Priceless by Vickie Burns is a devotional based on Proverbs 31 and includes cookbook entries; 30 meals and 12 desserts. I am thoroughly enjoying the study and find it a great tool at the start of a new year. As a whole this devotional and cookbook is a great resource and can be used by women in many stages of life. I do, however, find it most applicable as a married woman with children. Burns is exploring motherhood, and marriage specifically; but also works to apply the concepts to other phases of life when she can, and any reader could find themselves in these pages with principles that apply to modern Christian living.
The lives we live in front of others show what we believe to be true about God.
The devotionals are divided into sections for a devotional thought, application and reflection questions, and a prayer journal page. Each day also includes a meal plan and at the end of the week. Burns provides two dessert recipes at the end of each week to accompany the weekly wrap up and reflection. I’ll share with you my thoughts about the devotional and the cookbook separately just so the pros and cons are of each are clear. If you are looking for a devotional with great leading questions and some meal inspiration at the start of the year this is for you!
I am truly enjoying the devotional primarily because Burns asks fabulous questions that can lead the reader many different places depending on the phase of life, and how deep you want to go. Truly, and similar to my experience with other devotionals, what you put into this is what you will receive back. Each day opens with a devotional thought and I find myself walking away with a quote or concept that resonates with me and I am meditating on them. I love this!
When our top priority is anything other than our relationship with our Lord, we are giving our strength over to things, other people, and/or our passions… when anything other than God becomes first in our lives it will drain our energy, destroy our witness, and eventually break our hearts.
I also love that the reflection and application questions are open ended enough that it takes me where God is leading me. The prayer and journal prompt is also a great place to start, but I found that on some days the content of my reflection and application questions led my prayer journaling in a different direction. I appreciate that Burns provides a wide open space for you to just record your prayer and thoughts.
At the end of the week there is a wrap up section that will help readers review and look specifically at the Scriptures from the past week. This is a wonderful tool because it focuses in on the Scriptures studied and connects them to a theme. Then the reader is provided a useful section to write a summary of thoughts from the week. I think this would be a great fit on Saturdays as you are provided 5 days of study and on the sixth day can make time to do a broader reflection. I find this reflection section more restful and a time where you can gain insight on the past week, not to mention you can make up the wrap-up desserts on Saturday or Sunday!
This leads me to the cookbook portion. These recipes are very family-oriented, written as a full meal but could be used separately, and use a lot of things our family already has on hand. There’s great variety in what Burns provides and I definitely will be using some of her meal plans. There are recipes that use pre-made products like pudding or pie crusts and I like this because it makes them easy and practical. The recipes are not made for specialty diets, but could be adapted; and while they provide balanced meals they are not particularly focused on being healthy. They do provide balance and if you’re looking for realistic meal ideas in the new year these meal plans could be a great place to start.
As far as a critique of the book there are sections of the study where I find myself studying further or not aligning entirely with Burns’s thoughts or her evaluation of Scripture. That being said I think this is a very good and healthy thing. An example of this would be in the opening devotional it compares God’s love to a mother’s love, as unconditional and steadfast. I recognize that not all mothers provided unconditional or steadfast love to their children. This blanket statement made in the study, while generally may be true, in my opinion it isn’t a guaranteed parallel. I think as a reader I need to bring my own experience or insights to the study and remind myself that these parallels are not always true. I have learned that these blanket statements or beliefs can be harmful for those whose reality does not align. My mother is a beautiful picture of unconditional and steadfast love, but not everyone has experienced that which can and does influence their experience of God.
Another instance where I explored a bit further than the text took me was when Burns studies Proverbs 31:8-9 and what it says about caring for and loving those who don’t have a voice or those who are poor and in need. I think there could have been a special attention given, or at least an addition, for those who experience discrimination or racism. Again this is not a make or break for me as I feel like I can bring my own experience, insight, and place in life to the pages of this devotional.
When it comes to the cookbook portion some might find they want to substitute healthier options or that this style of cooking does not suit them personally. But that’s true just about every cookbook right? You take what you love and leave what you don’t. Burns does leave room for adaptation and room for the reader to use these meals and recipes as a guideline. For example when cooking the final meal on week one she just calls it “Cicken Fried Protein” and allows the reader/cook to pick round steak, chicken breast, or deer steak. She does cook with butter, heavy cream, and some pre-made items so that’s just something to keep in mind. Following that up this quote about idolatry and gluttony seems appropriate… 🙂
When we turn to things to fill a void and expect satisfaction, we run the risk of losing what is truly important in our lives… We tend to use a crutch to avoid responsibilities and to isolate ourselves. But the most dangerous result can be that it keeps us from true and trusting worship of God.
I thoroughly enjoyed the study and look forward to cooking the recipes for my family. I love Burns’s connection of Proverbs 31 to the table as a place of family connectedness. She sees the dinner table as a place for us to implement the things we are learning and I agree. Ultimately I found conviction and growth through the pages of this book and was very impressed with the heart Burns has for women and Scripture.
Thanks so much to the author and Celebrate Lit Bloggers for providing me a copy of the book. You can snag yours below or enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post!
About the Book
Author: Vickie Burns
Release Date: November, 2019
Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.
For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.
“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”
Click here to get your copy.
About the Author
Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.
More from Vickie
This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support.
Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare.
As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”.
My prayer for you, as you read this book is:
- that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
- that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
- that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
- that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.
May God richly bless you and your household.
Vicky Sluiter, January 1
For Him and My Family, January 1
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 2
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 3
Jacquelyn Lynn, January 3
Older & Smarter?, January 4
Texas Book-aholic, January 5
Mary Hake,January 5
janicesbookreviews, January 6
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 7
Inspiration Clothesline, January 7
Inklings and notions, January 8
Blossoms and Blessings, January 9
For the Love of Books, January 9
She Lives to Read, January 10
Quiet Workings, January 11
Godly Book Reviews, January 11
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 12
A Rup Life, January 13
Emily Yager, January 13
KarenSueHadley, January 14
To celebrate her tour, Vickie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Priceless and a $50 Amazon Card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.