We returned to the cardiologist group office two weeks after our last visit. We had trouble finding the room; all the numbers had been rearranged. To us, it appeared more confusing than before. The nurse chatted with Wendy and me as she placed stickers all over my body for my cardiogram. Commenting on the chaotic room arrangement, she shrugged, “Too many people in charge around here.” We laughed.

How timely this observation was for us. Like the cardiologist group, companies go through reorganizations every few years. Working at Focus on the Family (goodness, it has been seven years!) it seemed we were constantly going through “re-orgs.” The schools I worked for in the 90’s, every year seemed like a re-org. While re-orgs cost money and time and usually burdens the employees with a fair amount of hassle, they are healthy for the organization. Often necessary.

Two days ago I posted on the good news of my positive prognosis of myocarditis. Wendy and I are still reveling in the joyous news. Yesterday I posted on the bad news of our mountain of medical bills, coupled with struggling businesses. Like the nurse at the cardiologist’s office, we’re feeling a burden. It’s a re-org of our life. There are a few key things I’m rearranging. I really need to. We’re considering it a “Jeub Family Re-org.”

I’m going to list some of the specifics tomorrow, but for today, can you allow me a deep spiritual thought here? Here it is: I’m not the head of my household. Jesus Christ is, and I love the man. If I were the boss, there would be “too many people in charge around here.” This Christianity stuff isn’t fake. He is real, He is risen, and He’s in charge. Jesus has my attention now, and He’s been quite serious lately. He’s my answer to my troubles. In fact, I’d wager that my troubles have answers in them.

Troubles. Hassles. Bothers. Do you have your share in your life? I bet you do. Who doesn’t? If you claim your life is hassle free, I doubt your testimony, just like everyone in your life probably does. I invite you to consider these three fundamental truths of a lifetime re-org:

1. Jesus calls us. If you don’t know Jesus Christ, I’m very sorry. He is the perfect friend in troubling times. And this includes any religious types who think they’ve got their theology all wrapped up in a neat, sterile ball of legalism. Jesus turned tables over hyper-religious obstacles we put in our way from knowing God. Jesus loves us, he “stands at the door and knocks” (Rev. 3:20), he wants us to let him into our lives. He’s calling me and my family into a personal relationship with Him. Man, I wish more people just opened their hearts to Him. They’d discover a whole new world.

2. There is love here. John Eldredge reminded me lately that Jesus is “love in action.” Love in action. I may inadvertently refer to my trials as “hard times,” but this is love happening. Love, the Greatest Commandment, twisted by the rock-n-roll world and so lightly spoken among Christians. Wendy and I strain over every word in our books, each blasting love like trumpets (Love Another Child, in the House, in the Kitchen, even on a Diet). Oh, how Wendy and I want to keep preaching the Good News.

3. We aren’t meant to do this alone. Wendy and I have dreamed about selling a million books and allowing the royalties to keep the writing pen moving. You know the dream, don’t you? Having all your money problems solved to continue (or start!) what you love to do? Same with Training Minds Ministry. I have plenty of coaches — way better at coaching than me — chomping at the bit to make this a full-time gig. Instead, they work on their vacation time, and I finance the ministry on a shoe string. Picture this future: families that love each other, build up one another, and are able to communicate Christ’s love to the world. That’s our vision, and I so wish people supported it!

There is a deep, universal truth stirring up here, and Wendy and I are spending a good deal of time (praise God for that myocarditis!) praying to God, trying to figure this out. It has much to do with the Greatest Commandment — love — the relationship between us an God, us and others, us and you. There may be tension in our life right now — financial, relational, spiritual — and I’m sensing the levy ready to break soon. I’m a little uneasy as to what the waters will bring, but I’m sure looking forward to the cleansing.

My guess is that this resonates with you. Wendy and I would love to hear from you. We have a ton of followers, over a thousand every day, most of which are “gawkers.” That’s not meant to be demeaning; I visit a ton of sites that I never post on either. But now may be the time, especially if something I’m ranting on is strumming a chord. If anything, I’d simply like to hear from you. Please post your thoughts below.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Dave

    “Picture this future: families that love each other, build up one
    another, and are able to communicate Christ’s love to the world. That’s our vision, and I so wish people supported it!”I think you described the Kingdom of God or, alternatively, the church.  Be encouraged that the vision you and Wendy share is also the vision Jesus and His people worldwide.

    • Chris Jeub

      “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

  • Anonymous

    I commend you for sharing the issues your family is going through.  Its very easy to praise God when everything is good but its a lot harder to praise God from the depths of despair and worry. Our family has been going through a few years of financially hard times and we keep looking at the budget and “re-orging” things to free up some much needed cash.  As we continue to refine the budget I’m not sure how much more we can cut but in the end I know we will be alright.  Might take a few years but we will get there.

    • Chris Jeub

      VERY encouraging word, Bea. Isn’t God awesome? Thank you for sharing.

  • Jennifer Mull

    Awesome! So many don’t realize that Christ is the Head of the home… one of the very first things the Lord taught us when we were new Christians, for example, was that WE were not the providers for our family… no matter how many children we were to have, HE is our Provider (and a good one) and that took the pressure off us to be “financially responsible” in the way the world thinks, as we continued to have children. Yes, we want to be good stewards, but no, we are not better stewards if we choose to have fewer children out of fear for lack of provision.

  • Jennifer S

    I recently devoured a book called “Leading with a Limp” by Dan Allender. He says that disillusionment is the tipping point to hope. When things don’t go the way we wanted to, we can get fatalistic. But if we take that disillusionment and turn it for the good, we find hope. That is what i hear. God uses ALL things to bring us closer to him, renewing us and helping us find a new perspective that is closer to him.

    • Chris Jeub

      “Disillusionment is a tipping point to hope.” Whoa…that’s heavy.

      • TSO

        I was taught at a young age to “take a frown and turn it upside down”.  A very simple concept, but if taught to children when young and applied, then hopefully as adults they will take a proactive attitude towards adversity, instead of remaining trapped into thinking there is nothing else they can do for themselves and their situation.

  • BeanIrene

    Love your optimism and how you know that God is working FOR you..not making things happen TO you.

    Praise Jesus…and many prayers for continued healing, and the LOVE it takes to get through it all!

    • Chris Jeub

      That’s a good way to look at it: not TO you, but FOR you.

  • Lauren

    We appreciate your encouragement and the fact that I can say to y’all, “I ONLY have nine kids!”

  • V

    Amen, Chris!  The times of my life that have felt most chaotic, out of control, depressing, scary – were the very times God has used to grow me up in Him.  To show me that I need to lean on Him and follow His lead.  To save my marriage, the life of my fourth son, and – oh, yeah – my eternal soul.  😉

    Right now, my dh is earning his degree, a stressful but exciting development.  I’m beginning to seriously pursue my calling of writing.  It’s a time of wondering, not knowing what God is going to do in the end, but we’re just keeping our focus on what we know He wants from us, and leaving the details up to Him.

    • Chris Jeub

      Amen to you, too! Keep me posted on your adventures.

  • T. Gates

    I, too, have been thinking about things that I can re-org in my life and in my life with my family.  It’s TOO easy to let television, internet, etc. get in the way of what really matters.  Encouraging each other in our walk with Christ is a good start!

    • Chris Jeub

      You’ve got me thinking. I’m going to limit my time on Internet news sites. I’m a current events junkie, which isn’t necessarily evil or anything, but it keeps me from the good work God is calling me to. Thanks T. Gates!

      • T. Gates

        Exactly!  There are a lot of things that I do daily that are not evil, but they are not important,either!

  • Tfehler

    I so know this feeling – you are in a good place and i pray for you that you hear Him speak loudly to you over the next days and weeks!

  • Mikeblloyd

    I was made redundant this year and had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that I was no longer needed in my old job.  I still wanted to do it, but they did not need me any more and so I had to find another job.

    Although it is hard to take, maybe in this financial climate, people out there just do not feel a need for your books and debate camps right now?  Maybe God’s will is for you and the other adults in the family to get paid work in an areas that is of a higher priority? Maybe there are jobs out there that will carry an income and health insurance, thus doubling the reward God wants to bestow on you for your efforts?

    Praying for you all xx

    • Chris Jeub

      Mike, I appreciate your thoughts. I interpret your idea as this: perhaps God wants me to lay off the ministry (books, camps, etc.) to get a job. The return would be a steady income and health insurance. This would somehow double the blessings to my family.

      Oh, my, I can’t tell you how much I disagree with this. I’m really not out to gain money, security, comfort, leisure. Never have, and I dare to say never will. Don’t get me wrong — I appreciate the candidness of your idea, Mike — but the idea that hard times should motivate me to abandon the good work God called me to do is extremely foreign to my thinking.

      Perhaps getting a job is in my future, but the reason would NOT be to avoid trials, or to seek a doubling of awards or whatnot. It’d either be a temporary situation to keep bills paid, or it would have to be a job that lines up with God’s calling for me and my family.

  • Pawsaw12

    We are going through the trials as well. My husband was laid off his job then got it back as a limited term postition. So he started working two jobs. Some days working 18 hours with only a few hours sleep. We have three children two of which are special needs. Now we just learned my husband has cancer. He will be having surgery soon. We are not sure about his jobs praying he can keep the first one so we can keep our medical.
    Praise the Lord he is in control !!!!!
    Don’t know how people go through stuff like this without the Lord, We are holding tight to His truths.
    We are praying for you and your family !

    • Chris Jeub

      And I’m praying for you, too, Pawsaw. Thank you for sharing your story.

      • Pawsaw12

        Thank you
        God Bless You

  • Marie

    Beautifully written and so true !!! Jesus is definitely in charge !  So thankful for you to be on the mend. … looking forward to hearing more about your re-org :)

  • Carl

    Dear Mr. Jeub,

    Here are some suggestions, which are respectfully meant. If you don’t agree, please debate me, don’t ban me.

    Here are some ideas which will let you pay your doctors. It will also give your kids a home without substantial money worries. I am sure God wants your kids to have sufficient food, clothing, transportation, and a solid education. You seem to care about your kids very much, and are very proud of them, so I am sure you want these things too. Anyway, here are my ideas:

    1.  Get a job with health insurance
    2. put your kids in public school and have Wendy get a job
    3.  have your older kids get jobs
    4. do your debate ministry on the side
    5. Stop having kids until your financial situation is stable
    6. go on public assistance if necessary

    If you continue your debate ministry and fail to pay your medical bills, you are harming the doctors and hospitals– who also have a ministry (to heal the sick)

    • Chris Jeub

      I may save your comment for a future post, Carl. Very revealing suggestions you have here.

      I never ban people. Only trolls.

      • Carl

        Thank you. I’m glad I could help. I enjoy your wonderful blog.

        I think your first ministry is provide for your children.

        That is the first ministry for all fathers.

        In some cases, that ministry is small (if you have only 1-2) children, and there is time for other good works. In your case, you have 16 kids, so the ministry of fatherhood may force you to make choices you don’t want to make.

        It is far more important to care properly for 16 kids than it is to spread the word about homeschool debate.

  • Jenna

    Out of curiosity , what is your opinion about other fast-growing world religions  , namely Islam? Are you tolerant of them or do you constantly pray for them to become Christians?

    Also, just give me an answer. Please don’t tell me to buy your book so I can find out.

  • Bethany

    It has been interesting for me to read the comments to your posts the past couple days. Some people, it appears, are taking great pleasure in gloating over your temporary misfortunes. It reminds me of Psalm 35: 18-20

    18 I will give you thanks in the great assembly;
       among throngs of people I will praise you.  19 Let not those gloat over me    who are my enemies without cause; let not those who hate me without reason    maliciously wink the eye. 20 They do not speak peaceably,    but devise false accusations    against those who live quietly in the land.

    I, personally, would like to say that I own all of your books and they have been a great blessing to me and my family. So even if God now leads you down a new path, thank you for the labor you and Wendy put into them. We cannot always see the fruits of our labors, but God can and he knows why he has the plans for us that he does.

    Secondly, these troubles are only temporary. God is using them for your good. God forges us, continually breaking us down and refining us, to make us more like him and better able to do the work he has called us to do. So like the apostle Paul, who sang hymns of thanks while sitting chained in prison, you are able to thank God for your present suffering and trust that he will make all things new in the end.

    You and your family are in my daily prayers.

    • Chris Jeub

      Your comment is very, very appreciated, Bethany. Thank you!

  • Cindy

    My family has been going through some difficult times as well. My 53yr old husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers and can no longer work. We have a 7 yr old daughter we adopted from China. I am trying to learn how to be the head of my home after being taught for years that the husband is the head of the home.  I am also a single parent now. You have such a beautiful family Chris! I think we need to remember that ultimately God is control, he has a plan  and he will take care of his children!!!!!

  • Melissa

    Just want to let you know that I am praying for you and your family and that my husband and I understand the hard times. He has a condition called P.O.T.S. and he was unable to work this summer. When he was feeling better he no longer had a job to go back due to a long story. Thus he has been looking for steady work for the past 2 months. It’s interesting though when we talk my husband, Steve, says that it’s been such a blessing to be able to deepen his relationships with our 5 kids while he was out of work. He says it’s so worth the lack of money and that God has provided for us, maybe not in a way we like the best, but He has provided. It’s scary not having the money in the bank to pay our bills but there is a great comfort in knowing that God has not let us down and let He won’t let us down. We have had to make hard decisions during this time but we’ve also had many joyous moments too. One of which is the anticipation of another son that I am due with in Feb. I guess all this rambling is to tell you that you are not alone. God is certainly watching over you and there are so many lurkers who read what you write and are so encouraged. I have every one of your family books except for the new cookbook. Thank you for all you do!

  • JOYeducator

    Chris, if I understood your comments in another article, you WILL be paying the bills with the help provided from other families who are joint sharers in your health care group. Also, you do have a job. Actually, you, like many entrepreneurs, have several jobs! While I personally would not choose the route you have taken (not my calling), I am very grateful that you and Wendy have traversed through rough waters faithfully and shared with us during your journey. You truly will not know how much you all have meant to so many until you meet Jesus face to face. You, Wendy, and your children have inspired me to walk with the Lord in a much deeper surrendered state on a daily basis. I am praying (with thousands of others I am sure) that you will continue to listen to the head of your house. HE is most reliable; HE owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). I look forward to seeing how the LORD will move a few cattle to Colorado on your behalf. ☺

    • Joyfulmom73

      Wonderful comment! I couldn’t have said it better myself! :o)

  • jenny

    A small idea, but all baby steps can help on the path to recovery. 
    1.   Do some giveaways on your blog.
    2.  Add some more advertisements from which you will get compensation.
    With the high amount of traffic that you have on your blog, you can bump it up a quite a bit! 

    • jenny

      You should be able to bring in about 1,000 dollars a month with the amount of readers you have on this blog, go for it!

  • jenny

    Another idea:
    Sell all of your books through Amazon as well as your website.  Amazon is the place where all the families go nowadays.

  • JAC

    We have been having similar struggles, on a somewhat smaller scale.  From Alabama, we have lifted your family up in prayer.  I can’t help wondering if your family has considered pursuing more TV appearances.  The Duggars have shown that there is still a strong interest in large families and Christian family life in general, which is hard to find on TV.  And your financial struggles are certainly timely and relevant to most potential viewers.  Further, your family has the infrastructure of your blog and books already in place, which could make for good cross-marketing.  And I’m just assuming there’s good money in television, although chasing money should not be a goal unto itself, of course.  At any rate, the Duggars have a contact phone number on their website and seem to have an affinity for other large families with similar convictions.  Perhaps they could offer some kind of advice.  In our personal situation and yours, too, I feel like there is a puzzle in front of us, and God is just wanting us to use the creativity he gave us to solve it in a way that pleases and glorifies Him.  And He’s great at throwing in surprise blessings that are completely separate from our own creativity.  Please pray for us, and we will gladly continue to pray for your family!  God bless!

    • Chris Jeub

      Prayers your way, JAC. Thank you!

  • Amy


    I don’t know if this is the kind of feedback you are looking for, but here is my very honest feedback. Hope this helps you as your re-org.

    Your potential customers I think fall into two categories. The large families like yours who have a lot in common with you.  Then there are others like me who have small families, seen you on TV and are curious about how a large family works. I did look at some of your books. I did not buy them for the following reasons.

    1. Homeschool debate – I did not consider them for we are not a homeschooling family, so we are not a potential customers.
    2. Your cookbooks – I took a look at your videos on you tube when I was considering how to make home made yogurt. But the amount you made seemed a  lot for our family and the process though your daughter was able to make it was not what I was looking for. I instead bought a yogurt maker from Amazon.  This was one recipe. I am not sure anyone in my family will try Kombucha :). As for Cynthia’s mac and cheese, her’s is one of several on you tube which I can get for free.  I do have an iphone and there are so many cooking apps. Most of them lead to blogs. The ones that I make and my family likes, I print out and put it in a binder. I have thus created my own cookbooks if you will of recipes my family likes and eats.  
    3. Love another child – Not applicable to our family circumstances from what little I have seen on your blog. I will read it though if our library has it.

    If your target audience is like me, they will look for free before they buy especially in this economy. I go to the library or buy old cookbooks from thrift stores. I also use the internet a lot as stated above. I am also a you tube junkie who has taught myself to crochet, knit and cook cuisines of other countries. I do own a Kindle, but I have rarely paid money to buy a book as there is so much fre stuff out there both for adults and children and I look for it quite aggresively.  We also go to free classes offered by stores to learn skills.

    My husband and I joke that we are trying to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. By God’s grace we are able to do just that, but it does take a lot of being very strict with our budget, especially our discretionary money. I hope I have not come across as criticizing but helpful in some way as you re-org your business.

    • kate

      I love the Jeub’s books and have read most of them.  I would recommend them anyone!  There is more in them than just “Have another baby.”  I am unmarried and wont be having kids anytime soon.

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