Showing posts from January, 2020

Pan-Seared Beef Flank Steaks

I’ve never been a huge beef eater. I usually prefer seafood or pork when given the option, and steak especially has never been on the top of my list. But we get a Butcher Box subscription package every month, and I’m teaching myself some new recipes and techniques for all that meat.
That’s how I’ve learned that I really do like beef. Not in large quantities, but when it’s cooked well it’s pretty amazing. Here’s just one of the ways I love to prepare our steaks, and I hope you love it too!
Ingredients:  2 10-oz beef flank steaks Olive oil Your favorite steak seasoning blend
1. Preheat your oven’s broiler. Move the rack to the highest position you can and still get a skillet in.
2. In a cast iron skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.
3. When pan and oil are hot, liberally season one side of the steaks and place that side down in the skillet. Sear for two minutes.
4. Season the second side of the steak and flip. Sear for two minutes.
5. Using a pair of tongs, sear the edges of the steak until…

Words For Wednesday


Being That Wise Woman Who Builds Her House

Have you ever had one of those moments when you open your Bible like you’ve done every morning, but this time a certain verse just slaps you in the face and pokes at your heart.

That’s exactly what happened to me this morning.

I’ve read Proverbs 14:1 dozens of times, written about it, taught on it and even included it in my book, The 12 W’s of the Christian Woman. I know this verse, I can quote this verse and I share this verse all the time. But today it resonated.

We’ve been battling health issues in our house over the past few months, including several trips to the hospital in Iowa City. We’ve not been sleeping well, we’ve had to miss some days of work and all that adds up. Unfortunately, the one thing that has suffered is the house.

Who wants to clean and organize and put away Christmas decorations when you don’t feel good? Or you’re watching your husband not feel good? Giving medications on time and staying quiet so he can sleep are much more important in the moment than dusting.…

Studying The Story Of Joseph With A Child’s Eyes

This is the second in a set of sticker activity books I found at the dollar store. Each one is the story of a Bible character, and they've been a fun way to study Scripture as I'm reading through the Bible in a year.

If you follow along with the Bible reading program here at Victorious Christian Woman, you're into the story of Joseph in the last chapters of Genesis. I have lots of notes in the margins of my Bibles, and I have several Old Testament commentaries that I use when I study. I've written some of them in on the corresponding pages as I play with stickers, color and work the puzzles.

Though it may seem silly and not a real way to study, there's something refreshing about using the eyes of a child to see Scripture in a whole new light.

Plus, I'm addicted to paper and stickers, so this is just an extension of me and the way my brain works. In about an hour, I work through the book, then I study the Scripture in my Bibles and commentaries. This can take a…

My “Created To Create” Planner Layout

Sometimes my creativity needs a little ... push in the right direction. When I’m juggling work, relationships, house work and church activities, all my creativity gets used up by the end of the day!

But this collection from My Illustrated Faith reminds me that God created me to create. The Creator gives me all His creativity to be creative in my own roles. That’s a lot of creativity all from one place!

This week I want to remember that I don’t have to be creative on my own. I have all the ideas and vision of the Lord behind me, and that’s comforting and exciting all at the same time! This maker is ready to make.

The First Ice Storm Of The Year

It’s a beautiful day to stay inside where it’s warm and dry, but we’re definitely enjoying the view of the backyard!

Even last night as it was beginning, the ice was making everything look a special kind of pretty.

If you have a white wonderland around you today, I pray you’ll take time to enjoy it!

Money Myths You Should Debunk Today!

For some reason, women tend to have a dissatisfaction with their bank accounts' balances. We always wish there was more there at the end of the month, just so it looks and feels like we're getting ahead. We make plans for that money, should it ever come in , and we spend tons of time trying to find new ways to bring more money into the home.

The problem with expending this energy, though, is that it's often fruitless. We already have a preconceived notion in our heads of how we'd save our money, or find other ways to spend it. And unless you're a "Once I've decided, my mind's made up" kind of person, having that money in hand probably wouldn't change much.

Besides, is it really about the money, or is it more about the concept of having money? The love of money may be the root of all evil, but the love of knowing we have money is just as bad. We tell ourselves all sorts of interesting stories and make odd decisions based on our family finances.


How Do You Switch From Christmas To Winter?

Some people have already taken their Christmas decorations down. I know I should, too, but I’m really clinging to them this year for some reason. Both our house and my office are still covered in garland and ornaments and trees, but part of me wants to hold on to that holiday feeling a little while longer.

The same can be said for the rest of my life, too. I’ve been making winter cards like crazy lately, covered in snowflakes and snowmen and those beautiful winter colors. We don’t have snow on the ground right now, but it’s sure all over the craft room!

When you take down the Christmas decorations in your home, what do you replace them with? Do you go back to the everyday decor or do you look for something wintry to put out instead? Do you switch colors or themes in your craft projects to reflect the change of seasons?

Making that transition from Christmas to winter can be difficult, especially if you’re not a big fan of snow and winter and cold. (Not me, I adore the snow!) Here are …

Words For Wednesday


Mini Butter Ball Cookies

For some reason, everyone loves tiny desserts. Maybe it’s because you can have several and feel like you’re not overeating. Maybe it’s because you can sample a variety of treats and not get stuffed. Or maybe it’s just because they’re so stinkin’ cute! You can’t eat just one...

That’s why these adorable little butter cookies are the perfect treat. They’re very easy to make, the recipe is simple and you get these tiny butter balls of goodness to keep and to share.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 container frosting

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer until completely combined. Add vanilla, flour and salt. Mix well. The dough will be crumby, but will hold its shape when rolled into balls.

3. Use a serving spoon to measure out and roll 2-inch balls. Line them up on the baking sheet.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 …

For The Days When Counting It All Joy Is Difficult

We all know that everyone goes through valleys in their lives, times when it seems like we barely have enough energy to blink our eyes, let alone do anything productive. It may be a health issue that keeps us up at night, a relationship issue that drains us emotionally or financial troubles that scare the padoople out of us. Any one of these - and the myriad of other troubles we face on a daily basis - is enough to get us down, but pile them on top of each other and it can be difficult to even breathe.

There’s nothing wrong with being exhausted, fed up or ready to curl up in a corner somewhere. It’s not about the problems themselves, but how we deal with them that really matters.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

This verse came up this weekend on our Verse-a-Day calendar. I broke down and cried when I read it because we’ve been going through one of those times of helpless in ou…

My “Still Clinging To Christmas” Planner Layout

There was a rumor that it was going to snow this week in southern Iowa. The snow stayed to the north, but just talking about it made me wish for a White Christmas kind of day.

Now I’ll have a whole week to keep that “clinging to Christmas” feeling with this week’s planner spread. I absolutely adore the festive garlands, and that tree in the corner makes me smile!

I won’t get to use the Bible study tag this week because we will be at the VA hospital in Iowa City on Wednesday. Danny will finally get his kidney stones removed after a weeks-long fight with them. We’ll probably watch the Wednesday night service on Facebook live, which isn’t quite the same but it keeps us feeling in touch with our church family.

The Bible study journal block on the left page is where I’ll put my notes from this week’s Psalms studies. We’re still reading through the Bible in a year using the guide on the left side of the Victorious Christian Woman home page, but I’ve also added a guide and thought for medit…

Church Signs That Speak The Truth

When we travel, I’m always on the lookout for interesting church signs. Some are funny, some are convicting, and some are simply the truth from Scripture. The new sign at our church here in Ottumwa always has the message that I need to hear it that moment - it’s such a blessing.

For the past few months I’ve been writing down some of my favorite church sign messages, and I hope they bring you as much joy today as they have for me!

* A church alive is worth the drive.

* You think your life stinks? We’ve got a pew for you.

* Have you been derailed? Get back on track and back in church.

* The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

* Exercise daily: Run from Satan, Walk with God.

* Sin is like a credit card - enjoy now, pay later.

* When you’re hanging by a thread, make sure it’s the hem of Jesus’ garment.

* A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.

* I want to be so full of Jesus that mosquitos fly away singing “There’s Power in the Blood!”


Parker James Joins Our Dog Pack

We closed out our year in a fun and furry way by adopting Parker James and adding him to our pack. Danny's sister's family wasn't able to keep him anymore, so we drove south to pick him up. It worked out perfectly that we already knew him, he knew us and we were able to spend some time with him on the road home. (In the picture, he's sitting next to Molly.)

And we're so blessed by how well Parker fits in around here. Not only does he look like the babies, he has a sweet, quiet personality that meshes with their ... shall we say youthful attitude?

He doesn't normally play with toys, but he was happy to cuddle with his new piggy toy in the truck. Yep, you can't be an Iowa dog without your own pig. I think it's a law or something.

Peanut butter chews are also something new. It took a minute for Parker to watch the other puppers and understand that he was supposed to eat the peanut butter. It's a treat we'll definitely have to do use more often.


Studying The Story Of Noah With A Child's Eyes

There’s no better time than the first of the year to try a different kind of Bible study. Working with Sunday School students in grades 3-6 and with the youth group up to college kids, I’ve found I have to be as familiar with Scripture as I can. You never know what questions they’re going to come up with! So when I found a set of sticker books featuring several Bible characters at the dollar store, I decided to have a little fun with them!

Each page of the activity book has places for stickers. I’m a sucker for stickers - I always have been - so I knew this would be right up my alley.

Each page has some type of picture to color, questions to answer and lots of space for journaling and Bible study notes. I added a bunch of my own stickers, too, ones that I normally use in my planner. This makes it fun and unique because, trust me, no one draws and journals like I do!

In the case of Noah, it was fascinating to look up the numbers of each kind of animal, write out the passages in KJV Sc…

My Prayers For 2020

There was so much that needed bathed in prayer over the last year. Health issues, family problems, unexpected emergencies and long-standing concerns have been on my heart and mind throughout 2019. No doubt 2020 will bring issues of its own over the next 12 months.

What I don’t want to do in the new year is pray a bunch of words and assume everything will be ok. I don’t want to say good morning to God and then catch up with Him again in the evening. And I definitely don’t want to stop praying altogether because I’m too busy trying to work things out on my own ... or stop praying because I’m just plain too busy.

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocritesare:for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in sec…