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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 CWAHM Blogs

Sep
21

LEAN ON ME

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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.

Read More→

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 HireMyMom.com. Remember – always be sure to read the fine print, and research each company/opportunity that interests you.

Freelance
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 upwork.com, 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 fiverr.com – you can start offering your service for just $5, and then add additional options at higher prices as your business grows. Read More→

Sep
14

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.

Read More→

Sep
13

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→

Friday morning, (there was a light at the end of the school-week tunnel) my twelve-year-old son woke up about twenty minutes early of his own accord, and now the whole house would pay for his lost sleep. My girls had to leave for school thirty minutes before Rick and yet he decided to hog the bathroom. He screamed at both of his younger sisters for having the audacity to get in his way. Rick squawked at me for asking him to take out the trash. Even the dogs got yelled at for being under his feet. Ensue the parental lecture, from both mom and dad, about not ruining everyone else’s day because you ‘woke up on the wrong side of the bed.’

Let’s backtrack a couple of years. I had a nephew come to visit for the summer and he woke up every day with a less than sunny disposition. He said he could not control his mood, despite me lecturing him on how your attitude is your choice. He called me out, and rightly so, for claiming and acting like I was not in a good mood until after my first cup of coffee. Side note: let’s face it though, coffee really does make morning time better.

I made a promise to start waking up with a much better temperament. Took me a couple of days of training myself, but I changed my attitude in the wee hours of the morning to a less cranky presence.

Move back a few more years to when my middle child was about a fourteen months old. She woke up grouchy every day. Her foul mood made the mornings and afternoons quite frustrating for me and her older brother Rick.

I complained to a friend who asked me a life changing question: “Why do you allow her to wake up grouchy?

Of course, I balked at her query. I was young and naive still and did not realize disposition was a choice. She suggested not letting Bri out of her crib until she had stopped yelling and carrying on. I was still to change her diaper but not to let her out until she was willing to more agreeable. I agreed because, honestly, I was at my wit’s end waking up to a cranky baby.

Four days was all it took for Bri to wake up happy.

The first day was hard for both her, me, and Rick. Not one of us wanted to listen to her whining. I went in, changed her diaper, and told her when she could be nice, I would let her out and we would get breakfast. She looked at me like I was crazy (and I felt like I was crazy). The second day I think she was louder and more insistent, but I help up my end of the bargain to not let her out and until she improved her mood. She had a point to prove on day three. She thought she was more stubborn than me and could use her little squeaky voice to force me to do her bidding.

Read More→

Sep
11

Work Is Not About Money

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 First and foremost, work is not about economic exchange, financial remuneration, or a pathway to the American Dream, but about God-honoring human creativity and contribution. Our work, whatever it is, whether we are paid for it, is out specific human contribution to God’s ongoing creating and to the common good.”  – Tom Nelson, Work Mattersmoney jar

I love that quote! Isn’t it true that we so often view work as simply a way to make money. The truth is that it is SO much more than just a way to help pay bills.

I can’t tell you how often I get caught in the trap of thinking that my end goal is how much money I bring in. If I go a day or two without selling some advertising space I begin to wonder if God is mad at me. How silly is that? I believe that while God does care about me and my business, He isn’t all that worried about whether or not I sell ads each day just to make myself feel better.

When I look past the monetary expectations I have for my business and focus on what I see God doing through CWAHM, I am humbled and reminded that this business is so much more than just a way to make money.

And when I keep my eyes focused on Christ and moving in the direction that He is leading me, I work in an entirely different way because I’m coming at things from a Christ-centered perspective. And boy is that a beautiful place to be! (and if I ever figure out how to KEEP myself there I’ll let you know – I’m constantly finding myself back in the worry-about-money boat and having to heave myself overboard into Trust God Lake!)

Our work, or maybe more specifically the WAY we work, is an expression of our love for God. It is one of the main ways that we can glorify Him while we are here on this Earth. It is one of the ways that He has given us to contribute to what He is doing in the world.

Whether our work today consists of

  • * Raising our children
  • * Running a business
  • * Working for an employer
  • * Volunteering somewhere

Everything we do contributes to the kingdom of God if we do it to honor Him above all else.

Read More→

question markLife as a Christian work at home mom or dad is not always easy. In fact, from my experience it’s like swimming upstream. Sometimes it is downright hard, especially when there are so many duties and responsibilities and needs that need to be balanced and juggled.

Sometimes I feel that it is like pulling teeth. As a matter of fact, I DID have to have a tooth pulled recently, so when that picture came to my mind just now as I was writing this article, I can attest to the truth of that statement!

Often it is two steps forward and three steps back. Then you throw in running a household (in our case doing extensive remodeling) and homeschooling a special needs child like I do (or whatever your circumstance), it becomes all incredibly overwhelming.

Like riding on a merry-go-round or running on a treadmill endlessly.

Will there ever be a day when your hopes and grand dreams as a Christian work at home mom or dad are realized? Will circumstances ever change? Is there any hope? Why not throw in the towel now and forget it?

But before you do, ask these questions:

1) What is your life and business about? Living a great life or loving a great God? (From “Freedom From Emotional Eating” by Barb Raveling)
2) Why did you get into business in the first place?
3) Do you need to pull back and rebuild?
4) What Is working? What is not working?
5) What is God trying to teach you through this difficult time? Where is He in the midst of it and what is He saying to you?
6) Do you have a strategic marketing plan or are you just throwing promotions at the wall, hoping they will stick? Read More→

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