I’m back answering questions from listeners today! Tune in and be encouraged!
Transcribed version of the podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Galatians 4:4-7
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Hey everybody. This is Heidi St. John. Welcome to my little corner of the internet. Today is Monday, October 7th. This is episode number 828. It is also one of my favorite days of the podcast, MailBox Monday. You guys have been amazing and you’ve sent me so many questions. I’m going to try to actually get to six of them today.
Stick around. I think you’re going to be encouraged.
All right, so you guys, it’s the 7th of October and that means that coming up this weekend, my women’s conference Faith That Speaks is going to be in my neck of the woods right here in Vancouver. So, that’s this Saturday and this is a great time, you guys, to bring your women’s ministry team, bring your daughter, bring your sister, bring your mom, bring your mother-in-law and come on out. We’re going to spend a day, we’ll start at about nine o’clock and we’ll be done before five, we’re going to have lunch together. You guys are going to get to meet some of my team. They’re flying in from all over the country for this, so we’re pretty excited about that.
Also, you’re going to get a chance to meet some of the MomStrong international leaders that are coming in from different parts of the country. So, I only do this event once every year here in the Pacific Northwest and I’m very excited this year, in particular, to just kick off a new theme, Faith That Speaks to be talking to you guys about how to get off the bench and onto the battlefield.
So that’s coming up this Saturday, the 12th of October. You can still register for tickets. You can also get them at the door, but my goodness, it’s a lot easier for us, especially with food if you let us know ahead of time that you’re coming. You can get tickets at heidistjohn.com/events. Also want to let you guys know there’s a lot of things going on. I told you guys last week, here in my neck of the woods with regard to the push for comprehensive sex education— thank you to everybody who’s been reaching out to me to talk about that.
I’m going to try to do a couple of Facebook Lives and explain to you a little bit more about what’s going on so that you can be educated and that you can take that education to a school board meeting to a Drag Queen Story Hour, any place that they’re pushing this agenda on our children.
Just to see parents stand up and begin to stand in the gap for our kids and say no more, we’ve had enough, this is where it ends, we’re going to protect our kids. So, thanks to everybody who has been reaching out to me about that particular subject. Also, I have the best podcast listeners in the entire world, I’m pretty sure. We set up a page, heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday, and I told you we weren’t going to take email anymore simply because of the sheer volume of questions that we get every week and you guys are doing a great job of turning in questions at the website, so thank you for that. If you’re still kind the fence about whether or not you want to turn a question and I want to get you off the fence and off the bench even, you can turn them into me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday.
I always tell people, keep them short and sweet and to the point and then turn them in, we’d love to hear from you. Also, we love that you guys are leaving reviews for the podcast. Thank you so much for doing that. We read every single one of them and it encourages and blesses us, so thank you for that. All right, I’m going to jump right into these, a whole bunch of questions today. There’s a bunch of them out on the form and I’m not going to be able to get to all of them, but I’m sure going to give it a shot or at least I’m going to try to get to these six today. So I’m going to start with a question from Jessica, hey Jessica, how you doing girl? She says, “Hello, first off, I would like to tell you what an encouragement you are. I look forward to listening to your podcast. I am really being inspired to homeschool my two younger girls.” Jessica, I’m so glad. I’m telling you, you will not regret it. “After listening to some of your episodes with guest speakers and all that is going on now in this world, it makes me want to homeschool them even more so.” I totally understand that and I’m glad to hear, Jessica, that this is on your heart and trust me when I say you’re not alone. “I do work part time and my days change week to week as well. I feel like with this schedule, ‘can I do it?’ Wondered if you had any tips and suggestions for me or know of others that work in homeschool. Thanks for reading my message and keep up the wonderful work that you do.” All right Jessica, so a couple of things I want to encourage you.
First of all, write this down. I actually wrote a book called the Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight. It was the second book that I wrote and the reason I wrote that book is because I get this question all the time. People want to know, “can I work and homeschool, what about having a bunch of kids, my life doesn’t look like a cookie cutter life” and really none of our lives look that way. And so I want to encourage you, pick it up, but get it on Amazon, it’s probably the best place to get it, The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight: How to fit your size 16 day into a size 10 and I think you’re going to be really encouraged by it because it’s a lot of anecdotal evidence for how you can homeschool and have a life that seems like it’s not quite inside of the norm of what we might consider a mellow schedule or whatever.
Obviously I work and I’ve homeschooled our children for a very long time, over 20, what am I, coming up on 23 years? And I think it’s important that we don’t compare ourselves with other people, but rather we do what God wants us to do from one week to the next. And homeschooling is certainly something, it’s harder, I’ll be honest, it’s harder when you’re working, but it’s definitely doable and you guys would be surprised at how quickly kids learn. Kids, they come to us wired to learn, they’re like little sponges. You don’t need the kind of time that the school district takes from you. So most of us, when our kids were in school, this was certainly the case with me, I had my kids in school and they were … Savannah would get on the bus at 7:15 in the morning and the bus would bring her back home at about 3:30 in the afternoon or four o’clock. That’s a long day.
And you don’t need that kind of time to homeschool your kids, all right, so you can do it. I just want to encourage you, check out The Guide to Daylight. Also, there’s a ton, and I’ll link back to two of my favorites, but there’s a ton of great articles on the internet about moms who work and also homeschool. The Bible teaches us in Ephesians 5:15-16 that we should be wise about our time. Wise is about time management, wise about really just giving our time to the Lord. The Bible says look carefully then how you walk. Not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil. Boy, if there was ever a time when that verse applied, it’s right now, right? So how can we make the best use of our time?
Well, planners help, those kinds of things, but we want to be wise stewards of our time because the Bible teaches us that we actually don’t have all the time in the world and so we want to be managers of our homes who are blessing the Lord in the way that we’re raising our children. The Bible teaches us in Luke 12:42 that a wise manager is someone who is managing their time well and when you’re managing a household, this is critical. So, I want to just encourage you, look back to the Word of God. In 2 Corinthians 9:8, the Bible, the apostle Paul, who totally gets it right, teaches us that God is going to help us, it says, and God is able to make all grace abound to you, homeschool mom Jessica. God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may have bound in every good work.
And so Paul is really telling us, listen, God is bigger than we think he is. And he can work in a time and a space where we feel like we can’t do it and I think oftentimes the working mom who is looking at homeschooling, that’s how she feels. But the Bible teaches us that we can trust the Lord, that we can pour out our hearts before him and that he’s going to answer. So, I hope that helps you and Jessica and whoever else was listening to this and you’ve got time management questions, particularly when it comes to homeschool, check out The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight. You can find it almost anywhere books are sold, but probably the easiest place still is Amazon.
All right, next question comes from a listener who wishes to remain anonymous and she says, “Heidi, I’m so thankful that I am able to work from home and homeschool.”So see Jessica, here’s a mom who’s doing it. But listen to her struggle. “Some days I’m downright exhausted by my focus being divided. I often feel guilty for working. I have multiple children and my older two boys got lots of time, but my youngest son is definitely not getting all the best homeschool mom. I am doing my best, but struggle with perfection. How do you do it all? Do you have any tips for this mama?” Okay, so first of all, anonymous, nobody does it all. I’m going to let that sit. Nobody does it all. Heidi St. John doesn’t do it all, I know lots of moms who are authors and speakers, they don’t do it all. We want to do what God asks us to do and I’m always telling moms this and I think this is important. Also, I’m going to recommend The Guide to Daylight to you, I think it would be helpful for you.
We’re really good, I think, at putting ourselves on a guilt trip. Moms are so easily guilted into things, particularly when it comes to our children. And can I just tell you right now, that’s not the voice of the Lord. God’s voice will always speak to you in tones of conviction, not condemnation. So by that I mean, when it’s the Lord, he’ll say, “Oh, you know what hun, we can do better. You can do better. And here’s some encouragement and here’s some new ideas.” The devil will come in and say, “You’re a terrible homeschool mom. You gave so much more attention to those other kids and now your younger kids are suffering, blah blah blah.” You know how I know that’s the enemy? Because I hear the same voice. I hear the same voice.
And so I think we need to understand that the kids that we raised, and I mean certainly this is true for me, my older kids that I raised 20 years ago had a totally different mama than my eight year old. And it took me a long time to be at peace with that. And I think the main thing is to focus on relationships. Enjoy your kids. If I could go back and tell my younger self something, because I started blogging 15 years ago when I was totally in the throes of homeschooling six kids and before our seventh obviously was born. And if I could go back and tell my younger homeschool mom self something, it would have been “enjoy your kids”. You don’t have to do … your homeschool doesn’t have to look like a Pinterest board, all right?
And if you focus on relationships and ask the Lord to help you determine what you need to be teaching and then just breathe through it. I’m telling you what, there’s joy it. We should have joy and so I hope that helps you. I’m going to encourage you like I did Jessica, check out Amazon for The Busy Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Daylight. That book, I really wrote it, tons and tons of nuts and bolts in there. Lots of great ideas, chore charts, there’s scheduling ideas for your day, things like that. But I really wrote it because I wanted to talk to you about surrender because if we don’t learn to surrender to the Lord and do what he wants us to do, even when it comes to writing out our schedules, we’re going to struggle. All right, so I hope that helps you.
Next question comes from Shelby.Hey, Shelby girl. She says, “Hi Heidi St. John. I’ve been listening to your podcast since late 2017 and have been so encouraged by you and the guests you have on the Busy Mom Podcast. I just want to firstly say thank you.” You are welcome, Shelby. “My question is, what’s it like having your own ministry and working for the Lord as a career? I aspire to do this myself, but I’m confused on how to get on that path and what steps to take. I’m currently a junior in college majoring in mass communication.” Boy, we need you, girl. I would love to be able to mix my skills and knowledge of media, technical writing and communications with something that glorifies God. Something kind of like what you do. Do you have any tips or tricks on how to get started in ministry and getting into a career that’s Christ-centered.” So, Shelby, the first thing I’m going to encourage you to do and you knew I was going to say this, but I’m going to say this for everyone who didn’t know, you need to take it before the Lord.
I am not doing really anything in my life right now that I planned on doing. I wanted to go to Oregon State University and become an elementary school teacher. I ended up at Multnomah School of the Bible, got married to a pastor. We went into ministry together. I never planned on having my own ministry and certainly I wouldn’t call it my own because this is definitely a very much a family affair that we have going on, but I will tell you, hours and hours and hours of prayer have gone into it. And recognizing that sometimes we take a step in faith and then the Lord redirects our steps, right? That’s absolutely out of the Bible, right? We make our plans, the Bible says, but the Lord directs our steps.
And so we know because Micah 6:8 tells us, he has shown you, oh man, oh Shelby, what is good and what the Lord requires of you. To love justice and mercy and to walk humbly with the Lord. And if you’re doing those things, I guarantee you God’s going to show you what he has for you. He’s going to open the doors and it sounds to me like what you’re majoring in right now, in mass communication, is something that’s very much needed and certainly if to have Christians in that space, we very much need more Christians in that space. And I’m just very confident that God’s going to show you, but you’ve got to be listening to him. So pray about it. Ask the people around you to pray with you and then when the Lord opens the door, walk through it. And it may not be that you stay there for you for the rest of your life.
It’s very possible that you’re going to get one job and go, “Oh, that didn’t work,” or it did work, and then you’ll move on and you’ll try something different and your family will change. And what we want to be doing is walking with the Lord so closely that when he gives us a direction, we can hear his voice. The Bible says that the Lord sheep hear his voice and follow him and we can’t follow him if we’re not listening and so I want to just encourage you to do that. So thanks for that question, Shelby. I hope that encourages you.
Next question comes from a mama who is newly single and has a husband who has been recently incarcerated and she wonders if I have any resources and I do. I don’t personally have a resource, but my friend Carol Kent does. I will link back to this in the show notes today. I really want to send you to speakupforhope.org. Carol Kent’s son was incarcerated, I want to say it’s 20 years ago. I think he just passed the 20 year mark and they have an incredible story. She also has a book about that journey and it’s called Now I Lay My Isaac Down and I’m telling you it’s a game changer. She also has a new book for families who are walking with a loved one who has been incarcerated. That book is called Waiting Together. Again, it’s Waiting Together by Carol Kent and I know that everything she has up at speakforhope.org is going to bless and encourage you and in fact, I’m making myself a note, I bet I could get Carol to come on the podcast. So, I’m going to write myself a note right now and make sure to do that. So I hope that helps you check it out: speakupforhope.org.
Man, you guys, I’m burning through these questions.
Next question comes from a mom who asks a question about her husband. She said, I want to ask if you have guidance in advice for a spouse that states he believes in God and attends church on Sundays but doesn’t really live like he follows Jesus in the husband and father role. Thank you for your encouragement and your podcast, I enjoy it and I am so glad that you’re encouraged. So, the Bible has a lot to say about what the role of a wife is and especially when we’re talking about a husband that is struggling to walk with the Lord. And so in 1 Peter 3:1-2, we read wives submit to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word you may win over your husband without a word, but by your actions when he sees your respectful and godly conduct.
It’s really important for you, sweet woman, sweet mom, sweet wife, to be asking the Lord to help you relate to your husband in a way that pleases the Lord and is an example to your husband. I mean, really, the best thing you can do for him right now is to pray for him. I get lots of letters from moms who are frustrated because they don’t feel like their husbands are measuring up to the standard that they feel like they see in God’s word for a godly husband. There are lots of ways, there are no two houses that are the same, no two families that are the same, no two marriages that are the same, it looks different. So what my husband and I do in our home with regard to his spiritual headship and who leads devotions and all that may look different than somebody else’s, doesn’t mean we’re doing it wrong.
But I want to just really encourage you away from a place of nagging and being frustrated because what happens is that the enemy will use that as a chink in the armor of your marriage and he can use it to sow seeds of bitterness, which breeds divisiveness and pretty soon you got a chasm between a husband and a wife. So, that’s why Peter is saying you don’t need to win your husband over with words. Instead, here’s how you do it, you do it with godly conduct. You do it by just loving on him. If you’ve got an idea for … if he’s openly sinning, I mean, I don’t know what you mean when you say he doesn’t live like a Christ follower because honestly that’s half the Christians in church today, right?
We go to church and we do the church thing then we go home and we take our church backpack off and we set it down until next Sunday and it sounds to me like that’s probably what he’s doing. So, let him see you walking in relationship with the Lord and just pray for him. Really pray for him. God is a healer and God answers prayer, so I hope that helps. Hang in there. Good things are coming. All right. I’m going to really quickly go try to get to one more.
This is from Tiana. Hi sweet girl. “What age do you start talking to your children about biblical purity and sex? What resources do you like using? I want to create an open, ongoing dialogue with my children through the years and get to them before they see or hear something from somebody else. We have started with the most basic of things. We’re a homeschooling family with ages almost seven, five and almost two. I love your podcast to pieces.” Oh, thank you. I loved hearing that. All right, so I’ve done podcasts on this and I’ll link back to some of them in the show notes today. I have answered this question before on Mailbox Monday, but I know because this is such a big deal in the culture right now, this is a question we get all the time. And so Tiana, I want to encourage you early and explicit. And by explicit, I don’t mean the practical nuts and bolts, here’s exactly how it works. But, I would start out for sure, absolutely for sure, by teaching your children, they are who God says they are. In the culture right now, the push toward normalizing what God says is sin, because your kids are going to absolutely see homosexuality in the culture.
They’re going to see it in their cartoons. They’re going to see it in My Little Pony, you’re going to see it everywhere, and so we want to tell our kids that’s actually wrong. God says, don’t live like that because it will bring hurt and sorrow into your life. Any time we we disobeyed God, that’s the net result, right? Any time we sin, sorrow and suffering is the sure result, and so we want to teach our children first that they are who God says they are. They’d been made in the image of God. The Bible says, I created them male and female in my image. He did not say there’s a cisgender, right? There are two genders and it sounds, I mean when I first heard about this several years ago, I was like, this is ridiculous. This is not going to catch on, but I was wrong. I’m wrong a lot and I was wrong. And so I would just encourage you to really teach your children what may seem basic to you but is no longer basic in the culture.
So we start with you are who God says you are, male and female. We embrace who God says we are and we celebrate it. It’s worth celebrating. And then after that, I always tell parents, when I say early and explicitly, a lot of what I mean is—do not be afraid to answer the tough questions that your kids ask. So if your child asks you a tough question, give her a straight answer, all right? It doesn’t have to be so explicit that her eyes bug out of her head. But I like to have honest conversations. My kids know there’s pretty much no talk in our house that’s off limits because I want to our home, and my husband does, our home is a safe place for our children to ask the questions that need to be asked.
And we want to give them, you’re absolutely right Tiana, to say that you want to get your kids the truth before the world lies to them. And so the way that you do that is by starting off with good resources. I actually have a bunch of ideas for you, I will link back to those. If you guys are interested in great books about how to talk to your kids about sex and just self-affirming books that will help your children see themselves as God sees them, come back to the show notes today and I will link back to them. I have a store on Amazon where I put recommended books and things like that, so I’ll link back to that.
Also in the show notes today, one book in particular I want to tell you guys about is called You Are. It’s by my friends over at Generation Claimed. It’s for much younger children, it’s a board book, but if you’ve got younger children, man, this is a great time to just saturate them with the truth of God’s word and let them know that they are who God says they are. All right you guys, I hope that was helpful. I got through almost all your questions. I had one and I’ll get to it next Monday, but I’m three minutes over so I thought I should probably wrap it up.
Anyway, I hope you guys are doing great. Please come out and see me this weekend for the Faith That Speaks conference. Bring whoever you think would be encouraged and needs to be reminded that they are who God says they are and by the grace and mercy of God, we can get off the bench and onto the battlefield. So, hope you guys have enjoyed the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. Thanks for leaving reviews for the podcast over at iTunes. We want to get this podcast out to as many people as we can, encourage them to come back to the Bible. I appreciate you guys. We love you so much. We’re praying for you. Stay faithful and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday.
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Heidi St. John
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