God Has A Unique Plan For Your Family

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Episode Summary

You will be encouraged to embrace and further discover the unique plan God has for your family. This is a super raw discussion about the truth of Isaac and Angie’s background and journey together that will likely encourage and inspire you in your family’s journey. There is no family like yours, so never try to be like someone else’s!

In this episode, we share the truth about our background, debunking common assumptions often believed about us. We go in-depth about what we believe regarding family dynamics and stories, giving valuable insight into practical ways to approach real-life situations. We believe that God has a unique plan for every family. What’s most important is walking strong with the Lord, in order to discover what His will is. Life is an adventure and God has a purpose for yours. If you trust God and let Him guide your steps, He will take care of you.

Proverbs 16:9 – “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.”

In This Episode We Cover:

  1. Don’t engage in the comparison trap
  2. Isaac & Angie Share Their Story
  3. Follow Jesus vs. Following the crowd
  4. Make the harder decisions so you don’t live in regret
  5. Seek Him in every decision & area of life

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Full Transcript:

Welcome to Courageous Parenting podcast, the weekly show to equip parents with biblical truth on raising confident Christian kids in an uncertain world. Hi, I’m Angie from Courageous Mom. And I’m Isaac from Resolute Man.

We’ve been married 20 years and have seen the fruit in raising our eight kids biblically based on the raw truth found in the Bible. We can no longer let the culture win the hearts of children. Too many children from Christian families are walking away from the faith by age 18. And it doesn’t have to be this way. It shouldn’t be this way. Join us as we start an important conversation about effective parenting in a fallen world.

Hey, everyone, welcome to the podcast. A little different today. So buckle your seat belts.

Hey, guys.

Today, we are talking about a really awesome topic. God has a unique plan for your family.

So we’re going to share some aspects of our path.

Not so that you replicate our path. Not at all. But so it’s encouraging. Maybe an inspiration and maybe some natural assumptions that you might think about us. You’ll find out something different, actually, because the natural assumptions usually aren’t true about us actually.

So we’re going to share with you guys how God designed our family, which has been a journey over the last almost 21 years. We are going to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary in just a few months.

It’s been an amazing journey. I know. We’re just getting going.

That’s right.

And we’re also going to give you guys three steps or key essential elements to allowing God to lead you in the design of your unique journey.

This is such an important and powerful topic because oftentimes we can start to play the comparison game. I know you taught a lot about that in the course, actually. Oh, yes. The comparison trap.

Yes. The biblical friendship course is called the Christian Woman’s Guide to Biblical Friendships. Yeah.

And you can find out about that at CourageousParenting.com and the podcast show notes, which we have every week. But yeah, there’s a couple chapters.

But so what? What that is, is you get caught up in this comparison game and we start was striving to be like others, or we get extra Judgy about ways we don’t want to be, that other people are going down, even if you’re good biblical things.

And we talked a little bit briefly about this in the last podcast when we were talking about, you know, taking few opinions, but make sure you take the right few. Was the title, your last podcast. And it was actually the last two podcasts. And we talk about the danger that people often make, the mistake of stereotyping people. And then when they stereotype people, it justifies their reasoning behind not wanting to listen to their advice or listen to anything they put out there. And so I’m just speaking from personal experience. You guys is just raw and real, right? Like, I have struggled with that myself in the past year, for example, when I was not wanting to homeschool. So the first five years of parenting, I did not want to homeschool at all. And I’ve shared I share more about that in homeschool blueprint. So, yeah.

But I didn’t really I didn’t really want to be friends with other people that homeschooled and I didn’t really want to take their advice on parenting because I didn’t want to do that actually. And so.

Or you can get all along and be my kids or give me the salt of the earth, run other kids and socialize.

I mean, everybody has their thing, right? And then they just start to justify their opinion. So we shouldn’t human nature, we shouldn’t do that to each other. And yeah, we shouldn’t do that to each other. And we also shouldn’t stereotype one another because we can actually. What what all this does is it creates division among the body of Christ which is what the enemy wants. . It’s exactly what the enemy wants. And it grieves the father’s heart. It grieves God’s heart. And we we don’t want that. We don’t want to be a part of that. We don’t want that to allow the enemy to use us in his schemes, because there’s nothing in the Bible that says you have to homeschool.

There’s nothing in the Bible that says you need to put him in public school. So let’s not get extra biblical about things. Let’s read the Bible and let’s love each other and let’s care about the things that really do matter. Yeah. In the Bible. Right.

We love Jesus, regardless of your lifestyle choices. We can all be the part of the body of Christ. Right.

Like, so we do homeschool and we have some very strong opinions about why we chose to do this it is super fruitful for us. Yeah. And if you guys are interested in learning more about that, you can go find that podcast. That’s just one of the subjects right here. I’m just using as an example today. But the reality is, is that we have an enemy and he is out roaming, roaming around like.

He’s a roaring lion looking to see who he can devour. And one of the ways he likes to devour women especially I mean, I don’t know. Guys, probably struggle with this, too, is the comparison trap. Yeah. He wants to ensnare us in the bondage of the comparison trap. And he does it in so many subtle and not so subtle ways. Yeah. And so we have to be on alert. You know where for that we have to be honest about our heart issues. Right. We struggle with jealousy or maybe judging or stereotyping, and we literally need to take those thoughts captive under the obedience of Christ and toss them out. And so we thought it would be interesting and fun because we have experienced a lot of it.

I mean, honestly, you guys, we have eight kids. There’s 10 of us in our family. And even when we had six, we were kind of labeled a big family. There were eight of us.

Well, Angie, everybody thinks that’s a big thing.

Yeah, I know.

So, anyway, I the reality is, is we have experienced people stereotyping us for different things, even when you’re an entrepreneur. Yeah. Right. Like trying to get along with guys who were not entrepreneurs. Sure. Could have been stereotypes going both ways. Right. Right. In our immaturity. I was able to then. Yeah. And so this is the thing. We’re just being honest about the things that we struggle with.

That’s why we’re able to label them the way of a label them.

And we wanted to share our real story with you guys, cause some of you may not have heard it.

So here’s. We’ll start with some assumptions and then I’ll go into the truth and start early on in walk to the present day and do it in a quick fashion. We’re going to try to make it quick. So the assumption is perhaps that we came from big families. That’s why we desire big families. And there was a culture already set to do that. And we already saw the way it was done. So it was easier for us.

People assume that and Isaac how many siblings did you have?

I have a brother and sister. I mainly grew up with my sister and not so much my brother, but yeah. And she was gone a lot. So I kind of wait.

But you also have another half brother, Abel. Oh yeah. That’s true. Yeah. Yeah. And he’s the same age as Kelsey. Yes. He definitely didn’t grow up with him because he was born a year after Kelsey.

Yeah. Yeah. So anyways. So yeah. Not a big family. And early on, you know, some periods of time somewhat broken and somewhat complete at different times. So without going into all that. But but yeah, I definitely didn’t have that background and definitely didn’t grow up a Christian, a believer. That’s another assumption. Sometimes people think.

Yeah. Another assumption is that that people think since we teach biblical parenting, that we must have been raised in biblical parenting.

And we knew all this stuff when we first had our first kid.

And we just but I started through I started reading the Bible at age twenty three.

So there we go.

There we go. I was raised in a Christian home. Just to answer that question. If some of you were wondering. I think if you’ve been listening to our podcast for any amount of time, you’ve probably gathered that.

So I grew up in a Christian home and grew up going to church every Sunday. Being very active in the church. My parents led worship. My mom worked for the church. Still does.

You were so spiritual. You were never gonna have a husband.

Oh, my goodness. So he OK, there is a truth. And it’s not about being spiritual. And sure, I know you’re not joking and it’s real, but it wasn’t about being, like, spiritual. Yeah, it was it. Well, okay. So I thought that God was calling me to celibacy and to be a missionary. And it’s honorable, super honorable. And I.

Yeah.

And so then when I met Isaac, I didn’t want anything to do with him, but not in a romantic kind of way. Yeah. She just wanted to witness to me.

True story. Send him to God and leave him alone.

That’s right. And so that’s a whole nother story that we’re dying for. We’re all over the place. It’s kind of fun.

It is kind of fun.

Okay. Now they’re all wondering what our marriage story is. We’ll tell that story as well. That’ll be a marriage podcast. Okay. So what’s another assumption, Isaac?

That we were homeschooled because here we have homeschooled all the way from kindergarten through high school.

And it really had these weird thoughts about the homeschool world. Just everything was weird about it.

I did, too.

But then I was more for it than against it because we tried putting our kid in preschool. And that wasn’t that was great. she did great But I was frustrated.

I was with adamantly opposed to it.

He was he was adamantly opposed to homeschooling. That is true.

I remember walking into her for the first homeschool conference that we went to. And we walk in and Isaac goes, OK, we’re walking back out here. And he’s like, hey, listen, we’re not conformists. We’re not going to conform. I married you the way you look and the way you are. we are not conforming. Being. Changing the way you dress, my appearance and all the things. Right. And so we were young. You guys, and judgy. Judgy. Yeah. And we stared. We were stereotyping other people, which is why we’re talking about this, Right. So it’s important that you guys hear that these are the mistakes that we’ve made. and God had to get a hold of our hearts. We didn’t making decisions without being in alignment. So that’s one of our tips.

Now, you know, as you’re making lifestyle choices and decisions as husband and wife, another assumption people might have is wow you guys are so lucky, you have all this time just to study the Bible and you get paid just to teach the Bible to us, you know? And that’s just not that’s just not the case.

We have spent a lot of time studying the Bible and having virtual mentors.

It’s a very strange time to those. It’s like late at night, early morning, you guys.

It’s always at a sacrifice because we don’t want to sacrifice our family. So what we do is we sacrifice our sleep.

True. True. And we also love. Okay. Something that’s unique about Isaac and Angie is we actually really love on our date nights talking about and dreaming about Visioneering, about ministry and what we’re going to create for you guys in talking about theology. And we love that. Oh, my goodness. We love talking about theology and discussing it and researching and challenging each other. It’s really fun. Yeah. And so that’s just kind of how we’re wired.

I still have so much to learn, by the way, in the Bible.

Oh, same here. OK. We’re going through revelations right now. And I’m so confused.

That’s. I’m teaching you.

You’re doing a great job. I was reading ahead. So anyways.

I just want to encourage you guys, though, because it would be easy for you to potentially stereotypes as the type that like or to maybe look at us. And we are talking about how we love to do this on date nights. You know, like, why don’t I don’t love to do that on date nights. I just want to veg out. And, you know, why can I just say it’s okay. We’re all different. You beat me to the punch line. It’s OK.

God has a unique plan for your marriage and your family and you know it.

We should probably just veg out more often.

We should learn from you.

We joke about how we’re where we need the fun friends.

Remember, we actually had friends who were married and we were like, oh, they’re the fun friends.

No names, no names. We’re not doing that. But you guys. The reality is, is that we’re probably a lot more down to earth than you probably thought we were. But we do. There are some things that we like. They’re a little odd. Like we like Visioneering on our date nights a lot.

I want to take a moment and give you something for free if you haven’t got it already. Is the date night one sheet? It is a beautiful document you can download that will have some key questions on it for your date nights. Just get in alignment about what’s most important for your family, no matter what time of year. It’s always important to recalibrate. You can get that by going to CourageousParenting.com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also, you can get all of our show notes and everything, a CourageousParenting.com. And I also just want to share real quick about the parenting mentor program. So many families are being transformed by going through this. It’s the six week self-paced program with live engagement from us and even direct interaction. So if you want to join us, here’s a little bit more about it. You can find out more Courageous Parenting.com.

Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children.

What Angie and Isaac had done in creating this is literally phenomenal, this program provided awesome scripture based teachings and just some really great practical applications. This class has just really rocked my world.

It has given me a vision for not just the different things that we might focus on as parents who are trying to raise our kids biblically, like how our kids are behaving or what we’re doing with discipline, but also the things of heart.

We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children who have so many answers to the questions that have been in our mind.

It’s not just these hypothetical situations or it’s not just this. Here’s what I think you should do. It’s let me show you where in scripture this is.

Do your legacy a favor and yourself a favor and just do it. One of the best things that we’ve done this year, one of the best investments we’ve made this year. And I could not recommend it more. we are no longer fearing dark days ahead.

But we’re so excited to raise the lights to be leaders for the next generation. Another assumption people might have is that your pregnancy is really easy. I mean, you must just have the best pregnancies having all these kids. You also must have a lot of family close by because, you know, to get help, because I was working 60, 80, sometimes 100 hours a week in the early days and so many it. Yeah. He must have just tons of help.

Yeah. Both of those were false assumptions.

I mean, definitely. So it’s different now. Obviously, we live we don’t live close to family at all right now. There was a time where we lived closer to my parents. And when the older kids were really little, my dad was working a lot. But my mom was around and she had help. But she also worked a full time job who was busy. So she was very busy and was very busy serving in her church as well. And so not quite what you would suspect. Right. And so the reality is, is that I mommed kind of like it.

I mean, it was a boot camp. It was a lot of work. And I was alone as a mom in the sense of Isaac would go to work sometimes at 5:00 in the morning, 6:00 in the morning, the early years, the early first six, seven years. And then, I mean, there were some seasons like postpartum and things like that where you were able to help.

I would say it was front loaded. So I worked way too much in the first year, way too much in the second year. And then it went down a little bit. But it’s still too much. And then and then there was a point where went down more. And we’ll talk about that. Yeah. A lot more. And then, you know, it’s very normalized. I learned a lot of lessons. Right.

And then we building the business. You were back to working crazy hours with the publishing company. Yeah. And so that that was intense because we had six kids at the time. It’s not that long. And yeah, that was five years ago. And you were I mean, you were working like 80 to 100 hours a week again for a few years. And so save the company up. Yeah, there was all there. So it’s been up and down. Our story’s been up and down. As far as like how many and how much you’ve been working again. Also, when the business went under, you were working like crazy to get us out of debt and to provide and from scratch. So we were both working differently because I was also working with you, along with, you know, doing other stuff I was already doing. So we both have worked hard.

So when we first got married we will go down a little timeline ish. When we first got married, I had this silent thought of having two kids eventually. But it wasn’t because I necessarily just loved the idea of having kids. Actually, it was it was like the American dream. You know, you have two kids. So funny. Have you actually had this American dream? Yeah. No, I wrote about I have a journal from when I was a kid. You do what you want to see and it’s like I want to be a business. So this. Yeah. I’m going to be a business owner. I’m going to be married. And I have two kids.

You guys, I haven’t seen this journal. I want to see this journal. That’s really funny.

Yeah. So that was the extent. Okay. You want to know. Okay. I went up to you guys.

Oh, okay. In junior high or maybe even younger. There was this game called MASH. Did you ever play MASH? No, no. That was a girl thing. We did this together. Anyway, if you’re a girl, you know what I’m talking about. Mansion, apartment, shack or house. And then you go around and do this like counting thing and you figure out who you’re going to marry and how many kids you’re going to have and what kind of car.

Anyway.

Anyway, I thought when I was a little girl that I would have a family and have kids. Yeah.

And but then when I got older, I already shared this with you guys I. When I was in high school and early college, I thought I was gonna be a missionary overseas and so I wasn’t. Marriage and family was not on my radar. So when Isaac and I met, we had very differing ideas, obviously.

Well, yeah, exactly. It was going well. And I went through a period of time, frankly, before I met Angie, not even believing in marriage anymore. So I dont even think kids were in my mind either anymore. They were. Yeah, but I kind of lost faith in any concept of marriage.

And it was only the beauty of Angie that made me believe in marriage.

I was a believer actually. Yeah. Which is interesting.

Yeah. You guys. Okay, so I’m gonna share. This is so funny. I always tease him about this. I was actually working with Isaac and I came into turn in orders and I walked in and he was in his office because he was the district manager running his own business.

And I, I walked in we were both college students though I was on summer break running a business.

And I just got back from living in Turkey and doing missions over there and doing missions in Mexico. And I had like six weeks to work. So I had three jobs before I went back to Canada to go to Trinity Western. Right.

And I come in with my orders to turn to my orders. He goes, Oh, hey, Angie, I have a question for you. Comes out and he goes, Do you believe in marriage? And I’m like, yeah, I believe in marriage.

And I turn and he didn’t say a thing for minutes. And then I like turn and I start walking to the order turn in room. And he got. He just kind of whispers under his breath. Good, cause, I mean, marry you someday.

And I’m and I like turnaround really quick. And he’s already didn’t do his office again. He’s gone. And I’m like.

Picked you. And he goes, you heard me right.

Like none other than no. We’re not going to ever be together.

So anyways, but yes, we had a very different idea of what our lives would look like.

And your life probably looks very different than how you thought it would look like at some point.

So then we got married. So fast forward a little bit. We got married and we thought we wait two years to have a kid and then you’re pregnant four months later and pregnancy was very difficult, puking, puking, puking.

It’s a really it’s a way to put it. Yah puking like 14 to 16 times a day going and getting Ivies. Ivy in the hospital.

I’m sitting with the laptop next to you and writing a speech, chemo, antinausea meds, you know, terrible, terrible stuff.

I remember those. But so and then we had this beautiful daughter, Kelsey, and who had health issues, had health issues. And then there was this period of time we thought something was wrong. We’ve caught okay. Not once you have your first kid, you want to have the second one because you want them to grow up together right?

Yeah. Yeah. We were trying to have another baby. No baby, no baby. No, we thought something was wrong with it. Like a van drove with you. Okay.

And then I ended up having an emergency appendectomy. I had a lot of gut issues and I was pregnant during that appendectomy. Didn’t know it. That’s another story. Austin was born, had a hole in his heart.

They told us to we should for sure abort that pregnancy. Yeah. Where there was no way he would survive. Or if he did, he would be totally messed up. I mean, there was all kinds of things. They were like, of course we are having the baby.

God’s powerful.

Well, and we also were like, this is God’s gift to us. This is God’s child. And we’re gonna take it however he comes to us.

Yeah. We’re not us. We don’t get to make those decisions.

This is so he was born, had a hole in his heart and God healed him. And we can we can talk more about those almost three years.

Just between him and Kelsey. Yep, yep, yeah. And we were trying to have kids. Yeah. Yeah. So that was though that was a stressful time.

And there wasn’t you know, things were different back then. There wasn’t really there wasn’t social media. There wasn’t blogs. There wasn’t too much Internet, really. I mean, there was so it went and it would go to camp here, but. But things were different. Cell phones were even different. Right. Like, everything was just different then. And so there wasn’t a lot of support. Now, as I remember being very lonely and it was a hard, hard season for sure. And you were done having kids because we had a girl and a boy.

Yeah. There we go. Done. We hadn’t really talked about it, though.

No. That’s the weird part. Right. And, you know, a lot of people here’s an assumption that people think, yeah, that was a boy. I don’t know. They think they think about themselves, Nicole. I don’t think I could be patient enough to have that many kids and homeschool them.

They must be kid people and really patient, you know, patient. I was I hate that I used to think these things. But I remember trying to go somewhere and I’m like, it takes forever to buckle the kids. But I can’t leave. I can’t believe it did take.

Why do we even try to go anywhere. I remember one time I actually I can’t wait until I don’t have to do this anymore. Yep. We had five kids in car seats at one time and then I would really in diapers and I would do the countdown.

Ok, ok. Austins this old so I’ll be this age when they’re all out of the house.

I used to think I know because we were we used to think more about ourselves and our futures and, you know.

And then we can travel.

And then we can do all these dreams that we have, right?

Yes. Because the reason why we’re thinking that ways, because there was a lot of opportunity to travel internationally with the company that you were working for. So we just did and we did travel and we even took kids with us.

I wasnt in the company. I was running a business.

Right. Yes. Yeah. But we have opportunity to win trips internationally. And we went to many places by Argentina, France, Italy, Spain, I mean, Germany, Czech Republic, every. We were all over the place. Loved it and loved it. Just the Rock of Gibraltar. Anyway, so we’ve been all over the world and we love traveling while having all these kids.

And while you’re sick full time, I would be puking on the planes and pumping on the planes.

And that was back when the pumps were not quiet.

I remember my my my dad who ive never met. Unfortunately, that’s another story. But he actually played he was a starting player for the Titans. The Remember the Titans movie was depicted after he was friends with the captains and so forth. And so we got invited to the premiere of that and sit with all the real players and Pete Jones and the whole crew. And it was it was Fantastic and the cast. The president giving a speech. And then we were at the ESPN Zone afterwards.

And we were we were that was in the early days and you. Kelsey was six weeks old and you had mastitis. I got mastitis wells at this event. This is a red carpet event. So Isaacs in a tux and I remember that. I think that. I mean, I knew you were going down this road. I was in this gown. And you guys, the lines in the women’s bathroom of the ESPN Zone were crazy. There’s only two stalls. And I took one up for like 40 minutes trying to pump and it was her.

Here she is meeting the real Wonder Woman.

so embarrassing.

No, it was just not. I had a fever of, like, 104 most awful case of mastitis I’ve ever had.

So we’ve we’ve tried to continue doing well in receiving God’s blessings, even though it’s difficult.

Yes. And it was a lot of work. But I, I will say, though, was there was some sacrifice.

So there were many times where you would go on trips and I no longer was coming with you. Yeah. Not necessarily international ones, but within the country. That was hard for me. And there were times where I would struggle with jealousy because I loved going on those trips. I loved I’m and I’m I’m more relational and I like and I hated going on without you because you’re more relationship.

But we we used to love going to these meetings because for us it was like we were on a mission and we loved influencing people, encouraging people. And it was just so much fun. But it was hard to do that with kids.

And so Isaac would often go without me.

And we ended up skipping some trips too.

Yeah. So you know what, guys you probably have assumed that Isaac said this, that pregnancies are easy and they’re just not easy for me.

I have struggled through every single one of the pregnancies to a certain degree, except, you know what, the last two were my easiest two.

My third was also. So we’re on two, though, and I wanted to be done. Yep. And was that right? Yes. You wanted to be done? Wanted to be done.

I had a weird dream that I that I that a child was missing. You.

And then the next day I went to the grocery store and I had Austin in the front part of the car and Kelsey in the big part of the cart.

And they were both like three not. No, she was three. He was. No, no, no, no, no. Yeah. She was three. And he was just a baby is like maybe eight months old. And I thought that one of the kids was missing.

And I started scouring the grocery store. I don’t know if you’ve ever lost a child before, but I thought I lost a child and my heart was racing. I’m like pushing the cart, looking down every aisle, looking for my kid. Then I’ll send it dawns on me that my two kids are actually in the car. And I felt so dumb.

And so I took the kids and I gotten the minivan and I went back home, put them down for a nap, took them out myself. And Isaac came home. And that night I was like, You’re not gonna believe what I did today. And so I told him about what I what I experienced at the grocery store and how I felt like somebody was missing. And then again, that night, I had another dream. So I had two dreams back-to-back where like I a child was missing at the zoo or something. I dont don’tactually remember a lot about it. But then I just because of that, in my gut I felt like I don’t think I’m done.

Mm hmm. It was, it was how that spoke to me. I know I’m not letting go of this. Isaac must be done. And I’m like looking for the. Well, that isn’t here.

So what’s a girl to do? I know. So I told him that I wasn’t sure if I was done. And he was done in so that I was like, OK, he’s done.

But I was there. I mean, in hindsight, I was very selfish. I mean, he was the reasons I wanted to be done were selfish reasons. I wanted my wife back, if you know what I mean. I wanted to be able to go places. I wanted it to be easier to go out to restaurants. I wanted to just go to movie and travel and travel and, you know. And then I was thinking about there’s money, money, the cost and all the things and the pressure.

You had a cute little BMW convertible, and if we got one more kid, we were going to have to sell it and get a different car. Remember that?

Yeah. Kelsey and I used to love. Right?

No, seriously, you guys, this is just how it was. Yeah. For us.

And and so I was actually leading a Bible study at the time that challenged the thinking of do we have the right to determine the size of our family or, you know, what is God’s word say about this?

And I was struggling.

And can I just say that I’m I’m leading this little hosting this Bible study at our house, and majority of the women that were in the Bible study were much older than me. And they were like two years older to like 12 years older. A lot of their husbands had had vasectomies or they’d gotten her tubes tied. They’re all done having kids. And I was not pretty normal. And here I am bringing up what the next question is in the Bible study.

And I just bawled and was like, you guys, I can’t lead because, like, I don’t know what I believe. I mean, will you pray for me?

And I actually ask them. They told them that I didn’t think I was done.

And I said, pray for me to give up my desire for more kids. To support my husband, because I thought that it would push him to a place that would be bad for our marriage.

I super selfless of you and super selfish of me. I feel terrible.

But you know what, though? God grew both of us through it. And then we switched places a few kids later. And so. Yeah. And so I got. God bless my womb.

Three weeks later, and I was so scared to tell Isaac I was pregnant, but I was also like at peace, knowing it was totally his will, because he had put this desire in my heart. And I was trying to be obedient to what would be best and selfless. Right. And I think God just loved that and he blessed me. So you told me in a new way, though. I did.

Instead of telling him in a special way. I told them in front of Kelsey and Austin when he came home.

And he was like, really excited. And I wasn’t sure. View’s excited because the kids are there. It was really genuine. But then he just kept being excited and I realized God had changed his heart totally. It was a miracle. It was. And I was super excited.

You were super excited. He was so excited, you guys, that I gave birth to Megan. And before he cuts the umbilical cord, he’s got the scissors about to cut the umbilical cord. He’d help deliver her. And he looks me as we’re a good team at this. We can have more. And I’m thinking to myself, I only wanted one more.

What are what are you talking about?

Don’t say that. Timing is everything. That is bad timing. Don’t ever encourage more kids the moment your wife gives birth.

But if she says it, then it’s OK. Because I actually have a friend that says it right after she has a baby.

That’s OK. That’s OK. There’s things she could say that you can’t say. It’s true.

But then after that, we had Megan and then we had Drew and we had four kids with two girls and two boys. And and then six weeks postpartum hit. And Drew became very colicky.

And it was hard. I was exhausted between potty training an 18 month old and having a newborn and having a three year old. You were exhausted for good reason.

I was up in the night with kids that had night terrors and were wetting the bed and had colic. And then I had to be awake and on it to be a mom of four kids under six. And it was just. And didn’t we move to a bigger house? I did. And we were remodeling a 4200 square foot house or so. Also, I was project manager. This is how dumb I was. I mean, I actually I shouldn’t have said that, but we got a puppy. We got Moses when he was six weeks old. He was a great dog. We had him for a decade, you guys. But when we got him, while I was like seven months pregnant, we were remodeling the house and about to move in. And then we bought chicks and we built a chicken coop. We were insane. And then a garden. And then. And you’re not. But the vineyard came after right after Luke our Fith was born.

But but after Drew, I was done, you guys, it was just exhausting. And I really needed my health back. And I was worried about just not being able to be a good mom and be on

That’s right. Getting a as I was very sick. Yes. I said you’re getting a vasectomy.

You said that. I’m like, oh, I want another kid. Yeah. True story.

So the few times when when one of us was like, done, done, the other one wasn’t. And I praise God for that because we decided never. After the first time, we decided that we would never make a permanent decision until we were both in alignment. Yeah. Just because we both had the we both before we got married. We both. One of the things we were attracted to in one another was that we didn’t want to live with regret and we wanted to live on purpose. And so we didn’t want to have regret in any aspect of our life, including our family. So if one of us wasn’t in alignment and wasn’t done, we would wait till we were in alignment and pray. And that’s just kind of what we felt God was calling us to do.

And we always did. I mean, I should say always. But somewhere in this time, we really did fully see children as a blessing from God. And it’s all gone. No matter how difficult was for us. Still. Yeah. But still, it was a matter of. Okay. How much can Angie handle? Because her health and there was real health risks and challenges and things to think about.

So yeah. And my health continued to decline. And then we when we had after we had Luke well during that pregnancy that was my first bedrest.

But I was willing to get the vasectomy, but we made the appointment and everything. Yeah. And then.

And then God changed my heart. Yeah.

I, I promised Isaac that I’d pray about it.

We had some very strong disagreements and heated conversations because he was willing to get a vasectomy, but he wanted me to pray about it and spend some time to think about it first. And I was like so determined that we were done that. I was frustrated by that. But I did honor that. And I spent time in the word and in prayer and in during that time, God changed my Heart and helped me to see that another person’s whole life and eternity and their legacy is worth. A short period of time, that’s a sacrifice. And that at least that was what I felt. And what I had experienced up to that point wasn’t life threatening. It was puking. Yeah. Which is not fun. But it wasn’t life threatening.

So we both in our marriage have always tried to honor one another. And I for sure was gonna go through with the second. The point was set and everything. Yeah. But once you told me I was okay to call it off. Yeah, exactly. It’s like three days before something like that.

Yeah. Sounds about right. And and then we had we got pregnant Luke. And that pregnancy was I remember, crushed like I have had a moment. And ironically, in the shower with each of my ten pregnancies where I’m basically crying out to God and saying, Lord, I’m giving you my body to be a vessel to bring forth life again. Would you please bless me? No, let me be sick. And I just remember crying out to him every time and having faith and praying and asking people to pray. And with Luke. I was even more sick, you know, and so sick that I. I threw my back out and was going to chiropractor three times a week. You had to work less to help more and we had to have help from church.

And which even though it was super painful for you. It was super good for the future of our family because I did tend to work too much. Yeah. And this really that’s a nice way to put it. You are a workaholic. This really. I did have large responsibility, but yeah, I loved being home. So it wasn’t like I was trying to escape home at all. That’s true. But I did have growing rapidly, growing larger responsibility. And but this forced me to figure out how to work way less. And what was interesting is, God, give me wisdom just real quick on the business side. Guy gave me wisdom to figure out how to change how business was done to where I could work way less. And the business actually started doing more than with everything. Yeah, because it was interesting and he really blessed. That shows I gave it completely up to him, surrendered it to him as 2008 when Luke was born. When the economy was crashing and we started growing like crazy. The business doubled over those. Yeah.

Three years. That’s also what’s interesting is that Isaac, because he’s he and I both are visionaries. But to be honest, when you’re pregnant, Puking, you’re not much of a visionary other than I mean, have a baby in my arms one day. This is worth it. And you keep preaching that to yourself, to your the baby in your arms.

Yeah, but Isaac was at home more and so he was trying to be really purposeful with the kids. And he got this like this inkling he got this itch to have another project. So he decided, let’s plant a vineyard.

Well, while I’m pregnant, I remember standing there and I’m like, okay, I could do Christmas tree as we talked about. I could do a Christmas trees. And then because then you can write off the property and this tax benefit and I’m like, I don’t like I don’t like I only like my one Christmas tree at Christmas.

And you were like, I’m allergic to hay.

I remember this space and I’m just I remembers my arms crossed looking at the the feild.

I always dreamed of having a vineyard. If not now, then when?

If not now. Then when. It’s never going to happen. So I remember it.

And then I start, I feel near Damascus Vineyard. And then I was just it was it was really game on. Game on.

That’s right. And so we get it. We have Luke. And while he was six weeks old, we planted twelve hundred plants. And it was a whole lot of work, but we did it as a family. And afterwards we took the kids out to eat. I remember sitting around the big table in the side room at the olive garden and all the kids were like, so proud. You’re like, you can all have a special drink tonight. And they’re like, oh, lemonade.

And I and I talked about how amazing, you know, how hard they worked. We just think about how young our kids were. And we planted twelve hundred. we had to Dig each hole.

We had an assembly line. Everybody had a job. Megan was so cute. You remember she would go round and pick up the canisters that the plants were in. The one year old vines were in, put them in the canister pile and anyways.

Yes, it was so much work, but it was the best thing we ever did with our kids. And but then that postpartum was rough for me. And I struggled with the symptoms of mass dies every week and for 40 weeks. And I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, gout. I had a whole lot of issues, acidity issues. I was intolerant to dairy, all kinds of things, seen a natural path and had to work on my health. And we so we were waiting to get pregnant and we waited. We have a little space between Luke and Ethan, a little bit more than our other kids because other kids were 18 months apart. Some of them, not Austin and Kelsey, but the rest were. And. And so a little over two years later, we met, we had Ethan. But during that pregnancy, that pregnancy was even worse.

And I wound up in the hospital because I threw my back out and was on in the hospital for three weeks and then on bed rest for three months and then had the great a great ending of the pregnancy. I wasn’t sick at all the last few months, had a great birth. But then I hemorrhaged and was on bed rest again for another six weeks. And and I think I was we were both kind of done.

We were both done. And then that was also the beginning of transition. I was feeling like God wanted me to go do something else. I don’t feel like I went and did what God wanted me to do.

No, but you were seeking like that wasn’t the year that you read 50 books.

Oh, yeah. And before that. So I was like I was preparing. And I remember a pastor friend was over and he said, What are you preparing for? I go, I don’t know. I think that might ruin God’s plans if trying to figure it out. And I was just I was just preparing us, reading 30 purposeful books with the Bible being one of those over the year in journaling. And I’m not just kind of reading them, but generally tend to be implemented in my life. And then you went to Western Seminary. Western Seminary. This was still mean. Business was going great. It was the best young business that ever meant going, actually. And then you got CVI certified. So, coach. So. So Western Seminary to learn coaching. And then I incorporated assessments and credit. You know, Choose growth coaching. Yeah. It was called. Which did so well by the way, I. And we didn’t even need that money now.

So fact I went and got CVI certified too.

And we are doing marriage seminars where I mention ours and we’re in there, was made so much money so fast that we we went and bought that RV, at least the down payment, the sixteen thousand dollar down payment on it and. And it’s like eleven years ago. Yeah. So anyways, God kind of enabled that to happen because there is a lot of us and the only way we could travel and vacation and I didn’t want to be that kind of family that never did. Yeah. But there were eight of us. So I don’t I didn’t want our family, our kids to ever resent that there were so many kids because we couldn’t do things.

Yeah. And to be able to actually experience life together. So it’s interesting because people could make assumptions while we’re on our RV trip right now and think, oh, they have a lot of money. And so it’s kind of good for you two guys to know how we got the RV eleven years ago.

Yeah. Was a God blessed a different side venture.

We’ve been trying to figure out even two businesses know during that time was also when I wrote Redeem Childbirth, which was all ministry stuff. And so we had a lot of fruit. We were doing a lot of different things. Redeeming childbirth was like another baby for me. Yeah.

And it really did take over a couple of years for that was a became a bestseller in the first couple weeks. And on Amazon. Yes, it’s continued. It’s continues to sell and we. Yes.

And so, you know, it’s interesting, though, as a lot of times people.

Well, they’ll try to find a solution for their pain. And I had a lot of pain through my pregnancies and postpartum. And so that part of that and all that I’ve learned over the last 20 years of experiencing that right. 10 pregnancies, two losses, all the things we have in childbirth, in the Christian postpartum course. And it’s served a lot of women, but a lot of times people could look at that and be like, oh, wow. Has she have all this time to do these things?

But the reality is, guys, 20, 21 years of knowledge and experience and and going to doctors and natural pads and midwives all all the things like it’s it’s all of that combined into something. And so it wasn’t like this easy thing to just create it.

Yes. Like, if we ever, ever had a dream of having an online business or an information product or something like that. Just remember that the best things happen out of lots of experience. I kind of. I was. There was a book I was going to write. Don’t talk with any of it. But there was a book I was going to write a long time ago, and I’m actually really thankful I didn’t because I was so immature then and I lacked an understanding with the Bible actually said compared to today that I probably today would not be excited about that book being out there. But today I’d be excited about any book that’s out there because of just experiences, progress and biblical knowledge. Yeah. That we have today. So don’t rush those things on a side note. Let your journey speak volumes to where the product you make at the end is such a natural expression of the life you’ve lived.

Yeah, that’s right. So we had we wrote I wrote redeeming childbirth and started touring and we took Marvin.

That was part of how we were able to do that. Was it the tours and stuff? And we planted a vineyard and garden and chickens.

We had this hobby farm. Yes, this farm. And. And we were homeschooling. And that was primarily our lot.

My life. Right. I was like at churches as well for moms groups and stuff. Stuff like that.

And then Isaac felt like God was calling him away from the business that he had built. For how long? Eight long years.

I was in different aspects. 17 years. Yeah. Yeah. In the. In the. What I was building at the end, I was doing it. I think for 11 years. And Ed reached, you know, hit the lid of what’s what can be kind of done within that model. And and and so I felt like, okay. Any new challenge, new adventure. And there are some other reasons I get you know, there were outside of me that caused me to change, too. So. And then. But I was a little bit little bit blinded and didn’t go into the next best thing, I think because I had a bitter root in me and was trying to go prove something and some pride. And God really needed to crush that pride out of me, which I’m so thankful for. So painful because we built a business and which involved a bunch of employees and, you know, big office space and expenses and things in the model wasn’t quite right. And some other things. And. Long story short, it went out of business. A lot of debt followed us. And that was a humbling experience. But what was beautiful about that, just shortly, right before the business closed and all that happened.

You gave birth, Solomon? That’s right. And there’s five year gap between Solomon and Ethan. Actually, she’s almost six years, almost six years, six years. And what’s incredible about that is we weren’t doing anything to not have kids.

Right. So, yeah. So I during that time, I. I really felt like God had closed my room. I wasn’t in a place healthwise where, like, at least right after Ethan, where it would have been good that my back and all the things and actually be getting pregnant with Ethan put my hypothyroidism in remission. And interestingly enough, during that pregnancy and but there were still other things that I needed to be able to focus on that would have been hard to treat being pregnant. And. And so far, I had five years to get healthier. And it was my body needed that I needed the sleep that needed all of it and and praise God.

And we were able to be productive. We. That was not only did we write, I write redeeming childbirth, but also the biblical friendship online Bible study, which is a huge 12 week that’s online Bible study. So that was another huge project that I’m very proud of and I’m very thankful for to have the time to be involved with that. That was a great partnership with the Lord. And anyway, so then business went under.

We had Solman and God provided all kinds of awesome gifts for us during that time, even though it was the hardest time that we had to walk through.

All those things we could do another podcast on. But basically exhausted all of our resources, lost everything financially in our our marriage just grew stronger.

Our our family unit. God, I really should’ve got everything that mattered, Coop. Just even stronger. And that’s why when you nourish the right things, when things are good, when things get challenging, those right things just become sweeter. And that’s right.

And so they’re more primed for the actual challenge that’s at hand.

And I really understood what real pride looks like and what real humility feels like. And it was it was a great experience. I remember feeling I didn’t know how we were going to buy groceries, but I remember feeling so free and so joyful.

And I also remember us both having a complete peace and a desire for more kids do, which is pretty crazy considering where we were at financially. Right. But we just had this alignment and this peace and we are pregnant with Selah and we lost that pregnancy in the second trimester. That was really hard.

Well, because you basically died or almost died, you lost over half your blood. I had to get a blood transfusion. Very, very, very, very difficult. And those are kind of our Job years. No, of course, it’s not as bad as Job, but not even close by.

But but they were for us. They were the hardest.

We had through the hardest years, and we our family just grew so strong and God tought us so many good things.

And so what did you used to say? Used to say, we’ve won a lot and we’ve lost a lot and we’ve learned a lot. And I I always loved that phrase because it’s true in our older kids got to see all three of those. Yeah, we talk more about how to parent through life struggles.

And one of our podcasts in season one, which I really encourage you to if this is this podcast is resonating with you as we’re sharing part of our story. But I also just want to encourage you guys that just because we were of the perspective of looking forward to having more kids, even in the hard times and things like that, and you’re like, whoa, how’s that even work? Right. I don’t want you to compare your situation to our situation or to where we were at that time. And I’m just saying that right now, because I know that a lot of people could potentially struggle with that. Remember what we talked about the beginning of the podcast? how the comparison trap is an evil place to be ensnared and that just know Like that we believe and it doesn’t matter what we believe, but what we believe is that God has a different design for every family and that it’s an adventure.

It is an adventure, an adventure. If you allow adventure, I mean, you have to be very willing to be out of your comfort zone, not just, you know, kids, just all kinds of things. I mean, there’s a lot of things we left out about the time I invest in race horses without really talking to engine. There was a lot of money, too. Yeah, yeah. There’s lots of stories I can tell you the time we bought a condo and flipped it and there was a big win. You know, the time that you know, now you’re telling them all so we won’t tell them. But there’s a but it’s life’s an adventure when you’re when you’re when you’re willing to break out of your comfort zone.

And I would say that the last five years were definitely a God helping us break out of the comfort zone that we had created for the first 14 years of our marriage.

And then, you know, after the loss of Seelow, we were gifted a rainbow baby. We had Eli and we both both Solomon and Eli came at such a time when you know how kids just have that joy. And they’re just they don’t even have to try. And they just bring a smile to your face. You know, we needed that so badly and God knew that he and he gifted us those little boys. Yeah.

And absolutely, you know, they are such a joy in our family.

They are. And we also lost another baby just recently. A few months ago, actually, we lost mercy.

But our hope is in Him and we don’t know what our future holds. And we are praying constantly. We’re in alignment in our.

And there was even some recent terrible persecution on the ministry and God’s totally blessing. This ministry. It’s his ministry. Yeah. We’re just being obedient and just total falsities. Crazy attack on us. And you know what I think we’re I what I realized other day is. Mm hmm. We’re in a different season now. The world is changing a little bit. Is it? Christians are increasingly being persecuted and Americans are just not used to it. And so I just go, wow, I wasn’t really ready for that. And so now I am embracing it. Like, this is the new normal.

He’s better at embracing it than I am. OK. Just being honest.

But we’re gonna proclaim the truth.

And we are we are still gonna stand firm on the truth.

And so as we’re closing up, we just wanted to encourage you guys with three truths, you know, that have helped us to find God’s path for our family. Yeah, that might be an encouragement for you guys. And it’s all under the title of not compartmentalizing Jesus. Yeah, right. So don’t compartmentalize jesus. Because the first one is following Jesus versus following the crowd will result in God’s unique plan for you.

So what is the crowd that could be Christians around you? It could be people at work. It could be all the way. Peer pressure works or the culture culture works again. Literally. There’s so many places, the very best version of God’s plan for you and your family. Right. And so be really open to some things that might feel a little crazy sounding like crazy as you’re thinking about them.

I would say the best advice regarding this is don’t listen to anyone’s opinion. Just go to the word of God and be in alignment with your husband.

The only way to do that is to be praying and being in the world together. Right. And so but following Jesus versus following others, following the crowd what is the second one is regret.

You don’t want to have regret. And a lot of times later in life, you look back and you go, oh, I had these ideas, these dreams, these passions. And, you know, if you had them and you still remember them later, that means God probably put them in you. And that means you didn’t do something God put inside you, but inside you to do. And so what is you what are you were if not now, then whens?

That’s a good question. And I would say, you know. A lot of times people also choose to stay in the box of peer pressure or their comfort zone.

Yeah. And so you have to consider what are you going to regret by standing in a comfort zone? What are you going to regret by allowing peer pressure or conformity or pressure to conform the crowd to squelch or squish your passions and your dreams?

One thing we always knew is like we want to make sure we make decisions. That don’t lead to regrets down the road. Yeah. So that’s that’s important. Other things that really matter. Yeah. Like I can lose a business and things like that, but the things that really matter.

Right. Like for example, writing a book. Like for me that was a matter of like I knew God was calling me to write. And so like those things, like I had to go to Isaac and stay at home wife. Right. Stay at home mom in a very busy season of my life. And we were on a date night Visioneering doing what we love best and dreaming and sharing our dreams with each other. And I just shared you know, I feel like God is telling me I should write a book. I’d start. Isaac had encouraged me to blog years before, and I shared my dream with him. And he being the the the husband that he is, made space for me to be able to do that. He supported me and being able to do that. And I became a better mom, a better woman, a better wife because of it.

We sold them all babe. So while we gave some away, I guess that’s true, too. Yeah. But the third thing is to seek Him and every decision and area of life. Yeah. Seek Him to seek him. So follow Jesus, not the crowd.

Don’t have regrets and seek him. Those are the three main key points under not compartmentalizing Jesus.

So, again, God has a unique plan for your family. It’s not our plan. We each have our own plan. That’s right. So but let this. Hopefully this was encouraging, inspiring and gets you talking with your spouse about what God has for you guys.

And on the side, maybe we debunk some of your assumptions. See you next time.

Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. We wanted to quickly tell you about our six week online parenting mentor program.

Isaac and I created a powerful biblical curriculum. Here’s how it works. Each week, Isaac and I release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you and your spouse to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

It’s an incredible program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes. Most Christians are making more than that. It’s an incredible community.

You’ll have access to a private online group, live webcast, and the courageous parenting text message line where Angie and I can send you weekly encouragements straight to your phone.

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentorship program, secure your spot now at CourageousParenting.com.

That’s CourageousParenting.com

Written By Angie Tolpin
Angie has been married to Isaac for 19 years and together they have eight children, whom she homeschools. She is the Founder of CourageousMom.com, a doula, the author of the best-selling book Redeeming Childbirth, and the creator of the first ever Christian Postpartum Course. Angie loves ministering to Women and has created a few online Bible Studies on Biblical Friendship and Motherhood.

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