Category Archives: Empty Nest

I seem to be losing my edge, which is a good thing <3

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I guess the Lord is doing a work in me because yesterday I spent a grand total of 133 minutes on the phone with a variety of Xfinity tech support personnel and I never lost my temper once. 

Not even after all the automated prompts and the fact that the 133 minutes of talk time did not include the minutes spent trying to get to a human. 

I also logged 3249 steps and 19 flights of stairs running back and forth between the television in the basement and the Gateway modem in the office.

And in all this, I continued to carry on civil conversations with all three customer support people. 

The first one was located in Romania and I never could quite catch his name so I gave up.

However as we waited for the system to reboot numerous times and attempted to restart the connections to the internet, he awkwardly started some small talk with me. He said he knew it was a trivial question but how was the weather where I lived. 

I said it was really fairly pleasant, which somehow broke the ice and from halfway around the world he decided to share with me that he had been working in the hospitality industry in Hawaii before Covid hit. The pandemic had forced him to return home and he was trying to start a business so was doing extra work to help like this job to help make ends meet. 

As he poured out his story, I commiserated with him on the difficult changes we are faced during these times. The system finally did it’s thing and so he coached me through a few more attempts to get our TV connected to the internet and eventually told me I would most likely need to get a new box for it. 

He said he would make notes on the call, and I would be receiving a text in an hour asking if the issue had been resolved. I would need to reply N for no and they would direct me to the steps I would take to get the TV box replaced. 

An hour later, I received the text, made the call and got John.

Not our John of course. This John referred to himself as “John like John the Baptist”. He sounded like he lived in Atlanta and he was pretty sure he could fix the situation over the phone despite the notes that guy #1 had left on my file. 

He was not as chatty, but was nice…although a bit disenchanted with my lack of technical skills. At one point when I was trying to locate the XR number on the inside of the remote and finally found it, he couldn’t refrain from a relieved exclamation of “Thank you, Jesus!”

I said Amen and he laughed and from there we worked together as brother and sister in Christ, and seriously the only thing we had in common…. but still to no avail.

John tried repeatedly to get my remote to “par” (assuming he meant pair) with the TV but it was just not meant to be.

Finally John determined the remote was the problem and advised me to go the nearest Xfinity store and tell them I needed a new remote.

He gave me a ticket number, which I said I would need to find a pen and paper for, but since I was in the basement all I could put my hands on was a large purple crayon and a coloring page. 

But done and done and I thanked John and wished him a blessed day and he did the same to me. 

Ah well, I thought. 

A simple solution and time on Thursday to hit up the store for a new remote. 

Except now we had no internet on any device. 

I searched for it on the settings of all devices and discovered our wifi name had disappeared from the neighborhood. 

So my third call was to Stuart. 

I have no idea where Stuart hails from. 

He sounded like perhaps he was Hispanic…but who knows. 

When I told Stuart we were AWOL from the wifi list in our area, he discovered that somehow in all the pushing of buttons and running resets, our Gateway had been returned to factory settings. 

Stuart got us back up with our old wifi name and set up our old password and I was quite happy. He wanted to make sure I could connect all the devices including the printer. 

And then Stuart earned my deepest respect. One of the TV’s was having trouble connecting so he suggested unplugging the box and then plugging back in. It worked. 

He also asked me to go back to the original problem TV and see if we could get it up and running as well. 

Sure enough – by unplugging the cable box and plugging it back in …

Voila ! 

The errant TV now worked. 

He said that he has discovered often when a box and TV are not working, this simple step of unplugging and replugging the box seems to do the trick.

I proclaimed Stuart a genius.

He humbly laughed and said he wouldn’t go that far but I insisted whatever else happened today in his life, he is indeed…a genius. 

So 133 minutes, 3,249 steps, 19 flights of stairs and three phone calls later…our problem was fixed and I realized that God does transform even the likes of me…this time. 

I hope I can remember that the next time I have to call to have the paper stopped or need to ask someone about our garbage pick up…sigh…

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Some take aways from “His Mighty Strength”

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I have been dragging my feet about the idea of autumn. It’s not that I don’t love the season because it is probably the one I feel the most energized about. I love the colors, the food, the lack of a significant holiday that I have to shop and attend programs celebrating.

It’s just that change is always hard for me and I have been pining about losing daylight hours and our pretty flowers on the patio. But this morning when I opened the back door and felt a crisp, cool twinge to the air…my heart leapt and I am eyeing our remaining blooms and dreaming of pumpkins and mums to replace them….sigh…there really is a time for all the seasons <3

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So yesterday I promised a summary of takeaways from the book “His Mighty Strength” by Randy Frazee.

I shared one of the biggies already on a post – https://www.laurareimer.net/the-surprising-way-we-can-be-empowered-by-powerlessness-sigh/

Today I am hopefully going to be able to give you a simple synopsis of a few more.

#1 

I don’t know if this is something others have tried to teach me in my years of learning about Jesus, and I certainly hope this is not a false belief but the whole book is based on the fact that Jesus set aside all of His powers and deity to become fully human. 

Now this is not saying He was not God. He is most assuredly a part of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But He did not possess the omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience of His position when He came to earth. 

Randy Frazee points out that the things He did that were miraculous were done in the power of the Holy Spirit and He was showing us how we also would have access to that same power. When He calmed the waters or performed miracles of healing, it was not His power as a human but the power of the Holy Spirit at work within Him. 

This just blows me away. 

As I read the Scriptures in light of this information, I realized how many times I look at things Jesus did and say…well yeah…I mean… He was God. Sure He could do that. 

I am not sure how I have made it this far in my journey missing the whole point of this, but this information has removed quite a few more scales from these flawed eyes. Jesus was showing us the way to have, as humans, a relationship with God that included private prayer, trusting and believing Him, forgiving, enduring, healing, teaching, encouraging, caring…all the things He did while on earth WITH the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

#2  

He points out that the empowering we get from the Holy Spirit is not just to produce miracles in the way we might think of miracles. And yes, we should be seeing miracles as we activate the power of God given to us as believers. 

He has a list of some very practical ways the Holy Spirit empowers us in the fruits of the Spirit:

To unconditionally cherish and forgive others (love)

To have inner contentment and purpose in spite of our circumstances (joy)

To be free from anxiety because things are right in our relationships (peace)

To forbear under the unavoidable pressures of life (patience)

To act positively towards others (kindness)

To be full of integrity (goodness)

To be loyal and trustworthy to people God has placed in our lives (faithfulness)

To be thoughtful, considerate, and calm in our relationships with others (gentleness)

To restrain ourselves form destructive behaviors (self-control)

Randy Frazee, His Mighty Strength – Nelson Books, 2021; page 162

I don’t know about you, but these are all things I tend to strive for in my own power thinking I should be able to do this. 

I can’t. 

I need God’s power activated in me on the daily to accomplish these characteristics I so desperately desire. And God says…I have given you the Power you need to overcome your own shortcomings and be what I made you to be.

But I have to access that power daily. Frazee reminds us throughout the book that this is not a one and done transformation. As we learn to walk in the Spirit and grow in our relationship with Jesus, we make progress in this. God is always there to help us when we stumble, fall short, forget, stray…He is always with us and for us to grow in grace to be more like Jesus. 

#3

He had a wonderful example of how to pray to release our desire to control when we are realizing we really never had control. 

By using a physical exercise with a simple three step prayer, Randy Frazee has given me a process that is helping me immensely. 

First you tighten your fist as tight as you can, and as you continue to tighten it you talk to God about what your frustration is. I talked to Graham about this when he was angry with one of his siblings so I am going to use that. 

I suggest that he tell God how mad he gets when his brother is unwilling to play a certain sport or game with him. So he talked to God about his anger as he tightened his fist. 

Second, you release your grip, opening your palm upward. As you feel that sensation of all the tension leaving, you pray to release your desire to control the situation. In Graham’s case, we prayed that we know he can’t control his brother’s choices or personality. 

Third, you turn your relaxed hand upside down and empty the situation into God’s hands. So for Graham, we dropped his relationship into the hands of the God who made both of them uniquely different. We asked God to help them to build a strong friendship as brothers and to show Graham how to love his brother even when they were not getting along. We thanked God for having brothers and we let God take the anger and hurt feelings. 

The author of His Mighty Strength points out that this prayer of release may have to be done numerous times before we see any change in the situation, but each time we pray this kind prayer – we are changed and we grow. 

I hope some of these are helpful to you today. 

God bless and I will see you tomorrow <3

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September book list and August check in day <3

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I have to tell you, I started this monthly book report on the Journey for two reasons.

First, I enjoy seeing what books other bloggers I follow are reading and second, I wanted some kind of accountability for finishing books.

I love to read and collect books faster than our shelves collect dust. However, after rearing three younguns to adult-hood followed by stepping joyfully into whole-hearted grandparenting, plus having a tendency to overbook every single day of my life…I found that I had grown lax in attention span for finishing a book.

I realized I have some I started and never finished and a lot I never cracked open after ordering.

Sigh.

So this has been a way for me to know I need to finish what I started and yes…sometimes books stay in the stack for a while or don’t make the next month or two and then reappear.

Such is the case for August.

I did read two of the ones pictured above this month and a good portion of one.

I loved the Jan Karon book for light reading, although I did get a bit frustrated with Father Tim’s lack of commitment to relationship. Thankfully I did not give up on him and was rewarded with a happy announcement at the closing page of the book.

I am hooked.

Mitford is my home away from home in the world of fiction and I plan to dig up the next book in the series.

I also read His Mighty Strength and found it to be so very encouraging. I picked up several takeaways that I will share tomorrow. It is a practical faith application book presented with no drama, but honest testimony.

Tune in tomorrow for those thoughts.

And now for September:

Another eclectic effort on my part.

I am loving the N. T. Wright book and putting some understanding into questions I have had in the past when reading the four gospels.

The White Fragility is one that got buried and never finished and I do want to finish that as well as a perspective on issue from a book a friend read and gifted me a copy. Two very different ways of viewing some of our deepest areas of conflict in life and culture of 2021, and I am praying to read both with open mind and discernment for God’s truth as I learn more about the struggles of others and yet adhere to my convictions on how to interact with all people and show them God’s love.

The Dreyer’s English was another gift from a dear friend who thinks I can put words together in an intelligent way and is encouraging me to do it even better. I am convicted by the little bit I have read to remember that my posting here is not often something an English teacher would smile upon.

I sense my entries would use up quite a large amount of red ink.

A work in progress to the bitter end…that’s me.

Okay…so what are you reading???

Do tell.

Hugs and I will see you tomorrow!

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