When we know how loved we are, when we know that God has a plan and a purpose for us—then that purpose will be accomplished and we can rest. When we understand the power of the promise, we find comfort. Listen in and be encouraged!
Transcribed version of podcast is below.
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
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Hey friends, this is Heidi St. John. Welcome to the Heidi St. John podcast. Today is Wednesday, January 28th. This is episode number 878. And I’m going to encourage a couple of listeners today by answering some questions and also we’re going to talk a little bit about the importance of motherhood. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
So I am leaving in just a couple of days for Houston, and I will be at the Texas Homeschool Coalitions, Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit. And it’s not too late to register you guys. I’m telling you what, it’s going to be a fantastic time. You’re going to be so encouraged. If you’re a homeschool mom anywhere in the Houston area, come on out. Bring a friend, bring your mom for goodness’ sake and come on out and be encouraged. You’re going to remember why you’re doing this thing that you’re doing. So you can register at wintersummit.thsc.org, and I will link back to it in the show notes today.
Also, you guys, early bird registration for Faith That Speaks in Florida is ending this weekend. And remember, this is a great time for you to register. Your early bird ticket is going to get you a skip the line option, a tee shirt, and a beautiful canvas tote bag that you’re going to want to take around with you. This is a great way for you just to say, “Hey, my faith is a faith that speaks.”
Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy, and my friend, Kathy Barnett are going to come join me out on the road. And you guys are going to be blessed. I don’t know if I’ve said this, but my family, my adult children, they come with my husband and myself to these events and they do the worship. And it is really a powerful thing. So we’re going to get together on Friday night, we’re going to open with the opening session. You’re going to have a chance if you’ve got an early bird ticket to do a meet and greet with the speakers.
And then we’re going to open up with worship. And the very next day in the morning we’ll come back and we’ll hit the ground running and worship and workshops. You’re going to hear from Elizabeth, and myself, and from Kathy. And then we’re going to be doing a Q&A. And so you’ll have a chance to interact with these precious women. And I’m telling you what, you’re going to leave encouraged, and inspired, and educated and I cannot wait to see what God will do. So check it out, heidistjohn.com/event. You’re going to want to register today for a Faith That Speaks in Lakeland, Florida. The next one’s coming up near Los Angeles in Thousand Oaks at one of my favorite churches, Godspeak Calvary Chapel. That’s happening March 13th and 14th. And early bird registration for that event is ending in two weeks on February the 16th.
All right. I think, I’ve been watching the news lately. I don’t know if you guys saw this last week, but I just want to give a shout out and a thank you to President Trump. He’s the first ever president to attend the Pro-Life Rally in person. The first ever to do that. You know what, people can say whatever they want. I am so thankful for President Donald Trump. I really am. He addressed the March for Life on Friday and live remarks to hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers attending the event. But more than that, he has taken a very strong stand for life. And I am just delighted to see him demonstrating this commitment to pro-life values by appearing in person.
This is really important. I think it’s such an honor to see the president of the United States coming to the 47th annual March for Life. The first president in history to attend. I hope you guys are praying for him. And I told you, I am a pro-lifer. I am an abolitionist. I believe that pro-life movement should be moving to end abortion in this nation. And we are praying to see that happen. And I hope you guys are praying along with us.
It’s interesting because President Reagan and George Bush and George W. Bush, they all addressed the March for Life with pro-life remarks, but their remarks were typically pre-taped or they were aired via a phone call. And last year President Trump said that he was going to veto any bill that would promote abortion. And this year he said, “I’m a show up in person.” And wow, you guys say what you will—but I’m a huge defender of President Trump and I’m thankful for him and I hope you will join me in telling him, “Thank you so much for supporting the right to life.” Our little ones are unborn deserve protection, and we want to be sure that we give it to them. Who’s going to do it? If we don’t do it, who’s going to do it? And so I hope you guys are going to be standing with me in supporting our president, particularly as it comes to the pro-life movement.
Also, I told you several weeks ago, I guess maybe it’s been a couple months now that my husband and I ditched Netflix, and I’m so glad that we did because just in time, the more I see about Netflix, the more I’m just like, “Oh my goodness, I didn’t want that anywhere near my children or in my house.” But I just want to encourage you, the little things that you are doing, and this is my #offthebench, a segment today, the little things that you are doing really are making a difference. They’re making a difference to your children because your children are watching you get off the bench. They’re making a difference to the people who are watching you engage the culture from a position of a authority that comes from God’s word. You have good news women. You have good news men. And why are we being quiet about it? Why are we not shouting it from the rooftops that, Oh my goodness, we have an opportunity right now to say, “We know the healer. His name is Jesus and He’s a life changer.”
And so for those of you who have been watching me for a little while and had a wondering what motivates us? Why did we start the Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center? Why do we do the things we do? That’s why. Because we know the healer and you know the healer. And so I just want to encourage you, from a position of faith to take a stand in the culture and really say, “you know what, Father, I’m going to follow you and I’m going to step out and really ask you what do you want me to do?”
And it’s never been more important than it is right now because the Bible teaches us that all is going to be well. And I tell you, I love God’s word. Isaiah 43:1 says, “But now, Oh Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. Oh, Israel, the one who formed you says, don’t be afraid, for I have ransom you. I have called you by name. You are mine.” You’re mine. And in a world that struggles to understand the most basic of truths, God’s Word is offering a calm reassurance, that we are and always have been at the center of his Father’s heart.
And the prophet Isaiah seems to have a window into our weariness and our tendency to be afraid, which is why he’s reminding us that God says, “Don’t be afraid. I ransomed you.” So who do you guys think you are? You must have forgotten that you are my kids. That your daughter and sons of the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. And I love that Isaiah understands the heart of a weary parent. Sometimes we’re discouraged. And so he shares God’s heart with us and he reminds us of God’s extravagant love.
And so what is he saying to us? Well, the echo that comes back to my heart time and time again after I read God’s word, and especially the words of Isaiah 43 is simple, “All will be well.” All will be well. And we know the power of this reassurance as parents, when our kids come to us in the middle of the night, or they’re afraid of the dark, or they’re worried about something that’s going to be happening tomorrow, the first thing that we do as parents is to hold our children in our arms and look into their eyes and look into the eyes of our worried teens. And offer a confident reassurance that God is on his throne.
And that all will be well. Because when we know that we’re, and Kathy and I talked about this, Kathy Koch and I, who I super love. She was on the show with me last week, and we talked about this. When we know how loved we are, when we know that God has a plan for us and a purpose for us, and then that purpose will be accomplished, then we can rest. Not only can we rest, but when we understand the power of the promise, we find comfort.
And so we could read Isaiah 43:1 straight, or we can very loosely translated. So allow me to loosely translate it. So now, precious mom, listen to the Lord who created you. Remember, that just as you are present, while your child was formed in your womb, God was present while you were being formed. And there’s something powerful about knowing that God was watching as we were knit together in our mother’s womb. It’s a powerful, beautiful window into the heart of God for each one of us, He loves us. He loves us, and love is a great motivator.
You see, apart from God, no one knows the depths of love that will go to for a child like a mother does or like a father does. And just as your heart towards your child is good, God’s heart toward you is also good. He has good things for you. The Bible says in Ephesians that He has predestined, he has a plan for you, something good that he wants you to do. You’ve been destined for good works. Ask the Lord, “Lord, what are those things? What do you want me to do?” And as you pray over the mundane or the magnificent, as you ask God for help and thank Him for His goodness, remember that His love for you is deeper than you can ever imagine.
The love that you have for your children is only just a glimpse into God’s heart for you. So don’t be afraid. God knows your name. He has called you according to His purpose. You are His. And you can get off the bench and onto the battlefield with a calm reassurance that nothing is going to happen to you that hasn’t been preordained and that God will never leave you and He will never forsake you. I don’t know about you, but that is powerful stuff. It resonates with my mother’s heart.
And so with that in mind today, I’m going to answer just a couple of questions from listeners. I told you, I’m working on getting guests for an off the bench segment. I would love to hear how you are getting off the bench and you can reach out to me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. Fill out the form. Tell me what it is that you’re doing to get off the bench and I would love to consider having you on the podcast. I’m hearing from people who are running for City Council. I’m hearing from homeschool parents who are running for School Board. I’m hearing from people who are at running for Congress for goodness’ sake.
I’m thrilled to see you guys saying, “You know what? I’m not going to be afraid. I’m to embrace who God says I am and I’m going to walk forward in this life with confidence knowing that God has both a plan and a purpose for my life.” And men and women, when your children see that you are embracing God’s plan and purpose for your life, guess what happens? They’re going to begin to do the same thing. We can’t pass on what we don’t possess.
All right. The first question comes from a weary mama who is fostering children. She says, “Heidi, we have two biological children, ages eight and 10. We are currently fostering a set of three sisters, ages nine weeks, three and four years old. I feel so stretched. And feel like I’m failing my own two kids because of the needs of the time required for our foster children. I know I am called to this. How do I speak truth to my two children about what I’ve been called to do and still respect their feelings? How do I divide myself into enough pieces for everyone, including my husband? I’ve read your Guide To Daylight book and I love it, but I feel like I’m in a different world now that we have entered the foster care system.”
All right, sweet moms. So a couple things. You knew I was going to say this. So as in ministry, I see foster care very much like ministry. And we have lots and lots of friends, Jay and I do, who have been in full time ministry their whole lives. We have friends who are foster care parents, full time foster care parents, part-time foster care parents. It’s a very important thing that you’re doing. It will never be more important than the children that God gave you.
I know that’s going to rub some of you guys the wrong way and I’m really sorry. But I want to encourage you to take care first, of your family. Make sure that your family is in order. For the same reason that I would counsel a pastor to step down from his pastor it if his marriage was in trouble or if his children are in trouble. In other words, when I say in trouble, I don’t mean you’ve had a bad day. I mean you’ve been in a season where things are not getting better and you can see that as taking a toll on your family. And I have seen so many families, unfortunately, over the years sacrifice their families, the health of their families on the altar of ministry. And we need to be very, very careful to do that.
Life is difficult. And so when we’re called to ministry, like my husband and I’ve traveled the country in a broken down, beat up motorhomes with our seven kids. Over the last 20 some odd years, we’ve been doing all kinds of crazy things. And there were seasons when it was really hard, but we were in it together. And there were also seasons when it was difficult and I felt like Jay and I weren’t on the same page for one reason or another. And you’ve got to be on the same page with your husband.
So the way that you “divide” yourself into enough pieces for everyone, including your husband, is A, you start with your husband. He gets the biggest piece. And then your children get the next biggest piece. And then when those pieces are healthy and whole, that’s when we begin to pour into other people. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be fostering, but I’m telling you what… here’s a really good example. I had a friend years ago who went out on the mission field. Really good thing. God called her to the mission field. She and her husband went out there with their little ones. And the stress of the ministry eventually tore their family apart. They’re no longer married anymore. And listen, you guys, it wasn’t worth it. And I do believe that when God is in it, He gives a particular grace to it. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, but it means it won’t tear your family limb from limb. All right?
So I’m answering this question as if you’re really in a bad spot with your family. Now, if you’re not and you’re just stressed because it’s adding an ordinary stress, can I just encourage you, take some time for your children, make them feel special. Bring them into the care that you’re doing. Thank them for how they are such a beautiful part of how God is using your family to minister to these children who so desperately need your help. And then a trust that God is going to be at work in your children too.
I met a mom who she is on the front lines, the pro-life movement. And it got to a point at one juncture when she had been standing out in front of abortion clinics and she saw the pain of it was so great that it began to really affect her health and began to affect her emotions. And so my question to her was, are you able to go home and leave this with the Lord? Because we can’t fix every wrong in this world. And she had to take some time and step back from it in order to get healthy to go back at it again.
And so I would say, ask the Lord. All right. Your children need you. You will not get a second chance at raising your children. And I would really ask the Lord for wisdom. How does he want you to handle this? Because God will tell you. All right. He will. And I applaud you for working within the foster care system. Several of our friends, we go to a very small church in Camas, Washington and I’m so proud of our church. A lot of the parents in our church are foster parents. And they’re making a huge difference. And they do it through the grace of God. The bottom line is that we want to be obedient. And when we’re obedient, and it really is God’s voice, there’s a grace that follows. And so look for the grace and stay in the path of grace. And let the rhythms of grace become the liturgy of your home.
Next question comes from mom who says, “Hi Heidi, My question is about preschool for my almost three year old son who struggles with speech. He can only say a handful of words at this point. He’s had some in-home speech therapy and was in an early intervention program, but he turns three this Friday, meaning he won’t qualify for these programs anymore. We’ve been strongly encouraged to put him in our public school to help him have more social interaction with kids his age and I feel very torn about the situation. My husband is a school administrator at our small Christian school where other two boys attend. I really don’t want to send him to public school, but I feel like maybe this will help him with his speech. I’m very uneasy about what he might be exposed to in a public school and or maybe I’m just being overly worried since he’ll only be attending for preschool. Please give me some solid advice.”
All right, mama. Since you asked me for my opinion, and this is not thus sayeth the Lord, I like to always preface when I answer these kinds of questions. I would strongly only advise you not to put your kid into a public school environment. What we’re seeing come out of the public schools right now, even in pre-kindergarten, is a very overt sexual indoctrination. It is confusing to children, especially when they’re little like that. And can I just encourage you, I would say look for other opportunities. If a socialization is what you’re looking for, and opportunities for him to interact, I would ask the Lord to give you other ways to do it.
This child belongs to the Lord. You are shepherding and stewarding and raising up a little boy who is precious to the Lord and he belongs to the Lord. And so that’s my first encouragement. I guess my admonition to you is look for other ways. I am so alarmed by what is happening in the public school. I am increasingly alarmed. Here in Washington State, they are making a full throated attempt to completely take away parental rights from parents over everything from vaccines to the indoctrination of our kids sexually through what they call comprehensive sex education, which starts for children as young as five years old. And this has no place in our schools. And yet it is in our schools. And I’m always telling parents, our kids should not have to swim through a cesspool to get an education. We can do better than that.
And so I’m going to really pray for you that God would give you opportunities, that He would bring people into your life who could help you with your son, maybe even a speech therapist. There’s got to be an answer. And that doesn’t involve throwing your kids into a public school system. I know people say, “Oh, it’s just Pre-K.” That’s what everybody used to say, “oh, it’s just this. Oh, it’s just that.” They would never do this. They would never do that. And yet it’s happening. And so I would say, listen to your gut, the fact that you’ve said several times in your letter to me that you feel uneasy to me is the Holy Spirit saying, “No, no, no. I got a better way for you.” So I’d encourage you to listen to that.
All right. Thank you guys for writing in. I’d love to answer your questions and you can reach out to me at heidistjohn.com/mailboxmonday. Don’t forget that Faith That Speaks in Lakeland, Florida, the early bird registration wait for that ends this weekend. And if you guys want to get in on the skip the line pass and go home with a couple of really fun free gifts, you got to register by the end of this weekend.
I’ll be on my way to Houston on Friday. I cannot wait to see you guys there. So if you’re anywhere in the Houston area, come on out for the Texas Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit. More information can be found at heidistjohn.com/events. Thanks for listening to everybody. I am praying for you, praying for wisdom, and clarity. And most of all, I’m praying that you’ll stay faithful. Our kids are watching.
Write to Heidi:
Heidi St. John
c/o Firmly Planted Family
11100 NE 34th Cir, Vancouver, WA 98682
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