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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 Mixing Faith & Business

Aug
14

But I Need To Make Money … Now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, what do we do instead? Read More→

Aug
07

How to Find “Enough”

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

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

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

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

Ouch.

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

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

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

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

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

Share in the comments below!

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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
07

When The Inspiration Won’t Come – Ideas To Help You Get Going

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogI love those days where I can lie down at night and think back over all I accomplished throughout the day. Unfortunately, those days are pretty few and far between.  Many days I stare at my to-do list feeling completely overwhelmed trying to figure out how I’m going to get something – anything – accomplished.

Not long ago, I got so frustrated with this process that I decided to make a list of things that helped me get my forward momentum back when I feel stuck. Here are a few ideas that I came up with.

Make a New List

We all have a to-do list, but how about making a things-I-love list? Or maybe a things-I’m-grateful-for list? Sometimes just changing our perspective can help kick start our productivity. When I’m looking at a list full of what needs to be done, it can be hard to remember all the good things happening around me. But when I take the time to look beyond my to-do list I am flooded with gratitude for all that God has given me. Those blessings become the inspiration to get back to work and to do the next task on my to-do list … with a better attitude.

Borrow a Brain

When I’m working on something new or trying to come up with a solution to a problem in my business, I often find that I simply can’t do it alone. When times like these hit, I dial up a friend or colleague and schedule a brainstorming session. Whether we meet over coffee, on the phone  or via Skype, I always come away from meetings like these with great new ideas and inspiration. Talking with others when you’re stuck is a great way not only to help solve the problem, but to gain motivation and determination as well.

Glean Excitement

Watching the successes of others has always inspired me. When I began working on weight loss, I often read stories of people who had gone before me and conquered their weight. Not only did I learn how they did it, it also helped motivate me to do the same thing. The same principle holds true for me in business. When I watch videos or read stories of other entrepreneurs and their successes, it makes me want to dream bigger and work harder.

Change Directions

Another way that I “trick” myself into getting to work is to completely ignore what I’m working on. That’s right. I change direction and work on something new. There’s something about changing my focus that helps my mind relax and (sometimes subconsciously) think about the project that I’m stuck on. Sometimes I start a fresh project, other times it’s as simple as checking and answering email. Anything to job my brain in a new direction and get those creative juices flowing.

So, if you find yourself stuck today or simply overwhelmed by your to-do list, try these tips and tricks to get your motivated and inspired!

 

About Jill
Jill is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries (CWAHM.com). She is the author of Do Life Different and co-author of So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom and speaks to audiences about faith, business and leadership topics.

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Jun
28

The Art of Starting

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogMany times the hardest part of working from home is simply getting started. This is true in the bigger sense of choosing a business, getting everything in place and making that first sale. However, it’s also true in the day-to-day grind of working from home. Some mornings the art of starting is much harder than others.

On those mornings where I’m struggling to get going, I’ve found a few ways to “trick” myself into starting.  One of the first things I do each morning is remind myself why I do what I do. One of my favorite verses has also become a challenge to me to do the work that God has placed before me:

“Be strong and brave, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, because the Lord God, my God, is with you.”
1 Chronicles 28:20

Once my attitude is on the right track, then I can begin the task portion of my day. Here are a few ideas that I use to get in gear:

Get Organized – I have learned over the years that when it comes to my To-do List, I can’t simply write out big tasks and expect to accomplish them. Those big tasks overwhelm me, so I avoid them. Instead, I write out the steps necessary to complete the big tasks and accomplish those one by one.

For instance, if I need to market my business I don’t simply write on my list “Market Business.” I break it down into manageable tasks such as “Call two referrals” or “Outline new article.” These are things I can do, cross of my list and move on to the next thing without needing to spend an extraordinary amount of time deciding what to do or how to do it.

Challenge Yourself – Within my to-do list each day, there are always a few things that I dread doing. So, I’ve taken up challenging myself to do at least one of these “horrible things” each day.  I’ve also found that doing the hardest thing first sets me up to feel like I’ve accomplished something big, so I can easily handle the other items on my to-do list. It also helps motivate me to keep going, to press on and see how many things I can cross off my list each day. Read More→

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Jun
14

How to Stay Focused on God When Life Feels Out of Control

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Jill Hart - Mixing Faith & Business blogLife as a mom can be hectic.We hurry from here to there. We scurry to clean the house, chase the kids, squeeze in some work and somehow still get dinner on the table. We worry that even though we’re trying to do it all, we may not be doing any of it well. And the days seems to bleed together and everyday begins to feel like a carbon copy of the day before. Diapers. Meals. Work. Sleep. Start Again.

How do we keep our eyes on the Lord when life feels out of our control?girl silohuette

When the kids are melting down …

When we’re overloaded with work …

When we’re tired …

When we’ve come to the end of our rope …

 

Believe me when I say we all have these moments. You’re not the only one who has locked herself in the bathroom in order to have two minutes alone just to take a deep breath. A few of the things that I found helpful to keep me spiritually afloat during my toughest “mommy moments” were:

* Keeping a small devotional book in the bathroom – I know this sounds silly, but it’s amazing what even a tiny dose of God’s Word can do in a life. And the bathroom is the perfect place to claim a few moments of reading time.

* Getting involved – I never realized the value of getting out from behind my computer until I began volunteering at our local homeless shelter.  If you’re feeling lonely or discouraged, serving in your community is a great way to change your perspective!
Read More→

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Jun
05

The Power of Words in Business

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I love email. I know it’s silly, but I truly love receiving emails – especially from women who are a part of my ministry, Christian Work at Home Moms. I love hearing what God is doing in their lives and how He is creating businesses out of the very fabric of who they are and the things that they love to do.

I received an email not long ago, however, that wasn’t nearly so encouraging. The woman was upset. She had been hurt by people during her work-at-home journey, she felt used and abused. She took that anger out on me. I was heartbroken as I read that email and felt this woman’s pain. My heart ached not just for the anger that she expressed, but at seeing the pain behind her words.

Words give us power. They allow us to communicate what God is teaching us. They give us the ability to share the joys and triumphs of life.

And yet, words can be used to wield another sort of power as well – the power to injure. We can so easily hurt others with the words that write and speak. I can think of countless times that I have spoken something without thinking – with no intention of hurting someone – and injured the person on the receiving end.

James 3:3 -6 tells us:

“Take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.
Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

What a powerful statement that last line is. Read it again: “It [the tongue] corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” The words we speak can corrupt us if we choose to speak words that belittle others, hurt others or tear others down.

On the flip side, in Proverbs 31:26 we find out how a godly woman uses her words:
She speaks wise words and teaches others to be kind.” Read More→

May
29

Don’t Hide From What You’re Passionate About

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WOvercoming Fearhen I was in college one of the requirements to graduate was to take a speech class. I was a fairly quiet girl who tried to blend in the crowd as much as possible. So, the thought of getting up in front of the crowd was terrifying to me.  Every time I thought about having to speak in front of my friends and classmates my heart would start racing, my palms would sweat and I would quickly distract myself by doing something else.

Eventually, though, I had to find a way to conquer speech class. So, one semester I had the brilliant idea to take speech class during the summer term at the local community college. This way, I could make a fool out of myself in front of strangers instead of my friends. So, that summer I hid out at the community college and suffered through speech class.

But, the joke was on me. I wouldn’t have believed you had you told me in college, but God would eventually give me opportunities to speak before audiences…and I would learn to enjoy it. I might possibly even say I developed a passion for speaking (and writing). I now take the opportunities God provides to share about working from home and how we can incorporate our faith into our business lives.

The Bible gives us a great example of someone else who – literally – tried to hide from his calling. In 1 Samuel chapter 10 we meet Saul. Saul has just been informed by the prophet Samuel he is to be Israel’s first king.

Samuel gathers the people of Israel together to announce God’s decision, but when he calls for Saul to step forward, guess what? Saul is nowhere to be found.

Samuel had them pass by in family groups, and Matri’s family was picked. Then he had each man of Matri’s family pass by, and Saul son of Kish was picked. But when they looked for Saul, they could not find him. (1 Samuel 10:21, NCV)

And where do you think Saul was? Read More→

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May
22

Summer Sanity Tips For Work-at-Home Moms

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As we’re moving from spring into summer, we all have a moment or two where we look forward to summer because of its slower pace.  When summer arrives, in all its glory, we then recognize the lie that we had been telling ourselves. Summer is crazy busy.

Between pool parties, summer sports and sleepovers, how will we ever fit working in to our schedule? Here are a few tips on how to make it work.

Plan Your Work Times

I know it seems impossible, but planning work times into your schedule is something we must learn to do. Each day holds something different during the summer it seems, so we may have to do things like get up early and work, plan out work during naptimes or stay up late and burn the midnight oil.

Know Your Priorities

Knowing when you’re going to work is only half the battle. It can be easy to say to ourselves that we’ll work during naptime, but then we sit down to get to work and don’t know where to start. So, one simple technique is to keep a running list of projects and tasks, ordered by priority. If I know exactly what I need to work on when I sit down, I’m much more likely to get it accomplished.

Be Flexible

It’s easy to say we’ll follow a schedule in the summer, but it’s a much harder task to actually stick to it. Kids throw a lot of variables into the mix, so we must keep ourselves in the attitude of adjusting as necessary. We’ll also have those days when we sense God calling us to rest or to visit someone specific or whatever it might be. We need to be sensitive to His leading and flexible with our schedules. Read More→

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