Category Archives: Empty Nest

Tuesday…Tuesday…<3

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So scheduling the carpet cleaners on the Monday following Birthday-Palooza seemed like a good idea.

Until I lived the entire day with the moveable contents of three bedrooms, the living room and an office stacked in the kitchen, two bathrooms and on top of large pieces of furniture…ie…our upright piano which is covered in baskets of music, a file box and eight manilla folders of uber important papers I haven’t looked at for years, some assorted books and a small waste basket. 

I ran two box fans on high all day which ramped up all the chaos and disorder of a home that looked like we were having an indoor garage sale with items staged on any hardwood or tiled surface. 

Either that, or like we were fleeing a flood…or the country….which I may have considered doing at various points of the day.

If you haven’t noticed, my mind spends a lot of time on the spin cycle as it is…so I crave order and quiet in my environment as much as I do coffee and dark chocolate. 

Yes…completely turning our house upside down and into a wind tunnel the day after a weekend of mucho socializing and intake of sugar … not one of my brighter moves.

However on an up note, I do believe the Lord has given me a level of maturity and grounding, because I actually managed to talk myself down from blowing off the whole day (no pun intended) and successfully convinced myself that I could function purposefully in the midst of the mess.

I even found it possible to ignore the constant hum of the fans and the annoying whoosh of air around me…

ok…

I never did get quite used to that because I was pretty eager to click everything off the minute Russ asked if maybe we could watch the Home Run Derby without having to anchor ourselves to heavy pieces of furniture. 

I exaggerate. 

But only slightly. 

All in all, it was a good day…carpets are clean, I got some things checked off to do list and went to bed without needing therapy. 

Maybe I am maturing…it’s probably about time. 

I know I am setting the bar kind of high, but I am going to attempt to carry on this pattern today…without the fans…stay tuned and I’ll see you tomorrow <3

And so 60 is in the books <3

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Good Monday Morning to you <3

Our family and a couple of close friends are keeping their phones close in case I need intervention for what they are calling PBLDS….Post Birthday Let Down Syndrome

…but so far I am doing okay.

The fact that I have to move all small pieces of furniture off of all carpeted areas before 9:00 is helping keep the adrenaline rush steady because… the carpet cleaners arrive in a short 48 minutes.

So here’s a quick rundown of how #60 went …

or as my new favorite baker in the whole wide world said it…

the “new 30″….

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We kicked off the celebration weekend with our annual “twin birthday dinner” with this sweet one ….

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Not the best pic…but not much lighting at The Burg that isn’t neon <3

From then on it was family that feels like friends and friends that feel like family so here are the highlights…

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John treated us to late night Escape Room adventure so Zach could join us when he got off work. www.laurareimer.net

We did beat the room with an extra five minute grace gift from the guy who worked there. He said we were so close to beating it and it was only a 10% success rate room so…he had to let us finish it out.

I was maybe a little less than 10% helpful since most of the time I was still trying to finish reading the clue when the rest of the team had solved it, opened the lock and …mooooved on…oh well..it was a blast and I loved every second of it.

All 3,630 of them  <3

Sunday Russ arranged to have brunch for everyone at Tuscany’s…

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Thankfully Rachel did not follow her google map…

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and it was kinda nice of Caroline to coordinate with my dress…

making her solidly my favorite granddaughter <3

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After lunch we came to the house for yard games like…

ball bounce…

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and..

empty the cooler…

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…because we are fun like that.

We gathered for cake…

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at the exact moment my west coast family called to sing to me..

so it was a high tech song fest of silliness..

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Please note the first aid kit on the counter because it wouldn’t be a Reimer event without some kind of chaos.

We took a few zillion group photos…

and you may have noticed we are missing Zach, who had to work, and the rest of the Corley bunch…

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Couldn’t figure out why all the littles are looking at Tia but she set the timer and then would run back to get in pic…and I think they were just highly impressed with her.

So were we.

But we were too cool to act like it.

Then there was this attempt at a jumping pic..

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which proves that John has regained his skillz at imitating Air Jordan…

and no, Sarah is not using a trampoline…

that’s just her…

and once again Joel and Caroline can’t take their eyes off of her…LOL…

And then there is this…

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for which I am so very thankful.

Have a happy Monday.

I promise I am going to just settle down now and get on with regular life.

Thanks for celebrating one of the big ones with me <3

 

 

 

To everything a season

One of my devotions today was about the dreams God plants in our hearts as children for what our future will be.

The author knew in fifth grade she wanted to be involved in business and has seen God move her into that dream over the years.

My mom used to tell me I had fulfilled my greatest hope for my life when she would visit and I was up to my elbows in diapers and dishes with one kid hanging off the hem of my pants as I tried to move around the kitchen stepping over toys and debris from lunch.

She would remind me that I filled out every “When I grow up, I want to be….” with the words….a wife and a mother.

What I didn’t know when I was scribbling those words in pencil on lines of cheap tablet paper and practicing for hours with baby dolls in a play kitchen in our basement is that wife and mother are not occupations…they are relationships.

And they change over the years.

 

They have seasons and we all know change is not my forte…however…God is and He has been so faithful to teach me how to be what is needed for my family as they have moved into new phases while I try to hold fast to the past deep in this stubborn, slow to adapt heart of mine.

I am a doer and fixing meals, washing clothes, keeping the calendar, micro-managing everyone’s every move…those were the highlight years of this gig.

These days, though, the birds are making their way on their own. And I have to find new ways to love them and support them. I didn’t see this part coming. And sometimes it is hard to adjust to the changes…but…

They aren’t a project, they are people…with choices and consequences…they have jobs and friends I don’t always know…they pay bills and support causes…and if we can get one or two times in a year where we are all in the same place for a few minutes, we thank God and snap a picture.

And daily I am reminded that the order of the desire the Lord placed on my heart was to be a wife first and then a mother.

Daily I thank God for the years He has given me with Russ and I am humbled that one such as I should be able to say I still get to do that thing God laid on my heart so many years ago.

He is not finished with me in my role.

As I continue to seek His will for my days, He shows me the ever-expanding legacy of family.

Seeds planted and sown…watered with tears and prayers…fruit in season and out of season…all in His timing.

All His idea to begin with…and to end with <3

 

 

 

 

Let the Birthday Week Musings begin….

A current trend on social media is pictures of loved ones and the comment “My heart”

Well, for your viewing pleasure, I have a photo today that we could label…

My Brain.

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Because right here is a classic peek into what the top of my desk and the inside of my gray matter looks like most of the time.

Ideas and scenarios and imaginary conversations fly around in a frightening whirl pretty much all the time in this blonde brain as I try to capture them on slips of paper.

 And to be honest…it is kind of exhausting sometimes to be me. 

I can only imagine what wear and tear it brings on my sweet husband who is often treated to one of my thought streams in mid-flow. 

Because basically a lot of my conversations start out like you walked into the middle of a complicated movie and you have no pre-informed notice as to characters, plot or even the genre. 

So this week, I thought it would be fun (for me, anyway) to share some of my observations gleaned from my life thus far.

As I was praying about what to share and what to hold back, I came across some topics for the week. 

Some are kind of awkward maybe, but they are the things that keep surfacing so I am going to pray one more time and spin the wheel and hope my thoughts shared are acceptable to the Lord and can be used by Him today to draw each of you closer to His heart.

Yesterday I was headed home and for some crazy reason, realized I had entered the turn lane into our local mall. 

As Russ pointed out later, it is possible to circle the mall on the access road and still get to our house without shopping, but I thought that maybe God wanted me to go the mall…and I certainly wanted to yield to His direction in my daily walk…so there is that. 

Like so many large shopping centers, our mall has quite a few empty store fronts as well as one of the anchor stores closing soon. 

I think about how the way we purchase things has changed over the course of my life, and I wonder what we are going to do with all these big old buildings if large retail companies continue to go out of business.

I think about how the malls damaged the mom and pop shops and downtowns. And the cycle of cities trying to rebuild those small businesses.

I think about how we can look at big companies and say their greed drove them to ruin. 

But what about our greed?

What about us in smaller cities wanting all the choices of the big city folk?

I look at a company like Starbucks and I think it was our demand that said…I can’t walk another block for your coffee…I want a shop right outside my office. 

So they built them…one right after the other while we plunked down our dollars for their brews.

We would go there when we traveled and then we wanted a Starbucks here in our town..so we got two…and if you aren’t local, you need to know…they are within a few feet of each other. 

I am not kidding. 

It would take more time for the barista to make a latte than it would for you to walk from one Starbucks to the other. 

So we got all the stores…we got the Walmart and Menard’s and Lowe’s that put the small grocers and hardware stores and lumber yards out of business….and now we have the ability to order all the stuff even cheaper online…so these stores are struggling…and where does it end?

I look at my own overstuffed closet and my constant search for a different knick-knack to update the look of our home…and I want it to not cost much but look like it did.

It is my own greed that has pushed jobs away from this country and financed sweat shops. 

Apparently our government has gotten tied up in trade to keep our shelves stocked and there is a system in place that is beyond what you and I can even comprehend. 

Consequences for years of decisions – on all levels…us included…have created fall out that we are going to start feeling here in the heartland in real ways. 

Because you really can’t get something for nothing. 

There is always a cost. 

And I don’t know how to turn this big of a ship around and I am not sure we can.

 Nor am I even convinced we are meant to.

Because God’s Word is clear about how this thing goes down in the end.

All the systems that are in place are coming to a point where they will rise up against God one last time…and then … He wins. 

Once and for all. 

So for me, I live in the struggle of knowing what I am capable of when it comes to greed.

I don’t get it right all the time, but I know God put me where I am in this time to use the resources He has given me to serve Him. 

My purchase at the local shop, whether it is at the mall or down on Merchant Street, is providing income for someone here in town. 

My purchases from a company that provides something I can not get here, yet need…it too provides income.

And yes…the people at the top are getting rich while many, many are just barely getting by…if that…and when I am made aware of injustice, I need to act by doing without that item.

By recognizing, as just one person in the mix of all the “systems” of this economy, that all that I have belongs to God and is to be used to advance His Kingdom…that is the place to start.

Honestly addressing the motives behind my expenditures is another way I can bring our finances under God’s authority.

Prayerfully seeking direction for the dollars we save and spend and give…this is the way we honor God..and that is really the only thing in the economy I do have control over. 

It’s easier to spot the corporate greed than to face it in myself. But God wants me to look deep in my own heart and wallet and make the changes there first…

We are blessed to bless. 

The Fourth Quarter

Well welcome to Monday and the week where I bid farewell to the decade that was my 50’s.

Whoa.

As one of our dear football-loving friends likes to point out….

Laura, we’re in the fourth quarter.

How did that happen?

I am not quite certain, except to say it was spent in moments and some of them were pretty amazing and some I wasted terribly.

Some were so rough, there is no way I would press rewind because I simply have no desire to ever walk through the landmines again.

And some were so precious that the joy of them literally burst my heart so wide that it is painful.

Anyone?

That kind of happy that becomes physical to the point you think maybe you might be having a coronary situation because you heart is doing that Grinch-growth thing and busting out of your rib cage?

And a lot of it was just ordinary moments of doing what needs to be done…with people I love in a community I am blessed to call my earthly home.

I used to love my birthday and looked forward to it with eager anticipation and much chatter.

I always had great celebrations because I shared the excitement of my upcoming special day with anyone who would stand still long enough.

And then I hit an age where getting older lost its charm and my exuberance over the day waned…

to the point that I focused more on the part of the hourglass where the grains of sand are rocking low to the bottom of that inevitable hole.

An attitude that is depressing and pointless and so very wrong.

So it has been my goal to enter the last part of this run with joy and determination to end well.

Fourth quarter in a good game is the best part of the game.

It’s where teams knuckle down and get serious.

It’s where players decide how much they want to walk way knowing each one left it all on the field.

I have been thinking about how best to honor God with the journey so far and so this week I will just have some observations on life gleaned to this point.

No great words of wisdom, but just some of the thoughts and pondering made as I have lived through the past fifty years of life on planet earth.

Hopefully a mix of some fun and insight and doses of my heart.

I hope you will join me for the party as we continue this journey…onward <3