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Thriving in the Midst of Financial Ruin

Air Date 04/15/2019

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Blogger Erin Odom describes how God faithfully provided for her family's needs during a season of financial hardship, offering encouragement and advice to listeners experiencing similar struggles in a discussion based on her book More Than Just Making It: Hope for the Heart of the Financially Frustrated.

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Erin Odom: The discovery was we simply did not have enough money to live. And you would think that would be devastating, and it was, you know, a big challenge, but in another sense, it was a relief, because once we knew what the real problem was, we could do something about it.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Erin Odom. And you’ll hear more from her today on Focus on the Family about finding hope in the midst of financial pressures. Thanks for listening today. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Hey, John Today is Tax Day. We’re talking about money today. So, did you pay ‘em?

John: Yeah. File the - file the extension is what I always say.

Jim: (Laughter) Right. But for many of us, there might be a few hours left, maybe minutes, but, don’t forget to get your taxes in. We have had a pretty good rebound, economically, in the last couple of years, since 2008. Everybody was hit by that recession for the most part, and some have not recovered. And one of the great stresses in marriage tends to be financial. And that’s why we come back to it time and again here at Focus on the Family, because we want to equip you as best as we can with the tools to do the best job you can to eliminate that as a stress factor. Some 70 percent of American families now are still experiencing financial frustration, because of low incomes, maybe a lack of savings, or the debt they’re carrying. And again, like I said, even though the economy is doing better, there still is pressure, and we’re going to cover that, because we want your family to thrive in Christ. And our guest today has some great ideas on how to do that.

John: Yeah - some real practical, biblical, time-tested approaches to help get a hold of your finances. And, her name is Erin Odom, as I said, and she’s an author. She’s written a couple of books, including More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated. And of course, we’ve got copies of that and a CD or download or our mobile app, so you can listen on the go - all of that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Body:

Jim: Erin, welcome to Focus.

Erin: Thank you so much for having me.

Jim: Now, I gotta start - you’re a young mom. I love it. You have four kids. What are their ages?

Erin: They are 10, 8, 6, and a year and a half.

Jim: (Laughter) How did you find time to get here (laughter)?

Erin: You know, that’s a good question, but...

Jim: Who’s got the kids?

Erin: My husband and my parents.

Jim: Oh, good. So...

Erin: My parents are helping my husband with the kids.

Jim: So - yeah, so you’re really confident in your parents (laughter).

Erin: I am.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: You added that - not just husband - husband and parents. Yeah.

John: Well, it always helps to team up when you got four little ones.

Erin: It does.

Jim: It makes mom feel a little more comfortable, I think.

Erin: It does.

Jim: And they’re all redheads (laughter).

Erin: They’re all redheads.

Jim: I love it.

Erin: Three redheaded girls and a redheaded boy.

Jim: So how are those daughters treating that little boy?

Erin: They love him. They adore him.

Jim: Are they his baby doll (laughter)?

Erin: They are extra mamas, and he is their doll. And they like doing everything except changing the diapers.

Jim: Yeah (Laughter).

Erin: They do not like that. But they like getting him out of his crib and carrying him around.

Jim: How fun.

Erin: And he is so spoiled.

John: I’m just guessing one day he will be in their stuff, in their room...

Erin: Yes.

Jim: (Laughter).

John: And it’ll be a little less cozy.

Erin: Right.

Jim: He’s going to need some dad time, pretty soon.

John: (Unintelligible).

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: You know, “Help me!” Well, Erin, it is good to have you. And, in your book, you’ve really concentrated on the income side. You know, so often, when we cover financial issues, it’s how to control budgeting and how to control your expenses. But, you concentrate more on the side of income, stressing the fact that some families just struggle making enough to really make it. And, that’s the core theme of the book, isn’t it?

Erin: It really is, because our family, when we were struggling, at first - it sounds a little naive, but we didn’t understand why. We thought we were really pinching our pennies and doing everything we could. And we met with a financial adviser, and he basically said, “You simply do not have enough money to live.”

Jim: Now, that was in 2010, so it wasn’t that long ago.

Erin: No.

Jim: Describe that realization. Give us a little more color.

Erin: So we were - we had - my husband had lost his job, and we had made an out-of-state move to be closer to our parents.

Jim: And he was - is a teacher.

Erin: He is a teacher...

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: ...Now.

Jim: What’s he teach?

Erin: He actually teaches English, as a second language to immigrant children.

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Erin: He did teach Spanish for about 10 years.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And, we decided to move near my family. They were really good support for us. But, we had a house in a different state. We had a house in Mississippi. And we bought the house in 2006, when we were newlyweds.

Jim: Before the collapse, right?

John: Oh.

Erin: Right. And we thought we were doing all the right things. We thought we were buying below our means. And really, for the time, we were. But nobody knew what was going to happen in 2008. 2008 was when we started to try to sell the house. The house ended up staying on the market for four years. We had renters in and out, just to make the house payment. And we were - we had that house, and we had a house that we were renting in North Carolina. And my husband was teaching, and I was trying to do the stay-at-home-mom thing, with a bunch of different side gigs. And our money just did not stretch enough. And so, we didn’t know what we were doing wrong, really, until we took a financial class at our church. And the teachers really took us under their wings. And it was an older couple. He was retired. And they came to us after class one day, and they said, “Can we come to your home? Can we pore over your finances with you? Can we really minister to you to see how we can help you?” And, they did. They brought us lunch that day...

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: ...Which - even that was this huge relief. I was able to check off my list, “OK. We don’t have to...”

Jim: Wow.

Erin: “...Provide a meal for this time.”

Jim: So I mean, that tight - and for a moment, describe your backgrounds of you and your husband. Uh, what - what kind of family were you coming from, what kind of income status? I mean, are these things that your mom and dad struggled with or your husband’s mom and dad?

Erin: They didn’t. We both came from middle-class families. My family - my dad was a hospital administrator, one of the vice presidents of one of the top hospitals in North Carolina. However, my parents - my mom and dad both have grown - they grew up - they describe it as in large families with little extra money.

Jim: OK.

Erin: And my mom’s dad was a pastor. And, uh, my dad’s dad - he left the family at some point in his, um, childhood. And they didn’t have a lot extra. So my parents grew up living very frugally. And so even though my dad had a really good job, my parents still raised us very frugally.

Jim: So it wasn’t strange for you to be on a budget and be thinking about expenses and those things.

Erin: Right. It was not strange. And I can really look back and trace God preparing me for that life because my mom always clipped coupons. She shopped at Big Lots and other discount stores. And so that wasn’t strange for me, whereas for some people, it might have been. Um, but they never struggled. But even though they didn’t struggle financially, they always lived much below their means.

Jim: How bout your husband? What background is he coming from?

Erin: His family was middle class. And I would say they weren’t quite as frugal.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: So - but they weren’t extravagant either...

Jim: Right so...

Erin: But they didn’t struggle.

Jim: So good upbringings in that way. You knew money...

Erin: Right.

Jim: ...How to use money.

Erin: Right.

Jim: So you wanted to go in the mission field.

Erin: I did.

Jim: And that - that kind of highlighted the stress. What took place? And how old were you both? And what were you thinking?

Erin: So I felt called to ministry, I would say, when I was 15. And I thought in my head for years that that was just going to be a missionary, um, really somewhere in Latin America. That was my dream. I studied Spanish in college. It was one of my majors.

Jim: Which is a great dream.

Erin: Yes. And so, um, I thought that. And my husband and I actually - we lived in Costa Rica after college. That’s where we met. So, um, we’re both redheads from the South.

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: And we met in Costa Rica. So my parents thought that’s hilarious.

Jim: Do you have an accent in Spanish? How do you say, “Hey, y’all,” in Spanish?

(LAUGHTER)

Erin: (Speaking Spanish).

(LAUGHTER)

Erin: I’m sure it’s a Southern accent.

Jim: Are you sure?

Erin: So, you know, we - we both had that, uh - that passion. And we started heading there with our family. But once - we started heading back. We we’re going to go to Mexico. And the missions organization we were with - they sent us to Canada to do some training. And while we were there, my husband’s parents announced that they were getting divorced after 38 years.

John: Wow.

Jim: How did that impact you and your husband?

Erin: It impacted us very deeply. And, um...

Jim: In what way? I just - I want to feel that with you.

Erin: It was - it was a big surprise. It was a shock.

Jim: I mean, Christian home, right?

Erin: They’re a Christian home, and they had been out to visit us the week before that in Canada for our daughter’s first birthday. And so, you know, it shook my husband up more than it did me...

Jim: Sure.

Erin: ...Because obviously, it was his parents, and they’ve been married for almost 40 years.

Jim: Um, you’re in your mid-20s, early 20s at this point.

Erin: I was in my late 20s.

Jim: Late 20s - OK.

Erin: So you said I was young. I’m actually in my late 30s now.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Well, that’s young to me. How about you, John?

John: I don’t hold it against you.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: It’s all good. But I mean, the point is you had a lot of stress fall on you...

Erin: A lot.

Jim: ...As a couple, et cetera, as a family. You get the counseling. This couple - going back a few minutes, this couple came and helped pour through your finances. And the dis - and the discovery was what?

Erin: The discovery was we simply did not have enough money to live. And you would think that would be devastating and sound like such an obstacle. And it was, you know, a big challenge, but in another sense, it was a relief, because once we knew what the real problem was, we could do something about it. And this couple - you know, they sat there with us at our kitchen table, prayed with us, encouraged us. And, three weeks later, the man went home to be with the Lord.

Jim: Really?

Erin: Yes. Um...

Jim: Oh, my goodness. That had to be also devastating though...

Erin: It - it was - it was.

Jim: ...Because he a mentor in many ways.

Erin: It was - it was devastating. He died of a - of a heart attack, right before Christmas. And, we went to his funeral and just cried and cried and cried but, at the same time, just felt like, “Wow, Lord. You used him in so many lives until the very end, including our own family.” And, it really propelled us even more and gave us that initiative to - he helped us discover what this root cause of our financial frustration is. How can we do something about it?

Jim: And in that context, to paint that picture a little more fully, I mean, you had to turn to government assistance.

Erin: We did.

Jim: You had to go on WIC, the program - the food supplemental program, food stamps, those kinds of things. And coming from your background, in the book, you described that as extremely humiliating.

Erin: It was.

Jim: Talk about the way we view people that have to turn to the government for help in the church. I thought that was really interesting how you described it in the book.

Erin: I - I talked about that a lot in the book. And I will say I’ve gotten some pushback from that. And, if you haven’t been there, it’s really hard to understand. And so, I did feel very humbled. The book opens with me going in to apply for food stamps. And I asked my mom, “Do you want to go in with me?” She had driven me there. We didn’t even have a car at the time. And I had a toddler and infant in the car.

Jim: Oh, my goodness.

Erin: And she said, “You know, no. It’s OK. I’ll stay in the car with the kids.” And what popped in my head was, she’s embarrassed to even be with me, because this was the town I had grown up in; I might run into someone I know. And it was very humbling. But, when I look back at it, at some point in that journey, the Lord really convicted me. The reason why this feels so humbling and shameful to you is because of your pride. And God just really pulled me out of that and showed me that there are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about people that use government aid. And, I would even go into the government aid office, because you would have to go for, you know, monthly check-ins and, you know, ever so often go in, and they’d have to check your income, and they would actually do some kind of, like, health exam on me and the children, and I would look at the WIC officer, and I would say, “You know, we’re educated. And - and we don’t want to abuse the system.” And she would say, “Look. This is made for people like you, who are trying to better their situation.”

Jim: Yeah, kind of the temporary approach. That is what that was...

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: ...originally intended for, to help people out of a desperate situation.

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: How did you process that? How was your husband feeling? Let’s go to the male ego here.

Erin: Well, we both felt that shame, really. And my parents knew. His parents did not know. None of our friends knew. I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone I would hide my WIC checks. I would purposely go to the grocery store, when I felt like I wouldn’t run into people. Again, I feel like this shows my pride.

Jim: Mmm hmm.

Erin: I was very prideful. It was hard for him, and it was something that, as soon as we knew our income had increased, I called the government aid office, and I said - I call - I remember the day. I knew exactly where I was sitting, and I said...

Jim: You couldn’t wait to make this call, it looks like (laughter).

Erin: Oh, I couldn’t wait. And I said, “Our income has increased. Thank you for helping us, but we don’t want to take advantage.” And - and they actually said, “Well, you’re allowed to be on it for the rest of the year.” And I said, “No, please take me off.”

Jim: Wow.

Erin: You know, like...

Jim: They’re not used to that.

Erin: No. I said, “Let this bless somebody else.” And I finally saw it as, this is part of God’s provision. You know, God is much bigger than we think, and he provides for us in different ways. And thank the Lord, we live in a country that cares for the poor.

Jim: Let me - let me elaborate on that pushback, because I’m sure some of what you’ve heard is, you know, it’s the church’s job to take care of...

Erin: Right.

Jim: ...Those that are struggling financially. But it’s somewhat impractical at times, right? Describe that and how we as Christians don’t necessarily feel comfortable getting on the government programs.

Erin: I absolutely agree. And I write about this in the book a lot. It is the church’s job to take care of the poor. I do feel like, there’s a couple of things going on. I feel like the church - many churches aren’t equipped, like you said. They don’t have all the resources to take care of the poor, or they just don’t know how, you know? Even - we were living in a more affluent area, and that’s where we still live, and our church was very affluent. And, even when they would say things like, “Come and apply for a scholarship to go on the women’s retreat, come up to the front and sign our book and sign the application for the scholarship” - and I remember thinking, “I really want to go on the women’s retreat.” But, I just felt just really ashamed for everyone in the church to look at me applying for that.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And so, I ended up emailing, aside. But we as a church - we don’t - we need to look at, “OK, how are we going - how can we help people and help them maintain their dignity, and also, how can we join with some of these government programs that do have more money?” How can we say, “You know what? Our church doesn’t have enough in our benevolence fund to provide for all of your food needs right now. But I will walk with you. I will drive you to the WIC office. And I will sit there with you, and I will apply for WIC with you.”

Jim: Hm, interesting, yeah.

Erin: “I will show you how to do that, so that it takes a little bit of the sting away of having to do it alone, or the shame that we might feel going there and doing that.”

Jim: Even that - I mean, that’s - it doesn’t cost the church...

Erin: Anything.

Jim: ...staff member anything except time, which I get is important. But wouldn’t that be great support?

John: This is Focus on the Family, with Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller. And we’re talking to Erin Odom and covering some of the content in her book, More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated. And, you can learn more about Erin and this great book, get a CD or free download of our conversation, uh, get our mobile app all at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call 800, the letter A and the word family.

Jim: Erin, it is good to talk about these things. I - it’s obvious you’ve written a book about it now, so you’ve kind of gotten over the shame of going through that. And you and your husband are in a much better spot today. Uh, but your point is to encourage others to consider how to control their spending obviously but also have a look at the income side. During that season for you of that financial frustration, um, what did you learn about God’s provision? Give us some of those practical stories where God showed up.

Erin: Mmm hmm. I learned that He provides for all of our needs. He’s the great provider, not us. And it’s something...

Jim: How is that - how did that manifest itself for you?

Erin: Well, it manifested in ways that I never imagined. So my parents, you know, taught me how to look for bargains. And so, I learned how to be kind of a Craigslist scout.

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: And one day, I was looking on Craigslist for some used furniture, and I saw an ad pop up for free persimmons.

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: There was an elderly woman, who had a persimmon tree that just had an overabundance of persimmon fruit. Honestly, I didn’t even know what persimmons were, but I knew they were fruit, and I knew they were free. And so, I bundled up my two girls. At the time, we had two. And I drove across town to this woman’s house, and I got a box of free persimmons. And that - that box of persimmons - I was able to make persimmon muffins.

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: And actually, that mentor - that woman came to our house, and we had coffee and persimmon muffins. And, you know, I could have easily dismissed that because I think God provides - I know God provides like that every single day. He provides in different ways. But we easily dismiss things, like, “Oh, those people were giving away free persimmons.” But when we were barely making it...

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: It was like, “Thank you, Lord. Here is breakfast.”

Jim: You know, to paint a picture, you had this other house. Some people are going, “How could you carry that other house?” But, when you got down to it, when you met with your counselor, before he passed away, I mean, you had, like, 200, 250 bucks at the end of the month. And so, you say in the book, you had more month than you had money.

Erin: We did.

Jim: And that’s some people’s plight. So, how do you begin to restructure things in a practical way? How do you generate revenue? Because your expenses - it sounds like you were really holding those under control, but you were still not doing well.

Erin: We weren’t doing well at all. You know, at the end of the month, it would be that we had, you know, barely anything - you know, sometimes less than a few dollars in our bank account. And we would have to wait until the next payday in order to go get groceries, and I would have to be really creative with what we had in the cabinets. But, you know, something - once he told us we had an income problem, I had already been writing for our local newspaper and doing - tutoring some kids in Spanish and doing some side gigs. But it was like, God really gave me more initiative to - “I have gifted you. You’ve always enjoyed writing” - journalism was my other major in school. I was an overachiever. I majored in journalism and Spanish. Spanish was - I thought - prepared me for the mission field. And journalism - I thought, “Here’s something practical that matches my gifts.” And it - I had been thinking about starting a blog, and it really kind of lit a fire under me for, “This can be something that can help provide for your family, that can meet your husband where he’s at with teaching.” And he was - he was working after school and summer school and doing a lot of other things, too. And so it was at that point, it was like, “OK. I’m going to really do this. I’m going to start a blog, and I’m going to see what can happen.” What was really interesting - the same exact week my college roommate and my editor at the newspaper where I was freelancing, they both approached me separately. They did not know each other. They lived hours apart. And they both said, “Erin, there are moms who are making a full-time income from home blogging. You would be good at that.”

Jim: (Laughter).

Erin: “That matches your gifts.” And so, it was like, OK. The Lord’s using this non-Christian editor and my Christian roommate to tell me something. So, I started the blog in January 2011. And I think within a year, it was making money. And within a couple years, it was making more than my husband...

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: ...was making. And again, I look at that as, this is God’s provision. It was my gifts. And so, I have a whole chapter in there about, what are some ways God has gifted to you and how can you use those gifts to help provide for your family? You know, God’s the provider, but how does he want to provide for your family through the way he has gifted you?

Jim: Yeah. Let’s talk about some of that, those practical tips that may help someone today - maybe dozens, maybe hundreds.

Erin: Well, you know, I say look back at the time when you were a child. What are some things that you really enjoy doing? What were you passionate about? What were you gifted in? You know, for me, a lot of times, people say, “Oh, you make money blogging. Show me how to do that.” And yes, I think many people can do that, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. Look at how God’s gifted you. So I featured several different people in the book. One of them, actually, a friend that is here that used to live in Colorado has a friend - her name is Joy, and she loved to paint. And she loved to paint her kids’ faces, so she started a business, where she goes to birthday parties and she paints kids’ faces.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: And she calls it The Joy Of Face Painting, something that, you know, you wouldn’t really think, “I can create a business out of this.” And I have several friends who are graphic designers who maybe worked for a company, and they wanted to stay home with their kids. They knew they needed the income. And so they’ve been able to build graphic design businesses from home. I have friends who work for a company called VIPKID. Have y’all ever heard of that?

Jim: No.

Erin: I don’t think I featured them in that, but I featured them in my second book. They are a company that hires anyone with a bachelor’s degree, any kind of bachelor’s degree - it can be in zoology or something, you know? - and have any kind of teaching experience. That can be, I think, even teaching in church. It can be homeschooling your children. It doesn’t have to be traditional teaching.

Erin: They pay up to 25 an hour to teach children in China English on the computer.

Jim: Wow.

Erin: I have friends...

Jim: Those are creative ways.

Erin: It’s really amazing. Now, with the advent of the Internet, we can truly make full-time incomes from home with our children. And, God has just given us so many creative ways to provide for our families.

Jim: How do you - in the midst of all the frustration and the stress and the load emotionally, when you’re going through something like this, how do you get your head above the fray to even feel the oxygen of what could be? I mean, sometimes, you just get down to survival, right? And you get the kids, too. And you got to feed the kids. You got to take care of things. That could be a heavy load. And you’re not - you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, maybe, or you didn’t do journalism, and writing wasn’t your forte. And I appreciate the idea of look for what God has done to gift to you and then plow into it. But, I want you speak to that mom, perhaps, who’s there right now where you were a few years ago, and you can’t see the tree through the forest. How do you identify those things you can do?

Erin: Right. Well, you know, I would say - and I think in the Christian world a lot, we really uphold stay-at-home moms. But, I think that there are times, when people are either called to work outside the home or they need to, you know? When we first moved back to North Carolina, I - I went to someone’s house and tutored their kids in Spanish. And I went to a local public school, and I tutored children there. I had to leave my daughter with my mom. Um, it may be that mom needs to get a job outside of the home. She may need to pick up a waitressing job, which - there’s actually really good money in that. I waited tables in high school. It may not be what you thought life was going to look like.

Jim: Right.

Erin: But...

Jim: At least for now.

Erin: At least for now.

Jim: Yeah. I like that. Hey, in the book, too, you mentioned some of those common mistakes about budgeting. Hit a couple of those. I think one was not working together as a team, especially, obviously, as a married couple.

Erin: Mmm hmm.

Jim: Describe those obstacles that we can hit when it comes to the pressure moment.

Erin: Well, definitely, not being on the same team - often, a spender and a saver are married to each other.

Jim: It’s kind of like extrovert and introvert, isn’t it?

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: We attract each other (laughter).

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: So in your family, who’s who?

Erin: My husband’s a spender, and I’m a saver.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: You just had to get that in.

Erin: Yes. But, it’s - we’ve actually both rubbed off on each other in a good way, in that regard. He’s a spender. But, he also is a big giver. He loves to bless people.

Jim: That’s good.

John: Yeah. That’s often the case.

Erin: I can’t be stingy, you know? I could say, “No, I want to hold onto this.” So, he’s taught me how to give more generously. So, I would say, you know, getting on the same page with your spouse, which can definitely be a challenge - and I will not downplay that, because it can be.

Jim: Yeah. You mentioned that idea. And this is maybe where Jean and I struggle a bit - the miscellaneous expense budget...

Erin: Yes.

Jim: ...You know, not really tracking that. I think that’s a good idea.

Erin: Right.

Jim: Know where your money’s going.

Erin: Yes. And so, one of the line items that we do have is miscellaneous. And I’ll even give you an example. My girls just joined American Heritage Girls.

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: It’s kind of like...

Jim: Oh, yeah.

Erin: ...A Christian version of Girl Scouts. And, my husband took them to their first meeting yesterday. And we actually did not have enough in our miscellaneous for the dues for the year.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Erin: And so he said, “You know, we” - we’re living on this budget, and we don’t have enough. And he said, “I’m going to pull out of their Christmas money that they don’t even realize their grandparents had given them. And they don’t need more toys.” And so that’s kind of how we covered that. But that miscellaneous is really important, because there’s things like that that come up...

Jim: Yeah.

Erin: ...That you’re not planning for. I’ve often been asked the question, “What about, you know, like, paying handyman fees, you know, like something - the hot water heater broke down and stuff like that?” That’s going to go beyond the miscellaneous. That’s going to go into your emergency fund. And so, that’s something that we learned in our financial class - was to have a thousand dollars that we don’t touch for anything but those emergencies.

Jim: Yeah. That’s good.

Erin: And as soon as those emergencies are paid for, we need to pull out of somewhere else in our budget and replenish that emergency fund.

Jim: That’s so often what can cripple your budget, is those - the water heater breaks, and, you know, you can’t not repair it. You got to do it. And you’ve got to figure out how to do that.

Erin: Absolutely.

Jim: Erin, this has been so good. I think people have been helped. And, the stories are wonderful, your reliance upon the Lord. I know there’s so much more to cover. But you’ve touched the important things and the idea of how to generate more income so your family can survive. Those are all good things. And they’re all captured here in your book, More Than Just Making It. This is the purpose Focus has, to help people thrive in Christ and to do the best they can do with what circumstances they have. And you’ve done a great job helping us today. Thank you.

Erin: Well, I really appreciate you having me, and I really pray that your listeners are encouraged.

John: Well, make sure you get a copy of Erin’s book, More Than Just Making It: Hope For The Heart Of The Financially Frustrated. We’ve got that and other help for you at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Or call us and make a donation, when you have us on the line. Our number is 800-232-6459. Hey, Erin, before you go, I want to make sure people know they can come to the Focus on the Family website. I’m gonna to ask you a couple more questions.

Erin: OK.

Jim: And, folks can come over there and listen in. And are you willing to do that?

Erin: Oh, absolutely.

Jim: Well, let’s do it.

Erin: I’d love to.

Closing:

Jim: Here’s an amazing thing everybody - because of your financial support, last year alone, we were able to help over 940,000 moms and dads build stronger, healthier and more God-honoring families. I want to pat you on the back to say thank you for supporting the ministry and really doing ministry through Focus. We are having an impact on the culture in great ways. And for those who support us financially, let me simply say thank you. Thank you for being there for these families, like the ones Erin is talking about in her book, people who need help. You’re providing it. 

John: And join our support team, when you get in touch. When you make a donation of any amount to this listener supported ministry, we’ll send Erin’s great book, More Than Just Making It, as our thanks to you. And let me say that phone number one more time, 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. Well join us next time for an incredible testimony. Walter Hoye. He shares about being arrested simply for sharing God’s love on a sidewalk outside an abortion clinic.

Teaser:

Walter Hoye: She says, “Will God forgive me now? She’s already dying.” But I want everyone to know that God will love - God does love you, and He’ll forgive you right now.

End of Teaser

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Guest

Erin Odom

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Through the inspirational and practical content found on her highly popular blog, The Humbled Homemaker, Erin Odom equips and encourages women to use their God-given gifts and passions to overcome life's challenges. She has authored several books including More Than Just Making It and You Can Stay Home With Your Kids. Erin and her husband, Will, reside in North Carolina and have three young daughters.