“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. 

Through Jesus

 

You know, sometimes we just don’t feel like praising God.  The drain’s clogged, your kid has poison ivy, a black snake is eating your chickens’ eggs, what you plant doesn’t grow, the kids track dirt or whatever in, the car won’t start, the air conditioner is broken, it can be any number of things.  There’s always going to be something, isn’t there?  It’s just one thing after another.  Ever wonder why? 

We truly have had a rough time for the last few years.  BUT GOD has brought us through every single trial.  In fact, He has shown himself so faithful, I just don’t get as upset or angry or worried as I used to.  I know that most of the things I worry about are out of my control.   They are totally in God’s control.  He WILL take care of the problems one way or another.  My job is to pray and let Him be in control. 

So we pray, we give it all back to him to carry, and we praise the Lord even when we don’t feel like it through Jesus!

 

 

An Unusual Topic for Me…

It all began in Genesis. 

Of course, it did!  I was just going to read a chapter or two ahead of our Pastor who was and is teaching in Genesis.  Then, I thought, maybe just a few more chapters.  The next thing I knew, I wanted to read more and more.  I even read through the Books of the Law and all the books right up to my current chapter, 2 Chronicles 9.  Periodically, as I was reading, I came across a word that I didn’t understand.  It was concubine.  I kind of got the gist of what it was and didn’t have a dictionary handy; so, I would just read on.  Well, today, I looked at the on-line version of Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. 

Here’s the definition as copied from the on-line version at www.1828-dictionary.com

concubine

 n. [L., to lie together, to lie down.]

1. A woman who cohabits with a man, without the authority of a legal marriage; a woman kept for lewd purposes; a kept mistress.            2. A wife of inferior condition; a lawful wife, but not united to the man by the usual ceremonies, and of inferior condition. Such were Hagar and Keturah, the concubines of Abraham; and such concubines were allowed by the Roman laws. 

Wow, I thought it was some old testament thing that didn’t happen anymore.  I have known many concubines!  I wonder what they would say if they knew that they fit the definition?   If they were called by the title concubine?  Think of how common it has become for men and women to live together, to cohabitate before marriage.  In some circles, it’s even approved and encouraged.  God forbid!  In fact, God has forbidden it! 

In the beginning, there was Adam.  God saw that it was not good that he be alone.  God made one woman to be his wife, Eve.  Eve and no others!  That’s God’s perfect plan. 

Many women have fallen into the trap of living together or doing other things prior to marriage that ought not to be done.  Perhaps they realize that they have sinned and are perhaps still sinning.  It’s not too late!  God is a god of forgiveness.  That forgiveness and new beginning comes through shedding of blood.  Jesus Christ, God’s one and only Son, shed his blood on a cross to pay for our sins. 

Jesus Christ shed his blood so that we can approach God as righteous.  That happens when we repent of our sins.  We are truly sorry and promise not to do it again.  We also have to trust in Jesus as our Savior. 

1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

My friend, perhaps you have fallen into this type of sin at some point in your life.  You can be cleansed.  You can be forgiven.  You can.  Do it now.  Then, trust it to be under the Blood of Jesus and go and sin no more. 

Just something to think about….

Laura

I’m Rich!

I’m Rich!

 

I’ve got a great big three ring binder full of recipes. I’ve got a great big tall stack of cookbooks. I’ve got a shelf of cookbooks. I’ve got two full recipe boxes and another box started. I’ve got loose recipes in a drawer waiting to be filed in a box or binder. I’ve got recipe pamphlets in the same drawer. I’ve got recipes on my blog. Did I mention that I’ve got recipes?

As I look about me, I realize a couple of things. First, even though I’m surrounded by recipes, I tend to prepare the same meals over and over. Second, I’ve got more recipes surrounding me than I could prepare in a lifetime. I think it’s time to pare down a bit.

I was looking through my big binder a few minutes ago for a recipe to share with you all. I found that most of the recipes in my binder are ones that I’ve collected off the internet or from friends. Most of the recipes are untried. Now, if I’ve had this binder for two or three years, and I haven’t tried most of the recipes yet, why am I keeping them?

Does it make one a good cook to have lots of recipes? Does it make one a good homemaker to have lots of cleaners, recipes for cleaners or books about cleaning? Does it make one a good mother to have lots of books about child rearing? Does it make one a good Christian to have lots of Bibles and Christian books?

I think not. I think that there are many areas in our lives wherein we do not see the clutter. The truth is, I can go through my recipes and just keep my favorites and a few that I’m sure I want to try. I can go through my cookbooks and save my favorites and just write off the ones I like from the books I want to discard. The same holds true for other things in my life as well.

What about you? Are there things in your life that you are holding onto just in case? Are they things you really need? Really want? Are there things that are just clutter?

Now, I really cannot write all of this without sharing a nice salsa that you can make during the winter that is just delicious.

 

Kitchen Cupboard Salsa

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 medium diced onion (I prefer sweet.)

1 small can of chopped green chiles

1 T sugar

1 T dried parsley

½ t freshly ground pepper

½ t salt

½ t ground cumin

½ t garlic powder

Stir all this together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Laura

Recipe Rich

Lower Incomes and Loss of Employment

Many of the writers of the blogs I’ve been reading as well as many of my readers are facing uncertain times.  Many are facing lower incomes or loss of employment.  It is frightening.  We ladies like our security.  We like our comforts, whatever they may be.  We like knowing that the bills will be paid, that we can buy groceries, shoes for the kids, whatever we need, and a few extras. 

Over the last five years my husband went from $60 K job to now working part-time for less than $300 a week.  He’s looking for full-time work and has been for months.  Our reality has changed dramatically.  Life doesn’t look like I thought it would or even like I’d like it to; but, I’m getting so much closer to God through this.   God has provided in amazing ways.  We were able to move to a caretaker’s cottage and take care of a country estate four the absentee owner in return for rent.  Money has come from unexpected sources with perfect timing.  Just yesterday I was thinking of some things that our children need.  I have no way of providing those things.  Today, an envelope arrived with no return address.  It was filled with cash.  Yes, cash.  There was an envelope with the children’s names and an envelope with Lowell and Laura on it.  Praise God!  We can buy wood so we can keep warm!  The children need shoes.  We can buy them!  Praise God!  God is so faithful to take care of us.  God bless the sender, who obviously sent it in faith.

My point in sharing this is that you can survive.  You’ll have to learn some new skills, learn to be content, learn to make do; but, you can do this.  You have to lean into God and get that Word hidden in your heart.  Talk to Him.  He is great at showing you every bargain if you talk to Him all the way through the store and ask Him to show them to you.  God bless you through this!
I’ve written a lot about what God’s done over the last couple of years.  Although I write on WordPress now, I have a list of my best writings on the top of my old blog, http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com .  You might take a look.

Blessings upon blessings to you!

Laura

More Christmas Writings…

Hello Friends,

I know we’re all busy with Christmas preparations and celebrating.  I invite you to take a break, grab a cup of eggnog or hot tea and spend a few minutes reading my Christmas writings.  I have two blogs, Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage and Harvest Lane Cottage.  I have Christmas writings on each of them.  The links to the Christmas writings are below.  Happy Christmas Friends!

Harvest Lane Cottage Christmas Writings

Laura of Harvest Lane Christmas Writings

Enjoy your Christmas preparations! 

Laura

Happy and Blessed to Be at Home with Family

Husband Bashing or Praying?

God has been so good to bring such good Christian friends into my life.  I’m so blessed to have friends that I can be completely open and honest with.  I can share my heart, the joys, the fears, the frustrations, the victories, the hopes and dreams.  They can do the same.

NO HUSBAND BASHING allowed!  Usually, we’re talking about the ways that we are trying to change, praying to change, and changing.  We talk about loving and submission, teaching and disciplining kids, recipes and what is working for us around the house. 

WE PRAY TOGETHER…for our families, ourselves, those that we know that are suffering in some way or in need, for healing, for the body of Christ, for others’ salvation, for our country’s leaders and our country itself.

Thank You God for my good friends!

Laura

Blessed Among Women in my Own Generation