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Archive for March, 2012

Dear Friends,
This week was very hard at work. Some things didn’t go as planned, others were not planned at all, and other things were rushed at the last minute. It all contributed to opportunities to get angry and frustrated at situations and people. I was successful at not getting angry in some circumstances and not successful in others. But it all gave me time to reflect and see how we can improve the way we do things and how I can work better with others. Today I would like to share a devotional from my book Devotions for Working Women that encourages us to remain calm and practice self-control in the workplace. I hope it helps you as it helped me this past week.

Self-control Is Key to Success in Business
#273

James 1:19-20 (NLT)
Dear friends, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight.

There are many opportunities in the workplace to become angry. For example: the vendor didn’t deliver what he promised, your employee didn’t follow your directions and messed up, your customer is never satisfied with your product or service, your boss treated you unfairly, etc. I could go on and on.

Even though we may have good reasons to be upset, the Bible tells us to do the opposite—to listen to other people first, to be slow to speak, and slow to get angry. This seems to go against our nature. In fact, many times it feels good to be angry. Yet the Bible also tells us why we should not get angry—it “can never make things right in God’s sight.”

Self-control is a must if you want to be successful in the business world. It is a sign of maturity in the spiritual realm and professionalism in the natural realm. Therefore, practice self-control and train yourself by listening to people, waiting to speak, and by not getting angry so easily. I’m sure you will have plenty of daily opportunities to practice in your workplace.

You can purchase Devotions for Working Women at www.amazon.com.

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Dear Friends,

Work/life balance continues to be a goal for most people. Lately, even high school and college students are trying to find ways to keep their lives in balance and they haven’t even started living their complete lives as a full-time worker or having a family of their own. The fact is, everybody is busier because the fast pace in which we live these days is unsustainable. In the end, something has to give–our relationships, our health, our jobs, or our families. Some young couples I’ve talked to recently are opting to not have children because it’s not only too costly but they don’t see how they can make the time it takes to raise them.

I’ve been hearing lately about the issue of “juggling” versus “balancing” your life. I read an article a few months ago that said it’s not about balancing anymore, it’s about juggling. However, I tend to disagree. I believe that if a person is not in balance to begin with it is very difficult to juggle all the responsibilities they have going on at the same time. If you picture a real life juggler, what do they look like while juggling? They are experts and have been practicing for a long time but the first thing I notice is that they are balanced before they can juggle even two balls. No matter if they are standing on one foot or two feet or on top of a table or just on the ground, the most important thing is that they have to be balanced before they even start juggling the balls in the air.

I looked up the word “juggle” and, among other definitions, this is the one I thought fit most of us in what we’re trying to do: “to manage or alternate the requirements of (two or more tasks, responsibilities, activities, etc.) so as to handle each adequately: to juggle the obligations of job and school.” Sometimes we are successful at juggling several things and sometimes we are not. We need to know and recognize our individual limits as to how many things we can handle at one time.

Work/life balance is not 50/50 like some people think because that would mean 50% of your week you work and 50% of your week you spend time with your family and doing the other things you enjoy. 50% of your week represents 84 hours per week! That is, in my opinion as a full-time worker myself, an unsustainable amount of work, at least for most people. “50/50” doesn’t mean you work 50% of your time and do the rest of your life in the remaining 50%. Work/life balance means that you make choices each day to have an overall balanced life. It means you have a healthy amount of work and a healthy amount of time to be with your family and do the rest of your activities.

In our everyday lives we already automatically juggle many tasks, situations, work, school, and family life. Each section of our lives is represented by a ball we have to juggle—if we use the analogy of the juggler. When we have too many balls in the air—meaning too many things going on or too many responsibilities or commitments—we may end up dropping one of them (or sometimes all of them) or burning out just trying to keep all the balls up in the air. Either way we look at it we cannot juggle even two balls if we are not first in balance—standing firmly on our two feet.

The other factor we must remember is that many times we don’t ask for help and try to do it all on our own thinking that if we succeed at it, then we become super heroes or that people will respect us more. Don’t fall for that trap. Ask for help! If you don’t, you will end up frustrated, burnt out, and it will not be worth it in the end. Someone will get hurt and something will not get done or fall apart.

The key message here is—you cannot juggle if you’re not in balance. It is by being in balance to begin with that you can juggle everything else in your life.

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Dear Friends,
Last Sunday we moved our clocks forward one hour for the Daylight Savings… Well, it really messed up my sleep and I’ve been tired the whole week ever since. Every time we make those adjustments it can be hard on our bodies and our sleep suffers. Today I was reminded of these two scriptures that really help me when I am in need of rest and sleep. Enjoy this devotional!

Your Sleep Shall Be Sweet
#16

Psalm 4:8 (KJV) I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:24 (KJV)
When thou liest down, thou shall not be afraid: yea, thou shall lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

When we are so busy with work, home, kids, and everything else we manage to get ourselves into, it may be hard to fall asleep when it’s finally time to go to bed.

If you find yourself thinking, worrying, or running lists of things to do in your head when you’re trying to go to sleep, get up and write down everything that is on your mind. This way you won’t forget it. Then reach for your Bible and read the above scriptures. These are promises of God to you. He promises you can trust Him and He will take care of you and all the things that concern you. You are safe with Him, and He promises your sleep will be sweet, peaceful, and safe.

You can purchase Devotions for Working Women at www.amazon.com.

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Dear Friends,
Lately my job has kept me extremely busy to the point where I wasn’t sure what the next priority was because all the projects were considered priorities with deadlines. I have been asking God to help me on a daily basis decide what to do next and He has come through. Appointments have been cancelled, some projects have been moved to a further deadline, and I simply started saying “no” to additional tasks.

We need to strive for balance in our lives and part of that is establishing boundaries at work. I know it’s easier said than done but I just tested it and it works. I started explaining to my own employees and my boss that I could no longer take on new tasks or new responsibilities at this point. As a result, my employees are stepping up and my boss is trying to get me more help. Today I want to share one of the devotions from my book Devotions for Working Women that reminds us to work hard but not to an extreme where we burn out. It reminds us that we need rest and God can give us that rest. Enjoy!

Work Hard, but not to an Extreme. God Will Give You Rest.
#15
Psalm 127:2 (NLT)

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Many women work too hard, work long days, and end up exhausted, with nothing left to give their families, and get burned out. For some women, it has caused them their health or their marriage. They end up having a nervous breakdown, heart disease, and many other illnesses or disorders.

God wants us to have a balanced life. He is a God of order and balance. We are to be diligent and work hard, but then we need to trust God and know “He gives rest to his loved ones.” As we pray and ask the Lord on a daily basis to balance our day, we will accomplish everything He wants us to do for that day and be satisfied. We can pray David’s prayers: “Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by any evil… Show me the path where I should walk, O Lord; point out the right road for me to follow” (Psalm 119:133, 25:4 NLT).

God rested on the seventh day, and we should too. Don’t work so much that you miss life going by right before your eyes. Make time to be with your family and loved ones. This will actually give you renewed energy to go back and work hard again. Set a goal to work more efficiently and effectively versus working long hours.

Remember, the Bible says it is useless to work so hard unless God is in it. He will give you rest.

You can purchase Devotions for Working Women at www.amazon.com.

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Dear Friends,
Managing our time is a struggle for all of us because of the demands we have in our lives. Today I want to share with you a devotional from my book, Devotions for Working Women, that encourages us to ask God to help us manage our time better. Enjoy!

Lord, Teach Us to Manage Our Time
#7
Psalm 90:12 (NLT)

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.

Time is a valuable resource. No matter who we are, we are all given the same amount of time every day, and it is up to us to use it and manage it wisely.

We often get frustrated when we waste our time because we like to be in control of our lives and that includes our calendar. Therefore, part of our daily prayer needs to include asking God to help us manage our time wisely.

Ask God to help you balance your life one day at a time. You are then allowing Him to take control of your busy schedule, cancel appointments, and rearrange things throughout your day as He wills. When you give up that control to the Lord, He will make sure your life is balanced. Just remember to give Him priority in your schedule.

You also need to be flexible. Sometimes the Lord will ask you to stop doing an activity and pray for somebody or for a particular situation. The best example is when God reminds you of someone you haven’t seen in a while. It may be the Holy Spirit nudging you to pray for that person. You need to quickly obey Him and do what He’s asking you to do. If you are to be used of Him, you have to be willing to be flexible and obey His leading. This is how you make the most of your time on a daily basis.

You can purchase Devotions for Working Women on www.amazon.com.

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