Category Archives: Looking Back

Doing a new thing – monthly resolution report June <3

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Here we are wrapping up what was June 2020. 

I don’t even know where to start. 

In January I set about to do a monthly improve a habit goal…

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Kaloupek Counseling LLC

but that pretty much got eaten up by March, April, May and then June as we hunkered down and opened up and all that has transpired. It is making this popular facebook meme make me laugh in that way that is almost like close to a melt down into tears…

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meme nation facebook page

So I am touching on some highlights and such as we wrap up the first half of 2020 and I try to regroup and refocus for July and the rest of summer. 

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First, tomorrow is a landmark day in our home as we celebrate 39 years of Russ’s work with the same company. It is remarkably unheard of these days and I can tell you that he did it with integrity and perseverance. He never sacrificed our family nor did he short change his responsibilities to the company. 

He showed up at home and left work back at the office. He showed up at work and left home for me to tend. If he traveled, he used the least amount of time away from us and his desk at the expense of lost sleep. 

I didn’t know how he would adjust to working from home, but like everything else he does, he did it well and without drama. The only change in routine was donning shorts instead of dress pants and now they are sending them back in shifts, so he and I will adjust yet again. 

He is the constant to my roller coaster and an inspiration to me for work ethic, dependability, diligence and character. 

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Second, I seem to use the word “irony” a lot lately as I observe the goings on and words and actions of my fellow humans in all walks of life and levels of prosperity, authority, power and influence. 

When I use a word a lot, I tend to want to look it up and make sure I have selected the right word. 

I found in a reference from Oxford Languages this definition:

A literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy (oh yeah…I can see I was on the right track here…), by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character. 

So if you are like me and listening and watching all that is going on these days and you are scratching your head trying to figure out what the heck is going on…irony…there is a lot of irony right now so just continue to observe, listen, discern, pray and speak only when you know your words are wise, needed and anointed. 

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Last of all, our “baby” turns 30 this week. 

Thirty. 

I remember turning thirty like it was yesterday. 

In my heart, he is still that little guy that lit up my day with a smile and some funny expression that we all took up as a standard quote for the family. He is still going to bound through that door any minute with some heart-stopping announcement like the summer his friends discovered firecrackers and he came running in shouting, “Mom!!! I need something to blow up!!!”

Oh may he be forever young and blessed back a hundred zillion fold for the blessing he has been to us <3 

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Remembering our own Red Sea crossings <3

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May is just about the sneakiest month, isn’t it?

It kind of slides in behind Easter and all the euphoria about the landscape changing from bleak winter bareness and brown as budding trees burst into action and we are marveling at tulips and daffodils and then all of a sudden we realize we have to mow grass and ball games dot our calendars as prolifically as dandelions are cropping up amongst the mulch we spread.

Suddenly the brevity of what summer will be is breathing down the neck as we attempt to figure how we are going to fit “Lazy” into the days of summer we have been so looking forward to.

Life is busy and days fill up quickly as years fly by. 

I have been hearing a theme of late in some sermons and devotions about the importance of remembering and declaring the good things God has done and so this morning I am acting on that by sharing with you a prayer once prayed and answered many years ago, but it is building my faith still today. 

I came across an entry I jotted in December of 2008. Five days before Christmas that year, I wrote in my journal “Next year, we will have two college tuitions to pay. I trust You to raise up how we will pay for that. I trust our years ahead to You.”

He did it. 

He answered that prayer. 

Sometime between the May graduation from high school and sending John off for his freshman year at ORU and Sarah to her senior year at Greenville, He made it happen.

I had two part time jobs that I loved and that summer I added a third. The hours meshed and still allowed me the freedom to be where I needed to be to keep up with our home, family and the ways I am called to serve others. 

It was exhausting and challenging, but God is good. So good. 

And every month when I calculated my three little paychecks, they covered one child’s tuition. 

Oh we would have made it without those jobs. We could have borrowed the money and paid off loans, but God heard the particular cry of my heart that I could ease the burden of that double tuition year. 

He understood that for me it mattered to be a part of the process. 

He knew the redemption and restoration working hard and maintaining the semblance of holding down real jobs could work in the soul of a woman who contributes more to the expenses than the income side of the family ledger.

All of her life. 

He understands the why behind our prayers more than we do. 

He meets the needs we were not even aware of when we asked. 

Write down your prayers.

Go back and look at them years later.

They are your personal record of His faithfulness. 

See what wonderful things the Lord has done and declare them to others. 

He is mighty and He is kind. 

Praise Him  <3

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Monday Monday <3

Good morning to you wherever you are!

We are sitting under heavy skies dripping cold rain and marveling that there are summery clothes fresh from the weekend piled in the laundry bin.

Ah the Midwest is running all kinds of weather patterns for us the last few days.

I have a series cooking in my head that I hoped to kick off this week, but it’s still half baked…so I come to you this morning with just a few thoughts gleaned from my quiet time instead.

Yesterday we heard a sermon about being intentional in our conversations in the home and the church – consistent and constantly – reciting the goodness of our God and His faithfulness in both settings WHILE building relationships that are based on the fruit of all that He is doing, has done and by faith, we believe He will do.

To be purposefully looking for how He is at work around us and through us and in us and how He shows Himself Sovereign and yet stoops down into each of our lives with such fatherly love.

At least that is what I got out of the sermon.

And I chuckled to think how recently I had the opportunity to have such a conversation with our Graham as I drove him across town from his swim lessons.

He had told me a little about his favorite games in P.E. class but his voice was trailing off as he would intersperse his narrations with long yawns.

His eyes were drooping in my rear view mirror and I knew he needed to last just a little bit longer to get his supper down and bath taken and so I launched into a story about a how I never was a fan of P. E. but I had ended up teaching it for a whole year once.

As I shared about this season, I reminisced about how hard it was. I had been recruited to sub for just two weeks early in the school year until a new P. E. teacher was hired. But no one ever applied for the job.

Week after week, month after month, and finally with a petition from the principal when my days for subbing limit had been reached that I be able to continue since the kids had gotten used to me, I lugged a bag of props and lesson plans and rosters of names between two schools.

I dealt with behavior issues that were beyond description and all the while had done some kind of damage to my back that rendered me in extreme pain.

Many days after work, I would lie helpless on the couch with ice and tears while our family pitched in around me.

It was a season where I relied on God every single moment of every single day and as I poured out the story to this little fellow who thinks a perfect day of school would be one long gym class, I certainly had grabbed his attention.

We were nearing home when my story finally wound down and I shared with him one last part of my memory from this season.

On the last day of teaching, as I started up the sidewalk to the most challenging of the two schools, for just a moment I felt an overwhelming sense of helplessness. And then God’s strength flooded me and I heard Him whisper…that would have been you all year, without ME.

Well, I figured I had at least kept him awake though he may opt to ride with his mom the next time we were taking two cars because …poor kid…what was he going to do with all of that?

But of all things…later as we were finishing getting pajamas on and wrestling three active boys into bedtime mode I heard him tell Emmett, in his own words, the story of the time Lola had needed God every day.

My story…of God’s story…being retold from big brother to little brother.

Let’s not quit reciting what God has done.

He is faithful.

Our little stories are part of His-story.

What’s your story?

Blessings on this Monday as you go out there and recite His goodness … yesterday, today, forever <3

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