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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 Jill’s Blog

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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I don’t know about you, but I am already beginning to think about Christmas shopping. I know, I know – it’s WAY to early for some of you. BUT, I like to get a great deal, so in my mind – the earlier, the better!

So, in order to find that REALLY great deal I’m searching for online, I need to find a code. But that can be challenging, especially with stores like Starbucks, who don’t offer as many site-wide codes as other retailers.

But fear not, fellow coupon queens! There are a few ways you can still save money on Starbucks products by finding working Starbucks promo codes – you just have to know where to look.

Let’s use this as an example. Say I want to buy an awesome mug for my teen daughter:

I add it (or…..maybe more than one) to my cart, and go to check out. But that promo code box is staring me in the face.

I don’t know about you, but I can never click “checkout” without at least searching to try and find promo code. But how can you find promo codes for stores like Starbucksthat don’t offer many?

Well, turns out, you just need to know where to look.

First Tip: Sign up for the Starbucks Newsletter

Like most, Starbucks offers a promo code in exchange for signing up to receive their email newsletter.

On their homepage, scroll down (or simply wait a bit) and their newsletter/promo offer will pop up.

Within the next few minutes, you should receive an email with a 10% off promo code.

However, what if you’ve already signed up for the newsletter? Surely there are more code available somewhere, right? Right!

This is where coupon sites come in. Gracious deal-hunters share codes on coupon & deal websites, making them a great place to find working promo codes right when you need them.

Second Tip: Check Coupon/Deal Sites for Promo Codes

My personal favorite is Dealspotr because I find useful codes there most often. I’ve also been known to share codes there, which is honestly a lot of fun! Dealspotr even tracks how much you’ve helped others save, which I love – it makes my day each time I check in and see that dollar amount has grown.

Other things I’ve found particularly unique about Dealspotr are:

— Community members can upload single-use coupons, often giving a site-wide discount (they are only good for one use, but we typically have several codes at any given time)
— Members can also add referral codes, giving friends and family-type discounts
Dealspotr also shows third party codes – discount codes at other retailers that can be used to score discounts on the brand the shopper is looking for.
All these codes in one place! What more can a bargain shopper want?! 🙂
So, I head to the Dealspotr site and scroll down on their Starbucks page so that I can see the options to filter by types of codes:

Read More→

Categories : Jill's Blog
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Aug
02

Going For The Gold

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerGoing for Gold by Pam BassI have been re-watching a little of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Last night the figure skating couples were on and I thought, “Isn’t marriage a bit like this?” Think about it. You are both skaters, you both work on your own, but then come together to create something very beautiful! At the very least, all your efforts go towards that one goal: To win a medal, preferably the Gold.

What is true about Olympic athletes?

* They practice, practice and practice some more
* They pick a great partner-one they can work with
* They have a great and awesome coach
* They have their encouragers, families, & friends cheering them on to their fullness potential
* They put a lot of time, money and energy into being the best they can be
* They don’t quit easily; they get up when they fall down
* They have a set of reachable expectations, which they both know & strive for
* They share in the victories as well as the defeats
* They talk and listen very well to each other
* They are firm but also gentle with each other
* They (especially the women) trust each other
* They are there for one another

Is this not the way we married folks should be also in our marriages? I’m amazed at the trust the women skaters have: the men skaters throw them up and then catch them! While my husband

 

and I don’t skate, I do trust him to ‘catch me’ at times. He does this by listening, by being there for me. And I do the same for him. It’s a win-win situation. By no means perfect, but we keep at it. Just like those world class skaters: practice, practice, practice.

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Aug
01

August Featured CWAHM

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For the last few months, we’ve been featuring CWAHMs from some of the best work-at-home opportunities available. This month’s CWAHM spotlight introduces you to Brooke Williams, an author with a brand new novel coming out September 1st!

Brooke Willams
Author
Website: authorbrookewilliams.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorbrookewilliams/
Email: authorbrookewilliams@gmail.com

“I spent over a decade in radio on KGBI FM, but once my first daughter was born in 2009, I left the full time working world to be a mom.

After about a year, I wondered if there was something I could do at home that I could build upon to someday enter back into the working world once she was in school. I’ve always loved to write so that seemed like the logical option. I started searching out writing jobs and getting tiny little tidbits here and there. They pay was abysmal but it was fun and that’s all I cared about at the time.

That inspired me to branch out in my writing and the novels started pouring out. I entered into the romantic comedy genre and it became addictive. I put out a whole series called the dandelion books, which include Accept this Dandelion, Dandelions on the Road, and After the Final Dandelion. They revolve around a local version of a Bachelor-like dating TV show and nothing goes right for the poor contestants!

They were so much fun I wrote The Leftover, which revolves around a local version of a Survivor-like TV show. Also a lot of fun and also…those poor characters! The fiction side of my “job” is really just a hobby and fun.

My “real” job (though it doesn’t feel real because I love it so much!) is freelance writing. I have a number of clients that I write blogs and web content for on a regular basis. Actually, right now, I’d estimate that I write over 200 blogs per month for clients. Sometimes more.

I learn something new everyday and I couldn’t be more in love with the job. In order to support me, you could buy any of my books and read and enjoy! Then, leave a review on amazon or wherever. Reviews are important, not only to the author, but also to the amazon algorythms.”

 

And here’s a blurb about Brooke’s new novel, The Leftover

Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into taking her place on the local version of the TV show Survivor called The Leftover, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a host of contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.” As the contests ramp up, Megan faces her shortfalls as well as the bullies that hit the beach alongside her while harboring a crush on the show’s medic. How far will Megan get on the show? Will Cane get over his broken heart? Join a host of characters for contests filled with laughs, blind sides around every corner, and the ultimate showmance. Who will be The Leftover?

 

* If you’d like to apply to be a Featured CWAHM, you can do so here! 🙂

Categories : Jill's Blog
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Jul
31

Work-cation: A guide for Traveling CWAHMs (Part 2)

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at the beachTraveling with your family is one of the best parts of summer. However, when you run a business, you can’t always drop everything for a week or more at a time. Below are a few more tips to help make your trip a stress-free success.

Be Realistic
Each time we go on a trip as a family, I expect to have extra time to work (where I think this extra time will come from, I’m not sure). So, I tend to take a bundle of work with me in hopes of coming home ahead of the game. And every time, I come home further behind. 🙂

Set realistic expectations and don’t push yourself. Let yourself relax when you can and be okay with getting done as much as you can while you’re traveling.

Plan Worktime
As you might guess, it is important to set aside time to complete any tasks which absolutely need to be completed, especially if you are on a deadline. If you have calls to make, emails to answer, and/or orders to place you’ll want to be sure to find time where you can work in a quiet environment.

I’ve found that late at night – or early in the morning – when everyone else is snoozing away is a great time to work. There have also been times when my husband will take the kids to the pool for an hour or two in order for me to have some work time. We’ve found that this allows me to not only get my work done, but to then be able to focus on my family and relax.

Plan Downtime

Even more imperative is finding time to relax and actually enjoy your time away! Plan in specific times (even if you must do it day-by-day) where you will set aside your work and be truly present with your family. Leave your work in the car or hotel room and head out for a hike or a great meal!

Traveling while running a business that needs your attention can be stressful. However, if you plan ahead you can create a plan that will allow you get any necessary work done while still carving out time for some R&R.

Have a great trip!

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Jul
28

Work-cation: A guide for Traveling CWAHMs (Part 1)

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Traveling with your family is one of the best parts of summer. However, when you run a business, you can’t always drop everything for a week or more at a time. Below are a few tips to help make your trip a stress-free success.

Plan Ahead
A week or two before your trip, begin making a list of everything you’ll need for both business and family. Be sure to think big AND small – things like laptop chargers (which are small) make a BIG difference when you’re miles from home and I still seem to forget mine every time!

Also, try to think of things that may cause you trouble or have caused problems for you in the past. For example, if you’ll be in a fairly remote location and a cell signal is hard to find, make arrangements ahead of time for how you’ll handle this.

Pack Well
Now that you’ve thought through everything that you’ll need for your trip, be sure it all gets packed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made lists upon lists, but still missed getting something important INTO my luggage. 🙂

Be sure to pack any business necessities as well as kid necessities in an easy to reach place – in the top of your suitcase or on top of the pile in your trunk. Bring along activities, snacks and other things to keep your children interested.

And what about a notebook, pencils, and anything else that will allow you to work on the go?

Use Travel Time Wisely
I found on our last twiddy beach house vacation that travel time was a great time to get work done if I planned ahead. I would pull out my notebook as my husband drove and jot down ideas for blog posts and articles. It helped pass the time and even my husband got into it, helping me brainstorm ideas. Bonding and business all in one!

If you’re traveling by plane it may seem like you don’t have as much travel time, but think about using the time while you wait in the airport or while flying for reading, checking voicemail or catching up on emails.

Tune in tomorrow Monday more tips!

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Jul
27

8 Ideas to Help Create Stunning Photographs for Social Media and Beyond!

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Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerdana-photoThese days with social media, a good personal photograph is extremely important. Here are some ideas to help you get the best one possible:

1) Make sure your setting fits your business. For instance, if you are in landscape gardening, you probably don’t want to wear a business suit. On the other hand, if your business is finance, you probably DO want to wear a suit!

2) Color-coordinate your clothes to your branding. Make sure that the colors enhance the aesthetics of your branding rather than detract from it by clashing.

3) Do not use flash photography unless in a professional studio. Flash photography will make your face look harsh. It’s best to use natural lighting. If you can’t take it outside, take the picture near a window where there is plenty of sunlight. Have the photographer put their back to the sun. But watch out for shadows. You don’t want a face half in and half out of one! Also, make sure you are not squinting if you are looking into the sun.

4) Be friendly and smile! A scary photograph will scare away prospects. You want your photograph to have a nice, inviting smile. And the color of the overall photograph should not be dark and gloomy, but pleasant. Your face is your most important feature, especially your eyes. You want the light to be shining in them, making you look alive and vibrant.

5) Watch out for unflattering poses. Usually, a shot taken from a high angle versus a low angle is best.

6) Use good composition in your photograph. That means you should take up two-thirds of the photograph. Create a pleasing balance that is artful and inviting to look at.

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Jul
26

Did I Just Blow My Cover?

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This month I celebrate another birthday. At my age, I cannot remember exactly which one but that does not really matter. The number of the birthday, in my point of view, does not influence the celebration of the birthday.

Life has been rather good to me in many respects. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I are a wonderful team and have been for so many years; I’m not allowed to say how many.

As a team, she can fix anything and I can break anything. That certainly goes hand-in-hand with life. No matter what I can break, she can fix. This has made life rather good.

Throughout life, I have gone under the ruse that when it comes to fixing things I am all thumbs and no fingers. I cannot seem to fix anything. Of course, if it can be fixed with a hammer I might try. When anything goes wrong in our house, I offer to fix it and my wife steps in most gallantly and retires me to my easy chair.

When I try to fix something it usually turns out worse than when I started.

I am not sure if I have created this ruse or if I really am “all thumbs.”

Regardless of the situation, as long as she can fix it, I’m comfortable in breaking it.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t break things on purpose. At least, I do not think I do. At my age, what’s thinking got to do with anything? It just happens that I have the knack of breaking things.

Nobody has ever created anything that I cannot in some way break.

So, life has been wonderful and I hope it continues to be wonderful and it will be as long as both of us stay to our role in the marriage. When I try to take over her spot or she tries to take over my spot, there is trouble a’ stirring.

Everything was going wonderfully until something happened this past week.

One thing my wife enjoys is mowing the lawn. I am not allowed to ride the lawnmower and I am not quite sure why at this point. However, if it makes her happy, it makes me happy. She spends many happy hours mowing the grass.

It is not so much that I don’t like to mow, but she likes to mow much better than I do and of course, she does a much better job at it. She knows how to keep that lawnmower running and if the engine sounds a little off key, she knows exactly what’s wrong and how to fix it and she does.

My responsibility is to give her a hand whenever I can. When she passes the front porch, I stand up and applaud as she goes by. It’s the least I can do.

Then this past week brought in a new picture. She was mowing the grass when, unbeknownst to her, she ran over a long dog chain the neighbor had somehow got into our lawn. By the time she realized what had happened, the chain had twisted all over the blades of that mower.

She pulled the mower up to the house, turned it off and began repairing it. The wire was all twisted very tightly around one of the blades under the mower. She pulled, yanked and twisted, but nothing happened.

I walked up to her and said, “Is there anything I can do to help?”

Without even looking at me she said, “No, I got everything under control.”

What I have learned throughout life is never contradict your wife. That’s the recipe for a cooked goose. Read More→

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Jul
25

10 Seconds to Say Yes to God

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerI recently read a book entitled, “The 10-Second Rule:  Following Jesus Made Simple” by Clare De Graaf.  A great book which I highly recommend.  It’s basic premise is just like the title:  just do the next thing you’re reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do.  That simple.  So, I thought, how can I apply this to my marriage? Well, simply to ask myself this question: “What’s the next reasonable thing Jesus would want me to do in this situation or conversation or for my husband?”

Say yes by Pam Bass

Now, please don’t check out this next part, though you might be tempted to. When it comes to marriage, God has not left us wondering; He has told us several things to do:

Genesis 2:24: “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”  This is the Leave & Cleave Rule of marriage: be united to your husband; change your loyalty to him.  A godly wife can still honor and love her parents, but her allegiance has changed from her family tree origins to her new family tree.  (Our husband, likewise, should be joined to us in the same way, and leave his  original family).  Her emotional support and ties are to be directed towards her husband, not her mom or sister or best friend anymore.

We wives must respect our husband.  This is easier than it sounds! This biblical truth needs much prayer, as most of us women will have a hard time with it.  I don’t think we value respect as much as men do.  They have a “Respect Radar” that is always on; we have a “Love Radar” that is always on.   I think that’s why Paul told husbands 3 times to love their wives in Eph. 5.  We’re always on the look out for love while our husband is on the lookout for respect, so Paul tells us to respect our husband in Eph. 5: 33: “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”   A good book on this is by Emerson Eggerichs: Love and Respect.

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Jul
24

Gideon: Lessons in Trust from an Unlikely Hero

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Woman in worship positionGod calls us for the person we will become, not necessarily the person we are right now.”

— Lisa Bevere, Women of Faith speaker

The Israelites had “done evil in the sight of the Lord,” and had turned away from God, according to Judges Chapter six. So God had given them over into the hands of the oppressive Midianites for seven long years. During that time, the Midianites ravaged the land, forcing the children of Israel to live in cave dwellings, and they ransacked the crops and killed all the livestock. In fact the Bible says the Midianites “did not spare a living thing for Israel.”  Impoverished and desperate beyond belief, the Israelites had no choice but to call to God for help.

Soon thereafter, an angel appeared to Gideon, who by the way, was hiding in a wine press at the time. The angel said “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

God had chosen Gideon to defeat the Midianites.

Now let’s just say Gideon didn’t come from a family of highly decorated war heroes. And none of them would be drafted into the NFL, for sure. In fact, Gideon was admittedly small and meek. So to be called “mighty warrior?” He was in disbelief.  You can even hear him shaking in his sandals with his response:

 “Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (v. 14)

And you can almost see God slapping His forehead. HELLOOOO!? This is the Lord you’re talking to!

But God responded patiently:

 “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?”

God promised to go ahead of Gideon, to protect Him and to defeat the Midianites.

But that promise clearly wasn’t enough. In the following verses, Gideon asked several times for the Lord to give him signs, to prove this was really God calling him.

Isn’t that so much like us?  There are times in our lives that God has clearly spoken to us: to serve in a new ministry (or to start one), to change jobs, to move to another state, to start tithing, or even to foster a child.

But, like Gideon, we wallow in disbelief that God would choose us. And count all the reasons why we can’t do it.

I’m too weak.

I’m not good enough.

I’m not smart enough.

My budget is too tight.

There’s not enough time.

When we feel God’s calling in our lives, doubt creeps in. But all along, God is there, reminding us “Am I not sending you?”

Here are three lessons in trust you can take from the story of Gideon:

1.  God sees the big picture Our vision is limited, sometimes only seeing the potential roadblocks in the way. But as with Gideon, God is sending you into a new adventure.  He has gone before you and already knows what will happen.

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