This year was my first time attending the online Military Spouse Wellness Summit organized by InDependent. 2018 marks the third year for this annual event. It is a free online wellness summit that lasts for a week and includes guest speakers on various topics pertaining to health and wellness, daily healthy recipes, exercise plans, financial tips, and a multitude of resources for overall health and wellness.

Thanks to the generosity of Legacy Magazine, I won a VIP ticket to this summit on an Instagram contest and could not be more grateful for this amazing experience. The VIP ticket gave me more access to materials, a Facebook group, and a chance to win prizes throughout the week. Below is a recap of some of the guest speakers from each day and my big takeaways from the knowledge they all shared in their areas of expertise.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. By clicking on the links for products and making a purchase, Strength 4 Spouses will earn a small commission.

Day 1:

Guest Speaker: Lara Casey

Saying yes too much is terrible for your health. According to Lara, “You can’t plant too much in one space. If you do, things are going to start to suck the life out of each other, and that’s what happened to me.”  Lara also talked about focusing on the important things and people in your life instead of endless to-do lists. She stated that we need to “sift through the distractions” to find out what is most important in your life. “Significant and effective progress in any area of life starts with understanding where we are first.” You have to be still, stop, and listen to your feelings about where you are, where you want to go, and who you want to be.


Lara Casey really spoke my language with all of her plant and gardening analogies. Many of the points she made really resonated with me and pertained to a season in life I have been living for the last year. I will have to add her book to my reading list for this year!  As soon as I finish my current book, this one will be next!


She has also written:


Another bonus is that Lara’s company Cultivate What Matters  is currently hiring a Marketing Director and Senior Designer.  Check out the job listings here.  She would be a fantastic boss and I know working alongside her and her team in Chapel Hill, NC would leave you feeling inspired every day!

Guest Speaker: Gretchen Rubin

She wrote a book titled: The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles That Reveal How to Make Your Life Better (and Other People’s Lives Better, Too).

The 4 dominant tendencies are; Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, & Rebel.

I am an Obliger, which Rubin explains that I “readily respond to outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. I work hard to not let other people down, but often let myself down.”  This is spot on with my personality!

“Obligers may find it difficult to form a habit, because often we undertake habits for our own benefit, and Obligers do things more easily for others than themselves.”

For Obligers, the key to forming habits is to create external accountability.”

Do you want to know which tendency is your dominant area? Click the link below to take Gretchen’s quiz:

To order Gretchen Rubin’s book click below:


Day 2:

Guest Speaker: Tiffany Smiley

What a courageous and inspiring story!  After her husband was injured in combat and she became a caregiver, that’s truly when her testimony of faith began. Tiffany’s faith journey is one that will touch your heart.  I’m truly amazed at how she has persevered and helped her husband and family get through such a huge transition and life changing circumstances.


Learn more about Tiffany and her journey at  Hope Unseen & Tiffany Smiley.

Day 3:

Guest Speaker: Liz Wolfe

She is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP). Liz Wolfe’s main points were; 1-Counseling is powerful and 2-Live in the moment, and stop the control freak tendencies.  “Somebody else cannot make us give ourselves grace or enjoy a moment; it’s something we have to do for ourselves. Be in whatever moment you are in.”

“If we spend all of our time controlling, we are robbing ourselves from the joy we could be experiencing.” “Counseling is gifting yourself the tools to help yourself.” “You start to see the world as it really is;” imperfect.  Liz really empowers others to stop being so hard on themselves. Many of her points were just what I needed to hear.

Click here to follow her blog.

Day 4:

Guest Speaker: Jess Atkins

Jess is the creator of the Stylebook App for managing and organizing your closet.


She is a fashion guru who thinks that keeping your closet organized can “make you feel better about yourself.” She also stated that, “we only wear about 20% of our wardrobe.” This statement is very accurate. I was inspired by Jess and learned that organizing your closet can help you choose your outfits quicker, manage your style with ease, and save you time.

Day 5:

Guest Speaker: Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP

Owner of Workable Wealth

Tips for those struggling with finances

According to Storjohann, the following three items can help you understand your finances better:

1-“Having clear cut goals in place-quantifying them and putting a time frame on them.”

2-“It might not be pretty and you might be uncomfortable for a little while so you can be comfortable in the long term.”

3-“Open separate savings accounts for splurges and work that money in to the budget.” is a great tool to help you see where your money is going every month.

Mary Beth had some fabulous tips for small business owners. Business owners should have “really clear parameters” in pricing, discounts, and client numbers. To access more of her knowledge and information, go to her website Workable Wealth.

My Final Thoughts:

This week included such a fabulous line up of guest speakers as well as health and wellness resources.  Due to the impact of this summit, I was intentional in how I fed my mind, body, and soul throughout the week and concluded the week feeling refreshed as well as enlightened.  Thank you InDependent for putting together such a wonderful week of learning for military and first responder spouses. I am already looking forward to the 4th annual Military Spouse Wellness Summit in 2019!

© Strength 4 Spouses, LLC 2018.