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Quiet Times with a Newborn with Special Guest Heidi Howerton

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Episode Synopsis

Jani is delighted to have her former co-host, Heidi Howerton, join her to wish you a Happy Easter! Find out what God is teaching Heidi during this stretching season in her life.

Audio Transcript

Jani: Well, hello, everyone and a Happy Easter Week to you! I have a special Easter guest and a prize for my listeners who love Heidi Howerton. Heidi’s with me today.

Heidi: Hello, everyone, I hope you are doing so well. And I wish you the happiest Easter with your with family, and really enjoying the Lord’s Day.

Jani: Heidi, it is just wonderful having you back podcasting with me. I’ve missed you.

Heidi: Oh, Jani, I’ve missed you, too. And yet, I’m so proud of the way the Lord has used you to share His discipleship curriculum with all of your listeners. He has been with you, and doing amazing things through you. So what an honor to sit and hear what He has to say to everyone, and be challenged in my own heart.

Jani: Well, thank you, Heidi, that’s sweet. Now what do I say? I’m embarrased.

Catching up with Heidi (Life & Family)

Jani: But what I thought our listeners would love, is a catch up with their friend, Heidi. So, Heidi, tell us about your life. We have another little guest with us here today, don’t we?

Heidi: Yes! Abigail Jane is with us today. And right now she is seven months old. So, not quite moving out yet, but sitting up on her own. Oh, what a joy and a gift from God.

Jani: And for our listeners who don’t know, she is number four in your family. Tell us the ages of your other three children.

Heidi: Yes. So, Hannah is nine years old and in third grade, James is seven years old and in first grade, and then Gideon is six years old and in kindergarten. And then there’s Abby, who’s just seven months. So it’s a busy season in life. Four kids is a lot of kids! They’re also wonderful. And they keep me hoppin’.

Heidi: Well, they’re at different stages, too. So, how do the older three respond to Abigail?

Heidi: Oh, they love her. Just, a different type of care comes out of their hearts. Hannah’s more motherly. The boys you can see look out for her—what is she doing? Very interested in her. Everyone is grateful that she’s a part of our family.

Jani: Oh, well, there was a special time in your life when you were praying, should you have a fourth baby, and the Lord really spoke into the situation and guided you and Mike through it all, didn’t He?

Heidi: Yes. For years, we prayed about that fourth after I had cancer. I was diagnosed with cancer when Gideon, my third child, was just three months old. So we had three under three, and a cancer diagnosis. And it just took many years for me to get my feet underneath me again. And at that point, we thought, “Should we have another one? Should we not?” and prayed, and tried to seek, as well. And sometimes you just have to wait on the Lord to show you, and finally Mike and I both said, “We think the time is right.” And I praise God for her little life.

Jani: Yes. Oh, I wish our listeners could see her. She’s just a beautiful, little, doll baby. Maybe you can hear her playing on Heidi’s lap here. It’s fun to have her join us.

Heidi: But I just want to encourage you women out there that are wondering, should we have another one? Should we not? Keep pressing into God. It took years, but He was so faithful to show us His perfect timing.

Jani: Thanks for that testimony, Heidi.

Jani: Well, Heidi, tell our listeners a little bit about your life right now, on top of the four children. Tell us about that, and your home, and your work…all that you’re doing.

Heidi: Yeah, so we’ve really pared-down. And the big focuses right now are Mike and the kids, and homeschooling the kids, and then I do real estate on the side. So, just serving two to three clients at a time in that new career, which has been such a gift. Very sweet and unique opportunity to love people in different seasons of life.

“What about school for the kids?”

Jani: Well, talk about homeschooling a little bit. I know you have a tutorial. And then you have a tutor come into your home part time, and then you homeschool them. It’s kind of a perfect mix.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Heidi: Yes, it’s a unique setup for doing the different things that the Lord has called me to do. I often am so reminded of my weaknesses. Women look at me and they say, “Heidi, how can you do it all? How can you have four children, and homeschool them, and take care of Mike, and have a real estate career?” and I look and I say, I really can’t do it all by myself. And so, it’s knowing when to ask for help.

Heidi: It was really important to Mike and I to keep the children home for discipleship. I think all types of education are wonderful, and God calls different families to different things. And for us in this season, it’s homeschooling. That’s not to say we might not transfer to public school one day. So, we want to keep them home, and yet I also wanted to, or needed to, work real estate. And I thought, “Lord, how do I do this?” and in His perfect timing, he provided a tutor. So two days a week, the children go to school under a tutorial, three days a week, they’re home with me. And then for a few hours, two of those days the kids are home with me, we have a tutor come. So many hands make light work. I’m grateful for our wonderful teacher who helps our children. I’m grateful for the time that I get to spend one-on-one with the kids. And I’m grateful for our tutorial that also pours the love of Jesus into their hearts.

Jani: It just sounds like it’s a happy mix, where you really know what your children are being taught. And you enter into that, but you also have the help you need to ensure that they’re being educated to the level you want them to be educated.

Heidi: Yes. Those are hard decisions. How will we educate our children? How will I manage everything? I want to work and I need to work? How do we balance that in? So a lot of prayer and time go into those decisions, Mike and I together, and some creativity. Well, what if we did this? And what if we did this? Or humbling moments, where I come to Mike and I say, “Honey, I’m trying to do it all, and I want to, and I feel so weak and I’m failing in this area, and in this area.” And he often looks at me and says, “Well, what kind of help do you need?” and then we start brainstorming together what to do. But I’m so grateful. We’re really in a wonderful season of life right now. I feel very, very blessed in all capacities from the Lord’s kindness to us.

“What about Quiet TImes with a Newborn?”

Jani: Well, let’s talk about that a little bit, Heidi. Talk to our listeners who’ve just had a new baby and are struggling with their quiet times with the Lord. Maybe their baby isn’t sleeping well and they’re exhausted. They’re at their end. Can you share some of what you’ve been going to, and some of the ways the Lord has helped you and sustained you?

Heidi: Guys first, I would just go up to that woman and give her a hug, and say, “Whether you have one baby or four, it is really, really hard.” I knew going into Abigail’s newborn season, how challenging it would be, knowing it, and experiencing it physically on your body. When you’re up every two hours, and every three hours, and you’ve been used to sleeping through the night. It is so hard, and lack of sleep affects every area in your life. So, I would just give that mom a hug and say more than anything, give yourself grace. You know, figure out things to make life easier. Use paper plates every couple of nights, or buy a premade meal from Costco. It’s okay to feel like you only have the capacity to care for your husband and your children. It’s okay to feel like you can’t give much else. I’m just coming into a season now that Abby is seven months, where I feel like I have more to give, I can get together with friends again, and to go outside of our home. Sometimes when I have a new baby, I have to remind myself, it’s okay to be home. And to just focus on the family that God’s given me for a few months.

It’s so difficult!

Heidi: As far as quiet times, I’ll humbly admit that they’ve been difficult. I have been spending two to three consistent quiet times a week with the Lord since Abby was born. But there may have been a week or two that I missed, and my soul could feel that. I just felt hungry for time with God. I missed my relationship with him. And then I thought, “Well, what do I do? How do I add this in?” I’m so tired. Getting up early in the morning doesn’t feel like a right fit, especially when Abby was waking up every two hours at night. And yet I missed the Lord. And I know how important He was.

The pure milk of the Word

Heidi: So a good friend looked at me and said, “Heidi, maybe you just go back to the Psalms.” And I thought, “Oh, back to the Psalms.” My pregnancy was so hard. I spent almost my entire pregnancy in the Psalms just being fed. And she said, “Well, wouldn’t it be better to be fed by the Lord and be in the Psalms almost every day, than to be intimidated about reading a more difficult piece of scripture?” And so I thought, “Okay, let me go back to the Psalms.” And that has been so refreshing for my soul. It grounds me in the Lord. It allows me to hear His voice in the morning; His love.

Heidi: So I try to make a time every day or every other day for him. I’ll often wake up in the morning and nurse the baby and feed the children. And then I tell them, “Okay, Mommy’s gonna have quiet time with God.” And so I set the children up with some books to read or toys to play with. I put Abby on her playmat, because she’s happiest in the morning. And I spend 30 minutes reading my Bible and praying. Or it might look like, in the afternoon, when Abby goes down for her nap. And I say, this is important enough that we’re not going to do homeschooling for 30 minutes, and everyone’s going to do quiet time, and I’m going to read my Bible. And I tell the kids, “I’m going to read my Bible. This is important. Please don’t interrupt me.” And I try to make time for Him. I’m so grateful for the Psalms, because sometimes when we walk through hard, draining seasons of life, we need to read those simple prayers, words of David, and ultimately of the Holy Spirit and God to feed our souls.

Jani: Yes. Isn’t that a wonderful kindness of the Lord to include a hymn book in the middle of the Bible. We go to it so often because it’s so real. It speaks to us of both realities, our physical, spiritual, reality here on Earth, and the unseen reality of God and His Spirit.

Heidi: Exactly. And it speaks to us about seasons of joy and seasons of sorrow. It speaks to all of those emotional struggles and mountain moments that we have. So if I’m going through a hard season in life, that’s often where I’ll end up. But oh, I’m ready. I’m ready to start eating something with a little bit more meat again.

Jani: Well, once Abby gets on solid food (she just started a little bit ago) now, you can get a little more solitude.

Heidi: Exactly, yep, I’ve been thinking, “Where do I want to start?” I always need a plan. That’s what’s best for me. So I’ve been thinking, where should I start? What kind of plan do I want to get into again?

Jani: Well, I tend to think, “Nursing babies need milk.” Moms who are nursing can just drink from the pure milk of the Word. And then, as the baby grows more and can digest more, then the mother can take in more meat, and strength, and more time from the Word.

Heidi: My soul needed that, Jani. Thank you. I think it’s easy, as a mom, to feel guilty for only having the capacity to read Psalms, or to think, “I should be doing something more.” So thank you for speaking that truth over me.

Join us in praying for All the Young Moms out there!

Jani: Well, we want this podcast to restore our souls don’t we, Heidi? We don’t want it to be, “You should do this. And if you don’t do that, then I think the Lord might be scowling.” We want to speak truth into women’s hearts, where they can feel God’s restorative powers pouring into them, giving them what they need for where they are in their life now.

Jani: Heidi, it’s been great having you back. Thank you for coming over with little Abby. She’s darling.

Heidi: Thank you for the privilege and the honor of just spending time with you as a dear friend, and then even coming up with the idea for us to sit and podcast together. What a joy and surprise it was to my heart today. And oh, all of you, women, I pray for you. And I just pray that you are soaking in this discipleship curriculum. And I pray that the Lord is with you as you meet with different women or groups of women, that He’s pouring in His wonderful power into your lives and you’re drawing closer to Him.

Jani: Well, why don’t we close today by praying for those young moms who are listening today, who maybe are in the same spot you are, Heidi, where they’re drinking milk from the Word—they’re happy when they can get it, but they want more—and they’re looking forward to that season when they can have more time with the Lord.

Jani: “So, Father, I want to bring that young mom today, who is nursing a baby, and she’s exhausted; she’s up every two hours during the night, and then she has other things to do during the day. Lord, I pray for her. Draw near to her. Comfort her. Give her hope, Lord, that this is a season, and all seasons come to an end. She has another season to look forward to ahead of her. Lord, I pray that you would restore her soul as only you can. Gently lead her. She is with young, and You promise us in Isaiah 40 that you gently lead those who are with young. Would you do that for our young moms who are listening today? In Jesus name, amen.”

Jani: Well, thank you all for listening. We’re so glad you tuned in. And we’re so glad for this surprise visit with Heidi. It just made my day so happy. And I know you’re glad to hear from her. Hopefully you can come back again soon, Heidi.

Heidi: I would love that, Jani, and I love you.

Jani: I love you, too.

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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