You Changed Our Story

We are accidental entrepreneurs in our family. My dad was a crane-operator-turned-missionary and Mom was a homemaker. We are not far removed, generationally, from subsistence farmers. I remember meeting a few people who operated businesses as a kid, but it felt a thousand miles away from our experience. As a kid, I didn’t dream of starting a business. When I got married, I thought of how to get a decent paycheck, because the idea of backing myself in the market seemed too risky.

When The Green Ember took off, we suddenly had a small business to run. Together with my partners/brothers, Andrew (in-law) and Josiah (my son’s namesake), we built a small family business around these books. We have been learning and growing ever since. This week we launched our 12th book! (Hope you try it!)

To my kids, it’s not unusual to think about business. They have ideas and try things. Today, my youngest daughter (11) is selling her handmade offerings at our local Maker’s Market alongside a lot of wonderful young entrepreneur-creators. She’s been sewing, cooking, crafting, and planning for a while. And today I saw her beaming as she made sales and served customers. She’s not afraid to work hard making good products and then sell them for fair value. I love her confidence and generosity.

This is just another way in which you have changed our lives. Yes, you. We weren’t an entrepreneurial family. I was too afraid to pull the trigger on starting a business. But when you embraced my stories, when you spent your own money to receive what we made, you changed our story.

So, thank you. It means the world to us to have your support, to literally feed our kids and pay our mortgage as a result of this loving and free exchange between us.

I’m honored to have my stories in your family’s home, and I’m grateful your support has meant we can provide for our family.

God is good. We are glad. Blessings on you and yours!


P.S. Please tell me about your family business, and tag them for us.


  1. My mom owns her own online business teaching kids to cook, among many other things. The whole family gets involved, it’s really fun, and we learn a lot.

    My dad owns his own online business that offers blog/website fixing services.

    I am 18, just started my own video editing business, and have been editing my mom’s videos for 6+ years.

    Our whole family loves listening to your books in the car and I just ordered physical copies of all of them! You are an incredible inspiration! I’ve seen some of your son’s video work and thought it was cool that we are similar ages with a similar interest in video editing.


  2. Our family is part of a movement to start a classical high school in Southeast Indiana ( We are a non-profit and are supposed to open in Fall of 2024. We are currently fundraising and getting out enrollment materials. Our family avidly reads the Ember Series–reads and then re-reads! As a homeschooling mom, I find your talks from GHC uplifting. I bought CDs of a few and listen to them in the car… From Critic to Curator is a favorite. I feel understood and encouraged by your messages when moms and homeschooling rarely get much of either of those. Thanks for being encouraging and for loving your family so well.

    P.S. I bought your books first because I saw the witness of your character. At the Homeschool Convention, I saw you leap over a table–behind which you had just been signing books–to come to the aid of a young mom with a stroller and little ones who had just dropped all her things. I also heard you speak, and told myself: “I don’t care how good this man’s books are, I am buying them because of who he is.” Well, thanks for making the books worthwhile, too. Many blessings on you and yours. Sorry for the very long comment!

  3. Thank you for great books, and a good model on how a family can work together in a business!

    As a family, we’ve started our own small business. It started with us designing and pressing our own pinback buttons and magnets, and has grown from there. We now have shirts, stickers, and our new favorite – hard enamel pins. Our daughter draws most of the designs. We’ve had a lot of fun making them. Let us know if you ever want/need pinback buttons, magnets, or enamel pins!

    The Killion family

  4. Thanks for sharing, I’ve enjoyed and recommended your books for a while now, and really appreciate you sharing your values and faith in God!

    This year we started a board and card game business to help bring families together in additional ways, and it has been great so far! Our business is Circle J Games (

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