About Simply Shelli

I am a pastor's wife, mother of 5 adult children. I love reading, writing, hiking, outings with friends, fun times with family, deep conversations, singing on worship teams, attending concerts, enjoying beautiful scenery, decorating and landscaping. I love meeting new people and visiting new places. Anything gooey and full of cream cheese and whipped cream will always grab my attention!

HOT CARS, HOT GIRLS AND WHY I SHOULD APPEAR IN AN EPISODE OF ‘LOST’

I have never appeared in an episode of “Lost” but I can identify with some of the situations the characters have found themselves in!

I can’t remember if it was 1979 or 1980, but all I know is that it was one hot summer!

Of course that would not detour my friend, Nola and I from taking advantage of a great opportunity to take a fun trip to Colorado!

Nola had this amazing, green 1968 Mercury Cougar that would have been a classic back then and for sure is now. (Spoiler alert to guys who are into cars: this story is going to leave you in a puddle of tears, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

It was (mind you I did use the word, ‘was’) a dependable car and we had no reason to believe that we couldn’t have a great trip sight seeing and cruising our way through the mountains like a couple of nineteen year-olds, as we would try to confidently prove our boyfriends and parents wrong in their concerns that this wasn’t a good idea!

Packing up all that we needed for the trip and making sure that Nola’s mechanic brother had serviced the car, we headed towards the hills or rather, ‘mountains’ for the grand adventure, leaving our skeptical boyfriends and parents behind.

All went well for the first two or three days that we explored the area of Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, hiking, eating and basking in the fragrant pines that surrounded our cabin.

On about the third or fourth day into the trip, we began to notice that the car was starting to overheat.

Of course, we weren’t too concerned, so we found an auto shop in Castle Rock and poked around the town until the work on it was done.

It was very interesting that after paying a rather large sum for whatever repairs needed done, we headed through the mountains only to discover that the car once again, began to overheat!

This concerned us a bit, so we pulled into a Whitewater rafting place, filled a jug with water, opened the hood to a steaming radiator and poured it in there to cool things off.

By now, we were a bit stressed and a bit hot ourselves, so we decided to find a phone and call Nola’s mechanic brother who tried to figure out and diagnose a problem from his shop in Wichita.

We would try this and that and maybe we stopped at another mechanic shop before the vacation time was coming to an end, getting fleeced out of more money before it was time to head home.

I can’t remember if it was Lamar, Colorado or what town it was but if one knows the area, there is a highway that heads you east to Wichita and one that heads you south to Oklahoma.

We were happily cruising along one of those lonely highways when we began to realize that our car was getting extremely hot again.

Thankfully, we had a jug of water, so getting out in the 103 degree temps to fill it up on a lonely and empty road, was the only option we had until a nice trucker stopped by to see if he could help the two hot and sweaty young ladies.

He must have either been a Dad, a husband, Superman or a responsible citizen, because he was concerned enough to ask what we were doing out in the middle of nowhere and where we were headed.

After hearing that we were going to Wichita, he pulled out a map and showed us that we were actually on a fast route to Oklahoma!

What? How did that happen?

It seems that little highway intersection in Lamar was where we got hung up and now we would have to start heading east and back north to get on track.

We thanked the trucker for his help and continued on a different direction, further into No-where’s-ville.

I don’t think we had driven 15 miles in the blazing heat of midday before the car started to overheat again. (Spoiler alert for parents of teenage girls: don’t read any further!)

This time, when we pulled over, a truck full of young guys decided that a couple of girls their age stranded on a highway in the middle of nowhere, was a good opportunity to make some new friends, and they gladly offered their assistance.

Of course, we were young and somewhat naïve but not enough to leave ourselves at their mercy by acting stupid.

We declined their help, acting totally confident that we knew the cars problems and had our bases covered but thanked them for their offer.

After quickly jumping back into our car, and watching as the boys laughingly made their way to the truck, heading in the opposite direction, we limped on down the road with our very dehydrated car until she finally gave up and would move no more.

Looking up and down the road, all we could see was one lonely farm house sitting on the flat prairie beckoning us to find refuge under the shelter of her sweltering roof.

Leaving the car on the side of the road and walking up the dirt drive to the house, we were greeted by a snarling German Shepherd who was just certain we meant to pull of another episode of “In Cold Blood” on his watch.

Did I fail to mention that as a child I was traumatized twice by attacks from German Shepherds?

After a few sniffs of these two sweaty girls and detecting that we were as harmless as two teenagers lost on the prairies of Kansas, the dog let us pass him and enter the steps to the front porch.

If we weren’t both traumatized enough at this point, imagine our horror, when the woman of the house answered the door and half of her face was missing!

Bless her heart, we knew not what the problem was, but trying to conceal our expressions, act like adults and ask if we could borrow her phone was almost more than we could pull off!

After radioing her farmer husband, who was working in the field, and getting his permission to let us in, she handed Nola the phone, who quickly burst into tears and declared she was done calling her brother and she would leave the cry for help and who to call up to me.

As I considered our options and pondered this huge ‘adulting’ responsibility being thrust upon me, I put on my big girl pants and did what any other nineteen year old stranded on the prairies of Kansas would do.

I called my Dad!

Now, on my end of the phone, all I heard was, “Hello, this is Ernie Frazier speaking, how may I help you.”

On Dad’s end of the phone he heard silence.

Then he heard blubbering.

Then he asked, “Shelli, is that you?” Evidently, he had heard this sound before!

When I could finally breathe again, I explained to him what had happened and told him that the woman of the house, who by now was holding a sweet little baby, said that we were outside of a town called “Big Bow.”

Believe it or not my father, who lived in western Kansas most of his life, who used to sell insurance all over that area, had no idea where that was!

After figuring it out, it was decided that he would call his best buddy, Frazier Wynn, who was a mechanic in Copeland, KS and he would drive the two to three hours to tow us home.

We spent the rest of the afternoon having a wonderful conversation with the lady (she had cancer), playing with the baby and praising God that as usual, He takes good care of us!

The moral of the story is:

The car died, the girls got rescued, the boyfriends had a great laugh and the parents breathed a sigh of relief.

It might not make the script for an episode of “Lost” but it was enough of a drama to entertain me for a lifetime!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“US” IS BETTER THAN “ME!”

It isn’t all about you is it? It isn’t all about me either. It is about us and our need to work together in this thing called life.

I remember my mother telling me this story about her father several years ago and there is a life lesson in it.

My Grandpa, Maurice Hanson was an honest man.

Everyone knew that if he shook your hand on a deal it was as good as a written contract.

This worked well for a con artist named Baleau who became a partner in business with him in the 1940’s.

Being in the hog business, Grandpa and Mr. Baleau sold hogs to Cudahay, Swift and Armour meat companies and this was making them both a decent living.

That is until, Mr. Baleau decided to clean out the account, leave Kansas and spend all of the money in Texas.

Sadly, that fateful decision was only working well for one of them.

Fortunately for Grandpa, his local bank trusted him and extended him a line of credit, he started “Hanson Hog Company” and the family dug in, cut back and somehow, by God’s grace, they pulled through as a team working together.

Who knows what kind of a business Grandpa and Mr. Baleau could have built had they worked together and continued on over the years?

I have to wonder whether it really paid off for Mr. Balleau to serve his own self interests and bail on his partner. What happened when the money ran out for him? Did he have character that would prompt a bank to lend him money or a friend to bail him out?

Given his track record, I would think not.

This self serving attitude doesn’t work in a business partnership nor in any other arena that requires more than one person in the equation.

It doesn’t work on an athletic team, it doesn’t work in a church, it doesn’t work in a marriage.

What of a basketball team where one teammate hogs the ball, leaving the others standing by to watch him spiral and spin, dribbling down the court and making all the plays without ever a pass or a set up?

An athlete signs a contract to play with a team not as a solo performance.

As well, a church is made up of a body of believers, all using their gifts, working together in unity to serve Christ. Anytime it becomes focused on an individual or special groups, there is a breakdown in the purpose it was designed for.

Then again when two people exchange marriage vows, we observe that it is a covenant of agreement between God and two people, to work together as one with each of them uniquely wired with their individual gifts, callings and roles but building something much bigger than just themselves.

Before God, they pledge faithfulness, devotion and self sacrifice to serve one another in love. They leave, cleave and start a family with the sole purpose of doing life together and leaving the solo behind.

In any of these situations, if someone begins to look out only for their own interests by not keeping their word, their vows or the contract, there is a breakdown that has far reaching consequences for everyone in ways that one might not have imagined.

The partnership, team, unity is always compromised when “us” is replaced with “me”.

Grandpa Hanson recovered from the huge financial hit despite the struggles but the possibilities of what could have been, we will never know.

“Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IS IT AGING OR JUST ME?

I was bemoaning the aging thing again to my patient husband this morning.

After having a  fantastic weekend, connecting with my Omaha kids and some special friends, I am well aware that some things are slightly amiss.

It all started when I left the Chinese restaurant in Lincoln to head to Omaha.

It was dark and I needed to head north out of the parking lot.

As I did so, I realized that there was a median preventing access to the north bound lane! With headlights quickly approaching me from the oncoming south bound traffic, I pulled a fast U-turn and hurried back to the safety of the parking lot, sheepishly waving to my friends as they helplessly sat in their car contemplating my demise.

This caused for a bit of stress and angst as I headed in the dark towards the interstate to Omaha, knowing that I haven’t driven there much and have an issue with seeing well at night.

This was not all bad because my dear friend, Dave, had given me his old GPS, ( I have a dumb phone and not a smart one) to help navigate Omaha’s unfamiliar streets as I ventured to find my son and daughter-in-laws new house in the dark.

Praise God, he gave me that thing because I most certainly would still be driving throughout Omaha trying to find them, had he not!

I arrived in tact and enjoyed an evening and day with the kids before they left me alone with Netflix and a remote control that had to have been something that at one time must have navigated the Starship Enterprise!

There were at least 3,000 button options that had nothing anywhere stating: “on”, “off,” “Netflix” or “directions for dummies!”

I don’t mind bees but seriously, an hour documentary on how they make honey is not what I had in mind for an evening of entertainment.

I safely landed on some show about a “Prince for Christmas” and decided that this would be a better option than the bees.

I don’t want to go into much detail about what happened on Monday when I left a great coffee time with an old friend, only to pull into a gas station jumping a curb because I didn’t see it due to the snow!

Please tell me that nobody saw that. Especially the guys working on the electric pole near the entrance.

Journey on to I-80 which had a direct exit to highway 77 which would take me all the way south to my happy home!

As I ‘high-fived’ myself for knowing I was on the right route and wrapped up listening to Erwin Lutzer preaching a sermon about “narcissists”, I noticed that my exit said north 77/56?

So, I need to get off on 77, maybe if I turn south, I will be good to go, right?

Wrong, thought this woman as she found herself off on Cornhusker highway, heading towards downtown Lincoln!

After pulling over and making sure Ms. Garmin, had the correct address to my place, I ventured on straight into the busiest section of Lincoln which I should have totally bypassed by taking the outskirts of town!

Needless to say, I meandered through Lincoln, arguing with Ms. Garmin and wasting 20 minutes until I finally found south 77.

All went fairly smoothly except for a couple of potty stops I had to make that never would have interfered with my driving at all 10 years ago.

Four hours later, I arrive at home, put my feet up and contemplate on why life seems to have become so complicated anymore?

Is it just me, or this whole aging thing?

Well, I certainly don’t want to take any responsibility for being an air-head but neither do I want to admit that I am aging.

All I know is that the more curve balls life keeps throwing at me, the more I am having to adjust.

Mind you, I am in my fifties! I still have a few more decades to go!

After my husband listened to my long list of mishaps and why I dread this whole aging thing, he had the nerve to say: “I don’t mind you aging at all because I will be just as attracted to you when you are 89 as I am now.”

“Oh no!” I shot back.

“That just means I am going to be one really tired old lady!”

We both laughed and as we headed into our day, I heard a voice calling after me, “honey, do you know where my glasses are? I can’t seem to find them.”

 

 

WHY I LOVE TEAM REHMERT!

I love my family!

I just do!

Every one of them is so unique and special in their own way!

For all of the personality tests and profiles that there are, I am convinced that each person comes with a design that is totally their own and no one truly has a box they fit in nor could any one of them ever be replaced.

My family is living proof that this is so!

Rick is our team leader with his fun loving personality but a mind that is always thinking about the latest topic he has been researching or sermon he has been preparing. He loves helping people spiritually and practically. If he weren’t a pastor, he could be an engineer or a builder. He is a hopeless romantic and an intellectual feeler, if there is such a thing!

Nicki as our first born is our angel of mercy and a true servant.  She is loyal and faithful to those she loves and has a tender heart. That doesn’t negate the fact that she has a tenacious spirit in areas that constantly surprise us. Her poetic spirit is expressed in her weekly writings and like her dad, she is a romantic through and through.

Seth is our intense one, driven to understand people and life with a passion to use his gifts to the fullest in ministry and living out his faith. He is married to Nicole, who is a perfect fun fit who knows how to bring out the best in him.

Lindsay loves to find the laughter in life and putting her acting talents to use. She is a devoted friend to those who know her and finds nothing more fulfilling than to share a deep conversation or a meaningful hug.  She is a verbal processor but a journal keeper as well!

Luke is our connector and always looking for who he can reach out to and who to get to know. He loves Nebraska football and has a heart full of compassion for others and a love for God and his word that compels him to defend it with strong conviction. He never fails to ask a person how they are doing and really mean it.

Jonathan is the baby but he is the tallest of all and has a great dry sense of humor that keeps us in stitches. His laugh is unforgettable and his ability to rationally reason through an argument and stay cool in a debate is a true gift. He has an aptitude for math that did NOT come from his mother and loves to help others understand it as well.

Daughter-in-law, Nicole is a bright, bubbly, fun addition to our team in the past two years. She has a huge heart for others and compassion that defends the weak and helpless and loves Jesus with all the passion she can hold. Her and Seth are great partners in ministry and life.

Alissa will soon join Team Rehmert on January 1st when she marries Jon! They have been good friends these past years at college and wanted to carry it on into marriage. She is our Vintage 40’s girl and loves Modcloth dresses and playing endless board games with Jon and friends. She studies philosophy and apologetics, has taken opera lessons, sings beautifully and is an artist to boot. Most importantly, she loves Jesus as well and wants to help others come to know him too!

The combination of all of their personalities makes for a mixture of joy, fun and great conversations!

Just some of the reasons I love Team Rehmert!

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE DISAPPOINTMENT AND HOPE OF CHRISTMAS

My dad tells a story of being a little boy who was very excited one particular Christmas.

For weeks, he let it be known that he desperately wanted a cowboy suit! Any little boy in the 30’s and 40’s was often found at a Saturday matinee taking in the latest western flick as they watched Tom Mix, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry gallop across the stage.

They would spend the rest of the week in make believe shootouts as they defended their community against the dreaded Indian raids or outlaws who threatened to rob the bank and run the sheriff out of town.

After weeks of anticipation, Christmas day arrived and so did the delight on a little boys face to open this gift that most certainly appeared to be a costume of some type!

With great excitement, he ripped into his gift and there it was!

An Indian suit?! What?!

Santa was confused or mom didn’t get the memo right! How could this be?

Finally the truth came out. Since his mother couldn’t seem to find a cowboy suit for him, she decided maybe he would like an Indian suit just as well.

Can anyone say the word, “disappointment?”

I think we have all been there and especially when our expectations are high, such as around the holidays.

Many a love struck young woman will not get the proposal she is hoping for. Many a young man, will not get the “yes”, that he thought a ring would bring.

Many a festive feast will turn into an argument or the embarrassment of an uncle who drank too much wine.

Layoffs, bills, taxes and stress will continue to plague despite the fact that Christmas goes on all around us.

Many  a marriage will still struggle no matter what gifts are given and received.

Norman Rockwell won’t show up and Currier and Ives have journeyed on in their sleigh to the house at “Never Never Land”.

Hallmark found its actors and we weren’t given any part.

If we are not careful, we can find ourselves giving into depression and despair as we realize that once again, we cannot seem to find the ‘perfect’ Christmas.

If we are not careful we will forget that this one gift was given to all mankind that promises to deliver a hope that is eternal and everlasting like a smile that never ends and a joy that can’t be stopped.

If we are not careful we will forget that this life and this world are very temporary and there is a new one that is coming where we will never be disappointed again.

Every relationship will be made right. Every injustice will be vindicated. Every tear will be dried. Sadness and sorrow will be no more and with them disappointment will be a thing of the past.

We have a Savior who came for the Indians and the cowboys as well. He came for drunk uncles and the families who fight.

He came for the broken hearted.

He came to fulfill every expectation that this world never could.

He came for you. He came for me.

“Come, thou long expected Jesus,
born to set thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us,
let us find our rest in thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art;
dear desire of every nation,
joy of every longing heart.”

Merry, merry Christmas to all!

 

 

 

WHEN SANTA SAVED THE DAY IN THE BUCKLIN PARADE!

Believe it or not, back in the day, I was a skeptical child.

I especially was skeptical of men. This is a good thing, since I have been reading the papers lately and it seems that most of them cannot be trusted!

But I was pretty sure at a young age, that the old guy with the gleaming eye and long white beard was a special kind of scary and he needed to quit trying to coax me onto his lap!

Besides, wasn’t it his suit that landed in Grandma Hanson’s dry cleaners shop every year in the small town of Bucklin, Kansas?

Why couldn’t Mrs. Claus or one of the elves deal with the laundry?

No doubt, he was a phony and the sort of person that good parents would warn you about.

So, why, I wondered, was he strategically placed as the star of the show in the downtown parade?

Maybe his twinkling eyes hypnotized the city council into letting him have the largest float and all the candy?

I knew he would be there but I was busy preparing for my own debut as Betsy Ross, marching alongside my brother, Kyle, who would play, Uncle Sam.

My mother toiled and slaved for weeks (well, maybe a day or two) over our costumes and proudly distributed us at the appointed starting place when the day of the parade finally arrived.

It would have been impossible to miss the jolly old guy in the red suit, who just happened to be placed on a float directly behind us.

I knew the other kids would all be mesmerized by him but I wasn’t giving him the least bit of mind since I had an important role to play myself.

Maybe, when the kids saw my brother and I, they would forget all about the weird guy behind us and stand in awe and wonder at the two patriots carrying the flag and marching to the rhythm of the band.

And march we did, for what seemed like miles…and….miles and more miles.

It didn’t take long before Uncle Sam was strutting his much longer legs in wider steps, leaving poor Betsy Ross wailing at the top of her lungs as she hurriedly tried to keep up. (To this day, I am pretty sure that my fast paced walking is a direct result of the PTSD I suffered from this very incident!)

As if the unfolding nightmare of being left behind in the parade wasn’t bad enough, the massive float behind me was gaining  ground and I just knew that Santa and his sleigh were going to run me over!

There was no question that he had it in for me!

I was the only child on the planet who didn’t like him and now he would get his revenge!

I would be pranced on by all of those reindeer as he would yell out, “you naughty girl you!”

But surprise of all surprises, he did not!

As I stood there in the middle of the street sobbing like there was no tomorrow, Santa stopped his float and asked me to climb aboard to help him hand out candy!

The moment of decision had come and it wasn’t too hard to figure out which choice I should make.

I could either die of a reindeer/float/Santa stampede, or ride in the sleigh and munch on candy while I tossed a few to the very envious kids lining the streets with visions of sugar plums (or more likely, candy canes)j dancing in their heads!

So, up I climbed and Santa placed me strategically beside him and changed from villain to hero in a New York minute!

I was smitten and from then on, we became fast friends.

Santa saved the parade (or at least my life!) and I got to ride on the biggest float that day!

Betsy Ross sure would have been proud!

As far as Uncle Sam goes, he marched on, finished the parade and I still don’t hear near as much about him as I do Santa Claus!

Unless of course, it is tax season and well, we will save that story for another day! 😉

 

 

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM TEAM REHMERT!

Twas  nine days before Christmas and all through my brain,

Are details and deadlines that make me insane!

With birthdays and parties to mention a few, add a wedding and Christmas and New Years day too!

But finally as some things are past on my list, I must write this update before I resist!

With a house to fix up and one to maintain, pastoring a church and some coaching leaves Rick circling the drain!

In spite of the busyness that envelopes my spouse, I have loved taking care of the Victorian house!

I work on my writing and a couple of studies with some awesome great women who have become lifetime buddies!

Nicki works at Parkside Homes and loves up on the aged, they praise her for her servants heart and compassion she displays.

Seth’s new job at Westside church keeps he and Nicole quite busy and settling into their first new home has added to the frenzy!

Lindsay works in Branson still and has quite a social life, new transitions head her way, but no, it won’t be ‘wife’! 😉

KC keeps Luke busy with church and seminary, he is dorm R.A. to some awesome young men giving counsel and making merry!

Jon and Alissa’s friendship has blossomed and grown into a wedding! We all head to Missouri on January first to partake of this beautiful blessing!

Above all the bustle, we stop and we hear the voice of our Savior who always is near, reminding us first, it is all about Him, so we pray a blessed Christmas to friends and to kin!

Emily Dickenson may not relate, but I hope you enjoyed our Team Rehmert update!

Merry, blessed Christmas to all and to all….aw…you know the rest! 😉