Monthly Archives: January 2018

Timing is everything

So when I ended Friday with the idea that I would be starting a series this week, I totally blanked that we had planned a sleepover party for the two older kiddos since no school on Monday.

Papi got the wild idea to get a hotel with access to a pool and burn off some winter house-bound energy.

And while these two were the main event for the sleepover part…

We let in a few party crashers for dinner…

swimming….

and product testing all the appliances and electronics in the room….

Now I am huddled on the edge of a bed that is being taken up by as much acreage as any six year old can possibly commandeer by spreading his legs, arms and stuffed animals out in an odd array of angels and I can hear deep breathing from Papi and some snores from Emmett a few feet away.

So the series is getting a slow start but a promise is a promise so grab your bible and start reading 1 Samuel 16 because there comes a time in every story of healing when God breaks through the funk and says…

How long are you going to grieve?

It happened for Samuel the prophet after a time of mourning over choices Saul made that left Samuel with soul baggage.

It is one thing when we have to live with the consequences of our own poor choices and regrets….quite another when someone else makes the mess that we are left to move on from.

That’s the kind of healing I want to look at in the next few days…as soon as I catch a few hours of sleep because if these yahoo’s wake up as early here as they do at home, Papi and I are sure to make the 6:00 start of the free breakfast down in the lobby…so for now….I bid you rest and peace and we will (hopefully….) launch into more of this topic on Tuesday.

Oh….and in the meantime…this happened tonight….

Graham wanted to read to me from his Bible and he asked if he could write in it.

I told him probably not but he pointed out that his mommy writes in her bible.

I explained she makes notes….

he explained that was his plan….

like mother…like daughter…like mother…like son….

you may have trouble reading his note so let me help….

“Jesus didn’t retaliate”

No.

No, He didn’t.

Thank you Graham….perfect start to the series <3

 

Why we don’t just want to patch the potholes…we need a deep healing my friends <3

I mentioned way back in October that I have a series brewing in my head and I have been trying to pull it together in a neat little packages but there were forces that  worked against me pulling that off.

And yet the theme is so strong in my life right now that I think we are going to plunge right in without a nice and tidy framework and we are going to start the new year with a look at what we do when those seasons come that rip apart everything as we knew it and leave us shell-shocked and bleeding from the schrapnel.

Our people have been wounded.

We are wounded.

And the mess is one of those Cat in the Hat kind…so big and so tall …. there is no way to fix…there is no way at all…or something to that effect with apologies to Dr. Seuss.

The other day I drove across a stretch of road that was in the process of being patched.

As I drove over loose gravel and tar patches, my tires spun and flung making the sickening sticky sound of rocky goo finding a home on the underside of the car.

I finally passed, with great relief, the road crew shoveling the muck into our ever present chain of potholes.

I know they are doing their best, but I cried out to the powers that be in the Illinois DOT …

In the name of all things holy, will you  please stop patching these holes and fix them permanently.

And even as the words escaped my lips I realized I was quite possibly crying out to a higher authority…

actually…

the Highest Authority…

because it’s time to stop patching the holes in my heart and let the healing begin.

I don’t know where we are headed with this next week…but I hope you will join me for a look at some ways God might be calling us to deal with some heart hurts His way in 2018 <3

Two quotes come to mind to leave you with…

“It’s times like this my buddy Timon says, ‘You gotta put your behind in your past.'” Pumbaa in the movie The Lion King

and perhaps a better and more spiritual form would be…

Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.                                                             Our God, Jehovah I Am, in His Word recorded in  Isaiah 43:18-19, The MSG version

 

The Yogurt Fiasco

It is a gray and rainy Thursday here and as I wrote the date in my journal, I gasped to think we are nearly halfway through January!

I am still slowly moving trim into storage and negotiating daily with the local disposal company about picking up our tree from the curb. I may need legal counsel and possibly a therapist before it is all over.

I seem to have inherited a short fuse when it comes to dealing with the marketplace and while I fight desperately to bring it all under the authority of God…my genetics and wiring often win the day.

Take for example our stop at Sam’s Club last Saturday.

We needed a few things and of course the sample ladies were out in force.

One of them offered us some Vanilla Greek Yogurt from one of those 40 oz containers. It was delicious. Over her head was a sign proclaiming the regular price of $4.98 was, for a limited time only, being discounted two dollars.

Sign. me. up.

I had just purchased a mondo case of individual greek yogurts, but since the expiration date for this deal of a lifetime was in February, I pulled one out of the case directly under an identical sign that showed the same offer.

Fast forward to Mr. Reimer and me in the self-checkout lane as I scanned our items and noted on the screen that I was only given a dollar off of this impulse purchase.

I asked the young attendant and thus began a process that I will try to briefly summarize although it surely lasted a small eternity.

She got on some walkie-talkie and tried to locate another associate in the refrigeration section whilst a fellow employee happened along pushing a cart of cardboard boxes.

He interjected that the sale was actually on a different packaging size of the yogurt and the lady who was serving samples must have grabbed the wrong container.

It was at this point that all the Lochner/Ploch genes in me kicked into gear and I simultaneously formed my mouth into the firmest straight line possible, spit out my affirmation that the sign was clearly over the 40 oz tub containers and swiped my credit card finishing the sale.

I took my receipt and the clerk’s apology with righteous indignation and then managed to rehash the entire incident for a good portion of what was left of the day to my poor husband who doesn’t even like yogurt.

Truth is – I was right. I actually went back on Monday and the same sign is still up over the same containers of yogurt. The clerks were wrong. But so was I.

I sometimes struggle with the mental and spiritual question….What would Jesus do?…in my daily life.

And frankly, I don’t think he would have had a Sam’s Club membership so it gets murky.

However, I think I could have handled the whole situation better …. this will come back on me, you know, because my husband does read this….but I could have made a couple of different choices like going back myself and looking at the sign, or saying nothing and just pay the $3.98 and move on.

Or I could have done the thing I may have repeated numerous times to my husband I wish I had done…which would have been to just politely say that I would prefer to have it removed from the bill and leave it there.

Because that would have been my honest and genuine way to react.

I had only purchased it based on the advertised price and if that was false, than I was not under obligation to purchase it.

But the key here is …. POLITELY….and that is where I struggle when I feel I am being treated unfairly.

So since I can’t muster polite, I tend to get all snippy and cranky and I’m left with yogurt I didn’t need and a bad attitude that my poor husband had to endure.

And it does cause me pause to wonder how I would handle REAL persecution if I ever faced it.

Ah well….I have not a conclusion for this except to remind me and you that we are works in progress.

We are plunked down in a community and jobs and families and a world where left to our own natural devices we can endure pain and be someone else’s pain.

What a blessed to relief to know that we don’t navigate this alone. We have One who has gone before us and was tempted in every way we are, and yet was without sin…and now advocates for you and for me as we….journey onward <3

The freedom gained when we forgive and are forgiven <3

Oh I am so thankful to be reading through the Bible again this year!

I missed it in 2017- cheated myself out of a good year in God’s Word!

Yes, I read Scripture – but honestly…just taking chunks in every day is amazing.

Do it.

Because you find nuggets that can be stored up like a treasure that is richer than gold and will feed that soul hunger that we don’t even realize we are trying to satiate in other ways.

Like today.

Today I watched Jacob pack up his large family and flocks and possession and head on back to his homeland.

Back to his father and his family.

And, oh yeah…

back to face his brother.

The one he had traded a meal for an inheritance and then stole the blessing from.

That one.

The one he had run away from to avoid death by revenge.

And now he is going to have to encounter him and face the consequences.

So he sends an outrageous amount of gifts ahead of him and lines his family up in order of who he feels he could spare the most…Rachel and his beloved Joseph at the rear…in hopes they will be able to escape unharmed should Esau and his army decide to fight.

But what a delightful surprise the Lord has worked in Esau.

Granted, his descendants will be a constant headache and heartache for the nation of Israel in the centuries to come and even to this day and til Christ returns.

However, on the road back home, the two brothers meet and Scripture records this exchange between  Esau and his younger-by-seconds brother….

Then Esau said, “What do you mean by all this company which I met? (the gifts of flocks and such that had preceded Jacob and his family on the road)

And he (Jacob) said, “These are to find favor in the sight of my lord.”

But Esau said, “I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.”

Genesis 33:8 & 9 NKJV

Imagine.

Imagine all the years that Esau had bitterly mourned the loss of his father’s blessing.

All the years he had to nurse the bitterness of his brother – AND MOTHER’S – betrayal.

And now he had Jacob, all the abundance of his gain…his wives and children…all of it…vulnerably hand-delivered to him and his four hundred men.

But something had happened.

Something took away the anger and the bitterness.

Something in him was softened and able to let go.

It had to be forgiveness.

Oh to let God do such a work in me that when I see face to face the one who’s hand worked pain and loss in my life; who seemingly stole the blessing I had thought would be mine…that I could say…you owe me nothing.

The Lord has richly blessed me.

Keep what you have.

Jacob told his brother that this being forgiven so graciously was like seeing God’s face.

This short passage touches my heart today.

Only God can work that kind of forgiveness in our wounded hearts and spirits.

And when we give Him that space and authority, others will see Him and He will receive the glory.

Blessings on you today dear ones.

Life is hard and we get hurt.

But to forgive and be forgiven is like seeing the Face of God <3

 

Of the Brits and Esau and such

So yesterday I mentioned that we started watching The Crown on Netflix. Friends told us about it over Christmas with such enthusiasm we just felt we were making a regrettable life choice by not partaking.

If you are like us before we got the memo and have not a clue what I am talking about…

(I actually have so much dental work, that I assumed it was a documentary on capping teeth, but don’t tell anyone….)

The Crown follows the story of the Royal Family beginning with the marriage of Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI, to Phillip Duke of Edinburgh.

One scene that caught my attention involved a conversation Elizabeth has with her uncle, who had abdicated the throne years before, choosing to marry a woman who was unaccepted as a wife of the King of England.

She points out that he never apologized for vacating his responsibilities.

Assuming she meant an apology to her own father for causing him to assume duties he had never wanted, he assured he did indeed apologize.

No, she says – you never apologized to me.

And then she briefly shares the high cost to her own life, to her marriage, to her husband and to her family that his choice had left her.

His choice had caused repercussions that would continue for generations.

On Monday morning, my Bible reading had me in Genesis 25, where Esau comes in from the field hungry and Jacob offers him food in exchange for his birthright.

The notes in the commentary portion shed a view of this that was new to me and reminded me of the dialogue above about how one man’s decision affected so many others life course.

Careless, and apparently disinterested in the benefits and responsibilities attendant to the birthright, Esau unknowingly forfeits his opportunity to be the one in his generation through whom the blessings promised to his grandfather Abraham would pass.” *

Ouch.

Careless.

And apparently disinterested….

in the

BENEFITS

and

RESPONSIBILITIES

that came with the birthright.

What about us?

What about me?

I have been born into a time and an area of influence with benefits and responsibilities.

And…

AND….

I have been born again…

into an inheritance of Promised Blessings.

Oh my.

These words churn deep in my spirit today.

They make me ask myself if I have been careless and disinterested in the benefits and responsibilities that come with receiving Christ and being made new in Him.

They urge me to be neither careless nor indifferent to the benefits of my salvation AND the responsibilities that accompany God calling me one of His children.

I want to take every opportunity in my generation to be one through whom God’s blessings flow.

I think of young moms and dads out there, swimming upstream in a culture gone awry.

I think of teens and tweens and young adults forging the bridge between the faith they were raised on and the place they will walk it out in the real world of school, work and relationships today.

I think of older people who are starting to wear down and wear out. Our time is drawing closer and its easy to think maybe we might just coast it on out.

Esau, we are told, came in from the fields weary.

Tired.

Exhausted.

Hungry.

We can get that way and when we do it is tempting to settle for creature comforts and forget to fight the good fight.

Let’s not do that.

Let’s you and I be known as people who seized the birthright of being born again as new creations and use our influence to call forth God’s blessings into the day ahead.

 

*From The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order, NIV, with Devotional Commentary by F. LaGard Smith; Harvest House Publishers, page 53