How My Two Boys Bond

A little glimpse at what the Minter boys do for fun.

 

Until I had a little boy of my own, I never knew that anything and everything could be a drum and drum sticks.   Justus usually plays drums at least 60% of the day, and most of the time he starts playing and states, “I practice for when daddy needs me on stage.”

One day, little man.  One day.

Blessings

An amazing young woman crossed my path while I was overseas and has wedged herself into my heart.

 

In her short 24 years of life, she has grieved more and seen more than I ever hope to.   However, I have yet to see her succumb to the grief that life seems to throw at her.

She became an orphan in a third world country when she was eight.  When I was worried about hair, boys, and how stupid my parents were, she was being pushed into an orphanage and learning how to live without her family.

She talks highly of her time at the orphanage, but yet I still look into the eyes of all the children there and wonder what their hearts feel.  Most of them smile and have fun, but they still cry when we leave and talk about one day having a family of their own.

But my friend doesn’t talk about what she never had, she talks about Jesus. She stated  to me, “if I had been adopted, I might never had found Jesus or met you.  I am just so blessed.”

She then went on to tell me how blessed she is.  She is not allowed to openly speak of her faith nor does she have many Christians walking along side her, but yet she states often that she is blessed.

You know her number one blessing? That Jesus brought her to Himself.

Her eyes shine when she talks about her Savior.  She lists all the things he’s done for her and how He just continually shows her how much He loves her.  She briefly mentions the hardships of life, but quickly reminds us both that neither one of us has suffered as much as Jesus and so she is blessed.

She understands that Christ chose her, drew her to himself, forgave her, and has great plans for her.  She believes wholeheartedly even though everything in life tells her differently.

And I’m convicted.

Convicted of how easily I lose sight of my ultimate blessing.  How easily I focus on the immediate frustration or momentary pain.  How easily life can get me down instead of focusing on what Christ has and is doing for me.

And I feel completely humbled to have become her friend.

In our brief week and a half together, we talked more about Christ and what it means to pursue Him than about anything else.  I went to bed praying for her and woke up praying for her.  I gave her some simple Bible study aids, and we talked about some sermons she listens to via podcast.

We spent our last three hours huddled together like little school girls.  We stood off in a corner by ourselves so we could make our last moments count by discussing the Word, what our Father was teaching each of us, and how we were growing in our walk.

My heart hurt when the time to leave came.  I hugged her goodbye and prayed over her with tears in my eyes.

My sister in Christ.

She is in my mind and prayers often.  I selfishly pray she will get a tourist visa to the US soon.  I would love for her to be here for Christmas.  To be able to worship with a body of believers and be able to celebrate with my family.  I would love to watch her be baptized and to rejoice with her over what she’s learning in the Word.

But regardless of what travel plans the Lord has for this sweet young lady, I know his hand is on her life. I pray the Lord watches over her, keeps her, and continues to deepen her relationship with Him.   Most of all I pray she will find a mentor and friend who will invest in her and love her as she moves forward in life.

But I always end every prayer the same.  I pray that one day I’ll have the privilege of crossing paths with her again.

 

 

My Little Rule Follower

She informed me the other day that she thinks next year she needs to go to “real” school and not just home school.

Apparently she was talking to one of her friends who attends public school and discovered they only have ONE recess break during the day.    However, during our homeschool, I give her LOTS of breaks during the day.  Her thinking is that because she gets lots of breaks and the other kindergarteners at the “real” school only get one break, she is convinced I’m doing school wrong.  In fact, she told me I’m completely breaking all the rules and so just has to go to a “real” school next year.

Just thought I’d document this moment so I can show it to her next year after she discovers how much she likes having only ONE break a day =)

 

 

 

Eavesdropping

I overheard this sweet boy having a conversation with our hermit crab the other day. It went something like this:

“Sammy, did you know God made you?  And guess what?   God MADE YOU PERFECT!  Yes, he did!”

 

Imagine a really excited voice along with those words you, and you will begin to understand why I smiled and teared up all at the same time.

Eavesdropping on your children can be so satisfying =)

 

 

Two of the Eleven Days

Putting into words the experience I had in Vietnam is difficult.  I keep sitting down to write and my mind seems to go blank.   It is such a beautiful country full of amazing scenery and even more amazing people.   People that will forever be engrained in my heart and mind.


The women on the trip

Some of these sweet people were the teachers I was fortunate enough to teach in a conference we led while in Bac Ha.  If I remember correctly, there are 52 schools in this province and each school sent 2 teachers to the conference to learn “the new methodology”.

I had to put that in quotes because it was said soooo often!   The schools there teach scripted lessons in a lecture style.  The purpose of our conference was to teach “the new methodology” of interactive teaching.  In other words, we got to just have a lot of fun with these incredible Vietnamese teachers!

I taught four sessions over a two day time period.  Each session was three hours long.  I videoed some of my sessions so you could glimpse a bit of what the conference was like.  Of course I edited out most of the actual teaching part and just let you see the fun interactive part.

 

As I said earlier, the teachers were fun, did everything I asked of them, laughed, and simply made the two days fly by.     It also made me realize two things:

  1. I really do love to teach
  2. It is much easier for me to be half way around the world or to work full time than it is for me to be a stay at home mom.


My incredible talented and amazing translator!  I choose her if I go back again =)

As I’ve adjusted to being home again, I have really had to fight against the urge to just keep working outside the home, getting involved in projects with the church, and getting busy with things other than my kids.

I wouldn’t trade staying home with my kids for anything. I believe I’m obeying the Lord and doing what I’m supposed to be doing by staying home with them. However, there is something tempting about being out in the work force where people validate you, you work in a controlled environment, the kids can’t yell at you, and you feel like you accomplished something every day.

And those of you who work full time don’t get mad at me. I’m not for a minute saying your life is easy. I’m just saying my time in Vietnam was nice because every day I accomplished something that mattered. (and yes, having clean undies in everyone’s drawers does matter…just not in the same way)

Accomplishing things was satisfying.

Satisfying is probably the perfect adjective to describe my time overseas.

Birthday Wishes

Before I get to all the Vietnam posts this week, I had to stop and write about my oldest child.

This sweet young lady turned 6 this past week and I can hardly believe how grown up she has become!  Or that I’m old enough to have a 6 year old! =)

We celebrated her actual bday with some presents from Grandma and Grandpa and a little tea party at the American Girl Doll store.  A friend had given her their old American Girl doll and Avery has fully embraced the whole American Girl doll phenomena.   Fully. Embraced.

The tea party was a blast but the store itself is a little overwhelming!  So many things that we just “had to have”!   Avery still talks about how “Samantha” got her own pink lemonade and how much fun she had.  Birthday success =)

Her celebration came this past weekend.  She had 3 friends over for a little bubble gum party.  We played games, laughed, ate cake, and had a great time.

Happy Birthday sweet Avery!!  Words could never express how much we love you and are so thankful for you and your silly, sweet, kind, loving, caring, patient, fair, and responsible personality!     Love you more than all the pink ice cream in the world.

His Prayers

For the past 3 days, the little man has prayed this prayer:

Dear Jesus, help mommy to not ever go back to Vietnam.  Thank you.  Amen.

I do believe he has made his opinion known about what he thinks of me traveling.

Going Home

We are just an hour away from heading to the airport. We took the train all night last night and got into Hanoi at 5:30am this morning. We have spent all day in Hanoi and then our flight to Tokyo takes off at midnight our time, noon your time.

Our first flight is 6 hours and then we have a 5 hour layover before we begin the 14 hour flight into DFW.

Aren’t you jealous of my next 24 hours?! =)

I have so much I want to share and so much I want to write about, but it will have to wait until I’m on American soil and have constant internet access. For now, will you pray for us as we travel home? We are all anxious to get home, hug our spouses, and sleep in our beds!

The countdown has begun….24 hours left.

A Little Glimpse

Here is a little video of some of the work we did with the water buffalo corral. I thought my family and friends might like to see some of the work rather than just hear about it =)

And yes, I worked hard too. I just never thought to hand my video camera to someone else so I could prove to all the skeptics that I worked hard! Maybe next time =)

Today we started the teachers conference and my sessions went well. It probably went so well because I have an amazing translator!

The teachers are engaging and participating more than I thought they would as well. My afternoon session had me almost in tears they were so funny. One of the teachers in my second session works at one of the schools we have worked with this past week so it was fun to see her again and have a chance to just sit and chat with her. She asked me all about my hobbies and what my husband did as his job which led to a great conversation. I’m hoping to see her again tomorrow so we can chat some more!

Keep lifting us up and asking for more opportunities. The water buffalo work was fun, but this conference is where I’m gifted so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and teaching some more.

And I’m really looking forward to a big juicy hamburger when I get home! And a hug from my hubby =) Its crazy what you start to miss after 7 days =)

Did You Know?

Did you realize that if a farmer in Bac Ha is able to get a water buffalo, his yearly income will double?

With a water buffalo, they can grow more corn and rice.  The corn can be used to feed the livestock which enables them to have more livestock.  The buffalo can also transport more rice up and down the mountain to the market so the family can sell more and make more income.   Without a water buffalo, their yearly income is around $1000.  With a water buffalo, their income is around $2000. Makes you want to go purchase some water buffalo and give them away doesn’t it?!

Through our organization, a member of our church was able to help this family purchase a water buffalo, and we got to deliver the buffalo to the family this morning.

Its amazing how one person listening to the Lord and obeying his lead can change the entire future of a family living halfway around the world.

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