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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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Terri Seymour - Making Marketing Work bloggerBlogging communities are a type of social media site where you join up with other online business owners to share content, information and ideas. These communities can help you build massive traffic to your site and increase your business success.

Explode Your Traffic with Blogging Communities, by Terri SeymourYou can benefit from these communities in the following ways:

1. Get High Quality Backlinks – By sharing your articles and blog posts with the community you are also getting quality backlinks to your site which in turn will raise your ranking and standing in the search engines.

2. Expand Your Network – Joining and participating in social communities such as blogging communities will enable you to meet a lot of people and expand your networking circles.

3. Substantially Increase Your Traffic – Everything you do amongst these communities will help increase your traffic. The more you share, contribute and engage with others, the more traffic you will receive.

4. Build a Following – By sharing your knowledge and expertise on particular subjects, you can increase your following and help build a more substantial email list from which your business and your potential customers will benefit. Read More→

Brian Ellsworth

Dana Susan Beasley, Branding for Success bloggerRecently, a client of mine forwarded an interesting article to me. It was about the idea of personal branding. While it had some interesting information, I had a different viewpoint than the author.

Personal Brand vs. Persona Brand Which One Wins? by Dana Susan BeasleyThis topic is a hot debate these days. Personal branding is all the rage. Authors, coaches, bloggers, and consultants are naming their companies after themselves. “Experts” insist this is the only way to go.

I disagree. I’m not saying that naming a business after yourself is wrong, I’m just saying there are other considerations.

Because there are pros and cons to each scenario. Which one wins? It really depends on your business, your personality, your preferences, and your mission.

Personal branding means, as I said above, you name your company after you. So if I were to do that, my business would be named simply Dana Susan Beasley. I would have a domain (if it were available. I’ve never tried, quite honestly), danasusanbeasley.com.

The advantage of this is when prospects search for your name, they will find you. Your business can grow and not be limited by your name. And you can put your personality into your brand because it is your name. Read More→

CWAHM

Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerWhen I was young, I always looked forward to my birthday. I could not wait until it came around and usually it was in the summer. I distinctly remember graduating from the age of nine to the double-digit number of 10, I thought I had arrived.

Then the Birthday Card Arrived, by Rev. James SnyderWhen I hit the age of 16 and got my driver’s license and started driving around, of course my driving around was contingent upon my father allowing me to borrow his car. When I turned 18, however, I bought my own car.

At 20, I thought I arrived and had become a full-fledged adult. Becoming an adult was important until I realized how expensive it was to be an adult. Had I known that, I would have reverted to my sixth birthday.

Now that I am well beyond that magical age of 20, I am not so excited about birthdays. In fact, I would like to forget my birthday completely and how old I really am. This year I was making some good progress in this area.

My accomplice was the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage whose birthday is two days after mine. If we forget my birthday, she is counting on me forgetting her birthday. It all works out pretty well, except I’m not allowed to forget our anniversary. Read More→

Aug
26

Why We or I Can’t Return

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerA bit of a strange title, huh?  The following is written for women, but from the angle of what it feels like when someone you love wants to end a marriage or a relationship that you thought  might be headed towards marriage. It’s also about the Tender Warriors we love or say we do.

Why We or I Can't Return, by Pam BassWell, here’s my thoughts. Once we are attached to one another in love, or in  like, we can’t really return to where we were.  A friend is someone “I’m drawn to, attracted to, have something in common with.”  I like them, and they like me.  It’s a win-win really.  Now, when that expands, as it usually will, to boyfriend and girlfriend status, it is pretty impossible (and even unwise at time), to return to our former status of ‘friends.’  Why? Because YOU now have my heart, part or whole, YOU have it and I do not.  If, for whatever reason, “WE” no longer exist, then part of ME has died.  That is the part of my heart that you held, and still do.

Although you try and give it back to me, I don’t want it back truly.  I gave you my heart.  I wanted you to have it.  I willingly GAVE it to you. It means a lot to have done that.  I wasn’t expecting it back really.  I thought YOU gave ME YOUR heart.  Now, I’m kinda forced to give your heart back to you.  But I don’t feel that way.  I liked you a whole lot. Maybe even loved you, I dunno. All I do know now, is my heart is crushed, in a million pieces, and my mind is blown away.  I never saw it coming.  Which makes it worse IMHO.

Now if we’re married, these feelings are a million times even more. So, please don’t say that trite stupid phrase, “I just want to be friends now, ok?” NO, it s NOT okay! I can’t return to that spot! It is gone! Maybe forever, I dunno.  I shared things with you I haven’t shared with ANYONE!  My feelings and thoughts are not transferable!

You can’t just flip a switch on my emotions, it doesn’t work that way.  We weren’t a one night stand, for pete’s sake. We weren’t a casual, no strings attached, weekend hook up. We were somewhat velcroed together, hung out, went places, did things together (none that I do with just ANYBODY). It was special. We were special. Or so I thought.

Boys’ hearts are very tender.  Boys grow up to be men, and their hearts are still tender.

They may appear hard on the outside, but most are soft on the inside. I think women either (1) don’t know this at all; (2) have forgotten this fact. Ladies, please don’t trifle or stomp over your husband’s heart. You wouldn’t want him to do that to you, would you? I didn’t think so. If you’re a mom and have sons, be extra gentle with them also.  How you treat their emotions will directly impact their marriage.

As always, the Bible has a lot to say about your heart, tenderness, etc.  Let me end with these verses for you to ponder: Proverbs 4:23-27 tells us to “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows  from it. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.  Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

ABOUT THEAUTHOR:  Pam Bass is a wife, mom, and licensed Christian counselor, who has helped hundreds of people over the last 23 years.  She desires wives especially to be cognizant of the way the American culture can influence our stated Christian values.  Through her blog, she hopes to encourage women (in particular) to know and trust what God tells us in His word.  Find out more at www.pambass.com

Aug
25

Are you a happy CWAHM?

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Most of us know that we moms are the ones who set the tone of our homes (for the most part). Usually our husbands and children know when we aren’t happy.

But do you ever reflect on your own happiness? Or are you so focused on making sure that everyone else is happy that you forget to touch base with your own feelings. As moms it is easy to be continually giving to the extent that we sacrifice ALL, without taking care of ourselves. It is important that we consider our own happiness. When we take care of ourselves we are able to serve our families better.

There are times when I have felt trapped by the pressures of having children, working, cleaning house, and serving at church. I was giving, giving, giving but feeling negative about myself and my ability to get everything done.

In my reading I came found this acrostic in What Happy Working Mothers Know, which helped me put my own happiness in perspective.

Healthy – both physical and mental health

Adaptive

Proud of your family

Proud of your work because that’s who you are

Young at heart

 

Healthy

In what ways are you taking care of yourself physically? Are you getting enough physical activity? I have found that joining a gym keeps me accountable to remain active, when I do so my mind is clearer, I have more energy, and I feel better about myself.

Health carries over to what we eat as well. Are you getting the protein and nutrients you need to carry out our day? I caught myself falling into the habit of not making myself breakfast or lunch while I was feeding the kids because I concluded that they weren’t going to finish what was on their plates anyway, so I might as well just make my meal out of their leftovers which consisted of a few bites of oatmeal from one child and a few bites of honeycomb cereal from another, besides I reasoned that while spooning the baby his mashed banana and cereal, catching the spilled milk from the three year old before it engulfs the table, and reminding the older one not to blow bubbles in his milk, how was I supposed to eat anyway? I’m learning to make sure I eat something substantial as well. The spilled milk can wait, the baby can eat one bite and wait a minute while I take a bite, and does it matter so much that blowing bubbles in their drinks is so entertaining?

Adaptive

Life without children was predictable for the most part. I went to work and came home. It wasn’t a problem getting something done as planned but that doesn’t work anymore. I try to have a general routine for each day, but I never know when it may get interrupted by a refusal to take quiet time, missing children’s shoes when we are trying to get out the door, a urgent need for mommy to help dress a baby doll, and a myriad of other things. When these things arise I am learning to take them in stride, and not expect to be able to adhere to my plan complete but modify it for the day or the moment, just keeping in mind the definite goal of what needs to be accomplished each day. When I become too stressed about carrying out my schedule as planned I quickly become UNHAPPY. Read More→

Lori Clapper, Wonderfully Woven Blogger

Each time I have gone to prayer this week, Psalm 77 has come to mind. The Lord led me to this passage a couple of months ago when I took a day to fast and pray. And I feel in my heart that you may need these words as much as I did then (and still do today). So my hope and deepest prayer is that your heart will be encouraged to trust God in your circumstances. Right now. Just where you are.Psalm 77: When God Seems Far Away, by Lori Clapper

cry out to God; yes, I shout.
    Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble,
    I searched for the Lord.
All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven,
    but my soul was not comforted.
I think of God, and I moan,
    overwhelmed with longing for his help. 

You don’t let me sleep.
    I am too distressed even to pray!
I think of the good old days,
    long since ended,
when my nights were filled with joyful songs.
    I search my soul and ponder the difference now.

When you are walking in the valleys of life, it can seem endless, can’t it? I don’t know what you’re going through, but God knows how you feel.  He understands your inner turmoil….how beaten down your spirit is. Have you run out of words to pray? Read More→

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Aug
23

Accountability

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Steve Hicks, The Abundant Life bloggerOne of the obvious aspects of the way Jesus worked with His disciples was to teach them and to train them. However, He also held them to a high standard of accountability. He required them to give an account (report) what they had done with the resources He gave them. Perhaps it is true that a life without accountability is of no account.

Accountability, by Steve HicksThomas Paine said, “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not be trusted by anybody.” It is true that accountability puts pressure on you. However, as Winston Churchill said, “You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.” The Bible has a lot to say about accountability. Consider these:

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another” Prov. 27:17

So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” Rom. 14:12

Confess your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16

The question I pose to you is “are you accountable to someone?” Here are some reasons people do not have anyone holding them accountable:

-No need: “I have this thing/ministry/business/life figured out.” This is pride.
-No time: “ I am too busy to have someone ask me the hard questions.” This is poor management.
-No urgency: “I see value in accountability and I will get around to it eventually.” This is poor vision.
-No trust: “I don’t have anyone that I can trust with the details of my life.” This is a poor destiny. Read More→

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