Monthly Archives: September 2017

Wrapping it up for the last weekend of September <3

It’s been a full week.

The Lord has laid some good stuff on my heart to share and you all have shown me that He touched you through the words He typed through these well-caffeinated hands.

So this morning, I’m ending it all with a short list of randoms…

in no particular order….

<3 We were blessed to be invited to see Greg Laurie’s documentary on Steve McQueen and his faith conversion near the end of his short life.

It is an interesting look at both this actor and the times he lived in.

It definitely makes the point…

we all need Jesus and, when we receive Him, He changes and transforms us and we want others to know about him.

It’s interesting that although he died before he thought he could share Jesus with the world, someone else has carried the message he longed to share.

He was a sinner saved by grace and it made all the difference.

If you have a chance to go see it…do it.

<3 We stopped for a quick bite before the movie and this was the number they gave us for our order.

I had the hilarious thought to post this on Instagram and Facebook and say…

“OK. Who told Culver’s how old I am?”

and could barely type for laughing.

Later I saw a comment by a sweet friend who  said she knows twins who had same number…did same thing…

proving once again that we are not as original and clever and unique as we might suspect…

hmmmm.

<3 Starting a new study and pretty excited to get back into the discipline of using a workbook and watching videos.

Kelly Minter’s All Things New…

and if you have never done one of her studies…

I highly recommend any and all of them.

She’s got a fresh and honest and deep way of looking at Scripture…

with a dose of funny that will make you feel like she could be one of your best friends.

<3 This one….is rolling all over the place.

And I don’t mean the lovely lady on the left…I mean our Sweet Caroline…and seriously…she needs to stop it.

Because they are all growing up too fast.

And while I am on the subject, I get to experience a little bit of the circus that is herding three energetic boys, while hauling a carrier the size of a small suitcase in one hand and various bags of maintenance equipment in the other to attend swim lessons on Thursdays and can I just give a general shout out and ask you all…

if you see a parent with more than two children…could you maybe refrain from the slack-jawed stare and the comments about how they have their hands full.

And yes…

they know how they got them.

You might also want to suppress your curiosity about if they are all of the same genetic mix.

Maybe you could just smile really warmly and say something affirming like….

Good Job mom….dad…stressed-out-Lola-person…

What a sweet parade you have going there…

You have a beautiful family…

just a thought.

and finally….

<3 I get to go to a conference next week.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to absorb and learn and I am excited for what God has for us all as you share the journey with me.

So depending on how all of that goes and how inspired I feel…I may check in with you or it may be a little break…but you will be on my mind and in my heart <3

so…

until we me again..

may the Lord watch over each of us and guide us…fitting us for His Kingdom and ever shining His beauty through these jars of clay <3

 

 

Of balloons and tears and such <3

 

I have had this thought to share with you brewing for a few weeks and just being honest…I am not sure yet what God might say to us. I have no ending, concluding lesson or point as I start to share it.

It may be God will reveal it as we go, or it may just be a story I feel the need to share so with a prayer and another sip of coffee…here we go.

A couple of weeks ago, I went up to help Rachel with the kiddos. I am fuzzy on the details of why, but I know Rachel and Graham had something in the afternoon so I manned the fort with the three younger ones.

She texted me before heading home and asked if she had time to run to the grocery for a few things.

Caroline was sleeping and the boys were occupied so I gave her the thumbs up.

A short time later, the door from the garage opened and as mommy pushed white plastic bags of goods into the hallway, Graham entered with two balloons on sticks. A treat from the store that apparently the boys look forward to on such trips.

He had selected his favorite color, orange, for himself and brought a red one for Emmett. I said something about how that was thoughtful of him to remember his little brother, who for whatever reason promptly rejected the offering.

I am not sure how the transaction went down, but in the process Graham’s balloon got detached from the stick and as he tried to juggle these balloons and sticks and why Emmett turned his gift down…his balloon fell to the floor and in a burst of emotion he kicked it and it popped.

For the next few seconds, I had a front row seat to the heart struggle of a tired and dejected little fellow’s face as he contemplated his next move.

This is not my first rodeo with these two developing personalities and I had a strong feeling it was going to escalate into a retaliation that Mr. Happy-go-lucky Emmett had no idea was on the horizon.

So I did what grandma’s do, and I called Graham over to me to decompress.

I pulled him up into my arms and I attempted to put into words what I thought he might be feeling.

Small nods of his head indicated I was tapping into his heart.

I told him that I knew he was trying to do a good thing to bring an extra balloon home since Emmett didn’t go with them and that I noticed he had selected Emmett’s favorite color.

I spoke words of understanding at how it hurts when we do something nice and it isn’t appreciated or received and then how it felt so unfair that his own balloon was now lost. And how reacting in anger had turned a nice thing into a sad thing.

And as I held his little body close, tightened in a knot of self-righteous anger, I suddenly found myself crying…of all the crazy things.

I realized that I was speaking to myself as much as him and I needed the same kind of comfort I was extending.

Being older does afford us some measure of life wisdom, but inside we still have pockets of hurts and regrets that have never aged beyond our first grade selves.

Places where we learned that there are no formulas of behavior that will shield us from pain in dealing with others.

Times when we caused our own heartache by the way we reacted to someone else’s rejection of us.

So out of some depth of old sadness buried deep in me that I could not have identified to you right up to when the balloon burst, the tears flowed as I rocked this little guy that rocked our world over six years ago and stirred a love in me that sometimes overwhelms me.

And in that moment, I had a surreal picture of God holding me while I held Graham.

God, my Abba Father, holding me and rocking me while I comforted this little guy in my arms.

No guilt.

No condemnation.

Just love and grace and mercy.

And now we are at the end of my story today,

I have no thoughts or lesson or point to share except to say that we belong to and serve and worship a very personal and loving God.

He holds us accountable and rightfully so.

But His love overcomes our sins and our regrets, our sorrows and our pains. He pours into the places that are hurting deep within us if we will just climb into His arms and let Him tell us sort out our feelings and thoughts and sorrow.

I pray you know His embrace today where you need it the most.

You are loved by Him.

Have a blessed day <3

Me? Distracted?

I have enjoyed two solid days of just basically hanging around our house doing catch ups on cleaning and laundry while taking much needed time to work through thoughts and articles and devotions I got behind on with our travels last weekend.

And if there is anything I love more than reading from the writings of A.W. Tozer each morning, it’s reading a whole bunch of them at one time and really absorbing what he has to say.

Since he died in 1963, his writings obviously cover a time that we have rapidly zoomed past. As in, anything that happened before I started kindergarten at the ripe age of five years old.

Sometimes we wax poetic with rose colored glasses about those times as if troubles didn’t exist, but the ugly we see today was there just the same.

Not as intense. Not as prevalent maybe.

But very much there.

Quieter, hidden, accepted as the norm sometimes and just not talked about if it didn’t fit in with the general atmosphere of the times.

Racial hatred, violations of children, sick relationships, broken families, addictions, idolatry and immorality; all manner of sin conditions have been a part of this world since Adam and Eve made the first choice to take the bait that hisses….

“Did God really say you couldn’t do that? Oh, you can…He was holding out on  you….go ahead…do it your way. He knows if you do, you will be just like Him and know everything He knows. You’re smarter than that, right? Just do it….”

And so all creation is marred and each one of us steps into that mess with our own prone-to-wander feet.

So Tozer may have written these words before I was born, but they apply today because they are truth….

“Among the enemies to devotion none is so harmful as distractions. Whatever excites the curiosity, scatters the thoughts, disquiets the heart, absorbs the interests or shifts our focus from the Kingdom of God within us to the world around us – that is a distraction; and the world is full of them.” A. W. Tozer from The Set of the Sail

Or as I journaled it…

Because A. W. may have been distracted by less high tech gadgets, but this is what pulls my eyes off of God and His Kingdom.

And no, I can’t bury my head in the sand and expect to be relevant.

Tozer and others who have followed hard after the teachings of Jesus know that we are IN the world but not OF the world.

We have to live out there and live visible, viable Christ-centered lives so we must be aware of the times we live in, but his point is valid.

I can’t spend the majority of my time checking up on what everyone is posting on Facebook and meditating on the lovely photoshoots of Fall clothes and decor and recipes offered on Pinterest, checking my phone every two minutes to see what people are saying about the latest political gaff and binge watching some television series off Hulu and be a Spirit-filled influence in the sphere in which God has placed me.

And believe me, I am not criticizing you…I can waste HOURS googling nonsense…so my toes were stepped on before I ever started writing you this morning.

PC/Rachel Maxwell <3

As we look at what Tozer writes is the answer to all of this, it is the same answer we have had since the first family on earth hid behind a tree.

God is looking to walk with us and talk with us and lead us in right paths.

He provided a way, the Only Way, to restore us to fellowship with Him.

So that each day, when we do answer texts and read the news and encounter people, we have godly insight to offer and we have our perspective based on God’s perspective of life here on planet Earth.

Tozer says the opposite of being distracted away from devotion to God is the same thing it has always been…

Be still…cease for a while and just sit in His Presence…and know…know Him…gain head knowledge and heart knowledge and soul knowledge of HIM… Psalm 46:10

through…

prayer…

mediation on His Word (the Bible, people…the Bible is His written WORD)

cultivation of the inner life.

Not the little-g god of your inner life…but cultivating the deep places inside of you where God Almighty has made His home, if you are a believer.

And if you are not…oh dear one, do not waste another moment of your life living your way…begin to pray now that He would reveal Himself to you and that you could be restored to relationship with Him through the confession of faith.*

This cultivating of the inner life is truly one of the greatest gifts of grace…freely given by God…and yet we must do our part to grow in Him.

We have to create an environment that encourages our spiritual growth…

Tozer points out that the opposite of living distracted is found in developing certain habits that include:

<3 filling our minds with God’s Word through reading, memorization, meditation and application of Scripture

<3 choosing to walk in the Spirit – yielding ourselves to the Lord in our daily lives and interactions

<3 choosing a life of simplicity and being proactive in wanting less material things

<3 praise

Just like our journey through 2 Chronicles last week.

We find victory by letting praise lead the way into every battle against those things that would pull us away from purer devotion to our God.

Good stuff…as we say these days.

I know I was convicted by the disproportion of time I allot to being still and knowing versus being plugged in and informed.

God bless you all today in all that you do.

*I can’t pass on the opportunity to share that if you have never received Christ as your Savior and made Him the Lord of your life, today ….right now…is as good a day as any. In fact it is the BEST DAY EVER.

While this is not exactly one of the finest “altar calls” known to man, I have stumbled through what I would say to you and written if from my heart this morning. Billy Graham, I am not…but from me to you…

It can be done right where you are or with someone who is a trusted believer. If you know that you are separated from God because of your humanity, begin by acknowledging out loud that you are a sinner – born into a sinful world and sinful in nature. Confess that you have no way to save yourself and that you believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to earth in human form, lived a sinless life and yet, suffered and died the death you deserved as payment to God to justify your sins and the sins of the whole world. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that He also rose from the dead, victorious over both sin and the grave and that He ascended into Heaven. That He is the perfect sacrifice for all of your sin and that by receiving Him into your heart, you are forgiven in the eyes of God. Justified by His death and covered in His righteousness. Surrender the control of your life into His nail-scarred hands and proclaim Him LORD over your life and then walk forward today in that new life, cultivating a lifestyle devoted to Him and to His teachings, with praise. When you receive Christ as your Lord and Savior, the Word assures us that He places His Spirit inside of you and then He seals you as His. Once you receive Him, you will want to be baptized as an outward sign of the new life you have been given through Him <3 

When she called it “organic” I may have raised my hands in praise <3

I’ve been doing this little blog thing for three  years and fifty-one weeks now.

At first I just wrote in my journals, but Russ said I should put it out there where people could read it.

So I started an email that went out once a week.

And people liked it and told other people about it, and asked if I was going to put those thoughts down in a book.

When I looked into how exactly someone does such a thing, I found out that to write a book you need to have a group of people available who might actually want to read it.

So I started the blog…and told four people and prayed to God that we could just keep it small on account of the internet scares the bejeebers out of me.

He pointed out some things about trusting Him and we worked on that for a while.

As He has slowly pried my fingers off of the good work He began in me, I have moved on to a Facebook page for this little place we call Journey Onward.

I have learned a couple of things about operating a website…enough to know I have no idea on God’s green earth what I am doing with the technology side.

But one thing I feel certain I have maintained was the ambiance I hoped to create here on this little piece of the worldwide web.

My hope at the start and my prayer as I continue is that if you were to be able to stop by the Reimer’s kitchen table around 6:30 A.M. on any given day of the week, and I were to lift my mascara-from-yesterday misty eyes up from my notebook and pour you and me a cup of coffee and tell you what was on my mind…well that’s what I give you Monday through Friday.

 

Sometimes it’s a deeper thought.

Sometimes it’s my version of the old “family vacation slide show at the neighbor’s house” that I grew up loving.

Sometimes it’s something weighing on my heart where the things are hard out there in the world or maybe just close to home.

Sometimes it makes us laugh.

Sometimes it makes us cry.

And lots of times it does both at the same time.

Cause that’s life and that’s me.

So when I was visiting with an energetic young woman who also is finding a place to share her God-voice on the internet, and she said my blog was “organic”…

I was like….

WWWWWHHHHHAAAATTTTTT???????

I thought I was just kind of all over the place random.

So look at me…I somehow managed to find my niche.

Which is why you don’t get recipes or health advice, you don’t get lifestyle suggestions or decorating tips.

You just get…

organic me.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post…and yes…I do have one…

and you will just have to judge if it is silly or serious.

But since we moved in here two days before Christmas, I have been faithfully sorting the recycling and the trash into separate containers.

I literally wash multiple empty bottles, cans and such daily to put in the bin and hound guests with signs and warnings to not throw away plastics in our garbage can.

This morning I happened to be out when the truck picked up said recycling…his claw like gizmo stretched out, grasped the brown bin and dumped it in his truck.

Then this nice young man exited his vehicle, picked up our little blue plastic container and dumped the contents of white trash bags in on top.

I frantically waved him to stop and told him that was the garbage.

Yep, he said.

He picks it up every week.

Just like that.

One canister with the go-go gadget thing and one by hand.

Somehow the communication wires got crossed when I set up the system and what I thought was a recycling bin (since I was told by the gal who set us up 9 months ago that the owners had a recycling container, could we just use theirs? Sure, I said….) is actually a trash can.

For all this time, we have kept some of our trash in mint condition only to have it thrown in with the rest of the nasty bagged stuff and hauled off to the dump.

 

Oh my friends…there might be a lesson there…but for now all I feel is deep sorrow and no small amount of frustration over it all.

What we have done can not be undone, but we can move forward now knowing the truth and begin doing the right thing in the right way.

Hmmm….perhaps we can apply that little lesson to some other activities, thought patterns and behaviors that need to be evaluated….

I will leave that to you and the One who made you.

Meanwhile…have a great Tuesday and I will see you tomorrow <3

 

 

 

That time Russ asked me to Homecoming…

Well…

it took 40 years but the guy I have a crush on asked me to Homecoming this year…

Yes we climbed in the car early Friday morning and made a road trip back to where it all began…so here’s the highlights of Homecoming Road Trip 2017….

First stop was for breakfast because…

we can’t get enough of them…and I don’t mean the donuts…

We basically overdosed on sweetness…

before heading to the grocery because…

we thought she might like some help.

And our apologies to all the customers and employees at Sam’s Club that morning…

but “quiet” is not in our vocabulary….

From there we headed westward down the highway with a few thousand semi’s and decided since we were already going to miss the pre-game festivities we may as well have a side tour of the Amana Colonies.

And when in the Amana’s…

one must…

ahh…sehr guts essen!

We did make it to the game in spite of all the carbs and salt…

where we fine-dined on the cuisine of Friday Night Lights…

and then I realized that I weigh as much or more as the opposing team front line…

So while Russ visited with class mates, I kept scanning out players to see what I would look like if I was 6 feet tall.

It was slightly depressing.

The next day we traveled through the little towns where the generations of Russ’s family called home and let me tell you…

it truly is some of the most beautiful country to behold.

We traveled up the road his sweet mom took to go to school via horseback…

and we may have lingered a little while there just thinking of her <3

Then it was on to a family reunion of some of the cousins from her side of the family…

and there was no small amount of stories and memories shared around that circle…

Then it was off to get ready for the big alumni dinner…

and more stories.

Funny how we have the need to go back sometimes and just see the people and places of our past.

To share a few memories and put something solid and tangible to the parts of our childhood and youth.

To remember who we were and how it connects to who we are.

It was fun and exhausting and delicious and now we are home.

So today is catch up day…thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a happy Monday <3