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Accountability For the Family

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When Sabrina Malone of realized that her kids needed some extra accountability for their behaviors she took away their electronics. However, she also made a way that her children could earn points based on behavior and be rewarded with “electronics time.”

According to Sabrina, “Sometimes, you’ve just got to go Corporate/Professional for matters of hearth and home. Accountability. Standards. Metrics.”

She also shared  a few quotes that she heard from her 6 kids upon receipt of the standards:

“You know, this says ‘immediately’ a lot…”
“Isn’t this slavery?”
“Shouldn’t we get an allowance if we do all this?”
“No other parent in the world treats their kids like this.”

Do you face this same issue in your family?  Do you have a set list of standards for them to follow?

Download Sabrina’s Daily Behavior Checklist (.xls) and see if it will work for you!

And check out WorkingMom’s Online Child To-Do List Maker – you can add their names and specific tasks for each child.

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Home Harvest

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms BloggerDHarvest by Joy Jochemso you ever get tired of New Year’s resolutions? Bored by the tedious ritual of making commitments we’d like to keep, all the while skirting the reality of our fleeting determination.  “Eat better, exercise more, quit a bad habit.” They’re good ambitions, don’t get me wrong. And I think it’s healthful and beneficial for us to set goals, to have vision, to seek to improve.  It’s just that sometimes all these “resolutions” begin to blend together in a mixed up, monotone narration of blasé pledges.

But how about resolving to make a difference for eternity this year? And what if I told you that you won’t even have to leave your own home to fulfill the commitment?  Mamas, we have a ready mission field every time our feet hit the floor. Check out this exhortation from God’s Word: Read More→

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Changing of the Leaves

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Kathy Swartzfeger - Successful HomeschoolingChanging of the Leaves by Kathy SwartzfegerI love the fall! Summer heat breaks to the cool, crisp air. It necessitates rummaging through closets for sweaters and gloves; at least that is the case in Nebraska where I live. Every autumn we as a family like to visit the local pumpkin patch (two of us try to work there each season!). I bring my camera and take photos of my kids with nature’s brilliant backdrop. Pumpkin orange, cornstalk gold, and violet mums are painted together so beautifully, as in no other season.

I am not sure when I learned it along my educational journey, this idea that the true color of deciduous leaves is not the healthy green of summer- but the assorted hues of autumn.


It sort of boggles my mind when I think about it. The vibrant color of new life, growth and health are not the plant’s true color. The green is a result of the chlorophyll that is produced by the tree in the growing season. The brisk air temperature variables of fall signals the trees to stop this production of chlorophyll, and the revelation of a tree’s true color is revealed. Read More→


More Than –Less

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms Blogger

More is Less by Joy JochemsThe suffix –less. It means “without”. The “fatherless” are those without a father. The “homeless” are without a home. “Friendless”, without friends. “Hopeless”, without hope. Many times a “-less” carries with it a negative connotation. Careless, husbandless, jobless, faithless …

God has awakened within me a new awareness of His heart for the –less (specifically those without fathers and those without husbands). Yes, He is a loving and compassionate God to all of His people, but the tenderness with which He addresses those who are “without” in Scripture is incredible. And it’s not just a random reference here or there; He establishes it as a consistent theme!

Here’s the bottom line: God loves all the “lesses”. As I searched for verses that directly mentioned orphans (or “fatherless”) and widows (or “husbandless”), I began to better understand how God sees us: that we are so much more than a –less. Soak in a few of these truths with me. Let His words fill your –less. Read More→

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Learning from A.L.O.N.E.

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms Bloggerjoy-aloneI have officially been single longer than I was married, a single parent longer than a partnered parent.  I’ve not traveled this road as long as some, but in my sojourning the Lord has graciously and gently (and repeatedly!) spoken to me these life-grounding truths: Read More→

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Divorce is NOT

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Divorce is Not, Joy JochemsAccording to recent statistics, approximately 50% of unions end in divorce, and the numbers do not vary much in Christian circles. What the findings don’t distinguish are the causes and catalysts that led to the demise of so many marriages. A myriad of reasons can be given for these separations. And while most of us know what divorce is, very few stop to recognize what divorce is not.

Divorce is NOT disqualification.

For years, churches have discussed the qualifications of leadership. Yes, there are guidelines set forth in Scripture.  And yes, there are “gray areas” that are considered and debated repeatedly. But I’m not here to argue a topic that will be batted around for ages to come. I’m here to remind you that from your greatest pain or failure, God can produce your greatest opportunities for ministry. No one “gets it” like those who have walked it. And when you encourage and pray for a sister who is traveling that same road, she knows you understand and her burden is made a little lighter. Read More→

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Single FAQs

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms Bloggersingle faqsWhat’s the last question a complete stranger asked you? (Okay, before you read that sentence.)  See if any of these sound familiar:

How old are your children?

Are they all yours?

Do you work outside the home?

Are you feeling tired?

How are you?

(Do you ever want to respond to that last one by crumpling to the floor and crying?)

Read More→

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A Prince of Distinction

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Kathy Swartzfeger - Successful HomeschoolingLast month I gave thought to raising girls. This month, I figured it was only fair to ponder upon the raising of  our princes. A Prince of Distinction, by Kathy SwartzfegerImages of my boys as they were young include magic tricks, science experiments gone awry, jumping off  high “towers” (a.k.a. the back of the couch) in a single bound, and unapproved pyro-technics in the driveway. Boys are indeed, very different creatures then girls- even when they have shared real estate in the same womb. Let’s take a look at some fundamental points of growing up godly men.

Let Them Be Active
One of our big opportunities as a homeschool is to allow our boys to be their boyish, active selves. Boys typically need interactive opportunities that stir their brains and move their bodies. Some- more than others- will need frequent breaks to be active during the school years. What a great privilege in a homeschool, that we can recognize how boys are wired and structure days to include as much activity as is needed! Are you peeling boys off the ceiling most days? Try increasing activity throughout  the day through play breaks- or maybe even bouncing out spelling words or memory verses on a trampoline. Read More→

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms Bloggerjoy-aweShe sleeps. Sprawled from one end of the bed to the other.  Young arms thrown freely over pillows. Slender leg dangling over mattress edge. Peaceful beauty and precious innocence canvassing her serene expression.

And I am in awe.

I am in awe of God’s goodness and blessing.

In awe that I share this space, this earth with such a special creation.

In awe that I have the privilege and responsibility of being her mother.

And then I am convicted.

I am convicted that I wake up too many mornings and miss the sleeping beauty.

Convicted that awe moments pass me by like dust particles in the breeze – ubiquitous but fleeting, sparkling in the sunlight – yet I fail to take notice.

Convicted that my eye for the awe-inspiring has degenerated. Read More→

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Back from Vacation

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Joy Jochems - Single Moms Bloggerjoy-poemI came back from vacation,
And there upon the floor:
Stacks of o’er-stuffed suitcases
And dirty clothes galore.

I pondered how to tackle
That enormous task…
Thought my kids could be of help,
And so I smiled and asked:

“Can you help your poor old mom
Put away our ‘stuff’?
We had such fun while away;
This job’s not so tough!”

Or so I thought those were the words
That tumbled from my mouth.
But one look at my children’s faces
Might cause a little doubt!

“We’re tired, we’re busy, we need a snack!” —
Excuses did fly forth.
I must confess that I myself
Made a few retorts.

But luggage cannot help itself
And laundry’s not self-clean.
Push that whining to the side;
Tackle that messy scene!

For soon the days of school & learnin’
Will be our comfy norm.
Vacation days have come & gone,
The memories sweet & warm.

We unpack and with each item
Remember fun we had.
Sharing stories & swapping smiles,
The tasks seem not as bad.

Special days sometimes seem
Few & far between,
But if we recall and we recount
The mem’ries are redeemed.

As school descends, as winter falls,
As summer fades away,
Let’s take some time to relive
Summer’s precious days.

Days of free play, days of sun,
Days of sleeping in.
Days of family, friends & love,
Days that never end.

Chores are always present,
Work is every-day.
So make some time for family,
And make some time to play.

Winter, spring, summer, fall –
Whate’er the weather –
Strive to make each day sweet,
To make each day better.

Smile, laugh, play, relax,
Enjoy those around you.
Summer is not every day,
But any day will do!

“To live a life abundantly,”
Jesus says, “I came.”
So fill your life with things that last,
Live in Jesus’ name.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joy Jochems has been in ministry literally her whole life. While Joy is actively involved with her local church as youth ministry coordinator and lends a hand at CWAHM as devotional coordinator and guest contributor, she recognizes that her primary ministry is in her home, to her children. You can contact Joy at

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