What's the big deal about Young Living

The House That Two Incomes Built: Part 2

See Part 1 here.

I had a loving husband, a beautiful baby girl, and a spacious house, but I was miserable. I longed to be able to spend my days at home taking care of my baby instead of driving away from her every day to teach 4th grade.

My husband knew how it pained me to be missing my baby, and he scrawled out budget after budget, figuring and calculating over and over again. Each time, though, we met the same harsh reality. There was just no way, no matter how much we slashed expenses, we could afford to make it on just one income.

I taught that entire school year, pumping my breast milk during my breaks so MaddieLynn would still have all the benefits that had to offer. As time went on, my husband and I only felt more certain that I needed to be at home, but how?

At that time, we were studying about the faith of Abraham and how he left his homeland to go wherever God would lead him. We saw that his faith prompted him to leave his home without knowing where he was going or what would happen next. We wondered where the line was between faith and irresponsible behavior.

After much prayer and study, we decided that we would take a GIANT leap of faith. I turned in my resignation to my principal. We had no idea what we would do next, but we knew that we were headed in the right direction.

My principal begged me to reconsider, but I was firmly set in my decision. Nevertheless, he said he hoped I would change my mind. The next week, I found out I was pregnant. We were thrilled and our friends were baffled. Everyone thought we were crazy! My principal said my job was still available, but there was no turning back in my mind. We were on a journey of faith.

We sold our house and my husband was offered a new job all within one week's time. The Lord worked in many wonderful and surprising ways during those days and we never went hungry or homeless.

That was the end of my career as a public school teacher and now I spend my days teaching my own children at home.

This is where we live now. In this house, we have brought home 3 new babies, fed and lodged drug addicts, convicted felons, one complete stranger who needed food and rest while she was on her way to visit her son in prison, and many friends and relatives.

It's the most beautiful home I have ever known.

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  1. Very beautiful! I never realized you worked when Maddie was a baby. Staying at home is definitely the best decision I ever made as well. Isn’t it amazing how God provides for us when we put our faith in Him. Soph asked me the other day if we would have more money if I worked and I said “Yes we would.” She said, “But we wouldn’t be richer would we?”
    Your family is a wonderful testament of God’s love…and we miss you!!

  2. da halls says:

    Thank you for sharing.
    Mary Beth

  3. i was also a teacher when i was pregnant with my first one. we had decided that i would stay home with our baby and i was feeling a little guilty about leaving my students mid-year and not coming back. however, a very wise coach at my school told me, “God will bless you for that decision.” and He has. i try to remember to share those words with young moms that i talk to now.

  4. I love your story and how everything turned out wonderfully!

    When I was pregnant with #1, my plan was to take as much leave as possible after birth, and then trade off babysitting, and still work. But luckily, I was forced to quit at 7 months pregnant. I was so blessed. I cannot imagine having to leave my babies every day.

    Following Heavenly Father’s plan has really made us prioritize better and be grateful and happy for the simple blessings we have.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Lovely story.

    -Christine from Arizona

  6. Michelle says:

    What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness. Our house isn’t the biggest or the most beautifully decorated and we certainly don’t drive a very nice van, but God has been so good to us. Being a wife and momma are the best jobs in the world!:)

  7. Very inspiring story…thanks for sharing. I have been lucky to stay home since my daughter was born, and I am so thankful. Tanya

  8. The Estrogen Files says:

    What a wonderful, touching story. Our house is small, but it’s home and allows me to stay here with the kids.

    Blessed by God!

  9. Thank you for sharing such a great story. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

  10. What a lovely home! Thanks for sharing your story. We made a similar decision when we had our first (16 years ago) and things have been tight at times but I wouldn’t have missed ONE day of being home with my 5 kids.

  11. Yes – beautiful home, beautiful family, Connie. You all made the RIGHT choice, and I’m so thankful that God has provided for you. I know that your obedience to His call pleases Him.


  12. mommyofmany says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful story. May God continue to reward and bless you as you faithfully follow Him.

  13. Oh I’ve been there–wondering about the difference between faith and irresponsiblility.

    You likened it to Abraham–I likened it to the Israelites standing at the Red Sea with Pharoah’s army fast approaching–because I coudn’t see ANY WAY possible out of our situation.

    But God did. :) Thanks for sharing your story.

  14. TammyIsBlessed says:

    That was a beautiful story. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. wow! this brought tears to my eyes!

  16. Thanks for sharing your story. I really enjoyed reading it. I stay home full time with my almost-1 year old girl, and definitely wouldn’t change it for the world. I worked full time for my dad (who bought a business around the time I got married) from my second trimester until Katie was born. We had solidified in our minds that no way would I work after she was born. When the time came to give up the 40 hour/week job, it was tough to have our income cut in half, but leaving my baby with someone else would’ve been MUCH tougher! I often say that I’d rather live in a one room shack than have to leave my daughter behind. And it’s true! And, God has been so faithful to provide for all our needs even when things don’t quite work out on paper.

  17. I’m bookmarking you, honey. Loved this testimony.

    We lived in a tiny, little house and my husband had a giant income of 31K when we decided that I would stay home with our baby-to-be.

    It was a huge leap of faith, and has meant many sacrifices along the way.

    I also love the photo of the home that is now so sweet to you.

  18. I stumbled across this 2 part story about a month ago. When I finished reading it I sat at my computer and sobbed, really sobbed. Since then I have retold your story (and how I relate) to several people and cry every time. I’m not crying for you (lol) but for me. You have no idea how God used this story to change my perspective. We are in about 800 sq ft, 3 kids and I so often found myself whining on the inside about it. I never wanted to tell my husband how I felt because I know how hard he works to provide what we do have. I am blessed to be home, also a former teacher. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and let you know that your story and testimony have now had a profound impact on my heart and life. Thank you.

  19. I just commented on your story of your large family, but this post hit home for me even more. We are in a very similar place right now–figuring out how to step out and follow in faith without being reckless. :) My husband just received a VERY direct call from God into full time ministry (from his place in grad school for BioPhysics) and we have NO idea where we’ll be next year or how we’ll pay the bills. I have always wanted to be a wife and mom–not a career woman–for all the reasons you wrote about. But now, as it’s so close to actually happening I’m experiencing feelings that must only be from Satan, tempting me to believe the lies of the world…that I should have to work because all of the women I know I have work, or that if those other women can be wives and moms AND work full time then gosh darn it I should be able to handle that too. But God keeps reminding me of the plan He has. It will be for our good so that we can minister more effectively as a couple. Thanks for your prayers.
    In Christ,

  20. This made me cry. I am so inspired by this post. Although I am able to stay home with our four children, I run a registered daycare from our house and I long for the flexibility to attend school events, pick up my kids from school and just enjoy my own children. We have some praying to do!

    • Denise, I realize that you won’t be able to attend school functions, but I found a wonderful balance by admitting teachers only into my home daycare. The hours are great – teachers don’t work terribly long days – all of my daycare kids go home shortly after my own children get home from school and I get the xmas, march and summer breaks off to spend with my own children. Teachers have a great network as well. They will spread the word among their collegues which results in a lot of business coming your way. I rarely have to put the word out when I need to fill a space in my daycare, because they are almost constantly telling me that someone they work with is looking for a daycare provider. Good luck to you!!

  21. AllieZirkle says:

    I love this! We are working through this RIGHT now. My Hubby has had the need to hold on to the house while I want to be home. God works wonders… We just found that we’ll need to move asap due to mold & asbestos. Yikes! Thank you lord for prompting me to read this today as Connie’s words are exactly what I need!

  22. I’m totally crying. As I wrote in the other comment I just left, I hate working and leaving my daughter at day care. Just like you, my husband and I have gone over and over the numbers and we can’t afford to live on his salary.

    We learned that I was unexpectedly pregnant a few months ago. Two days later, we learned that our day care was increasing the rates by $60 a week. A week! We’ll be paying $2000 a month for both of our kids to go to day care. That’s a pill that I can not swallow, especially since I hate leaving her every day anyway.

    We already live in a fairly small house, but I’m willing to turn off the satellite dish and get rid of stuff. My husband is very reluctant, but has agreed to look for another job. I pray that he’ll be able to find one before I go on maternity leave in December.

    Say a prayer for me if you think about it.

  23. Thanks for sharing your story, I saw this linked off of Frugal Babe’s site. You just helped me realize that I wasn’t crazy with the current desires of my heart.

  24. What a beautiful story! Thanks so much for sharing…you’re truly blessed.

  25. I’m literally days away from that same leap of faith. This was just what I needed to read. Thank you!

  26. I’m late to the party here… but what a beautiful story!! I have an 8 year old son… we had planned for me to return to work after having him, but when I was on maternity leave with him, I threw all my plans out the window. I couldn’t do it. So we worked and worked the numbers, and well, they *almost* worked out. So we took a leap. I’ve never gone back to work full time… I pray that all of you moms out there who want to be home with your kids will be given that opportunity.

  27. Connie…

    I love this! Thanks for reposting this link on Facebook and reminding us of what is important in life.

  28. Oh my goodness… I’m so glad I stumbled across this post tonight of all nights. My husband & I are at the threshold of this very decision. I know it’s right b/c all signs are pointing that way, he’s still just a bit hesitant. Thank you for writing this – I needed to see this. xo-Terri

  29. How wonderful. I love this. The link was posted by a friend on facebook, and it just drew me in.
    I was in school full time, with two toddlers, when we decided that we were on the wrong path. I finished up and headed in a completely different direction, with student loans our backs.
    We live in a “cottage” now with our four children, but I love it and couldn’t imagine our lives any other way. Like you said, we’re here now for the truly important things. I wouldn’t trade a day of this for a year in a mansion, missing out on my kids’ lives.
    God takes care of us, day by day. :)
    It was such a blessing to read, and a wonderful reminder for me!!

  30. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matt 6:21

    I tell my kids this often, that though we will never be rich in terms of silver, gold or material goods… What ARE we rich in? CHILDREN!!!!

    We ARE wealthy…and I am looking at my treasure!

    And I wouldn’t have it any other way…

    Priorities… you are laying up your treasure where it COUNTS!


  31. I cannot tell you how much your story has touched my heart. I was working when my first child was born, but also knew that I was missing out. We have since had two more and I am so grateful to be able to stay home with them. And we also help addicts. We have a fourth bedroom with bath and we bring in people who need a little helping hand until they can get on their feet. We are new to this and have helped five, with a sixth moving in on the first. God Bless you.

  32. Great story. I know exactly how this is because I left my babies in daycare and thought it was the only way for a while too. I am so glad God changed my heart and then my husband’s heart. I can’t imagine any other way to be, now.

  33. Thank you for sharing your story. I worked outside the home for my baby’s first 2 years and it broke my heart the entire time. I sobbed the week before I had to return to work after maternity leave, and my heart broke knowing that someone else was raising him (even though it was my husband’s sister); it still wasn’t me! Just before he turned 2, we decided I’d try to work from home. That didn’t work for the people I was working for, so they let me go. We were forced into 1 income, but looking back now, it was a blessing!
    Since we had “2 income bills”, we moved out of state where we could afford to live off one income (or so we thought). We soon realized that it was not possible, so my husband began working 2 jobs. After our second child was born, and my husband was missing more and more of his kids’ lives, the Lord led him to talk with me about him quitting his night job. (Little did he know, the Lord had been talking to MY heart for awhile about it, too!) We agreed that he would quit, even though the budget didn’t work out on paper ONE BIT.
    I’m so glad we followed the Lord’s leading! He NEVER left us homeless or hungry, but blessed us with another home which was several hundred dollars less each month. We gave back our truck when the lease was up, and walked away (well, drove away in my in-laws’ vehicle) without a car. Within a week or so, we bought a minivan (which my husband swore he’d never drive. Ha ha! God has a funny sense of humor!) from a missionary family. We paid cash and no longer had the weight of a car payment. We lacked about $25 to make our budget work now that we were paying less for rent and no longer had a car payment. We felt the Lord asking us what WE could sacrifice from our lives, now that He’d worked out everything else. We decided to let go of the cable TV monthly bill and bought ourselves some “rabbit ears.” We saw the budget come together at last!
    Those are some of sweetest years and memories. During those early years of following the Lord on this big journey and HUGE leap of faith, He blessed us with THREE vehicles just GIVEN to us! Who GIVES vehicles away?!! But we were the recipients on 3 different occasions! I ended up babysitting a little boy, which brought in a little more income, and on weeks when there wouldn’t be enough hours on my husband’s paycheck, the Lord ALWAYS allowed a storm or other problem which enabled my husband to pick up extra overtime hours at the highway department where he worked.
    Although life is not always “easy”, the Lord has taught us to follow Him and trust in Him, not ourselves. Our faith has grown dramatically, and we have watched our harvest increase. Sometimes I get jealous of the “stuff” the 2-income families have, but then I am reminded by the still small voice that I am laying up treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys. We have 3 young men (and another one on the way) who we are investing time, heart, prayers, and a more peaceful lifestyle into.
    May the Lord continue to bless you as you learn to trust Him in everything you do. Thank you for sharing your story to encourage others, too. I know this is a rather long comment, but I wanted to share our journey as well, so maybe others can hear how the Lord will bless His faithful children.

  34. I am that person that spends their days with the children of working parents. I run a home daycare. I know how you felt. I gave up a management career in banking because I knew there was no way I could hand my baby over to someone else every day and miss out on all of the things that you mention. I never returned to work after my mat. leave and I opened the doors to my daycare when my first born was 11 months old. I have never regretted that decision for even a nano-second. Yes, it was a huge financial change for us. Yes, we have had to completely change our lifestyle to live with-in our means. Yes it was worth it. No doubt about it. Our boys are now 13 and 10 and I am still running a daycare. I absolutely love it. I only look after teachers’ children so I get the xmas/march and summer breaks off to be with my own children. I have been blessed that God has sent me an abundance of wonderful families to provide care for and any time a family has moved or their children have had to leave my care to start school he sends me more than enough to fill up the daycare. I have been blessed and continue to be blessed to be in my own home everyday, doing what I love to do and here for my boys at all times. Good for you for following your heart. And good for you for reaching out and helping others. You have been blessed, but you have also been a blessing to your family and to others in their time of need. What an ispiration you are.

  35. Sarah P. says:

    BRAVO! :)

  36. I absolutely loved your post. My husband and I actually stepped out on faith (as did Abraham and you all) and left what was familiar to us while I was pregnant with our first child. We know that He is guiding us into our Promised Land. In this year and a few months journey, my desires have changed tremendously. I know what it means to seek the kingdom of God first and to literally trust in God’s every word! Blessings to you and your family! What a blessing you all are to have been a blessing to all those people you allowed to stay with you as well!

  37. Reading your story has me in tears. My husband and I share a similar story. While we didn’t have the nice big house, we had two incomes and were newly married. Life was good. Or easy, at least. In faith, we made the decision to leave our jobs, our families, and our friends to move to the other side of the country so my husband could attend school. We found out two weeks before moving that we were pregnant with our first. She’s now 7 weeks old, and I’m able to stay home with her. Life isn’t as easy now, but it’s so, so good!

  38. Reading your post makes my heart ache because I want to be home SOOOO bad with my son. It makes me cry and almost have a grudge toward’s my friend’s that get to stay home.

    My husband is out of work, we have a mortgage and student loans. We tried selling our house so we could even rent again, but we can’t afford to sell it becasue the house market has dropped so much in the last 3 years.

    We are living on my salary and my husband’s unemployment. Sometimes I feel like I can’t see the end of the tunnell. I wish I could just quit my job, but if I did we would go into foreclosure.

    It’s so hard! Thanks for sharing this; it’s encouraging that I might be able to stay home with my child/future children someday.

  39. My heart aches…big time! The Lord has completely changed my heart over the last year – I always thought that I would continue to work. I mean, I got the college degree, the MBA and bring in more income than my husband. But, I SO SO deeply desire to stay home with my son. However, my husband does not agree. I don’t know what else to do except PRAY. Any other encouragement or advice? Will the Lord really change his heart and I’m supposed to just wait? I feel like I keep praying and nothing changes :(
    feeling defeated.

  40. Oh my. I wept with this post. But now I have a large knot in my stomach because I have been praying about leaving the workforce too! Except in my case I am the only one working and my hubby is at home with our baby and I have two older young ones in a Christian School. I have been reading the book Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby and he says the same things you mention here. If God moves us to the point of change then we must have faith to know that He knows best. Looks like I will be hitting the floor with more heartfelt prayers so we can know Gods heart in my situation. Thank You for this post once again. God Bless you and yours. La Chica Organica http://www.LaChicaOrganica.wordpress.com & GlutenFreeMommyAndMe.com

  41. Melissa says:

    What a great story!
    I am so very thankful that I chose to stay home with all 3 of our babies, and even now that they are older and attend public school, I am still able to wake up with them every morning, get them ready, take them to school and pick them up. Even the days they are home sick, I am so grateful to take care of them full time. Living off one income hasn’t always been easy, but after 16 years of being a full time Mommy, I know that I don’t need that big house, fancy cars and other materialistic items to make me happy. Being the full time Mother that God intended me to be, makes me happier than ever!!! :)

  42. This is one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read! What a happy ending!

  43. I just randomly found this… Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  44. Beautiful tears of joy from this. :)

  45. LindsieMomof3Girls says:

    I can really relate to this. I taught kindergarten before my daughters were born. My husband and I had always planned for me to stay at home, so we practiced ahead of time by living on his income only, putting my paycheck into savings and using it to pay off our vehicles. No one could understand why we bought a smaller house (which was still plenty big) or didn’t go on extravagant vacations, etc, but it was because all along we were thinking about our future family and planning for me to stay home. I was shocked when even my own mother-in-law told me I’d regret it, after I informed our family that I would be turning in my resignation at my school. I have been at home since the birth of my oldest daughter almost 5 years ago, and not a day goes by when I don’t thank God for this decision. Sure, there are times when I think, “Did I make a mistake by quitting? Will I ever find a hard-to-come-by teaching job in our area when I’m ready to go back to work?” but each time, God lays a hand of peace on my heart to remind me to enjoy the NOW and not worry about the future. Thanks for sharing this!

  46. What a wonderful story I always wonder the back story. I am s stay at home and trying to figure out if I should go back to work. You are helping me with my decision. I am a teacher as well. Thanks for sharing.

  47. Connie, I love your story! It’s a little similar to ours, except we never had the house to walk away from. We’ve lived in an apartment for most of our married life because it’s what we can afford on one income. Currently, we have 6 children and while I won’t say it isn’t challenging, I must say it is exactly where God wants us. :)

  48. Jessica Medina says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Doctors told me I would be unable to have children. We tried for 5 years to no avail. One day my husband said to me..if God wants us to have children, He will give them to us. If not, then we don’t. It shook me up, but I accepted it. A few months later I found out I was pregnant and my beautiful baby boy was born…to be handed over to someone else for care. I worked full-time. Every day as I left him with my husband’s stepmother (who cared for him like he was her own), I wept. God was faithful. My husband went from national Guard to active duty and we were transferred to Texas (where the cost of living was way cheaper.) I left NJ when my son was 7 months old (and I was 3 months pregnant with my daughter!). We bought a foreclosed home…had 1 car for the longest and when without a lot of “amenities.” God always provided and I have had the privilege of watching my babies grow. Now I am homeschooling them! :)

  49. Thank you! I saw this today and it set my mind at ease. I had come to the same conclusion you had and gave my notice to my principal yesterday.

  50. I’m a grandma now but when I was a mom with little ones at home I also was blessed to be able to stay home and raise my own children. I remember a woman at the service desk of my grocery store asking me my work number. I said it was the same as my home number. Understanding that at least to her, I didn’t work (ha!) she made a comment on how nice that must be. I had the impression she envisioned me as a lady eating bonbons while lounging on the sofa watching soap operas. I told her we might not have our own home (we were apartment dwellers) but I was there for my children. I said it all depended on where ones priorities lied. We did in time get a house, but it was home wherever we were as a family. God bless every family that makes this decision. There is no more rewarding nor more important job than being a mom.

  51. Hello, I follow your posts and enjoy them. I just read this and as I was reading, glanced down at the picture- noticing the house and the children but popping out of the picture is the cross on your garage. — I had to zoom in to see that it wasn’t a cross after all but instead the middle of the garage and the two windows shape a cross. Just wanted to share.

  52. We also made that decision, and we went without many material things in our smaller, older house–but our house was blessed with SO MUCH love and so many things that money can’t quantify. Every time I was tempted by the world, or felt like it was too hard, living with only one car, etc, my husband would say “You can always go back to work”, and it would refocus me and make me realize that time with my children was much more important. Now they are both in college and I see the Godly young men that they are, and I realize just how important and fleeting that time was. Bless you!

  53. I need to print your current picture and put it on my bedside as a reminder of how much richer life has been since my husband and I made certain decisions to ‘downsize’ the physical and live differently and filled-to-the-brim. I often forget to be thankful in the chaos with a small space (but oh, how rich we are, as we are). Sometimes I feel as if I have to tell people the situation we ‘left’ for the sake of family and the kingdom so they don’t pity us, but how rediculous is that compared to an attitude and expression of absolute adoration and gratitude for all God’s done since. You have managed to communicate it gracefully and humbly. Thank you for the reminder of God’s opportunities to love and bless others in our current and decisions. May He continually provide you with opportunities to bless those around you as you remain thankful and consider ALL the Lord has given for you and all He gives to you.

  54. I worked a pre-Census mapping job in 1979, and was amazed at the number of “trophy houses” with absolutely no one home in the middle of the day. Two people (usually) were out somewhere, nearly all day, working to support a pile of bricks, and coming home too tired to enjoy it, or each other. It seemed so useless.
    When one includes the COST of WORKING in a budget, a stay-at-home mom can look like a bargain: child care, work clothes and their care, transportation, more expensive quick-prep or take-out food, possibly more taxes….
    Still, there are many today who think Mom isn’t doing “her share,” if she does not bring home a paycheck. (I had a boss who could give quite a speech about that.) How did so many American women get so blind?
    A good education is still a wonderful tool for any woman to have. Child rearing only lasts for a season, and a husband, or his health, may not be forever. “Help-mete” covers a lot of territory.

  55. Oh my goodness, I love this story! I have not come across many people who are willing to downsize so dramatically in order to be with their kids full-time. I have however, met a lot of women who feel awful (and say so) every single morning when they drop off their tiny babies in daycare. I grew up in Mexico, so I have met many women who truly have no option other than to work in order to survive. In the US, though, most of the middle and upper-class ladies who are working full-time and battling guilt in order to “make ends meet,” live in a gigantic house, drive new cars, and walk in Coach shoes.