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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What an amazing thing to be able to learn Hebrew online, from the comfort of my home! The Israel Institute of Biblical Studies allows students to learn from passionate and experienced teachers – from Israel – through live video lessons. It also allows you to connect with fellow students from around the globe. When it comes to opportunities like this, I’m so glad to be living in this technological age!

The class that I was a part of was a 9 month class, which met every week via a live webinar.  The best part about it was that if I missed a class, a recording was provided so I could catch up without missing a beat.  The professor also shared extra information regularly, such as articles to help us better understand the concepts we were learning in class. What an amazing experience!

Learn more about the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies HERE or sign up to take a class yourself!

Categories : Jill's Blog
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As we’re moving from spring into summer, we all have a moment or two where we look forward to summer because of its slower pace.  When summer arrives, in all its glory, we then recognize the lie that we had been telling ourselves. Summer is crazy busy.

Between pool parties, summer sports and sleepovers, how will we ever fit working in to our schedule? Here are a few tips on how to make it work.

Plan Your Work Times

I know it seems impossible, but planning work times into your schedule is something we must learn to do. Each day holds something different during the summer it seems, so we may have to do things like get up early and work, plan out work during naptimes or stay up late and burn the midnight oil.

Know Your Priorities

Knowing when you’re going to work is only half the battle. It can be easy to say to ourselves that we’ll work during naptime, but then we sit down to get to work and don’t know where to start. So, one simple technique is to keep a running list of projects and tasks, ordered by priority. If I know exactly what I need to work on when I sit down, I’m much more likely to get it accomplished.

Be Flexible

It’s easy to say we’ll follow a schedule in the summer, but it’s a much harder task to actually stick to it. Kids throw a lot of variables into the mix, so we must keep ourselves in the attitude of adjusting as necessary. We’ll also have those days when we sense God calling us to rest or to visit someone specific or whatever it might be. We need to be sensitive to His leading and flexible with our schedules. Read More→

May
15

Avoiding Distractions

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emailDo you find yourself checking your email every five minutes? Or chatting on the phone when you are supposed to be working? Distractions are a part of life, but that doesn’t mean they have to control your days. Here are a few ideas to help you keep on task.

Close your email and get off social media

This may seem simple, but, at least for me, it can be hard not only to close my email, but also to STAY out of my email program. When a task needs to be done, the best way to focus is to shut your email program, turn your phone off (or mute it) and distance yourself from any other distracting technology items. You’ll be amazed at how much more you will accomplish – and how much more efficiently you work.

Find Time Alone

As a work-at-home mom, this is by far the hardest distraction-buster to accomplish. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve found that I can get most of my work done while my kids are at school. However, when they were still small and home with me all day, I tended to work in small chunks. Twenty minutes here while they watched a little T.V. or half and hour here while they played outside (and many times I sat outside with my laptop so I could keep an eye on them.

Another tactic I used was to trade babysitting time with a friend who also needed some “alone time” or to ask family members for help. Be creative!

Make a List

This is my go-to tip when people ask me how to become more productive. I couldn’t get nearly as much done without my lists. If plan out tasks with lists of steps that need to be accomplished. I make an outline out of an idea to see if it is feasible. And when I’m writing I outline what I want to say. I find that if I have an outline, I’m much more likely to take on the task and actually complete it. Read More→

May
08

Prepping Your Business For Summer

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beach playI can hardly believe it, but another school year is coming to a close. As I stumble through this month of end-of-school parties (not to mention my own graduation from Grad School-yay!), I find myself left with very little time in which I can actually get “work” done. Which leads me to wonder – what will the summer look like if I’m already in such a jumble?

So, I’ve decided that in order to start the summer off right, I need to take some time NOW to get my mind and heart ready.  Here are some things I’ve decided to do to get ready for the new season God has for my business – maybe they’ll help you, too.

Set Aside Time

It’s easy to forget the importance of setting aside time to work on our business in and of itself. We are commonly focused on our customers, daily tasks and the like that we don’t take time to think solely about what the future holds for our business.

As we near the end of this school year, let’s dedicate a couple of solid hours to sit down and dream a little, plan a little. If you have a team of people that you work with, consider pulling them all together (provide some Starbucks, of course) and have a brainstorming session.

Set Goals

During the time that you set aside to “think business,” make it a point to set goals for the summer and fall. I generally make a list – 3 months goals, 6 month goals, etc – to help aid me as I plan out where I see my business heading for the upcoming months.

Try to stretch yourself in your goal-setting. Be specific and make some of your goals measurable so that when you look back next year, you can truly see the growth your business has experienced. And then cover each goal in prayer throughout the year. Read More→

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May
05

Review: Armed With Truth Temporary Scripture Tattoos

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When I was offered the chance to review the Armed With Truth temporary scripture tattoos, I jumped at the chance. Why, you ask? Because I think they are an incredibly creative and powerful way to memorize Scripture.

I have often joked, when God causes one Scripture or another to stand out to me, that I should get it tattooed on so that I won’t forget it.  The Armed With Truth temporary scripture tattoos are a great way to make this actually happen, without committing to a lifetime tattoo, which I’ve personally never been able to do…maybe someday.

In the meantime, however, I can use these short Scripture tattoos to continually remind me of verses that I want to remember, to memorize, to let seep into the depths of my heart.

I chose to start out with the simple but beautiful truth of  “be still” from Ps. 46:10.

It was so easy to put on that next time I’ll try a large portion of Scripture, like this image from their website:

If you’d like to try out you’re own pack of Armed With Truth temporary scripture tattoos, you can find them at

https://www.armedwithtruth.com/

and use the code cwahm for 20% off!

And there’s a giveaway, too!

Armed With Truth Emboldened Giveaway! (Contest on Hive.co)

Categories : Jill's Blog
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May
01

Spring Cleaning: Getting Your Business In Order

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IPurple crocus at a park, opening to the sun and heralding Springt’s spring! That means sunshine, rainbows and daisies, right? It also means that it’s time to spring clean – and not just your house, but your business as well. Each spring I set some time aside to clear the cobwebs off projects that I’ve set aside and take stock of what needs to be put in order now that spring is dawning.

Evaluate

I start off by taking a look and what IS working as well as what ISN’T working in my business. I hate to admit it, but not every grand idea that I come up with works in reality. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to try new things; and it’s ok for some of those things to fail. The trial-and-error process is one way that we can determine what our customers are looking for. Don’t be afraid to make changes to existing products or programs if you see they aren’t bringing in the results that you had hoped for.

Emphasize

Do you customers know all that you have to offer? Often when I’m re-organizing I realize that I haven’t given the proper amount of promotion or attention to programs that I already have in place. This is a great time to re-launch a product or program that has not been made widely accessible to your audience. Consider how you can best highlight this under-promoted item – you may not even need to make changes at this time, just make people aware.

Excite

In order to make sales, we need to get our customers excited about our business and our products. This may be the perfect time to offer new special promotions or run a sale. Or, maybe it’s time to develop a new product or service to reach a new section of your ever-growing business market. Read More→

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Apr
28

Your Path to Working From Home

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Working from home is a goal that many people want to achieve, but fail to reach because they aren’t sure how to approach it. The first hurdle is money; how can you sustain your living if you don’t have a large amount of savings to your name? The second hurdle is knowledge; what can you do with your knowledge, do you need to learn new skills, and what career choices are there for you to work from home? Lastly, we think about job security; why risk your comfortable 9 to 5 job for a chance at working from home on your own terms?

Hurdle 1: Finance

If you want to save money to stay home, then you need to learn how to budget. Write down a list of your expenses, try to cut down on luxuries, and start saving money while you still have a job. Try to reduce as much as possible and start utilizing some frugal measures in order to save more cash. You’re going to need quite a lot of money to sustain yourself while you’re making the transition from regular day job to working from home, and you’ll need even more money if you want to invest in starting a business or hardware and equipment to make your at-home job possible. Don’t skimp on essentials, but practice living a frugal life so that you can prepare yourself when you leave your work.

 

Hurdle 2: Knowledge

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much money nowadays to study online and there are thousands of courses to pick from. For example, Find Your Context is a fantastic website for people who want to study online but aren’t sure about their choices or what they should pick. With so many choices available, it can be hard trying to discern what’s the best option for your at-home career choice. In most cases, a creative course such as writing or design will make a great freelancing career. However, if you want to start a business, then having a good foundation with business studies will be essential to starting up your own company. If you already have knowledge of a creative skill, then t might be worth spending your free evenings researching how to become a freelancer. With some hard work and a bit of luck, you might even be able to moonlight as a freelancer while still working your day job. It will give you some experience and a taster of what it’s like to work from home.

 

Hurdle 3: Job Security

Let’s face it, working from home means that you’re going to be reliant on clients. If you start a business, it also means that you could fail at any moment, and it’s never a fun feeling to realize that your company is going to collapse and you have no backup plan. If possible, stick with your job for as long as possible. Reduce your hours if you have to, but try to secure as many streams of income as possible, or save up a lot of money to use while you’re out of work.

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Apr
24

Saving Money To Stay Home

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Usually when I write something having to do with working from home, it’s about how to create an income. However, making money isn’t the only necessary ingredient in the stay-at-home recipe. The flip side of the coin is making some sacrifices and finding ways to save money.

When my husband and I first made the decision that I would leave the corporate world in favor of working from home, we knew it was going to take more than just me finding a way to bring in money from home. The amount that I would be making was half – or maybe even less – than I made at my corporate job. We needed to find a way to make it on his Air Force salary and my very small financial contribution.

Get Rid Of Non-essentials

In order to cut out some of our living costs, we sold one of our cars and for the next several years I drove around a lovely (I use that term loosely) car that had been my grandmothers. It certainly wasn’t my dream car, but it got me around town and we also saved a LOT of money when the time came around to pay tax and licensing fees.

We also cut out cable and anything else that we could find in our budget that we could live without. It’s amazing what things we consider “essential” that truly aren’t.

Keep Things Simple

Another aspect of our life that received serious cutbacks was eating out. This was a hard adjustment for me at the time. When I worked full-time outside the home, it seemed easiest many nights to just stop and pick up supper on my way home. And once I began staying home every day, I still wanted the ease of fast food.

I wish I could tell you that I found a way to make that work, but of course that’s not the case. Instead I began working on my cooking skills and learning to make easy, simple meals that kept us within our food budget each month. Read More→

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Apr
21

Easy Steps For An Easy Move

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moving

Image: Flickr

Moving house is one of the most stressful things most people ever go through. That wonderful feeling of knowing you’re moving to a home that you’re absolutely in love can quickly be snuffed out by the awful realization of all the stuff you actually have to get from A to B. However, by applying these simple tricks, you can take a huge amount of stress out of the whole process.

Account for the Essentials

When the big day comes around, you don’t want to have to run from box to box, rummaging through all your stuff looking for a runaway phone charger. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and no family home was unpacked in a couple of minutes, so do your best to make sure you have all the essentials close to hand. A day or two before the move, pack an overnight bag including fresh clothes for everyone, any electronics you’ll want, their chargers, and the toiletries you’ll need to get through the day. Some snacks and drinks can also be very handy, especially if you’re not even close to having a functional kitchen in the new place!

Don’t Strain Yourself

One of the most common moving mistakes people make is assuming that they’ll be able to move any big, bulky item as long as they have one extra pair of hands. However, when you and your partner try to get a heavy washing machine out of a cramped kitchen, you’ll quickly find yourself wishing that you had asked for a more comprehensive service from the movers you spoke to! If you’ve gone the DIY route and simply rented a moving van, the one tool that can be a total lifesaver is a sack truck. These will save you a lot of time and physical strain, and will also stop you from getting your fingers trapped in any doorways! Aside from large appliances, they can also be helpful for moving around awkward stacks of boxes. You just need to secure these to the sack truck with some strong bungee cords, and you’ll instantly save yourself many more trips to and from different rooms.

Mark your Boxes

So, you’ve packed the whole home up, got everything to the new place, and you’re ready to start the unpacking process. The only issue is that you’ve got a load of identical boxes, filled with all kinds of things from your old home, with no certain way of knowing where each box is meant to be going. You can make the unpacking so much faster by staying organized through the packing process. Get a nice, bold permanent marker or some colored tape, and mark each box that you pack with an indicator for the room it’s meant to be going to. This way, you can save hours of remembering where this remote or that ornament was, and swiftly get all your things to where they need to be. If you pack in a hurried, disorganized way, getting settled in the new place can be even harder than the move itself!

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Apr
20

Caring For The Blind

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I don’t talk a lot on CWAHM about health or specific health conditions. Some of you may remember that I have a thyroid disease from past posts where I’ve discussed it.  However, I try my best not to “live my diagnosis.” It’s part of my life, and it certainly affects my life, but it doesn’t consume my life.

In our culture we hear a lot about staying fit and being healthy.  However, we don’t often talk about keeping our eyes healthy. Not long ago I came across the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and it touched my heart.  My husband’s family has several members who either are legally blind, or who have become legally blind as adults.  So, I was excited to hear that FFB is working every day to educate people on how to keep their eyes healthy and to help them find resources that are available to them if they are struggling with sight issues.

If you’d like to learn more about FFB, you can download a packet that they have put together.  It’s all free and you don’t have to give your email address to be able to download the packet. It’s simply a public service announcement and education tool.  You can download the PDF packet here: http://bit.ly/2nAezey

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