Category Archives: Relationships

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 22

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pc/Cindie Zelhart

In the past week, a couple of friends have texted me pictures with a few of the dates I need.

One was in the airport when she realized her gate was 21. She sent me a photo and when I texted back right away another friend had already covered that, she sent me 22 and 23 just as she was boarding. 

I love it. 

I love it so much that some friends have been thinking about the countdown and noticing numbers and remembering my request…it means that they have been reading and following the passages and it means that God has connected our hearts through His Word throughout this crazy busy holiday countdown…and that is what the Journey is all about to me. 

Yes, I am tapping away here with sloppy tears and a million things I need to accomplish today, but all of it is pointless if we are not linking arms along the way as we follow THE Way. 

It is the heart of Christ that we be united in thinking about Him. He is in the ministry of equipping us to be unified…

and so Jesus continued His prayer for us with these words…

And the glory which You have gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one….

Jesus shares it all with us, you know. 

All of it. 

All the glory the Father gave to the Son, the Son gives to us. 

The one big happy family all of our hearts long to belong to…is found in Christ alone. 

Let’s remember to be filled up with that truth so that when we go out into our earthly family gatherings…or gatherings with friends…

sitting in pews or around a card table…

opening gifts or putting our end of year offering in the plate…

munching on sugar cookies or taking the bread and cup as it is passed…

we belong to the family of God through the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

And because of this, we love others well…because He first loved us.

All the praise and glory and honor are due Him, who gave His all…HIS ALL…for all of us <3

Christmas Countdown 2018 Day 21

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pc/Lisa Peck

Good morning and oh my, oh my…it will be Christmas Eve in three short days. 

There is a load of sheets for Bed #1 in the dryer…rooms are being prepared, menus solidified in ink and lists are everywhere.

The last of the cards go in the mail today…I know what items are left to finish the stockings…and I woke at 4 am and had to force my eyes to shut and try to get some much needed sleep. 

Before I share today’s Scripture thought, I want to tell you about a picture I didn’t take yesterday. 

It is etched on my heart in HD quality…full color…and filed with some of my most treasured heart prints. 

Rachel had signed Joel up for a class at the Children’s Museum so we took all of them down to that area and let them play after school. Then we had pizza together and I took the other three home while she and Mr. Joely Bear had a date. 

We had finished baths, read some Christmas stories and as I held Miss Caroline on my hip, I supervised the older two boys putting away the stack of clean clothes outside their door. 

We heard Joel before we saw him…little voice already spilling out into the house as Rachel got his shoes off. Up the stairs he came with eyes dancing and a handful of Christmas crafts he had fashioned. 

Two brothers and a little sis gathered at the top of stairs while he showed every creation and gave us details on how he made it. 

His mom…our daughter…blocked the whole mess of wiggling bodies from tumbling down the stairs as they peered over one another to see what he had made and they were asking as many questions as he was providing narrative and over the top of it all, her eyes were quite possibly filled with more sparkles than his and she beamed as she mouthed a thank you to me. 

And that is a win for this mom and Lola…a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy. Stored up in a heavenly place where the thieves of this world cannot access. 

We have our struggles with this band of brothers and will be facing soon as Little Miss Thing begins to exert her own will into the mess…but oh my…these moments are golden when they come and worthy of offering as a sweet praise of thanksgiving to our God who loves us and wants us to be like this…to gather around one another with love and support…cheering each other on.

So let’s look at today’s verse, shall we? 

And no surprise…it fits well with what God gave me last night.

I am including yesterday’s for context…

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 

John 17: 20 & 21 NKJV

I have written in the margin of my bible this note from a previous read through:

Unity – in that as different as we are, we all have our eyes on Jesus 

How beautiful it is when brothers get along…amen? 

Be blessed today as you fellowship with others who love Jesus and as you strive to come together in the unity of the Trinity.

Be generous with love and encouragement for those around you…the ones who are struggling..the ones who are celebrating big…the ones who are quiet and reserved…the ones who are loud and gregarious….the ponderers…the wanderers…and all the in-betweens.

For this is what Jesus prayed for us who love Him…that we would be one as He and the Father are one…

Him..Them…in all of us <3

#giving is #agoodideayearround

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Tuesday greetings!

I have as many thoughts swirling around as the snowflakes outside our windows. 

I wanted to take a movie and send it to the kids because it literally looked like our house was inside a snow globe and I consider that one of the most fun kinds of snow…but alas…my phone didn’t capture the effect so instead I decided to learn how to make a poached egg. 

Don’t ask.

This is the kind of mind we are dealing with here, people. 

And I am in full on scattered thinking mode as I pulled out all the green tubs and started putting up Christmas late yesterday afternoon. 

So far we have a miniature forest of small lighted trees taking up residence in the corner of the dining room and the first nativity and advent wreath stationed on the fireplace. But stay tuned…none of this is sealed in stone until I have pondered the dickens out of how much is too much and figure out where to begin and how to end the process.

And speaking of Dickens…tee hee….tell me you didn’t see that coming…

I told you Russ took me to see A Christmas Carol on Saturday and I may have mentioned it is such a favorite of mine. I was literally choking back sobs at some parts of it and it isn’t the parts you might think for one as sentimental as me might get weepy over. 

Oh sure…Tiny Tim is so sweet and the joy of the Cratchit family that supersedes their lack and poverty is touching…but it is Ebenezer himself who makes my throat tighten and tears like a fountain can’t be held back. 

It’s the complicated suggestion of various rejections and wrong choices made at strategic cross roads that constrict my heart into some strong emotions. 

It’s the disappointments and roadblocks to happiness that worked in cooperation with a natural bent toward a need to find security in something that wouldn’t let him down and then the unfolding of the hypocrisy of his idol as he becomes the spectator of his own life. 

It’s the way he can’t help but engage in the fun he has missed out on. 

It’s the way he is offered redemption and he takes it. 

Because I see Christ in everything, I see the Christ of Christmas in this story. 

I see the Spirit of Christmas as the Holy Spirit and I see the keeping of Christmas always as the keeping of Christ and His teachings in how we treat others throughout the year. 

This may or may not be what Dickens had in mind, but it is what I see every year in the story. 

I see how an encounter with the Christ of Christmas helps us see our past….our present…and our future…with truth and healing and hope. 

I see how an encounter with the Christ of Christmas and the Christ of eternity changes our perspective and our hearts…how Christ transforms us and renews us and brings us true Joy. 

Like Matthew the tax collector…Scrooge gives back and then some…he forgives debts and his actions reflect a changed heart. 

Ironically…

our John sent us this picture last night and asked us to share on social media so please indulge this mom as I encourage you to give generously on this #givingtuesday to any and all of the causes that the Lord would prompt you to support. 

John works for an agency in Texas that supports foster care, adoptions and also provides care for the children affected by immigration issues. 

So if you are inclined to donate to his organization….

Link is here….  https://www.upbring.org/giving-tuesday-2018/

However, there are many worthwhile places to drop some cash today so prayerfully consider where God might be leading you to give <3 

Thanksgiving Eve <3

Happy Thanksgiving Eve to you!

Full disclosure, I am writing this to you on the eve of Thanksgiving Eve…not because I am hyper organized but because I had some thoughts to share so hitting up the keyboard while they are in my head.

It has been quite a day as I ran to three different grocery stores, along with roughly 87% of the local population, to gather supplies for what will surely be way too much food for the guests around our table. 

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I also managed to encounter a Facebook nightmare this morning and attempted to share my post multiple times but it wouldn’t go through. 

Imagine my delight this evening when I noticed it had been shared a grand total of 7 times…most by me. 

Looks like we will be having humble pie along with the pumpkin this year…sigh…

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I decided to make a short list of things I am thankful for and so here they are in no particular order and certainly not inclusive of the many things that I could list:

#1 I am thankful for the grace of God to love me before I loved Him and to save me through His Son. We have a friend who never prays a prayer over a meal that he doesn’t end with that reminder of gratitude. 

People may think we Christians are holier than thou and self-righteous and hypocritical and all the other stuff we get labeled with, but …and this leads me to..

#2 I am thankful for the group of people God has surrounded me with who are believers who know it is only by the Blood of Jesus that we are saved.

I am thankful that the people I do life with understand what we are still capable of but by His grace, and that we didn’t receive Him so we could waltz up to the Cross and be whatever we have made up our minds to be. 

I am thankful for a community of believers who weep over their own sin and over the sins of others and over the sins of this nation and the world. 

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#3 I am thankful for the guy who was pulling into the chiropractor’s office yesterday morning who was paying attention instead of checking his phone and braked in time for the lady who was carefully watching the car next to her as she backed out and totally missed him in her rear view mirror…

yeah…

that would be me…

#4 I am thankful for a call back on a test this month that showed nothing amiss and for the people God placed in my path along the way who encouraged me and prayed for me. Most of all Russ, who had faith where I lacked. 

#5 I am thankful for the way women who have had call backs that didn’t go that way expressed tears of relief that I would not walk the journey they had walked.

And I will tell you that goes back to #2…

because….

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#6 I am thankful that I live and move and deal on a daily basis with people who love with a love that can only come from the Spirit of God planted deep inside them. 

A love that dies to self all the time so that Christ can live in them.

So there’s my thankfulness list today. 

Oh, there are more…many more…but that will do .

What are you thankful for today? 

I would love to know.

www.laurareimer.net

I hope and pray whatever your Thanksgiving looks like tomorrow that God will plant seeds of gratitude and hope and joy in your deepest places. 

You are loved <3

A Giveaway!!! Whhhhhaaaattttttttttt?????????

Good morning! 

I managed to dodge all the cold germs from those cute little runny noses…but in spite of diffusing On Guard like it was my oxygen…alas, I have succumbed to the congestion and discomfort of a cold. 

Sigh.

I will say the symptoms are bearable and I will push through.

Because we have some family celebrating to do in honor of Thanksgiving, you know…

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I do have some fun news to share with you. I was invited to team up with three friends, one local and two from Texas, who attended the Declare Conference with me in October. 

We have been having way too much fun on a video chat site called Marco Polo and then my friend Melanie came up with the idea that we sponsor a Giveaway from our four websites and social media in honor of Thanksgiving. 

 

It’s a three fold purpose, this Giveaway…

First and foremost, it is our opportunity to thank YOU who follow our ministries for being the supportive and loving tribe who shows up and encourages us to keep doing what God has called us to do. 

Second, it’s way for each of you to check out the ways God has led us to live with purpose our redeemed lives. 

Third, and to be honest, if you benefit from the work we do, we would love it if you would help more people find us on the internet <3

www.laurareimer.net

If you are here, you know what I do…write about life on the Journey as God works me through the process of sanctification…all in the hopes that stopping here is like meeting a friend for a cup of coffee or tea and then heading on out to do your thing each day.

Lisa Wagner has a ministry called The Warrior She. Through podcasts, teachings and Bible study guides, Lisa is all about equipping women to realize the warrior within them who is prepared for battle each and every day.

Shelly Templin is our other Texan. A published author and speaker, Shelly has a website where she shares how faith is played out in real life and she does it straight forward and with great humor. 

Then there is our fearless leader who has boundless energy and an effervescence that lights up every room she enters. Melanie Brown has a health and wellness ministry that is about the WHOLE person….physical, mental, spiritual. And she is the mastermind behind the graphics and such for the Giveaway. 

So…here are the details to enter. The more you engage, the more times your name goes in the hat <3

  1. If you already subscribe to my blog, you are automatically entered.
  2. Go visit and then like/follow on social media:

Instagram:

*Email list
*Insta names:
@MotivatedbyMore
@sdtemplin
@journey.onward
@thewarriorshe
*Facebook links:
@MotivatedbyMore
@ChucklesintheChaos
@TheWarriorSHE
@JourneyOnward
3. Share the posts, comment about what you are thankful for, sign up for the email list
4. Tag a friend who needs encouragement in the comments

And if NONE of that is your jam…it’s okay. Just know how very thankful I am for the known and unknown faces on the other side of this screen today and every day <3