The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 19, 20 & Conclusion

 

Chapters 19,20, conclusion

Hooray!  We have arrived to the FINAL post of the Book Club.  If you missed a week – no worries – this Wednesday I will post all the links to the archived posts from the book club, so you have easy access to it.

So let’s finish strong friends!

First up – the final video.  In this video I discuss two things – 1.) I have received emails telling me what is missing from my book – so in this video I answer one of these issues (there are more that maybe I’ll consider writing on later) and 2.) I discuss the “Ultimate Homemaker”.

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

Chapter 19

One of the biggest challenges of writing and blogging is being “real”.  While I can’t hang out all the ugly of my family because that would disrespect them –I try to be transparent with my personal struggles.  But even with those attempts, sometimes I fall short and I leave an impression that I have it all together…and I don’t!

I have written on the blog before that I believe this writing thing is my Ephesians 2:10.

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

Blogging is the good work God created and prepared in advance for me to do.  It does NOT mean I have it all together – it just means I’m a follower of Jesus who loves people and who likes communicating with words (lots of them).

Another struggle I have is giving the wrong impression. For example – some people think I want everyone to live in a box and be just like me. No – a thousand time NOOOOOOO!  You do not have to strive to be a homeschooling, stay-at-home mom to be Godly. I recognize that we all have different puzzles and different hands that have been dealt to us.

I love it when I run into readers around town.  I am always so blessed when a working mom tells me she reads my blog.  I am blessed because this world has created “mommy wars” and says we should have tension over this.  But you have loved me and called me friend. Thank you!!!

Here are two quotes from Chapter 19 that sum up my thoughts on this:

never seek to be someone else you are amazing

(image credit: Biblical Homemaking)

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“The biblical principles in this book should be the same for all of us, but how we apply them will look different in every home.  We must be careful that we are not followers of everyone online but rather followers of Christ.” ~pg.196

Chapter 20

Chapter 20 is all about the Proverbs 31 woman.   I love her because she is SO inspiring!  I want her discipline, diligence and eagerness to work hard!

How to Get the Eagerness of the P31 Woman

If you are new to this blog – please be sure to subscribe to get my FREE Proverbs 31 ebook.

Go >>HERE<< to find all the details on how to subscribe and to view all of the free videos (13) that go along with the ebook!

Final Discussion Question:

We’ve come to the close of this book.
What is one major take-away you have learned?

May God bless you as you serve your family and as you continue to walk with the King!

Lots of Love, 
Courtney

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 16-18 {My Struggles With Homemaking}

Chapters 16-18 My struggles with homemaking

Let’s Discuss Chapters 16-18

In today’s video I share my struggle to fit “homemaking” in, in the midst of homeschooling and blogging:

(If you cannot see this video - click here)

you are the key 2

Think back to when you were a child.  Was there a home that you LOVED visiting?  Maybe it was your grandmother’s or an Aunt’s or maybe it was a friend’s house or a neighbor’s.

What made that home seem special through your eyes?  Was it Pottery Barn Furniture (I love Pottery Barn by the way, so I’m not dissing it ;) ) or the squeaky clean bathrooms – or was it maybe the candy dish, the holiday decorations, the scent of food cooking or the hug at the door?

Sometimes I think, we are tempted to believe that we need everything we see on Pinterest or in Martha Stewart’s Magazine to have a home that is warm and inviting.  But it is our heart – the warmth of our heart – that will make our homes a haven.

T.H. Gibbings says “Why do we love certain houses, and why do they seem to love us?  It is the warmth of our individual hearts reflected in our surroundings.”

The most important thing is that we create an atmosphere of love, welcome and peace in our home.  We have the power to create calm in the chaos.  Do you need help getting to this point? Here’s 10 Ways to Change the Atmosphere of Your Home:

10 ways to change atmosphere of home

Discussion Questions

1.) Does homemaking come easy or hard for you?  What responsibilities and activities are you juggling in this season of life that makes homemaking a challenge for you?

2.) When it comes to routines in your week – do you have any regular ones?  Share them.

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapters 16-18″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

Bloggers:  Are you blogging your way through this book club with us?  Then link-up your blog post below.
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Please note that this link up has changed for the next 2 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}



When Your Home Does Not Feel Like a Haven

When your home does not feel like a haven

In 2010, after finishing our very first – “Making Your Home a Haven” Fall Series – I wrote this post.

I wrote this post because I know…I know that there are many who lit candles, prayed, tried to plan game nights and prepared cozy dinners …but you are discouraged.  Your home STILL does not feel like a haven.

There is a self-talk that rattles around inside the brains of women – yes, even Christian women who long to live out God’s word in their homes.  I know because my brain does it too…and here’s what it says…

{From the archives}

I turn to Psalm 23…

1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. (want. want. want. I want…)

2. He makes me lie down (lie down…if only I could lie down for just 20 minutes…if only if only if only) in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. (quiet. quiet. quiet…this home is so loud…television, ipods, cell phones, chatter, I can’t get a moment of quiet here).

3. He restores my soul (my soul. needs. restored. …it hurts). He guides me in paths of righteousness. (I am so alone…I have no one who understands…if only I had someone to get me out of this mess. mess. mess. Someone besides me please clean up this mess!).

4. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil (what if. what if.what if. what if I’m not enough?) for you are with me (you are? why are you so silent God?); your rod and your staff they comfort me. (comfort. who needs comfort. I am strong. I will pick myself up and press on. I am not weak.)

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (overflows. overflows. overflows. Dirty dishes overflow, closets overflow, my trash cans overflow, my laundry baskets overflow, my calender overflows…if everything is so full – why do I feel so empty?)

6. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. (follow. follow.follow. I feel like difficulties, trials, disappointments, bad relationships and financial problems follow me… goodness? love? follow me?) and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (put on fake smile. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…BUT…I want. I want. I want. if only. if only. if only. my soul hurts. mess. mess. mess. I am weak. no. I am strong. empty. empty. empty.)

Do you hear the self talk? Do you hear what is happening between this woman’s two ears?

She is saying rotten things to herself about her life, about the people in her life, about her circumstances, and even about God. And then she wonders…why? don’t? I? have? peace?

The problem is not out there – it’s inside of her.

Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Do you want to see a change in your home? It starts in your mind.

Are you in a storm? Do you need help?

At the core – I am empty, ugly, self-seeking, insecure, questioning myself to death regularly – even to the point of tears over fears and failures. I hurt. I struggle. I wrestle. But then - I lift my eyes up to the maker of the heavens and the earth and this world pauses for just a moment and all my ugly thoughts and self talk are washed away by his love, grace and peace.

Psalm 121:1 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

The storms do not disappear but seeing a glimpse of the sunshine that awaits me, lifts me up when I am weak. He is strong. And so I rest. And he restores.

If you are discouraged – I encourage you to get alone with Psalm 23 for 5 minutes today.

The Lord is indeed your Shepherd and you shall not be in want. You must claim these truths. Let him lead you by still waters…are you thirsty? Sit still. Drink a tall glass of his living word! Let him restore your soul. He is with you. He loves you. You will one day dwell in His house- His Haven – forever.

Walk with the King!

Courtney

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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.

Making Your Home a Haven {Week 4} & A Pottery Barn Giveaway!

Making Your HOme a haven week 4

We are to our final week of our Making Your Home a Haven Fall Series…and the holidays are almost upon us!

First up, Thanksgiving and on the heels of Thanksgiving is Christmas!  And typically with the holidays comes decorating.  I so desire to make my home warm and cozy for the family.

Think for a moment about how God has surrounded us in the fall season with scenery that is just gorgeous! If you live where trees change colors, the bright reds, oranges and yellows on the trees display God’s glory!

Think about the crackle of dry leaves below your feet as you walk – the same crackle sound you heard when you were 5 you hear at 55. There is a continuity about the remembrance of the crisp air and the smell of a bonfire that brings joy and peace. In the same way, our holiday decorations that we pull out year in and year out bring continuity, memories and a warm glow to our homes.

Though heaven is our eternal home, God has given us gifts of beauty here on earth – there is beauty in the fields covered with snow, in the sunset over a chilled pond, the frost in the morning on the blades of grass and smoke rising from the chimneys.

Our homes are temporary but they are an opportunity to reflect God in a small measure. Genesis 1:26 says “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.”

We have been created in the image of God and some may be very talented in the area of decorating while others are like me – not the queen of decorating –  but we all have the ability to create something special for our loved ones.

Edith Shaefer says “For the Christian who is consciously in communication with the Creator, surely his home should reflect something of the artistry, the beauty and order of the One whom he is representing, and in whose image he has been made!”

God has given you a home whether it’s an apartment you share, a farm house, a city home, or a home identical to all your neighbors – it is your ONE home to reflect God’s artistry in.

Here is this week’s challenge:

Imagine – plan – Decorate! The holidays are almost upon us.  Ann Voskamp says “Creating is good theology.  In the beginning God created.”  Be creative as you make your home warm, cozy and inviting for the holidays.  Think about ways you can keep Christ in Christmas even in the way you decorate.  Give thanks to God for the home He has given you in which to create a haven for your family.

 

thanksgiving journal

To go along with the second half of this week’s challenge – I’d like to share one of our Thanksgiving traditions.

I started a family ”Thanksgiving Journal” 5 years ago. Every year on Thanksgiving, I sit down with the family and have them list some of the things they are thankful for.  Then I write them into the journal. It is so fun to reflect back over the years and see the blessings God has brought into our lives – year – by – year.

The turkey in the picture above is something the kids make each year.  I have them write on the feathers things they are thankful for and I add them to our journal each year.

Some of the things listed give me a chuckle –like when 3 year old Alexis gave thanks for sparkling grape juice…a treat we had with our Thanksgiving Dinner or when 5 year old Alex gave thanks for Ohio State Football! lol!  Also, toys like their pillow pets and Wii made the list along with some favorite books and vacations.  The yearly lists bring back memories of friends and favorite teachers and life happenings – everything is recorded so we can rejoice again and again over the abundant blessings God has given us in our lives.

If you are looking for a Thanksgiving tradition and treasure to implement in your home – this is an inexpensive way to bless your family.

And remember – give thanks to God for the ONE home he has given YOU to make a haven for his glory!

Chime In:  How has God used this 4 week series in your home?

Walk with the King,

 

This is our FINAL giveaway in celebration of my book, Women Living Well, releasing . It’s a Pottery Barn Wall Art and Throw Pillow!!!

 pottery barn giveaway 2

Enter to win here.

*The winner must live in the U.S. or Canada.

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Don’t forget – the sixth FREE Webcast is coming THIS Thursday night!!!!!
We’ll be featuring the Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen on the topic of Your Ministry.
 Women Living Well Schedule 2
The book is now available in most bookstores
and on-line at Amazon.com
3D wlwbook cover