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…]

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…]

Verse of the Year: Matthew 11:28

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

Verse of the Year 2015 by Kelly Garrett

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

Matthew11I started a new tradition this year with my family. On New Year’s Day, my husband and I sat down and worked on divinely inspired goals for the year. Using Theresa’s worksheet as a guide, we wrote ourselves letters from God telling us what He had in store for the year.

As I was writing my letter, this verse came to mind. God was telling me that I needed to stop worrying about the little details that I stress over. I needed to relax and know that He has it taken care of for me. More specifically, I have been worrying a lot lately about some important decisions I need to make in my business and was lacking the confidence to make them. God was telling me that I need not worry. I already have all of the tools and knowledge I need to make these decisions, but I am getting in my own way by second-guessing myself. I need to trust in Him and give my burdens to Him. He will handle the rest. This is something that I, as a detail-oriented person struggle with. Sometimes I don’t even realize I am trying too hard to hold on to things and fail to see the stress and anxiety it’s causing in my life. That’s when I hear a gentle nudge from God, telling me to give Him my worries. [Read more…]