6 Obstacles to Working From Home Successfully — Jeff Boss
Working from home can be a blessing or a curse. The freedom that comes with working out of the house is luxurious — you set your own hours, take breaks when necessary, run errands as needed, procrastinate work projects in more constructive ways such as playing with the dog (that’s a joke). The possibilities are endless.
At the same time, sticking to a schedule isn’t easy if you’re the scheduler. It takes discipline to adhere to a routine because nobody is around to hold you accountable. Need to catch up on the Golden Girls? Sure, go for it. Want to walk your dog for yet another walk around the block? Sure. Would watching another YouTube video on stupid school pranks be enlightening? Of course it would — only to the extent that you’re willing to face just how unproductive you’ve been.
What must it have been like to have an angel appear and tell you that you were not only about to have a baby (as a virgin, no less), but He would be the one Mary had heard about her entire life? He was the coming Messiah, and she was just a teenager. He was coming to set her and her people free, but was not what they pictured. His coming had been foretold, and God used a very unlikely woman to not only be a part of His lineage, but to be His mother.
I often feel like the most unlikely woman for the task God has set before me. I feel unqualified, unable, inadequate, and afraid. That’s how I can relate to Mary. I daily fail and fall, but God uses me in spite of it all.
Four Huge Distractions in Meetings and How to Fight Them — Eric Geiger
Disengagement in meetings can quickly snowball. You have seen this. When a few people disengage in a meeting, others are soon to follow. One of the biggest culprits of disengagement in a meeting are distractions. Distractions can steer emotional energy, creative thinking, and collective wisdom away from the important matters being discussed. Here are four huge distractions in meetings.
1. Side conversations
Side conversations can derail a meeting. The attention of the team is divided and the person who has the floor is dishonored. When side conversations emerge ask, “Is this something the whole group needs to hear?” If it is, focus the meeting on that discussion for a few moments. If it is not, kindly ask the discussion to be handled offline.
God Has a Surprise for You — Micha Boyett
I stare at this morning’s passage in Luke. The angel has just said to Mary, “God has a surprise for you” (MSG, 1:29-33). I’m reading The Message transliteration, and its words sound fresh to my ears.
I’m practicing lectio divina, an ancient form of Scripture-reading long used by Benedictine monks to encounter the Bible anew. It can be translated as “divine reading,” a way of listening for God’s voice in the text of Scripture.
When I’m talking to people about lectio divina, I usually describe an image of the heart as a metal detector hovering above the words. I ask God to help my heart go beep beep beep when I hit the word or phrase that God wants me to see in some new, valuable way. Maybe it’s a message I need to take from the passage. Maybe it’s just a moment to tell me that I’m not forgotten, that I am God’s beloved. Either way, on good days, I come to this time listening.
Going Back After Baby — Jordan Johnstone
In many Christian circles, there’s a quiet—or sometimes not-so-quiet—understanding that the best-case scenario for every family is to have a mom who stays home with her children. Those who uphold this viewpoint believe that a “good mom” should at the very least want to be a stay-at-home mom. Ouch. Is there really only one kind of “good mom?” I don’t think so. But the assumption that there is only one definition of what constitutes a “good mom” is pervasive and damaging. It potentially provides an almost constant source of doubt, guilt, and pressure that seems particularly unwarranted, especially when you consider nearly 70% of moms of school-age children work, and of that group, 40% are primary breadwinners who must work to support their families.
For many working mothers, returning to work after maternity leave can feel excruciating. For me, by God’s grace, it really wasn’t. I missed my kids, and I loved them deeply, but even on those first days back, I felt confident I was where God created me to be, doing what I was made to be doing.