Monday, August 20, 2018

Looking Forward

Breast cancer treatment has dominated my life since I found the lump April 22, 2017.  I completed my first round of chemo in September last year. Chemotherapy was one of the hardest things I’ve lived through.
I had a bilateral mastectomy with lymph node removal and reconstruction in October 2017.  I didn’t heal well from the surgery, but they did get all the cancer.  “No cancer in the lymph nodes and in the margins” is how they put it. They won’t declare me cancer free, but I am in remission.  The incisions finally healed just in time for radiation.
Radiation was quite an ordeal. I had to be treated every day. I left the house every day regardless of the weather at 8:45 to drive about twenty minutes for a treatment that lasted about five minutes. I did this alone for seven weeks. I cannot explain how it felt to lie beneath a machine that looks like a Kitchenaid mixer that has the power to heal or to destroy. One morning, my treatment was delayed because of a malfunction. Wasn’t that a nerve wracking morning! I prayed and sang (as best one can on one’s back) praises and worship to God “Thou of LORD art a shield to me—my glory and the lifter of my head.”  God was my only companion in that radioactive room. God was my heart and lungs’ only shield.
I completed my last chemo—Herceptin—last month.  I’d been going for treatments for over a year for that. It didn’t make me sick like the first round of chemo, but it did make me feel exhausted, thick headed at times, and weaker.
So here I am, August 20, 2018. Sixteen months after I found the lump that changed my life forever. I have pain. I still have stiffness and discomfort when I try to move my arm sometimes. I have scars from surgery and scars from the radiation burns. But I have life. I have something else, too.
I have a new boldness to speak to others. I have a new boldness to share my faith in Jesus Christ. I have a new burden to pray for others—right in the moment—right with them if possible. I have a new trust in my Jesus. I feel closer to him than ever before, and my faith has been built by reading His word and hearing His word come out of my own mouth in faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
“I will live and not die and declare the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”
I’ve learned that symptoms and tests are facts. The word of God is truth.
I will trust the LORD in all things.
Just a little of why I’ve not been here. 
God bless you all!
Laura Lane

Monday, August 13, 2018

Home Education ~ Books, Charlotte Mason, and Karen Andreola

Counting from preschool, this is my twenty-fifth year of homeschooling. We have three high school graduates and one junior. Back when I started, in the 1990's, resources were significantly less available than they are to today's homeschoolers. 

For the Children's Sake, The Christian Home School, and The Successful Homeschool Family were some of the first books I read on home education. Together they sparked a vision in me for a different way to educate. I also read many reviews and books by Karen Andreola. She introduced me to Mother Culture and Charlotte Mason's real books based learning. Her book A Charlotte Mason Companion is an excellent introduction to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling.  Mrs. Andreola was very influential in my life through her writing. She showed me a beautiful picture of what life could be like in A Pocketful of Pinecones. She now writes a blog at Moments with Mother Culture that is so good, I chose it to read from the beginning. Check it out. She's about to publish a new book soon.

I spent many hours reading to my children as they were growing up. Recently, my son Michael graduated in our home. We were talking about his growing up years and talking about learning to read.

Michael told his younger sister, "You didn't want to learn to read. I told you you'd love to read. I told you you'd love history!"

I didn't do everything right, but I raised kids who love to read and know how to learn the things they want to learn. By the way. He made As in his two dual enrollment classes and his older sister made all As in her four college classes this semester. They know how to learn even if their education very formal.

Laura Lane
Thankful for those who went before me