Category Archives: Relationships

What we can’t see matters much <3

I saw this field on my morning walk. 

We had some pretty hefty rains after the fields were planted. 

Our local farmers have been out assessing what needs to be replanted and what will just have to live as scar tissue until the harvest in the fall. 

In just a week or two the corn closest to the road will have risen up and this bare spot will not be visible to the passerby. 

The farmer knows it is there. 

It represents a loss and the fickleness of weather and while we are watering our lawns, the farmer will be praying for timely rains, no hail, nothing funny on the doppler. 

Today you will pass people who may look fine and healthy and flourishing from your quick glance at them. 

They probably have some scars tucked back behind the smiles and casual exchange of waves or conversation. 

Without knowing it, something you say may trigger a reminder of that empty place back in the corner of the field where a heavy deluge of some sort wiped out all the hard work and investment of time and energy. 

You also may find yourself mid-conversation with a friend or a stranger and something said will expose to your own soul those places that time has covered over. 

Let’s be gentle with one another. 

We don’t have to know each other’s scars and hurts and wounds, but we do know everyone has some. 

So err always on the side of kindness. 

As you greet someone, chat and then walk away, bathe them in prayer.

Love them with the love of Jesus.

See them as precious in His sight.

Listening more than talking, just being present in the conversation, setting down our own thoughts and agenda for a minute and engaging in the fact that our lives have bumped up against another person for purposes beyond our understanding. 

I jotted down a prayer this morning from one of my books so I could do a breath prayer all day:

O God, give me grace today

not to think of what I can get,

but of what I can give. 

John Baillie; A Diary of Private Prayer

May God not only make us kind and compassionate, but may He grace your day with others who do likewise <3

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Three cheers for forty years and a little touching of base with you all to start the week <3

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Haha!

I was looking back through all the photos posted over the years here on the Journey for something that summed us up…and this seemed as good as any.

We celebrated our 40th anniversary this weekend and like many of the others over the years, we spent it at the ball park.

These two had their end of season tournament…

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PC/Rachel Maxwell

They also turned a year older in the past week and I think this growing up so fast nonsense needs to stop.

We sat in yard chairs and sweated and laughed remembering many an anniversary dinner from the concession stand when our three were all playing ball around the area back in the day.

Now we get to see our girl cheer her kids on…

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and we bow low to thank God for the gift of years He has given us.

We do not take it for granted that we have been given much and marvel at the gift of time we have been given.

Rachel arranged for a secret notice to go out on Facebook and surprised us with cards from around the country..

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Please note the letter opener/saber in Emmett’s hands…he is being a pirate…because…well…why not?

So sweet and touching to read all these kind words from friends and family. I may have cried. A lot.

It made me realize how much a card can mean to people and inspired me to do better at sending notes again!!

We ended it all with a little dinner at a small place nearby and then sitting out on the patio with a fire and s’mores…

all and all…

best. forty years. ever <3

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What can we gain when much has been lost?

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Yesterday I went up north to hang out with all but Joel so his mommy and daddy could attend the end of year preschool picnic with him. 

And I cry typing that. 

First of all, that both his mommy and daddy could go and then the fact that he got to actually go to preschool this last year of his pre-Kindergarten self. 

But it runs deeper. 

Because more than a few mornings, I got to drop him off. 

Me and his siblings would pray for his day as we slowly rolled forward for our turn at drop off. 

As he slipped his mask on, I would wrap my arm around him and we would all tell him he was a brave little toaster. 

 A teacher in a mask would greet him and the somber eyes of all that is Joel was all we saw as he turned his back to us and hoisted his back back one more time and headed in to school. 

He made the most of it, to be sure, but he never liked the mask. When Rachel sent pictures of him all smiles at picnic table and running across a field and climbing the monkey bars, the joy was deep. 

I don’t know what this year will leave us marked with. 

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one of my fav pics of my mom and dad <3

My own mom was born during a different pandemic and a World War and spent her child hood in the Great Depression.

To the end of her days, she never threw a piece of foil away until it was used several times and washed in between.

The drawers of her kitchenette at the independent living center were chock full of cracker packets and unused napkins from the dining room when we cleaned out her room.

I had already disposed of a whole houseful of things that she hadn’t thrown away because you never know when you will need this or that… 

Growing up she always had a bowl of candy in the family room and thought fruit was too expensive to purchase. A carry over of the days when candy was an only at Christmas treat and fruit buying was out of the question for a family scraping by on little to no income.

Those early years shaped her later years and in some ways she never got over the fear of not having enough. 

I hope we don’t come away from this pandemic with irrational fears or carry scars that we don’t let God heal. 

We lost some things we will never get back. 

But we gained some things we would never have had if we had not journeyed through a global pandemic together. 

What should have united us has continued to divide us. 

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Yesterday I asked the kiddos what good things had come about because of a very bad thing.

They talked about spending more time with their family and being thankful for being healthy. Things they probably would have taken for granted before this past year helped them realize how valuable these are to them. 

What about you and me? 

What good things came in the hard places? 

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I know for me I have grown in gratitude, in prayer, in faith, in hope, in compassion.

My priorities have been refined.

My purpose has become clearer.

Many of the insignificant trivialities honed in times more secure have been sanded away.

Gifts taken from a season of loss and grief that hopefully will shape me in the years to come <3

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