Jennifer Spills the Beans About Life, Faith, and Blindness [Episode 16] – Transcript

While we don’t get to provide a transcript for every episode, I thought some of you would want to see more than a list of the questions KC asked me. So, in case you can’t listen for some reason, here is the full transcript for Episode 16 of the 4:13 Podcast!

Listen to Jennifer Spills the Beans About Life, Faith, and Blindness [Episode 16] here.

Jennifer: Hey there, I’m so glad you’re here today. I’m Jennifer and wait ‘til you hear this episode. In fact, I want you to know I take absolutely no responsibility, for what you are about to hear. Because we are going to have an unplanned, unrehearsed Spill the Beans, and you know where these questions came from? You.

So, these are your questions and we’re just going to go through some questions and answer them. And I guarantee you, this is gonna be fun. It’s going to be meaningful and we might just learn something. So, stick around for the rest of the 4:13 Podcast.

KC: Welcome to the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you up to live the I Can life because you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Welcome your host, Jennifer Rothschild. If you’ve got questions, she’s got answers. Because this is, totally live, totally unscripted Spill the Beans.

Jennifer: Spill the beans – you asked, I answer. But here’s the thing, I can’t guarantee they’ll be good answers but we’re gonna have fun. You know, we decided this is the end of the year, I mean we’ve been doing this podcast now, you know, since September. This is like our sixteenth episode, which by the way this is only awesome because of you. Because you guys have hung out with us. And I know so many of you are telling your friends because our audience is growing, and we have so many more 4:13ers now.

And by the way, also your reviews, your ratings, we’re super grateful. So, thank you for doing that.

And we’ve gotten some really good questions. Not only from my website, from the show notes comments from last week, but also we have a stack of cards here KC. Let them hear the stack of cards.

KC: Right here in my hand. Listen to that. All cards.

Jennifer: These cards are from some Fresh Grounded Faith conferences from this last fall. Okay, so like I don’t know, maybe 6 conferences. And so what we did literally, is we grabbed a handful of cards and they had questions directed to me. And KC is gonna ask me some questions and I’m gonna answer. So, KC, let’s spill the beans.

KC: It’s a good old-fashioned, Spill the Beans. So, you got your cup of coffee, are you ready for this? Okay, here is question number one. Jennifer Rothschild, did you really propose to your husband? Right out of the gate.

Jennifer: Right out of the gate. Okay, so I do tell this little story KC, that’s very funny that she asks this. I tell the story that Phil and I, my husband, we dated my entire freshman year, okay? The entire freshman year.

We did not say to each other that we loved each other. And so, when the end of my freshman year happens, we both go home right? Well Phil goes home to where he lives which is in central Florida; I was in Miami. And then he comes to visit me, and, KC, you know what he told me?

KC: What?

Jennifer: He kissed his old girlfriend.

KC: Oh, no.

Jennifer: Yeah bye, bye Phil. Okay, so we did not date then any longer, right? For 2 years. But we went to the same university and there was still this thing ,you know what I’m saying, this flirty thing. And so when I graduated, I’m sorry when he graduated, okay. He came back to work at the university and it was my senior year.

And I won’t give you all the details but basically it started with, “Can you please take me and my roommate to the grocery store?” And it ended with a ring on my finger. Because we kind of got reconnected and you know it was always there anyway.

And so, I tell people the story and then I say, “And it took that boy four long years, but he did finally accept my marriage proposal.” Which is not true, he really did ask me, but if he didn’t I definitely would have asked him.

KC: This is so good, I love this! This is just question number one. Okay, this is so much fun. I’m nervous. It’s like I got the stack of cards, and I just I don’t want to pre-read them, I just want to you know, go there right with you.

Jennifer: Right.

KC: Okay, what is the kindest thing a stranger has done for you? Followed with what is your favorite verse? Two questions on one card.

Jennifer: Okay, KC, and you might have an answer for this too. Let me give you my favorite verse first because that’s a little easier to remember. Okay, 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away but inwardly daily we are being renewed. And our light and temporary troubles are working within is a far greater weight of glory because that which is seen is temporary, but that which is unseen is eternal,” Okay.

KC: Oh, my word. Now that’s my favorite verse.

Jennifer: Is it a beautiful,

KC: Pierces my heart.

Jennifer: It’s about having an eternal perspective right. The kindest thing that anyone has ever done for me it’s a, you know what in a lifetime full of stranger’s kindnesses, it’s very hard to pick just one.

But I would have to say that actually I would say that it’s my husband. Even though he’s not a stranger, but I just have to say this. So, navigating my house you know – by the way if you’re a new listener, I’m blind. So, I’m super familiar with my own home, of course. But the way our living room and stairwell is set up, I can get disoriented very easily and so Phil was watching me, you know having to navigate so slowly. And I would bump into the piano and one night I even fell down the stairs, and so just really difficult and sometimes dangerous. And so, he just out of the blue one day opens the door because a package had arrived and it was stanchions. Okay, you know what those are KC, right?

KC: Yes.

Jennifer: It’s like that when you’re in line at a movie theater.

KC: Yeah.

Jennifer: Yeah, it is that long ribbon that stretches. And so what he did is he set up. Now we don’t have the big poles in the house, but he was able to nail the secure pieces, that the part that it secures, into the wall and on the stairwell. Literally you can pull the stanchion across and it gives me a good guide and buffer. And that’s probably just one of the most kind, thoughtful things anyone’s ever done for me.

KC: And I gotta say this too from a guy who, you know, some things are taught and some things are caught, I love how he loves you. I love that. I and we all do, we love how Dr Phil honors you, love you, and respect you. I just love that! Okay, next card, and I’m not reading these in advance. I’m trying to just be an honest to goodness spill the beans just go into the card

Jennifer: Okay, what you got?

KC: Do you cook? If so, how do you manage that, and on the same card, how do you do laundry? Separation like whites from colors. Like they’re wanting you to spill the beans on everyday practical life with JR, right?

Jennifer: Okay so do I cook. Yes, I do, Do I enjoy it? No. Do I see a real need tem? No. Do I want to use blind is as an excuse to not cook? Yes. Okay, those weren’t all the questions.But yes, I do cook. I learned to cook partly because just, you know, it costs a lot of money to eat out all the time. And who wants to put on makeup and get out of your yoga pants to go to a restaurant? So I cook.

But my kitchen is all tactile, so I put buttons on my microwave. There’s raised buttons so I know where the five is and the start button, the same for the oven. I just mark certain buttons. I always mark the five, that’s just an easy way to be able to read a keypad.

So, it works that way and I’m super careful in cooking. I love crock pots, I love my George Foreman grill. I mean there’s just a lot of ways that I’ve learned to do it. And then laundry yes, I’ll tell you that separating the whites from the colors is hard. And so, I just wash everything in cold, just in case. But I actually like laundry, KC, it’s therapeutic.

KC: We’ve discussed this and so do I.

Jennifer: Because you start dirty and you end clean. Oh, that life should be so simple.

KC: Yes,someone take an offering!  

KC: And you know, when I come over here to record the podcast with Jennifer, she greets me at the door, she pours me a cup of coffee, you get around very well that I forget you’re blind.

Jennifer: I know so do I do, I forget, until it’s obvious that I am blind.

KC: Okay speaking along that line, we’re up to the next card. Jennifer, who does your makeup?

Jennifer: Who does my makeup?

KC: You can tell these came from a women’s conference can’t you?

Jennifer: I know, sorry gentlemen if you’re listening but bare with me because there’s a woman in your life who probably does care. Okay, so my momma taught me how to put on my makeup when I was 15 years old. And here’s why. She had promised me from the time I was a little girl. I don’t know if Ellie’s this way, she’s probably still a little young, KC. But at about eight or nine years old, I started asking my mom, “When can I wear makeup?”

And my mom, I think quite arbitrarily, just said when you’re 15. Well um in case you don’t know my story, it was when I turned 15 then I lost the majority of my eyesight. I was declared legally blind because of this disease retinitis pigmentosa. And that meant I couldn’t see my face, but my mom had kept her promise. And she taught me how to apply my makeup, and it all involved counting.

So, I’m showing KC this, I’ve got my hand out like I’ve got a blush palette in front of me. And I would just learn how many times to brush my blush brush on my blush palette. And then how many times and where to brush it on my cheekbone, and the same works for mascara, and lips and all that, it’s all counting. And so it’s a really effective system. I’ve changed it over the years, you know, for style changes and aging.

But well, I won’t tell you the story today because we got other questions on the card, but I promise you in an upcoming podcast, I will tell you my worst makeup mix-up story. Because I did lose count, it was not pretty. Alright, but next question.

KC: I love it. Jennifer, what advice do you have for a young wife and mother who’s received God’s call on her life to write, yet she’s feeling rather clueless about the what and the how? So you’ve written many books, you’re a successful speaker, and writer. I nearly fainted when I saw you on TV with Kathie Lee and Hoda one day. I mean, you know, God has really taken you awesome places. So, what do you have to say about that to her?

Jennifer: Well one thing I would say is that anything that looks easy is usually hard. So, don’t be discouraged thinking that when you see a finished product, whether it be a book or a blog, that that means it was an easy process, because it seems so simply put, right? Usually to be concise it takes a lot of work, and usually to pull off something that’s organized takes a lot of disorderly thinking, until you get to the point of organization.

So, when you’re saying you’re not sure the what and how, here’s what I would say. First of all and this applies to any kind of what you think is a calling, remember that true callings, true ministries are received. They’re received, they are not achieved. It’s something that God gives us. God calls us to do and God equips us. Therefore, that doesn’t mean you will have the confidence in the flesh right away, of course not. Nor should any of us ever have full confidence the flesh. We have confidence in who God is in us. So, in a very practical way, I would say if you feel like God’s called you to write then the first thing you should do is write, and start small.

If you don’t have a blog, start a blog. Start the discipline of writing a blog. The most important thing that you do is you submit your plan to the Lord, and you begin to use the gifts He’s given you in the place that He’s given you right now.

KC: So good. Great answer, seriously that is a great answer. Now here’s one of my favorites from Cathy. And Jennifer and I have a lot of things in common – this is KC talking right now, not Cathy –  I’ll get to her question. I always jokingly say I’m the male version of Jennifer.

Jennifer: You are the male version without the stilettos.

KC: Right.

Jennifer: And I don’t have the beard right.

KC: But we are we are both dog lovers.

Jennifer: Yes, we are.

KC: Cathy wants to know, tell us about your four legged friend.

Jennifer: Oh, that is hilarious. Okay. I have a diva dog, Lucy. Lucy just allows me to live in her home, I really think that’s kind of how it is. She is a little Shih Tzu, she is prissy, she has bows in her hair, she has scarves. I’m telling you, her haircuts cost more than mine. And she is a little funny personality, but that’s my Lucy. But, KC, tell us about your little four-legged friends.

KC: Oh goodness, well I honestly think that my dog is, you know, a human.

Jennifer: Yes, well, his name sounds like a human.

KC: Brennan, he’s like a surfer dog, you know? But he’s an Australian Labradoodle. And he’s my baby boy, he’s my son. I love this dog, I just love this dog. All he wants to do is hug you.

Jennifer: How could you not love that?

KC: All he wants to do, he’s just a hug with fur. Like one of my neighbors is just terrified if I meet him, I’m just like honestly, he just wants to hug you. Embrace the love from the fur baby.

Jennifer: Brennan and Lucy, that could be the next podcast.

KC: Oh my, yeah, we love dogs. Okay, Jennifer your love for God and your approach to life inspire me. How do you find time to do all you do?

Oh my goodness, I echo this card, this question on spill the beans. Because Jennifer, honestly, you wear me out. I follow you on social media and I also know you personally, and you exhaust me, how do you manage all of it?

Jennifer: I have a good team, I will tell you that. I have a good team who helps me do what I do including you, KC. When God calls you to do something, just like I was answering the question about writing, He truly does equip you. And so, part of stewardship is following the call, and recognizing that where you feel weak He will be strong. You know this podcast is called the 4:13 Podcast because it is true. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, and that doesn’t mean I can things through me. It means I can do all things through Christ.

And so, I’m constantly, quite honestly, I’m constantly very circumspect about when I say yes when I say no. When is it too much, because listen. There is not this, it’s not equal that the busier you are the more spiritual you are, that is such a lie. And so, I’m always asking God when do I need to say no, when do I need to do less, and He will always answer me and I try to follow that. But I just do it through grace and through a great team. Good question.

KC: Yes, teamwork makes the dream work. That’s what you’re saying sister.

Jennifer: Yes, that’s what I’m saying.

KC: And honestly, I just grabbed the next card from Erin and she said, how many days of travel do you average per year? And how do you maintain good connection with your spouse and your kiddos?

Jennifer: Well I do travel with my husband so that will make a really good connection. Sometimes we need a little space we have such a good connection. No, I’m kidding. I am really grateful. So, Phil and I travel so that is not a deal, and I’m super thankful that that is a possibility for us. We do 13, between 10 and 13 Fresh Grounded Faith events a year all around the country. If you want to learn more about that, of course, you can go to or you just go to my website and learn more. But they are region-wide, Kingdom-minded events in local cities around the countrye. But then I do some, you know just some other private events where sometimes I’m asked to speak at different civic organizations or churches. So, I don’t know I try to not go more than 20 to 25 weekends a year.

KC: So, good this is so good, I’m really enjoying your life.

Jennifer: You’re liking it. This is fun!

KC: Yes, maybe one of my favorite podcasts.

Jennifer: Well we might do more of them because I get so many of these questions. So if you liked it please let us know on the show notes which is

KC: Yeah leave us your question there, we’ll get to it at a future podcast. Jennifer, how do you speak a message without using any prompts? Because I too love to speak and to preach and teach. And I am always amazed at you because you stand up there, and it’s like that Scripture said, “Out of your belly will flow rivers of living water.” (Jesus said that.) And you get up there and it just flows and you make us laugh and you make us cry. And I could not do what you do without every once in a while, glancing at a note or two. And how do you do it? That’s what she’s asking and what I’m asking.

Jennifer: Okay, but you could, KC, if you had to, right?

KC: Right.

Jennifer: And so, I just don’t have a choice. I cannot see to read notes. And so, the way I prepare a message is I start studying it, I memorize Scripture. And I really try to get a message of truth flowing through my veins before I let it come out. It’s not like I do something out of rote memory, it’s like something I really know before I can tell.

The other thing that I try to do and this is just a very pragmatic thing, okay? I create all my messages like a ladder. And what anchors all my messages based on the way that God’s wired me is Scripture. So, every rung of the ladder is a Scripture verse that I have memorized. And what I do is as I begin to teach a message, I start to climb the ladder, and I know I just visually see that first rung of the ladder what that first verse is like.

Let’s say I’m doing Isaiah 6 right. So,I say Isaiah 6:1 “It was in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord and he was high and lifted up, and then the train of his robe filled the temple.” And then between that first verse and the second verse which would be the second rung (verse) of the ladder. I’m gonna have some pictures that I have placed there in my mind’s eye that I know that I’m gonna use to kind of illustrate or teach that verse, and that’s how I do it.

So, even though I’m blind I try to remember things as pictures, and truly this is known. You will remember pictures more than you will remember words. So, always try to create a picture in your mind and you’ll remember it better.

KC: Well my favorite people the earth are Jesus preachers, and then my favorite people on the earth are great storytellers right.

Jennifer: Well Jesus was a storyteller, too.

KC: And you’re both. And Eugene Patterson who wrote the Message Bible – well he didn’t write it, well you know.

Jennifer: Well he paraphrased it, that’s what he did.

KC: One of his quotes is he said, “Every time a story is told well, the gospel is presented.” And I thought of you when I heard that quote this year, because you are such a great storyteller.

Jennifer: And you know I’m glad you brought his name up because he just passed away this year, the Body of Christ will miss him. He’s added so much, yeah. Okay, question.

KC: Jennifer, what prompted you to choose Psalm 23 as this year’s theme?

Jennifer: This is from a Fresh Grounded Faith recently, I taught out of Psalm 23, and the reason that is the theme I’m teaching from is because that’s the Bible study that I just wrote and released and filmed – it’s a video based Bible study. But the reason is, KC, my daddy passed away this past February. And it’s one of the most difficult things in my life. Prior to that, I had just had a rough year, with a couple of things that occurred where I just didn’t feel safe. I just felt vulnerable, part of it was the fear of losing my dad. Part of it was just with blindness and traveling, just an awareness of my vulnerability. My husband Phil and I, we’ve been married over 30 years have a great marriage.

But I will never forget it, was last December, we had a terrible fight. And it was like the same thing that we’ve been fighting about for 30 years. Not every day of course, less and less, but there it was, it showed up again and I don’t know why. But it just, I just felt so defeated, like look, I just don’t feel safe. Because we can’t figure this out. Now of course we did and we have moved on and I’m so grateful. But you all know what I’m talking about. There are just situations and seasons in life where we just feel vulnerable. And God led me to Psalm 23, and He began to teach me. That I lacked nothing in Him. That when I was most worn-out, He would lead me to that green pasture and still water. That He would guide me down the right path even when that right path doesn’t feel so right at times. And you know what’s interesting about Psalm 23? The first three verses say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lay down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul. He guides me down paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” And then you get to verse four. And this is what David says. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”

There’s a pronoun change when you get to the valley, and that’s why I’m teaching out of Psalm 23. Because so many of us are in a valley. And we need to know that when the valley gets dark, that’s when the Lord gets the closest, and you are always safe with your Shepherd. That’s what I learned through that season, and as my daddy passed, that I’m safe with my Shepherd. Because I’m never in a valley alone and neither are you. And I’m gonna stop preaching about it, you can get the Bible study, but that’s why. Okay, it’s the next question.

KC: That is so good, and notice this is just KC’s side Bible study sidenote. Remember it says, “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” Don’t build a house there, don’t pitch a tent, keep on walking,

Jennifer: That’s right, valleys are not permanent, are they? Keep on walking.

KC: That’s right,

Jennifer: So, if you’re in a valley you can look to your Shepherd and you follow Him.

KC: Jennifer, do you ever wonder why me?

Jennifer: Whoa man, these are some heavy questions.

KC: And listen I am I’m just pulling the cards out because these are your questions, okay? So, it’s two questions here on the same card. Jennifer do you ever wonder why me? And, is there any chance your sight will be restored like with new research?

Jennifer: I am NOT a science expert, but I do understand there’s a lot of research being done on the retina. Even on the potential for a synthetic retina. And some perhaps adult stem cell therapy that helps to regenerate. These are my very layman understanding. So, if you’re like Bill Nye the Science Guy out there give a sister a break if I got it wrong.

Okay, but yes, I believe there is promising research on the horizon. I’m super grateful to places to organizations like the Foundation Fighting Blindness who help fund that kind of research. Do I ever ask why? I don’t ever ask why in a fit of anger, okay? There’s a difference in asking why as an accusation and asking why as an inquiry, okay?

And I think sometimes when bad things happen in our lives, we can ask why and it’s not really an inquiry. Like, “God why did you allow this, what could be the deeper purpose?” But instead the why is “Why’d you do this to me? Why did you let this happen?” And that’s different, that’s very different. Now if you’re in that place or you’ve been in that place, there is no condemnation, I am not judging you. Emotions are strong, and it’s okay to be honest with your Father, it really is. Yet at the same time for me, I think I had walked with Jesus so closely when this occurred, and I have since, that that has not been a natural thing for me to ask why as an accusation. Do I discover as I follow Him that the why is being answered in the way He articulates the purpose in my life? I wouldn’t have this podcast, I can’t imagine I would have this podcast, if I had not been blind, and not been given a platform to share a message. I don’t know that I would have fallen so heavy on the Word of God to be my strength and to learn it and to know it, if blindness hadn’t propelled me. So, if those are some of the answers to the why? Well then how could you not be grateful, you know?

KC: Great answer, great.

Jennifer: Okay two more questions, KC.

KC: Two more questions and this is honestly one of my favorite things we are doing here on the 4:13 Podcast.

Jennifer: I’m so glad, me too. I hope you all are liking it. Please let us know on the show notes what you think.

KC: Okay, here’s another question. Two left, here’s one for you, Jennifer. What is your exercise plan, because girl you are looking good.

Jennifer: That’s an old question, that is an old question.

KC: What is your exercise plan?

Jennifer: Okay, what is my exercise plan? At the moment, gotta be honest right? Nothing. Running to the refrigerator, does that count? Okay, no. So, I used to do Pilates, I was super faithful. I loved Pilates. I don’t love exercise, I’m not a workout queen you all. The only reason I engage at all in exercise is because I know this is the only temple I’m gonna get and I need to take care of it right?

So, currently I have not been doing Pilates. But what I do is walk. We have to walk Lucy or Lucy walks us. My husband and I most every night we just walk the neighborhood. We live in a community that’s very hilly. So, we do get a pretty decent workout but right now that’s all I’m doing. I hope I get back to Pilates though sometime, because I did like it I did. Because the clothes are cute, KC, you get to wear cute clothes for Pilates.

KC: Okay, okay, now I did read a lot of cards here during that last question, and there are about seven cards, and hopefully you can explain this, that are asking the same question. So, you must have worn something at a recent Fresh Grounded Faith conference, because this is being asked over and over again on many different index cards. Jennifer, I must know where did you get your top?

Jennifer: That is hilarious.

KC: So where did you get your top would you put a link on the show notes for him

Jennifer: Okay, what top would that have been?

KC: I don’t know, I wasn’t there.

Jennifer: I love boutiques. And so, it surely came from a boutique unless it was a red sweater that I got last year at Dillard’s. And you know, even if I put a link there that sweater is no longer available unless it’s at a thrift shop, so good luck with that. But I think the nature of the question is really fun to end on, KC, for this reason.

Because it just says when we hang out together as friends, you know, sometimes we go deep, sometimes we just splash around in the shallow end, and it all matters. Just having honest conversation, doing life together matters, and it ministers to us. So, I am so glad that you all hung out with us, and were a part of this today.

But I want to encourage you. You need community where you are, so if you don’t have someone else that you’re having these kind of conversations with, I just want to encourage you. You can do this, you can go reach out to another person and say, Hey, let’s go to coffee, let’s talk. Let’s spill some beans. “ Because you and I need each other. And I don’t know about you, KC, but don’t you think that starting off the new year with a group of friends that you get to do life with will make 2019 the best year ever.

KC: Best year ever, best year. You can’t do life alone. We do life together right here on the 4:13 podcast. And if you’ve got any questions you want us to spill the beans about, leave them on the show notes of this episode 4”13 And we’ll try to fit them in in the future.

Jennifer: Yeah, if you want us to do another episode like this let us know.

KC: And remember, no matter how you feel or what you face, you really can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I can,

Jennifer: I can,

Both: And you can! Happy New Year!

Jennifer: Happy New Year! And the beans are officially spilled.

Submit your Spill the Beans question in the show notes comments here.