Feed the Belly Not Just the Soul

So I talked in my last post on recognizing God’s call to minister to my family and part of that is to fill their bellies with yumminess! So today I bring you a new recipe in my house that has gotten rave reviews by ALL!

Mix together olive oil, black pepper, salt, garlic powder and paprika-if you desire add some red pepper flakes or hot sauce but this family doesn’t handle the heat well!

You will need to peel and dice your potatoes, place the diced potatoes in your olive oil mixture being sure to coat all the potatoes.


olive oil

Place potatoes in a 9×13 pan-you will have some olive oil mixture left you need this! Don’t scrape it into the pan with your potatoes.


You’ll notice my cracked dish-my prized Crate and Barrel dish that was my best purchase one year while shopping on the annual girls weekend in Chicago. This crack happened at the hands of my children and I choose to embrace the chip rather then crying that momma never gets to have anything nice. Which I’m ashamed to admit is what flew through my head at the first sight of that chip.

Put the potatoes in the oven at 500 degrees (I know right-I had to check and to be sure it could do that!)IMG_2625

Next cube chicken and place in the leftover mixture. chicken

Your potatoes will bake for about 30 minutes and you will need to stir them at the half way mark. IMG_2642

After 30 minutes of baking, stir the potatoes and add chicken on top of them evenly. Cover with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Bake for another 20 minutes. I turned my oven down after 10 minutes so my bread didn’t burn once I put it in. cheesy

Serve hot but watch those tongues so they don’t end up burned!

I like to serve with bread because who doesn’t want their meat and potatoes with a side of bread! IMG_2648


I think the best part of this meal is the easy clean up only your mixing bowl, cutting board and casserole dish doesn’t get much easier then that!    Enjoy this tasty easy meal and spend that extra time you saved by painting nails or playing a game with the kiddos!

Love and Blessings



1 tbsp Black Pepper

1 1/2 tbsp Garlic Powder

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Paprika

1/2 C Olive Oil

7-8 Potatoes

2 lbs Chicken Breast

2 C Shredded Cheese

1 bag of Bacon Bits


Mix black pepper, garlic powder, salt, paprika and olive oil. Cube potatoes and coat with oil mixture. Place in baking dish. Bake 30 minutes at 500 degrees stirring half way through. Cube chicken and add to remaining oil mixture. After potatoes bake for 30 minutes add chicken, cover with shredded cheese and bacon bits, bake 20 minutes or until chicken is done.



Holy Grounds

Everyone needs a sense of purpose, a sense of direction in their life, well mine seems to be misplaced, or so it seems. Today I realized I seem to be going through life without a solid defined direction. I was thinking why do I seem to be feeling as if there is no intentional route I’m taking? I was thinking how after I closed the photography business, I did that in order to have more time for my family and for the youth ministry,I felt a sense of loss, sense of no longer being defined as a photographer. Then when last month I put down the youth ministry I had this sense of loss again, a sense of no longer being defined as a youth leader, a sense of not being needed by anyone. So I have been floating without a sense of purpose.

Then today while in the shower and I’m pondering these great reflections, let me add here that my shower is holy ground I have been spoken to and felt more alive with the spirit of the Lord around me there than even in church. So I’m in the holy grounds of my shower pondering this sense of empty, drifting when I’m reminded of this event I was at 2-3 years ago I was seeking the Lords confirmation of his intention to place me in ministry. Yet I felt his call was to just love my family well, my response was well I’m already doing that I want to serve you bigger Lord. So I continued pretending that His plan was to use me in a bigger way, then the fall of 2013 came and I decided that in order for Him to use me in a big way I better make some room so I closed the business. I did focus more on my family at this time and dived into the youth ministry of my church, after all my sense of purpose comes from my doing. I have to do, do, do, I’m definitely a Martha.  So this Martha did what was in front of her, serving and growing this ministry that was in front of her. Loving my family still, seeking the Lord for the ministry’s direction but fully focused on what to “do” for this ministry. Then 4 months ago God started to remove my grasp on this ministry, this ministry that defined me, that fulfilled this part of me. He caused such a strong stirring in me I could no longer be apart of this church. He grabbed my shoulders and turned me away, I didn’t understand how this was the plan, He was going to us ME. How could this happen and continue without me?

Today in the holy grounds of my shower I’ve began to understand, He had to strip me bare in order to be a Mary to show me that I don’t have to do, only be. I need to BE a godly wife, I need to BE a godly mom and most importantly I need to BE a godly Winter that sits at the feet of Jesus. My friend over coffee last week said would you have left your church and ministry if this huge stirring hadn’t happened? I said no way, that this church was my family, my best friends, we didn’t just attend we were involved all the way, Jesse plays guitar every service, we served the youth together, our kids have grown up there. Never would we have left, she said then maybe that’s why this drastic change took place because God had to get your attention and move you out.  For a week that has swirled in my brain, of ok that makes sense, but why, why would He need to take me out of this ministry, why wouldn’t he want to use me bigger?

Today it was answered, I was reminded of that event when I was shown the direction I needed to move and I didn’t like the answer. I wanted to do, I just didn’t understand the concept of Mary. The idea of sitting at Jesus’s feet, the idea of being Jesus here on earth to my family only. I have always been a big or go home kind of person so to me I want to live out Jesus bigger, serve Jesus bigger, yet today after nearly two and half years of being allowed to move in that direction the Lord said enough and I finally heard him. I heard just BE, don’t do, don’t look for a to-do list, don’t overlook the gift in front of you, just be with me [Jesus], just be with your family.

This seems so difficult and challenging to me, but through Jesus I can be Mary. Today I seek to only be. I will be with Jesus and I will be with my family. Even when it doesn’t seem like it could be enough, I will remind myself of the heartache of not following what the Lord asks of me. Yes good came out of those two and half years, because God always brings goodness, but what could have come out of obeying and being satisfied by the Mary mentality. Are you Martha or Mary-is God calling you to be more like Mary too?


Legacy of Love and Respect

So a few weeks ago I started watching Parenthood on Netflix, it was around the time my Facebook friends were crying over the series finale I thought if this many people are loving it and are so sad over the ending it must be a good show…well it is! I will not embarrass myself by saying how far I am into the series in only a few short weeks, but lets just say I’m moving right along! A few many episodes back I’m watching Crosby and Jasmine have a mega fight and end their engagement all over how to load the dishwasher. Of course it’s not all about how the dishwasher is being loaded but circles back to her lack of respect for Crosby. For being controlling and expecting him to change and be a different man. (Yes I realize this isn’t real life but bare with me!) It made me think about so many early relationships and marriages I watch from the outside looking in and see the lack of respect that women give to their man. I do NOT have a perfect marriage but one thing I know and live out the best I can is to respect Jesse. God’s word doesn’t tell me to love him, it says to respect him and he is to love me. This is a circle that feeds itself. Men long to be respected and women need to be loved.

This brings me to a relationship that I have so much respect for, a real life relationship that I have had the privilege to witness it lived out and learn from. A relationship that was paused on this earth at least, two weeks ago. It is my grandma and grandpa’s relationship nearly 63 years in the making. My Grandpa said goodbye on this earth and hello to Jesus. This marriage was formed in the war era and blossomed after only a short time of knowing each other. They experienced 5 children, a military career, losing a child, and so much more. But my main memory that I will carry with me and try to live to that example is of the love and respect. He lived out love to his partner, children and grandchildren everyday, even when it wasn’t deserved.

I handle death differently then those that know me might expect for me to, I’m one who processes most things out loud and tends to over share everything. But death is different, I become very reflective and turn with in myself to process. These past couple of weeks I’ve thought so much of the example of marriage, how a man loves a woman-and how Grandma turned that love into respect back to him. I’ve thought on what makes my own marriage work and on my relationship with my children.

After 15 years of marriage I know the importance of these things, most days and live them out, most days. The death of Grandpa and the getting to be apart of the legacy of love has made me re-evaluate the intentionality of my approach to my own relationships.

So the above was written a week ago as we were ready to walk out the door for a marriage retreat. Seriously I started writing while Jesse was in the shower, I was dressed, make up on and ready to hit the road! I didn’t know what to expect at this retreat that is hosted by a local church. We’ve had several friends attend in the past and tell us how great it is and that we should go. This year thanks to the generosity of my in-laws we were able to attend.

What was ironic was the weekend in part could be summed up in my above post. Love your wife, respect your husband. It expounded on what not to do and what to do, of course. I loved to hear that we are on the right path that we are doing this thing called marriage well and as it was intended.

Towards the end of the weekend we were asked to put done our “complaints” of our marriage/partner in order of 10-100 (by 10’s) so the 10 would be something minor and a 100 would be a huge thing. After 5 minutes we looked at each other with mostly a blank page, each of us had a 70 listed but it wasn’t about the other it was something that we wanted to work on together. I said teaching our children about the word more intentionally and he said doing our budget together again. Neither of these things have we fought about or do we intend to fight over them it’s areas to improve together with love and respect.

So ladies respect your husband,  the bible is sound-it works, respect him at all times but by golly respect in public and to your friends. Never talk down about him to his face or behind his back because the words you speak is the attitude that you live out. Build him up even when you don’t think he deserves because he is called to love you even when you don’t deserve to be loved. Men love your wives don’t expect intimacy without loving her emotionally women want to see you invested in them do that little thing you know makes her feel loved, a long hug, reading a book to the kids, letting her shower in peace the intimacy will be soon to follow.

Love and Respect that is the foundation of a marriage, let it be your legacy to your children and grandchildren like it was for me.