My heart pounded with a mother’s love from the tender age of three. I grew up dreaming of raising eight children. By the time I married my college sweetheart in 1992, Rick, I planned on at least four kids by both birth and adoption.
But dreams and reality don’t always mesh. Chronic illness, the diagnosis of infertility, recurrent miscarriages and many unsuccessful attempts to adopt, overshadowed our honeymoon years with grief. As anguish and depression set in, I struggled to find value in a life much different from the one I had planned. I became angry with God, bitter and disconnected from the world around me, even entertaining thoughts of suicide for a season.
Though I often felt mistreated and abandoned by God, He ultimately proved Himself faithful to carry me through these painful years. From personal experience, I want every woman still struggling in such dark waters of grief to know, “You are not alone!”
The Lord used my experiences to launch Hannah’s Prayer Ministries where I served on the Board of Directors 1995-2003 and now carry the title of director emeritus. After the joy of watching HP blossom from a tiny local support group into an international ministry reaching tens of thousands of hurting families, the Lord allowed me to fulfill a long-held desire by using my infertility and loss experiences to write Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss (Nav Press, May 2005).
I am currently working on a devotional on after-infertility motherhood, some children’s stories and Hannah’s Hope-style book on the life of Paul and living with chronic illness. (http://www.GivenMeaThorn.blogspot.com) I eventually hope to venture into adult fiction writing too.
On the side, I am a consultant with Affordable Mineral Makeup™ and have created a blog on beauty that focuses as much on the inward beauty that God desires of His daughters as on product promotion, tools and tips, makeup application and money-saving beauty secrets.
On Being An Entrepreneur
I love being an entrepreneur—it grants me the freedom to stay home and educate our children while still allowing me to purse professional opportunities as God leads. I don’t have to choose “either/or” but can live in both the “stay-at-home-mom” and “business” worlds. With my husband as the primary “bread-winner” in our home, I am blessed with many options.
I’ve been a published author for nearly 6 years and dabbled in various online businesses for nearly the same amount of time. I’ve found that I’ve got to truly love what I’m doing and be willing to put in the time and effort required, or it’s not worth investment. Some things have felt risky but I’ve discovered the only real risk is in not trying.
I don’t advise jumping blindly into something simply because it sounds exciting, though. Bathe your decision in prayer before you commit; count the costs—be as prepared as you can to understand what you are getting into but if God opens those doors, don’t be afraid to walk through!
For me, Kathe Wunnenberg epitomizes a model of Christian entrepreneurial leadership. Kathe has taught me, as she says, “No matter how big or small the task, no matter how overwhelmed or inadequate I might feel, no matter how difficult the journey…God is faithful and when I stay connected to Him, He gives me the courage to press on.”
As I am primarily housebound by health limitations, I do most of my business through online contacts. I blog, I participate in social media such as Facebook, and I participate in many message boards/forums. Too often, though, we can become so focused on “making the sale” that we forget the need to build community and establish relationships. When people become the priority over sales, when “networking” is done out of genuine interest in others rather than a need to promote, that’s when business blossoms—that’s when people are drawn to what I (we) offer.
I maintain several blogs, with the hopes of encouraging other women. I would love for you to drop by and visit me at one or all:
http://www.InfertilityMom.blogspot.com shares my reflections on everything from being an after-infertility, homeschooling mom, to writing, working from home, living with chronic illness and doing life as a daughter of God.
http://www.HannahsHopeBook.blogspot.com offers support for infertility, pregnancy loss and adoption.
http://www.GivenMeAThorn.blogspot.com is my current writing project on the life of Paul and living with chronic pain or illness.
http://www.HarvestingHope.blogspot.com offers inspiration and encouragement for life’s darkest seasons.
http://www.InnerBeautyGirlz.blogspot.com spotlights Affordable Mineral Makeup™ products while offering devotional reflections on inner-beauty and practical, healthy, and budget-friendly beauty tips, tricks, and reviews.