Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Just Going Through... Encouragement for You and a Breast Cancer Update



Attention ladies...
It's a beautiful Autumn day outside...
sunshine, rain, wind, snow, cold, or heat,
it's all beautiful Novembery weather. Don't miss it!

~smile~

Remember, whatever you're going through, you're going through it. You're going to make it. Lean into God and His promises. Read his word and know that it's his letter directly to you.

I'm starting my next round of chemo treatments this morning. There's only one drug this time, though they may add an anti-nausea drug. This one is designed to starve off any stray cancer cells or cancer wannabe cells. I would ask you to pray for my heart that it will not be damaged and that I won't have side effects like before. I didn't realize that this was a chemo drug. I thought it was a hormone blocking drug. I am not looking forward to side effects. I am hoping that I will continue to feel good. Still, prayer and faith are more effective than hope.

Thank you for standing with me through this trial that I am going through.

Hope you have a lovely week!

Blessings,
Laura



Sunday, November 26, 2017

Mount Carmel and the Ravens


  Hello everyone!

  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend if you're here in the States with me, or just had a terrific weekend if you're in the big wide world. I had a quiet Thanksgiving at home with our family six. Saturday we drove up to Kansas City and had an afternoon of visiting with grandparents and Alabama football. We made a memory. Having memories and living in them are not the same though. I'm glad that God keeps us moving forward. I need to move forward.

  A couple of weeks ago a man spoke at our church about Elijah and how he was physically and emotionally exhausted after the Mount Carmel confrontation with the prophets of Baal. It struck me, that's why I've made it this far strong, and suddenly I feel so tired from the fight. BUT GOD! He brought ravens with food for Elijah. He took care of Elijah when he was weak and tired. He will bring me through. He's been sending me people to show His love, His kindness, and who have blessed me with their time, with cleaning help, with meals, with a listening ear when I was crying through everything. 

  Worn out is not a good place to be, but God is bringing me through. I'm feeling stronger thanks to the love and support of friends and family. I had not realized how isolated I'd been. Some people just didn't know how to help, some didn't want to impose or bother me, or they didn't want to make me sick, so most just kind of backed off. It took me reaching out to get the merry-go-round going in the other direction. He'll take care of you, too.

  Last week, a dear saint in our church who is in her nineties told me that each morning when her feet hit the floor, she thanks God for a sound mind and a strong body. So in the mornings, I've been trying to do the same thing. If it works for this dear lady in her nineties, who looks like she could be in a fashion magazine when she comes to church, still sings and writes poetry for the LORD, and who has even delivered short messages from the pulpit, it must work!

  Perhaps you're going through something right now—something hard. In fact, I'd be surprised if you're not. Maybe you feel isolated and tired. Don't be afraid to reach out to those around you. I just told a few people that I really need a friend right now. Find someone who you know is positive and compassionate and reach out. I think you'll be glad you did. I am.

Laura
Blessed to Be a Blessing

P.S. Christmas season is starting early this year. We're putting up our tree tonight. We've a very strict tree trimming tradition. The kids insist on it every year.



Share Your Cup

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Enjoying a Less Than Perfect Thanksgiving Gathering


What do you think of when you think about Thanksgiving?

A Norman Rockwell setting?
A Waltons' Thanksgiving?
A disaster or battleground?

What if you don't feel so thankful about gathering with your relatives or a certain relative? Do you stress over pleasing them or feel irritated by them? Sadly that's the case for more people that we'd like to think. Unfortunately, not everyone has a loving family that serves our Lord. Most would say there is at least one in their family that makes holidays difficult. In fact, if you're a Christian, but you're not from a Christian family, you may be the one that makes the others uncomfortable. 

What if you're totally stressed out about getting a meal prepared and on the table not to mention all the preparations ahead of time? 


May I encourage you to use the preprayment plan? That's praying ahead of time for situations that are coming up. Search your Bible for a verse or two that you can focus your mind and heart on while you're visiting. Make it a verse that will help you keep the Shalom perfect peace of God in your heart. If you're at home, light a candle. Sometimes glancing at a candle flickering or enjoying the fragrance can help you feel more peaceful. Soft worship music playing in the background helps too— if you can get away with it. ~smile~


Keeping our focus on God and our reasons to be thankful can help us through as we pray to hold our tongues or give a hug or an encouraging word. 


Be blessed and don't fret dear ones!


Just something to think about...

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage!

Laura
Keeping it simple for our Savior


Saturday, November 18, 2017

GETTING READY FOR THANKSGIVING

My hubby and I went shopping for a few things today that we needed. We picked up the biggest turkey we've ever bought. We want leftovers, and our sons are big guys well over six foot! We also picked up our sweet potatoes. I'll bake them Tuesday or Wednesday morning and then mash them for sweet potato casserole. I think the whole family would scream mutiny if I forgot that casserole! While we were at the store, we picked up a few things that I just know we will need.  I'm at the same point you are, I need to finalize the menu (nearly always the same), get out my recipes, and make a final shopping list. Then I'll make my cooking schedule. This year the kids and hubby will do most of the cooking.
Blessings,
Laura

A Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage #113, Breast Cancer Recovery Update, and Thanksgiving Preparations

Welcome to another 
Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage!

Each week I share ways I've saved money, my thrifty and frugal projects, 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!
Please say hello! I'm always looking for new blog friends!
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Hey y'all! I'm back! Well, I'm back for awhile anyway. ~smile~ Here's the big news. My oncologist has now declared that I am in "rare, total remission"...and he smiled! I'd heard from the surgeon that the cancer wasn't in my lymph nodes or margins, but there was just something about hearing it from the oncologist that made it all the more real. I wasn't surprised the cancer is gone. I've known from the start that God is fighting my cancer battle. 

Still, the battle isn't over. I continue to recover from surgery. One of my incisions has been slow to heal, I still have pain, and I am trying to regain range of motion on my left (cancer and lymph node) side. The right side's doing great. Treatments will continue after Thanksgiving to make sure it's all gone, and it doesn't come back. There will be IV Herceptin treatments and a pill to take. I hope that I do not have side effects from those treatments. 

Radiation? Well, the oncologist is no longer absolutely sure I will need it. He's referring me to the radiation oncologist for his determination. Please pray for wisdom for the doctor and for my husband and I. We need to be completely at peace with the decision we make. We're believing God.

Well, enough about cancer. I hope you're making progress as you move toward Thanksgiving and Christmas time. I've not really done anything to prepare except to buy turkey roasting bags and marshmallows. ~smile~ This weekend I'll finalize the menu and make the grocery list. This year everyone will have to help with preparations and cooking. Fortunately, I've been teaching my children the family recipes over the last few years. It should be a really easy Thanksgiving for me. 

Well, enough for now—on to my blessings and a bit of our thrifty life.




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A Verse for You

“But this I call to mind, 
and therefore I have hope: 
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end; 

they are new every morning; 
great is your faithfulness.”
—Lamentations 3:21-23


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Here's my thrifty week!
  • My daughter is reusing our Teaching Textbooks math curricula for Geometry. This is child #3 using it, so that's money well spent.
  • My other daughter is attending the local community college. This is thrifty because her Pell grant goes a lot further than it would at a state university or a private college.
  • My son is reusing our Teaching Textbooks Algebra II text.
  • We were introduced to Khan Academy. They have lots of courses that can be taken for free online. My Amy is taking U.S. History and Health and Medicine. She finds the explanations quite interesting. 
  • We bought cheese, bread, lunch meat, and microwave burritos for those times when the kids need to fend for themselves. My appetite comes and goes, and I'm not cooking much yet.
  • We have received meals from kind friends through the Meal Train many times since my surgery last month. My favorite dessert so far was Deb's tapioca pudding! My favorite main dish was Donna's chicken pot pie!
  • Friends gave us money for lunch and for dinner this week. Thanks Niki and Deanne!
  • We received a check to help out with expenses from Donna and her family. Thank you!
  • I wrote a book review for Zonderkidz and received the book for free.
  • A dear reader sent me a gift check to help with Christmas expenses. Thank you Karen!
  • My dear friend, who took me to church and helped me become a Christian way back when we were in high school, sent me a gift card for Olive Garden. Thank you Kim! Read about how it all came about when I was Frightened of God.
  • Another friend sent me a box of tea, Christmas books, and scotch tape and a little fun money, too. Just what I need for December! Thank you Karla!
I've been blessed by so many people through this struggle.
Y'all have encouraged me so much in so many ways.
Thank you very much!
Love to you all!
♥♥♥♥

That's my thrifty week.

What are you doing in your home this week?

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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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Have you started listening to Christmas music yet?



Last year, I reviewed ADORE by Chris Tomlin.
It's become a favorite. I worship with it year round.

Bonus! 
It's currently available on YouTube 
uploaded by Chris Tomlin. It's on my playlist.
It's in my car. It's on my computer. It's everywhere I listen to music!

Here you go! Take a listen!
I think you'll find it worth buying!



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Sunday, November 12, 2017

A Southern Sky... A Story of Thanks Living


   Once upon a time, a few years ago, we visited a planetarium in St. Louis. It was a school field trip with our close friends the Smiths. We loved those days. Since it was a school day, there were few visitors. After the program was over, I was speaking to the man who presented the program. I told him I'd love to see what the southern hemisphere sky looks like. He kindly pulled it up on the projector, and he pointed out several constellations. I couldn't help myself, tears fell as I looked at the sky that the other half of the world looks at each night.

  God is so much bigger than we can even imagine. Seeing a whole different sky highlighted that. Knowing that it is unlikely that I will ever see that sky, it was a very precious experience. I am so thankful that I had those few moments to do something impossible for me. 

  Yes, I am very sentimental. Don't even get me started on the National Anthem!


Laura
Contemplating my Blessings
with Thanks Living


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Related Posts:


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Thank you all for writing to me. I read every comment. I truly appreciate the support you've all given me during my recovery. If you'd like a response to your comment, please make sure that I have your email. I'm not taking time right now to copy responses onto the blog. Please understand. Thanks! Laura


Picture Credit Pixabay

Wonderful Wednesday

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Pressing Through





I've had some hard times emotionally over the last few weeks. In part, I'm weary of the journey. In part, the medicines didn't agree with me. BUT GOD.

God is so faithful. In my distress, He prompted me to reach out to the right people —good friends who knew how to help. He also brought me in contact with a couple of local support groups, and with an acquaintance who is going through her own breast cancer journey in my own home town. She'll be starting radiation a week or two before I do. Neither of us is looking forward to it, but it will be good for it to be over. We have become fast friends.

For a number of years, she prepared income taxes for people. She said that every year, March 15th would come, and she would just become so tired and worn out. She just wanted it over with. Tax season is exhausting. It wasn't until the last couple of years doing taxes that she recognized the pattern. She said that she is going through the same emotions now. She's finished her surgery and chemo, and now, right before the final push for her, she is just exhausted physically and emotionally.

I'm feeling the same way. My chemo and surgery are now complete. I'm healing from the surgery, but have had some trouble with one of the incisions. I had it checked today, and I don't need any stitches, but it will need some extra tlc for awhile. I'm so ready to be done. I still have radiation to do. I'd hoped to finish by the end of the year so I wouldn't have to pay a new deductible, but it doesn't look like that's possible now.  I've also got another six or eight months of IV therapy to block the hormones that fed my cancer.  Then there will be pills. But that will seem much easier

It helped to recognize the feelings for what they are. Exhaustion from the journey paired with normal emotions from having a life-threatening illness and normal day-to-day life problems. Life does go on you know. It didn't stop for cancer.

Thanks be to Dr. Baker, Dr. Anis, and Dr. Hughes and mostly to thanks to God, my life won't stop for cancer either.

So, now I'll continue pressing through.

God bless you all!

Thank you all your prayers and encouragement through this time.

Please pray for my husband and children, too. It's wearing on all of us, and the holidays are fast approaching. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Laura Lane

I will trust the LORD at all times. HE'S GOOD!


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Burden Bearing... Don't Be a Donkey!



Burden bearing. I think we've all done it. Someone shares a prayer request, or you become aware of a need that you cannot meet, and you feel such a heaviness over it. It just tugs at your heart and makes you melancholy. You might be anxious or fearful. It can take many forms. The need may be your own, your family's, a friend's, or even a stranger's, and you carry it on your back even though you cannot meet the need yourself. So you pray. Then you pick that burden back up and carry it some more....
"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
Let all your requests be made known to God. You need to be like Teflon and let the prayer requests slide through the pan of your prayers and onto Father, Son, and Holy Spirit's plate to make things right and bring healing physically, spiritually, socially, and financially.  

Now, I must insert here that feeling a burden to pray for someone long-term is not the same as carrying the burden of that prayer being fulfilled. Keep praying, but don't carry the anxiety of the prayer being answered. 
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
I really need to remember this right now. My own burden of physical pain, recovery, and the burdens of my children have been heavy on me lately. 
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  
Matthew 6:34  
It's time for me to take it to heart, to really quit worrying about what may happen to me, to my children, to my family. I need to just take it to Jesus, and leave it all. I cannot control it all by worrying about it.

What about you?
Are you burden bearing instead of making your requests known to God? 

I know I need the second half of that verse. "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Let's seek him on a deeper level, and trust him more.

Laura 
Struggling Under The Burdens
Trying to Release Them to Jesus


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Related Posts:

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Photo Credit Pixabay.


Thank you all for writing to me. I read every comment. I truly appreciate the support you've all given me during my recovery. If you'd like a response to your comment, please make sure that I have your email. I'm not taking time right now to copy responses onto the blog. Please understand. Thanks! Laura


Friday at the Fire Station
Wonderful Wednesday

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Thankful for a War Song to Fight This Battle!

I am thankful for war songs! The Israelites sang in battle!

This is the song that got me through the long wait for the initial diagnosis of cancer in the surgeon's office.

This is the song that got me through many of the times of fighting in the Spirit!

Okay, y'all. Don't freak out when you listen to this. It's a true war song 21st century style. It may not be what you're used to. It's not what I was used to. But I heard a man in our church a year or two ago sing this. He was battling cancer. He has won!

GOD IS IN CONTROL!





THERE'S POWER IN THE BLOOD!


I PLEAD THE BLOOD OF JESUS 
OVER MY BODY FOR COMPLETE HEALING!

I PLEAD THE BLOOD OF JESUS 
OVER MY FAMILY FOR SALVATION 
AND COMPLETELY GIVING THEIR LIVES TO JESUS!



Y'all, this really is a war! 
Satan's after you and your loved ones, too.
Plead the blood of Jesus!


What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Hugs to you all!
Be bold and courageous in the LORD!

Laura



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Related Posts:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November is for Thanks Living! Breast Cancer Update



Surgery is complete.
Reconstruction complete.
Healing in process.

Pathology report complete.
No cancer in margins.
No cancer in lymph nodes.

No problem for God!

Praise God!
He is a God of His Word.
His Word Is Truth.
Declare His Word Over Your Life.


Laura
Halfway through the cancer battle,
but the victory is already won!


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