Five randoms and then it’s off to the races because it’s fRiDaY…YAY!!!!

www.laurareimer.net

1….if you all prayed for God to send me help with the website…well Praise Him! He did! So thank you, thank you and don’t stop.

A ray of sunshine and hope dropped by yesterday in the shape of a talented young woman named Robin.

Thankfully my chameleons and fake nest didn’t frighten her away from the front door…because she sat with me on this side of the screen and in a short while made a big difference in my life.

As we all may have suspected…most of my problems with maintenance of this site were operator based…

including the fact that I seem to have broken a new record for data storage on account of pixel ignorance. Yes, yes..once again my love of all things photographic and ignorance of all things digital have taken up a vast portion of space.

Who knew?

But all of that is going to change and my anxiety level over the tech part of this site decreased considerably.

Which leads us to ….

2. My battle after she left with alternating between moments of uncontrollable, adrenaline fueled mania and a stream of negative self-talk as to how could someone be so ignorant and yet plunge herself into actually attempting to run a website….

So I did what I always do when the two sides of my brain and heart are at war…

I deputized the sane portion of my brain and commanded it to repeatedly remind the rest of me to breathe deeply and stop freaking out…to turn all of this exhilaration and new-found energy over to the Lord and stick to the To Do list that I had formulated earlier in the day when I was still living in pixel-overload-ignorance.

Which reminds me of ….

3. In an effort to overcome a tendency to procrastination and addiction to list-making, I have come up with yet another new way of inspiring myself to stay on task.

This week I have written the following motivational message at the top of my To Do’s….

At the end of today, here is what I would like to have accomplished…..

So far it is working for me, although by next week I am sure I will have figured out how to dodge being inspired by that challenge and will have to come up with something new…any ideas??

Please do share <3

and…

4. After all my complaints about snow and overcast days…this burst of sunshine is showing forth the extreme need for windows to be cleaned and places the dust cloth has missed and well…

whew…

someone has her work cut out for her…

However…

5. We have booked the weekend full ….

and somebody, named me, has to downsize about a thousand photos here on this little slice of the internet…

so….

Spring Cleaning…you just got bumped to next week’s list.

Hope your weekend is full of fun things and times for resting and refreshing and may all your pixels fit where you need them to…and if anyone can actually tell me what the heck a pixel is…that would be awesome <3

 

 

That elusive characteristic of humility <3

I am not even going to start off with some kind of comment about the weather because seriously….what is up with it??

So we will move along to the musing du jour for your Thursday inbox.

We ended our pre-Easter series at FCC on the book of Mark with a lesson on how Christ modeled for us true humility in His teachings and by His example.

He led the charge on servant-leadership and putting others first while maintaining an appropriate concept of His identity and authority with righteous perspective. 

He set aside all that was due Him in order to become like us, and while we often attribute this to His love FOR us, it is clear He did so in obedience and submission to His Father. 

Something we struggle with, or at least I know I do. 

Tricky for us humans is the whole humility thing. 

You know what they say about it, right? As soon as you start thinking maybe you have humility down…well, there you go…you most likely are back in the tar pit of pride. 

Often it is easier to identify humility by observing our fellow sojourners and travelers on this journey. 

However, even there we can get it skewed as we tend to equate humility with those who are less affluent or more polite; and the whole thing can get even more murky in the waters of political correctness.

First off, wealth and status are not the deal breakers for the humble. I once heard someone describe their parents as having been “rather proud of their humble lifestyle.” I have also seen people who are over-the-top gracious but, in truth, quite filled with an abundance of pride over this quality in themselves.

I think part of it is our lack of understanding of Christ’s humility. 

It was not denying His identity, power and status in the universe; but rather not demanding all the rights, privileges and honor due Him because of it. 

For me, I believe my search to imitate His example is found in examining my reaction in every day settings where I notice a kind of “Hey! Wait a minute!….How come I am being treated this way???” attitude cropping up. 

It is recognizing that we live in a world where hyper-defensiveness toward being offended is reaching epidemic proportions. 

Even the passing of a respected and well-loved leader can spark a barrage of hateful rhetoric as sides are formed and mud slings in every direction.

A spirit of offense is a red flag of pride and I know this because the Cross of Christ offends. It represents the ultimate act of humility. 

Webster defines humility as “not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive; reflecting, expressing or offering in a spirit of deference or submission.”

God defines it this way…

Your attitude should be the kind that was shown us by Jesus Christ, who though he was God did not demand and cling to his rights as God, but laid aside his mighty power and glory, taking the disguise of a slave and becoming like men. And he humbled himself even further, going so far as to actually die a criminal’s death on a cross.     Philippians 2: 5-8 The Living Bible 

So I ask myself today…how is my attitude?

Is it easily offended or does it willingly take up the offense of the Cross of Christ?

Be blessed today as you ponder that question for yourself….remember…He did all the work for us, we simply come humbly before Him and receive it <3

Just a tiny glimpse of the beauty of being a Body <3

This past few weeks we have been blessed to party at the wedding of one of our church kids all grown up, and celebrate the birth of a fourth child to another.

We have eaten birthday cake at the double celebration of a dear friend who turned…just a teeny bit older… on the day of her last radiation treatment and sported a pink feathered crown on her beautiful new return of hair to her precious head.

We sat and watched the senior year performance of an extremely talented young woman who, at five years old, was the flower girl in our oldest daughter’s wedding. We were two rows back from her family who are walking through some hard times with a grace that testifies every single day to the reality that there is a peace that passes understanding.

In between us and them and all around us were people we sit in chairs with every Sunday at the 9:15 service and we all hugged and greeted each other like we hadn’t seen each other in years…just because the love…is real.

Last night we moved through a visitation line, teary eyed and broken hearted..but also filled with joy and laughter. We were there to show love and support to the family, but also to grieve our own loss as we said goodbye to one who brightened the journey for so many.

I shook hands with family members I had never met, but knew well because their sweet mom had invited me to partner in prayer for their various needs over the years.

I’ve raised my hands in praise as I watched videos of our friends’ grandkids who were baptized Easter Sunday.

Oh there’s more…but you get the point.

Everywhere in the world, people are involved in lovely and sweet relationships, but all of the ones I mentioned above are knit together in something so much more than the pleasures and sorrows of this life.

We are knit together into the Body of Christ.

What we share in the struggles and in the joys will carry over into eternity.

It is not an exclusive club…but open to all who will receive Christ Jesus as both Savior and Lord.

Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times – speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly – and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:15-16

To quote the song…how beautiful….is the Body of Christ <3

 

 

 

Fools rush in…

Good morning <3

I am in the book of Proverbs now as my readings continue through the Chronological Bible.

This version of Scripture lumps the sayings of Solomon and such into themes and one of the sections today was on “rashness.”

It addresses the folly of rushing into a setting and airing opinions and assessments without the recommended counting to ten…or a hundred…or a thousand.

Well, actually it recommends more taking our rants and vents to God FIRST before we march into the boardroom or the kitchen or the committee meeting and sound off about what we see as needing correction.

I think we see this attitude prevailing from our media, both social and news related, more and more.

A kind of in-your-face confrontational approach to calling out what is perceived as unrighteousness.

And have mercy…often it is not based on a standard of truth, but rather on some popular opinion or movement.

As Christ-followers, we can see this so clearly in worldly settings, but are we as sensitive to it within the Body of Christ?

When something is being done within the context of our church and church family, are we acting more like the world as we seek to confront it? (And I am NOT talking about issues of blatant sin and wrong-doing that can happen within a church, so don’t take your mind down that rabbit trail!)

Are we responding with a  Holy Spirit-led/Holy Spirit-filled speaking out? Or with an almost arrogant plowing down of anyone and everyone who does not agree with us approach?

Let’s look at Proverbs for a minute..

What you have seen with your eyes do not bring hastily to court, for what will you do in the end if your neighbor puts you to shame?    Proverbs 25:8

This one speaks to me of how we can see things that look like wrong-doing, but we may not have all the information and facts. Sometimes we are jumping to conclusions and if we do not pause a moment to take in the whole picture, the truth revealed once we have pressed our pre-determined verdict on someone or some situation could prove rather embarrassing.

A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. Proverbs 14:16,17

Here we see two characteristics of a wise person. This one fears the LORD and steers clear of evil.

It’s both of these which allow the wise person to recognize something that looks to be wrong, and yet turns to the sovereignty of the LORD first before reacting.

If we confront wrong-doing with a knee-jerk reaction we will basically be acting like a…well…a jerk.

One more….

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.  Proverbs 19:11

This one reminds me that when I get hot and bothered about something, it is wise to take it to the Lord first in prayer and conversation.

Key word being conversation, because as I talk to Him about what is troubling me in a situation; I also need to listen to His side.

Because sometimes it is not so much an offense to His Righteousness that is the issue.

Often, as I bring my complaint before Him, I realize it is, in fact, my own indignation over what I perceive to be the violation of my “rights” in a situation that has me riled up.

In our town, we have an intersection that is currently holding the record for accidents due to people running red lights.

A dear friend of ours just recently, thanks be to God, escaped unharmed physically from such an incident…yet his truck, not so much.

But many other intersections here in town are competing to become #1, as drivers increasingly seem to consider a yellow light as an indicator to rev the engine and barrel on through.

Other cars follow suit and the results can be devastating.

We, who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ,do not want to be…physically, emotionally or spiritually…like those who see a warning as an invitation to blast forward.

We want to see the warning signs of wrong-doing as God’s discernment kicking in and use these as opportunities to slow down, get serious in prayer…and then proceed with His leading.

Be blessed today.

Be pro-active to seek wise decisions at all the intersections you will face today.

Remember always…you are loved and led and held by GRACE <3

 

Monday and snow flurries….again…

Happy start o’the week to you.

Russ peeked through the curtains this morning as he was leaving for work and sighed heavily. I told him to please tell me there was not snow on the ground.

So he silently nodded and began gathering his keys and phone….yep…we have a dusting of it yet again.

And I shouldn’t complain as our relatives in the north were having to gas up the snow blower over the weekend so there is that…

because it’s mid-April and we should be…

But no.

So here are some random thoughts to kick off our week and then I am going to continue with spring cleaning because, by golly, it’s Spring-o’clock somewhere, right????

Random #1

During one of the praise songs at church yesterday, I had this vision come into my mind of just all different kinds of flowers…shy little violets, often unwanted yellow dandelions, exotic bird of paradises (not sure how you pluralize that one), delicate pansies, sturdy geraniums, stately sunflowers.

And I thought how each holds it’s own beauty.

I pictured them scattered all over the globe, lifting their lovely faces to the sun and it made me think…how like us.

Each beautifully and wonderfully created by God.

Each, hopefully, lifting our faces to Him and just existing for His pleasure and glory.

I thought of Jesus referring to the lilies in the field and how Solomon in all his glory…decked out in all his finest and richest attire could not compare to the beauty of God’s creation of the lily.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made and so is everyone around you.

Some are of the sturdy beauty and others more fragile.

Some pop up unexpected to bring color to manicured lawns and some are scattered wild across the edges of fields out in the middle of nowhere…

all lovely in His sight.

Random #2

Checking in on that Simplify theme for 2018 and holding myself accountable four and a half months in.

I am finding a measure of success in the application of this Word of the Year, so far, by taking seriously the revelation of my tendency to over-complicate E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. due to my inability to make quick decisions.

One tactic I have found helpful is forcing the discipline of eliminating or narrowing decisions whenever possible onto my wandering mind.

The only way I have found to achieve this is to heartily incorporate prayer to keep my feet and hands on task throughout the day.

While staying on course may not be a problem for some, it is a constant struggle for me.

But with the help of the Holy Spirit guiding me, I have begun to catch myself in the act of procrastination.

I see God working in me to notice when I am starting an activity that is unproductive in an effort to avoid doing something less appealing and I also notice that as He keeps my “hand to the plow,” the work becomes easier and more efficient.

I hear that still, small voice more often now…asking me…”Is this activity going to help you accomplish your goals today, or is it stealing time from you?”

This is incredibly effective at keeping me from some of my old time-wasting habits.

The bonus on this is that I am less distracted and more energized, which leads to more good choices throughout the day.

Did you have a “word” for this year?

How are you doing with it?

Random #3

Some of you all have been so kind to ask how my back and foot are doing and I love you for it…because that’s what I hope this spot to be…you and me … connecting…you and you all…connecting…but anyway…

My back is improving immensely once I started doing the stretches my awesome chiropractor and friend gave me several years ago.

I do a series of about six stretches for my neck plus fifteen for hip flexor and back twice a day. The difference they have made in my back AND my plantar fasciitis have given me a new lease on life!

Just like that smart doctor told me they would all along.

I was putting them off because I simply didn’t make time for them even though they don’t take that long.

*See Random 2, because I stopped making them a “choice” to schedule in and they are now just part of my morning and evening routine.

So that’s what I have for this Monday.

Hope you have a great start to your week wherever you are <3