The Life Verse Creative Journals by Jana Magruder and Morgan Grace Magruder are a great way to both relax and spend time in God’s Word. The set comes with both a blank journal for writing (or drawing if you are more talented than I am) and a coloring book full of verses and pictures. It’s a great set to kickstart a new journaling habit or to give as a gift.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t so sure that I would enjoy coloring as an adult. As a child coloring drove me crazy because I could never get the pictures to look as pretty in real life as I imagined them in my head. And I was so concerned about staying in the lines, that it was more stressful than relaxing. However, I do find it to be more therapeutic now that I’m older. I do still stray out of the lines once in a while, and the pictures are still prettier in my head, but I am much more relaxed about it. Especially since I don’t plan to ever show them to anyone else. 🙂
These journals are a nice way to spend some quality time meditating on Scripture, talking to the Lord, and relaxing.
* I received these books from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
As long as I can remember, and at my age that does not go back very far, I have always been an early riser. I do not like to stay in bed any longer than I have to. So much I want to do and so little time I need an early start every day.
I have always used Benjamin Franklin’s motto for myself, “Early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.” Unfortunately, my early to bed and early to rise maybe has made me healthy, but certainly not wealthy or wise.
This past week an event happened that challenged my “early to rise” regimen.
As usual, I rose early and headed for the kitchen for my cup of coffee. There is no way I can start a day without first indulging in my early morning cup of Joe. Nothing starts the day off better than a hot cup of coffee.
I am not sure who invented coffee, but I sure would like to buy them a cup of coffee and shake their hand. People, who do not really know any better, complain that coffee is bad for your health. Believe me when I say the absence of my coffee is bad for everybody’s health around me.
I go to bed early dreaming of that first cup of coffee when I rise.
Stumbling to the kitchen, I stubbed my toe twice walking down the hallway and then tried to turn on the kitchen lights. I am very careful to be quiet so as to not awaken the other resident in the house. She is the sort of person that needs her rest. I am the kind of person that wants her to have all the rest she can get. Therefore, I tried to quietly go to the kitchen and turn on the coffee pot.
When I flipped the light switch, nothing happened. I mumbled to myself that the light bulb probably burnt out. Have you ever noticed that that happens when you need the light the most? How many times does a light bulb go out during the day?
I tried several light switches in the kitchen and the dining room and none worked. “Well,” I thought to myself, “I will start the coffee.” I fumbled my way to where the coffee pot was and turned the switch on. Nothing happened.
I then went to turn on the TV to catch some early news and nothing happened.
There was no electricity at all in the house. My challenge was to make sure the electricity works before my wife got up. I could not let her know that we had no electricity.
Nothing I did restored any kind of electricity in our house.
Then it happened.
My wife came stumbling down the hallway and the first thing out of her mouth was, “Turn the lights on.”
I explained to her that there was no electricity and nothing was working in the house.
The next thing out of her mouth was, “Did you pay the electric bill?”
That did occur to me and there was a good probability that I had not paid the electric bill.
Fortunately, I had my cell phone and was able to call the electric company only to find out that the electricity in our neighborhood was out and the restoration in our neighborhood was estimated to be at around 10 o’clock.
How in the world can I survive without my cup of coffee until 10 o’clock in the morning? The whole world is in danger!
I never realized how important electricity was. I just took it for granted, paid the bill every month and just enjoyed the appliances and the lights and most important of all, the coffee pot.
As much as I love my coffee pot, it does not work without the electricity. I had a few words with the coffee pot, but it did not do any good. It wanted electricity and would not work until it had electricity. How legalistic!
Standing around in the darkness of the early morning my wife and I stared at each other, at least I think we were staring at each other, and wondering what in the world we could do. I was so afraid she would come up with a solution. She always does, you know. No matter what I break, she can fix. Now we had this problem before us.
Then she said those terrible anticipated words, “Why don’t we go out for breakfast this morning?”
Being married as long as I have been, I realized this was not a question requiring an answer, but rather it was something she wanted us to do. And so, off to the restaurant we went for our early morning coffee.
What I want to know is, will the electric company reimburse me for my early morning breakfast? After all, it is their fault that we had to go out. If I ever miss paying my bill, they always charge me late fees. Turnabout, I believe, is fair play.
I appreciate what David said, “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalms 84:11).
Many times, we never miss something until it is no longer available. I do not want that to happen to me concerning God’s grace and mercy in my life.
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.
People are choosing to work from home for many reasons these days. It saves money on gas and wear and tear on vehicles. It’s a good way to be able to stay home with your family but still make money.
For some Christians it can be difficult to find work that adheres with your beliefs, or find a company that does. Hobby Lobby doesn’t have enough jobs to hire everyone, and maybe you simply want to be your own boss.
It is possible to make a living as a creative person, from home. You probably won’t get rich, and you won’t be making a living immediately, but those things are possibilities as you gain experience and get your products out there. Here are some creative job ideas to get you started.
Sell Some Artwork
If you have a creative hand and can draw or paint, get at it. People love to decorate their homes with art, and your art may just be the next piece they purchase. You can create Christian art, or anything that catches your fancy. Look to art galleries and museums, like Park West Gallery, for some inspiration.
You can sell your art through local galleries, get out of the house once in awhile and sell at art shows or flea markets, or you can sell online through sites like Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
Become An Author
There are many people that make thousands of dollars a month on residuals simply from ebooks they sell through Amazon. From self help books to romance, authors make a good deal of money writing online these days, and you can do. You just need to start writing.
You will need to get some work posted and start gaining a following. That will mean sharing your books with people via social media, maybe even blogging, and it will also mean starting with lower prices until you gain a good following and interest in what you have to write about.
Do Stock Photography
There are many sites offering stock photos these days, and with all of the blogging going on it’s a much needed commodity. Find something that not a lot of people are taking pictures of and you could make a good deal of money. While you might make pennies a picture, the more pictures you have available that people want, the more money you can make.
Consider product photos, nature photos, and even food photos. These are some of the things that seem to be used most often when it comes to blogging.
If you like to make crafts you can use that to make income. Sure, everyone knows at least one person that knows how to knit, but can they do the same things as you? You can make a good deal during holidays, but you also have options like Etsy for selling year round.
If you like to get away from home once in awhile, craft shows and even the local farmer’s market offer great places for you to sell your crafts to a wider, more local audience as well.
You have probably heard this priority list before. It makes sense. God first. Family second. Work third.
But how do we practically apply it?
If we view work as ministry, and as a means to supply financially for our families, then the God, family, work priority starts to get blurred. The lines in between are not black and white and hardly even gray. Rather all three start to swim together and our motives, priorities, and time management become cloudy in the mix of this complicated life of being a work at home mom, endeavoring to raise godly kids, be a servant of God and minister to the needs of clients who come for ordinary work projects but spill to us a broken heart.
Do you find yourself trying so hard to minister to all, yet trying to keep afloat amidst the needs that press in upon you?
When the phone rings and a friend wants to talk because she has been facing a tough situation, I want to pause to pray with them, to counsel. Yet in the background hungry mouths wait to be fed, it’s lunch time, not ideal for phone chat.
I want God to be first so I could convince myself that this phone call is of utmost importance because I am serving God as I provide a sounding board for this friend. But I could also convince myself that the children must come first because God says that taking care of my children is a godly undertaking.
Too many choices.
None seem clear when examining the facts. In the midst of that stress rises because we want to do right. It is our desire to do this life the right way to bring glory to the father. But how then shall we choose?
And I am reminder we are sent the Holy Spirit S counselor and guide who will give us all wisdom. How quickly we forget that He longs to enter in to everyday life to give wisdom now in this moment. He can enter in.
Think about Peter. Jesus told Him to get out of the boat and walk told Him. Peter started. He got out of the boat and began to walk on water but for a moment He took His eyes off the source of life and he began to go down.
If you are like me you may have started this journey by faith; Faith that God was calling you to work from home. But at some point perhaps our eyes have drifted to our circumstance, the vast amount of responsibilities before us and our inability. We find ourselves sinking- drowning. The water rises up to our chin and panic can nearly encase us and we fear we are going under.
It happens to me more often than I like to admit and I find myself silently screaming from the depths of desperation. “Help God I can’t do this…” And begin to list to Him all the things I can’t do.
And He whispers fix your eyes on me the author and perfect of your faith.
That’s it. That’s the answer! The only answer that truly will solve our dilemmas.
Look to Jesus, abide in the vine and you will bear much fruit!
By Naomi Fata
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Naomi Fata is a small business owner, operating a sewing business, Love Stitches by Naomi, out of her home. She is passionate about encouraging other moms who are looking for home based employment. Naomi is also the author of Beyond Head Knowledge; Knowing Christ who Satisfies our Hearts. In all things, whether through writing, business or homemaking, her vision is that God’s love would shine through. She is married with three children, and will begin her homeschooling journey in the fall of 2015 as her oldest begins kindergarten. You can connect with Naomi at her blog, facebook, andtwitter.
Color. It’s become increasingly important in marketing, especially with the rise of the Internet. Years ago color was not so prevalent as it is today. Companies saved money by printing in grayscale or by just using one or two colors.
But not so today. The Internet especially is highly competitive. You have only a few seconds for your brand to stand out. And color is one of the most effective ways to do that.
But how do you choose your brand’s colors? Here’s some ideas to get you inspired:
1) Think about your personality if the company is based on you. For instance, you are a coach, speaker, trainer, etc.
That’s pretty much how I chose the colors for my logo. I chose my favorite colors. Now as this has changed over the years, my logo has changed, too.
2) Think about the characteristics of your company. Is it traditional, modern, cutting edge, inspirational?
When we chose colors for my husband’s architectural business, we wanted very classy traditional colors. He had a smoky blue shirt that I thought fit this criteria very well. I took pictures of him in front of an old building in town with beautiful, solid pillars since the name of his company is Essential Pillar Architecture.
That building had some maroon/burgundy colors that I incorporated into the logo. Thus it was a nice contrast of the smoky blue and burgundy. And that carried a masculine connotation for the logo which was fitting for my husband’s business.
3) Use a color wheel. Color theory is basic to art. And that’s what you want to guide you. Design has certain principles and the color wheel is basic to these principles. Choosing complimentary colors and contrasting colors is very important when creating your brand/logo image.
4) Realize that color communicates feelings. For instance, red portrays excitement, orange urgency, and blue is calming. Purple connotes royalty while yellow is cheerful.
So choose your colors and what exactly you are trying to communicate with your brand. This speaks to the very essence of your company, the reason why you exist.
5) Google color palettes, search them on Pinterest, or choose them from a Pantone book. You will want to choose three or four colors that when combined are aesthetically appealing and match the message that you are communicating through your brand. Read More→
Operating a successful home-based business is a time-consuming endeavor. This is doubly true as work-at-home moms in that we are responsible not only for the success of our business, but for our family as well. We must be self-reliant, self-motivated, and discipline ourselves in order to attain success in both areas.
When running a business from home, it’s easy to let the phone calls, emails and paperwork keep you tied down, making you feel that you don’t have time to take a break or to spend quality time with your family. Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend a little more time than you’d like in front of your computer or on the phone. Maybe you see your kids acting out, trying to gain your attention. Perhaps you are seeing that this isn’t the work-at-home dream you envisioned. You started out with such noble intentions, but maybe the excitement of success in your business has caused you to lose sight of the REAL reason you do what you do each day. It happens to so many of us, but don’t worry, help is on the way.
Below are five ideas to prioritize your life and business:
1. Be Honest – You probably didn’t start your work-at-home career to climb the “corporate ladder” of your at-home business. Chances are that you started your business with the best of intentions – to be able to be at home with your children, to contribute financially to your family, or simply to have a little spending money of your own.
Take a moment and honestly ask yourself how you’ve been handling the time commitment of owning a business:
- Are you spending too much time on the phone, the computer, etc?
- Are your kids spending more time than usual in front of the TV?
- Do you snap at your children because of the stresses of your business?
- Do you worry about your business – to the point that it distracts you when you are with your family?
2. Make A List – Sit down and write out a list of things that you see that you’d like to change. This can be a list of things you can do differently to limit the time you spend on your business; or a list of ways you can “de-stress” so that you can deal kindly with your family. Read More→
I am notorious for losing things. I do not know what it is about me, but I cannot keep track of anything I own. If you want to lose something and never find it again, simply put it into my trust. I am the king of losing things. My problem is, I do not lose the right things.
Why I am so klutzy in this area is beyond my ability to comprehend. Some of my most treasured items have been lost for all time. Even the other day I lost a lot of time searching for something I could not find. That is the reason I try not to become attached to anything I own.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage has become frustrated many times because of something she gave me and it is now no longer to be found anywhere this side of the blue moon. She has given me lecture after lecture along this line dealing with personal responsibility and as always, I take personal responsibility for losing everything that I have.
What more can I possibly say?
A few things that I have lost I kinda wished I had back. I remember a pocket knife I was quite attached to and headed for quite a while until one day there was nowhere to be found. Believe me, I looked everywhere. Of course, I could not have looked everywhere or I probably would have found it. Why is it that when you lose something you usually find it in the last place you look?
The one question that I ponder more than anything else is, where do things go when they are lost? Is there a particular place where lost things gather and have a party until someone finds them? If there is I would like to know where that place is. Of course, with my luck, that place is lost.
Everything I have lost throughout life I have gotten over. The aforementioned pocket knife, I have replaced at least 27 times. It would be great one day to find all 27 of those lost knives? Then I would march my way to eBay!
I have gotten over just about everything that I have lost and adjusted my life to not having that particular thing. There is one thing, however, that I still have not gotten over.
I am not exactly sure when I lost it, because I did not really use it that much. Oh, once in a while I might have used it, but not very regularly. Read More→