@ Home With Joy

where staying home is so much fun!

The Moments In My Life

Okay, this page was blank for such a long time already. I don’t even remember my log-in details when I try to visit. Shame on me. What happened? You may be asking. Well, well, a lot of things. Can we now forget about it and let me start writing? Oh! Thank you.

I do a lot of research on the web about many things. For one, there’s home organization. I can’t perform, I can’t accomplish much, I can’t focus when there’s clutter, dirt, mess around. So I linger for a while…. then, I do a lot of cleaning, organizing, and boom! Yeah, I was able to clean and organize some parts of my house but …. I still need to teach in the evening, I still need to finish my husband’s website, I need to get to finish my online course and get a certification/diploma. By the way, I also need to prepare what would be for the “baon” of my kiddos, what’s for breakfast the next day, etc. etc. Then I would be so tired because I ended up my day almost around midnight already.

I didn’t apply and I didn’t want to get any virtual project for now because I’m in a mess and can’t organize myself. My last project was December of last year. Uhm, my fault? Yeah, I know because I want to accomplish and finish everything right away but ending up not finishing at all.

Then, I encountered this article entitled, “What The Buddhist Can Teach Us About Household Chores” by Dana Velden. It is the practice of an activity called ‘soji’. Soji is a Buddhist practice that for a period of 20 minutes the whole community participates in cleaning up the temple and its grounds. They are assigned a simple cleaning task (dry the dishes, clean the hallway, etc.) which they do silently and without ambition to finish. They will do the best job they possibly can until it’s time to stop, meaning the 20 minutes is over. If the hallway is only half swept, if there are still dishes to be dried – it doesn’t matter. They just put away their tools and move on to the next activity. (In their case, it’s breakfast!)

The article goes on to say – “So consider approaching some of the task in your life from the soji perspective. What would happen if it wasn’t so much about finishing but more about simply doing? What burdens can be put down when we redirect our energies not toward the goal but into the process itself, into each moment along the way? What treasures are waiting for us there?”

This is brilliant! So, the next time I find myself a task that really needs to get done, I’ll set the cellphone timer, will stay with it until the bell rings, and when it does, simply stop what I am doing. If it’s still undone, I’ll just relax and move on to my next activity. If I finish before the bell has rung, see if there isn’t a smaller task I can pick up for a while.

By framing my activity as soji, limiting the time, enjoying the activity, forgetting about the time as I plunge into it is a fantastic way to get things done, and it’s also a way to be present for all the moments in my life.

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Finally a Blog!

For those of you who follow this blog, my sincerest apologies for not writing anything until today – almost one year.

I’m excited to get this thing going finally. As some of you know, I’m a busy wife and mom, I’m an online teacher, a virtual assistant, a ministry head, (excuses! excuses!). Okay, enough of that. Honestly, going back to blogging after a loooong break – was so difficult for me.

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So, I decided to go on a hiatus from blogging or should I say from plain writing. I’m not yet a blogger. Making 3-4 posts doesn’t make you one, that’s what I think :(. I decided to call it quits when I stopped homeschooling, when my health was not that good last year, when our finances was dwindling, and some reasons that I can no longer recall. I don’t know what happened except that I felt I was in a different world. I was so busy that I got lazy to write (or should I say because I’m an emotional writer). I haven’t been idle the past few months. I was interrupted for one reason or another, and then days turned into weeks turned into months and then it was now hard to get back in the saddle. Whatever the reason is, at least I’m on blogosphere track again. 

What made me decide to write again? Guess what — people I don’t personally know are liking my blog! Whoa! Thank you guys! This is great! So, I need to start somewhere, something ….. and that is here.

Alright, someone must help me get my blog back on track. It won’t be an easy task for me after a long hiatus, but I have faith. Let’s get to work! It’s time for some helpful tips! Do you have some tips for me?

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Homeschool Perks

Homeschooling has many benefits. You can spend a lot of time with your kids, you can provide a solid education, you can discover and learn the world with them and more importantly, you can impart to them the Bible. Deut. 6:4-9 says, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates”.

Aside from all those benefits I’ve mentioned, I learned more about myself, my relationship with God and how much I needed to grow as a mom.

There are also some great, awesome perks of homeschooling. Here are my top five 🙂

1. You can go out of the house with your kid and stay in a coffee/tea house to study. Some of the coffee shops nowadays are equipped with wifi so you can bring your laptop and google while your student is doing some writing and exercises.

 

2. You can wake up late because there’s no school bus to catch, no lunch boxes to pack. When he was in a regular school I used to wake him up at 5:30 AM to catch the bus.

3. Your child can join a special group that studies and learns a new sport or a hobby.

4.  You still have time to do some work from home jobs. Almost a year now, I’m an online teacher and a VA (Virtual Assistant).

5. You still have time for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. 🙂 Yay!

Forget something? Can you name some of your fave homeschooling perks?

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Homeschool Blues

So far, homeschooling is the hardest but I believe it’s the best thing I’ve ever done with our kids.

There have been days when I questioned my sanity, believe me! Sometimes, I want to quit. It’s true!

I remember two weeks ago I called my husband on his cell phone crying and telling him, “I don’t want to homeschool anymore. I give up. This is my last year and I’m done with it”. That statement was out of frustration.  My son was hard to motivate that day and he’s giving me a hard time.

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But one thing I’ve learned from homeschooling, even when it’s hard, it’s great. What do I mean by that? Because Home Education allows me to teach my kids to seek God’s kingdom above and beyond everything else. Home Education at it’s core is discipleship. I am imparting values and wisdom (not just facts, figures, and formulas). So, when I feel the blues of homeschooling, it’s time to revisit my primary goal.

If you’re overwhelmed by the pressures of home education, I encourage you to keep your eyes on the GOAL of homeschooling. You can do it mom/dad! Don’t give up!  The investment is worth it!

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Home Star Tutor and VA

That’s what I call myself. Maybe you are wondering what a VA is. VA means Virtual Assistant.

It didn’t happen so easy and fast for me. It was not even given to me. I looked for it. After resigning from my job as a Senior Academic Consultant (nice title, right?) three years ago, I got bored staying at home and waiting for my husband and kids at the end of the day. Since I’m crazy about reading and researching, which helped as I ventured into this unknown path, I began to ask my friend Google.

I started to look for work at home jobs. I encountered a great deal of scams, networking, pyramiding and legit jobs. My eagerness was so great that I wanted to learn how to work from home because I wanted my kids to see me when they get home and I know for a fact that I am stressed out from commutes, wearing uniforms and preparing lunch boxes. I started to look at Odesk.com but the competition was so tight, in a sense, competition for getting the job at the lowest pay possible. I struggled with it because I know my worth and I don’t want to bargain my time. As I researched, I encountered Bo Sanchez’s blog and it leads me to Mr. Jomar Hilario. He is a Filipino/Philippine-based internet marketer, workshop speaker who’s known to be the Tim Ferriss of the Philippines for his early work with internet marketing technologies and virtual assistants. I attended his seminar “Learn How You Can Work From Home Now” last November 2011.

I continued my search for the ultimate VA job but I didn’t get it. I was still drawn to the world of teaching. This is where I encountered Rarejob. It is an online English school which provides English lessons via Skype to Japanese students. All the tutors are home-based and can earn a substantial amount of money. I applied and passed the phone interview and the short but stressful training. Voila! I started teaching January of 2012.

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Just as I was engrossed with teaching and still wanted a VA job, I remember asking  my dear friend and parent-home school teacher, Ms. M about her company and her job as a VA. Fortunately, she was looking for someone who can edit/proofread transcribed podcast materials for her client. I asked her if I can apply and without hesitation she said yes! She immediately sent me some materials to try on and tada! I was on my journey to become a VA. I realized that I still have a lot of things to learn. I just know basic Microsoft Office applications, and other basic apps but it didn’t stopped her to get me. Thank you Ms. M!

I’m still on my search for some VA gig but I don’t worry because I know that we, Filipinos excel in a lot of ways because we’re unique and hardworking. So, for anyone who’s still striving to get their VA gig, never give up. You may end up with good and nice clients to work with.

I will be very glad to know your stories too. Share it and let others be inspired!


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First Things First

That’s what I tell myself upon waking up every morning. First things first. I need to tackle the most important things first.

What are the most important things then? Family, work, exercise, relaxation are all important. Did I forget something? Yes! It’s the mention of meditation, quiet time and prayer. I have a personal relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ and that needs to be nurtured. That’s one thing that would make a tremendous positive difference in my personal life. This shouldn’t surprise me because in Mark 1:35, Jesus set the example. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

But I have a problem. The demands of motherhood and work are the great intruders to the most important thing in my life. So, I need to set up a boundary for myself: wake up early, no reading of emails or blogs until I have my quiet time. This isn’t strict adherence. It is simply a personal resolution to protect the most important from the less important, to keep first things first.

What about you? What’s the most important thing in your life? Whatever it takes, let’s clear away all distractions and give way to the first thing that matters most.

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Welcome to my home! I hope you’ll enjoy your visit.

Hi! My name is Joy and I’m so glad you stopped by! I love to read, listen to music, teach, and work from home. This blog is full of resources to help you manage your own home.

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