Category Archives: Mile Markers from the Journey

Birthday-palooza for John 2021

The celebration for John and just being together was so much fun for me I am probably going to over share but I can’t help myself.

Having family together and then throwing in assorted friends is what makes the journey so very special.

So here we go with some of my favorite pics from the weekend:

I love that they make room for each other and the two sisters were all in to make time for their “little” brother.

Last year we did our best to celebrate without much contact. He dreamed up an old-fashioned softball game at the park and requested ice cream cake and this year he expanded on the concept.

My week was kind of jam-packed leading up to the party, plus being the king of connectors he had quite the growing guest list, I pulled out all the stops on easy entertaining…

and even resorted to purchasing one of these..

to which a dear friend who knows me said…who are you, even???

But I knew the point wasn’t fancy food or Pinterest-worthy decor…the point was celebrating with friends

and family

and yes, sadly we were missing Zach…because gotta put food on the table for that crazy train of brothers and one sporty sis.

Speaking of food on the table…

we were delighted to see some old friends (please note Joel…hanging out in his own little bistro)

and new friends…

and just all the people we love to see who share life with us…

Before we feasted, we headed to the park and built our own field of dreams.

Since softball requires dry weather, we were thankful for beautiful blue skies…

and a hilarious mix of talent on both teams.

We enjoyed some serious competition…

where blood was not thicker than pine tar…

and yet some people….seemed to literally drop the ball for the under 6 set…

allowing him a supreme advantage…

cause you are only little for such a short time.

The party continued the next day as boys’ games were canceled and we maintained the fancy party theme….

where the object of the game is to sit as close to Papi


Uncle John as possible.

Also…we decided we do silly better than serious…

We had an impromptu overnight with the Fab Four due to canceled games and late notice and just that it’s fun so everyone went to church with us (again…sadly missing a dad who was scheduled all weekend!)

We bid a fond farewell to this group at pizza on Sunday afternoon…. where yet again…flavor of the day…

provided the fun.

While this one continued to stick very close to the side of her mom ….

On Monday we headed towards that airport that made it all possible with time to squeeze in a hike with this one…

and Russ and I thoroughly enjoyed traipsing along behind them as they quote lines from movies we have never seen and sang lyrics to songs we do not know…and we couldn’t have cared less if we understood what they were talking about or not because just too much fun to watch them be together…

It was one for the books and all in all…you know what I am going to say…so go ahead and say it with me….

Best. Day. Ever.


Share and Save:

A big day in our house and a special guest to share with you <3

Today is a very special day in our household. 

While I have changed jobs as frequently as some people refresh their wardrobe, my better half has been a faithful employee at Archer Daniels Midland Company since he first walked in the doors of that facility a month after we said our vows and packed our meager hand-me-down furniture, some wedding money to live on and moved into a one bedroom apartment in a town where we knew no one. 

For thirty-nine years plus a few months he managed to give both his work and us his very best. 

The standard he holds others to is no less than the one he holds for himself and he is gracious, kind, diplomatic and focused 24/7. And today is his last official day on the job. 

Whenever I have met people who know him through work they do the usual bantering in front of him but at some point make sure I know what a fine man he is. I can honestly tell them that yes, I know that. Because the man they know at work is the same man at home and he is and always has been the finest human being God ever gave me the privilege of meeting let alone spending my adult years with. 

I had thought to ask him to write a post but thought he would decline and then last week he asked if he could do a guest spot for his last day. I was thrilled and I know you will be blessed by his farewell words. 

So without further ado…

A Good Run by Russ Reimer 

My world is changing today as I will wrap up my years of service at the only company I have worked for since leaving college.  On Monday,  I will wake up and not have a steady job to report to for the first time in almost 40 years.  

Will it be strange? Most definitely.   

Will I miss the challenges that have been sent my way?  I will.   

Will I miss the kind people along the path that have helped me get to this point. Very much so.   

Am I ready?  I think I am.

I have seen many people leave the work force over the years.  Some on their own schedule and according to their own plan.   Some not as fortunate, impacted by downsizing and corporate decisions.  

We live in an unusual time and for many situations the choices are made for us. The world seems to be against us and the goals we have for our families and our careers are not always achieved.   

The difficulties we are faced with can sometimes seem unsurmountable and keep us in a downward spiral.    

I have been there. 

I can recall some very difficult times in my work career when I thought this just isn’t working. 

 Projects over budget, employees getting injured and ongoing natural disasters that limited my team from accomplishing our goals were all factors that could have changed the plans I had made.

I have kept one scripture in mind through it all.    

Philippians 4:13 which says: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.        

 God has provided for me and my family through the ups and downs of the working world. 

 I have prayed for my employees daily for many years now and this has helped me regain my focus.   

 I can’t control the things that are bigger than me but I can turn it over to God to help me make it through.

My next journey is a little uncertain due to the fact that I will not have a set schedule.   

Chasing grandchildren, playing golf, time for reading and time for myself  will be on my calendar and that’s ok.    

 What’s next is not known; however, He is in control. 

I am grateful I have my best friend to help me navigate the waters(my wife of nearly 40 years) and I am sure I will drive her crazy.   

 But that’s ok too.    

We started this journey together as two very poor college students and have gone through much to get to this point.  Pray for her as she gets more time with me than she has ever had!

To my current colleagues, former colleagues, peers, friends  and family members; thank you for the role you have played in this chapter. 

 As a good friend tells me on a regular basis, we are now entering the 4th quarter(60+).   

I hope we make it to overtime!    

 It has been a good run.

Share and Save:

Did you select a word or phrase for focus this year?

This week I came across a journal from 2018 and discovered that I had chosen a “word” for the year. 

I vaguely remember this. Just kidding. I remember it well. 

My word was “simplify” and as I read through the pages, I realized how I actually did become aware of my tendency to overcomplicate E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

While I can’t say I think about the whole process I worked through that year, I can see today where the effort to focus on the concept of what it means to simplify has impacted me with some changes that are positive. 

A couple of examples are:

 I know I have become far less annoying placing my order at a restaurant because I forced myself to simply read the choices and remind myself this is not my last meal on earth and even if it is, so what?

I find myself more frequently recognizing when I hit a stall in my daily tasks and I can self-talk to my inner child with a firm “Just do the thing that needs to be done and quit procrastinating.” I realize that as a result of my 2018 effort I have improved skills in parenting myself. 

I have become less attached to holding on to things just because we might need them some day…including thoughts and memories that are not helpful or productive. 

I wouldn’t have attributed growth in these areas to this one word focus experiment if I had not captured the process in a notebook.

In the same way, this morning I was reminded of another year when I decided to start every morning’s journal entry for my quiet time by writing these words right after recording the date. 

“The love of Christ compels me”

I realized this morning where I got the idea when I read Oswald Chambers’ writing in My Utmost for His Highest. 

He talks about this verse from 2 Corinthians 5:14 in his devotional writing for February 4.

Using the life and ministry of Paul, he points out that Paul cared not what others thought of his words and actions because his motivation was always from the perspective of God’s love for him. 

I remember how writing the verse every day helped me remember that my self-centered DNA can mix this up and cause me to derail in every attempt to serve well the God who saved me. 

Because my human nature wants to twist that and derive all motivation for honoring God by transposing the Scripture to read…

“My love of Christ compel’s me”

But the verse reads…“

The love of Christ ….Christ’s love… compels me

The pressing forward that drives me needs to be the knowledge of the love of Jesus Christ. 

HIS love.

His love for me.

His love for others. 

His love for God. 

The love that belongs to Him.

The love of Jesus Christ produces the drive and motivation in me that propels me forward throughout each and every day. 

That is what I desperately wanted to engrave on my mind and heart that year. 

And to do so means that I have to listen to one voice and one voice only. 

I am thankful God gives me the power of His Spirit in me to stay focused. 

Oh sure, I get distracted and I get off track. 

I make mistakes and blatantly rebel or childishly argue with the Spirit. 

But my heart is set on being compelled…forced to act…based on the love of Christ and so I thank Him for grace and mercy…for do-overs and repentance when I mess it up and get it backwards. 

My one desire is that the things I do are done in compulsion; as in “I can’t NOT do them”…because I am so aware of the love of Christ.

In this, I have to understand and accept that my actions will not always please others.

So I also have to pray that if I offend, it is only because the work of love on the Cross of Christ is so evidently displayed in me that the offense is His. 

And if I realize that my offense was because I got off track, then I need to apologize and seek forgiveness and work toward healing and restoring relationship with the offended party.

I am a sinner, saved by grace, compelled by the love of Christ and empowered by His Spirit to bring glory and honor to His Name wherever He places me today. I don’t know how to do that and so I ask for help and guidance; fully relying on the God who called me, to show me the way. 

I pray you are seeking Him each and every day and that you know deep in your soul how much He loves you <3

Share and Save: