How to Become a Morning Person

become a morning personNot a morning person? You’re not alone. Many moms are most productive after they put the kids to bed. That’s when they can finally focus on their work, and they stay up late to take advantage of the quiet. They are the night owls. I’m not one of them. I’m pretty much useless after 9 pm. In fact, now that I have teens in the house, they are usually the ones tucking me in at night.

That’s because I’m typically awake before 6 am. But I wouldn’t call myself a morning person. I’m not exactly pleasant at that hour. It’s just become a habit. And I’m grateful for the habit because it works for me – and for my family. I enjoy my quiet time in the morning. I get to see the sunrise. And I start my day off with a workout so I am free to focus on whatever comes my way the rest of the day.

It’s not easy to shift your natural body clock and become a morning person. But for most of us, motherhood forces us into a new sleep cycle, whether we like it or not. So, how do you stop fighting the urge to stay up past your bedtime? How do you stop hitting the snooze button and waking up feeling rushed and stressed? How do you create habits that will help your body adjust to a different schedule? Here’s how I do it!

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[Author Interview] Meet Christian Mompreneur Tammie T. Polk

Author of The Virtuous Business Woman

I used to think Proverbs 31 was written to encourage the homemaker, wife and mother. But one day when I was reading it, I realized the Proverbs 31 Woman was more than a Wife of Noble Character; she was also the ideal mompreneur. That’s exactly what the theme of Tammie T. Polk’s book is — The Virtuous Business Woman. And we are blessed to have Tammie as part of our circle of Christian mompreneurs, to share her wisdom and encouragement with us. I’m honored to share this conversation with her on the blog today.

Q. What does it mean to you to be a virtuous woman?

A. To me, being a virtuous woman means remembering that virtue and faith still have a place in our lives, even in this busy, digital world. Many times, we feel like we have to put our convictions aside in order to be what is perceived to be successful. It also means that I see that I am a lot closer to being this woman than I think I am. So many think that her lifestyle is unattainable and don’t see the progress they’ve already made. It is a matter of making a conscious effort to do what is right and to be guided by the principles of God’s Word, which isn’t always easy.

Q. You write about putting family first. What is your best advice for a mompeneur who is having trouble balancing business and family responsibilities?

A. Yes, that’s one thing so many struggle with. My best advice is to use your family! Find out what their gifts and talents are and allow them to use them to help you in your business! Even use the things that annoy you about them. Another thing I would say is to pay attention to what you may perceive as a family distraction. Many times, those things that they do to distract you just might be their way of showing you that they want to help if you’d only take a moment to show them what you need.

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Verse of the Year 2017: John 5:8

Guest Post by Amy Walton

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

I have read the story of the invalid man by the pool so many times in my life, but it has been in the past year that this story has really spoken to my heart… I guess because of where I am in my life right now.

The man in this story had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus encounters him on his mat, he asked the man if he wanted to be healed. Interestingly, this invalid did not answer “yes” or “no.” He simply gave an excuse, saying that every time he tried to enter the healing waters, people went before him, and no one helped him. 38 years… imagine!

I wonder: Did this person ASK anyone to help him? Did he focus more on his disability than his abilities?

I think about some of the “mats” on which I have lain in my life: The mat of insecurity regarding my own gifts and talents. The mat of an eating disorder in college. The mat of trying to attain perfectionism ( it took me years to get off this mat, but I finally learned… finally… that no human can ever be perfect). There have been many mats in my nearly six decades of life. A few have been really comfortable… a little too comfortable. Some have been downright ugly.

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Verse of the Year 2017: Hebrews 10:35

Guest Post by QuaWanna Bannarbie

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

My word for the new year came about as a result of a recent visit to the salon. Yes, you read me right.

For the past two years, I have been against hair salons because I just couldn’t tolerate the atmosphere. You don’t have to be a black woman to appreciate the dissatisfaction with waiting your turn in a hair salon. So I stopped going. Well, I needed a new look and my hair was badly in need of deep conditioning so I started the undesirable search for a new stylist. I come from a long heritage of hair professionals in my family. Both my mother and father are the offspring of beauticians who learned hair styling in the 1950s. Several aunts and cousins carry on the tradition. I grew up spoiled by free hairdos and beautifully, well -maintained hair. So my standards for stylists are legitimately grounded. Grandma taught me to be particular about whoever has their hands in your glory (1 Corinthians 11:15).

I talked with the stylist several times before my appointment. In fact, while I was in the wash bowl, she said to me, “You have been lying about your hair. You have nice hair.” I did not intend to make her think I have a “bad head.” But I talked so badly about my hair that she believed negative things before she even met me. The last thing she said to me before I left the salon that day changed my outlook on life. “Stop talking bad about your hair. It’s not good. You won’t receive a good result.”

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Verse of the Year 2017: Habakkuk 2:2 (KJV)

Guest Post by Tammie Polk

At the International Christian Mompreneur Network, we’re not making New Year’s Resolutions. We’re choosing a scripture verse to guide us through the year instead. We’re selecting a verse that speaks to our hearts and offers support, hope or motivation for us to live out the following year with purpose and direction. The following is part of a series of posts featuring members of the International Christian Mompreneur Network sharing their scripture verse of the year. We pray these posts will inspire and encourage you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the year as well.

Being challenged to think bigger lead me to this verse. For years, I used I Timothy 4:12 about being an example, but my thoughts really didn’t change much and I became complacent. When I embraced the challenge to think bigger, God began to show me a lot both through His Word and through others that I knew and trusted!

For example, I was challenged to take my book, The Virtuous Business Woman: Inspired by Proverbs 31 and turn it into a workshop, online course and train the trainer program. Those thoughts eventually turned into hosting my own business retreat in the near future. As a mom, I found myself looking for better ways to cultivate the interests of my children and now we are making plans to further that goal.

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2017 Scripture Verse of the Year

The First Step in Choosing a Word of the Year

Verse of the YearHave you noticed everyone choosing a Word of the Year for 2017? It’s a thing now. You select a word to embrace during the coming year as a way to focus on what’s important to you. It’s much easier than New Year’s Resolutions and it’s a lot of fun! In fact, I’ve been quite creative with my Words in the past, making vision boards, collages, jewelry, tree ornaments and other lovely reminders to keep my Word alive.

But what if you can’t find a word that seems to fit? Or if your word is too superficial? Too practical? Not inspirational enough for you? That may because you are choosing a word without starting in The Word. Before you choose your Word of the Year, begin in prayer and study The Word of God. Find out what His plans are for you this year. Ask him to show you the message he has in store for you. Then choose a Verse of the Year to guide you and center you throughout the year. Here’s mine: 

My Verse of the Year 2017: Romans 12:2

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2

In Romans 12, Paul outlines the way to live as a Christian. This verse is so full of messages that seem to reach out to me and urge me to go deeper in my faith. It is a call for me to reject the pattern of this world – which is both daunting and refreshing at the same time. This world insists that I:

Have More…

Do More …

Be More.

Paul is telling me that I can:

Have Less…

Do Less…

Be Less like others and More like God created me to be.

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How to Deal with Criticism

how-to-deal-with-criticismThe moment you become a mother you open yourself up to criticism. It seems as soon as that sweet baby takes his first breath, someone is telling you what you’re doing wrong. The commentary continues over the years and eventually that sweet baby joins in the discussion. But somewhere along the journey we learn to deal with the critics and embrace our unique mothering style.

The same thing happens when we open a business or launch a ministry. Despite the fact that you are making a positive contribution to the world, people feel the need to tell you all the ways you are failing. They do it in writing – on your blog or social media or via email. They do it in person – often in front of customers and staff. And they do it behind your back, which is sometimes the most hurtful of all, especially when the critic is a friend or family member.

So how to you deal with the criticism that comes with being a leader? I don’t claim to have it all figured out, but here are a few steps I take to prevent these remarks from stealing my joy and derailing my mission.

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[Guest Post Opportunity] Share Your 2017 Verse of the Year!

Scripture verse of the year What are you looking to change in your life next year? That’s the question we need to answer when choosing our goals or New Year’s Resolutions. And whenever I need to change anything, I look to God’s Word to help me. That’s why I’ve created the habit of choosing a favorite scripture verse to embrace and guide me through the year.

And since it’s that time of year for starting over…for making resolutions…for mapping out our plans for the next 12 months…I invite you to select a scripture verse to guide you through the coming year. In fact, I encourage you to choose a Verse of the Year as the foundation for the change you want to see in your life.

For the past several years, I have chosen a Word of the Year (you can read more about that here). And the last few years I’ve decided to select my Word of the Year through prayerful consideration of God’s Word. I figure, if you’re going to choose A word, shouldn’t you start with THE Word?

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Are Mompreneurs Trading One Identity Crisis for Another?

are-mompreneurs-trading-one-identity-crisis-for-anotherA friend of mine explained to me why she felt called to open her catering business. She is the mother of a special needs child and said she didn’t want to be defined in that way. She didn’t want her identity to be wrapped up in her role as a mother to her special needs child. I totally understood her – and I told her that lots of moms open businesses or get jobs to avoid that same identity crisis. They don’t want to be labeled as “just” a mom. Or they feel like they “need something more” in their lives.

I get it. I’m not judging anyone, here. I’m admitting that this need to have an identity outside motherhood is a huge motivator for me – and for a lot of moms I work with in the International Christian Mompreneur Network. I KNOW that being a mother is my most important job. And it’s my calling during this season of life. So, I don’t take that responsibility lightly. And maybe motherhood should be “enough” for me… I envy women who are confident enough to dedicate 100% to motherhood. But for some reason…maybe it’s ego…maybe it’s money…maybe it’s fear of failure…or entrepreneurial genes…or lack of patience…but I have always felt the need for an identity that isn’t tied to the little people I love.

The Mompreneur Identity Crisis

But what happens when we start a business to fill that need? Sometimes we simply replace our identity crisis. We are no longer known as “Luke’s mom” but we become “the photography lady.” And that’s fine… except when it consumes us.

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2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide

Ten Unique Christmas Gifts Made or Sold by Christian Mompreneurs

Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift GuideOne of the things I love most about the International Christian Mompreneur Network is the opportunity to learn about the creative and inspirational things other moms are doing with their businesses or ministries. And I had the chance to do that recently on a video conference with some of the women in our Facebook Group (which you can join here). We held a Zoom meeting to share our products and services and prepare for holiday shopping season.

These ladies are blessing the world with their talents and gifts. And they are about to bless your friends and family with some fabulous Christmas gifts highlighted in our 2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide!

With more than 10,000 Christian mompreneurs in our community, the following is just a small sampling of the amazing work these ladies are doing. Please take a few minutes to support a fellow mompreneur and do a little Christmas shopping!

Ten Unique Christmas Gifts Made or Sold by Christian Mompreneurs

2016 Christian Mompreneur Holiday Gift Guide 

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