Balancing Family & Ministry & Launching a Book

balancing family ministry launching a book

I get asked all.the.time ,“How do you do it all?”

My answer – I don’t.

As a matter of fact, I have a feeling if we exchanged homes, husbands, kids and calendars there is NO way I could do all you do – you know why?  Because God gifted you to do what you do and me to do what I do and if we swapped…I could not fill your space like you fill your space!  God created you unique to do what you do and he uniquely pieced together your family with your husband and children to be with you.  Then he gave you your personality type and talents to serve him uniquely in the church.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.~ Ephesians 2:10

I believe that blogging is the good work God created in advance for me to do.  There’s no glory here for me to take.  I should not be lifted on a pedastal as some kind of super woman who does it all.  Because I don’t!

Like those of you who have a gift of singing or playing an instrument  or whipping up a fancy meal – it comes easy to you – it’s a joy.  Writing is like this for me - I can write a post in 25 minutes flat AND it’s a joy…it’s easy.

It’s the other stuff that is SO hard for me – like organizing – blak!

I don’t do it all.

To some that will disappoint you and to others it will be a huge relief!

But let me talk about balancing it all for a moment…lest I lead you all to think that I lead some extraordinary life that is balanced!

During the months of August, September and October – I was very focused on the conference, webcasts, and book launch.  If my life looked like the past 3 months on a regular basis my family would be in shambles and I’d be a train wreck.  Let me take this even one step further – my ministry would lose its integrity.  I could not write the words I write and live the life I have led for the last 3 months – and continue to write with integrity.  This is where the crazy train stops and I get off :) !

This was a special season where my family pulled together and supported me being lopsided for a season.  My husband picked up the slack at home and filled in my gaps.  He watched the kids and was there for whatever I needed.

DSC05900

My husband hanging the banner the day before the conference.

What I learned from being lopsided and stressed out – is that things in life I could normally handle turned into emergencies.  For example, my daughter chipped her tooth – and I freaked out – going to the dentist barely fit onto the calendar between interviews and on-line promotions:

 alexis tooth

My son was facing a lot of foot/ankle pain from football practice.  Everyday after practice for 8 weeks he soaked his feet in two buckets of ice water – which included stops at the gas station to get ice – which resulted in mulitple Dr. visits –  which resulted in me feeling like this was all a huge burden {sigh – mommy guilt}

 Alex the price of winning

Then there was my car wreck – my car was totalled – this was upsetting – who has time to deal with insurance companies and more Dr. appointments?  Blak!

car wreck

Did I mention that my husband was traveling out of state for work 13 days in October including the day/week of my actual book launch – OY!

So if you imagined a celebration dinner – on launch day – think again.  I woke up to my big launch day and had to get the kids ready for their “homeschool group” photos.  We were out the door by 8:45am and there was NO time for me to even look at all the the emails, tweets and Facebook  messages pouring in that day.  I sat in the back of the room at homeschool group – attempting to focus on the teacher who was teaching (mothers attend the classes with their children) but who was I kidding. I was dying to get out of there!  It was a very un-glamourous day. But the pictures came out great!

alex and alexis school pics

Then there was unexpected  death of my grandmother (my mom’s mother)  - just 1 week before my conference that surprised my entire family and threw me for an emotional loop…

DSC_0666

and…

I am sad to share that this past weekend we lost my other grandmother (my father’s mother) and we will be attending her funeral this Saturday.

Heartbreaking.

—-no words.

(those who have followed my blog for a while know that I lost a very close Aunt this past year to cancer – this has been an extremely hard year for my close knit family – I expect lots of tears this holiday season)

—-

So while I am rejoicing at the launch of my book – I have to admit – spiritual warfare is VERY real.  I have felt the words of these verses intensely:

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7,8

Oh friends, I have felt hard pressed on every side!  If you see any joy in me – it’s from God’s all-surpassing power and not from me as 2 Corinthians 4 says.

But I am at the finish line of the book launch and I rejoice that we made it through – alive – for real!!!  When you attend 3 funerals in one year – and remember the cracking sound of the car wreck – you can’t help but to give God thanks for each breath you take!

Thursday night, November 7th the final webcast airs and ironically the topic is Balancing Your Family and Your Ministry.  We will be hearing from one of my ministry mentors – Karen Ehman of Proverbs 31 Ministries and joining me on the couch for one last time – will be Darlene the Time Warp Wife and Ruth from The Better Mom.

 

session 7

 

Don’t miss this last webcast!

It airs Thursday, November 7th at 9pmCT/10EST

at WomenLivingWell.tv

In closing, I truly love every minute of my on-line ministry.

But remember that when you click “follow” on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram or Youtube  –  you are simply following a flawed follower of Christ – nothing more.  If you need a friend to journey along side of you in your life long pursuit of following Jesus – I’m in.

And don’t try to do it all – I’m not.

Walk with the King,

3D wlwbook cover

 

The book, Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home, is now available in most bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

Comments

  1. Seeing this shows why God has kept you so heavy on my heart. Continued prayers my friend. Thank you for being real and transparent! <3 Mandy

  2. As an author homeschooling mom who just launched a book (working about 3 mos straight on marketing alone), I know what you mean. I feel I’ve been out of balance since I started writing, and yet getting in the door in the publishing industry is so hard. While it’s a relief to have my novel out, sad to say that instead of being excited about writing the next one, I’m dreading all the hard work again (I self-pub so did all the editing, cover art, and marketing with my brother and my friend. Hard if you’re not hiring even that out!). Anyway. I do feel a burden for marriages and that’s why I write what I do…yet so many times I’ve thought about giving up b/c it’s so hard. So far God hasn’t seemed to show me that was the right thing to do…but blogging is something I’m cutting down on. I feel social media has really taken over our lives in so many ways.

    So sorry to hear of all your losses and trials as you headed up to launch–I have found that Satan’s M.O. is to drop the difficult things we weren’t prepared for RIGHT as we’re on the cusp of getting something out for God. So I believe it means you’re doing something right, Courtney! Blessings to you for maintaining your family integrity even in the world of writing/blogging.

  3. I love your message! Sometimes I wonder how can she manager and why can’t I. Its nice to be reminded that we all are not perfect but we are perfect for our family. So sorry for your loss. Prayers to your family.

  4. Courtney,
    You are such an inspiration! I’m glad you are such a real person. Most days I feel overwhelmed with all of my duties as a wife, mother, homeschooler, etc, but it is in a good way, knowing that He entrusted me with all of this but I am reading your book and learning to find joy in my God given duties and I am looking at this journey with a newfound outlook! Thank you for listening to Him and following His will for your life. I will be praying for peace and rest for you during this time and season in your life! Take comfort in knowing that you will all meet again some day in the presence of our king!!!

  5. Beautiful post, Courtney. It seems like in life all
    The beautiful seasons are peppered with great trials.
    Rest and be well.

  6. Spiritual warfare is indeed real and in full force. I read and was so blessed by your book; I will absolutely be praying for you and your family right now. God bless you!

  7. Courtney, thank you for sharing the behind-the-scenes of it all. Your honesty is greatly appreciated. And I’m also so sorry to hear about the deaths in your families. We lost our grandmother two years ago. It’s such a bittersweet moment, because you miss them in their absence, yet you rejoice knowing they are present with God. Sending my love and prayers.

  8. So sorry you’ve had such a rough time of it, Courtney. Wish I could whip you up a cup of tea and sit down for a chat with you. Praying for your family. So sorry.

  9. Thank you for sharing your honesty. Thank you for writing your book. I read the entire book in 3 days and it has helped me SO much in my walk with God, in my marriage, and with my children. Just today I had an issue in my marriage and I pulled out your book again and re-read some words you wrote about marriage. I took notes and had a new perspective. I felt convicted, but you also gave grace, which allowed me to make REAL changes in my attitude, but not beat myself up over my mistakes and accept God’s grace.

    I’ve been recommending your book to all my friends and even my son’s teacher. It truly has helped me so much, and I’m very thankful for all your hard work and efforts. I pray you get some relief from bad news and heartbreak and are able to relax and enjoy the holiday season with your family!
    Katherine

  10. Nicki Maclauchlan says:

    I just met with September McCarthy about the Raising Generations Conference in March 2014, and we mentioned you and this very topic. After a crash of emotions last night, I am feeling broken and like a spiritual warfare is raging among all that God is preparing me to do in my family and ministry. I feel inadequete yet determined to press on toward what God has called me to! Thank you for sharing! You have blessed me and I hope to meet you in person some day!

  11. Realistically, I know that none of us can do it all and be it all at all times so I knew this of you. But, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for the reassurance. :) I think as women we try as hard as we can to do it all and be it all at all times and sometimes we might think we are succeeding, but most of the time we feel like we are failing. It is so wonderful to truly know that we are not alone in this journey. We simply need to follow the path God has uniquely set for us and our family and be happy there.

    God bless Courtney.

  12. Thank you for being so forthcoming. As women I think that sometimes we believe that we have to do it ALL and well. To be honest I believe at times we fake it really well, but then it becomes too much especially when we have a year like you have spoken of dealing with the losses you’ve suffered. I have had several years like that now and from the outside looking in I bet it’s all looking pretty good, but it isn’t me that’s keeping our family going, it is all God’s doing. There is absolutely no way that I could keep up with this pace and the emotional struggles that the several years have rained down upon my family. Keeping my eyes turned to the Lord is what’s holding us up and I feel truly thankful to have Him carrying me through it all. Thank you for your honesty it is so refreshing :)

  13. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. 2008 was a bad year in our family. We lost my 35 year old cousin to pancreatic cancer after a valiant 18 month battle in June 2008 and then exactly 3 months later we lost my 85 year old grandmoher suddenly. So my Aunt buried her son and mother in less than 90 days!

    Last year on Nov 17th, we lost another 35yr old cousin, this time to lung cancer…she never smoked. I sat at her funeral thinking, this could be ME we are burying since I had kidney cancer last year. Then in August of this year, ON my birthday, my cousin lost her 30 year old husband in a motorcycle accident when an 81 year old man with a glass eye pulled RIGHT out in front of him. So young.

    Thank you for sharing your real life struggles. This is exactly why so many people love you and your blog because you keep it real. You don’t try to pretend to be something you’re not Thank you!!

    I’ll be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers this weekend. Hugs to you!

  14. I needed to read this today. Thank you for being so real – you have no idea how much that speaks to us. I am praying for you today, this has been such a year of loss for you. May Jesus’ love comfort your hearts!!

  15. Stephanie says:

    Courtney, I am so sorry for your losses!!You are so right about the enemy attacking us when we are doing something powerful for God’s kingdom! I guess we should assume we are doing what God has for us to do if we are attacked in such a manner as you have been! Thank you for sharing this with us. Thanks for reminding us as well that God has given all of us different gifts. I couldn’t blog if my life depended on it, but I can do other things. God Bless You. Praying for you and your family.

  16. AMEN!!!
    When you crawl out the other side of this ‘season’ I sincerely hope you get to run away with your family for a weekend of nothingness and refreshing.

  17. As a new homeschooling mom, I soooo needed to hear this. You are such an inspiration to me. Sometimes we need to hear that the people we look up to, aren’t perfect. Satan likes to deceive us and then make us feel like we could never measure up.

    I love the verse you quoted. I’m going to put it on my fridge!

  18. Courtney, THANK YOU for saying this! I’m feeling the same way right now as I prep to launch Praying for Boys in January. My husband, who already works a full time (plus) job to support us (so I can stay home and homeschool) IS DOING THE LAUNDRY. He has been for a few months. He also cleans the bathrooms, vacuums, does the dishes, and sweeps/mops the kitchen floor. He takes care of the dogs, and gets our precious boys out of the house to play football so I can have important phone calls (like with that precious Karen Ehman in your photo up there…she’s such a blessing to me!). Basically, he’s being super dad for this season. Sometimes, I feel so guilty about it, but I know it’s not forever, and that serving is his gift to me. And what a gift it is.

    It just feels good to know I’m not the only one feeling some of this stress. Thanks for being real, mama. Such an honor to watch you soar in God’s grace and purpose!

  19. So well said Courtney! Your humility is so beautiful!
    I am so sorry about all the hard stuff. I’ll be praying.

  20. Thank you for sharing your journey. I love when we as moms and wives can be transparent and allow our own struggles and journeys to encourage those struggling with their everyday lives. Building women up, not making them feel like they are not good enough. Blessing to you and your family during this time of loss. Praying.

  21. Thanks for your transparency, Courtney. It’s an encouragement to me as I’ve been and I’m still walking that hard road of juggling so much with online ministry, launching a new website, self-publishing books, writing ridiculously long blog series that seem like a lovely idea at the time but half way into it I realize I really don’t have time or energy for it, and juggling all the responsibilities of motherhood and marriage. AND – my husband’s parents both passed away this past year within 10 months of each other. They’d been married for 53 years and just couldn’t live without the other, I suppose. :) Still, it has left one giant hole of sadness in our family. I’ll be lifting you and yours in prayer. I’m very excited to get a copy of your book. Hoping to do so soon.

  22. My son has played football for 4 1/2 years. Try pulling scholls inserts in his cleats. More cushion for the impact on his feet and legs. Just something to try…. :) worked for us!
    Blessings.

  23. I really needed to read this today. I’ve had 4 funerals over the past 2 years and about to have one more for my 51 year old brother who was taken by cancer. Life has felt overwhelming, to say the least. But, day by day, God gets me through and I have to learn to relax and not try to be superwoman.

  24. Courtney, thank you for being so open. And thank you again for persevering through all these obsticals and not giving up on the book. Your book has blessed and encouraged me so much! So much. I have already recommended your book to many friends.
    I am sorry to hear about the deaths in your family. What a season. But please remember that it meant something. It was all worth it. And I pray that you will rest and not feel guilty. I pray that your family will be strengthened and that God will bless y’all and pull you closer together in Christ. Thank you again Courtney!

  25. I SO needed to hear this. Oh-my-gosh! It IS spiritual warfare. Thank you for the verse. Thanks be to God for working through His children to keep his flock healthy. This was a blessing for me today.

  26. Hey Courtney, sorry to hear about everything youre going through may the strenght of God bless you and keep you!! :-) Be bless courtneywith the love of christ Veronica Pena

  27. I have come to realize that I can’t do every thing and have everything perfect all of the time, especially when I’m exhausted and worn out, or something unexpected crops up which requires your time. (Not enough hrs in the day, need a 50 hr day :- ) Unfortunately because of sin we live in an imperfect world, so I’m not perfect in any way shape or form. As long as my home looks neat, clean and presentable, and everyone’s been fed, watered and clothed then we have accomplished a lot. I don’t like to take on too many outside commitments either, and have had to let go of some so I can give my family my best and invest spiritually into their/our lives.
    When we are going through trials; (we’ve had our fare share,)and I’m feeling down,lonely, I will go to my Prayer Mountain as I like to call it to get alone with God, and to read His word to find my hope and comfort,

    found in: 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 3-4
    “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of all mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort where we ourselves are comforted of God.”

    God bless you Courtney,
    Looking forward to the final webcast tonight.

  28. Hi Courtney,
    I’m an author and speaker, and when I put in “home and haven” for a search, I found you! Isn’t that cool? Karen Ehman has endorsed my book and I see a few wonderful people in common here. I love what you are doing and wow…so many things these last months with your book and all the happenings in your family. May the Lord comfort your family especially throughout the holiday season. Breathe. Rest. Give thanks. Repeat.

    Love,
    Arlene

  29. Praying for you. We lost my grandma last year and it still doesn’t seem real sometimes… I forget and think, “Oh I should call…” and then I remember. Hope God is bringing encouragement your way too.

  30. Just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss of your precious Grandmothers. What a powerful generational blessing you have known in such Godly Grandmothers. And oh what a glad reunion day awaits, Courtney! And yes dear champion of wives and moms, you are certainly under attack. Whenever we are at our busiest tasks for the King, the enemy strikes. He most definitely doesnt play fair! So I call on all our sisters in Christ to boldly go before the throne for Courtney! Father God, we pray that you would shower Courtney with grace, peace and restored health. May you reveal your presence so strongly that she can rest in you. In Christ name Amen.

  31. Angela Mendoza says:

    I literally read your book in three days. I am truly moved by your home and dedication to your family. We have three children 5 and under. And I am in a constant state of trying to be the perfect wife, mother, daughter, and child of God.

    Thru your book I see that I was always perfect, in the sight of God and that, as long as I fulfill His requirements first and to the best of my ability, I am doing the right thing the right way.

    Many blessings.

  32. So sorry for the loss your family has gone through in this past year. Praise the Lord for His protection in keeping you safe through the car accident!

    I needed to hear this. :-) God has been speaking this to my heart for some time and I’m trying to put it into action. I compare myself to others waaaay too much. I’m also a people pleaser and have a hard time saying “NO” and over commit myself all the time. Now that I started homeschooling my children I NEED to remove some things from my list of “commitments” prioritize and realize God has gifted me for exactly what He’s called me to do and will provide me with the means and strength to follow His calling. If I’m getting burnt out it’s probably because I’m adding more to my schedule then what He’s asking of me. :-) So, here’s another flawed sinner, in love with Jesus, joining you on this journey. :-)

  33. I could not have read this at a better time. On a day when I’m feeling discouraged you have encouraged me. I home school just one of my 3. It seemed an easy adjustment at first. But he is struggling to be able to focus. I have a half day kindergartener who just seems to be a distraction.. The 5 year old has just hit a bout of disobedience and lying which has been extremely difficult. All the while I’m trying to build and maintain a blog that I feel is my calling from God. I’m struggling trying to balance it all with dignity and grace.
    Thanks for you honestly. I hope to be able to go back and watch the podcast because I missed.
    I’m sorry for you losses. That is so difficult to handle along with other trying times.*hugs*
    I do realize that the enemy is here seeking to destroy that which God has planned for me. This girl will not go down though. She’s on the Lord’s side. :)

  34. Much love and many prayers for you, my sister. Blessings to you and yours. (And take a break already! ;-))

  35. KellyK(@RNCCRN9706) says:

    Courtney needs a vacation! LOL

    Just got word today that my very first RN preceptor and mentor who molded me into the nurse I am today suddenly passed away on Wendesday. She was only 47 and had no kids. So, looks like I’m headed to a funeral here soon too :( RIP Darla—we will meet again! I know she’s in Heaven rejoicing with her Mom and Brother.

I love hearing what is on your heart.

*