– [Aaron] Hey, we’reAaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage after God.
– [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
– [Aaron] And today, we’re in part 11 of the Marriage after God series, and we’re going to be talking with Katie and Elisha Voetbergabout taking inventory.
(electronic dance music) Welcome to the Marriage after God podcast, where we believe thatmarriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.
– [Jennifer] I’m Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.
– [Aaron] And I’m Aaron, alsoknown as Husband Revolution.
– [Jennifer] We have beenmarried for over a decade.
– [Aaron] And so far, wehave four young children.
– [Jennifer] We have beendoing marriage ministry online for over seven years throughvlogging and social media.
– [Aaron] With thedesire to inspire couples to keep God at thecenter of their marriage, encouraging them towalk in faith every day.
– [Jennifer] We believethat Christian marriage should be an extraordinaryone, full of life.
– [Aaron] Love.
– [Jennifer] And power.
– [Aaron] That can only befound by chasing after God.
– [Jennifer] Together.
– [Aaron] Thank you forjoining us on this journey as we chase boldly after God’swill for our life together.
– [Jennifer] This is Marriage after God.
(electronic dance music) So today’s guests areElisha and Katie Voetberg from the podcast Now That We’re Family.
– [Aaron] So before weget to the interview with Katie and Elisha Voetberg, we would love to askanyone that’s listening if they have not alreadyto leave a review for us.
That helps other people find the podcast.
It helps the rankings in iTunes.
So if you have a moment, leave us a star rating, leave us a text review.
We’d love to see that.
– [Jennifer] We also wanna invite you guys to check out our newbook Marriage after God, which is available at our store.
So just go to shop.
com to check that out and get your copy today.
– [Aaron] Yeah, that’s thewhole point of this series, is we’re promoting our bookcoming out on June fourth, and we would love foryou to get a copy of it.
But following in the series, we’re almost done with it, and we’re excited to have you.
Okay, Katie, Elisha, friends of ours.
– [Jennifer] Thank you for being here.
– [Elisha] No, thank you! – [Katie] We’re sostoked to be here today.
– [Aaron] We’re here in our garage.
Usually we record in ouroffice, so there might be a little bit more echo, but this fits all of us.
It’s this fun littlesetup we got, I love it.
– [Jennifer] And it’s in person.
– [Aaron] Yeah.
– [Jennifer] So I feel likeit’s just fun all around.
– [Aaron] So thanks for joining us, and no one is probably gonna know you, so why don’t you guystell everyone who you are, how long you’ve been married, kids, stuff like that.
– [Elisha] Right on, yeah.
So my name is Elisha Peter Voetberg, and this is my lovelywife Kathryn Joy Voetberg, and we’ve been marriedfor three years now, and we’re pregnant with our third child.
– [Jennifer] Woohoo! – [Elisha] So we’ve got a two-year-old.
(Aaron and Jennifer laughing) Yeah, we’re really pumped.
We’ve got our two-year-old, Leon Tucker, and our daughter Lucy’s just about a year, and then we’ve got ourthird baby on the way.
And we love being a part of fellowship with you guys, doing fellowship.
– [Aaron] Oh, I forgot to mentionwe go to church with them.
(all laughing) – [Elisha] Yeah, that’s right.
That’s a huge highlight for us.
And we’re just really excitedabout life with each other and seeing what God can do through the family unitand through marriage.
– [Aaron] Cool, and that’s why you guysstarted your podcast, was you loved what Godwas doing in your marriage and in your family, andwe’ll get into some more of your guys’ background in a little bit.
But yeah, if you haven’tchecked out their podcast, it’s Now That We Are Family, and you can just search for that on iTunes or anywhere you can getpodcasts, actually, so.
– [Jennifer] Awesome, okay, moving right along.
– [Aaron] This is our fun little section.
We love this part.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, wewanted to invite you guys to join us for the icebreakerquestion, which is, what is one of yourfunniest marriage moments? – [Elisha] Funniest, Katie? (all laughing) – [Aaron] Katie hasone, and she’s prepared.
– [Katie] I am prepared.
(Katie laughs) No, well, I would have to say one of our funniest marriage moments is probably the mostironic marriage moment, ’cause it was actually a fight.
– [Elisha] That’s true.
(all laughing) – [Katie] But people think it’s funny.
– [Elisha] It’s funny now, right? – [Katie] Yeah, exactly.
– [Aaron] Not in the moment, but it is absolutely funnynow for everyone else.
– [Katie] Exactly, so ithappened at our honeymoon, and I think it was the first wake-up call Elisha had to who he had married.
(all laughing) – [Aaron] Oh, no.
– [Elisha] Yeah, so yeah, Iguess I’ll tell the story.
Katie and I, you’re gonnahear more about our families, but we were both broughtup in big families, and Katie’s family was extremely strict when it came to sugar intake.
And my family definitelywas health-conscientious, but certainly not as strict regarding sugar as Katie’s family was.
– [Katie] Nowhere close.
– [Elisha] Nowhere close.
– [Aaron] Yeah.
(Aaron laughs) And I think it was dayfour of our honeymoon, and I viewed our honeymoon as being a time that was celebratory, andyou can kinda splurge.
– [Aaron] Yeah, which means itdoesn’t matter what you eat.
– [Elisha] It doesn’t matter what you eat.
– [Aaron] You can haveas much as you want.
– [Elisha] Exactly, that’show I was viewing it.
And so, it was the eveningof our fourth night, I think, the fourth day in our honeymoon, and we decided to get a little treat for a movie that we were gonna watch.
And so, I got a pack of Skittles, just like the normal size.
It wasn’t the super size, it wasn’t the party size.
It was just the normalserving size of Skittles.
And Katie didn’t want anything, and that really blew my mind.
I was like, you’re not gonna get a treat? She goes, no.
She was like, I’ll have some of yours, which is classic, right? – [Jennifer] Yeah, you’relike, no you’re not.
(all laughing) – [Elisha] Classic, yeah, exactly.
And so, we started watching the movie, and I had a few Skittles, andthen Katie took three Skittles and she told me that thatwas gonna be enough for her.
– [Katie] No, I had, okay, yeah.
Okay, I guess, but this is a classic like, let me help you tell the story, honey.
But I ended up eating 11 Skittles.
– [Aaron] She remembers the exact number.
– [Katie] Which was splurging for me.
And Elisha was like, you’recounting your Skittles? But then I took theSkittles away from him.
– [Elisha] Yeah, after I hadeaten maybe 20 or 25 Skittles.
– [Katie] That’s a lot of Skittles.
– [Elisha] Yeah.
– [Katie] Up until thispoint, I’d maybe had like one.
(all laughing) Anyways, like, my family, I’m one of 11 kids, and we would split a bag of Skittles and make it last for two or three days.
– [Aaron] Wow, that’sincredible, actually.
– [Katie] Anyways, yeah, so itled to kind of a crazy fight, and since then, Irealize that I am the one that most people don’tagree with on this story.
(all laughing) – [Aaron] Yeah, Skittlesare usually a single-event, single-instance candy.
– [Elisha] Yeah, that’show I viewed it, exactly.
She wanted to save it.
– [Aaron] It’s one serving, isn’t it, like, the whole bag? – [Elisha] Exactly, I thoughtit was one serving too.
– [Katie] I wouldn’t believe it, and we had to read the back.
(Jennifer laughs) – [Jennifer] Awesome.
– [Aaron] That is funny now, for sure.
– [Elisha] It’s funny now.
Well, you know what’s funny isthat we’re laughing about it, but she was dead serious at the moment.
She grabbed the bag from me.
– [Katie] I hid ’em.
– [Elisha] Yeah, and I thought she was being playfuland kind of flirtatious.
I was like, oh, come on, give me the Skittles back.
She’s like, no, we’ll finish ’em later, like we can have ’emtomorrow or the next day.
I was like, are you kidding me? I want them now.
– [Aaron] I wonder how many people are gonna really relate to this.
They’re like, this is exactlyhow we are with Skittles.
(all laughing) – [Jennifer] That’s so awesome.
– [Aaron] We both would getour own bags of Skittles.
– [Jennifer] For sure.
– [Aaron] And our own bagof, what else would we get? – [Jennifer] And remind eachother that we’re not sharing.
– [Aaron] Please don’t have any of mine.
Get your own bag if you want some.
– [Elisha] I don’tthink Katie can view you the same way anymore, now that she knows that.
(all laughing) – [Jennifer] That’s okay.
Okay, so we’re gonna, we always share a quote, and we’re gonna share aquote from Marriage after God from chapter 11, Take Inventory.
Aaron, do you wanna? – [Aaron] Yeah, so whatwe see as inadequate, God sees as enough.
It’s a smaller part of a biggerquote in a bigger context, but the idea is thatoftentimes, we might see things that we have in ourlife, abilities, skills, and they’re not goodenough for God or adequate for what God wants to do inour life or through our life.
And so we think we need something else.
Oh, I don’t have what ittakes, that kind of mentality, but it’s exactly whatGod’s already given us, and he requires and desiresus to invest it as we have it.
It doesn’t mean that wedon’t get better at things, but that’s kind of the context of this, and we’re gonna talk aboutthis idea of taking inventory and we’re gonna ask thequestions to you guys, ’cause you guys haven’t read the book yet, which is totally fine.
– [Elisha] Right.
– [Aaron] Because I thinkwe all can learn and start to understand in our lifethat God’s given us things, and he desires us to invest them, and not because we’re tryingto commend ourselves to God, but he wants us to invest themfor his sake, for our sake, and it’s because we lovehim that we invest them.
So that’s the quote, and thenwe can get into the topic and some questions for you guys.
– [Elisha] Cool.
– [Aaron] Are you guysexcited about the questions? – [Elisha] I am excited.
– [Aaron] Okay.
– [Jennifer] Okay, youguys are a young family figuring out what Godhas for you as a couple.
How has that journey been so far? So you can describe thingslike how you feel about it, highs and lows, or maybea significant story that stands out to you? – [Katie] Yeah, so I think there have been a lot of highs and lows inour three years of marriage, and I think our first month of marriage was kind of indicative to that.
Elisha was making Ithink $1800 at the time working at a restaurant, and our rent was 1150.
So I don’t even know how we quite managed to make it all work that month.
We were doing a ton of odd jobs, and we started three different businesses our first month ofmarriage, and got pregnant.
– [Aaron] A little bit of things.
– [Katie] Yeah, like allof those moving parts I think really affectedthe last few years, but I think it’s been so coolto see how God has worked to make all those things work together, even though there was such a random smatteringof things over the years.
And I think we’ve had so much fun, even though we didn’t always see the plan, and I think what’s cool nowis that we trust the process so much more, and we trusteach other so much more.
We trust God.
There were so many things throughstarting those businesses.
Like, well, one of ’emprovides for us now.
It’s a network marketing company, and I think it really hasnot only provided for us now, but it allows us to pursue our passions, and it helped give us thicker skin to handle rejection and stuff like that.
So there were a lot of upsand downs just in that, you know, when you start one business.
Elisha was getting hisreal estate license, so that was new for us, being employed, and then being unemployed it feels like when you don’t have a deal.
But I just think it’sreally cool that now, when we’re uncertain oftoday or what tomorrow holds, ’cause I feel like asentrepreneurs, that is life.
We just trust each other somuch more, and we’re like, you know God’s gonna workthese things together, and we see how he’s usingthose things we started in our first few months of marriage now.
– [Jennifer] I thinkthat’s so encouraging, what you’re sharing, because I think everybodyhas that tendency to wanna know what thenext hundred steps are, like, see that bigger picture right away.
But I think what you’re sayingis so encouraging to hear, to remind ourselves we haveto just be able to trust God and trust our spousewith just that next step.
– [Elisha] Mmhmm.
– [Aaron] Yeah, Elisha, how do you, so, you guys have started businesses, making barely ends meet, which all of us have been there.
Some people that are listening right now are probably right there right now.
And you’re just trying to figure out life.
You guys have been married forthree years, you have kids.
You’re just trying tofigure out a lot of things, which is totally good, totally normal.
But has there been timesover the last few years that you feel like you’renot moving in any direction, or how could God possibly useall these random difficulties and where we’re at in our life? – [Elisha] Absolutely.
I know there’s been numeroustimes where I’ve had those exact thoughts probablyverbatim in my brain, and even looking back inretrospect over three years, and even though that’s not alot of time to some people, it’s enough time for us to really realize that God does work allthings together for good.
There are some things that I know he’s gonna continue to work out over the next 10 and 20and 30 years of our life.
But when you live, early on, month to month when itcomes to your paycheck, and then you get pregnantin the middle of that, and then you get pregnantwith your second child when you’re kind of in the same position, it really makes you realizethat the Lord does provide, and I think that that has helped me really embrace the season for what it is.
I know that so often, everybodywants to arrive, right? You wanna be there, whatever there is.
– [Aaron] Yeah, whatever that there is.
– [Elisha] Whatever that is.
– [Aaron] How do we get there faster? – [Elisha] Exactly.
It might be a level of your income.
It might be the size of your home or the quality of yourvehicles that you’re driving, but looking back overthese last three years and seeing what the Lord’s done, it’s made us enjoy the journey and enjoy the process andtrust the Lord in that.
And when I look at thosetimes where I was questioning what the heck I was doing with my life (all laughing) and what the Lord was gonna use with these things that I was doing, I look back, and so far, he’s been so faithful to, inspite of me, a lot of times, use them for his purposeand for his glory.
– [Aaron] Yeah, so, I love that, and you know, this topicwe’re talking about, take inventory, is offchapter 11 of our book, and the idea of thechapter, we’re not gonna go into too much of it, is thatwe can look at our lives and realize that thereare, not certain things, that everything in our life, the inventory of our life, can be evaluated and looked at and say, okay, Lord, how are youusing that season of life, that idea, that businessthat we wanted to start or that passion we haveor that pain we felt? And so, what you’re kinda saying is you’ve been lookingback and saying, okay, I didn’t know what I was doing then, but God’s using that now.
– [Elisha] Yes.
– [Aaron] So when you lookback over the last few years, and we’re gonna get into yourfamily in the next question, you look back over your life, taking this idea of inventory, can you guys pinpoint, be like, oh, wow, thesethings in our life, this way we were raised, certain giftings we have, talents, that’s our inventory, that’s what’s on the shelf for us.
Can you name a few of those things, and then we’re gonna go into family next.
– [Elisha] Sure, yeah.
We’ll stick with our marriage so far, ’cause we haven’t gotten into Katie and I’s growing up experience, but I look at thebusinesses that we started in that first month, or eventhe job that I was doing.
I was a bartender atthe time, and obviously, you’re dealing with people.
You’re dealing with all sortsof people as a bartender, and it’s so easy for me tolook at that season of life as being, man, I was just there to get tips and to gohome and to pay rent.
– [Aaron] Right, meaninglesswaste of time, yeah.
– [Elisha] Exactly.
– [Aaron] However you feel about it.
– [Elisha] Yeah, exactly.
And of course, I wasinteracting with eternal beings every day, whether that was my coworkers or my boss and my managers, and then, of course, thepatrons that were coming and consuming alcohol, (Elisha laughs) or buying food at the restaurant.
And so I look back and I think, man, the Lord was preparingme just to have empathy and sympathy for all types of people.
And then I think of thebusinesses that we started in that first month, and it was funny, ’cause we really acquireda lot of skillsets because we were kind ofhacks when it came to, one of those businesseswas an online music academy because I’m a musician, and I wanted to be able to offer my music lessonsin an online format, and neither Katie or I were video people or really recording-type people.
– [Aaron] Yeah, but youguys did a good job.
I remember you guys, it’s still up, right? – [Elisha] It is still up.
– [Katie] It is still up, yeah.
– [Elisha] It’s effective, and people still use it.
But we just figured it out.
We just decided to dive in and go for it, and that was good forme to get over my pride and to let go of thatperfectionism mindset that so often keeps usfrom taking any action.
– [Katie] And I thinktoo it was good for us because, like, I rememberwhen we first got married and you were a little morefocused on your image then, and I was kind of like, I don’t know, I was kind of a hack.
I think I made you a little nervous, the way I threw around my image.
– [Elisha] Let’s justdo it, let’s just do it.
– [Katie] Yeah, I was like, let’s just do it, put it up.
And I remember the firsttime I showed you a video that I was gonna post on Facebook.
It was just a little parody I made, and Elisha’s like, you cannot post that.
Like, there is no way.
– [Elisha] That’s funny.
– [Aaron] You’re like, it’s going up.
– [Katie] Yeah.
Well, through Voetberg Music Academy, we ended up doing a lot ofthose little commercials or little parody videos together, and I think that that really, I mean, we use that now.
– [Elisha] Yep, absolutely.
– [Katie] And it just reallyhelped us swallow our pride I think and just go for things.
– [Jennifer] Explainthat a little bit more when you say we use that now.
– [Katie] Well, we use that now on YouTube is probably one of the biggest ways that we use that in just family vlogging now that we’re a familyon YouTube as well.
And I think that that is kindof what spawned the podcast, because if we hadn’tgotten enough confidence to just document our lives, I don’t think we would have ever takenthat next step to podcasting.
– [Aaron] That’s good.
So right now, what you’recurrently doing for the Lord, for your family, you canreach back into the inventory of those experiences and theinventory of those challenges, the trials and errors, and use that now and feel more confident in movingforward and, like you said, you wouldn’t have been able to do it now if you didn’t try it thenor have those experiences.
– [Jennifer] That is so cool.
Okay, so we touched onthat we were gonna get into your families a little bit.
Katie, you mentioned thatyou’re from a big family, so how do you guys see the unique ways that you were raised or maybe family type being used for what Godhas you doing today? – [Elisha] Yeah, so Iwas one of 10 children, all from the same mommy and daddy, and my parents are still married.
They stayed married throughoutour entire childhood, and they’re in a great marriage.
– [Aaron] Which is rare these days.
– [Elisha] Yeah, and Katieis the oldest of 11 children, where it’s same mommy anddaddy for all the kiddos, and they’re in a vibrantmarriage right now.
And so we were both homeschooled and brought up just withvery Bible-centered homes.
We read the Bible everysingle day as a family at the breakfast table, andsometimes at the dinner table, and I think that whenI look at my history, not only was it an extremelyenjoyable and relationship-rich time that I loved with mysiblings and with my parents, and I know Katie feels the same way.
– [Katie] Yes.
– [Elisha] About her childhood, where we both just look back at them with really fond memories.
I see that because myparents and Katie’s parents, but I’ll speak for myself right now, (Jennifer laughs) Because my parents become comfortable being unconventional andbeing counter-cultural, I grew up with this mindsetthat there are so many blessings in being different than the world.
– [Aaron] I like that.
– [Elisha] And I thinkmy parents were the ones that were convicted by the Lord, and obviously, I was justalong for the ride as a child and I was following in their leading, but they reallyexemplified to me that yes, a lot of times, initially, making those decisions to have many children orfor the mom to stay home and be with the childrenand homeschool them or to take ’em out of thepublic and homeschool them, they can be challenging up front, and they can be challenging even for an extended amount of time.
But the payoff is so worth it.
So I think that growingup with a big family, in a big family and with parents that really trusted theLord with their finances, with how many childrenthey’re going to have, it made me realize that I’ve adopted a lot of these mindsetsnot even knowing it.
And so when I hear people that are my age say, well, we couldn’tafford to have children now, I just think to myself, well, yeah you could.
Where’s that coming from? And I think that statements like that are so commonly accepted inour culture and in the world and they’re never challenged, and I just don’t believe that.
I believe that you couldprobably find a way to afford to have children.
I think that you can find a way to afford for the mother to stay home and not go to work and toeven homeschool her children.
And I think you can find a way to have a romantic and funand flirtatious marriage, even while you have a bunch of kids, because I saw it exemplified to me.
– [Aaron] Yeah, that’sthe magic right there.
– [Elisha] Yeah, and so I’m not saying that I know how to do it; Ijust believe it can be done, and I think that Katie feels similarly.
– [Katie] Yeah, absolutely.
I mean, I think sometimes, there is this mindset of, we have to do thingshow everyone else does them, and I think the way we grew up, like, I had some of the best years of my life living in a tent and a trailer, you know? Like, we did that for two years so my parents could save up adown payment for their house, and they had six kids at the time, but those are some of thebest memories of my childhood.
And I think sometimes, we havethis misconceived perception that, oh, we need toearn this amount of money or we need to take our kids to Disneyland or we need to be able to providethese things for our kids, and I just don’t havethat perspective at all.
Because of the way I was raised, I just have incrediblerelationships with my parents, and I have such amazing memories of growing up in unique situations.
I guess my experience helps dispel some of those societal norms.
– [Aaron] Yeah.
So you, (Aaron laughs) you have a lot of resourcesat your fingertips from the way you wereraised, the versatility, the flexibility to makedecisions that might be, hey, if we slow down here, we can speed up over here, or if we lessen what we’respending money on over here, we can have money todo something over here.
You have those things atyour fingertips to use now because of how, and youdidn’t even get to choose it.
– [Elisha and Katie] Exactly.
– [Aaron] Right? ‘Cause that’s kind of someof the things that we like to point out and we wantour listeners to know, fortunately your familystories are powerful and just relationally rich, and then some people listening are gonna be like, well, Ididn’t have a family like that.
My family wasn’t that great.
I didn’t have strong Christian parents.
But our point in this ideaof taking inventory is that your story and your familydoesn’t give you something extra.
It’s what God has given you.
And my family story’s different, similar in some ways, but different.
Jennifer’s family story’s different.
And we we don’t have your story to use in what God has for usto do ministry in, right? – [Elisha] That’s right.
– [Aaron] We use our story, the inventory that wehave that God’s given us.
And so, that’s kind of what’s awesome about taking inventory of our lives, is our listeners can takeinventory and be like, and I wanna encouragethem that are listening not to throw out their story’cause it’s not your story.
– [Elisha] That’s right, absolutely.
– [Aaron] Because they do have inventory, and God wants us to look at what we have and what he’s given us andsay, here you go, Lord.
– [Elisha] That’s right.
– [Aaron] So here’s myfamily and how I was raised, the good things and the badthings that happened to me as a child that I had no choice in, and how do you want me touse this for you, Lord? How do you want me to invest this? How do you wanna redeem this in my life? How do you wanna turn itinto something for you, not for me, not for my sake.
And so, maybe that gives someonelistening right now peace and actually some couragein their own inventory.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, andsomething I wanna highlight is just that how cool thatGod would have you guys here on the show and be ableto share your story, ’cause I think it will bean encouragement to someone.
‘Cause like you said, there’s other ways of living that have been expressedand accepted in our culture, and your story’s different, and the fact that you’re here and you’re sharing and whoever’s listening could be encouraged by this, I love that.
– [Aaron] Yeah, thatstory by itself right now, whether it has any otherimplications in your life, could potentiallyminister to someone today, which is amazing, right? – [Katie] Incredible.
– [Aaron] And that’s just one small way that God uses what we are, what we have that he’s given to us, isjust by saying yes to him, which is a theme that we mentionthroughout our whole book, is saying yes to God.
– [Jennifer] Okay, sowhen we say yes to God, sometimes insecurities flareup, fears, things like that.
So what are some of yourbiggest insecurities when it comes to using yourgifts and talents for God? – [Elisha] You know, it’sfunny, ’cause I think that, even piggybacking ontalking about our family, our unique story andour unique experiences can often be debilitatingto us, and we can oftentimes find ourselves experiencingparalysis by analysis because we feel like we’refrom such a unique perspective, we can’t relate with people.
How are we gonna be able toconnect and really encourage and exhort, whetherthat’s fellow believers or minister to people that are not saved, and oftentimes, I mean, youcan look at that from two ways.
One, I feel extremely strong in my faith because of what my parentshave done before me, but it also makes merealize it’s not about me.
It’s not about Katie.
It’s about Jesus Christ.
And I think of, is itII Peter chapter one, I think it’s verses three and four that whereby are given unto you all things.
– [Aaron] That pertain tolife and godliness, yeah.
– [Elisha] That pertainto life and godliness through the knowledge of him who’s called you to glory and virtue.
And that’s not the prerequisite.
The prerequisite for that is not coming from a Christian family.
The prerequisite for that’s not coming from the fourth generationor fifth generation of Bible-believing Christians;it’s being in Christ.
– [Aaron] It’s being in Christ.
– [Katie] That’s good.
– [Elisha] It’s being anew creation in Christ.
But the cool thing about that is that legacy is a real thing, and you have the ability inChrist to start a new legacy.
We were just at my grandfather’s funeral a week and a half ago, and it was really powerful to be there with his six childrenand then 42 grandchildren.
(Aaron laughs) – [Aaron] Wow, that’s incredible.
– [Elisha] And this is my mother’s father, and to hear his story of beingorphaned at 12 years old, heavily abused, on the street starving, an alcoholic father whoended up being a felon, never knowing his mother and never knowing the love of Christ in hishome and making a decision to follow the Lord at 16 years of age, and the legacy that’s come from that.
– [Katie] It’s incredible, andwe get to benefit from that.
– [Jennifer] That’s powerful, wow.
– [Elisha] Absolutely, yeah, really is powerful.
– [Aaron] Wow, love that.
(Aaron laughs) – [Elisha] And so, to getback to your question, insecurities, I think it’sso easy to feel inadequate, ’cause of course, apart fromChrist, we are inadequate, but that’s not where we’re at anymore.
So you need to acceptthe reality that hey, we’re in Christ, we area new creation in Christ, and we do have all thingspertaining to life and godliness, and therefore, we are equipped.
And so I think our youthcan play a factor in that, not feeling old enough.
– [Katie] I definitelythink that plays in too.
You feel like, well, I don’thave enough experience, you know, life experience.
– [Aaron] I know, you’re notallowed to have a podcast about family yet until you’ve had a family for a super long time, right? – [Katie] Exactly, exactly.
– [Elisha] Exactly, that’s right.
(all laughing) – [Katie] So I think we dowanna be thoughtful in that and share what we’re experiencing more and what we’re learning in the moment versus teaching, ’cause obviously, our oldest is two, youknow what I’m saying? Elisha and I have beenmarried for three years.
– [Aaron] Right, there’s things you actually don’t know, and that’s fine.
– [Katie] Yes.
So I think we want to be wise and cautious in that, but that doesn’tmean that we can’t encourage someone who’s in a similar situation.
– [Elisha] Yeah, and I think that even though there’s somuch that we have yet to learn and that we need to learn as life goes on, I know that Katie and I arereally excited about family, and we’re excited about growth, and I think that regardless ofwhat stage of life you’re in, if you’re in Christ Jesus, you can be excited about the future.
– [Aaron] Ooh, I like that.
– [Elisha] I know that’swhere we’re at right now.
– [Aaron] So that soundsvery similar to ours.
When we launched Unveiled Wifeand then Husband Revolution, how long were we married? Five years? – [Jennifer] Yeah.
– [Aaron] And people even asked us, how long have you beenmarried, like, older people, which rightfully so asking us, but I always tell people, we’re not marriage experts.
We’ve never proclaimedto be marriage experts.
That would have been wrong of us to do.
We’re marriage storytellers.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, storytellers.
We’re sharing our experience.
– [Aaron] How are we failing, what’s God teaching us, and again, going back to our book, one of the themes is likewhat you said, it’s not us.
It’s not my experiences thatis changing anyone’s hearts or that has any value, other than Christ using it.
And it’s his story.
It’s his vocation, it’shis ministry, not ours.
It’s his message, not ours.
And so, as long as we’regoing back to the very thing that’s changing us and transforming us, like, the gospel’s the powerof God unto salvation, right? The gospel and Christ inus through the Holy Spirit, that’s what we’re doing in this world.
So we’ve had the same exactinadequacies and fears almost every time we launch anything.
Launching this podcast, we were like, we don’tknow how to do podcasts.
(Jennifer laughs) So I hope that encourages people listening to realize, wow, if God’s calling me out, and not if, he is calling me out and wants me to follow himand wants me to use my life and the inventory ofmy life for his glory, they should be encouraged to know that even if they feel doubt and fear, that it’s not them anyway.
It’s Christ doing it.
– [Katie] Exactly.
– [Elisha] Amen.
– [Jennifer] I thinkit’s important to note we have a real enemy who doesnot like us using the gift and things that God’sgiven us to glorify God.
– [Aaron] No way, yeah.
– [Jennifer] And so there’sgonna be opposition to that, and I think our fleshis sensitive to that.
So sometimes it does comein the form of insecurities or fears and things that we’re afraid of, but it’s just temptation from the enemy to try and distract us.
– [Katie] That’s a great perspective.
– [Aaron] Yeah, but I love that you guys use wisdom and thoughtfulness.
I don’t think we should test God and run into the middle ofthe street and say, save me! – [Katie] Definitely not.
– [Aaron] We need to present, again, going back to the takinginventory, we don’t just say like, oh, I’m gonna use thisthing in my life this way.
No, we say, okay, Lord, here’s what I have.
This is what you’ve givenme, this abuse as a child, your grandpa story, ormy godly upbringing, or this schooling I went to.
Whatever it is, these gifts, these natural abilities that you’ve given me, here you go.
What do you want? How do you wanna arrange thisand turn it into a clay pot or a basketball hoop or whatever it is that he wants to mold it into.
– [Jennifer] It’s in humilityand submission to his will and his purposes, which leadsme to the next question.
I’d love for you guys to share on this.
What’s the purpose of all the gifts and things that he gives to you, or to us? What is the purpose? – [Elisha] Yeah, I thinkbig picture answer is it’s for God’s glory and forthe furtherance of the gospel.
– [Aaron] Yeah, we talked aboutthis on Sunday, didn’t we? – [Elisha] We did, that’sright, a few days ago.
And the way that plays outpractically with each couple I think is obviously gonna look different, ’cause there are so manydifferent skillsets and passions.
And it’s fun when youaccept that big picture of, man, this is for God’s purpose.
It’s for his glory.
It’s for the furtherance of his kingdom.
Then it almost makes it like a fun game to figure out what your skillsets are and how you can be a partof the puzzle and the pie, realizing, wait, it’s not about me.
I don’t have to get all the credit.
– [Aaron] Yes, yes.
– [Elisha] In fact, Ishouldn’t get all the credit.
Like, how can I fit intothe strategy that God has? And I think obviously, Katie and I are in thejourney of figuring that out, and something that weboth talk a lot about is being aware of the desiresthat are on our heart, and the Lord I think oftentimesplaces those on your heart, and then also being open to counsel.
And you can speak to this, Katie, but I think that we’ve gone back and forth of caring too much aboutwhat people think of us, whether that’s closefriends and relatives, or even people that wedon’t know personally, but they have their opinion online of us and we’ll let that influencethe action we’re taking.
But then you can swingthe pendulum and say, well, forget what people think.
I’m just gonna do what I wanna do.
And there’s obviously, the Bible talks about there being safetyin the counsel of many.
And so I think findingthis place where you say, man, the Lord’s put something on my heart.
I wanna have a communityof counsel that I can go to and be humble before, knowing that they can totallysee blind spots in my life, but then also realizing I don’t wanna make decisionsbased off of the fear of man or what somebody might say to me.
– [Aaron] Right.
– [Jennifer] So good, and Ifind so much encouragement in several things that youguys have already shared throughout this episode, thingslike have fun along the way, enjoy the journey, and I love that, and I just wanted to takenote for everyone listening, and for everyone who’s gonna read the book Marriage after God, because sometimes, we just tell it like it isand encourage them to do.
But I want them to hear this.
It is a journey to beenjoyed, and it is something to have fun with yourselveswhen you’re figuring it out.
And so I just wanted to make a note, I love that you said that.
– [Aaron] And the highlight in your story, just all the unique variables, we call it inventory, that God has equipped you guyswith to do the unique thing that he’s having you do, whatever that looks like.
It could be a business.
It could be just youworking nine-to-five jobs, you just being a mom, buthow you guys work together with your gifts andtalents, we don’t know, but you guys are trying things and chasing after what God wants for you and saying, okay, Lord, okay, that’s not it? Okay, cool, and we’ll takethe experience from that.
We’re gonna use it for thething that you do want us to do, and that it’s this organic thing.
‘Cause God knows the complete picture.
– [Elisha] That’s right.
– [Katie] He does, yes.
– [Aaron] It says many plansare in the man’s heart, but it’s the Lord that directs the steps.
So we have these plans, we have these ideas, and we say, if the Lord wills it, and then we take astep, and you say, okay, that’s the right step.
Oh, no, that’s the wrong step.
Let’s go to this step, let’s do this way, and we let him direct us.
And what’s awesome is along the way, whether you have reached thatgoal, whatever that thing is, like you said, we always have this picture of what it might be, and we actually don’t evenknow what it might be.
We just think, it’s usually probably comparedto someone else’s thing.
– [Katie] Probably.
– [Elisha] That’s usually what it is.
– [Aaron] But like even right now, just by you saying yes to himin all of these decisions, you’re saying yes to him, and you begin to see him not only change you guys, make you guys more in love, stronger in your marriage, better parents, better brothers and sistersin Christ, but then also, you get used to grow thekingdom, just along the way.
Whether you ever achievethat position or ministry or goal or whatever it looks like, it’s happening along the waybecause you’re saying yes to God, and I think that’s amazing.
– [Elisha] Yep.
– [Aaron] So, do you feel like God is currently inviting youtwo to do anything specific, like, as you guys have been navigating with all these gifts andtalents and resources? – [Katie] Yeah, well, I think that it’s, like we mentioned, it has been a journey.
I think it’s so cool to see how the Lord has had us work together inlittle ways right off the bat, because there is no way we’d be able to even do the projectswe’re working on now if we hadn’t taken those little steps, and I think of withVoetberg Music Academy, where I started recording a live show and we started getting intovideo, but I was so insecure talking in front of acamera in front of Elisha.
I wasn’t insecure about the camera.
– [Aaron] Elisha, turn around please.
– [Katie] Yes! – [Elisha] Exactly, shewould tell me to leave.
– [Katie] He’d have to leave.
I had a crush on Elishasince I was eight years old, and I tried my entire life to impress him.
– [Aaron] Oh, that’s awesome.
(all laughing) And now he’s standingthere in front of you.
(all laughing) – [Katie] So then after we got married, I was like, I can’t do this, and he was so good at it, and he was so good atcommunicating that, I don’t know, there was just no way wewere going to ever be able to talk to a camera together.
And I think it was so cool, because I started my ownYouTube now that I’m a mother before we did anythingonline, and it was cool how that just built my confidence, and that was a little step.
It was just a hobby and a fun thing, but I do think the Lord wasusing it to build my confidence for us to be able tostart doing video together and starting the vlog, and then starting, and I think it alsogave you confidence too.
– [Elisha] Yes.
– [Katie] In the flip side, to see me just putting my life out there and peoplebeing encouraged by it, and that gave you the urge I think to have us jumpinto that together.
– [Elisha] Absolutely.
– [Katie] Which again led to the podcast, and I do think even though we are young and we are really newlymarried and a new family, we do have a desire to encourage family and encourage biblical rules and encourage seeking out what God’sword says about family in a culture that is so starkly opposed to just the biblical worldview.
And so, I think that’s our goal, and that might look differentthroughout the years.
The mediums we use tocommunicate might look different, but I think for both of us, that’s what God has placed on our heart, to just encourage youngfamilies in our stage of life and newly married couples.
– [Aaron] Yeah.
So I just wanna encourage you guys, ’cause I know you both, we go to church together, we know most of your families.
Whether you have directexperience with being parents of large families andhave been doing for ages, or you have a two-year-old, right? – [Elisha] Yeah, that’s right.
– [Aaron] You have more experiencein this than many people, because I grew up in a family of two.
You grew up in a larger family, but not the way you guys did.
– [Jennifer] Yeah.
– [Aaron] And whether or not you are directly experiencing it, which you are, just with amuch smaller size right now, you were drawing from thatinventory of how you were raised and the experience thatno one has had, rarely, 10 children, 11 children, parents that stayed together that not just stayedtogether but love each other, ’cause that’s a big thing.
– [Jennifer] Yeah, there’sparents that stick it out.
– [Aaron] Lots of people, they stayed together, but it wasn’t very joyful, right? – [Elisha] Right, right.
– [Aaron] And so that’s what’s awesome, is whether or not youfeel completely qualified, you’re more qualifiedthan me to talk about it, just by the experience you had, now, as long as we stay humbleand we submit to the Lord and say we’re gonna do it yourway, ’cause it’s his story.
So I just wanted toencourage you guys that.
I think that’s awesome you’re starting.
I think we need morepeople, more believers.
That’s the whole purpose ofthis book, is to say yes to God and say, God, here’s what you’ve given me.
How do you wanna use it? – [Elisha] Yes, amen.
– [Jennifer] Okay, guys, this is the last question, and it’s in your own words, what is a marriage after God? – [Elisha] In our own words, what is a marriage after God? – [Katie] Okay, you go first.
– [Elisha] This isn’t fair, ’cause we haven’t read the book yet, guys.
(all laughing) – [Aaron] This isexactly why we’re asking.
– [Elisha] I see.
(all laughing) You know, God invented marriage, so I really do thinkthat he gets to choose what the purpose of marriage is, what marriage is, what the end goal is, and something that Katie and I have really been contemplating overthe last few months is that when you arejoined in holy matrimony, you don’t then start to try tobecome one; he makes you one.
And so therefore, youstart to act like one.
And I think that so often, and this carries over into our faith.
We think that when youare made new in Christ, from the day you’re saved, you’re a son of God.
– [Aaron] Oh, I love that, yeah.
– [Elisha] You are free from sin.
You’re able to live as a son of God.
That doesn’t mean that youdon’t need to learn some things, but you’re learning to acthow he’s made you to be.
I think it’s the same thing with marriage.
Oftentimes, we think, man, we need to become one, whenin reality, you are one.
He says, when two are joined together, they should no longer be called two, but they should be called one.
And I think that once we’vestarted to realize that more and more, we’ve realizedthat when I make decisions that aren’t to the unity of our marriage, it hurts Katie, and similarly, if it’s a negative decision, and if Katie makes a negativedecision, it hurts me, whether you want it to or not.
And I think that once we’ve started to have our minds transformed, you know, our minds are being transformed because we’re renewing themand starting to believe what God says about whowe are as Christians and then who we are as a married couple, we start to walk thatout, we start to be one.
And so once again, that’sjust one area that God has spoken to about marriage, saying hey, you are one.
There’s no more two, there’sno more Elisha and Katie.
You are one.
I don’t care how you feel.
I don’t care how she thinksor you think, you are one.
So you better startlearning how to act like it.
Otherwise, it’s gonna be apretty miserable journey.
– [Aaron] Ooh, I love that.
That’s awesome, yeah.
So a marriage after God is onethat recognizes they are one.
– [Elisha] That’s right.
– [Aaron] Like, notbecoming one, they are one.
And so, I love that, because you’re right.
We’re not becoming something.
We are it the moment we said yes.
– [Jennifer] Let’s live it out.
– [Aaron] Yeah, and so, either we’re living it out or we’re fighting against it.
– [Elisha] Yes.
– [Aaron] So that’s awesome, amen.
So, where can people find you at? What are some websites? – [Jennifer] ‘Cause we knowpeople got encouraged today.
They got inspired.
They wanna know more about you.
(Jennifer laughs) – [Elisha] Sure, yeah, well, you already mentioned our podcast.
It’s Now That We’re A Family, and then we’ve got our YouTube channel, which is also called nowthatwereafamily.
– [Katie] Yep.
– [Elisha] And Katie’s onInstagram at @nowthatimamother.
– [Jennifer] And she’s super active there.
She does live videosand interviews people.
– [Aaron] And her photos are awesome.
– [Katie] Yes, I wasable to interview Jenn.
That was awesome.
– [Elisha] Yeah, that’s right, exactly.
– [Katie] Yeah, and are you? – [Elisha] I’m on Instagram.
(all laughing) – [Aaron] Yeah, isyours @nowthatimafather? – [Elisha] @nowthatimafather.
– [Katie] @nowthatimafather, yeah.
– [Elisha] That’s right.
Yeah, so that’s reallywhere you can find us, and then our website’snowthatwereafamily.
– [Aaron] So we just wannaencourage our listeners to go follow them and check them out.
They have large families, large, awesome, godly families.
– [Jennifer] And they’re growing theirs.
– [Aaron] And they’re throwingtheirs, and God’s using them.
– [Elisha] Right on.
– [Jennifer] Okay, well, atthe end of every episode, we just encourage everyoneto join us in prayer.
So Aaron, would you liketo close us out in prayer? – [Aaron] Dear Lord, wethank you for the way you created us, and we thankyou for your rich provision.
Thank you for equipping us for the work you have for us to do.
May our eyes be opened so we can see all the wonderful waysyou have equipped us.
Use us to encourage our spouse in the ways you haveequipped them as well.
We ask that you use everyone of our marriages to bring you glory andto spread your gospel.
We pray against fear andagainst the temptation to bury the gifts you have given to us.
We ask that you remove our insecurities far from our hearts andhelp us to trust in you.
We pray that we would walk in confidence as we chase boldly after you and as we pursue doing thevery things you created us and created our marriages to do.
In Jesus’s name, amen.
– [Jennifer] Amen.
– [Elisha and Katie] Amen.
– [Aaron] So thanks for joining us today, Katie and Elisha Voetberg.
We love you guys, and we thank you for yourstory and your testimony.
– [Elisha] Mm, thank you guys, seriously.
Thank you for your ministry.
– [Katie] Yes.
– [Elisha] And, I mean, I don’t know if you guys are gonna keep this on, but.
– [Aaron] Oh, yeah.
– [Elisha] But just as an example you guys have shown to usI’ve really been thinking about this the last couple of weeks, is your guys’ consistency in your faith and in your marriage andin your child training.
That’s a huge blessingto me as a new father.
– [Aaron] Thank you.
– [Elisha] Then also just inbeing in consistent community, being in consistent fellowshipwith our local body here.
I just know that you’ll be there.
I know that you’re aphone all or a text away and that you will be there on Sunday, and I see you guys being sofaithful in your Bible times as a family, and I just neverwant you guys to question not only the work that’s takingplace in your own family, but the encouragement thatis to me as a believer and I’m sure just to theglobal body that watches that.
– [Katie] Yes, you’ve beensuch a blessing to our family.
– [Jennifer] Thank you forsharing that, that’s awesome.
– [Aaron] Thank you, well, yeah, I appreciate that.
– [Elisha] Actually, I’mgonna say one more thing.
(all laughing) Just ’cause I don’t know howmany people you’re gonna have on your podcast that goto your local church, but being the fatherof a two-year-old boy, I’ve really started to think more and more about child training withinthe church service content.
And we’ve been going to church for almost two and a halfyears now with you guys and seen how you guys havebeen able to really train your children to sit inchurch is so inspiring.
– [Katie] Oh my goodness, yeah.
– [Elisha] You guys, I knowthat most of you listeners probably are never gonnahave an opportunity to sit in church with Aaron and Jen, but their kids are so well behaved.
(Aaron and Jennifer laughing) They sit on their laps, and the only reason that’sso remarkable to me now is because I’ve got a two-year-old, and it feels like I’m in a jiu jitsu match throughout the entirechurch service with him.
– [Katie] Yeah, we’re trying to take notes from Aaron and Jen.
(all laughing) – [Elisha] Yeah.
– [Aaron] Well, thank you.
– [Elisha] Yeah, no, it’s true.
– [Aaron] Yeah, thankyou, I appreciate that.
– [Jennifer] It is aboutconsistency, I would say, just to encourage others out there.
The children just, they’re awesome and they’re a blessing to us.
– [Aaron] And it takes lots of hard work, and lots of prayer, and lotsof screaming in pillows.
(all laughing) – [Katie] There you go.
– [Aaron] So, hey, thank you, that was really encouraging.
We love you guys, and all you listening, we love you, and wethank you for joining us, and we pray that you willcontinue on in this journey with us as we have a fewmore episodes in this series.
We’ll see you next week.
Did you enjoy today’s show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes.
Also, if you’re interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.
com and let us help you cultivatean extraordinary marriage.
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