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)

********

“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

My Grandmother’s 90th Birthday Party

This past weekend we had a family reunion.  It was my Grandmother’s 90th Birthday.

Here’s my mom and her three younger brothers with grandma. 

 

Grandma has a been a rock to the whole family. She loved her husband till the day God took him home, despite some very hard times including my grandpa being too weak to walk and an invalid for years. She truly is the most grace-filled and hardest working woman, I have ever known –a real life Proverbs 31 woman!  Grandma loves Jesus and loves her family.  

To get to the reunion, some family traveled from far away and others live just up the road.  There is NOTHING as wonderful as having family all together in one room.  And like all families –we are very quirky!!!  We are loud.Loud.LOUD.  This was an adjustment for my husband when he entered the family! 

I have one Uncle {ahem Richard} who never comes for a visit without mentioning how HUGE our hair is.  What can we say? My sister’s and I grew up in the 80′s and we love BIG hair –notice in the pictures I wore my hair straight?  I knew the “huge hair” comment was coming – and it did…and we laughed at our family’s signature ways.

One of the gifts to Grandma was a memory book my mom put together for her (using Snapfish.com). 

 

It had pictures from the past.

And the memory book included pages and pages of handwritten letters and photos from everyone in the family.  I read the book cover to cover and started crying on page 1…I was a mess by the end of the book! Grandma is SO deeply loved by her family. 

The world defines success by fame and fortune…

but Grandma–

Grandma’s success is defined by faith and family.

 And so Dad opened our dinner in prayer –turning toward the author and perfector of our family’s faith. 

 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:2

 

 And I look at the pictures of our family praying and I see a little boy at the head of the table.  

That’s my Alex –about to turn 10 in just one week. 

And my heart melts…my boy,

–at the head. 

It was just how the seating arrangement worked out (not meant to be significant) but for this mommy, that’s my heart’s longing –

that one day God would raise him up to be a Godly head of his family.

That he would always remember that success–

 is not defined by fame or fortune…

 but by faith and family.

 

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” ~ 3 John 1:4

 

 

 Dear Grandma, I know my sister Jen is reading this to you {my sister reads my blog posts to grandma}, thank you so much for following Jesus.  I think of Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, when I think of you. 

Long ago there were two roads ahead of you – one would take you towards God and truth, the other would take you away from God and His truth. You chose the road less traveled and THAT has made all the difference in my life.

My mom followed you down the path you chose –on this road less traveled.

My sisters followed my mom, and I followed them down this path behind YOU.

And now our children are following us on this road less traveled.

Faith.

Family.

Success.

Grandma – you have affected generations to come and I pray that we will perpetually pass on your faith to future generations until Jesus returns. 

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” ~ Luke 1:50

I pray that one day when I turn 90 years old (Lord willing), there will be a room full of love gathered around me just as you had this weekend.  Thank you for being a role model to me.

I love you!

 Walk with the King,

 

**Chime In: Are you a first generation Christian or has your Christian faith been passed down from generation to generation?  Who in your life, took the road less traveled, and made a difference in your life?

 

 

The Proverbs 31 Woman Finale & Announcement!

 

This is it – the final week in Proverbs 31!

Proverbs 31:31 says

“Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

 

I had challenged you all to memorize the Proverbs 31 passage with me – did you do it?  I did it but had a few hiccups when recording it - I left out a verse - can you tell which one? and I misquoted verse 31 – ARGH!  Grace right? :)

Here’s the final video of our summer Proverbs 31 series:


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

Oh how I love the Proverbs 31 woman and long to have hands like her – hands that are diligent, busy, eager, vigorous, profitable, industrious, open to the poor and needy, and praiseworthy.  Though this series has come to an end – I want to never stop striving hard to follow in her footsteps!

Rather than giving you a final challenge instead I have an announcement!

*********************************************************************************************

Sign-ups for the Good Morning Girls fall session will begin August 15 and run through September 15th!

The Book of the Bible we will be going through issssssssss…drum roll please…

Colossians

We will do an EIGHT-week series in the book of Colossians starting September 15!  This will include a FREE eWorkBook, Bible study Guide, videos, articles, resources and MORE!

At the end of the 8-weeks – we will then launch a 4 week Advent Bible study for Christmas! 

ALL the resources for these studies will be FREE!  This is going to be so good – I don’t want you to miss it!  I will not be doing any of this study here on Women Living Well – so if you are interested in following along – I encourage you to go to http://www.GoodMorningGirls.org and subscribe or follow on Facebook – so you don’t miss out on the coming details!

 Chime in: If God has used the Proverbs 31 series  in your life this summer – please tell us about it in the comments section.  Also, we wonder –  will you be joining us for the Colossians and Advent study? Sure hope so! :)

 Walk with the King!

 

 

*If you missed a week from our series, you can view all of the Proverbs 31 videos and download the free Proverbs 31 ebook by clicking here!

The Proverbs 31 Woman – Week 12

 

Angela, from GoodMorningGirls.org is back and she writes…

Welcome back! Our journey through Proverbs 31 is almost over…….it’s been such a joy for me to learn about the inspirational Proverbs 31 woman right along side of you! Thank you so much for joining us this summer!

We will announce the fall Good Morning Girls series at the end of the week on GoodMorningGirls.org – so please stay tuned!!!

This week we are going to focus on verse 30.

Proverbs 31:30

Charm is deceptive, and beauty if fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

 

(If you are seeing this in a feed or email- click here to watch the video)

Can I be completely honest with you???? I think verse 30 is the hardest verse for me in all of Proverbs 31. You see I get tempted to think like the world when it comes to beauty……I like to think that beauty is NOT fleeting when in fact it really is. I struggle with not wanting to “age”. I try to eat right, exercise and wear my sunscreen…..but the fact still remains……my outward beauty is fleeting!

That’s why I need to invest and cultivate my inner beauty……the beauty that will never fade.

Instead of worrying about what I put on my face, I should be more concerned about the words that come out of my mouth.

Instead of worrying about the wrinkles that are beginning to form around my eyes, I should be more concerned about the tenderness of my heart.

Instead of focusing on what I’m wearing, I should be more concerned about what I’m feeding my mind.

Instead of worrying about my fading beauty, I should be actively cultivating my inner beauty………investing in what will last forever.

I know many women look at the Proverbs 31 woman and get discouraged and intimidated…..but we really shouldn’t. Instead we should allow her example to inspire us. She is an example in the way she lived to glorify God through every aspect of her life. That’s why at the end of her life she is praised……..she is praised by her children, husband and others.

She lived her life well…a life that was completely focused on God.

She couldn’t have done all these amazing things on her own, in her own strength…….she was able to accomplish so much because she knew where to go to get her strength.

She was a woman who feared the Lord…..not fearing in a negative bad sense, but fearing the Lord as in bringing Him glory and realizing that He is HOLY.

Our God is the same God of the Old and New Testament…….He is full of grace but He also is completely Holy too. Let’s focus on living lives that bring Him praise out of our love and respect for the One who sacrificed it all on our behalf…….the One who went to the cross for us.

Weekly Challenge: This week focus on cultivating your inner beauty more than your outer beauty. Pay attention to the type of information you are filling your mind…..is it helping you to be more loving, kinder and bringing you closer to God? As you go about your week, try to be aware of God’s presence in your life…..see if it makes a difference in the way you talk and the decisions you make.

What are some ways that you cultivate inner beauty in your life?

 Love God Greatly!

 

 

The Proverbs 31 Woman – Week 11

My heart is overflowing with joy  from an amazing weekend at the Proverbs 31 Ministries Conference titled She Speaks.  I spoke in 3 sessions and took LOTS of pictures.  I will share them tomorrow! 

But now – We are up to week 11 in the Proverbs 31.

This week we are looking at Proverbs 31:28-29

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”

 A reader emailed me and asked the question:

How can I be a Proverbs 31 woman with a husband who has an alcohol problem and can’t hold a steady job?”

Here are my thoughts on this:

(if you are reading this in an email or feed - click here to view the video)

The Proverbs 31 woman knew her husband’s needs, met them and as a result he praised her.  If we neglect what our husbands ask for, ignore their advice, withold love in the bedroom *wink*, refuse to respect them – it’s inevitable – we will not get a whole lot of praise from our husbands.

We can be the best room mother, best career woman, best servant at church, or best friend another woman can have but when we come home – if our husband’s needs are not met – we have failed to be like the Proverbs 31 woman.
{excerpt from the ebook}

Now let’s reverse the above scenario – let’s imagine that you do respect your husband and do all of the above…and he does not praise you…this is a very real scenario for many many wives.  I stood in the hallway at the Proverbs 31 conference while a woman told me the story of how she loved her husband and always sought to please him…and he was cheating on her.  This was not her issue – this was his!  It was not her fault that he walked away – it was his. 

Proverbs is a book of principles NOT promises.  The principle stands that a woman who strives to be noble – will have a husband who at the end of her days praises her.  But this is not a promise…and for some – their husband’s will never be the Proverbs 31 husband – and it is HIM who is falling short of what God has called him to be in Proverbs 31 and in Ephesians 5. 

We cannot change our husbands or be their Holy Spirit.  We must simply pray for them and walk in obedience to God’s word.

This week’s challenge: Go to your husband and children and ask them…what is it that I do or say that makes you feel loved?  Find out what is most important to them…is it a backrub, a homemade meal, tossing a football in the back yard, gifts, words of affirmation, or something else?  Write it down somewhere so you never forget what makes each individual in your family most feel loved and be sure to do whatever that thing is as often as you can this week. 

Walk with the King,

The Proverbs 31 Woman – Week 10

Angela from Good Morning Girls is back!  And she writes:

The above picture was taken this past week as we celebrated my middle daughter’s 5th birthday. Addie loves any and everything princess….so of course she wanted to celebrate her birthday with a princess party!

This week we are going to focus on verse 27.

Proverbs 31:27

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

 

(If you are seeing this in a feed or email- click here to see the video)

I love what Angela says in her video above.  It is true that we as women – when we grow idle – can take our eyes off glorifying God and off  our own family’s needs and end up looking at what others are doing and become jealous or discontent.  We don’t want to spend our free-time making ourselves miserable!  Even our free-time can be productive.  We can read an inspiring book, talk with a friend on the phone, or create something with our hands that we enjoy and blesses others – like a yummy dessert!

The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t watching television or watching Facebook status updates – she’s watching over the affairs of her household.

You are irreplacable in your home – never forget that!  Your watchful eye and diligence will make your home a pleasant place for everyone who comes through your doors. 

Look around where you sit – has your home been neglected?  You don’t want to see my school room right now peeps!  I cleaned out a cupboard in another room and pulled about 50 books off the shelf there.  Then I dropped them on the floor of the school room thinking I’d come back and shelf them on another day…well weeks later there they still sit…and I type along ignoring the mess around me lol!  These verses are convicting me!  I need to take some of my idle time and shelf those books!!! 

Here’s Angela’s challenge this week that goes along with her video perfectly!:

Week 10 Challenge: Make sure to spend time together around the table this week and ask each member their “High” and “Low” for the day…..spend time discussing what each person shares. Also, pay attention to how you spend your down time….is what you’re watching, reading, listening to helping your walk with Christ or hurting it? Are you growing in wisdom because of how you’re spending your time?

Now it’s your turn, how do you put Proverbs 31: 27 into action?

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

*To find the videos from weeks 1-9 click here .
**To find the Proverbs 31 Bible reading plan – click here and begin Week 10 today.

Walk with the King,

The Proverbs 31 Woman – Week 9 – Putting Order On Your Tongue

Welcome back! We are on the home stretch and up to verse 26 in our Proverbs 31 study!!!

Proverbs 31:26 says

“She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”NIV

 

Wanna know what my maiden name was?  It’s ironic…listen to the video to hear why.

(If you are seeing this in a feed or email- click here to see the video)

Putting order on our tongues can be an uphill battle.  James 3:2 says there is no one who speaks without fault – none of us are perfect.   I testify to this truth as just this week I said something unkind about someone I love and had to apologize :( This scenario reminded me that I can memorize verses and know what I SHOULD  and should NOT say – but unless I THINK before I speak – I am going to falter with my words and hurt others. 

As women striving to be like the Proverbs 31 woman – we need to:

1. Practice self-control with our emotions.  When we speak rapidly – for example when we are lecturing our kids – usually we become unkind.

2. Watch sarcasm – it usually reveals a bitter heart.

3. Watch critical remarks – they are red flags revealing a proud, envious, selfish or angry heart.

 

Week 9 Challenge:

  • Be quick to notice others’ strengths and slow to point out others’ flaws.
  • Let your husband hear you teaching your children God’s wisdom.  I think this encourages them to see and hear their wise wife :)
  • Work on filtering your words. Strive to be gentle and gracious toward your husband, and children FIRST (who you are at home is who you really are!) and then to others outside the home. 
  • Purify your heart through the reading of God’s word and put aside all anger, bitterness, malice, slander, envy and self-pity.

It’s your turn – chime in – what part of this challenge is hardest for you?

Walk with the King,

 

*To find the videos from weeks 1-8 click here .
**To find the Proverbs 31 Bible reading plan – click here and begin Week 9 today.

The Proverbs 31 Woman – Week 8

 

 Angela from Good Morning Girls is back with week 8 in Proverbs 31! She writes:

Welcome back my dear friends! I can’t believe we are already up to week 8 in our Proverbs 31 study!!!

This week we are looking at verses 23, 24 & 25.

Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity:
she can laugh at the days to come.

 

(If you are seeing this in a feed or email- click here to see the video)

 

We’ve heard the saying, “Behind every great man is a great woman!” ……that saying is especially true for the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman! This week we read that the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman is respected at the city gate….we see he is a man of influence. I believe one of the reason’s why the husband of the Proverbs 31 woman is so respected is because of his wife! Because she serves and manages her home so well she enables her husband to be a man of influence outside their home!

I love seeing how together they are having a mighty impact for the Lord inside and outside their home!

As I was reading and thinking over verse 23, I asked myself, “What can I start doing that will help my husband be the man of influence, God is calling him to be?”

Because of the Proverbs 31 woman’s focus….she brought respect to her husband.

She was focused on her relationship with her Lord….that’s where she draws the strength for her noble character.

She was focused on her husband…bringing him good all the days of her life.

She was focused on her household…selecting and working with eager hands, bringing food from afar, being available to her family and being well prepared by what she creates and how she clothes herself and her family.

She was focused on others….by extending her arms and hands to the poor and needy.

Because of what she did inside the home, she was a reflection of her husband outside their home…….and that reflection brought him respect.

Reading through Courtney’s ebook this weekend, I wanted to highlight one important point she makes in reference to verse 24 on page 29.

The lesson in Proverbs 31:24 is: she is willing to use her talents to add to her family’s finances BUT she does not sacrifice the family pursuing them….” – Courtney Joseph

God has blessed us all with talents we can use to be a blessing to others but we need to pray and seek His guidance and the guidance of our husbands as we pursue those talents.

In verse 25 we see that the Proverbs 31 woman saw her future in a positive light! She knows good is coming…..even if she isn’t experiencing it right at the moment.

She knows that her future is in her loving Father’s hands and that brings her confidence “to laugh at the days to come!” Her confidence isn’t in her own abilities, her worthiness as a mother or wife, her excellence in running her home or business…..no, her confidence comes from her relationship with God.

Her confidence comes because she knows who she is…….she is a daughter to the King of kings……she is His!

No matter what happens on this earth, she belongs to Him…….that’s where her confidence rests…….in Him!

Week 8 Challenge: Ask yourself this question this week “What can I start doing that will help my husband be the man of influence, God is calling him to be?” Also focus this week on giving your fears over to God. Mentally pray each time a fear pops in and give it to God. Instead of focusing on the fear, thank God for something instead and realize that YOU have a bright future with God…..one that will bring you joy and laughter “at the days to come!” Remember whose daughter you are and allow God to cloth you in His strength and dignity!

Love God Greatly!

 

 , GoodMorningGirls.org

 

Thank you Ang! 

It’s your turn – chime in – how are you applying these verses in your life today?

Walk with the King,

 

*To find the videos from weeks 1-7 click here .
**To find the Proverbs 31 Bible reading plan – click here and begin Week 8 today.
***If you would like to receive the Proverbs 31 eBook that goes along with this series – subscribe to Women Living Well. At the bottom or every email you receive from WLW will be the link to the ebook. If there’s been a gliche in the system and you have not received your free ebook – please DO NOT leave a comment below but rather email me at Courtney(at)womenlivingwell.org and I will email you the direct link within 24 hours. :) Thanks!