Establish the Work of Our Hands

psalm90.17

psalm90.17

Psalm 90:17 is written on an index card and taped to my kitchen cupboard door. You can tell it’s been hanging there now for a few years. The edges of the card are bent; and if you look closely, you’ll see some spatters of food or drink around the “of” and the “our.”

I keep it RIGHT THERE because it’s at my eye level when I’m cooking, which I seem to do a lot of! I need to be reminded that my work matters, as God is “establishing” it: setting it in stone. I can’t help but read it and reread it and reread it. And many times, I also pray it.

Not only is running a home tough, but running a home-based business can also be challenging! Results are slow to come or non-existent. You blog. You market. You finish one assignment and take on another. You write a little today on this eBook and a little bit more tomorrow.

But your traffic numbers, your sales figures, and your social media connections don’t budge.

What to do?

Pray Psalm 90:17 and realize that your work—all of it—is not in vain.

And guess what? It’s not temporary, either.

Yes, I know our earthly lives here are temporary and we await our sure and eternal home. But this verse tells us that the work we do actually endures. It is “established.” Furthermore,

God will redeem all things in the new heavens and the new earth.

If our work today is set in stone, what may it look like redeemed to its intended glory for all eternity?

Wow. Blows my mind. :)

Realize that your work—all of it—is not in vain. —Psalm 90:17

9 Ways to Use Other Bloggers’ EBooks to Grow Your Business

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homemaking, home office, home business, work at home mom, wahm, Christian wahm, Christian mom

If you spend even a day online, you will discover an eBook or two for sale. In fact, most of the bloggers I follow regularly have at least one eBook under their belts.

Writing an eBook has always seemed like an out-of-reach ideal that I’d probably never do. I mean, I reasoned, What in the world do I have to say that’s not been said before, I doubt I’d sell many (if any), and How do I get started anyway?

This week’s mega eBook sale, though, has really gotten my wheels turning—and is motivating me to write my own eBook. I hope you’ve purchased The Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle (and if you haven’t, you should; read about this limited time special deal here). If you’re a mom, a wife, you live in a house or apartment, you have a home-based business/blog, and/or you eat food, I promise you’ll find something that will apply to you!

But I’m also hoping that the Bundle will give you some new ideas, like it has for me.

Consider all the ways you can use other bloggers’ eBooks in your business (I’ve listed my ideas here):

1. Get inspired to write your own eBook! Whether your niche is pregnancy or poodles, just reading through other bloggers’ eBooks will inspire you to write your own. Come to the collection with the mindset of looking for inspiration to write.

2. Teach an online (or in person) course, using an eBook as the required curriculum.

3. Give away books and/or the Bundle on your blog. (Make sure you read the FAQs about copyright restrictions before gifting an eBook.)

4. Find new business partners and mentors. These authors are some of the sharpest businesswomen online. Simply by reading their books, you’re peeking into their wealth of knowledge. Begin following them on their blogs and social media and expand your reach.

5. Research, research, research. Guess what? These books were created because they are book-worthy topics. These are the topics readers demanded. I’m sure each author came at her topic from a slightly different angle, but in the end, these are hot topics in each category. Find your niche category, study the eBooks there, and see what pops up for you. Hopefully, you’ll get new ideas for blog posts, articles, or a future eBook.

6. EBook review page. Once you’ve read an eBook, write a review. Create a separate page on your blog where you post reviews of several eBooks that you believe your audience would find helpful. Make sure you become an affiliate for each book and post your affiliate link with your book review.

7. Include specific books in a holiday gift guide. Create a gift guide, tailored to your niche. Suggest eBooks in the guide using your affiliate links in short reviews.

8. Launch a business from something you learn. Many eBooks are “how-to” guides. Learn a new skill or craft, or create a DIY project. Use your new “creation” as the first item for sale in your home-based business.

9. Create a Favorite eBooks podcast. Interview the eBook authors for a podcast specific to your niche.

So, what’s number 10? What ideas do you have to use eBooks in your business?

Image credit: MorgueFile.com

 

 

 

Awesome Sale You Don’t Want to Miss – The Ultimate Homemaking Ebook Bundle

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***This Bundle is no longer for sale.***

I can’t wait to tell you about this amazing deal coming up next week!

Get more than $600 worth of ebooks and ecourses for just $29.97!

Authors include some of the most popular bloggers in the “homemaking” niche (and I use that term broadly):

  • Amy Lynn Andrews at Blogging With Amy
  • SarahMae of SarahMae.com
  • Crystal of MoneySavingMom.com
  • Tsh of SimpleMom
  • Katie of Kitchen Stewardship

… just to name a few!

Now, I know that most of you are focused on business and/or work at home opportunities. In my opinion, the books included in the “Working from Home and Blogging” category alone are worth the price of the entire bundle! But we are also moms and wives and Christian women, too. This bundle covers so many facets of life that I promise you’ll find the majority of ebooks apply to you.

And if that wasn’t the best deal all by itself, the sale organizers have also secured “bonus freebies” from ten different companies that total more than $140!

So, check out the details from the sale organizers below. You can’t order until April 29, but I’ll remind you again to come back here and place your order.

Don’t miss this awesome opportunity to grow and learn.

P.S. This is going to be my Mother’s Day present to myself this year. :)

~~~

From the sale organizers:

For 6 days only, more than 75 widely-known bloggers and authors in the homemaking sphere have joined together to offer 97 of their most popular eBooks and eCourses, valued at just over $600, for the incredibly low price of $29.97!

More than anything, our goal for this sale was for it to be, well… ultimate! We firmly believe that you will not find a more comprehensive collection of homemaking resources anywhere on the web, and particularly not in this price range. For this low price, you gain access to every single one of these resources, so that you can customize your own collection to contain exactly the ones you want and know you’ll use.

This library of homemaking helps include topics such as mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, spiritual growth for both moms and kids, home décor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools.

To sweeten the pot, we’ve also teamed up with 10 companies to bring you over $140 in bonus offers, giving you an affordable opportunity to get products you’ll use and love for only the cost of shipping, or in some cases, entirely for free!

What’s Included in the Sale?

When you purchase The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection, you will get instant access to any of the 97 eBooks and eCourses listed below.

PLUS over $140 of FREE Bonuses

Each The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection comes with more than $140 of FREE Bonuses from 10 companies that we know you’ll love. More on these bonuses below.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered.

Home & Property {Cleaning, Organizing, Decor}

31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae @ SarahMae.com ($4.99)
Getting it Together: Your Guide to Setting Up a Home Management System that Works by Kayse @ kayse pratt ($3.99)
Pulling Yourself Together: Implementing a Cleaning Routine that Sticks by Becky @ Clean Mama ($10.00)
Simple Living by Lorilee @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)
NOT a DIY Diva by Melissa @ The Inspired Room ($3.99)
One Bite at a Time: 52 Projects for Making Life Simpler by Tsh @ Simple Mom ($5.00)
28 Days to Hope for your Home by Dana @ A Slob Comes Clean ($5.00)
Organizing Life as Mom by Jessica @ Life as Mom ($9.00)
Clean Enough: Simple Solutions for the Overwhelmed by Jenni @ Live Called ($4.99)
10 Steps to Organized Paper by Lisa @ Lisa Woodruff.net($5.00)
Handmade Walls by Jamin and Ashley @ the handmade home ($9.95)
Easy Peasy Chores: An Easy-to-Use Chore System That Brings JOY Back Into Family Chores by Alina Joy @ The Good Old Days Farm ($17.99)

Educational Children’s Resources

Princess Training by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($3.99)
The Armor of God by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($2.50)
My Bedtime Learning Book by Richele @ Under the Golden Apple Tree ($1.00)
Think Outside the Classroom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($6.97)
Raising Rock Stars — Kindergarten Bundle by Carissa @ 1plus1plus1equals1 ($10.00)
The ABC’s For Godly Boys Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
The ABC’s For Godly Girls Curriculum by Lindsey @ Road to 31 ($8.00)
K4 Curriculum by Erica @ Confessions of a Homeschooler ($15.00)
Write Through the Bible (print) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Write Through the Bible (cursive) by Trisha @ Intoxicated on Life ($5.00)
Balcony Girls (books 1 & 2) by Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainer ($19.90)
The Dig for Kids: Luke (Volumes 1 and 2) by Patrick, husband of Ruth @ The Better Mom ($5.98)
Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Ryan @ Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Budgeting {Finance & Time}

From Debtor to Better by Barry @ From Debtor to Better ($10.00)
Tell Your Time by Amy @ Blogging with Amy ($2.99)
The Homemakers Guide to Creating the Perfect Schedule by Amy @ Raising Arrows ($4.99)
Your Grocery Budget Toolbox by Anne @ Authentic Simplicity ($7.99)
Finding Financial Freedom by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($5.97)
Become a Frugalista in 30 Days by Susan @ The Confident Mom ($3.99)

In the Kitchen {Recipes and Cooking}

Crock On by Stacy @ Stacy Makes Cents ($5.00)
Real Food, Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Wholesome Mixes by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
20-Minute Meals by Leigh Ann @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)
Restocking the Pantry by Kresha @ Nourishing Joy ($9.99)
Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking by Crystal @ Money Saving Mom ($3.99)
Simply Summer by Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama ($7.95)
Do the Funky Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($4.95)
Real Food Kids: In the Kitchen plus 1 month access to select Real Food Kids eCourse videos by Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS and Jami @ Eat Nourishing ($20.00)
Seasonal Menu Plans on a Budget: A Month of Meals from My Humble Kitchen to Yours by Diana @ My Humble Kitchen ($4.99)
Just Making Ice Cream by Marillyn @ Just Making Noise ($12.00)
The Curative Kitchen by Susan @ Handy Pantry ($20.00)

Pregnancy & Baby Care

First Bites by Hilary @ Accidentally Green ($9.99)
Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert by Erin @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)
Stress-Free Baby Shower by Sara @ Your Thriving Family ($4.00)
Unbound Birth by Jenny @ The Southern Institute ($2.99)
My Pregnancy Journey by Mindy @ Simply Designs ($9.99)
My Buttered Life Baby Edition by Renee @ Made On Hard Lotion ($5.00)
The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year by Rachel @ The Minimalist Mom ($5.00)
Redeeming Childbirth: Growth & Study Guide by Angie @ Redeeming Childbirth ($3.99)

Holidays & Special Events

Festive Traditions by Jill @ Modern Alternative Kitchen ($7.95)
Holiday Mixes: Gifts in a Jar by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
Flourishing Spring by Michele @ Frugal Granola ($5.95)
Family Camping Handbook by Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship ($6.95)
Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda @ Oh, Amanda! ($7.99)
Plan a Fabulous Party by Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect ($4.99)
iPhone Photography: The Visual Guide by Alli @ Alli Worthington($9.97)

Spiritual Growth

Pursuit of the Proverbs 31 by Amy @ Amy Bayliss ($3.99)
The Best of Visionary Womanhood by Natalie @ Visionary Womanhood ($5.00)
God’s Word in my Heart: A Scripture Memory Learning Guide with Verses {all 4 versions} by Jenn @ The Purposeful Mom ($3.99)
Kept: a 13-Week Inductive Study on 1 Peter by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($4.99)
Love Like Him: an 8 week Inductive Bible study on 1 Corinthians 13 by Lara and Katie @ Quench Bible ($2.99)

Marriage & Romance

Rekindling Romance by Jason & Jami @ A Biblical Marriage ($4.99)
Good Wife’s Guide by Darlene @ Time-Warp Wife ($2.99)
31 Days to Build a Better Spouse by Ashley @ Ashley Pichea ($4.99)
31 Days to Great Sex by Sheila @ To Love, Honor and Vacuum ($4.99)
Entangled: Recognize Your Emotional Affair by Amy @ Amy J. Bennett ($4.99)

Motherhood

The Heart of Simplicity by various authors @ The Heart of Simplicity ($9.99)
True Christian Motherhood by June @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home ($7.00)
Hula Hoop Girl by September @ One September Day ($4.99)
When Motherhood Feels Too Hard by Kelly @ Generation Cedar ($4.97)
Mindset for Moms by Jamie @ Steady Days ($4.99)
From Cube to Farm by Heather @ From Cube to Farm ($2.99)
4 Moms of 35+ Kids Answer Your Parenting Questions by various authors @ 4 Moms, 35+ Kids Parenting E-book ($7.99)
That Works for Me! by Kristen @ We are THAT Family ($8.00)

Health & Fitness

100-pound Loser by Jessica @ Muthering Heights ($4.99)
Honoring the Rhythm of Rest by Danielle @ Domestic Serenity ($2.99)
42 Days to Fit by Brandy @ The Marathon Mom, Emma @ Real Fit Moms and Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($4.99)
Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)
Personal ePlanner by Jennifer @ ListPlanIt ($5.00)

Beauty

Frumps to Pumps by Sarah Mae @ SaraMae.com ($4.99)
The Cottage Mama’s DIY Guide by Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage ($4.00)
Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)
The No Brainer Wardrobe by Hayley @ The No Brainer Wardrobe ($7.99)
Embracing Beauty by Trina @ Trina Holden ($9.00)
Reuse, Refresh, Repurpose by Kristen @ The Frugal Girl ($3.99)

Working from Home & Blogging

Your Blogging Business: Tax, Talk and Tips by Nikki @ Christian Mommy Blogger ($4.99)
The Bootstrap VA by Lisa @ The Home Life {and Me} ($12.99)
How to Grow Your Blog and Manage Your Home by Jacinda @ Growing Home ($4.99)
How to Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too by Mandi @ Life Your Way ($12.00)
Simple Blogging: Less Computer Time, Better Blogging by Rachel @ Small Notebook ($8.00)

Ecourses

Learning in Love: The Preschool Years by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
Homeschooling from the Heart by Renee @ FIMBY ($7.99)
Grocery University by Carrie @ Colorado Bargains ($24.95)
Vibrant Living Strategies for Moms by Lisa @ Well-Grounded Life ($59)
You Can Do This! The First Five Steps to a Real Food Kitchen by Laura @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.00)

PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these companies…

A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio, where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are tummy safe and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs). ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A $15 store credit to TruKid. With products like their aware-winning sun care, they are dedicated to providing all natural skin and hair care for kids, babies, and now pets. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

Your choice of incredible natural products like sea salt and clay for FREE. Choose from the Redmond Trading Earthpaste Bundle ($24.90 value) or the Facial Mud Bundle ($26.90 value). (Standard shipping applies. Continental US only.)

Your choice of a FREE heirloom sourdough starter or FREE yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, the leading supplier of starter cultures and supplies for making cultured and fermented foods ($12.95 value. US & CAN addresses only. Standard shipping applies.)

Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription (for new accounts) or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A FREE Culinary Herbs Assorted Seed Pack Check just in time for spring planting from www.wheatgrasskits.com, a living whole foods company. ($11.95 value. Standard shipping applies to all US states and territories- no international shipping for seeds.)

Get $10 off Union28′s original “my husband rocks” tee. Their marriage apparel lets you celebrate your spouse in style. ($10.00 value. Standard shipping rates apply. International shipping available, but free shipping only available within USA.)

A $10 store credit plus 1 FREE lip balm from Bee All Natural. Their whole body products nourish and heal, and are made using only the highest quality, food grade, organic ingredients. ($13.49 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

A FREE 2 oz. bottle of your choice of liquid herbal formula from TriLight Health. They specialize in fast acting, great tasting natural herbal remedies. ($12.95 value or more. Standard shipping applies, within the USA only.)

Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Membership to ListPlanIt, whose mobile lists will help to organize your life. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

The fine print:

Bonus Offers

  • Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase.
  • For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
  • All bonus offers are free gifts from the bonus sponsors, are their sole responsibility to provide, and are subject to availability.
  • All bonus offers expire at midnight on May 19th, 2013 (2 weeks from the last day of this sale).

General

  • It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the 1-month download time-frame. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links up until August 1st, 2013. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
  • Due to the nature of this sale, there will be no refunds available. However, we would invite you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, the download process, how the bonus offers work, etc.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered, so make sure that you get your bundle right away!

Particularly for those wanting to read these ebooks on their mobile devices (iPhones or iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) you will want to learn more about the file types, how to download them correctly, and how to transfer them to your device.

This post includes affiliate links, and I make a portion of the sale of each ebook bundle. Thanks for your support of this site!

Lacking Motivation? 4 Tips to Pull You Out of the Rut

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file9311239553069Most of us are susceptible to the temptations that bog down our momentum when it comes to starting or growing a new business.

Poor time management skills, procrastination, and self-doubt creep all around us. Before you know it, you’re paralyzed, de-motivated, and your great plans for a creative project or a new business endeavor are dead in the water.

Do you look around and mutter, “I should be doing that” or “I need to get going with my next project”?

Here are some practical tips to get you moving again so you can get back to productivity and enjoy some progress:

1. Discover (or re-discover) your passion.

If you aren’t usually living/working/playing in environments in which you love, you’ll quickly become bored and apathetic. Doing what makes you feel alive is crucial to productivity.

Get started ===>> Download my free ebook, 5 Easy Steps to Discover the Home-based Business That’s Perfect for You, for help.

2. Learn something new.

Read a book, take an online course, or attend a class at your community college. Regardless of what you learn, I promise it will spark something inside of you.

Get started ===>> Join Kelly McCausey for any of her amazing online courses, including the Stretch Yourself Challenge, which begins May 1. (I just completed her Power of a Focused Business course and I learned so much. I am now going to be working with her as a blogging intern during the next three months—which brings me to #3.)

3. Find a mentor and/or mentoring group.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve benefited from the support of online friends who have the same goals as I do. Whether it’s been maintaining a workout routine or learning about blogging best practices, my online groups have motivated me and propelled me forward. In fact, I was able to apply for the upcoming internship with Kelly after having participated in a group coaching opportunity this spring.

Whether you want to move ahead with a hobby, a business, or a new skill set, find someone who is a few steps ahead of you and soak up everything you can from that person. Barter with them: trade their mentoring for your skills.

Get started===>>I wholeheartedly recommend the Solo Masterminds group. Lots of smart business women hang out there. It’s a terrific place for asking questions, getting guidance, and making valuable connections.

4. Make sure your spiritual house is in order.

I know that God takes us all through various seasons for only his reasons. Our family has been on a “wilderness wandering” for about three years now. Our beloved church of ten years closed in 2010, and the church we attended since then was never a good fit. Because of scheduling conflicts, I had dropped out of my women’s Bible study, and my own personal study and prayer time had become quite neglected.

At the beginning of 2013, we finally sought out a new church and have been attending there since the first of the year. Being back in a truly spiritually-edifying environment weekly has drastically improved all facets of our family life—inlcuding my renewed energy around business and creative projects.

This point is not something mechanical or something that I can explain from a technical perspective. It’s faith, of course, but, I believe it’s absolutely vital to operating a successful business.

Get started ===>> Make sure you’re worshiping weekly in a biblically-sound, gospel-centered church. Pursue God daily with personal Bible study and prayer.

What gets you moving again when you’re in a rut?

Mom, Are You One of the 62%?

Infographic: New MomsI recently read an article that featured all sorts of stats about mothers, expenses, and employment. (Image courtesy of: CreditDonkey)

When our first child was born in 2003, we were in a comfortable financial situation—no debt, healthy monthly cash flow, and a cushy emergency fund/savings account. I had always wanted to be home full-time with my kids, eventually pursuing part-time freelance writing work. It all seemed more than manageable.

We were fine living on my husband’s salary and my meager few thousand dollars a year.

That was until the twins were born in 2005.

I don’t have to tell you that with twins, everything is double: more diapers, more onesies, more gear. We had tons of help (with finances and resources), but we quickly blew through our stash of cash and (unfortunately) piled on the credit card debt.

We’ve been digging out of that the last few years, as we’ve both increased our incomes. But now, we’re facing the preteen/teen years with out-of-control appetites, $100 athletic shoes, and orthodontics.

Kids are expensive. (Sigh.)

As a mom, I know you’ve got to be facing the same types of challenges in your own family. According to the article I read:

  • the average cost of raising a child to the age of 17, is $235,000
  • of working moms, 74% work full-time, 26% work part-time
  • of working moms, 62% prefer to work part-time, 37% prefer to work full-time

I find these numbers interesting. If I’m interpreting them correctly, there’s a whole lot of working moms working full-time who would prefer to be working part-time.

I’m here to tell you that it can happen for you. I wholeheartedly believe that when you tap into your God-given passions, your priorities will come into focus. As you work your priorities, the provision appears.

It’s not hard to get started in your pursuit of the opportunity that you can turn into a successful home-based business. I’ll let you in on a little secret: God has left clues for you everywhere.

Just look around! What has God placed in your heart that motivates you? What do you love to do? How has he already given you the skills, passions, objects, and equipment to move forward to follow his call?

Maybe you love children and find them running in and out of your house all summer long. What about beginning a day camp or starting a kids’ birthday party business?

Maybe you have a great eye and love taking photos. Take a few classes and offer family photo sessions initially for low cost or free in exchange for the experience, referrals, and to build your portfolio.

Are you unhappy with your work situation? Would you like to have your own money-making business but aren’t sure how to begin?

Start by looking in your house because there you will find your passions, priorities, and provision.

~~~

If you want to know more about discovering a home-based business that’s perfect for you, download my free ebook that walks you through the process and offers you 65 business ideas you can start right away!

I’ve Looked in My House and It’s a Mess

This is not anything new, really. My house is always a mess.

By “house” I mean both my physical dwelling, as well as my mental/emotional/spiritual “house.”

And I straddle sanity between enjoying the permission to be unstructured with the overwhelming desire to “get it together” and get it cleaned up.

The first few weeks of school have been hard for us.  We’ve been dealing with all sorts of broken household appliances and behavior and sleeping issues with the kids while just managing the daily stuff, too.

Trying to juggle it all brings me to wallow in the low-grade guilt that I haven’t kept up with my blog or other online projects. But then of course, I begin to wonder, Why do I feel guilty? Is it awful or earth-shattering that I haven’t blogged on schedule?

I’m pooped.

And I’ve made a really hard decision. I’m turning everything off for a while. I love writing and I love dreaming about having a successful blog/online business. But something is wrong with this picture. When I start hating The Pioneer Woman because she has her own TV SHOW coming out on The Food Network, something is wrong.

I’m hoping that “pulling back” can reveal the truly important stuff.

See, I am not structured. I am not. I am not predictable nor routine. I live by a loose rhythm, I guess you’d say. Which is OK. I think it would be more OK if I just embraced it and sought the positives instead of always beating myself up that I’m “not doing so-and-so.”

And that’s what happens when I see The Pioneer Woman’s TV show promo or read posts from my blogger friends who homeschool their 15 children AND maintain three blogs AND have a book deal in the works. I just start the inner pummeling: If you really want to be successful, write books, have an online business, you’ve got to get with it, young lady. Nothing’s getting done while you’re sitting here playing Words with Friends on your iPhone.

And as true as that may be, I also realize that somewhere in a crucial and important way, it’s NOT true. Because it’s really dishonoring who I am. (And, oh, I’m a dang good Words with Friends player.) The problem is that I don’t know who I am. I know that I don’t thrive in this structured, you-must-Tweet-every-10-minutes-to-stay-viable-in-online-media world, but beyond that? Really—who am I? And what gifts do I bring? And really? What makes me happy?

What makes me happy?

Well, what doesn’t make me happy is jealousy, self-loathing, self-criticism, and constant regrets.

So, I’m off to discover how I can capitalize on how God made me. Why he gave me the gifts, talents, and preferences that he gave me. You know what? I think I’m facing the fact that I don’t think he wants me to be Blogger Extraordinaire OR homeschool my 15 children (kidding! I only have 3, but I don’t think he wants me to homeschool them, either—at least not right now). But I also know that I can’t hear from God when I have so many competing voices and pictures of “success” constantly bombarding me.

So, here’s my plan:

  • I will post here when I feel like it. Not sure what that looks like. I hope you’ll stick around but I totally understand if you ARE a structured person and like to hear from your bloggers on a regular basis. That’s just not me.
  • I’m going to unsubscribe/stop reading the “Blogger Barbies”—those “perfectly coifed” ones to whom I’ll just never measure up. It’s just not healthy for me. To the “Blogger Barbies”: I don’t fault you. I just think that I have an incredibly difficult time looking at you and your accomplishments from afar without comparing myself and obviously, we are differently gifted. But I can’t see that right now, so I must go away for awhile. I just can’t take any more posts in my news feed about how you made an entire clothing line from your discarded newspapers, traveled half-way around the world to minister to starving children, or stocked your freezer with (healthy! organic! made-from-veggies-you-grew-yourself!) meals for the next six months.
  • I do have a few ideas of upcoming projects that I hope to complete. I have at least one eBook in the works, but I’m not sure when/if it will be finished. I’m working on it and have a loose time frame for it. That’s exactly where I want to be with that. :)
  • I need more glitter in my life. Much to the chagrin of my children, I’m setting out to fill my life with glitter. Because? Glitter makes me happy.

I hope I haven’t come across as too gripey. I’m just tired of being a slave to my own emotions and suffocating behaviors. Enough. I’m ready to enjoy my positive attributes and really seek earnestly the ways that God has planned for me to live, work, and play.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you have traveled this road and discovered something new about yourself.

Thanks for reading.

I’m off to buy glitter now.

Feeling Overwhelmed? and How to Make $1000 a Month Online

I wanted to pass along two really interesting links for you, especially as we continue to explore issues of time management here.

Overcoming Overwhelm

Michael Hyatt posted a helpful list about how he has overcome feeling overwhelmed. I liked his list and I believe he has some positive things to say.

His major take-away, though?

Delegate and out-source those tasks that are not productive for you.

I get that. I really do. I can see the wisdom in hiring a part-time maid/nanny/cook to take care of my kids, dust and vacuum, keep the laundry moving, grocery shop, and prepare meals (think I could get all that accomplished with ONLY a part-timer? Ha!) while I write and blog on an almost full-time basis.

My biggie question, though, is how do you outsource when you have no way to pay for it? It doesn’t seem wise to go into debt to pursue this business model.

What do you think? How helpful is Michael’s advice for the struggling new business owner who is doing it all because there’s no other option at the moment?

Read the entire post here.

(Thanks, Jennifer Cortez, for calling this post to my attention.)

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How to Make $1000 a Month Online

If you’d like to make at least $1000 per month with your blog online, you should check out this upcoming webinar from Authority Blogger. These types of webinars are every where, but the pitch for this one impressed me, and I signed up. Why? Because the organizers tell you up front that not everyone will become a millionaire online:

Contrary to popular belief, not everybody can make millions of dollars per year while working in their underwear on the computer. It’s just not realistic.

BUT, they say they do believe that everyone is capable of making a nice supplemental income (at least $1000 per month) with their blogs. They say this webinar will give 5 different ways to do just that.

I like that honesty. That’s really my approach, too. I DO believe that most anyone can make at least a nice part-time income online.

So, I want to learn more.

You may want to, as well.

Register here.

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What Is Robbing Your Time?

Last week, I wrote about the commodity of time in our lives. Mainly, I’m interested to explore this further because I live in the middle of a great paradox.

Most of the time, I’m running around, doing a million things and getting crazy amounts of things accomplished: running a home, working a part-time job, shopping, cooking meals, washing laundry, keeping gas in the car, getting to doctor appointments, haircuts, soccer practice, Girl Scout events, and church every week.

Yea. The family runs. Sometimes smoothly. Sometimes bumpy. But we—for the most part—stay on track.

But then I’m confronted with all the things that are not done: bulging closets that need to be organized, creative writing projects, unfinished baby scrapbooks, date nights, cleaning (ahem!) the house. Blogging and my online business.

Some of this quandary comes because I’m a Type 1 woman. I’m full of ideas and plans and see the myriad possibilities in everything. I really don’t think linearly very much; I’m a much more global person, which can be exhilarating and immobilizing at the same time.

Another thing that comes into play is my creative bent and my introvertedness. I really need the benefit of quiet and solitude. I need to disengage from structure often to keep my sanity. I have to be alone with my thoughts—stay inside my head for awhile—until I can reemerge energized and ready to tackle another project or do that routine chore (that has the tendency to bore me to tears).

So, to some, I know I look like I am “wasting time” or misusing the time I’ve been given. I struggle with this judgement on myself, as well.

One of my favorite websites is Grace Gems that features writings from the Puritans. I love to read these nuggets from hundreds of years ago. There’s something about the way they use language that sharpens me and always causes me to think of life and faith in a new light.

What do you think of this one, in light of modern-day time management? If you are juggling a million things and can’t seem to get your time to dovetail properly with your priorities, what can you learn here?

12 Time-wasting Thieves!


by Richard Baxter

… making the best use of the time. (Colossians 4:5, ESV)

… so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. (Colossians 1:10, ESV)

Thief 1. One of the greatest time-wasting sins, consists of idleness or sloth.

Thief 2. The next thief or time-waster, is excess of sleep.

Thief 3. Another time-waster, is an inordinate adorning of the body.

Thief 4. Another time-wasting thief, is unnecessary pomp and extravagance in household furniture and domestic entertainments.

Thief 5. Another time-wasting sin, is needless feastings, gluttony, and drinking.

Thief 6. Another time-waster, is idle talk.

Thief 7. Another thief which would steal your time, is vain and sinful company.

Thief 8. Another notorious time-wasting thief, is needless, inordinate sports and games–which are masked with the deceitful title of recreations.

Thief 9. Another time-wasting thief, is excess of worldly cares and business.

Thief 10. Another time-waster, is vain, ungoverned and sinful thoughts.

Thief 11. Another dangerous time-wasting sin, is the reading of worthless books, plays, romances, and novels. And also unprofitable studies, undertaken but for pride and vain-glory, or the pleasing of a carnal or curious mind.

Thief 12. But the master-thief that robs men of their time, is an unsanctified, ungodly heart; for this loses time, whatever men are doing–because they never intend to do anything for the glory of God.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31, ESV)

As I read through Baxter’s list, I’m smacked with the truth that these “time stealers” are those pursuits we do for selfish motive and selfish gain. When we engage in behaviors or thoughts that we use to make us feel better, look better, or numb our pain, we are, in effect, stealing our time. Why? Because we are trying to control our situations apart from God. We are longing to solve our problems. We want to depend on anything except God.

Yes. I will do anything to wiggle out of my dependence on God. And in doing so, I create more hurt, more heartache, and more—wasted time.

Think about this: God created time. God offers time. When we use that which he made for us and gives to us for HIS good purposes and pleasure, won’t it be more abundant, more useful, and more effective?

Yet when we fill God’s time with our sin, it’s no wonder our schedules, priorities, events, and goals become a mangled mess, while our health and sanity dissolve into casualties of our obstinance.

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Ladies, Starting a Home-Based Service Business? Heed These 5 Important Tips

So you’ve been thinking of starting a business from home. You’ve got some skills, don’t have a lot of space for inventory, so you figure it might be a good idea to start a service business. In fact, it’s a GREAT idea—you just have to be prepared to get your business off the ground and balance all the work/life responsibilities that are on your plate.

This article is going to provide you with easy-to-follow tips to do just that, but first, if you still don’t know what type of service business to start, here are a few popular suggestions:

Ghostwriting for the Internet: Write articles, reports and other information for online business owners.

Transcription Business: Create written records of audio recordings, meetings and more.

Virtual Assistant Business: Provide administrative support, secretarial services and more for other companies.

It doesn’t matter what type of service business you start, there will be some challenges along the way. Here are some tips help you as you go along:

1. First and foremost, set your working hours and ensure everyone in your household is aware of them and respects them. If you happen to be a mother or have other interruptions during the day, there’s nothing wrong with setting aside smaller chunks of time where you’ll be working. This isn’t the “real world” work setting anymore; it’s better. You work at home and you can decide when you work.

2. As a service business, you have two very important roles. One of those roles is to provide service for your clients. The other is to FIND those clients and the time involved in this is something many service-providers don’t take into account. Ensure you have enough time for providing services and the marketing tasks for your business – or hire some help to make the most efficient use of your time.

3. Charge a fair and rewarding rate. Even if you charge your clients for each hour you work for them, there are many tasks (administrative, marketing, etc.) that you don’t get paid for. To set a rate that is worthwhile to you, you need to decide what type of overall income you desire and figure out how many hours total (all business activities) you want to be working. If you find you can’t charge a rate that is worthwhile, consider another business idea or target a specific type clientele that is willing to pay the rates you charge.

4. Be choosy about your clients. It can be tempting to simply take on any clients because you may need the cash. Unfortunately, bad clients can drain your time, suck up your energy and end up being more work than they’re worth. Resist the temptation to just take any clients because your business will be more fruitful in the long run if you work with easy-to-manage, low-maintenance clients.

5. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you find yourself taking on more clients than you can handle to earn more money, revisit tip #3 above. You may be concerned about giving your clients a good deal, but they actually suffer when you can’t provide the quality service they deserve. Instead aim for fewer clients, charge more and give them stellar service.

If you keep these things in mind, your transition to a work-at-home service provider will go much more smoothly. It’s not always easy and when you’re first starting out, it can be tough to find that balance and a schedule that you can work with. But stick with it and keep refining your process and you’ll find yourself owning a very rewarding business that you absolutely love.

Recommended

To get more at-home business ideas, be sure to visit Just Add Sweat – they’re your source for step-by-step guides for starting your very own home-based business. You’ll find the guidance you need to get your business off the ground, find real-life success stories from women just like you and more.

Click here to go to Just Add Sweat

 

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I’m Coming Back

Hey, y’all.

I’ve been completely off my blog for about two months. I really hadn’t planned to be, but my spring has been so busy with birthdays, holidays, end of school, a few sicknesses, work, and church.

I kind of just set my blog aside awhile as I evaluated (always evaluating!) my online pursuits. I have been doing crazy research into all facets of Internet marketing. I finally decided to come back to Look In Your House but with a tighter focus and purpose. I’ve also tweaked the design a bit, just to reflect a cleaner, more streamlined approach to life.

This blog going forward will focus heavily on helping working mothers manage home and family. This is broad enough to include moms who work at home, outside of home, part-time, full-time, freelance—you name it. This is really my passion because I believe that happy mamas make happy families. And I believe that work—in all its shapes and forms—makes many mamas happy.

So I want to discuss here things related to all these topics.

I hope you’ll stick around and tell your friends. I really want this site to be a helpful resource.

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