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Oct
20

Forgetting Mr. Right

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mrrightSingle moms, single ladies, single friends … and even to those with significant others…heed this warning:

A strange little pest has burrowed its way into society and wreaked havoc on our relationships. We must IDENTIFY it, ELIMINATE it, and GUARD AGAINST it.

IDENTIFY. We’ve developed an obsession with “finding Mr. Right”. The perfect man, your perfect match, Prince Charming, your knight in shining armor. Call him what you like, but the truth is we’ve allowed fictional images to become our reality. A guy has to have looks that make you swoon and words that make you melt. He has to be army-strong and cotton-candy-sweet every moment. He should drop everything for you, put you on a pedestal, and give you anything you want or need.

A tall order indeed, especially for the real Joes! The reality is that sometimes our guys mess up. They come in all shapes and sizes. They have good days and bad days and sometimes they let us down.

They’re not accountable to those fairytale criterion or Hollywood expectations. Their standard is much loftier…

ELIMINATE. Conquering this infestation begins with the right manual: God’s Word – filled with HIS standards, HIS expectations, HIS truth. Sisters, whether you’re single, looking, taken, or married, you have to stop searching for the idealized (and nonexistent) “Mr. Right”. It’s not about him being perfect in every fantasized way. It’s about him being godly, perfect in Christ. It’s about finding Mr. Righteous.

And if you already have your guy, here’s your expectation: to encourage him in righteousness, to see him through God’s lens and not the world’s. Read More→

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Dave

You’vecomputer-woman made the decision that you want to work from home, but now you’re feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start. This is where most of us begin our work at home journey. When I quit my corporate job thirteen years ago in favor of at-home employment, I was full of excitement … and terror. I’ve learned a lot over the years, but the foundation that I started with is what has kept me moving steadily forward.

What To Do

The first decision you’ll need to make is what you will do from home. You may have funding available to you and be able to open your own small business, or you may decide to seek employment. The first step is knowing which direction you’re headed in.

Take time to research each option and know what is available to you and what you can handle right now. I began working from home as a contractor for a local business. I built my own business up during my off hours until it was at a point where I could work for myself full-time.

Where You’ll Be

The next step you need to take is to evaluate your home and determine where you can set up a dedicated work space. I have found that I’m much more focused and efficient when I am working at my desk rather than at the kitchen table or from my laptop in front of the TV. No matter the size and shape of your home, find a place that can be set aside for your work area, even if you have to be creative and work in a closet.

When It Will Take Place

Now you must think through your routine. When will be available to work at this new at-home endeavor? Be honest with yourself about how many hours you have open for work, and what time of day you can be available. By knowing your availability, you can narrow down job choices or determine hours of operation if you’re opening your own business. Make others aware of your new work hours and be consistent so that your customers know when and how to reach you. Read More→

Brian Ellsworth

cellphoneRecently I had to travel involving changing planes, which involved spending a night at the Orlando airport. Checking in at the front desk, I then went to my room and settled down for the evening.

I decided to get some supper around 8 o’clock in the evening. This, I found out, was the time high society folk eat. Why they eat so late, I will never know. But, since I was with high society, I decided to act and eat like high society.

The restaurant was one of those highfalutin restaurants where you really do not know what is on the menu. The menu was in every language except English. Fortunately, they had some pictures and fortunately, my index finger was still in good working order.

I finished my supper and decided to wander around in the huge lounge area. Everybody there was talking and so I got an order of coffee, went to a couch, sat down and just observed what was going on around me. One thing I noticed was that most people seemed to be on their cell phone. What would happen in our society if cell phones suddenly stopped working for three minutes? There would be such a panic across our country that nobody would actually survive.

I decided I should call someone on my cell phone. After all, I am trying to fit in with this high society. My dilemma came when I tried to figure out who in the world I should call at 10 o’clock in the evening.

Then it dawned on me. I will call the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. I do not know why I did not think of this before. So, I pressed the speed dial and the phone started ringing.

As soon as the phone started ringing, a thought danced in my mind. What in the world am I calling her for? What in the world would I talk about?

Before finishing all of the questions floating around my cranium my wife answered the phone.

The first words out of her mouth were, “What did you forget now?” Read More→

I don’t read many columns faithfully; nor do I watch morning talk shows regularly.  I don’t Facebook a lot. In fact, I seem to go in spurts with Facebook and other social media sites.  Lately with the new school year starting up again, I have notices many shows about ‘staying connected with your kids’.

One particular topic that caught my attention was “25 ways to ask your children ‘How Was School Today?’ without asking them ‘how was school today?’”  Then there was  a follow up, I believe on Huffington Post, same title, except that teens replaced children.  Since I am totally interested in helping people stay sane while married, I thought where is the list for one’s spouse?  So, in the hopes of being quasi original, here’s my 25 ways to ask your spouse how their day was without asking them how their day was:

  1. What hopeful thing did someone say to you today?
  2. Where did you see God’s hand?
  3. What was the most exciting thing today?
  4. When did you feel most respected?
  5. When did you feel most loved?
  6. If you had only one hour to relive, which hour was it and why?
  7. Did anyone help you out in an ordinary way?
  8. Did you help anyone out in an ordinary or extraordinary way?
  9. Could you eat your lunch for a month straight-why or why not?
  10. Who, if anyone, was kissing up to the boss?
  11. Tell me a movie title for today’s events.
  12. Tell me a song title for today’s events. Read More→

jill-new14Operating a successful home-based business is a time-consuming endeavor. This is doubly true as work-at-home moms in that we are responsible not only for the success of our business, but for our family as well. We must be self-reliant, self-motivated, and discipline ourselves in order to attain success in both areas.

When running a business from home, it’s easy to let the phone calls, emails and paperwork keep you tied down, making you feel that you don’t have time to take a break or to spend quality time with your family. Maybe you’ve noticed that you spend a little more time than you’d like in front of your computer or on the phone. Maybe you see your kids acting out, trying to gain your attention. Perhaps you are seeing that this isn’t the work-at-home dream you envisioned. You started out with such noble intentions, but maybe the excitement of success in your business has caused you to lose sight of the REAL reason you do what you do each day. It happens to so many of us, but don’t worry, help is on the way.

Below are five ideas to prioritize your life and business:

1. Be Honest – You probably didn’t start your work-at-home career to climb the “corporate ladder” of your at-home business. Chances are that you started your business with the best of intentions – to be able to be at home with your children, to contribute financially to your family, or simply to have a little spending money of your own.

Take a moment and honestly ask yourself how you’ve been handling the time commitment of owning a business:

  • Are you spending too much time on the phone, the computer, etc?
  • Are your kids spending more time than usual in front of the TV?
  • Do you snap at your children because of the stresses of your business?
  • Do you worry about your business – to the point that it distracts you when you are with your family?

2. Make A List – Sit down and write out a list of things that you see that you’d like to change. This can be a list of things you can do differently to limit the time you spend on your business; or a list of ways you can “de-stress” so that you can deal kindly with your family.

3. Log Your Time – Buy a notebook or create a spreadsheet that you can use to log the time you spend on your business each day. Make a column for each day across the top and a row of half an hour increments down the side. Every time you sit down at your desk, write “IN” in the box that corresponds to the time and day. Every time you leave your desk (or complete a task), fill the appropriate box with the word “OUT.” Read More→

Oct
14

Star-Poke-Gi-Magic Dad

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bradcardI was talking to my little sister the other day and she was asking me for ‘big brother’ advice on one of the most important issues to impact a family: Pokemon cards.

Turns out my nephew had just recently discovered that EVERY kid at school had Pokemon cards and ALL of them knew how to play the game and my sister was sorely lacking in her Pokemon knowledge. But that’s what big brothers are for right? So I gave her the complete Pokemon overview from the Dad standpoint, including the Poke-rap, which cards other kids will want, playing the game, how to make sure your kids aren’t swindled in trades, etc.

As I reflected on the issue of Pokemon I realized that there are a lot of related Dad issues. Pokemon isn’t going away anytime soon, and if it does, it will most likely be replaced by something else just like it. Girls have less game-related interests at a younger age, but they are not exempt from the influence of Pokemon. I’ve had to supervise Pokemon trades involving both genders, and many times neighborhood girls came to visit our home with a binder full of categorized cards. I have noticed girls don’t play as much during the elementary ages, but everyone knows that they mature faster anyway.

My sister can’t be alone struggling in the hazy fog of trying to navigate strategy games and related merchandize. So, this blog is a condensed version of my brotherly advice to my sister. However, I know that Pokemon is just one of the many toy-and-video-game-based-strategy-games on the market. As such, I’m going to throw in a definition here with no disrespect intended to the institution known as Pokemon: Poke-fad. It’s a made-up term, but I’m creating it to use as I describe some guidelines for dads when it comes to Pokemon and other trading card and games. There are a few that came to mind while I was considering this blog: Magic, the Gathering, Y-Gi-Oh, Star Wars Command and others. I’m using the term Poke-fad to describe all of them.

The game: Most Poke-fads involve some sort of card or strategy game that is impossible to play. The rules to actually play the Pokemon card game are so complex, NO KID, no matter how much they assure you, knows how to play correctly. It’s the same for Magic, Y-Gi-Oh and others. Knowing this helps you put all game-related fights in perspective. Savvy dads who want to spend quality time with their kids, may even want to make up some ‘house rules’ to garner Poke-fad games. Read More→

DanaOne of the biggest challenges that most work at home moms and dads have­, ­myself included, ­­is balancing competing time demands. As a homeschooling mom, marketing assistant to my husband, and business owner, I especially feel it. How can we be productive in the midst of all these different “hats” that we wear? Because productivity is key to having a successful brand and a thriving business.

For me, the biggest way I have found creativity is by meditating on the Word on a daily basis and asking God this one question, “What have you called me to do today?”

Long ago, I learned that it’s far more effective to concentrate on a few things that God has directed me to do rather than a long laundry list of to-­do items.

Every night I read a new Psalm, meditate on, it, pray, and then choose a phrase that will be my mission statement for the next day. Sometimes I ask God, “What three essential things do you want me to do tomorrow?” I find it’s best to ask that question the night before so that even before my feet hit the ground the next morning I have purpose and direction.

In most time­ management systems, that is what’s lacking­­ purpose. Making long to­-do lists often promote guilt, which leads to UNproductivity.

Instead, every day think about why do what you do. Perhaps write your reasons down and post them around your house and office. Or make it visual with pictures. Hang them everywhere!

For me, one of my biggest reasons is my son. I want him to know that it is possible for him to become an entrepreneur. I want to have the freedom to always homeschool, no matter what the economy is doing.

Don’t be a slave to a to-­do list. Engage in activities that will matter in the long run, that for your business will be successful, that will bring in sales. Be careful not to engage in busyness for busyness’ sake. Read More→

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