This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Quick Tip Wednesday!

I learned about this nifty little tip a couple of years ago and felt SO stupid for never realizing it before!!

I'm sure we've all grabbed the aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc, and accidentally yanked the entire roll out of the box in the process! That is SO annoying!!

However, did you know that there are these neat little tabs at the end of each box to lock the roll into place?!? I know that many of you probably already knew about this and are pretty brilliant to have avoided yanking the entire roll out of the box because of it. ;-) However, for those of you who were like me a few years ago....please take this "quick tip" to heart! It's so useful!!

Do you have a "Quick Tip" to share with everyone?? List it below in the comments with your name, and perhaps we'll blog about it in your honor!! ;-D


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bearing a Loss and Learning His Will...

I'd like to start this post with a passage from God's Holy, Perfect Word...

2 Samuel 12

16David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

17And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

18And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

19But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

20Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

21Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

24And David comforted Bathsheba his wife...

Just recently, I had a dear friend who lost a child.

The words don't hardly come to me on how to express my sorrow for their loss...

My heart broke deeply over this little one, as I had spent many a time in prayer about her--morning, through out the day, and sleepless nights thinking and pleading to The Almighty, Perfect God about her. She had been very sick for a while...

It was actually just right before her passing that The Lord led me to the above passage. I had never read it until then, or at least read it with someone deeply burdened on my heart this way before... And was comforted to hear it again at her funeral... So I wanted to share it with you.

I want to say upfront that I have not personally experienced the loss of a child. And I don't want to come across as an "expert on the matter". I can never fully comprehend what any parent that has experienced the loss of a child has gone through. I don't ever want to. I would not wish that for anyone. But, I do hope that if anyone that has experienced this hardship in their lives, they can see what God's Flawless Word says about it... It's just something that has been on my heart...

God is an Amazing God. His ways are higher. His thoughts are pure, righteous, and flawless.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD.

9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

We can't always understand why God allows certain things in our lives and the lives of those close to us. That's because we are not perfect.

Romans 3:23

23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

God knows everything--from start to finish. He is omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (always present), omnipotent (all-powerful). He is perfect. His way is perfect. His will is perfect.

Psalm 18:30

30As for God, His way is perfect: the Word of the LORD is tried...

God has a plan and purpose for all things.

Ecclesiastes 3

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

10I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also He hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

14I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him.

Because God is perfect, we have to trust His plan and His will for our lives.

Psalm 31:14-15

14But I trusted in Thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God.

15My times are in Thy hand...

God loves us. And nothing can separate His Children from Him.

Romans 8:35, 37-39

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He guides and provides.

Proverbs 3:5-6

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.

Romans 8:32

32He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

He is God.

I can't say that I have never struggled with some of these things. Accepting something that I believe should be a certain way--but isn't. But, I am a sinner--imperfect, flawed, and blemished... God is perfect. His Word sets the standard--and clearly tells me that it's not my will be done, it's His. And there is NO better way for ANYTHING to be done.

I am learning to trust God and His plan for my life. It sounds scary--but remember, when you give your life over to God--you're giving your life to a PERFECT, HOLY GOD, that loves us in ways we can't even understand and wants the best for us--not just now, but eternally.

Trust and believe in God. In every situation and circumstance, rest and find true peace in Him.

Some past posts that may help:

"The Joy of the Lord is my Strength" For verses that remind us about keeping our joy--always, in every situation.

"How Big is God?" There is nothing to compare to God. HE IS GOD. There is none bigger, nothing greater.

"Lord, Thank You" A biblical reminder of what the Lord has done for us and for you...

"Why I Believe in Jesus" Foundation of belief in Christ. Are you one of those in doubt?

"I'm SO very thankful..." Have YOU experienced this so great salvation? The salvation that ONLY Christ can give? Do you know that your sins are forgiven? Do you know where you will spend eternity? There is nothing in and of ourselves that we can do, it is ALL through Jesus Christ, for He is the only way!

Just one last thing before this post ends... A measure of comfort for those who have experienced loss and for those who will... From the verses above:

22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again?I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

"I shall go to him." How powerful. How beautiful. For those of us who have experienced salvation--that only comes from God through Jesus Christ--we shall go to them.

God is Amazing. Gracious and Holy. Perfect and Righteous. Loving and my Father.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"Burger BBQ Buffets Blizzard Blues"

Now, for most of you all out there - Spring has sprung where you live. For us here in Northern America aka NORTH DAKOTA.....we experienced quite the Winter storm yesterday. However, we are the "Frozen Chosen" and because the calendar says it's Spring, many of us have decided to think of it as really being Spring despite ALL the white stuff still on the ground. Ok, so it's not really as bad as the picture above indicates (I just like to be dramatic at times)

What better way to battle the blizzard blues, than to have a burger BBQ?!? Sean & I decided to spend this blustery blizzard day with friends and AMAZING food. I'm here to share a couple of delicious recipes with you.

First off, this prego lady was craving homemade gourmet burgers.

My FAVORITE recipe is as follows: Homemade Burgers

Ground Beef - we used 7lbs and made quite a few GOOD size burgers
Famous Dave's Steak & Burger seasoning
(my fav!!) - I never measure, so eyeball it
Worcestershire sauce -liberal amounts, this stuff is great in burgers!

Form into nice sized patties, keeping in mind that they WILL shrink in size once grilled.

Next, have your hunky hubby grill the burgers to perfection (yes, my husband is the ultimate grill master!!) I LOVE that guy!!

No burger is complete without your choice of toppings and we certainly had quite the selection yesterday! That is something I LOVE about homemade burgers, there are SO many options to make your burger exactly what you want it to be.
Our toppings were:
**Variety of cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, avocado (a MUST!), sauteed mushrooms and onions. Of course ketchup, mayo, yellow mustard, and spicy mustard. We had quite the "create your own burger buffet" going on!

Pile your burger so high that you'll have to eat it with a fork - that's when you KNOW it's gonna be amazing! haha

Now, a Burger BBQ isn't complete without a satisfying dessert. This is where the magic comes into play. Have any of you ever made homemade CUSTARD ice cream?? Once you've had this dreamy concoction, there really is no going back to "normal ice cream". It is OUT OF THIS WORLD GOOD!!!! Serve this to your guests, and you will truly create a memorable experience for all involved. It takes a little extra time, but is SO worth it!!

I used the Pioneer Woman's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream recipe which you can view here. She has many wonderful recipes you'll wanna check out while you're over there, not to mention some great illustrations on how to make this decadent dessert. For those of you who would rather view the recipe here, it is as follows:

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


  • 1 whole Vanilla Bean, Split And Scraped - REAL vanilla makes ALL the difference!
  • 3 cups Half-and-half
  • 2 cups Sugar - I might try 1/2 cup less next time, just my preference.
  • 8 whole (up To 9) Large Egg Yolks
  • 3 cups Heavy Cream

Preparation Instructions

Heat half-and-half and 2 cups sugar in a saucepan over low heat, adding vanilla “caviar” to the mixture. (You can also drop in the scraped vanilla bean, just to extract all the flavor. Make sure to discard the bean before moving to the next step.) Turn off heat when mixture is totally heated.

Beat egg yolks by hand or with an electric mixer until yolks are pale yellow and slightly thick. Temper the egg yolks by slowly drizzling into the 1 1/2 cups of hot half-and-half mixture, whisking constantly. After that, pour the egg yolk/half-and-half mixture into the pan containing the rest of the half-and-half mixture. Cook over low to medium-low heat (depending on how hot your stove gets) until quite thick, stirring constantly. Drain custard using a fine mesh strainer, (I skipped this step, and it turned out perfectly fine),then pour into a bowl with the heavy cream. Stir to combine.

Chill mixture completely, then freeze in an ice cream maker until thick. Place container in freezer to harden for at least eight hours.

My parents gave us one of those uber cool ice cream makers that can make ice cream in 20-25 minutes! I'm not sure if I should thank them a million times over or blame them for the undeniable pounds I'm sure to gain from this spectacular little machine! Ha!

I love homemade ice cream and love that it can be so simple to make....not to mention that you know EXACTLY what's in it. Try it, you won't regret it!! (although, your waistline might!)

I hope our Blizzard BBQ inspires you to go fire up the grill and enjoy the warmth that this season is SUPPOSED to be bringing. Please, for those of you who have green grass and budding blooms, enjoy them for ME! I know ND will catch up in a month or so, until then - long live the Blizzard BBQ's!!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Almost....is not enough.

Last Sunday our Pastor preached a message entitled "Almost". It was so profound, I continue to think about it. I supposed you could say I've been meditating on it ever since I've heard it. How simply obvious to say that if you ALMOST have something, you DON'T have it. I think there are so many people who "almost" have salvation, and think they're ok....yet they miss the boat entirely!

Matthew 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

FEW THERE BE THAT FIND IT! I think one of the most heartbreaking stories in the Bible is that of King Agrippa. He was SO close to turning to Christ, he was one of those that ALMOST had it, yet the Bible never gives account of him actually getting saved. The following phrase is one that breaks my heart, because I know that just like King Agrippa, many people have essentially said this very thing!

Acts 26:28 "Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."

King Agrippa, like many in this world, are almost persuaded, almost saved - but even being so close they are still ENTIRELY lost! If you have 80% of something, you still do NOT have it!! I know of people who have come so close to getting saved, yet they end up rejecting Christ and deciding to live for self and remain lost in their sin. How tragic!! The power of sin and self is very real. It takes the Word of God to pierce the soul of man.

I'm reminded of this sobering Hymn written by Philip Bliss.

Almost Persuaded

(1) "Almost persuaded" now to believe;

"Almost persuaded" Christ to receive:

Seems now some soul will say,

"Go, Spirit, go Thy way;

Some more convenient day

On Thee I'll call."

(2) "Almost persuaded," come, come today;

"Almost persuaded," turn not away:

Jesus invites you here,

Angels are lingering near,

Prayers rise from hearts so dear,

O wanderer, come.

(3) "Almost persuaded," harvest is past!

"Almost persuaded," doom comes at last!

"Almost" cannot avail,

"Almost" is but to fail!

Sad, sad, that bitter wail,

"Almost," but lost!

Almost, but lost. Don't be that person who is "almost persuaded" to take salvation seriously. Don't be that person who is "almost persuaded" to seriously examine your soul's condition. Don't be that person who is "almost persuaded" to turn your back on your sin and turn to Christ in repentance and faith. Don't be that person who is almost....but lost.

Think on these things as you go throughout your week...


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Breaking the Hard and Haughty Heart

Philippians 2:1-11

" 1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

I heard a story this last week that really touched my heart--and reminded me of the importance of having a humble, Christ-like attitude in my every day life.

A dear friend and missionary to Africa, Yohannes Gatenah (John for short), is an amazing man. If you ever have the privilege of meeting and speaking with him, your life would only be richer for it. His ministry is to the deaf people of Zambia. God has blessed his ministry in huge and awesome ways. As I could talk on and on about John--I'll try to keep it to just this one story, but he has so many amazing and wonderful stories of the miracles, mercies, and love of God that I could fill this blog up!! : )

Part of the ministry John has is a deaf school for children. The deaf in Zambia are actually considered lower life forms than dogs in Africa. Many children come to this school--unloved and unwanted--not even having a name, because their parents did not deem them worthy or acceptable as a living being. The stories of most of these children would leave us shocked, appalled, and deeply heart broken. Just the thought of some of the things I know of some brings me to tears instantaneously.

One child John talked about the other night was a very young deaf boy, in the neighborhood of 5-7 years of age. One day--he had an accident in his clothes. The teacher, whose heart was had lapsed into hardness over the situation, decided to teach the boy a lesson by stripping him of all of his clothing and making him stand outside in the cold for all to see. Her goal was to shame him--hoping this would cure him of ever making the same mistake of having an accident.

Take a moment (before I tell you what happened to the boy), if you will, to examine this situation from all sides. It's easy to think that this teacher was just malicious and calloused... But the point of the story is not to judge the boy's teacher--but to examine ourselves, our hearts, our motives... We may not strip a child and shame him in front of countless others, but what has my hardened, sinful heart caused me to do? Did we lose heart and grow irritation over an "annoying kid at church"? Did we try to avoid him/her because "we just can't stand them"? Did we look down our nose at a struggling believer? Did we offend? Did we forgive? I hope you see what I'm saying... Hard and haughty hearts ruin our relationship with Christ, and in turn--our relationship with other believers... Remember the above verses:

2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

These verses and countless others call us to be humble--to be a servant--to let go of self-love and pride and render our lives to Christ--to care for others, and see them as the wonderful gifts from God that they are. EVERYONE.

Now, back to the boy... Can you imagine what it was like, standing there--with accident still on you--cold and naked--friends and peers staring? His little heart was broken. John was in his office, and looked out his window and saw the boy. He immediately went to see what was going on. The teacher told him about the accident and how she was teaching him a lesson. John's heart was broken. This godly man handled the situation, with all of the love and humility of Christ. He did speak with the teacher--to remind her that although she truly had no obligation to clean the boy--her commitment to God and her need for Christ-likeness and servanthood was much greater.

John took the boy, cleaned him and gave him clean clothes to wear. The love this child felt--that welled up inside his little soul--was great. His heart was knit to John. This child experienced true, Christ-like love and servanthood, and it had deeply rooted in him and impacted him greatly.

Sadly, just a few, short months later, the boy was hit by a car and killed. John's heart broke again, right before us, as he relayed this to us. But that was not the end of this little boy's story!

When the boy had went home, the day he had his accident on his clothes, he told his father about John and what John had done for him. When they had the boy's funeral--the father talked with John, about how the boy felt for him, and about how he (the father) felt for John as well because of his kind, loving actions toward his son. As a result, the father began attending John's church--and was SAVED.

Do you see? John, humbling himself, cleaning a mess that he did not have to clean--helping a child that he could have left to learn a harsh lesson--representing the very core of Christ in His ways--was a major part in bringing a lost father to the Lord.

What if John hadn't? What if he just didn't want to deal with "an accident" that day? What happens when we don't?

Please remember. Our actions, whether Christ-like or not, impact and impress upon others. And, as believers in Christ, we are to be Christ-like. Whether it's the man on the curb, the driver in the car in front of us, the child on the bus who hasn't showered in a week, "that kid" at church, that person who offended me... EVERYONE. We are to do as the verses above say...