Sunday, December 8, 2019

A Christmas Miracle... A Yearly Tradition

Please enjoy this story that I share each year....

Photo copyright Amy Lane Photography used by permission. 

A Christmas Miracle on the Frontier

     I remember a day one winter that stands out like a boulder in my life. The weather was unusually cold; our salary had not been regularly paid and it did not meet our needs when it was.
My husband was away much of the time, traveling from one district to another. Our boys were well, but my little Ruth was ailing and at best none of us were decently clothed. I patched and re -patched, with spirits sinking to the lowest ebb. The water gave out in the well and the wind blew through the cracks in the floor.

     The people in the parish were kind, and generous too, but the settlement was new and each family was struggling for itself. Little by little, at the time I needed it most, my faith began to waver.
Early in life I was taught to take God at His word, and I thought my lesson was well learned. I had lived upon the promises in dark times until I knew, as David did, who was my Fortress and my Deliverer. Now a daily prayer for forgiveness was all that I could offer.

     My husband’s overcoat was hardly thick enough for October, and he was often obliged to ride miles to attend some meeting or funeral.  Christmas was coming; the children always expected their presents. I remember the ice was thick and smooth and the boys were each craving a pair of skates. Ruth, in some unaccountable way, had taken a fancy that the dolls I had made were no longer suitable; she wanted a nice large one, and insisted on praying for it.

     I knew it was impossible, but, oh! how I wanted to give each child his present. It seemed as if God had deserted us. But I did not tell my husband all this. He worked so earnestly and heartily, I supposed him to be as hopeful as ever. I kept the sitting room cheerful with an open fire, and I tried to serve our scanty meals as invitingly as I could.

     That morning before Christmas, James was called to see a sick man. I put up a piece of bread for his lunch–it was the best I could do–wrapped my plaid shawl around his neck and then tried to whisper a promise as I often had, but the words died away upon my lips. I let him go without it.  That was a dark, hopeless day. I coaxed the children to bed early, for I could not bear their talk. When Ruth went, I listened for her prayer. She asked for the last time most explicitly for her doll and for skates for her brothers. Her bright face looked so lovely when she whispered to me, “You know I think they’ll be here early tomorrow morning, Mama” that I thought I could move Heaven and earth to save her from disappointment. I sat down alone and gave way to the most bitter tears.

     Before long James returned, chilled and exhausted. He drew off his boots. The thin stockings clipped off with them and his feet were red with cold. “I wouldn’t treat a dog that way; let alone a faithful servant,” I said. Then as I glanced up and saw the hard lines in his face and the look of despair, it flashed across me that James had let go too.

     I brought him a cup of tea, feeling sick and dizzy at the very thought. He took my hand and we sat for an hour without a word. I wanted to die and meet God and tell Him His promise wasn’t true–my soul was so full of rebellious despair.

     There came a sound of bells, a quick step and a loud knock at the door. James sprang to open it. There stood Deacon White. “A box came by express just before dark. I brought it around as soon as I could get away. Reckoned it might be for Christmas. ‘At any rate’ I said, ‘they shall have it tonight.’ Here is a turkey my wife asked me to fetch along and these other things I believe belong to you.”
There were a basket of potatoes, and a bag of flour. Talking all the time, he hurried in the box and then with a hearty good night, he rode away.

     Still without speaking, James found a chisel and opened the box. He drew out first a thick red blanket and we saw that beneath it, the box was full of clothing. It seemed at that moment as if Christ fastened upon me a look of reproach. James sat down and covered his face with his hands. “I can’t touch them,” he explained. “I haven’t been true, just when God was trying me to see if I could hold out. Do you think I could not see how you were suffering? And I had no word of comfort to offer. I know now how to preach the awfulness of turning away from God.”

     “James,” I said, clinging to him, “don’t take it to heart like this. I am to blame. I ought to have helped you. We will ask Him together to forgive us.”  We poured out words of praise–Bible words, for nothing else could express our thanksgiving.  It was eleven o’ clock; the fire was low and there was the great box with nothing touched but the warm blanket we needed. We piled on some fresh logs, lighted two candles and began to examine our treasures.

     We drew out an overcoat. I made James try it on–just the right size–and I danced around him, for all my lightheartedness had returned. There was a cloak and he insisted on seeing me in it. My spirits always infected him and we both laughed like foolish children.

     There was a warm suit of clothes also and three pairs of woolen hose. There were a dress for me and yards of flannel, a pair of arctic overshoes for each of us and in mine a slip of paper. I have it now and mean to hand it down to my children. It was Jacob’s blessing to Asher: “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days so shall thy strength be.”

     In the gloves, evidently for James, the same dear hand had written: “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”  It was a wonderful box and packed with thoughtful care. There were a suit of clothes for each of the boys and a little red gown for Ruth. There were mittens, scarf, and hood, and down in the center–a box. We opened it and there was a great wax doll!! I burst into tears again and James wept with me for joy. It was too much! And then we both exclaimed again, for close behind it came two pairs of skates. There were books for us to read–some of them I had wished to see–stories for the children to read, aprons and underclothing, knots of ribbon, a gay little tidy, a lovely photograph, needles, buttons, and thread, a muff, and an envelope containing a ten dollar gold piece.

     At last we cried over everything we took up. It was past midnight and we were faint and exhausted even with happiness. I made a cup of tea, cut a fresh loaf of bread and James boiled some eggs. We drew up the table before the fire. How we enjoyed our supper! And then we sat talking over our life and how sure a help God always proved.

     You should have seen the children the next morning! The boys raised a shout at the sight of their skates–Ruth caught up her doll and hugged it tightly without a word; then she went into her room and knelt by her bed.  When she came back she whispered to me, “I knew it would be here Mama, but I wanted to thank God just the same, you know.”

     “Look here, Wife, see the difference!” We went to the window and there were the boys out of the house already and skating on the crust with all their might.  My husband and I both tried to return thanks to the church in the East that sent us the box–and have tried to return thanks unto God every day since.

     Hard times have come again and again, but we have trusted in Him–dreading nothing so much as a doubt of His protecting care. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”

Reprinted by permission from Lizzie at A Dusty Frame.   She typed it up from a very old book, The Sword Book of Treasures by Dr. John R. Rice, published in 1946 gem. .

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

On My Needles & What I'm Reading ~ December 4, 2019

On my knitting needles... on my Scribd app! Knitting and reading in my free time and little bits of snatched time is one of my favorite ways to enrich my life. I love to listen to the Bible, to a non-fiction book that can help me learn, or to a novel to pass the time as I knit or work around the house. Do you have any favorites?

Here are the things that I'm listening to this week:

Job on

Christmas in Winter Hill
by Melody Carlson
on my Scribd app.

You can see other books I'm making progress on them on Goodreads.

While I listen or watch videos, I am knitting a baby hat for Life Choices Crisis Pregnancy Center. 

Pattern Barley Light by Tin Can Knits
Yarn is Paton's Kroy Socks in Turquoise Jacquard

I've spent lots of time sitting and reclining during my recovery time. It's nice that my head has cleared enough that I can do some things that allow me to give to others in need. I think knitting for charity and praying during the knitting is one of my very favorite things to do. There are so many who need to feel cared for. 

Blessings to all of you who have prayed for me. I appreciate it so much. It's making a world of difference in my recovery.

Have a homemade, handmade, heartmade thrifty week! 

P.S  I highly recommend using Scribd. You get unlimited ebooks and audio books plus other reading materials for just one low price. $8.99 a month. You don't have to pay per book. It's all included in the one price. It's the best money I've spent this year!

If you use my link, you'll get a 2 month free trial of Scribd, and I will get a free month as well. I'm not an affiliate, it's just a neat perk that they have for their subscribers who tell their friends. I've earned 180 free days just sharing how much I love their service! You can too.

Find me online here:

Laura Lane on Goodreads
2019  69 Finished Books Goal 50 60  70

HarvestLaneLaura  on Ravelry

Harvest Lane Cottage on Facebook

@lauraofharvestlane on Instagram

Address available by email.

Joining with  Crafting On and Yarn Along

Saturday, November 30, 2019

~ ADORE ~ Christmas Songs of Worship by Chris Tomlin

Hello! Happy Christmas time! This is a review that I wrote in 2015 when this was a new album. I still love this album and listen to it during the year sometimes as well. It's just so worshipful. It really focuses my attention on Jesus during the Christmas season. I include the original review below as well as a link to purchase the CD on Amazon. Yes. That's an affiliate link.

P.S. Thank you for your patience as I continue to recover from my post-mastectomy revision surgery. I reply to as many comments as I can, but I find that I am falling behind. Be assured, I read all comments and appreciate your prayers and comments. Please forgive me if I do not reply.

Adore: Christmas Songs Of Worship (Live)
  Once upon a time, when I was young, I knew who was who in music. Then babies came along and I lost track in the whirlwind of bringing up children. Now my babies are teens. All this to say, I recognized the name Chris Tomlin, but I couldn't tell you a single song he recorded. So, I asked my kids. You know, the ones who are now young and know who's who in music. They told me we sing his songs in church a lot... and so we do. The first song I saw when I looked at Tomlin's YouTube site was Good Good Father. That's one we sing often that I enjoy. They also said that Chris Tomlin sounds like generic Christian music, because so many artists have emulated his original worship style.

  I adore this album! It's so worshipful. It's a magnificent blend of old Christmas music, hymns and new music. The arrangements are so melodic, and Christ focused. The choir that sings with him is so smooth. The harmony is flawless. ADORE includes one of the most beautiful arrangements of Silent Night I've ever experienced. The acapella singing is blissful. Oh, I just cannot say enough good about this album. You've got to listen to this one. You'll be delighted with the reverential tone of What Child is This? You'll be charmed by Away in the Manger. If you like Christmas music, if you like contemporary Christian worship music, if you like focusing on Jesus at Christmas, then I think you'll really like this album. 

  Chris Tomlin's ADORE is going to be a new classic in our house. I have not heard an album I have enjoyed like this in ages. As I write this, my husband is singing along in worship, "I bow my heart before no other name...." It's all about Jesus. Everything. It's all about Jesus.


Chris Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music artist, worship leader, and songwriter who has sold nearly 30 million records.  Some of his most well-known songs are "How Great Is Our God", "Jesus Messiah", "Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)", "Our God", and "Whom Shall I Fear".  His 2013 album Burning Lights debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, only the fourth Christian album ever to open at No.1.  Throughout his career, Chris has been nominated for 32 Dove Awards (6 of them collaborative efforts) and he has won 19 of them.  
Thank you FlyBy for this CD for review. I loved it!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Contentment, Thankfulness, Happily Ever After

It's definitely an out of style commodity these days.
You cannot find it in the stores on Black Friday.
It's not available online on Cyber Monday.

It is only available in one place—from one person.
Within yourself—from God.
It's available here and now.
It begins with being thankful.

Live today as though now is your happily ever after.
It is.

Happy Thanksgiving
from Harvest Lane Cottage,

Thankful to be alive
for my third Thanksgiving
since CHRIST conquered cancer in my body

P.S. Thank you for your patience as I continue to recover from my post-mastectomy revision surgery. I will reply to as many comments as I can, but I find that I am falling behind. Be assured, I read all comments and appreciate your prayers and comments. Please forgive me if I do not reply.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Have You Finished Your Thanksgiving Planning Yet?

Hello everyone,

 I'm still recovering from surgery, so last night we had a planning meeting with the whole family and agreed on who would make and bring what for dinner. I am responsible for making pecan pies. My husband agreed to make my pie crusts for me Wednesday morning.

  I just finished my final grocery list for Thanksgiving. My daughters are going to shop at Aldi, Dollar General, and Walmart for the ingredients that we still need. That will be a major energy saver for me. My job this year is to plan and coordinate kitchen work. I'll help with dishes, too, along the way. We are keeping everything simple.

 Have you finished your planning? Your cooking? Is your turkey in the fridge thawing? Here's some help if you need it. Don't be afraid to ask others to bring items to contribute.

 I wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving, whether you're with loved ones, friends, acquaintances, or even by yourself, there is always something to be thankful for.

 God bless you all! I'll write after the holiday.

Laura Lane
Harvest Lane Cottage