How To Stay Productive

Most of the world are asked to stay inside, and some are being stretched beyond what they could’ve imagined. Parents are now teachers. Living rooms are now offices, and kitchens are now studying areas. Everything has been turned upside down, but how does one remain productive when everything has changed?I manage to make things happen amid chaos by making sure I do these few things.

1. Pray

There is power in prayer, and spending time with God before I begin work helps me to focus and get things done. I like to talk to God and study his word so that I may release any concerns or frustrations that I may have and listen to whatever he may have to say to me.


2. Set an agenda for the day and work it

Each night, I like to write down my agenda for the next day. I used to have a list of like 20 things, but I would feel defeated when I didn’t accomplish all of them. Trying to do all that was ludicrous, but I’ve learned that I should focus on accomplishing two or three things a day, and everything else is a bonus. When I started doing this, I realized I would feel accomplished and actually get more things done.

3. Take care of self

Self-care is not selfish, and it’s more than just taking a bath. It’s setting boundaries and knowing when to say no. Burnout is real. Your health and self-care have to come first NOT last. You can get more done if you’re healthy, energized, and efficient. When I learned that it’s ok to take breaks and not be on everyone else’s timeline, I experienced such a release. I wasn’t as stressed, and thus I enjoyed more of what I did.

4. Use a planner

As a writer, I write everything down, so using a planner is a must for me. My planner helps me stay focused on what matters most, especially when those last-minute requests come. My planner helps me stay organized and focused on building the life that I love!


5. Goal setting

Another way I stay productive is to set goals and write down what I need to do to achieve them. If my goal is to sell 70 books, then I know I need to send out x amount of emails and social media posts and spend x amount of money on advertisements to make it happen. When you set your goals, it’s not enough just to write them down but to have a plan that you will implement to achieve that goal.If you are looking for an easy, simple, and flexible system that allows you to plan your life without a lot of complicated rules that don’t fit you or your family, check out the Productivity Bundle 2020 (Affiliate link). It will help you identify the problem areas in your day, develop solutions for creating smooth and easy days, and set yourself up to successfully follow your personalized routines.This bundle has 10 eBooks, 29 eCourses, 28 workbooks & printables, and a membership site.

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How to Love Your Family from Afar

As a believer in Christ, you would hope that everyone you love and come in contact with would share your same faith and belief in Christ. You want everyone to know the joy and love of Christ as you do. But what happens when they don’t? What do you do when your loved ones—that once knew Christ—no longer serve him.
I am living in this very moment. A particular family member has informed me that they are not Christian, as they believe that Jesus is not the only way. What really brought on the emotional tug to write this post is when I spoke to her—how should I put this nicely—intimate partner.
This family member believes that their sexual life is personal and is none of anyone’s business, and I 100% agree. However, Galatians 6:1-2 states, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” and as a believer, it is my responsibility to do my best to live by the word. I am far from perfect, and I’ve missed plenty of shots, but the conviction of God came over me so heavily that I couldn’t hold my tongue.
This particular beau admitted the day before, I spoke to him that he was Christian and a prayer warrior. I paid it no mind, knowing that he was sleeping with this particular family member. But the next morning, as I was listening to the word of God on television, conviction fell on me. In my silence, I had condoned sin. If I call myself a believer and a leader in Christ, I must speak out against sin. Please note that in my worldly days, honey, I sinned. I was a big fornicator, and even when I came into the body of Christ, I fell a couple of times until I was able to abstain for years before marriage. So, this was by no means to find fault, but to simply plant the seed and allow the Holy Spirit to water it.
I pray to God to give me an opportunity to speak with him privately, and God allowed it. I asked the gentleman if I could have a moment of his time, and he said yes. Before I went into the conversation, I had to confirm some things. So, I asked him if he was a Christian since he mentioned he was a prayer warrior. He said yes. I asked if he believed in Jesus Christ. Yes, he responded. I asked if he believed in the Bible. Yes, again. So, I first apologized that as his sister in Christ, I did not say anything sooner and that in me not speaking sooner, it gave the appearance that I was okay with him fornicating.
I asked this young man what was his stance on sex before marriage. He beat around the bush for a while until I informed him that I am not perfect. I had sex before marriage, but as my faith grew in Christ, I was able to abstain for several years before marriage. I wasn’t here to judge him but simply plant a seed and allow God or someone else to do the watering. He finally admitted that he believes sex should wait until marriage. I let him know that it’s our job to hold each other accountable and be an example to unbelievers. Surprisingly, he took the information well and thanked me. He said it’s generally the ones that don’t care that doesn’t say anything, but the ones that do care for you, speak up and correct you. I was glad that the word was received.
So my intent was that the conversation would remain between us and that God will begin to work on his heart, and he would stop fornicating. Later on that very day, the family member asked what my conversation was about, and I was 100% honest. I felt as if this family member was offended—based on tone and demeanor—and informed me that my belief is my belief, which will not dictate their sex life.
Psst, that was fine with me. All I do is give the word and allow the word of God to work. But, I was hurt as I could envision this particular family member hurting from something and in need of healing. Why does everything have to be defensive with the person? Or if things aren’t going their way, then they react instead of responding. I want my relationship with this person to be better and meaningful, but I’m not going to put my faith and beliefs aside to do so.
So back to my question of, how do you love someone from afar? Well, this is what I plan on doing.

1. Pray and fast

Mark 9:29 states, “And he said to them, ‘This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer,’” So, I have to pray and fast for my loved one and pray that they come back into the family of believers.

2. Speak up when needed

When you see sin, speak up. Never force it or be rude about it. Simply give the word of God, with supporting scriptures if needed, and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

3. Trust that God’s will, will be done in their life

After praying, fasting, and speaking when needed.
Everything is easier said than done but when you take the first step and continue to make progress, it get’s easier with time. No one said that this walk would be easier, but it sure is worth it. So pray for my strength in the Lord and my family member as I pray for you.

Ashley’s Nilla Pudding.

OMGosh! I love pie for the holidays, but I love Banana Pudding all year round. Since I am living a healthier lifestyle, I don’t make this often. However, I had to share this recipe with you. With my recipe for banana pudding, I love to have more nilla wafer cookies than I do bananas.

Now, I am a southern gul, so my nana pudding is SWEET, y’all. Cut the sugar in half if you don’t want it as sweet.

Ingredients

Step 1

You want to combine the sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan. Next, add the eggs and make sure you stir well. You want gradually stir in the milk and cook over low heat. You can use two cups of milk if you like or use 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream like I did. You don’t want to cook it too fast, and you want to make sure you are stirring consistently. When the mixture begins to thicken, remove it from the stove’s eye and continue to stir, allowing it to cool slightly. Next, you want to stir in the vanilla and butter until it is smooth.
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Step 2

Step two is my favorite steep, layering. You are going to take a serving dish (perhaps an 8 or 9-inch square dish). I put the bananas on the bottom, and then I layered two cookies on top of each banana. Once again, I love cookies. You don’t have to double up as I did. One layer of cookies is fine. After I did my layers, I poured the sauce mix on top and made sure the sauce reached the bottom. You can place the dish in the fridge for an hour to cool. I put my dish in the freezer for about 20 mins to chill and then let it rest in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve it.

Step 3

Enjoy and let me know how your recipe turned out.

Sweet Potatoe Pie

Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet Potato Pie
One of my favorite things I love to eat for the holidays is sweet potato pie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember if I ever made one. Kinda sad. I know, but I wanted to “adulthood” this year by bringing a dish to a holiday function. I searched the internet to find a recipe that I thought would be good, and of course, I altered it a little. It said it was for 8 people, but the amount for six people yielded two pies. So, I would say that the recipe is enough for 12 people. I guess it depends on how big you make your slices.
I want to share the recipe I made that will surely make you think your grandma made it! As a word of caution. I am from the south, where when you ask for tea, it guan-ron-teed to have sugar in it, and it’s not uncommon to hear the request for an Arnold Palmer. So, if you don’t like it, southern sweet, then I recommend you cut the sugar in half.
Tea of the month made simple

Ingredients

Step 1

So, the first thing I did was peel the sweet potatoes. Some people recommend to boil the sweet potato with the skin on and then remove the skin during the cooling process. I am not a fan of burning my hands, so I went ahead and peeled the potatoes first before boiling them. You will boil them for about 40 to 50 mins, or until done.

Step 2

Turn your oven on to 350. Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl, and break them apart. You want to add your butter and mix well. It’s recommended that you combine them in a mixer. However, since the potatoes were still hot, I was able to use a masher, and it did well for me. After you mix well, then stir in your sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix all those ingredients on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Once again, I used a masher and manually mixed the ingredients. After you have incorporated all the ingredients. Then pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crusts.

Step 3

Place the pie in the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 mins. Since some ovens can vary, the sure way to determine that it’s done is to stick a knife in the center of the pie and ensure it comes out clean.

Step 4

Let it cool off and enjoy with some French Vanilla Ice Cream. Make sure you let me know how it turned out.