Theresa Ceniccola is The Christian Mompreneur—a Mentor to Moms Who are Running a Business that Supports Faith and Family. As the president and founder of the International Christian Mompreneur Network, she empowers entrepreneurial moms to build profitable businesses with wisdom and grace.
I’m honored and excited to be participating as a member of the faculty at Work-at-Home School where we are sharing a wealth of ideas and resources for making a living while working from home. I hear from moms all the time who are frustrated with scams that promise to help them make money from home. And I know that direct sales or multi-level marketing is not for everyone. So exactly what can you do to make money from home? Well, there are more ways than I even imaged! And chances are, one of them will inspire you. Take a look at Work-at-Home School and start learning today!
If you’ve been around the International Christian Mompreneur Network for a while, you’ve probably met Kelly Garrett (pictured with me above on right). Even if you’re new, you’ve seen her work behind the scenes. Kelly was one of the first mom entrepreneurs to join me in this adventure as part of a mastermind group. And seven years later, I’m excited to announce that she is now my partner and joins the ICM Network team as our marketing and education director!
Kelly is a digital marketing connoisseur, strategist, graphic designer and web developer. She’s been my go-to girl for anything tech for a long time and she’s been a valuable resource to the ladies in the Sisterhood as well. In fact, she’s built websites and designed logos for several of our members.
As our marketing and education director, Kelly’s job will be to help you learn all the techie things you need to run your business online. (Read between the lines: she actually enjoys doing the things that make most of us pull our hair out in frustration!) You’ll see her face more often in the Facebook Group and as part of our Sisterhood. And you’ll get to learn from her as she develops courses, webinars and other programs designed to help you grow your business.
Not only does she have the knowledge to share, but has been in the field creating brands and campaigns for over 10 years. She’s an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant, AmbitionAlly Certified Partner, and Bot Academy Certified Bot Consultant.
The foundation of Kelly’s life is her faith in God, and her most important roles are that of wife and mother of four. She is also obsessed with ice cream, interior design, being a musician, and traveling (which is why I get to see her in Virginia Beach every year!).
In 2010 I started choosing a Word of the Year to guide me and help me focus on my priorities for the coming year. I shared the idea with friends and family and we’ve made it fun by creating artwork, vision boards, jewelry and pottery to commemorate the start of a new year and the adoption of a focus word.
So how do you choose a Word of the Year? I like to start in THE Word. I begin in prayer and ask God what He has planned for me in the coming year. I ask Him to reveal a scripture verse that will help me keep my eyes fixed on Him and allow Him to direct my steps. From this scripture verse, I choose a single word to embrace as my own. This is what God spoke to me this year as I studied His word:
My Verse of the Year 2018: Joshua 1:8
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
At first, I selected this verse because I felt God drawing me closer to Him. I knew He wanted me to spend time meditating on His word every day. Not just doing a bible study, but actually reading the bible. Every day.
But that’s not all…
I also noticed that the command to study His Word is a necessary step in achieving prosperity and success. Of course it is!
And there’s more…
I read the full chapter and realized that the Book of Joshua contains instructions for a new leader. After 23 years as a solo business owner, I’ve decided to merge my company with a business belonging to a friend and fellow Christian mompreneur. As partners and co-leaders in this business, we could certainly use some biblical instruction!
Not to mention…
My business shift this year is not the only change I’m facing. I’m turning 50 in June and approaching the next season of motherhood as my oldest child prepares to go to college. Joshua 1:8 is the perfect reminder to me that I need to lean on the Lord when starting something new. And that God promises He will never leave me. It’s a command to be strong and courageous for the journey ahead.
Living this verse in 2018 will be a motivator and a comfort. It will propel me forward and hold me tight. It will allow me to lead and follow. It will take the fear out of the obstacles. It will turn my challenges into an adventure!
My Word of the Year 2018: Adventure
After spending 2017 learning to Simplify, I am ready for a new Adventure. I admit that many of the things I will face in the coming year are challenging – adjusting to a new business arrangement, turning 50, releasing one of my baby birds from the nest. It’s overwhelming to think about these things. But as MyFriendStacy always reminds me, it’s best to look at life as a glass half full. So I choose to view my challenges and obstacles as an Adventure. And with Joshua as my guide, and God by my side, I am ready for the Adventure that awaits in 2018!
How to Choose a Verse of the Year
Not sure which verse to choose? Try our Verse of the Year Quiz! Answer 5 simple questions and you’ll discover a scripture verse to guide you along with several options to consider for your Word of the Year.
Last week, my mom and sisters and I went away for a few days of relaxation and girl time. We stayed at the fabulous Omni Bedford Springs Resort, where we hiked and dined and enjoyed the beautiful views. While exploring the lovely little town of Bedford, we discovered this sign in one of the shops. Wait…what?! We JUST missed the free wine! We got a little chuckle out of it but I have to say, it’s a familiar feeling…the thought that maybe I’ve arrived a little too late.
Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you ever felt like you were behind the curve? Like you’re working toward something but as soon as you get there you will discover that everyone else has already moved on to the next thing? Maybe you’re trying to publish your first book and there’s a voice inside your head that says “You’re a few years too late. Nobody reads books anymore.” Or maybe you want to open a food truck and you can’t let go of the thought that the trend might be over. Or maybe it’s a blog…or a podcast…or a business…or a ministry of some sort. Maybe you’re starting a family and wondering if it’s too late. Whatever you are starting, know that you are not too late. You are right where you are supposed to be.
Whenever we hear that voice of doubt, it’s the enemy creeping in and trying to steal our success. It’s the easiest way to abandon our dreams and goals and admit failure. It’s a dangerous, slippery slope to regret when we start to compare ourselves to others who have gone before us. That’s why #2 on our Ten Commandments of a Mompreneur is this: Honor your business. Start right where you are and know that you are meant to be there.
How about if we do this instead. Let’s not compare ourselves to those who have gone before us. Let’s learn from them. Let’s soak up their wisdom and begin our own journeys. Let’s hold onto the promise that the future is even more wonderful than all of our yesterdays. And when the next generation comes up behind us, let’s be sure they know they haven’t missed a thing – especially the free wine!
In this week’s Prayer Cafe, Alecia Baptiste talks about 1 John 3:1.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
We often call God “Father” in prayer. But isn’t it amazing when you stop to think that he loves us like we love our children? Even more (though that seems impossible)! But the most amazing part is – that we don’t have to, and can’t, earn that love. It just is.
In this week’s Prayer Cafe, Alecia Baptist reminds us that we are precious and loved, even when we feel unworthy of love.
Living near the ocean for the past 23 years, I’ve been through my fair share of hurricanes and floods. Fortunately, the worst we’ve had to deal with is power outages, leaky windows, missing roof shingles and some serious yard debris. But storms, fires, tornadoes and other natural disasters are not always so merciful. And if we’ve learned anything at all from Noah, it’s the importance of being prepared!
When a storm is headed our way, I typically stock up on bottled water, propane and gas. We buy extra batteries and food for the pantry. And we secure outdoor furniture and anything else that could blow away. But I recently found a new addition to my storm prep routine – the Home Inventory App!
Home Inventory (which isn’t just for storm preparation, by the way), is a great little tool for keeping track of all your valuable belongings so that you can stay organized and make it easy to file insurance claims (or police reports) if the need should arise. I was introduced to Home Inventory a few years ago by a friend who happens to be another Christian mompreneur. She and her husband developed the app, which you can check out on the Mac App Store.
How I Use Home Inventory
I take photos of my furniture, appliances, jewelry, electronics, sports equipment and anything else of value using my iPhone. Those photos are easily imported into the Home Inventory app where I can add as many details as I want – such as the cost, purchase date, retailer, etc. If I have a receipt I can attach it for easy reference.
I organize the photos in the app according to room, making it easy to separate my home office equipment and access something specific if I need it.
I am using it now to reassess my insurance coverage and make sure I have appropriate riders. Plus, it would come in handy if I had any storm damage and I could easily share the information with an insurance agent.
How YOU Might Use Home Inventory
I haven’t used the app for these purposes but I expect it would be helpful for:
Moving (I’ve been in the same house since 1996 so I would be overwhelmed by the task of moving. I might need help getting organized with an app like this!)
Estate planning (you can assign an heir to each item and attach as an addendum to your will).
Scheduling home maintenance. If I were the kind of person who kept track of things like seeding the lawn or replacing air filters, I’d integrate reminders in the Home Inventory app. But God blessed me with a husband who gladly takes care of those things and I don’t have to think about it!
Manage collections. I’m not much of a collector but if I had … let’s say a hundred snow globes…I’d probably want to catalog them in some way.
Manage rental properties. Maybe someday I’ll need this feature but for now, one house is enough.
What I Love About Home Inventory
Eliminates clutter. I used to be so organized. There was a time in my life when I kept warranty information, receipts and operating instructions in a tidy filing system. Then I had three babies in five years and I lost the ability to file anything. Thankfully, God blessed us with the Internet and I can find pretty much everything I need online. But I still need a place to store those pesky receipts and warranty details. Well, Home Inventory does that for me!
Security. When I use Home Inventory my information is not being stored on a website somewhere for everyone to discover. It’s on my Mac. I use a sync service called Dropbox to store it in a sync folder. And I can back up my inventory wherever and however I choose, including to my iPhone with the free companion app Home Inventory Mobile Backup.
Easy to use! I’m the mom who doesn’t know how to turn on the television and has to ask one of the kids to do it. So I’m not about to take on an app that’s super technical or difficult. Home Inventory is easy to use when you are setting up your inventory and also easy to use when looking something up for reference later.
While I pray that God spares us all from devastating storms and other natural disasters, I am grateful to have a system that helps me prepare for the worst. Personally, I think being a good steward of all my blessings – including my dining room furniture – is a way to honor God.
In this week’s Prayer Cafe, Alecia Baptiste talks about Matthew 5:13-16 where Jesus calls us “salt of the earth” and “light”.
3 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
But what in the world does that mean? And how does that direct our work as mothers?
In this week’s Prayer Cafe, Alecia Baptist tells us how important it is for us to be salty and full of light!
If you’ve ever worried about or lived through the “prodigal child” scenario, you’ll appreciate the honesty and practical wisdom in this new book by Christian mompreneur Lori Wildenberg. I have the honor of serving as a Mom Mentor with Lori in a group she manages for Moms Together. She creates a space for encouraging, equipping and empowering moms in their faith and motherhood. In her latest book, she shares her Messy Journey as the mother of a “prodigal child.”
Q. What inspired you to write Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home?
A. Life doesn’t always go the way we expect. As parents, we can do everything “right” and still have a child who veers off the expected path. With my daughter’s permission and input, I share our journey— the struggles a prodigal child brings and how to live life in the middle of the mess.
Q. How would you describe this book to someone in a 30 second blurb?
A. Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home is for parents walking the difficult road with a wayward child. This book is filled with stories from dozens of Christian parents and some prodigals. It includes my personal journey with my same-sex attracted daughter. The book is vulnerable and honest. No matter why a parent has a prodigal (or if you love someone who does) this book will bring comfort, help, and encouragement. Practical grace- and truth-filled ways of navigating a relationship with a detoured child who is rejecting faith, dabbling in sin, or wholeheartedly embracing sinful behavior are given. There is hope.
Q. How did you research or plan your book?
A. Both personally and professionally I have experienced the messy journey. I have personally lived-out the journey and walked alongside many families who are heart broken and weary because their child has taken a detour.
Q. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
A. Messy Journey is for the wounded and weary parent and for those who love them. It is also a resource for counselors, pastors and support group leaders. This book offers biblical truth, helpful strategies, prayers and hope for the hurting and often lonely parent.
Q. What sparked your interest in this topic?
A. This is a book I didn’t want to write. Having a child who has gone astray not only causes heartache it can be isolating and shaming. No one wants the hurt, the pain that a prodigal brings. But as only God can do, in my grief He tenderized me and moved me to reach out to bring comfort and encouragement to other families facing major struggles with their child.
Q. What do you hope readers will gain from the book?
A. My prayer is that the moms and dads reading this book feel encouraged and less alone. My hope is that by reading the stories of others and implementing the suggestions presented they feel empowered to get through the day and to never give up.
Q. How much of your own life goes into your books?
A. This book isn’t only about my daughter and me, it is filled with many parents and their stories. The prodigals’ substance abuse, sexual sin and/or rejection of faith are all topics that are addressed. As society normalizes sin, Christian parents feel as if they are constantly fighting the culture. But we have a God who always wins and never gives up!
Q. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A. I always wanted to be a teacher and a mom. I am thankful I have been able to wear both hats. I am passionate about helping parents be the moms and dads their kids need. I never considered becoming an author. In the first parenting course I developed and taught, a few of the participants told me I should put the information in a book. I told them I was too busy raising my four kids, they could take notes. Messy Journey is my fourth parenting book. God can do the impossible, even with a resistant and rebellious heart.
Lori Wildenberg is passionate about helping families build connections that last a life time. She is a licensed parent-family educator and co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. She has written four parenting books with Messy Journey:How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home published by New Hope as her most recent. She is a parent consultant, national speaker and lead Mentor Mom over at the Moms Together Facebook Community Page. Lori is a contributor to a number of online magazines. Every Monday you can find her blogging about faith and family . Mostly, Lori is wife to Tom and mom of four. The Wildenbergs home is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A perfect day in Lori’s world is a hike with her hubby, four kids plus a daughter-in-love, and Murphy the family labradoodle.