“One Month Married with Austin & Karaline Tolpin”

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Episode Summary

Practical insights of their engagement and reflections of the first month of marriage.

Special guests Austin and Karaline Tolpin share their short engagement story while giving wisdom about dating. It’s sure to inspire Generation Z in their approach to dating and marriage in a Biblical way.  For parents of young kids, this will help you hone your vision, if they are older it will help you with practical insights now. Regardless, everyone will be inspired by their desire to obey God in their relationship. At the end they give reflections on the first month of marriage.

Main Points in This Episode:

  • Why a short engagement can be good.
  • How God clearly showed up to enable Austin to propose.
  • When and how they first met.
  • Insights into staying pure until marriage.
  • At age eighteen what God changed in Austin to have confidence in providing for his family.
  • Reflections on their first month of marriage.

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Scripture in This Episode:

Proverbs 18:22 – “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9 – “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”

Ephesians 5:33 – “Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”



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Full Transcript:

Note: This is an automated transcript and misspells or grammar errors may be present.

Welcome to Courageous Parenting podcast, a 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 for twenty one years and have seen the fruit from 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 their 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 and the fall. Hey, welcome back to the podcast. Very special episode, we have guests and we hardly ever have guests, especially in person. We have the other top and family Austin, Carolina here.

Hey guys, it’s good to be here.

Yeah, so excited.

So this is awesome. So thanks for joining us today. But before we get started, we just wanted to say thank you for your support and for encouraging us over the years for all of the stars ratings on iTunes, the comments, the reviews and you guys, many of you know, this is actually our podcast editor. So he’s been doing this for a few years. He does a great job, so he gets to listen to them probably more than he wants to.

But by the way, just a quick note on that. I remember in the beginning, you know, we were just building with very little resources and he did it for free for a really long time. So he really helped us get the ministry going. We appreciate it. But hey, today we’re talking about one month married with Austin and Caroline Tolbert.

That’s right. It’s been a month. It’s been a month. So for those of you who have been following along, we actually haven’t talked a lot about the fact that we had a son get married.

I know on the podcast, by the way, I just first got some of the first pictures do so we haven’t even posted.

I know, I know, I haven’t even posted this month, and he hasn’t post again.

Well, that’s

Ok. We do do social media, but you know, some things are private until a month later, I guess.

Yeah, and that’s OK.

That’s OK. We’re living life. It was an amazing wedding. I keep getting feedback, by the way, just how people were touched by the Holy Spirit, whether they’re just a bigger picture of family and multi generations. And it was it was really an impact to people. So yeah,

It was an amazing day,

I’d say,

Yeah, it’s some fun too. So anyways, we are so excited. We appreciate you being part of the movement and everything we’re going to talk about today, really something that they’ve been getting tons of questions on, which is why such a short engagement. So we’re going to talk about there and short engagement and their opinion about that we’re going to talk about. Hopefully, we’ll hear about when Austin talked to her dad, Chad and all these different things and getting the blessing of parents and those things. And then why it’s short and maybe a little update on them.

That’s right. So we are super pumped for you guys to meet Austin and Caroline here, if you’re watching on Rumble. You can see them in person. Otherwise, you can also find them on Instagram at Austin Walpin and the life of a girl, right girl. That’s right. So we will put their little links in the show notes, which is that courageous parenting if you hit the menu and you just hit podcasts. Latest episode, you’ll see all their info there.

So I think when all this started, you were seventeen, right, Austin?

Yeah, I was seventeen years old and had found. Uh, that I really liked Caroline Johnson and was like, OK, how do I go about this? And previously I wasn’t really even open to the idea of dating or a relationship or anything, but I realized, OK, just turned 17 or I was like 17 and a half, and I’m like, OK, I’m getting older. I should at least be open to the idea. And then the Lord brought Caroline into my life, like shortly after that, and I was like, Man, I need to marry this girl.

So now,

Almost a year later, 18 and a half and married to my wife, and it’s been amazing. So we get the question a lot why a short engagement? It was about three months, right? The engagement?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah, about three months. And so we’re just going to kind of answer that question for you guys, but also share some story and give you some background information on our story and how we met each other and different things that happened along the way.

So to start off, why don’t you tell us how long you guys knew each other before you got engaged?

You can answer that question

Because I know the true

Answer and I have a little bit. I acknowledged him.

I knew who he was at 13, because Kelsey, his older sister, and I worked at one of our first Jobs Ben Soap Company in Bend, Oregon, together. And so they had like a little company party and their family came in. My family came and I was like, Wow, that’s a really cute kid. But then again, at 15 years old, I was fifteen going on. Twenty five didn’t want really anything to do with little children. And so I was like, Oh my gosh, no, I can never like like this guy. But I did think he was very cute, and that’s all I really remember. I saw him two more times after that at. You were giving a talk somewhere that we went and looked at or listen to. And then I met you one other time. Mm hmm. And then where did you officially remember meeting me?

So yeah, we kind of have different stories because I don’t actually remember meeting her the two times that she said she remembers meeting me. But I when I was like 12 or 13, I think I went to a camp that she was going to, and I remember seeing her. I didn’t really know who she was. I just knew she was amazingly beautiful. And I remember seeing her and was like, I don’t know who this is, and she’s probably like twenty six, even though she’s like 16 or something. And I was like, Well, I can’t marry this one, but I need to find someone just like her. And then kind of moved on from that and didn’t really think about it much. But that was my first like. Like memory of her. And then we met officially from my remembrance in Twenty Nineteen Right Twenty Twenty Twenty Twenty on Mt. Bachelor. I was snowboarding, she was skiing with her family and we met each other and actually shook hands that day. Yeah, so that’s kind of when our friendship really started.

I mean, when you get off the chairlift and I saw him and I was like, That’s awesome to have been. I think I went over and gave him a handshake, and

Then we

Officially met and we both remembered it.

Now our families had spent some time together prior to that. Yeah. Not for a long time. We knew of each other. We liked each other and so forth, and we knew some of the other kids. But you were gone some of those times when we were spending time with them. So that’s really cool. So how fast from that time on the ski lift to the first date,

First date was, wasn’t it like August or something?

You destroy my twenty third July.

Twenty third. Okay, yeah.

Well, she knows better than me, but um yeah. So took her out on a first date. And then after that I was like, OK, I’m for sure marrying this girl. And I don’t know when all I knew was like, she’s worth, however long it takes. And whatever I have to go through.

So in Austin, get digging my number. Before then, we started talking a little bit, first over Instagram, then we started talking through text and we became pretty good friends to her. Like, I knew a lot more about him outside of hanging out together.

We just we would kind of talk back, Yeah, we were good friends for a while before the the first day. And like my dad had said, we, our families kind of knew each other. So it was good track record between like mutually between both families kind of knew how each other were raised and that we were like minded. And then on the first day, it was really just like kind of sealing the deal, honestly, which is kind of weird to say for the first date. But like I am sure some like all the deep questions, the non-negotiables and was like, OK, this actually works, and she checks all the boxes that I’ve ever wanted for my future wife.

So hold on. I think most people listening are going, Wait, so you were like 17 and you had like a list with boxes to check. Yeah. And I just think that that would be a really good thing for parents to hear to encourage their kids in making a list because you also had a list like why don’t you tell us about that?

Do you want to go first or do you want me to?

Well, I’ll just say, like, I’ve kind of grown up knowing like what my values were, and I’m pretty unwavering in those and I know what I believe. And obviously, the Bible says a lot about being equally yoked. And so what that means is I need to find someone that’s like minded so that we can be equally, equally yoked. And then also, obviously, there’s other things like attraction and do I like a personality? Do I like her character, all these things? So but yes, I would say, have your non-negotiables and stick to them and don’t settle for less because there is somebody out there for you.

And yeah, I really appreciated Austin’s intentionality on our first date because I was also one of those people that were raised to date intentionally, and I had heard a lot about him. I said, No, I’m not interested in younger guys because previously I had only talked to older ones and having graduated like high school at 16, I feel like my life moved a lot quicker. And so I was like, What’s all this hype about this guy? But I nanny for a lot of people that went to his church and knew him very personally, and they were like, Caroline, know like, you’ve got to check it like just just do it. And I was like, OK, I don’t like him. But if he ever asked me out, I’d say, yes, that was like my one liner. I was like, OK, because I want to know what all the hype is about. Why is this guy so cool? And he’s only 17. Like, everybody thinks he’s God’s gift to Earth.

And I’m like, Why? Like, OK?

So then everybody spoke very highly of Austin, and I was like, OK, I’m really curious. So when we went out on a first date, I told my dad because back when I was 17, dad made me made a list of non-negotiables and things I wanted to know husband. So I had that in the back of my mind. That’s how I screened everybody. And I was kind of intense. Some previous guys that I had talked to were like, You’re like getting in a board meeting like he. He jokingly said, Do you want me to bring a suit and tie next time because I was so like, I need to know what you think about this and what are your values? And I was very just kind of like, Here’s what it is. I wasn’t very like feely initially. I wasn’t super like fun per say. And so I told dad I was like the first guy that can just give me solid answers before he asked my opinion of what I believe on these things. I was like, I’m going to marry. And I was like, OK, like, that’s a tall order. And then I asked Austin some of these questions on a first date and he’s like, I believe blah blah blah, and gave me like a super like biblical firm like opinion. And I was like, Whoa, that is really impressive. And especially for being younger, especially younger than like me because I was only, what, 19 at the time, and I was like, Whoa. To be able to respect somebody and look up to somebody like this, even though he’s a lot younger than me, that just went a long ways. Yeah.

And on top of that, we were able to have a lot of fun and just. Oh yeah, we had it worked out better than previous situations,


Because like we were able to ask each other these intentional questions, but it wasn’t like it did not feel like a board meeting. Now we’re just we were having

Fun and you definitely weren’t

Bored. Oh no.

Oh, so, so so you had this first day, it sounds like, Austin, you pretty much knew at that point, I knew. Yeah. And and then pretty quickly after that, you guys were separated, right? You moved.

Yeah. So tell us that time we

Both families grew up in Oregon, and so we lived in the same town, Bend, Oregon, and then in October of twenty twenty right? Mm hmm. My family, the Tobin’s, we moved to Idaho and her family, the Johnsons, they moved to.

Columbia Falls, Montana, yeah, Montana.

And so then all of a sudden we had gone on like, I think, one to two dates and then we were 11 hours apart. And so at that point, we were long distance, but on top of that, until

We get some funky stipulations. Yeah. So we went long distance and when we went long distance, my father chose to cut off communication outside of the writing of letters the good old fashioned way. He wrote letters to my mom. My older brother in law had to write letters to my sister. He had different, different ideas of what he wanted our relationship to look like. So he had us write letters and I believe we were writing letters for seven months. And that was hard because I had just moved to a state where I knew absolutely no one had zero community. I’m super outgoing. He had just moved to someplace where he knew very few people, and I think it was really hard in in a good way. And then just like, wow, like you had nowhere else to turn, but to the Lord, you had to grow male often got delayed because of snow in between our two very snowy states, and I’d just be sitting there for three weeks like I haven’t heard anything from him.

So, yeah, it was tough. And like really only writing letters, no text messaging, no calling. No nothing.

Yeah, no social media,

No social media. So what’s cool about writing letters, though, is it was actually kind of a blessing in disguise because it really allowed us to get to know each other way better than I think we ever would have if we were able to just talk and do whatever else we wanted over the phone. Because with the letters, there’s no room for anything else except for being intentional. And so we got to really dig deep and ask some questions that we probably would not have thought to ask if we were able to just text or call whenever we wanted. And so it was really cool to be able to get to know each other better that way. And that also sped up. I think kind of our timeline, if I’m looking at it in retrospect, because at the end of that seven months, writing so many letters I wrote were like forty two letters or something. And then I got responses back and she wrote, Me too. And so it was like, we really knew each other really well in a short period of time, and we already knew each other before that, too. And so I think that that’s kind of part of what played into moving quickly. It’s just because we haven’t had your the normal relationship, it’s not been average, so to say and we’ve done things differently than I think most people do things and so.

But during that seven months, you guys also got to see each other traveling.

We did.

Yeah, yeah, we’d see each other here and there. I’d either come down or he’d come on.

And it was your family came to visit you just before things so fine. It was super fun.

Well, and I never like doubted Austin’s commitment to to our relationship because there was no flippancy. There was no like, Oh, I can just talk to this girl whenever I want. Like, he had to make it an intentional effort to sit down, to want to communicate with me, and it really showed my dad and really impress my dad about his commitment level and how it wasn’t like, Oh, the first pretty face I met in my hometown. And that’s what Dad really wanted to see. He wanted to see, OK, this man really committed because he is so young because this is his first relationship. Like, does he really want to pursue my daughter’s heart? And Austin diligently did that during our relationship, and it spoke volumes to my dad.

It wasn’t easy, though. Austin, it was.

And I was like, Man, I just want to talk to her right now.

I don’t want

To wait for like a week or two to get a response

Back. And you weren’t even a verbal processor.

Imagine me.

Yeah, like she also did. But like, it was really good for a relationship. And like we get, we have all these letters now like, that’s like history of our relationship and we can go look back on those whenever we want and we’ll be able to show our kids. And so it’s really it’s been cool. And then after that, we where’d we go?

Well, I had already signed up because I didn’t think I was going to be able to actually date Austin for a long time. And so I was like, OK, because this is going slow, I need to go occupy my time and my thoughts and go do something. And I was like, I really wanted to serve the Lord by going to a Christian camp in Northern California that my grandfather had started. And I was like, I’ve always wanted to serve here for one summer. And so I was like, Now is the last summer. I want to do it because I knew I wanted to marry him. So I was like, You can’t go if you’re married, like, I got to do it. And I was like, This is a perfect time, because our relationship at this point, we are still writing letters. I didn’t know how long we were going to be doing that.

We were kind of at a standstill is the perfect time to go.

So I committed to that and I left in June

And then I kind of like, I’m not a last minute person. I know I don’t like doing things impromptu, really. I mean, like fun things. Yeah, but like major life changes, I’m not like, Hey, let’s pack up your things and go like randomly. That’s not me at all. And so, yeah, I noticed that. And so but I actually ended up going to judge two. But it’s weird because. Like, I was still here in Idaho, I had my job, I was working, I was busy, but I was just here. I was like, What am I doing here? I know the woman I want to marry is at this camp serving the Lord, and she had been calling me because at that point, actually, we were allowed to call. I think it was like the first month or whatever we were allowed to phone call, and I’m like hearing about all these amazing things she’s experiencing and how she’s being impacted by the Lord. And she’s seeing other people impacted and she’s really serving the Lord. And I’m like, OK, I’m here like, Yeah, maybe I’m getting all my ducks in a row so I can be more prepared to get married eventually. Maybe I don’t know what I’m doing, but like. It wasn’t what I wanted, and I felt this tug in my heart to like to go to, and obviously part of that is because the woman I’m wanting to marry and in love with is there too. But another part was like. Wow, what have I actually done in my life? That’s. Just been purely to serve the Lord like. Going to this ranch, you like, drop everything and you’re working there on staff full time for three months.

And so you don’t get paid, you don’t get paid.

And it’s long hours. It’s it’s whatever. There’s no they don’t tell you what you’re going to be doing until you get there.

And a lot of times they use your skills, right? And so you know, you have skills in photography and social media, you know, so maybe that would have been something you would do, exactly. But you know, you got there and you got the very best job, right?

I got the very best job on the ranch. So anyways, I I’ll tell you what it is in a second. I said, OK, Laura, I’m going to trust you. I felt this tug in my heart. And then also I was like, kind of struggling with like, I am the kind of guy that wants all my ducks in a row. And so it was I was comfortable living at home with my parents, being 17 years old, working pretty good job. I was like, baby. But at the same time, I was still like stressing out about like my future and career and stuff like that for no reason at all. And so it’s like, Well, Lord, if I can trust you with everything in my life except for this, which is, I guess, basically it was finances and job and career and all this stuff, then that’s not OK. And so part for me of trusting the Lord and going to the ranch was. Giving that up and deciding to trust him. And so I quit my job left for the ranch, got there two days late, then I was supposed to be there. So I missed orientation, missed all the fun inside.

You were being a good son.

He was. And he said to me,

Yes, I was pregnant with Zander and I was due May 20 first. And so Austin tried to stay as long as he could because he wanted to be here to meet his baby brother. But Bud had other plans.

Other components? Yep, yep, that is true. But I mean, I had the idea to go on the 19th. I think, yeah, I was like three days and I was supposed to be up there on the 20th and I was like, it was in Northern California. I’m here in Idaho, so I’m like, it doesn’t

Really add up or at this point too. I had called Austin and we were talking, and it was really hard to maintain a relationship because you’re working day and night, like you’re just grinding, especially in the position I had. And so I was like, You know, I still love you. I still think you’re awesome. But I was like, Maybe we should take a break. I think that kind of scared him because you

Think, Are you breaking up with me?

I was like, No, but I can’t continue to, like, feel like I’m being pulled one direction while serving the Lord here. And I was like, I want to pick this back up. But we aren’t going to move very far this summer having no service. It’s like up in the boonies. And so I was like, This is really hard. Like, I can’t keep doing this. I have to walk like a mile to get service, just to have a quick conversation and stay out past curfew. And I was like, This just doesn’t work.

Yeah, it wasn’t really practical. So we probably would have had to, like, take a break from at least communication and then picked it back up once you got back. But anyways, I decided to go trusted. The Lord dropped everything here, got there and I got the best job on the ranch I was in. The kitchen is in the dish pit, washing everyone’s dishes and you get there and you’re like, OK, wait, what? And I had like a really hard time for the first, like two weeks. I was like, What in the world did I just sign my life off to?

You even missed some of the programming because the dishes have to be done, you know,

Like you missed. So there’s like part of being on crew is like you get you have benefits of being on crew, but when you’re in the dish pit, like dishes have to be done after every meal and there’s meals three times a day. And at that time there was one hundred and forty people. But like during the summer dishes for 500 people when we had guests on property. And so it was a lot of

Work during the whole summer. I just want to ask you that one question how many dishes do you think you washed during the whole summer?

I have the numbers somewhere, but I don’t know exactly. I can tell you that we made one hundred in like one hundred and ten thousand meals that summer

Because it’s not just dishes your burger doing burgers or

Grilling at the

Barbecue. Five hundred hamburgers for burger night. And then you watch everyone eat them in 10 minutes. What was took us six hours. So what was the

What was the turning point to seeing that as an opportunity?

Um, it just came back to trusting the Lord that he had a plan in that also it was finding my why? Like really committing to the whole I am here for the Lord, and there’s no other reason why I’m here. So and that was actually the hardest job on the ranch. You can ask anybody. And I wasn’t just me. I had my buddies in there with me. Um, but like I got to. I learned I went in thinking I knew a lot about work ethic, but like I did not. And so I learned a lot more about work ethic. I was humbled, like so bad, like math. It was like, It’s humbling to be like you. I went to the ranch thinking, OK, I’m going to be on crew with 140 crew members, all like same age. Well, I guess I was one of the youngest, but. And we’re going to be working together for this goal to serve our guests that come through and, you know, lead him and set him example in Christ. And but when you’re in the kitchen, you’re actually the crew that serves the crew. So like, I was like. The little so I was like. It was the lowest of lows, to be perfectly honest, like you’re I was washing everyone’s dirty, grimy, disgusting dishes like the crew members. And so it was like,

Yeah, is because even though Austin was in the kitchen and in the kitchen, you aren’t really like a face of the ranch. You weren’t really seen that often you’re just kind of back there in the hermit pit. We called it the sauna, terrible ventilation, and in California, in the middle of summer with hot water, right? It was hot

In there,

But he’s like going. And what was so awesome to watch and what I observed over and over is crewmembers would come up to me and be like that, your boyfriend in the dish pit. And I was like, Yeah, that’s him. And he was the only one that would get like he really ministered to me, or he totally impacted my life in some way. And like over and over, people came up and told me this and I was like, Wow, this is incredible, that somebody that’s not even being noticed, not being recognized, it’s in like a corner, so to speak. It still having an impact all around the ranch. And he was one of the like, well, most well known dish boys because everybody was like, Wow, when Austin does come out or when we’ve had a chance to observe his worth ethic, they were just so impressed. And that was like a lot of confirmation for me because it was like, Wow, this guy does whatever it’s take. First of all, not only to be here with me because he sacrificed a lot. Yeah, but then to just watch the way his life permeated the whole ranch, even though he was in a not not a glamorous position.

So well, it’s amazing the example you set for others and the standing firm for truth and all the things that happen there. Obviously, this podcast know there’s so many stories you could do an episode just on JH or a couple of them. So a lot of God used you guys in a lot of different ways, and it’s really neat. But maybe,

But you got to serve God

Together for the first time, really?

Yeah, got to serve God together. And then all of a sudden, one day you decided to get a ring.

Yeah, it was pretty grand be being

One of my buddies in the kitchen. He actually became one of my best friends. His name’s Christian and. One day on our off day, you get one day off a week, and it’s it’s pretty random, it changes every week, but anyways, we had the same day off and we like, we’re like, OK, we got to get out of here. So we left camp, which you were allowed to do and go. We went to like a water park or something and like went and watched a movie. And then we went to the mall and just walked around and got food. And then we were like. Why don’t we go look at rings because like at this point, I knew, like I knew, like months ago before this that I was going to marry her and I was like, Well, I’m going to have to buy a ring eventually, so why not just do it now? And so we went and looked, and I actually didn’t have any intention to buy a ring. And then I found this one right here and I was like, OK, well, actually, I need to buy this ring clustering without any knowledge of like when I was going to propose how I was going to propose without permission from her dad. All these things, right? And so then I was like, All right, cool. I have the ring. And then like a couple of days later, I’m like. Ok, I have a ring.

Like what I need to do something with the ring now. And so I was like, Whoa, I want to propose. But I need to ask permission. And at that point, her dad was at the ranch like a week before I had bought the ring and he was there with one of his daughters. They had gone through the program through a program together. And then he had left. And so I felt like, Oh man, I lost my opportunity and there’s no way I was going to call him or text and were sent him an email asking him for permission. I had to be in person. And so I just said, OK, Lord, you’re in control. And if you want things to move forward with me and Caroline faster than originally planned, which at this point I was thinking, well, might be a few months. Once I get back home, then I can go visit them and ask your dad for permission. And so I was thinking, it’s probably going to be another few months, just so just to get engaged. And so I was like, Well, Lord, if you want this to happen, you have to have Chad Johnson show up here at camp for whatever reason you want. I don’t care what it is, but if you do that, then I’ll fulfill my end of the deal and I’ll ask him for permission. And then some unfortunate things happened at camp and in

I actually called my dad and got him back on property. The funny thing was I didn’t know this was going on, but I called my dad crying and I was like, This was the unfortunate situation. This happened in doubt is like, Hey, can we just pass the ranch about two hours ago, coming up from Southern California? He goes, all flip the car around right now, and our whole family will come down there and help support and fill a position that needed filling. And I was like, what? Like, Are you kidding me? So I got so excited, and I went and told Austin he was working out with Christian in the gym. I was like, Dad’s coming back the whole family. They’re going to help us and all that stuff. I was so excited and I could see Austin’s face just be like, Oh

My gosh, yeah, we’re going to ask her

Dad now. And he just looked at Christian like,

Man, it’s going to go down. It was stressful because, like, I

Had chills because we were working out in the gym and Caroline and Christian and Christian knew I had the ring. Obviously, he was there with me and she was like, I just got a text from my dad. They’re coming back now and I’m like, I look at Christian. I’m like,


So that’s like one of those God moments where it’s like, there is no reason he should have come back. But God used an unfortunate situation for good, and he came back and I asked him and he said, yes, so

Well, it said to mom before they had even given on property. He was like, if Austin asked me to marry Caroline because he knew we were, we had gotten a lot closer over the summer. We were going through a book of one hundred one questions asked before getting engaged, like they knew we were moving forward and I was super impressed with how awesome handling things. And I, of course, would call them every week and brag about them and all of the good things. But then we were, so we knew we were getting closer, and dad had a conversation with mom actually during those two hours driving back. And he says if Austin asks for Caroline’s hand, like, Are you ready? Like, Are we ready to take? Take this on and say yes. And he was in mom’s like, Oh yeah, I think they’re so ready, like all this stuff. And so dad’s like, Well, if you ask, well, at least we know we’re on the same page, so it’s kind of up to him. They had that conversation on the way to the ranch. He knew he was going to ask my dad. It was just amazing. Yeah.

So that’s that’s how I got permission. And then a few weeks later, I proposed to her on top of a mountain at the ranch,

And we were fortunate enough. Austin did a little preliminary work and he got our family and Caroline’s family, both the entire family to come out. And Chad and I even got to help set up a little bit of super fun, just us working together, and it was one of those memories I’ll treasure. And then you guys came down the mountain and you didn’t know the families were there, and that was a

Surprise surprise after our engagement. And I was like, OK, so we’re like driving down and I see all the crew members like gathered up and I was like, Oh, that’s cute. Like you said, if I screamed in lights and the crew’s here to like, celebrate us and then like, I see my best friend who was there to like on the corner and I was like Ellie Williams. And then instantly like our whole families from both sides, which is like twenty four people come like running out and just swarm us. And it was the most overwhelming moment of my life. I was like, Oh my goodness. And that place to hold such a sign of

A dream of yours, right, was to have all the family there.

That’s why I thought he was going to wait until we got home because I was like, There’s no way he’s going to propose when we don’t have family to support us. I was like, That means a lot. And he knew that. And so he I didn’t think he was going to do it. But in the back of my mind, I was like, It would be cute because my parents got engaged at each ranch in the same month, what? Twenty eight years before us on that same property in the sports field? So like, they got married where he served in the kitchen. They use that kitchen in my parents wedding. So it’s kind of a bunch of cool like legacy stuff too. And I was like, It would be cute, but I don’t think he’s going to do it. Then he did.

Yeah, and then you guys got married. How many months later

It was three. Three years later, you got engaged August 7th. Yeah, and married October 15. So just a little over three months, which is crazy. Yeah, it’s crazy. You, you get back from JJ on August seven. Yeah.

Trying to plan a wedding in three months is not easy.

So it was a lot of work,

And she pulled a lot of the weight. So I’m super impressed with her.

I can’t believe it. You guys came out for a week, which was super fun to get. To hang out with Caroline, get to know her better as you guys were planning the wedding and just watching you guys work together as a team. It was like by noon, one day you knocked out six things.

There were incredible. Oh man, you guys

Are so true. It was just wild. It’s like there is nothing else except this list, and we’re going to knock this list out. So super cool. So what an incredible story. God was all over this. It’s clear you guys are really meant for each other and it’s a beautiful thing and everybody echoes that, which is great to have that support. But I think people really want to know why is such a short engagement? I mean, you’re so young and you know, it’s very against the cultural norms, which I think is wonderful, but I think people want to know why.

Yeah, of course. So well, there’s a few reasons, one of them being to avoid temptation. That’s one of the biggest reasons, I would say. And. We one of our biggest goals in our relationship before being married was to stay pure and remain pure. And so I didn’t even kiss you until like a week or two before our engagement. And and then obviously we’ve waited for everything else until we were married. And so that was a big deal for us. And so avoiding temptation for sure was one of the biggest reasons. And the longer you string it out, the harder it is. So yeah, we just really wanted to be married and live life together. So yeah, and then when a verse that I love to to read people or remind them of when they ask me, is he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord? And I posted this on social media before, but this one really hits home for me, and it really just goes to show how much the Lord is in favour of marriage. And if the Lord says it’s a good thing, then it’s a good thing. Regardless of all the nitty gritty details and the reasons why maybe you wouldn’t want to get married. And so I was like, Why would I want to delay that? Why would I want to delay favor from the Lord?

So, yeah. Yeah, it was it was awesome, but it was kind of interesting because we did go back long distance to during our engagement because of that whole remaining pure, we weren’t going to do anything or move in together until we were married. And so I went back and live with my family and everybody was like, Why did you do that? I went back to Montana. He went back into life, went back to like the normal spots. Mm hmm. But our desire hadn’t changed at all. And so I mean, you know, you know, like bottom line, I think it’s so sad that our culture has wrapped this up and delight. You need to wait for all of these things. And it’s just I don’t find it to be beneficial because it’s really hard. Like it was a hard season and it was a good season. We obviously needed the time we had to plan. But like Austin said, like not delaying life together, being able to support one another was wonderful.

Yeah. And like you said, when you know, you know, like I knew after the first date, that was like, Yeah, sure, we got engaged in the three months later we were married, but I knew I wanted to marry her for over a year. And so it’s like having that in your mind for that long.

It’s yeah. So I think a lot of people want to know, too on the provision side of things. Austin, because obviously you believe in what the Bible says of taking care of your family in that way. And you’re so young. I mean, you’re 18 now, but you know, maybe you can give some insights into that experience.

Mm hmm. Well, so I’ve always been. I remember being eight years old and telling my dad like, I’m ready to work, like, what can I do?

And you know, I remember that dad came home and he was like, I went out with Austin today, and he’s kind of like down at first. So I asked him what was wrong. He’s like, I just want to live my purpose.

I’m ready. I’m ready to go to work. What can I do?

So this is a big thing for a lot of people. Everyone’s everyone wants to find their purpose and figure out what they’re doing career. And then obviously, now that I’m married like money is definitely important. I need to provide for my family and my wife. And so it’s like. How do you do that, and I’ve just I don’t know, the Lord has been good and I’ve had a few different jobs I’ve pursued originally, I would say the first thing I’ve ever done is photography, videography and just editing and online stuff. I’ve built like websites before I built Shopify stores, I’ve done a few different things. So I would say for the first few years after graduating high school, I was an entrepreneur and just kind of did odds and end jobs, worked for my parents, started doing their podcast, which I did for free for a while and then now we’ve since figured out a system that works good for both of us. And then recently, so before I left for JH, I was working for a marketing company and I was doing photo, video and social media and all that stuff. And that worked out really, really well for me. But then the Lord called me to the ranch, and so I quit my job.

And with the blessing of that

Employer, with the blessing of the employer, I didn’t just drop everything on him last minute I just asked him for. I was like, What do you think about this? And he was fully in support of it. So that was just one thing after another God was involved. And so I I went to the ranch being like, OK, I have no idea what I’m going to do when I get back. Have not making any money now. And then, like, got engaged and still was like, I have no idea what I’m going to do. Then I got home and I was like, Well, I’m just going to dive right back into freelance work, do photo video anything I can get my hands on

And then sold some prints and local

Coffee shops started. Yep, yeah. Sold some of my photos. I printed them on canvases and I was presented in a coffee shop. A local coffee shop sold a few prints and then an opportunity came up. One of my good friends who was actually my previous employer, he is kind of. Uh, he has a lot of different businesses and he’s always moving and trying new things, and so he had recently bought a wedding venue. And he was like, I need a manager. And so we thought about it, prayed about it and I was like, Maybe this is it’s so random. It’s nothing I’d ever thought I would do before. But now I’m managing an event center in Eagle Idaho and it’s going really well. We do weddings, corporate events, holiday events and

Called St. Crossing. We should give them a shout out. Yeah, check them out. So that’s super cool. And I know before that, Austin, that you had this peace of mind about the one thing that you hadn’t surrendered to God. You mentioned earlier which that provision and then you had this release of I know God will take care of me, and I’m not worried about it at all.

It’s going to work out. By the way, you told us that story the night you called us to tell us that you were going to propose to Caroline

And we were like tears of both

Just started crying. Yeah, when you told us we were so proud of you because we knew in that moment that all of a sudden he’s in the place where he needs to be as a man to be providing for a family because you need to be submitted to God and you. You showed that in in releasing that to him. And I really believe that he’s honored you in that. So you’re doing the wedding venue, which is really an event center. You do many events.

Do we do all sorts of stuff? Yep.

And then you still do some podcast editing for us

Ways and the way that I can.

Yep, yep. And so and sometimes you take on extra stuff for other people, too.

So well, I think you have a scripture, but also we want to find out, is there any other reasons for short engagement?

Well, there were some practical. There were practical reasons, for sure.

Sure, pressure reasons like her sister was about to give birth to her baby. And obviously,

Yeah, she had it two days ago. We got in just in the nick of time. I mean, she was my one long distance sister. She lives in Kentucky with her husband. I knew she was eight months pregnant. I was like, We can’t push this further, and I didn’t really want to compete with the holidays, finding open event centers. And then there’s weather for people traveling. And I mean, we live in a very uncertain world as I think we’re all picking up on that. And you don’t know what the government’s going to do. You don’t know how COVID is going to affect things or whatever is happening in our nation day. I mean, we I know of several people that have postponed their wedding or had a backyard wedding and support meant a lot to us. We wanted to have both of our families there, all of them or as many as could make it, and it mattered to me. I had like 14 bridesmaids, but it meant a lot because I was like, I want all my sisters. I want all his sisters, I want some friends. And it was such a blessing to have that support and be able to start your marriage off.

With so many wise people speaking into us, people that have already gone before us and being there to support us, it really meant a lot. And that was something that it was going to get a lot harder had we pushed it out. Mm hmm. And the timing was just perfect, and I think he was funny because God really honored the desire I had in my heart because I told my dad back in February, when we were still writing letters, I was like, Dad, I really want to get married in October, and dad was like, Not a chance, sweetheart. Like, I love this, but you’re going away for four months. You won’t see him. You guys won’t be dating much. And he was right. That was aren’t going to be our situation. And then the Lord brought us into us. And then the first thing my dad told me when we were talking about dates was, he’s like, here, I think October is the only month that I work this year, and I was like, Yeah, oh my gosh, thank you, Lord. Like, you

Know, what’s interesting is until the parents saw the maturity and what God was doing, we weren’t pushing things forward at all. In fact, we were doing the opposite. You were being cautious, giving wise counsel and maybe even pulling things back a little. Yeah. Mm hmm. And so and I think that’s wise. It’s like, let’s see the fruit of this relationship. I think Chad was wise. Let’s see the fruit of this relationship and make sure this is what God’s doing, not what people’s will is doing.

Absolutely. Yeah. You know, and for us to we wanted to we were in alignment with your parents regarding a short engagement, which just comes back to the like mindedness of both families in the sense of like, yeah, we we all were in agreement. And so having that family meeting right after you guys were engaged and your dad looking at his schedule and saying this date and I mean, it’s a lot of work to get all of the fifteen or fourteen bridesmaids and the family members. And and so I think that just practicality making a date that works for most people that are that it’s going to be most important to while at the same time honoring the parents wisdom and not making it like a year long engagement or something. Right?

And I feel like it takes some of the stress out of planning because it’s like you either spend two weeks stressing out about flowers or you spend about two minutes worrying about your flowers, and you’re kind of like, OK, look, I think it took a lot of the like. I don’t have hours to just make decisions on things, so I like those. Let’s just go with them. And it kind of simplified things because it wasn’t like we were just sitting around like, Oh, let’s contemplate one more venue. It was kind of like, this one works for our four. People we want to have and we kind of just got to start knocking things out, and it was really nice because I was like, it’s taking care of like we’re done instead of just like spending an entire year worrying about it because I would have and I feel like it takes honestly some of the focus off the marriage and more about the wedding and more about all of the things and less about two people coming together. Starting their life is one

Which is what’s really most, which is most

Important. And so I think it kept us a little more focused, which was amazing, and I really liked

That a lot. Well, hey, we want to get an update. It’s one month in or so. It’s more like five weeks. Yeah, in a second. But I think we have a very important scripture.

Well, you know, when you were talking about just work and you mentioned something, you said, why would we wait and why wouldn’t we just build our life together? And this verse in Ecclesiastes 4:9 says two are better than one because they have a good reward for their labor. And you know, that goes in alignment with the story that you guys told and the narrative that you have been living out in, building together, building your life like it’s been fun. Yeah, especially like I have to I have to say it’s just been fun as a mother in love. Yeah, I like that term much better than another lot I do. But it’s been fun to watch you just enjoying and delighting in preparing the harm and all the things that you’ve been working on it and supporting Austin, going to work with him sometimes and then doing your own work while you’re with him and making the lunches that you make and the meal prep and all of the fun stuff that I’m watching you do. I’m like, It’s just a beautiful thing. You guys are doing this as a team and building your life. And it’s interesting because I got married very young. Also, I was 20 years old when I got married, just like you were. Yeah, Isaac and I met when I was 19, and I remember looking back and going my personality. If I would have lived independently for a long time, I think that it would have been more difficult for me, just in my personality. I’m not. This is not a prescription for other people’s lives because some people get married later in life, for sure. But for me, it would have been harder to have a servant hearted attitude because I would have really liked my independence a lot. Yeah, you know, and so I see you guys building your life together. Yeah. And you’re a team now and you will remain a team.

It’s. Yeah, because Caroline, you’re a go getter. You really are. And and it’s in your ambitious person. But what’s really neat is to see it’s godly ambition. And then it’s pointed towards the top priorities, which is, you know, biblical roles and marriage and taking care of your family and and those things. But you’re still you’re still doing your things that you like to

Do, too. Yeah. Yeah, it’s pretty cool.

I think it’s awesome, too, because we were both raised with the desire, obviously listening to parents talk. And if you heard my parents talk like we were both raised understanding biblical roles. And so that was the desire in each one of us, like far younger than I think a lot of our peers. It wasn’t as inputted into them. And so they were a little more like, oh, whenever going a little bit more along with the world’s way. If you have to do all of these things before you get married, you’ve got to live your independence, you’ve got whatever. So your audience, whatever they say, yeah, do all these things. And I always told my dad, I said, I want to be young, broken in love, and I meant it. I was like, I don’t want to feel like because I am super like, kind of scrappy. And I was like, I don’t want to just come into this like giant house that I don’t get to really put together because somebody will probably do it for me. And like all this stuff, I was like, I really want to build a life together, learn together you to grow together. And I do feel like you never get to learn the I mean, living in a big family, you don’t really have an option to be that selfish. You’re always having to put people first or work schedules and stuff. And so getting to come from a big family straight into a marriage, you don’t have that time of, like you said, growing in this almost unhealthy independence of I am going to be come more of a selfish person. And all of a sudden, what I need to start serving you or laying down my life for another person, like, I’m not OK with that. You know, we never really had a chance to do that because we went from living in big families to living with each other. And honestly, somebody asked us how I was going, and I was like, It’s so much easier to

Be one than 11.

And they were like, That would make sense. And I was like, He’s easy.

I grew up with seven sisters. He’s so much less drama anyway. It’s awesome, but

I just really like that. And then having that in the back of her mind like that was instilled in our hearts, like he wanted to be a provider. I wanted to be a homemaker. He wanted to protect me. I wanted to support him and like knowing that’s what we wanted to do. I mean, I didn’t want to wait to start walking out a role that God clearly lays out in scripture for me as a woman. And so I was like, What a blessing to get to start doing this as 20. Now everybody’s love story is different, so it’s like whenever the Lord brings out, right? One, that is the perfect timing for you. But for me, he definitely wanted that earlier, and she knew I was not a person that wanted to be by herself.

I just could not.

I don’t like being by myself very much anybody.

Well, hey, Ephesians five. Three, it goes right into, I think, getting an update from you guys. Nevertheless, let each of each of you in particular so love his own wife as himself and let the wife see that she respects her husband. It’s often used in weddings and so forth. But I think just our observation so far is we see this happening in your marriage from the day one. Yeah, and it’s beautiful. And I thought that would be a good lead in just getting an update. I’m sure people want to know how it’s going.

It’s going great.

We still like each other.

We still like it


We’re glad we got married and I looking back, I would not have done anything differently. To be perfectly honest, I’m loving being married. I love my wife and it is truly just a blessing from the Lord. Marriage. So I’m glad you made it.

It’s so awesome. It’s so fun. Feeling like you have just to your team. You’re a team. You get to work together. It’s so much fun and it’s I’ve really enjoyed it like a lot because I love having a little house, not a little house. We’re in a little apartment, but it’s so fun to like, decorate things, you know, do all the things that you never really had to say and or without very many opinions. I was just like, Do you like this? Ok, if it pleases you, it pleases me, let’s go. And it’s fun to have the freedom of like, we’re starting a family like we do live out the legacy that we’ve obviously been passed down, which is such a blessing. But at the same time, it’s like, what do we want our family traditions to be? And it’s fun going into this holiday season being like, How are we going to do Thanksgiving? What do we want to start doing before we have kids, when we have kids? So it’s so much fun?

Yeah, it’s a good thing, really.

Yeah. So a lot of people have been asking you guys a lot of questions, and maybe we end on this one last question. How’s that sound? Ok, so how many kids do you guys want?

Austin’s last answer was, I

Want a lot of kids.

Maybe somebody sent me a DM going. Did your husband just say all

Of the babies without hesitation? I said, Yes, he did. Yes.

All of the baby, as many as Lord will give us. We’re not going to plan it. We’re not going to stop it and God’s in control.

Yeah, I love the way both of our parents have seen children, obviously is a blessing. We see children as blessing. And then also as like having a womb, being a woman looking at what my mother and mother and loved it and just being willing to surrender that part of yourself to the Lord. And that’s a really most people. I feel like we’re like, OK, God will give you everything, but this one’s still mine. This one, I still get to control. And that was something where I was like, OK, if I say I’m really surrendered, I should definitely trust the Lord with how many kids he wants to bless us with, or if he wants to bless us with children. So just leaving that with wide open hands, and we’re really excited to see what he does. And like, he said, we don’t have a number, but we’ll take ten plus.


One last thing I want to do before we close up here and my dad did not ask me to do this, but I want to shout out to his new merch company. If you’re watching the video, I’m wearing one of his hats right now and he’s wearing one too. And that’s right. Yep, go check out what is it? What are the shops

Called Resolute Man?

Resolute man? You can find the shop, get the merch. They’ve got some pretty cool stuff.

Thank you, son.

That’s nice.

All right. Thanks so much for joining us. This was a blast. I’m sure it was enlightening for many.

See you next time. See you guys. See ya! Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom for free online workshops, blog posts and best selling courses. Also, 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, we release a video with a downloadable parenting packet to make it easy for you to incorporate those teachings directly into your parenting.

This is an incredible, self-paced program where we cover everything from obedience training to overcoming mistakes most Christians are making. But more than that, it’s a supportive community. You’ll have access to our private online group, live webcasts and the courageous parenting text message line. Ranji and I can send you weekly encouragement straight to your phone

If you’re interested in joining our next online parenting mentor program. Secure your spot now at 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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