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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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Archive for Family and Finance

Dec
15

The Refrigerator of My Dreams

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When I was six and in first grade, my teacher told us to write down our future career aspirations. She meant for our goals to be career-oriented. Other kids wrote down their desire to be firemen, doctors, and even a princess. My list was short, concise, just three goals that reached beyond a job. My block-print read in order: mom, wife, writer. Other kids grew up and their goals changed. Suddenly being a fireman sounded more dangerous than thrilling. Being a doctor required more years of school and money than everyone was willing to put forth. The one girl was still plotting her engagement to Prince Harry. She and I alone knew our hearts desire at the tender age of six.

Today I walked past a box of ornaments, a pair of sandals, two candy wrappers, and a pile of Rice Crispies on the floor, on the way to my white refrigerator. Picking this fridge was a time-consuming computer search of reading reviews on several websites and picking my particular specifications. A real grown up endeavor. Another reminder that I am now in my late thirties. Well past the days of stuck with whatever appliances come with the place we are renting. Now, my floor is a patchwork of cereal and tiny pink socks. Then I shut the fridge door and found out this is the magical refrigerator of my dreams.

Why you ask, is this icebox so magical? This one is decorated with a picture of me with unicorn hair and large black eyes. This fridge has my son’s A/B honor roll ribbon on the freezer section. I have a tin turned into a pen holder, one of my Pinterest wins. A poem my middle child wrote is on the other side next to progress reports and the phone number for the local pizza shop. There is a stuffed bat adorning the door because my family loves stuffed animals. Basically, my fridge is covered in the same stuff as every other family in America who are peppered with children from two to twenty, and I love it!

All the random bits of my life with my husband and children end up on the fridge as a constant reminder of the mundane to spectacular details of our lives. These details, however, are unique to my dreams and goals. This appliance sits there as a giant ice-making reminder that all my dreams have come true and I haven’t even said, “I’m forty” once in my life. My writing is not gracing the fridge; I might need to print out this blog to prove to my magical fridge all three of my goals are current. Read More→

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Dec
13

Love Driving? These Are The Careers For You!

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Do you love being out on the road, driving to new places and meeting new people? If that’s the case, a driving career should be at the top of your wish list. There are lots of options to consider here when looking for a career that will keep you on the road and away from the desk. Let’s look at some of the best possibilities.

Paramedic

One of the best options would be to work as a paramedic. With a career as a paramedic, you won’t just be driving around all day. Your job will matter, and you will be helping people on the scenes of accidents. Instead of working in an operating room you will be challenged by new environments every day. It could be something that is incredibly enjoyable as well as exhilarating.

Taxi Driver

If you love having a chat or a good chin wag and driving closer to home, you can be a taxi driver. You can either set up as an independent business owner. Or, alternatively, work for an existing company such as Uber. Although you do want to be careful working for a business like this. They have developed a poor reputation for paying their drivers close to nothing.

Delivery Driver

Last but not least you can work on the road delivering products to customers and business owners. It can be quite a fun job, and you’ll get to travel massive distances which some people love. To start this career, you’ll need your CDL. You can find out more about this license in the infographic below.


Infographic Created By www.Express CDL Practice Test.com

Categories : Family and Finance
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Dec
12

When You Want To Quit

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Office Worker with Mountain of PaperworkHave you had one of those days where you just wanted to quit? I reached that point recently – I just wanted to lay everything down and take a nap…

…a five year nap.

I felt overwhelmed, stretched-too-thin and had convinced myself that certainly anyone else could all these things better than I could. So why bother? Why not step away from it all and quit?

What do you do when the world feels like it’s crumbling around you? When all those plates you’re spinning in the air seem as if they are tipping in different directions, ready to crash down upon your head at any moment?

Do you give in and run away, like I was tempted to do? Or do you dig your heels in and tell yourself, “This too shall pass.”

It frustrates me that at times like these my first reaction is always to run and hide (and long for that nap…). I’m grateful that God places people in my life to remind me of His truth and my responsibilities.

I shared my feelings and sense of being overwhelmed with a trusted friend during this time and they gently nudged me with the truth straight from God’s Word. In 1 Peter chapter five, we’re told, starting with verse six: 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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Oct
31

When in Rome – Dads Celebrate Halloween

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Photo Credit: Brad Washburn

Photo Credit: Brad Washburn

Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerIn the world of expressions people use, “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.” is one that you might hear, even in our contemporary society distanced from ancient Rome.

The expression has roots in the Bible, to the Apostle Paul expressing how to reach your community:

1 Corinthians 9:20-22

20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

So, if the Romans . . . or your neighbors, celebrate Halloween, don’t let this Holiday pass without using it as an opportunity to be a witness.  This Halloween, the teaming unwashed ‘lost’ are coming to your door OR you might be taking your youngsters out to mingle with the costumed masses.  People are wandering around looking, even asking, for you to give them something.  How about a witness, a window into how God overcame the world?

How Dads can Do the Halloween thing:

First, don’t believe all the religious hype.  Legalistic religions will spout all kinds of nonsense about it being the Devil’s holiday.  I have all kinds of Scriptural arguments against this idea, but it boils down to one of my favorite verses in the Do the Dad Thing series:

Romans 12:21

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Once legalistic guilt is absolved, you can start being your authentic Christian self and celebrating Halloween with your neighbors . . . do it with the intent to be a living example for Christ.  Here are just a few thoughts on how to rock Halloween as a dad.

Watch your kids:  This goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway.  The later evening can be dark and in some neighborhoods there are a mass of people walking around, all in costumes that look similar.  Make the rule that younger kids have to stay with you.  Also, I’ve noticed over the years that there might be 50 fairies or Iron Men that all look like your kids in costume – make sure you don’t lose track of them in the hustle and bustle.

Have your kids be polite:  We all hate the people that grab handfuls of candy out of the “Take One” bucket.  Don’t let your kids be those kids.  Also, teach your kids to say “thank you,” and “please” when they trick or treat the houses.

Scooters:  Trust me, if your kids are little, have them go house to house on their Razor scooters.  You might be able to hike a few blocks with your long dad-like legs, but your kids will start whining “carry me” after a few blocks.

Take extra bags:  If your kids have trick or treat bags, they can bring them back to you to dump into a bigger bag.  That way, little kids won’t start complaining that their bag is too heavy AND it won’t look like your kids are hauling away tons of candy.

Elderly person giving out candy:  “Oh little princess, your bucket is almost empty.  Here, have 50 Butterfingers.”

Talk to people:  This goes along with being a witness to your neighbors.  Meet people.  If the opportunity comes up, tell them where you live.  Share an interest.  You never know where it might lead. Read More→

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Oct
20

Do you look at your business activities in terms of strengths and weaknesses?

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laughinglOur natural tendency is to see our flaws – talk about them – expound on them – belittle ourselves and compare ourselves to others. We look at someone else and greatly admire their abilities but fail to see what they admire in is because we have taken out strengths for granted.

This turns to negative self talk. Mentally- internally we are constantly telling ourselves how we want to be better and to do better but we are capitalizing on the wrong thing – on our weakness rather than our strength.

We live in a culture where everyone is trying to become well rounded. In child rearing we give each kid so many opportunities to succeed and put so much before them so they have an opportunity to be whatever they want. But the truth is God didn’t create them to be whatever they want. He gifted them with particular strengths and talents which can be used for His glory.
When we have a strength in one area it is ok to not be that great in another.

Embracing our weakness with grace gives us the ability to accept who God has made us unique.

For example I have been in business for 9 years now. I had been sewing since I was a child and had been encouraged to start a sewing business so I could peruse my dream of being a stay at home mom (at such a time as God blessed us with children). When I first started the business I thought I would capitalize on making clothing. During my teen years I would make myself a dress or some kind of clothing every school holiday or summer vacation. Within the first several years of sewing professionally I had some requests for custom clothing, however at the end of each completed project I was left with a feeling of dissatisfaction with the finished product. At the same time I began getting an increase in alterations – prom dresses, men’s suit jackets, new zippers. As I took each piece apart I loved carefully observing how it was put together so that I could reconstruct it back to the original state after the alteration. Often clients were bringing me pieces that they felt horrible in because the clothing was so ill fitting and it was with great satisfaction that I saw them in my finished work which fit perfectly for them!

My strength here was my analytical brain and my desire to help people. I found that I could be more helpful altering their current articles of clothing than I could be in making them new pieces.
For a while I focused on my weakness. I spoke to myself negatively saying “I just need to study clothing construction more, I just need more practice, maybe I am just in the wrong line of work.” I remember the feelings of anxiety and depression that clouded my thoughts concerning my work. Read More→

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Oct
17

Why Middle School is Still Annoying as a Mom

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school5My son Rick started sixth grade this year. His beginnings in middle school have given me nightmares for a couple of reasons. First, my baby is no longer a baby! Second, middle school was not a fun time for me as the adjustment from elementary school was a difficult transition in my life and now I feel as if I will be reliving the nightmare again through my son. Third, I will have to endure two other children as well as Rick going through these harrowing adolescent years in the awkward transition out of primary school into middle grades.

Let’s take a walk into the past and see why middle school were difficult years for me. We moved to a new town the summer before I started sixth grade. In my old town, sixth grade was still elementary school in the safe and cozy atmosphere I excelled in; in the new town sixth grade was the first year of three in middle school. One more year where I would have just one teacher to guide me through my learning process replaced with six teachers. Do you see how many sixes there are in this article? Sixes are bad. This grade should be avoided like taking the elevator to the thirteenth floor. Sadly in my naiveté, I was excited about moving past elementary school because I was unaware of the dreaded H word. You know what word I am talking about, I will take the risk of angering people and write out this profane word. Homework. That’s right I said it, but could you please keep your stones on your side of the school yard?

My poor baby has to endure these cumbersome years now. Despite the technological advances, chrome books do little to reduce the transition from childhood to the years of constant expectation. He will survive because my husband and I will carry him through those years with vigilant diligence. But I am not walking in his gangly pre-teen shoes. Oh no, he can keep those shoes to himself. I did my time; my prison sentence is over. I will be the prison warden, but I am very thankful not to walk those halls again with ominous teachers throwing around that profane word as if it was a treat. As warden, there are new elements of this harrowing year to fear.

Chromebook’s are the ban of my existence. First, they are windows based inferior devices which are completely inoperable by parents. Apple needs to hop on this bandwagon and create a user-friendly device that schools can afford.

School books are a thing of the past. That’s right, no math books to help this mama relearn how to do fractions which I have rarely needed to use in my twenty something years since middle school ended. I know google is my friend and ready to assist 24/7, but I don’t like math, and I don’t want to do long division. Lesson plans are now made up of several different forms of media streamed together rather in-cohesively. Call me old fashioned by I like books. E-readers are great as a digital bookcase, but I need a little help from the handy books to travel into the past to what my son is learning now. Read More→

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Sep
29

Building a Healthy Mind

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By Salvatore VuonoMost would agree that we need to be spiritually, physically and emotionally healthy to live our lives to the fullest extent.

How do you build health physically? You work out and watch your diet right?

Some of us have health tendencies or weaknesses that come to us through our family line so we have to be aware of those tendencies. Perhaps this is a little extra weight, high blood pressure, or a fragile heart. Whatever it is- the wise thing to do is to pay attention to these things and to work to take care of a problem before it gets worse.

In the same manner how do you build spiritual health? Reading the Word, having quiet time with the Lord, prayer, fellowship with other believers, a heart of thanksgiving. Some of us may struggle with one area more than another and that takes more work. But in order to maintain spiritual growth it has to be a conscious effort of drawing close to the Lord and seeking fellowship with Him continually.

Since it takes work to cultivate physical and spiritual health, don’t you think it also takes work to cultivate mental/emotional health. Too often we give excuses for why we worry, why we dwell in negative thought patterns, and struggle with healthy relationships. There is nothing wrong with admitting that we have trouble in these areas, the problem comes when we condone this and do nothing to change. (Which is true both physically and spiritually as well – if you are obese and continue eating the wrong things, the problem will only grow worse)

We are wired in such a way that when we are unhealthy in one area (whether it be emotionally, physically or spiritually) our whole body is affected. Take worry for instance – the physical consequences could be high blood pressure and the spiritual consequences are the inability to trust God, which keeps us from enjoying fellowship with Him.

God designed us each differently with unique temperaments and family backgrounds so some of us have a greater tendency towards emotional/mental problems. Dr. Frederick Diblasio explains that just like some are born with the learning disorder of dyslexia, others have emotional and interpersonal dyslexia1. In both cases there is hope, but in both cases it takes work. Read More→

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Sep
20

Grocery Store etiquette

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shopping cartBrad, you gave us some great ideas for dads to teach kids good behavior in a waiting room situation.  But what about the grocery store?  My kids are unholy terrors when I take them shopping.

Ok, so in actuality no one really asked that question.  But they should have!  Because the grocery store is one of the greatest trials to kids and behavior.  The few times I was threatened with “Wait until your dad gets home . . .” were uttered by my mother at the grocery store.  I don’t remember much of how I misbehaved (especially after the beating I received from my dad for misbehaving– just kidding), but I’m sure I was fighting with my sister, asking for things, and touching everything.  My mom would probably remember more because memory is augmented by trauma.  I probably need to call my mom someday and apologize for every grocery and department store trip I ruined.  However, if Karma is a concept God allows, I am definitely getting my due share of payback.  I have a flexible schedule, so I have been harnessed with doing a lot of the shopping over the years.  It’s not so bad now, but when our kids were little my wife signed us up for some sort of shopping-rating survey system, so shopping was complicated and already felt like it took FOREVER, even without the kids.

Now my boys are almost to the age where I can tell them, “Hey, would you run up to the store and pick us up some bread for dinner?”  Almost.  So I still do the shopping and I frequently view other poor adults struggling to manage kids while they are shopping.

Since I’m a Christ follower, I need to first direct focus on the Bible and see how other people of faith managed the grocery store experience successfully:

They didn’t.

Grocery Stores and Department Stores didn’t exist in Biblical times, so it’s more difficult to get a grip on any of the great Dad-ing techniques of the Bible.  However, I think the entire book of proverbs could be retitled “How to instruct your kids to behave at Walmart.” . . .  Maybe I’ll suggest that to Zondervan.

In all seriousness though, in ‘Biblical times’ kids, even little kids, had some big responsibilities.

“You want to eat dinner tonight toddler?  Good, pull up this row of leeks.”

“You are a preteen Israelite boy, get out there and kill us a goat for dinner.”

“You’d like new socks?  Here, let me show you how to knit.”

Times have changed, but kids are still kids.  They can accept and rise to many challenges and responsibilities.  It does take more time on the front end to teach them.  The typical Israelite dad would have to show his kids the correct way to plant, harvest, thresh . . . but after a few times of instruction, the kids are helping with the ‘grocery shopping’ for the rest of their lives.  That’s worth it.

So, technique #1 to thrive at store shopping with your kids is to….

Give them Responsibilities and teach them how to succeed.  This might require some short, ‘practice,’ trips to the grocery or department store, but it will be worth it.

Speaking of training, I developed a technique to train your kids that could almost be considered sadistic torture.  Take your kids to Toys R Us (or any toy store) and park in the parking lot.  Tell your kids that you are going to go inside with them to look at cool stuff.  But also tell them that you are NOT going to buy anything today.

Then, stick to it. Read More→

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Sep
15

Reasons Why Children Do What They Do – Part 2

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shutterstock_231125878Question: I ask my son to go tell my daughter to come down for dinner, and he stays where he is and yells for her, why?
Answer: Your children require constant strenuous use of their vocal cords for proper maintenance and growth. Or kids are just lazy and do not want to do anything they do not need to do. Yes, you are quite capable of yelling up the stairs for your daughter, but your son does not think of this, he thinks, ‘what is the quickest way from point A to point B?’ For this situation, yelling gets him back to searching for Pokemon or battling dragons a whole lot faster than actually walking up the stairs and looking for his sister.
Solution: This might end up being an example of follow-by-example or constant not stop nagging every single time, your choice. If you need your child, try not to yell for them instead lead by example by going up the stairs or finding them through means other than your vocal cords. Children who do not yell…that is the dream, but not reality.

Question: Why do my children need to talk to me the moment I get on the phone?
Answer: In case you have forgotten, your little girl should be at the forefront of your thoughts at all times. Children view the person on the other end of the phone as an instigator ready to steal you away from them, and they must be stopped. Children are jealous creatures who need constant one-on-one attention from their parents. Cats are the same way, at least the kids rarely stick their bottom in your face.
Solution: When I know I am expecting an important phone call I tell the children if they interrupt me they will regret it, this usually thwarts the attempts to divert my attention. If a call takes me by surprise, my children know if they talk to me when I am on the phone they are going straight to time-out until my phone call is finished. After one 45 minute conversation with my brother two of the three children learned quickly I mean business, I am consistent, and I do not back down.

Question: Why does my son eat shredded cheese out of the bag in the fridge and leave a trail of evidence?
Answer: Shredded cheese spoils quickly (especially when the bag is not sealed properly by sneaky children) and should be eaten quickly to prevent waste. See, you were getting angry, and your son is just trying to be helpful! Besides, cheese is so good it should be considered a food group, and your son is a growing boy after all. The real problem might be that you are depriving him of vital nutrients necessary for his growth. More likely, though, your child is a slob just like mine and well most of the children around the world. They simply need to be taught the table is a better location for eating cheese.
Solution: My little cheese connoisseur was denied cheese for two weeks after I found a trail of cheese from the top shelf to the cabinets closest to the refrigerator. He decided to disobey me and sneak a slice of cheddar, and I added another week to the punishment. Once again consistency is important and not backing down. When we had tacos during his punishment his were sans cheese, along with a few other meals. His cheese withdrawals were so bad after three weeks I think he was physically shaking, but he never leaves cheese trails for me anymore. Read More→

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