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Balancing Business and Family God’s Way with Special Guest Katie Lewis

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Episode Synopsis

Katie Lewis, founder of dearmushka.com, shares how God has restored her soul and kept her family centered on Him while building both a new business and a young family. She offers wise counsel for us in areas like setting boundaries, living by priorities, and meeting daily with the Lord.

Audio Transcript

Heidi: Welcome everyone to He Restores My Soul with Heidi Howerton and my wonderful friend,

Jani: Jani Ortlund. You always make me giggle.

Heidi: And I have the absolute honor and privilege of being here with another wonderful friend and amazing woman of God, Katie Lewis.

Katie Lewis: Hello, everyone.

Heidi: Katie is a full-time mama. She also has a most wonderful business that she runs called Dear Mushka. And Katie is a woman that just exudes the Lord. We had her on here for our last podcast episode and got to know her a little bit more. But she just has so much wisdom to share that the Lord has poured into her. We were excited to invite her on for one more episode.

Jani: Yes, Katie, thank you for giving us today again, my goodness!

Jani: Most of our listeners are very busy. They’re either mothers, very busy with children at home, employed full-time—some of them are both (employed part-time or full-time with little ones at home). And those who aren’t, like me, can remember back.

Our Goal for Today

Jani: So we would like to spend some time today encouraging our listeners. I’d like to start with what it’s like to develop a business and welcome your husband into that (be working together). I’d like to start with marital advice that you might have, and then talk about the business. And then we want to talk about your relationship with Jesus Christ, which just shines through.

Question 1: “Do you have any advice for working on a business with your husband?”

Jani: So tell us, do you have any advice for our listeners that might be married and maybe work with their husbands?

Katie Lewis: Well, hello, everyone. I’m happy to be back with you.

TIP #1: Counseling is a good thing!

That’s a great question. Am I allowed to say that going to counseling is a really good thing?

Heidi: Yes! We’ve talked about counseling a lot on the podcast.

Katie Lewis: Okay, I will just say that it has been such a blessing to our marriage, to be willing to work out issues instead of—this would not be true of Robert—but for me putting my foot in the ground and saying “This is the way it should be.” I need somebody to kind of mediate in between and just help. And so I would say counseling has been a really huge blessing in our marriage as we kind of work through.

Jani: Help our listeners know how to find a good counselor.

Katie Lewis: Oh, well, you can do what I did. Again, just copy somebody. So I said, “Heidi, do you like her? Can I see her?” That would be my suggestion. Do you know of anybody who sees a counselor? Can you just ask them for a recommendation.

Jani: That’s such a good idea. Or call your pastor. He might know. Or even your doctor, you can ask if it’s at that point where you just can find no one and that could be the first step toward finding a counselor. But that’s a good first step.

Jani: What else?

TIP #2: Clear Division of Labor

Katie Lewis: Well, I would say something else that’s helped us more practically, is to have a clear division of labor, which I think can help any household whether you’re doing a business together or not. There are things that Robert is in control of and there are things that I am in control of, and that has really helped us.

Katie Lewis: You know, for me, I’m in charge of the creative aspect of our business. So coming up with new jewelry pieces, doing some graphic design work, which I’m learning slowly and Robert kind of does everything else. And I just have to trust him to do those things with excellence. And he does. He handles it better than if I were in there kind of meddling.

Question 2: “How do you balance and do it all?”

Heidi: I have a question, Katie. So many of our listeners probably have a hard time figuring out how do I balance running a business and how do I pour into my kids? You homeschool your children. How do you do it all without kind of giving too much time to your business? Or how do you kind of devote yourself to the children but not leave your business behind?

Katie Lewis: That’s a great question, Heidi. I think first, it’s helpful to know what God has called us to primarily. And so for me that would be being a wife and a mother that will always come before this business. I’ve done it wrong. Sometimes I remember when my second child was born, there’s just such this clear memory of him crying in his bed. He didn’t want to take a nap. And I felt like, I cannot go to him right now because I have work to do. There are times we’ve let our children cry because I think it’s the best thing for them but this was not one of those times, and I remember feeling so broken right then and saying “God, I need help.” And he has provided. I think when we say “God, I cannot do it on my own.” He’ll bring people into your life.

Katie Lewis: So at that point, we started hiring employees. After that Robert came on full-time to do this business with me. And I think a small business will take from you everything you give it and so boundaries need to happen. I’ve had to say these are my work hours. If it doesn’t get done in those hours, minus something exceptional going on, then it just isn’t going to get done. And that’s not what the Lord has for me today. And that’s okay, I can just let it go.

Question 3: “DO you ever stay up at night worrying?”

Jani: Do you ever stay up at night worrying about it or wake up at four thinking, “Oh, I’ve got such a big day ahead of me”?

Katie Lewis: Rarely. And I think that’s because I know that the idea for this business and the growth of this business was not from my own wisdom or ability. If it were left to me, I would have quit a long time ago when I had to figure out taxes. But God, I just see his hands all over this. And so I trust that he’s going to get us where he needs us to go. And if it requires me to stay up late, that kind of has a trickle down effect that’s negative. If I stay up late, I don’t want to get up early in the morning to be in the Word. And if I’m not in the Word, then what am I doing talking to women and making jewelry based on scripture. And so I just have to say, “That’s not a good idea. He’ll take care of it.”

Heidi: Jani, that reminds me of an Elizabeth Elliot quote where she talks about that. God hasn’t given us more in a day than we have time to do. So if we don’t have time to do it, then it must not all be of the Lord, that’s always really helpful to me.

Katie Lewis: Yes, I think you’re right. I mean, don’t we, as women want to do so many things, even if we don’t have a business—there are hobbies that I want to learn, and people I want to meet with. And I could just go on and on and on. And so we have to remember that we are finite creatures with limited hours. And that’s how God intended it to be. And so we just say yes to only what he’s called us to do, which is easier said than done.

Jani: Mm hmm. Well, we can see, and I’m sure our listeners can hear from you, Katie, how God has restored your soul. How he does restore it. So thank you for that. Because we don’t want to be women who get to the end of our lives and are just blasted with frantic, anxious, worry-filled years, always feeling like we were never caught up. We really want to serve the Lord joyfully, we want to work heartily and earnestly, but with restored souls. So thank you for that, Katie, that’s really helpful.

Question 4: “What does your personal walk with the Lord look like?”

Jani: And that leads us into what Heidi and I really would love for you to share with our listeners is your own personal walk with the Lord. Because that’s how your soul is restored. I mean, you are quoting scripture, you want to spend time with him. Talk to us all about how you relate to the Lord Jesus Christ, your King.

Katie Lewis: That’s a great question, Jani. I almost feel like I should just tell you to go back and listen to your past podcasts. Because everything I’ve learned, I feel like it’s just straight from you. As we’ve done discipleship together and grown, but that’s how it should be. Right? We are just passing the torch down. I think that was Charlotte Mason, who talks about that and it’s so helpful to me.

TIP: Dedicate Consistent Time (and Sleep!)

Katie Lewis: Yes, so for me, finding a consistent time to spend with the Lord is crucial. And I think it starts the night before. That’s often what I say, we have to go to bed early enough to know that we have gotten decent sleep so that when our alarm goes off in the morning, we’re able to get up. You know, for me if I think “oh, let me count. I only got this many hours of sleep.” I might be tempted to lay in bed, but if I know that I have gotten enough sleep, then I can tell myself, “Okay, Katie, the right thing to do is to get up.”

Heidi: So what time do you go to bed, Katie?

Katie Lewis: I try to be asleep by 10. Absolutely asleep so that I can wake up at six. That’s eight hours of sleep. Now this is without a newborn, a newborn in the house changes everything. But once our children start sleeping through the night, that’s kind of my goal to wake up at 6am and be with the Lord for an hour. And in that time, it incorporates all sorts of things. Bible reading and prayer and scripture memorization and maybe even just reading a commentary or a spiritual book. I’ve heard it said that we should, “Wake up and get our heart happy in the Lord before we interact with anyone else.” And so that’s what I hope to do before I meet our children in the kitchen and we start our day. Otherwise, I’m a mess.

TIP: Have a Bible-reading Plan

Jani: What are you doing for your quiet times these days?

Katie Lewis: I think that I have found a good rhythm. Let me tell you, Jani. So for Bible reading for years, I was reading straight through the whole Bible, and I absolutely love that. But I always thought I get to the end of the New Testament, and it’s a little bit rushed. And so I have started to do one year Old Testament, one year in New Testament.

Heidi: I love that idea.

Katie Lewis: Yes. So for the New Testament, it takes three months to work through it. So what I’ve been doing is: three months of reading straight through the New Testament, and then the fourth month, I’ve been studying a specific book of the Bible. And then I do it again. So three times this year I’ve read through the New Testament and then studied in depth a specific book, and then next year, I’ll do the Old Testament—and you can only read through the Old Testament one time; it takes nine months, the way I’m doing it, but that leaves three months. So I’ll kind of do the same thing, three months of Old Testament, one month of in depth study, and to continue that way. And it just, it’s been so good to have a plan and to feel like I’m getting the whole story of Scripture.

Heidi: Do you have a plan that you use that tells you what chapters to read every day?

Katie Lewis: Yes. So I just use a chronological Bible reading plan. There are so many. Here’s a really good resource. If you all have not heard of The Bible Recap, I cannot recommend them enough. Tara-Leigh is the host and she has a podcast. It’s like a five minutes kind of recap on what you’ve read that day through your chronological plan, and it feels like you’re reading with a friend. There’s a little bit of accountability there and somebody who knows far more than I do who can kind of say, “Now, what you just read was…” You know, as you’re going through the Old Testament, it can feel a little daunting. So I follow her chronological plan and I just take it at my own speed and can listen to those podcasts if I need help

Jani: Give us her name again.

Katie Lewis: It’s Tara-Leigh Cobble. And she hosts The Bible Recap.

Jani: Tara-Leigh Cobble. Wonderful.

Katie Lewis: Yes, I can send you that link.

TIP: Meditate on Scripture

Heidi: You also have a great method for scripture meditation, Katie. Can you tell us about that and teach us how you meditate on scripture?

Katie Lewis: Yes, well, again, I just copy people who have come before me. So Charlotte Mason, who was an 1800s home educator, has this system for memorizing anything. And you use a 4×6 note cards with little tabs that you put in like a recipe box. And so I have kind of incorporated this product into our business. They’re called the verse memorization tabs. And I just write scripture on verse cards or we sell verse cards if you want them that way. And every day, there’s one verse that I say behind my daily tab, a verse I say behind our even or odd tab, so you start with the day that you’re on. So today is January 20. So that’s an even day, the 20th. So I would say, my verse behind daily, my verse behind even, my day of the week, Monday through Sunday, and then my date, the 20th. I know it sounds a little bit confusing, but what you’re doing is, you’re just re-hashing a few verses every day, you’re saying them out loud. Sometimes I pray them back to God, if I’m not sure what to pray, and it just keeps God’s Word right at the front of my mind, so that it flows out. That’s kind of the hope. And it takes less than five minutes. And it seems to work. So, thank you, Charlotte Mason.

Jani: That’s wonderful, well we’ll have her name on the transcript as well.

Katie Lewis: I thought you were gonna say you would have her on. Jani, you’ve missed your opportunity.

Jani: I know. I wish we could. Someday in heaven we’ll thank her. So you can check that out on our website at herestoresmysoul.org.

Jani: Anything else about your prayer life? Or could we move into discipling other women?

Question 5: “Do you Disciple other women?”

Katie Lewis: Yes. Let’s move into discipling other women.

Jani: Talk to us about that and how God has laid that on your heart. What it looks like in your time of life?

Katie Lewis: Sure. Well, I was in your discipleship group—it’s been eight or nine years ago, Janie—but you kind of sent us out with the idea to replicate this in a way that makes sense. And so I led a discipleship group in my home for a year. And then they asked to do it again. So we did and we just kept going! And that was really wonderful.

Katie Lewis: But I think God can also use other platforms. This podcast would be a way that you all are discipling women, and for me, he has called me to use my Instagram account for His glory in that way. And so I try to show women, “This is what it looks like as a busy mom, just to get in your word. You can still do this. And here’s how I pray. Here’s some systems that are working for me.” I think we all want that. We want to see somebody else doing it. And then we say, “Oh, I can do that, too, I think.” And so I hope to just show women, that you don’t need anything fancy to spend time with the Lord. He is so accessible to us. He’s near to us. And as we draw near to him, he’s there. He’s waiting.

Jani: I love that. You’re showing us that we don’t have to create it all ourselves. Sometimes that can feel so overwhelming. Even Paul said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ,” ( 1 Corinthians 11:1). He was imitating the Lord and he encouraged others to imitate him. So imitation is not bad, it’s biblical.

Katie Lewis: Yes, it’s how we learn. I think about Titus 2, you know, we have older women who are teaching us and then we’re to teach other people. We teach our children. We just keep it going.

Jani: Yes, yes.

Simple Reminder: Find Him Wherever you are

Katie Lewis: I just want to remind women that we do not need the perfect scene to meet with the Lord. We don’t need our candle and our coffee and something that looks like an Instagram moment. He just longs to know us and to have us know him. And I think some of my sweetest moments with the Lord are when I’m meeting with him over a baby crying or maybe a baby is in my lap. We have to remember that the goal is to know Him more deeply and to worship him, and I think sometimes when I get caught up in the perfect moment, it becomes more about me than about him. So I just want to encourage you listeners to go and find him wherever you are. Even if you’re listening to an audio Bible in the car. Different seasons require different things and he’s there. He’s ready for us wherever.

Jani: Oh, that’s beautiful. And what a wonderful way for us to bring this episode to a close, Katie. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Jani: We want to once again remind our listeners that you can find more of Katie and her wonderful ideas, her godly spirit and your beautiful jewelry on her website at dearmushka.com. And we’ll also have it on our website as well a link there, but we hope you’ll visit her website. I know you’ll be blessed as Heidi and I and 1000s of other women have as well.

Jani: So we thank you. God bless you, Katie, as you help restore many souls through your love through the Lord. He is the ultimate restorer but he’s using you. So thank you.

Katie Lewis: Thank you for having me, ladies.

Thank You

Thank you for joining us today. This podcast is generously funded through Renewal Ministries. If you would like to discover more about Jani and Ray’s ministry or make a donation, visit their website at renewalministries.com. If you have a question for Jani or would like to learn more about this podcast, please visit our website at herestoresmysoul.org.

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He Restores My Soul with Jani Ortlund seeks to encourage women with God’s renewing power for their busy lives. Episodes include relevant biblical teaching, stimulating gospel conversations with other Christians, and “Ask Jani” sessions where we talk about what’s on our listeners’ hearts.

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