When we get what’s coming to us … still grace <3

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Last week Russ and I were running some errands around our town. 

At one congested intersection, where multiple businesses line both sides of the road, we were behind several cars in the right turn lane with a red light holding us back.  

Perfectly within the legal rights to turn if all was clear, one car turned into the closest lane while the car behind him shot out wide into the farthest lane. 

The oncoming traffic had obviously had a green left turn arrow and a large vehicle was also making the turn into the same lane. It was a narrow miss, and the offended SUV honked vigorously but then turned on the red flashing lights that accompany his authority as a sheriff.

We watched as this person who had been in a big hurry got pulled over to face the music. 

It was somewhat satisfying, I have to confess.

For all the cars that have swerved in and out around traffic and run red lights and left the driver’s behind in a wake of frustration that a careless driver just got off free and easy while violating various traffic laws, it was a kind of sweet moment of judgment. 

Until I thought about how many times I have done something similar. 

Then I want grace. 

I don’t want to meet my judge and jury after I have glanced down at my phone and almost hit the car in front of me that made a quick decision to turn in to a street to the right or left. 

I don’t want a fair system when I am in a hurry and drive just at 9 over the speed limit so I can hopefully escape radar detection. 

I don’t want justice when I decide to gun it when the light turns yellow and I am still a ways off. 

I want grace and mercy when it is me. 

But it goes deeper. 

Because the longer I live, the more I learn that the justice and fairness of God and the judgment and the facing of consequences for my transgression IS grace and mercy. 

It is a gift of grace that the Lord disciplines me. 

It is a gift of grace that, while I don’t get what I deserve, I do get to learn from my mistakes and continue to be transformed into His image. I do have the gift of grace that gives me second, third and thousandth chances while still holding to live with some repercussions.

It’s okay to get caught breaking the law. 

That’s a good thing. 

It’s okay to suffer the consequences for disobedience and to fully understand the weight of sin and to receive with joy and complete cleansing, His forgiveness. 

Having to face the pain of my transgressions to a certain degree without ultimately paying with eternal separation from God makes me more compassionate and forgiving of others.

Hopefully.

As we have celebrated the season of soul-searching and cleansing of Lent, remembered and marked His suffering and death, and then celebrated with great joy the Resurrection of Jesus, let’s keep our hearts and souls open to examination each day. 

Let’s bring our whole selves completely before Him on a regular basis and offer up what we are to who He is as a holy habit.

And let’s remember that discipline, too, is a grace gift and one extended by a merciful and kind Father.

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,

and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” 

https://biblehub.com/niv/hebrews/12.htm

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Easter Monday <3

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Easter Monday…the grave is still empty, my heart is so full.

We got to see all but one of our favorite people…and we talked to him for quite a while so that helped.

First stop was early church and brunch with this bunch of cuties…

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and when I checked the photo, I may have had a moment when I realized…

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gulp…

Rachel said I probably won’t be standing behind him for photos much longer and soon he will be standing behind me…what in the real world is going on here…how did this happen????

It was like yesterday when we were …

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Anywho, that’s where we are.

And someone got to sneak in a photo shoot with this little one who is sweeter than a whole bag of jelly beans…

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Next stop was to see the actual faces of these two ….

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no masks…and we got to hug them and everything which was the first time in a year.

Also I would be remiss if I did not add that after we checked the photo to make sure we were all smiling and Sarah hadn’t pulled one of her goofy looks, she mentioned that it looked like Jack must have had a really good idea…take a minute…think about it.

Not to be left out, I also got a selfie with this handsome fellow…

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So that was our day and now we are taking some time to really celebrate someone’s retirement.

Hope you had a happy Easter.

It has been a rough year and we are not out of the water yet by any stretch, but in the midst there are sweet moments and for those we are so grateful.

Have a happy Monday and don’t eat too many leftover peeps…

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That mystery of how a stain can remove a stain still gets me every time <3

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Greetings to you on this beautiful Good Friday. 

As I was pondering and praying what to share, I kept thinking of something that happened a few years ago on a Sunday morning as we sat in worship at Zach and Rachel’s church. 

Graham got to sit with us . Since he has been baptized, he takes communion. 

As he pulled the foil top off his cup, it tipped a bit and some of the grape juice spilled on his nice crisp khaki pants. 

We took our communion with the pastor’s leading us through and then I watched as our little guy tried to rub away the small purple stain on his pants. 

Of course his efforts were to no avail and if you think me a cruel grandma for not jumping in to help, please don’t. 

I knew he was embarrassed by his spill and he didn’t think anyone had seen. I didn’t want to make it worse by giving attention to it. 

After a few more swipes at it, he pulled his shirt tail a little longer and covered it over. I noticed when we got up to leave, he checked again to make sure it wasn’t noticeable. 

At that time and many times since, I have cried tender tears for that little man. 

And really…for all of us. 

We are prone to staining ourselves, you know. 

When we do, we want to make it go away or get it washed up or at least hide it so no one can see it. 

Alas, there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to make the sin and shame of our human nature disappear. 

And how blood, which makes a pretty hefty stain in its own right, can be the only thing that cleans up the mess is a mystery I don’t have the answer to.

But this I know with all my heart. 

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin and shame. 

I am so very grateful. 

Easter blessings to you and yours as we celebrate what He did for us <3

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