Category Archives: Musings of a blonde brain

Just a check in and catch up from the weekend <3

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We are in that lovely transition between summer and fall where the high heat is hopefully a memory. Fall is probably my favorite season when it plays nice; and it is doing so in the Midwest for right now. However for all of that; a friend captured my thoughts recently in her status post on Facebook.

She said they were having such a lovely weekend camping with family and yet, for all the blessings she was soaking in, she was also aware of the struggles and pain of so many far and near.

I get that. While we were thankful for a weekend full of family and friends, some rain on Saturday that was much needed and then sunny mild temps on Sunday; our hearts go out to the many who are dealing with emotional, physical, social and mental struggles.

It is a tightrope we walk between compassion for others and being thankful for our current setting. Then at other times, we balance facing our own challenges and heartache with rejoicing for others who are experiencing a bountiful season. Such is the journey of life.

So for today, I am simply sharing some of the pictures and thoughts from what our weekend looked like. I hope some make you laugh and bring a smile. I hope you are finding joy and peace in this season. I hope your are being refreshed when needed and that you are returning to the battle when you can.

And without further ado…

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I noticed this guy on our miniature herb garden as we were heading in from the patio Saturday night. Someone guessed a monarch and after googling, I have to agree. We debated catching and letting the Fab 4 watch it do its thing, but I decided it deserves to be free. Maybe we will see it in transformed nature sometime soon.

Sunday morning I woke up with what I felt certain was a new world record for bed head.

I was right.

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I had Russ document it on my phone and was laughing uncontrollably as I sent it out to the kids. Things like this need to be shared. Not bragging, mind you. It’s just hard to keep greatness to yourself.

Just when I thought I could stop laughing from my giggling fit, I get this from John…

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Which was immediately followed by this from Sarah:

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These kept me laughing at random moments throughout the morning, which made me thankful we now wear masks to church. It would have been inappropriate for me to bust out laughing there and worse if I tried to explain why.

So I safely social distance behind my mask but with this happy turn of events…

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our good friends made their first visit back to regular services and since they are basically family, we got to sit together.

Little side note here…sitting in a pew with people I love is one of the many reasons I have enjoyed going to church since I was a child. As our children have grown up and moved away and we have lost parents and that whole generation, it has been a gift to me to sit with these friends on Sundays.

Twists and turns over the years can leave some wounds, but sitting shoulder to shoulder with those who have walked through gains and losses of all kinds brings a kind a healing to the soul. Words don’t have to be said when some tears slide down the cheek in the middle of a worship song. Just a gentle hand that pats the back or rests for a minute on the arm says all that needs to be said.

The fellowship of believers is something I appreciate more each year. The logging of days that lead to years that lead to decades are a treasure moth and rust can not destroy. And for this I am so very grateful. It was wonderful to sit together again and take notes from the teaching and join in communion side by side. If you are still worshipping at home these days, do what is comfortable and best for your health…but when it is safe, please come back. The Body is meant to be together.

After church we celebrated with brunch at a favorite local place…outside, of course…

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Then it was straight to the soccer fields to watch our favorites play…

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and snack…

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I love how they give their mom so much room to move and be comfortable…oh my gosh…

After the games we got some pizza…

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and just wondering, is anyone else hoping these restaurants invest in outdoor heaters so we can just eat outside year round???

Then it was home and some reading before we called it a day. Unfortunately I must have peaked, literally, on hair art because my bedhead this morning was just mediocre at best.

Sigh.

One and done.

Well, I hope your week is off to a good start and that you had some smiles from the weekend.

Blessings and I will see you tomorrow <3

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Remembering with the rest of you <3

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While a whole generation has grown up and graduated from high school, granted with social distancing or virtually or however the school decided to do it, for the rest of us who are old enough we have a memory of this day in our nation’s history. 

Mine started in the kitchen as I was cleaning up breakfast and pouring another cup of coffee. My neighbor friend down the street called and asked if I had the news on. She must not have known me super well. I never have the news on. 

But I went over in our family room and turned it on. I watched as reporters fed us commentary regarding a tall building along the New York City skyline with smoke and flames shooting out it a far ways up from way high in the sky. Even as I grasped something horrible had happened they began excitedly announcing another plane seemed to be coming. A plane?  I tried to comprehend as I sank to my knees that a plane full of humans had become a fatal weapon launched against an unsuspecting building full of people. Not once, but twice. 

I only got up to grab my Bible off the table and I went down again. I didn’t know what else to do but find Scripture to pray because all words were failing me. At some point I called Russ to ask him if I should get the kids from school. He told me to check on them if I could and I did. They wanted to stay and so I went home where I spent the day pretty much in the same posture of kneeling and prayer and tears. 

This morning as I was coming through town to work I saw a motorcycle off to the side on the overpass. Standing in the middle of our north south highway where it spans the Interstate below stood a man in a Veterans jacket holding a flag. It was cold and damp and windy this morning but I guess he needed to just hold the flag to remember what happened. I cried and prayed wordless prayers for his heart and his story. 

I think of our cities burning, some from human hands and some from wild fires. I think of our heated  conversations as we fight amongst ourselves. Our country is far from perfect, as are all countries. But this is my home country and I feel as helpless now as I did nineteen years ago because I don’t know how we are going to mend the hurts and pains. For all the corrupt politicians and greed of corporations and offenses of each of us big and small, the people I love live here along both coasts and in cities, towns and villages in between. 

So I choose to take the posture I took that day and kneel down, grab onto what God says about us, and pray. We are first and foremost His children, but we have been placed in this world in a certain place for a certain time. Let us live well and honor Him in all we do <3 

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Just masking the best of it <3

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One thing about the past six months that I think we all could agree on is the astounding way changes have happened across the board and around the world. Shut downs, shelter in place, schools and churches closed and masks are just a few of the abrupt halts to our sense of constants that we took for granted.

And while we would perhaps reach a consensus that there have been extraordinary adaptations needed in every area of our lives, we would most likely enter a rather heated discussion about how we feel about it all. 

Since we know I am not one of those who loves debating, I will let that side of it rest and just present to you some of my observations about mask wearing. Now don’t you worry, this is not a pro/con, political, medical, socio-economic discussion about masks. This is just some things I have noticed personally about what happens to me when I put mine on. 

In my weekly existence my mask-wearing happens when shopping or entering a restaurant or business, waiting on customers once a week in the store where I work and for an hour on Sunday morning.

And yes, I do wear my mask the entire service except for the part where I take communion. Our church has social distanced seating and requires masks for entering and exiting, in the aisles, singing and any visiting inside the building. But I just leave mine on since who knows what the CDC will tell us tomorrow and I would rather err on the side of caution to protect others. 

I have noticed some things about me when I am wearing my mask that I find interesting. For instance, I find that I am less self-conscious when I have my mask on. Having a poker face is something I have never been accused of.

My emotions and mood are easily read by people who don’t even know me. While others can fake a smile or a neutral position in a conversation, my face is an open book. You never have to wonder what I am feeling or thinking.

This has made me feel vulnerable and over-exposed quite often. My heart and brain are not always ready to share what my expression has already betrayed. In social settings, I am often floundering to explain something that I would have preferred to just keep to myself. 

Another thing I have noticed is that I assign a lot of value to a person’s face in its entirety. Apparently I don’t notice body shape and height, hair color and style, nor the physical gestures and gaits of my fellow humans.

Russ seems to recognize everyone with half their faces covered, and a boat load of people know who I am. However, I am clueless when some masked person starts talking to me.

Thankfully I can often recognize the voice as we go along, but I am completely disoriented as I try to look at the eyes only. I never realized how much I rely on the mouth and full facial expressions of others in communication. 

On the flip side, I have also realized how much importance I put on my full face. With the mask on, I feel like half of me is missing. I care less about what I look like and I have less desire to communicate with others. It is like I have put down the blinds at the end of the day and closed off to the outside world.

Having struggled with two bouts of depression in my adult life and dealt with family who struggled more than I care to remember, it is eerily like standing on the brink of that mental and spiritual isolation. This is why mild panic rises in me when I see photos of large cities with massive groups masked or hear some modern day news-prophet declare that this will be our new normal forever and ever, amen. I pray this is not so. 

Finally, I have observed that when I look at all those feelings above and yet put on my mask and journey on, I can understand submission so much better. I know there are those who are concerned about political powers that are taking away our freedoms, but I view this time as a season of learning and humbling for a woman who has never known anything but abundance and ease.

This time of mandatory mask wearing is helping me to understand true submission. I don’t feel resistant or resentful wearing my mask. I feel obedient. I feel that any adjusting my comfort and feelings is refining me and helping me lose some more of my selfishness and vanity. 

I know so many are having to wear masks all day with ears that hurt from the strain and irritation to the skin. I am aware it’s hard to breathe through layers of fabric and it’s annoying to have your glasses fogged over. For those who have to communicate as part of their job, it is difficult to hear and be heard. I pray this will pass for all of us, but in the meantime I want to learn what God is teaching me during this trial. 

God bless your sweet little masked faces today. You are so very loved. Hang in there…this too shall pass, but let’s be better on the other side  <3

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