Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pay the Taxes or Pay the Rent?

You know and I know that taxes are way too high; and, so is the national debt.  I don't debate that.  I do not, however, get angry or upset about paying our taxes.  Why?  

  • I see paying our taxes a little differently.  
  • I see paying our federal taxes as paying rent to live in the most wonderful country in the world.  
  • Rent to have freedom like nowhere else.  
  • Freedom to make choices that contradict popular opinion.  
  • Freedom to worship my God and my Lord Jesus Christ in the way I choose.  
  • Sold out to Jesus and not hiding it...that's worth the price in itself.
Click on the flag for a free wallpaper download.

Thankful to be an American.

Joplin Tornado Before and After

Please pray for Joplin residents this month.  It's going to be very hard for many people.

Gayla of Prairie Flower Cottage shared her story here.
This is the video she shared on her blog.
Please read her story.
It's one of thousands.

Please help us help Joplin tornado victims.
God has blessed; we've come a long way; we have a long way to go.

Thank you for your prayers and your support.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankfulness Day 28 Love & Hope

Love and Hope by Sue Allemend  8 x 8 inches From

I am so thankful for love and hope, two things I receive from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.

Without these two things, life would be unhappy at best, unbearable at worst.

May God grant you love and hope.

Happy, Loved, Loving, and Hopeful

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thankfulness Day 27 Grace and Mercy

I am thankful for grace and mercy when I mess up, don't measure up, or just outright sin.  I can always go back to Father God and repent and get a new fresh start.  Thank you Jesus for making that possible.

There is grace for me to pick up this list again even though I've missed several days.  Thank you God.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: Mine is the Night by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Mine Is the Night

I have a major complaint about this book.  I didn't want it to end!  The characters in Liz Curtis Higgs books, Here Burns my Candle and its sequel, Mine is the Night, were so endearing, I'll miss them!   Mrs. Higgs is possibly the best storyteller of our time.  However, she doesn't really tell the story; she shows it.  I could see the colors, hear the lilt of the voices, feel the warmth of the kindnesses and the chill of the fears.

This novel concludes the story of Marjory and Elizabeth Kerr; but, I wish this were a series that would go on and on.   I can certainly see it as a mini-series. 

I was drawn into Mine is the Night quickly.  The initial scene is one of action and suspense.  The year is 1746.  Mrs. Marjory Kerr and her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Elizabeth Kerr, were both widowed in the Jacobite revolution.  They have lost their land, their money, and their titles as a result of their ties to the Jacobites.  Danger abounds as dragoons search out remaining traitorous Jacobites.   The Kerrs arrive in Selkirk in the Borderlands penniless to find that things were not as they thought they would be.  Money sent to care for their cousin with whom they will reside and to care for the Kirk (church) has not been received.  Their servant Gibson did not arrive and announce their arrival and make preparations.  Poverty awaits; but, they make the best of it with industry and a determination to trust God with their future as well as their present.  

I certainly do recommend this book if you are a reader of historical romance novels.  It can be read as a stand-alone book; however, there is a depth of understanding that will be missing if you do not read Here Burns my Candle first.  There are no graphic love scenes in this book.  It is clean.  I will not allow my teenage daughter to read it; because, I consider it to be a book for adult women.

Listen as Liz Curtis Higgs tells you of the story.

This is the sequel to Here Burns my Candle that I reviewed a few months ago. 

Read an excerpt.

This is available as an paperback or an e-book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review."Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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."

Decorating for Christmas with New Wallpaper

Just click on the picture to download free wallpaper.

Why not do a little redecorating for Christmas?  There are lots of free wallpapers available on the web.  I like this one.

Don't fret about Christmas.  Gifts don't have to be bought.  Just determine to show extra love and kindness to those you love and those with whom you come into contact this season.  As my Pastor Dan says, "Be Jesus with skin on."

May I suggest?
Sending You a Little Christmas

Mom's the Word - Good Morning Monday - Mommy Moments Monday Living Proverbs 31 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thoughts of Thanksgiving ~ Edgar A. Guest

Available from

"Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers."

Edgar A. Guest

No Rules

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Feeling Stressed? Thanksgiving Week Part 2 My Menu

I hope you enjoy a peak into what our Thanksgiving 2011 looked like.

Here's what this week's menu will look like for me:


Cereal with milk

Chicken soup (leftover from Sunday lunch) with added noodles
Bread & butter

We'll be having Thanksgiving dinner with my husband's employees.



Cereal with milk

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Canned fruit

Queso w/hamburger and chips
I like a snacky type supper on the evening before a big dinner.




Mashed Potatoes
German Apple Stuffing
Green Beans w/ Ham Hocks & Onion
Mom's Scalloped Corn
Pumpkin Pie
Cool Whip

Guests will bring:
Cranberry Orange Relish
Pickle slices with cream cheese & dried beef
Blueberry Cobbler
Stuffed Mushrooms

There are only 10 or 12 of us. I think we'll have plenty. We'll eat about 1:00.

We usually just snack at supper time on Thanksgiving.

We'll just grab what sounds good.

French Toast



To Be Announced


Oatmeal or Dad Cooks

PBJ & chips

Chicken and Dumplings
Mashed Potatoes



Ham & Beans

Clean out the refrigerator!

To Be Announced

I went shopping in my pantry and made a list of the things I still need.


milk (3 gallons)
bread 3 loaves (sandwich) 
3 lbs ground beef
2 dozen eggs      
sliced ham
Velveeta Queso Blanco                          
Cool Whip (2)
tortilla chips (2)
pretzels (2)
flour (3)
saltine crackers
evaporated milk (3)
2 apples
plastic knives

Monday, November 21, 2011

Are You Getting Stressed? Thanksgiving Week Part 1

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  Yes, really!

Okay, some of you may be getting a little stressed at this point. Thanksgiving is but a few days away.
First, take a deep breath. Now, go take your turkey out of the freezer. Put it in the refrigerator to thaw slowly and safely.  Now, get yourself a delicious drink; and, put on some relaxing music if you like.  Pandora has some great Christmas music.  Sit down with paper and pen right now and think think think.

We have a lot of control over how much tension we have in our own minds over holiday dinners. Planning is so very important. Here are some ideas that might help you:
Start with today.

Plan your meals for each day from now until the end of the weekend. Try to use the food you have on hand as much as possible to save your money for special items you will need to celebrate. Plan for a few impromptu snacks as well.  Write this out for every meal. Then make a list of every item you will need. 

Now, ask yourself a few questions. 
Where will you be for Thanksgiving?  Will you be providing the meal?  Bringing something to a dinner?  Traveling?  Needing snacks for the car?  Candles?  Decorations?  Jot down any notes you might need.

When you're done with all of this, you should have a shopping list. First, shop your pantry and freezer. Check off what you already have. You should be left with a shopping list. Check it twice and add anything else you need.
Now, plan to go to the store as soon as possible. Take your list!

Tomorrow I'll share my week's menu and my shopping list.

God bless you and de-stress you!

Happy at Home
Not in the Car

Loving the Holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas

Part 2

 Home and Garden Thursday -  Share Your Cup Thursday  

Thankfulness..... Fruits

This morning, I am thankful for fruit.  I received a gift of a case of bananas this weekend.  I'm going to peel them and put them in freezer bags whole.  That way, when I make banana cake like I did this weekend, I'll have them ready to go.  I'm thankful for the bananas; but, I'm also thankful for the fruits of the Spirit which continue to grow in me:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control*.

I've berrated myself over the years.  You see, although I have all these fruits in my life, none of them is fully ripe.  None is perfect, none is complete.  Each of these fruits is growing in me at a different rate.  The key word here is growing.  My fruit isn't ripe.  You know, sometimes underripe fruit isn't very sweet.  Sometimes I'm not very sweet.  Just this morning God revealed to me that this is a process for us just as it is a process for the fruit to first blossom then grow tiny fruits and grow and grow until they are ready to be picked and enjoyed. 

My prayer would be that God would continue to grow and ripen me in these areas.  Would you join me in this prayer?

Father, God, I thank you that by Jesus' Stripes I am healed.
I thank you that He sent the Holy Spirit to teach us and comfort us.
I ask Father that you continue to grow me up and ripen me up in the areas of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  I ask the same for my readers.
I ask this in Jesus' Name.  Amen.

*Galations 5:22-23 Some versions say long-suffering instead of patience.  To me, it's basically the same.

May I suggest?

Sharing with:
Taylor House

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankfulness Day 19 Ingredients

baking soda
baking powder

...all good things that make good things for good people I love.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankfulness Day 18 Volunteers

I thank God for the thousands of volunteers who have come through Joplin and Joplin Family Worship Center to help Joplin.  For information about how you can help, click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thankfulness Day 17 Getting Around

money to buy gas
heat in the car
windshield wipers

...just trying to convince myself that I'm thankful to be able to get around when I want and need to.  ~smile~

Really, I am thankful that we have a car.

Thankfulness Day Home

Thank you God for HOME.

I can tell when I've been running about too much.
I start feeling overwhelmed and frazzled.
The laundry piles up.
The dust piles up.
The clutter piles up.
The to do list is not to done. ~grin~
I just want to hide in my home and work on it.
I want to stay home.
So I canceled my appointments for the rest of the week.
Yes, there's church tonight and choir practice tomorrow night.
I cannot cancel those; but, the doctor will be just as happy to see my children for check-ups in January as she would be this week.
So.  I'm. Staying. Home.

Shared with:

Creative at Home Wednesday


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankfulness 14... Bringing a Little Joy to Joplin 2011

Thank you to all who have given so generously to help the citizens of Joplin in our tornado recovery.  This will be the first Thanksgiving and Christmas without loved ones and without the homes that were lost.  We at Joplin Family Worship Center will be hosting an event on Saturday to distribute new Christmas decorations.  Will you consider helping in Bringing a Little Joy to Joplin?

"It is such a blessing to be part of such a great event. This family has worked so hard to help the families who lost everything in the Joplin Tornado.  They called me this evening and told me it looks like they have a 40 foot moving truck packed with Christmas Decor items headed to Joplin from St. Louis

This event will take place on Saturday November 19, 2011 at Joplin Family Worship Center located at 5290 E. 7th Street Joplin, Mo.  Doors open at 12 and close at 4pm.

We will have all kinds of items from trees, lights, ornaments, nativity sets, and much much more. We will also be playing Christmas music, have cider, and a few snacks.This is a first come first serve event, but you must have a photo I.D. and proof of your destruction address such as a FEMA letter."  Lowell Lane

Thank you all for your prayers and for your generosity to Joplin.

Laura Lane
Lowell Lane

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankfulness Day 13 First

Thirty years ago today...

first date...

first love...

first husband...

only husband....

Thank you God!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thankfulness Day 12 Being a Homemaker

"To be happy at home
is the ultimate result
of all ambition."

~Samuel Johnson~

I thankful for my home and the blessing of being a homemaker.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Thoughts About Michelle Duggar's 20th Baby

Michelle Duggar Admits Having Lots of Kids 'Isn't for Everyone'
Picture Credit TLC

I've heard some disturbing words about Mrs. Duggar expecting her 20th child.  I believe that this is a decision for Mr. and Mrs. Duggar and God, not for the media or anyone else.  Obviously, the three of them are in agreement.  God indicates that large families are a blessing. I'm happy for Mrs. Duggar and her family.  May God bless her and baby and keep them in perfect health.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: The Christmas Lamp

This was a quick and fun Christmas read.  By the way, I am not really rushing the season for me.  I love Christmas books all year round.  I start listening to Christmas music in September whenever the mood strikes.  It's great nesting, baking, crafting music.  Christmas novels just make me feel like snuggling under a warm blanket and relaxing.  If it's cold enough for a blanket, it's close enough to Christmas for a good story. 

I chose The Christmas Lamp because it is set in Nativity, Missouri, not far from Branson and Springfield.  Nativity is a once upon a time town that no longer exists— but, it was the perfect setting for the story. 

Nativity is facing the same dilemma that many small towns have faced over the last fifty or sixty years.  Once a thriving town with abundant highway traffic, now bypassed by the new highway system, Nativity is struggling. 

Enter Jake Briscoe.  Briscoe is a numbers guy.  Too busy for love and friendship, he's spent his life working and working hard.  His latest work is to balance Nativity's budget and to try to save the town.  While he's not anti-Christmas cheer, he's definitely anti-Christmas spending. 

This doesn't set well with Roni Elliott who has lived in Nativity her entire life.  Christmas spirit and Nativity just go together, from the huge Christmas tree that receives more than it's share of attention by motorists, to the home decorating contest, she loves it all.    All the things that make Christmas the "most wonderful time of the year" in Nativity cost money.  Money that the town and Roni consider well worth it.

Will Jake Briscoe and Roni Elliott find a middle ground and save Nativity?

I enjoyed this book.  The chapters had convenient breaks making this an easy book to pick up and read for just a few minutes at a time.   That makes it easy to read in the car, while standing in line, or as a quick break between activities.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.  Opinions expressed are my own.

Feel free to start your Merry Christmas whenever you're ready!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thankfulness Day 7 PD and PC

Pastor Dan and Cindy Wermuth
Joplin Family Worship Center
Blessed to be a Blessing
Jesus with skin on
Love God and love others
God is changing the face of this ministry
Search inside God
Build an altar

Words of encouragement
Words of affirmation
Words of hope
Words of love
Brother of another mother
Sister of another mister

After seven years of drought and famine in our lives, Pastor Dan and Cindy were a river of God's love and God's blessing into our lives. 
They awakened a part of me that had been dormant for a long, long time. 
 I'm growing again in a way I hadn't for awhile. 
Thank you. 
We love you. 
We are honored to serve with you. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thankfulness Day 6 Help and Hope for Joplin

Thank you to everyone who has helped Joplin.  We simply cannot ever thank everyone enough.  We've got a strong start on recovery.  You can reach Joplin Family Worship Center by clicking the button below.  God bless you.

Linking with Brenda.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankfulness Day 5 Christian Radio

I'm listening to Ranger Bill, Warrior of the Woodlands.  It's a radio program that I've listened to for most of my adult life.  It's part of the Saturday morning line-up at our local Christian radio station.  We also listen to Adventures in Odyssey, Down Gilead Lane, and Jonathan Park.  They are a great alternative to Saturday morning cartoons.  Our children don't watch t.v.; but, even before our television was disconnected, we didn't watch.  We have our reasons for that; but, that's another post.  One point though, it sure reduces the gimmees. 

I thank God for Christian radio and specifically the old-time style radio stories.  If you don't have this available to you locally, please click on the photo.  You can listen to KNEO on-line all around the world.  They've got a lot of great programs for adults as well.

God bless you friends!
Blessed to be a blessing

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thankfulness Day 4 All Home

May 22, 2011
We heard no sirens... only a tremendous thundering that didn't stop.
I thank God...
We were all home. 

 We were all safe.

We were all praying for Joplin

Thank you God that you preserved us and so many lives across Joplin.  Though we were miles from the destruction, the path of the tornado was headed our way.   May we continue to give and share your love, the love of God with those who were affected.

Thank you for the thousands of volunteers you've sent and the generous supplies you've sent.  May we continue to be generous to those in need both in body and in spirit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankfulness Day 3 Life Verses

Have you heard of life verses?
Basically, it is a verse or verses that the Lord has given to you, that has quickened your spirit, that you hold onto for life.  Many verses minister to us for a season. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."  2 Timothy 3:16 A life verse differs in that it stays with you.  It guides your thinking and actions for a long extended time presumably life.  Pastor Dan Wermuth of Joplin Family Worship Center shared his last night. 

"So he answered me and said to me:  "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts."  Zechariah 4:6  This verse filters how he looks at the world and influences his actions.  It's been quite a powerful verse as he leads our church and volunteers from across the country in the Joplin tornado relief efforts.
I thank God for my life verse.  He gave it to me years ago.  I am given to anxiety if I don't ask the Holy Spirt to guard my thoughts.  Bills, extended illness, pain, homeschooling, family tension, all can add to anxiety.  I have to remind myself to be anxious for NO  THING.   You can read about my experience with this verse here

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:6-7 

Now that's a verse to mark in your Bible!  For that matter, the whole fourth chapter of Philippians is a great place to camp out until you have its truths deep in your heart and mind.  With the holidays* and all the extra ministry activities coming up, I think I'm going to camp there this week.  Care to join me?

Think about it, search the Lord and His Word.  Ask your Father what your life verse is.  He loves it when we seek Him.  "Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, who seek Him with the whole heart." Psalm 119:1-3

Just something to think about....


*For me, the holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.  With that in mind, I don't mind Happy Holidays.

Shared at:
Deep Roots at Home - Raising Homemakers

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankfulness Day 2 The Hands of God

I'm thankful that God was there protecting His people in the tornado on May 22, 2011.
I'm thankful that even now He is at work rebuilding, renewing, restoring, and bringing revival in the hearts of His people.
This is a photo taken by a lady who lived in Joplin directly after the storm passed.  I met the lady, saw her snapshot, and my husband got a copy of it.

Inspire Me Monday

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankfulness Day 1 Jesus Christ


Autumn golds and browns take over for many of the oranges and reds.  My thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and its preparations.  Who to invite, what to serve, how to decorate, and of course Pilgrim stories with the children.

My thoughts also go to my blessings, to the people for whom I am thankful, to the things for which I am thankful, and to my God.  This is a month of thanks giving and thanks living at Harvest Lane Cottage.  I intend to write each day about someone for whom or something for which I am thankful.

I am thankful for my relationship with God, the Lord Jesus Christ who made it possible for me to be reconciled to God and be saved, and for His Holy Spirit who comforts me and teaches me all things. 

I continue to learn more and more and to be changed more and more by reading God's word, the Bible, praying, and spending time worshiping God.

It's changed my life.  Read my story here:  Frightened of God

May God bless you.
I challenge you to make your own thirty days of thankfulness.

Sunday Night  Amaze Me Monday - Mix it Up Monday -  Motivation Mondays -