Category Archives: Guest Post

When you ask your husband how lock down has gone for him…. <3

www.laurareimer.net

My husband is many things but above all he is loved and treasured by those of us who know him best. He is a man of integrity and dedication. He is serious and asks everyone to give their best, because he always gives his best. He is also hilarious and caring and kind.

He is my best friend and has made my life infinitely better since our first date. The Fab Four tend to ask for him when they FaceTime me, and I can understand why. Our three kiddos know their dad has their back no matter what and while they love to tease him mercilessly, they know he is the glue that has always held us together <3

When his company ordered everyone to work from home, I was concerned how this people person guy who thrives on the office environment was going to adjust.

Well, like everything else he does, he has done it well and with grace.

So I asked him to write a post sharing his views on what it has been like for him to work from home and adjust to the changes of this season.

I love how he decided to do it so grab a coffee or tea..or water…or whatever and sit back and enjoy….

www.laurareimer.net

From the desk of Russ Reimer:

My better half recently asked me to consider writing a guest blog for her and I looked at her with that look that says “ Are you talking to me?”.  

She assured me that she was talking to me and that she was somewhat expecting me to get this done. I have learned that this is a woman you do not cross due to her strong German ancestry and a fuse which can be ignited quite quickly.    

As Laura does so well,  Here are some random thoughts from me for you to consider during this extreme trial for so many.

#1    Working from Home

I am the type of person that has traditionally gone to an office setting early in the morning, worked at my job throughout a full day and then returned to my home in the late afternoon/evening.  

This has worked well for me as I have been gainfully employed by one company for many years. I am what would be referred to as a “dinosaur” in the work place.   Not a bad thing.  It is just how my working life has gone.    

In contrast, my wife has had multiple jobs in her life (19 to be exact) and has done each of them with much energy and passion.  If you know my wife, she is a social, interactive person who provides much color to a simple conversation. Her ability to adapt and work in many different settings has equipped her well.   

We are now working together from home.   

We are fortunate that we have an office area in our home which Laura established residency in when we first moved here. She can be in her office with the doors closed which allows her to write, email and interact with the world. I am happy for her.    

My “temporary” workspace is the kitchen table. My new normal has caused me to be adaptable and flexible to interact with my colleagues all across the city and the country each day by email, instant message or phone calls.  

I am getting into a routine, however, I (like many others) are seeing the days turn into Groundhog Day which makes me aware that so many others are having to be on the front lines dealing with real-life emergencies that cause angst and uncertainty in their lives. 

My message to you in this time of uncertainty is that God calls us to be adaptable just like Jesus was with so many different situations he was faced with.    

Being around small children, being a teacher, being a physician, providing support to so many in his daily walk, suffering, being a servant and ultimately giving up his life for us.   

He led by example and did it well.       

Do all things without grumbling or complaining.   (Phil 2:14)

#2   Putting a Gas Grill together (husband and wife)

Our gas grill blew over in a windstorm and was damaged beyond repair.   The decision was made by both of us that we would purchase a new one. This was done this past weekend.  

It was certainly my hope that I could avoid assembling this item due to the extreme frustration and time consuming process. 

No success on this as we brought home a new gas grill in a box to be assembled in our evening hours. I have done one of these before and told myself never again.   I must have had a senior moment. We began the process this week.

We have decided to do this together and, just as I suspected, it is reminding me of an attempt in our early married years to hang wall paper together.  

Hanging wall paper quickly became my job and I must say, I enjoyed it once the job was completed.   

I believe the grill assembly process will be successful, however, doing this together will likely put a strain on nearly 39 years together. Our goal is to have steaks on the grill by this  weekend.  

I just hope we are able to enjoy them in each other’s company.

While I am confident we will get the grill completed and operational, I am aware that life is not always full of cooperation.   

There are heartaches, there are disappointments, there are times when you see your young and/or adult children struggle and there are times that create so much self-doubt that you can lose all of your confidence.   

Knowing that you can stand tall on the promise of God and lean on him when times are difficult (Philippians 4:13) provides a level of support like no other.   

Trust and he will find you.

 #3  Graduating Seniors

While we have all been inconvenienced in many ways by the Covid-19 outbreak and our lifestyles have likely changed forever, there is one special group of people that my heart aches for and that is graduating seniors in high school.   

We all know or are connected to someone that is in this category and for those of us over 18, we can each remember our graduation as a real sense of accomplishment.  

Some of us went off to full-time work , some joined the military, some went on to start a post-high school education and some of us got married. A tremendous time in a young person’s life.    

Some of us have fond memories of high school and some that are not so good.

I would ask that you consider saying a prayer for those young people in this situation.   

Ceremonies may or may not be held, graduation parties will be disrupted and the satisfaction level may be empty due to this interruption.

Reminder that the Bible tells us to:  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding  ( Proverbs   3:5).    

Say a prayer, send a card and recognize these young people.      

They need us to show them support and that they will make a difference.

 Blessings to each of you and may Laura return quickly to her job of blogging!!

www.laurareimer.net

>>>>>>>>

It’s me again….if you know my husband, you can just hear his wise and calm voice all through that and you can understand why he is definitely the better half here. We did get the grill assembled with our marriage in tact and I want to say that having him here this past month has been a gift from God to me. He always kept his work separate from our home and to see him in action has been a treat. 

I hope you all are holding up well. These are tense times and times full of many thoughts and emotions for not only our own situations but those around us. You are loved, deeply loved. If you don’t have a home church that does Sunday internet services I would invite you to any and all of the following: 

firstdecatur.org

https://antiochatx.online.church

https://www.eastviewonline.church

and if you are on Facebook, Michael W. Smith has a Worship around the World series – just go to his page and click on any of the posts for a 30-45 minute worship service or watch live on Saturdays <3

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Insights from Kenya 2017 guest post by Megan Peterson

So Megan would be one of Russ’s girls.

One of a trio of young ladies that insisted on riding with Russ on any and all outings the youth group took when these lovelies were in high school.

And I have witnesses who know that as they ran across the parking lot to our Tahoe at least one would stop, look back at me kind of disappointed-like and say…

“Oh…are you going with us too, Laura?”

Kind of like … the opposite of an invitation.

And we would all laugh as I would hold up my hands and assure them I would not mess with that magic.

NO way.

Now those girls are all grown up and as beautiful as ever and in a world that is so very mixed up about what a lot of things…Miss Megan gets God’s love right…right here <3

Stillness in the Midst of Rush Hour by Megan Peterson

Photo credit to FCC Kenya Team 2017 

Do you ever have a plan A, B and maybe even C.

And often wonder how’d I ever get here, and then feel that you’ve missed everything in between?

This has been myself the last 5 years.

Consistently striving to figure out this adulthood thing, being content with experiences and directions of life.

Still, there is a yearning for peace, sense of self and trusting in His ultimate plan.

God has placed a notion on my heart for the word LOVE.

This word is often associated with an extravagant feeling, yet it can also be integrated within one’s lifestyle.

To love as a Christian, is to give to other’s those things that you would want them to give to you, if you were in their situation and not expect anything in return.

Done, marked that off the list; help people get back their independence by working in the medical field. Yet—there is so much more to this Love.

This past July, a group of 23 people ventured to Kenya, Africa with Decatur First Christian Church for a Medical Mission Trip.

Travelling hours along barren and bumpy terrain in vans to serve people with medical attention.

Certainly, serving others, along with the appreciation of western culture resources changed our lives.

However, there is one thing that impacted and shaped this weary heart.

The expression of Love through communication; both non verbal and verbal.

Example 1:

These three girls.

We gazed at each other with such curiosity: neither of us could verbally understand one another. However, the world language of a girl is to twirl with her skirt, smile and giggle.

This was our conversation.

The understanding of one another and connection to the Love of our God. No words, but being still and present His Divine plan.

Example 2: One of our Maasai Van Drivers and translators, Stonic Kopiah.

A man who dresses very “Western”, has a gentle, but strong spirit, yet he has very traditional tribal upbringing.

He is a man who became a Warrior to fulfill his family’s wishes and legacies. This means he went into the wilderness for 2 years, lived off the land and killed a Lion in order to return to his tribe.

Fast Forward, after various jobs, now drives safari vans, has 1 wife (very rare in traditional Maasai) and two children. His oldest, a girl, 25 years old and single. He made clear that he wants to give his daughter the choice to pick her spouse (Again, very rare in traditional Maasai).

This man has experienced much, was challenged often and now continues to love through many humble actions (supplying women with simple work of doing his families laundry, giving his Daughter a voice with a choice and translating to help the people in his community for the betterment of their health) and expects nothing in return.

Though, his love is clearly outlined above, he touched me with the time spent in conversation during long van rides to/from medical clinic and sitting shot gun next to him at the end of safari.

We talked about life in general, desires, morals, importance of relationships, how to drive the vans on the road and to be open, while listening to others.

Towards the end of safari, the radios sounded and a female lion and cub were spotted.

We arrive, he pulls over with the lions on my side, turns off the van with the windows down.

I quietly and hesitantly signal “the window is down”.

He replied, “Have confidence in yourself, they will not hurt you. I wouldn’t have let you keep the window down if I’ve known that they would harm you.”

Simple, yet very powerful words of Love.

Often, we rush through the day. Forgetting to simply listen, be still and communicate with God and others around us.

Trusting that the interactions of the day are meant to fuel the human souls and fortify His promise that he will provide.

For in his Word, he states, “Let all that you do, be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14 ESV

 

A big thanks to you, Miss Megan, for opening your heart and sharing how Kenya touched and changed you. Thank you for sharing part of the journey with us today  <3

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Sending out the Twelve…Did I do enough? Guest Post from Rachel Maxwell <3

I can well remember sitting in the parking lot of the Lutheran Preschool, pregnant with Sarah and bawling my eyes out as I realized that I had just ushered our first born into the beginning of a lifetime of arenas that would be hers…not mine. I am puddling up even as I type those words to introduce this beautiful piece our Rachel sent me a few weeks ago as a guest post. Grab a tissue and enjoy the gentle pondering of her tender heart <3

We sent our oldest to kindergarten this year.

The tears are hot on my cheeks as I recall the shortest and longest walk I have ever been on as his younger brothers and I escorted him to the door of his new school.

He was met with the welcoming, smiling faces of teachers and staff as they helped him find the right line to sit in. They called him by name…thanks to the nametags his teacher mailed us in early August.

He stood in the kindergarten line and looked back one last time.

I held it together…until I saw the back of that cute little head and red Spiderman backpack heading into a new adventure.

One I wasn’t going to be a part of every day…One I could only hear about later and second hand through the tidbits and stories he chose to share.

It’s an adventure I know I can’t push him to share…but thankful for each small nugget of his day I get to be a part of.

And like so much of parenting…I thought of our Father.

I thought of Him sending out of the disciples…did the ‘Mary half’ of Jesus wonder as I wonder? Did he question the humanity of the ones who followed Him?

I wonder….How will Graham represent our family name?

                        How will Peter represent the name of Jesus?

Will he be kind and known for his servant hands?

Will Levi be known for his generous heart?

I’ve taught him how to break bread and share meals with others…will he?

Will My disciples remember Me feeding the thousands?

Will he invite anyone to sit with him at lunch or will he be invited to sit at a table?

Will you feed My sheep?

Will he bring Jesus into every conversation?

Will you make disciples of ALL nations?

Will he stand up for the Truth in a world of non-conviction, opposition, and falsehood?

Will you remember My actions before and on the cross?

Will he continue to ask me for help, to seek my wisdom?

Will you remember My prayers shared with you in My Word?

I am in no way comparing my sacrifice as a mother to the great sacrifice of Jesus…please hear me.

But in my earthly stumbling’s along the way, God has graciously allowed me to become a mother and share in the lives of each of my children.

And I know He has spoken to me about Himself in this way…over and over again.

I labored for each of them before they were born…in different ways, but labor all the same.

We loved them before they were considered worth anything by the standards of this world.

Their lives had purpose and value…from the very start of their creation.

And so far…all of Graham’s life has led us to this point…is he ready to be sent out?

Have we done enough?

I think of Jesus walking alongside, performing miracles, teaching lessons, exemplifying prayer and petition to His Father all in front of His disciples, knowing His death, resurrection and ascension lay ahead of Him and He would leave them with what they had learned.

As I walked back down that long sidewalk back to our car…I cried.

Jesus knows that pain…He wept too.

The God who made the entire world with His spoken word wept on this earth.

The kindergarten teachers had the parents kiss the palms of our children’s hands and tell them to place it on their cheek when they were sad and missed us.

When we did this with Graham, his eyes lit up with the realization that he could do this at school and still ‘feel’ us and our love in the palm of his hand.

I may have placed the palm of my own hand to my own cheek as I thanked my Heavenly Father that I can feel the love from the palm of His hand.

He knows…He knows my heart and He loves me all the same.

The scars prove how far He is willing to go.

And you’d better believe I was ready and waiting for that final school bell to ring…and I got to look on the face of the child I love so dearly.

And then I had a glimpse of that reunion in heaven…

when I’m the child craning my neck so I can find Him and finally put that beautifully scarred palm on my cheek with a physical touch and I can look into His eyes and know I’m okay.

I’m home.

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