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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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pam-leanonI was listening to my favorite oldies station today and “Lean on Me” was playing. Here are some of the lyrics for those who don’t know the song (by Bill Withers, 1972):

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on…

It has a nice beat to it and I think a good message too. We all have pain, we do all have sorrow at some in our lives. Sometimes it’s in our childhood, sometimes later in life. Marriage is the ideal place and our spouses are the ideal people we could lean on during those tough times. But sadly, it may not be the case for many. Perhaps we’re very independent so we go through life with the attitude of “I’ll do it my way, I don’t need anyone”. By most people’s definition of marriage, marriage is not the place to live out and practice that idea. Singlehood is. Read More→

For me, the most terrible time of each month is the day our bank statement comes. We commonly call it BSS (Bank Statement Syndrome). I don’t know why it is, but I have trouble getting the parsonage checkbook to balance with the monthly bank statement.

That ominous document intimidates me every time it arrives. After all, the bank’s business is keeping track of accounts. They have hundreds, maybe thousands of accounts and I have just one. On the surface, it seems a rather simple thing for me to keep our checking account up to date, but I assure you, it is not. Every time I try, I lose interest.

Keeping our checkbook accurately balanced is almost like a circus balancing act; everything is up in the air. No matter how often I add those figures, I never get the same result twice. I have resorted to adding up the figures at least three times and then take the average. So far, I’ve been batting a .195 and have been dropped by the major league, which lost interest in my career. This may satisfy my conscience, but it does little to appease the accounting department of my friendly banking institution.

The thing flustering me more than anything else are those fees. The average bank has more fees than a West Virginia hound dog has fleas. Everything I turn around there is another fee. (I need to stop turning around.) Somebody needs to invent a fee powder.

Each bank must employ a stable of employees whose only job is to dream up these fees. How else can you explain it? These fees are creative enough to cover every aspect of a person’s wallet, retroactive three generations.

To open an account there is a fee. Each account carries a monthly maintenance fee. I have been paying this monthly maintenance fee for several years and I have yet to see someone from the bank come out and mow my lawn. What is this maintenance fee? What are they maintaining? They certainly are not maintaining my checkbook. With all the fees I am paying, I would expect someone from the bank come to my house, sit around my table, and help me balance my checkbook. I would supply the coffee and donuts; for a small fee of course.

Another thing I do not understand is the ATM fee. Why do I have to pay money to the bank to get my money out of the bank? Whose money is it anyway? Read More→

babyWe had a dream.

Once, years ago, when we first became work-at-home moms, we envisioned happily typing away at our computers. Our adorable children would be frolicking at our feet – blissfully playing amongst themselves. Maybe they’d be reading, doing puzzles …

Then, we woke up.

Both of us had highly unrealistic expectations of the quality and quantity of work we could do with small children at home. Years later, with teenagers, we’ve found that not much has changed.

We still feel the continual tug of war between the piles on our desk and the needs of our families.

Because our kids, no matter what their ages, still need us. Beyond that, they want us. We’re wise moms to realize this and take advantage of it.

To be honest, most of the time we fail miserably at keeping up a good solid rhythm. Work happens in great spurts of creativity. A lot of times, it seems like the needs of home and family can be postponed. From bitter experience, we’ve found that too much of a “that-can-wait” mentality can come back to bite us.

So, how do we work with passion and purpose, free of that feeling that we should always be doing something else other than what we’re doing at that moment?

This is still a struggle for us. But we’ve made progress.

Whether you’ve just become a work-at-home mom or have been one for years, here are a few principles that we’ve found helpful when we follow them:

1. If we aren’t good at multitasking, then we shouldn’t try. We’re firm believers that multitasking is a myth. Something always suffers – at least at our houses. Focus on one thing at a time for as long as you can.

2. Ask God throughout the day, “What is the most important thing for me to do right now?” One definition we found for the word “balance” was “a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.” We think the key words in that definition are “correct proportions.” Often, that doesn’t mean equal. So how do we know what’s correct? We don’t. That’s why everyday we have to invite and depend on the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

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The job of a nurse anesthetist is to ensure that their patients are able to go through medical procedures without pain.  Because of the specific skill set nurse anesthetists possess, their jobs are among the most valued in the healthcare industry. As a matter of fact, CNRA positions in settings like surgery centers, hospitals, pain clinics and dental centers were ranked at number four on 2016’s top 100 jobs on US news and World report standings. Here are some of the main reasons anybody should consider a position as a CNRA.

CRNA’s are can Perform most Tasks Anesthesiologists do

CRNA’s are pretty much anesthesiologists in a nurse disguise. They perform medical evaluations on patients and determine which type of anesthesia would be the best for their procedure. During the said procedure, they are responsible for administering the anesthesia, checking dosage, and also evaluating the patient’s vital signs. When the procedure is completed, they check on the patient’s recovery and assist them if they’re showing symptoms such as nausea, grogginess, or vomiting for instance.

Another aspect that attracts people to this field is the variety. Most CRNA’s love the variety the job offers. No one day is the same and CRNA’s have a much more direct contact with their patients.

CRNA Training takes Two Years

If you’re already a registered nurse, the process to getting your certification is pretty fast. If you’re an RN, you will then have to get an MSN and pass your certification test. Services like Valley Anesthesia offer an Anesthesia Board Review Course to prepare students for their actual certification test. Once you’ve received your certification, you’ll be required to pass recertification requirements every two years.

CRNA’s can Access Job’s in a Wide Variety of Settings

One of the biggest advantages of having a CRNA certification is the sheer number of positions available. Nurse anesthetists can find a job virtually anywhere, be it outpatient surgery centers, delivery rooms, emergency rooms, hospital surgical suites or even ophthalmology, dental or plastic surgery clinics. Some have found positions in smaller rural hospitals, where help is much needed.

CRNA’s Earn Great Salaries

Among nurses, CRNA’s are some of the best paid. CRNA salaries vary depending on the location, type of clinic, experience and a variety of other factors. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, CRNA’s could earn as much as $153,780 per year. This is in comparison with $66,640 for registered nurses and $300,000 for anesthesiologists. CRNA’s are among the highest paid non-physicians in the industry, making it one of the best positions for those who would like to pursue a high paying career in health career without having to complete a doctorate.

A career as a CRNA can be very fulfilling and very lucrative at the same time. It combines the human aspect of registered nursing and the hands-on, clinical aspect of anesthesiology. If you were still on the fence about getting your certification as a CRNA, make sure that you take all these benefits into consideration before you make a choice.

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The uncertain nature of the economic future creates stress on family, faith, and friends alike. It can be difficult to know when to invest, in what, and for how long. Ultimately, finding the right purpose for your life revolves around making the right investments, especially for your golden years.

There are many industries and sectors in which anybody can invest. Some are less than scrupulous, while others provide genuine benefit to all involved. From God’s mouth to our ears, the phrase “be fruitful and multiply” resonates with just as much truth as ever.

Investing in an industry where producing fruit is literally the name of the game can be a wholesome and rewarding investment when done properly. Today, we’re going to talk about how you can get started with investments in one or more areas of farming.

Invest Professionally


There are a number of agricultural-based direct investment opportunities available for those who’d like to invest but don’t necessarily want to be hands-on with it. On average, agricultural land-based investments have gained around 10% per year over the past 40 years: a better return on investment than in most industries.

Many of these investments are centered around California, where half of all produce is grown. AG investments have exploded in recent years due to the increased demand for produce – as well as California’s abundant arable land.

Investment firms offering CA AG investments such as Crawford Park Farming AG are connecting investors and farmers, enabling the growth of everything from almonds to zucchinis. These firms have stakes in agricultural investment throughout the globe.

Invest at the Micro Level


Micro-lending first became popular about ten years ago, giving everyday people the ability to help those in distant lands earn the capital they needed to start their own businesses. One of the most popular micro-lending investment angles is agriculture.

Through a variety of platforms such as Kiva, individuals can invest as little as $20 and crowdsource their funds to complete these loans. Those who contribute small sums to dozens of different agricultural loans often earn in excess of 10% per year on their investment.

While there is the occasional default, spreading your investments thoroughly in small amounts across large numbers of loans helps minimize any losses.

Start Your Own Farm


If neither of the above ideas strikes you as an ideal then you may wish to consider farming yourself. There are many USDA loans, grants and offers available to first-time farmers who are willing to start from scratch.

Let’s be clear: starting a farm from nothing takes a lot of work and a lot of investment. There are many programs and/or investors willing to assist with those first steps, but a lot of physical labor is involved in creating a profitable, successful farming venture.

As more and more people look to break from the complexities of modern life and return to simpler roots, this nevertheless remains a viable choice that provides both spiritual fulfillment and financial gain when done properly.

financial and personal pathways are open in the world of agriculture.

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My first step into the work-at-home world was as a data extractor for a company in my local area. Believe it or not, I found that job in the Classified Ads section of the newspaper. That, however, was ten years ago. A lot has changed in the last ten years – the internet alone has grown by leaps and bounds. So, what are some of the best ways for people in today’s market to find a telecommuting opportunity?

Classified Ads
One good thing about the technology available to us today is that most Classified Ads are now not only listed in print newspapers, but online as well. Take a look through these to see if there are businesses in your area looking for local at-home workers.

Online Job Sites
Most online job websites now offer telecommuting listings. Use the search term “telecommute” to help give you the best results. There are even websites that cater to the work-at-home crowd such as Remember – always be sure to read the fine print, and research each company/opportunity that interests you.

More and more at-home workers are freelancing on a contract basis. Writers, web designers, graphic artists, and more are finding this a viable option to allow them to work from home. There are websites, such as, that cater specifically to the freelance community and make it easy for freelancers to connect with companies and individuals looking to hire them.  If you are selling a service or digital product, take some time to checkout out – you can start offering your service for just $5, and then add additional options at higher prices as your business grows. Read More→

ChildcareWhether your child is old or young, the type of media they consume has an effect on them. This doesn’t have to be bad; it can teach them new values and help them learn necessary and recreation skills that they’ll need for life. But you can be careful about what you let them learn from, as it can have an adverse effect too. This is particularly important in cases of younger children, who are more influenced by the actions of adults than anyone over the age of 10. So what is the best kind of media for a child’s development and growth?


For Language Skills

One very simple way to improve your child’s language development is through pre established stories. Books, songs, and films can teach people a lot, even well into the adulthood. For example, you can practice English with music and movies. Kids pick up new words and phrases faster when they hear them repeated to them, especially when they can’t read yet.

If your child is younger than 5 years old, only about 2 hours of watching something on a screen per day should be allotted. Read around this time, as reading allows better interaction with a child and allows you to give them direction. This is a healthier method for getting your child to respond, and is actually a lot more fun for you as the parent!


In Terms Of Learning Compassion

Using cartoons for enjoyment is a popular method, and can be a lot of fun for the little ones. Animations these days are a lot less violent than those we would have seen in the 1990s, but some bad habits can still be picked up from them. However, this is all part of the learning experience, and as a result means kids can learn faster from any mistakes they make. They can learn how to consider other people as a result. Read More→

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Love Never Gives Up

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerI ampam-never sitting here enjoying my fresh cup of coffee and wondering about a recent conversation I had with a man who is deeply in love with his girlfriend.  His depth of love is quite impressive, as is his perseverance and genuineness.  He so wants his beloved to be healthy enough to accept his love; but alas, she does not appear able to.  

She seems to have too many demons and ghosts from her past that she cannot get rid of.  

He reminds me of how God is always faithful to us, even when we can’t or won’t accept His love. God never gives up on us, on me, or on my husband.

It also reminds me of Jacob’s love for Rachel back in Genesis 28-31 and how he worked for her  for 14 years!  Talk about perseverance!  I don’t know about you, but that speaks love to me!  The patience, determination, and drive of Jacob’s  love drives him to work, sweat, and never give up.  Even though he was cheated by her father several times.  All for her, his beloved.  “…But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.”

While I am writing this, I am listening to Wendy Swanson’s song, My Love Goes On, {album Sole Desire} playing in my head.  It’s a song about, I think, how God searches for us, finds us, then loves us, even though we chase other gods, other idols.

One line in particular  jumps out: “I have loved you thru the good, the bad; I will love you thru winter til spring”.  She lists Hosea 3, 11, and 14 after the title, which is is worth reading.

All my thoughts also remind me of that great love that Paul speaks about in 1 Cor 13:4-7:  “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.

It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Tell me what your thoughts are on perseverance in marriage.

I know that it is easy to say and very hard to practice!  I don’t think many of us can hang in there relying only on our own strength.  Especially when the bad winter times hit us; it’s quite easy to love when things are going great.  My hope and prayer is that you feel God’s strength and presence during your winter spells of marriage.

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I Didn’t Win $750 Million

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money guyDuring a recent lottery shindig, everybody was watching to see who was going to win all that money. Even I got all caught up in the excitement and was on the edge of my seat too.

“Why,” the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “are you so interested in that lottery?”

“Well,” I said as soberly as possible, “what if I win all that money? Wouldn’t that be tremendous?” Then I flashed a gracious million-dollar smile at her.

She just stared at me, rolled her eyes and walked away. As she was walking away, she mumbled something like, “You gotta pay if you’re gonna win.”

Oh yeah, I thought to myself. I am sitting in my chair wondering what in the world I would do with all that money if I actually would win it when in reality I am not even playing the lottery. I just got all caught up with the idea of winning money.

Even if I did play, according to some statistics, only one person in 300 million had a chance of winning that lottery. I’m not sure how they come up with such statistics; I am rather suspicious of the whole thing.

I remember a favorite saying of the late Will Rogers, “All I know is what I read in the newspaper.” That was long before all of this media electronic nonsense that we have today. I think he might change his saying something like this, “All I know is what I see on TV.” Or, some of the younger group might include the Internet.

I am not a skeptic, mind you, I just do not believe everything I hear or see these days. I never guess how much change I have in my pocket, I always count it. I never want to guess at anything.

Some people believe everything they hear and see on TV these days. I think most of it is just entertainment. Entertainment has become such an obsession these days that it is hard to get away from it.

We watch programs that solve problems that don’t even exist. We get all excited about somebody playing some role on some fictitious TV program. Don’t get me started on those reality shows! Read More→

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