working-from-home isn’t all rainbows… 3 things to consider

For some of us, working from home sounds wonderful. What could be better than setting your own hours, working in a tee shirt and jeans, and avoiding morning rush hour?

I’m a big work-from-home fan. I love the opportunities it has afforded me and my family. I love that I can wear my jeans to work and I love slow mornings. Sounds great, huh? I think so. However, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies.

If you are thinking of working from home, here are three things to consider:

  1. Working from home is still work. In a perfect world, we could all do what we want to do with our time and still have the income we desire in our bank accounts. Unfortunately, for most of us, this utopia doesn’t exist. While working from home look can look as different as the women doing it, it still starts with the word-work.
  2.  Working from home still requires time sacrifice. Just as you trade your time for money when you go to the office (or the retail store or the factory) you are trading your time at home for money. One of the joys of working from home is that often you can choose which hours of your day you will trade for income. Even still, it’s still a trade.
  3. Working from home often means trying again and again. You might submit a bid, apply for a position, meet potential clients only to find out that either you aren’t right for the job or the job isn’t right for you. It’s okay. You win some, you lose some, and you learn along the way. Thankfully, you get to try again tomorrow.

It’s not all rainbows. It’s not easy. It is work.

And, it can be good.

Is it for you?

Working from homeisn't all rainbowsbut it can be good.Is it for you-

 

working from home: 3 keys to the journey

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It seems like every single day I field questions like:

How do you work from home?

Is it legit?

Do you think I could do it too?

Some people are happy going to work every day. They enjoy working away from home in an office, store, or cubicle. Though I’m not one of them, I am thrilled that they have found their place in this life.

The rest of us are aching for a different journey. We want a path that gives us the freedom to set our own hours, to be our own boss, and to work from anywhere that isn’t an office, store, or cubicle. We just don’t know how to get there.

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Recently, I’ve talked to several friends who are successfully working from home. I’ve asked them about their journey, how they came to do what they currently do, and how they got started.

Amazingly, although they have different businesses and careers, they all gave me almost the same answers.

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3 keys to the journey:

1) It takes FAITH. A successful journey takes faith in a God bigger than you can ever imagine and faith in the gifts and abilities that He has gifted you.

Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.          Hebrews 11:1 (nlt)

Faith becomes the compass that directs every path journeyed.

2) It takes a VISION.  Before you begin any journey, you need a vision. Make goals and write them down. Keep them in front of you. Goals keep you focused.

Where there is no vision, the people perish.  Proverbs 29:18 (kjv)

Vision becomes True North on your compass.

3) It takes COURAGE. Every journey presents opportunities to give up and quit your dream. It takes courage to stay the course when the days are long and hard.

Be strong and courageous!  Joshua 1:6 (nlt)

Courage keeps the compass in front of you.

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A successful journey isn’t an easy one but successful people don’t choose the easy path, they choose the path that’s worth it.

And, they journey with faith, vision, and courage.

the joy of working from home

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This is my view this week.

My youngest and I ran away to the lake again. The joy in running away is we don’t have a plan or a schedule. We don’t have a set time to arrive and we don’t always know how long we will be here. My mom graciously lets us hang out until we get water logged and sunburned and ready to go home. There’s food in the fridge and a washer when we run out of clean clothes. It’s a really good gig!

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As they were walking out the door to go to town to look for craft supplies for Ellen, my Mom said, “I’m sorry you have to work or you could go with us!”

To which I replied, “I’m so glad to be working from here!”

This is the joy of working from home.

I can work from anywhere.

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Ok… maybe not anywhere because who wants to work while kayaking?

The joy of working from home means I simply need my phone, my computer, and a wifi connection. I can work  while my girl spends time with her grandma, fishes, kayaks, paddleboards, and binge watches Fixer Upper.

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After spending my time away from home to earn an income, I realized I can’t get that time behind a desk back.

Life is short. We all get a certain number of days and I’m learning to put a high price on my time. I’m learning to run away, to chase sunsets, and to spend time face to face with my friends and family.

In doing so, I’ve discovered the hidden joy of working from anywhere… I get to be with those I love the most.

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when the words slide off the page

I had it all arranged, the paragraphs, the indents, the white space. The structure was sound, the arrangement was balanced. It looked good. I could tell you the outline and I could describe the characters. I didn’t know subplots, just yet, but I could tell you knew where the story was headed, where it would go, and how it would end. I had it all figured out.

Suddenly, though, all the words just slid off the page into a mountain of typeset letters piled high. I had a white computer screen and a jumbled mess. I was dumbfounded.

This was part of a dream I had this week. I have spent much time, this summer, contemplating life, mostly where I am and where I want to be. Apparently, my sub-conscience was in overdrive the other night because I would guess this dream was more reality than fantasy.

Here’s the thing. When I first woke up, I wigged out. Wild, random thoughts filled my mind.

“Does this mean I’m done writing?”

“If written all my life, in one form or another. What will I do?”

“Have I lost my purpose?”

A few cups of coffee, a little time, and a whole lot of Jesus helped settle me down and put things back in their right perspective.

I haven’t written much this summer. It’s been quiet here on the blog, quiet in my journals, quiet in my next book. As quiet as it’s been here and there, it’s not been quiet in my real life. Instead of writing, I’ve been talking to and connecting with women daily.

One of the greatest blessings of coming home to work is the connections I have made with so many women who are either doing the same thing or are seeking to be able to do it. I’ve been able to share my story and encourage others to pursue their God-given gifts and abilities to find ways to work from home (feel free to join our Facebook group for inspiration and encouragement).

I am finding deep purpose in meeting women where they are and connecting them with where they want to be. It’s not rocket science and I’m obviously not the first person to do this. However, God keeps bringing women to me and I keep answer the question, “How can I do what you are doing?”

I’ve lived long enough to know that life is full of seasons. This is my season to share with women.

So, back to the dream. I figured out what it meant. Last week, I was sent a writing proposal. This morning, I sent a heartfelt apology and turned it down. Thankfully my publishing friend responded with grace and understanding and I learned a little bit more about myself.

Mostly this, when the words slide off the page, it’s time to turn to the next adventure.

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in the quiet…

It’s been quiet around here. Again.

So many thoughts and snippets of posts float in and out of my mind. I open Facebook, either for my work or for myself, and any thoughts I have had get drowned out by the noise. In the loud, none of my thoughts or snippets stick.

It’s loud and it’s getting louder.

I feel as though the music in this great orchestra called Life just hit another crescendo. A moment when all the instruments turned up their volume just a bit to be heard. Only, in this moment, instead of all instruments being in precise tune and rhythm with one another playing along in symphonic harmony, this tune has everyone is playing their own music, rhythm, and speed. With every newsworthy event, the noise simply gets louder.

It sounds awful.

The noise is this culture in which we live. It is a culture that judges harshly and calls each other out loud, all over invisible platforms called social media. Everyone has an opinion and no one is afraid to use theirs… strongly. The name calling becomes resounding as those who judged are then judged for judging. The sound of fingers tapping on keyboards is drowned out by the verbal attack posts using CAPITAL LETTERS.

In the noise, none of my thoughts stick.

I’ve closed my computer more than a few times, lately, and walked away from the crescendo. In doing so, I’ve come to remember something I quickly forget. When I close my computer and turn off the TV, it’s remarkably quiet, mostly peaceful, and I can hear my thoughts again. Sometimes, the noise in my world becomes overwhelming because of things that happen that are out of my control. Other times, it’s because I’ve let the noise of others drown out the sounds of my real life.

The joy comes in turning off the noise that is drowning out this one life I live.

This week, I’ve heard the heartbeat of my family around a game table and the sound of my son’s voice when he calls just to check on our weekend plans. I’ve heard the giggles of girl cousins and the conversation of sisters. In the quiet today, I hear the music of wind rustling green leaves and the rhythm of the mower cutting blades of grass. I hear the sweet sound of children laughing and the tunes of my girl singing over the whirl of the mower engine.

In the quiet, I hear the words I almost missed.

In the quiet, the symphony is beautiful.

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those white spaces in our stories

Have you ever noticed that a good book has a lot of white space?

Sometimes the white space is extra wide margins around the words on the page. Other times, there are a few empty lines between paragraphs when the scene of the story changes. Some stories even have full pages of nothing between the chapters.

Are you one who pauses and slows down for those breaks intending to savor the experience?

Or, are you more like me?

Do you read to get to the end so quickly that your eyes skim over the margins and the spaces not allowing your brain to register the intended rest?

The placement of white space in books didn’t mean much to me until I wrote my first story. Like other authors, I spent time studying white space. I discovered that there are purposes and strategies to inserting white space within the pages of a good book. I added the pauses on the pages, between the paragraphs, and at the end of the chapters of my books on purpose.

Those who live life well know that white space goes beyond the pages of a good book.

White space is those moments in our lives that slow us down and renew our purpose. It deepens our relationships, widens our vision, decreases our stress, and increases our health.

White space appears in our stories when we put it there.

White space allows us to say NO! to the rat race, the need to please, the misconceptions of contentment, and the ridiculousness of who likes this and who shares that.

White space gives me opportunities to say YES! to quiet moments alone, homemade meals around the table, conversations in real life, and slow days at home.

A life well-lived is a life with white space strategically placed on the pages of daily life, between the paragraphs of changing scenes, and at the end of the chapters.

Sometimes I need to remind myself that I get but one chance to live this story of my life. While I can go back in my memory and re-read parts of my story, I don’t get to relive it. I don’t get a do-over on the things I missed.

Instead, I get today to add some white space around my minutes, some breaks between scene changes, and some even maybe a page of nothing now and then.

I don’t want to rush to the end of this book. I’m learning to slow down and savor the white spaces in my story.

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her gain is good

The longer I do this work from home gig that I love so much, the more questions I get. My favorite, by far, was when my friend leaned her elbow on the open window of her car and looked me square in the eye, “Is what you’re doing truly legit?”

I promise it is and I also promise just about anyone can do it.

I’ve had so many people ask questions, I decided to create a Facebook group where we can be encouraged in our desires to work from home. The title is based on the Proverbs 31 woman who was financially savvy and found ways to bring in an income for her family.

If you are a Christian woman looking to find ways to work from home, come join our little community. You’re welcome here!

She senses that her gain is good;Her lamp does not go out at night.
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