A weed by any other name….

Grass, like hair, seems to grow best in places where we do not want it.

The home we purchased a year and a half ago appeared deceptively low maintenance with all its ornamental rocking around well placed shrubs and perennials.

Since my horticulture skills are in indirect proportion to my ability to attract varmints to our property, I was kind of looking forward to finally having nice landscaping that was labor free.

Wrong.

While we work intentionally to keep the grass in the yard looking nice and healthy by hiring a service to fertilize and nurture it and watering twice weekly; there is random, unwanted grass doing just peachy-keen coming up through the rocks all by its little stubborn green self.

This errant grass is accompanied by a variety of other plant things that look like they are going to bud, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t supposed to be there and so I have this dilemma.

I am out there pulling up perfectly good grass that we are paying someone to cultivate just inches away…and I am debating if I am pulling up something that could potentially bloom and look kind of pretty even if it isn’t in the greatest location asceticaly.

And then I heard or read these words of wisdom from someone smarter than me…

A weed is anything that is growing where it shouldn’t.

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Suddenly I am freed from the endless debating in my head.

It doesn’t matter what the thing is…

if it doesn’t belong where it has sprouted up…it gets removed.

Makes it simple.

Sure there is still labor and diligence involved, but no more energy wasted wondering if I am doing the right thing.

I can apply this to other areas as well.

Like fear.

Fear has a good place in my life.

It makes me wary when I am walking to the car after dark and there are not many people around.

It helps me set parameters that enhance safety from harm.

But fear that cripples me and keeps me from walking in the fullness of all God intended for my life …. doesn’t belong there.

Just has to come out.

Or competition.

Allowing the work ethic and success of others to spur me on and keep me in the race.

That’s a good thing.

But when competition crops up in the middle of my identity and suddenly what I am not and what I don’t accomplish begins to label me as a failure…it has cropped up in a place it doesn’t belong.

It’s a weed.

Pull it.

There are a million good things God gave us.

But any one of them in the wrong place…weed.

Eliminate it.

Sooner rather than later.

Because if there is one thing my aching back has learned…the earlier you pull a weed…

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the better <3

 

Happy Tuesday <3

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We had a wonderful time at our nephew Sam’s graduation.

Here he is with his sweet mom and dad…

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I know he is full on Reimer…but do you see a wee bit of our John in him? I do <3

Which is hilarious because John is like a clone of me…how does God do that?

The wonderful blend of genetics that make us family is one of my favorite gifts He bestows.

Sometimes I forget that the Reimers are only mine through marriage and I want to take some kind of claim for the likes of them…

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I’m sure you can see why…they are a smart and sweet and talented bunch.

The vase at the top of this post was crafted by Sam.

I have shown you the ones made by brother Grant and sister Olivia at their grads…and Sam is no slacker in the arts either…

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Ah-mazing <3

Sonja homeschooled these three smarties and so their graduations are so different from the public or even parochial ceremonies we have attended over the years.

Each family gets two minutes (give or take…mostly give…) to say something about their child and present a diploma. With 30 plus kids in their home school association, this takes some time…but I absolutely loved every story and every presentation.

The one that just blew me away was the dad of a beautiful girl who stood a head taller than her darling parents.

Long dark hair cascaded down the sides of her lowered face as her father emotionally shared her story.

When her mother was pregnant, she became very ill and the doctors recommended the only way to save momma was to take the baby’s life.

This father is also a pastor and truly the anointing of the Lord must rest on him when he preaches because in the two minutes he was given he gave one of the most compelling pro-life exhortations I have ever heard.

With a thick Hispanic accent he said (and I didn’t get it word for word, but to my best notetaking)…

“The Doctors told us ….

ABORT! ABORT! ABORT!

But God…He said…..

LIVE!! LIVE!!! LIVE!!!

It was a dark time for us as I thought I might lose both my wife and my baby. But the Church prayed and here she is today. My precious daughter.”

Best. Grad. Speech.Ever.

Although, Randy and Sonja’s came in a close second because…for the love of Sam…they rocked the parental blessing part <3

And now as a last little thing here…one more pic of Sam’s handiwork but please also note the genius of my sister-in-law…because in the background notice the old Scentsy container repurposed …love it!!!

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Five Friday Randoms <3

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This is currently our view from the driveway and I will just say that I do not mind it one little bit.

It seems like about five minutes ago this gorgeous pink fluff of loveliness nestled in all that green was just a bunch of rhubarb plantish-looking red stems poking up out of the ground.

And the Iris…please…who can not believe there is a God when you look into an Iris?

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Which brings me to Randoms #1…

Petunias.

Help me.

The most ordinary flower ever…and so. much. work.

They need dead heading hourly…they are soooo gooey stemmed…their blossoms have a shelf life of like an afternoon.

How could such a common flower be so high maintenance when the Iris and Peony are so amazingly beautiful and I have to do N.O.T.H.I.N.G. to maintain them.

And I think to myself this is a good slogan for my life…

Laura, don’t be a petunia.

Don’t be a common and ordinary appearing specimen of humanity that causes everyone who loves you a large amount of work.

Be an Iris.

Low maintenance…and so remarkable people have to see that God’s hand is all over you and there is no way you could be what you are without His divine touch.

(You may have heard a quiet “amen” from Russ on the low-maintenance wish…)

Random #2…

Currently on social media there is some kind of buzz about something that I have so little interest in, I have not even bothered to google it to figure it out.

That is how much I don’t care.

This is so unusual for me that the fact that I am not doing a search has caught my attention more than the source of my ignorance.

I can tell you that it seems to involve some kind of a recording and a controversy where people are hearing two different words…or names…I guess…but again…don’t care.

I think it is between like hearing Yancy or Yani and then Laurel or Lauren?

And I can’t bring myself to even click the play button to see if I hear this or something else.

So I’m not sure if I am just burned out on googling or social media or what…but I am sitting this one out.

Random #3…

We have a tree that needs to be removed because its roots never went down in the ground.

They are all balled up around the base of the tree and it will die eventually if it doesn’t blow over first.

Grow deep roots people.

Draw life from the deepest places of God and what you can know of Him…

don’t die spiritually please.

Don’t let storms uproot you.

Grow deep.

Please.

I love you.

Grow deep roots.

Random #4…

We are going to the grad party for the last one of the Reimer kid graduations from high school.

Our Sam will receive his diploma on Saturday and we will gather to celebrate with all the family.

I was kind of pumped for graduation cake…but found out we are having cookies.

I decided to go anyway

(Just messing with you Sonja… she’s so sweet I am probably going to get a text after publishing this with an apology that we won’t be having cake…<3 )…

but I do kind of love graduation and wedding cake and it is a tradition that seems to be going by the way side.

So I wonder….if we were to sit down and talk face to face…are you ok with this?

Because I personally feel a good white cake with waaaaaaaayyyyyy too much frosting is one of the bakery industry’s best ideas….

however I will take the edge off by partaking of the cookies…no worries…

And finally….

Random #5…

Started the Study Guide for The Storm Inside by Shiela Walsh and looking at the conversation Jesus had with the woman at the well in John 4:4-30.

Sheila asks how Jesus engaged her in conversation and how He continued to pursue her heart.

As I pondered the Scripture and the question, I discovered something new to me about this old familiar story as I wrote out my answer.

So here it is for you…

He asks for a drink. He is very thirsty and needs a drink of water. So He asks for something she has that He doesn’t have. Then He continues to ask questions and provide answers to her questions so that she will ask for what she needs that only He has.

Sometimes in the midst of all my self-sufficiency, Jesus probes into my lack … and it is there I find He is my everything…all my resources are only good for temporary fixes…His work is always eternal <3

Blessings dear ones…have a great weekend…see you Monday <3

 

 

 

Like a child <3

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Good morning to you!

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the transition from spring to summer and all the hustle and bustle of getting the yard in shape, attending graduations and end of year events and a slate of ball games that will run through mid-July. 

Last Saturday we headed up north to watch Graham play baseball. After a quick wardrobe change for him in their van, we were off to his last soccer game on the fields across from the ball diamonds.

Two sets of grandparents, one set of parents, three siblings and an army of umbrellas, blankets and bag chairs completed the entourage. 

The first game was played with a light drizzle and a solid wind that gave us a workout resembling the flying nanny scene in Mary Poppins.

Thankfully the clouds rolled away by the time we got to the soccer fields and as we watched Graham and his team play their game, Emmett and Joel ran the empty fields around us with a variety of bored siblings. 

At one point, Papi was monitoring the two younger boys when we heard Emmett crying.

Since he was so very upset he was unintelligible, we looked to Russ to find out what had happened. He tactfully passed on that there was a girl about Graham’s age playing with them but she was giving all of her attention to Joel. 

Emmett headed to the pool of adults and when his other grandma bent down, he climbed in her arms and poured out the whole sad tale.

We were all sorry to see him crying, but also had to stifle smiles as this little blonde ray of sunshine has soaked up more than his fair share of attention since he burst onto the scene almost 5 years ago. 

He is so comfortable in the limelight that you would think his approval tank would be full. 

But it isn’t. 

He had been rejected from the attentions of an older girl and as Joel laughingly basked in her 100% favor, it had been too much for him.

He is too young to be tough and savvy when rejected. 

He is too naive to worry about what we might think of him for his tears.

He trusted the love of the circle of adults and knew any one of us would pick him up and hold him and let him cry. 

God is like that, you know.

When we are hurt or rejected or feel slighted and overlooked, we can go to Him. 

We don’t have to do anything but reach up and tell Him what He already knows. 

He won’t chastise us for openly sharing the overwhelming emotions that would cause us to sin if we acted on them.

He will hold us and He will do like Emmett’s grandma did…He will just love us and acknowledge our hurt and gently wipe the tears until we get it together again and head back out to the field one more time.

If your heart is broken, you will find GOD right there; if you are kicked in the gut, he will help you catch your breath. Disciples so often get into trouble; still, GOD is there every time. Psalm 34: 18-19 The Message     <3

So many studies, so little time <3

We got a calendar from the local library outlining all the summer fun to be had and reading programs and festivities in the park and what snagged my eye was that  the “Farewell Party” to end it all will take place on…

July 19th.

I haven’t even had my first bite of a graduation cake and the end of summer is breathing down my neck!

Ok. I exaggerate.

But truthfully, the Park and Library Team knows that summer flies by for families and so they put together a calendar of events and left room for family vacations and schools will be gearing up mid-August so they have planned to make the most of the days they have.

As we switch gears a little and enter into warmer weather and the fun that summer holds, we have to be intentional to make plans as well.

Even though my actual weekly schedule doesn’t change one little bit, my mental and spiritual schedule does.

I still take on the “School’s out for Summer” mentality and feel like we can move at a slower pace…enjoy outdoor activities until later in the evening and make plans to spend more time with family since their schedules have lightened.

I enjoy adding some kind of Bible study to the months of summer and really like it if I can share that experience with a friend.

I actually landed on two because God has raised up that many opportunities for me to share learning with others. We may not actually be able to meet regularly, but I have made agreements with a couple of friends to do…

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The Storm Inside Trade the Chaos of How You Feel for the Truth of Who You Are by Sheila Walsh

and

Adorned Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth with a young mom who, like me, has a heart for building relationships across generations.

Today I saw one of those awesome FREE  studies being offered through StudyGateway – also by Sheila Walsh on her new book In the Middle of the Mess. You can sign up here.

And by “free” … you usually do need to purchase the workbook/book…but they offer decent deals on those and then the videos are emailed each week.

I have done several studies this way, and they work well for our busy lives. You usually have access to the videos for an extended period of time so it is possible to get the study completed over the course of the summer.

If you live locally, there is an opportunity at First Christian Church to join the women’s study on Wednesday mornings. You do not need to be a member – there will be no pressure for you to join out church. Just a wonderful opportunity to meet with other women and make new connections. You can sign up with a friend and ask to be placed in the same small group for the discussion part.

Those start June 9th and you can register here.

And if you are a guy…sorry…not sure what is available but how about texting a buddy and setting up a Saturday morning breakfast meeting and decide on a way to study God’s Word together for four to six weeks this summer?

Or golf.

Because fellowship counts too.

Have a blessed Wednesday and I hope you are getting a stirring in your heart to make plans to do a study with someone or by yourself <3