I’ll Be Back Mid-August…

writing project

It’s time for me to take a little blogging break while I work on a new writing project! I can’t wait to share it with you all! I just love the the topic and can’t wait to have a little extra time to spend on it.

While I’m away, here’s some links to things that might interest you:

The Women Living Well Webcasts from last summer – {Seven 45 minute sessions featuring some of my favorite bloggers} – all posted over at WomenLivingWell.tv!

WLW Conf couch

Join Darlene over at TimeWarpWife.com for the second half of the Women Living Well Book Club happening until the end of July.

Want more of Women Living Well?  Subscribe:

Youtube: youtube.com/courtneylivingwell
Facebook: facebook.com/womenlivingwell
Twitter: twitter.com/womenlivingwell
Instagram: instagram.com/womenlivingwell
Pinterest: pinterest.com/womenlivingwell

3D-wlwbook-cover

And if you don’t have the book, Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home, yet it is available in most book stores or on Amazon here*.

I’ll see you all mid-August!

Walk with the King!
Courtney

*Affiliate Link

Introducing…Our Puppy!!!!!

Introducing…our puppy!

Snowball has arrived and stolen our hearts!  She is now exactly 4 months old.

Back in April I wrote a post titled “What I’ve Feared All My Life.”  The secret is out – I’m deathly afraid of dogs!  But I’m hopeful this puppy will help me face my fears.

This is my first pet (yep, never even had a goldfish friends) and google has been so helpful! So do you want to see how this adventure is going for us?  How the housebreaking (gross),  groomers (there’s blood involved) and vet (hello – cats!)  have been going?

Lexi and I made a video for you with the whole story!  Watch it below.

(if you reading this in a feedreader or email – click here to view the video)

And here’s some photos of our past few weeks.

Snowball 6 weeks old.

snowball at 6 weeks visiting

Snowballs visit in May.

snowball sleeping

Snowballs first day home 3 1/2 weeks ago.

snowball's first day home

One of Snowball’s favorite places to sleep while I work on my computer – right at my feet!

snowball sleeping

{If you follow me on Instagram – you may have already seen some of these photos.  If you aren’t follow me there yet – and you want a “behind the scenes” window into my life – follow me at Instagram.com/WomenLivingWell where I post daily.}

**Chime In: We are now to the — training our dog to sit, stay, stop barking at every jogger who runs by, please don’t bury your toys in my couch, please don’t poop under my dining room table, please don’t dig in my mulch – puppy stage.  How long does this last???  If you have any solutions  or advice, leave them in the comment section – we are all ears. :)

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Escaping the Rat Race

man and woman running in metal gear

The term “rat race” began in the 1940′s with the invention of modern day conveniences.  More opportunities and choices were available to us than ever before and soon some felt like they were endlessly busy but often times with meaningless things.

Those who first used this term would never be able to imagine the modern day conveniences we experience in 2014!  We have more time saving appliances and resources available to us than ever before and yet it seems that our stress levels only continue to rise.

Is it God’s will for God’s people to be trapped in this rat race?

Join me over at ForTheFamily.org today — for the rest of this post…

Walk with the King,

 

***Links from this week’s Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home book club over at TimeWarpWife.com:

Monday: Can You Power Down? Managing Your Grip on Technology

Tuesday: Some Hard to Swallow Truth About Marriage

Wednesday: Biblical Submission is a Powerful Choice

Thursday: Living Well, Forgetfully

Friday: The Honor of Becoming a Helpmeet

 

 

12 Fabulous Salad Recipes

12 Fabulous Salad Recipes

I always eat more salads in the summertime!

Thanks to Janelle at ComfyInTheKitchen.com  

and Clare at Peak 313.com -

I have 12 Fabulous Salad Recipes for you today!

1. Strawberry Spinach Salad with Homemade Poppyseed Dressing

salad strawberry spinach

2. Easy Taco Salad (this recipe has been pinned over 274,000 times!)

salad easy taco salad

3. Fancy but Easy Wedge Salad with Homemade BlueCheese Dressing

salad fancy easy wedge

4. Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

salad chicken salad 2

5. Easy and Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Salad cucumber

6.  Cottage Cheese Salad

salad cottage cheese

7.  Egg-cellent Egg Salad

salad egg-cellent egg

8. Grilled Veggie Salad


salad grilled veggie

9. Harvest Salad with Walnut Crusted Chicken

salad harvest walnut crusted chicken

10.  Italian Orzo Salad

italianorzosalad-1024x768

11. Quinoa & Radicchio Salad with Dried Cherries & Pistachios

quinoa salad

12. Orange and Red Onion Salad via Peak313.com

orange and red onion salad

And 3 Bonus Dessert Salads!

1. Pistachio Marshmallow Salad (aka Watergate Salad)

salad pistachio marshmallow

2. Snicker Apple Salad

salad snicker apple

3. Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Salad strawberry pretzels

**Chime In:  What is your favorite salad recipe? Tell us how you whip it up or share a link to it in the comment section.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

What Women Want (a memoir giveaway)

By Emily T. Wierenga

 

Courtney Joseph

I was drinking twelve cups of coffee a day, addicted to sleeping pills, and only eating supper.

We were newlyweds; we’d been married under the trellis in my parents’ yard, my Dad, a reverend, officiating the ceremony and the flowers in my bouquet as fake as the smile on my face. I was terrified.

I didn’t want kids, I didn’t know how to make a home—my mother made homes, I lived in them. So my farm boy and I went on a three-week honeymoon to the Maritimes, to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and PEI, and flew home to basement suite where I put holes in the walls.

I put holes in the walls because I was so hungry. I didn’t do love well. I didn’t let anyone close, because my childhood was spent moving, from one place to the next, and we always had to look the part—the perfect preacher’s family part—and I turned anorexic at nine years old. Because starving myself was easier than feeling lonely.

And here was this man, sleeping in my bed, and I didn’t know how to let him in.

And one day he came home from work to find me crying because I hadn’t eaten all day and couldn’t get the living room to look just right. We had purple couches from the thrift store and a borrowed coffee table and we lived in a basement suite. Trent took my face in his and said, “I’ll make supper. You rest.”

I nodded. “Thank you,” grabbed a bag of marshmallows, and disappeared into the office to do some painting.

After a while Trent called, “Suppertime!”

He’d made hamburgers and what he calls “fancy salad,” the kind where he grates carrots and chops onions even though they make him cry.

And I came out of that room with an empty marshmallow bag and white lips. I sat down at the dinner he’d made and said, “I’m sorry babes—I’m not really hungry.”

It was a silent meal with the sound of Trent’s fork and knife on his plate and this anorexic woman with the white lips.

I’d only meant to have one or two marshmallows but they’d filled a hole in me. And then they were gone.

And I wondered why he wasn’t, too.

How many of us settle for marshmallows when we’re actually craving food that will last?

How many of us, sisters, sit down with a pint of ice cream after a stressful day, or binge on Oreos after the kids go to bed? How many of us try diet after diet but end up filling on junk because we’re just so hungry?

I think of Jesus at the well, with the Samaritan woman. How he asked her for water—but then offered her Living Water in return. He offers us Living Bread—his body.

Because this is what we’re hungry for, isn’t it friends? A love so deep and long and wide and high it fills every crevice of our souls; a kind of love that would die for us, a kind that sings over us, a kind that walks through fire with us?

We are born longing for the kind of affection only a divine being can offer. We are born aching for the kind of fullness which comes from an everlasting love.

But it’s not a bag of marshmallows. It’s not fast fame or fleeting praise or accolades.

No, it’s a slow cooked meal and we need to wait, to be patient, as this is the kind of love prepared by a gentle pair of hands which feeds your soul.

Trent still makes me fancy salads. He still makes burgers and corn on the cob and I no longer eat marshmallows. Because I’ve tasted real food and there’s no turning back.

There’s no turning back from love.

268386_Wierenga_WB

My memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look
, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away THREE copies today!

From the back cover:

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”

271654_Wierenga_emailsig

Click HERE for a free excerpt.

271486_Wierenga_WB

I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl. Just orderAtlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look
HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

Atlas Girl_700x175_2

ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go towards my non-profit, The Lulu Tree. The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel.
64519_10153705975080099_2037134714_n
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

**I attempt to read cover to cover all books that are mentioned at WLW. I apologize that I was not able to finish reading this book before it was time to post this post therefore, this guest post is not an endorsement of the book – but I do love Emily’s writing and heart.

Happy 4th of July!

Our  puppy is ready to celebrate the 4th of July!!!!  (a puppy update is coming very soon ;) )

snowball 4th of July

Our house is almost set for a huge family shin dig and today we’ll be making our annual Dirt Cake (recipe found here) which we always gobble up fast on the 4th of July.

photo

So while I’m preparing for our party – here’s some links from Week 1 of the Women Living Well book club that is happening over at TimeWarpWife.com.

Monday’s post – What Voice Are You Listening Too?

Tuesday’s post – But Did I Share the Gospel?

Wednesday’s post – How to Unhurry Yourself. Unwind.

Thursday’s post – Because You Are {His}

Friday’s post – The Forgotten Discipline of Meditation

Have a wonderful 4th of July with your family!!!!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Breakfast Bagel Egg Sandwich

breakfast bagel

 

Janelle from Comfy in the Kitchen is back with a breakfast bagel egg sandwich recipe!

Janelle writes:

The other day I shared on my personal FB page that I had made “Eggs in a Nest” for the kiddos. One of my friends mentioned that she made the same thing, but with bagels! By golly-how convenient- they already have holes! So, I had to try it her way. I added some cream cheese to the top half of the bagel and made them into sandwiches. Needless to say, they were a hit.

Seriously. So good.

(GF option: Use  Udi’s GF bagels.)

IMG_3464

 

Start off by heating a skillet on medium-high heat.  Melt butter and place both side of your bagels onto the skillet.  Crack an egg and place it in the bottom halves of each bagel. Let cook for approximately 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Flip.

IMG_3466

Let cook on the other side until done.

IMG_3469

Add cream cheese to the top sides of each bagel.

IMG_3471

Place on top of the egg slices….Mmmm……

Breakfast Bagel Egg Sandwich

Ingredients
  • 4 bagels
  • 4 eggs
  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Add butter.
  3. Place both sides of the bagels on the skillet.
  4. Add an egg into the bottom half of the bagel.
  5. Let cook for approximately 3 minutes. Salt and Pepper. Flip.
  6. Let cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Add cream cheese to the other side of the bagel and combine into a sandwich. Mmmmmmmmmm

Signature
speakerJanelle Nehrenz

Janelle is a Christian, a Wife, a Stay at Home Mom of 3 young children and a proud- to- claim- it “Foodie”. You can find her displaying step-by-step photos of her recipes, giving devotionals,and sharing meal ministry stories on her blog. You can follow Janelle’s blog at ComfyInTheKitchen.com Follower her on facebook at Comfy In The Kitchen Follow her on Twitter at ComfynKitchen

The Effects of Feminism On Women in the Church

Rural Church, Midwest, Ohio, near Akron, USA

 

Today we conclude our series titled: {Radical} Women –Living Well.

As we study Titus 2:3-5, we find the passage quite simple to understand:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbandsthat the word of God may not be reviled. (esv)

It’s simple to understand Titus 2:3-5.

So extremely simple.

But so extremely difficult to live out, in a world where feminism has blurred the thinking of women in the church.  Women who have been taught by the world rather than God’s Word, what to value.  Then they bring these values into the church.

But we are not to value the world’s philosophies – but rather obey the Word of God.  Conflict is raised – even within the church – when we talk about women’s roles and this is why living according to Titus 2 is truly {Radical} living!

Last Friday, I mentioned in my blog post how I have emptied trash cans, hung towels, emptied laundry baskets and hung my husband’s pants probably a thousand times.  A woman commented:

“Aren’t you treating your husband like a child, cleaning up after him?”

When we take care of our husband by doing work in the home for him –are we treating him like a child?  Should he be left to take care of himself – do his own laundry, cook his own meals, empty his own trash cans, make his own bed, and hang his own pants?

This is a very real and valid question to ask – especially within the culture we live where both men and women work and both men and women split household chores.  In our home, I homeschool 20 hours a week during the school year while balancing around 30 hours a week of blogging.  My plate is full…but my husband’s needs remain at the top of my to-do list.

Some women are married to neat freaks who never leave a towel on the floor and always do their own laundry. Others are married to a man who shows love through acts of service and so though he may not enjoy doing these things, he lovingly does them to help out.  While others – like my husband, prefer to not do these sorts of chores after a long day of work.  The Bible does not clearly tell us how to divide housework in the home.  So there is not a “one-size fits all” approach.  But all husbands have needs in the home and their needs should be a priority to us.

Now in answer to the reader’s question, my husband certainly does not feel like he is treated like a child in our home. He is the respected head of the house. And when I do these things for him – he feels loved and cared for.  If anything – he feels like a king (Lol!) and he knows his wife is unique and I think that makes him love me all the more.

Many women go to work and do whatever their boss asks them to do.  It’s interesting that these women are willing to do so much for a paycheck – yet so little for the man they make love to.  Does the work of cooking, cleaning, rocking babies and teaching children only become valuable if we are paid to do it for someone else’s kids or home?

Feminism would lead you to believe this.  But the Bible flip flops this completely and tells women in Titus 2 to love our husband and children and do work in our homes – not for a paycheck or man’s praise but for a more important reason…

“that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:5)

Revile means to discredit, dishonor, or condemn.

So why does God ask women to do these counter-cultural things?

That the word of God would not be dishonored and discredited.

Have we considered that living just like the world discredits the word of God?  Have we  allowed feminist thoughts to   deceive us?  God does not tell us to do this just for our own sake – but for His sake – for His glory.

Feminism is as old as the garden of Eden. In Genesis 2, God commanded Adam to not eat fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Eve was deceived by the serpent and took a bite despite being told by Adam to not eat of the tree.  Then she gave some to her husband Adam to eat.  Eve usurped her husband and sinned first in Genesis 3  but in Romans 5 – it is Adam who is held responsible, as the head of the household, for their sin.

You see, {radical} living requires {radical} obedience to God’s word.  And obedience is hard – and so like Eve – we make excuses for why we should not obey God’s word.  It’s easy to come up with excuses because the feminists have been training us through media for years.  It’s easier to follow their ways than God’s but like Eve in the garden, in the end, it leads to pain and suffering and it leads to Christianity being discredited.

And Titus 2 is pretty simple to read…and understand. But it asks a lot of us as women. It requires us to think differently than the world, differently than the feminist agenda and differently at opportunities that come our way.

Are you willing to be a {Radical} Woman –Living Well?

It’s more simple than some would like you to believe.

Go love on your husband and children, be self-controlled, pure, do your work at home, and be kind and submissive to your husband.  Obey Titus 2:3-5.

Walk with the King,

Courtney

***This post is a part of the Summer {Radical} Women Living Well Series.  Here are the other posts in this series.

{Radical} Women –Living Well

4 Qualities of {Radical} Older Women

4 {Radical} Ways to Love Your Husband and Children

5 {Radical} Qualities Young Women Should Pursue