All posts by laura

The beginning was rough and chaotic, so we knew it was perfect timing …it’s how we roll <3

www.laurareimer.net

Today I am reflecting on the miraculous events surrounding what pushed me into taking a leap of faith and purchasing a domain, working with our tech guru, Fred, to get it all set up and entering the world of internet blogging. 

I am not sure how many years I sent my weekly Sunday school email out to encourage people but over time it grew to over a hundred people. Russ kept telling me I should write more and get it out there more and asked if I wanted to attend a writer’s conference. 

So in 2013, I did a search of them and found out that Proverbs 31 Ministries held one called “She Speaks” (ironic name since we all know I speak a lot of words without help) so I registered for their summer gathering and Russ arranged for hotels and travel and all the things that he is so good at. 

As the months began to count down, our son John, who was graduating and going to be a new hire in the fall, received news that the chronic back pain from an old injury could only improve with surgery. It was recommended that he do laser surgery as it is less invasive. I had a check in my spirit and so I prayed and prayed and asked every physician that had been involved in John’s care here in town and out in Tulsa, researching this laser surgery center in Oklahoma City and prayed some more. John pursued the screening appointments and yet I hesitated and asked questions and prayed more and more and more. 

I even called this big old machine that was The Laser Spine Institute and spoke with the surgeon who would be in charge of it all. As we talked and neared the end of our conversation I did something I never do as I agreed to the surgery, I asked him if he was a Christian. He paused and quietly said yes. I said then I would ask him as brother to pray for our son in the days leading up to the appointment and surgery and that I would be praying for him as the surgeon. He agreed he would.

We were responsible for the downpayment, which was hefty – trust me – and our insurance would cover part of the rest. We also wanted to get the surgery done on our insurance and give John time to heal and not be a bill on his new company. We also wanted him to finish school and have his graduation. 

So the date was set for summer and guess when it would fall. 

Yes. The day my conference started. 

I immediately told Russ I would have to cancel and my husband immediately told me I would do no such thing. He would arrange a change in flights so I could leave from Oklahoma City. I struggled deeply. I wanted to be with John. There was no way I would be worth my weight in mom-ness to leave as he was finishing back surgery, no matter how non-invasive they promised it would be, and head off for a writer’s conference. Not only was my heart wanting to be there, another part of me was imagining the conversations of all the good moms who would say how they would NEVER do that. 

Except I did. 

As I prayed, I knew that my wanting to be there was because I wanted to be there. John was fine with his dad and the girls thought he would do fine and by golly, that man I married and had children with is a wonderful, kind and compassionate father and would take such tender care of our boy. So I honored my husband and swallowed my own wants and pride and let him arrange all the changes. 

The day of John’s pre-surgery appointment came and when we got there, our Christian doctor was gone on a mission trip…of all things. His replacement doctor wanted to get familiar with John’s case. John had been evaluated by the other doctor so this seemed over-doing it as he had all the records and x-rays in front of him…except he wasn’t convinced the surgery would help John. 

What???? 

He ordered another painful test for John to endure and determined that the first doctor had missed something significant. He regretfully and gently and kindly told us that the surgery would not relieve the pain. The institute refunded our money and paid for the additional testing. However, no money in the world could alleviate the heartache and disappointment of our son as he walked out, still in pain and tossing away the promise that had been birthed that this surgery would free him from his chronic pain. 

We had a day before my flight left and we spent it together and then they put me on the plane. His dad went back to Tulsa with him and helped him visit doctors again and put a plan in action. And I boarded a plane free to bawl my eyes out and first thank God for sparing him a useless surgery that would have caused more scar damage but also asking Him what on earth had just happened here and please to heal our boy somehow. 

And thus I went to She Speaks with a roller coaster of emotions and a heavy heart, but God ministered to me while my husband ministered to our son. I can tell you the road to his healing has been diligence in exercise, regular chiropractic treatment and an acceptance of what he can do to keep healthy and strong. He bikes, swims, plays softball, basketball and tennis, hikes and stands tall again. God has healed him as John has fully cooperated by doing the hard work and discipline that keeps him healthy. 

At the conference, I felt alone and silly for thinking I was a “writer”. I had even made an appointment with a publisher! Can you imagine. No book idea to present, just a handful of my devotions. I sat across from one of the kindest women I had met at the conference to that point. She looked through them and asked me about my audience. I told her I just send an email out every week to a hundred or so people and I apologized for wasting her time. 

And she looked at me and said a hundred people could be considered a nice sized church attendance. She told me to keep doing what I do and to remember who I do it for and pray for God to show me the next steps. 

I took her words to heart and as I went to various workshops the idea of a blog seemed to be my next step. 

Seven years and over 1600 posts later, I still ask God every time I sit down to type what He would have me say and to send whoever needs to read it. 

www.laurareimer.net

This has been a long story and if you are still with me, God bless you for your patience. 

My point is that the ministries and ways of serving that God calls us to will be birthed out of the stuff of life that would threaten to sideline us. It is in the challenges we face with what life on planet earth gives us that God shows up in His amazing, beautiful and creative ways. 

Covid, the political scene, the economy, the wild weather, the brush fires….God is at work over and in and through it all. 

Hold fast to Him, my friends. Hold fast and do not think little of what He has called you to do. 

It, and you, matter much <3

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My Why….

www.laurareimer.net

When I told you we would be celebrating and reminiscing about how this blog got started and the days that have led to years, I hope you were in for the full meal deal.

I am wringing all the emotions out of this milestone as possible. Go big or go home…that’s my motto.

So I wanted to pull up two important pieces of writing that are the foundation of Journey Onward that are actually accessible on the site…but tucked away and rarely visited. Isn’t that how foundations work?

The solid and firm undergirding that holds up what you see every day.

So here is the first one.

It is my Mission Statement and the testimony behind why I took the time to write it down. Notice the Mission Statement was penned six and a half years BEFORE the blog started:

In 2006, I attended the memorial service for a young woman who was incredibly amazing and managed to touch more lives for Jesus in her very short tenure than some people touch in the lengthy years they are given.

One of the most interesting things to me was reading her Mission Statement. Barely in her 20’s, she had spent time focusing on what mattered most in her life and what anchored her and what she believed.

I studied that for many days and determined that it was time I did this in my own life. When I read it 8 years later, it remains unchanged, unedited, unwavering:

My Mission Statement             July 8, 2006

I believe that I was born of the Fall – that I was born lost.

I believe that Christ died for me; that He took my place and paid the debt of my sin – all of it – the sin brought on by Adam & Eve and my own sinful choices.

I believe that because of His sacrifice, I am forgiven and reconciled back to God.

I believe that until Christ returns to earth for final judgment, I live in the tension of being sanctified and of needing daily forgiveness and cleansing because I exist and function in a fallen world.

I believe that each and every day I make the choice to lay down my life; to die to my natural self and allow the life of Christ to be lived out in me.

I believe that I live in constant revelation, but that I only have dim knowledge.

I believe that Jesus commissioned me to go and spread the Gospel. Because Christ lives in me; every day, everywhere I go, the life of Christ has expression to this world. My life is connected irrevocably to the LIVING Christ.

My hands are His Hands; my feet are His Feet; my eyes are His Eyes; my ears are His Ears; my mouth is His Mouth; my mind is His Mind; my heart is His Heart.

My mission is to be a vessel for the outpouring of my Savior every moment <3

Laura Reimer

The second one I want to share is entitled “About You”

When I was starting the blog, I looked at other blogs and they typically had a section called “About me” where the author introduced herself so you could know her. I figured since my writing was going to be sharing my journey, you would have information on me. Ad nauseam since you know…I rarely minimize words and details…

So I decided to flip that one and write a section called “About You”

www.laurareimer.net

About You

I don’t know who reads this, but I know that you have been prayed for. I have asked God to lead you here if you need to hear what He is saying through me.

I have prayed that you will receive the Word that He has for you. I have prayed that my wacky view of life, meditations on Scripture, the deep stirrings of my spirit and sense of humor will be used mightily by Him for the purposes for which He has called me.

I pray that because you came here to this site, you were blessed, encouraged, strengthened and equipped.

I hope you laugh, if you need to and cry, if you need to.

I hope you will feel your comments are safe to leave with me. I would like to build community, but respect that not all comments were meant to be published. So, if you want to leave a comment, just tell me if it is private or to be posted! I review them before posting, so just let me know!!

I pray that YOU pray for me. To keep my heart pure and open before the Lord. To walk uprightly and in obedience. To seek to be the conduit of His thoughts and heart for you, the reader. For all that is of me to fall away. For Him to increase and me to decrease.

If the writings touch your heart, please share the site address with others as led by God.

Thank you for sharing my journey with me

Laura Reimer

Neither of those things have changed.

You are loved and I am thankful you stop by for a visit every now and again <3

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Apples don’t fall from trees, you know <3

www.laurareimer.net

Over the years I have asked some friends and family who are also gifted in putting words on paper to write a guest post for this little Journey.

As I looked back over those looking for one to share with you during this anniversary week celebration of the seven year mark for the blog, I found one our Rachel wrote that I posted during the first Christmas Countdown I did. Which also happened to be in 2013…so happy Christmas Countdown to us as well!

Here are the words she shared on December 20th of that year.

They have added two more little birds to their nest and her “free time” to be able to write is rather limited. I urge her constantly to keep jotting down her thoughts because they will make a treasure as you will see when you read this one <3

www.laurareimer.net

Shaping by Rachel Maxwell

My mom has graciously allowed me to guest-post on her blog. I am not a writer by trade and truth be told, I adore the thesaurus feature on Microsoft Word. I am humbled she would ask me to share some of my thoughts and His word with you!

Let me introduce myself. I’m the eldest daughter, Rachel. I would be the one with the two young boys that provide much of her material or humorous anecdotes. (And, all of her stories are true.) Graham (our 2 1/2 year old) keeps us on toes, wears us out, and loves us unconditionally.

It’s a beautiful combination I pray he never loses. Emmett (our 6 month old) is following right in big bro’s footsteps – absolutely delighting us, already moving everywhere, and just enjoying watching his hero brother at play!

A couple weeks ago as the boys napped and my husband was at work, I decided to tackle the basement tree. A 6.5 foot, artificial, pre-lit, three-piece tree seemed pretty simple to me, so I went for it.

Don’t worry, the tree is up and I am unharmed! But it’s in the process, the ‘simple steps’ is where Christ likes to speak to me the loudest.

You may have your qualms about an artificial tree, and I would have whole-heartedly agreed as I pulled these three pieces out of the box and set them on top of each other. The branches are all twisted and bound close together making it painfully obvious this tree is fake. It’s just ugly coming out of the box.

There are gaping holes where branches aren’t there and you can see the plastic ‘trunk’ that the makers have twisted a fake piece of garland around trying their best to conceal the plastic, the fake-ness of this tree. Being the mature mother of two, I rolled my eyes and got to work.

I went through each branch and started shaping and spreading out each one. After an hour of labor, I had cuts on my hands to prove I had done my best to shape the tree. I turned on the lights, backed away, and admired my work. That tree had gone from an eye-sore to a delight.

And then I cried.

You see, I am that tree.

I am ugly out of the box and I need lots of work.

Every sin like a branch where you can see straight to the trunk of my heart. Every argument, every quick tempered response, every muttered word, every part of my sinful nature is a branch on my tree. But thankfully, my tree doesn’t stop there and it is not finished.

Christ works on me shaping each branch with His scarred hands, removing the ugliness and creating me into something beautiful – His image.

His work in me doesn’t stop with one branch, He continues to shape and reshape me until I’m closer to perfect than I was before.

And then when His light shines in me…I am now beautiful.

You are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord turns my darkness into light.

2 Samuel 22:29

He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.

Job 33:28
www.laurareimer.net

We are all works in progress.

What a beautiful reminder back in 2013 and today <3

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