Mandy grew up in Cedar Falls, Iowa. During her childhood, Mandy’s parents ran a bed and breakfast, which helped teach Mandy early on about responsibility, the rewards of hard work, and having to deal with all kinds of personalities in a kind, appreciative manner.
As a teenager, Mandy was involved with several church activities, including youth groups. This made a huge impact and would help mold who she became in her future. Mandy began singing in elementary school, and began singing lessons with a professional voice coach in high school. She became an accomplished young singer, competing in and winning many voice competitions throughout the Midwest such as regional contests and county fairs, and Mandy had little room for all of her trophies. All of this experience taught Mandy to be comfortable with crowds and see successes from working hard and being confident. Mandy continues to sing to this day as part of her job at church, and occasionally sings the National Anthem at local sporting events, as well occasionally at her speaking events.
Mandy attended Central College in Pella, Iowa on a vocal music scholarship, and has a major in communication with a minor in sociology. During sophomore year, Mandy studied abroad in London, studying at the University at Westminster, and at the University of London. During her time in London, Mandy interned at Field Lane Homeless Center.
After Mandy’s junior year in college, she married her high school boyfriend that she had met when she was just 14, and Mandy and her husband lived in Pella while Mandy was finishing up college. While a senior, in addition to Mandy going to school full time, she worked full time at night from 4:00 to midnight as a case worker at a county youth shelter.
Once college was completed Mandy and her husband moved to the state of Washington, where Mandy was a full time Youth and Christian Education Director at a church for three years. After that, Mandy worked as a counselor at a domestic violence/sexual assault agency for two years. During this time, Mandy and her husband had their first child, a son named Sam.
For various reasons including not wanting Sam to be in full-time child care, Mandy knew she had to do something else so she could be more flexible with her schedule and spend more time with Sam. Mandy’s coworker’s friend was a Mary Kay Cosmetics salesperson and talked to Mandy about this new opportunity. Mandy asked the woman if she could make so much a month, the woman said yes, and Mandy quit her job and became a full time Mary Kay consultant. Unlike what many would hear or feel if someone was approached with an “opportunity” like this, Mandy never questioned it and never questioned herself and lack of success was not an option, as this was something she learned from her own experiences as well as helping and watching her parents building their business. Within 6 months Mandy became a Mary Kay Director, supporting, recruiting, influencing, and speaking to countless women one on one as well as in large groups, training, going to, and being part of large conventions. Mandy earned four cars, and earned the prestigious pink Cadillac having over seventy consultants in her group.
Mandy stopped her Mary Kay business cold turkey, and moved her and her family back to Iowa. Mandy quickly got promoted to full time, and has had various positions at this church through the years. She is currently the Director of Discipleship and Family Ministries at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
While working at St. Mark’s, Mandy grew the youth group from one group of about 10 youth, to two groups of about 25 in one group, and often 40 or more youth in the other. As well, Mandy has a very successful and growing to an almost standing-room-only women’s bible study group. Mandy sings during many contemporary worship services, and will occasionally lead worship when the pastor needs to be elsewhere. Mandy was also a critical part of convincing the congregation to approve a major church-expansion project to better serve the neighborhood and the many successful and growing ministries the church has. In addition to full time work during the day, Mandy leads one youth group on Sunday nights, another youth group on Wednesday nights, a women’s bible study on Tuesday nights, and has band practice on many Thursday nights for Sunday’s service.
My Beautiful Family
My gorgeous ginger man and I have been married for 5 years. What a gift God blindsided me with. He is my biggest fan and strongest cheerleader. Without his encouragement, Nurture Her Soul wouldn’t exist. He embraces the craziness that is our life. His humor, laugh, love for our kids, and seeing the tears in his eyes when he’s proud are some of my greatest pleasures in life.
Molly and her husband Seth… and our first grandchild, Lucy!! ♥♥
These five children and our dog are such a blessing in my life. They keep my husband and I constantly happy, praying, proud, and busy, but I absolutely would not want it any other way.