The Tolpin’s celebrate 200 episodes by sharing the full back story on doing ministry together. The podcast started just over three years ago, but it’s a culmination of their 22 years of marriage. So they share the way back all the way up to today! It will likely be inspiring as you hear the things God has done but there’s also practical wisdom that will help your family’s journey too.
Main Points in This Episode:
- Rapid fire upbringing of Isaac and Angie.
- How they met.
- The early days of Isaac working in the business world and Angie a stay-at-home Mom who was also involved in the Church.
- The importance of knowing your seasons.
- How Angie wrote a book while having a large family of young children with a husband working full-time.
- Major business and financial failure.
- The Job years.
- How the body of Christ helped.
- Walking in faith and avoiding bankruptcy.
- The Kickstarter failure.
- How we started anyways without funding.
- A look ahead into the future.
Scripture From This Episode:
Hebrews 12:15 – “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
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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 21 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 following. Hey, welcome to the podcast.
This is the 200th episode.
It’s so crazy.
Wow. 200 weeks in a row since the beginning.
So we thought we’d do something a little different to it.
Yeah. So we for a while now, we have been plugging at this every week and we get a lot of questions. A lot of questions. You guys know that because we’ve done Q&A podcast before and we share in our lives, in our app and different things like that. But some of the questions that we’ve actually not really answered were more personal questions regarding like how we started doing ministry. I know that I get a lot of those on social media from younger moms that were like, Hey, how did you get started teaching? I’d really like to do what you do. It essentially is what I get the messages about. And so before we dive in, in what we’re going to be sharing today, my my heart for you guys, if you have ever felt that or felt a calling towards doing ministry is to remind you that you are in ministry with your kids, that the Great Commission starts in your home first. And we have to be diligent at keeping the priorities straight and focusing on that. And if you do that really well, then your kids will grow up and you will have their there will be a fruit that actually qualifies you to be in a teaching type of role. And so amen. I just want to I want to bring that up because that’s something that like when I was a young mom, we were going to share a little bit of the raw story here of how we got to be doing courageous parenting.
I just wanted to say for the dads, too, your ministry, most important ministry is your family. And also whatever God’s calling you to do for work, there’s a ministry there, and sometimes you can be more overt or covert. Sometimes you have to be. But still the light you shine makes a difference.
So yeah. And and our story, as you will find out quickly is that that is our story, right? That we did that.
Most of our marriage. That is how our ministry worked. Right. Which is our family, most importantly. And then I was working in the business world and in a mix of things. So anyways, we’re so glad you’re here. Now, this isn’t just for people who might be interested in doing ministry. This is not just even for people interested in our story. There’s going to be powerful lessons. I believe everybody’s testimony has powerful lessons, practical insights, and that’s what we hope for this episode as well. So we’re so glad you’re here. We’re going to dive in. We’re going to talk about things like business failure and catastrophic financial issues and our family clinging together and how courageous parenting started. And, you know, all in between what Angie was doing, you know, a blog started this and, you know, wait a decade or more before courageous parenting. So, you know, some interesting things I think, and dynamics and our family and so forth. But we sure appreciate you being part of the 1 million sorry 10 million legacy movement. And our goal that we feel prompted by the spirit is to impact 10 million families in their legacies through the related ministry things. And so podcast being, I would say one of the very most important things, this free value that we give out every single week trying to give you really good information. Angie I thought it was interesting. You’re like, Well, I think we do share, we’re transparent on the podcast and we do share things, but we’re so into giving you practical things you can use right now to make a difference in your life that we don’t go deep into it sometimes.
Yeah. And, and well we go deep into the topics that we cover. Yes. And we go deep into Scripture and we go deep into teaching and biblical exhortation and encouragement. But and sometimes we’ll we’ll we’ll dabble. Right. We’ll bring in some of the personal life history stories that we’ve gotten over the last 22 years. But when we were talking about this specific episode, how special this is that we have been doing this for 200 episodes, many of you guys have started with us and been with us since the very beginning. Thank you for your loyalty, for your faithfulness, for your encouragement over these years. It’s been incredible. The incredible prayers to Oh yeah, we definitely wouldn’t be where we are today if it wasn’t for you.
Guys and the people donating and the courses and books and.
All the things for sure. But all of that being said, like there was just something that was kind of hitting me where a lot of times we get these personal question stories where it’s like, How did you guys get to where you are? And it made me realize that I even get that in real life, right? Like with people that were walking with that we just started walking with like in home church and different things. I get these questions, I’m like, Oh, I do not know that. Like, Wow, I haven’t shared that. Oh. Oc And it’s not that I’m withholding anything. We just are so focused on the things that we think are or we hope are really relevant to where you’re at because of current times and what’s happening in the world that we realized like, Wow, you know what? Sometimes it is fun to hear. The proof in the pudding, if you will, or the story behind why we’re doing what we’re doing and how we started doing it.
So even before we met, I think it’d be cool to do a rapid fire.
Rapid on our upbringing. So I was brought up not in a Christian home, and I was introduced to our entrepreneurship at age eight or nine, I believe. I was selling little wooden boats, crafts on the side of the street, in a little town and at a festival, and made several hundred dollars doing that as a young person selling something I created and to see the joy on kids faces from something, my ingenuity was incredible. But I didn’t become a believer until later. And in fact, that had a lot to do with meeting energy.
So my story starts out Rapid Fire style. I was raised in a Christian home and I’m really thankful for that. I’m thankful that my parents both love the Lord and had dedicated their life to him in raising us. We were faithful churchgoers, very involved in worship team and all the things. Growing up as a young girl, I decided to save all my babysitting money to pay my way on my first missions trip when I was 12 years old. And I did that every summer except for maybe two when I was in high school. And I would just if there’s something that I could say I was addicted to, I got addicted to doing missions work. I loved going down there, seeing the same people year after year in the same community, building relationships, serving them, building houses, giving food, doing VBS for the kids, sharing the gospel, just loving on people. And that really taught me more than anything that our love speaks louder through our actions than it does through our words. Because when I was in these other countries, I didn’t speak their language as my first language. And so that that is like a huge thing when you do international missions and there’s a language barrier and you realize that you’re able to love people even if you’re not able to speak to them. That’s very powerful and it really teaches you the power of God. So fast forward. Yeah, I met Isaac after a missions trip.
So I had just finished my junior year college at University of Washington and I was working with a company running my own business essentially within a company. And Angie and I ended up working together. I was on summer break, she was on summer break, she was at Trinity Western University up in Canada, and she came in and was exuberant and very happy person. And it was an interesting thing. I think that because she was just on a mission trip to Turkey, the Holy Spirit was so vibrant in her. And that’s a natural thing, I think, for my wife. But but it was especially so right then and I didn’t know to pinpoint it to that because I didn’t believe in God or believe in marriage and.
Know what the Holy Spirit was. The Holy Spirit.
Was so but I could see in sense something special in in Angie. And she sensed somebody troubled.
I was wondering where you’re going with it. She said, Oh, this is kind of fun. Yeah. So when I came back from Turkey, I had just to back up a second. There was less of a language barrier because I had done like full immersion, learn the Turkish language, the culture, the government. I had studied this country before going there for a missions trip, and I really felt like I was called to go back. So I had six weeks to work before I had to go back to college for my sophomore year in college. And I was determined I was like not going to be getting married. I thought for sure I was called to international missions and I came back, had six weeks, got three jobs, literally worked my tail off. And I mean, I was a very focused, hard worker. And I think that was also something that Isaac was really impressed by, for sure. And so we worked hard together. And then I had my other two jobs as well. But I sensed he wasn’t the only one that was troubled. There was a lot of people that we worked with that didn’t know Jesus and my heart went out to them. And so he oftentimes would hear me sharing with other people too, and trying to be a light. And so it wasn’t just our conversations that we were having, but also he heard me having conversations with other people.
I think. Tip If you’re wanting to reach out to somebody that thinks they have it all together, which I thought that was the case for me at the time and a little bit prideful and is asking the purpose in life. And then if you have a good answer, a biblical answer about that, that really befuddles a befuddled.
You didn’t, didn’t it? Yeah. So there was this time where Isaac and I, after a meeting that we were at, I, we were talking and I just asked him what his purpose in life was and it did befuddle him. And then he thought he would be all sad. And ask me the question back, but I actually was like certain what I was doing with my life, which was that I was going to be a missionary and he was like, What? And then I started showing him pictures of my mission trips because I literally had them in my car and he was just like, What?
I was very shortly after I was very obviously I believed in marriage all of a sudden because I told her I was going to marry her.
We weren’t even said, No way, Jose.
We weren’t even dating because that’s not really something Angie was into.
With anybody. So she promptly told me that she’s her plan was to never get married. I’m like, Hmm. So anyways, we both went back to college and we stayed connected as friends, and I tried to pursue it as more than friends. And then she put complete brakes on that and said, We’ll never be together. Anyways, we got to one podcast.
Do so we yoked.
Very important. Anyways, God was tugging on my heart and we didn’t communicate anymore for a very good time period of time. And but God, the seed had been planted and I was going to church every Sunday and reading the Bible voraciously, skipping college class.
Which that is like kind of a cool story to like. I know that we’re trying to Rapid Fire, but you guys like God literally sent me a Bible in the mail either by using this body of Christ or it magically showed up. But I was living with my parents at the time and I went to go check the mail and wrapped in a brown paper bag was a men’s devotional Bible addressed to me, and I knew immediately upon opening it it was supposed to be for Isaac. And so like God just gave me verses to write in the front to encourage him where to start reading the Bible. And then I tab the Romans Road in there, and I gave it to him as a gift. And so I was huge.
So I was reading that whole thing. And the short of it is, is that God got a hold of me and proved that the Bible was infallible. Word of God. By how many prophecies came true in the New Testament. I go back to the Old Testament, read these things. I’d already studied leadership voraciously because I was hustling. To be super successful in the business world was my goal, and it.
Was your business.
And I would see that Jesus was the ultimate leader, that no human would have said the things He did or made those choices or had the wisdom in his scenarios, situational leadership scenarios. So it was really powerful. But really what happened, I had a radical conversion because something literally happened to me that maybe I’ll share in a different podcast and all of a sudden I knew God was real and I knew that the way was through Jesus and I accepted the Lord. And I called you actually two in the morning, and then after our phone call, I got on my knees and accepted the Lord all by myself in my little apartment. And by the way, I say radical because something that happened was radical, but also my life completely changed from that day forward. It was like a night and day change. It was a new creation. I know that’s not everybody’s story, so it shouldn’t discourage anybody. But for me that was the case. It was like I completely didn’t desire the the sinful things I used to do and those kinds of things. So anyways, long story short, we, you know.
Obviously we got married pursuing me.
We got married later, maybe a different episode. We’ll do the whole romantic side of things. But we, we got married maybe a year later.
Something like that. Yeah.
A year later. And by the way, you know, we set out in my mind to have two kids and perfect little family, successful business, retire at 35. And these are things are these are things in my mind. And we had way more kids and way less money and richer life. But anyways, 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 night. 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 college parenting dot com and subscribing to our mailing list. Also you can get all of our show notes and everything at courageous parenting dot 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 at courageous parenting dot com.
Steve and I realized that we were getting too comfortable with the world’s vision of how to raise our children.
But Angie and Isaac have 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 the heart.
We now have a game plan to how we want to raise our children. And we 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’re no longer fearing dark days ahead, but we’re so excited to raise lights to be leaders for the next generation.
We in the beginning, we’re going to some really good church, the first major church we were going to right after we got married.
Yeah. I mean, so as far as like, how do we get to the ministry? So you guys just kind of heard briefly how Isaac and I met and how we I mean, we’ve kind of skipped a large portion of things. Of course, we’ve been married for 22 and a half years, almost 23 years. So there’s a lot that we could share. So we’re going to be definitely skipping some things here in Rapid Fire and share some stories that we think are super relevant will be an encouragement to you. But, you know, so we got married in 1999 and we got pregnant with our first baby shortly thereafter. Just a few months later, we got married in the summer, and then at Christmas time we found out we were pregnant and that was our first baby. I was still doing college at the time for Family Ministries, Christian education, director of Christian Education and Family Counseling, and was like, This was not my agenda. Right? So here you’re catching on to a theme that Angie is a planner and God has a better plan for Angie’s life than Angie does, because I thought I wasn’t going to get married or have kids. And that’s not exactly what God’s will was for my life. And I’m really thankful. And even more so, I’m thankful that God has continued to change my heart over the years, to be soft, to following him and being obedient and being willing to walk in and honestly be courageous. Because there have been a lot of things where I’ve struggled with fear myself in different things or people pleasing or whatnot, and either by way of my husband or a brother or sister in Christ or just God’s word, I get convicted and I, I repent and I move I move towards God. And so he shows up.
So, you know, we have our first child and then we thought maybe we wouldn’t have another child because something might have been wrong. There’s a pretty good gap between our first and second. I think it’s almost three years. Yeah.
And we had been trying to get pregnant.
Trying to get pregnant and nothing, nothing happened. And then Austin came and then, you know, babies kept coming. But yeah, it’s not that simple, though. But but Angie, in the midst of that, Angie was, you know, running moms group meetings and.
And bigger megachurches and the one we were at at the time and, you know, and very involved in those ministries. But and I was very busy building a business, a business, and it was fruitful and something that I have.
We did have some things that we did together, and we really enjoyed those things together. And I think that that was like the thing that was what my heart was desiring deep down inside, because when we first met, we worked together and we were really a good team and he and I both acknowledged that and realized that and enjoyed our work even more when we were able to do it together. And then when we had Kelsey, we enjoyed having a daughter together, you know, it was just like we just enjoyed doing things together. And so having gone to school for children’s ministries and family ministry and that sort of thing, I immediately went into it. You guys are going to laugh because you probably know our stance on youth group. We don’t we don’t put our kids in youth group, but I was actually a youth pastor. So you’re a director of Christian education and in charge of Sunday School and Youth Ministry and did that for the first while while I was pregnant, until Kelsey was born. And then we were also then we joined a bigger church. And that that that experience, I think, was really good for us to give us an alignment in our conviction towards what we were going to do with our kids, because we saw up close and personal many different things that were going on and just through the training and different things as well.
But it’s interesting how each of our experiences throughout our lifetime, you probably would agree with this to prepare you for what you’re going to do in the future. And so Isaac was having a lot of experience in the business world, and he was being what I would call a marketplace missionary in a sense, because he was definitely like sharing God’s love with other people, even giving Bibles to some people, inviting people to church. We had people into our home for hospitality, for the purpose of evangelism, the Great Commission for Love. People well and just sharing with them our our faith, really. And then we would invite them to church with us. And it was amazing the fruit that we experienced while while he was working in the business world and I was a stay at home mom and was serving in churches here and there. But then I felt a conviction to come home and to to step back and not be so involved, because there was about 8 hours a week that I was spending, whether it was just driving to meetings and being a part of meetings. And I just got convicted once we had Megan, our third I think it was just.
A practical lesson right here is that we have to understand our seasons. There are seasons in life, and just because we’re capable, just because we desire something doesn’t mean it’s the right timing for our family and for the fruitfulness of what’s most important and what actually God believes is most important to you, which is your children, your family. And so that wasn’t a good season.
But, you know, we’re doing that. But well, for us, especially because of how much you were working in different projects that we were doing as well. And so it became the thing where I was like, You know what? Nope, I need to focus on the ministry that I have in front of me so that I am not disqualified later because I’m spread too thin. And that was just something that the word actually convicted me of. And because I saw a lot of pastors and, you know, people who are in ministry where their kids weren’t walking with the Lord later in life. And I didn’t want that for my kids. And so I decided to do something radical, actually, and opposite of what was natural within the body of Christ regarding the the church, the institutional church.
So then we have like four or five kids and Angie’s super talented and there’s people asking her questions.
All the time. Was homeschooling by this time about.
You know, parenting, homeschooling, having babies, birth, pregnancy, all these things? Because she already was such an expert really in a lot of these things. I would say she wouldn’t call herself that because there’s.
Just was doing.
It. She was doing it. But she really people were constantly gleaning wisdom. And so I really encouraged her to start a blog.
Oh, my goodness.
And she would not do it. She would not. And this is when blogs blogs are still big, but this is when there was really momma blogging was really big.
Well, it was just it was a brand new thing because the Internet was a new thing, actually. And it was this popular thing that all of us moms who’ve been married, you know this about as long as we have. We all remember when those mom blogs started, right? So it was like a version of scrapbooking.
So I’m always like, hey, what are my wife’s dreams? And let’s make sure, even though it’s a busy time, what is an efficient way? She can still get that positive feeling of impacting lots of people. And that was blogging. That’s the answer. She wouldn’t do it. She’s like, Oh, no, I don’t want to handle the negativity and the people that disagree with me. And what if not everybody likes it and these kinds of things.
It’s funny that you remember that. It’s true.
It’s true. And so so one day I go, well, I’m going to start a blog.
He did, you guys.
I just found it actually this week. I didn’t know it was still up. It’s out there. There’s like ten blog posts because I only did enough posts.
Wait, wait, wait. So wait. You. You must have written those back when we lived in Happy Valley, Oregon. Yeah, Happy Valley. You guys lived in our first house?
I was in my early thirties.
Early thirties, late twenties. Early thirties, yeah. Yeah. And so it must have been like early 2000s. Yeah. Yeah.
I was just reading a couple of blog posts, not too shabby. But anyways.
Had me editing them.
I had her edit them and I go, oh look, I’ll look, I’ll say something impacted someone and I was just kind of trying to share stories with her and you know, pretty soon she started a blog, so I didn’t need to blog anymore.
That was the reason I stopped as soon as I started doing so funny.
Yeah, I wanted to fan her flames and she ended up, you know, 350 blog posts later. That’s courageous, mom. And this that really got it going. And then she had this real conviction, this like Holy Spirit burden on her heart to help women in pregnancy and birth. Because and I know you can say this well, but I want to say it because there wasn’t a book out there that had biblical sound, biblical teachings, not a methods book, but on how to include God in pregnancy and birth. Right. And that is so important because so much of our society has discredited it by the decisions people make in how and what they do. And so instead of a methods book, it was a biblical book, motivational book. I read it. I’m like, this thing is like a motivational biblically sound, you know, have your baby in an awesome way book.
Well, you know, that was quite a journey because I actually yes, it was a burden. But I didn’t want to write redeeming childbirth at first because I. I was really afraid of rejection and people in my real life taking what I’m sharing and being convicted. If they didn’t have a good experience and maybe not wanting to be close friends with me, I was just very, very concerned about all of those kinds of things. And Isaac’s right. There wasn’t a biblical book that was on the market at the time. Other than one. There was one, but it was no, it’s no longer available. It’s not published anywhere. Sometimes you’re lucky if you can find it at a thrift store, but it’s very rare. It was written in the seventies, and other than that, there was literally nothing. And so I felt a deep conviction to write, and I did. And it was the best decision to obey God in that mission that I ever made, because that really spurred on something, ignited a way for me to be able to use my gifts in the body of Christ at large without sacrificing my family.
And some of the ways we did that, something you should know if you’re thinking about writing a book and say you’re a mom with little kids at home and things like that, it’s it’s definitely prudent to do so. If the spirit’s leading you, too, and you have something really valuable that you really feel prompted to share with people, it’s awesome, but not at the sacrifice of your family. And that’s what we decided. And so it was at the sacrifice of some weekends with Mom, but then Dad was all in with the kids and we got Mom like a hotel at a retreat place.
Oh yeah, for a few days.
So we invested and then, you know, alone time with us, it wasn’t always happening as much because at 930 and 9:30 p.m., all I heard was I’m trying to sleep.
The keyboard was flying like the Holy Spirit was like downloading. It was crazy.
It was really weird. It was it was amazing. Well, I don’t recommend this. So this isn’t prescriptive for other people, but this is just our story. This is part of my story is it was really a labor of love in a sense, birthing, redeeming childbirth because and it was like that was actually my seventh child because it took six months to write, another six months to edit, and then six months to fully launch. And I was all in like whole wholeheartedly, all in. And I but I made a deal with God. If you can make a deal where I had this conversation in prayer with him, where I was literally in anguish, not wanting to do this because of worry and fret and fear and all the things, but knowing this is the path that God wants me to go down, and I said, Lord, I’ll do this. I’ll obey you, and I’ll put my name on the chopping block, if you will, and put my heart out there, laid bare in front of the whole world, and share the most intimate experiences I’ve had with you, Lord, which is my birth experiences. And I will pursue to interview other women all the things but my family can’t sacrifice. Amen. And so I said, I will start writing at nine 930, but the dishes in the morning have to be done like I need I need that. Lord So would you provide that time? Would you help my kids to be okay with this short period of time, this transition? And he brought it.
Boy, he brought it. And I felt so much better. I literally remember that that was the best sleep I ever had was after I would be up till 2 a.m. typed up into the day, and the only time I stopped typing was to look up Bible verses. And it was just a really just the writing was an intimate experience with him. So I did that and then I became a doula for women in our life, in our ministry. And and I saw that as a call for me as a sister in Christ or Titus two that had already had six babies to minister to other young moms. And so I was blogging and I was doing that. But then I felt this call back to like my home and to just be more focused on my home. And so I stopped blogging as much. And that was right about the time that you you were getting kind of restless in the business.
Yeah, things were successful, but that doesn’t mean they’re right. You know, it’s it was good work. A lot of people impacted. But I don’t know if any of the guys listening in or gals, you get a spiritual agitation sometimes and that’s the spirit prompting. You do something else, but sometimes it’s not clear. And I was starting to feel that call to do something else. But part of what was also happening is I had a bitter root and a bitter root, as the Bible says, defiles many. And there was a bitter root developing between me and the company that I was building a business associated with. And because of something they did and that wasn’t helpful because whenever you do something new, you take that bitter root with you and it blocks you from hearing from God in the same way, even if you’re pressing into the Lord, it’s much harder because a bitter root occupies your mind. I literally. Remember, like being in the shower and I couldn’t let this thing go. It was this heavy weight on me that no matter how hard I tried to hear from the Lord and I would read the Bible, I just couldn’t hear clearly. And so because of that, I made some errors in judgment, in decisions I made in the what? And and and and the dynamics of how things happened. So.
So before we go into that next step, there was something that happened just before that where it was really like a god thing, where you you were getting kind of bored, but you were wanting to push through and make growth with your team. And so you co-founded a tech a small tech company, right?
Yeah. Well, there was a solution needed. And so we created a tech company to solve that solution. And it was a very modest beginnings, but, you know, mildly successful to support my business partner and his family. I certainly didn’t take too much revenue from it because it wasn’t really a big enough company yet. But yeah, that was neat, neat experience. I’m not a tech person, but my business partner was and that was something that was going Yeah.
So you just the thing that as I look back over the years, Isaac’s always had this entrepreneurial mind, if you will, and a bent, if you know, is another way that you can put it, a bent towards doing things that are going to create solutions for other people. And one of the things that we felt super passionate about because of our experience with like Marketplace missionary work in that sense of just loving young couples and and giving marriage advice. We were one of the oldest married couples in that organization, and we absolutely loved those people that God had put in our lives. And so Isaac went back to Western Seminary for coaching and he started coaching and we started a coaching company called Choose Growth and we both became trained in in coaching and we started coaching people. He was coaching entrepreneurs. I was coaching female entrepreneurs and wives of entrepreneurs. And then we did some marriage seminars. Those were.
They were they were really fun. And so we did choose growth marriage seminars, what we used to call them. And we again, doing this thing together was like something that we really like thrived in and it went super, super well.
But I was one of the challenges and maybe some of you, you providers out there have dealt with this. It’s like, Yeah, I love that, but how in the world would that provide for my family? And especially the the lifestyle we built up doing business and succeeding our bills weren’t minor. I mean, it was like it was it was kind of a major monthly number that it took to support a large growing family and a big house on a farm with a vineyard. And, you know, just the different dynamics. And that was a lesson for sure. I don’t want to ever want to get back there because that burdens you away. It prevents you potentially away from doing things that maybe God wants you to do when you change in transition. And so definitely that was in my mindset. I’m like, Yeah, I love doing this with my wife, but how in the world would I provide for my family doing this? You know, and that.
Was a challenge. So then we have this side thing going. So we had a couple of different things going. There were three different things going on at the same time. And then there was also my book. So I guess we had four different things and we had dabbled in real estate and flipping condos and different things like that, and that was fun to do together briefly. And then that’s when Isaac’s story that he was just sharing about the Bitterroot story.
So I go in and we start creating a business. I saw how challenging it was for my wife, you know, being an author to have to go out and speak and promote the book. If she’s not promoting the book, it’s not selling. And just the author challenges of really making that a viable source of income. Actually, even though that book has impacted tens of thousands of people, the financial side has not been great for that book.
Actually, there’s an old saying it goes like this. I think it’s a starving author.
Even if you sell tens of thousands. I don’t know what the number is on that book. It’s it’s well known in the birth pregnancy industry in the world. But yeah, you know, because of the way we did it, it’s not it’s not a big generator of income. So we created a company that supported authors, bestselling authors, to build digital courses for them. It was a publishing model where we take a cut, there’s big fees up front, and then we take a cut forever on their courses. Revenue split and there was many challenges. I don’t want this episode to be all about this, but there was many challenges with that and it ended up, you know, sucking us dry financially. We put all of our money into it over time. You never plan to do that. Why is entrepreneurship does never do that. But once you’re in it and you have 43 employees and you have to make payroll and.
You start supporting families and.
I still had. That bitter root. And I’m not hearing clearly from the Lord. And so I made some serious errors of going too far, way too far down the road. And the business model wasn’t working out. And this is after several years of really diligently trying. And so that was a that was a big sacrifice. And that is, I would say, the big worldly failure, meaning worldly in terms of it’s not a spiritual thing, it was a business and that it was catastrophic because half million in debt followed us.
Just from the company failure.
And we’d already, you know, used all our resources. And here I have we had a new baby.
Solomon Well, yeah, he was just about to be born and we had moved. So we were in a new community and trying to make friends and, and building church community and all of that sort of thing as well. And because we had relocated our business there and, you know, it just became this it was a really big thing. We often refer to those years as our job years because it was it wasn’t just the business failure that hit. At the same time that the business failure hit, we we were pregnant, which was a blessing. But it was hard because I get so sick. And he was extremely busy with his work and we were in a new place. Our kids were trying to make new friends. And Solomon, really, him being born, was in the eyes of the world, probably the worst possible timing. But for us it was exactly what God knew our family needed, specifically our marriage as well. And He brought so much joy to our family. Just an incredible, incredible rainbow to the storm that we were walking through. And but then shortly after that, we got pregnant again and we lost that baby. And when we lost Silas, I was in my second trimester. I share about this more in the other podcast so you can go listen to that full story as well.
I write a lot about miscarriage, but on my blog and but, but one of the things that was I think it was a traumatic experience because we had seven kids and some of our kids were in high school and in junior high and they were very they were older. And so it wasn’t just traumatic with a baby dying, but also I almost died through that situation. And so there was physical like I had to heal and that was one aspect of it. But my heart was broken, my kids hearts were broken, my husband’s heart was broken. And this was all in the midst of this massive business failure and having all of this debt. And then on top of that, we had a property or vineyard property or estate that we had in Damascus, Oregon, that we had been renting out and that rent had been supporting us while we were living in Bend so that all of our finances could go towards the business. And so we had a renter and there the first renter was fantastic for the first couple of years. And then we had a different renter right during this exact season and he decided to stop paying rent. So he didn’t pay us rent for six months and squatted and had other squatters in the house.
So to keep it short, we had to get him out of there. And that’s a process obviously in Oregon. And he ended up saying that our tractor got stolen, but really he sold our tractor, it appears. And so that was that was a big deal. You know, we had to really get that house together in the meantime, just craziness going on. I just remember that and it was a navigating and I was thankful because I had that little tech company with a different business partner. And while I was not able to get paid anywhere near what it costs to support our family, on a basic level, it was something and it was something to do. So it was like, okay, what do we have? We can sell some things. I can start working full time for my tech company again and start to scale that up and make it more substantial with my business partner. And I can also do some consulting and we can also rent our RV. So it was like all hands on deck. Let’s figure out how we can make this happen. And I was totally willing there was some offers for me to work in some with some different companies, people I knew there are CEOs of companies and that.
Required us to move, would have to.
Move away from community and all these things. And we just felt like the spirit was not calling us to do that and to instead just trust the Lord and walk forward. And that was an amazing time. And the good news is the the company tech companies slowly scaled up to start paying us more. And and pretty soon we were paying our bills.
That’s right. And, you know, a lot of it, too, was our community and the people that we were walking in life with as well. They were definitely there to support us, to give wise counsel and to to pray for us and to be an encouragement. But also there was the practical element of like I mean, there were times where, like, we couldn’t afford meat and I. I remember the specific time where we were praying as a family and the boys were praying for me. And then within like a the next week, one of the elders at our church just showed up with a couple of coolers filled with meat, and he just said that the Holy Spirit had led him to get meat for our family. There was another time where where meat was very expensive. Right. And we had many sons and a family member of a close friend, had a butcher shop, and they donated an entire alpaca to our family. And so God provided in a number of different ways for our physical needs, for sure. And it was definitely a faith journey. We, like Isaac said, we sold many things from cars to watches to pianos and you name it. I mean, we literally we came together as a family to pay back debt, to get out of debt as much as possible. And we felt like Isaac and I know many people had said, you guys should claim bankruptcy and but we just felt like God was saying, as long as we are able to work, we are going to do our best to pay people what they are due.
And what’s amazing is we prayed for God to fix this problem for us. And whenever I pray for God and I ask God to fix something, I also work as hard as I can to solve it because I trust that God is going to do things. But I have to do my part. Like I feel like I got myself into this. I’ve got to do everything I can also. And if God’s also working on it and that’s amazing. And and that’s exactly what happened. All of that debt was paid off within two years. And we decided our oldest daughter was about to launch and go to college and is our last chance to fulfill a very important family mission that we had, which is to do a multistate, long RV trip around the country. And so we embarked upon that. And to do that, we didn’t have extra money to do it, so we had to get creative.
We had to get a huge garage sale. We were like 6000.
And then we were renting our house.
Out. We got approval to sublet it to another couple.
So we saw a newlywed couple.
So we sublet it furnished with all our stuff in it. And then we took off, we sold, I sold all my guns and we just all kinds of things. That’s how important this was. And we did on Faith and I worked from coffee shops during the week and the kids and Angie would go to drive at night to the next place. Extraordinary. 34 states, three months. Incredible. Super, super hard to do. I’m so good. I got in shape before that trip and Angie was pregnant.
So I was very challenging for her. And eight months pregnant with our eighth baby. Well, our ninth pregnancy. So, yeah, I was pregnant with Eli at the time and it was a fantastic trip. But on that trip we really God revealed some things to us that we we wouldn’t have seen if we hadn’t gotten away and just been together as a family. And and during that time, he laid it on our hearts quite a few things. One was that Isaac really needed to start speaking his mind on social media as resolute man.
I remember we had a date night on the trip and we were in South Carolina, I believe, or North Carolina, and we went out to this little place and there was water. It was beautiful. And and she’s just like I was hemming and hawing about, is it resolute, man?
Or is it a refined warrior? Or and I’ve got these.
Times, I’ve gotten some negative feedback about Resolute Man, and then Angie’s just like.
No, you just needed to do it.
And I’m like, Yeah, I just need to do it. And I remember sitting there on the date and I put the name in and.
I think I cleared the handle.
I think I think I even did my first post from our date.
And that was so liberating to speak truth. And from the rest of the trip that was near the beginning of the trip I posted every single day and it was and did for a long time.
And you know what’s interesting about this is so Isaac had been very bold about his faith throughout his history that I had known him like every time working, wherever he was working, he was very bold about the Lord. But there definitely was this sense of like there was deeper stuff that he wouldn’t necessarily say in front of large groups, but he wanted to be sharing them in front of large groups. But because of the nature of the business world, it was hard for him to be able to express a lot of those things, or maybe it wasn’t even relevant to them. Like stuff on marriage and parenting where a lot of people weren’t necessarily in that. So super. So it was amazing really. I saw something happen to him where he became alive in this new way. And and then it was like while we were on this trip, we started talking about what we could do and, and we were in communication with different people that we were back in community with as well because we miss them. They missed us and, and we would shoot ideas around and they would shoot ideas around and they were like. Truly like all behind us going, You guys need to do a parenting ministry. Like this is what you need to do. And we 100% immediately were like, Yes, that is exactly what God’s plan is to. So while we were on our trip, I remember Isaac and I prayed about it and then we we actually took it to our kids and we brought it before them because we weren’t going to start something without their blessing. And they were all unanimous. Yes, you guys need to do this.
And so that was really cool. And the goal was it was going to be a side but important side thing because I still have my tech company and my full time effort there and something we’re building and really exciting.
I was just going to be maybe a podcast.
Yeah, so really exciting things we’re doing. We’re starting to happen with the tech company and so forth. And we got home from our trip and and then my business.
Had Eli Kelsey off to school and then shortly thereafter, pretty soon I didn’t have my income anymore or my business anymore, really. There was there was a change happening with the tech company. So so that was an interesting thing where that was what was supporting our family and that disappeared in the blink of an eye for almost a year. So that was interesting. And we had to get real resourceful again. And I remember as a moment of truth, okay, do I go get a job or do we trust the Lord and move forward in this way? And again, it was that was the launch of courageous parenting. But this time we needed some funding because we needed to support our family while we built it. So we did a Kickstarter campaign.
Oh, that’s so funny. Yes, you’re right. So we actually I remember this. We launched a we also launched a few things. We had a few like mini courses, the post more. Yep. We also launched the postpartum course and then we had the book. So we created the pregnancy and postpartum bundle and that was doing super. It was doing pretty good, but not enough to support our family, of course. And we we prayed about it and we decided, let’s just let’s start the podcast. But then we’re like, we don’t even have the money to pay for microphones or like a table or a backdrop or like anything. What are we going to do? So you guys, you have to envision this, but there is this like side little library section in our master suite that was connected to our master bedroom that was actually going to it was the baby’s bedroom. So if you look at those early podcasts, Isaac set up this makeshift set. It’s a set, it’s a podcasting set. And it was in our bedroom. But the bedroom, if you literally if you’re sitting where I’m sitting and you are looking at the camera, right behind the camera was the baby’s crib. It was the baby’s room.
And I had this ship lamp that was really nice. But behind it was a window and it’s like the main window right next to the front door.
So I gave up our sunlight.
So we gave up our sunlight and I put this makeshift set that I could easily take down because we’re renting.
So you have to tell them about the table.
Oh, and so we didn’t have a table. So I went outside and there was this old stump in the creek that was dried up at the time. And I rolled it, you know, and then carried it inside and put it down, made sure there’s no bugs on it. But yeah, it’s literally just a stump from outside. So my friend loaned us the microphone and the equipment temporarily, and we’re off and running, you know, starting a podcast.
Podcast, yeah. And it was interesting because did you so a lot of people are probably going, but did you know what to do? Like how did you know what to do regarding creating the podcast?
Well, I looked at blog posts and I studied and I ask what I need to do. And then I have a friend that had a podcast and I go, What did you do? And then I ask a different friend that apocalypse, what did you do? And they have different opinions about things. I’m like, Finally I went to one of them. I go, I’m just going to do what you’re doing because making decisions on this, I can’t waste time. And so I just and pretty soon people are loaning me equipment anyways and but there are certain things you have to set up. But yeah, but yeah. And it was it was in the Kickstarter campaign failed miserably.
Oh, it was horrible. Do you even remember the numbers? I don’t know.
But anyways, some people, you know, you are.
Some people supported you.
Believed in the.
Very beginning. Thank you so much.
But even people around us, I think, wondered about the Kickstarter starter campaign. I don’t even know that too many friends joined in on the Kickstarter campaign. But anyways, it was it was a failure. And, you know, but that didn’t mean we stop. I think sometimes God does close doors and I think sometimes God is there. But he just wants us to work hard and find a way.
And be with.
Him and be faithful. And that’s what we picture. We’re like, This is something God wants to do. Evidently. Yeah, that just because there’s no money doesn’t mean it’s a closed door.
So we’re going to do this sacrifice. So we decided to sell our beloved sprinter van. It was only vehicle that sat our entire family and we sold the sprinter van to provide for our family for a few months so that we would have a little bit of a run. Way. And we started pre-selling the parenting mentor program.
Well, you guys know the parenting mentor program goes every six weeks. And so we had a date six weeks out, just like we still do today. But it.
Finished yet and nobody knew that. So we were building.
Starting. And then when it started, it took us longer than six weeks to build it. It is very in-depth and very accurate to biblical times.
We got the first week launched and we were working on it.
So each week I release a session and I was finishing parts. The PDF, download or whatever it was each week leading up to that. So it was a process and we delivered every week for that first group. And we’re good friends with some people that were in that first group that we didn’t know until they came across it. But now over 2000 parents have gone through that program. It has indelible impact on those 2000 families. And we hope it’s many, many more.
It’s incredible. I mean, so so you guys like we got this parenting mentor program. It’s interesting talking about the Kickstarter because my perspective is that that I look at that and I go, Wow, it was totally ordained by God that it failed. Because if we would have like raised enough money to support our family for that year, we could have like not seen such an urgent need to get the parenting mentor program done and available to people. So soon we would have been like probably taking extra time, but we have like a short runway and we were like, okay, we’re going to do this and we’re going to do this like as best as we can, and we’re going to work super hard again into the middle of the night.
Some abnormal things happen, and it was really a confirmation from the Lord. And these same things don’t have to happen if you’re starting something. No, you can have different confirmations. But one of them for us was, I think in the second month the podcast might have been first, first or second month. It went to 10,000 downloads for the month and and then there was about 4000 in revenue that came in, I think in the second month from the parenting program. And that was still not enough to provide for a family. But what an encouraging sign and just an incredible.
Blessing through smaller platforms. It was a huge blessing and it was assigned to us to that God was going to provide if we were faithful to do what He had called us to. And so in sharing with people that were in our community and understood that world more, they were like also shocked that it was working. And so we stayed faithful to continuing to surrender and bring new content and connect with people and, and mentor them through through the parenting courageous parenting mentor program, which has been a huge, huge encouragement to us over the years. And then shortly after that, we so one of the things, too, that was interesting is during the time on our RV trip, our whole family kind of grew the conviction that we needed to plant home. Church Yeah. And that became a thing that we really wanted to do, but we wanted to make sure that we were 100% out of debt. Before we did that, we wanted to just be above reproach before doing ministry. We want to be above reproach before planting.
I wanted to be providing for my.
Family all of the things like we just needed to cross off things off the box as far as like qualification for leadership, different things like that. And we were praying and fasting. We had other people praying and fasting for us and the Lord literally moved mountains and the debt was completely paid off. God moved in a very dear couple’s heart to actually help with that as well. So Isaac was working hard and negotiating with different people that were involved and they literally some people donated money. It was incredible. And so when you see people that you’re walking in life with, validate and affirm you in such a strong way. Like I even think back to like courageous mom. Courageous mom wasn’t always my website you are all it actually was leaving a legacy and Angie opened Blogspot way back in the day. But what’s interesting is that when you’re walking fellowship with people and people are moved by God and they’re willing to listen like again, this couple like literally bought courageous mom for me, which was like a huge like for me, that was an affirmation that God wanted me to be doing that.
That was several thousand dollars and we couldn’t afford it. So we bought all the off domains, but it was available. And then they, they purchased a dear friends, right.
And helped us build the website and all of the things like there’s just so many aspects to this where God provided through different people and different ways through their different gifting and resources.
My, my encouragement to everybody listening is if you’re going to go in a direction, make sure the spirit’s prompting you to do so.
And it’s not something that you’re designing, and.
It doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. In fact, it’s probably going to be really hard.
Well, I’ve found you guys like so our job is so. Yeah, we had the business failure. Yes, I lost a baby and I almost died. We also almost lost a it was nearly $1,000,000 estate. It almost got foreclosed. Because our renter wasn’t paying rent. God, he just really took care of us. We did a lot of work. We got the house back three weeks before we had to sell it and we were able to sell it within that amount of time, which is a huge miracle, but massive stress, right? Just massive stress during that time. There are many other things that happen.
I just yeah. And I just want to say sometimes we think, well, I don’t know how to do this or that. Well, I didn’t have much margin on that house. And so I was the real estate agent. I did the realtor paperwork. Well, how did you know how to do that? Because I Googled it and I got forms and I figured it out and I figured out what needs to go to title. And I did all of it for our own house. And and then it’s like, well, I don’t understand websites. Well, I don’t understand them either. So I took a wet WordPress course when we were building courageous parenting and I just sat in a room and sometimes I want to poke my eyes out with something because I’m so bored or going crazy with all the detail.
Why do something? Why does something not work? Why can’t technology just work? You know that kind of feeling and I just kind of persevere through it and I just keep Google and I keep trying things and I know that some things take me for hours that take other people 10 minutes. I know that’s happened to me. I know for a fact that I have persevered for 4 hours on something that if I would have had the right wisdom, would have taken another person 10 minutes. But, you know, that’s part of. It’s part of shifting, it’s part of transition, it’s part of learning new things. And you have to be patient with yourself. And God didn’t say that life was going to be easy. No, God didn’t say that. Doing really good things is going to for him is going to be easy. No, he actually says the opposite. It’s going to be very difficult. Read about Paul and Paul’s. All of Paul’s missionary journeys doing hard things for the Lord is not easy.
You will get opposition. And we definitely had massive opposition, spiritual warfare, persecution, suffering.
We’ve had to defend the ministry, legal even. Yeah, we’ve had to defend it tooth and nail. I mean, there it is not an easy path.
But it’s not an it is world. We’ve gotten death threats. We’ve gotten all kinds of things, stalkers on social media, all kinds of stresses you can not even imagine. But I don’t share this stuff with you to scare you away. We’re just sharing part of our story and where where we’ve come from in doing courageous parenting. And one of the cool things is that God has restored all that that was taken, all that we lost, all like above and beyond. And our perspective and our heart is in the right place.
Do you know you probably don’t know this. This will be another episode, but we literally just closed on our house we’ve been living in for almost two years and you’ve seen us remodel and do all these things. We actually didn’t legally own the house yet and it just went through and it’s this unbelievable peace of mind. It’s incredible thing. And you think back to praying that we would avoid bankruptcy and we did. Well, if God didn’t help us do that, we wouldn’t be closing on this house. We wouldn’t be living in a house that we own and all these years later. And so it’s just really important that we don’t take the comfortable or easy path or even logical path, because that was the logical path. Everybody was telling me, that’s what I have to do. There’s no other way out. And I go, Well, God always has other ways, you know, and I’m going.
To work miracles today. And we saw them.
We saw them. We used to do these white board and we’ve got to get back to this. But every couple of months we do a whiteboard session with our kids and go this list of all the miracles and all the incredible things that have happened. And if it’s hard to think of those things, I wonder if you’re operating at the end of your own strength so that God is responsible and you’re giving God credit for things and you’re going beyond your own strength to do what God can do. Because that’s when we start to see more of these things. And I would encourage you what is at the end of your own strength that you’re afraid to do for the Lord and maybe you need to do something. And that’s been some of the lessons here, because I look back and I go instead of thinking, Well, how would I make money doing ministry with my wife? What if I thought, how do I make sure how, what? What could we do? And what if I just didn’t have it figured out but trusted the Lord back then and avoided all that pain and.
And we can’t live in the what if’s. You can’t.
But I just wanted to make a point. I don’t live in reverse, but I want to make a point that, you know, let’s be faithful. Let’s move forward in faith. Let’s be wise too, about what we decide to do, super important. And just because the economy is crumbling and these things don’t let that scare you from doing things. You know, there’s opportunity to have impact in all kinds of ways. And God has gifted all of us differently. And so what are the ways he wants you to? Because I look around now, I mean, he restored us by helping us get a Kubota tractor, in my opinion recently.
We used to have a Kubota tractor, we.
Had one, but it got.
Stolen. We used to have a house on a property and we we had to we almost lost it, but barely sold it. And you know, now we have a house with property and we couldn’t afford this place, this place we live in right now. There is no way we could have afforded this. But God, through his people and through circumstances and us walking in faith and trusting him. He came.
Through. He did. And it’s an interesting testimony when you think about where we are today and and where we’ve come from, because I think that, you know, a lot of times we underestimate walking through the valleys and understanding that growth is where it really happens in the valleys the most. And in order for us to be able to have a relevant ministry that can touch hearts, that can relate to you, that can empathize where we can imagine what that might be like, because, oh, we had that situation or this situation. There’s been a lot we’ve only touched on very brief little bits and pieces, you know, because we we also lost another baby. And there’s been there’s been quite a bit. And my point is, is that that has prepared us and equipped us largely for where we are today. And not that we’ve done it perfectly, but we’ve learned.
And we so appreciate you being along the journey. We could not do it without you. In fact, we feel like this is the beginning of the courageous ministries and we’re super, super excited about what’s ahead. But to do what’s ahead, which is have an indelible impact together on 10 million families, takes a whole group of people. It takes lots of people praying, lots of people supporting with donations and buying courses and things. We’re still operating in faith every single week, every single month. And our promise is to always give our best to the ministry and what we’re doing with BC religious app and all the products and so forth. We want to provide value in the coffee coming that why coffee? Because we need to find new and creative ways to be able to expand the impact of the ministry, provide a solid financial ground into the future for the ministry and our family, and be able to pay for other things. There’s investments we need to make. We need to actually there’s a new computer that we need. We need there’s some lighting issues that we need. Just today, our podcast mixer broke, and so we’re using something else that it shouldn’t be used for recording. So, you know, there’s, there’s things, there’s set up in costs with the coffee thing and all of these things. So we just so appreciate you being part of it and there’s so many wonderful things in the future.
So you guys were with us when we hit the marker of 2 million downloads on the podcast, and that was a huge like milestone for sure. But we have now just adjusted our vision for impact. Isaac’s already shared it with you guys. It’s 10 million legacies. It used to be 1 million legacies, but we really feel like God’s calling us to something greater, something bigger worldwide. And we are excited to be running this journey with you guys. As you know, we have the postpartum course, we have the home schooling blueprint course, we have the courageous parenting mentor course we have redeeming childbirth. We have the shops, right. Coffee is coming soon and we have the app, which is a great place to be able to connect with.
Over 700 biblically minded Christians at what a powerful core of a community. It’s full social media capabilities to connect with people where you are and all over it is really, really. And we’re in there all the time, so we’re super excited to engage in there. We so appreciate you being part of it. And would you be praying for us too as we move forward? We can’t do it without you.
So thanks for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed listening to the raw, courageous parenting story. We’ll see you next time. Hey, thanks for listening to this episode. For more resources, go to courageous parenting and courageous mom dot com 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 where Angie 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