CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Struggling with money can really suck. If you’re ever in financial difficulty, you can feel helpless. As if you’re the only person that is struggling. Like you’re going to be in this situation forever. And it can lead you to suffer. You might make decisions, you might make yourself ill with stress, you might act out in different ways. All because you’re dealing with a financial burden that you have no idea how to fix. And there can be a range of reasons for why you’ve gotten yourself into this situation. Maybe your job doesn’t pay enough and you’re struggling to pay the bills? Maybe you got hit by an emergency and you had a big bill to pay? Maybe you made some bad choices and you’re not all that sure how to be healthy or responsible with money? No matter what’s going on, it’s time for you to realize that you really don’t have to stay this way forever. There is a way out.

money is tight

If you want to be able to live an abundant life, feel financially secure, and have healthy financial habits, then you can. You just have to want it bad enough and try a lot harder. Because you may find that there’s a ton of habit change work that you need to do. Or you need to be able to change your lifestyle. And these things can take time. But before we jump right on into those areas specifically, let’s take a look at what you can do when you are in financial difficulty.

Be Clear About Your Situation

To start with, you need to know how deep this goes. And it all starts with being transparent – with yourself. Do you know how much you’re struggling? Are you in debt? Do you know what you owe and to who? And how much interest you’re paying? Start off by uncovering what’s causing your financial difficulties, so that you can then work on fixing them.

Open Up

But not only that, you might then want to talk to those around you about your debt. At first, this may feel like the worse thing on the planet. But it’s going to help you to release the burden that you’re experiencing. And, when you talk about debt to your loved ones, they might be able to help you. Even if you’re not in debt, but you are struggling financially, then opening up is still going to help you.

Speak To Your Lenders

Then, you need to try and do something about the debt that you have – no matter how big or small that it is. One thing that will always be good for you to do, is to speak to your lenders. If you know that you are struggling the repayments or that your debt is getting out of control, they might be able to help. They want to help at least. So make a call to your lenders and go from there.

Consider Consolidation

Something that you might want to consider here is debt consolidation. Do you have debts owing in a range of places? Do you know what fees your paying on it all? Because it could be best to get everything in one place, so that you’re paying one set fee for it all and this will make it more manageable for you.

Consider Other Financing

But maybe consolidation isn’t for you? If this is the case, you don’t have to worry. There are other options for you. You might want to look into installment loans or see what else your lenders might suggest to you. Remember, they are there to help. But if you’re stuck in the short term, you need to find sensible financing to help you.

Look For A Raise

But then, you’re going to want to work out how you can stop this from happening again. Because you may need more financing for the future. And when this is the case, your first port of call might be your career. So think about whether you can get a raise or what you might need to do to show that you’re worth it. If you can constantly aim for a promotion or to get a better paid job, it could help your financial situation.

Earn More

If you know that a promotion isn’t an option, or you just cannot earn more this way, you’re going to want to consider other options. And this is where the idea of doing something for yourself can come in. Maybe starting a blog or selling a product or doing another kind of business idea on the side could work? Or, you might want to get a second job in the evenings or at weekends? Or you even look to sell some of your things to top up the cash a little.

Spend Less

But at the same time, you still might want to get a better control over what you’re spending. Because if you know that you’re not living within your means, then you have a problem. Here, you need more control. And this starts with tracking what you spend. When you can see where your money goes, you can then cut it down to something more reasonable and ensure what you have stretches further.

Budget Better

Now, it may be that you just don’t budget. And if this is the case, you are never really going to have any kind of control over your money. Because if you have no idea what you’re spending on what, they how can you expect to be able to improve the situation? So sit down and see if you can allocate the money you do have into the different areas of your life that needs paying for. This is always going to be the smartest way for you to get out of financial difficulty and start to feel more secure with your money.

And finally, if you are struggling with your finances and you’re not sure how to make a change, you might want to look into getting advice from a financial expert or a third party that can help you with your situation.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor blogger

Two days in the year I don’t like. Somebody is thinking it is my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.

I worked that out a long time ago. My birthday is two days before the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and our anniversary is three weeks after our birthday. No way can I forget that.

When my wife gives me a birthday card with some gift it reminds me that I have two days to reciprocate. And reciprocate, I do very well. I love it when a plan comes together.

I remember my wife’s birthday and I remember our wedding anniversary, but more often than not, I cannot remember the years. I do not know how old my wife is. At least, that’s my story. And, I am not sure how long we’ve been married.

I know we have been married long enough to work out many things.

The two days I’m not very happy with are the days when we turn the clock forward an hour and then turn the clock backward an hour. I still do not know why in the world we do that. We gain an hour in the spring, but then we lose an hour in the fall. What’s the sense in all that?

I finally figured out what the sense of all that is. It is to confuse me, in particular. It is not that I am easily confused, but rather, I confuse easily. If that makes sense, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

Why would you want to gain something and then give it back a couple months later?

I grew up in the non-technical age. I had to wind my watch every day to make sure it had the right time. It was not like it is today worth the time is set automatically.

I look at my cell phone and the time is updated automatically. I look at our TV set and see that the time is updated automatically. I like that.

My problem is that I like it too much. I have become accustomed to things being adjusted automatically.

Now they have cars that part automatically and you can be sure I’m not going to buy one. I am satisfied with the automatic setting of my clock and TV.

When I was in high school, I worked part-time for a woman. I mowed the grass and cleaned inside the house. One big thing she had in the house was about 25 clocks. I’m serious. Twenty-five clocks that all had to be set manually.

The first time I did it, I did not realize that each clock was set differently. You go upstairs and the clocks were 15 minutes faster than the clocks on the first floor so she would not be late for an appointment.

Being my employer, it would have been nice for her to explain that to me. But, as most employers do, they do not explain everything to their employees.

I was the kind of employee that liked to impress my employer with how good I was.

It was in the fall and we were to set the clocks back one hour. I thought she would appreciate the fact that I went around and reset all 25 of her clocks. After all, I was doing something on my own that needed done.

The thing I did not know of course, the clocks were all set different on different levels of the house. I went around and set all 25 clocks to the same time. I was so happy.

I did not tell her because I wanted her to be surprised.

I was anxious to hear her commend me for a “job well done.” I was not prepared for what she was going to do.

When I arrived on her property, she comes out yelling and screaming at me at the top of her lungs. Trust me, she had lungs. At first, I could not understand what she was so upset about.

“Did you,” she said hysterically, “reset all the clocks in my house?”

I smiled back at her and said quite cheerfully, “Yes, ma’am, I did.” Read More→

When your job doesn’t cover the bills and give you the money you need to get by every month, it can be very worrying. You may feel like you are constantly wondering how you are going to keep going and leading this lifestyle. Will you end up getting in debt? Maybe you already are? Will you have to move out of your home? It can be too much for some people to handle. But rather than focusing on what could happen, you should look for ways to make a second income. Here are some of the best suggestions.

Do some online freelance jobs in the evenings

If you have a skill that can be delivered over the Internet, there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash in the freelancing market. You can find more information at https://budgetboost.co/how-to-make-1000-dollars-fast/. You will be able to apply for jobs whenever you’re busy, giving your monthly pot a much-needed boost.

Sell your gold – Selling your gold for cash is something that you should certainly consider doing if you want to make some added cash. Nevertheless, you should not sell your gold without being educated. First and foremost, you need to know about where you should sell your gold. There are several options at your disposal; there are lots of cash for gold shops in the UK, there are also jewellers and pawnbrokers, and in addition to this you can sell gold for cash online. The latter option is highly recommended because you are likely to benefit from a better price, more convenience and an easier process. In addition to this, you need to be educated with regards to the valuation of gold. You will be given a quote for your gold depending on its weight. Thus, in general the higher karat of gold you have – the more it will be worth. Nevertheless, it is still recommended that you search around online and get several quotes from different companies. This is easy to do online as you can open several web pages and easily compare. A final point worth noting is that your gold does not have to be in good condition. If it is broken or tangled than that should not matter, so do not let it deter you from seeking a valuation with the aim to sell.

Take paid surveys – While a lot of paid survey websites are useless because they never pay out, there are a few good ones out there. See this review to get a better understanding of one of the good sites: https://www.dollarsprout.com/swagbucks-review/. Again, this won’t make you rich, but it will certainly give your income a boost.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can secure a second source of income if your current job does not pay enough. If you follow the suggestions that have been presented above, you should be able to make sure that you have some extra cash coming in on a monthly basis so that you can cover those bills that you are struggling to pay at the moment.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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With the holidays just around the corner everything about the world sees a little more magical and fattening. How is a mom supposed to stay healthy when the whole country practically encourages gluttony from Thanksgiving to New Years? Christmas cookies, giant turkeys, stuffing (my favorite), egg nog (not my favorite), and more are waiting for consumption and since us moms are the ones who make the food and put it away, we may end up sampling a little more than everyone else. I almost forgot all of our kids left over Halloween candy! Yummy.

With all those treats a couple of extra pounds are only a few weeks away. Then of course we mama’s will want to be swimsuit ready by summer. Losing weight is so hard! It’s easier to prevent the weight than to lose weight. The trick is to give yourself the treats without going overboard. Here are a few tips to keep yourself from gaining several pounds over the holidays:

Count Calories with an App

I’m not suggesting you count your calories all year long, but counting calories makes you aware of what and how much you are eating. Awareness alone is often enough to help you navigate holiday food. Definitely indulge a little but remember – you can lie to yourself but not to your scale. If you try to cheat by not counting every cookie or chocolate, the scale will tattle on you.

 

Buy More Fruit and Veggies

I don’t know about you, but if I get hungry for a snack late at night, I do not want to leave the house and go get something out of sheer laziness. If you buy healthy food – remember, not to go to the grocery store hungry – then when it’s night time you will not have unhealthy options available. Buy the good stuff and leave the bad stuff at the store. Try to fill your cart from the outer edges of the grocery store and not the inside aisles. But do not forget coffee. Definitely venture into the middle of the store for coffee.

I go the extra mile and make sure I buy my kids sweets I can’t stand. I buy cookies and ice cream I do not eat to avoid snacking on their stuff. Halloween candy is an issue though. Avoid buying the kids too many snacks though too. Holidays come with plenty of sweets. For the holiday season, buy the kids snacks like peanut butter crackers, string cheese, and fruit to eat when they come in from school or playing outside.

 

Add a Little Healthy to Your Cookies

Being healthy does not mean giving up cookies. Just be cookie smart. Try adding a few healthy ingredients to your cookies and cakes. For example: flaxseed is full of omegas, fiber, and vitamins and has delicate nutty flavor. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with your cookies, pancakes, cakes, and other baked treats. All you need to do is take out a couple tablespoons of flour and replace with the flaxseed.

Mix other ingredients for a bit of a healthier dessert. Try adding in oats (or make no bake cookies with oats!), chia seeds, almonds, use coconut oil instead of canola or vegetable oil. Use partial wheat flour instead of all white flour for a little extra fiber. Finally, you can add in applesauce instead of oil.

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Dec
10

Putting First Things First

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by Nancy Twigg

If ever there was a woman who lost control of her priorities, it was Martha, whose story is recorded in Luke 10. Poor Martha. Too bad she will forever be remembered as the one who was more concerned about making dinner than making Jesus feel welcome in her home!

What separates Martha from her sister Mary is that Martha did not order her time by her priorities. She may have sincerely thought that welcoming Jesus was most important, but her behavior did not reflect that. It’s as if she had a choice of visiting with Jesus or vacuuming, and she chose the vacuum. It’s not that Mary didn’t help out with the chores. I believe she did—perhaps she did the dishes before Jesus arrived. But once Jesus set foot in their home, Mary dropped the busy work in favor of what really mattered—spending quality time with her Lord.

Jesus’ response to Martha is just as applicable to us as it was to her: “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41, 42, CEV).

Let’s be honest. Don’t we all make Martha’s mistake? We mean well. We want to help out in our children’s school and be active in our communities and do our part at church. As with Martha’s cooking and cleaning, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these activities. The problem is when they become a hindrance and keep us from doing what really matters—spending quality time with our Lord and the people He puts in our path.

Learning to live our priorities actually encompasses all three parts of the Clarity Principle found in Hebrews 12:1-2. Getting rid of extraneous obligations and expectations is one of the ways we “throw off everything that hinders.” Not letting the trivial supersede the vital is an example of how we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” And ordering our lives around what God wants is part of how we “fix our eyes on Jesus.” Read More→

beach playI follow some sailing folks on Instagram.

I don’t know how it happened. I usually follow friends, Star Wars posts, and people with unique animals, but somehow I started following some sailors that were posting about their life on large cargo ships. Then, I started to get other boat crews and sailors following me. Some of the pictures are facinating . . .

Like most of Social Media, there are ‘business’ groups that post things as well. And since I follow some sailing people, you can imagine that I get a lot of ads for sailing merchendise.
One of the popular expessions sold on t-shirts, mugs, bags, bandannas, hats — is the quote: “Smooth sailing never made a skilled sailor.”

It’s a cute saying. And I’m sure real seawomen and men are tired of hearing it. But I was thinking quite a bit lately about how this saying definitly applies to parenting.

Some parents win the behavior lottery with their kids–kids that never push the envelope, or kids that are compliant, or submissive; kids that can be left alone for hours and never think of nefarious things to do, or ways to antagonize others. Good for them! There are some parents out there with smooth sailing.

Hopefully they aren’t writing parenting blogs.

My kids push the envelope. And their imaginations concoct all manner of ways to bother people, get what they want, and test boundaries and relationships. My kids don’t walk on water . . . they sink under the water and breach like sharks when you least expect it.

Easy kids never made a skilled parent.

I know that you don’t always have easy kids. That’s why you’re reading this blog. Parents with complient kids are out enjoying a latte somewhere and wondering what to do with all their extra time. I can’t seem to sit down long enough to watch a 25min show on Netflix.

Believe it or not, this is an encouragement to you. You could be a Dad smooth-sailing through ‘training up a child in the way it should go’* . . but you wouldn’t be learning any real parenting skill or growing deeper as a parent. You would miss out on all the emotions, all the techniques, all the wisdom, all the hard-won successes of being a skilled parent. Most of all you’d miss out on the massive analogy of how God is the Best Parent to each of us, despite none of us being an ‘easy kid.’

Take a minute and consider how many rough waters you’ve sailed so far with your kids. Consider what you’ve learned. Think about what good company you keep with other ‘parent sailors’ that braved some of the turbulent waters of parenting. And be proud:

Every failure, every hard time — is making you a skilled sailor.

Now, I suggest we all go out and get some sort of signifying tattoo — you know, like sailors do. Something like an anchor or ship or something. Or we should start wearing a captain’s hat. I’m not too good with needles, so look for me in a large admiral hat – you might even see me beating my kids with it.

(*Proverbs 22:6)

This past week I had to go to the mall. I know, I should know better, but I thought I could sneak in, get what I needed and sneak out again. So much for my thoughts.

I wanted to purchase several tie chains for my neckties and searched every jewelry store and nobody had them. Finally, I ordered three online, which would be shipped free, (which always gets my attention) to the nearest store, which happened to be in the mall.

I do not like the mall and choose not to go there if I can help it. When in the mall, I am usually very nervous and get confused and do not know which way I am going. Once I get in, I am not quite sure how to get out again. Everything seems to be contrived to confuse a person like myself.

Looking down at the ground while walking I became rather confused and I happen to turn into an open door.

My mall savvy is not sophisticated in the least. The door I turned into happened to be for the store Victoria’s Secret. I do not know who Victoria is, I did not know what the store was all about, but when I got in the store, I discovered Victoria’s Secret much to my great embarrassment.

That is exactly the reason I do not like going into the malls. They have places like this that a gentleman, such as Yours Truly, should never enter.

I am not sure how I got out of that store, all I can remember was a great deal of hilarious laughter thrown in my direction from inside. I just hope they did not recognize me. They probably did not, because I had all my clothes on.

It has been a long time since that incident and now I had to go and pick up my order. I put together a plan to sneak in very quietly, pick up my order and tiptoe out as quietly as I came in.

You know what they say about well-laid plans! Whether mine was well laid or not, it blew up in my face.

I did slip into the mall and found the store where my order was. I picked them up and quietly turned around and started for the door. How I got turned around is any man’s guess. Actually, I think I turned around too many times. For the next 15 minutes, I tried to find the way I came in so I could go out.

The trouble started when I hesitated. I stopped to try to get my bearings and in stopping a young woman approached me.

“How do you do today, sir,” she said most cheerfully.

I nodded and tried to get away as graciously as possible.

She would have none of it. “And how do you smell today, sir?”

Had I been in my right sense of mind, I would have told her I smelled with my nose. Being in a confused state of affairs, I had no quick come back for her. It was then that she introduced me to her product. Read More→

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