Archive for Jill’s Blog
Think outside the Keurig. With so many coffee choices why limit yourself to just drip? Instead, pick the java for your situation. But which coffee choice is best for daily mama drama? For every situation your little lovelies create there is a brew waiting to spark some energy. Let’s discuss a few winning combinations to help through typical mom tough spots.
No Talkie before Coffee – You need black coffee straight up, in shots. Find the smallest setting on the Keurig. Now, make three shots. Forget the cream and sugar, there isn’t time! Okay, now you can breath, which is good because, trust me, they do not understand quiet before coffee. Remember to enjoy their somber moods when the teen years arrive.
Tiny Tornadoes — French coffee is the way to go for untidy tots. Cafe Au Lait, to be exact. A dash of steamed milk, a whole lot of java and the impossible becomes possible again. Don’t rush, enjoy every sip until the last drop of heavenly nectar is gone. Now equip yourself with a trash bag and a broom, it’s cleaning time!
Empty Container Equals Empty Brain — No coffee in the container? Have no fear! Time for a trip out of the house. Drive to the nearest coffee shop for a fill-up on the way to the grocery store. You’re a stay-at-home-mom, multi-task! Grab a latte before ticking items off the grocery list (If you forget the list on the kitchen counter again, wing it)!
Braving Walmart at Night — An Americano coffee will make the drive to Walmart more enjoyable without all the caffeine. I won’t even suggest the D-word, Walmart at night requires caffeine. Make the excursion even better, keep the kiddos at home with hubby.
Cooking Requires Coffee — Macchiato to the rescue! An espresso, a shot of steamed milk, and caramel make cooking spaghetti more enjoyable. Grind some fine beans, turn on the milk steamer, and create a delicacy to cope with the noise and bubbling pots. Nothing goes better with cooking than an excellent frou-frou drink!
Bugged Out — Game on, lice don’t stand a chance against a determined mama. But, you don’t have time for anything at the moment. With sheets to wash, beds to steam, hair to shampoo and pick, your hands are on overdrive. Make time first for a double shot of espresso. Chances are, if one noggin comes home with these nasty little blood suckers, soon multiple noggins will be teeming with creepy crawlers. Down your caffeine quickly, but make sure to enjoy the robust flavor.
Cuddles on the Couch — Pull out the milk foamer, because if you’re sharing coffee with a coffee snatcher, your elixir needs to be more milk than brew. I would suggest not adding the mocha this go around. Keep your mama chocolate milk a secret. Lets face it, with you and hubby already addicted to coffee, do you really need the kids addicted too? Read More→
For me, every day is filled with voices. There are the sweet voices of my children, the warm voice of my husband and even the near-silent voice of or gecko.
And then there are the voices in my head. Do you know the ones I’m talking about? The voices that urge you to quit; that ask you why you bother trying … you’ll just fail anyway. The voices that say things like, “No one cares about what you have to say or what you’re working on. You’ll never succeed at this.” Some of these voices are echoes of things that people have said to me. Some of them are echoes of things I believe about myself deep down. And some are lies from the enemy wh is bent on our destruction.
When I spend time in God’s Word I find another voice – one that encourages. “I can do anything through Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 4:13).
It’s not something we think about or talk about often, but one of the major hurdles that must be overcome to be successful in working at home (or in anything really) is learning which voice to listen to.
There will always be naysayers telling you that something cannot possibly be done. There will always be the creeping doubts in the back of your mind, where you secretly wonder if you really CAN do any of these things you dream of. And there will always be the lies of the enemy, trying to throw you off track and get you to do ANYTHING other than what God has for you.
There will always be these things.
But there is also a forever truth that stands above all these. A redeeming truth that we can hear whispering to us if we choose to shut out the din around us.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. – 1 Chronicles 28:20
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
Which voice will you listen to today? Will you sit in defeat, listening to the naysayers and the mocking voices? Or will you stand firm in God’s truth and walk forward in faith?
If you feel a pull toward a business or a ministry, chances are the negative voices will get louder. You will have to make the daily, sometimes hourly, choice to stand firm in what His Words tells us to be true.
God loves you. You are forgiven. You are redeemed. You are chosen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jill Hart founded Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM) in 2000 to assist other Christians who desire to work from home. She is the author of the devotional book, Do Life Different and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill is working to complete her master’s degree in Professional Counseling.
Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She speaks to audiences around the country about faith and business topics. Learn more about Jill at www.CWAHM.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
We all want financial success. But how do we get there? What proven methods in this digital age will lead us to that pot of gold just looming over the horizon, that Promised Land that we eagerly await? When will it ever get past a mirage and to the real thing that we’ve been dreaming for and planning for?
Here are eight proven steps, key lessons I learned from both the school of hard knocks, and Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer in my pursuit of a Professional Digital Marketer certification which I achieved last year.
1) The first step to financial success with your brand is to plan a sales funnel strategy or sales process strategy.
Here are the key areas that you need to achieve in this area:
Map out customer stories
Write a statement of value
List all your products and/or services
Brainstorm three giveaways
Brainstorm three loss leaders (low cost products)
Brainstorm three core offer products
Brainstorm other products that can be added on
Make a plan to nurture your customers so they will return to you
2) The second step to financial success with your brand is to plan your content marketing strategy.
Here are some key activities to help you do that:
Identify your funnel content plans (top, middle, and bottom)
Plan or improve a WordPress Site
Plan a basic blog launch (or re-launch)
3) The third step to financial success with your brand is to plan your paid marketing strategy.
Research popular sites to refine your customer profiles
Choose which traffic stores you want to campaign in
Map your traffic system plan
4) The fourth step to financial success with your brand is to plan your social marketing strategy.
Here’s four key activities that you need to do:
Assess your current social media
Plan out your social media topics
Create your social media listening plan
Plan your keywords
5) The fifth step to financial success with your brand is to plan your email marketing strategy.
Here’s some basic ideas to get you started:
Choose an email service
Identify your promotional assets
Create your promotional plans Read More→
I have discovered over the years several types of minds. The “open mind” which catches everything except the truth. The “analytical mind” which organizes everything to the point of sterility. The “closed mind” which you can bounce ideas and they never stick.
For every man, there is the “woman’s mind.” Every husband knows if he wants to change his wife’s mind, all he has to do is agree with her. Finally, the “political mind,” which for all practical purposes is an oxymoron. Politicians obviously do not have a mind of their own. They change their mind so often you hardly know who they are.
I find most people’s minds are like beds – all made up and tucked neatly away. Many of these people have sound minds – sound asleep, that is.
The most valuable mind is the suspicious mind. It is in this frame of mind that the real picture has developed for me. An incident several years ago illustrated this to me.
We received one of those calls every American gets at least once a month. An invitation to come to Daytona Beach and spend two nights at a motel on the beach. The sponsor even offered to throw in breakfast, which we promptly threw out (or was it “up?”).
It all sounded wonderful. My wife and I had never stayed on the beach and thought it would be an excellent opportunity. Eagerly we said “yes” thrilled with the prospect.
“Oh, by the way,” the young woman on the telephone said, “you will be required to listen to a 90-minute presentation.”
It was then my suspicious mind kicked in. To be more honest, the kick came from my wife, who had the suspicious mind.
“Is there anything we have to buy?” my wife made me ask the delightful woman on the telephone.
“Absolutely nothing,” she said so cheerily, I believed her. My wife, “Miss Suspicion,” did not buy it for a second.
Finally, I convinced her to go and I arranged with the woman on the telephone for the two nights on the beach.
Looking back on this incident, I realize a suspicious mind does come in handy.
I must confess (which is hard for me to do) my wife’s suspicious mind has saved us from a few potentially disastrous situations. (But you didn’t hear it from me.)
When we arrived at the Daytona Beach office, they greeted us most graciously. I was smiling a smile that said, “See, I told you this was going to be great.” Read More→
My days are busy. I’m sure yours our as well. At times I can feel discouraged, like I’m not doing enough to serve God. Serving God is not a lofty calling but simply has to do with loving people as Jesus loved them. Jesus loved people. He connected with them. It is His desire that we do the same.
Look at Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus speaks how when we serve people in need we are serving Him.
Think about your daily life. How many people do you encounter in a day? Maybe your children’s teachers, your clients, the postman. See these people as a ministry. Ministry is not all about preaching to someone. It also includes serving them, encouraging them, and connecting with them.
It is easy to go through life with our own agenda for the day, focused on what needs to be done to care for our needs like going to work, stopping at the grocery store, cooking dinner and paying the bills. All around us we cross paths with people – people that Jesus cares about.
Just because Jesus reached out to touch many people it didn’t mean everyone was in His close circle of friends. Therefore, connecting with people and touching their life doesn’t mean that you need to be their best friend. What you don’t want to do is to fall into the mentality that you are too busy, and your life is too filled with people, for you to reach out to someone else.
Ask God to bring people to mind who He would like you to connect with like
- Your pastor
- An acquaintance from church
- A family member
- A co-worker
- An elderly neighbor
- A distant relative
Once God has brought someone to mind ask God to show you what this person needs. It could be
- An act of service
- Taking the time to listen to their problem. Listening means you do just that. You don’t need to solve anything – they just need to be heard.
Affirmation and encouragement could include a positive text message to a friend saying “I’m so proud of how well you are doing in_______ area.” Or “I’m praying that God would fill you with His peace today” or simply “How are you doing? God brought you to mind today.” Instead of a text message you could even send a real card!
An act of service could be a homemade meal, a quick stop at the grocery store for a shut in, a cup of coffee for your coworker, offering to watch a friend’s kids, the list is endless. Read More→
It can be draining to work from home. Fitting work time in amongst household duties, family obligations, children’s’ schedules, church commitments … it can feel overwhelming at times. So, what’s a business owner to do when she feels her tanks drifting toward empty?
The first thing I do when I begin to feel overwhelmed is to take a moment and just catch my breath. Depending on what’s going on in my life, this may be as simple as finding an extra fifteen minutes to spend with the Lord (if this is you check out Hebrews 10:35-36). Or it may take something more like hiring a babysitter for a few hours during the day (or calling grandma for help), so that I can accomplish the tasks that are burdening me.
Finding a holding pattern helps me to breathe a bit easier and grounds me so that I can make it to the next step.
Make a Plan, Follow It
The first step is recognizing that we’re sliding toward that empty energy tank. The second step is developing a plan so that we can either avoid the pit or at least dig ourselves out relatively quickly.
For me, this generally takes the form of work in shifts. I break my work tasks down into 20 or 30 minute increments and just try to push through and do what I can during that time. Then I take a break or reward myself somehow – 5 minutes on Facebook or maybe a Hershey’s kiss or two. Breaking the work into chunks not only helps me actually get things done when I’m struggling, it also helps me see the big tasks in a manageable form. This helps me keep pushing through.
One Foot In Front Of The Other
My go-to verse in times like these is 1 Chronicles 28:20:
Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.
This is such a great reminder that God is with us, but also that there will be times that we will have to fight fear and discouragement and push through to do the work that He has called us to. So, keep pushing forward, one foot and then the next, trusting that God will uphold you and see you through. Read More→
Has this ever happened to you? You mention something on Facebook, some sort of struggle, and then all of a sudden you get a message from a friend trying to sell you something?
Or maybe a friend pressured you to buy something from them. And because you didn’t, they stopped being your friend!
Or perhaps you got a message from a Facebook friend (more of an acquaintance) out of the blue that just seemed random. They had no idea what you liked, what you needed, or what your life situation is, they just wanted to sell you something.
Does this sound familiar? Has this happened to you? Or more importantly, have you done this?
Unfortunately, some network marketing companies encourage this behavior. But let me tell you a harsh truth–it is unprofessional and turns off more people than you gain!
I remember years ago when a friend of mine from work wanted me to join the latest network marketing rage–long distance cards. Remember those? They were really hot once. I was completely not interested.
And this friend stopped being my friend because I said no!
And that’s not the only time it has happened.
Here’s another trend that seems to occur a lot these days, and again it’s encouraged by networking marketing companies:
A Facebook friend posts a random question. You answer it because it just seems fun.
So a minute later you get a Facebook message asking you to buy something or for a referral for their recruiting efforts.
Smells kind of slimy, doesn’t it? Read More→
Looking at the alarm clock by my bedside, it clearly read 2:37 a.m. The loud buzzing sound was not in my head after all. Who in the world could be calling me at this hour of the night?
I grumbled to myself, sat straight up in bed and gasped. An emergency! Someone’s in the hospital! Someone has died!
All kinds of such thoughts danced through my sluggish brain as I reached for the telephone.
Pastors are on call 24/7 and never know when an emergency will summon to duty. It may be in the middle of the day, or in this case, in the middle of the night.
Many telephone calls I’m not so anxious to get.
Mr. Alexander Graham Bell has a lot of answering to do for this contraption of his.
Among telephone calls I’m not too thrilled about are those infernal automatic political calls advising me to vote for some candidate – them in particular. Like most politicians, these calls never give me an opportunity to answer them.
They unleash their spiel and then hang up, probably to go to the next phone number.
What I want to know is, why don’t these aspiring politicians ever call me when they’re not running for some office? Why don’t they call me on my birthday and sing happy birthday to me?
Why don’t they give me their home phone number so I can call them and give them a piece of my mind?
I would like to get my hands on the person who taught these politicians how to dial phone numbers.
Another category of phone calls I am not too enthralled with are telemarketers. I have a difficult time hanging up on people. As long as they want to talk I can’t, or I don’t have the heart to hang up on them.
I know they are just people doing their job. I know much of what is sold via the telephone is excellent and useful, but I do not like anyone telling me what I should be buying, especially when I have just put on the feedbag.
The only thing I have been able to do is take the conversation in hand from the very beginning. As soon as the person on the other end of the phone begins talking, I start engaging them in chitchat.
I ask about their family, about the kind of day they are having and what they plan to do on the weekend. I ask for their home phone number so I can call them back.
It has become a sport for me and I am anxious for the next phone call to come so I can tell them about my day and my plans for the weekend. After all, they called me, it is my turf.
This telephone call at 2:37 a.m. was not from a politician or a telemarketer.
When I answered the telephone, I heard a raspy voice on the other end say, “Is the reverend home? I need to ask him a question ‘bout the Bible.”
By this time, every fiber of my being stood at attention, ready to serve. Someone needed me, which was all I had to know to fly full-speed into action. Read More→
By Shannon Popkin
Control Girls often don’t realize that they’re Control Girls. I sure didn’t.
I spent the first 35 years of my life completely oblivious to my control issues. I knew I was arguing with my husband. I knew there was tension with coworkers. I knew I was frustrated with friends and family members. I just didn’t know these things all stemmed from my unhealthy craving for control.
Recognizing I’m a Control Girl hasn’t solved all of my problems, but it has given me a starting point for change. So I want to invite you to ask yourself the question I should have asked long before age 35: “Am I a Control Girl?”
To help you answer, I’d like to provide five common traits of Control Girls:
1. You tend to be bothered by other controlling people.
Do you become easily annoyed by that bossy woman who always tries to take over in the committee meeting? Do you get frustrated when someone interrupts you (which, by the way, is a classic control-seeking move)? Does your controlling mother drive you nuts?
I’ve noticed that the women who are most bothered by controlling people are often quite controlling, themselves. They butt heads with the other Control Girls in the room who are all lunging for exactly what they are—control.
2. You struggle with anger.
Are you likely to respond angrily when someone doesn’t meet your expectations? Do you erupt when someone interrupts your plans? Do you inwardly seethe when someone cuts in or takes whatever you had your eye on?
Anger is common for Control Girls. Our anger flares when we lose the thing we want, which is control. And as a rule, both of these—losing our grip on control and losing our tempers—happen far more frequently than we’d like.
3. You struggle with anxiety or fear.
Do you tend to worry about safety precautions, germs, or symptoms you’re experiencing? Do you obsess over what family members might be saying about you, or what your boss might be thinking?
What about fear? Do you imagine the worst when your teen is ten minutes late? Do you suspect the worst when your husband doesn’t answer his phone?
Fear and anxiety are common for Control Girls because we constantly have to face things that we’d like to control but can’t, such as the future, unknowns, risks, and the opinions of others.