Specifics of Our Family Re-org

Living room acrobatics

There have been some outstanding comments following the past three posts (The Pressure’s OnHow Good Life Is, and Re-org). I sure appreciate the time many of you put into your thoughtful ideas and suggestions. They have definitely helped. And if you find yourself in need of a Family Re-org, I’m sure you found this discussion rich.

But I apologize. I didn’t really get specific with you in Saturday’s post. But boy, what a spiritual journey the post was. I hope you’re thinking deeply about your family, your future, your trials too. Wendy and I are going into what we’re calling a Family Re-org, and we invite you to do the same. It’d be fun to walk this journey together.

And every journey will be different. Our trials are not the same. Wendy and I are feeling tension in our life right now, and the only reason I’m posting it “to the world,” so to speak, is to encourage you to do the same. Be real. Respond to the knocking on your heart.

There I go again, emphasizing the spiritual depth rather than specifics. I just don’t want you to miss the significance of the moment. This is big. It’s needed. If you are brave enough to face a Family Re-org, you are ready to let the Holy Spirit have control. Then anything is possible. If my transparency here revs up the creative juices, then praise God!

  1. Family business. Here’s how we’re reorganizing our perspective when it comes to business: this is a family business. This is much more than just hiring my kids to make widgets. They are an integral part of the development of our message, our unique selling proposition, our budgeting, our customer service — everything! As the kids grow through their homeschooling, their schooling weaves with their national talent and gifts, and that, in turn, grows into good works for the family business.
  2. Family debt. The medical bills was just piling on an already bad financial situation. These are tough times, the worst of times to be overcome with debt. Wendy and I are attending some Dave Ramsey and Financial Freedom seminars to get a hold of our debt. We’ve been debt free most of our married life, and we were really free — free to write books, start ministries, give more and more. As you probably know, debt is slavery. I hate it just as much as you do because it limits the ability we have to follow God’s calling. Enough’s enough. I’m getting out of debt.
  3. Details, details, details. Funny, when cash flow is going well, it’s easy to let things go. Sloppiness prevails. Example: Our main website ( was a bit sloppy. It functioned okay, but it it needed some major attention. Well, check it out now. I’ve revamped it, largely because of detail, detail, detail. The same goes for excessive bills and the like. They’re going through a thorough audit.

Sorry this isn’t more specific. I suppose this will take some time. And that’s okay. I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks on how these three things are reorganizing our home life. In the end I’ll probably write a book, and the book with start with the specifics on page 1. I’ll have life all figured out by then (heh). For now, you’re invited to go along on the journey with me, my wife, and children.

About Chris Jeub

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

  • Angela Bel;tran

    Chris I just want to say that I really enjoy hearing from you and Wendy. I have come to look at them as “talking to my friends”. We all will come out of our struggles with the help of god, but until we get to the other side it’s a very scary place to be at times. So until we speak again May God give you and your family a blessed day.

    • Chris Jeub

      The feeling is mutual. Thank you Angela! God bless your family.

      • Sheila

        Hi Chris’
                   I have followed your family for a long time and I think that you are an amazing example of love and faith for other families. I live in England and   my husband has just lost his job for the second time in less than 2 years due to the economy and cutbacks.
                   We are trusting God to help us and I know that He will help your family too.
                                      We will keep you in our prayers’ these are tough times!

        • Chris Jeub

          Thanks Sheila! We appreciate the prayers, we really do.

      • Wendy Jeub


  • Emilyh

    Can you be a little bit clearer in the kind of discussion you hope to have in the comments section, please?  My take on the last posts was that you and the family are experiencing financial difficulty, you need to re-think the way forward, and you were asking for thoughts.  Some people offered sympathy, some shared that they were facing similar/worse situations, some people offered advice about ways you could generate income via getting a paid job.

    Today you say you were not specific in the last post, which implies that something was missing from the replies that you had hoped for, and so  you are trying again.  But I’m still not sure what you want.  Are you looking for responses just from families that want to go through a ‘re-org’ process alongside you? 

    • Chris Jeub

      Truth be known, I’m still trying to figure out the details myself. This is real-time, my friend, and you’re reading “raw Jeub meditations” here. More than anything, I’m enjoying reading people’s stories and testimonies. Sorry if it feels like a cliff-hanger, but to tell you the truth, I’m feeling the same! 

      Thank you for your prayers, and let’s keep in touch.

  • T. Gates

    My husband and I went through Dave Ramsey’s classes earlier this year, and I must say it’s life changing!  I’m so frustrated with myself knowing that a large portion of our debt is because of things we coveted or didn’t pray about before purchasing!  It keeps you bound as in chains!  It seems at times that getting rid of this debt is painstakingly slow, but I know we can do it and will ultimatly be able to help others more like we should because we have no debt.  We have came across some that say it’s impossible to live without debt, but with God all things are possible!  I hope that you stay encourage along this path, because if you’re like us, just when you think you’re making progress, something will come up!  If I can be of any encouragement, let me know!  Blessings to you and your family!

  • Norma Nichols

    I have to admit I dont read everyday truth be told bc I dont like ads trying to sell books and such no offense I just dont buy anything bc its not in the budget but I like todays post makes your family seem more real and that you face the same struggles that most are going through. Good Luck

  • Janetkiessling

    Awesome post!  We have done the Dave Ramsey FPU stuff also! Has helped  – ALOT!!! Hubbie listens to his pod casts – he’s very funny! I love the picture!!! Our 9 yr old is the gymnist in the family – he does those tricks all of the time while standing on his coach & then flipping! UGH! ……………Well, just wanted you all to know that we praying for you all – financially, etc!!! It’s everywhere!………………Don’t forget venting is good!!! Have a great week…………….((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))) to all!!!!! from the Kiesslings :)

    • Chris Jeub

      See response above. We were scheduled to watch Dave Ramsey the day Wendy drove me to the ER.

      • Janetkiessling

        He’s also on the radio. The kids like listening to him!! & other people & their stories! & how to make sure it doesn’t happen to them!! Dave came to Fresno – my hubbie stood in line to get his autograph & had Joseph w/ him, too. Awesome guy! He is not boring at all!

  • Jennifer Mull

    Great post. I appreciate your willingness to share your journey…. we have been in and out of small amounts of debt over the years, but for the most part, debt free outside of the mortgage…. and for many years, this made it possible for me to stay home with our kids.

    When my husband was laid off two years ago, we managed the first 6 months to keep things off the credit card, but after that, it added up very, very quickly…. we are still trying to figure out what to do and what to change. This area is very depressed economically, and for most of those two years, neither my husband nor my sons could find good jobs…. My husband worked whatever job he could get and they weren’t pleasant….

    He recently got a full time position at a local university, but not near what he was paid before the layoff… he has also picked up some side jobs… like parking cars for the university’s football games (money covers our son’s expenses to be on the homeschool soccer and basketball teams,) and recently he got a job ushering at the university’s basketball games. He  can pick which games to work, too, so he has some control over how much of our family time it eats into.

    We are trying to figure out how to keep Christmas expenses down, and I’m trying to figure out if there are ways for me to contribute as well. I do babysit one day a week, but right now, that is the only income I bring in. It is hard, though, to not compromise a lot of what we feel is important for our family if I go to work. This is why my husband continues to try to find side jobs. Our oldest two sons have regular jobs while attending college… and our 16yos and 13yos have worked some odd jobs to help pay for their activities like church camp, etc.

    One day, my 7yo son came to me and said, “Mom, you need money more than I do,” and he proceeded to give me 10 pennies that he had scrounged up. He was so proud of his contribution. Unfortunately, he later got in trouble and when I told him to go to his room, he told me, “I’m never giving you money again! LOL!

  • Joyfulmom73

    I guess we are going through a bit of a re-org here too, and it is difficult not knowing what the best next step is, but I know that’s exactly where God puts us (or allows us to be) sometimes, so we have to fully trust in Him. My husband has always tried to stay out of debt. We have no credit cards, no auto loans. The only debt we’ve had in our marriage has been a mortgage. 5 years ago we sold our first house for nearly twice what we bought it for. We were planning to move to another state, but God had other plans. We ended up buying a house for more than we could afford, trusting that God would provide. And He has (mainly through the profit we made from the first house)…but it has come to the point where this mortgage is just too much, and we are currently in the process of short-selling our home (selling for less than we owe on it, with bank approval). Where to go from here is a matter of much discussion and prayer… family has offered to help us buy another house, but maybe we should rent and save until we have enough to buy ourselves…we continue to go back and forth, all the while not knowing how much longer we may be able to stay in our current home. I am so thankful that my husband has a steady income and we have all we need, and that God is in control of it all, no matter what happens. You are in my prayers. Thank you again for your transparency and openness. Jesus never said it would be easy, but that He’d be with us through it all! You have a house full of love! That’s what matters most!

    • Chris Jeub

      Want to hear something funny? The day Wendy drove me to the ER we were scheduled to watch a simulcast for Dave Ramsey. I am going to look into him, like a couple commenters have said, and I be we both can learn from him.

      • kate

        I’m debt free because of Dave Ramsey. I watched the life money hope talk he did on You Tube. 

        • Janetkiessling

          Wow – that’s awesome Kate! We are on our way! We’ll be there someday! Whew! :)

      • Stephanie Neujahr

        Love the Dave Ramsey system.  Good stuff.

  • Karin


    In past posts you have talked about being part of the Samaritan Ministries for healthcare expenses.  Given the significant amount of medical bills your family is facing currently how do you feel this system works for you at this time?  I am curious how families do it when faced with such daunting medical bills – not all families can afford to carry $70,000 debt even if for a few months – if there is not that much cash in a bank account and you don’t have a house to take equity out of or otherwise get a loan (even short-term) for this kind of money, how can one afford to be in the Samaritan Ministries program?


    • Chris Jeub

      Good question, Karin. We aren’t carrying the debt. We are making minimal payments for the time being until we’re able to get reimbursed by Samaritan, which is expected to arrive in January. The 20+ bill collectors have all been great about helping us hang on till reimbursement arrives. Samaritan Ministries still has our highest recommendation.

      • Carolina

        You mentioned earlier that you were nervous about Samaritan in this case, because the bills were so large. What were you nervous about–that they may not cover it?

        • Wendyjeub

          I am not sure where that came from but we are not nervous about Samaritan. Samaritan will be there to help us every step of the way. They are right now speaking to each medical facility for us. So they are negotiating for us. That is just wonderful.

          What happened to us was we had Micah cut his hand severely and we got started on all his medical expenses and just 30 days later Chris went into ER with Cardiac Failure with both of those major events we have taken quit a hit financially all at once.

          We worked with Micah’s health professionals and made some ‘deals’ with them like ‘if we paid 50% now, they agreed to drop the other 50%.’ So we wanted to do the best we could and we did that a couple times for Micah’s medical bills. For example Micah’s hand surgeon said that if we would pay ahead of the surgery he would drop the cost by $3,000.00 and we wanted to get the discount so we paid it. However, we did not know that Chris was going to get sick.

          We do not have unlimited resources.

          We have done best we can and we have made the wisest decisions each time.

          At this point we need to be as careful as possible with our remaining resources. Samaritan will be stepping in, it just takes time. In the meantime we have to hang on for about 45-90 days.    

          Samaritan always comes through.

          • Anna Y

            Hi Wendy.  The idea that you are nervous about Samaritan came from Chris, a few days ago.  He put up a link to your donations page and he said:

            “We’ll see. Wendy and I have been HUGE supporters of Samaritan, but it’s easy to support them with little $3-$5 maternity bills. We had a cosmetic thing cover about $17k a few years back, which was huge at the time. $70k is making us nervous. ”

            I don’t think folk were trying to be rude about Samaritan Ministries when they queried the support; it’s just that, you know, the proof of the pudding is in the tasting.

            Really wish you all well,


            • Wendy Jeub

              Thank you for the clarification.

  • guest

    “God will show us the way and will provide for us”.  Really?  Did God specifically say, “Hey, you, Chris Jeub, do this and I’ll put three meals a day in your belly, provide a roof over your head, and clothes on your back”?  I hate to sound like a cynic, but you make choices for you and your family.  Maybe you felt like they were the right choices at the time, but now, you are paying the price for making those decisions, right or wrong.  Yes, a re-org of your life and your decisions at this time is necessary, but anyone else in your situation should be doing the same thing regardless of their religious beliefs.  My husband has been out of work for the past 6 months and with this economy it’s been hard on us.  It’s a good thing that I have always worked, however we  cannot live for much longer on just my salary.  With Christmas coming up, how will we provide for our children?  My husband wants to go back to school and get out of the industry that he was in because it just doesn’t seem to have much of a future anymore, but before he can do that he needs to find a job.  He is not waiting for God to find a job for him or pay for his college education.  He is going out and pounding the pavement.  He is looking at his future and how he can provide for his family.  What sacrifices must he make in order to provide for his two children.  And what sacrifices can he live with.  I think that is the same place that you are in.  I hate to tell you to stop looking to God for all the answers but this one is in your hands, not his.  Make some hard decisions and figure a way to bring in a steady, reliable income in for your family.  In this economy, people are not going to be spending on extra’s like your books or homeschooling aides or camps.  Maybe it’s time to figure out how to provide for your large family and not how to preach to others about the gifts of God.  Sorry to be blunt, but I couldn’t read another post about it without injecting some common sense here.  Your focus should be on how to help yourself instead of others right now.

    • Chris Jeub

      You’re talking as if you’ve never experienced the love of God. Nor his presence, his answers to prayer, anything. Christ followers are crazy in your eyes.

      I wish you didn’t post anonymously. You probably won’t get a chance to read my response. If you would open your heart to God, a whole new life would open up to you. Without Jesus, I suppose the Jeub Family website looks crazy to you. Sorry about that.

      • guest

        Actually, no you are wrong.  My oldest child attends a private Catholic School while my youngest is in public school.  Obviously, Christ followers are not crazy in my eyes.  However, I find it irresponsible and very convenient for people to claim God told me to do this or this was the direction that God wants me to take.  Unless you physically saw him and spoke to him or he sent you an e-mail from heaven, he didn’t tell you anything.  You prayed hard and you came to this miraculous decision all on your own.  I guess my logical, analytical side is showing.  Sorry.  I just fine that there are too many people in society that are blaming others for their poor decisions and looking for someone to pick them up instead of taking responsibility for their own actions.  In your re-org, you really need to look at the most sensible, most practical solution to your problems and not just sit around and wait for God to tell you what to do.  Maybe if more people took responsibility for their decisions and worked as hard as they could to provide for themselves and their families all the while looking at their future instead of saying “it’s in God’s hands” maybe our economy, job market, etc would not be in the shape it’s in today.  

        I’m tired of people thinking that if others just opened their hearts to God the world would be a better place.  How many people are persecuted in the name of God?  How many people do crazy things like kill their own children because they claim God told them too.  I find people like you who feel people like me need to find God in order to have a happy and fulfilled life to be just as bad as those that persecute others in the name of God.  If I don’t believe as you do, I must be saved.  Sorry I don’t need saving.

    • Stephanie Neujahr

      This is a sad post.  I’m glad your faith sustains you Chris.  We can’t rely on ourselves, as you well know.  God has to work through us.  I thank God that He is using you and your family as instruments and examples to us.  Thanks for not taking this guest post to heart.

  • Carol Holtz

    Chris, thank you SO MUCH for your last several posts.  I am relating WAY too closely with them right now.  I’m praying for you!  Hope you’ll whisper a prayer for me when you see this too!  :)

    • Chris Jeub

      You’ve got it, Carol. Keep me posted!

  • Elizabeth

    I am in a different stage of life, being a retiree, but I still find I have to re-organize my life. I have discovered that living on social security isn’t so easy. I have several serious health issues, and my medication co-pays each month are over $200. I am fortunate that long ago I chose a profession that offers a wide variety of job opportunities. I am a R.N. I’ve never asked God to provide me anything, my prayer has always been that God be with me on the journey. I believe God helps those who help themselves. My Dad, who went through some lean times as an adult in the Great Depression always said when the going gets tough the tough get going. I found a part time job that was perfect for me. It doesn’t sap my energy but I still use my nursing skills. Perhaps you are being called to find a job out of the home, either you or Wendy. I know the area you live in has a very good public school system. Send your children to public school, at least the older ones. You must have had a job outside the home sometime in the past. It’s harder today to find a job but it’s not impossible. And you might find a job with health benefits, which is important to families with many children. I too believe anything is possible, and that often means finding a job outside the home.

  • Sabrina Scheerer

    I love how you are describing all you are going through as a “re-org” I wouldn’t have thought of that description on my own but it does fit how I feel right now. We have a new baby (although #3 probably doesn’t sound like much to you ;)) and once again are figuring out our “new normal.” We are putting some serious thought and prayer into my husband’s work situation and have a huge decision to make in about 3 months about that. We are also working on getting out of debt, we have been seriously working on it for the last year and have made progress but have a long way to go. We are trying to simplify our life and are embarking on a big purging of our possessions. All of this and I still feel like I’m “learning” to be a homemaker…

    Yep the term “re-org” fits  well :). I look forward to reading and learning from your journey as I take mine!!