I am thrilled to have Jill Hart with us today! I recently had the privilege of reading and reviewing her new devotional Do Life Different. (If you missed it, you can find it here). We met just over a year ago when I joined her staff as the social media manager. Since then, she has become a dear friend and constant source of encouragement for me. Jill is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries. So without further ado, let me introduce you to the person you are all really waiting to hear from.
Welcome to Eli’s Novel Reviews, Jill. Please, tell us a bit about yourself.
Thanks, Eli! I founded CWAHM (Christian Work at Home Ministries) in 2000 and have been working to help other people work from home ever since. I’m a wife, a mom of two (ages 8 & 12), a speaker and an author. My new book, Do Life Different, came out Feb 1st.
Congrats on your new book! I can’t wait to talk with you about it further. But first, let’s focus on what inspired you to start CWAHM?
CWAHM was actually a website that I put together as I was learning web design back in the old days, as my kids would say. From the experience I found that I didn’t enjoy web design as a career, but God led me to see that CWAHM was where I could find purpose and be of use to others.
What do you believe is the number one challenge women face when trying to work from home?
I think one of the most common challenges is finding a career from home that is a good fit for both your interests and for your family situation. It’s important to be brutally honest with yourself when considering different work-at-home options. Think through how your family operates on a day to day basis. Will evenings away from home work for you to do direct sales and home parties? Will you be able to set aside the time necessary to write if you have small children at home? Are you will to sacrifice what it will take to get your business or career off the ground?
Thinking through these things ahead of time and really focusing on being honest with yourself about the answers, instead of getting caught up in the excitement of something new, is the key.
Granted, I’m not a mother yet, but from watching my own, I know how crazy and demanding life can become. There are always a million things (and kids!) vying for one’s attention. How did you make time to write when you had small children at home?
When I look back over the years when my kids were small and still home with me all day, it’s a blur. Those days were so exhausting I’m not sure how I made it through. However, it was such a fun time in life, too, with the kids learning and experiencing so many new things each day.
I made time to write in several different ways. I learned to write in “chunks.” So, if I had 20 minutes, I would write all I could in those 20 minutes. You’d be surprised how much you can get done in 20 minutes!
Some people get up early and write, but I’ll admit that I am not a morning owl. So, I would stay up late and get done as much as possible. Naptime was prime writing time, too.
I also became the queen of the outline. I tend to do an overall outline, then go back and fill it in as much as possible with bullet points. And then I go back in and fill in the gaps as I can. And then I go in and write the manuscript, section by section.
Now let’s return to your book. Do Life Different seems like a look at your own journey. Is that the case?
Definitely. Do Life Different is straight from my heart. Each devotion comes from my personal quiet times with the Lord. I share my heart on these pages and journey I’ve been on learning each lesson. I’m very much still in process, that’s for sure.
I loved how you used a lot of Old Testament stories and scriptures in your book. But I’m curious as to why it is such a focus of yours, and do you believe women will relate to that?
I love the Old Testament! I believe because God created us as such relational creatures we learn best through stories. The stories from the Old Testament inspire me and give me hope that God truly can use anyone – even me. I’m also amazed at how God is able to use stories from some long ago and make them applicable in our lives today.
Would Do Life Different make a good group study?
Do Life Different is great for groups who want to connect in many areas of life. Sometimes it can be hard to get past the surface level when you’re meeting in a group. It’s my hope that Do Life Different can spark conversations that are different than the norm. We also have FREE 6 week and 12 week study guides available.
Thank you so much for joining us, Jill. It has truly been a pleasure having you here and chatting with you.
Friends, keep your eyes open because later this week I will host a giveaway. Make sure you come back for a chance to win a copy of Do Life Different.
BIO: Jill Hart’s entrepreneurial career began in her teens when she spent a summer working with her father who ran his own business. When he put her in charge of a Coke machine and allowed her to keep the profits, she saw the benefits of being her own boss. She is the founder of Christian Work at Home Ministries and the author of Do Life Different and So You Want To Be a Work-at-Home Mom. Jill has articles published in In Touch Magazine, P31 Woman magazine and Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family, as well as across the web on sites like DrLaura.com. She speaks to audiences around the country about faith and business topics. Learn more about Jill at JillHart.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.