Editor’s note: All too often, stay-at-home motherhood is held up as a luxury for upper middle-class families, something that is a privilege rather than a God-given right. Single mothers are told to get a job, put the kids in day care, and forget about enjoying such a “luxury.” Sadly, this attitude is even commonplace in the church, which should know better. After all, helping widows and orphans in their distress is what Scripture calls “pure religion, undefiled” (James 1:27). Single mother Robin Smith has stepped up to the plate in a way that puts the rest of us to shame. May we be spurred on to help the abandoned and widowed among us with more than mere words.
It is difficult to make ends meet in today’s economy. Many two-parent families struggle to survive on one income. Others strive to make ends meet with dual earnings. Single parents necessitate employment to pay the bills as well. There are no easy answers in managing the financial responsibilities needed for a household of one or many.
There are many single mothers who long to work from home. Some ladies need to develop basic business skills, others note a lack of resources keeping them from starting a home-based business, while some are not willing to commit to the length of time it takes to get started.
I have been helping ladies establish home-based businesses for a number of years now. My trainees have been local gals, both married and single, who wanted to earn an income from home. Almost a year ago, I felt the Lord’s leading to move the ministry to a different level of trust in Him. I read about a contributing writer on LAF who wanted to start a home business. I emailed her, she checked out my references, and gave me permission to contact her. We began chatting on the phone, and I emailed her tips on starting a home-based business. A few months later, we added another lady to our Saturday morning classes with three-way calling.
We use the Internet, email, and the telephone as our main tools, and we are having a blast. I instructed the women in simple business procedures and they asked questions. We convene on Saturday mornings when the ladies have free cell phone minutes. In order to equip them with business skills, I started writing a curriculum on how to start a home-based business for the ladies to use. They complete their homework and conduct their own independent research online to develop their business skills. We have become friends, and the fellowship is so sweet. We are sisters in Christ and have never met face to face here on earth.
My current ladies and I are single mothers. We have NO money or physical resources to start businesses. We live very simply and are totally dependent upon the Lord to meet our needs. I do not have any extra funds to help the ladies with the start-up costs. Our strategy for acquiring those items is very straightforward. We pray for every tangible asset that is necessary to create whatever type of debt-free business the lady so desires. We do serve a great big God. I have yet to see the Lord fail in the provision department. “And my God will supply all of your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19.
We are doing this with only our dreams and our prayers.
The ladies have been working very hard, and it is paying off. On the day my first online lady opened for business, I visited her website. She had just made some of her first sales, and I stared at my computer screen with tears in my eyes. She had done it. Her self-confidence in the commerce department has soared. I am so proud of her.
My second online sister in the Lord has made great strides in beginning her home-based business. She prepared a detailed plan with a measurable timeline to transition from her stressful, long-distance, full-time employment to a part-time job close to home. She has been taking prudent steps the last nine months to make this shift. She recently quit her full-time job and immediately started an enjoyable part-time occupation very close to her house. She can now devote more time to the grand opening of her home business. The three of us celebrated via Facebook. Once again, my eyes were moist as I participated in her happy event using technology.
Lately, I started another class with a third single mother. Her current homework assignment is to apply for an LLC license in her home state. At present I have three single mothers in three different states starting businesses, and I live in a fourth.
If a few business-minded people could adopt a single parent, develop her skills, and help her establish a business, then shop those businesses, we could give more single mothers the opportunity to be keepers of the home, should they so desire. Perhaps several families could adopt a single mother and teach her how to start a business. Maybe a church could assist the business group. Just think, if one church or team helped one single family a year, we could do so much. A husband and wife team could use a speaker phone or two home phones to teach a single mother business skills. How about helping a married lady start a home-based business? Can you help one lady a year? If you have three-way calling on your phone, you have the potential to help two for the price of one! If you do not have the resources for start-up costs, just follow our plan and pray for the Lord to provide.
I have used the in-person approach and the online technology method, and both are effective. A home business is a viable option to consider. With some basic business training, time, coaching, and a lot of hard work, many ladies can become savvy business women and earn an income from home without leaving her children. It is very rewarding to make such lovely friends and see them blossom as business owners, right where they believe God has planted them, at home.