Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mark!

Today is Mark's birthday. He is the most incredible man I know and I am so thankful he is in my life - and puts up with me (what could be better than that?)
He loves God with his whole heart and wants nothing more than to serve Him.
He is an amazing husband and is super-duper patient with me, even when I don't deserve it.
And he is a great father. He spent all week with the boys while I was on a mission trip and he only complained once - and it was a legitimate complaint! He invents fun stuff for the boys to play and loves to take them flying.
So, happy birthday, Mark! I love you!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes from the mission trip

It's Top Ten Tuesday! And here are my 10 favorite quotes from the recent mission trip.

10. "How can I lay Him down, How can I lay Him down, He's so good to me..." [It's really supposed to be, "How can I let Him down..." but we didn't understand the vernacular]

9. "Where else am I going to meet her? At the library?" [Katie's dad making fun of Katie...]

8. "... Jesus told me to find drug dealers..." [Will during an "Ask the Lord" session]

7. "You guys are the Joshua generation and God is going to do some mighty things through you..." [This one is serious and stuck with me; it's from one of the pastors Sunday night.]

6. "Lord, I pray for sugar, for the families..." [Liz on our first Ask the Lord/Prayer drive]

5. "The sugar lords could drive around and hand out pixie sticks and get the kids addicted to sugar." [This isn't the exact quote, but close enough... It was from Mikey K when we were driving to the lake.]

4. "Katie! She's wearing a pink shirt!" [This is the culminating line to Katie's "nudging" that God will put a girl in a pink shirt in her path. Some people made fun of her, but she stood by her convictions and sure enough, the next day, she met the girl in the pink shirt and jeans!]

3. "Let's hold it up to the light and examine it... Is it scriptural? Can it be confirmed?" [This is another not-funny-but-serious-quote. We heard it frequently from Marty.]

2. "There they are! Turn around! Wait!!!! YOU ARE GOING THE WRONG WAY!" [As I drive down the wrong side of the road on a major highway...]

1. "Stop choking your friend, we're gonna pray." [Jeff saying this at the cook out in the most serious tone, EVER!]

Side note to #9: It has been confirmed by a Facebook quiz: Katie will meet the man of her dreams at a bookstore.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mission Trip people part 1

This is going to be one of many posts that I talk about the people we met in Belle Glades and on the mission trip.

We did this process called "Ask the Lord." Basically whenever we had some time to do extra ministry or the flexibility to change the schedule, we went to prayer to find out what God wanted us to do. This sounds really corny, I know. And I'm a skeptic. When Missy described this, I thought she was coo-coo-for-cocoa-puffs. But this was the coolest thing. EVER!
Yesterday, we had an ATL time in Naples. I didn't get a clear picture from God, so I drove Nathalie and Mikey K. Nathalie saw an old person in a blue flowered dress and Mikey saw nursing homes. So the three of us prayed what were to do with these promptings. I felt we needed to buy flowers and then take them to the nursing home.
Nathalie (above) and Mikey (below).
While at Publix buying flowers, Nathalie felt we should buy a "Happy Birthday" balloon. Mikey and I were like, "Ummm... No, that's stupid."

We drove around looking for the nursing home and didn't have much luck. So I prayed and there was the nursing home! In we went.

We walked in with a bunch of flowers and this nurse saw us. Our conversation went somthing like this: "I know this is going to sound crazy, but we are on a mission trip and are having some prayer time asking God what he wants us to do. He told us to come to the nursing home and find someone who needs some flowers. "

The nurse looked at us like we were freaks. But then, her face lit up and she said, "Burta does not get visitors and her birthday is on Sunday. Why don't you go see her. She is in room 404."

Guess we should have bought the birthday balloon, huh?

We knock, walk in and repeat our introduction.

Nathalie, though, is about to pee her pants. The woman was wearing blue flowered dress!!!!!

We chatted for a bit, prayed for her, and then left the extra flowers for the nurse who helped us out.

Coincidence? Nope. God prompted us. We obeyed. And we were blown away!

This type of stuff happened all week long. I will share more of these stories with you, but right now, I should probably go play with my boys!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Day 2 of Belle Glades "missionary-ing"

Well, we are officially half-way through our trip to Belle Glades, Florida. I am here with an amazing group of high school kids. These kids are willing to step out of the boat and pray with total strangers. I, personally, think it is much easier to be out of the boat when we are not in our home town, so we have been spending some time talking about how we can take these actions home with us.

I am stepping way out of my little boat and praying ALL THE TIME. Ok, so that may sound like a little-deal (you know, no big deal = little deal)... But for me to pray and WAIT for God to reveal himself is big for me. Not just guess and check...

So yesterday, I had 5 kids with me and we were charged with the task of doing prayer walks. Only, I heard, pray and ask the Lord what we should do. So here we are, no major theologians with us, just me and my peeps. So we ended up at the hospital because three of us felt called to go there... We ended up praying with a couple and they were thrilled that we could pray for their doctor's appointment. Well, later we drove by them and saw that they were smiling and walking much "happier". We wanted to go back and talk to them, but God prevented that. (I would tell you why, but it's kinda embarrassing!) At another point in the excursion, I tried to reach out to someone and it failed miserably - and that was because I wasn't asking God about it, I was just going about my thing.

I learned a few things... I learned that listening for God takes practice. And lots of it. I learned that I don't have to be a preacher to do prayer walks and ask the Lord for direction. Yep, I can just be me! The neat thing about the experience was that I was totally transparent and willing to tell the kids that I was petrified. they were too. Not petrified because we were in danger, but shaking out of inexperience and uncertainity. But God showed up. Just like he always does...

Today... I painted and scraped paint. I saw my group respond to God's prompting and I saw lots of answered prayer. I also saw the joy that comes to others when you stop being so busy and just share a few words and prayers. It doesn't take long to let others know they are important. But the rewards last for a mighty long time!

My points are this: pray, wait for God's direction, then obey. Your socks will be blessed off. Also... stop being so busy and just spend a minute with those around you! It doesn't have to be long!

I miss my family, so if you know them and see them, give them a hug and a kiss!
love, Kristin

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Holy Ghost Party"

Do you know the Kirk Franklin song, "Stomp?" He is a gospel singer and has this great song (showing my age - it's about 10 or more years old). Anyway, one of his lines is "Let's have a Holy Ghost pary" and then goes on and sings in his fired-up-gospel-way.

Well, we had a Holy Ghost party tonight. We went to this Jamaican church tonight. They literally rock!

Picture this... a bunch of white, conservative methodists calmly and primly sitting in the pews. We are wearing shorts and our team shirts. Then on the other side of the aisle are the Jamaican's dressed to the nines - hats, suits, heels, etc.

Then the music starts. I mean... THE MUSIC STARTS. These guys have a song for everything! They talk - sing; talk - sing; and this goes on.

But the music doesn't just start, the place starts hopping. The music is so completely loud that Mike and Mike sitting next to me can't hear my out-of-tune-off-key singing. I am dancing, clapping, and just singing to the Lord. I look like a honky getting down. And I am loving it. I look up and see Missy on the pulpit boogeying. Will is across the aisle shaking his groove-thang. The rest of the white Methodists... not so much.

However, as the singing, talking, singing, talking continues the beat begins to infect the rest of the white methodists. At one point, WE ARE DANCING IN THE AISLES. Seriously. We were dancing in the aisles. You know it's a Holy Ghost party when us white-folk are grooving - in church!

After four hours of church, we are worn out. Yes, four hours of church. Four hours of praising the Lord and sharing our stories.

Which reminds me again - of how awesome our kids are - they shared their testimonies and you would be so proud!!

The icing on the cake? The genuine Jamaican jerk chicken and pork they fed us for dinner.

I now know what heaven is going to be like.

Tomorrow... we start the actual projects and work parts.

We can't wait! Remind me to tell you about our prayer walks!

Keep praying!

Oh yeah - you're thought for the day... It comes from the devotional written by Adventures in Mission...

"When life heats up, we understandably want God to just walk in and put out the flames. But that's not always the way He works. Sometimes he has us walk right through the fire because He has even greater things in mind than we can comprehend."

This thought refers to the three guys thrown into the firey furnace in the book of Daniel. They knew God could save them - but would follow Him even if it meant death!

Why Bother

Good morning,

The rest of the mission trip world is still sweetly sleeping on airmattresses with sleeping bags, but I got up early to take a beautifully hot shower. I thought I would just share a quick bit about the trip so far...

We arrived in Belle Glades, Florida yesterday afternoon. We left Venice Florida Friday morning and traveled a whopping 30 minutes to Port Charlotte. We did team building and practiced for our VBS. The church we stayed in was a former movie theatre... kinda cool. Saturday morning, we left for the east coast. We went to Lion Country Safari for a little bit. I was looking forward to this, but found it disappointing.

I'm sure this kinda stuff is not what you want to hear about. You probably want to know how the team building and spiritual stuff is going...

Yesterday morning, Missy asked us to ponder this question: "Why bother?"

We had all day to think about it and last night we shared. I'm still not fired up about being here, and I still kinda want to go home. But hearing these kids share why they "bother with Jesus" was so exciting and encouraging! These kids talked about some of the crazy situations they have been in -or seen their friends in - and they lean on Jesus. So cool.

One guy, Steve, told us this conversation he had with a friend. His friend asked, "What if God isn't real?" Steve responded with, "I'm still happier than you, and I still have more peace than you." I know that doesnt' sound deep and theological, but Steve was real and his love for Jesus is real!

And that is why I bother. I want you guys to know the peace and the comfort and the strength that Jesus gives. My children have some pretty gigantic challenges in their life, and some people would look at them and think, "Why bother." But I tell you what... God has a plan for their lives, just as He has a plan for yours and mine. I want my friends to know that. And I want my friends to have the peace, joy and strength that Mark and I have. And the confidence that their special needs children have a purpose!

So here I am this week, I ought to make it count, ya know? So I'm giving this week to God and seeing what kinda chances He gives me to tell people why I "bother" with God!

He changes lives!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mission Trip prayer requests

Hey there! I'm heading to Belle Glades, FL this week for a mission trip with the youth groups from Grace United Methodist and Christ United Methodist. I would like to say that I am totally excited and ready to go.


I am not. My stuff is packed, my to do list is checked off, and we leave in 19 hours.

So my prayer requests are that I stop worrying about the home front. My husband is a wonderful and capable dad. He is loving, he is patient, he is kind, he can kiss boo-boo's, clean up messes, play fun games, and dole out the meds as well as any one.

So what am I worried about?

Well, I'm sending Zach to day camp and this is new. He will have a one-on-one helper who is up for the challenge. But it's Baby Zach, hanging out with the big boys and I'm not there to hover. And this is new. I don't do new. Zach will have a blast. But this is new. I don't do new.

That's it really, that's all I'm worried about. But I worry about Zach. So won't you pray. Pray for Zach - that he uses the potty - and that he does really well at camp.

And pray please, that I can shut everything out but God and what he wants to teach me this week. Because I have asked him 100,000 times to give me an out for this trip. He hasn't. So obviously there is a reason.

And I know that the God who breathed the stars into existence can help Zach use the bathroom. But making that "know" stick in my head has proven to be a challenge.

Please pray!
Oh, and pray for Mark - he has the hardest part!!

If you want updates on the mission trip... follow me on Twitter: MommaMikarts

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tunes for Tuesday

Lately music has been encouraging me and so I thought I would put some lyrics up and share what God is saying to me. A week or so ago, I posted this about Zach singing along to Brandon Heath's "Wait and See" - I can never remember the actual title!!

This week, "The Motions" by Matthew West keeps popping in my head and on the radio when I need it the most. I'm leaving on Friday for a 9 day mission trip with our high school youth group. I'd like to say that I'm geeked up, but I'm not. I keep thinking about everything that has to be accomplished before I leave. And I think about leaving my family alone for 9 days and how I hard that will be on Mark. But I know I am supposed to be on this trip.

I gave God many chances to tell me not to go, but ya know, He didn't take me up on my offers. (Gee, go figure...) But the signs keep pointing me to Belle Glade for the week...

So if I'm gonna go, I better get ready to have my socks knocked off... And if I'm gonna go, I better give my all to Him and see what He has prepared to teach me! That's why, "The Motions" is my song of the week!

Matthew West
Something to Say
The Motions

This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life

I don't wanna go through the motions
I don't wanna go one more day
without Your all consuming passion inside of me
I don't wanna spend my whole life asking
,"What if I had given everything,
instead of going through the motions?"

No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me Monday

It's Monday! You know what that means, right? Time to deny the happenings around the Mikarts household! This is a blog carnival started by MckMama at So when you are done rolling your eyes at me, hop on over and see what hundreds of other bloggers have NOT done!

My husband did NOT spend several afternoon/evenings making this adirondak chair for me. It is NOT a beautiful chair. And I did NOT tell him that it was really uncomfortable. Because my handy husband did NOT get the seat dimensions wrong. I know that I am the MOST encouraging and non-critical person in the world. So this is NOT how the chair conversation went: "Um, this is really nice, but I think you got the butt part wrong. It isn't very comfortable." I did NOT later offer to help him figure it out for the next 3 chairs I've commissioned. (I am NOT happy to report that Mark figured out what when wrong and chair number 2 is perfect so far!)

Anyway, while Mark was out in the man cave doing manyly things, the boys did NOT have a great time playing with the tools. However, this lovely bonding experience did NOT end with a trip to the ER and x-rays. I am NOT happy to report that it was Mark who had the accident. He does NOT have metal shavings in his thumb from a philips head screwdrive bit for his drill. Oops...

Zach did NOT climb all over a multi-million dollar military medi-vac helicopter. He was NOT initially afraid of it, only to NOT later climb on the instruments. I was NOT horrified by the thought of him climbing on stuff - but later figured that if it goes into war zones it can survive a 7 year old!

I did NOT cry at the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympic's swim meet. It was NOT overwhelmed by the support and acceptance shown to these athletes! When they played the Rocky theme song, I was NOT "done for"!!
My only prayer was NOT that Zach would avoid pooping in the pool. I have MUCH higher expectations of my child. And I do NOT know that there are more important things requiring prayer. So I did NOT send this text to Mark: "Woo-hoo... No poo!!" when the meet was over.

Zach did NOT get first place in his events. Ok, so there was NOT only Zach in his division... But still!!

Finally... I am NOT saddened that this is the last week of summer school!

I was NOT dreading going on the youth group mission trip next week. But then on Friday... I did NOT call the youth director and beg her to make the trip at least 2 weeks long because the kids were complete whiney boogers!

I am NOT battling ticks, again! I did NOT feel powerful when the ticks were dying before my very eyes as I bathed the dog. And the dog did NOT have at least 12 ticks on him (and this was after picking a bunch off last night...)

Ryan did NOT wear the same t-shirt 3 days in a row (ok, evening, all day, morning...) I do NOT count swimming as a bath.

I did NOT finally take the van to get new brakes because it is going on the mission trip, too. The rear brakes were NOT so bad they were leaking fluid. Oops...

So leave me a comment about what you have NOT been doing this week!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

One thing always leads to another...

How would you guess that this sweet father-son bonding experience in the man-cave would end?

Yep that would be my guess too... With a trip to the ER. But did you guess it would be Dad?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trying to get the perfect picture

I took about 30 pictures trying to get the perfect picture of Zach and Ryan...

I didn't get the perfect one, but I got pretty close!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me Monday

Hey, hey, it's MONDAY! Time for more free therapy MckMama style. That's right, a chance to deny things from the week. This is a blog carnival started by MckMama at So when you are done here, hop over to see what hundreds of other bloggers have NOT done!

I do NOT waste HOURS on the computer trying to win the "expert" level of MineSweeper. Seriously, I have so much better things to do. But if I did waste time on this rudimentary game, I would NOT be very mad when I got down to one bomb left. Speaking of NOT wasting time on computer games, I did NOT waste all of my husband's phone battery on some stupid game that is a cross between Superbreak Out and Kaboom from the Atari days.

While getting new cell phones, my husband and I did NOT leave the children to their own devices for a really long time. They did NOT try out every phone in the place. That's not bad enough... they did NOT snuggle up to the other customers. Seriously, Zach did NOT start hugging some guy just because he was paying attention to him! But that's NOT bad enough... while I was playing on my Crackberry, Ryan was not over at the water cooler filling about 30 cups with water and then dumping them on the carpet! I am serious - 30 cups - I counted! The carpet did NOT squish when I stepped. This was NOT our cue to exit...

I am NOT so used to pointing out firetrucks to my children that when I was in the car with a friend, I did NOT say, "Oh! There's a firetruck." She did NOT look at me like I was seriously whack-o.

My husband did NOT manipulate me into learning to fly. I do NOT know that this is for our safety when we fly places. But I am still NOT scared/frustrated/annoyed by these lessons! However, I was NOT praising God when my first two lessons were rained out!

I am NOT so insecure about my boys and their "funks" that I dread making childcare arrangements. I automatically assume that no one wants to spend time with my kids because they are different. I do NOT know how ridiculous this is, but still struggle with it ALL THE TIME.

I am NOT a slacker mom. I do NOT "pawn" my children off on other people frequently! If I did, I would certainly NOT be at the beach and let someone else watch my kids in the giant waves. No way, I'm a perfectly responsible parent. But if I were at the beach and happened to meet one of the pastors at Venice Presbyterian Church and his family, I would certainly NOT hang out with his wife while he was getting coated in sand by my boys. Furthermore, I would NOT be coated in sand when he came over to introduce himself. There is nothing like meeting new people when you are in a swimsuit... much less coated with sand! But since this did NOT happen, I do NOT have to be embarrassed!

And since I am NOT a slacker mom, I wouldn't later go to a picnic at Agape and watch my children run up and down the stairs like wild men! Then I would NOT be thankful that another family has 3 young boys who are as wild as mine. I do NOT get tired of having the wild boys, so I am NOT happy for the company. I do NOT pray that the family with the two docile, sweet girls would have twin boys that are wild Indians... Just so they would understand!

I would NOT have friends over for the 4th of July and teach them the Samuari Pie song. My husband would NOT show the video of me making pie like a Samuari... Mix and kick, mix and kick... (It's from the Backyardigans - I highly recommend it if you are making pies.)

Well what have you NOT done this week? Leave a comment and let me know :)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

No better sound in the world!

I was playing on the computer this evening and the local Christian radio station was playing on the stereo. Zach was singing along. I tell you what, there is NO better sound than hearing your child sing praise and worship music. What makes it even sweeter is the gigantic speech delay that Zach has. So the words weren't exact, but the meaning was.

Here's what he was singing...

There is hope, for me yet,
because God won't forget,
all the plans he's made for me
I have to wait and see,
He's not finished with me yet,
He's not finished with me yet

It's the chorus to Brandon Heath's new song, Wait and See

I'm crying just thinking about it. You see, God's not finished with Zach yet. And while the world may look at him and see a handicapped, babbling, drooling, 7 year old, God looks at my Zach and sees nothing but potential and love! I've been praying that through Zach's weakness, God's strength will be revealed in mighty ways that couldn't be accomplished if Zach were "normal".

See, God's not finished with Him yet!

And just so you know, He's not finished with you yet, either!