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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


Merry Christmas!!

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CWAHM Merry Christmas

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Market Your Creativity: Creative Sales Titles

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Ashley Pratt, Direct Sales & Discipleship BloggercreativeI love marketing. I love watching commercials that have catchy slogans and themes. How are YOU advertising your products? Are you being creative?  Are you personalizing each approach? Or do your ads look more like SPAM?

One of my leaders brought this subject up, and I have to agree with her.  Most of the time, we sound like SPAM when we are advertising our businesses and products. To me, this is annoying, even though I have been guilty of it!  You must make your advertising creative.

For example, we are coming up on spring. If you are selling jewelry, your company probably has a new spring/summer collection. How are you marketing this to your customers and followers? “Contact me to see our new spring and summer collection.” That does not interest me. Of course I know you have a new collection: you do every time this year.  What can you do to make it stand out?  Here’s a few suggestions: Read More→

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Ha, Ha, I Knew I Was Right!

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Did you ever experience a time when you were right and had the evidence to prove you were right?

I know that for me, it does not happen very often. In fact, I cannot think of a time that it really did happen to me. Well, until recently. I want to remember this incident as long as I live.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage was preparing for our Thanksgiving family get-together. It takes her weeks to get everything prepared; she is so meticulous and will not allow anything to go wrong from her point of view. Everything has to be done just so.

Experience has taught me during this time of the year to stay out of the kitchen! That is why I am still living to this very day.

However, it does have its advantages. I can relax in my “man cave” and stay out of her way. I know that if I ever get in her way she always, without exception, has a job for me to do. I like working, but not under those circumstances. If she cannot see me, she cannot give me work to do.

One thing she is most focused on are vegetables. According to her, there has to be a balance of vegetables and the greener the better.

I, on the other side of the “I Do” aisle, have very little patience for vegetables. I was losing the battle for this vegetables war until recently.

I was haphazardly watching the news one night when they came out with a very scary bulletin. It seems that a certain vegetable (I will not name it because I am not a vegetable person and a vegetable to me is a vegetable) was infected and giving people E. coli.

When I first heard that news, I thought I heard it wrong. After all, I have been told all my life that vegetables are good for you and will not harm you. A healthy diet includes lots of veggies. Then they come along with this warning that you should not buy this certain vegetable.

“Hey, my dear,” I cheerfully said, “come and look at this news report.”

I love modern technology because by the time she got into the room the television report was over. Very nonchalantly, I pressed the rewind button and was able to replay that news report about a certain vegetable.

I was as quiet as long as I possibly could be, and then I blurted out, “See, I told you, vegetables are not all good.”

She gave me one of “those looks” and walked back into the kitchen.

I grew up in a farm community in Pennsylvania and one of the sayings my grandfather had was, “When you have a cow you need to milk it.” And I was about to milk this for everything I could.

I grabbed my coffee cup and went out in the kitchen to get another fresh cup of coffee and when I was there, I happened to mention, “I always knew vegetables could be dangerous.”

She looked at me and then said, “That is only one incident and I’m not sure it’s even true.”

“If it’s on TV it has to be true,” I spurted very sarcastically.

Then I had an idea burning in my head that I had been wanting to share with her for a long time but never had an opportunity. She is always getting on my case about my apple fritters, and how harmful they were to me. When saying that she was always staring at my fully developed stomach.

“There has never been,” I began as seriously as possible, “any news report that apple fritters are harmful to your health. Certainly, not like this vegetable on the news today.”

She looked at me and smiled, but as I walked away, I could see out of the corner of my eye she was sticking her tongue out at me. It feels so good to be right about something and have it collaborated by the “TV news media.”

This is a novel experience for me to be certain. It might be the only one so I plan to enjoy it as long as possible. During the next few days whenever we crossed paths I always smiled victoriously at her.

At our family Thanksgiving get together, I noticed that a certain “vegetable” was not on the table. You do not know how hard it was for me not to mention that. Every once in a while I would glance in my wife’s direction and smile. She knew what I was smiling about, but just let it go.

I guess that is what married life is all about. Sharing secrets between one another.

Every time I eat an apple fritter from now on, I am going to be smiling in remembrance of that “vegetable.” I am not that accustomed to victory and so I was taking advantage of it. However, I knew I had to be careful because sometimes things can backfire. I know this by experience.

I was enjoying my victory at the time, and then I remembered what the apostle Paul said about victory. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).

God has for us victory that supersedes any victory we could have in this world. His victory is always through the Lord Jesus Christ.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship. He lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala. E-mail His web site is

Categories : Articles, Humor, Jill's Blog
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Successfully Growing a Family and a Business Under One Roof

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Identify the highest and best use of your time. If you’re in direct sales, the highest and best use of your time is probably when you are setting appointments or actually selling. If you’re a tutor, you make money tutoring. If you teach piano lessons, your teaching time is most profitable. Identifying the highest and best use of your time is essential so that you know which actions create income for you—and which actions don’t. This is essential for profiting from the next tip.

Hire help when possible. Early in my work-at-home career, I asked a successful Realtor® this question, “If you had one piece of advice to give someone who works for herself, what would it be? She was so certain of her answer she didn’t even pause to think. “Never do yourself what you can pay someone else to do,” she responded. Read More→

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What To Do When You’re In Financial Difficulty

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Struggling with money can really suck. If you’re ever in financial difficulty, you can feel helpless. As if you’re the only person that is struggling. Like you’re going to be in this situation forever. And it can lead you to suffer. You might make decisions, you might make yourself ill with stress, you might act out in different ways. All because you’re dealing with a financial burden that you have no idea how to fix. And there can be a range of reasons for why you’ve gotten yourself into this situation. Maybe your job doesn’t pay enough and you’re struggling to pay the bills? Maybe you got hit by an emergency and you had a big bill to pay? Maybe you made some bad choices and you’re not all that sure how to be healthy or responsible with money? No matter what’s going on, it’s time for you to realize that you really don’t have to stay this way forever. There is a way out.

money is tight

If you want to be able to live an abundant life, feel financially secure, and have healthy financial habits, then you can. You just have to want it bad enough and try a lot harder. Because you may find that there’s a ton of habit change work that you need to do. Or you need to be able to change your lifestyle. And these things can take time. But before we jump right on into those areas specifically, let’s take a look at what you can do when you are in financial difficulty.

Be Clear About Your Situation

To start with, you need to know how deep this goes. And it all starts with being transparent – with yourself. Do you know how much you’re struggling? Are you in debt? Do you know what you owe and to who? And how much interest you’re paying? Start off by uncovering what’s causing your financial difficulties, so that you can then work on fixing them.

Open Up

But not only that, you might then want to talk to those around you about your debt. At first, this may feel like the worse thing on the planet. But it’s going to help you to release the burden that you’re experiencing. And, when you talk about debt to your loved ones, they might be able to help you. Even if you’re not in debt, but you are struggling financially, then opening up is still going to help you.

Speak To Your Lenders

Then, you need to try and do something about the debt that you have – no matter how big or small that it is. One thing that will always be good for you to do, is to speak to your lenders. If you know that you are struggling the repayments or that your debt is getting out of control, they might be able to help. They want to help at least. So make a call to your lenders and go from there.

Consider Consolidation

Something that you might want to consider here is debt consolidation. Do you have debts owing in a range of places? Do you know what fees your paying on it all? Because it could be best to get everything in one place, so that you’re paying one set fee for it all and this will make it more manageable for you.

Consider Other Financing

But maybe consolidation isn’t for you? If this is the case, you don’t have to worry. There are other options for you. You might want to look into installment loans or see what else your lenders might suggest to you. Remember, they are there to help. But if you’re stuck in the short term, you need to find sensible financing to help you.

Look For A Raise

But then, you’re going to want to work out how you can stop this from happening again. Because you may need more financing for the future. And when this is the case, your first port of call might be your career. So think about whether you can get a raise or what you might need to do to show that you’re worth it. If you can constantly aim for a promotion or to get a better paid job, it could help your financial situation.

Earn More

If you know that a promotion isn’t an option, or you just cannot earn more this way, you’re going to want to consider other options. And this is where the idea of doing something for yourself can come in. Maybe starting a blog or selling a product or doing another kind of business idea on the side could work? Or, you might want to get a second job in the evenings or at weekends? Or you even look to sell some of your things to top up the cash a little.

Spend Less

But at the same time, you still might want to get a better control over what you’re spending. Because if you know that you’re not living within your means, then you have a problem. Here, you need more control. And this starts with tracking what you spend. When you can see where your money goes, you can then cut it down to something more reasonable and ensure what you have stretches further.

Budget Better

Now, it may be that you just don’t budget. And if this is the case, you are never really going to have any kind of control over your money. Because if you have no idea what you’re spending on what, they how can you expect to be able to improve the situation? So sit down and see if you can allocate the money you do have into the different areas of your life that needs paying for. This is always going to be the smartest way for you to get out of financial difficulty and start to feel more secure with your money.

And finally, if you are struggling with your finances and you’re not sure how to make a change, you might want to look into getting advice from a financial expert or a third party that can help you with your situation.

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Not Everything in Life Is Automatic

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor blogger

Two days in the year I don’t like. Somebody is thinking it is my wife’s birthday and our wedding anniversary.

I worked that out a long time ago. My birthday is two days before the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and our anniversary is three weeks after our birthday. No way can I forget that.

When my wife gives me a birthday card with some gift it reminds me that I have two days to reciprocate. And reciprocate, I do very well. I love it when a plan comes together.

I remember my wife’s birthday and I remember our wedding anniversary, but more often than not, I cannot remember the years. I do not know how old my wife is. At least, that’s my story. And, I am not sure how long we’ve been married.

I know we have been married long enough to work out many things.

The two days I’m not very happy with are the days when we turn the clock forward an hour and then turn the clock backward an hour. I still do not know why in the world we do that. We gain an hour in the spring, but then we lose an hour in the fall. What’s the sense in all that?

I finally figured out what the sense of all that is. It is to confuse me, in particular. It is not that I am easily confused, but rather, I confuse easily. If that makes sense, I have a bridge I want to sell you.

Why would you want to gain something and then give it back a couple months later?

I grew up in the non-technical age. I had to wind my watch every day to make sure it had the right time. It was not like it is today worth the time is set automatically.

I look at my cell phone and the time is updated automatically. I look at our TV set and see that the time is updated automatically. I like that.

My problem is that I like it too much. I have become accustomed to things being adjusted automatically.

Now they have cars that part automatically and you can be sure I’m not going to buy one. I am satisfied with the automatic setting of my clock and TV.

When I was in high school, I worked part-time for a woman. I mowed the grass and cleaned inside the house. One big thing she had in the house was about 25 clocks. I’m serious. Twenty-five clocks that all had to be set manually.

The first time I did it, I did not realize that each clock was set differently. You go upstairs and the clocks were 15 minutes faster than the clocks on the first floor so she would not be late for an appointment.

Being my employer, it would have been nice for her to explain that to me. But, as most employers do, they do not explain everything to their employees.

I was the kind of employee that liked to impress my employer with how good I was.

It was in the fall and we were to set the clocks back one hour. I thought she would appreciate the fact that I went around and reset all 25 of her clocks. After all, I was doing something on my own that needed done.

The thing I did not know of course, the clocks were all set different on different levels of the house. I went around and set all 25 clocks to the same time. I was so happy.

I did not tell her because I wanted her to be surprised.

I was anxious to hear her commend me for a “job well done.” I was not prepared for what she was going to do.

When I arrived on her property, she comes out yelling and screaming at me at the top of her lungs. Trust me, she had lungs. At first, I could not understand what she was so upset about.

“Did you,” she said hysterically, “reset all the clocks in my house?”

I smiled back at her and said quite cheerfully, “Yes, ma’am, I did.” Read More→

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When Your Job Doesn’t Pay Enough…

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When your job doesn’t cover the bills and give you the money you need to get by every month, it can be very worrying. You may feel like you are constantly wondering how you are going to keep going and leading this lifestyle. Will you end up getting in debt? Maybe you already are? Will you have to move out of your home? It can be too much for some people to handle. But rather than focusing on what could happen, you should look for ways to make a second income. Here are some of the best suggestions.

Do some online freelance jobs in the evenings

If you have a skill that can be delivered over the Internet, there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash in the freelancing market. You can find more information at You will be able to apply for jobs whenever you’re busy, giving your monthly pot a much-needed boost.

Sell your gold – Selling your gold for cash is something that you should certainly consider doing if you want to make some added cash. Nevertheless, you should not sell your gold without being educated. First and foremost, you need to know about where you should sell your gold. There are several options at your disposal; there are lots of cash for gold shops in the UK, there are also jewellers and pawnbrokers, and in addition to this you can sell gold for cash online. The latter option is highly recommended because you are likely to benefit from a better price, more convenience and an easier process. In addition to this, you need to be educated with regards to the valuation of gold. You will be given a quote for your gold depending on its weight. Thus, in general the higher karat of gold you have – the more it will be worth. Nevertheless, it is still recommended that you search around online and get several quotes from different companies. This is easy to do online as you can open several web pages and easily compare. A final point worth noting is that your gold does not have to be in good condition. If it is broken or tangled than that should not matter, so do not let it deter you from seeking a valuation with the aim to sell.

Take paid surveys – While a lot of paid survey websites are useless because they never pay out, there are a few good ones out there. See this review to get a better understanding of one of the good sites: Again, this won’t make you rich, but it will certainly give your income a boost.

As you can see, there are many different ways that you can secure a second source of income if your current job does not pay enough. If you follow the suggestions that have been presented above, you should be able to make sure that you have some extra cash coming in on a monthly basis so that you can cover those bills that you are struggling to pay at the moment.

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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holidays

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With the holidays just around the corner everything about the world sees a little more magical and fattening. How is a mom supposed to stay healthy when the whole country practically encourages gluttony from Thanksgiving to New Years? Christmas cookies, giant turkeys, stuffing (my favorite), egg nog (not my favorite), and more are waiting for consumption and since us moms are the ones who make the food and put it away, we may end up sampling a little more than everyone else. I almost forgot all of our kids left over Halloween candy! Yummy.

With all those treats a couple of extra pounds are only a few weeks away. Then of course we mama’s will want to be swimsuit ready by summer. Losing weight is so hard! It’s easier to prevent the weight than to lose weight. The trick is to give yourself the treats without going overboard. Here are a few tips to keep yourself from gaining several pounds over the holidays:

Count Calories with an App

I’m not suggesting you count your calories all year long, but counting calories makes you aware of what and how much you are eating. Awareness alone is often enough to help you navigate holiday food. Definitely indulge a little but remember – you can lie to yourself but not to your scale. If you try to cheat by not counting every cookie or chocolate, the scale will tattle on you.


Buy More Fruit and Veggies

I don’t know about you, but if I get hungry for a snack late at night, I do not want to leave the house and go get something out of sheer laziness. If you buy healthy food – remember, not to go to the grocery store hungry – then when it’s night time you will not have unhealthy options available. Buy the good stuff and leave the bad stuff at the store. Try to fill your cart from the outer edges of the grocery store and not the inside aisles. But do not forget coffee. Definitely venture into the middle of the store for coffee.

I go the extra mile and make sure I buy my kids sweets I can’t stand. I buy cookies and ice cream I do not eat to avoid snacking on their stuff. Halloween candy is an issue though. Avoid buying the kids too many snacks though too. Holidays come with plenty of sweets. For the holiday season, buy the kids snacks like peanut butter crackers, string cheese, and fruit to eat when they come in from school or playing outside.


Add a Little Healthy to Your Cookies

Being healthy does not mean giving up cookies. Just be cookie smart. Try adding a few healthy ingredients to your cookies and cakes. For example: flaxseed is full of omegas, fiber, and vitamins and has delicate nutty flavor. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with your cookies, pancakes, cakes, and other baked treats. All you need to do is take out a couple tablespoons of flour and replace with the flaxseed.

Mix other ingredients for a bit of a healthier dessert. Try adding in oats (or make no bake cookies with oats!), chia seeds, almonds, use coconut oil instead of canola or vegetable oil. Use partial wheat flour instead of all white flour for a little extra fiber. Finally, you can add in applesauce instead of oil.

Read More→

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Putting First Things First

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by Nancy Twigg

If ever there was a woman who lost control of her priorities, it was Martha, whose story is recorded in Luke 10. Poor Martha. Too bad she will forever be remembered as the one who was more concerned about making dinner than making Jesus feel welcome in her home!

What separates Martha from her sister Mary is that Martha did not order her time by her priorities. She may have sincerely thought that welcoming Jesus was most important, but her behavior did not reflect that. It’s as if she had a choice of visiting with Jesus or vacuuming, and she chose the vacuum. It’s not that Mary didn’t help out with the chores. I believe she did—perhaps she did the dishes before Jesus arrived. But once Jesus set foot in their home, Mary dropped the busy work in favor of what really mattered—spending quality time with her Lord.

Jesus’ response to Martha is just as applicable to us as it was to her: “Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41, 42, CEV).

Let’s be honest. Don’t we all make Martha’s mistake? We mean well. We want to help out in our children’s school and be active in our communities and do our part at church. As with Martha’s cooking and cleaning, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of these activities. The problem is when they become a hindrance and keep us from doing what really matters—spending quality time with our Lord and the people He puts in our path.

Learning to live our priorities actually encompasses all three parts of the Clarity Principle found in Hebrews 12:1-2. Getting rid of extraneous obligations and expectations is one of the ways we “throw off everything that hinders.” Not letting the trivial supersede the vital is an example of how we “run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” And ordering our lives around what God wants is part of how we “fix our eyes on Jesus.” Read More→

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The Experienced Sailor Dad

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beach playI follow some sailing folks on Instagram.

I don’t know how it happened. I usually follow friends, Star Wars posts, and people with unique animals, but somehow I started following some sailors that were posting about their life on large cargo ships. Then, I started to get other boat crews and sailors following me. Some of the pictures are facinating . . .

Like most of Social Media, there are ‘business’ groups that post things as well. And since I follow some sailing people, you can imagine that I get a lot of ads for sailing merchendise.
One of the popular expessions sold on t-shirts, mugs, bags, bandannas, hats — is the quote: “Smooth sailing never made a skilled sailor.”

It’s a cute saying. And I’m sure real seawomen and men are tired of hearing it. But I was thinking quite a bit lately about how this saying definitly applies to parenting.

Some parents win the behavior lottery with their kids–kids that never push the envelope, or kids that are compliant, or submissive; kids that can be left alone for hours and never think of nefarious things to do, or ways to antagonize others. Good for them! There are some parents out there with smooth sailing.

Hopefully they aren’t writing parenting blogs.

My kids push the envelope. And their imaginations concoct all manner of ways to bother people, get what they want, and test boundaries and relationships. My kids don’t walk on water . . . they sink under the water and breach like sharks when you least expect it.

Easy kids never made a skilled parent.

I know that you don’t always have easy kids. That’s why you’re reading this blog. Parents with complient kids are out enjoying a latte somewhere and wondering what to do with all their extra time. I can’t seem to sit down long enough to watch a 25min show on Netflix.

Believe it or not, this is an encouragement to you. You could be a Dad smooth-sailing through ‘training up a child in the way it should go’* . . but you wouldn’t be learning any real parenting skill or growing deeper as a parent. You would miss out on all the emotions, all the techniques, all the wisdom, all the hard-won successes of being a skilled parent. Most of all you’d miss out on the massive analogy of how God is the Best Parent to each of us, despite none of us being an ‘easy kid.’

Take a minute and consider how many rough waters you’ve sailed so far with your kids. Consider what you’ve learned. Think about what good company you keep with other ‘parent sailors’ that braved some of the turbulent waters of parenting. And be proud:

Every failure, every hard time — is making you a skilled sailor.

Now, I suggest we all go out and get some sort of signifying tattoo — you know, like sailors do. Something like an anchor or ship or something. Or we should start wearing a captain’s hat. I’m not too good with needles, so look for me in a large admiral hat – you might even see me beating my kids with it.

(*Proverbs 22:6)

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