About Laurie

Laurie Russell

The Business Me

I am co-founder of Elevate Publishing, a new media publishing company. Don’t be impressed by the title, it’s bigger than it really is but my husband, Mark, refuses to let me drop it. He was the brainchild behind starting the company while I “found” ways to help him keep it going (and our kids alive) in the early days. Now that we have a staff, I’m able to spend more time writing. Prior to Russell Media, I served as Stewardship Coordinator for the Boise Chapter of A Rocha, a Christian conservation organization.

This is my personal blog (and at times, too personal). Here I share stories, insights and lessons that God has taught me about finding the joy and freedom He gives in life. I’ve spent much of my spiritual life as a slave to burdens and self-inflicted bondages trying to look a certain way – much like the way I photoshopped my headshot (yep, look closely and you can tell!) My hope is my stories will help you to experience true freedom in God.

I blog one to two times a week. I would do more but my school age kids don’t respond well when I tell them to go to the grocery store and fix their own food. So until they finally mom-up and take that role from me, here I’ll be.

This past year I launched my first book, I Love Him, I Love Him Not, I Finally Love Him. I bet you think it is about my husband, right? Actually it’s about God. I went through a crisis of faith while serving in the mission field. While preparing for a Bible study I came to the conclusion that I didn’t love God anymore. I mean, how could I love a God that allows tsunamis to wipe out families and gunmen to enter schools? I shared this with my Bible study and they didn’t know what to do with me: “You’re a missionary. You’re supposed to love God!”

It wasn’t until I was honest with myself and then with God that He began to lead me on a journey to rediscover my love for Him. Check it out (please) at our Russell Media page or get it on Kindle.

Discovering A Real Love For God

I Finally Love Him Cover Image

 

The Personal Me

I was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and grew up in a Christian family. However, it wasn’t until I was twenty-four-years-old (and after many years of rebellion) that I grasped my need for Jesus. Once I held His hand I couldn’t go back to my old life. Years later I merged my love for God and adventure and went into missions. I spent two years in Russia, where I met Mark. We were friends for four years (he had a lot of maturing to do). We both ended up in Chicago for school, where I attended Moody Bible Institute. There I received a BA in International Ministry.

Even though our stories greatly differ (I speak truth and he speaks exaggeration), Mark no longer could withhold his undying love for me (there was no need to photoshop back then) and we married in 1999. We headed as missionaries to Santiago, Chile for two years – where our awesome son, Noah, was born. From there we headed to Munich, Germany for three years – where our incredible daughter, Anastasia was born.

My years on the mission field is where God became personal and revealed a lot of baggage I was carrying. I began to journal and from there my love for writing began. We returned to the States in July 2005, and since then, I’ve pursued my writing and speaking career – well, whenever I’m not busy being “co-founder”.  Oops, did I just say that out loud?! 🙂

I have a bad habit that Mark has been trying to break. Whenever he travels out of town, the kids and I find our way to the local animal shelter. It’s not uncommon for Mark to return home and find a new pet in our house. Needless to say, he doesn’t travel near as much as he used to. (Yep, Mark needs a lot of prayer. It’s not easy being married to me.)

The Playful Me

In 2008, our family migrated out west to Boise, Idaho. I love hanging with the awesome friends we’ve made here and the many outdoor activities we can do year-round. In my free time I enjoy training for and participating in triathlons – swimming, biking and running (I’m slow but just saying I did a triathlon makes me feel better about myself. Ha!) In the winter I’m like to ski with my family (but unfortunately the kids are too fast for me now so I mainly cross country ski). I love to read (especially if it makes me laugh) and watch Duck Dynasty with my family (there is a little redneck in all of us 🙂