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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Nov
06

Are you a happy CWAHM?

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Most of us know that we moms are the ones who set the tone of our homes (for the most part). Usually our husbands and children know when we aren’t happy.

But do you ever reflect on your own happiness? Or are you so focused on making sure that everyone else is happy that you forget to touch base with your own feelings. As moms it is easy to be continually giving to the extent that we sacrifice ALL, without taking care of ourselves. It is important that we consider our own happiness. When we take care of ourselves we are able to serve our families better.

There are times when I have felt trapped by the pressures of having children, working, cleaning house, and serving at church. I was giving, giving, giving but feeling negative about myself and my ability to get everything done.

In my reading I came found this acrostic in What Happy Working Mothers Know, which helped me put my own happiness in perspective.

Healthy – both physical and mental health

Adaptive

Proud of your family

Proud of your work because that’s who you are

Young at heart

 

Healthy

In what ways are you taking care of yourself physically? Are you getting enough physical activity? I have found that joining a gym keeps me accountable to remain active, when I do so my mind is clearer, I have more energy, and I feel better about myself.

Health carries over to what we eat as well. Are you getting the protein and nutrients you need to carry out our day? I caught myself falling into the habit of not making myself breakfast or lunch while I was feeding the kids because I concluded that they weren’t going to finish what was on their plates anyway, so I might as well just make my meal out of their leftovers which consisted of a few bites of oatmeal from one child and a few bites of honeycomb cereal from another, besides I reasoned that while spooning the baby his mashed banana and cereal, catching the spilled milk from the three year old before it engulfs the table, and reminding the older one not to blow bubbles in his milk, how was I supposed to eat anyway? I’m learning to make sure I eat something substantial as well. The spilled milk can wait, the baby can eat one bite and wait a minute while I take a bite, and does it matter so much that blowing bubbles in their drinks is so entertaining?

Adaptive

Life without children was predictable for the most part. I went to work and came home. It wasn’t a problem getting something done as planned but that doesn’t work anymore. I try to have a general routine for each day, but I never know when it may get interrupted by a refusal to take quiet time, missing children’s shoes when we are trying to get out the door, a urgent need for mommy to help dress a baby doll, and a myriad of other things. When these things arise I am learning to take them in stride, and not expect to be able to adhere to my plan complete but modify it for the day or the moment, just keeping in mind the definite goal of what needs to be accomplished each day. When I become too stressed about carrying out my schedule as planned I quickly become UNHAPPY. Read More→

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Oct
30

Have a Vision

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Msuccess or failureost of you are working from home because you had a vision.

What was your vision when you started?

To be home with your small children, or to have a flexible schedule in order to have time for your family?

For extra finances?

As an outlet for creativity?

Mine began with the desire to be a stay-at-home mom. A year before I got married I was in a friend’s wedding. She had a family she knew make the dresses for the bridal party. When I went for the fitting for my dress I saw this family’s home sewing business setup. A vision birthed within me. I could do this too!

At the time I was working in convenience store management. Though I had received many promotions at work I knew this was not what I wanted once I got married and started a family. However, due to health and financial issues with my mom I had only completed one year of college, therefore I felt my options were limited because of lack of education.

When I returned from the wedding I shared this vision with my mentor and future husband. At that point it was just an idea. A year later, soon after I was married, Love Stitches by Naomi was birthed. It was a slow start. I kept my day job for the next three years until our first child was born. Then I cut back my work for the stores to 20 hours a week, as my business grew. By the time my second child arrived 19 months later I cut my hours at my day job down to 10 a week. Today, after more than 7 years in business and with the addition of a third child, the business has grown into more than what I had dreamed possible. Read More→

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Oct
23

Run Your Business: Don’t Let it Run You

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How many of you have had times when it begins to feel like your business is beginning to run you rather than you running your business?

There have been times when I find myself stressing that I have all this work to do  and I feel like I am not getting it done as fast as I would like to. I feel driven by the deadlines of clients rather than pacing myself out.

Or there are days with lots of interruptions from children, unexpected clients and the telephone. I have to guard against frustration because I tend to judge my day by how much work I am able to get done which translates into how much income I produce.

Let’s look at these situations in light of my vision (For more on having a vision for your business)

  • Feeling pressured by clients. I find it is good to have a healthy amount of pressure because it helps me to get a task accomplished. However, when I begin to feel overstressed I ask why am I feeling this way? Most of the time I realize that I am trying to please man rather than God. I have put myself in the place of saving everyone’s last minute needs because of lack of planning on their part. Or because I underestimated the amount of time it would take to complete a task.

If I gauge this situation by my vision for the business I realize that my desire to work from home was to have an income and be able to be a mom. I intended for my business to work for me not the other way around. Refocusing on my vision gives the courage to step back and evaluate my deadlines. Sometimes I may have to call a client to tell them it is taking longer than expected.

  • The days of interruption: These can be such a frustration because I start the day with an expectation of what I want to accomplish. When it is my children continually interrupting I find that I end up cross and grouchy. And again the question arises why am I doing this? Is it business first and mom second or the other way around? I am reminded that it was my intent to have my children come first. Some days they are needier than others, on those days I may not get as much work done but I have the opportunity to be the mom I want to be.

Read More→

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Apr
25

Take Control of Your Thoughts

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PrayerFrom the time, we wake up in the morning till we go to bed at night, thoughts are coursing through our minds. Not just one thought but many. In fact, according to Dr. Leaf we can think 4 to 7 things are the same time.

One day last year I remember feeling gloomy all day. I didn’t want to talk to the kids, I was feeling a lot of anxiety and discouragement over business and finances. I didn’t know why. Life wasn’t that bad but I couldn’t seem to get my feelings out of the gutter. I stopped myself and looked back at the week asking, “What has happened that is leading to me feeling this way?”

It took a while for me to sort through my thoughts to recognize the underlying problem. I realized that earlier in the week I had gotten a phone call about a job I had done that needed to be corrected. It was a minor thing, but from that little incident my thinking had been spiraling downward for several days. I was negative about my abilities in work, which snowballed into worrying about finances (since work is a livelihood in my mind a bad job mean less money).

Things like this happen to all of us. The problem is that we can’t let our thinking spiral because of it. Rather than just knowing that we are grouchy, we must get to the root of the issue.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are told how to take every thought captive. It says, “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

The verse says to demolish arguments and pretensions which are not in alignment with the knowledge of God. Here is why it is so important to know who we are in Christ and to know His promises.

An example in this situation would be that my thoughts were saying I’m never going to make it as a business woman because I made a mistake. However, that is not what God says. God says, “My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) He also says that He knows the plans He has for me to give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) And He says that He loves me and calls me His child, reminding me that I will be like Him if I continue to hope in Him. (1 John 3:1-3)

God has given us the ability to separate from our thoughts and take authority over them. In His Word He has given Read More→

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Apr
04

Serving God in Daily Life

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My days are busy. I’m sure yours our as well. At times I can feel discouraged, like I’m not doing enough to serve God. Serving God is not a lofty calling but simply has to do with loving people as Jesus loved them. Jesus loved people. He connected with them. It is His desire that we do the same.

Look at Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus speaks how when we serve people in need we are serving Him.

Think about your daily life. How many people do you encounter in a day? Maybe your children’s teachers, your clients, the postman. See these people as a ministry. Ministry is not all about preaching to someone. It also includes serving them, encouraging them, and connecting with them.

It is easy to go through life with our own agenda for the day, focused on what needs to be done to care for our needs like going to work, stopping at the grocery store, cooking dinner and paying the bills. All around us we cross paths with people – people that Jesus cares about.

Just because Jesus reached out to touch many people it didn’t mean everyone was in His close circle of friends. Therefore, connecting with people and touching their life doesn’t mean that you need to be their best friend. What you don’t want to do is to fall into the mentality that you are too busy, and your life is too filled with people, for you to reach out to someone else.

Ask God to bring people to mind who He would like you to connect with like

  • Your pastor
  • An acquaintance from church
  • A family member
  • A co-worker
  • An elderly neighbor
  • A distant relative

Once God has brought someone to mind ask God to show you what this person needs. It could be

  • Affirmation
  • Encouragement
  • An act of service
  • Taking the time to listen to their problem. Listening means you do just that. You don’t need to solve anything – they just need to be heard.

Affirmation and encouragement could include a positive text message to a friend saying “I’m so proud of how well you are doing in_______ area.” Or “I’m praying that God would fill you with His peace today” or simply “How are you doing? God brought you to mind today.” Instead of a text message you could even send a real card!

An act of service could be a homemade meal, a quick stop at the grocery store for a shut in, a cup of coffee for your coworker, offering to watch a friend’s kids, the list is endless. Read More→

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Mar
22

Permission to Grieve

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This past January my grandfather passed away. He was older and I knew over the past few years he had been showing his age, though he still seemed spry for 87.  The day before Christmas Eve we received the phone call that he was very ill and in the hospital. Something about the gravity of my aunt’s voice made me realize it was probably the beginning of the end. I went to bed that evening unable to sleep.

The following day my husband’s family was coming for Christmas Eve dinner and I was doing the cooking. Three kids underfoot, the in-laws for a holiday gathering and my heart screaming, “How can my grandfather be dying?”

The following weekend I made the 6 hour trip with my five year old daughter for company. With each passing highway mile I found the lump in my throat getting bigger. Only two months earlier I had seen Grampa at a family gathering. He had still been active, living at home, though walking with a little assistance from a walker. Was I prepared to see him feebly lying in a nursing home bed?

Two things made my grief over his illness run deep. My dad passed away when I was only seven and this was his father who now lay gravely ill. Growing up Grampa had paid special attention to my brother and I, taking us on yearly trips to places like Disney, Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, and Quebec City. He wanted to keep the family connection, doing for us what my father couldn’t do. It was like Grampa was my connection to my late father – the bond I had with him helped me feel I knew my Dad. I felt this slipping through my fingers, as if I was losing all I had left of my father.

Secondly Grampa and I never saw eye to eye on issues of faith. I wrestled with not knowing his eternal destiny. This also weighed heavily on me.

I spent that New Year’s Eve day visiting with Grampa, while my daughter enjoyed the day with her aunts. We spoke of faith and God, for which I am thankful. As I left I hugged him, told him we loved him, and felt him tightly grip my hand. I didn’t want to go. I knew deep down it was the last time I would see him alive.

As I hit the highway again I couldn’t contain the tears. Pulling into a rest stop I called my husband bawling. I was losing Grampa and I knew it.

Less than two weeks later the phone call came. It was expected. But still the finality of death was hard to bare.

Death and dying are all part of life.  I don’t want to lose the people I love. Growing up I never grieved my father’s death – I just buried the pain, saying I was ok. Over the last few years I’ve been healing. I’ve had to grieve the loss of my Dad that occurred more than two decades ago. What I found is that God’s healing doesn’t mean the pain hurts less. Healing means I can feel again. I can feel great joy and great sorrow. While my pain was buried I couldn’t feel either of these. Read More→

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Feb
02

The Guilt of a Work at Home Mom

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Especially as women I find we are more susceptible to false guilt than men.

How often do you find these words coming out of your mouth “I feel guilty….”?

“I feel guilty for not spending enough time with my kids”

“I feel guilty for losing my temper.”

“I feel guilty for not having a better relationship with my mom.”

Can you distinguish between false guilt and real guilt or conviction? False guilt leaves us striving in our homes, work and church.

The enemy is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). Satan is working to make our thoughts accuse us – it gives him great delight to see us fall into the trap of feeling guilty for everything. On the other hand with Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1), because if we confess our sins He forgives us (1 John 1:9) and doesn’t remember our sin anymore (Hebrews 8:12).

When we have sinned and we go to Christ asking forgiveness our guilt is erased and our sin no longer has hold over us. However, guilt can produce compulsiveness because it torments us. (Beyond Head Knowledge)

The tormenting voice of guilt stems in part from our childhood. A good article from Focus on the Family points out that “hypercritical upbringings create a hyperactive conscience.” Perhaps growing up you never felt good enough, your best efforts didn’t measure up and you felt like you always had to apologize for everything. It could be that you always feel guilty for not trying harder. Or maybe you struggle with feeling bad that you haven’t done better even though you have tried. Read More→

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Jan
17

Seek God’s Peace

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With the New Year at hand we think in terms of goals of what we would like to accomplish in the coming 12 months. Maybe weight loss, traveling, a mission opportunity or something else. Frequently New Year’s resolutions focus on building our businesses, becoming better moms, getting physically fit or reading through the Bible in a year.

What kind of goal would you set for your mind and emotions? Learning what a healthy mind looks like will help us see where we want to be. According to, Dr. Leaf ‘research shows that around 87% of illnesses can be attributed to our thought life, and approximately 13% to diet, genetics and environment. Studies conclusively link more chronic diseases (also known as lifestyle diseases) to an epidemic of toxic emotions in our culture. These toxic emotions can cause migraines, hypertension, strokes, cancer, skin problems, diabetes, infections and allergies just to name a few.” (Who Switched Off My Brain, p 4)

God doesn’t want us to suffer physically because of our anxieties but desires our minds to be in a state of peace. Look at Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Through Jesus God has given us the gift and ability to have a peaceful mind. In John 14:27 Jesus makes us the promise ‘Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.’

The pressures of life get me down. I can feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities but God extends peace to us, even if we are weary in our work and homes. The load is not for us to bear alone. God doesn’t want us to be carrying the weight of it all. Instead He desires that we turn to Him for His peace. Read More→

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Dec
05

Christmas Stress or Christmas Less

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The Christmas TreeChristmas season is almost upon us. Every year it catches me by surprise a little. I love Christmas cookies, lights, parties, and the celebration of His birth, but I think we all struggle with the busyness of it. The activities seem to be endless.

One thing I have been working on over the past few years is trying to look objectively at it.

What is it about the holiday that I am struggling with? If it is the busyness, what am I doing that I don’t have to do?

Idealistically I think how great it would be for my kids to make a homemade ornament for all the relatives. I want to make all the favorite Christmas cookies for multiple events like the church Christmas party, our moms cookie swap, teacher gifts, and the three holiday gatherings held at our house. Then there is the annual Christmas letter to write and wrapping, shopping, live nativity events and more. The sheer volume of activities makes me tired just thinking about it.

All the activity seems good when looking at the holiday pictures of past years. And then we see the pictures our friends have posted on facebook of all their baking and decorations. It all looks so perfect – picture perfect and I for one can fall into believing that this is what it looks like to celebrate the holiday. The smiling faces at the festivities may lead us to believe that in this busy season others have found joy when we have found stress.  

The truth is none of us are supermoms. We all have our usual responsibilities like work, baths, cleaning, church and laundry (and if you homeschool like me, one more thing to do). Somehow in our busy lives we are adding the Christmas season which is really about finding joy and peace in the birth of our Savior. Yet so often we find ourselves trying to look like we have it altogether and measuring our success by how many cookies we made from scratch, whether are gifts are homemade or store bought, how well our child did in the pageant and so much more. Read More→

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Nov
04

Relying on God or Technology

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This is one situation but it happens so often that when there is a difficulty with technology I spend hours in frustration trying to fix it. I’m sure you have all been there, whether it is an app you use for business, a website crawl error for sales, or a missed message on your voicemail that you can’t seem to retrieve. The technology that helps us to have businesses in this generation can also be our biggest source of anxiety.

Around the same time I had a conversation with my Dad about how especially in Africa the people draw together to pray – often large groups praying for someone who is sick or in need.

Why is it that they are so fervent in faith and here in America we are not quick to run to God? We live with technology at our fingertips. When we don’t feel good we can run to the doctor for medicine or run to google to self diagnose.

When I think of my own mindset – I’m focused on finding my own solutions, doing what we all do, running to the Internet and technology to make life work. Whether it is our time spent trying to make technology for our businesses or whether it is running to the internet for the answers to our questions like, “What are could cause a stomach pain and a headache?”, “How do I know if my child is up to grade level?” “How do I clean my washing machine?” Whatever it is, if you are like me you probably type things in a search bar multiple times a day for various questions.

All that is well and good but what if I stop trying so hard? What if when technological problems arise rather than wasting many hours and frustration consulting Google on the answers to fix the problem, what if I spent more time dependent on God. Praying “Father I need help with this please show me the way.” Read More→

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