This and That

My what a busy week it’s been. We’ve had doctor appointments, trips to two campuses for books, shopping, cleaning, a little studying, a little reading, cooking, and now I need to put up some things from the garden. Lowell’s been doing some temporary work at night; so, evenings have been pretty low key with an early dinner.

It looks like our computer will be up and running in a short while. It was a dead hard drive. I’ll check in when it’s all back in order.

Blessings,
Laura

A Bit of Rambling on a Wednesday Morning Because I Don’t Feel Wordless!

I’m taking a break from cleaning for a few minutes. Outside my window the squirrels are playing tag around one of the big oak trees. The oak tree in my backyard is so tall, I still have to look up into the branches from my second floor office window.

While cleaning, my little kiddles were talking about their birthdays which led to talk of Farm Girl Days which lead to talk of Fall which led to Christmas! Now I’m listening to A Partridge in a Pear Tree. I wonder if I’ll ever memorize the order of the maids a milking, lords a leaping, and nine ladies dancing?

I’m also eating a decadent snack, a fudge brownie with fudge frosting with a very virtuous glass of iced water. I’ll be back to the kitchen in just a bit. I have a lot of vegetables from the garden, ours and friends’ that are crying to be put up somehow. I think I’ll try some zucchini bread as I have lots of squash. I have lots of cucumbers and tomatoes and green peppers as well. I also want to sort yet more things for what I hope will be my last yard sale this year. I have a dear friend Sherry who is having her Last Rummage Sale. She’s moved to the country and is having it at the town house before it’s all final.

Please notice my new recipe listing in the sidebar to see a little of what happens in my kitchen.

Laura
Abundantly Blessed

The Sound of Music

My All Time Favorite Movie

My All Time Favorite Movie

As I was casting about for a subject upon which to write tonight, I asked my son, Matthew, to give me a subject to write on.  He immediately suggested movies.  Hmm… 18 year old… movies… should I be surprised?  I think not.

Well, at once I thought of my all time favorite movie.  The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews.  I adore the movie.  I adore the music.  I’ve watched the movie so many times, I can just listen to the soundtrack and watch the movie play in my head.  The only part I do not like is the marionette scene.  Goats, goatherds, beer afloat heards….I’ll pass.  Edelweiss, oh so romantic!

It’s a perfect curl up and relax movie.  Even my kids love it.  We love to sing the Do Re Mi and The Hills are Alive and all the wonderful songs.  It’s really brought joy to share the music together.

Amazingly, even with all the benefits it has brought our family, I still do not own the movie or the soundtrack.  We rent or borrow them.  Maybe I need to do that again soon.  Well, that’s all I can come up with for the subject movies tonight.

Blessings,

Laura

Surviving or Thriving

My husband and I are writing on the same subject today just for fun.  The subject he chose is Surviving or Thriving.  The fun part is that neither of us has talked about the topic nor knows what the other is going to write about.  Wonder what he wrote about ?  Find out here.  I’ll just fill in that little link when I’m done.

Surviving or thriving.  Which one are you doing?  A whole list of things can figure into that question.  Sickness?  Health?  Ease? Difficulties?  Hopeful?  Hopeless?  Encouraged?  Discouraged?  Have enough?  Scraping by?  Plenty or want?  Lots of things play into the whole surviving and thriving mentality.  Yes, I said mentality.  It’s the same word my husband used to say to me.   I have done both.  The difference for me was how I looked at my situation, whether I saw life’s problems as normal challenges or punishments, and that horrible word, attitude! 

We’ve been married almost 23 years.  If we’d been able to look into a crystal ball (I wouldn’t have anyway Deut. 18:10), we would have been too scared to get married!  Like anyone’s life, we’ve had ups and downs, but it seems like it’s been a whole lot of downs.  I know I’ve had a whole lot of downs.  Even in what I now know were good times, I had downs.  Unfortunately, I was always seeing the glass half empty.  I still do sometimes, but I’m getting better about that.  Thank you Jesus! 

I’ve learned a lot the last few years through a whole lot of stressful circumstances.   My mother battled cancer and died.  We sold houses and moved every few years.  We went through lay-offs, starting a business, the business closing, extreme financial problems, and various relationship troubles that resulted from the stress of it all.  Add to this my extremely painful back troubles, other physical ailments, several surgeries for me, and three additional children being born.  The new babies and our oldest son were the best part of it all.  We’ve been doubly blessed to have four.  We’ve had ten really tough years.  As this was all happening, sometimes my faith in God was strong.  Sometimes I just felt like God was punishing us.  What did we have to do to get out of the current mess?  What did God want?  It consumed me.  God is so merciful.  He took us through it all, and He’s taught me that this is life.  At 43 years old, I’ve finally grown up enough to realize that it’s normal to face challenge after challenge.  Everyone faces them.  It’s whether we allow troubles and challenges to drive us away from God and our family or closer to God and our family that really matters.  This brings me to the word I hate.  

Attitude!  I don’t even like the sound of it.  Maybe because as a teenager I was criticized for my attitude.  Maybe  it’s because I’ve heard it from my husband.  Oops, did I say that?  Maybe it’s because I know my attitude has been bad so much.   Perhaps this is one of the hardest parts of  going through hard times.  It’s so easy to complain and about what we need or what we want.  If only we could see it all through God’s eyes.  Looking back, I see that God has actually given us what we truly needed whether we wanted it or not.  The hard times have driven us to Him in desperation.    There have been sins in my life and in my husband’s life that lead to some of these problems.  There  are still consequences we must pay for those sins.  But the guilt has been paid for by the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  In it all, I was so desperate for God to help us.  It caused me to focus on Him a lot.   Psalm 34 was enormously helpful to me in this.  Verse 17 says, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”  He has and He still is delivering me daily from all our troubles.  He tends to deliver me through them rather than from them.    It’s a very good thing to be desperate for God.  Though we were consumed with the day to day surviving, God was bringing us to a place of thriving in His love and care.

If you’re surviving or barely surviving, read the Psalms, read Philippians.  They are both so encouraging when you’re fearful.  He loves us so much, He told us not to fear over and over.  He holds our times in His hands.   Seek, knock, ask, He’ll answer.   Trust God to bring you to a place of Thriving in Him.

Lord God, I ask that you would bring hope, peace, and a new attitude to each person who reads this and to me, also.  You CAN do it.  I believe you WILL do it.  Thank you Lord!

Laura

Choosing to Thrive

Go read My Honey’s post here.   It brought a smile to my face.  His attitude really helped pull me through when I was dragging.

Trapped…and Released

“Based on the information available today and the terms of the contract in force today, benefits will be available if the service is medically necessary.” Ten, twenty, thirty, forty times a day I would repeat that phrase. I was a customer service correspondent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield. I answered the phone all day long, explaining benefits, helping with medical claims that weren’t processed correctly or were misunderstood. I couldn’t answer the phone, fill out a form, or sneeze without putting a tally mark on a piece of paper so that my employer would be able to keep track of every moment of my day. I felt, with my headset attached to the phone system and my computer in front of me, like a dog on a chain. I was trapped. I must admit that for the most part, in the almost 18 years since I’ve been home with my children, that I’ve either forgotten or blocked out most of what it was like to be stuck in a job that I didn’t like, making too much money to quit, but not enough to get ahead. I was so young I didn’t appreciate the medical benefits except for maternity! I still remember the day, January 18, 1991 as my emancipation day, the day I was released! ~smile~

I think it’s good for me to remember, to appreciate the freedom I have now in comparison. No. I don’t have money to buy things I want most of the time. No, I can’t do all the things I want to, unless they’re free. Yes, it’s worth it. Being home with my children has been a wonderful privilege that my husband, God, and my willingness to go without have offered me. My children are different than they would have been if I’d been at work and they’d been at school. I thank God that I’ve been there to instill our beliefs, our faith, and our values in their lives as well as to teach them.

I also think that it’s good for me to reflect on what I would have been like, what I might have done, if not for Jesus, and on what I did do before Jesus. Our Pastor spoke Sunday about a man who killed many people at a Christmas party last week. He said that apart from Christ and the Holy Spirit in him, he could have been that man. Any one of us could have been that man. If we didn’t have Jesus, we would be at the mercy of whatever the world and Satan enticed us with. Desperation, fatigue, worry, fear, anxiety, hopelessness, anger, as well as a host of other pressures and sins would assail us.

Thank God for Jesus Christ and the work of salvation that he did at the cross. We have the opportunity to be reconciled to God, to have a clean conscience and a clean slate before Him in spite of our past sins. We have to choose to accept Jesus’ death being the payment for our sins and believe that he is resurrected, at God’s right hand in Heaven. Then, we must wash ourselves by reading the Word of God, the Holy Bible, daily, asking for God to fill us over and over with His Holy Spirit.

I need to remember what I was and what God had done for me through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. I need to press forward, focusing more and more on God’s word and what He wants to do in me, my family, my church, and my community.

I ask God to bless you all as you think reflectively upon these things.

Laura
Thankful to be home and His

Just Rambling… Autumn Thoughts

This post began as a comment to Miranda’s blog, Life on Hackberry Road. See her link in my sidebar. She’s having a give-away to celebrate her first anniversary of blogging.

AUTUMN THOUGHTS
I love Autumn. It has long been my favorite time of year. We live in Carthage, the Maple Leaf City.
Fall means the Maple Leaf Festival and the biggest parade in the four states.
Fall means pumpkins! A few years ago, my husband and I lived in the country and had a pumpkin patch. I loved everything about it. I loved seeing the baby pumpkins as they formed and grew. I loved harvesting them. I loved selling them and the craft items I’d made. The name Harvest Lane came from our farm, Harvest Lane Farm. I’d been Laura of Harvest Lane on-line for awhile; so, when we moved to town, we called our home Harvest Lane Cottage.
Fall is apple cider with mulling spices, chai tea, cocoa, missing our wood stove, soup simmering on the stove, bread baking in the oven, the smells of pumpkin and cinnamon coming from my oven or my favorite candles.
Fall is snuggling up with a good book while I listen to the rain falling outside, thankful that my children are gathered around me.

Fall means walks with my children, looking for pretty leaves.
Fall means school in the park. We love setting up on a picnic table, enjoying the weather, and then playing when we’re done, or during “recess”.
Fall means planning for Christmas gifts, sneaking in a little Christmas music while I’m working, and creating for for friends and family.
Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Looking forward to my favorite season.

Applesauce, Fresh Milk and Pressing Matters

In regards to comments recently received….

The red hots applesauce sounds delectable. I loved red hots as a child. I wonder if you can buy them this time of year. I always thought of them as a Valentine’s Day candy.

I am so blessed to have a friend with a cow. She’s been so thoughtful to share a gallon with me now and then. When we get back on our feet, I’ll buy from her more often.

I’ll share about Farm Girl Days soon. It’s a craft fair my friends are putting together. It’s going to be great fun.

I enjoy sharing my prayers of thanks to my God and my King. Jesus Christ has made such a change in my life. I don’t know what I’d be had I never met him and surrendered my life to Him.

If you know Him, press in! If you don’t know Him, press HERE.

If you are grieving over the loss of a friend or loved one, press HERE.

There is One God and Only One God in Heaven. He cares for you and is reaching out to you in love and mercy, in compassion, with His offer of salvation. He wants to save you from hell; but He also wants to change your life here as well.

I’m a little preachy tonight, I know. It’s just on my heart tonight. I have to follow the Holy Spirit. Someone who is reading this might just need to know what I’ve been writing. I know it’s the Spirit of God; because, I planned to write about Red Hots Applesauce and fresh cow’s milk. ~smile~

God bless you all!

Laura of Harvest Lane
Blessed Beyond the Stress