Friday, May 26, 2017

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #101

Welcome to another thrifty week at Harvest Lane Cottage. I'm so glad you've found me! Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways of saving money, and my blessings from God. 

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage

I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!
Do say hello!
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Dear Reader,

     If you've not read it yet, please read The Post I've Been Avoiding... The Diagnosis. It will put all of this in perspective and explain a bit of what's going on in my little world. For years, I've done my best to do what I can with what I've got where I am. This has served our family well in good times and in hard times, and we've had a lot of hard times. Last year our family went four months without income while my husband searched for work. God miraculously provided, and I gave him glory in my Thrifty Week posts. God always provides. 

     In the past, my focus has been on "with what I've got". Now, for a little while, the focus is going to shift to "what I can". Being thrifty is "here a little, there a little", so I shall do what I can. The more I listen to and read the Bible, the more the phrases are in my head. (Isaiah 28:10).

My hope is to go ahead and keep this column going in order to inspire myself to do what I can. It's a bit of accountability—you know? I may not publish every week, but I'll do what I can. I hope it will also inspire you to do what you can regardless of your circumstances. 

God bless you all, thank you for your patience with me.

I also thank you for all the love you've shown and the prayers you've prayed. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. God bless you all!
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A Verse for You
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."
James 1:2-4 
NKJV
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Here's my thrifty week!


  • We made homemade bean burritos one evening for dinner. We had lots of beans left over, so hubby just made up lots of burritos, wrapped them individually, and put them into the freezer for quick, grab and go snacks or meals—a great thing to have around when you have three teens with odd schedules.
  • Because I've met my maximum out-of-pocket with my health insurance, I got free prescriptions this week. Thank you Jesus!
  • We got dollar frozen yogurt cones at Braums during their happy hour.
  • Because I had chemo on our anniversary, we celebrated with half-price shakes at Sonic after 8 p.m. Yummy chocolate peanut butter shakes for two just $5! That saved a ton over the out of town mini vacation we were planning a month ago. Hey... gotta look on the bright side, right?
  • It was just the two of us, hubby and I, for dinner Thursday night. He went to the store for chicken breasts. He found a package of two for $7. He looked some more and found a family pack for the same price! Good going Lowell!
What are you doing in your home this week?
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If you can do it, get out and pick some berries or hit the market and make some jam or jelly. It's not hard. There are freezer and canning recipes in the Ball or Kerr Pectin packages. You can do it mama! There's nothing like seeing those little jars lined up on the counter and listening for the ping of the seal...unless it's hearing the blissful sighs as your loved ones bite into a hot buttery biscuit dripping with homemade love.


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ღLauraღ
...doing what I can with what I've got
where I am on a short shoestring budget!

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HEY GIRLS!
I am totally serious about saving your change for Christmas.
You will be amazed at how much you can save up if you start now.
Just do it!

It's time to start saving your pennies
and your nickles and your rocks for Christmas!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Post I've Been Avoiding... The Diagnosis

Hello my dear readers and friends,

You've no doubt noticed a change in my blog over the last few weeks and seen hints of health troubles and tests. This is the post I've been avoiding. I just haven't been ready to identify with the problem nor am I sure I want to now. After all, God is the God of miracles. I need miracles, I'll bet you do, too.
Here goes.
 I found a lump on April 22nd. It's been an earth shaker to me and my family for the last few weeks.  This was the cause of the exhausting rounds of tests and appointments.

Yes. It is breast cancer. It's in all the lumps in my left breast and in a lymph node. My mother and maternal aunt both had breast cancer many years ago. 

To answer a few questions you might have:
  • The CT scan showed no cancer in the rest of my body. Praise God!
  • The oncologist scheduled me for chemo first because it is an aggressive cancer. They want to shrink it first before surgery.
  • I will also have mastectomy surgery, radiation, Hormone IV drug therapy, and a pill to take long term. 
  • They did surgery to implant a port for the chemo on Friday the 19th.
  • Chemo began Tuesday the 23rd. It should take 18 weeks if all goes as planned.
  • I didn't do well with a couple of the drugs, so I'll spend today, the 24th, my 31st wedding anniversary at the chemo center with the husband of my youth getting three or four more hours of chemo. They will slow delivery down to see if I can handle it better. The staff has been amazing.
But God.

Miracles:
  • I haven't had insurance for years. On March 1st, I got great insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield! 
  • We received a tax refund that we just left in the bank. We have enough money to pay all of our out-of-pocket expenses! 
  • Remember me? The lady whose husband went four months without a paycheck, without unemployment, and lived completely dependent on God? Go God! He is so so good to us!
  • I've had some friends locally who have offered to go to treatments with me so that I'm never alone. Thank you ladies!

My fight is the good fight of faith. I battle not against flesh and blood and tumors.

The weapons of my warfare
  • the Word
  • worship
  • praise
  • praying in English and in the Spirit 
  • journaling
  • keeping a book of thanksgiving
  • rest
  • eating well
  • following the doctors' plan.
I invite you to join the fight in prayer. 

As you might guess, my emotions have been a bit overwhelmed, but I am continuing to trust in the Lord.

Notes: 
I've been told by many well meaning people lots of things that are supposed to cure cancer. My husband and I have prayed. We believe that we are supposed to follow my cancer team's treatment plan. This is not a mild case, it is life-threatening. When I hear people try to tell me not to do chemo and such, it just upsets me emotionally and makes me waiver. I have set my faith that God will lead us through this and that I need to have James 1 faith. 
Yes. That's worth looking up my friend.

Sincerely,
Laura Lane


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My oh my! 
I am so overwhelmed with the love and prayers expressed in all these precious comments. I usually try to write back to each person individually, but truthfully, I don't think I can do it this time. Please understand. I send love, hugs, and thanks to each of you! May God bless you each and fill you with the wonder of his goodness and mercy. May your faith grow by leaps and bounds as you think on the goodness of the LORD. 

I WILL LIVE AND NOT DIE AND DECLARE THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING! By the power of the blood of Jesus Christ shed for my sins and the torturous stripes he took on his back for my healing. I LOVE THE LORD JESUS. Thank you God! Holy Spirit, let's do this! Amen.

Hugs to you all,
Laura

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

MANDISA "OUT OF THE DARK" CD Review


This is an upbeat, come back, overcoming, moving forward album. It's so God centered, and it's all about what God wants to do in our lives to lift us out of the muck and mire. It's hopeful. Hope is something we all need.

Messages I got from this:
God is good no matter what, and He's for us.
God pulls us out of our dark feelings.
He's still working on us. He's not giving up.
He's trustworthy.
We can overcome our troubles.
God can take our shame off.
Good news... God's still moving.

There's a song called "We All Bleed the Same" that is meant to be one to reunite the various factions in our country. It's good.

It's a long album, 55 minutes. It's good.
It's not the kind of music I usually listen to at home, but it's the modern rock type music you would hear on K-LOVE, and, that's usually what's playing on my van radio.

This is a great album, because it celebrates that GOD is the one who is strong enough, good enough, and loves us enough to bring us out of the darkness, no matter what it is, and bring us into HIS LIGHT.

Thank you God for the miraculous deliverance you've given Mandisa.
To you, God, be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
MANDISA OUT OF THE DARK CD


Story Behind The Album


Mandisa wrote her song “Overcomer” in 2013 to encourage her close friend Kisha, who was battling breast cancer. Mandisa really believed and prayed that God was going to heal her, but when Kisha went to be with Jesus in 2014, Mandisa’s foundation was shaken in a way she never expected. She fell into a deep pit of depression for close to 3 years, shutting out her friends, family and the rest of the world. Mandisa believes if she had kept going down that road she was on, she would not be here today… but God stepped in and lifted her out of that pit by using her close friends to communicate their love for her and God’s love for her. This album is Mandisa’s way of letting her fans into her story – it’s called 'Out Of The Dark' because that is exactly where God lifted her out of! 

You can watch her talk openly about this on Good Morning America last week here.

Disclosure: I was sent a sample of this product for review purposes only. I was not compensated in any way. All opinions are my own based on my experience with this product. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."