Have an Imperfect Lent

How to have an imperfect lentI made my family chicken soup on Ash Wednesday. I don’t know what I was thinking – except that it was freezing cold outside and homemade soup sounded like a good idea. But it was Ash Wednesday. The very first day of Lent and I had already screwed up. I’m not sure how you observe Lent, but our fasting requires us to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday and every Friday during Lent. Well, I typically don’t pay much attention to this requirement because I don’t eat meat anyway. But I do cook it for my family. #LentenFail

So what’s a mother to do when she’s gotten off to such an imperfect start? As W.C. Fields says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

I admit, I don’t think I’ve ever had a “perfect Lent” – one in which I stuck to my promise of sacrifice or prayer without faltering. In fact, I shared my story with Inc. magazine this week when they profiled three entrepreneurs who use Lent to form highly effective habits. (And yes, I’m still pinching myself to see my name associated with a Christian message in a popular mainstream business publication!) But if you read closely, you’ll see me confess that I didn’t quite make it through 40 days of my Lenten practice last year. So I’m convicted to making it go better this year! Although, I’ve come to realize it will never be a perfect process.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows we make mistakes. That’s why he sent his beloved son to save us from our sins. The only thing God expects is that when we fail, we try again. So here I am…trying again. [Read more…]

Meet Featured Sister Tami Kiser

Kiser, TamiIf a mother of 10 (yes, 10!) can run a home business then I really have no excuse. I met Tami Kiser through CatholicMom.com where we both serve as blog contributors. I was excited to hear about her upcoming virtual event designed to revive busy moms spiritually — without the added hassle of traveling to a live conference. Join Tami and get out of survival mode and into revival mode!

Meet Featured Sister Tami Kiser

Business Name: CatholicConference4Moms

Business Description:

This is an online Catholic conference for moms, but certainly not exclusive to just Catholics. It’s just that this is the primary faith that is shared by the presenters.  It is hoped that it will become an annual event connecting moms and many of the blogs that minister to Catholic moms.

Tami’s Story: 

I tried my hand at running my own ministry, Smart Martha. In that ministry I had a book and travelled regularly to do all day seminars, mostly for women’s church groups. The seminars focused on setting priorities, faith and family first, and then on practical organizing and homemaking tips. They were well received. But, I got tired of travelling and was looking for other ways to help busy moms. (Travelling also took it’s toll on this busy mom.)

I started to look into the idea of an online conference. AFter a lot of research, I came up with this current model. And after so many years of travelling, speaking at conferences, and writing a couple of books, I had many connections with other women who were my potential speakers. Plus I like the fact that it could all be done from my desk at home! I found a couple of film students and hired them to be my video team. The conference is all pre-taped–this may not seem as dynamic, but for most moms, having that flexibility of when the presentations will be viewed wins over the “live” factor.

I’ve always loved being in business for myself and am thankful for the opportunity this conference has been for me. I’ve found an outlet for my creativity–designing the webpages, ads, logo, etc. I’ve found an opportunity for practicing my marketing, advertising skills. And finally, I’ve used my HR skills with all of the people I’ve been meeting, emailing, and talking to on the phone. Besides this small business venture, I am a full time mother of 10 children. And I work part-time teaching at a private, Catholic school.
[Read more…]

What a Navy SEAL Taught Me About Being a Fearless Mompreneur [Book Review]

You too can be aI don’t typically gravitate toward war stories and military biographies but when a friend recommended Fearless by Eric Bhelm, I decided to pick it up. After the first chapter, I couldn’t put it down. In fact, I devoured the book in two days, listening to parts of it on audio and reading some of it in print. (I’m a little intense that way!)

Despite the tragic fate of the main character, Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown left me feeling encouraged. I have little in common with Adam Brown, but his journey inspired me to be a better mom and entrepreneur. Here’s what I learned from the story of Adam Brown:

My job is important. Whenever Adam was home he told his wife Kelly that her job was so much harder than his. And I think he meant it. I believe he meant for all of us moms to know that raising children and keeping a home is an important job. That we each have a role to play in this life and that heroes live at home as well as in the war zones. He wanted us to know that we are warriors, too. That our husbands could not do their jobs without the love and support of their families.

And I think the same message holds true for our work – whatever that may be. We may not be tasked with protecting the country or saving lives, but our work is important. So we have to approach it with the kind of passion and persistence that Adam exhibited in his work.

Share the whole story. We’ve all read books and watched movies about military heroes. What I love about Fearless is that the writer told the whole story. We got to see Adam Brown’s struggles along with his rise to victory. We got to marvel at God’s power to bring this man out of addiction and incarceration through a spiritual and physical journey that led him to become a man of character and faith.

It was a reminder that when we share the most humbling parts of our past, we provide inspiration for others. It makes us better moms when our kids know we’re not perfect. And it can also make the difference in our business success. This is exactly why Jared was so effective as a Subway spokesperson. And it’s why Dave Ramsey’s financial failures give him credibility. It’s why Lysa TerKeurst touches the hearts of so many women – because she shares her failures and we relate to her humanity. [Read more…]