Monthly Archives: May 2016

And this is how summer started…

With the observance of Memorial Day…

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Summer 2016 has officially started.

So as I…

(predictably and characteristically)…

officially drag my feet  to move into three months that will travel at the speed of light and be over before I can even figure out where all my sleeveless tops are…

Here is a recap of how we kicked it off this weekend…

We took advantage of the long weekend to go check on this fellow…

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and found him to be up for a little road trip.

So we did what all good citizens do when visiting a small town in Iowa on Memorial Day weekend.

We piled in the car…

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briefly wishing we had brought the one without carseats…

and headed out to visit the cemetery.

It was tender for all as this was our first visit since Russ’s dear mom was added to the large area filled with Rossman’s and Reimer’s.

But God is so good and as we were all feeling that fresh grief that comes when you realize how much you miss someone’s presence on planet earth, we saw …

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Russ’s young second cousin and his family who realized they were the only ones around to decorate dad’s brother’s grave this year…so

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they brought their little one and flags and flowers and were tending his grandparent’s grave in honor of their family.

And you know… there is just something sweet about a young couple bringing their little one out and remembering.

I think that’s small town USA…they do make it a point to remember..

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Like this little cemetery in Adair where there were so many flags and so many cars today…

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in honor of those who have died in service to our nation.

And it touches the heart in a deep place to see the flags and the cars lining the highway and every lane of the cemetery out of respect for each of them <3

Summer also starts for us with a couple of special birthdays.

So on the way home we made a stop for…

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and…

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And I honestly love how they both take so much time to open their cards first and look at them, which I think they learned from their daddy…

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because I have yet to see him open a gift in all the years we have known him that he doesn’t first read every word of the card and then pause to look into the eyes of the giver and say “thank you” <3

So that’s our summer start…

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all in all…

IMG_2078Best….day….ever <3

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…drool and all       <3

 

Remembering <3

Because my dad bled red, white and blue…

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patriotism runs deep, and it doesn’t take much to make this military kid shed tears.

Every ball game where teams line the edge of the field or court

every cap that comes off every head in the stadium or arena

every hand over every heart

and I am a puddle of tears.

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So tonight as we watched the tribute to those who serve, have served or died serving our country that was held in the nation’s capitol, I had to keep tissues supplied.

A portion of the event featured the songs for each branch of the military as the camera panned the crowd.

Individuals who served stood when their song was played.

I remembered a concert for Veterans Day in 2001 held in Eisenhower High School’s auditorium with a similar tribute.

A very tender Veteran’s Day that year to be sure.

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And at that concert..

our daughter was part of the choir and her Grandpa Lochner proudly stood as they sang the song for the United States Air Force…

tears streaming down his face…

my face…

her face…

What can I say?

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It’s genetic.

There are many voices and talents far more eloquent than mine who have given lovely and poignant tributes to those who served.

I am so thankful to each one who beautifully expresses our gratitude…

for each one who advocates for the care and healing of veterans and their families and for those who have lost loved ones who gave their lives for our country.

Not just on one day do they deserve our respect and support and prayers, but every day <3

 

 

The really sad part about dismissing the Bible

So yesterday a certain, soon-to-be five year old, had his last day of preschool.

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And while he may have had a little trouble remembering to follow directions…

and felt he didn’t need a nap even though his mommy and his Lola voted  yes…

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last days need to be celebrated and we are people of grace.

And we learned grace by receiving GRACE.

Life is hard…

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We have questions…

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and often we feel alone.

People, even and especially Christian people, will let us down.

And all of that is found in the pages of God’s Word….the whole blessed story…and I think of the words of a song I learned as a child…

Jesus LOVES me…this I know…

For the Bible TELLS me so…

Every word of God’s Word points to His love for us…

photo credit Rachel Maxwell
photo credit Rachel Maxwell

So when I hear the mocking…

and the discrediting…

and the condescension..

that the wisdom of this age has to offer…

I weep for the loss of anyone who would dismiss the story of His Redeeming LOVE <3

photo credit: my very own Russ Reimer <3
photo credit: my very own Russ Reimer <3

Jesus loves US…this we know…for the Bible tells us so.

Be encouraged today as you share the story of His Redeeming LOVE

as we…

Journey Onward <3

Take me out to the ballgame…

Last Saturday we enjoyed a beautiful day at the Cardinal game in St. Louis.

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It was one of those bonus days where the first 30,000 people got a pullover.

We were downtown for lunch anyway so decided to hop in line about 45 minutes before the gates opened, grab our shirts and then do some sight-seeing.

The line we chose was fairly short and gated from the sidewalk by a plastic fence.

This is where we met Rodney, the most diligent ballpark employee we have encountered in all the years of attending games at Busch Stadium.

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As we stood in our line, many a hapless group of sports fans would wander up through the neatly formed lines working their way up what they thought was a thoroughfare, only to be hailed by Rodney.

He would call out to them and ask if they were just passing through and when they nodded yes, he would make an opening in the gate and wave them out to the sidewalk.

He would then urge them to remember the rules if they come back to another game so he wouldn’t have to fuss at them.

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Then there were the brave and clueless who were on the other side of the gate and dared to attempt to move the barricade themselves and join the lines that had had already formed.

These were greeted by a more stern Rodney, who would tell them he would have let them in if they had asked, but now they needed to go all the way to the end and get in the line that was forming down the way.

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He did this tirelessly and with a steady demeanor that never escalated into anything beyond:

  • correcting those in error
  • apologizing if he seemed mean
  • explaining it wasn’t fair to all of us who had been standing in line for others to cut in
  • shaking his head sadly and expressing his desire that all the gatekeepers would do their job correctly at every checkpoint around the stadium

At one point, a lady in shorts and a Cardinal t-shirt, with a purse over her shoulder and fan beads around her neck, took up Rodney’s position.

Rodney must have deputized her because she began to open the gate for the right people and usher the wanderers out while Rodney stepped away to help someone with ticket issues.

When I told her she was doing a good job, she said she was happy to help him out.

Apparently she only comes to the area he is working because he looks out for those who have been waiting in line and runs a tight ship.

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I don’t know if Rodney is a believer but I would bet my free, and rather cheaply constructed, new XL Cardinal pullover that he is.

He was diligent but showed grace.

He was firm but kind.

And he is consistent in his efforts, week in and week out as evidenced by his reputation.

And isn’t that what a believer in the workplace is supposed to look like.

Whatever your job is today, do it with integrity…diligence…kindness…patience…honor.

You never know who is watching.

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Your work ethic may be your loudest testimony    <3

Well ouch….

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If you didn’t know us back in 2003, we gained the care of my mom, dad and aunt in one fell swoop.

My mom had completely collapsed from caring for dad, who was deep into Alzheimer, and my aunt, who was deep into dementia.

There is a difference.

Believe me.

We learned a lot…but today’s little lesson is about how we need to deal with our emotional JUNK…

because we can stuff it down for years but let me tell you…

when the brain does a nosedive…

all the issues we thought we “dealt with” surface.

And the shrapnel ….

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hits the innocent and it isn’t pretty.

One of the recurring stories my aunt shared with us could most likely be quoted verbatim by our children to this day.

It involved an incident that had happened some forty years prior in which my mom and dad were driving away from the curb in front of my grandma’s house.

Apparently my mother was wearing a fur stole purchased by her husband. As the car pulled away, she turned slightly toward the house and waved over the shoulder of this luxurious garment.

And that moment was etched in my dear aunt’s mind as the epitome of my mother’s spoiled and selfish ways.

Now please hear me…both my aunt and my  mom were godly women who loved the Lord and had plenty of both strengths and shortcomings to accompany what their walk looked like.

They also loved each other deeply and there was great evidence of kindness extended on both sides.

But that incident had dug a little pit in my aunt…

my aunt who had remained home to care for aging parents while my mom married and had children…

my aunt who, in her right mind, knew that both mom and she had walked through their fair share of ups and downs on the path life took them…

my aunt who, in reality, would have chosen her life over mom’s in a heartbeat…

carried that pain with her all through the years from the afternoon that her baby sister drove off with a wave and left her feeling left out.

Ocean Shores WA and believe me, about 5 miles east of this is bright sunshine....

As our children could all tell you, the story ended each time with Lizzie shaking her head and saying with great disgust….”Your mom. She HAS to be FIRST!”

So this morning as I went to write a lengthy lament in my journal about some hurt feelings I am experiencing, imagine my surprise at what poured from my pen.

As I documented my “feelings” to the Lord on paper about a recurring struggle I have, I asked Him to help me sort through the levels.

I wish He answered all my prayers this quickly and efficiently…because my very next thought was this…

“Probably the root of all of this is my own insecurity and need to be #1”.

Hence the title of today’s post…

because…

ouch.

So from there my journaling moved to a dismissal of all the venting I had planned to do, and we dealt with those two issues in ME.

As far as insecurity:

I am Your child. Not Your only child – but Your only child like me. You made me unique and You called me out of darkness. You fill me with Your Spirit to be Your hands and feet right where I am … with Your voice…to reach those You send my way today. You do this for everyone who loves You and is called according to Your purpose. 

As far as the felt need to be #1:

You are #1. No one else can have that spot. Not me. Not anyone. When I put myself or anyone else as even remotely TRYING to be #1, I am practicing idolatry which is a hateful thing to You. 

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And then I do believe the Lord laughed with Joy as my eyes fell on the pages of the Bible I had randomly opened next to my notebook…

James 4…with the Italicized heading…

Pride promotes strife

followed by a section entitled…

Humility cures worldliness

If you think God doesn’t have a sense of humor to go along with His grace, you really need to spend more time with Him.

So this morning I am so thankful for the One who made me … knows me…called me…to walk so intimately and patiently WITH me as I….along with all of YOU…yes, as we…

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Journey Onward <3