Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Learning as I go

5 months ago I wandered to a new town with my new husband to start a new job.
Whoa. A lot of 'new' things were happening.
I had thought a lot about what I wanted to do when I got to Kirksville. I knew I would substitute teach,  but I had a decision on whether I would be a personal trainer for the business Conrad would manage. I had said no multiple times, but one day God told me YES. and so reluctantly, I took on a new adventure of personal training. What a glorious blessing it has become.
Through many months of the storms of adjusting to a new place my clients were the rainbows that kept me going.
 They became not only clients, but friends. Friends that cared about me deeply as a person. Friends that showed me God's love.  They listened as I cried and laughed. They shared new recipes with me. They shared tips on laundry, cleaning the house, and how to love well. They told me about friendships that have slowly faded and others that have continued to grow strong. They opened up to me. They told me stories about their marriages and about their lives. I got to see their hearts shine through when they talked about things they excelled at and I got to see even more of their hearts when they talked about their struggles. These are confident woman. They have been through so much and still truly love and enjoy life. They enjoy the woman God has created them to be.
The biggest things these woman have taught me is that life is full of changes. Friends come and go, jobs come and go, life is constantly changing.
One thing never changes. God's love. His love is constant. God created me just how I am. He loves me just how I am, my weaknesses and all. How remarkable is that?
  I am so glad God led me to this road and as reluctant as I was, used this to help me become a better woman.
This is my last week training my friends, before I head off to have a friend filled month of July and then start my new journey as a teacher and a coach.
I say thank you.
Thank you to God, who guides my heart into places where I can grow.
Thank you to my husband, who has been my support and guidance through a new job. Thank you for accepting me into his work place and letting me share 5 fabulous months working with him you. These are months I will forever cherish with you.
Thank you to my clients(friends). I will never forget your life lessons and your love that you showed me.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Unanswered Questions

I have to remind myself all the time of the plan my faithful God has for my life. The God I love and talk to is a God who never fails to shine his light on me. He gives me a sunrise in the morning, the birds chirping, or a breeze that blows across my cheek when I need it the most. It is through college that I learned to become tuned in to  His little gifts showing me He is near. My God is one who romances me every day, but he is not a God who is always quick to give answers or show me His plan. I always want an answer right away, I mean He knows what is going to happen so why can't He just show me right now? We live in a world that needs everything quickly and I love how constant our Father is and always shows up at the right time.
Now let me just tell you, I love a good planner. I love to spend time with planner and organize my life. I like to know what is coming next and I like to have everything in order. I am not a huge fan of spontaneity. Text me at 4pm and ask me to come to dinner at 6pm? WHOA HOLD ON. I didn't have that planned. I like to be spontaneous and do fun things, if I am aware they are happening.
So it is during this time in my life. A time full of unanswered questions that I grow closer to God. It is a time where I have to rely on Him and trust His plan for me. I could go on and on about all the things I am not sure of in my life.
But one thing remains the same.
God's love.
It never fails, never waivers. He always pursues me and romances me. He blesses me with a husband who serves God, loves me like Jesus does, and prays for me daily. He blesses me with friends who even though too many miles apart continue to put in effort to keep our friendships strong. He blesses me with family who supports me in everything I do and is always looking for what's best for me. He blesses me with new opportunities and experiences in a new city. He blesses me with challenge, with the hard stuff, with drawing me nearer to Him no matter what day to day living might look like.
So I may not know what the next year, next week, or even tomorrow look likes for me. My planner may be empty, but my heart is so alive.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


I think everyone at some point in their life struggles to forgive. They don't want to forgive because its hard, because that person doesn't deserve it, or because they are still hurting. Whatever the reason may be, we all find excuses not to forgive someone. Because lets be honest here. Forgiving is hard.
Let me tell you something though-- Forgiveness can be AMAZING! I have loved seeing God work in me to forgive and there was something that very much so helped me along the way.

It is in the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. If you know us Schottels, you know we swear by the Ransomed Heart Ministry and all the books that the Eldredges write.
Just a little background on the book, Captivating talks about the dreams of a woman's soul. "She longs to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, to be the beauty of the story.... The message of Captivating is this: Your heart matters more than anything else in all creation... God offers to come now as the Hero of your story, to rescue your heart and release you to live as a fully alive and feminine woman. A woman who is truly captivating."

I couldn't agree more. I am now going through this book for the third time and it has spoken to me in new ways every time. The part that really hit home this time was Chapter Six: Healing the Wound. It gets real, and it gets vulnerable. I truly believe that becoming vulnerable during forgiveness leads to big healing of your heart.

Captivating page 104:
"Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col 3:13)"

"Now- listen carefully. Forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling- don't try and feel forgiving. It is an act of the will. "Don't wait to forgive until you feel like forgiving," wrote Neil Anderson. "You will never get there. Feelings take time to heal after the choice to forgive is made."  We allow God to bring the hurt up from our past, for "if your forgiveness doesn't visit the emotional core of your life, it will be incomplete," said Anderson. We acknowledge that it hurt, that it mattered, and we chose to extend forgiveness to our fathers, our mothers, those who hurt us. This is not saying, "It didn't really matter." ; it is not saying, "I probably deserved part of it anyways." Forgiveness says, "It was wrong Very wrong. It mattered, hurt me deeply. And I release you. I give you to God I will not be your captive here any longer."
It might help to remember that those who hurt you were also deeply wounded themselves. They were broken hearts, broken when they were young, and they fell captive to the Enemy. They were in fact pawns in his hands. This doesn't absolve them of the choices they made, the things they did. It just helps us to let them go- to realize that they were shattered souls themselves, used by our true Enemy in his war against femininity."

Forgiveness isn't weak. It is strong. SO strong. It is you admitting hey that hurt me and it impacted me. It is giving it to God, giving your pain to Him and letting Him come into your heart and heal you. It takes time, it is definitely not an overnight process. But it is a choice. A choice you can make daily to give your pain, bitterness, and anger over to God and slowly but surely let him restore and heal your heart.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Hello Sweet March

Hello Sweet March,

Hello to the month that I have been counting down the days to. The month where I get to see some of my best friends. My heart has been aching for them. My heart needs communion and hugs from my sweet friends. I have struggled adjusting to a life that was all friends everyday, boyfriend on the weekend -- to--  husband everyday (BEST THING EVER) and no friends except for occasional visits (HARDEST THING EVER). It is safe to say my heart isn't adjusting well to being so far away from my friends. From not being able to walk to the room over and say hi, from having to schedule phone calls just to ask how are you. So hello to you March, where trips to Chicago, Iowa, and friends coming to Kirksville is definitely designed to give this aching heart some rest.

Hello to the month where Conrad and I celebrate 7 years together! Where we continue to learn more about each other through this blessing called marriage. Where we continue to stare in awe of our dog who sleeps all day, plays all night, and occasionally greets us in the morning with a puddle of pee on the ground.

Hello to the month where hopefully spring weather starts to blossom and the days get warmer.

Hello to the month where we venture out into the community more and try to meet new people and make more friends.

Hello to the month full of job applications and prayers.

Hello to the month full of trying new crockpot recipes.

Hello to a month full of promising opportunities, seeking God, and choosing to live in JOY.

Samantha Schottel

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What marriage has taught me.. PART 1

A good friend text me last night and asked, "What have you learned about marriage."
I laughed when I received this text, and wasn't even sure I knew where to begin.

The number one and BIGGEST thing I have realized is that the devil works in some mysterious ways. Let's just say, I knew this before, but had no idea the extremes of this statement until recently.
Let me share with you how Conrad and I have decided this.

It was Superbowl Sunday. We woke up, went to church, and went grocery shopping.

Conrad invited three friends over for the game. And the first thing that came into my mind was HOW AM I GOING TO FEED THESE PEOPLE. I have enjoyed being a little homemaker this past month. I love getting out my dishes and making dips and enjoying people in our HOME- but was experiencing some anxiety about pulling this off. I mean its SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! People have high expectations for that day. (This is me making stuff up in my head and causing stress)
We set down at the table to talk about the dips we wanted that day and I asked Conrad what he was going to be doing before our friends came over. He rambled off how he was going to do some work for FKS and get his schedule ready for next week.
I was mad- like you're going to invite friends over and not help me prepare food or clean the house? I felt alone. Like I had to figure all this out by myself. and then I thought- Hey he might want to help. Don't assume. So I asked, "Do you mind unloading the dishwasher?"
SO- he unloaded the dishwasher all while thinking, "Is she serious? My to-do list is up to my neck. She's not grateful, and has no respect for my time or my need." LITERALLY- these words just came from him, I can't make this stuff up people.
Then he says, "I'm going to pray."
I could tell he was frustrated so he went to pray and I cried. Typical girl here. I had no idea what I did wrong, considering I was trying to not assume and seek his help. I mean I even said thank you.
I had no idea his feelings and he had no idea what was going through my mind.

To end this whole ordeal- We both had to separate. Figure out what was really going on. Seek the Lord. Then come together and communicate.
The enemy was putting his spin on our emotions and feelings. I don't really think Conrad is not helpful and he doesn't think I'm not grateful. But the devil was trying to convince us of these things. He was trying to sneak into our minds. This wasn't a blatant attack, but it could have gotten out of control without serious prayer and communication.

So the moral of the story is- The devil is sneaky and sly. Being aware of him and his attacks, no matter how 'small' they are is key to protecting our marriage. We need to focus on spending time with God, and communicating with each other regularly.

Lesson 1 down. Many more to come, I'm sure.

Post Wedding Post

I don't even know where to begin. This past month has been completely insane in the best way possible.

The wedding was fabulous. I could talk about it forever. I have never had that much fun in my life.
We stayed at the most fabulous bed and breakfast in Liberty, MO and I would recommend it to ANYONE! We had two relaxing nights there before we headed to PUERTO VALLARTA!

Our honeymoon was fantastic.
We stayed at all all-inclusive resort and drank the best fruity drinks we could imagine. Conrad hasn't stopped talking about the Coco Rosa- a pink drink- since. ;)

We are now- FINALLY- settled in.
Our first home together in Kirksville, MO and it is going great!
We are both personal training. I have just turned in my first application for my first real teaching job!
I am excited to continue helping Conrad run this business and see where things go. God's plan is so so good!

We would appreciate the prayers for our new marriage as we learn something new everyday.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Time Capsule

Flashback to senior year of high school. To the time when Conrad was about to leave for college. The time where we couldn't see where life was going to take us. Where we were afraid of failure and terrified to leave what we knew and what was comfortable. To a time where we were excited about our new individual journeys, but so unsure of where we were going to be as a couple.

Then comes a friend who says, "Why not make him a time capsule?" and that right there is what I did.
The day Conrad left for college I gave him a time capsule that looked like this.

A box. Filled with our High School Memories. Made to be open on College Graduation Day. But here is the trick- Even if we weren't dating this box was meant to be opened together. In the note inside the box it says. No matter where we are at in life right now come get me. I don't care if we are with other people, use this box to bring us back together. 


Okay back to 2013. Conrad's graduation day. Where we dusted off the old time capsule and took a look inside!

^Who knew our love would be so much different than it was back then?

^We are engaged and have a puppy!

Inside we would find some very special things. Things that made us laugh and things that made us cry. 

To start it all off was a note. A note of journals I had kept through out the summer before college of how I was feeling.
Some of our favorite parts:
"I need you in my life and I hope when you are reading this after college you will realize that we we had (or hopefully still have) is something so special. I know we can grow to make this work. What we have is not a high school fling or a first love kind of thing. This is read Conrad Wilson Schottel and I never want you to doubt that what we have wasn't real. Because I love you more than anything. If we do leave come get me back because you make me a better person.
"We have been together for 2 years and 5 months! WOW we have almost been together for 1,000 days. That is super!"
"I am going to wrap this up by saying that Conrad, I love everything about you. You're so amazing. We will make it through college, and this box is for us to remember all the great times we have been through together so in case anything bad does happen we can rekindle our love. Everything we go through together is all for our future together. I love you forever and a day."

We then opened up some random fun memories from high school. (FYI I might have saved everything he touched, I can't help it- HE IS CUTE!)
^Conrad's doodles on the inside of my notebook.

^Prom tickets, notes from school, and CD's we made each other. That cute blue and green bag? He made it for me in art class. 

^Random love notes.

^Tons of pictures

^And some really great artistic work from Conrad.

This time capsule got tears and laughs and was something we will be able to cherish forever. The memories we have made are priceless.What we had was a love so raw. It is such a blessing to have our high school memories together and to look back and laugh on all the great times together. This time capsule made us realize how much our love has grown and matured since college and we are so excited for our next journey together-- MARRIAGE!

Friday, January 3, 2014

What's going to happen in 2014?

I have to admit. I am not quite a dreamer. It is something I really struggle with. I want to follow God's plan for me. What does his plan hold for me?- I just don't really know.
I think part of it is I am afraid to dream and fail or dream and it not come true.
In 7 days I am marrying a dreamer. He tells me a new dream he has all the time. And the first thoughts that pop into my head is how can that dream happen. What steps are we going to make to ensure that dream can succeed. What I want my first step to be is to go to God. The Man who knows our dreams and desires and places those in our hearts and know which ones we should pursue and which ones are stirring our hearts.

I kept seeing a lot of Facebook posts about the new year andwhat is going to happen in the new year and I hesitate making a status like that. What if those things don't happen? How do I know what is going to happen, I don't even know what tomorrow will bring. Why put that out there for the whole world to see, but more importantly why put that out there to fail? That's just part of my struggle with dreaming and failing.

But I do know one thing and I am always willing to share it.
I am going to follow our Lord fiercely and ferociously. Violent, I know.
But this isn't always a rainbows and butterfly type relationship I have with Our Father.
This is a relationship of spiritual warfare.
It's a relationship of trust when I can barely hang on.
Of thanks when I want to lay in bed and cry.
It's a relationship when I walk outside and the fresh air hits my face and I smile because I know it's Him.
It's a relationship where I am walking on the beach and look at the huge ocean and the tiny pieces of sand right next to each other and can't help but bask in the fact that he created all of this beauty.
It is an intentional relationship. Where I look for God's beauty and the way he is loving me at that time.
It is a relationship that is so fulfilling and sustaining I can't even wrap my head around it.

I am about to become a wife. and I want to become a Godly wife. A wife who makes mistakes, who laughs, and who loves. A wife who isn't afraid to dream, and listens to what God is putting on her heart. In order for this to happen I have to seek God with ALL of my heart. and I deeply desire to do so.

So what is going to happen in 2014?
I am going to listen to God.
Listen to the ways he is stirring my heart and let him take my on a wild journey.

Samantha soon to be Schottel ;)