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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 Articles

Sep
07

4 Ways to Get Organized at Home

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Paperwork piling up in your office. Laundry bursting out of the basket. Messy kids’ rooms. We’ve all been there. Clutter and life’s everyday messes are no fun, but there are a few ways you can work to clean up the clutter around your home before it even becomes a problem. Here’s how.

Multipurpose Furniture

How hard does your furniture work? It could be working harder. A bed frame with pull-out drawers can be a sneaky place to store extra linens. Cube-shaped ottomans in the family room can play double duty, as they can be used as a footstool or hiding place for extra throw pillows. The same goes for oversized ottomans with built-in storage. And, don’t forget to keep your workspace at home clean and clutter free. Choose a desk or computer table that offers ample organization options including drawers, cabinets and shelves. You may even find that you work better. Science shows that clean environments make it easier to focus.

Organization Tools

A little organization can go along way. Take the laundry room, for example. This is a hotspot for clutter chaos, between the clothes, shoes and all the stuff it takes to clean them. Luckily, there are a handful of ways you can clean up your own laundry room, and make it more functional, too. Pedestal drawers are a savvy way to store laundry detergents and other necessities. These drawers are placed underneath your washer and dryer. Many manufacturers offer these hidden drawers, plus the added height makes loading and unloading easier. Another solution: Opt for a ceiling-mounted rack that raises and lowers pulleys for the entire family’s clothes. With a rack like this, you will have plenty of freed up space in your laundry room which will make laundry chores a little less daunting.

Vertical Design

Make the most of your living space by applying vertical design to your home. When designing and decorating in small or cramped spaces around your living areas, look up. Opting for wall-mounted lighting fixtures can free up valuable floor space in small rooms, all while giving the space a polished look. With vertical design, you can even opt to hang your houseplants in fun plant hangers rather than keep them in their pots that take up space on the floor. Additionally, a tall gallery wall can make a big statement, as it can draw eyes up from the floor all the way up to the ceiling. And it is a great way to display pictures of your favorite family memories around the home without using bulky frames that take up space.

Floating Shelves

Clean up clutter in the kids’ rooms in a snap with floating shelves. This DIY project is easy to build and inexpensive. Floating shelves give the appearance of floating on the wall, without any clunky hardware or supports. And, you can pick up supplies for about $20. Whether you need to store your child’s favorite bedtime books or plan to use these shelves to store toy cars and dinosaurs, floating shelves are a great storage solution. Plus, you can build floating shelves for any room in your home, not just the kids’ rooms.

From decorating with multipurpose furniture to hide blankets and linens to floating shelves that can free-up floor space, the solutions can help you get organized at home.

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Sep
06

Navigating Modern Waters With A Christian Heart

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The teachings of God urge us always to think the best of others. It is not, after all, our place to judge. That is the job of the lord. All we can do is live our best lives, and try to spread the love.

But, if you’ve been living this way for a while, people throw the label of ‘naive’ at you. That in itself is a skeptical and hate-filled word. For the most part, you should treat every person you meet with an open and welcoming heart. If they take advantage, you can still rest easy you approached the situation in the way God intended.

The only trouble is, placing this open and trusting attitude in every aspect of your life can lead to problems. There are now many people and companies out there looking to take advantage. While this shouldn’t mean you close your heart to strangers, it may be worth approaching companies with care. For proof, consider the following three places where an open heart could see you stung. Read More→

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Sep
05

Top Tips that will Help you to Land Your Dream Job

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Woman working from homeIf you know that you need to leave the job that you are in or if you feel as though you are not quite happy with the position that you are in right now then it is more than possible for you to change this. After all, it doesn’t take much and you’d be surprised at how easy it can be when you have the right steps in front of you.

 

Learn Everything About Yourself

It is so important that you are able to take the time to learn about your core values and even what work you would like to do. It is also a good idea for you to research various industries and even careers as this will help you to map out your skills and the interests that you have. The internet is a fantastic way for you to do this and when you have done that, you can then get started with getting yourself on the right track.

Read More→

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Sep
05

I Think I Now Know How Noah Felt

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerrainbowLooking out the living room window the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage sighed very deeply and said, “When will this stinking rain stop?”

I chuckled to myself very carefully not to let it come up to the surface of my face to let on to anybody in the room.

She turned around and said to me, “I am just about done with all this rain.”

With a fake grimace on my face I said, “I don’t know, but I’m done with it too.”

I had to walk away at that point because I could not control the chuckles that were rising to the level of my face.

When I got some control of my emotions I thought to myself, this must be how Noah felt. Whenever it rains as it has been doing lately, I usually think of Noah. Only this time I was thinking of Noah’s wife.

Listening to my wife talk about the rain, I could not help but think maybe this is exactly what Noah’s wife was saying to him.

“Noah,” his wife said, “when will this stinking rain stop?” Then I can imagine her saying, “I can handle one day of rain or maybe two, but this is getting to be ridiculous.”

After all, Noah’s wife was just like anybody else’s wife especially the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

Knowing my wife like I do, I know she likes to be in control. From the moment she gets up in the morning until she goes to bed at night, she likes to be in control. When something is going on that she cannot control, then we have a different situation.

Could that be said of Noah’s wife? This rain was coming down day after day after day for 40 days and 40 nights. Nothing had ever happened like that before. I believe Noah’s wife was a little frustrated with the fact that she was not in control with the rain.

My wife gets up every morning with a large list of things she wants to accomplish during the day. I need to be careful because sometimes she has one of her “Honey-Do-Lists” for you know who. She is very productive in her day and she hardly sits down to rest. She is proactive all day long.

When she decides to do something, she does it no matter what.

Now, for the last several weeks it has been raining just about every day. She enjoys yard work and even mowing. Now with the rain, it has disrupted her schedule.

The fact that she cannot control the rain carries with it a little hidden giggle inside of me. She takes pride in planning her day and fulfilling her plan to the letter. She is in control of everything.

Everything, that is, except the rain. I know the rain is playing with her.

Several times, especially this past week, the morning started out bright and sunny with barely a cloud in the air. When my wife saw that, she was very excited. Read More→

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Aug
31

Constantly Late For Work? Here’s How To Break The Cycle

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Tardiness is not something that any employer anywhere tolerates for very long. When you grow up and get into the real world of work, you have certain expectations put upon you to work harder, work better and be on time for it when it does start. College and high school are stressful but almost everything that you do prepares you for getting up on time and getting to work without being late. It’s one of the worst habits to have, because those who are on time believe that lateness is a sign or laziness and a sign of ignorance. Being late shows a person that your time is far more important than theirs, and this is just not the message that you want to send out to an employer.

The thing is, lateness is a very difficult habit to break. It’s not just a case of being told to get up on time; a habit is not easy to get over. Most people who are habitually late actually don’t enjoy being late to things. It gives them the label of being unreliable and difficult to manage, when it’s really not the case. Transforming yourself into a person who is punctual sounds like a great idea on paper, but it’s not always an easy thing to do. You have to get to the root of why you are always late and fix that if you could ever hope to get out of the tardy habit that you’re in. So, what could you do to stop being late for work every day? Read More→

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Aug
31

3 Ways to Keep Your Brand “Top of Mind”

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Keeping your brand “top of mind” with your prospects and customers is an important goal. Why? Because when a need or want arises, your prospect will think of you first and naturally want to reach out to you for help. This will result in more sales, both with new and repeat customers.

How does this work? First of all, you have to build credibility and likeability. Because people do business with people they like, know, and trust. You have to continually be adding value to your prospect and customer, no matter what medium you use, whether an email, a phone call, or a branded card with a personal note.

But what specific methods or strategies can you use to keep your brand “top of mind” with your prospects?

Here are three ideas to get you started:

1) A follow-­up system

Creating a follow-­up system with prospects and customers will be the most effective way you can keep your business “top of mind.”

Most businesses do not do this at all. By practicing this one habit, you can vastly improve the bottom line of your company and bring customers to you. Kevin Knebl, author of “Social Media Sales Revolution,” became a top seller and worldwide speaker in demand by creating a follow up system that truly nurtures relationships. I had the privilege of attending one of his seminars and what he shared was life changing!

Because communication is a timeless principle. Just because we have new technology does not mean the tried and true methods of influencing people is out of date. In fact, they are more important than ever!

This is why “old fashioned” snail mail printed pieces like business cards, postcards, and thank you cards will never go out of style. Brand your identity collateral and use it to keep in touch with your prospects and customers. It will be well worth the investment!

2) A regular e-zine or newsletter

Marketing experts tell us it takes seven exposures to make a sale. Probably in reality, that number is even higher. There is more competition today than ever before, due to the fast- paced world of the Internet.

Providing your customer or prospect with a regular e-zine or newsletter that features information that will make their lives better will keep your brand in front of them continually. The trick is doing market research to know what kind of information they are looking for and providing it on a regular basis.

Read More→

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Aug
29

I Fell for It… Again

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerAn old saying more or less defines my life, “What we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.”

When I was younger, I assumed that the older I got, the smarter I would become. I have not achieved that at this point in my life. It gets so tiresome to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.

I do hope though, that this will change somewhere along my life. I am hoping it changes before I die.

I was reminded of this flaw in my personality several weeks ago when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I spent a little bit of vacation time at St. Augustine. Someone had given us tickets for several nights in a bed and breakfast.

We spent the whole week just enjoying ourselves. I should correct that though. I spent the whole week reading and meditating with my eyes closed.

The other side of our relationship went to all the thrift stores in the area. She would leave right after breakfast, stop back for lunch, then spend the rest of the day until suppertime going from one thrift shop to another. How she can do this for days on end is beyond my wildest dream.

Several times, she asked if I wanted to go with her, but I declined this most gracious invitation. I remember the last time I took her up on that offer and we bounce from one thrift store to the next thrift store. They all started to look alike after a while.

It only takes me five minutes to thoroughly examine the thrift store, while my wife takes two hours to go through bit-by-bit every aspect of that thrift store. Every thrift store in the area knows her by name at this point.

I, the lazier part of the marital equation, chose to stay in our room and just relax. I am just as addicted to relaxation as my wife is addicted to thrift store shopping. I am not certain who suffers the worst addiction.

To be honest, she has gotten many wonderful deals at some of these thrift stores. Whenever we need anything, she knows exactly which thrift store to go to and she can barter them down to the very bottom. How they make any money on her shopping I do not know.

Every once in a while I suffer this awful nightmare. I wake up sweating and breathing really hard.

The nightmare is that we have opened up our own thrift store. No dream can get any worse than that!

I never tell her of these nightmares because I do not want to plant any ideas in her head. I lean strictly away from that idea.

In spite of all of this, I still have failed to learn anything from history.

My wife had spent most of the day visiting these thrift stores, and also buying things from these thrift stores, and had come home and we had a little bit of supper in our room. I assumed we were in for the evening.

I wish I would know when to keep my mouth shut. As we were finishing our casual supper, I said something that I now regret very much. I said, “Boy, it sure would be nice to have one of those lap desks so I could use my computer while I’m sitting here in the bed.”

I did not mean for this to be a point of discussion just a casual observation, that is all.

Then I took it a step further. “Have you ever seen any lap desks in the thrift stores that you visit?”

If there is anything I could ever take back in my life, this would have been one of them. I did not know how serious the subject was.

“I don’t know,” she said most enthusiastically, “but I’ll go and find out right…”

Before she could say the word “now,” she had gone out the door and shut it most soundly. The rest of the evening she was visiting thrift stores all over the place. I was afraid, very much afraid, that she would actually find one and bring it back.

I suppose they are to be found in thrift stores somewhere. But I just meant it as a passing bit of conversation.

Four hours later, she returned and was very much excited. She had found something she had been looking for, for a very long time. It was a very eloquent teapot with 6 cups and saucers to it.

“Look what I found,” she said most excitedly. “I’ve been looking for this and we can use it at our next lady’s tea.” According to her, this tea set matches the one she had back home. She was so excited about it. Read More→

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Aug
29

The Perks Of Being A Nurse

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When it comes to finishing work and deciding what you want to do with your life, one of the things which can be a huge draw is the idea of working within the medical industry. You don’t have to be a doctor or a surgeon to make it in the medical industry and in fact, you can be just as successful working as a mental health practitioner, a nurse or a physical therapist.

So why is being a nurse the best of these options? Well, there are so many amazing perks and opportunities for you when working as a nurse, and the job role itself is a huge draw… and here’s why.

 

Job Security

The beauty about choosing a career as a medical professional in any capacity is the fact that you are needed in the world. Everyone needs someone to look after them when they fall ill, and nursing is a job role which can never go out of style and will never run its course. You will always find people who need you and want your expertise, which means that you will never have to worry about not being able to find a job during your life.

 

Job Opportunities

As with job security, another benefit of being a nurse is the fact that you have plenty of opportunities open to you the moment you step out of your degree or course. There a lots of different places who hire nurses for their own needs and it isn’t just in hospitals. You could work as a mobile nurse, in a nursing home, a school or a doctor’s office. There are lots of places who will welcome you with open arms.

 

Variety

Being a nurse is just as diverse as being a doctor. The term nurse is an umbrella term for anyone who spends their time looking after patients and making sure they are happy and healthy. You could be working at the end of life in palliative care, as a midwife nurse looking after newborn babies, or in the emergency room on call for those who are rushed into A&E after an injury. There are so many different areas you can go into and this means that you never have to feel bored with your job role because there are always more options out there for you.

 

Flexibility Of Hours

When you decide to become a nurse and spend your life treating others and making them feel great, one of the benefits that you can enjoy for yourself is the flexibility of your hours each week. You can be a nurse and work around the commitments you gave at home in a breeze which makes it an incredibly family friendly job role to pursue. If you have kids to look after or certain things in your life to work on, you can fit your hours around it for the most convenient job role you can possibly have.

 

Career Flexibility

As well as being flexible with the hours you are able to work each month during the year, you can also have more flexibility in your career as a whole when you become a nurse. There is no rule which says you need to stay where you are for the entirety of your life and you can be transferred around to another hospital in the country whenever you want. You can even become a mobile nurse which means that you will spend a lot of your time travelling to and from different areas of the world and this is ideal for those of you who aren’t ready to settle down and have a family at this stage in your life.

 

Great Pay

When you step into a career in the medical industry you can guarantee that the wage you are able to earn will be great and will increase year upon year throughout your life. As you work your wag up the ladder in the nursing industry you can stand to earn a lucrative wage which is only what you deserve after the time and effort you spend studying and saving the lives of people around you. Medical professionals deserve great pay for the work they do, and you can really benefit from this this year.

 

Opportunity To Travel

As we briefly touched on above, when you become a nurse there are many different opportunities available to you and many different opportunities to travel around the world. For example you could become a nurse for a cruise ship and travel the seas looking after passengers from all walks of life. You could be a nurse for trains or planes and spend your working career traveling the corners of the earth… and you can see and experience so many amazing things.

 

Ability To Learn

If you enjoy learning new skills and putting yourself to the test throughout life, nursing could be a really wonderful job role for you to do. You will be able to work your way up from an online msn fnp program to a master degree and as you work in your career you can specialise in certain areas and study courses to make your way up to the top rankings in the field. The opportunity to learn and develop both personally and professionally is exactly what you need for a successful career.

 

Pride And Happiness

When you think about the many perks and benefits of working as a nurse, there is one particular perk which blows everything else out of the water and which is the single biggest privilege of them all: you can help people. Being someone who cares for people and looks after them to keep them happy and healthy is the single biggest draw of becoming a nurse. You will begin to see the patients you treat as friends and family and as you nurse them back to health you can enjoy the pride of being responsible for another person’s wellbeing. It is a feeling like no other and is definitely a great reason to try you hand at nursing this year.

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Aug
28

How to Use the Wonderful Web to Enhance Your Career

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Some may say that the internet has been a curse on our society; many people are now susceptible to online bullying, trolling and even cyber hacking. However, looking on the bright side of the internet, we have a whole new world at our fingertips. It is true that online tools have truly enhanced the way you operate in your day to day life and they are super useful when it comes to enhancing your career. If you are hoping to set up a business, grow your knowledge or improve your career prospects, then here are a variety of ways in which you can use the internet to your advantage.

Online Studies

You don’t have to physically go to college to get a good education and earn a well-respected degree. You can learn from the comfort of your own home and you won’t need to make huge changes to your day to day routine by taking an online course. If you are interested in design and engineering then you could study a civil engineering degree online. You will learn all about advanced design techniques and it will set you up perfectly to pursue new career opportunities in this industry. Consider taking an online course and expand your horizons now.

Business Blogging

If you don’t already have a blog, then you are truly missing a trick in today’s digital world. Blogging is a risk-free way of promoting your skills and knowledge to the world, so why not give it a go? Choose a niche topic that interests you and take part in regular discussions online. You could get scouted by potential employer if you write about topical issues in your industry. Read More→

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Aug
27

Balancing Work And Family – 3 Tips To Keep You Sane

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The balancing act – every mother’s nightmare. Many days we feel like circus jugglers with more plates in the air than we can possibly handle.  Over the years, however, I’ve learned a few secrets that help me keep things in perspective:

Keep God First

In Matthew 6:33 we’re told to seek God’s kingdom above all else. Like the apostle Peter who saw Jesus walking on water and asked to join him – as soon as we take our eyes off of Christ and begin to doubt, we sink.

In order to keep our eyes on Him, we need to be in relationship with Him. Schedule time in your day to read God’s Word and to talk with Him in prayer. Surround yourself with friends who love the Lord and who will point you back to Him when you struggle.

Don’t Be Afraid To Choose Family Over Business

As business owners, we do our best to maintain professionalism even when we’re working at our kitchen table with kids hanging on to our ankles. We have deadlines, client demands to meet and emails and phone calls to return. However, there comes a time in every work-at-home moms life when family simply must come first.

It may be that your child is struggling or it could be an extended family member in crisis. The point is, it’s ok to step away from your business when absolutely necessary. Be respectful – let your clients know that you will be gone and when you plan to return. But don’t be afraid to set business aside for a time to be there for people who need you.

 

Plan Ahead

This is by far my biggest struggle. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I love working from home because every day is different and, for the most part, I’m in control of what I do and when. However, as a work-at-home mom so many distractions – emails to read, laundry to do and kids needing attention. So, I’ve had to learn to plan ahead.

What works for me is to plot everything out weekly, giving each day a title for both home and business. So, Mondays are usually laundry days on the home front and “clean out inbox” days for business. Tuesdays tend to be more relaxed with maybe a trip to the park or the swimming pool with some writing to be done in the early morning. Find what works for you and make the best possible use of your time.

It may seem backwards, but with some extra effort you can turn your work-at-home workplace into a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere. Make it a point to spend the quality with your family that you so often wish for (yep, I do that, too.).

Read More→

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