Friday, November 25, 2016

Refocusing During Trials

I have spent much of this morning trying to get my focus re-adjusted and came across this verse. (I was also encouraged by a post written by my friend, Ellen, about how we tend to focus on only getting out of our trials and miss so many of the things we should be thankful for). We aren't defined by what our circumstances currently look like. And God is faithful to deliver us from the "nets" (complicated circumstances/snares/trials/evil intentions that our enemy tries to trap us in). Because remember, what man intends for evil, God can turn it unto good. (Gen 50:20). No matter what you are going through, you know, and I know, it is a daily struggle to keep our eyes focused upon the Lord, so I encourage you to stay in His Word and in constant communication with God. You can talk to Him silently all throughout the day. I also know one of the purposes of our pain and trials is to encourage others. We all need the experiences of the victories of God bringing us through circumstances so we can help others someday, sooner or later. So, please, don't give up, but instead, keep your eyes lifted up. Repeat and commit to memory Colossians 3:2 or if you are really ambitious, memorize Philippians 4:8. #BeEncouraged

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spinach Artichoke Parmesan Soup Recipe

Lately, we have been trying several new recipes at Team Gage Headquarters.  Sometimes the quest to be budget conscious and waistline friendly can be a daunting task.  But we have found some tasty recipes lately that fit both categories and we want to share them with you.  So, every once in awhile, we are going to share a recipe that Team Gage has tried and loved.  (We will also post some tasty, not so good for you recipes, because, let's face it, we all want a "treat" now and again!)

Soups are often on our weekly menu, no matter the season.  We recently tried this Crock Pot Spinach Artichoke Parmesan Soup and it was a hit!  

While this recipe link (from is also pinned on my Pinterest account, I will include the step by step directions below:

Recipe Yields: 4-5 Servings
8 ounces frozen spinach
14 ounces artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped roughly
1 small onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄4 tsp pepper
1⁄8 tsp red pepper flakes
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
1⁄2 cup milk (any kind)
1⁄2 cup flour
4 ounces cream cheese, cut in 4 chunks
1⁄4 parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


1. In a large slow cooker, add spinach, artichokes, onion, garlic, olive oil, broth, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook on high for 5 hours, or low for 7-8 hours.
2. After spinach mixture has cooked throughly, in a separate bowl, add evaporated milk, milk, and flour; whisk to combine completely. Add milk mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes.
3. Remove cover, add cream cheese and 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, stir to combine.
4. Serve in bowls garnished with additional parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
5. Enjoy

May you be Blessed and Encouraged today!

Much Love from,
Simply Team Gage

Friday, March 11, 2016

Our Punctuality and God's Timing

Hello!  It's been quite awhile hasn't it? Really, it's been too long in my opinion.  But like I said last week, "we're back", for hopefully some consistency (which happens to be my word for 2016) and follow through. Better late than never right?  Not all would agree with that phrase.  Promptness is, after all common courtesy, right?

"If you're on time, you're late; but if you're 15 minutes early, you're on time",  isn't that how the saying goes?

I feel very strongly about this issue, or area of  "common courtesy", shall we say, because of an ongoing experience I endured growing up. Meaning, I had a mother who was ALWAYS the last one to arrive anywhere!  It was embarrassing and frustrating, but until I got my license to drive, I was stuck with being tardy. (She was so late for my wedding rehearsal, she almost missed it.) So I made it a priority in life, once I was out of my parent's house, to be on time or early.  Even when I had two toddlers to get ready for church, I just woke up earlier and made it happen.  I've realized staying involved in life helps develop and keep this good habit.  When people depend on you to be somewhere at a particular time, whether it's arriving at your job, volunteering for PTA, meeting the guys at the gun range, participating in an area of service at church, showing up for baseball practice, etc., you tend to stay on schedule and develop a routine that works.

But, it's not as easy to be on time when you feel you aren't needed, or you're not involved, or you don't feel like anyone cares if you show or not.  When we make ourselves an island, suddenly promptness doesn't matter as much.  When you have a job, an area of church service, are attending a class, are invested in someone's life, etc. you make sure you're there. You are accountable to people in those different areas.

I will admit, as big of a proponent as I was to always being on time, not ever wanting to let someone down, showing others I could always be counted on . . . I have fallen into that habit of thinking, "well, no one will notice if I'm a few minutes late', or "I don't need to get ready just yet, there's plenty of time" . . . but when my husband comments, "we are going to be late again." I snap to and a huge sense of dread envelopes me like a cloak of failure, because I realize that I'm doing exactly the thing I loathed growing up.  

Being habitually late is a selfish act, and I, for one, never like to admit that I'm being selfish.  But I am. I'm selfish. And selfishness is a sin. Period.

So now I'm going to switch gears here, just a little bit, because this got me wondering about all the sayings about "God's Timing".  Is He always on time? Hmmm, I notice we tend to ask ourselves questions like, "Does His answer always happen by the date a bill is due?  Or before the death of a loved one? Or in time set aside for a meeting already scheduled well in advance?"

His answers don't always happen on our time, do they? Now, that's not to say God doesn't honor a person who makes it a priority to be where he says he's going to be when he says he's going to be there.  But God's awesome plans for our lives and solutions to our problems don't always fit into the scheduler, planner or calendars on our smartphones.  He doesn't limit Himself to our short sighted view of life or of our problems.  I think we would be amazed at how much more wonderful life would be if He were invited into every little decision.  We often tend to try and figure out the "little" decisions on our own,  not inviting God into the process and never giving thought to how they may affect the BIG situations in our lives. And then, when things get out of hand and the situations become a BIG deal, we remember, "Oh Yeah, I should pray and ask God to fix this!" Perhaps had we (and I am speaking BIGTIME to myself here) included Him in on EVERYTHING, we would be experiencing His Peace throughout our daily lives, no matter the size of our circumstance! His ways far exceed what "fixes" we can come up with ourselves.

But if His time isn't fitting in with the commitments we've made and if God's not selfish, what is really going on here?

One of the reasons I'm writing on this subject is because we have experienced God's timing, not just in the "when" but in the "how" several times in our lives.  And it's not always the big "issues" of life, it happens with the small things  too, and what a Joy and Blessing when we realize it!

Here is one example of how we have experienced "God's When and How". There was a meeting that needed to happen in  another state on a specific day, for my husband's line of work. But phone calls were going  unanswered and emails were not responded to. It didn't look like it was going to happen and this was going to reflect very poorly on my husband. Flight and hotel arrangements had already been made. As it turns out on the MORNING OF THE MEETING he received confirmation at 5:00am that the meeting would indeed happen, just at a later time than originally requested. Well, that particular timing ended up being a HUGE BLESSING because there was a transportation issue, that no one (but God) anticipated when trying to schedule the original meeting. Had the earlier time been confirmed, my husband would not have had transportation to get there. But God knew all of this, and in his perfect timing the meeting was arranged for a later time when transportation was available. He knew and He took care of it! My husband was in awe and very thankful. He inspires me when he sees the little things in our day that God works out. I'm striving to be more attentive in these matters.

Another example I'll share involved a banking mistake and miscommunication that really was going to put us in a bind, I overreacted, thought the worst,  wasted so much energy with my "sky was falling" attitude. But, God worked it out THREE DAYS EARLIER than the bank said would be possible! So, I wasted a BUNCH of energy being stressed out, worried and angry about that situation. 

I'm still learning and hope you will be encouraged to do the same each day as you journey through this life, "On Time" and with "God's Timing".

Much Love,
Team Gage


P.S. Feel free to comment below and share your experiences with God's Timing. We'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

We're Back!

Hello!  Remember us?  The Simply Team Gage Blog?  Yes, that's the one! Well, we're back after a long, unintentional break.  Didn't plan it, just happened . . . well ok . .  no, it didn't "just happen" . . . we let other things get in the way. But it has been weighing HEAVILY on our hearts to start writing again, so we are putting it out here and on social media that we are back up and running!  So much to share, so many things in the works for you all! We are praying it all will be a blessing and encouragement to you!

Sometimes it is very difficult to put yourself "back out there" once you have pulled back from relationships, service, commitments, activities, etc. (We will blog more on this specific topic soon!) So consider this your announcement - or warning - that we are putting ourselves back out into the "blog-o-sphere"!

And that means we are accountable and must keep our word! So please, if a week goes by and you don't see a Simply Team Gage blog post, call us out on it! 

Be blessed!

Much Love,

Team Gage