Balancing Family & Ministry Webcast + Everyday Confetti Giveaway!

This is it – our final webcast replay of the series!  Grab a big pile of laundry to fold and enjoy this 40 minute webcast featuring Karen Ehman as our keynote speaker and Darlene (TimeWarpWife.com) and Ruth (TheBetterMom.com) on the couch as we discuss balancing family and ministry.

Session 7b

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

Karen is giving away TWO copies of her newly released book titled Everyday Confetti (co-authored with Glynnis Whitwer)

Everday.Confetti.cover

Here’s what’s inside Everyday Confetti (isn’t the cover adorable!!!):

When a busy woman looks at her calendar and sees a birthday, holiday, or special occasion, she has the best intentions for bringing joy to her family and creating lasting memories. Then reality hits. Amidst demanding responsibilities and an overloaded schedule, when is she ever going to have time to plan the perfect celebration or find the creativity to make it special?

In this go-to guide, Karen Ehman and Glynnis Whitwer give women the ideas and the motivation they need to make such occasions less daunting. They provide creative ideas and menu plans for

· Holidays
· Birthdays
· Special Events
· Everyday Occasions

Readers will even find suggestions for reaching out to others throughout the year through celebrations that are simple, doable, and stress-free.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have a wonderful weekend!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

**Winners will be posted here and will receive an email after the giveaway ends.

“Your Ministry” Webcast & Extra Resources

Week 2 webcast & resources

We have completed Part I of the book.

Next week, we will begin Part II on “Your Marriage.”  I’m super excited about that!!!

This book was written with our inner world in mind – but we MUST not forget that there is a hurting world outside of our home that we are called reach out to and love!

So, today we have a treat.  Many of you know and love our Wednesday recipe girl – Janelle from Comfy In The Kitchen.  She has a warm, inspiring message for you.  The first 20 minutes are Janelle sharing her heart and the last 22 is a couch discussion about “real life ministry” with the 4 of us pictured below.

session 6 group 1

{Me, Janelle (Comfyinthekitchen.com), Clare (Peak313.com), & Angela(GoodMorningGirls.org)}

(if you cannot view the video – click here)

Some other resources for you from Janelle’s Blog:

Janelle’s Top 13 Meal Ministry Meals

Lasagna for 50 – Cooking for a Crowd

An Amazing Banquet for the Little Girls of our Church (part 1)

{the blog post that has the links to all the food that was prepared for the above banquet}(part 2)

Wedding Vow Renewal Celebration Dinner

Care Package Ideas for Missionaries Overseas

Other posts I’ve written on this topic:

 An Epiphany I Had About My Life and Ministry – from last January

How to Discover Your Spiritual Gift

6 Essentials to a Thriving Women’s Bible Study Group

I hope something here encourages you.

Chime In: Do you have a ministry outside your home?  Tell us about it.  Do you have a favorite ministry resource or book.  Please share it with us in the comment section!

Walk with the King,

Courtney 

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 5 {Never Walk Alone}

Book Club header week 2 chapter 5

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!

Chapter 5 Discussion

sally clarkson community

Image via Sally Clarkson

In Chapter 5, I list the 4 ways I have found community, accountability and friendship within the church.

1. Women’s Bible Studies – raise your hand if you have been in a women’s Bible study!

Women’s Bible Studies are not all created equally. Depending on the leader, the book choice and the group that attends – experiences can vary.  For me personally, this has been a huge piece of the puzzle of my spiritual growth and connection with other Christian women.  I LOVE Women’s Bible Studies and highly recommend you join one or start one in your home or at your church!

Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

2. Mentorship/Discipleship Ministry – When I was in 9th grade I was mentored/discipled for the very first time. I talk about this mentor named Holly in my book.  Holly and I met – one on one –  on a weekly basis for 2 years when I was in high school.  Holly was only 2 years older than me – but she had a huge influence in my life. She held me accountable for my daily Bible reading and walk with God and she listened, counseled and befriended me.  When she left my high school youth group, to attend the Moody Bible Institute – it wasn’t long until I followed in my mentors footsteps and joined her on her dorm floor as a student too!

Holly took the time to invest in me.  Who can you invest in? You are never too young!  And now she is a missionary in the Ukraine {she continues to inspire me through her life} and the last time she was home on furlough – our kids played together – here are some pictures below.

Holly Rist 2011

Holly's visit kids

3. Titus 2 Worshops – connecting with older women - If you are a young woman, the Bible says we NEED older women and if you are older- the Bible says you need to be with the younger women.  We need each other.  We need your wisdom, insight, leadership and example.  Young ones – if you don’t have an older woman to learn off of  - pray for one.

Proverbs 27:17 says “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

4.  Good Morning Girls – (the background story) When I started the very first Good Morning Girls Group at my home church  (which was previously titled the ’6AM Club’) in 2007 – it was all about accountability.  I knew I needed accountability for my daily quiet times and that is just what Good Morning Girls provided for me.  This sweet group of 5 ladies emailed each other every.single.day for years and years.

first GMG group

But little did we know that our little group of 5 would one day in August of 2009 – turn into 120 Good Morning Girls here on Women Living Well!  These groups kept on multiplying and multiplying, to the point that I was at 600 women and I needed some on-line help to manage it all.

This winter, GMG enrolled 13,000 women in our on-line Bible Study – Praise God!

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Let’s Discuss:

Here’s a – very brief – 1 minute video of my closing thoughts on this section of the book – “Your Walk with God”.

(if you are reading this in the feed – click here to view the video)

1.)  Tell us about a Bible Study you have  been involved in or a mentor or a Titus 2 Woman in your life, that you have connected with on a spiritual level.  How did that affect your spiritual growth?

2.)  Read Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (posted above), how can you apply this in your life?

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapter 5″

Walk with the King,

Courtney

I Need Your Feedback

I need your feedback

 

I need feedback from – you – my faithful readers. Your comments and emails encourage me, teach me, comfort me, challenge me and bless me.

Last year was crazy full with the WLW Conference, Webcasts and book launch. I am looking forward to a much quieter year in 2014. I have turned down ALL speaking opportunities and am clearing my calendar for more reading, writing, you tubing ;) and for you!  I plan to attend a few conferences – not to speak – but to get filled up so I have more to offer here.

This blogging world has opened up a lot of different paths for me to pursue from — publishing a second book, to speaking opportunities, to guest posting on other blogs.  But let me be honest – I miss being home right here at Women Living Well with you all.  This is where I began and this is where I feel called.

So I’m turning over a new leaf in 2014.  I’ve cleared my calendar, I’ve cleared my head, I’ve said “no” to a boatload of paths I could have taken – I even quit contributing to some of my favorite sites – and I’m ready to serve you all right here.  This decision has brought me so much peace.  I have a journal that is starting to overflow with ideas of things I could do and write here…when previously my brain was so cluttered with lengthly ministry “to-do” lists I could barely put a sentence together for a blogpost!

But I need your help directing me a wee bit…cause I have a lot of different ideas of things I could write on…so would you give me 5 minutes of your time and answer a few questions below in the comment section.  I AM listening – I want to serve you better and while I can’t do everything you will recommend – I will be praying over it all.

1.) I will be kicking off the new year with an 8 week Book Club through the book Women Living Well – what would you like to see in a book club? If you read the book, what areas do you wish I had written more on or what was your favorite part?  What do you wish was in the book that was not?

2.) I will be kicking off the new year with a Tuesday video series called – Talk to Me Tuesday.  What topics would you like me to cover in my videos?  Do you have any specific questions I could answer in them – ask them.

3.) Do you like it when I have guest posters – and I don’t mean Janelle’s recipes – she is a staple here and not going anywhere ;) ? Do you want more or less guest posts from other bloggers?

4.) Do you like giveaways? Do you want more or less of those?

5.) Do you like book reviews?  Do you want more or less of those?  Would a quarterly, 4-week Book Club interest you or bore you?

6.)  Do you like the posts where I write about family stuff with family pictures and happenings in my real life – they aren’t spiritual – just “for fun” posts – do you want more or less of these?  I always feel a little narcissistic posting them…like it’s not the point of my blog – me…

7.) Regarding frequency, do you wish I had more blog posts in a week or less?

8.)  Do you want more posts dealing with cultural issues or theological issues regarding my core topics of marriage and family?  Any other thoughts – I’m listening…spill it! lol!

Thank you for your feedback.  I appreciate it! :)

Walk with the King,

Courtney

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.