Friday, September 14, 2012


Friends, I have decided to switch by blog to WordPress.  It is a much better host than blogger and in the future I may want to make a living on this blogging thing.  So, before I get my head to into this blogging world, I am switching.

If you could please do me a HUGE favor and go to my new blog here and subscribe to my posts, I would greatly appreciate.  And don't worry, I have already transferred all of my previous blog posts along with their comments to the new site.

I have also followed all of you through my new blog over at WordPress!  I am really excited about this new blog and look forward to maybe seeing you over there in the future as well :)  Thanks for taking the time to do this for me.  I truly appreciate it!

If you want to know why I chose Vintagely Wrapped, go to my new blog and check out the page at the top!  I am still in the process of editing things, so please bear with me.  Lots of new changes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Leather Seats

It's a love/hate relationship.  Or rather a hate/love relationship.  In the summer.

Texas summers are incredibly scorching and profoundly smothering.  I enjoy it.  When I am at the pool, that is.  So today I got in my car after leaving my friend Carol Jones' house.  Without even thinking about it I sat down in my car.  I wanted to scream!  As soon as my legs touched the seats, they were burning because the sun had made my leather seats very hot.

As I drove home from there I thought a lot about this love/hate or hate/love relationship.  I really enjoy leather seats.  In the winter time they heat up for me.  Although we don't have much of a winter, it is a nice addition.  Another reason why I love leather seats is because if you spill anything on them just wipe it right off.  For those of you who know me know that I have a tendency to leave my Nalgene slightly open.  Therefore, my water spills often.

Summertime leather seats, though, are not so much fun.  They hurt my legs when I am wearing shorts.  It made me think today.  If I were to buy a new car, would I want leather seats?  YES!  Of course I would do it again.

You see, the reason I would buy a car with leather seats again is because the good heavily outweighs the bad.

I kind of feel like that's my life right now.  I am in the midst of some "hot seats" so to speak.  People sometimes don't get why Michael and I are taking faith steps in trusting God in what He has called us to do.  We are completely dependent on Him right now and I know that He has us right where he wants us.

I do believe that it will cool down though.  That God has something in store for us that we can't even fathom or think of or describe right now.  That's pretty cool in itself if you stop and think about it.

I would choose to do this season all over again if I had to.  Why?  Because it challenges me to go deeper with my Papa God.  And I love that He gives me a challenge.  Don't you?

Father, teach me to be content and satisfied with the "hot seats" that you have me in right now.  Teach me to trust and obey what You have called me to do.  Teach me to not be concerned with tomorrow, but focus on today.  To listen what You would have me to do and to walk in what You call me to walk.  Amen.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Shepherd's Pie

I have been struggling with finding good chicken that is truly free range around here.  Trader Joe's sells grass fed beef which is awesome, but I haven't cooked with a lot of beef.  We were privileged to hang out with the Butler's yesterday and she gave me an idea of making shepherd's pie!  I haven't ever eaten it before, but my sister used to talk about it all the time.  I found this amazing recipe and adapted it a little.  This is from Elana's Pantry.

Shepherds Pie


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound turkey or pork bacon, cut into 2 inch slices
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 pound organic grass fed ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft (I only used one)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Directions:
  • 1.  Heat olive oil in a very large frying pan.
  • 2.  Saute onion for 15 minutes until soft.
  • 3.  Add bacon pieces to pan and sauté until cooked, about 10 minutes.
  • 4.  Add carrots and celery to pan and sauté in bacon fat for 10 minutes until soft.
  • 5.  Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes.
  • 6.  Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika.
  • 7.  Add beef or chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated. 
  • 8.  Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with olive oil until smooth.
  • 9.  Pour ground beef mixture into a 9x13 inch Pyrex baking dish.  
  • 10.  Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture.
  • 11.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
  • 12.  Serve!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Conditional Cooperation

For parents out there I am sure that you get this.  Although we are not parents yet, I know we will experience this when kids come along.  However, this is something in which I believe God is saddened about how His children are acting.

I am convicted.

What exactly is conditional cooperation?  I believe it's where we do the things we want to do when they are convenient, but when they are not so convenient we just don't do them.

Abner in the book of 2 Samuel is where I first discovered this title.  Abner was the top dog commander in Saul's army.  When Saul died, he stepped in for a period of about 5 years in order to attempt to defeat David's army.  That just wasn't possible.  Abner realized that Saul's family wasn't going to be able to take over the kingdom and they were doomed.  He decided it was time to change sides and hoped that David would make him the commander of his army.

Abner lived by his wits and his will.  To him, God was someone with whom he would cooperate if it suited his plans.  Otherwise he did what was best for him at the time.  David was quick to put him in the position he wanted, but it didn't last long because Joab was guilty of jealousy and killed him.

I have been convicted of this in the area of love and prayer.  We spent this past Friday and Saturday at a prayer conference and then church this morning was on love.  Colin Millar taught us how to pray now.  When we are out and about at the grocery store, a restaurant, or the restroom; PRAY NOW!  I am not good at that!  Why?  Because it makes me vulnerable and uncomfortable.  Michael does an amazing job and does it well!  I am sure it makes him uncomfortable, but he does it.

Same with love.  It's easy to love those that we go to church with or are friends with, but what about the people who hurt us or are strangers that drive way to fast on the freeway or maybe they just look different than us?

I don't want to be known as a conditional lover.

I don't want to be known as a conditional prayer warrior.

I don't want to be known as a conditional giver.

I don't want to be known as a condition ANYTHING!

Lord, teach me what it means to live in such a way that I am literally being your hands and feet.  That I may love, pray, give, and whatever else it is You call me to do like You do.  I want to live in such a way that other see You through me.  Teach me not to be a conditional person.  Instead to be Unconditional!  Amen.

Friday, September 7, 2012


This simple word can reflect so many different meanings.

Did you have enough for dinner and are you satisfied?

Are you satisfied with that new job?

How is that car working for you?  Are you satisfied with the purchase?

But what about with our walk with God.  Are we satisfied with what we are doing or are we seeking Him and what He wants to continue in us?

I am learning what it means to be satisfied in Him and in all things during this time of quietness in my life.  Food, work, church, prayer, ministry, friends, husband, family, and the list goes on.  I believe that being satisfied doesn't mean that we give up and accept the state of life we are in.  No.  I don't think that's what God would have for us or that He wants.

Instead I believe that being satisfied means we recognize the place we are and choose joy in the midst of it.  Let me say that again.  We recognize the place we are in and we choose joy in the midst.

1 Peter 5:5-7 says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time, casting all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you. 

This verse has reared it's face several times over the past week and I want to press into it more.  Michael and I are attending a Prayer Conference today and tomorrow and, like I said, here the verse was again.  Although I got sick and went home a little early and slept for 4 hours, I went back last night and was moved by an amazing testimony.  God is good!  

I believe that if we as a body of believers choose to humble ourselves and cast all our anxiety on him, that He will exalt us in His time.  Our pastor Jeff said it well.  These two verses go together.  Some translations split it up into two sentences, but I agree that these two go together.  

I urge you, along with myself, to try and be satisfied with the things we have been given.  That we enter into His courts with thanksgiving and praise so that He may be exalted and glorified.

Lord, teach me what it means to be satisfied.  Teach me to be in awe of today and not live for tomorrow.  Teach me humility and how to walk in that.  Teach me, Lord.  Amen. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Traveling Journal

I have about one month to come up with what I am going to do for my husband for our first anniversary.  I have so many ideas in my head and I may end up doing all of them or I may just do a few.  Who knows!  I will get back with you AFTER our anniversary!

So I was chatting with my friend Megan Davis and she gave me a spectacular idea!  I thought it was so clever that I wanted to share it with you all.  I can't take credit for it, although I wish I could.

K, so here is what it is and how it works.  You get a journal and then write in it.  So for example I would write a love letter to my husband or something funny or whatever I wanted to write to him.  Then I would go hide it.  Somewhere a little challenging, but somewhere he would be able to find it.

The next step is just as simple!  When he finds it, he writes me a note and then hides it for me!

See, simple!

Often times we make life so very difficult, but in reality it's just that; simple.

I believe God is a simple God too.  He can be complex in that we don't understand him, but simple in that He loves us, desires us, and cherishes us.  We make Him more complex.

Today, I pray that we would make life simple.  Find something like this or use this idea.  Then go and do it.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Selective Obedience

Obedience seems to be a vital part of the Old Testament and I would venture to say that it should remain a vital part of our lives today.

I am in the book of 1 Samuel.  Let me set the scene a little bit.  The Israelites were truckin' along and doing life.  Samuel appointed his sons as elders, but apparently there were some not so great parenting skills again because Samuel's sons did not walk in the ways of the Lord.  The people saw this and demanded that Samuel give them a king.  Samuel prayed to God and God spoke very clearly that He would give them a king, but it wouldn't be good.  Samuel went and told the people what would happen if they got a king.  He lists how life would be if there was a king and it pretty much means that the king would rule over them instead of supporting them.  It says in 1 Samuel 8:19 "But the people refused to listen to Samuel.  'No!' they said.  'We want a king over us.  Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.'"  This is where we first see some disobedience to God.  They wanted a physical being to rule over them instead of God.

Moving on.  Saul gets appointed as king and in the beginning of his kingship he actually does good and honors the Lord.  This doesn't last long.  He gets very greedy with his earthly power and God rejects Saul for his disobedience.  The part that I found very interesting today is in regards to his son Jonathan.  I believe Jonathan had a good heart and wanted to do right despite how his dad was acting.  We pick up the story of Jonathan in verse 14.  Jonathan takes his armor bearer to a cliff overlooking the Philistines and they trusted God.  They went to attack the Philistines; just the two of them.  They knew that the number of people in their army of 2 was nothing for God and that if it was His will that He would give the Philistines into their hands.  While everyone else in the army was busy being afraid, they trusted God.  Jonathan and his armor bearer killed 20 men with the help of the Lord.

When the army of Israel heard this, the Bible says "panic struck the whole army".  In the midst of the chaos Saul makes some pretty rash decisions.  He tells the priest to "withdraw his hand" meaning to pull out the Urim or Thummim and to see what God's plan was.  He was still trying to go about the formality of the religion, but he was doing it rather harshly.  He gets his answer and they go to war with the Philistines and defeat them.

Once all of this was over, the men were even more exhausted and worn out because Saul had made some pretty ridiculous requests of his army in the beginning (as God said would happen).  One was that they were not supposed to eat anything till sunset.  His son Jonathan, for whatever reason, didn't get this info.  He saw some honey and he ate it.  What was even worse is the army decided to take some cattle from the Philistines and because they were so hungry they just ate it.  It was against Israelite law to eat food with blood in it because blood represents life and death.  Saul didn't like this and is very harsh with the army.  He makes an altar for the first time since he was named king and they start following the law.  Saul then inquired of the Lord and asked God if he would go after the rest of the Philistines, but the Lord did not answer him.  Saul called all the leaders together to inquire of whatever sin had been committed in the camp and they found out it had been Saul's son Jonathan who committed the crime.  Saul asked him what he had done and was ready to kill him for eating the honey when he had forbidden it.  The people didn't think it was right though and so they pleaded for him and saved his life.  And they did.

It's interesting to me to think through this, though, because it's as if Saul wants to obey God, but only in the ways that HE wants to.  Selective obedience as I am calling it.  How often do I have selective obedience?  I know as a child my mom used to always say that we had selective hearing and I believe it is similar.  We want to do what we want, but we are willing to listen to God when it's good and when we feel like it.

Lord, teach me to have complete obedience to You all the time.  Not just when it feels good or when I want to, but always.  I need Your grace and Your hand in my life to help me and guide me!  Lord teach me Your ways that I might walk in Your truth.  Amen.