Where to begin….what story to tell…there are so many! So I’ll share the first time I came into contact with the acronym EHFAR. It was January 13, 1999 and a big snow storm had hit the twin cities area on the first day of my first job after college with Lutheran Brotherhood (now Thrivent Financial). I lived with my sister (who also worked for LB) and we were car pooling together. We just couldn’t get moving any faster in the slow traffic so I was late to my first day of training with approx 12-15 other new people. In I walk, late and everyone turns to look at me…how embarrassing!! I sit and begin listening, learning, and meeting new friends. One of which consisted of Justin Pickar. As the day grew on and the training turned into weeks of being with the same people I learned more about the EHFAR philosophy. A philosophy I completed understood and agreed with in my own life. The year 1999 was one big EHFAR experience and here are some small stories of how EHFAR affected me…

1. First department/job with LB was horrible. I found out on my birthday that I was being placed into a department I least wanted. But I took it as a learning experience. I embraced it, gave it my best and made it through the year where I could begin applying for other areas in the company to move up. I never gave up and after 8 years with the company I was truly happy with the work I had given to the organization.

2. Embracing my health and body. I had been a competitive swimmer in college but it wasn’t until 1999 that I began working out for me and my own health. I began running 5K’s and 8K’s for fun. My body was in its best shape of life to that point because when you put your heart and mind to improving something for yourself, it makes life so much more fun. Later I began spinning classes at Lifetime and truly loved life.

3. Loving myself. I was single and had been through a previous long distance relationship so I took the year 1999 to begin loving myself for who I was. I discovered that I needed to love myself before I could love another person. I climbed mountains in Jackson Hole, I went white water rafting in Yellowstone, and I had a blast with my friends really focusing on the good in life and people. It was December 28th, 1999 and I had really come to terms with myself and that I was going to let the world happen, and I was along for the ride. Well, 3 days later on December 31st, I went to a New Years eve party with 3 girlfriends. It was that night that I met my husband. My first memory of him was in the hot tub but it wasn’t until hours later (3AM) that we began talking, and talking, and talking. He asked me out and the rest is history. We now have been married for 5+ years and we have 2 beautiful daughters together. I thank GOD for giving me the courage to believe in myself so I could find my own Justin!

These are just some samples of how EHFAR affected my life beginning all in the year 1999. Amy

First Published on: November 15, 2007

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