Many are the Plans

I suppose you’ve heard by now, but the La Tour family is growing by one, and my husband Trigg and I are expecting the sweetest, tiniest¬†bundle of joy in November. We found out recently that it’s a girl, which means in a few months this world will welcome Miss Nellie Grace La Tour! The fact that there is another life inside of me is one I’m still getting used to, but we couldn’t be more excited. And so begin the days of preparing for and dreaming about baby. ūüôā

But this post is less about the biggest thing happening in our lives right now and more about everything else. Of course Trigg graduated almost two months ago, so big changes have come¬†for him months before Nellie arrives! In May he began working full-time at RCAL Products Inc. in Prairie Grove, AR (about 25 minutes outside of Fayetteville). He’s worked there for almost three¬†years as an intern and is now transitioning to design engineer!

For the past three¬†years, Trigg has driven almost an hour every day to get to and from work, so we knew when he graduated that we’d like to move out closer to RCAL. The plan was for it to be my turn to commute, since I still have three semesters of my applied mathematics degree/Spanish minor left at the University of Arkansas.

Well, I’m excited to say we recently closed on a sweet little fixer-upper farmhouse on an acre of land, merely seven minutes from RCAL! We’ve seen God working all throughout this (very long) process, and we trust Him to continue to take care of us. Now Nellie will have a real home to come home to!

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Of course, “Many are the plans in a person‚Äôs heart,¬†but it is the¬†Lord‚Äôs purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). After much prayer, Trigg and I know it’s not God’s plan for me to raise this baby while I’m still in school. I will not be finishing my degree at the U of A. At least not any time soon! This summer and in the beginning of next fall, I will be taking classes from the Northwest Arkansas Community College in order to finish out an associate’s degree. I’m scheduled to finish by October at the latest, so school will be long gone before Nellie Grace arrives!

This has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made in my whole life. The world tells me that I need a degree to fit in. I need a degree to be an intelligent individual. I need a degree to get a job. I need a degree to be worth something. But God is teaching me to overcome my pride and trust in Him. Because raising children is not easy, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. But raising this baby is God’s plan for my life, and not finishing my degree is part of the price I need to pay to follow His calling.

So, friends and family, I seek your understanding and support in this crazy time in our lives!¬†Through all of it we are seeking God’s guidance, and through all of it we continue to receive His¬†blessings (the tiniest of which is coming in November!!).

 

Cari

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Laundry Blues

Does anyone else out there dislike having to do the laundry?

I’ve been married for almost a year now, doing the laundry on my own, and you know what I’ve noticed? The laundry never goes away. No matter how long I wait. No matter how much homework I have (or don’t have). No matter how many times I finish the laundry, the laundry always comes back. And when I finish it, it comes back again.

You know I’ve also noticed that I seem to be able to keep my home decluttered and my kitchen clean.

But laundry? No, I don’t have time for laundry. Here. Enjoy a Cari La Tour original poem I like to call “The Laundry Blues”:

When my laundry creeps out of its bin,

I tell it I’ll never give in.

Then it screams and it kicks,

and I look for a fix,

But I‚Äôm out of socks‚ÄĒlaundry wins.

Cari

Wrapping up the Summer like a CHRISTmas Present

As much as some may not like to admit it, it’s August now. The summer (but not the heat) is rolling to a stop as school is beginning (or has begun) for many. I personally go back to school a week from Monday. And as my summer internship ends and school is about to begin, I’ve been thinking a lot about¬†what God has been teaching me this summer– and what I’ve still yet to learn:

Trust and control.

A little strange, right? If you grew up in a hymn-singing Southern Baptist church like me, you’ve probably heard these lyrics a little differently:

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

Well sorry church, but this summer I changed the words. Trust and control. God, I trust you! I trust you with my marriage, my job, my finances, my future. But I still get to control them right? Like, I get to know all of the answers now? And everything will happen like I think it should? No struggling?

Nah.

I think the writer of the lyrics got it right the first time. God tells me to trust him AND give him control. And doing so will NOT make me happy, but it WILL make me happy in Jesus. The second verse of the song goes on to say that Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies, but His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, can abide while we trust and obey.

I pray that I can give God complete control.

I pray that no shadow can rise.

I pray that no doubt, fear, sigh, or tear can abide in my life. And trust me friend, that’s praying for a miracle. (Good thing my God is a God of miracles.)

That’s the happiness I want. Are you trusting the Lord today?

 

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way;
While we do His good will,
He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.

Not a shadow can rise,
Not a cloud in the skies,
But His smile quickly drives it away;
Not a doubt or a fear,
  Not a sigh or a tear,
Can abide while we trust and obey.

Not a burden we bear,
Not a sorrow we share,
But our toil He doth richly repay;
Not a grief or a loss,
Not a frown or a cross,
But is blest if we trust and obey.

But we never can prove
The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
For the favor He shows,
And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet,
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way;
What He says we will do;
Where He sends, we will go,
Never fear, only trust and obey.

Trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.

**P.S. There was your summer wrap-up, and here is your CHRISTmas present:

CHRISTmas IS COMING!!!!!!!

THIS. IS. NOT. A DRILL.

I know some of you claim to share my enthusiasm, but not until after Thanksgiving. Well that just won’t do for me. CHRISTmas only comes around once a year, so I’m going to milk it for all that it’s worth. And (speaking of God being a God of miracles) if you know what CHRISTmas is really about, then you know it’s worth a lot.

So, I haven’t decided how CHRISTmas will affect my blogs yet, but I just wanted you all to know that I’m getting ready. This will be my first CHRISTmas in my own place with my own decorations, and since Trigg and I are choosing to save money on gifts and decorations this CHRISTmas, I have no clue what that will look like. But get ready ūüėÄ

Countdown Cari¬†says………. 135 days, 5 hours, 58 minutes, and 15 seconds until¬†CHRISTmas!!!!!!!

Cari

 

W-day!!

Yeah, so, I’ve been pretty busy.

In the past month, I became a wife, left the country, came back, moved into my first home with my husband, had my first day of work at my first full-time job, and spent four days at Kids Camp.

Phew.

In all honesty, I can’t tell you (everyone) who was at my wedding…or even what it looked like. I remember walking out at the top of the hill (I walked down a hill instead of an aisle), looking down, and seeing over 250 people who care about me. In fact, many were standing for me. Not because I was the bride (though they did all eventually stand for that reason), but because there were not enough seats, and that didn’t matter.

And I can’t tell you what it looked like because flowers, decorations, food, and tables, etc., were all¬†taken care of by an amazing group of people I get to call my family. Talk about love.¬†Thank you to all of you for being so helpful, loving, and supportive through it all. All weekend I was shown over and over how much my friends and family love me. And then Saturday morning I got to show Trigg how much I love him! Yay!

Trigg managed to keep our honeymoon destination a surprise to me. Sunday morning, Trigg and I had our first flight at 6 am. By around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, we landed on the beautiful island of St. Lucia, in the West Indies! All week I saw some of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in my life.

The first resort we stayed at, Ladera, only had 3 walls. You heard me right– 3 walls! And the room wasn’t shaped like a triangle. The fourth wall was open to a spectacular view of St. Lucia’s twin mountains, the Pitons. Check out this picture I took of the view:

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Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about.

We stayed at Ladera for two nights. While we were in the vicinity, we took in the beautiful views, explored a drive-in volcano, and visited a warm-water waterfall!

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We spent the rest of our stay at the Sandals Halcyon of Castries. There, we swam in the Caribbean, sailed our own Hobie Catamaran sailboat, snorkeled, made our own chocolate bars, had a mud bath, read a book together, and drank lots of coffee. Overall, the week was beautiful, restful, and an absolute blast with my husband.

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We left St. Lucia on Sunday, flew to Atlanta, and stayed the night in an airport hotel. The next day was super great, as we woke up leisurely, headed to the airport for a fantastic breakfast of bagels and coffee at Einstein’s, and boarded the plane for home.

After a sweet week away, it was so exciting to finally be together in our very own place. I started my job the next day (and I LOVE it!), and we’ve been busy ever since.

Just in my first four weeks of marriage, Jesus has been speaking to me in so many ways. He’s spoken to me through the love and selflessness of my husband. He’s spoken to me through all of the staff at Cross Church Fayetteville. He even spoke to me a couple of weeks ago¬†at Kids Camp! Trigg and I both were counselors, Trigg for second grade boys and myself for second grade girls, and we both agree that Kids Camp was an amazing opportunity to invest in the lives of some precious children.

I’m so thankful that God chooses to work through me, and I praise Him for His unfailing love and continuing grace.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.            2 Peter 1:2

-Cari

Hey guys!! If you weren’t able to attend the wedding, check out our wedding video here!

**UPDATE** Our wedding pictures are in! To see our gallery, click here!

The Twelve Day Mark

As I am 12 days away from being a wife, God has been working in my life tremendously. It’s still not real to me that I’m getting married next Saturday. But, as I have been talking about marriage with Trigg and a few married couples in our lives, God has been working on my heart, and I am forever thankful.

As I mentioned in my About Me¬†section (check it out if you haven’t already!), this summer I will be working full-time as the children’s ministry summer intern at Cross Church Fayetteville. This means I get to help prepare for and attend Kids Camp and VBX, and I get to be a part of the preparations and planning for Awana in the fall. I get to make sure classrooms are ready for Sunday during the week, and I get to spend lots of time with the little ones at the end of the week. I couldn’t be more excited about this door God has opened in my life!

This past Thursday, I met with Jill, the Director of Children’s and Preschool Ministries at Cross Church Fayetteville. I’ll be working under Jill all summer, and since I’m going to miss the intern orientation (for my honeymoon ūüôā ) I wanted to meet to talk more about my job. And may I just say I am so glad I did!

It was amazing to hear Jill’s heart for the kiddos and to spend time talking about tentative plans and ideas for this summer. But, I didn’t realize going into this meeting that God would use Jill¬†not only to prepare me for my upcoming internship, but also to prepare me for my upcoming marriage.

Jill and I talked a little about the wedding and honeymoon, and I shared a lot of our plans. We moved into conversation about her own marriage, and I learned that she and her husband have been married for 15 years. As a sister in Christ, she told me that her marriage has been sanctifying.

Sanctifying.

And I think about all of the conversations I’ve had lately about the struggles of marriage and the imperfections. The hardships and the arguments. Don’t get me wrong– I know marriage will be the best experience of my life. I know that through Jesus we will overcome every obstacle. And Trigg will always be by my side!

But I’ve also had lies in my heart telling me that I will never be good enough. I’ve been worried about how I will treat Trigg in our marriage, after the wedding…even on our honeymoon. Just in the short three years and four months that we’ve been together, I’ve seen myself say nasty things to tear him down. I’ve seen myself be selfish and self-serving. And I know that’s my flesh. That’s me. Without Jesus, I am nasty, selfish, and self-serving. I am dust.

But Jesus makes beautiful things out of the dust.

And that was my reminder from God through Jill. I am not perfect, and marrying Trigg will not make me perfect. I will still make mistakes. But I don’t have to be worried about my imperfections because¬†I have faith that my marriage will be sanctifying. Jesus will use my marriage to teach me about my imperfections and make me more like Him. I will experience the most spiritual growth in the valleys of life, and ultimately I will be made more holy.

Ephesians 2:1-5¬† ¬†As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,¬†2¬†in which you used to live¬†when you followed the ways of this world¬†and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,¬†the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.¬†3¬†All of us also lived among them at one time,¬†gratifying the cravings of our flesh¬†and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.¬†4¬†But because of his great love for us,¬†God, who is rich in mercy,¬†5¬†made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions‚ÄĒit is by grace you have been saved.

Though I have given in to¬†the cravings of my flesh and followed its desires, Jesus has saved me from the wrath I deserve–¬†because of His great love for me.¬†I am learning to be confident in my identify in Christ,¬†and I am also learning through faith and God’s Word that my upcoming marriage will bring me ever closer to the¬†King of Kings.

And that’s something to be excited about!

Cari