Posts Tagged ‘wings4women’

Hi All! I can’t wait to share with you the photos, videos, quotes, etc about the conference over the weekend! I’m traveling today but will be posting these things as soon as I can this week–so keep checking back!

Read Full Post »

Three more days until we celebrate being a military spouse in Colorado Springs with military spouses from across the country! We are stuffing bags full of gifts, sorting door prizes, ordering tons of food and putting together all of the details of the conference. We are all abuzz and loving it!

Not only are we putting all those last-minute details together, but we are also making plans for next year’s conferences! (Did you hear that? More than one!) We have even more fun and exciting plans for Colorado and Texas in 2011–and also for  churches and/or organizations across the country with military ministries! Keep checking in to see what we have planned!

See you in a few days!!


Read Full Post »

We received a donation for three scholarships to the Wings Conference May 14-15 and we just gave them away to three facebook fans in Colorado Springs: LAUREN ROBERTS, MELISSA BOYLE and .KALYN DIAL-GILLESPIE! I am so excited that these three ladies get to go to the conference this year! Congratulations! Be sure to join the Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences Fan Page on Facebook to get in on specials and such.

Have a nice weekend!

Read Full Post »

Military life can be hard. Our military personnel make great sacrifices to protect our country and others around the world. They work long hours and spend extended periods of time away from their families to fight for the freedoms that allow us to enjoy an American lifestyle. What many don’t realize is the stress and strain that this puts on the military spouse.

Military spouses are strong, but they can’t bear the burden of military life alone. The pressures of deployment, single parenting while married, tight budgets, lack of continuity and other stresses bear down on this strong woman’s soul.

This is why I founded Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences–to help military spouses deal with the stresses of military life. The Wings for Women Conferences–two-day events that will run in military cities across the nation (as soon as we have funding for them) feature general sessions, dynamic speakers and military lifestyle breakout workshops designed to inspire and encourage military spouses towards emotional healing.

In 1967, Thomas H. Holmes and Richard H. Rahe, from the University of Washington, did a study on the connection between significant life events and illness. As part of the study, they compiled a chart of 43 major causes of stress. In 2006, that chart was updated to include 55 major stressors. Here is a list of the top seven.

  • Finances (having enough to get by)
  • Work (overwork, a spouse working too much, or the inability to find work)
  • Family (health and family changes such as adoption, relocation, and job changes for just one family member can cause stress for all)
  • Personal Concerns (such as how the workload at home is shared)
  • Personal Health and Safety (affected by being alone and PTSD in a loved one)
  • Personal Relationships (friendship, marriage)
  • Death

In any given moment of any given day, the military family is dealing with not just one of these top stressors, but many. They:

  • Struggle with finances because of low pay
  • Get passed on much-needed employment because of a resume filled with time gaps from frequent moves
  • Feel the burden of managing the home and the children alone because of the military member’s long hours and/or deployments.

A deployed military member leaves behind a family who is stressed by being home alone and a spouse dealing with long distance marriage, a lack of close friendship bonds and the constant fear that her husband may not return from war. When the military member finally comes home, the spouse and family are greatly affected by the military member’s new personality traits because of war and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Imagine how you or your spouse might feel if put into one of these situations; yet the military spouse deals with these high stress triggers all the time. Every year. Every month. Every day.

These are the facts in the life of a military family.

A study published in January (2010) in the New England Journal of Medicine reinforces Holmes’ and Rahe’s theory of stress leading to illness by specifically looking at military families. The Journal study reviewed electronic medical data for almost 85 percent of the nearly 300,000 women whose active-duty husbands were deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan from 2003-2006. They found that 36.6 percent of those women had at least one mental-health diagnosis such as depression, anxiety or a sleep disorder. And this only counts those who reported problems.

“My husband is in Iraq for the 4th time,” says one military spouse on Facebook. “You are right, it doesn’t get any easier. In fact, this deployment (my third) was the hardest for me so far…It’s nice to be among those who understand and can relate to what you’re going thru.”

Jacey Eckhart of Military Money Magazine shares about the life of a Navy spouse: “But spouses? Man, they rip the veil off your head, ship you off to a city where you may not know a soul and expect you to be able to handle a deployment, say, a week later. Spouse boot camp often is self-taught. We manage. More importantly, we adapt.”

Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences is addressing this and more by providing an opportunity for military spouses to be with those who understand and can relate to military life. Even more, the conferences will provide tools and resources to help spouses deal with these issues to improve their lives and subsequently the lives of the military family. We know from experience that as long as women have a place to gather these things will happen.

Our conferences kick off this year in Colorado Springs, CO May 14–15th with nearly 300 participants–many of whom are coming to Colorado from across the country.

The conferences will help spouses improve their relationships with themselves, their husbands and their children and increase their self-worth. We will provide valuable military and community resources to ensure that the spouse becomes engaged and supported by those around her after the conference concludes. As a result the spouses will be more aware of her purpose and mission, more connected with others like her and also with those who want to help. She will be refreshed and energized about her military lifestyle.

We believe that supporting the military spouse allows her to support her husband and children in a way that only she can. When the military spouse has the tools and resources she needs to thrive in the military lifestyle, the warrior has less stress as he does his job in the field and the children are more confident in the absence of their fathers.

In short, helping the military spouse helps everyone.

Read Full Post »

Over the weekend I had a great conversation with Stephen Robinson, a military brat and Army veteran who shares his vast military lifestyle knowledge and experiences in This Emotional Life, a documentary on PBS (learn more about what the program is doing for military families here). Stephen is an amazing advocate for veteran’s affairs and has testified before the House and Senate on PTSD, suicide, mental health and the resiliency of the force. He found out about Wings for Women on the web and gave me a call to talk about what we are doing for military spouses. It made my day!

We’ve been working so hard at Wings for Women to create a conference that empowers and uplifts military spouses. My husband has been so great about funding this organization until we get the sponsorships we need to run affordable conferences for military spouses across the country. Sometimes it is a lonely journey working long hours, creating programs, lining up speakers, finding sponsors. Half the time I honestly wonder what I was thinking; I literally woke up one day and said, “Okay, let’s do this! Let’s make it as big as the vision I believe God has given me to bring healing and hope to military spouses.”

Some days I think I must be crazy, creating this thing out of thin air; I get discouraged by the obstacles and frustrated by the people who don’t understand why military spouses need Wings for Women Military Spouse Conferences–why we need a place to talk with others who know; a place to laugh, cry, talk and hug; a place to get together and heal. But I keep pressing on because I so passionately believe that we military spouses need this!

Military spouses aren’t weak and we aren’t victims. But we are tired. We need each other. I know that these conferences are exactly what military spouses need. I know we are filling a gap. And I know that when we strengthen the military spouse, we help everyone!

So when I get calls from people of Stephen Robinson’s caliber, I know we are doing what is right. When I receive notes from military spouses telling me how long they have waited for something like this, it makes a difference. When I see spouses registered for our conference who are flying in from across the country, I’m inspired. When I get calls from people from PBS and other military ministries, I know we are being blessed and will be able to bless others.

I am so grateful for the many business professionals and military spouses who are coming along beside Wings for Women to make this conference happen. It is only 60 days away and I can’t wait to meet all of you crazy amazing military spouses who are attending! Keep spreading the word–let’s pack the house and party in May!

If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, there are only a few more weeks to do so! Follow this link and register today! (It’s only $32–but it has a value of $125)

See you soon!

Read Full Post »

Only five more months to go until our biggest conference yet in Colorado Springs! That may seem like a long time for you to wait, but here behind the scenes we’re busy getting all the details hammered out for the best conference experience possible for our Military Spouses! We’ve even heard rumors that some spouses will be flying in from out of state to attend. There is a lot of excitement stirring so be sure to get your tickets early! They will go on sale January 5th for an early bird price of only $24! Unheard of! It is and always will be be our goal to keep the ticket prices under $30 for as long as we can so any military spouse who wants to attend can afford to do so. We also have some organizations that are offering to pay for spouse scholarships!

Here are some of the exciting details: Our General Sessions will feature humorists, military spouses, great music (also from a military spouse), and lots of fun and laughter. We have some great videos to show you as well. We won’t be afraid, however, to talk about the challenges of military life with you–not to gripe about it, but to find solutions together so we can all live to our fullest potential in the position that we have been placed.

We’re also putting together five workshops that will be led by experts and military spouses. Some of the topics will include: Marriage and Communication, Helping our Kids Cope, What to do when your spouse comes home different (dealing with PTSD/TBI and secondary PTSD as a spouse) and a workshop of career/volunteer opportunities to enhance your expereiences. We will also have care teams available for counseling should anyone need to talk an issue out.

For your enjoyment, we’ll have free chair massages, books and other items for sale and a whole pool of resources for military spouses including such organizations as, Just Moved, Wives of Faith, Christian Military Wives, Pikes Peak Leadership, Back Yard Bible Club, Talking with Heroes, and more!

We are currently looking for volunteers to help us with registration, some administrative duties and a bunch of critical roles at the conference itself. When you volunteer, you can attend the conference at no cost! If you are interested in helping us out–and helping other military spouses–please let us know!

By the way, as soon as funding allows, we’re also putting together a special event for military husbands–a day-long video game tournament! So spread the word and keep your ears open to hear more about this wonderful event!

Looking forward to seeing you all in Colorado in 2010, in Colorado and Texas in 2011 and across the nation soon!

Read Full Post »