I know, O Lord, that man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23)
Lead me in a straight path. (Psalm 27:11)

Bible

Incredibly Fast and Easy Step-by-Step Set Up of a Self-Hosted WordPress Site

This practical and easy tutorial has helped many to set up a self-hosted WordPress site. And now HostGator, the service I use, is having a special for $3.96 a month! Honestly that’s a great price. Get in on it while you can.

Many of you asked how to set up a blog and learn to write your thoughts, experiences and ideas. I’ve even had some ask about turning their story into a book for the benefit of others. Obviously you have some expertise to share, a service to help, or a product worth talking about. Either way writing a blog and hosting a website will help you get the word out. Some blog writers have even jumped from online writing to publishing a book. Sometimes the posts themselves can be massaged and rewritten into a book. My aim is to tell how I began this journey and to show you how you can get started as well with just a few simple steps.

Sign up if you want a free e-book/pdf of this Incredibly Fast and Easy Step-by-Step Set-Up of a Self-Hosted WordPress Site, plus more insight on blogging, business, ministry and life.

But before I share the tutorial, my story will give context and help answer some of your questions.

The Way I Started a Website

I first began writing spiritual thoughts for friends and fellow church members. I’d email these devotions once a week. I received encouraging stories about how my words, experiences, and thoughts helped others. So I kept writing. Eventually, from someone’s suggestion, I started a blog and my readers multiplied.  (Side note: If my experiences helped others, then yours can too.)

The Part I Don’t Suggest You Follow

When I started, I didn’t know any better than to hire a web designer. Thankfully, I enlisted one at a fraction of the cost of most web designers. But just figuring out the design became a chore. Eventually I learned a simpler, easier—and cheaper—way to set up a website and begin writing for my readers.

Following my step-by-step instructions will save you an arm and a leg in designer fees and you’ll find them simple and easy even for a non-techy person like me. Unlike the hours and days of talking to the designer to settle on the design and months to get the site up and running, my total set up time to get you up and writing will take only a few minutes. You could do this during lunchtime. Just think about it. You can be reaching your audience in under an hour.

This information outlines setting up a self-hosted WordPress website. Self-hosted is the best option to keep your blog safely yours. At a fraction of the designer costs, you can have your own blog for less than one drink a week. It’s actually less than $7 a month for 12 months. (Keep reading and I’ll show you how to save even more money!)

Yes, there are free options such as Blogger and WordPress.com, but these free hosts can take down their hosting and urls for any reason and your blog will be gone forever. And yes, they allow free rent but they can close shop leaving you with nothing.

If you pay the price of one lunch a month, you own it and have paid the rent to park it in the cloud (on host servers). That’s called self-hosted. And if you put a little money into your endeavor, you’ll tend to be more committed to it. So let’s take on your fear of setting up a website. Bring your lunch.

So each time you intercede through prayer, first be quiet and worship God in His glory. Think of what he can do, how he delights in Christ his son, and of your place in him—then expect great things.

Andrew Murray
Streams in the Desert (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1997), 413

A Better Marriage with One Simple Change: The Art of Viewpoint

Guest post by minister’s wife, Lori Bradeen. She breathes hope and courage into marriages by speaking to groups of women. For interest in her ministry contact her at City Life Spokane. Have a message? Check out the guest post guidelines.

Abstract Marriage

I always thought that abstract art was an excuse for untalented, wanna-be artists, but I have been converted. As I twisted my head and closed one eye, a black funnel emptying into a mess of fiery reds became a beautiful mountain that touched the colorful sunset sky.

viewpoint

Viewing abstract art is a lot like viewing marriage. (Tweetable)

What normally looks like underwear left on the floor, dishes by the couch, and toilet paper that never makes it into its proper holder is really beauty in action. Even my husband’s lack of appreciation for inspired cuisine void of red meat and carbohydrates as well as his inability to distinguish a face cloth from a dish rag is wonderment.

I’ll admit these things alone leave me wanting. Yet, I have learned that their beauty can only be seen when they come together on the canvas of love, respect and acceptance.

The beauty of marriage comes together on the canvas of love, respect and acceptance. (Tweetable)

Marriage Masterpiece

I have grown to love abstract art so much that I now have a masterpiece in my home.

Marriage Masterpiece

  • The man whose underwear and dishes I’ve been picking up for twenty-four years is the same man who has worked three jobs at times so that I could stay home with our kids.
  • The man who hates shopping is the same man who endures a chick flick and patiently waits on a bench in the mall if I insist he be my shopping buddy.
  • He’s the same man who has what it took to raise my boys into men even when I had to bite my mama-bear tongue in the face of his toughness.
  • The man who rarely cleans a toilet bowl is the same man who prays and seeks heaven’s direction in leading this family.
  • He is the man who bought me small pajamas (from a sporting goods store) because he hadn’t noticed that I don’t wear the same size as I did the day we wed.
  • He’s the one who will skip the raspberry vinaigrette but will drive back to the drive through to get my favorite special sauce that didn’t make it in the sack.
  • He’s the one who still can’t read my mind, but has mastered the art of an agreeable nod when tensions rise.

He is my masterpiece of abstract art.

Second Look Beauty

Some couples wish they had picked differently in their marriage. They’ve become dissatisfied. The bumps and scratches along the years left them disillusioned. The sweet smell of new love has long gone. Left instead is the lingering smell of sour milk.

These moments are the perfect time to head to the art gallery of marriage to tilt our head a little. Tilt it more. Squint. Heck, we can toss our glasses if it helps us find the beauty in our marriage.

There’s beauty in our abstract marriages: a beautiful sunset hidden inside that mess of color.

I will admit however, that some days I squint at the man who is standing on his head, glasses removed, looking back at me.

Notice: No judgement here on messy marriages! WE ALL have them. (Tweetable)

Question: How is your marriage like a disorderly mess of color?  And how can you focus on the masterpiece in your mate?

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Tips and Motivation on How to Get Back into Work After a Break

Vacation

I went on vacation.

Vacation from work. Vacation from writing. From business. From routine life. I intentionally didn’t think about anything work related.

It was a blast!

Doesn’t this look like a great place to lose yourself?

Hilton Head

Yes, we went to Hilton Head Island. My first time to visit this grand place.

While in a rented condo, I found a book by Jimmy Buffett called A Salty Piece of Land. The cover invited me to sit on the beach with my feet in the water. I had to go there, so I started reading. I didn’t get far with all the bike-riding, zip-lining, and paddle-boarding type activities we had planned. Before I knew it we were back in the car headed home without my ever getting to chapter 3.

Grinding out the Return

The direction of Frankie’s headlights (that is our appropriately named old ’97 Avalon: “Frankie Avalon”) made me regret getting back to work, routine, and regular life.

I just wanted to read, to prolong the fun stuff, and keep away from the drive to perform. I just wanted to be. To be me. Do what I wanted, when I wanted. Have no worries. No troubles. No … nothing required.

After I got home, I kept trying to live that way, but found myself drifting, listless and purposeless. After all, A Salty Piece of Land was left behind and what could I do?

I was almost depressed.

A Salty Piece of Land

Am I the only one who has trouble getting back into the swing of things after a vacation?

Search for Motivation and Starting Again

During my listless days, I read one woman’s idea. The day before her vacation, she made a to do list for the day she would return. That way she didn’t have to remember where she was in her work or what needed to be done next.

(Tweetable) The day before your break, make a to-do list for the day you get back.

For me, starting always seems the hardest part–or is that finishing? Either way, I didn’t have her foresight and consequently I flopped.

Eventually, I reinstated my regular habit of reading God’s word and prayer journaling. Yes, regretfully, I even went on vacation from some spiritual disciplines. (Please don’t throw stones or rotten fruit. I’m just a girl doing her best–most of the time.)

And as soon as I got back to spiritual endeavors, I found part of my cure: the fix for my losing of heart, the listlessness of not wanting to work, the purposeless of life. Once again I found the freedom in being me that I wanted was in giving my everything to God. (Not just giving lip comments or commitments, or adhering to the precepts of men or traditions of religion, but wholly submitting self to God, a life totally given to God’s plan.) I am his and I do his work.

(Tweetable) Freedom in being yourself is in giving your all to God.

I gained purpose for my work and life again.

That’s all the help I’ve got for getting back into the swing of things.
1. Make a post-vacation to do list before you leave.
2. Gain respect for spiritual disciplines. They give direction.
3. …What have you got?

Surely I’m not alone in post-vacation blahs. I’m certain there are other ways of getting motivated that you’ve used successfully. Maybe some absolute failures too. Please share in comments.

Question: So how do you do it? What actions, plans, attitudes, or motivations help you get back to work?

 

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How to Succeed When You Are Overwhelmed with Too Much To Do?

Overwhelmed and Too Much To Do

We all face it whether we’re an entrepreneur needing to know how to run business and balance home life, a mom trying to keep the family schedule working smoothly, or a student desperately wanting to avoid “how do you get stressed.” I’ve mentioned before that my memory operates best when applied to stickie notes, but when they are all over the place, that gets overwhelming too. We all feel like escaping to the beach or mountain or somewhere away from it all.

Check out this to-do List. My daughter came to my rescue when I felt . . . well, overwhelmed with too much to do.

Effective To-Do List

How to Succeed

I take out this to-do list and put it on top of all the things screaming for my attention. This short list makes me realize what really matters. I don’t know how it works, I just know it does. My perspective changes. It makes me value that I’m only one person and that I can do only what I can do. I only have 24 hours to work, invest in my family and take care of myself by exercising and planning good meals. All of this takes time.

The To-Do List is as follows:

  1. Make a list of stuff to do
  2. Complete first item
  3. Realize my accomplishments
  4. Take a nap (with a smiley face to celebrate)

I like #3. Acknowledge whatever accomplishment I can make and celebrate it.

I know there’s more ways, even better ways, you use to help you. How to you deal with feeling overwhelmed and having too much to do?

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