Category Women’s Issues

Smart Mom Rich Mom

Product DetailsSmart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family
by Kimberly Palmer
AMACOM
Retail Price:  $14.95
Amazon Price:  $6.94

Book Description:   Of all life’s financial shocks, few compare to bringing home an infant. Just one tiny person costs $250,000 to raise– not including college! How will you pay for it? That agonizing question fuels mothers’ choices about their careers, budgets, and families. Some lean in, some scale back or seek new opportunities–there are no easy answers . . . but lots of rewarding possibilities. “Smart Mom, Rich Mom” explores how women today are navigating the financially challenging career/parenting years. Written by a national money columnist and mom of two, the book chronicles people who have stayed in the game–full-time, freelance, self-employed, and more–and emerged more prosperous and empowered. “Smart Mom, Rich Mom” mines their experiences to uncover both career advice and spending and savings strategies that everyone can use. Stories, checklists, action steps, planning tools, and more explain how to:

– Prepare financially for parenthood–whether you’re expecting your first child or your third

– Balance thrift with generating income and investing wisely

– Find flexibility at work while safeguarding your earning potential

– Save for both college and retirement despite increased expenses

– Plan for unexpected events, like a layoff or illness

– And much more

Kids change our lives, adding joy but draining bank accounts. “Smart Mom, Rich Mom” helps you adopt healthy habits–and make hard decisions–that pay off in abundance.

Review

This is a fantastic book for mom’s who not only want to stay in the game, but make the best financial decisions for their family.  While I am an “empty nester”, I lead a group of entrepreneurial women in a monthly class. Most of them are young mom’s trying their best to take care of their kids and still contribute financially to their household.  I purchased this book for them to read and was very pleased with it.  I wish I had this advice when I was a young mom. It’s direct, applicable and gives practical advice for mothers on how to be smart about money. Thrift is the best use of all your resources — including money AND time — so mommy savings tips need to expand from coupon-clipping and into longer-term investments.  Moms can feel overwhelmed thinking about and planning for the future, but the author makes it “doable” by sharing her own experience, while also drawing on others’ stories.  The best part is that you can walk away from this book with clear ideas about how to take better ownership of your family’s finances. This is  must-read for women, mom’s and mom’s-to-be and even an old timer like me found so much to learn!

~Reviewed by Allie B.

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    Clutter Free

     

    Clutter Free
    By Kathi Lipp
    Harvest House Publishing
    Retail Price $12.99
    Amazon Price: $9.75

    Book Description: 

    If you’ve ever wished you could clear out your clutter, simplify your space, and take back your life, Kathi Lipp’s new book has just the solutions you need. Building off the success of her The Get Yourself Organized Project, this book will provide even more ideas for getting your life and your stuff under control.Do any of these descriptions apply to you?

    • You bought a box of cereal at the store, and then discovered you have several boxes at home that are already past the “best by” date.
    • You bought a book and put it on your nightstand (right on top of ten others you’ve bought recently), but you have yet to open it.
    • You keep hundreds of DVDs around even though you watch everything online now and aren’t really sure where the remote for the DVD player is.
    • You spend valuable time moving your piles around the house, but you can never find that piece of paper when you need it.
    • Your house doesn’t make you happy when you step into it.

    As you try out the many easy, doable solutions that helped Kathi win her battle with clutter, you’ll begin to understand why you hold on to the things you do, eliminate what’s crowding out real life, and make room for the life of true abundance God wants for you.

    .

    Review

    I really enjoyed this book. It has practical, simple steps for organizing your home.  It moves you from disorganization to organized step-by-step and helps to keep you from being overwhelmed with the process.  I like the easy tone of the author’s writing.  She is direct and enthusiastic without being saccharin.  This book is the most polished presentation of organizing your life and home that I have found.  It is a treasure that you will use and appreciate.

    ~Reviewed by Quella S.

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      Abundant Choices

      Midlife mothers can start new careers, return to school, start new ministries, begin their own businesses, or immerse themselves in volunteer work – free from the daily demands of motherhood.  Many women combine all those pursuits.  Passions and interests that have been slowly developing through the years can merge into an incredible life adventure.

      One of the advantages of midlife is gaining perspective.  We can see patterns in our lives, recognizing our natural bent.  Understanding our God-given combination of talents and abilities, finely tuned with time and life experience, is the key to forging ahead in midlife.

      I once believed that the best time to attend college was as a young person out of high school, when adult responsibilities were minimal (before house mortgages and families).  Yet many people feel that young adulthood may be the worst time to attend college – a waste of time and money – unless the student is passionate about his or her field of interest.  Too many college students remain in the exploratory stage for years, changing majors each semester, sometimes taking six or seven years to graduate.  I know of several students who keep taking courses each semester in order to not lose their parents health insurance benefits.

      In contrast, midlife women who return to job training, college, or graduate school are exceptionally focused, insightful, excited abut learning, and have vision and specific career goals.  They have no time to waste and are unusually productive.  My good friend says, “School is a piece of cake after raising four children.”  Even women who have achieved successful first careers may be ready for a new challenge and want to enter different fields in their second careers.

      Did you know that learning a new skill is also important to your physical health?  Dendrites (your nerve cell extensions that communicate with other cells) increase with mental stimulation or decrease with a lack of stimulation.  You cannot remain at the status quo.  Your choices are to use it or lose it.  Aerobic exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain and is as important as mental exercise.  Staying mentally and physically active is critical to midlife health.

      Excerpted from:
      When You’re Facing the Empty Nest by Mary Ann Froehlich
      Copyright © 2006; ISBN 0764200186
      Published by Bethany House Publishers
      Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.

      You can purchase the book for $12.99 in our online bookstore visiting here.

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        5 Tips for Surviving Your Midlife Crisis

        I hit the big 4-0 recently along with many of my friends. Yet midlife didn’t wait to strike at 40. I was suffering the symptoms for several years before. If you’ve been here, you know what it feels like: the restlessness, the desire to be young, to do all the things you did when you were 18.

        This phase of life leads some to motorcycle riding, others to plastic surgery, some to weight loss and exercise, and still others to leaving their spouses. This is the “grass is greener on the younger side” stage of life. This is when we ask ourselves questions like: “Why can’t we all get better looking with age, like Patrick Dempsey or Sandra Bullock? How can I get my 20-year-old body back? I’ve only got a few good years left, why stick it out in this same old rut?”

        I’ve seen people leave perfectly good spouses to set off for greener pastures, only to find those pastures sparser than the ones they left behind. As for myself, I’ve had the same old thoughts running through my mind, but I decided to vent them in a different direction. After years of writing nonfiction self-help and business books, I branched out into nonfiction – Southern romance specifically. It’s been a fun way to explore all those youthful feelings lacking at midlife without throwing away a perfectly good man to do it.

        Bottom line, midlife is about reclaiming your youth. You don’t have to disrupt your world to feel young. Here are five tips for surviving midlife that have worked for me.

        1. Watch your thoughts. Stay on the positive side. Count your blessings and look for the good. If you’re married, avoid dwelling on your spouse’s faults. Look for his/her good qualities instead. Emphasize the good and you’ll find more of it.
        2. Take up a youthful hobby. What have you always wanted to do but never got around to trying? For me, it has been writing novels, raising goats, gardening, and making new friends. What’s yours? Riding motorcycles? Painting, running a marathon, driving a motorboat?
        3. Take “bliss breaks” two or three times a day. These are small 10-15 minute breaks that add joy to your life. Think of the little things that make you happy – hugging a child, kissing your spouse, calling a friend, working in your garden, going for a walk in the sunshine, watching a sunrise or a sunset. Enjoy the small moments!
        4. Let music spice up your life. Listen to music that makes you dance, sing, laugh and that reminds you that you’re alive. Turn up the music as you drive and sing along. When you have the house to yourself, blast the music and dance.
        5. Lighten up. Spend time with people who look at the lighter side of life. Look for opportunities to laugh. It may be something as silly as having your picture made with a mannequin in a department store or calling a friend who lives miles away and watching the highlights of your favorite TV show together.

        One of my friends says that no matter how old women get, we still have the same basic personality we had when we were 18. I think she’s not far off. What are some of the things you did when you were 18 that you enjoyed? Which ones could you do again now? Incorporate a few that allow you to be a responsible adult and still feel young at heart. Remember, you’re only as old as your thoughts.

        About the Author
        Marnie Pehrson, Ringgold GA USA
        marnie@pwgroup.com More Details about surviving a midlife crisis here. Marnie L. Pehrson is a wife, mother of 6, author and consultant who helps talented professionals deliver their message to the online world through sites like IdeaMarketers.com, BelieversAtWork.com, 1ChapterFree.com, and more. Visit her projects through http://www.pwgroup.com and read her books at http://www.MarniePehrson.com.

         

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          Meeting the Challenges of Menopause


          According to anthropologist Margaret Mead, “There is no more creative force in the world than a menopausal woman with zest.” Though she said it more than 20 years ago, it has never been more true than it is today.

          According to Melane Votaw, freelance writer of the topic of Baby Boomers in mid-life, a member of the Baby Boomer generation turns 50 every seven seconds, and as the last boomers begin the journey of menopause, it is the healthiest, most aware, and most youthful generation of women who have ever experienced it. 1957 saw the largest number of births in North America, and all of the women born in 1957 will turn 50 next year. Most of them will experience menopause by the year 2012, if they haven’t already.

          The truth is that women needn’t stop living their normal lives when menopause arrives. Though America and the rest of the western world revere youth, numerous cultures look at menopause as a joyous rite of passage like puberty, marriage, and giving birth.

          While menopause often brings symptoms that may need to be addressed, today we are offered numerous ways to manage menopausal discomfort.  Below are seven healthy ways to manage menopausal symptoms.

          1. Hot flashes can often be prevented or relieved by taking Evening Primrose Oil.  Evening primrose oil alleviates hot flashes and promotes restful sleep. These benefits may be due to the gamma linolenic acid in the oil which is said to influence prostaglandin production.  Depending on the amount of primrose oil in each capsule, effective dosages vary from 2 to 8 capsules a day. On a side note,  some women have found aromatherapy and herbs to be very helpful in dealing with menopause.

          2. If you suffer from frequent hot flashes, wear layers so that you can be prepared when a hot flash strikes. This will help you avoid uncomfortable perspiration when you’re in a social situation.

          3. Synthetic and “natural” hormone can often combat the vaginal dryness that comes with menopause, or you can simply use a water-based lubricant if sex becomes uncomfortable.

          5. If the hormones cause emotional symptoms, be sure to nurture yourself! Learn stress reduction techniques such as meditation, and take the time you need to care for yourself. The kinder you are to yourself if you experience tears or anger, the easier it will be to deal with these symptoms.

          6. Live a healthy lifestyle including: reduce alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar intake, as well as meat consumption, especially since animals are sometimes injected with hormones. Smoking increases symptoms and will make you more vulnerable to osteoporosis, so it would be best to quit.  Exercise regularly Exercise reduces symptoms and decreases your risk of osteoporosis. And, of course, drink plenty of water!

          7. Maintain a positive attitude.  Change isn’t always a bad thing and you are now entering a stage of life where you can refocus your energies.

          8.  Keep your sense of humor.  Always find a way to see the humor in the situation.  After all, the Bible tells us “A cheerful heart is good medicine,
          but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22).

           

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            Shattered Dreams

            Key Verse: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).

            Devotion:

            Have you ever had a shattered dream? If so, you’re not alone.

            If ever there was a group of people who lost their dream, it was Jesus’ disciples and the women who ministered to and with them. They had such high expectations that Jesus would be the next political leader to Israel (Luke 24:20). They had witnessed his power in feeding 5,000 men plus women and children with two loaves and five fishes, they felt the waves beneath their tiny boat subside at his command, they had watched him breath life into a lifeless child, open the eyes of a man blind from birth, create new skin from rotting flesh on the limbs of lepers, and command a lame man to take up his pallet and walk. They had seen him walk on water, outwit the Pharisees, and win the lost.

            In their narrow scope of hopes for a political leader, they missed the bigger picture of God’s plan for a Savior to free mankind from the bondage of sin. While Peter realized Jesus’ identity (“You are the Christ.”), he did not understand His destiny. Peter was shocked when Jesus explained that He had to go to Jerusalem, suffer, be killed and on the third day rise from the dead. He even took Jesus aside and said, “Never, Lord. This shall never happen to you!” (Mark 8:33). This was not part of Peter’s dream. Suffering did not fit into his plan.

            “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”

            Call me stupid, but don’t call me Satan. Yet, that is how Jesus sees it when we try to block God’s plans. He sees us as an instrument of darkness, an offense, a hindrance and a snare. It is amazing that one minute Peter could be a building block and the next a stumbling block. But that’s the trap we all fall into when we have our minds set on the world instead of on the things of God.

            Jesus told His disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever lose his life for me will find it” (Matthew 16:24).

            Even though Jesus forewarned the disciples of his death and resurrection, they fled when the soldiers came to arrest him, and hid when they hung him on a cross to die. When Jesus was sealed in the tomb, their hopes and dreams were sealed in the darkness with him.

            Every day, I receive emails from women who have had their dreams shattered. A husband has an affair, becomes addicted to pornography, abuses the children, or deserts the family. A child gets caught with drugs, becomes pregnant, or dies in a car accident. Parents divorce, friends betray, careers come to an abrupt halt. The list is endless. So what do we do when our dreams are seemingly destroyed? The answer to that will shape the rest of our lives.

            Does that mean we give up our dreams? I can promise you this, what ever dreams you have for your life, God’s dreams are greater. The power of the Holy Spirit the disciples received after Jesus’ resurrection and the impact they made on the world thereafter, was beyond their wildest dreams. That’s what God does with a heart that is wholly yielded to Him. That’s what He does when we give our shattered dreams to Him. I have learned to stop saying, “Why me?” but instead start saying “What now?”

            If you have experienced a shattered dream, pray that God’s resurrecting power will reveal His greater plan for your life. He loves to roll away the stones and call forth life from the dark places.

            Prayer:

            Dear Lord, there are things about my life that I don’t understand, but I do know this. You are good and You are kind. I thank you that nothing happens in my life that is a surprise to You. You have a greater plan than my small vision can imagine. I pray that You will reveal that larger plan for my life to me. Help me to pay attention to Your promptings and obey Your bidding.

            In Jesus’ name, Amen.


            Sharon Jaynes is an international conference speaker and author of ten books including Becoming the Woman of His Dreams and Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God. For information about Sharon’s books or speaking topics, visit www.sharonjaynes.com.

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              Meno: The Pause that Refreshed By Judyann Grant

              In my forties, I did not anticipate menopause; I did not welcome menopause, I did not enjoy the onslaught of symptoms associated with menopause. I remember visiting my mother one afternoon; I told her that my feet felt like they were on fire. She smiled knowingly. “Your body is preparing for The Change.”

              The Change. What would it feel like? How would it change me? Would I feel like a cocooned caterpillar who emerges on the other side as a beautiful butterfly? Or would undergoing the change turn me into a bear who awakes after a winter’s sleep feeling grumpy for no apparent reason?

              As I neared my fifties the searing heat diversified, creeping over my body like a wind-driven wildfire.  That’s when the hot flash-fueled drama began. I grunted. I moaned. I huffed and puffed. I dramatically pulled the socks off my frying feet.  I lifted my shirt and fanned my back, tugged my collar to cool my front, swished my hair off my neck. Sweat beads formed on my upper lip. Rising heat encircled my face. My glasses steamed.

              Never a martyr, I used each episode to my advantage, with enough dramatics to evoke my family’s sympathy – at first. “I can’t help you right now; I’m busy dying of heat stroke.”

              After enduring months of sizzling “power surges,” I grew wise to the ways of the meno-menace. Ice water replaced hot tea as my drinking buddy. I dressed in layers. Still, I retained the drama. I’d fling off my outer shirt and scold my husband.  “You can’t understand! I’m burning up from the inside out!”  He’d sigh and then melt into the background – out of sight and sound of my menopausal drama queen antics.

              Nights were worse. I put on pajamas only to regret the decision in the middle of the night. Kicking my way out of the cocoon I made a few hours before, I piled the covers on my sleeping husband and plunged my hot feet and legs into the cold air. I punched and flipped my pillow. After cooling down, I fished for the blankets, pulling them back off my husband.

              Hot flashes were accompanied by daily mood swings; anxiety levels rose with my body heat. It was difficult keeping my emotions in check. Not wanting to completely alienate my family, I learned to calm myself. I learned to keep my mouth shut because whatever I said came out in the heat of the moment because I did, indeed, resemble that grumpy bear.

              Much like a seismographer documenting an earthquake, my body registered each subtle sign indicating an imminent hot flash: anxiety, nausea, tingling toes.  I took evasive action: pouring a cool drink, pulling off extraneous clothing, moving around. Afterward, I savored the sweet knowledge that I had survived yet another shake from the age-of-change quake.

              Two years into my transformation, my husband caught a severe flu bug. Among his symptoms were fever-induced sweats. Lounging in his recliner, he would suddenly throw off the coverlet, fan his face, and strip off his sweat-soaked pajama shirt.  And I never let one instance go by without reminding him – “At least you’ll soon get better; I’ve been suffering like this for years!” Then I would get him a drink of cold water.

              Indoctrinated in the art of menopause, my husband now related in a second-hand way – and that’s all I asked – that somehow he felt, just once, what I was going through. It made menopause a little less lonely, a little less isolating.

              Yet I learned that menopause wasn’t all bad; beyond the sweats, mood swings and weight gain, there was a plus side. While menopause raced through my veins, my children experienced their own change: growing up and moving out to begin writing their own life stories. Now there was no need to schedule “cuddle time” with my husband around motherhood or monthlies; no need to buy PMS pills or feminine products.  

              Menopause ushered in more than a change in my body chemistry – it brought a renewed sense of what life offered.

              Evenings once again belonged to me. No little ones underfoot to feed, bathe, wriggle into their pajamas and settle into bed. No adolescents hogging the telephone and television.  No teens with impossible schedules leaving trails of destruction through the house.

              I gloried in the freedom – putting my own pajamas on after supper, making a cup of tea, claiming the couch, then piling books, magazines and newspapers around me for hours of uninterrupted reading before bed – something I never could have done pre-menopause.

              My twenties brought me babies and bondage. Motherhood, though, was not so much a prison as a maze, with each turned corner, each blind alley, each dead-end revealing an unexpected joy or unexpected trial.

              My fifties brought me empowerment and escape.  Where motherhood confined me, menopause set me free – with increased freedom and increased opportunity to follow my dreams. I would remain available, ready to help at a moment’s notice, but my children did not have to be the sole focus of every waking hour and every sleepless night.

              If motherhood was a maze, then menopause provided the way out. One day light filtered in; a speck so small I barely noticed it. When the speck became a puddle, I saw where the light came from – high up in the wall. As the days fell away into years, the light grew. Then, without warning, dazzling light flooded the maze, shining in from windows low enough to see out of – and what I saw was a whole new world out there – anything was possible!

              Now the door has opened; I have found my way out of the maze and it was menopause that led me there.  In the process, I discovered that I had been a butterfly.

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                Meeting the Challenges of Menopause

                 According to anthropologist Margaret Mead, “There is no more creative force in the world than a menopausal woman with zest.” Though she said it more than 20 years ago, it has never been more true than it is today.

                According to Melane Votaw, freelance writer of the topic of Baby Boomers in mid-life, a member of the Baby Boomer generation turns 50 every seven seconds, and as the last boomers begin the journey of menopause, it is the healthiest, most aware, and most youthful generation of women who have ever experienced it. 1957 saw the largest number of births in North America, and all of the women born in 1957 will turn 50 next year. Most of them will experience menopause by the year 2012, if they haven’t already.

                Although there is a huge population of people over 50, youth is still revered in the western world.  This attitude gives menopause a bad reputation.

                The truth is that women needn’t “pause” when menopause arrives. In 1998, 752 women between the ages of 50 and 65 were polled by The Gallup Organization, and more than half of them reported they were happier than ever. Numerous other cultures look at menopause as a joyous rite of passage like puberty, marriage, and giving birth (Votaw). 

                While menopause often brings symptoms that may need to be addressed, today we are offered numerous ways to manage menopausal discomfort.  Below are seven healthy ways to manage menopausal symptoms.

                1. Hot flashes can often be prevented or relieved by taking Evening Primrose Oil.  Evening primrose oil alleviates hot flashes and promotes restful sleep. These benefits may be due to the gamma linolenic acid in the oil which is said to influence prostaglandin production.  Depending on the amount of primrose oil in each capsule, effective dosages vary from 2 to 8 capsules a day. On a side note,  some women have found aromatherapy and herbs to be very helpful in dealing with menopause.

                2. If you suffer from frequent hot flashes, wear layers so that you can be prepared when a hot flash strikes. This will help you avoid uncomfortable perspiration when you’re in a social situation.

                3. Synthetic and “natural” hormone can often combat the vaginal dryness that comes with menopause, or you can simply use a water-based lubricant if sex becomes uncomfortable.

                5. If the hormones cause emotional symptoms, be sure to nurture yourself! Learn stress reduction techniques such as meditation, and take the time you need to care for yourself. The kinder you are to yourself if you experience tears or anger, the easier it will be to deal with these symptoms.

                6. Live a healthy lifestyle including: reduce alcohol, caffeine and refined sugar intake, as well as meat consumption, especially since animals are sometimes injected with hormones. Smoking increases symptoms and will make you more vulnerable to osteoporosis, so it would be best to quit.  Exercise regularly Exercise reduces symptoms and decreases your risk of osteoporosis. And, of course, drink plenty of water!

                7. Maintain a positive attitude.  Change isn’t always a bad thing and you are now entering a stage of life where you can refocus your energies.

                8.  Keep your sense of humor.  Always find a way to see the humor in the situation.  After all, the Bible tells us “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22).

                Please Share!