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Big Boy Bed

Yesterday was the first time I have ever had my children raise their right hand and repeat,

“I am not a monkey.  I am a child.”

Unfortunately for the many mattress stores we visited, the message never truly sunk into their pretty little heads, and I’m now fairly certain we got a good deal on a mattress simply because the sales person wanted us out of their store. Sometimes having restless kids has its perks.

Unfortunately for my kiddos, I was determined to get the mattress home by myself and not pay for delivery.

Yes, that is my awesome mini van and a child crawling through “the secret passageway” in order to get to their car seats.

In our house, if you call something “a secret passageway” they will think it is totally awesome and will forget about all the totally unawesome stuff going on.

Like driving with a heavy mattress on your head.  This is the view from the back of the car, but don’t worry,  I kept talking to them while I drove to make sure they were still breathing.

Once we were all settled in the minivan, I remembered that Target had bedding on clearance and that I had no extra sheets for a twin bed.  So we pulled into the Target parking lot, and I silently prayed my children were able to get out of the car without moving the mattress.

We only got a few stares  as I tried to figure out how to unbuckle the kids and show them the teeny tiny opening they could use to crawl out from under the mattress.  Getting back into the car and carseats after Target was also a pretty fun show for anyone who happened to be standing around.

But we made it home, I got the box spring and the frame down from the attic, moved it all into his bedroom, got everything set up, and then realized I was too tired to enforce the whole “don’t get out of your bed” thing.  So he went back into his crib.

We’ll start the whole bed training thing tonight, but don’t let that cute little grin fool you.  I’ve already heard him whisper to his sisters that he’ll come see them when mom leaves the room.

This transition should be fun.

Change is Good

Last Thursday night we sat down to eat as a family, and Brent and I began to talk. I was telling him all about what God had been revealing to me that day and how my day had been spent confessing and talking to the Lord and asking Him to show me how to change.

See Thursday I had been talking to the Lord about the craziness of life, and He clearly opened my eyes to the fact that I was letting my emotions dictate my actions for the day. If I was tired, I was excusing myself from fully engaging with my kids or my housework. If I was frustrated, I was acting very frustrated towards my kids and my house. My emotions were very much dictating how my day was going.

So Thursday night I confess this to Brent, and we start talking about how I can flip this again. No one wants to live on the rollar coaster of emotions!

Then Friday morning I show up at Women of Faith. Patsy Clairmont (my new favorite speaker!) begins speaking, and one of the first things she says is:

“It is extremely important to have boundaries on your feelings”

I sat up a bit taller and started listening a bit better. Then she states that we all must have boundaries on our emotions and reads Proverbs 29:11 “A fool vents all her feelings. A wise women holds them back.

Okay at this point, I began to thank God that He had revealed the sin of my emotions less than 24 hours earlier. I was so thankful I was aware of my problem already so that as Patsy spoke, I could just soak it all up.

She continued to speak and remind me that my feelings are not stronger than my will and that my feelings were never meant to think. And it is our emotions that keep us tattered and swinging and not pursuing the true desires of our heart which are from God.

Most of what was said was not “new” information, but yet I truly needed the reminder. The whole weekend was incredible, but the three different times Patsy spoke, God used it to move my heart.  I will definitely be writing about all I learned from her as the week goes on, but today I just wanted to share the fun way God works.  He knew what I would listen to on Friday morning, and He prepared me so He could change me.

Change is so good.  Which leads me to the next amazing thing Patsy Clairmont spoke about.  But I’ll save that for another day.  For today I’m simply grateful I got the chance to spend the weekend at Women of Faith.

School Starts Today!

The way these two approach learning is demonstrated well by this picture.

Class president vs Class Clown =)

The Next 48 Hours

I sit here this morning enjoying a cup of coffee and going through an Examen on EXAMEN.me.  Life is good.

And its only going to get better this weekend!


I leave in an hour for Woman of Faith.  Have I mentioned how long its been since I’ve attended something where I get ministered to?  The nature of our job is to minister to others and so to be AWAY and to be ministered TO is something I’m very much anticipating.  Plus, I’m going with one of my greatest friends.  I. CAN’T. WAIT!

This weekend our church is also having a circus!  My kids have been talking about this circus for weeks and our tickets are bought for the last performance on Saturday.  I’ve never actually been to a circus before and so have NO IDEA what to expect.  I may be as giddy as the kids =)

Circo Del Rey from Northwood Church on Vimeo.

The next 48 hours are busy but hopefully not hurried through. I desire to soak up this experience and just savor the excitement of the next hours.

And of course I’ll be writing all about it as well =)

Encouraging Times

The past week has been a huge encouragement to me.

I have been blown away by the friends from high school who have emailed or sent money to support my trip to Vietnam. I didn’t really follow the Lord in high school, so to reconnect with old friends and to learn we are all walking toward Christ together is extremely humbling and so exciting at the same time.

Friends helping me get to Vietnam is tremendously encouraging.

Hearing from old friends also makes me journey back through the last 15 years and reflect on all Christ has done in my life.  In fact, it was the summer of 1997 that Christ first grabbed my attention and took me across an ocean so He could grab my heart.  That summer was just the beginning of Christ changing me.   Hearing from friends from around that time humbles me greatly and reminds me that I did nothing to deserve Christ.  He pursued me and brought me out of my environment so that He could change me.

Reflecting on the amount of love God has for me is extremely encouraging.

Then I get stopped by a former student who shares with me a vision and dream God has given her.  She is passionately obeying Christ, even though she doesn’t know how all the details will work out.  She stopped me this morning and told me this post encouraged her to push forward.  She is planning a youth conference to encourage teens to pursue Christ in Georgia and in Tennessee over the next two months.  Have I mentioned she’s 17?  But God used words I wrote to push her forward in obedience.

To be part of a chain that God uses is humbling and so very encouraging.

The emotions and encouragement of the past week have been refreshing and revitalizing.  Just a few months ago I wrote about how I felt like I was just sitting and waiting for God to tell me what was next.  I was stuck in this transition; this restlessness that seemed to have no end in site.

But there was an end in site.  This past week I have been overwhelmed as God has begun to move me out of the restless stage.  God seeing me worthy of being moved into a place of usefulness is incredibly humbling, and I am beyond grateful for it.

The waiting, the watching for God, the pruning, the trials, it was all worth it.  I’m beginning to walk out on the other side of what has been a hard 8 months.

Today’s Awards

Cutest Kid Ever goes to:

Most Helpful Kid Ever goes to:

Smartest Kid Ever goes to:

I like the days when I notice all the good in each kid.

A Little Glimpse

Near day 40 of the 100+ heat wave that hit this state, I became a little stir crazy.  The walls were caving in on us.  That is until we found the self timer and the tripod.

 

Who knew a self timer could be so entertaining.

The Next Step

Yesterday, I broke the news about my upcoming trip.  Today I thought I would let you in on a few of the details of our trip.

 

Basically we will play in the mud and then teach some classes.  Not really.  Well kind of.  But not really.  =)

One of the projects is going to be to help some local farmers.  This is the “play in the mud” part of the trip.  We will be trekking up into the mountains to Bac Ha. Some  farmers in this village have received micro-loans from our organization and have used those loans to buy Water Buffalo, one of their most important resources. We are going to help them build some structures that will help protect these animals, and consequently the farmers’ livelihood, through the harsh winter months. While doing this, we will also be teaching the farmers’ wives English so they can speak and sell their wares at the international market.

I’m pretty excited about this aspect of the trip!  Have I mentioned before how much I love physical labor?  I may be weird, but I really do love it.  There’s just something satisfying about working hard in the outdoors.

In addition to some physical labor and personal interactions with the farmers and their wives, we have also been invited by the director of this province to lead a teachers training conference for the teachers of the province. (hence why they needed another certified teacher!) There will be close to 100 teachers from surrounding schools at this conference. We will be splitting the teachers into groups of 25, and I will be one of the lead presenters teaching and training the teachers in life skills instruction for the students. There will be other members of this team teaching other concepts, but my focus will be to train the teachers in ways to teach the students to be self-motivated and responsible and also on communicating in an appropriate way, i.e. greeting visitors, acknowledging others.

Playing in the mud = fun.  Teaching at a conference in a culture I don’t yet fully know = a little intimidating.

So the research has begun.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking over the material and have even found some really neat sites that can help me learn a few basic Vietnamese sayings.  I can’t stand traveling to a country and not be able to speak a bit of the language!   My paperwork is done, I’ve applied for my visa, and scheduled all my vaccinations.

I’m preparing as much as I can, but I still need your help.

The trip costs around $2200.  To be honest, that number has been what has kept me from agreeing to go before now.  That number can be intimidating.  But that number is nothing to God.  Someone commented on the last blog post that they were excited to see how God worked out all the little details.  Me too.   I know God already has picked out how and who He wants to use to send me on this trip. I know He has already determined the time and place the money will come from.  I know He is in control of that detail. So today I ask you to do nothing but pray and listen to the Lord. Is it you He has picked out?  If not, please obey God and just continue to pray for me and for the whole team going.

If, however, God tells you to financially support this trip, you can obey by.

  • Emailing me at  kariminter (at) gmail (dot) com  OR leaving a comment on the blog or on Facebook and let me know you would like to help and we can chat from there. I would love to answer any questions
  • Once I hear from you, I will send you my address and you can send me any contribution you desire. The check should be made payable to NorthWood Church with my name, Kari Minter,  and Bac Ha Oct 21st written on the memo line.
  • All contributions are tax deductible; however NorthWood will only send you a receipt if the contribution is over $200.

Thank you for all of your encouragement and love over the past few days!  Your comments and support have been treasured.  And thank you in advance for all your prayers and financial contributions.  Like the comment from yesterday stated, I truly do look forward to watching the Lord work out and finish what He started.

 

 

 

 

My New Adventure: This is BIG

It all began over coffee. Seems fitting for an adventure to begin with such a glorious thing.

Last Thursday, as I was drinking coffee with a friend, the topic of Vietnam came up. She was going on a trip in October and was praying for one more certified teacher to join this particular trip.

As she shared why she needed another certified teacher and the difficulty of finding teachers who are able to go in October, my heart began to stir. I’m a certified teacher. I am available in October. I’ve always wanted to go to Vietnam.

So the praying began. I came home that morning and casually mentioned the trip to Brent. In the flurry of getting the kids’ breakfast, Brent checking on our elderly neighbor, and then him heading to work, we didn’t get farther along in our conversation than simply, “What would we do with the kids?”

The next few hours consisted of a few texts back and forth and a lot of excitement building in my stomach. By 2pm, we had made a decision. If I could still be added to the trip I would go.

12 hours later, I had my plane tickets.

I have no money, I have no one to cover the research writing class I teach here, I have no experience in Vietnam, and I have no one to care for my children, BUT I know the Lord urged me to go, so I’m going. Obedience first; working out the details comes second.

All that backstory to share with you all I”M GOING TO VIETNAM! For 10 days at the end of October, I will be treking through the mountains of North Vietnam to do a couple different projects.

I’ll share more details in the days to come, but in the meantime, please pray! Pray for wisdom as we decide what to do with the kids while I’m gone. Pray for peace as we continue to prepare and plan for the trip in two months. Pray for guidance as the team meets Wednesday night to go over some details. Pray for freedom from stress for me as I wait to see how God is going to financially provide for this trip.

In conclusion, please pray =)

To the best of my ability, I will be blogging my way through this trip.  This adventure is for all of you as well as for me, so every day I will attempt to capture the emotions and events through words and pictures so that we can all experience and see what God has done and glorify Him together.

In nine weeks, we will be embarking on an adventure of a life time!  Are you as excited as I am?

 

check back tomorrow for details on how you can support me and specifics on what I will be doing!

Life is Good

Rain, cooler temps, and

Saturday mornings were made for days like this.

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