Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Miracle Are You Depending on God to Bring to Pass?

One of the wonderful things about being a mother is watching as my children become young adults. Yes. I miss my little kids, but I marvel as I watch who they are becoming.

My son, 17, plans to become a police officer. Not only is it one of the most dangerous jobs in America now, it's one of the lowest paid professions. He plans to get a college education prior to entering the police academy. 

This mama will have reason to pray to Jesus. ~smile~ Strangely, God has put a peace in my heart about it. It's simply who my son is. As a two year old, he was in physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The doctor told me that he was borderline cerebral palsy, but he wasn't going to write that diagnosis on the records. 

In prayer, God told me that by the time he was six years old, no one would know. I held onto that word in faith. God was true to His word. Now, my son's 6'4, strong as an ox, is a natural protector, and he loves Jesus. He's a miracle. I must depend on God for the miracle of protecting him as he protects others. 

What miracle are you depending on God to bring to pass?


ஐღLauraღஐ 
...leaning on Jesus
~~~~~





Monday, January 30, 2017

A Beautiful Winter Day to Read... FREE Kindle Books and Free E-books



It's a chilly day in Southwest Missouri. 
I'll be cuddling up with a good book in a little while. 
I'll have to put on a kettle for tea first.
Constant Comment by Bigelow is my favorite.

I'll be reading Grow in Grace by Susan M.B. Preston. It's the second book in The Apostle John Series.
Right now, Hold the Faith, the first in the series is free for Kindle.

Do you need a good book for your winter day?


Happy Winter!

Laura
Happy at Home
~~~~~

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Finding Peace in Troubled Times


Peace

It can mean different things
at different times for each of us.

One thing is constant.

Finding Peace in Troubled Times

Jesus is the source of true peace.

I pray for you that you will find 
Philippians 4:6-7 peace.


"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 passeth all understanding, 
shall keep your hearts 
and minds through Christ Jesus."


That, my dear readers, is peace. 

Father God, I thank you that you care about everything that we care about. I thank you that you can see beyond our fears, our anxieties, our fretting to our future. I thank you that you have our lives and our world in your hands. I ask you, Father, to help us to be anxious for nothing, to trust you and pray, and to leave matters in your hands that we might have your peace Jesus. Amen.

"Peace isn't found in a pill. It's found in a person."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

NOW: Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life by Mrs. Sarah Coller


Sarah Coller did it! She made me write in my book. I don't write in my books. Now Purposeful Steps Toward a More Abundant Life is a write-in-the book devotional. I couldn't help but look inward and upward to God as I read and responded to these insightful pages that pulled on my inner pushed-back-in-the-corner-and-forgotten hopes, dreams, and plans.

Sarah's engaging, friend next door, style of writing took me off guard. I found myself examining my own heart, mind, and emotions as I read and wrote through the book. I was stunned by the similarities in our journeys.

Just a few thoughts I jotted about Now.
  • breath of fresh air
  • practical
  • hope filled
  • encouragement to follow dreams
  • best friends talking over tea style
  • open and honest
  • felt connected because she shared her personal story
A few of my favorite quotes from the book:
"My desire is to encourage you to take small steps toward those dreams right now—and to be satisfied with what you are able to accomplish right now. There's nothing more encouraging to move us forward in our goals than a feeling of positive progress. It's my prayer that you will begin to take joy in small strides that will eventually result in big successes!" p. 6
 "If there's one thing I want you to take away from this study, it's that so much about living an abundant and fulfilling life has to do with your mindset and very little has to do with your circumstances." p. 21
"God will use those very weaknesses as a testimony of his grace as you walk through life holding your head up in confidence and in his strength. He'll use them to make you authentic and approachable." p. 46
"When life isn't going according to our plans, we should recognize that it might actually be going according to God's plan." p. 52
I had to stop looking for perfect circumstances and just do the next thing to the best of my ability." p. 69 
I underlined, made notes, and wrote throughout the book.

Each section contains an essay and a pray and respond section.
A few of the titles:
  • Right now
  • Purging Procrastination
  • Jesus, Be the Center
  • The Heart Check
  • Looking for Change? Change Your Mindset
  • It All Begins With a Step
  • The Comparison Trap
  • Allow for Speed Bumps, Potholes and Head-On Collisions
  • Obedience: Our Primary Motivation
This devotional made me feel motivated, hopeful, and convinced that I can begin moving forward now—not next week, next month, or next year—in what I believe God has called me to do.

Thank you so much, Sarah Coller, for asking me to review this book. I hope it will be part of my new beginning.

Sarah Coller writes at Classical Homemaking: Vintage Living for the Modern Homemaker. She is also the editor of The Christian Home Magazine which will resume publication on January 27th, 2016.

~~~~~

This article was published in issue #128 of The Christian Home Magazine.



~~~~~



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Read more...


Home and Garden Thursday -  Share Your Cup Thursday   Sitting Among Friends Book Nook

Monday, January 23, 2017

Planning and Making Do... What I Hope to Get Done This Week!


Hello Ladies!

So good of you to drop in today.  

I've been thinking of things I would like to get done over the next week or so.  You know how it is. Always something to do. So, here are some things I hope to do this week. I think I'll come back here and change the items to italics as I do them just to give myself a little encouragement along the way.



Planning:

  • menu   
  • assignments for kids
  • blog posts
  • birthday dinner for my son
  • projects

Cooking:  

  • Birthday dinner & dessert
  • Start my Kombucha tea 
  • Make a sourdough starter
  • Try a new dessert
Reading:  

  • YouVersion's Canonical Reading Plan. I'll finish Exodus and start Leviticus. I'm way ahead of the reading plan.  Most days it calls for 3 or 4 chapters. I'm accustomed to reading or listening to several chapters at a time. Sometimes I use Bible Gateway and listen until I need to do something else. ~smile~
  • I'm also reading 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs.
Sewing:
  • Cut out an apron.
  • Patch yet another pair of my son's jeans.  He needs a new hobby.  Tearing his jeans is not thrifty and frugal, but mending them is!  If I am inspired and have time, I'll find a little project to work on. 

Studying:

 
  • Now by Sarah Coller All done. Read my review.
  • Control Girl by Shannon Popkin


Working:  
  • Write two reviews. One done!
  • Write and submit articles to The Christian Home.
  • List three two items on my Ebay
  • Food cabinet—empty, wash, and organize.
  • Lots of laundry! Look for mending that needs to be done.
  • Celebrate my son's birthday
  • Enjoy candlelight
  • Bake some Trim Healthy Mama treats
  • Help my Amy practice hospitality
If I finish all this list, I'll have been very busy indeed. I also need to spend time with my kids and do some ironing and cleaning. Thanks so much for dropping in! I'd love to hear some of your plans for this week. It's so nice to have a chat over the back fence  internet with you today!

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Happy at Home

~~~~~
May I suggest?

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #92

  Hello! So glad you dropped in for a visit. Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways I save money, and my blessings from Jesus. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hello! May God give you peace and tranquility in your heart whether your candidate won or lost. Please pray for our new president and our leaders on all levels. May God bless America, and may we turn to Him with our whole hearts. I am hoping to enjoy filling my bucket this weekend!
  
~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~



Here's my thrifty week:

  • My Emily was able to find the notebooks and folders she needed for her classes this week in my school supplies stash that was bought on sale or given to us months ago.

  • I found a ball of red yarn in a container of cast-offs treasures that a lady at church gave me a few months ago. I used it to make my new red dishcloths for February. I just did a simple garter stitch casting on 18 stitches. The needles were big—size 13—so it went quite quickly. I just stitched until they were approximately square. I wasn't worried about how they looked, I just wanted red for February! As I got near the end of the yarn, I found a wooden thread spool inside. It's got to be really old. The price says $.29!
  • Lots of eating out of the freezer.
  • Keeping warm with lots of hot tea. This is my favorite teapot that I bought on Ebay.
  • I ordered a Gamestop gift card for my grown son's birthday with my Swagbucks. I got it at a discount, too, since it's the first $25 gift card I've ordered this month. You can earn Swagbucks by answering daily polls, using it for searches, answer surveys, watch videos, and shop on-line. My girls enjoyed the $25 gift cards for Christmas.

Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What have you done in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...

Tiger



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


~~~~~

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

6 Things to Love About Blogging

6 Things to Love About Blogging
Harvest Lane Cottage

What do you love most about blogging?

I love the creative freedom to write without the approval of a few elite publishers. 

Making new friends surely would top the list as well. 

The ability to reach readers around the world still bloggles boggles my mind. 

I can encourage others through sharing my own trials, struggles, blessings, and thrifty ideas.

I can share the hope that I find in JESUS even when life seems too hard.

Writing my thrifty week posts and  bucket lists really help me keep doing.

Truthfully, there are so many things I love about it, it's hard to choose! Sharing my faith and encouragement with others is my passion.



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


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Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #91

  Hello! So glad you dropped in for a visit. Each week I share my thrifty and frugal projects, ways I save money, and my blessings from Jesus. 


I am so glad you dropped in for a visit today—or tonight!

♥♥♥
Hello! May God give you peace and tranquility in your heart whether your candidate won or lost. Please pray for our new president and our leaders on all levels. May God bless America, and may we turn to Him with our whole hearts.
  
~~~~~
♥♥♥
~~~~~~
Here's my thrifty week:

~ I made homemade vanilla. A friend gave me a pretty glass bottle with a cork and vanilla beans for Christmas. Thanks Georgia! My son bought some Vodka for me a couple years ago to make vanilla with, but I never did it. It was so easy. I slit open the beans, cut them into short pieces so that they would be covered, and poured in the Vodka. I gave them a swirl and put them in my cupboard. I'll swirl the bottle every day or two for the next few months. I found recipes that suggested anywhere from 6 weeks to 9 months. I am not sure how long I'll let it go yet. No out-of-pocket expense to me.

~ We watched a Redbox movie using a code my husband received by signing up for their text messages. It was Pete's Dragon. Not bad. The code made it $.27.

~ A friend gave me twelve whole chickens. I prepared them for the freezer with the vacuum sealer my husband bought when we had the restaurant. Thanks Joyce!

~ Because we had a big van repair bill a couple weeks ago, our grocery money was very minimal this past couple weeks. We ate primarily out of the freezer and cupboards.

~ I purchased only things we really needed this week.

Our Penny
~ Dog food was on sale. Score.

~ My daughter touched up my hair color.  Gasp! Did I just type that? Just keeping it real folks.

~ I made a couple of delicious dishes with a package of two chicken breasts that I got marked down at Aldi a few weeks ago.

  • I sauteed chopped onion and garlic then removed it from the skillet.
  • I cut up chicken breasts into cubes, sauteed them, and added the onion and garlic.
    I served this two ways since I was using things up:
  • Trim Healthy Mama E friendly make-do dish by mixing leftover quinoa, a small can of tomato sauce, some basil and oregano with the sauteed chicken breast cubes, onions, and garlic. 
  • I served the chicken over buttered rotini noodles. This was not THM friendly, but my kids liked it.
~ I made too many sweet potatoes for my sweet potato casserole on Christmas. I froze the leftovers and served them with a turkey that was given to us for Thanksgiving. The sweet potatoes froze well if you've ever wondered.


~ Lots of popcorn snacks.

One nice thing about cooking out of the cupboards and freezer is that you get things cleaned out!
Well, that's my thrifty week. 
~~~~~
What have you done in your home this week?
~~~~~

A peek into my life...
Lots of do with whatcha got cooking this week.
Here's some of my husband's creativity in the kitchen.
He loves to photograph what he makes.
Click on the photos for recipes.

Baked Caramel Apple Oatmeal

Caramelized Apple Pancake

Savory Rice and Vegetables



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



~~~~~

You might enjoy reading...

~~~~~
Building Snowmen—Sort of.
~~~~~







Thursday, January 12, 2017

One Secret Reason It's So Hard to Declutter


The blogging world is all abuzz about decluttering, cleaning, getting organized, housekeeping, and homemaking. Why all of the sudden? It's January, of course. We've just spent the month of December doing too much, eating too much, and accumulating too much. It's a wonder no one's called it Toomuchmas. ~grin~

January comes in with a new year, a new hope that this year can be different. It can. It will. Every year is different. The question is whether we will actually be different. After a January of purging, will we be different?

There is no end to awesome articles about the hows and whys of decluttering. Here's one I read last year that really inspired me. It's from Judith at Wholehearted Home.

What I'm realizing, though, when I try to declutter, is that some decisions are really hard to make, so I put them off. I just stuff the stuff right back where I found it. Why? I believe it's because it's not just stuff, it's memories, dreams, and emotional attachments.


Reading Judith's article made me realize that I have emotional attachments to things. I hadn't thought of it that way. My youngest just started high school and my oldest will soon be 26. It's time to release some of the little kid books and things that I won't use again with my kids. I needed to write "young adults" there, but I just couldn't yet!

I had such plans for a perfect homeschool life for my kids, such dreams. But they weren't to be. Life happened. Job loss happened. Business loss happened. A tornado happened, and we volunteered extensively. We picked up the pieces and kept moving. I still have many of the pieces—books and curricula that I wanted to use, maybe did use, but don't need anymore. Releasing those things means I must release the broken hopes, dreams and plans that I had.

I have lots of other clutter, too. How many things do I have around here that we were going to fix that just set there? I just think, well, I could fix that up and it would be cute. But. I never get to it. I need to let it go. Release the things that are no longer relevant to now.

It's kind of sad really. I want that sadness gone. That means I have to declutter.
I have to release all the woulda coulda shouldas of my life and embrace now. The only way to do that is to get rid of the past life—forgetting what is behind and pressing onward to the high calling of Christ—and embracing now.

What about you? Do you find that things have an emotional tug on you?


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


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Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
This post was
FEATURED
at one of my
favorite blogs.
Thanks Jes!


Monday, January 9, 2017

Tired of Trying to Do It Yourself?



"And the LORD, He is it that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee:  fear not, neither be dismayed."

Deuteronomy 31:8

That promise is just as near as accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. That promise is just as near as surrendering your life to Christ.  

He gets to be the leader, the boss, the Lord.  You get to be saved from Hell, saved from your sins, saved from yourself, and loved beyond anything you can imagine. 

So, what do you do?

Accept Jesus as the Son of God, you must also truly believe that He is who He said He is and can do what He said He would do.  I invite you to read the book of John in the Holy Bible.  You can get to know who Jesus is and what that means to you.


Laura
Blessed to be Known and Loved by my Jesus


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Friday, January 6, 2017

My Winter Bucket List 2017

MY WINTER BUCKET LIST
2017

  • Write my Winter bucket list
  • Put up the Winter tree with snowmen
  • Sort through my Christmas decor for discards
  • Put out all my snowmen
  • Decorate the house for January 
  • Smile and spread good cheer
  • Curl up with a terrific book
  • Make new Snowman decorations
  • Drink hot tea
  • Enjoy candle light
  • Make chili
  • Make candy cane cocoa
  • Double feature movie night
  • Try a new soup
  • Spray paint an old metal cart
  • Set up a hot tea and cocoa cart
  • Invite friends for soup 
  • Celebrate my son's 26th birthday
  • Make new Valentines dishcloths for February
  • Make new Valentine's decorations
  • Decorate Winter tree for Valentine's Day
  • Invite friends for dessert
  • Use my teapot—white sprinkled with cherries 
  • Help Emily, Michael, and Amy practice hospitality
  • Make some Trim Healthy Mama treats
  • Gaze into the fire in the woodstove
  • Bake cookies
  • Finish my Emily's quilt 
  • Read by candle light 
  • Make snow ice cream ~ No snow. Cue music.
  • Sew
  • Pedicure ~ It was a Christmas gift from Hubby.
  • Worship Jesus under the winter stars


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



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Thursday, January 5, 2017

An Open Letter to a Lady Struggling With Housekeeping


Dear Ladies,

I wrote this, along with a prayer, to a lady who contacted me for prayer last week. I was impressed that my response was not just to her, but to me, and to many of you, too. Here is my open letter to a lady struggling with housekeeping and homemaking.

~~~~~

When I married, I was the most horrible housekeeper you can imagine—well, maybe not that bad, but the house was usually messy. I've progressed over the last thirty years, but I'm still not nearly as consistent at keeping things tidy as I need to be. I've still got piles that drive me and my husband crazy. Part of that is three kids still at home. We homeschool, so we are here most of the time. If I'm honest though, those are excuses. 

I'm feeling impressed that there are a couple of keys to improving my homemaking. First, I've got to get rid of a lot of clutter—we live in a small house with 5 people 15 and up. We don't use everything we own. Second, I've got to develop routines for things I have to do over and over. Then I have to do them the same way, in the same order, until they are second nature. 

I don't think about how to brush my teeth, but I do it the same way every time. I don't think about how to put gas in the van, but I do it the same every time. I need routines like that for everything—well almost everything. I think that might help you, too. 

Here's what I suggest we do. Think about something that you do every day. Then think about the most logical way to do it. Make a list of steps for yourself, then do them the same way each day until it's habit. Then we can add the next routine.

Just know this—all things are possible with Jesus—even keeping house when you don't feel well or don't feel motivated. Go check out Philippians 4:4-9. 
Really—do it now! 

Be blessed and courageous in this new year. If God is for us, who can be against us? Dust bunnies will be defeated!

Are you with me?

Hugs to you!
Laura

~~~~~
May I suggest?
Frightened of God... My Testimony 
and 
~~~~~