Six Things I Learned at Twenty

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Well hello, friends! 

I’ll have you all know that I had not forgotten about you all these past few months. I thought of posting many times but never had a sufficient amount of inspiration to write out my thoughts. 

Remember in my last post when I said, “Even as I write this, I know God is working in the background…”? Well, turns out, He was. And this time, He really outdid himself. I was introduced to something I have been looking for my entire life, and I didn’t even know it. I have been training my body, my mind, my heart for this my whole life, and I didn’t even know it. This post will consist of all of the things I’ve learned from the opportunity God presented me with, and then I’ll tell you what exactly the opportunity was that I snatched up and embraced. Today I am twenty-one years old, and I am reflecting on the things I learned at twenty.

1. Thriving Mentality. For a good portion of my teen years, I was merely trying to get by. Even though I (thought I) was a follower and believer of the Creator of the Universe, I was truly living life with survivor mentality. I lived every day like my life sucked and then wondered why people didn’t want Jesus as their King. God does not want me to merely survive. God does not want me to simply be happy. He wants me to THRIVE. He wants me to live life with ABUNDANCE. Life didn’t happen to me- I happened to life. Watch out, world. 

2. Motivation Comes From Action. For too long, I thought I had to wait for a moment of motivation in order to accomplish my goals. I don’t know why I kept this mentality for so long, either, because it really never worked. I always became more motivated to finish my homework after I started it. I always became more motivated to work out after I got to the gym. Action breeds motivation and motivation breeds expectation. Expectation is they key to success. Listen to your body and do the opposite. If success were convenient, everyone would be successful.

3. Who am I Listening to? I learned to stop taking advice from people who are not where I want to be in life. This includes finances and lifestyle. Do you know where you will be in five years? Find the person who has been doing your job for five years longer. I see so many kids shipping off to college to get a good job only to find that the job they wanted requires much more than they expected and, although it may supply the finances they were wishing for, does not support the lifestyle they pictured in their mind (a good marriage, time with their kids, etc.). How many college grads took the time to interview a person in the field they were going for before they dropped 50k in school loans? I’m not against college, I’m against people being fooled. Are we still friends?

4. Butterflies. If I am not getting butterflies in my stomach every day from the excitement of what I am working towards, I am going backwards. There are nights I do not sleep from the excitement of my goals and dreams. My hope for our nation is that more people find what gives them these butterflies and never deviate from the path that will get them there. Nobody has to stay at a job that does not respect or reward them. I don’t care your age. If you don’t take action at 45, you’ll regret it at 55. 

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5. Relationships are Everything. I shake my head when I think of my past because I remember specific times when I proudly declared that I “hate people.” I thought I was so unique and funny. A wise man (my dad) once told me that in order to have friends, I must be friendly. That was a true kick to the teeth. Here are a few more: Do I hold my tongue from spouting off annoyances to my coworkers but release every critical thought to my family? Do I grant my family and friends the same grace as I do a customer at my job? Would my family recognize me at work? It is basically common knowledge that finding a job is not as much about your credentials as it about who you know. Am I planting seeds every day that will lead to a harvest if my current circumstances fail? If my enemy were murdered, would people point at me as a suspect because I couldn’t hold my tongue and was constantly bashing this person? I recommend the book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

6. America. I live in the greatest country on the planet. I am grateful for freedom. I am blessed to be a part of free enterprise. One nation, under GOD. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

By no means am I trying to say that I have all of these things down pat. What I am trying to say is that I work on myself daily, which is a step up from the majority of our population.

Now, what was the opportunity that God presented me with? The privilege of being a part of the greatest team of leaders in America. The honor of representing a company that has paid out $40 billion in bonuses since the 1950s and has never missed a paycheck.I am a part of Amway Global and Leadership Team Development. No, I’m not a millionaire yet, but the success principals that this team of people has taught me far exceeds any amount of money I can acquire. I am so glad I didn’t take advice from people telling me it was some kind of “scam” or “pyramid scheme”. Now, I surround myself with winners daily and have found true friendships.

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Originally posted on On the Brink of Something Large:

I came across this simple prayer today and felt as though I need to share it.

Humble Lord, free me from selfish ambition and the pride that seeks to dominate others. Make my source of pride the glorious truth that I am your dear child in Christ. As you have received me, so open my heart  that I might receive your other children, in your precious name. Amen.

This is my prayer today – will you make it yours?

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Jubilee

It is the year of Jubilee! 

A year of fullness
A year of renewal
A year of joy
A year of encouragement
A year of prosperity
A year of fresh and divine adventures. 

As I write this post, I know that God is moving behind the scenes, preparing for His next big move; because honestly He hasn’t taken a break from doing so since I don’t know when. Every single day for the past month has been something jaw-droppingly, life-alteringly huge. Today’s post is simply about what God is doing the life of my husband and I.

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We moved. Into Tim’s parents’ house, while they go to Canada for one year.
We will be living with another amazing newlywed couple. I am considering writing a new blog specifically for this unique time in our lives, because I am bracing myself for something ginormous to happen. There is really no way this year could be anything but huge. There is really no way God is placing two married couples who are actively seeking Him under one roof without a divine and gigantic purpose lingering in the journey. My excitement for this fact cannot be arranged into words in my head, let alone be placed into words in a blog. I’m starting to really understand God’s personality; He is so beautiful.

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I chopped off my hair. In reality, this should have been its own post. A little over a week ago, my 14-year-old sister-in-law got her thick, gorgeous, four-foot-long hair jammed into a wire-bristle wheel. My dear friend Vanessa, my mother-in-law JoAnne, and I were at the house when this happened. We cut off all of Marta’s hair to save her from the bristles entering her head. I cannot describe to you the feelings of pain and heartache we all experienced while this was happening. Watching a mother cut off her daughter’s hair -her comfort- was the most traumatic event I have witnessed to date. After things were settled down, Vanessa and I realized that this was something much more spiritual for us. We felt a direct call from Christ to cut off our hair- not just to support Marta, but to experience a true stripping of pride. The anointing we felt the entire day was indescribable. We felt free. I feel we are a part of something much bigger than the act itself, and I cannot wait to find out what it is.

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New desires. God has been giving me increased desires for things that I’ve always loved. More than that, though, He has been granting me patience to learn them. Specifically, sewing and photography. It’s funny, too, because He totally set me up for success in each of these categories. He gave me a mother-in-law with the patience of a saint to teach me how to sew, and a best friend who is the greatest photographer in the universe. I am so excited to use these trades for Kingdom business! He is already working on things for me to do, I can feel it.

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Mila. We have placed a deposit down on an Australian Shepherd puppy! She will be born within the week and we get to take her home in two months! Both Tim and I have grown up with dogs and with our work schedules, she will almost never have to be home alone. I am so excited to have a little buddy to take with me on walks and bond with. Here comes a true test of parenting styles!

Healing. I have acid reflux. Often times, I wake up in the middle of the night feeling nauseous. Tim has become so familiar with this that when I get up from bed he immediately goes to the kitchen and gets me a glass of water. Last night, Tim prayed over me until I felt completely better. He did not stop until I was totally healed, and it was beautiful. His relationship with Christ is astounding. That’s all I have to say about that.

My prayer for all of my readers is that you would begin to walk in the Spirit like you never have. Tune-in to His voice and His call on your life. Be open to the unfamiliar. Be open to a year of Jubilee. 

Newlywed Things

After being married for a whopping three months (cheer!), I have quite honestly learned a ton. I’m sharing these things because I believe the newlywed stage in a marriage is overlooked and written off as a time of intimate passion and puppy love, without any true and deep accomplishments. Tim and I have completed milestones in our first months of marriage! Here are a list of things I learned, advice, and things I would suggest other newlyweds do; they are in no order whatsoever.

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1. Don’t Fight in Front of People. Never thought I’d be offering this one up as advice, but hear me out. Argument is between you and your spouse; not you and your spouse and his brother (who’s going to side with him anyway and think you’re a crazy bee). Not only will waiting to talk things out give you both a chance to collect your thoughts and cool down, but it will force you to enjoy the rest of your outing together. Often times when we get to a point where we can discuss the problem, we realize it was dumb and unworthy of argument in the first place.

2. Talk About Sex. Intimacy doesn’t just happen. It’s not like the movies, where you both come crashing through the door every evening and onto the bed for another night of passion. Not that I’m against impromptu marital sex- I’m just trying to be realistic. The truth is, there are going to be a lot of times where you’re not in the same mood sexually. Who’s going to submit? The easiest way for the devil to get into your relationship is by using your sexual natures against each other. Talking about each others motives for the evening can stop an argument before it starts.

3. Do Things out of Submission. Don’t want to take the garbage out because you did it the last four times? Do it anyway. Don’t want to make him dinner because you’re still getting over last night’s argument? Do it anyway. The bottom line is that you are not serving your husband- you are serving Christ. Your marriage is far less about you and your spouse and far more about you and God. Do things unto Him.

4. Figure Out Your Love Languages. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before. This is everyone’s favorite advice to give out to newlyweds- but for good reason. I have found that often the reason I am annoyed/upset with Tim is because he has not been honoring my love language of words of affirmation. Both of you need to make a conscious effort to honor each others’ needs. Accept that your spouse may have a need that you don’t have. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read about them here

5. Create Notebooks. Tim and I have two notebooks together- one for writing love notes and one for prophetic words given to us by others. We just started these, so I don’t have much detail but I am already so excited to add to them and look back on our lives in the future. The love notes one is great because when we don’t see each other as much as we’d like, we can still connect in a tangible way. We wanted to do a notebook for prophetic words because they are powerful. I don’t want to trust in my awful memory to recall words of wisdom spoken over our marriage five years down the road- I want it in front of me where I can see it.

6. Complement, Not Complete. Sorry to burst your bubble, but your spouse is not made to be your ‘other half’. God is. While it may seem like you can’t live without them, you can. This may seem harsh but I honestly believe couples need to hear it. You cannot expect your spouse to give you everything you need, because they never will. God still needs to be your life-source, your comforter, your daddy. The moment you place your spouse in a higher position that Christ is the moment you will find endless faults in them because they will never give you the wisdom and love that God will. Your spouse is there to compliment you and aid you on your journey with the Creator of the Universe!

Feel free to leave feedback, I’d love to hear from you guys!

Like my photographer? I think she’s pretty great too.

Hunky Dory

All right; being satisfactory or in satisfactory condition.

The other night, I had a dream about an old high school friend. It was hilarious, really; she was pregnant and all excited about her new life, blah blah more weird dream stuff. When I woke up, I wanted to call her to get together and tell her all about the ridiculous dream. Then I realized that would never happen. The odds of her answering my call alone are slim-to-none. Yes, maybe I’m making an assumption and we would have grabbed coffee and caught up and it would have been all kinds of peachy-keen. But let’s get real- does that ever happen on a whim? 

I can honestly say if I were to receive a call from an old friend (or a new acquaintance) I would be more than thrilled to catch up. Why do I feel like I’m the only one who feels that way? 

I have a wonderful circle of friends, but I’m searching for more awesome women to have in my life. I have no idea what this blog posts means for me or anyone reading it, but I suppose I’m just frustrated with the excitement of new friends and then being consistently let down by shady ladies. 

Let’s grab coffee? ( :

How’s the married life treatin’ ya?

This seems to be the phrase of choice for everyone on the planet when they want to know how our marriage is going.

To ease everyone’s curiosity, it is treating us extremely well! Here’s a Christmas-card-style update on what’s been going on in our lives since our big day.

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Tim is working 60+ hours a week and I am mostly home and working a few nights a week. We are trying to coordinate schedules to get into a routine but it’s been difficult with us both starting new jobs. We spend our weekends at Tim’s parents’ house with brother Samuel, lounging around the pool and playing horse shoes. I am so glad we can all get together on weekends and be in fellowship with each other! We are extremely blessed for JoAnne to be so welcoming and kind to us every weekend.

Tim is currently working at Soderholm & Associates, a company that makes and installs water softeners and water filtration systems. He works in the warehouse but also goes out to help install softeners about once a week. He is loving his new job! He is also working, again, at Buffalo Wild Wings in Elk River. We are happy to have him working there again because of the awesome management and coworkers.

I am working at Buca di Beppo in Maple Grove. I serve there 3-4 nights a week and totally love it. It is the most demanding serving job I’ve ever had, but also the most fun. I have also applied to be a intern at Living Word in Brooklyn Park! We are praying hard and seeking God’s direction on this one- we both feel extremely confident that this would be an amazing experience and an awesome leaping ground for where to go next!

Tim’s dad, Doug, is working in Canada and is home about every ten days. We LOVE spending time with him when he is home. My parents are doing awesome- the gardens are flourishing! They have also started a vegetable garden which has seriously taken off this year; if anyone wants lettuce or zucchini, let me know. I will post photos of the gardens soon! My brother is looking at purchasing a house in the next month, and Tim and I are so excited for him to have his own place that’s closer to work.

 

God has been SO merciful and gracious for our marriage so far, and we cannot wait to see what He has in store for us in the years to come! Thank you all for your prayers and support. We cannot thank you enough.

Thank You

I have an amazing inner circle.

By inner circle I mean people who I confide in. People who genuinely care about my well-being. People who genuinely care about my future, and, as it pertains to this post, my wedding day and my spouse.

Since being engaged, Tim and I have both been on a crazy, soul-searchng roller coaster. We’ve been really searching for true friends we want to keep around. After this week, we got a clear view of who those people are- and we could not be more thankful and thrilled!

If we would have done a time-lapse on the church while we were tearing down and setting up for the wedding, this all would make a lot more sense. Basically, we moved 300 chairs one-by-one out of the sanctuary, and replaced them with 150 new chairs, a dance floor, and 30 tables in two hours. We made 200 feet of banner, 100 tissue poms, paper chains, carved out wood discs, painted picture frames, and cleaned out old bottles that had been buried for over 50 years. We made our own music playlist, created a photo slideshow, and did floral arrangements in each bottle on each table. I had absolutely no idea how any of that was going to work out, but it did! People pulled together and helped us out more than I could have ever ever imagined.

Tim and I cannot express our gratitude.

I’m not just talking about the people who helped out with setting up the wedding. Everyone who attended played such a huge role in our big day.

After we left the wedding to go up north (we ended up going to Duluth the first night and Grand Marais the next few nights), we read all of the cards and guest book entries. We were so touched! Talk about genuine, heart-felt notes!

I felt very passionate about blogging to you guys about how thankful we are in case we didn’t express it enough at the wedding.

We love you all. Thank you for making our big day so big. We cannot wait to be a part of all of YOUR wedding days!

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Prophetic

I’m getting used to that word. Prophetic. It’s so… bold and true and Holy.

As it turns out, I can prophesy! The Holy Spirit and I worked as a power team this weekend and I literally couldn’t believe the things that were coming out of my mouth.I’d like to write some of the prophetic words that were spoken this weekend by me and others so that I will not forget them and so that they may bless YOU!

This is a choppy hodgepodge of blurbs from my glorious weekend with Christ.

“…be filled by the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for each other in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:18-21

Write the vision down so that he who reads it may run.

My mission in life is to motivate, connect, and serve young people through loving and leading.

God has given you the desires of your heart. HE PUT THEM THERE. He will let you in on His plan if you do not doubt or diminish Him. He knows how impossible your dreams may seem! He is working on you at this very moment to adjust your character so that you will succeed in the visions and plans he has set forth for you. 

New forms of worship are coming out. It’s not just singing (and, if you’re bold, raising your arms) in church anymore. Anything goes and worship is a journey everyone should embark on every single day!

Relationships are made so that they may create something.

God’s gifts and His call for your life are IRREVOCABLE.

Dance. Challenge. Connect. Free. Heal. Create. Love. Smile. Lead. Travel. Serve. Motivate. Receive. Open. Restore. Revive. Try. Write. Understand. Succeed.

Dance covers all languages. It breaks barriers, it heals, it brings out prophesies, it inspires, it honors, it glorifies!

“You are like a fairy… Everywhere you go, you spread out Holy Ghost fairy dust. But wait- it is not fairy dust! It may seem like that, but this dust is actually and abundance of seeds! You do not need to worry that the seeds you spread being successful or not. You do not need to worry about the reactions that come from the people you speak to- you are simply planting seeds in these people. You will receive absolute faith that the seeds will be sown.”

My Word does not return void! Isaiah 55:10-11

You are walking hand-in-hand with God.

Everything is prophetic. Glory glory glory glory forever and ever.

Tuesday

Buffalo Wild Wings for breakfast is a common occurrence for Timothy and I.

Also, I’m getting very into coffee and wool socks.

Featured mug made by yours truly!

So There I Was.

I’m gonna keep this short and sweet, since those are the only kinds of blogs I ever read. (;

There are moments in life that I look at and think, “If someone would have told me one week ago what I would be doing today, I would have laughed in their face.”

I found myself in the midst of one of these moments last Friday night, and it was awesome.

So there I was, at an authentic Latino eatery with my wedding photographer, salsa dancing with two huge X’s on my hands and a crowd of mexican caught-in-the-middle-of-teenage-and-adult-aged men staring at us. I really wish we would have taken pictures of it all so I could share with you, but I have faith in your imagination images being spot-on.

Despite the awkward circumstances, the night was great. God has been placing lovely people in my life lately- definitely a huge answer to prayer. I just feel like our entire day, which consisted of yoga and puppies and coffee and designing invites and dancing, truly showed how vibrant God really is! It sounds cheesy, but that day was the first day in a long time where I didn’t feel out of place in a group of girls, and I am super thankful for that!

Try it sometime- look at how much God can change in your life in one week.

Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by people who ended up as friends that you would have never thought of? Praise Jesus!

Well, this was a little less ramble-y.