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Its Time

Once upon a time, in a land full of nap times and early bedtimes, I would sit down and write. Though babies are exhausting and demanding, being stuck at home most days left me plenty of time to write.   And so wrote I did.  Minterlife.com became my accountability, my journal, my discipleship tool, and the record of my family growth.  I absolutely loved it.

Then a storm blew through, life decisions needed to be made in private, kids started complaining that strangers knew their private business, and nap times ceased to exist.  No longer stuck at home every afternoon led to me giving up a passion that seemed easier to ignore than to find time to pursue.   Minterlife became dormant.

But, my husband…..

My husband sees in me something I can’t see in myself and pushes me to be the person he knows I want to be.  He knows most days I start early and am simply done by the time the kids go to bed in the evening.  He knows my kids’ education and meeting with women to point them towards Christ will always trump me sitting down to write.  He knows my schedule looks completely different than it once did, and so I can’t write in the same manner that I once could.  He knows my excuses and obstacles, but yet he still created a new place for me to start a new writing journey.  This new place to write can be found at kariminter.com.

I feel rusty.  I feel unequipped.  I feel nervous and scared.  But to have the one person who is most important to me look at me with confidence in his eyes gives me the courage to move forward, and so I write.

Bear with me.  The journey may be choppy, but to start while still surrounded by fear is my first victory.

Is there something scary you might need to start as well? Won’t you share with me and let’s encourage each other because let’s face it, we all need some people in our corner looking at us with confidence in their eyes.

 

 

The Beginning

One of my children has had some lingering health problems resulting in TONS of antibiotics throughout her short little lifetime.  As a result, her stomach ALWAYS hurts, she had developed horrible reflux and heartburn, and is just a little bit miserable most days.  As a mom, my heart hurts to see her struggle at such a young age.

So I decided to do something about it.

Today marks DAY 1 of our 30 day strict eating plan.  No beans, no bread, no sugar, no processed food, no dairy, pretty much no to anything that will turn to sugar in her gut.  Sounds fun right =)

But we do get to say yes to all kinds of meats, all kinds of veggies, and some fruits, so we definitely won’t go hungry! The idea is to completely starve all the bad bacteria in her gut while still providing her with all the proper nutrition she needs.  Because we are a family and families stick together, the whole family will be eating the same thing and going through the 30 days together.  Three of us are excited about this. The jury is still out on the other two.

Last night, I prepped for the week, made something called Bone Broth (which smells fantastic!), emailed all the teachers at school to let them know what our family will be doing and to please not allow my children to sneak candy from the treasure boxes in the classroom, and spent time convincing one of my children this was not punishment but a fun adventure (I’m not sure she’s buying it).

Here’s to Day 1.  Praying for happy hearts and for the Lord to use the next 30 days to completely heal my baby girl’s pain.

 

Merry Christmas from Us

This is the 5th year we have done this, and I can honestly say its one of my favorite holiday traditions!

 

 

When we started this tradition in 2009, Justus was still in a high chair and the girls barely had any hair! Its so fun to look back on life and see all that has changed and remember all God has done over the past 5 years. If you care to take a stroll down memory lane with me, here’s 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012.

Merry Christmas!

Pushing Forward

Working out is one of my favorite pastimes.  I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself and the feeling of complete exhaustion and utter satisfaction when finished.

Yesterday’s workout was one of those grueling workouts where you think to yourself you kind of wish you would pass out so you didn’t have to finish.  Plus there were burpees….burpees are my workout nemesis.  Burpees in small amounts I can handle, but you start getting up into the hundreds amount, and I ALWAYS struggle.

The struggle first starts in my head…”I’ll  just not do them all…I really should listen to my body and just stop…”  Then the struggle goes physical and my legs start screaming and my stomach begins to feel like I need to start looking for a trash can.

Its crazy.  I could do the same workout with similar moves for a longer amount of time and not have any trouble.  But throw in those burpees, and I start to break down.

So back to yesterdays workout….120 Burpees thrown at the end of a grueling workout.  I truly didn’t want to finish.  I mean I had already done a pretty intense 40 minute workout; it wouldn’t be too bad if I just left out the burpees. But then my workout buddy stepped up next to me, and we started to do them together.  We got in this rythmn and just kept going until we finished.

What seemed impossible just moments earlier was now an accomplishment.  And the accomplishment was due to a sidekick; someone to step up next to me and take my mind off myself and push me to reach a goal.

I so often think of all the workout analagies that Paul uses throughout the Bible when I’m in the midst of one of these intense workouts.

Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

The workouts are hard, I have to push myself to keep going, and most often I need a friend working out next to me in order for me to accomplish all I need to at that moment. The same is true for our walk with the Lord. We have to decide we want to pursue Christ, push ourselves to keep pursuing Him, and allow our friends around us to keep us going when life gets tough.

Its so easy to be content where we are spiritually.  Oftentimes, we fail to realize how much more God has to offer to us if we would just learn to walk with Him continually.  But it takes dedication and discipline to focus our hearts and minds on God continually.  You have to push yourself to get out of bed, to shut off the TV, to put Christ first when life seems to scream distractions at you. And most often, if you have a friend pushing toward Christ with you, you will keep walking forward and wouldn’t even think about standing still in your relationship with Christ.

That’s one of the reason I wrote this Bible study for the women at our church. I want us to join together, to discipline our hearts and minds, to chase hard after God, to learn to walk in His presence continually, and to do it in a group of women who will push us forward even when our minds and bodies want to quit.

So this summer, the women of Westwind are breaking up into small groups, meeting all over the city of Des Moines, and truly pushing into Christ as they intentionally add some spiritual disciplines in their life.  We are purposefully putting ourselves into a position where we can meet God, seek Him continually, and be changed by Him.

And we invite you to join us.

Just think what God could do in us and through us as we join together across the states and seek God.

What do you say?  You in?

 

“The Summer 7: in Pursuit of His Presence”


How Are the Kids Doing?

That seems to be the most asked question, and overall they are doing great.  Of course there have been moments of sadness, but for the most part they are being rockstars about all the transitions.

However, along this journey, there have definitely been some memorable quotes said.  Here are a few of my favorites =)

First Sunday here, Avery was asked by the pastor how she liked her new church.  Her response,  “This isn’t my church.

While walking out of Costco, Justus handed the receipt  to the lady at the door and stated, “The Costco in Texas is better than this Costco.”

Waking up to more snow falling, the kids stood at the window, and Justus asked, “Does all it ever do here is snow?!”

The other day Avery asked me, “Do you think maybe you could homeschool our cousins next year?  I think I would like living here more if they could be homeschooled too.

We were going outside to play, and Elliana stated, “I’m staying inside.  Maybe when all this snow melts I can go outside again.”

All three kids were complaining they haven’t been able to ride their bikes in FOREVER, so I took them out to ride.  They lasted 5 minutes before the wind got the best of them, and they decided riding bikes might be more fun in the summer =)

The first time I put the kids into the car and said we were going to Aldi, cheers erupted from the backseat.  As they calmed down and I asked why they cheered, the response was, “We’re driving to Texas!”   I guess I had forgotten to mention there were Aldi’s in Iowa too.

While driving by a Panda Express, I hear Justus gasp and then scream, “They moved Panda here from Texas!!!!  Oh, I’m so happy!”

And finally, just last week, both girls were having a conversation about our new church.  They talked back and forth about how nice people were and the new friends they were making and finally stated, “I think this is going to be a really fun place.  I think we are going to like it.”

The last quote definitely made my heart happy.

Saying Goodbye

When we first told our kids we were moving, they cried for an hour.

Yes,  I will always remember January 7th as a pretty emotionally exhausting day…Brent resigned from NorthWood and our kids literally melted down about the idea of moving.

By the time we got the kids calm enough to go to bed, Brent and I were completely worn out, and I’ll be honest, I was more than a little bit depressed. I didn’t know how to support Brent, comfort my kids, get the house ready to put on the market, move across the country, and not have a breakdown myself.  So that night as I prayed for the kids and for the move, the Lord really impressed on my heart the need for them, and me, to be able to say goodbye well. The need for us all to feel like everything we treasured was said goodbye to so we would feel the freedom to embrace what God had for us in the future.

And so the whirlwind began. In 2.5 weeks, we packed up the house, sold the house, went to every favorite location, had a million play dates, and said good bye as well as we possibly could. It was exhausting and perfect all at the same time.

When January 27th finally arrived, the kids were ready, I was ready, and Brent was ready. We had mourned all we would miss and now had an excitement for the adventure that laid before us. Although I won’t lie, that last morning at NorthWood was HARD!! I cried for 4 hours (as you’ll see in the pictures). My eyes were swollen but my heart was so full. Our time spent in Keller was fulfilling and life changing, and the people and experiences there have forever shaped us and made us better people.

But by the time we said good bye that last Sunday morning, I was ready. I was ready for what God was calling us to do. I was ready to move my family across the country. I was ready for an adventure. I was ready for change.

And not only was I ready, I was excited. The type of excitement that only comes from our gracious Father who lead me down the much needed path of mourning what would be missed so I would be excited for what laid ahead.

So here is a short slideshow of our last couple weeks as we said good bye.

 

The Adventure is Beginning

The first contact came just days after we had our first conversation about what God was doing in our hearts. We both felt stirrings from God, but what they were for or what God was desiring what still unclear. Then a call came.

The call happened during a stressful week, a busy season, and an overwhelming schedule. Usually during big moments, we have time to sit in silence, listen to God, talk to each other, and just think. Not this time.

This time God brought an incredible request to us and then separated us and forced us to process the request individually with God alone.

It was hard. I was anxious. I was stressed. Then I would pretend like there was nothing to think about and life was just like it had always been. But through it all, God kept whispering into my heart, “be still and be silent. Don’t badger Brent with questions or comments. Be silent and just listen.”

So I kept silent. For nearly a month and watched and listened to Brent process.

He discussed his emotions, his desires, his dreams, his ambitions, his fears, and even lack of clarity from God concerning what our next step should be. I simply listened and prayed like crazy. Calls like this have come in the past and what God wanted us to do was always very clear. This time I knew it was different. I also knew that God was doing something incredible and so both Brent and I were going to be under attack.

So for a month, I listened to God, listened to Brent, rarely spoke about the issue, and prayed for protection for us as we followed in obedience to God. It was difficult.

But then this moment came when God simply opened my mouth and said “speak”. I looked across at Brent, spoke the truth of God’s Word, and it was as if an incredible burden lifted from both of us. It was at that moment we decided God was leading us forward, and we needed to fully investigate if God was calling us to a new church.

The more we stepped forward, the more God confirmed we were to keep moving forward. I honestly kept having this thought in the back of my head that said, “don’t worry. Any moment God is going to say stop.” But God never said stop. He just kept opening doors.

So the day after Christmas, we called the pastor of WestWind church in Waukee, Iowa and told them we would accept their job offer. I will always and forever remember the excitement of that moment…the moment we agreed to follow God on this next great adventure. And quite the adventure it will be! Moving our family of 5 across the country in the MIDDLE of winter can only be an adventure from God!

To be continued……

Disney Day 1

Day 1 was Magic Kingdom Day!  So much fun.

We were there before the park opened so we got to see the opening show.  I cried.  Yes, cried.  I was holding Justus and when the train pulled up and he saw Mickey and starting jumping in my arms screaming, “its Mickey!  its really Mickey!” and waving his chubby little 3 year old arm, I started crying.   We’ll just say it wasn’t the only time during the day I teared up watching my kids and their joy.

We attempted to get a pic with all the kids in front of the castle.  See grouchy pants on the far right?  He wasn’t having any of that smiling business.  At least not yet.

We spent the majority of the morning in Fantasy Land riding all the fun rides there.  The teacups, Dumbo, the Carousal, the Barnstormer Roller Coaster…we rode them all and we learned that Avery DOES NOT like rollar coasters, and Elliana could ride them all day long if we let her.   And by all day long, I mean, hands raised, screaming at the top of her lungs, and immediately asking to ride the ride again.  I love that girl’s love for life!

By about midmorning, I started to see Justus’ personality begin to emerge again.  We are waking that kid up way early in the morning so by the time we get to the park, he will be fun.  It took him 3 hours before he really woke up!

On our way to The Crystal Palace for lunch, we stopped and rode Buzz Lightyear.  I think that was my favorite of the day!  So much fun!!

And my favorite picture of the day….

After lunch with Winnie the Pooh and friends, Elliana got delivered a birthday surprise complete with a card signed by Tigger, Pooh, Eyore, and Piglet!

We then went to dance a bit in a parade

Wave our hardest to get Minnie to see us

And then latch onto Uncle Mark the whole way to the bus and back to the room.  See what Uncle Mark has in his hands?  Pink Cotten Candy.  He was like the Pied Piper leading all our kids from the park.  Its amazing the power of a little processed sugar =)

The rest of the afternoon was spent in the wonderful pool at the resort.  This place is amazing by the way.  It was just a perfect day.

I feel like I just used a lot of exclamations points in this post, but seriously, that may be the only punctuation that truly describes the day.  The whole day is one big exclamation point!!!!!  Now to go shower and go to sleep.  Tomorrow is Animal Kingdom day.  Can’t wait!

A Week of Vacation

My parents don’t come to visit very often, but when they are here, life is just about perfect. My dad had some business down here, so we got lucky and got my parents in town for a whole week! We had a blast pretending we were all on vacation.

We spent time at the zoo

 

We also visiting the jump house

And no visit is complete without a stop at Babes to dance the hokey pokey and to eat some good fried chicken.

Dad’s birthday was a few days later, so we celebrated his birthday with some yummy chocolate cake!

Then the kids took turn saying why they loved Grandpa

Avery: “Because he tries to get my sugar”

Elliana: “Because he loves me and is so kind”

Justus: “Because he wrestles me and plays with me”

They stayed a little late on Saturday so they could see Avery doing her cheerleading thing.  She was so happy they were there!

Justus had the hardest time saying good bye. I think he chased after their car 3 different times to get more hugs. After we said a final last sad good bye to them in the parking lot, we got into the car and felt like this

 

We LOVED spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa! Thanks for coming and playing and just loving on us. We all feel so incredibly blessed to have had you here!

Memorable Moments

Avery has been participating in the Upwards Cheerleading program at a local church.  She has really enjoyed it and I wanted to make sure and capture some of the fun she is having.  This video is during the “half time performance”

 

 

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