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5 Tips for Fighting Discouragement

It’s so easy to become discouraged as moms. Whether we’re facing trouble in our home lives, workplace drama, or everyday annoyances, there IS hope! No matter where your frustrations are coming from, here are 5 tips for fighting discouragement from the beautiful Trista Laborn of A Driven Wife. We’re praying these tips are encouraging for you today — right where you are!

When it comes to being a mom, wife, entrepreneur and everything in between, and in all my years of navigating those roles, discouragement has always raised its head to stop me in my tracks. But, along the way, I’ve learned to recognize the signs of such an attack and keep going.

Let me share with you five tips for fighting discouragement in every area of your life: Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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Learning to Be Faithful in Little

Do you ever wish you had more money? It’s time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here’s how!

Have you ever thought about WHY you’re struggling financially?

Honestly, my basic train of thought has always been, “We either make too little or spend too much. Let’s just fix it!”

But, it’s never been that easy. And over the past several months, I’ve been convicted that there’s a spiritual component to our finances, as well, that I previously had not considered.

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service through these links, I may receive a small commission, which helps to keep my family and this blog afloat. Your price, as always, stays exactly the same. Thank you for your support! View my complete terms & conditions here

The Story

In Luke 16, Jesus tells the parable of the shrewd manager – the one who cheats his rich boss and gets fired, but then is somehow commended for ingeniously making friends for himself by giving his boss’ debtors partial forgiveness on their debts. It’s not an easy story to understand, and in all the research I’ve done on this passage, I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is no consensus as to exactly what Jesus is trying to say.

However, Jesus does leave us with this gem of a life lesson in verse 10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (NIV)

Other translations use the term “faithful,” instead of “can be trusted.” If you’ve seen any of my Facebook LIVE interviews from 2018, you may have seen a printable on the wall behind me that says, “Whoever is faithful in little will be faithful in much.”

That paraphrase of the verse has become my mantra this year.

I WANT to be faithful, even when it seems like we never have “enough.” Whether it’s enough money, enough space in our home, enough time, enough energy, or even enough health, I want to be faithful with what we have RIGHT NOW, so that I will be able to be trusted if and when God decides He wants to bless us with more.

I want to be faithful with what we have RIGHT NOW, so that I will be able to be trusted if and when God decides He wants to bless us with more. Click To Tweet

If you would like to hang that printable in your own home as a reminder, you can grab it here!

The Long Road to Learning to Be Faithful in Little

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar to you:

Balancing the budget is the bane of your existence. There never seems to be enough money for all the expenses that pop up, and your creative attempts to bring in more income seem to always fall flat.

??‍♀️??‍♀️??‍♀️


BTW, if you’re looking for ways to make money from home, be sure to check out these posts:

Should You Try Working From Home?

It's a fact of life: most of us Stay-at-Home Moms, at some point, will either want or need to go back to work. Should you try working from home?

WAHM Network Marketing: Is It for You?

It's definitely familiar and all your friends rave about it. But, is a WAHM network marketing business a good idea for YOU?

WAHM Freelancing: Is THIS Gig Your Best Fit?

WAHM Freelancing. Set your own hours, create your own schedule, only accept jobs YOU want to work on. How does THAT type of WAHM job sound?


If you’re reading this post, I’m going to guess your hand is raised high just like mine. So, let me ask you this question: how are you managing your finances RIGHT NOW?

Yes, I know, there’s never enough to go around – believe me! But, do you know where your money is going before it’s gone? Do you have a solid budget and a way to direct your spending each month?

I laugh as I even ask the question, because I’m willing to bet you’re a lot like me. I HATED budgeting. I hated dealing with money in general (and still do), but it’s a necessary evil in this world, and I needed to figure it out!

But, it wasn’t an easy transition…

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

Failing at Financial Peace

So, soon after we got married, Erik & I took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace course and determined to “gazelle intensity” our way into a better financial situation. However, we STRUGGLED with the cash envelope system. Entire $20 bills would mysteriously go missing and neither of us knew where. We could only get 20s out of the ATM, and we never seemed to make it to the bank during business hours to get change for the exact amount we needed in each envelope.

Honestly, it drove me absolutely batty. I hated feeling like a failure every single day because I couldn’t keep up with cash or do anything right with the envelope system — especially when it seemed like everyone else was having such success with it! So, I did what any good Melancholy-Choleric would do when faced with something I completely suck at…

I quit.

I did ZERO budgeting for the entire next year.

I HATED feeling like a failure, so I quit budgeting entirely. Big mistake... Years later, I found a system that FINALLY works for me! Learn more here: Click To Tweet

In hindsight, it was not the smartest move I’ve ever made, but I was so burnt out on FAILING, it was easier to just try not to spend money at all and deal with the consequences later. Which ended up putting us in SERIOUS financial trouble when my husband’s position was cut and I was diagnosed with cancer. Such a scary time to be financially unstable!

Stressed to the max and completely freaking out about how we were going to stay afloat, I knew I HAD to find a better way to track and control our spending.

Enter YNAB!

You Need A Budget — affectionately known as YNAB to those of us who love it — is a dandy little app that has saved our bacon both literally and figuratively over the past few years. (We REALLY love our bacon in this family! ??)

It allows us to use a zero-sum budget without having to mess with cash, lets both Erik and me to enter transactions from our phones right when we’re making a purchase (so we don’t forget later!), does all the math for us to keep track of how much we have left in each category in real time, and even lets us easily move money from one category to another if we have an unexpected expense (or if we spend too much on groceries that month… not that THAT ever happens… ?)

I cannot tell you how much I love this program!

YNAB has been the saving grace for our finances, and I finally feel like we’re gaining control. We even managed to buy a house recently and get all the things we needed for it (including three major appliances!) without going over budget! HUGE accomplishment right there!

Do you ever wish you had more money? It's time we start learning to be faithful in little, so we can eventually be trusted with more. Here's how!

A Bonus Blessing from YNAB

In reflecting on my financial background recently, I realized that I didn’t grow up having to think about money, which was a huge blessing, but it also meant I had NO idea how to be a financially responsible adult once I got out on my own. I didn’t know HOW to be faithful with the little money I was making. I just knew I shouldn’t spend more than I made. The bare-bones basics.

And it was embarrassing.

The biggest – and most unexpected – blessing I’ve gotten out of using YNAB is the confidence that I CAN make decisions about our money and how we spend it. I CAN be a “real” adult and be trusted with adult responsibilities.

Even if God never chooses to entrust us with more money than we have right now, *I* at least know I am being faithful with little and not squandering the precious resources we DO have!

Are YOU Being Faithful in Little?

So, let me ask you one last question: Are you ready to be faithful in little?

If our struggles with the cash envelope system sound familiar to you, do yourself a favor and check out YNAB! If you  use my referral link, we both get one month FREE! (It’s only $5/month, but hey, when we’re being faithful with little, even saving $5 is a big deal! ?)

Regardless of what tool you choose, the important thing is to be faithful with the few financial resources you have right now, so both you and God will know you can be trusted with more in the future!

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As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Trusting God in the Midst of Health Issues

Health crises can challenge even the strongest faith, so if you’re wrestling with God over your own health struggles, please know you are not alone! I talk about my own battle with cancer a lot here at Scattered Woman, and today we have a special guest blogger, Hannah Pritchard of Discovering Grace, who is sharing her own story about trusting God in the midst of health issues.

I set down my phone on the tattered coffee table and tried to breathe deeply. The words kept echoing in my head. I tried to get them out; I tried desperately to stay calm and pretend that what I had just heard wasn’t real. I felt so unprepared for this and so unequipped to handle the journey that was ahead of me.

“You may never have children,” the doctor said matter-of-factly. “We need to get you on medication as soon as possible or this may develop into diabetes.”

All I heard was: “Your body isn’t normal, your life will never be normal, and you’re not normal.” Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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How to Find Time for Bible Reading with the Feast of Firstfruits

When we understand the Feast of the Firstfruits, we can finally find time for Bible reading — even as a busy mom — with zero guilt. Please welcome our guest blogger for today, Rachel Schmoyer from Read the Hard Parts, as she shares with us this life-changing truth from Leviticus 23.

There are a lot of opportunities to feel like a failure as a mom of littles. For me, one of the areas I struggled was with the idea that a truly godly woman wakes up before her kids to read her Bible and pray before the day begins. Try as I might, I just couldn’t do it. After my first child was born, all my time was hijacked. From the time I opened my eyes in the morning to the time I closed them at night (and every two hours in between), my time was not my own. In the next four years, babies number 2, 3, and 4 came along. With each baby, the ideal of an early morning quiet time became all the more unattainable.

It’s not that I didn’t read my Bible at all. I read when I could here and there. I kept a devotional in the bathroom and listened to preachers on the radio, but it just wasn’t the same as digging into the Bible myself. I was sure that the truly godly moms had no trouble getting up at the crack of dawn to sip coffee and read scripture. Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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3 Spiritual Lessons from Meet the Robinsons

It’s not just a kid’s movie! There are actually 3 HUGE spiritual lessons from Meet the Robinsons that are great for adults and children alike. ?

Special thanks to Jessica Meades for today’s guest post!

Meet the Robinsons is a cute Disney film that came out several years ago. I had seen it before, but it was only recently that I watched it again with fresh eyes. I’ll try not to give too much away for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, but no promises. (If you’d like to watch it first and then come back to this post, it’s currently available on Netflix!)

My friend Laura has written about spiritual lessons that we can learn from cartoons with our children, specifically My Little Pony (and MORE My Little Pony!), which is her favorite, and that got me thinking: Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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A Lesson in Faith: Planning a Wedding with No Groom in Sight

I hadn’t dated in 11 years. WHY would God ask me to plan a wedding with no groom in sight?! Turns out, it all came down to a lesson in faith.

About two years before my now husband entered my world, I was a single woman, living on my own, working as a Resident Director at a small, private, engineering school, and desperately trying to NOT be super frustrated with my single status. Singleness is supposed to be a “gift,” right?

Well, maybe for Paul it was, but it sure didn’t seem like much of a gift for me.

Surrounded by college students, who even in their complete nerdiness seemed to miraculously find their soul mates, I felt completely and utterly alone.

Aside from my co-workers (most of whom were married or married with kids), I didn’t even have non-student friends. I was just LONELY.

And it seemed like God was sleeping or just didn’t care.

The Command

As I was getting ready for bed one night, I was struck with the overwhelming thought that I needed to plan a wedding. But this wedding wasn’t for one of my students – even though there are several each year! – this time it was MY wedding I needed to plan.

Why, God? There is no man in sight for me to marry. Why should I spend all this time and energy planning a wedding? Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Why Little Kids Belong in Big Church

In an age of prolific children’s ministries and a focus on age-appropriate church activities, there are still very valid arguments for why it’s a great idea to include Little Kids in Big Church. Here are a few…

Several months ago, one of the high schoolers from our church got baptized during our Sunday morning service. My 4-year-old Mini-Me sat there wide-eyed, watching everything with her signature mix of curiosity and awe.

“What are they doing, Momma?” she whispered.

“That young man decided he wants to follow Jesus, so he’s getting baptized to let everyone know about it.”

“Why??”

We whispered back and forth as I explained what was happening and why everyone was so excited. By the time the young man came up out of the water, Mini-Me was clapping and shouting right along with the rest of the congregation!

This is why we keep her in Big Church, Lord, I prayed, smiling to myself. So she can learn about how people come to You, to learn how to be part of Your Church. Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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When It Seems Like God Is Sleeping

There are times it seems like God is sleeping. Below decks, unaware, or uncaring about the storms around us. It’s in those times we HAVE to choose to trust His Good Heart toward us.

 A number of years ago, I was driving home late one night from a Bible Study, after what had been an incredibly emotionally difficult day and evening. As one of the few single participants in this graduate student study, seeing all the happy couples who had met and fallen in love in this group didn’t help any.

I just wanted to have a partner, someone to walk through life with, someone to love me and tell me I was worth fighting for. As of yet, someone like that didn’t seem to exist. And I was so lonely.

I felt like I was in the disciples’ boat when the storm came up all of a sudden, pouring water into the boat, and threatening to capsize it, and Jesus is asleep, blissfully unaware of the problem (Luke 8:22-25). I was so tossed around and pummeled emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to make it through another day, much less another year or more, or however long it took for Mr. Right to materialize out of thin air.

Sure God could fix everything. He’s God! But, He seemed to be asleep at the wheel again. Mysteriously, conspicuously absent. Didn’t He care? Why wasn’t He DOING something?! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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3 More Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony

Have you ever discovered hidden spiritual parallels in your child’s favorite cartoons? If you’re looking for a great way to help your kids find God in everyday life, be sure to check out these 3 Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony!

We talked a while back about the 3 Spiritual Lessons I learned from watching My Little Pony with my daughter. And today, we’ve got 3 MORE Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony for you!

It’s always amazing how God decides to show up and teach us through modern-day entertainment.  What I’ve been thinking about a lot lately has to do with the concept of the “cutie mark” in My Little Pony — and all 3 of today’s lessons come from this one foundational aspect of the show.

The basic idea of a cutie mark is that it’s a cute, little symbol on a pony’s flank that represents her special talent, what she is meant to do with her life. Ponies are born with “blank flanks” (no cutie mark) and have to figure out what they’re good at before it will appear.

Getting a cutie mark is a BIG deal for the ponies!

In my mind, earning a cutie mark is similar to our discovering our purpose or our calling in life, unearthing hidden talents and gifts meant to be shared with the world. And when we think about cutie marks in that light, they have MUCH to teach us about our own gifts and the God who gives them to us. Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Your Mosaic Life

Do your life experiences seem scattered? Has your work history been less than linear? It’s time to discover your Mosaic Life!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE mosaic tile work. Maybe it’s the Hispanic-culture-loving Spanish teacher in me, or maybe I’m channeling the Sanguine, colorful, pattern-mixing lovelies in my life. Whatever the reason, I LOVE mosaics.

Especially if there’s a story behind them. Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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3 Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony

Wait… what?? Did you really just say I could learn “Spiritual Lessons from My Little Pony,” Laura? Have you lost your mind?!

Nope, nope. Actually, I’m quite IN my right mind at the moment, and it feels GREAT!

I had a bit of spiritual awakening this past week. Almost as if God gave me a good Gibbs’ smack upside the head, and I finally realized what He had been trying to tell me for about a year now. ? I can be a little dense, apparently… ?

More on that revelation at a later date. Suffice it to say, I’m finally listening, and God has had PLENTY to say!

For now, on to My Little Pony!

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As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Parenting Like a Naturopath

Have you ever had a verse smack you upside the head? It doesn’t matter how many times I study the book of James, these verses about being quick to listen and slow to anger always hit me right between the eyes. Today, they are confronting some not-so-desirable aspects of my parenting. Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Can’t Leave Home without Bedlam Ensuing?

Have you ever felt like you just can’t leave home for any length of time without bedlam ensuing? Nothing irritates me more than people ignoring the rules just because I’m not there to enforce them for a while. Maybe that’s why Nehemiah 13 bothers me so much – it sounds like my life! Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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How I Want to Be Remembered

Have you ever thought about what someone would say in your eulogy? Would they remember your killer meatloaf recipe? Your business savvy? Your awesome sense of humor? Would they talk about your faith? How your life inspired them? Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Faith Like A Child

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “faith like a child” or “child-like faith,” so let’s attention to all the things our KIDS can teach US about God!
Today, we have our first guest post here at Scattered Woman. Hooray! Please welcome Jessica Meades and tune your heart to what God would like to speak to you through her.

Welcome, Jessica! Read More

Interested in writing for Scattered Woman? We’re always looking for other mamas to collaborate with us! If you have guest post ideas about healing health, finding faith, restoring relationships, or crafting careers, please email laura{at}scatteredwoman{dot}com. We’re excited to work with you!

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I’d Rather Have a Piano: Living in Plan B

 Once upon a time, a young couple decided to get married and went shopping for an engagement ring. At the store, the woman spotted a positively gorgeous ring. “It’s perfect!” she exclaimed, and asked the shopkeeper if he would pull it out for them to look at. The shopkeeper noted, as he reached for the ring, “You have good taste. This is the most expensive ring I have in the store!”

Sadly, the price was much more than they could afford, so they left the store and continued down the street, sobered by their recent reality check. A few moments later, they passed by a music shop with a grand piano in the window.

“You know what?” the woman said. “I think I’d rather have an engagement piano.”

The man smiled, “You know what? I think I’d rather buy you one!” Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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What’s in a Name? – Part 3

  

Perhaps this entry would more accurately be titled “What’s NOT in a Name”. Peter figured out the answer to that question pretty quickly! Check out the account of Simon receiving his new name from Jesus, Peter, and what happens immediately after that event: Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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What’s in a Name? – Part 2

In What’s in a Name? – Pt. 1, I talked about the importance of the names we use with each other. In this segment, I’m shifting to focus on the names God gives us.

A while back, I went through a study on Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers – the story of the prophet Hosea set in the 1850s California Gold Rush. It is quite possibly the most powerful book I have ever read. It also deals a lot with the power of names. Angel, the lead character of the story, goes by many names throughout the book, but she keeps her real name carefully guarded. She shares it with no one, not even her husband.

The incredible part is that in her real name is all the promise of who she really is, who she wants to be, and who she is so afraid she never will be. (I won’t spoil the book for you by telling you her names and how it all turns out – I want you to read it for yourself!)

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As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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What’s in a Name? – Part 1


Over the past several years, I have come to realize just how important names are. Such a seemingly small thing to call someone by their given name, but it makes such a huge difference in how that someone responds to me. Each year when I was a Resident Director I used get feedback from students on our ResLife Survey that say things like “My RD is awesome. She actually knows my name.” Wow… Is it that uncommon for someone to know their names? Read More

As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.

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Excuses, Excuses

[Jesus] said to him, “Do you want to get well?”
“Sir,” the sick man answered, “I don’t have anyone to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, someone goes down ahead of me.”

~ John 5: 6-7 (HCSB)

Man, do I resonate with this guy. Excuses, excuses. Legitimate excuses, but excuses and self-pity nonetheless. All Jesus wanted to know was if he wanted to get well.

Duh! Of course, I want to get well! But I’m all alone here. I have no one to help me!

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As a former University Resident Director, Career Counselor, Certified Personality Trainer, and high school Spanish teacher, Laura has quite the “scattered” background — with one underlying theme: education! She writes to teach and inspire women on topics related to faith, family, and lifework. She is also a resume writer, specializing in resumes for moms, career changers, and new graduates.