Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Testimony Tuesday - Meet Cari

Today's testimony comes from Cari Trotter.  I met Cari through my friend Maegan (the crazy one who stood in line with me to meet the Pioneer Woman.)  Maegan is our youth minister's wife and every year puts on a retreat for the high school girls in our church called "String of Pearls".  I help "loosely" with this every year and it's so great.  Cari grew up with Maegan and has been the speaker for the retreat for the last few years.  Cari is a GIFTED speaker and has a huge heart for the Lord.  If your women's group or youth group ever need a speaker - she would be a great one!  She's just a kind, down to earth, beautiful inside and out girl who I'm thankful to know!

I feel so blessed to be found a part of the Testimonial Tuesday ladies of Kelly’s blog.  What a gift she is to the blogging community, and on a greater scale the believing community….such a gifted connector of friends and faith.  I jumped {would have tackled her had she not been 5 hours away} at the chance to join you sweet readers here today.

My name is Cari Trotter.  I am a football coach’s wife, aka “My Coach Man” and the momma to three sharp arrows: Cade Everett, Ainsley Belle, and Shelby Kate.  I’m proud to be born and bred Oklahoma strong.  I am blessed to be a part of a beautiful family of faith and a legacy of Christ Followers.  
There are a million different ways God’s heart called out to me when I was young and when I was 8 I decided to make Him Lord of my life.  That decision shaped the entire landscape of my life.  After high school I went on to pursue a degree of Apparel Design and Merchandising at Oklahoma State University.  I soaked in the glow of college life and adored every minute on campus.  My semesters were filled with sorority fun and memories, and my summers were spent working on the leadership staff at Kanakuk, a Christian athletic camp outside Branson.  Those years God began to forge in me a heart to proclaim His Truth and using my passion to encourage and equip through God’s Word.  College was the place I fell in love with great Bible teachers like Beth Moore, Brennan Manning, C.S. Lewis, and Charles Spurgeon.  Those years struck a match down in my soul.  They also launched my learning into a lifestyle of loving others to Jesus.  

Just as college was ending I met and fell in love with “My Coach Man”.  It started with a boy driving by me in a dock truck at Kamp to a marriage proposal aboard a Southwest flight and celebrating 11 years of marriage on Saturday of this week!  It begs another post sometime for all the juicy love story details, but I think we have every bit of a “Notebook” kind of love. He still makes me laugh and he still tells me he loves my blue eyes.   It is real and some days are hard, but because of that we love each other more every day.  It is a lifetime role to be a coach’s wife, as Toby pursues a career of influence in college football.  It’s a calling, lifestyle, and culture, and we do it together.  We do it as a tribe.  The Trotter tribe rolls hard!

Myself and my ministry are still in the process of becoming all of that which God desires.  Both started a million miles ago in the writing space of an eleven year old girls’ journal spilled over her white comforter on top of her four poster bed.   It was there I began articulating and responding to the Lord.  This passion for finding full freedom in Christ and learning to love His Word was hammered and nailed in quiet places of the heart.  I was woven together when no one was watching and no one cared in secret places, behind closed doors.
My passion to reach others with the love of Jesus has come about in a sequence of compounded experiences not unlike Jon Grogan’s retelling of his days in “Marlie and Me:”  
Went to college.  Loved it.  Met a boy.  Got married.  Became a college coach’s wife.  Learned a lot. Chatted over coffee with friends.  Ran a marathon.  Invited hurting women into my home.  Had my first arrow, Cade.  Hosted Bible study in my neighborhood.   Learned to love harder.  Learned to give bigger.  Experienced real pain.  Overcame.  Experienced real joy.   Had my second arrow Ainsley.    Started a family blog.   Began speaking at community events.  Wrote a book.  Had my third arrow Shelby.   Started speaking at regional events.   Sponsored a boy from Haiti.  Flew to Haiti to meet him.  Sponsored two other babies from Haiti and Dominican.  Probably going to meet them.  Praying a lot.  Speaking alot.  Writing a lot.    Loving even harder.  Believing even bigger.  Praying a lot God grows my influence day upon day.  Praying for you.  Praying God works through me to encourage you some day.  Praying God does a work in your life.  Praying you overcome.  

I live a very real life, with real problems and real needs.  Finding a Real Savior is paramount.  Negotiating the faith to belief that Jesus is miraculously at work in my life means everything to Kingdom purposes.  I do so hope that you will connect with me and with the ministry online at www.caritrotter.com – life and faith are better done together!  I am always praying for new communities, new states, new churches, to experience and encourage to live beautifully brave lives of faith.
Love and Blessings be yours!
*I will be recording a live Bible study at the Harn Homestead in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  It will be a FREE event for anyone that registers online, but spots are limited.  You can still register at www.caritrotter.com  

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