Remembering revisited <3

Hey all…I have a haircut before work this morning so…sharing one from the archives <3

Have a blessed Memorial Day weekend. Eat graduation cake…get some weeds pulled…grill something…hug your family…put out some flags.

Thank God for the freedoms you have and for those who fought to keep them for you. We are not a perfect country, but we have much to be thankful for. God has blessed this nation abundantly with resources and people.

So here is today’s repost of one of my favorites:

originally posted May 30, 2016 <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

 

 

Walking the walk…<3 (titles are the hardest part of this gig sometimes)

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For today I have a quick little something because the night oil is burning low and this grandma has to answer the call at five bells….

so…

short 

and sweet <3

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This week I was taking my daily walk and I have been trying to do this as a quiet time exercise. 

But my mind is a wandering fool sometimes and I needed something to focus on besides my tendency to become so off-track in my thinking that I can work myself into a skewed mood and attitude that becomes my reality so that I am fit to be tied by the time I get back home and I am undone for the day. 

I pulled up the Notes section on my phone and found where I had saved a Psalm on May 23, 2016…

ironic isn’t it…

I just now looked at the date of the note and it’s two years ago to the day as I sit here typing this. 

Seriously…I just realize that.

Only God.

I may be typing with one hand and raising the other to Him.

He amazes me…

anyway…see how my mind wanders??????

Ok back the thought…

The scripture I had saved that day in 2016, was Psalm 90: 15-17…

Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery! Replace the evil years with good. Let us see your miracles again; let our children see glorious things, the kind you used to do, and let the Lord our God favor us and give us success. 

I thought that was just a great place to anchor my mind, so as I walked I planned to take it line by line and pray it. 

But as I meditated on the first line….

Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!

I stopped dead in my thinking tracks.

Oh, I kept walking…but I couldn’t get my mind to move past that verse. 

Because I was thinking to myself…

NO!!

I don’t want gladness in proportion to any former misery.

We have had us some misery…stinking misery…and I want bonus gladness. 

I went a respectable return on the investment of pain. 

I want more than what we suffered. 

So I asked God why the psalmist had settled for just an even exchange. 

Then I listened and I sensed an answer in my spirit so I dictated  it into a new note as I walked…have mercy…I need a caretaker some days to get me safely home.
And let me tell you, every time I said “a splinter” my phone typed “this winter”…so I would have to follow that with “not this winter, a splinter”…the text on my phone is hilarious as it has these lengthy splinter/winter sections…but I digress….
Here is what I ended up with, sans the winter part…

In the Psalm it says ‘give us gladness in proportion to our former misery.

Makes me think …I have to think…don’t we want even more gladness than the misery we felt?

But I think about when I have a splinter in my finger and the misery that can cause. 

And when I remove the splinter (or actually Russ removes it for me) and the misery is gone; that relief is in proportion to the pain the unwanted offender was causing.

My finger is not any better than it used to be, it is just returned back to what it was before the injury. 

Yet the relief is so great that it actually feels proportionately larger than the former misery.

In fact the absence of the splinter; the absence of the discomfort of having it lodged in my finger brings so much relief that the finger, and even life itself, seems so much better now that the source of pain has been removed. 

So all I really need is gladness in proportion to the misery…because the JOY of the relief multiplies the blessing to an abundance that exceeds all of the former misery. 

And by this time, I was rounding the corner and could see home in sight.

The rest of the Psalm will have to wait for another day and another walk…because I am still resting in the simple prayer that God opened my heart to realize that all I really want is an equal return of joy for suffering. 

It is more than enough <3 

I pray for you today, my friend. I pray that God will bring you joy in the direct amount of any sorrows He has allowed you to walk through. I pray you know and sense His Presence and His Promise as you journey onward <3

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