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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sorryI was listening to my favorite oldie station again and the song, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” by Anne Murray came on.  I sang along.  Right after that song came, “I’m sorry” by Brenda Lee.

At first, I thought how ironic. But then I realized it was perfect together:  I want to dance with my spouse for the rest of my life and that will include saying “I’m sorry” several times!

I will step on his toes.  He will step on my toes, too.

We will hurt each other, disappoint one another, and through it all love (and dance with) each other for the rest of our lives.  Well, at least that’s my plan! Wait, let me check with him….yep, he says it’s his plan too! So we’re good.

But seriously, we have said “I’m sorry” to the other many, many times over the years.  {I was the one who usually would say it because I’m the one whose tongue would get her into trouble!}.  We agreed early on to keep short accounts.  That means we don’t wait and hold onto things.  We check with each other often.  We clear up any wrongs, slights, sins, etc that do occur.  We practice forgiveness.

We have created a safe, healthy, good environment in which to do so.  It didn’t happened overnight.  I certainly brought a few extra suitcases of “leftover childhood baggage” along for the first 10 years! That didn’t help, but it is very common.  He brought a little overnight bag with him.:-)  It takes effort and hard work, as well as lots and lots of patience.  Do you have the patience  to work with, and not against, your spouse in unpacking your suitcases? Helping him unpack his?

I worry about our ability to persevere these days.  I can’t tell you how often simple concepts seem foreign to my sons.  Take for example, “studying”.  To most of us over 35 years old, that equals “reading the chapter, taking notes, re-reading them again, going through flashcards”.  Actually doing something.  My sons don’t always get that.  My opinion is that since they can (and the teachers encourage them) and do retake tests, redo papers, there’s really no logical reason to study in the first place.  Just redo it. No big deal.  They don’t receive a big fat “0” like I did when I didn’t study!  Nothing bad really happens. So, why study in the first place? Where’s their motivation? Read More→

sunny dayDuring my high school career I was no thespian, however, I could act the fool when called upon. My friend was the thespian and starred in our senior high school play, “Finian’s Rainbow.” One of the musical numbers was, “When I’m not near the girl I love,
I love the girl I’m near.”

I have altered this title a little to fit my own needs. My version goes, “When I’m not in the season I love, I love the season I’m in.” It is a wonderful motto and has solved quite a few problems down the years. Just don’t ask me to sing it for you. I can, but you do not want to hear it… believe me.

At my age I have learned a thing or two. One of the things I have learned is that you might as well be content where you are at because that is where you are. All these people that are jumpy and nervous because they are not exactly where they want to be, waste a lot of precious time and energy.

I am old enough to appreciate where I am at. I could bemoan the fact that I’m not somewhere else, but what good would that do. I know I’m not at my destination yet, so I am determined to enjoy the journey and not miss one thing along the way.

This is the difference between the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly.

Just the other day her Majesty was complaining about the weather. “It’s so hot outside, I can hardly stand it.”

Of course, I could not resist saying, “Well, why don’t you sit down.” To which, she treated me to one of her infamous glares. Somehow, in the hot sunshine her glare did not have its normal effect. For one, she was too hot and did not have the energy to follow through on her glare.

But I love the summer. It is a wonderful time of the year and my affection for the season goes all the way back to my days in school.

I enjoy every aspect of summer and when God created summer, he created a masterpiece. Not a summer day goes by that I do not thank Him for the summer.

I need to get one thing quite clear. I am not one of those who lay out in the sun to get a suntan. That is not my cup of tea… or rather glass of lemonade. I do not fault those who lay out in the sun to get what they call a suntan. Rather, I feel sorry for those old saps. Why ruin a good day by laying in the sun? Read More→

website scrabbleby Trey Donaldson

Have you ever wondered why some seemingly beautiful websites fail and some inexpensive ones flourish? It appears that the amount of money put behind a website does not matter a lot. The success of a website or blog depends on how well engage with the content. Sites fail to live up to expectation because they overlook business objectives. Similarly, measuring online marketing is something modern businesses (big or small) want to do. We all agree that tracking data and numbers, without a dedicated tool, can be one tedious journey. Whatever your business is about, analysis software will always come in handy in getting performance data and stats. Here are a few platforms to consider for an enhanced marketing strategy.

Google Analytics Platform

Google Analytics may be a free tool, but do not think it does not serve the purpose. We have placed it first on this list for a good reason, that it is easy to use, but super effective. Sign up to the site, get a tracking code and get going. There are many ways of using this platform. For instance, you can get about page views, whereby you determine the popularity of individual pages. If you want to get information about different marketing mediums, view the pages by source.   Are you interested in referral traffic information? Google Analytics will give this information too.

It will also provide demographic reports, weighted sort and social referrals. That is why we say you should try out this platform. The platform should be around for a while, considering that it is from Google and that its updates and tweaks are regular.

 

Sumo Content Analytics

Sometimes you want a wide range of tools to add to content analytics, all in one package. Sumo is that kind of platform. Millions are already using this tool, so it is definitely adding value to websites and blogs. Sumo brings loads of benefits including higher website traffic, more social-shares and more subscribers to email list.  

Does it cost to get Sumo? You can still install the tool free, but this only for the branded version. However, cost is likely to increase with increase in traffic. The good thing is that this tool is good value for money, considering it comes with numerous apps, responsive support and timely updates. It is also easy to use.

 

Piwik

Like the previous two tools, Piwik is easy to use so you can download and start using it immediately. When you first use this platform, you will notice many similarities with other top solutions. It is compatible with almost any server you bring, updates data in real time and has numerous user-friendly features. Piwik offers advanced privacy for your data.  Do you want all the information as one package? You will love this platform for its detailed full report and back ups.

There is a pricier version that charges $29 per month, but if you are technically shrewd, you may stick to the free software.  That is why they say the software is sometimes uncomfortable to some people. However, considering the tools ease of setup and installation, flawless performance and richness of data, this platform is definitely recommendable for any website or blog owner.

In conclusion, the good thing with analytics platforms is that using them is usually very simple, yet the meaningfulness of the data provided is unquestionable. Once you get the intelligence and act upon it, there is no reason your website or blog should not improve over time. In an era when online marketing is so challenging, even the slightest improvements are worthwhile. So, get one of these awesome analytics platforms and take your business to the next level.

I often hear from people who are looking to work from home asking me about how to get started making money.  This can be a tricky question because there are simply so many factors to take into account.  Most times I attempt to gently steer them in the right direction, giving them tools that will help them make their way in the work-at-home world.

However, from time to time, I am contacted by someone who is looking to work from home out of sheer desperation.  These emails break my heart, as I sense their need and wish I could do so much more to help them.  Unfortunately, there are few (if any) ways to make money from home without putting in some solid time and effort. Even the people who claim to make “passive income” have often spent years putting those systems into place.

Like so many other areas of life, we must put forth the effort to receive the reward.  A person may be able to push there way into a business and even begin making sales rapidly. However, this, in the end, won’t lead to the lasting peace they are truly seeking.

You see, if I’ve learned anything over the last 17 years of working from home and helping others find ways to work from home, it’s that money isn’t an answer. At least, not a long-term one.

Money might be able to fill in some gaps and pay a few bills, but you can trust in money.

We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Which means that while money CAN be a quick solution, it won’t prevent hard times from coming. Not even the wealthy are immune from things ilke

  • Earthquakes
  • Stock Market Crashs
  • Death of a Loved One

So, what do we do instead? Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-systemsMany years ago, after I graduated from college, I was forced to become a secretary due to the grim job outlook at that time. I rankled at this idea for a long time. Frankly, administrative work is boring to me. I’d much rather be thinking of ideas or creating a product.

But now that I’m a business owner, I realize the importance of having administrative skills. And even more so since my husband just started his business and I am assisting him!

I have discovered that developing systems is the best way to handle administrative work. It not only helps with my sense of boredom, it helps me be more efficient so I have time to do what I really love!

So here are some of the systems that I’ve put in place. Maybe they’ll help you as they have helped me!

Marketing Blueprint. This is by far my most important system. I have outlined different types of marketing activities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Sometimes I don’t hit these goals, but it helps me be consistent. Because I keep pressing on and I resume that task the next time it comes around. I never have to wonder, “What am I going to do today?”

Planner. I created my own special planner to help me have laser focus on my time. As a business owner, homeschool mom, and wife to a freelance architect, my time is at a premium. I make sure I take time out to plan rather than be tossed about by urgencies and every whim. My time spent strategizing, praying, and planning is well worth it.

Financial. This is still a work in progress for us, but it is important to have in place financial software to help you run your business smoothly. The Bible urges us to “know well the flock of your herds.” Knowing what’s in your bank account, who owes you money, and if you need a person to sign a contract is very important when you run a business.

Read More→

Aug
10

Loving Your Unlovable Spouse

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meT2gaeNow there’s a catchy title, huh? I’m sure no one has an unlovable spouse now, do they? Well, hopefully not, right? Because this is where the rubber meets the road in marriage: learning to give love, respect and grace to another human being when they are NOT particularly giving those things to me in return.

Let me ask you this question: Do you REACT or RESPOND when your husband acts unkind, or says something that really hurts you? I know I reacted (and usually quite strongly) in the first 10 years of my marriage. I was usually thinking about getting my “rights” or making sure he knew what I was thinking or feeling about whatever topic we were discussing. I’ve learned the hard way that my reactions are not good for anyone really! Not for my husband or sons. I’ve also learned that my responses can come from God: I can hit the PAUSE button and THINK first before saying something unkind in return. I think a lot of marital disagreements and fights would not even start if I learn to practice a godly response.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the passage in Scripture (Matthew 5) where it states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, ….”. Jesus goes on to say, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” It is so easy to love when “I’m feeling it” or when you’re doing something I want you to do. But what do I do when that isn’t happening? Do I pout, get demanding, or sulk? Or do I talk it over with our God, who has both of our best interests in His Mind?

1 Peter 3:9: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” This can be so hard! This verse one ups it even more: I’m to bless the person who is hurting me! Ouch!

Talk about hard! Especially when my emotions are going full force (is there any other way ladies?) this will taken herculean effort on my part to go to Jesus, calm myself and respond in a way that honors God and the person.

Read More→

I have just celebrated my recent birthday. By now, it is getting to be old business for me. Just another day of the year to celebrate something, which just happens to be my birthday.

I believe that if it is my birthday, I should be able to celebrate whatever birthday I want to celebrate. You are only as old as you celebrate.

I am not embarrassed at how old I am, I just sometimes cannot remember the exact figure. Some of my friends are rather legalistic along this line and are demanding the exact number of my birthday. Is it really that important? Does it really matter how old you are?

Well, if you spoke to some of my friends it matters to them. For those of us, however, who have experienced a succession of birthdays it does not really matter.

Thinking of my birthday this past week I was trying to figure out what was my best birthday. All of them had certain significance to them. For example, my 16th birthday allowed me to drive the car. However, I could only drive the car when my father said I could drive the car.

My 21st birthday was very important because I then could get married. Back then, you could not get married unless you were 21 years of age. Before that, you had to have your parent’s permission. I have asked my parents for many things throughout the years, but I think asking to get married is just crossing the line somewhere.

Every birthday starts a new year of adventure and excitement. When you get older, adventure and excitement sort of goes away a little bit. It can be exciting to celebrate another birthday and wonder where you going to be at when your next birthday comes around.

Some people feel it’s a little negative to get older. If you do not get older, it means that you have… Well, you know the rest of that sentence. I find nothing negative about getting older. I find certain amenities are associated with getting older that I could not cash in when I was younger.

When I was younger, I could not get away with much of anything. Now that I am older, I can get away with things because I have a few niches I can use. “I’m sorry,” I often say to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, “I forgot all about that. You know I’m getting older now.”

She smiles and shakes an understanding head. It is wonderful to have an excuse for things of that nature.

For my birthday this year, I discovered something rather interesting. This year I discovered the amazing wonder of A.G.E. If you look at age from the proper perspective, you do get some very interesting enjoyments.

I suppose I should explain to you what I mean by A.G.E. It never occurred to me until this birthday celebration. A.G.E is simply Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I never saw this before, but then of course I was not old enough to appreciate it.

When I was young, I noticed my grandfather had some rather grumpy sessions and I did not quite understand. Now that I am approaching my grandfather’s age, I appreciate that grumpy attitude. Oh, the wonder of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance.

If I ever thought youth was exciting, it is nothing compared to this A.G.E. that I am experiencing right now. It is so wonderful to be grumpy whenever you choose.

I know some people are grumpy because they are just grumpy. That has nothing to do with this wonderful Aggressive Grumpy Elegance that I have discovered.

It takes quite a few decades to master this kind of attitude. I am delighted to say I have reached that stage in my life and I am mastering this part of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I just cannot say it often enough.

For example, when I want a quiet afternoon and maybe take a little bit of a nap, the result of this would be somebody saying, “Stay away from grandpa, he’s acting a little grumpy today.” The key to that is “acting.”

Some people are grumpy because they are grumpy, but those of us who have reached a certain level in life are grumpy because we are acting grumpy and to act grumpy takes a great deal of thespian skill.

If someone, and I will not mention the real name here, wants me to go shopping with her, all I need to do is put on the grumpy act. “Well,” she will say, “I guess you’re too grumpy to go shopping with me today!”

The person who has reached this level of A.G.E can turn it on when needed and turn it off when not needed. That is the “elegance” part of this whole business.

When the grandchildren are around making noise and excitement, I do not have to act grumpy. When their parents, however, come around that is the time when grumpy kicks in.

You have to know when to act grumpy and when not to act grumpy. That is the wonderful aspect of getting to the age I am at right now.

I believe Solomon understood this when he wrote, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29).

One of the great privileges in life is to earn that “grey head.” More important, to use that grey head in a positive, affirmative fashion.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship and an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals, including GUIDEPOSTS. “In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer,” Snyder’s first book, won the Reader’s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today.

Snyder has authored 35 books altogether. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores, Florida. Learn more about Rev. Snyder at WhataFellowship.com.

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