I am SO excited to have my friend, Suzy VanDyke on the blog today! She is a blogger, photographer, shop-owner, wife, and mama- just to name a few! I am so thankful that our path's crossed a few months ago through the wonderful world of Youtube & Blogging. :) Suzy uses her blog, business, and influence to shine her light in the darkness and faithfully serve Jesus. Grab some coffee and meet Suzy!
1. Tell us a little about yourself!
Hi everyone! My name is Suzy VanDyke and I've been a photographer for 7 years. I've shot over 200 weddings and traveled all over the world with my sweet husband Lukas and it has been quite an adventure! In 2014 we welcomed our first little boy, and I'm due with my second little guy this October. Becoming a mama has been quite a journey for me. I went from being terrified of giving birth and having kids, to having this blessed little family! The Lord definitely has grown my perspectives along the way! Last year I started a personal blog where I talk about mamahood, adventure, marriage, and what it looks like to walk with Jesus each day practically. I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I love sharing what God is teaching me & love hearing from others! We also lived in Honduras for 3 months this past year and while we were there started a company to help give some of our friends jobs called Wild & Free Supply!
2. For you, what does it means to Live Intentionally?
Living intentionally is so important! I think that in our media saturated world, it fosters quick attention spans, and so it's easy to drift along in busyness just responding to things at hand, without having a real sense of purpose and direction. Or even if you do have purpose it's hard to stick with making decisions that really help you in that purpose. For me, living intentionally means everything I choose to do going back to the values I care about and the roles God has called me in. As I've set those more clearly in mind the past few years, it leads to saying no a lot more; but it also leads to so much freedom and a sense of peace.
3. How did you come to know Christ?
I'm sooo happy to share how I came to know my precious Savior Jesus!! I was blessed to be raised in a Christian home and accepted Jesus as my Savor as a little girl. However, I remember as a teenager making my own conscious decision to pursue worship and obedience to Christ - no matter what it cost me. As a young adult I got involved with church consistently for the first time and that's when I REALLY started growing! I learned how to study and understand the Bible, got a better grasp of theology and why it matters to have a firm biblical foundation, and saw the beauty of being a part of a local church family! If anyone reading this doesn't go to church regularly, I can't stress enough - find one that teaches the Bible, and commit. It makes such a difference! I know from experience!
4. What motivates you and what are your passions?
I think the number one thing that motivates me, is actually a person - my husband! He is so driven, and inspiring, and not only works as hard as he can but is humble and always seeking to love me and our family and serve God. I am so thankful I get to live life with him and I think we keep each other motivated! My main passion is to point people to the Lord Jesus Christ. Specifically I love walking alongside women and pointing them to Jesus - how amazing that in even the "little" things we can run to Him! Some other interests I have (just for fun!) is healthy food, sharing about home birth/ natural childbirth, cloth diapering, going to the beach or anywhere nature-ey, crocheting, and I LOVE reading. I'm usually reading at least two books at any given moment. I just finished "Tramp for the Lord" by Corrie Ten Boom and highly recommend it.
5. What led you to begin blogging?
I had the idea to start a blog about 2 years before I launched www.suzyvandyke.com. I realized that I had a lot of women asking my thoughts on certain issues, or telling me they were really encouraged when I shared something with them, and so I prayed about it to see if I should make that more accessible through blogging. Right now I micro blog on my instagram, @suzyvandyke, and try to blog once a week over on www.suzyvandyke.com.
6. Tell us about your business, Wild & Free Supply, and the impact it is having in Honduras.
I don't think I ever really thought about where I bought things from, things like clothes, shoes, jewelry. But last year some friends of mine introduced me to the concept of ethical fashion, and through some reading, and watching "The True Cost" documentary, I saw all the negative effects that our consumerist attitude here in the US was having in other countries, and how many things I was buying was basically being created with slave labor. While we were in Honduras, my husband needed a travel wallet that fit in his pocket that wouldn't attract a thief, so he bought some leather and hand stitched a small travel wallet. That led to the idea of helping some of our friends in Honduras by creating fair wage jobs, the wallet being our first product. It's so cool because you actually know that when you're buying a product from our store, you're literally helping these guys put food on the table for their families. Our shop is called Wild & Free Supply & I'd love for you to check it out! We are adding some exciting new products very soon!
6. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
My favorite verse is Colossians 1:13-14
"For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
I love it so much because it reminds me of what I used to be- a child bound in chains to sin, and that I was rescued and adopted by God, completely set free, and forgiven, This verse reminds me of my true identity. And I have to preach it to myself constantly.
7. What is one thing in life you couldn’t live without?
Ice Cream? Haha!!! I am an ice cream-aholic! Whenever people want to buy me an expensive fancy dessert at a restaurant, I feel bad because I know that I will never like any dessert so well as simple ice cream. My dad tells me I got it from my gramma :)
8. If you could tell every woman reading this blog one thing God has laid on your heart, what would it be?
Oh dear friends, live your life for Jesus! Be a wife serving the Lord. Train up your children for the Lord. Work at your job as unto the Lord. Don't live an apathetic life - make the most of every opportunity, as Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." May everything you and I do be a huge arrow pointing everyone to how amazing and beautiful and glorious Jesus Christ is!