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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Mother & Daughter Enjoying Time TogetherIt is very easy to get hung up on the one hurtful thing we said that one time. Or, perhaps the time that we snapped, even when it goes directly against our better nature. The moments we question everything. And, there are plenty of things in life that will catch us off-guard, and we will have to make peace with. So you should. You should make peace with everything that you can and ask for forgiveness for those you can’t make right. But, what next? Well, the time spent feeling guilty or having on to regrets are of course much better spend enjoying things – something we could all do more. For every moment we spend beating ourselves up or holding on to negative emotions and feelings, we could be spending those with love and positivity. No one is perfect by any means but, spreading some good moments and appreciating them more? We can all get on board with that.

 

Laughing. We will never regret enjoying a good belly laugh with our most loved family and friends. Sitting around, eating popcorn (salted or sweet? Maybe toffee!) watching a movie. Blankets on the couch, warm thick socks, comfortable pillows and the rest of the house silent. The joy in laughing with family and friends is second to none. Some of the best times that we recall when we were children involves moments just like this. So go ahead and book in movie night with the kids. You will never regret these moments.

 

Learning. We have been gifted with these beautiful learning abilities. You might already have a few qualifications and are looking to upgrade them a bit, it might be time for a change. You might be pushed for time, like so many people, trying to fit in life, a full-time job and maybe even freelance work too. Luckily many online portals can help you tackle that time issue. Everything from journalism to rn to bsn online programs are available, so nothing is holding you back. You will never regret learning more than you know now.

 

Cooking. Admittedly we can’t all be brilliant home cooks, some of us are likely getting by with simple meals, but you know what? Simple meals are something to be loved. Many a tale is told by children who enjoyed the simplest meals the most. If you think you could do with working on your recipe base a bit more, then hit the internet hard, create a Pinterest profile and get a board ready for all the fantastic things you’re going to cook for you and your family (or friends). Try and get a few ‘fancier’ meals in there too. Think about slow cooker roasts, curries and rice dishes. Warm and cooked with love. You’ll never regret watching someone enjoy something you’ve cooked for them.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Being Open to Change by Rachel WilliamsonBalancing the need to persevere and stick to it vs. being open to change.

How do you judge when to make a change? Is there a correct time to abandon a project?

Let’s look at the motivation behind the decision. Are you sticking because of stubbornness; someone told you that you had to do it; perhaps someone told you that you couldn’t do it. Or maybe doing what you are doing has become so comfortable that changing now would be painful.

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According to the latest American Community Survey data, there are approximately 2.8 million people, not including the self employed or unpaid volunteers, who consider home their primary place of work. The struggling American economy has created the need for companies to cut back as much as possible. This has created growth in the work-at-home industry as it allows companies to save on expenses like office space, equipment and insurance costs.

However, the telecommuting world can be a hard place to get your foot in the door. Linda Dickerhoof, Public Relations Director at VIPDesk, one of the leading virtual concierge and virtual customer service providers in the United States, reports that they receive as many as two hundred resumes a day. With that kind of competition, it’s imperative that you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when applying for telecommuting employment.

1. Do Your Research – This is, by far, the most crucial aspect of your work-at-home job search. There are many legitimate companies that hire at-home employees. However, in order to weed out at-home job scams, you need to know what “red flags” to look for.  A legitimate work-at-home opportunity won’t ask you for any sort of “affiliation fee,” nor will they send you any type of list of employers to contact.

A legitimate opportunity will also not offer an unrealistic salary. The ads that you see offering $5k/wk with no experience usually are just what they sound – too good to be true. Avoid work-at-home opportunities advertised via infomercials, signs taped to a lamp-post, stop signs or via spam e-mail. Always check with the Better Business Bureau to see what type of reputation the company you are considering has, then follow up with an Internet search to see what is being said about the company in blogs, on twitter, and in the mainstream media.

2. Resume Success  – Applying for a working-at-home position should be treated just like any other job application process. The company may allow you to work from home, but they will not tolerate an unprofessional attitude. In fact, it’s highly unlikely that your resume will be selected if it’s anything less than top-notch.

In order to get ahead, put together a professional resume outlining your job experience and highlighting any special skills or training applicable to the position you’re applying for. Keep your resume to one page, if possible.

3. Interviews Are Important – The interview process is more critical than usual in the work-at-home world because the interviewer will not be meeting you face to face. Most at-home employers have a strenuous screening process to filter out applicants who do not fit the professional standards required.

Prepare ahead of time for questions not only about your employment background, but also about what your home work environment will be like (they do not want to hear animals or children in the background). Interviewers will be listening intently to how you present yourself over the phone, so be as prepared and professional as possible.

4. Know What To Expect – One of the best ways to succeed in any career is to know what your employer expects of you. Before your interview, put together a list of questions that will help you understand what to expect from the employer, and what they expect from you. Ask about things like training, support offered during work hours, and specific job expectations.

5. Get Set Up – Once you’ve begun the process of searching and applying for telecommuting positions, it’s time to make sure your home workspace is appropriate. Most employers will be looking for you to have a noise-free home office that includes: a landline phone, a computer (most companies will have specific computer requirements that will need to be met),  and high speed internet.

If possible, do your research ahead of time to ensure that your home office set up will work for a telecommuting opportunity. There are some employers who provide the necessary equipment, but most will require you to have these items in place.

Telecommuting can be one of the most rewarding career decisions available today. It provides flexibility and scheduling that many other types of employment are unable to offer. Prepare yourself to stand out from the job applicant crowd and you’ll find yourself with a remarkable new job in no time.

 

Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggervegetable isleIn our house, not many conflicts expose themselves. For the most part, it is a very quiet and serene home occupied by two lovebirds.

I am not saying we are perfect. For we are not. The imperfect side of this marvelous relationship is Yours Truly. I was born imperfect and I have honored my birthright ever since.

I do not care what some may say about crazy people, I have enjoyed my craziness all my life. When you are perfect, you have to be careful that you do not make any mistake or act crazy.

When, however, you are imperfect and tilt towards the crazy side of life, your life is a joy. If you make a mistake, well, that is part of life. But on the positive side, when you do something right, you become the amazement of people around you.

So, our relationship in the Parsonage has been a very wonderful relationship. At least, from my side of the room. What the other resident says may be quite different.

We do make a great team, though. I can break anything and she can fix anything. How much better do you need to be?

When I make a mistake, she can correct me even in front of people. Now that is what I like. I would hate people to think I am stupid, crazy is one thing but stupid is something altogether different. And it is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage that consistently rescues me from being stupid.

Being a non-perfectionist, I can enjoy every day of my life, no matter what happens or what doesn’t happen.

I cannot imagine what life is like for that person who is a perfectionist, like my wife.

She sees something that needs fixing, and she is busy trying to fix it.

If something is out of place, she is the first one to put it in its place. She has put me in my place for many years.

Few things we disagree on but there is one thing on top of that list. They can be boiled down into one word, Vegetables.

My wife loves vegetables almost as much as I love apple fritters. I do not think since the day she was born a day has passed without her consuming some kind of vegetable. She knows vegetables like I know apple fritters. There is not a vegetable known to mankind that she has not consumed.

Even for breakfast, she likes to sneak in some kind of vegetable. With my oatmeal, for example, she likes to sneak in a carrot. What in the world do carrots have to do with breakfast?

Her response to this is simply, “Vegetables are good for you and it’s good to start the day off with a vegetable.”

For her sake, I will grudgingly put up with some vegetables. Some vegetables, however, I will not put up with, I have made my stand strong through the years and I have not moved. Leading the list would be Broccoli.

Yes, I know all of the benefits of eating broccoli. My wife has told me this over and over throughout the years and I can repeat it verbatim. Read More→

Customers always want to get the most value, and that value means both money and time. The more value that you offer your customers, the more likely they will be to purchase from you. It truly is that simple. However, achieving the right level of value provision is a challenge that will need a robust and proactive strategy. Providing the right kind of value is essential, but it will depend on your sector and your branding. If you’re not focusing your strategy on those areas, then the chances are that what you are currently providing is minimal, and that will reflect clearly on your bottom line. If you want to offer the right value, then these key areas should be your starting point.

 

Becoming an authority

The more that your customers see you as an authority in your field, the more trust they will place on your business. Look at your sector, and consider the reasons why someone might come to visit your website. If they come looking for answers to a question and you don’t have the answer to that question, then they have received no value and will seek it elsewhere.

 

Boost authority
There are several ways to do this, with content marketing the proven key to authority establishment. If your current marketing strategy is not working as well as you hoped, it may be time to focus on value by making use of professional experts. The experts at companies such as Click Intelligence are able to fine-tune your marketing goals and provide a clearly focused strategy that adds real value. Look at ways to improve your authority, and your value will grow organically.

 

Understanding consumer needs

The more that you know about what your customers want from you, the better you will be able to provide them with value. Any business that has not yet carried out an exhaustive market research campaign in order to understand the basics of their current customer base is going to be working with incomplete data. Make it a priority to understand who your customers are, as well as their habits and ways of using the internet. Look at your social media platforms and only prioritize those that you know your audience is using. You should know what devices they are using, what times of day they are most likely to be online, and most importantly, what they are looking for from your business. The more that you know, the more that you will be able to target your growth more accurately.

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Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Tell us about your new novel, Ours for a Season.

Ours for a Season probably combines the most incompatible list of themes I’ve ever tried to meld into a single story: infertility, marital discord; questioning one’s faith; life-long friendship; homelessness; a serious health challenge; rebuilding a ghost town… But if I were to encapsulate it all into one thematic idea, I would say this is a story about starting anew. There’s a wonderful old hymn with the phrase, “Morning by morning new mercies I see…” That is what this story is about: God’s mercies blooming fresh in people’s lives.

 

Most of the book takes place in a Kansas ghost town. Being from Kansas yourself, are there any real places that remind you of the ghost town?

Several years ago, my critique partners and I visited a nearly abandoned Kansas town called Elgin. The crumbling buildings in the business district made my heart ache. One could imagine the once-thriving community and the pride the owners must have taken in operating their stores. One of my critique members commented that it was too bad we didn’t have the money to bring everything back to life, and the idea of restoring the historical structures sort of got tangled with the idea of rebuilding broken spirits and emerged in this story.

 

The book touches on human trafficking. How did you become interested in this topic?

I’ve always had a soft spot for people who suffer from abuse, especially sexual abuse. The subject of trafficking became personal to me when the young teen daughter of one my daughter’s neighbors was missing for several months and eventually rescued from the man who was pimping her out (such an ugly thought). If a child from small-town Kansas can get caught up in this net, it’s far too prevalent. The effects of being used in such a vile way by people who claim to care about you are deep and agonizing, and we all—every single person—need to take a stand and do what we can to put this soul-stealing industry out of business.

 

The book is in memory of your dear writing friend and author Diann Hunt. Can you tell us more about how she inspired this story?

Diann died in December of 2013 after a lengthy battle with ovarian cancer. Although the cancer ravaged her body, it never stole her faith or her infectious love for life. She wrote on Facebook on a day when she was feeling particularly low physically, “Stop! Right where you are. What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Hear? Root yourself in this very moment. Memorize it. Life is made up of these. Don’t be so consumed by the past or with the future that you are blinded to your moment. Right now. The one you’re given by Almighty God to make a difference. Go out and live for Jesus today, my friends! I mean REALLY live!! You can do it! Start now. Ready. Set. Go!” She so loved Jesus (she glowed Jesus) and she so loved laughter (you couldn’t help but laugh when in her presence) and so loved life… She’s been gone now for several years, but she lives in the hearts and memories of her family members and many who had the pleasure of calling her friend. Brooke and Marty were to each other what Diann was to many of us—steadfast, encouraging, and ever loving. She wanted to make a difference, just as Brooke wanted to make a difference. Brooke did, and so did Diann.

 

What can you tell us about what you’re working on next?

Next out of the chute is a historical story set at the Cotton States and International Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1895. Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children and expected to stay home and “take care of Mama,” becomes a silkworm weaver at the exposition in hopes of snagging a beau wealthy enough to support both her and her mother so she can have her own home and family while still honoring her siblings’ expectations. Of course, what we want isn’t always what God deems best for us. The story is called A Silken Thread and will release in early April of next year.

 

Where can readers find more information about Ours for a Season?
Please visit the WaterBrook website or my website: www.KimVogelSawyer.com.

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Pebbles JacoboIn selling online, whether a service or a product, it is important to build a rapport with your target audience. Even with online sales, it is in our human nature to want and need to trust who and where we make purchases. What kind of relationship do you have with your target audience? Here are my top five tips for building a relationship with your target audience:

  1. Avoid “Multiple-Personality Posting.” Establish who you are and/or what your company is all about. Step back and objectively review your tweets, updates and posts. Do they look like they come from the same person or entity or from various persons? Think about every post and update and what they tell your audience about you and/or your company.
  2. Offer Value with Every Post. While you want to change things up and vary the info you offer to your clients, be careful not to overload your audience with excessive info that only serves to add to the number of posts to your account. Are you posting just to add another feather in your hat or to add value to the lives of your audience? Every time you post a link to your website or blog,
  3. Interact With Your Audience Instead of Tweeting At. This makes a huge difference. When authors step off their pedestal and interact with their audience they become more real to their audience. The same goes whether blogging, posting and interacting with comments on Facebook and tweeting. Beginning this dialogue is essential to your survival online, especially if you want long-term, repeat and happy clients. Anybody can schedule posts and walk away from the computer. I challenge you to take your social media marketing actions a step further, beginning with relationships.
  4. Listen. Going hand in hand with interacting with your audience is listening. What does your audience want? What do they need? What are they seeking? Why do they return to your account? What draws them there? Knowing the needs of your target audience will help to build your relationship.
  5. Keep Your Private Life…Private. Be cautious of what you post online. I encourage all of my social media marketing clients to have separate professional and personal accounts. Your clients do not need to know what you had for lunch or that spouse’s snoring kept you up all night. Likewise, you want to be careful not to spam your friends and family with posts about your business.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pebbles Jacobo is the owner of A&P Virtual Enterprises, http://apvirtualenterprises.com, which she, with the guidance of her husband, started when she began  working from home as a virtual assistant several years ago. As Content Manager of the leading Christian work-at-home site online, CWAHM.com, Pebbles found herself thoroughly intrigued and fascinated with the world of social media. Her love of social media has grown over the years and she now offers social media marketing, along with a host of services, to her clients, which include speakers, authors and entrepreneurs alike.   This article is free to publish as long as the bio remains.

 

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