, and I have NEVER been excited about the empty nest. I want to figure out who I am outside of the daily responsibilities of mom—definitely want to focus on my husband more and continue to find people and things that inspire and impassion me!
Q: What keeps you up at night, and how do you overcome it so you can enjoy your life?
When all is still in the middle of the night, that is when I start thinking about the challenges that surround the people I love. I consciously divert my attention, or I would be very upset and unable to sleep. I do a lot of praying in the middle of the night, which calms my anxious heart most of the time!
Q: What does grace mean to you?
Forgiveness, unmerited, undeserved favor—something I am striving to be more filled with as we all have our shortcomings and are all in need of grace!
Q: What issues and missions do you hold close to your heart?
I am involved in a ministry at Hope Place in South Seattle. It is the Women’s arm of Seattle Union Gospel Mission. Hope Place is a 12 month, residential recovery program designed for women and children who are caught up in cycles of abuse and addiction. Our volunteer group facilities a program called Alpha that introduces and explores faith. I have been volunteering for three years, and it has really made a powerful impact on my life—these women who have survived horrific situations are so honest and vulnerable with us —they are a true blessing and such a reminder of how we are all so similar and all in need of connection, hope and love.
Q: What brings you the most joy in your life?
Time with my family, time with my closest gal pals, time with Jesus! I also find so much joy in solitude where I can reflect and recharge.
Q: What is the daily routine that brings you joy?
I love routine! During Covid-19 quarantine mine, along with everyone else’s, the routine has been altered quite a bit but I am finding that when I surrender and I am open to the disruptions there is a different kind of joy in that and certainly freedom! As I get older, my routine is more simplified leaving margin and room for spontaneity.
Q: Where is your happy place, and why?
I have lots of “happy places”! My backyard is one for sure—it is so private and park-like I can easily spend all day there! I’m happy when I am with my gal pals and family.
I love to travel so exploring new places brings me so much happiness —trips where there is much time exploring and sightseeing along with trips where you lounge on a beach equally bring my happiness! My happy place is always with my family!!
Bear is just as gorgeous on the outside as she is on the inside. She has incredible taste and a cute little bod and looks great in everything. It’s not fair! She’s an incredible shopper and like me, loves to thrill of the hunt to find the best deals.
“Whether it’s fashion , beauty or home decor, I always lean toward the neutral, serene palettes. I have always had very neutral tones in my home with the color coming from different pops in pillow and in , art . When I am shopping on-line or at a store, my eye always finds the neutral white and creme vignettes ! As far as clothing goes, my favorite is always simple—a great pair of jeans and a white tank or top. I also love a cute dress I can throw on. I adore the look of white on white and winter whites. I feel like this coloring soothes my soul and refreshes me. “
Bear’s Favorite Jeans
Bear’s favorite jeans are Fidelity and Mother jeans because they have a great fit and are so comfy.
Bear’s Favorite T-Shirt Brands
If you like the t-shirt and jeans look, Chris likes to buy James Perse and Vince T-shirts. They are the best quality and wash and wear great.
Bear’s Favorite Beauty Products inlclude Vitamin C and Retin A- These are some of her favorites below.
Bear’s favorite dresses- Bear loves to throw on a cute dress that is comfy and cute. Here are some ideas….