CWAHM Devotional

Do Life DifferentDo Life Different
Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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sunny dayDuring my high school career I was no thespian, however, I could act the fool when called upon. My friend was the thespian and starred in our senior high school play, “Finian’s Rainbow.” One of the musical numbers was, “When I’m not near the girl I love,
I love the girl I’m near.”

I have altered this title a little to fit my own needs. My version goes, “When I’m not in the season I love, I love the season I’m in.” It is a wonderful motto and has solved quite a few problems down the years. Just don’t ask me to sing it for you. I can, but you do not want to hear it… believe me.

At my age I have learned a thing or two. One of the things I have learned is that you might as well be content where you are at because that is where you are. All these people that are jumpy and nervous because they are not exactly where they want to be, waste a lot of precious time and energy.

I am old enough to appreciate where I am at. I could bemoan the fact that I’m not somewhere else, but what good would that do. I know I’m not at my destination yet, so I am determined to enjoy the journey and not miss one thing along the way.

This is the difference between the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly.

Just the other day her Majesty was complaining about the weather. “It’s so hot outside, I can hardly stand it.”

Of course, I could not resist saying, “Well, why don’t you sit down.” To which, she treated me to one of her infamous glares. Somehow, in the hot sunshine her glare did not have its normal effect. For one, she was too hot and did not have the energy to follow through on her glare.

But I love the summer. It is a wonderful time of the year and my affection for the season goes all the way back to my days in school.

I enjoy every aspect of summer and when God created summer, he created a masterpiece. Not a summer day goes by that I do not thank Him for the summer.

I need to get one thing quite clear. I am not one of those who lay out in the sun to get a suntan. That is not my cup of tea… or rather glass of lemonade. I do not fault those who lay out in the sun to get what they call a suntan. Rather, I feel sorry for those old saps. Why ruin a good day by laying in the sun? Read More→

website scrabbleby Trey Donaldson

Have you ever wondered why some seemingly beautiful websites fail and some inexpensive ones flourish? It appears that the amount of money put behind a website does not matter a lot. The success of a website or blog depends on how well engage with the content. Sites fail to live up to expectation because they overlook business objectives. Similarly, measuring online marketing is something modern businesses (big or small) want to do. We all agree that tracking data and numbers, without a dedicated tool, can be one tedious journey. Whatever your business is about, analysis software will always come in handy in getting performance data and stats. Here are a few platforms to consider for an enhanced marketing strategy.

Google Analytics Platform

Google Analytics may be a free tool, but do not think it does not serve the purpose. We have placed it first on this list for a good reason, that it is easy to use, but super effective. Sign up to the site, get a tracking code and get going. There are many ways of using this platform. For instance, you can get about page views, whereby you determine the popularity of individual pages. If you want to get information about different marketing mediums, view the pages by source.   Are you interested in referral traffic information? Google Analytics will give this information too.

It will also provide demographic reports, weighted sort and social referrals. That is why we say you should try out this platform. The platform should be around for a while, considering that it is from Google and that its updates and tweaks are regular.

 

Sumo Content Analytics

Sometimes you want a wide range of tools to add to content analytics, all in one package. Sumo is that kind of platform. Millions are already using this tool, so it is definitely adding value to websites and blogs. Sumo brings loads of benefits including higher website traffic, more social-shares and more subscribers to email list.  

Does it cost to get Sumo? You can still install the tool free, but this only for the branded version. However, cost is likely to increase with increase in traffic. The good thing is that this tool is good value for money, considering it comes with numerous apps, responsive support and timely updates. It is also easy to use.

 

Piwik

Like the previous two tools, Piwik is easy to use so you can download and start using it immediately. When you first use this platform, you will notice many similarities with other top solutions. It is compatible with almost any server you bring, updates data in real time and has numerous user-friendly features. Piwik offers advanced privacy for your data.  Do you want all the information as one package? You will love this platform for its detailed full report and back ups.

There is a pricier version that charges $29 per month, but if you are technically shrewd, you may stick to the free software.  That is why they say the software is sometimes uncomfortable to some people. However, considering the tools ease of setup and installation, flawless performance and richness of data, this platform is definitely recommendable for any website or blog owner.

In conclusion, the good thing with analytics platforms is that using them is usually very simple, yet the meaningfulness of the data provided is unquestionable. Once you get the intelligence and act upon it, there is no reason your website or blog should not improve over time. In an era when online marketing is so challenging, even the slightest improvements are worthwhile. So, get one of these awesome analytics platforms and take your business to the next level.

Aug
14

But I Need To Make Money … Now!

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I often hear from people who are looking to work from home asking me about how to get started making money.  This can be a tricky question because there are simply so many factors to take into account.  Most times I attempt to gently steer them in the right direction, giving them tools that will help them make their way in the work-at-home world.

However, from time to time, I am contacted by someone who is looking to work from home out of sheer desperation.  These emails break my heart, as I sense their need and wish I could do so much more to help them.  Unfortunately, there are few (if any) ways to make money from home without putting in some solid time and effort. Even the people who claim to make “passive income” have often spent years putting those systems into place.

Like so many other areas of life, we must put forth the effort to receive the reward.  A person may be able to push there way into a business and even begin making sales rapidly. However, this, in the end, won’t lead to the lasting peace they are truly seeking.

You see, if I’ve learned anything over the last 17 years of working from home and helping others find ways to work from home, it’s that money isn’t an answer. At least, not a long-term one.

Money might be able to fill in some gaps and pay a few bills, but you can trust in money.

We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Which means that while money CAN be a quick solution, it won’t prevent hard times from coming. Not even the wealthy are immune from things ilke

  • Earthquakes
  • Stock Market Crashs
  • Death of a Loved One

So, what do we do instead? Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-systemsMany years ago, after I graduated from college, I was forced to become a secretary due to the grim job outlook at that time. I rankled at this idea for a long time. Frankly, administrative work is boring to me. I’d much rather be thinking of ideas or creating a product.

But now that I’m a business owner, I realize the importance of having administrative skills. And even more so since my husband just started his business and I am assisting him!

I have discovered that developing systems is the best way to handle administrative work. It not only helps with my sense of boredom, it helps me be more efficient so I have time to do what I really love!

So here are some of the systems that I’ve put in place. Maybe they’ll help you as they have helped me!

Marketing Blueprint. This is by far my most important system. I have outlined different types of marketing activities on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. Sometimes I don’t hit these goals, but it helps me be consistent. Because I keep pressing on and I resume that task the next time it comes around. I never have to wonder, “What am I going to do today?”

Planner. I created my own special planner to help me have laser focus on my time. As a business owner, homeschool mom, and wife to a freelance architect, my time is at a premium. I make sure I take time out to plan rather than be tossed about by urgencies and every whim. My time spent strategizing, praying, and planning is well worth it.

Financial. This is still a work in progress for us, but it is important to have in place financial software to help you run your business smoothly. The Bible urges us to “know well the flock of your herds.” Knowing what’s in your bank account, who owes you money, and if you need a person to sign a contract is very important when you run a business.

Read More→

Aug
10

Loving Your Unlovable Spouse

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meT2gaeNow there’s a catchy title, huh? I’m sure no one has an unlovable spouse now, do they? Well, hopefully not, right? Because this is where the rubber meets the road in marriage: learning to give love, respect and grace to another human being when they are NOT particularly giving those things to me in return.

Let me ask you this question: Do you REACT or RESPOND when your husband acts unkind, or says something that really hurts you? I know I reacted (and usually quite strongly) in the first 10 years of my marriage. I was usually thinking about getting my “rights” or making sure he knew what I was thinking or feeling about whatever topic we were discussing. I’ve learned the hard way that my reactions are not good for anyone really! Not for my husband or sons. I’ve also learned that my responses can come from God: I can hit the PAUSE button and THINK first before saying something unkind in return. I think a lot of marital disagreements and fights would not even start if I learn to practice a godly response.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the passage in Scripture (Matthew 5) where it states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy’. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, ….”. Jesus goes on to say, “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?” It is so easy to love when “I’m feeling it” or when you’re doing something I want you to do. But what do I do when that isn’t happening? Do I pout, get demanding, or sulk? Or do I talk it over with our God, who has both of our best interests in His Mind?

1 Peter 3:9: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” This can be so hard! This verse one ups it even more: I’m to bless the person who is hurting me! Ouch!

Talk about hard! Especially when my emotions are going full force (is there any other way ladies?) this will taken herculean effort on my part to go to Jesus, calm myself and respond in a way that honors God and the person.

Read More→

Aug
09

The Amazing Wonder of A.G.E.

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I have just celebrated my recent birthday. By now, it is getting to be old business for me. Just another day of the year to celebrate something, which just happens to be my birthday.

I believe that if it is my birthday, I should be able to celebrate whatever birthday I want to celebrate. You are only as old as you celebrate.

I am not embarrassed at how old I am, I just sometimes cannot remember the exact figure. Some of my friends are rather legalistic along this line and are demanding the exact number of my birthday. Is it really that important? Does it really matter how old you are?

Well, if you spoke to some of my friends it matters to them. For those of us, however, who have experienced a succession of birthdays it does not really matter.

Thinking of my birthday this past week I was trying to figure out what was my best birthday. All of them had certain significance to them. For example, my 16th birthday allowed me to drive the car. However, I could only drive the car when my father said I could drive the car.

My 21st birthday was very important because I then could get married. Back then, you could not get married unless you were 21 years of age. Before that, you had to have your parent’s permission. I have asked my parents for many things throughout the years, but I think asking to get married is just crossing the line somewhere.

Every birthday starts a new year of adventure and excitement. When you get older, adventure and excitement sort of goes away a little bit. It can be exciting to celebrate another birthday and wonder where you going to be at when your next birthday comes around.

Some people feel it’s a little negative to get older. If you do not get older, it means that you have… Well, you know the rest of that sentence. I find nothing negative about getting older. I find certain amenities are associated with getting older that I could not cash in when I was younger.

When I was younger, I could not get away with much of anything. Now that I am older, I can get away with things because I have a few niches I can use. “I’m sorry,” I often say to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, “I forgot all about that. You know I’m getting older now.”

She smiles and shakes an understanding head. It is wonderful to have an excuse for things of that nature.

For my birthday this year, I discovered something rather interesting. This year I discovered the amazing wonder of A.G.E. If you look at age from the proper perspective, you do get some very interesting enjoyments.

I suppose I should explain to you what I mean by A.G.E. It never occurred to me until this birthday celebration. A.G.E is simply Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I never saw this before, but then of course I was not old enough to appreciate it.

When I was young, I noticed my grandfather had some rather grumpy sessions and I did not quite understand. Now that I am approaching my grandfather’s age, I appreciate that grumpy attitude. Oh, the wonder of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance.

If I ever thought youth was exciting, it is nothing compared to this A.G.E. that I am experiencing right now. It is so wonderful to be grumpy whenever you choose.

I know some people are grumpy because they are just grumpy. That has nothing to do with this wonderful Aggressive Grumpy Elegance that I have discovered.

It takes quite a few decades to master this kind of attitude. I am delighted to say I have reached that stage in my life and I am mastering this part of Aggressive Grumpy Elegance. I just cannot say it often enough.

For example, when I want a quiet afternoon and maybe take a little bit of a nap, the result of this would be somebody saying, “Stay away from grandpa, he’s acting a little grumpy today.” The key to that is “acting.”

Some people are grumpy because they are grumpy, but those of us who have reached a certain level in life are grumpy because we are acting grumpy and to act grumpy takes a great deal of thespian skill.

If someone, and I will not mention the real name here, wants me to go shopping with her, all I need to do is put on the grumpy act. “Well,” she will say, “I guess you’re too grumpy to go shopping with me today!”

The person who has reached this level of A.G.E can turn it on when needed and turn it off when not needed. That is the “elegance” part of this whole business.

When the grandchildren are around making noise and excitement, I do not have to act grumpy. When their parents, however, come around that is the time when grumpy kicks in.

You have to know when to act grumpy and when not to act grumpy. That is the wonderful aspect of getting to the age I am at right now.

I believe Solomon understood this when he wrote, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29).

One of the great privileges in life is to earn that “grey head.” More important, to use that grey head in a positive, affirmative fashion.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship and an award winning author whose writings have appeared in more than eighty periodicals, including GUIDEPOSTS. “In Pursuit of God: The Life of A. W. Tozer,” Snyder’s first book, won the Reader’s Choice Award in 1992 by Christianity Today.

Snyder has authored 35 books altogether. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores, Florida. Learn more about Rev. Snyder at WhataFellowship.com.

If you work remotely or manage remote workers, you’re in good company. A Gallup survey found that in 2016, 43 percent of those working in the U.S. worked remotely at least some of the time, up from 39 percent in 2012. This shift is viewed positively by many employers and employees, who say that remote workers are more productive and that the flexibility of remote work attracts more non-traditional employees to the workplace.

However, this same survey found, probably not surprisingly, that while those who work remotely 100 percent are generally happy, they feel less engaged than coworkers in two areas: relationships with other employees and professional development. Both deficit areas stem from the lack of personal interaction with co-workers and management. So if you’re a remote worker or manage a remote team, how can you keep remote work from feeling robotic and disconnected? Here are four technologies that can help humanize the remote work experience.

1. Face-to-face video conferencing software

Face-to-face contact is crucial for successful working relationships and is obviously lacking in most remote working situations. As often as possible, use video conferencing software both for formal and spontaneous meetings. This will help give a human face to remote workers and establish a genuine connection between coworkers. Get a virtual meeting software that allows for spontaneity, agility and true telepresence when needed.

2. Communication app

One of the ways coworkers traditionally bond is through the seemingly unimportant chatter that happens in the hallways or break rooms. To help foster this bond virtually, get a messaging app for your team. The most popular of these apps is Slack, which allows you to organize conversations into channels, share files and prioritize conversations. Many teams will keep one channel open just for ongoing personal chats and encourage remote workers to start each morning there. Read More→

Aug
07

How to Find “Enough”

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When I ask women why they want to work at home, I generally get the same type of answer – something to do with being at home with their family. It may be preparing for a new baby or the desire to come home from a corporate job to be more present and available to their children. However, the answers always seem to have one thing in common – they are always about relationships.

Never – NEVER – has someone said to me, “Jill, I want to work at home so that I can buy more stuff.

So why, once we get home, does being with our kids not feel like enough?

I know for me, I constantly feel as if I’m not doing enough … or maybe it’s that deep down I don’t believe that I AM ENOUGH.

Ouch.

And I wonder – will we know when we hit the “enough” stage? Will a day come when we think to ourselves, “I’m here. I made it. I have enough. Now I can sit back and relax.”

Maybe the problem is that we’re thinking about this backwards. Possibly, a better way to think about it is that “enough” is an attitude that is cultivated. We can choose to look around and simply decide that we have enough.

We can also build actions into our lives to give us reminders that we have (and ARE) enough:

1. Give some of your “stuff” away.
2. Don’t let your pocketbook be the end-all for your business – there are MANY ways to measure success.
3. Be present with your children – find ways to truly enjoy their company. (I know this isn’t always easy!)
4. Be in the Word. God’s Word is full of reminders that we are enough, because HE is enough. <3
5. Cultivate an attitude of contentment in your life. This doesn’t mean that we stop striving for me. It simply means that we ALSO choose to be content where we are in the moment.

What do YOU do to remind yourself that you are enough?

Share in the comments below!

Read More→

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerstand outCorporations spend tens of thousands of dollars on branding. Think about the “big guys” out there—the Targets and Visas and Starbucks, to name a few. They jealously guard their images. They trademark their logos and slogans. And they go after violators with a vengeance.

They know that their branding is their most important asset.

So why should you, as a work-at-home business owner, think any less?

Unfortunately, many small business owners gravitate to logos and branding that is cheap and free. In fact, some business owners don’t even know what branding is!

A good brand is more than finding a pretty or cool logo. Or going to a cheap and free resource that will give you templates and all you do is plug in your information.

The problem with these resources is it is not tailor-made to your unique business. It is not customized so that your prospects will easily recognize you.

It’s kind of like being lost in a sea of “cookie cutter” homes. Where I live, there are plenty of them! Every time I go in one of these neighborhoods, I get lost because I can’t tell the difference between one house and the next.

It’s the same with your logo and branding. If your logo looks the same as your competition, your prospect will be lost. There’s nothing to distinguish you from the crowd. This is especially problematic with the Internet.

But when you base a logo on strategic analysis, on your Unique Selling Point, your mission, target market, and other factors, you will be building a brand that brings value. This will mean an increase in your bottom line!

Read More→

Aug
03

Go Ahead, Call Me If You Dare

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Ipink telephone don’t think it was in the mind of Dr. Bell when he invented the telephone for people like me to be harassed by people who are only after my money. Don’t get me wrong here. The telephone has been a great blessing to many people. But lately, the wrong people have my number.

It finally came to a head this past week. At least as far as I was concerned.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I had a very busy week and by Thursday we had accomplished a lot, or at least we thought we had. We had lunch with a very good friend and enjoyed ourselves tremendously.

On our way home from lunch I mentioned the fact to my wife that I was feeling very tired and I probably could do with a Power Nap, as they call them today. She just looked at me and said, “Go ahead and get your nap in.”

Being the husband that I am, I always obey my wife. And so, off to the parsonage I headed to get in a well-deserved, at least I thought it was, Power Nap to rejuvenate what little energy I had left.

Nothing feels better to me than stretching out on my easy chair, closing my eyes and drifting off into Lala land, of which I am a frequent visitor.

I am not quite sure how long I was sleeping, but suddenly I heard a weird noise that awakened me. That weird noise was the telephone ringing. I never know who’s calling and I never know if it might be important, so I answered the phone.

I am so tired of getting telephone calls that just interrupts my day. I get calls from somebody who has a solution for my student loan and how to pay it off. I never went to college and therefore I don’t have a student loan. At my age, if I had a student loan it would be a tragic situation.

The call was from some health agency that had a deep concern about my health. More particularly, they had solutions for pains that I was experiencing.

“I understand,” the person on the other end of the telephone said very businesslike, “that you are having problems with pain in your body.”

I do not know where he got that understanding or why he would be interested in any of my pain.

“No, sir,” I said with a healthy yawn, “there ain’t no pain here.”

“Is there someone in your house,” he went on to say, “that has some back pain?”

Without giving me time to respond, he continued, “I believe you qualify for one of our back braces to help manage your back pain.”

“No, sir,” I said most pathetically, “nobody here has that kind of pain.”

Not hindered in his salesman pitch, he said, “Is there someone in your home that has an ankle pain? I have a wonderful solution that I would like to send you to deal with that pain?” Read More→

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