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12 Ways To Turn a Bad Day Into a Better One :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

They are inevitable. Bad days happen to everyone. But, there are things you can do to make them better. Here are a few…



 

1. Pray.

What could be more encouraging that talking to the Creator of the universe?

2. Give someone a compliment.

Not a fake one, but take the time to see something that someone else is doing well.

3. Sing in your car.

And sing as loud as you can. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to frown while you are singing?

4. Read Philippians 4.

And while you are at it, just think about where Paul was while he was writing it.

5. Bake your favorite kind of cookies.
We are thinking Double Chocolate Chip ( yummy )
 
Then eat some.

6. Count your blessings.

I mean it. Start a list of all the things you are thankful for. Write until you can’t write anymore. Staple it to the wall.

7. Watch people.

Go find a crowded public area, sit down and watch. Allow yourself to wonder what he ate for breakfast, or what her name is, or where he bought that shirt.

8. Do something for someone you love.

Do the dishes for your significant other, take your niece out for ice cream, take your mom to Starbucks for a coffee, and take your grandmother shopping .

9. Play with kids.

I dare you.

 

10. Think of the most encouraging person you know and call them.

But don’t complain. Refrain from telling them how bad your day is and focus on making their day better.

11. Write a letter.

There is nothing like a good old-fashioned paper and ink letter.

 Bonus: write it to someone who has impacted your life and thank them and let them know how much you appreciate their role/impact in your life.

12. Remember the truth.

That God causes all things to work together for GOOD (Romans 8:28)

Let us know in the comments below -What do you do to help improve a bad day?
Have A Beautiful Day M y Loves !!:)

Life : The Things Single Women want Single Men to Know

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

We absolutely love this Article, Hope you enjoy as much we do.




 By -Dawn Walker
So this piece had to be written.
If you are a single guy who is following Jesus, we assume you know certain ‘rules of the game’ and are going to play by them. We do understand that you are a flawed human being just like us and probably don’t mistreat us on purpose. We also know that there is no such thing as a relationship without risk. But here are five things that would help our hearts tremendously for you to be more diligent about:
1. Don’t underestimate your leadership role. God assigned all men, not just husbands, the responsibility and privilege of leadership when it comes to women. You are physically and emotionally tougher than us, which is why he refers to us as the weaker vessel. When you read ‘weaker’ think delicate, precious and vulnerable. How you steward us matters A LOT and you will be accountable for it to Christ one day.
I think I speak on behalf of all women who love the Lord when I say our number one desire in a man is that he can and will lead us spiritually. If we allow ourselves to get involved with a man who isn’t a believer, than we are agreeing upfront to not have any of the following expectations. If he doesn’t share Christ’s heart, we cannot expect him to love us or treat us in a Christ-like manner. That said, many of us who have established that submission to Christ is a ‘non-negotiable’ in a potential mate still find ourselves reeling in insecurity because of the way we are being led by Christian men. Guys, we want to let you lead us, but part of your responsibility in that is creating an environment where we feel safe to be led and to respond to you. When you mislead, it hurts us and causes us to distrust men and God.
2. Don’t single us out unless you want a singular relationship with us. Maybe it’s that extra rib God gave us, but we women have a heightened sense of awareness. When you single us out in any way—like giving us a compliment or liking a picture we post on Facebook or letting us borrow your pencil—we notice. I know, it’s crazy. Sometimes it feels like the greatest curse of womanhood, the fact that we are SO aware of the littlest things. So when you send us a private message, or call us for reasons that are not business-related, or your hugs get more frequent, we reallynotice. When we notice you treating us in a manner that is significantly different than the way you treat other women, it leads us to believe you are interested in us in a singular way. If you ask us out on a one-on-one basis, we always assume there is romantic interest unless you clearly state otherwise. If you actually say the word date, we expect that you are ready to be singularly committed to us. If you want to date as the world dates, be aware you are engaging in a cruel sport. The whole concept of Let me lead you to believe that I’ve picked you when actually I’m just using you to meet my needs until something better comes along is actually pretty unkind.
3. Don’t leave us guessing about your intentions. Imagine our female brains like a pie chart. When we don’t know where we stand in relationships, a large portion of the pie is consumed with trying to figure this out, leaving much less room for all the other important things in our lives. At each stage of the game, even if it seems awkward, we really want to know where we stand with you. It’s really ok to tell us, ‘I don’t plan to get married’ or ‘I am exploring a relationship with someone else right now’ or ‘I’m very interested in you and really want to take our friendship to the next level.’ Please make sure your words and your actions are consistent with your intentions. Don’t tell us how devoted you are to us while you’re posting pictures of yourself with a different woman every week on Facebook. By the same token, don’t tell us you just want to be friends and then call or message us every night because you’re feeling lonely or wanting female validation. Be honest with yourself. If you feel the need to connect daily or hourly with a woman who you can share all the intimate details of your life with, you don’t just want a friend, you want a wife. Which brings me to…
4. Don’t lead us to a place of intimacy if you have no intention of making us your wife. We know it’s not ok to go to a place of physical intimacy with you outside of marriage. But guys, when you flirt or ‘connect’ with us on levels that are emotionally and romantically intimate, you are still putting our hearts at great risk. Because God wired us to want that even more than sex, it’s nearly impossible for us not to respond to it. And how we usually respond is by giving you access to the deepest places in our heart that should be reserved exclusively for our husband. When we discover, especially later in the game, that you never had any intentions of putting yourself in that role, it can cause us significant grief. Remember, if it is gratifying to you but costly to us, it is never Christ-like.
5. Don’t dishonor us by ‘keeping your options open.’ One of the reasons I refuse to engage in online dating, even the Christian version, is that I hate the idea of just being one of many options a man might be entertaining as he shops for a mate. Like, how many other women has he ‘added to his cart’ besides me? Thanks to technology, we are very aware that your options are unlimited these days. We can’t compete with all that is available to you at the touch of a screen and frankly, we don’t want to. Romans 12:10 says “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” I think it’s safe to say that honoring means not being a player. To honor means to set apart, to give high status or value to. Honoring a mate or potential mate means promising them your exclusive attention, emotionally and physically. To dishonor means to treat as common or ordinary. As sons and daughters of the King, we are not common or ordinary and we should never treat others that way or let ourselves be treated that way!
Guys, nothing makes a woman feel more common or ordinary than to discover she is just one of many options you are pursuing. On the other hand, nothing makes a woman feel more honored than knowing you have eyes only for her and are committed to loving her with everything you've got. The fact that you have kept yourself away from physical, emotional, and even visual entanglements with other women so you can offer her the special gift of your WHOLE self allows her to rest in this security: that if you were faithful to her before you even met, then you really can be trusted to be faithful once you are married.
Guys, God knows you get bombarded daily with temptation. Many of you live alone and long for companionship. If you’re a single dad, you may be away from your kids a lot too, which makes it even harder. And you're probably not thrilled about having to do your own laundry and dishes. Not to mention the physical urges. Part of you probably feels entitled to go find a woman and use her at some level to 'take the edge off.' You think no one understands. But Jesus does. He lived on his own as a man and was somehow able to keep himself pure, never violating a woman physically or emotionally, always intent on taking on the role of her protector and leading her in a way that would make her feel safe and bring out the best in her.
Could women say this is true of you? If not, don’t beat yourself up. The whole purpose of a heart check is to admit where you fail and let God correct you. Even if you’ve blown it up to this point, the good news is, your past does not have to disqualify you from this vision. On this side of the cross, through grace, we are all declared pure and are capable of having a relationship with one mate that is faithful and true and marked by honor. But it will not come without sacrifice. Are you willing to deny yourself the pleasures of careless flirting or ‘befriending’ attractive girls? Will you say a decisive no to all the sexual gratification options that the world is ambushing you with and wait, possibly years, just to prove to one woman (who you may or may not have met yet) that you are trustworthy and true? Will you really ‘lay down your life’ and your own needs to honor hers?
Only if you want an amazing marriage one day where your wife trusts you so much she holds nothing back in the way she gives herself to you in and out of the bedroom. Only if you want your prayers to be heard and answered by God in an unstoppable way!

Check out Crosswalk.com 

Valentine's Day : 14 Financial Valentine's Day Gifts to Give Your Sweetheart

Thursday, February 13, 2014

financial valentines




















by Sheryl Nance-Nash


Your typical Valentine’s Day conjures up images of flowers, candy and a candlelight dinner. Money—other than what you paid for the chocalate and oysters—probably doesn’t come to mind.
But if you’re serious about making sure that your love story has a happy ending, you can use the romantic holiday to give each other gifts that say both “I love you” and “I want us to have a secure future together.”
Whether you’re in a serious relationship, engaged or already married, we’ve gathered ideas for 14 financial Valentines that you can gift your sweetie this year.

1. A Couple’s Financial Consultation

Normally, telling your significant other that you both need professional help isn’t a great sign for the longevity of a relationship. But signing up for a couple’s consultation with a financial planner may be a gift that actually increases your relationship’s long-term staying power, says Jennifer S. Faherty, a Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of Redbird Partners.
That’s because fighting about money is why most married couples split up, according to a study by Kansas State University researcher Sonya Britt. She found that couples who argue over money early on in their relationships were at a greater risk of divorce—regardless of their income, debt or net worth levels.
By meeting with an adviser, you’re making sure that both of you are involved in financial decision-making, and that you are on the same page when it comes to your bigger goals and how you’ll reach them.

2. A Life Insurance Policy

Ensuring that your partner is taken care of in the event that something happens to you—and vice versa—offers the gift of peace of mind. “You never know where the road of life will take you, and planning ahead for illness or death as well as having life insurance can help couples be ready,” says Mitchell Adel, a certified elder law attorney and managing partner at Cooper, Adel & Associates, a law firm specializing in estate planning and elder law.
Life insurance is especially important if you think that your loved one might have difficulties meeting monthly living expenses and paying one-time costs in the event of your death, like funeral expenses, as well as such longer-term bills as a mortgage—not to mention just the general cost of raising children.

3. A Will

Death isn’t the most romantic dinner date topic, but being proactive about crafting a will can ensure that your money and belongings are distributed to the people you love, rather than leaving it up to the law. If you haven’t put your wishes down on paper yet, you’re not alone: Some 41% of Boomers and 71% of those under 34 polled by AARP said that they didn’t have a will.
Currently, intestacy laws (those related to the succession of your assets if you don’t have a will) don’t take into consideration cohabitation or domestic partners—making wills all the more valuable if you are unmarried. And even if you are married, all assets don’t automatically go to your spouse—much of it depends on state laws, says Josh Fatoullah, founder and C.E.O. of JR Wealth Advisors LLC.

4. A “Special Occasion” Fund

One study of more than 1,200 Americans conducted by psychologists Leaf Van Boven and Thomas Gilovich found that people derived greater happiness from investing in life experiences, like travel or a concert, rather than from purchasing material goods. “So creating a special savings fund toward these types of experiences is a good idea,” Faherty says.
What’s more romantic than having an account labeled “Second Honeymoon” or “My Sweetheart’s 40th Birthday Bash”? Once you’ve set up a separate bank account for a short-term goal that you share, create a priority goal folder for it in your LearnVest Money Center, so you and your honey can watch the money grow. After all, those shared experiences could be what gets you through the challenging times.

5. A Beneficiary Designation

Even if you’ve named your sweetie in a will, you’re not off the hook with important paperwork. You still need to name your significant other as a beneficiary to your retirement savings, financial accounts, trusts—anything with a deed or title. That’s because “beneficiaries supersede what’s written in a will, and assets with named beneficiaries avoid probate,” which is the court process that administers a will, Fatoullah points out.
So it’s important to make the designation official on accounts like your IRA or pension. Your 401(k), by law, goes to your surviving spouse, unless you’ve made arrangements for another beneficiary (you can only do this with your spouse’s consent). Even so, it’s still better to have it on record, especially in the case of a domestic partnership, so you can solidify your relationship even further in the eyes of the law, whether the partnership is officially registered or not. “Show your commitment by making sure your beneficiary understands their next steps and their options when you pass away,” Adel says.

6. A “Gift Card” Redeemable for Financial Duties

Often one partner assumes the heavy lifting when it comes to managing household finances. If your significant other is typically the one who makes sure that the bills get paid on time, Faherty suggests offering a Valentine that lets you switch roles for a period, so you can both be involved in money matters.
As an added bonus, you could pair your symbolic gift card with a real one that can be used toward an activity that replaces your partner’s bill-paying time, such as a massage or dinner with friends.

7. A College Fund

Maybe you already have small children … or maybe you just have babies on the brain. In either case, as soon as you both know that kids are part of the picture, it’s smart to start saving for their college education. Although it will be years until they hit campus, planning early will help save you and your sweetheart some financial worry in the future: Inflation in college tuition has historically outpaced regular inflation—sometimes as much as 2 to 1.
So explore the various vehicles together, and be sure to get professional advice before you pick an investment route. “Especially if children are not yet in the picture,” Adel says, “work with financial and legal professionals to ensure you’re setting up an account that takes advantage of tax incentives.”

8. A Monthly ‘Money Date’ Night

It’s not pillow talk, but it’s just as necessary. Smart financial planning between couples is all about communication, after all. And Valentine’s Day can serve as the perfect opportunity to launch a monthly financial meeting of the minds, so to speak. It doesn’t have to be formal, either—it can be a once-a-month “date night with purpose”. “To keep the mood light, open a bottle of wine (we prefer sparkling cider !), play music and order takeout,” Faherty says.
What’s important is that you devote the time to discuss whatever financial issues are on your mind. You could plan to tackle one financial to-do each month, such as investigating how to reduce your cable bill, shopping around for cheaper car insurance or even just seeing how well you’re both sticking to your monthly budget.

9. A Joint Charitable Gift

Love begets love, and giving back can be a gift that warms both of your hearts. Have a heart-to-heart about the societal ills that concern you both, and then research charities that are working to address those problems.
To check that a charity is worthy of your money, go to reputable sites like charitynavigator.org and guidestar.org. And remember that the organization must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS in order to get a tax credit for your donation.

10. An Investment Account for Your Future

Now, for a Valentine that represents your long-term goals. There’s nothing that says commitment more than saving up for a future home or the globetrotting you’ll do in retirement. Whatever the ultimate objective, starting an extra nest egg outside of your retirement savings helps you to both picture a future together.
As with your special-occasion fund, connect the account to a specific, future goal and determine when you want to accomplish it. This will not only remind you of the goal, says Faherty, but it will also help determine the best investment vehicle and asset allocation to fund it. 

11. A Plan to Pay Off Student Loans Together

In 2013, student loan borrowers owed the federal government more than $1 trillion. That’s a hefty debt—and what you owe as a couple could be keeping you both from other financial rites of passage, such as buying a first home.
Although student loans are better debt to carry than, say, credit card debt, it’s still ideal to have a plan to steadily pay them off together, says Faherty. “When my spouse and I got married, we had about $15,000 in combined student loans, and we put the money we received as wedding gifts toward paying them off,” she says. “We wanted to begin our lives together fresh. With this burden off our shoulders as soon as possible, we would be able to focus on and work toward other financial goals.”

12. An Emergency Savings Fund

Every couple gets hit with the unexpected at some point, whether it’s a job loss, illness or even natural-disaster-related repairs. An emergency situation can put even more stress on a relationship if there isn’t a cushion of money to get you through the ordeal.
And don’t think it can’t happen to you: In a poll conducted by Bankrate.com, only 24% of those surveyed said they had enough to cover six months of expenses. Spare yourselves the future drama, and commit to building at least six months’ worth of expenses for those “just in case” moments. Figure out how much you can sock away each month, and then contribute together.

13. A Long-Term-Care Insurance Policy

Picture yourself growing old together. Now picture yourself growing old together without stressing over home- or health-related costs. Sounds better, right? Long-term-care insurance can help cover costs associated with assisted living or nursing homes, as well as expenses tied to receiving care at home, so the grayer versions of you and your sweetie can have peace of mind.
That time of life may seem far off, so why look into a policy now? Because the earlier you sign up for it, the better value you can expect for your premium dollar. And often, when you sign up together, says Fatoullah, you get a discount.
So be sure to start looking into long-term care insurance for you and your partner once you hit 50, and if you’re under 40, you may want to consider coverage for your parents. 

14. A Financial Filing System

According to Faherty, much of your personal financial success depends on one major factor: organization. Paying bills, rebalancing accounts, updating beneficiaries and locating documents for filing taxes are all less likely to fall through the cracks if you’ve nailed down a system for keeping them in one place.
A user-friendly, soup-to-nuts system, such as File Solutions’ Home Filing System, can give you the boost you need to start early on a couple’s spring-cleaning project. There are also digital options, like these apps, which can help you get virtually organized. Or you can use something as low-key as color-coordinated binders and folders to organize paperwork, adds Faherty.
Organization lessens stress. And the less stress you have, the more you’ll be in the mood for romance.

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