How to Fix the United States’ Troubles

 
We are a blessed nation.
2 Chronicles 7:14 gives the solution to this nation’s troubles.
It all depends on us.

“If my people, which are called by my name,

(Christians)

 

shall humble themselves,

(having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance)

and pray,

(just talking to God)


and seek my face,

(worship, Bible reading, prayer, quiet listening)

and turn from their wicked ways;

(What are you watching on t.v. or movies? What are you reading? Is it wholesome? Are you seeking a clean pure heart? Kind to others, even those in your home? Honest? There are all kinds of sins that some Christians overlook. We need to really seek the Lord and ask him to reveal those to us. We need to be different than the average American.)

then will I hear from heaven,

and will forgive their sin,

and will heal their land.”

Let’s do our part!

Thank you God!

 

Cherry Pits, Erma Bombeck, and Jehovah God

I remember a quote from Erma Bombeck.  You’ll remember her from the seventies.  She said, “If life is a bowl of cherries, why am I aways in the pits?”  A lot of us can relate.  That’s what made Mrs. Bombeck so popular.  She was famous for her witty way of stating the obvious.

God is famous for stating the not-so-obvious.  It is He, Jehovah God, our father, who through the Holy Spirit, inspired Paul to write, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28.

Unfortunately, that verse does not not mean that everything that happens to us is good.  Quite the contrary.  It doesn’t even mean that all things work together for good for everyone.  It means He uses whatever the circumstances are to work for those who love Him, the ones He called for His purpose.

So, we have to trust Him even when we don’t feel like it, even when we cannot see any way that He can make things good.  Trust, it all comes down to trusting Him and being patient for His perfect will and His perfect timing.

So, next time I’m pitting cherries again, I’ll remember that He is Good all the time, not just when we’re eating the cherry jam.

Trust and Obey for there’s no other way…to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.

Blessings,

Laura

~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

 

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

Do You Celebrate Advent?

 

Christmas Tree 2013Do you celebrate Advent?

Advent is a personal thing.

Perhaps you attend a denomination that celebrates with certain liturgical rituals.  That’s great.  Rituals bring meaning and reverence to our worship.  Perhaps your church doesn’t celebrate Advent.  Perhaps you’ve never even heard of Advent.

Advent is simply a way to focus our thoughts and our hearts on Jesus and the celebration of His birth, death, resurrection, and His offer of salvation to us.  It’s a time of reflection and heart searching.  It is a personal, holy thing.  What you do isn’t as important as what you do in your heart.

We light candles on an Advent wreath each night in December, read our Advent Book, pray, and on good nights, sing a carol.  Do we do it every night?  No.  We miss a few, but that’s okay.  We just pick up the next night and keep going.

I encourage you to focus on Jesus as the excitement of Christmas continues to mount.

Christmas Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

Laura

Hug Your Husband!

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve written on this blog.  I’ve been posting regularly over at Harvest Lane Cottage.  I posted last here about giving love lavishly.  Much has happened since then.  My husband took a position in another city and comes home only on weekends.  It seems harder than ever now that we are so far apart.  Nevertheless, we are persevering and looking forward to the time when our family can be reunited again. 

This isn’t the first time we’ve been apart.  In fact, being apart began while we were in our dating days.  We grew up in Topeka, Kansas.  I met Lowell my last year of high school.  After I graduated, I went to school in Oklahoma.  Lowell was still in Topeka.  Our love grew through letters, occasional trips home, and lots of late night phone calls.  That was back when it was cheaper to call after 11:00 p.m.  I know…ancient history!  I ended up returning to Topeka after one semester because I was too love sick to concentrate on my studies!

Later, after we were married, Lowell had to work out of town for sales jobs.  We both hated it; but, it couldn’t be helped.  He missed much of our first two children’s babyhoods.  When he found I was expecting the third baby, he decided that he would change positions.  It was great to have him home when we had the last two babies. 

Now, he’s on the road again.  We have been separated for three months now.  We had hoped to be able to move by now; but, there’s no date in sight.  Right now there are some obstacles that we don’t know how to overcome.  If you are reading this, and you are a Believer in Jesus Christ, I ask that you pray for us.  We want God’s will.  We are just weary in waiting for clear directions from Him.

I thank God that I know that I can trust my husband.  I know he will be faithful to me, to our vows and to our children.  He knows the same about me.  That is very comforting.  He’s a good Godly man.  I thank God for him.

Have a wonderful week and hug your husband!

Laura

Happy at Home

“Do You Know What This Is About?”

 
 
I was a barren woman.  I know the pain and anguish of longing for a baby that I could not have.  It took about 2 1/2 years and fertility medicines to conceive.  The result was my son, Matthew.  I absolutely adored him.  I quit my job to become a full-time mommy.  Matthew was the kind of baby that really required full-time.  I felt like I was always nursing, changing, singing, and rocking.  He was a fussy baby and did everything early, very early.  He rolled over for the first time at two weeks old!  We had to take him out of his bassinet shortly after that because he would work himself from one end to the other in the night and end up with his head pressed against the end of the bassinet.  He required a lot of energy night and day.  We also went through some pretty significant financial troubles.  My husband and I were pretty stressed most of the time.  These things and a few others led to our final decision.  We were confirmed one child parents.  No cute little baby could sway our decision.  It was absolutely final.  But God.
 
The year I turned 30, I went to a regular monthly women’s meeting at our church called Women of the Word.  At the end of the evening, I went down to the altar to pray about some long forgotten problem.  What I do remember is the way God took the whole encounter in a completely unexpected direction. 
 
Me…praying along about whatever was on my heart and mind at the time…minding my own business
 
God…”You’re going to have another baby.” 
 
Me…”What?” (Surely I didn’t hear that right.)
 
God… “You’re going to have a baby.”
 
Me…”We’re confirmed one child parents!”
 
God… “You’re going to have another baby.”
 
Me…(A little slow in getting it, but understanding that God was messing with me.)
But….followed by every excuse and every reason why it absolutely wouldn’t work to     have another baby.  Every time I said anything, HE said, “I’ll take care of it.”
 
Finally, I gave Him the big one, “Lowell is NEVER gonna go for this.”
He just said, “I’ll take care of it.”
 
By this time I’m on the floor.  I tell him, “You’d better give me confirmation on this.”  The lady on the floor next to me rolled over and said, “God says you’ve got confirmation.” 
 
“DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS ABOUT?”
“No, but God says you’ve got confirmation.
 
Oh boy.  I went home afraid to tell Lowell what had happened.  The next morning, I woke up; and, it was just as settled in my spirit as if I’d taken a pregnancy test.  I didn’t like it; but, I knew it was going to happen.  BUT, I would NOT take any medications to help it along.  That afternoon, I decided I had to tell Lowell.  His response was “He didn’t say anything to me about it!”
 
Months passed.  Lowell agreed to go to the dr with me to find out what we’d have to do if we wanted to conceive.  More months passed.  Finally, the issue was settled…at a garage sale on top of a mountain!  Lowell was working in Branson.  I was there for the weekend and we stopped at a garage sale.  Lowell waited in the car with Matthew, then 5.  I saw a wind-up baby swing and remembered how sometimes that was the only way to get Matthew to sleep.  One night I slept on the couch and kept winding the swing every time it stopped.  Well, I went out and told him about it.  Lowell said he’d buy it if they’d sell it for $15.  He came back with it.  I knew then that pregnant or not, we were expecting.
 
I tracked temperatures and other important things.  It took two weeks!  God is certainly able to perform His plans in our lives in His timing.  Little Emily took her time getting to us.  She was two weeks overdue when I was induced.  She didn’t want to come out.  It was nice and cozy and warm.  So, after around 24 hours of labor, I had a c-section.  We were instantly in love.
 
A few weeks later, the doctor wanted to talk about birth control.  How could we say no to God after what we’d been through?  We decided let God decide about another child.  Big step very big step for us.  Over time, Michael and Amy joined our family.  They also have miracles surrounding their births.  Space won’t permit me to tell all.  Suffice it to say, that I look at our children in this way.
 
Matthew was the child we prayed for, our first-born.
Emily was the child of our obedience.  We obeyed God even though it wasn’t our will at the time.  God was so sweet though.  By the time I became pregnant, we wanted another baby so very much.
Michael was the child of our submission.  We decided to be submissive to God’s will regarding another child whatever the outcome.
Amy was our “exceedingly abudantly above all we could think or ask” child.  Mind you, when I was two or three weeks pregnant, I went to the doctor for my yearly exam.  Neither of us knew yet.  He asked if we wanted more children, I said we didn’t know.  We were praying.  After two babies born without the assistance of medicine  to get pregnant, he said I’d have to take something if we wanted another child!  A month later, I was in his office and we were laughing about it!
 
The biggest miracle was not the children being born.  The biggest miracle was the change that God wrought in our hearts.  We became much more open to His will for our lives, even if He didn’t fall in line with what we thought we wanted.  He conformed us and transformed us.  I am eternally grateful and blessed.
 
I know the anguish of barreness.  I also know the stubborness of heart when one doesn’t want children.  I also know the peace of surrendering to the Lord and His will for my family.  If you are barren, do not give up.  Continue to pray without ceasing while pursuing the care that your doctor prescribes.  Know that God loves you deeply.  He knows every tear you cry.  Trust in Him and His perfect timing. 

Sleeping in Peace and Safety at Night

In late December, our pastor told us that he would soon begin teaching chapter by chapter through Genesis. I decided to get a head start and read a few chapters. Then I read a few more chapters, then a few more. God has made His Word alive to me like never before. I begin to understand how precious the Word is. I just finished Esther this morning. I never could have done this without the precious Holy Spirit.  Even the books of the Law, Judges, Kings and Chronicles spoke to me.  I would be reading and ask the Holy Spirit why on earth I needed to read of the sacrifices over and over or of the wars.  He was so sweet to share things with me.  I have a new appreciation for my salvation and for the peace that I live in.  For although our country is at war, I lie down and sleep safely at night thanks to our soldiers and my God who have kept the war on foreign soil.

God bless and keep our soldiers from harm’s way.  May You give them supernatural protection.  May You give our leaders wisdom in action and in timing as well as repentence and salvation.  Amen

1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 

2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Thank you God.

Laura

 

Dish Soap, Laundry Detergent, and Gas

My husband has been out of work since August 1.  Even the job he had didn’t meet all of our expenses.  No unemployment benefits are available to him.  Tuesday night, I put the last of our money in the gas tank.  It’s an incredible thing to have no income.  The only thing we can do is depend on God for our needs.  God has since sent a check for $25…enough to buy dish soap, laundry detergent and some gas.  He’s incredible.  He knew these were the things we needed immediately.  Thank You Father God!  I think we are learning to live by faith in a more real and “desperate for God” way than ever before. 

I don’t know your exact situation.  If God hadn’t made an incredible way for us to have a place to live in a caretaker’s cottage working off the rent, we’d be out of a home right now.  God can provide when it seems impossible.  I find that so much of what I experience depends on how I am take things emotionally.  True faith comes from true need and true dependence.

Do you know the Lord?  He is so much more than church.  He is our savior, our redeemer, our hope in hopeless times.  He is our provider and healer of the broken hearted.  I’d love to tell you more if you’d like to meet Him.  Just comment; and, I’ll e-mail you.

Those of you who know Him, I encourage you to really get to know Him through His written word, through prayer, through being still and listening for His still small voice.

God bless you, dear reader!  Your family is safe in HIS hands. 
Laura

Blessed Among Women in My Own Generation

Change, Shaking, and Trusting Jesus

No one can provide internet service to our house even though it’s just 2 miles out of town! It’s sattelite or nothing. So, since satellite is so expensive, it’s nothing for now. I’ll just use the internet when I can get to the library once in awhile. I’m not going to give up blogging; I will just have to change how I do it.

There are so many changes in our life right now. Our life is being shaken up. The only things that will remain are the things that are really important. We’ve got to make sure our focus is on the Lord Jesus so that the things that remain are those that are God things. I think this journey is taking us into uncharted territory. We are truly living by faith for every need that we have.

When the resources that you have of your own are gone, that’s what you do. There’s really not any other choice. Well, I guess there’s kicking and fussing. I did my share of that a few years ago when we lost our business. I am not really upset about all of this. I am confused about what the Lord is trying to teach us through all of this hardship. Perhaps it is to lean more on Him and to trust Him more.

Trusting,
Laura