Saturday, December 12, 2015

Part 2: Inside the Life of a State Trooper

My niece Colleen shares her December 8th birthday with her husband Jason. He's a Nebraska State Trooper, and for the last couple of years, she's been a school secretary. They live in Norfolk, Nebraska, with their three daughters and their dog named Copper. 

The two met in Omaha while attending Grace University. After 16 years of marriage, this couple is physically fit and financially responsible.

I thought it'd be interesting for them to share their lives with the readers of the blog, so I interviewed them about their occupations and interests. Click here for Part 1.

Last week Jason shared how he'd impacted a man's life. Now for a person that impacted him.

Here's a photo that I took with a young girl while walking through a local carnival one night. A little girl walked up to me and asked, “Will you take a picture with me?” My reply was, “Of course, sweetie.”

Her mother posted this comment and picture that night:

“This is my daughter, Faith, at the Carnival tonight here in Norfolk. We have taught our daughter to respect our local law enforcement. That they are here to keep us safe and to protect us. They should not be feared. Her smile reflects all that we have instilled in her and will continue to do so. What was really cool? She asked to take a picture with him! Such a sweet man. Nebraska's Finest! Stay Safe, Blue!” 
This photo hit 1,000 likes in a week on Facebook. It captured many thoughts and comments and led to multiple discussions about law enforcement and their relationship with the public. 

This was my reply and share:
"Got my picture taken with this sweet young lady tonight. In light of so much turmoil in our nation with law enforcement, this little girl reminds us the type of relationships that we can have with trust, respect, and confidence for each other.” 

These are just a few instances of how rewarding my career in law enforcement has been. I am thankful to be serving the citizens of our great state Nebraska.

What have you taught your daughters about your weapons?
I have carried weapons for over 13 years and my girls have never asked me if they could see my gun. They understand that guns are dangerous and require great responsibility and training to carry or use. They believe the gun on my belt is for my own safety or for the safety and well-being of those I have sworn to protect.
It’s not complicated with my girls. They have never shown interest or desired to shoot, and I am okay with that. It just does not register in their world. Their life is already full of band/orchestra, athletics, academics, church, friends, and family. I would like to take them out and shoot someday but we aren't in a hurry.
As the wife of a trooper, Co, how would you ask people to pray for you, Jason, and the girls?
As a wife I always pray that God would keep Jason safe. I try not to dwell on the ongoing issues and try not to focus on the “what ifs.” I pray that God would help him to make wise decisions and to know how to talk to people in a way that would not escalate the situation.

If Jason is safe, that keeps the girls and me safe. So I guess for the girls and me, our prayer request would be that we would just trust God with Jason and help us to know that God has our best interests at heart and in mind. And whatever happens, God will take care of us.

Sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, and Jason won’t be home from work when he should have been. I usually say a quick prayer before trying to go back to sleep.

Any challenges or difficulties of being the school secretary in your child's public school? What do the girls think about it?
I haven’t found anything challenging or difficult about being the secretary at their school. I love it and knowing they are there with me even if I don’t see them except when they pass by. The only thing would be trying to separate or distinguish from being a parent in the Parent Group and being an employee and trying not to take on too many responsibilities. The girls seem to love it because if they need something or something happened I am right there to help them with it. I only have one daughter left with me and she has 1 1/2 years left there.
What got you two interesting in the concepts Dave Ramsey teaches? What was going on in your life at the time you started the baby steps? Explain your role in teaching others (if you have one).
We took Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University through our church in 2008. It transformed our thinking about money, budgeting, and planning for the future.

We had just paid off our van and were going through the same vicious cycle about filling up our credit card and then paying it off each month. Towards the end of the month we would run out of money and just keep putting it on our credit card for the next month and then pay it off when pay day came.

It seemed we always had more month than money at the end of the month. It was frustrating. We never paid interest on our cards and always paid it off, but it was like we were always a month behind. We just wanted to catch up so we wouldn’t have to use the credit card.

Once we went through the class and took it to heart and did the steps, it has been amazing. It has made a drastic change in our marriage. There have not been money issues since really. We do our budget each month together. We stick to it and have the same goals, so it is wonderful.
We have facilitated Financial Peace University for four years, putting 80-plus families through. We are looking at doing another class in January of 2016. It’s awesome helping people with the same issues we had and seeing them getting out of debt and getting their financial lives in order.
This is no doubt one of the most important issues in marriage. Jesus talked about money, stewardship, and possessions more than any other teaching. Two-thirds of His parables cover this important issue and the Bible contains over 2000 verses about it. If it is important to God, then it should be important to us.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “When you run into debt, you give to another power over your liberty.” That sounds a lot like Proverbs 22:7 which says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.”

Advice for young couples trying to stay physically fit? Any tips or suggestions for workouts?

We love staying in shape because it just makes us feel better about ourselves and our outlook on life. It keeps us healthy. We want to be able to play with the girls and keep up with them, although now, Leah [their eldest daughter] is faster than us.

It’s just easier sometimes for us to work out at home since the girls are there, but sometimes we like to change it up. It is hard to get workouts in though when the girls each have activities in the evenings that we need to get them to, so sometimes I just have to look at the week and schedule it in.

Jason and I walk or run together as often as we can, sometimes twice a day in the summer, when it’s nice out. If he's not around, I usually try and run outside or go to the Y and do a class there or do Insanity videos at home. Jason likes to go to the Y to workout or do TapOut videos at home.

What's the weirdest thing you two have done to celebrate your December 8th birthday?
Nothing too weird. We don’t usually buy each other gifts. We just go out to eat. Nothing huge, but if it gets me out of cooking, it works for me. 


  1. I pray for you and your family. Love the writings. They are surely from a different point of view. Thank you. Through it all, you are being watched and are an good example to others. Keep it up.
    god bless.
    Lois Shaul

  2. Thanks, Lois, for commenting. Jason and Colleen have enjoyed all the comments from people.