The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapters 2 & 3

Book Club header chapters 2&3

Welcome back to the Women Living Well Book Club!  If you are looking for the weekly reading schedule – click here.

Now let’s dig into Chapters 2 & 3!

Chapter 2

 John Piper Discipline to rise early

During our discussion of chapter 1, a lot of women said the #1 hindrance to setting aside time to be in God’s word was “busyness”.  We are simply too busy…or so busy – we aren’t carving time out for God.

But you will find in Chapter 2 “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Meditating on a Passage of Scripture” written just for you (this guide was also featured over at DesiringGod.org. If you do not have the book read it here) .  There ARE ways to soak in God’s word even if you are busy.  You simply have to want it.

This guide is just one way you can study scripture – there’s a whole host of ideas listed on page 19 for you.  The key is to understand that without a plan –  plan to fail. Planning is the key to living a disciplined life that includes a daily quiet time.

 chapter 1 quote 3

Chapter 3

Chapter 3 opens with the topic of your prayer life.

when you are praying…andrew murray

Tools I’ve used to grow in this area are prayer journaling, prayer walks and fasting.  I would love to hear from you about your prayer life!

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.

Here’s a 5 minute video of my answers!

(if you cannot see this video – click here)

1.)  From Chapter 2:  When, where and how are you studying God’s word right now?

2.)  Read Luke 5:12-16 – what was Jesus doing here?  How can we, as busy women, follow his example?

3.)  From Chapter 3:  How can you improve your prayer life this year?

Prayer:
Father, may I never forget the powerful and amazing ways You provide for me as I thirst after You and Your word.  Teach me to wait on You wtih patience and eager expectation as I go about serving my family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

For Extra Discussion go to the Forum and click on the thread that says “Chapters 2 & 3″

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 8 weeks.{if your linked-up post is not about the book club it will be removed}



The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 1

Book Club Week 1 chap 1 Header

Welcome to the Women Living Well book club!

Today’s reading assignment was the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Voices The Great I AM

The book opens and closes pointing to the fact that we have to INTENTIONALLY shut out the clamor of this world so we can hear the voice of God.

My daughter was sick this past week – throwing up! Blak!  I knew she was sick the minute she lost her appetite.

And I wonder – Have you lost your appetite for God’s word?  Is your soul sick?  Has another voice crowded out the voice of God in your life?

The key to being women who live well – is to keep coming back to the living waters over and over and over and over again.  Never stop drinking from the living well!

Discussion: Chapter 1

Chapter 1 begins with John Piper’s quote below.  This quote comes from his book titled: When I Don’t Desire God (available for free on pdf here).

John Piper Quote

The first Biblical character found in my book might be considered a strange one – he’s not typically the center of a children’s Sunday School lesson or pastor’s Sunday morning sermon.  It’s Enoch, whose name means “devoted” or “dedicated”.  This guy FASCINATES me!

Genesis 5:24 tells us “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”  Hebrews 11:5 tells us, before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

So how in the world did he walk with God so well, that God decided to pluck him from earth rather than waiting until he died?

John MacArthur says “the term walk expresses the idea of moment by moment fellowship with the Lord.”

Scripture says Noah walked with God and Abraham walked with God. And I want it to be said of me “Courtney walked with God.”

I want that!

So how do we get that?

solitude

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.  Here’s a 5 minute video of my answers!


(if you cannot see the video – click here!)

 

1.)  On a scale of 1-10 (10 = great; 1 = stinky) , how is your walk with God right now?

2.) What would you say is your greatest hindrance to carving out time to meet with God in your busy day?

3.)  Grab your Bible and read (or google) Hebrews 11:5-6.  What does verse 6 state that we must do and believe if we want to be like Enoch?

4.) What is one intentional thing you can do this week to begin creating space and solitude to earnestly seek after God?

Prayer:
Father, help me to carve out calm in my day so I can hear from You clearly.  I want to be like Enoch, walking closely with You, my King. Amen.

I want to hear from you – what are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section below.

For Discussion on the Forum:  Do you have questions or thoughts you want to share from Chapter 1 — head on over to the forum and write them under the “Chapter 1″ thread (this thread is at the very bottom of the forum).  

My Favorite Books on Prayer

my favorite books on prayer

In my book, to be released this October 1st, I write for the first 5 chapters in-depthly about my Walk with the King.  I share about my quiet times as a child, teenager, college student, newlywed, and mother.

My walk with God often feels like a hike –some days the journey is easy and other days –it is steep, bumpy and difficult. I have to wrestle my blankets in the morning to get out of bed and turn away from the facebook, instagram and twitter feeds that woo me to come visit them first.  But after drinking a tall glass of living water I am always refreshed.

But my time alone with the Lord is not just spent in reading his word, it is also used for a time of prayer and pouring my heart out to God.  In February I wrote about my prayer journals and how I put my prayer life in order.  That post included a video with my favorite verse on prayer.

Here I want to share with you some of my favorite books on prayer.

Some of my books I could not find around the house.  One that is not in the photo below is my prayer book by E.M. Bounds. I love it and have half the book highlighted. lol!  (I am actually quite upset I could not locate it for this post because I wanted to give you some great quotes from it!!!)

Another is John Piper’s book titled “A Hunger for God: Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer” (available for free download if you click on this link)

Fasting seems to be something less and less people do these days –but it is Biblical!  (and I don’t mean dieting – I mean fasting with the purpose of drawing closer to God in prayer).  In my book, I give a list of tips on how to do a 24 hour fast and share my experience with it along with some quotes from John Piper’s book.

So here are my favorite books on prayer that I pulled off of my bookshelf:

prayer books

The little black book on top is titled The Valley of Vision. This book is a book of compiled Puritan Prayers.  It sits on my nightstand and when I don’t know what or how to pray, I open it and use these prayers to guide me.  They are so deep!  Click here to read an example of how one of the prayers read.

The second book is by Kay Arthur and it is titled Lord, Teach Me To Pray in 28 Days and it is about the Lord’s Prayer.  This book taught me SO much about the Lord’s prayer that I had not considered!

Next is one of my husband’s books – The Remarkable Prayers of the Bible by Jim George.  I love all of Elizabeth and Jim George’s books.

Then you will see a trio of Stormie Omartian books:  The Power of a Praying Wife, The Power of a Praying Husband and The Power of a Praying Parent. (each of these include a prayer and study guide book)  These books are SO practical.  They do not teach you how to pray but rather what to pray.  She goes through a list of areas in our spouse’s and children’s lives that we can be praying over.  We will never master prayer and sometimes when words don’t come easily these books guide me through my prayers for my loved ones.

And the final book is a classic titled Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare by Charles Spurgeon.

Spurgeon writes:

“We can teach our children to “say their prayers,” but we cannot teach them to pray…Some of you perhaps may read prayers in the family.  I will not denounce the practice, but I will say this much about it; you may read those prayers for 70 years and yet you may never once pray, for prayer is quite a different thing from mere words.  True prayer is the trading of the heart with God.”

“You do not need to have scholarship, training, talent, or wit for prayer.  Ask, seek, knock –that is all…Will you believe the promise?  It is Christ who gives it.  No lie ever fell from His lips.  Oh, do not doubt Him.  Pray on if you have prayed, and if you have never prayed before, may God help you to begin today!”

OH sweet wives and mamas, if we do not pray for our families – who will?  Rise up today by lowering to your knees and lifting your loved ones up in prayer.

“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Walk with the King!

Courtney

Chime In: What are you favorite books or verses from the Bible on prayer?

**This post is a part of the Top 10 Quotes on Marriage and Motherhood Series.  Each Monday I am featuring books that were used as a resources for my book that is about to be released October 1st!  I want to invite all my blogging friends to join this series by sharing your favorite books and quotes on marriage and motherhood in your blogs and then link it up here so we can read your favorites too!  Just put this little graphic in your post and then link up below!

Top 10 Marriage and Motherhood Quotes



Putting My Prayer Life in Order

 

Order – I crave order. I make schedules and lists and plans and then the children wake up…and well – the order goes out the window! That’s when I light my candle, put on some classical music and say a prayer for peace in our home lol!I shared on a post earlier this year – how my prayer life deeply suffered in 2012.  Typically, I come to the end of the year and my prayer journal is bursting at the seams with a vibrant walk with God – but not in 2012.  I was so busy blogging and homeschooling and cooking and cleaning and taking care of my husband…that long prayer times were abandoned for popcorn prayers through out the day.

So 2013 gave me a fresh start and I’m still struggling to find a new balance with a new ministry that is taking more time than it once did.  It’s a discipline more easily lost than regained.

After sharing my above struggle I got quite a few emails from women asking for more details about what’s inside my prayer journals…so here’s how I do them.

Every year on January 1st, I attempt to get my spiritual life in order. I crack open a fresh, simple 5 subject notebook and transfer my favorite quotes and verses from last year’s journal to this years journal. Then I write out my spiritual goals for the year and begin my first devotion of the new year!

I have been journaling since I was 16 – so for about 21 years (I’ll save you the math – I’m 37 years old lol!). So you may ask, what do I write in my journals? My answer: It’s a massive plethora of stuff – that’s why I get the 5 subject, college rule, notebooks!. I write:
1. My daily prayer requests.Sometimes they are in list form and sometimes I write out entire prayers.

2. Confessions. I confess my sins in my notebook – yikes – do not let the kids get a hold of these lol! Lately, I have grown more private and I use code words or often I write the word “confession” (as seen above) and then I pause to confess my sins but I don’t write them down. The discipline of confessing is unnatural – it is easy to become neglectful in this area.

3. Praises. Sometimes I write them in list form and sometimes I write out entire prayers of thanksgiving.

4. Verses. Often, I write out verses from my quiet time using the SOAP method.  The S – stands for Scripture. The O – stands for Observations. The A – stands for Applications. The P – stands for Prayer.

5. Prayer requests for others.  I have missionary prayer cards I pray through. I also pray through lists of names of family, friends, and bloggers.  When I led women’s Bible studies, I always kept the sign-up list in the folder so I could pray for the ladies by name.

6. Book notes – when I read a good book, I consider the author my mentor. Often times I journal quotes that have touched my soul.

What I don’t journal:

1. Bad things my husband says or does. At one time I would go to my journal when we fought and just pour out my frustrations…to the Lord. Taking my frustrations to the Lord was good but journaling them not so good. Here’s why…a few years later, I was reading through a journal and came to a point where Keith and I were fighting – oh it was ugly! All the feelings rushed back as if it had just happened only moments ago – what a tool from the enemy to distract me from the forgiveness and grace God had helped me to extend. I learned that day to no longer journal when I am angry…if you feel a need to write – tear it out and toss it – it’s amazing how anger can be restirred up simply by remembering.

2. Bad things about others. Here and there in my journals, I express disappointment when a friend or family member has hurt me. It’s amazing how years later, I can see my immaturity in some situations to the point that I am embarrassed of myself when I read what I wrote – sin is so evident all over the pages! I do not want to sin in my journal!

This video below was from a James Bible Study we did over at GoodMorningGirls.org.  In this video, I shared my FAVORITE verse on prayer.  I put it here in case you have an extra few minutes to spare ;)

(If you are receiving this post via email – click here to view this video)

So it’s a new year and time for new beginnings. It’s time to get our spiritual lives in order. If you have never tried journaling, I encourage you to hit the nearest Target and get yourself an inexpensive notebook. I can testify that it has been a powerful tool in my spiritual life.

 Walk with the King,

 

**Chime In: Do you journal? What do you put in your journals? If you are a blogger and have blogged about your journals – feel free to include the link to your post in the comment section.

Need more encouragement in your walk with God?
Pick up a copy of my book:
 “Women Living Well: Finding Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home.” 

Saturday Supplication

On Women Living Well’s Facebook Page – we have started something new called “Saturday Supplication

James 5:16 says “Pray for each other…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”NIV

Let’s serve one another through prayer.

If you have a prayer request, comment on this thread on Facebook.  When you pray for someone else’s request click “like” on their comment.

If you do not have Facebook and have a prayer request.  Please leave it in the comment section here.  There is no way for us to indicate that we are praying for you without replying and I know that many readers read along but prefer not to comment.  So please know that many will see your request and lift you up in prayer today.

“Prayer — secret fervent believing prayer — lies at the root of all personal godliness.” EM Bounds

Be blessed!

Walk with the King,

5 eBook Giveaway of Warrior Prayers


Have you heard of this eBook, Warrior Prayers by Brooke McGlothlin?  It’s been buzzing around on twitter and the blogosphere and I HAD to get my hands on it! 
Let me be honest, this eBook knocked my socks off!  I LOVE it!  Why you may ask?  Because not only is the writing open and transparent but the prayers - the prayers are exactly what I need
It’s specifically the powerful, God-breathed prayers that make me want to shout out loud – “if you have $5.97 get this eBook!” (-and no I’m not being paid to say this! lol! I honestly believe it!) 
I find it so easy for me to get lazy in my prayer life.  I find myself just praying a list of wants to God.  This eBook has been transforming my morning prayers not just for my son but for my entire family.
 Warrior Prayers has over 220 scriptures (yes, I counted them all myself because I was blown away at what an amazing resource this really is!) written out that we can pray over our boys (and family as I have been doing!)
Let me give you an example from page 14 on the topic of Obedience:


Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, may____________(fill in your child’s name) obey the LORD our God so that it will go well with him (Jeremiah 42:6).



May _______________obey his parents in the Lord, for this is right (Ephesians 6:1).


May ________________obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29).


May ________________show his love for Christ by obeying His commands (John 14:15).



Or the topic of love:



May _______________not love the world or the things in the world (I John 2:15).



May the Lord make ____________increase and abound in love (I Thessalonians 3:12)


May ____________ not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth (I John 3:18).


May ____________love the LORD his God with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might (Deuteronomy 6:5).


This is just a small taste of the 220+ verses that can be prayed over our boys.  Brooke takes you through many scripture passages on the topics of integrity, anger, pride, purity, honor, love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness – just to name a few!


In the Conclusion Brooke writes:

“Prayer?  The desperate cry of a mama whose life has taught her she has so little control.


I cannot hold my children tightly enough to protect them from all harm, cannot force these brothers to love each other well, cannot control their actions, cannot keep them from losing the people they love, cannot ensure that they will turn out to be the men I dream they will be, cannot make them love the Lord.

I cannot change their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

Prayer is the coming to the end of myself, the letting go, and placing my hope in the God who CAN.” 
Are you praying for your children?  I suggest that you pray scripture over them if you are not already doing so and this is a great tool to help you.
I am giving away 5 copies of the Warrior Prayers eBook!!!  To win simply leave a comment below before Saturday at 9pm!For extra entries:  Facebook or tweet this link for the giveaway!  I’ll be giving away the 2nd edition in PDF format (which includes study questions and is newly available on Kindle here. It will be available on Nook soon.)
Walk with the King!

My Mini Faith Crisis – Does God Hear My Prayers?

 Years ago, I had a faith crisis. I questioned if God was really hearing my prayers.  God spoke to me through his word and here’s what he said:

Psalm 139:17,18
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them,
they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.”

As I emptied my suitcases from vacation, I found 100′s of grains of sand stuck in the corners of the suitcase and inside of shoes. Memories of reading Psalm 139 on the beach wrapped around me like a warm blanket – comforting me. 

I am on God’s mind.

You are on God’s mind.

Bask in this truth today!

Walk with the King!

This post is linked to Raising Homemakers, Titus 2sdays, and We Are That Family.


Today is Women Living Well Wednesday! It’s a Link-Up Day!!!

Join the fun, do a little blog hopping and don’t forget if you join below -please add the Women Living Well Wednesdays button to your post so your readers can find us here! (posts can include the topics of marriage, parenting, homemaking, finances, recipes, organization and more!)

Random Tips and Clips From This Week

Here’s a few random happenings in our house this week:


Lexi sweeping with her new broom! What a blessing she is!

I LOVE getting the mail every single day! It’s like hitting the jackpot every time I open a Christmas card from family or friends!

Here’s what we do with our Christmas cards… (and I know some of you are already doing this!) We have placed all the cards in a fish bowl (you could use a basket)and at every meal the kids each pick a card out of the bowl and we pray for the two families who are chosen. We will continue to do this into the month of January! This is a fun and easy way to remember to keep family and friends in our prayers and to teach our children to pray for others.

Secondly, we had turbo amounts of snow this week, which meant lots of wet clothes and hot chocolate! So here’s a tip my big sister taught me a few years ago, duct tape your children’s coat to their gloves so snow cannot seep into their sleeves.

The warmer they stay, the longer they play lol!! (Only do this when you are out with them or keeping a close eye on them…)

And finally, this week my children sat down and watched sweet little Vivi from 10 Million Miles make Pebble Snacks. (Laura will be a speaker with me at the Relevant 11 Conference! Woohoo!) Here’s the clip:

Then we made them!


They were SO easy (the recipe is here) and we can’t wait to serve them to Grandpa today when he comes over to do some history and science with the kids!

So this is what we have been up to this week! Hope you have a great weekend! Just 7 days until Christmas!!! Oh my!!! Keep lighting your candles and covering your homes in prayer for peace. And don’t forget to take care of yourself by taking a bubble bath, getting to bed early and reading God’s word!

Walk with the King!
I am linked up to Raising Homemakers and Works for me Wednesdays at We Are That Family.