Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Have you ever heard a mother say, "I'd love to stay home full-time with my children, but there's no way we could handle it financially"?

Today is Thursday, October 17; and you are listening to Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

All this week, Nancy's been talking with Jill Savage about the noble profession of motherhood. Jill is Founder and Director of Hearts at Home, an organization that offers support to stay-at-home moms. Today, Jill will tell us about some of the financial choices she's had to make in order to keep her family a priority. Here's Nancy to get us started.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Jill, thanks for joining us again today on Revive Our Hearts.

I'm excited to learn about some of the resources available through Hearts at Home. You're doing conferences each year to help women be equipped to be professional moms. And your whole organization is run without a single full-time employee!

It's 150 volunteers who make up the staff of Hearts at Home. I also understand that these employees are, for the most part, moms who want to help other moms by putting on these conferences and offering other resources.

Tell us about the devotional and monthly publications you have available for women.

Jill Savage: Since one of our challenges is how to encourage moms at home--and remain moms at home ourselves, our prayer has been, "Lord, show us what we can do to inspire moms without leaving our own homes."

That's really where He has opened up the publishing door. In addition to Professionalizing Motherhood, we also have more books coming out in the next year or two that we are very excited about. We also have two monthly publications. The first is called Hearts at Home Magazine. Women can subscribe to that. We also have the Hearts at Home Devotional.

Hearts at Home Magazine

What we find is that these publications, especially the magazine, enable us to encourage and help equip women in the profession of motherhood. Each of them looks at one of the tasks we're all about, i.e., keeping our vision and focus in place.

They're even designed size-wise to be publications-on-the-go: they fit in a diaper bag or purse. Since moms are often sitting in doctor's offices waiting, we designed these publications with that in mind.

Neither publication is too terribly long either--just the right length to be read realistically or to be read in a quiet moment in the bathroom, since that is where a lot of moms read our publications!

 The only quiet moment.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss:

Jill Savage: Yes! And both of these publications are available through Hearts at Home. [You can go to the Web site hearts-at-home.org. to look at a sample and get information about the devotional.]

We also have a very interactive Web site that features a bulletin board moms can use to encourage one another and to ask questions. For example, one mother might say, "My almost-four-year-old is still not potty trained: HELP!" Other moms who have struggled with that same issue can then give the frustrated mom some direction. We also have a lot of articles on our Web site hearts-at-home.org.

Women from all over the world check our site every day. So, I encourage your listeners to check that out as well.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Jill, I just want to say thank you, first, for making your home a priority and taking the challenge the Lord gave you all those years ago to be a mom with a heart at home.

And thank you, too, for what you and your 150 volunteers are doing to encourage and help other moms. I know so many mothers today are feeling stressed out and overwhelmed. Your organization is providing some very practical resources.

We've been talking this week about the value of motherhood and the calling and profession of being a mother. I can just imagine some women thinking, My heart is at home. And I would love to be there with my children--but there's no way practically, financially we could make it on my husband's income.

Jill, you talk in your book Professionalizing Motherhood about how you and your husband initially had some of those fears and thoughts yourself.

Jill Savage: We really did. At the time we decided I should be at home, my husband was a full-time student. And since he was doing an unpaid internship, it made absolutely no sense at all for me to stay home! Also, at that point in time, I was running a daycare in our home that generated our entire family income.

When we look back on those days, we think, How in the world did we make that? It was truly a journey of faith for us--and it has continued to be. My husband is in ministry. And while our income is certainly much better than it was ten years ago when we made that decision, it still is not at a level that I would say allows us to live comfortably at times. So, what we've had to learn to do is to make some very specific choices.

I was really challenged several years ago by an article I read. It was done by a newspaper columnist. The author talked about the "need" for two incomes in our culture. He questioned the high cost of living and said, "I think far too often it's the high cost of the way we choose to live."

This observation not only inspired my husband and me, but it also affirmed us--because at the time we were making some changes in our home and in the way we grocery shopped. Some of our choices were decisions other families were not making.

For example, to this day, we do not have cable television. And I do almost all of our grocery shopping at a discount grocery store. It's not a very fancy place, but it's cut our grocery bill in half. So there have been some big decisions we've had to make that maybe cause us to live differently than the people next door.

But these decisions have made it possible for me to remain at home. So I think sometimes we have to look at our choices. Now, there are certainly extenuating circumstances where it is necessary for both parents to work outside the home. But we still need to stop and take a look. Is it really about the high cost of living, or is it about the high cost of the way we choose to live?

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Jill, let me take us back to something you mentioned a few minutes ago. You said that, from the outset, this had been a walk of faith for you and your husband. Tell us a little bit about how God has honored that faith, and how you've seen Him provide in ways He might not have if you'd not been willing to make these kinds of choices.

Jill Savage: Well, I wish we had an hour; I could tell you the God stories! Some of them are just incredible. Let me share one, though, that took me to a different level in my relationship with the Lord.

We didn't have a dishwasher until after we'd been married six years.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: You mean there can be life without a dishwasher?

Jill Savage: There can be. A little soap and water will do the job just as well.

We moved into a house, and it had a dishwasher. I was so excited! And so we enjoyed this luxury for a couple of years. But appliances do eventually fail, and our dishwasher saw its last day. So my husband and I evaluated our finances--and found we just did not have the money to buy a new appliance. Since we were trying to get out of debt, we were committed to paying cash for everything.

After we'd been without a dishwasher for about nine months, I was having coffee with a friend and she said to me, "Jill, have you prayed for a dishwasher?"

And I said, "No, I think God's got bigger things to deal with than dishwashers."

And she said, "No, I'm serious. Have you prayed about a dishwasher?"

This intrigued me because I had never talked to God about what I deemed to be "the little things." So I decided I would give it a try and start praying about a dishwasher.

I said, "Lord, is there a dishwasher out there for us? Is there an extra job my husband could do that would give us the money? Is there something I could do?" I just began to search it with the Lord.

After praying for several weeks, I was driving home from church one day and came to an intersection where normally I would have made a left turn; but on the spur of the moment, I decided to go straight instead.

As I continued on this road, I noticed a man coming out of his garage, wheeling some sort of appliance out to the curb. And I thought, That looks like a dishwasher. So I turned around and went back and, sure enough, there was a sign that said, "Dishwasher--$50."

So I pulled into his driveway and approached him and said, "Sir, is there anything wrong with that dishwasher?"

And he said, "Well, no. We're redecorating and remodeling, and my wife doesn't like the color of this dishwasher for our new kitchen. There's nothing wrong with the machine."

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: The color probably didn't matter a lot to you.

Jill Savage: It didn't matter to me at all--and $50 was something we could afford; $300, the price of a new one, wasn't! So I explained to the man that I was going to take that dishwasher.

I did not have our checkbook, but our home was only a few blocks away so I told him I would be back. Then I went home and told my husband the God story--and we were both so excited. We went back and wrote that man a check.

I learned an important lesson about faith there. It could have been God's plan for us to have done soap and water in the sink during that season of our life. But He chose, instead, to provide a dishwasher in an unconventional manner.

It was a faith experience for us. And we have watched Him provide in many different ways over the years as we have trusted Him, as we have lifted up the things we've needed. And sometimes we have seen Him provide things we'd never even sought.

There've also been times when God has chosen not to provide. Those were the times when we only thought we needed something! It has been very much a faith experience, and I wouldn't trade that for the world!

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Jill, I'm reminded of Psalm 37:25 which says, "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." God gave to David a confidence as he walked with the Lord that if he lived a godly life, God would make sure his needs were supplied.

I think sometimes today, in this "two-income culture" where it's assumed two incomes are necessary, that it has become much more difficult to survive without both partners working outside the home.

But I'm convinced that there are plenty of Christians who never experience the reality of what God could do in providing for them and meeting their needs because they're not willing to step out in faith and say, "Lord, we're not going to rely on our own understanding. We're going to let you provide." They never get to see God part the Red Sea.

They also miss out on the importance of such an experience for their children. When children see this kind of provision, they will never doubt the power of God. When I think of how many children grow up in Christian homes, go to college and never come back to the church--are never again interested in spiritual things--I'm convinced it's because, at least in part, they've never seen evidence of God.

But when parents are willing to say, "We're going to trust God, we're going to pray, we're going to wait on Him and let Him supply supernaturally--those children grow up knowing God is who He says He is--and that He will meet all their needs as they choose to live righteous lives.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy Leigh DeMoss talking with Jill Savage about the valuable job mothers do.

If you're ready to make some changes in your lifestyle based on today's message, why don't you get a copy of Jill's book, Professionalizing Motherhood. It offers practical advice on becoming a stay-at-home mom. You can get a copy for a suggested donation of only $13 by visiting our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com. Or, you can simply call us at 1-800-569-5959.

If you've started to make some changes in the way you view your role as a mom because of this series, it would encourage us to hear about it. You can write to Revive Our Hearts. Be sure to ask for your free 2003 Revive Our Hearts wall calendar when you get in touch with us.

Tomorrow, we'll discuss the difference between worry and worship, especially in the way it relates to a home. We hope you can join us for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

is designed to bring a little bit of conference into the reader's home each month. The Hearts at Home Devotional is designed to bring God's Word into the reader's home each day.

 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.