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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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Author Archive

Mar
09

Where in the World Does Time Go?

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run out of timeI remember my grandfather telling me that the older you get the faster time flies. Laughing at him at the time I thought it was another of his little stories he loved telling.

Just the other day I caught myself telling one of my grandchildren, “The older you get the faster time flies.” Then it occurred to me. I am my grandfather. I am not sure how I got here, but here I am.

It is hard keeping up with things, especially when time ticks by so fast. Just when you think you are all caught up, you realize you have to start it all over again.

I was complaining about this the other day to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Normally, I try not to do any complaining in her presence. She has the ability of turning my complaint upside down and confusing me to the extent that I have no idea what I am complaining about.

In my complaint I said, “Where does time go?”

“Where,” my wife said rather sarcastically, “do you want time to go?”

I had to stop and think about that one. In fact, I am still trying to think about that one. To be rather honest, I do not know where I want time to go. The only thing I do know is, I do not want it to go by so fast. Why can’t time slow down just a little bit, especially as I get older.

In my confused state of mind my wife said, “Would you do me a favor and go to the grocery store and pick up some items? I just don’t have enough time to do it myself.”

Whenever my wife asked me to do her a “favor,” I believe there should be some kind of a recompense for my time. After all, my time is valuable, at least to me it is. Read More→

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Mar
02

I’ll Do It First Thing Tomorrow

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerYou would think being a husband as long as I have been I would have learned the fine art of negotiating with my wife. And trust me, it is an artistic creation.

When I got married, somebody told me that marriage was a 50-50 proposition, which being the naïve young man that I was, believed it entirely.

The problem I have discovered is that 50 from a man’s point of view may not necessarily be 50 from a woman’s point of view. If I knew then what I know now, I would have asked that person to define what they meant by 50.

Through the years, I discovered that at times it is a 25-75 split. Other times it is a 0-100. Nobody can be 100% right all the time unless of course they are married to a husband.

When men get together, they talk about sports, hunting, cars and so forth.

When women get together, they talk about how to deal with their husbands.

I know it does not sound fair, but then it is our fault as men for not getting our act together.

Although, I must admit that at this point in my life I do not have any regrets. The only thing that I have trouble with is the word “tomorrow.”

I am not quite sure what that word means from my wife’s perspective. From my perspective, the word “tomorrow” is just a way of putting something off and possibly not even doing it.

I never really thought anything of it until recently. To me the word “tomorrow” was just a casual word I used to postpone things. It was not until last week that it really came to the forefront.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage asked me to do something for her. I was really busy at the time, I’m not sure what I was busy doing, but I was not paying too much attention. I smiled at her and said, “Okay.” Then, I went back to doing whatever I was doing.

The next day she approached me and said, “Did you do what I asked you to do yesterday?”

I really was not quite up to date on what she asked me to do yesterday, but I said, “No, but I’ll do it tomorrow.” To be fair, I actually forgot about it. I did not mean to forget about it, but it does not change the fact that I forgot about it.

The next day she queried me rather sternly, “Did you do what I asked you to do the other day?”

At this point I was marinating in that husband fog that seems to plague every husband and so I said, “No, but I’ll do it first thing tomorrow for sure.

If I thought that was the end of the conversation, I was thinking in vain.

Today,” she said as sternly as I have ever heard her speak, “is the tomorrow you promise to do it.

Now I am swimming in that husband fog. How in the world can today be tomorrow? At this point, I did not know if she was confused or if I was confused. To keep things safe, I will admit to being the one confused. Read More→

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Feb
23

The Strange Myth of Multitasking

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerI have been pondering a delicate question this week. Why is it I can only do one thing at a time? If only I could do several things at a time, I could get more accomplished.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage is an expert when it comes to multitasking. Although I have lived with her for over 45 years, I still do not know how she does it. She is better than a circus juggler and can juggle a dozen tasks at the same time.

Not me, that is for sure!

I like to do many things, but I have to do them in order and one at a time. That is how I have always done things even though I have tried to juggle two things at one time but it has never been successful. Usually, both of them fall to the floor and I have to start all over again.

Every day I make a list of things I need to do and start working on them one by one. I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to accomplish everything on my list.

Maybe I am just trying to do too much.

Like the other day, I needed to go across town to pick up something at one of the office supply stores. Usually, I am not allowed to go into the grocery store by myself. However, when my wife found out I was going to go across town, she asked me if I would stop at the grocery store and pick up a few things. Then she handed me a list, and said, “Get everything on the list and only those things on the list.

Then she gave me one of “those looks.”

It is hard for me to go into a grocery store and not pick up a few things that I want. I have never seen any ice cream that I did not want. However, when I am on strict orders with a shopping list, I don’t have any leeway at all.

It started out rather well. She handed me the list and I put it in my pocket and headed for the front door. As I was going out, I heard her say, “Remember, only those things on the list.” Read More→

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Feb
01

Why Did God Give Us Winter?

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heart in snowLiving in Florida my idea of winter is anytime the temperature drops below 60°. At that point, I do the shiver-me-timbers dance. You don’t want to know!

I have a rare disease called Coldaphobia. As far as I know, there is no cure for this except escaping to Florida. Even here, cold will manage to sometimes poke its nose into my business. All I can do at the time is sneeze, hoping it will scare the cold away.

Experiencing a rather cold afternoon this past week, I queried the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage on this subject.

“Why,” I asked rather philosophically, “did God give us winter?”

There are times when I do muse philosophically with a far-off look.

In this mode, I sometimes think about that philosophical question, “How many angels can dance on the point of a needle?” I’ve often mused on this question, but the problem is I do not know how big angels are and if they really can dance.

I guess it is in the same category as the question, “If a tree fell in the middle of a forest and nobody’s around, does it make a sound?”

I like to think along those lines because there is no correct answer to any of them. So, my answer is right, which makes me feel good about myself. If there is anything I want to do, it is to feel good about myself. After all, nobody else feels good about me so it might as well be me.

With all that in mind, the question that I posed to my wife deserved an answer. “Why did God give us winter?”

My wife was busy in the kitchen at the time, but she turned around, put both hands on her hips and said, “So you could go out and buy a new sweater.” Then she went back to her kitchen activity.

Of course, it did not really answer my question. Why is God interested in my sweaters? Why can’t he allow me to have a climate that eliminates the use of sweaters? I could handle that.

Then my wife interrupted my muse session and said, “God gave us winter so that we would appreciate summer when it came.” Then she went back to her kitchen work.

As I thought about that, I had to admit that she is right. Read More→

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Jan
25

Did Someone Just Hack My Thermometer?

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I do not like to complain (except on certain occasions when nobody is listening) but I am not too happy with the weather these days. I have never felt so cold before.

Is it true that the older you get, the less cold temperature you can stand?

If it is not true, it sure is true with me. The older I get, the colder I get and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. After all, how many sweaters can you wear at one time?

The other day as I looked at my thermometer I saw it had dipped below my meteorological expectation. I tried breathing on the thermometer to see if I could get the temperature to rise a little bit. And, because I have such hot breath, I was able to raise the temperature quite a bit, but as soon as I stop breathing, it plunged back to its depth.

It seems that when I look at the thermometer and the temperature is low I feel cold. On the other hand, when the temperature is high, I feel warm. I almost said hot, but the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage corrected me on that once. I may feel hot, but, according to her, I sure do not look hot and the mirror in my bathroom collaborates with her opinion.

So, I am wondering if the temperature has anything to do with my thermometer. If someone, perchance, could manipulate my thermometer they could manipulate whether I am hot or cold.

Then a thought hit me square in the face.

All during last year, I heard how the Russians allegedly hacked into emails. I never really paid that much attention to the stories, but now, I am thinking a little bit different about that.

Anybody who wants to can hack into my emails because I have such a boring life that they probably would shoot themselves. However, what if they were able to hack into my thermometer? That is the $64,000 question!

I confess that I am not very savvy when it comes to technology. I can barely manage my emails; so, when it comes to technology I am as vulnerable as anybody else. Read More→

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Jan
18

Everything old is getting older still

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A friend of mine has a saying, “I’m going to get as old as I possibly can get.” From what I can tell, he has. I must agree with his sentiment. Of course, the alternative is… well you know. Another friend of mine likes to tell me, “Brother, you’re only as old as you feel.” I am not sure how old feels or if wrinkles are involved. But, I am feeling quite fine, thank you.

Just the other day the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in from her workshop, sat down on the couch and said, “Whew, I feel like a hundred.”

At the time, I did not know if she was talking about dollars, pounds or years. Being the old fogey that I am, I know there are times when silence is golden and this was one of those golden moments. But, what does a hundred feel like? Is there some special sensation that pulsates through the body when a person reaches that age level? Or, is it the absence of anything pulsating through your body?

Just this morning I got up with a sore knee and could hardly walk to the bathroom. I complained about it to my wife, who has no compunction about expressing her opinions, said, “Well, you are older than when you went to bed last night.”

I did not know I was aging so rapidly. If this keeps up, I will change from an old fogey into an old geezer before I know it. The difference between an old fogey and an old geezer is, an old fogey walks around in a fog while the old geezer cannot get up from his chair and wheezes a lot.

I was musing on the idea that getting old was a lot of trouble with a lot of pain involved. Then I remembered what a lot of trouble and pain it was to be young. As a youngster, I thought many times, “Oh, I can’t wait to get old.” I thought getting older was the panacea for all of my problems.

I remember thinking that when I got older nobody would boss me around. I would do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. I could not wait for that time to come. I dreamed of that mystical land. No parents to boss me around; no teachers to tell me what to do and when to do it; no siblings interfering with my plans for the day. What a life I would lead when I got older. I lived each day hoping to get older which, in my thinking, was the door into that area. Read More→

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Jan
11

It’s déjà vu all over again

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New Year’s Day was filled with lots of excitement, plenty of grandchildren running around and enough food on the table to eliminate world hunger. Actually, it did eliminate my ravishing hunger, at least for the day.

Both the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly simultaneously signed a deep sigh. My wife sat in her chair thinking and I, reclining in my chair musing. Believe me, we both had a lot to think about and muse over.

The difference between thinking and musing is quite profound. Thinking requires a lot of hard work while musing is closely related to amusing, although I am not quite sure about the connection. All I know is it takes less energy to muse than it does to think and I’m all for saving energy.

I had just gotten into a rather delightful muse when my wife made a very startling announcement.

Well,” she said most thoughtfully, “I guess this is the start of a brand-new year.

I was too deep into my muse to do more than grunt affirmatively.

Then I began to think, which sapped me of a lot of energy at the time. Although my wife was not wrong in her observation (she is never wrong about anything) she was not exactly right. However, being the man of the house, not to mention not having enough energy to put up a good front, I did not call her on it. But I thought on it some more.

Everybody says this is a new year that has never been lived before. And I would like to challenge that kind of thinking. I have an eerie feeling that I have been here before.

I am not sure if my muse got mixed up with my thinking but at the end of the exercise, I came to several startling conclusions. The biggest conclusion is there is nothing new about the New Year.

Do not take my word for it, do some thinking on your own. Okay, it’s a little too early in the year to do heavy thinking so maybe some light musing might be more in order.

If I remember correctly, and I must check last year’s calendar, but wasn’t it January last year at this time? In fact, I think for the past couple thousand years there has always been a January. Nothing new about January. In my lifetime, I have seen 65 Januarys. At the time, everybody said it was new. What I want to know is, when does the newness wear off? When is somebody going to stand up and honestly say, “Welcome to another old year.”

Every time I have a birthday, people tell me I am a year older, but when another January comes around people try to tell me it is new. I think this year I am going to insist on my birthday that people tell me I am getting newer and not older. Read More→

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Jan
04

Is The Cup Half Empty or Half Full?

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coffee beansMany things in life have me in a tangle of confusion. I try to put on a good face so that nobody knows how confused I am at the time. I think I get away with it, at least most of the time.

The only person I cannot fool is the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. According to her evaluation, I am confused all the time. I would like to set her straight sometime, but I am really confused as to when would be the right time.

If I do not pick the right time, my confusion will be accelerated to the point of no return.

There is one thing, despite my professional confusion, I have not been able to understand. And it just bugs me to no end. Why are some things more confusing than others?

There is a positive side to confusion.

For example, someone is trying to explain to me something that is rather boring I can say, “That’s too confusing for me.”

What that does is help the other person think that he’s a lot better than I am which is not a bad thing to get out of some boring situation at the time. Believe it or not, this is not too confusing for me.

Another side of this would be, somebody wants me to explain something and I am not really in the mood to do a lot of explaining, I say many confusing things and the person comes to the point where he says, “That’s too confusing for me.”

Winning is so wonderful.

Not long ago, I overheard somebody say, “Is that cup half full or half empty?”

For some reason I just cannot get that out of my head and it has confused me like nothing else in my life.

If, for example, a cup is half-full is it not also half-empty? And, if it is half-empty is it also half-full?

I do not know if this is intentional confusion or if it is not supposed to make any sense at all. Read More→

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Dec
30

Another Christmas up the Chimney

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It hardly seems possible that another Christmas has come and gone. I think it comes quicker than it goes, but then that is just my opinion.

We were sitting for the last time around the Christmas tree which was about to be disassembled and I happen to say, “I can’t believe Christmas is over. Where does the time go?”

To that, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked at me and said, “The older you get, the faster time goes.”

I remember as if it was yesterday when without thinking, which is usually dangerous for me, I once responded, “You must know.”

I got the “stare” that encouraged me not to respond in that vein ever again.

However, and you didn’t hear it from me, she is right. She is always right. The older I get, the faster time seems to go. I cannot believe that not only is Christmas past, but the whole year is passed. It is all just history now.

But, oh, what history it was.

Sometimes it is interesting to think back over the past year and remember some of the great occasions. By great occasions, I mean the minuses and the pluses. Some memories are good and some memories are, well, you know.

This is the genius of getting older. Now that I have another Christmas under my belt, I can mesh together two or three Christmases as though it was one Christmas occasion. After all, who is going to know, apart from the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage?

Whenever I begin the phrase, “I remember a Christmas when…” I need to look at my wife to see if she is listening. Of course, if she is not listening, I can go along and invent my own Christmas tree story. I like to do that.

There was the time when I first did this without noticing my wife was listening and at every turn of my story, she corrected me. By the time I was done telling “our” story, I did not remember what I said. Read More→

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Dec
20

The Merrification of Christmas

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Christmas candleOne word defines Christmas. It is the word “merry.” I never tire of wishing people a Merry Christmas. Although, for some, it may not be politically correct, but for the rest of us who have at least two gray cells working, it is wonderful.

I was relaxing one afternoon this past week when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage approached me with a request. It is very difficult for me to deny her request, even though it goes against my current energy status.

“Would you,” she said so very sweetly, “go to the mall and pick up a gift that I had ordered?”

Being married to GMP for more years than I can remember, is very difficult for me to say no. Actually, even when I do say no, someone on the other end of the conversation is not listening.

I should be rather grateful, because of all of the husbands she has, I am the only one she asks to do favors. Through the years, I have gathered that I must be her favorite husband. So, in a really grateful frame of mind, not to mention merry, I headed for the mall to get her purchase.

I am not sure if there is another place in the whole world that I hate worse than going to a shopping mall. If there is, I haven’t got there yet. Every time I walk into a shopping mall, I get nervous because everybody is looking at me, especially at my wallet. Even my wallet shivers when we walk through the opening door.

Just getting inside the shopping mall is a drain on my “merry” attitude. I figured before I really get started I should grab a cup of coffee and go sit down in a lounge chair.

There was a coffee shop in the mall and I got a $0.79 cup of coffee for $7.90. I guess where you put the decimal is really important. Personally, I would have enjoyed a $0.79 cup of coffee more.

I got my coffee, sat down in one of the lounge chairs, took a deep breath, a nice gentle sip of hot coffee and started to relax. Christmas music was being played in the background, which contributed to my relaxing attitude.

The mall was rather crowded, people were hurrying here and there, in the background Merry Christmas music was being played and I thought I would just take the time and enjoy the moment.

After I got through about half of my coffee, I happened to look around carefully watching the people coming and going. There was such a rat race going on that I could hardly believe it. I looked around trying to find some Merry Christmas faces. Unfortunately, there was not any in the direction I was looking.

“I hope they don’t run out of this before I get there,” I heard someone complaining.

“I hope I have enough money to cover this,” someone else complained.

“I hope I can get it in time to get to the party tonight,” complained another person.

I listen to all of this and was simply amazed. Where in the world was this merry spirit that Christmas is most noted for? Everybody was hoping for something, but their hope did not seem too realistic from my point of view.

At the merriest time of the year sitting in a place where people were buying Christmas presents, it was very disconcerting to realize there were not that many merry people in the mall. Everyone seemed to be under some kind of pressure and aggravation.

A thought began to jingle in my mind. What would it take for some people to really experience a Merry Christmas? What would make them merry?

Taking another sip of this expensive “Merry Christmas” coffee, I began to think about life in general. Am I really living a merry life? Or, am I all caught up with the holiday season?

Just because someone says, “Merry Christmas” does not mean in fact that they are experiencing anything quite near to merry.

Watching people scramble here and there in the shopping mall, I realized that merry had nothing to do with Christmas. For so many people, Christmas is a time when you are so busy trying to get things to make other people “merry” that the whole spirit escapes.

What we really need during this particular holiday season is what I call, The Merrification of Christmas. Christmas is what it is, but there is the possibility of really having a Merry Christmas if you understand what the attitude of merry is all about.

It is not about gifts, or parties, or traveling. It is something more substantial than that. In order for me to Merrificate my life, I need something more than just the holiday spirit.

Weaving through the crowd at the mall, I picked up the item my wife sent me to pick up and headed for the parking lot. As I was going, I realized why I really did not like the mall, especially during the holiday season. Too many people are struggling with anxiety and frustration in trying to keep up with the Christmas Joneses.

I thought of what Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

The key ingredient of “Merry” is rest and only Jesus can give the rest that creates a merry spirit.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. E-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. Website is www.jamessnyderministries.com.

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