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…]

Meet Featured Sister Anne Elizabeth Denny

anne elizabeth dennyAnne is the woman at the party talking about what nobody wants to hear — end of life decisions. But it’s a topic we all need to talk about with our families. And she’s making it easier to start that conversation.

Meet Featured Sister Anne Elizabeth Denny

Business Name: Plan Well Finish Well

Business Description: As a speaker, author and blogger, I educate and equip individuals and families to proactively prepare for future medical decisions. I especially help women—both those dealing with a loved one’s or their own—upcoming end-of-life journey to trade conflict, confusion and fear for family unity, confidence and peace of mind.

Anne’s Story: 

My mother’s twenty year journey with Alzheimer’s disease was the catalyst for the work I do. Though Mom’s decline was gradual, we faced numerous medical decisions in her final three years. As a family, we did not always agree on the best care possible for Mom.

My experiences, coupled with a whisper from the Holy Spirit, prompted me to explore how other families were coping with end-of-life decisions. I learned that most families never discuss their preferences until the crisis unfolds in the ER. I felt called to learn all I could so I could help other families prepare.

For most of my professional career, I served as a business technology consultant in the healthcare industry. I developed solutions to solve problems for clients, usually by selecting and applying technology. Those skills equipped me to to design and develop a web-based healthcare directive tool, which I’ve licensed to a major healthcare delivery system. I’m actively marketing to other prospects. I’ve written a book, offered motivational presentations, and created my blog to share the message that end-of-life preparation affords peace of mind.

Helping families stay united instead of battling over care for a loved one is my mission. Scripture repeatedly commands us: “Do not fear.” I believe that part of our testimony is a graceful end-of-life journey. With thoughtful preparation, we can demonstrate that we do not fear dying, because we are certain of our salvation. As Christian women, we have the opportunity and responsibility to prepare our families for the dying process. We can be the conversation catalyst for those we love, ensure all of our family members write and communicate their healthcare directives.
[Read more…]

Characteristics of an #Unbroken Mom [Movie Review]

keyart2Have you ever had one of those days when you felt broken? Let me refresh your memory. Every appliance in the house is on the fritz, the cat brings you a “present” that resembles a dead dragon, the kids have strep throat for the third time this season, the babysitter cancels at the last minute and you have a “very important” deadline you are clearly going to miss. Oh, and there’s a note in a backpack warning of a lice epidemic at school. Been there? Me, too.

In times like this I try not to let my situation define me. I look around at others who are facing far worse misfortune and wonder what it takes to rise above life’s challenges. I marvel at the capacity of some people who remain #unbroken in the face of extraordinary adversity. People like Louis Zamperini, whose life is chronicled in the movie (and book) Unbroken, a remarkable story of survival and forgiveness.

On the surface, I don’t have a lot in common with the late Louis Zamperini. But I think moms can learn from Louie what it takes to remain unbroken in spite of life’s detours, trials and obstacles. We don’t have to be shipwrecked, beaten beyond recognition or imprisoned in a Japanese war camp to experience the kind of difficulty that can break us. New babies…aging parents…setbacks in our health…marital struggles…financial problems…unplanned relocations… These are the things that derail us. They have the power to break our spirits, dissolve our will and test our faith – if we let them. Or, we can allow them to shape us into the women God calls us to become. It’s our choice. And we can choose to be #unbroken, like Louis Zamperini.

Characteristics of an #Unbroken Mom

Resilience: Louie’s horrific experiences are difficult to watch on screen, but the message is uplifting. Under the same circumstances, most of us would crumble both physically and emotionally. Yet, Louie grew stronger with every ordeal.

I think that’s how mothers manage to get through the seemingly endless parade of challenges that greet us every day. We don’t allow them to grab ahold of our heart and fill us with anger and frustration. We accept each one, doing our best with what we know and the resources we have. And we grow stronger as mothers because of the experience. We become #unbroken in the face of life’s tribulations.

Clear Focus: Despite the unfathomable suffering and despair that surrounded Louie, he was able to keep his eyes fixed on his goal: survival. He knew that surviving the war was his way to win the battle and defeat the enemy. Nothing else mattered.

As mothers, we can easily lose site of our priorities in an effort to complete the tasks set before us. That’s why I often find myself choosing to do laundry or wash dishes when I had planned to read scripture. And I’m ashamed to admit it’s why I sometimes shush my child and devote my attention to a business related project. Every day is a new opportunity to reexamine what matters most to us. And to ask God to provide clear guidance and direction so that we remain focused and #unbroken when it comes to our true priorities.

Wise Companionship: God placed mentors in Louie’s life including his brother Pete, his pilot and friend Phil, and his wife Cynthia. Without their encouragement, support and faith, Louie’s life would certainly have taken a different path.

Our life story may not be as enthralling as Louie’s, but the people we surround ourselves with truly make a difference in who we become. And while we can’t always chose who we spend time with, we can chose who we let into our hearts, who we listen to and who we trust with our hopes and dreams and fears. We pray that our children make wise choices when it comes to their friends, so we too must seek out relationships that enable us to be the very best versions of ourselves. We must choose companions that allow us to remain #unbroken moms!

IMG_0790

Date night movie premiere with my hubby!

[Read more…]