A husband is now home 24/7 and the wife needs help ASAP!
Regardless of the reason he’s home—out of work . . . retired . . . home office . . . returned from military deployment . . . disability or illness . . . whatever—wives of stay-at-home husbands share many of the same transitional and heart adjustments.
Dear God, He’s Home! is a practical and raw look at issues couples go through
when a husband is suddenly home full time. Sharing openly from personal experience and through Scripture, Janet Thompson encourages wives to joyfully embrace their God-ordained marriages.
The book also includes personal thought questions, discussion questions for couples, and a small-group or book club discussion guide.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Janet Thompson. Can you tell us what your latest book, Dear God, He’s Home! A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man, is all about?
A: With masses of baby boomers entering retirement and younger workers still reeling from economic recession, increasing numbers of women are suddenly finding themselves living with a “stay-at-home man.” Further, situations like re-entry from military deployment, working from home, illness, or other life changes bring even more men home. Dear God, He’s Home!: A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man offers practical and emotional support for wives of husbands who are now home 24/7.
My husband, Dave, and I have personally experienced three different life seasons with him being a “stay-at-home man.” A layoff left him unemployed—at home—for 18 months. Another layoff several years later brought him home again. Then after several years of successful work in a new field, physical disability led to home recuperation and eventual early retirement.
Dear God, He’s Home is a collection of biblical and life-tested wisdom from my own experiences, and also includes stories from other women and men who have been through similar situations with a stay-at-home man. I lead the reader through guided journaling and prayer and present Scripture application for encouragement, and offer “survival tips” in the Sanity Tools section. My husband offers his perspective in the epilogue.
There are also questions at the end of each chapter for discussion groups or book clubs.
Q: How did you come up with the idea?
A: I have a heart for mentoring: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness. So I look at my own life and realize I can mentor others if I’m willing to be open and vulnerable and share the hard times and how I have made it through with God’s help—I want to encourage other women to do the same.
My first “Dear God” book was Dear God, They Say It’s Cancer: A Companion Guide for Women on the Breast Cancer Journey. I am a breast cancer survivor and I had the opportunity to write the book I wished I had going through my own journey. The second in the “Dear God” series is Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby? A Companion Guide for Couples on the Infertility Journey. I was told I would never have children and my daughter and step-daughter both struggled with infertility, so I wrote a book to mentor the many women struggling to become mothers.
Dear God, He’s Home! A Woman’s Guide to Her Stay-at-Home Man came from going through my husband’s layoffs, home office, disability and subsequent retirement, and knowing first-hand how challenging a stay-at-home man can be to a marriage. Regardless of why a husband is home, most wives of stay-at-home men experience similar hardships, struggles, and blessings. Many other wives also share their stories in the book…it always helps to know you are not alone.
Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?
A: Whenever I mention the title of this book, wives smirk with raised eyebrows and knowingly remark, “Boy, do I have a story for you!” “I need this book.” “I know someone who could use this book.” Or “I’m going to need this book soon, write fast!”
When I sent out an email and Facebook request for stories of women with a husband home due to retirement, illness, disability, out of work, home office, the military . . . whatever reason…the stories flowed into my inbox and my ears.
My husband and I now live in an area with many stay-at-home husbands so I was aware of issues wives deal with in this new season of life.
I noticed whatever age and whatever circumstances that brought a husband home, most couples admit they didn’t prepare for a time of being together 24/7! My husband and I hadn’t either, so I knew there was a need for a book like Dear God, He’s Home!
Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?
A: Not to lose hope or to give up on their marriage. This is just another of many seasons and transitions in the life of a marriage. Communicate with each other—let your spouse know what you’re feeling and why. Give each other space, both literally and emotionally. If there are signs of depression or giving up on the marriage, see a biblical Christian counselor immediately and find a mentoring couple to meet with you. Pray together and stay together.
When you’re on the other side of a difficult time, mentor others who are going through something similar. You’ll have to be open and vulnerable, but it will give more purpose and meaning to your life.
Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?
A: This is from the Epilogue that my stay-at-home man, Dave, wrote for the book:
So I leave you with these final words: Living with your spouse in stay-at-home man seasons of life, while different, is no more challenging than any other season of married life. You just have to constantly die to self as God teaches us, consider your spouse more important than yourself, and work as a team. I like the wise council I gleaned from Promise Keepers years ago and ultimately conveyed to my son, sons-in-law, and men’s small group studies—marriage isn’t a 50/50 proposition as proposed by some, but 100/0. If you give 100% and expect zero in return, you’ll grow to love your spouse as Christ loved the church, and your marriage will thrive.
Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?
A: I’ve been fortunate—Dear God, He’s Home! is my 17th nonfiction book. It’s important to have credibility in the topic you choose and to also have a message that has value to today’s readers.
My first four books were part of a Kit: Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, and Maintain a Women’s Mentoring Ministry DVD Leader Kit, which included the four books, a video, cassette, and floppy disk. I self-published that kit because there was an immediate need. I had started a Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California and many churches were calling me asking how we were administering the ministry. My self-published kit was “networked” to LifeWay Press and I signed a contract for them to become the publishers. Today, Woman to Woman Mentoring resources have sold over 100,000 copies.
That Kit opened the doors for me to speak, and I began to see the issues that today’s women are dealing with…many of them I had experienced also: prodigals, infertility, breast cancer, how to be a mentor, how to build a ministry team, husband issues. I have partnered now with five different publishers who have caught the vision and have seen the immediate need for the books I’ve written on these topics.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: When the weather’s nice, I start the day with a brisk 2-3 mile walk. Then back home for coffee, breakfast, and quiet time with God and reading my Bible. Next, I turn on the computer and deal with any immediate emails that need responses, check Facebook, and try to be ready to write by 10:00 am.
On a writing day, I write all day. I might take a break for a quick lunch, but right back to writing. I write until around 6:00. If I haven’t taken a walk in the morning, I ride the elliptical in the garage for 40 minutes to an hour. Make dinner, take a shower, and enjoy the rest of the evening with my husband.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: There are more “Dear God” books in the works, and I’m currently writing How Good Is God? I Can’t Remember… . I also hope to venture into Christian fiction with a trilogy. I’m working at learning that genre and craft.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Janet Thompson. We wish you much success!
A: I appreciate the opportunity for this interview and hope to be back soon for another interview with one of my future books.
ABOUT JANET THOMPSON
Janet Thompson, founder and director of About His Work Ministries, is the author of 17 books and the recognized author of the “Dear God” book series. Janet developed the Woman to Woman Mentoring Ministry at Saddleback Church, served as a lay minister for 12 years, and continues to share the blessings of mentoring through her Woman to Woman Mentoring resources, trainings, and speaking events.
Janet and her stay-at-home husband, Dave, have four married children and love being Grammie and Grampa to 11 beautiful grandchildren. After living in California her entire live, Dave’s retirement led Janet and Dave to move to the rural mountains of Idaho. Janet invites you to visit her website and blog at www.womantowomanmentoring.com