Do You Meet the Prerequisite To Be Used By God?

I had planned on titling today’s blog post something like…

A BIG Announcement!


I Just Signed a Book Deal!

But my conscience wouldn’t let me write it…I mean – would it look like I’m bragging?

Would I give people the impression that I think I’ve succeeded at something or that my ministry goals had taken a turn or that I had suddenly thought this blog was about me instead of about our amazing Lord?

How do I make the “big announcement” that I just signed a book deal with Thomas Nelson – {cue the confetti and cartwheels!} without it sounding like I’m wanting some applause.

Then I re-read I Corinthians 1:27-29.  Oh the words – they resonate with my soul – they describe me –  I feel tucked deep inside these verses.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not —to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.

When I read this verse I am thrilled to see that I meet the prerequisite to be used by God!
Foolish – check
Weak – check
Lowly – check
Despised – check
If for some reason you’ve bought into the lie that you need to be perfect, have it all together, have the whole Bible memorized or have a certain personality to be used by God – think again!!!  I am “exhibit A” evidence of this!
I can testify that God is using this foolish (any wisdom I have comes from God’s word), weak (any strength I have comes from God), simple (just a little girl from a small town in Ohio), despised girl (you should see the hate mail peeps!)  for his purposes and he wants to use you too!!!
If you will tuck yourself deep inside of I Corinthians 1:27-29, then you too can be used by God because he knows when he uses someone like this – He clearly gets ALL the glory!  You see the intelligent, strong, beautiful, famous people who get accolades all the time might just mistake their success as something they achieved.  But for the one who knows it’s by the grace of God they are where they are – God gets all the praise.
I’ve told the stories before of doing blogging all wrong in the beginning –  But God – BUT GOD – He saw it fit to use me and he wants to use YOU!
You are enough!
 Simply step out on faith – climb out on that limb – and Goooooooo!
Jesus said in Luke 10:2,3~
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”
I am asking the Lord of the harvest today to send out workers – will you GO???  Oh I know – the wolves are there – I’ve been wounded by them too… you’ll be okay – I can testify that God has protected me.  He is faithful.
It’s Sunday, at 3:47pm and I just wrote the final words of the book moments ago. I’ve been writing all summer long but could not share it yet because the contract had not been finalized!  My goal has been to get it done before the homeschooling year began – and by God’s grace – it’s done. (Let the editing process begin!)
As I put the cherry on top of 60,000 words, I broke out in tears. This song played in the background on repeat as I wrote – and it is my hearts cry. This is it guys – we only have one life to live…let’s shine!!!

Chime in: So – do you meet the prerequisit?  Where are you headed?  Where has God called you today! Share it below and I will pray for courage specifically for you! 

 Walk with the King,

**If nothing is coming to mind to do for Christ – consider stepping out and starting a fall Good Morning Girls group – sign-ups begin THIS Wednesday August 15th over at – we need leaders and co-leaders – I will post details here on Wednesday!


    1. Congratulations, Courtney!!! You deserve the applause! I have been following you since I learned about GMG this summer! Thank you so much for all that you do. You have inspired me and have helped me to get back on track with my relationship with God as well as my role as wife and mom. 🙂

    2. Congrats! God is indeed awesome. I have a very powerful testimony of salvation and deliverance. I believe God is leading me to put my testimony in the form of a small booklet/ tract to give out for free starting here in NYC. I have been putting it aside for a while because the cost is not something I can think on right now and also just writing my testimony out is not easy. I have a burden to win the lost, please pray for me that I will be bold, unwavering, steadfast, and as I step forth the finances will come.

      Thank You sis.

  1. Congratulations, and I too look forward to reading it. May God continue to use you to encourage others, like myself!

    Praying for you!

  2. God has called me to stay home more next year–only teaching one day a week. He has also called me to teach a CCD class for second graders at our church. I am praying about Clarkson’s Mom Walk–maybe a book club??? I am also hoping our GMG group stays in tact and I’m SO excited that God is using your voice out there in this sometimes dark world: ))))

  3. Congrats !!! I had a feeling it was BOOK rather than a baby hee hee I am so excited I have been a follower since the Rachel Ray show and am SOOOOOOO EXCITED for you !!!

    God Bless,
    In His Grace,

  4. Thank you for this and congratulations! This wee Canadian girl will SO be buying that book!!!

    I am working on leading a bible study group on The Ministry of Motherhood… we are prayerfully working through the details now. (Guess where I got the inspiration and chose THAT book and to lead?!?! Thank you for everything. One day in heaven we will meet and I will get to thank you for all you have done through your ministry for me 🙂 I could use some prayers for courage…. I have moments where I am so excited to lead and so motivated then I slump right down and think “You are such a new mom- you only have two under two?! You are an angry mom?! You are a novice Christian?! What on earth are you thinking leading such a group!?”… I have a feeling I know where those thoughts come from. I would appreciate any prayers and want to thank you again for everything.

    Much love!

    1. OH girl – I know the feelings you are facing!!! Just remember Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Walk in the Spirit! You can do this in his strength!!! Praying for you RIGHT now. ((hugs))

  5. Courtney, congratulations to you! What an encouragement and inspiration you are. For awhile, I’ve been dragging my feet on something, mostly due to fear and a sense of not really feeling equipped. It’s been nagging at the back of my mind more and more lately….even my husband’s mentioned it several times. Your post is even more of a confirmation that maybe its time to put the fear behind and step out in faith. Thank you for sharing this….

    1. OH yes – a thousand times Yes – put fear behind you and faith before you!!! Rememeber Matthew 17:20: “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Step out with me – girl – I’m already on the limb – let’s be on the limb together!! Shine Mel!!

      1. After all, out on the limb is where the fruit is, right? =) Though there be dive bombers above my tree, perilous possibilities below, and fragile flesh within, I want to be where the fruit is!

  6. My sincere congratulations dear! May God continue to use you in a mighty way and may His strength and joy surround you !

  7. Squee! I’m so excited for your news – and what a beautiful reminder that God uses broken people, redeems them, and showcases HIS glory through their story! Thank you for being faithful and I cannot wait to hear more about this book, sister!

    And thank you for sharing that beautiful version of Kari’s song! I had to do a double-take though…the gal on cello was a friend of mine from college and she seems to be popping up every where (she also plays with Gungor)!

    I think my husband and I are gonna incorporate that version into the set list for the ending worship time at Allume Social! Thanks for bringing it across the internet to our hearts!

  8. THRILLED!!!! I can’t wait to buy it!! YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!! LOVED the story re: when Lisa called your name (or you thought it was your name) and you stood up proud as a peacock – that was the best!! Guess God was just humbling you before exalting you…all for His glory!! LOVE YOU!

  9. Praise God! I love hearing reports of just how God qualifies those He calls! I used to think that the things that were on my heart to do were supposed to be done by others because I didn’t meet any of “the standards”. I have certainly gave up that mentality and walking forth in faith because He has called me out and regardless of whether I meet worldly qualifications, He will qualify me! I am so happy to hear your good news this Sunday evening, I know for sure that I’m not reading this by coincidence:) God bless!

    1. Amen Latoya – you are qualified by the blood of the lamb!!! He has saved you and wants to use you for his glory! Surrender all to him and just watch what he’ll do!!! God bless you too!

  10. Oh, this is wonderful news and I love the topic!!! My husband was faced with deciding on whether or not to run for deacon in our church and I asked him if he thought he had to wait to be perfect before serving!
    I am thinking of having a small group meet in my home for a study this Fall……I am not a teacher nor do I like to try to lead anything……except the greeting ministry at our church which is the one area I feel comfortable with. You know, the out going, yet insecure person who is a peoples people….that’s me and so for me to even think of a study in my home is a real stretch!!!
    I know God will use you in this ministry with this book…….and He will receive all praise and Glory!!!

    1. Oh I LOVE small group studies – do it do it do it! You won’t regret it!! Some of my sweetest times with my sisters in Christ have been in studies in my home. I’m praying for courage for you right now!!!

  11. Congratulations, Courtney! As a fellow writer, I know how hard it is to get that book ready to go! And I know yours is going to sell like hotcakes. So glad God uses all the foolish, weak, lowly and despised among us to reach the world for Him!

  12. Congratulations! I pray that it might be used mightily by God and that you and your family might be given grace during the time of writing the book and getting it ready to be published.

  13. Ohh Friend! Rejoicing WITH you! I know that the Lord will use the words He inspired you to write!
    Jumping up and down excited for you, with you, and celebrating this amazingly BIG news!
    I am committing to praying for your editing and finish work. To God be the glory!

  14. That is amazing Courtney! You are such an encouragement that living life out God’s way in the home is rewarding and can be fun! I love following you and cannot wait to read your book. Can you let us know what it is about or at least a hint??? Glad you can now relax a little before school begins.

      1. Oh awesome! 🙂 It seems like the world is increasingly difficult to live in and in decline in a lot of ways. Can’t wait to read it!

  15. Aw, like I said…You’re happy so I’m happy for you. Actually, I’m ECSTATICALLY happy for you, Courtney. And you can bet I”ll be reading that book. Many blessings to you and all those you touch through your transparency, wisdom, and insight.

  16. YAY!!!! So excited for you and can’t wait to read it! Will be praying as you write that your words come easy and are from the LORD!

  17. Oh Courtney, I am so thankful to God for His work in and through your life! It is a true blessing!
    Our family is in a time of waiting to see what God has in store for us. It is one of those times that has been incredibly hard and painful, but oh so precious and good as we learn to rely even more upon Him.
    Blessings! Jessica

  18. I am so happy for you Courtney I am seriously crying! I have followed your blog for a long time and it has given me so much comfort on hard days, homeschooling 3 small kids brings a lot of those. I love the confidence you have in the Lord. I feel so ready to be used by the Lord as well but I just don’t feel like I know what He is pointing me to do. Have you ever experienced that? So I tend to just keep doing what I am already doing and not branching out because I figure if I am not getting clarity from God, then maybe that’s why. How do you distinguish if something is put in your mind by God or selfishness? Wow ok I am really blabbing on here. I really just wanted to let you know I am very very happy for you and can’t wait to read your book.

    1. Sharon – I actually wrote about this in the book!!! I honestly was so unsure when I started this blog if this was my silly idea or God’s idea. The only confirmation I had was from my husband. He believed this was a good choice – so I decided to climb out on a limb and try this blogging thing. It felt awkward and hard to explain to other people but since Keith liked the idea and I had no clear warning signs from God to stop, I kept going. Once I was knee deep in blogging – that is when I realized – I am smack dab in the center of God’s will! I love this! lol! I had to walk by faith first.
      So Sharon – I encourage you to have courage – walk by faith – run your thoughts by your husband and if he agrees this is a good season of life for you to try a new thing – do it! If he thinks you should wait – patiently wait for God’s timing and be faithful in the little things until then. God will direct your paths – trust him. Prov. 3;5,6.

  19. Courtney, why am I NOT surprised?! I mean how could you not get a book offer with this kind of teaching?!??? You are gifted girl and you are amazing keep pressing on!
    My season is to continue to grow in my blog and also to reach as many for Christ and to make new friends this season. Lots of shifting going on!!!

    Praise God for you and your ministry. Love you Courtney! You’re a wonderful friend!!

    1. Janice – oh girl – your ministry is HUGE!!! Keep growing and walking with the King – I cannot wait to see God’s plan unfold for you!!! I’m saying a prayer for you RIGHT now 🙂

  20. Foolish – check, weak-check, lowly-check and so much deeply despised (by my own mother)-check! Those words sunk in! I can see what God is saying to me today… His grace and mercy are there for me and He still has great things in store for me.Thanx Courtney for letting God use you so amazinly every day. I’ve been a loooong ago folllower,since the Rachel Ray show, and I’m truly excited to see what God has done in your life! Blessings sister!
    GMG NY girl living in Costa Rica.

    1. Oh Priscilla – a GMG NY girl in Costa Rica – LOVE that – I love that God can has brought us together over the internet! That alone just blesses my heart!!! God does have great things for you – stay surrendered and walking with him. I’m praying for you right now – have courage – listen to his voice and Go!!! 🙂

  21. First of all: Congratulations!!!
    Secondly: This is beautiful and inspiring. Best announcement of such a thing ever!
    I definitely meet that prerequisite, of which I have been keenly aware this weekend!
    BLESSINGS and can’t wait to read your book! 🙂

  22. Yes! There is hope for me. I feel so silly taking time away from my family to write. Really who would read me? But as my blog grows and I words of encouragement from wonderful women reading my blog. I know God can use anyone. Thank you for posting this! Congratulations!

  23. Congratulations! I’m very happy for you!

    But what really spoke to me was the “prerequisites.” I had never thought of it that way. It’s so true! I *am* foolish! I *am* weak! And that’s no surprise to God. He wants to use me anyway – or maybe because of that. Thank you for sharing this profound outlook on these verses!

  24. Congratulations Courtney!! Wishing you many blessings as you continue with this BIG project!!
    So happy for you & look forward to hearing more about your book. And reading it, of course!!

  25. This was so timely for me. Today I’m hearing some condemning thoughts like “Who are you to say what you say and to write what you write? You struggle just like the next person, you’ll never be pure enough or strong enough or educated enough to be of any real use to anyone. You should just work on cleaning yourself up and let better people do the writing.

    If anyone were to come to me and tell me they were struggling with such thoughts I know what I’d say. I’d say that who you are is a child of the living God. Equipped and supernaturally empowered to do specific and effective work for him. Now go do it.

    So, I guess I need to follow my own advice. It helps when I read articles like this. Thanks!

    1. Beth – I struggle with the SAME thoughts!!! On bad days when my husband and I have tough talks or my kids are acting crazy or the house is turned upside down – I think – it’s over – no more blogging for me! I so badly want to walk with integrity that my struggles can paralyze me and make me think I’m not worthy…then I remember that this is not about me – this about lifting the name of Jesus higher! I need Jesus – that’s what the cross says. The cross says we are all flawed. So we have to get past our struggles and live the crucified life. Luke 9:23. Keep pressing on!!!

  26. Courtney I’m so excited for you & will be praying God uses this book in mighty ways. And thank you for your post- I too meet the prerequisites;) I’ve been struggling lately with my place in blogging & ministry & praise God this week He has lead me in a new direction that I just announced this week on my site. I’m excited to see what He will do & so very thankful He’s willing to use the weak!

  27. Congratulations! I am definitely going to buy your book! I love reading your blog…I get excited when I see a new post is out!

    You are always so kind, encouraging and gracious…I can’t believe anyone would send you hate mail. Keep up the wonderful writing!

  28. Yay! I’m so excited for you and so thankful for the ways God has chosen to use you…and for your willingness and boldness to answer His call. The Proverbs 31 study has been my first experience with you and Good Morning Girls and I have definitely been blessed! I am looking forward to the next study and recruiting friends to join along! I can’t wait to read your book…is there a pre-sale yet? Lol! Love ya girl!

  29. YAY!! I am so excited for you. Congratulations my dear friend. God has used you to edify others such as myself when we were in college. He has used and is using your faithfulness to bless your family and now God is using you for the edification and growth of woman around the world. I can’t wait to see and read your book. I am sure God will use it mightily in the lives of many woman. Love you!

  30. I can not wait for this book to come out!!!!! I will be the first to buy it! Thank you Courtney for being such an inspiration, you truly make me a better woman, wife, mother, and friend. Keep up the wonderful work you do for God!

  31. Congrats to you. I have just started following you but you are such an inspiration to me. I strive everyday just to walk the walk. I have strayed so far away and want back the good life and a life where God is my pilot again…and it’s people like you that keep me going and searching. Looking forward to reading your book. Thanks for sharing your gift with us.

  32. Congrats, Courtney! You are a courageous fighter and God is going to continue to grow you and your ministry and I honestly believe you will always remain with a humble and genuine heart. I so enjoy your writing and can’t wait to see your book 🙂 Way to go, girl! You stuck your neck out there and obeyed the Lord and He is rewarding you! Keep it up 🙂

  33. Congrats! I can’t wait to read it. God has placed on my heart to write as well. Part of my testimony that I rarely share but I know He will use to bless others! It’s tough baring my heart, soul and pain on the pages but it’s healing too!

  34. WOW! So encouraged by your journey! Recently, God has called me to be the Children’s director for our small church plant, and also a foster parent! That along with wife, homemaker, and homeschool mom to three, and part-time piano teacher….my plate is full! But I know my God will give me the strength to do whatever He calls me to! Thanks for GMG….it is a blessing to me!

    1. Yes – your plate is very full – lean hard on God and he will give you the strength to accomplish all he has called you too!!! Keep pressing on!

  35. I have not followed your posts – or of any of the women’s ministries- As I usually feel like God has me all together and strong and I KNOW I could write books about overcomming hardships of all types done against us….due to God’s assistance ant all the right moments… but tonigtht a friend of mine posted the link to this page. Reluctantly I peeked in-
    I read- and can FEEL a touch from God that reinforces information I needed and had been pondering lately. I do not know how to post it in an entire useful message back to you. Just know that it is comforting and a balm to me- as I am sure it will be to others. GOD is THAT good (c:

  36. Very excited to see the product of your hard work and faith! And what a secret to keep ALL SUMMER!

    God is so very good and is so faithful to give us the strength we need to walk in what He has called us to.

    My husband and I minister to kids in our neighborhood via a Kids Club. We have been holding bi-weekly meetings in our home for the past 2 years and just recently added Sunday Morning children’s church to the mix. The kids are hungry for God’s Word and we are SO encourgaed to see them growing in God!!! Hard work and prayer pays off :o)

    God bless you abundantly, Courtney, as you are a blessing to so many!

  37. Praise God! For you, for your gifts, for the way you’ve reached me – however many miles away – and inspired me to keep the faith, to Praise Him through the good and the bad, and to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. Thank God for you – you’re a blessing. I can’t wait to read the book <3

  38. That’s great Courtney! Praise the Lord for all you have done and continue to do! Ministering is a high calling and He works beautifully through you! Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do! Love ya!

  39. Congrats! I have been blessed by this Proverbs 31 study. I will pray that God walks along side you as walk through this blessed time in your life 🙂

  40. This is very exciting. It has been so neat to watch your ministry grow over the past few years. We are preparing to homeschool this year. Also planning to continue my short term mission work in Transnistria. I have loved participating in my gmg group. Can’t wait to see the book.

  41. Congratulations, Courtney! That is sooo exciting! I can’t wait to find out the name of the book and get it in my hot little hands! It makes me sad that you get hate mail. But, it’s just evidence that you are doing something right and the devil does not like it! Keep it up, sister!

  42. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Soooo happy for you Courtney!! (You totally need a girls night out after all that hard work!!!:))Girl I better get a signed copy!!!:) Love you and Im so proud of you and your willingness to step out in faith from the beginning of all this..He rewards those who earnestly seek him:) I am prayerfully walking God’s path for me and trusting in His timing right now in my own life..phew some days are much harder than others!:)

    1. Agreed – I NEED a girls night out – if only we weren’t all so busy wahhhhhhhhh! You have been such a good friend and encouragement during this time. Thanks chick!!! ((hugs)) to you!

  43. “He must increase and I must decrease”. I have no talent or gift that was not given to me from Him to be used for Him. All glory to God for your new book. May it bring others closer to Him.

  44. That God uses the weak and the foolish and the broken…. brings me to tears every time.

    May there always be less and less of us and more and more of our Lord and Savior alone.

    Bowed low in praise with you, Courtney….

    All’s grace,

    1. Ann – you have gone before me and I’m so glad to have you as a leader 🙂 . Zechariah 4:6 is so reassurring that I don’t have to do this in my own might or power – just walk in his Spirit. Bowed low in praise with you – yes. All for him till he calls us home!
      Keep shining!

  45. What beautiful news! Congratulations!!! I love this, because I KNOW that God is going to continue to get the glory as He uses your faithfulness. Can’t wait to read it! And I will be celebrating with my fellow Moody grad (we are everywhere! 🙂 ).

  46. Congrats on your new book deal!! I’m very excited to read it 🙂 can you tells the name of the book yet??!
    May the Lord continue to bless you and your ministry!

  47. I am SO SO happy for you! It always such a treat to see great opportunities come to someone who so freely shared and gave for so long. Congratulations on the beginning of the next leg of the journey. Based on what God has done so far, I believe He has big ‘ole plans in mind for you. I ask for prayer for courage in my life. God has given me a God-sized dream and I get weak in the knees when I think about how. It is at those times that I do a mental rearrange of the letters from “h-o-w” to “w-h-o”.

    God alone is able to accomplish the plans He has for our lives. Trust, there’s peace in trust.

  48. I enjoy your blog about being a stay at home Mommy and you INSPIRED me to quit my job and do just that with my 10 yr old and 4 yr old after working in a profession for 10 yrs! Now you are going back to work lol! Different seasons! It is so funny how God works in our lives at different times for different purposes. God bless you Courtney, and I will pray for you and your family during this time (because it’s HARD being a working Mommy outside the home having done both now!). Love and hugs to you, God Bless you for helping so many of us. You are so special!

    1. Wow! You are so sweet and encouraging!!! The best thing about writing is I can do it from home in the margins of life. My parents have been a huge help this summer – I could not have done it without them taking the kids overnight and on trips to the museum and the zoo :)!

  49. So………… I can’t wait to hear what your book is about. It’s such a huge undertaking! Boggles my mind how you can manage! You inspire me.

    1. Sarah- thank you!!! The book is about How Today’s Woman Walks with God – and I’m so grateful to my parents for taking the kids overnight and to the zoo and museum so I could write – they deserve a gold star :)!

  50. PS I will pray for those who have sent you hate mail (so sad to hear some people have had hateful words or been mean to you). You do not need or deserve that…listen to these comments, we are with you Sis on this journey through life 🙂 1 Corinthians 13:5

  51. Courtney! I am so delighted that you are able to expand your ministry even more with this blessing of an opportunity! I was at work when I read your post, and texted my hubby: “Courtney from Women Living Well signed a book deal and I can’t wait to read her new book!!!” He responded: “Yaahooo!” LOL. Whenever I watch your videos, he always responds from the other room: “Is that your Women Living Well lady?” You are a household name over here at the Payne home, haha! I can’t wait until others know the Lord more through your work. You have certainly helped me draw closer to Him, especially in marraige. Soon MANY households will be blessed by your heart for Him! I’ll be praying for you and will be one of the first to order!

  52. Congrats Courtney. May the Lord continue to use you in mighty ways.

    Pls keep me in prayer. I’ve been thinking about homeschooling my kids, but I’m afraid I can’t do it. My husband often reminds me I can do all things thru Christ. And though I know and believe this verse, I can’t bring myself to think I can do it. I love my kids and I want the best for them. I live in California a very liberal state where my husband and I have lost faith in the school system and what they are teaching our kids now days. We can’t afford a decent Christian school so our other option is homeschooling. My kids still little (2 1/2 and 19 mos.) But time goes by so fast and I really need God to help me on this. Your words above moved my heart and I believe God wants to use me but I’m not sure if its at home with my kids. Pls pray God would reveal Himself and show me and guide me the way I should go. Thank you!

  53. Someone recently posted these words elsewhere, and I found them to be profound: “God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called!”

  54. I am so excited for you and cannot wait to read your book. I do have the prerequisite to be used of the Lord. Do I feel unworthy? ABSOLUTELY! However it has taken me many years to realize the Lord wants to use me to encourage others through this life. I have created a website to help moms through this whirlwind we call life. I also have been asked by our Master to be of service to others. I intend to fulfill that request.

  55. Congratulations!

    I wanted to work on my small business from home in the last 3 years without blessing. I had not earn much, but I worked very much and had little time for my family. It is sooooo difficult now to give up my business and not to start another to BE at home and homeschool and cook and tidy up….. But I think this is what God wants from me.

  56. Congratulations, Courtney! How exciting! I’m really looking forward to reading your book.

    As for where I am headed…I feel like I am in a “holding pattern” and have been for quite some time. I am waiting to hear where God is calling me, but I sometimes wonder if I am just not hearing Him. Maybe He has already called me to do something and because of my own insecurities I am choosing to stay stuck.

  57. Congratulations on being an empty vessel and letting God shine through you…and thank you for not hiding it but shining that light as bright as you can…you go girl!

  58. Congratulations on being an empty vessel and letting God shine through you…and thank you for not hiding it but shining that light as bright as you can…you go girl!

  59. Congratulations!! Im looking forward to reading your book!! what is the title of it? I cannot imagine you getting hate mail!!
    What do leaders and co leader for GMG, do?
    I too, feel called to do something but I too, think its my own insecurities stand in the way and Im not sure what He is calling me to do.
    Keep blogging!! You are very encouraging and motivating! God has been using you for a long time!!

  60. Congrats Courtney, I’ve only been following your blog for this past year and have really enjoyed it. Thanks for being open and honest. God just spoke to my husband and I to start a blog and we are only three posts in. I completely understand your 1Cor 1:27-29. I am feeling it too. Thanks again for sharing, blessings to you and your family.

  61. Congratulations Courtney!!! So happy for you. Can’t wait to read your book. I am in a challenging place in my life right now and your blog has been an encouragement to me. Thanks for trusting God and sharing your journey through this blog.

  62. Congrats on your book deal! God is using you in amazing ways to reach others and touch lives. I enjoy your blog and I am so glad that you are willing to embrace his calling despite what others sometimes think or say to you. You are doing what God called you to do and that is what matters most. I am a quiet and shy person by nature and have always struggled to find my voice for God. After feeling God nudging me to encourage other moms as we walk the journey of faith and motherhood, I have entered the world of blogging and I am so excited to see where God will lead me and I look up to other Christian women who God is working through. Keep shining for Him!

  63. Congratualtions!!!!! What a blessing you are!! I cannot tell you how much your blog has been an inspiration to me. We have adopted our 5th child (14 years old gril) to add to our 4 bio clan. Being a good mom and wife who adores her husband has never been such an important role right now. Teaching her that when you get married you are going to want to fix him those meals he loves and you are going to want to take care of him like a treasure. Right now she just rolls her eyes and says “no he’s gonna take care of me!” This is so foriegn to her. When I read your blog it gives me that push to keep going — keep teaching– keep being that example that she needs. So thank you dear sister in Christ for your ministry that God has showed you and for listening to HIM to encourage other moms and wifes.

  64. Congratulations! I pray God continues to bless you and open doors to help you spread His Word! Go Courtney, good soldier for Christ, Go!!
    Your post encourages me to post for a job that is a bit out of my legue because I have no experience in it and it is not my background, but it is a job in helping spread God’ church and a passion so deep in my heart. While I was thinking of posting for the job about 7 months ago, one of the organizations Vice President”s totally and randomly linked in with me on a professional networking site. I accepted and asked him if he did so because he knew that I was looking for a job (at that time). He said he had no idea I was looking for a job but if I could send Him my resume and they’d keep it on file for any opportunities in the future. I few months later, he did get in touch with me for my interest in a job, but by that time I had secured a good, not great, but safe, steady job. I was torn. In the end, I decided to stay with what I know, with what is safe, the corporate just ok job. As the months go by, and my love for the Lord deepens and grows, I just want to leave the secular job and work at something where I know I am directly impacting people with God’s love & message. I see a few jobs posted at that organization…I keep hearing/reading/seeing -‘Do not fear’ -the most numerous phrase in the Bible-I keep hearing ‘God made you to have life in abundance’-with the understanding that ‘abundance’ DOES not mean millions of dollars, but abundance in hard, fulfilling work, making a difference in people’s lives, love, charity, joy. Sorry for the long post. Thank you for taking risks for Jesus. It gives others like me more courage to let go and let God. Have a Blessed day!

  65. Courtney,

    Congratulations on your book deal! How exciting! I can’t wait to read it!

    I want to thank you for your blog post this morning. Your words poured love into my heart and reminded me of Phillipians 4:13 -“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I often feel that I “sabotage” opportunities to serve the Lord with my own fears and insecurities of not being “good enough” or “qualified enough” or “prepared enough.” Thank you for your reminder that I can do anything with His help! I am going to write I Corinthians 1:27-29 on a sticky note and post it to my mirror so that I see it first thing every morning… to remind me to just let go of all my fears and insecurities, to let Him use me as He sees fit, and to give Him all the glory! Because it’s not really about being “good enough” it’s about trusting in God’s plan for me and knowing that He already knows the outcome! It’s not up to me to figure it out!

  66. Congratulations!!! What a great honor to be humbly used by the Lord! You are such an inspiration for me as a blogger and writer. Thank you for your loving guidance and example…

    I look forward to reading your book!

  67. Congratulations on finalizing your book! I look forward to reading it. I am truly blessed that God has used you to be an encourager of women, wives and mothers. I am a young mother and wife and to have mature, wise, challenging and encouraging women like you to listen and learn from, I am encouraged, uplifted and blessed. The Lord is working greatly through you and your ministry. Keep persevering and encouraging others! Be blessed! Your Sister in Christ, Samantha

  68. Darn I thought you were gonna’ say your “big” announcement was that you were expecting. 🙁 happy for you about the book, but sad that that isn’t the annoucement lol. ya’ll should have another baby!

  69. As a follower of your blog, I’m happy for you, but I have to be honest – it makes me terribly sad to see you have such low self-esteem. I think there is a big difference between being humble and hating on yourself. I’m a humble Christian woman, but I don’t believe I’m, “lowly” or “foolish”. Neither should you. You are a wonderful mother, wife and friend as well as a blessing to many.

  70. Courtney, that’s AWESOME!! The words of God spoken through another beautiful, Christ-following woman out there, accessible to a lost world. I LOVE it. To Him be the glory! And congrats to you on such a wonderful opportunity. 🙂

  71. Congratulations! I am so happy for you. Your blog is so encouraging to me, and I know that writing a book and having it published is such a big blessing to you. I have starting taking notes about writing a Christian book regarding raising godly children, and seeing your success makes me want to pursue it even more. Thank you for your inspiration and for being the godly wife and mother that you are, and for taking the time to be such a great example to all of us ladies who are striving to give our best to God everyday.

  72. First of all Congratulations!! I’ve only been reading along for the past couple of months but both you and Angela have inspired me greatly xx

    I had wanted to send a ‘private msg’ to you but I understand why not so I’ll type this out on the WWW yikes! I’m a pastors wife of some 18 years now (not that that makes me anything – but it just tells you my back ground). We have served in some amazing churches, one of which totally crushed us and put up out of ministry for 2 years … God is rebuiulding and restoring through a church plant which is a year and half old – yeah! Small but mighty and we love it!

    My PASSION is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord. Some years ago now (about the same time you started) I started a blog and you were a regular commenter – lol – small world hey – I closed the blog down when we hit the really rough season in life. But blogging fulfills something in me – the need to connect and speak ino other women’s lives and especially those lives that I get to see on a weekly basis at church and in my community.

    My blog is not big in the number of readers. I have two – a me rambling blog “Spilling The Beans’ and a daily devotional blog called ‘GoWith” that I have written at every day for the past 8 months (this is God’s work in me … not mine!). By writing the devotional blog I feel that God is building something in me – I know He is growing me in the Word and pushing me beyond myself but I also sense it’s in preparation for ‘something’ – or is that just my longing – ‘Oh God let this be in preparation for something! I long to ‘speak’ into women’s lives to build them up to encourage them to spur them on to yell from the side lines YOU CAN DO THIS!!

    Through the devastation of ministry which caused us to resign and walk away with a proclamtion to the Lord that I would NEVER go back into ministry again (HA!), I have a desire to write a book. A book for broken and devastated pastor’s wives who walk with their men through deep dark valleys of dispair. You see when I went through this season I could find not any written support for ME (or for pastors). People wrote about dealing with pain, but not pain for ministry leaders, not pain about a forced divorce from the church or false accusations.

    I have no skill (you can tell from this e-mail), I am exactly as you said the foolish, weak, simple (oh so simple) and despised girl. But I WANT to! Please pray for me – I have no clue how to start, how to say it or how to ever get it to the ministry girls that need it. Because I have a teeny tiny blog and I’ve never written for any on-line magazine etc I wonder if I would even be noticed.

    Oh but GOD is MASSIVE – and I know that … so please just pray for me that I will know how to do this … I’m one that wants to pick up a girl on the tracks after she has fallen and run her to the finish line through the pain of her fall, her humiliation and her grief.

    Congratulations again – truly look forward to your book,
    Love Shelley – one from the household of God Eph 2: 🙂

    1. Hi Shelley
      I’ve been reading these comments and you have really touched me.
      I believe that God plants dreams in us. I’m praying that you start to sense the next step to realising yours very soon. It sounds to me as if you might have a mighty ministry in helping us past that finish line. Thankyou for sharing.

  73. Courtney! How wonderful! God is good!!! Please pray for me to be open to the Lord’s leading in my life – to be able to hear & see His will for me whatever that may be (I’m a SAHM of 2 teens). Thank you for all your encouragement to walk with the King – I love that! Love, Jenny C.

  74. Congrats on the deal! I pray it will honor God and touch people to open their hearts for him. I pray it has eternal value. God is using you! I pray my book will do that someday too. 🙂

  75. Congrats,you so deserve it!I am happy for you.

    Your blog is great and i enjoy it as i strive to be that woman God has called me to. 🙂 Greetings from London 🙂

  76. Can’t wait to read this book!! What a sweet blessing you are one of my favorite blog friends and I am honored to read the book the moment it becomes available to the public 🙂

  77. Congratulations Courtney! I’m shedding tears for you! I stumbled upon your blog a couple of years ago when I was facing many trials in life. God has definitely used you as a vessel to impact my life in a grand way. You’ve helped me grow in faith in ways I never before thought were possible. I battled an eating disorder on and off for 21 years. With God’s help, it’s been a thing of the past for almost 2 years. I have not looked back, bad thoughts and habits are no longer. I believe your inspiration was a part of that. I know trials in this life are placed so that we may learn from them and serve others. I often wonder if that battle was placed in my life so that I would assist others in conquering the eating disorder demon. Lately, these thoughts have been more frequent and out of the blue. Even during my struggles, I wanted to help others, but didn’t feel worthy. How could I have helped people if I myself was dealing with the same? How hypocritical would I have been! About a year ago I had the idea of writing a book and starting a blog on the subject, showing that my trust in God, and His LOVE is what gave me victory. But, I didn’t want blogging time to become a source of idolatry. I also didn’t believe I was worthy of spreading God’s word to others as I have so much learning and growing to do myself. I’ve always been a perfectionist (which I’m slowing smothering) and felt I wasn’t good enough to teach others. Recently, I’ve been feeling God nudging me to do something with this. I posted something on Facebook last week about my 21 year battle and the response was surreal. People are reaching out asking me for advice and/or sharing their stories. I tend to second guess my abilities, as well as whether it’s a selfish thought on my part or God speaking to me. I don’t know how to distinguish between the two. I know if I studied scripture more, I would know. And just yesterday, my pastor spoke about listening to God, serving others based on past trials, and trusting as we step into the unknown. Hmmm….. Wow, I rambled here! Thank you so much for all you do, and for hearing God’s calling. I’m hoping to do the same in this life, as I love Him and want to let His glory shine through me. Again, congratulations! I cannot wait to read your book. I will pray for you and your family during this new journey!


    1. I know I’m not Courtney … but … lol … I just want to say that WE NEED women like you! We go through the furnace for reasons and the battle you had/are fighting is one that we need help and gudance with. I had a friend die from anorexia in the 80’s when people thought she should have just gotten over it and eaten …. how ignorant!

      So I pray God keeps affirming you … I cheer you on from this side of the screen!

      1. Shelley,

        Thank you for taking the time to offer me these words! Unfortunately, there is a great deal of ignorance. My loved ones were part of that. I think God may be affirming through you! I read your comment to Courtney, and I believe you are part way towards your mission and dream. I agree with Helen and pray that you know the next steps to take in your journey.


    2. I’m not Courtney either but I wanted to say yes! I’m trying to work out what to do with just the same sort of nudge from the Lord about stuff that I’ve battled with and usually keep hidden away; but maybe, just maybe, it might help someone else…
      Thankyou for sharing something of your story. I think you have a powerful testimony and might reach many people. Praying for you, Jen.

      1. Oh, Helen, thank you! I’m willing to bet the nudge about sharing your struggles and triumphs in order to help others is directly from the Lord! It can be an overwhelming thought, as it’s difficult to allow others glimpses of our vulnerabilities. God is the only one who sees from the beginning to the end. He knows that our trusting Him during the midst of our doubts and fears is preparation for future blessings and the manifestation of His power. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

        I’m praying for you!

        Your sister in Christ,

  78. Dear Courtney,

    No hate mail from…God has his hand all over you…you go girl!!! Congratulations on the book deal and thank you sooooo much for this bible study on the proverbs 31 woman. As the prayer of Jabez says
    “May the Lord (continue to) bless you indeed”


  79. From the comments above I see that I may be one of the only men who lurk about your site, but even so I must say how happy I am to see you published! You write well and communicate a biblical concepts in a great way! I pray God’s Spirit to outpour His blessing on your book deal – to prosper your family and His kingdom!

  80. Hi Courtney
    Congratulations! Well done you. I’ve only just found you but I’ll be looking around your site and waiting for your book!
    Thankyou for this post, for the encouragement. My own manuscript is with the publisher right now and I’m waiting, waiting… hope comes and goes but I know that it’s all in His hands. It’s all about Him and not me. I sometimes forget that. Thankyou for reminding me.
    Lots of love in Christ.

  81. Dearest Courtney,
    I loved reading your post. I am in a new season where I believe the Lord is calling me to do some big things for Him. I need courage and direction from Him on how to get started. I also need courage to let go of some other areas where I’ve served for many years and entrust them into the hands of the capable women He’s allowed me to raise up. Thank you for saying you will pray for me, often times, as a leader, I have found that I’m a cheerleader for so many, but don’t have someone cheering me on (besides our Lord :). Blessings on your new book and thank you for the encouragement to be ALL God’s called us to be.
    In Jesus’ Love,

  82. Congratulations! I believe God is calling me home to take care of my home and husband. My children are grown and I’ve worked outside the home forever. Most people say I’m crazy because now it should be easy to work since children are gone but my heart is home. I want to spend time with my grandchildren, doing things I couldn’t with my own children. I want to start a Bible Study out of my home.
    Blessings to you.

  83. Hi Courtney! CONGRATULATIONS! I’ve said it before, you will not know this side of Heaven how many lives and ladies you have impacted for HIS glory! I am one of them. I’ll be leading a GMG group for the 5th or 6th (I think?) time~I know it’s not much, but it’s what I’m able to do. : ) I homeschool four precious daughters, two with special needs. That takes a lot of my time. I cannot WAIT for your book to come out~hope it won’t be long! Be blessed~Lyn

  84. This was just what I needed to hear today. Needed the reminder that God can & will use me despite what has happened & where I am at today (actually proabably will use what I have through to help others down the road). Really struggling with being content where I am right now (basically home bound having to spend most of time lying down) & feeling helpless. Daddy recently reminded me that the little magnets, etc that I am making and sending to friends with cancer is doing something to help others, but want so much to be able to do more.

  85. God works in mysterious ways. I’m new to your blog. I was directed here from proverbs 31 ministry, but praise God I did. It’s so neat to see how God uses us women to encourage each other. I was so encouraged to read the comments from your blog. God is so good and I love him so much because He brings people into our lives even though we don’t know each other personally, we are sisters in Christ. May God bless you and congrats on your new book. For years I’ve blame myself for so much failures in my life, but God has spoken to my heart and He let’s me know that I don’t need to hold on to my pass. I just need to trust Him and Him alone. Pray for me as I deal with many issues in my daily walk with God. God bless you sis…

  86. This is the first time I have been to your site. I came here via Karen Ehman at Proverbs 31 Ministry. I loved your post! For 2 or 3 years I have wanted to write a book. I put it off which is my usual way. I think it’s best because I have a clearer picture of my goals. God has shown me what He wants. I have had ALS for 6 years and I want to share how God enables me to live joyfully every day. I think this sounds like bragging, but it isn’t. I am humbled by the fact that God has let me live this long and that He can use me. Congratulations on your book! Please pray that I will not procrastinate writing the book.

  87. I was thinking as I read this about the many and varied Olympic atheletes – some medal winners, some not! – that I heard give glory to God when given the chance by an interviewer. How awesome it was to see that witness – even when they were ridiculed for it. Your hard work does deserve applause, for you perserved and pressed on! Glory to God for the gift of writing, and for enabling your gift, but you listened, and followed through on what He told you to do!

  88. Wow, you have encouraged me more than I can say…I have struggled with moving into a new church community that is a smaller congregation, and I have been fearful of getting to know new people. All I need to do is trust God and love others, He will show me who He wants me to be…Thanks to God!

  89. How Awesome! You are beautiful on outside, but what truly beautiful is that Jesus lives in you!! You inspire me to have a deeper relationship with the Lord. You make me want what you have, a super close one on one RELATIONSHIP with Jesus! Keep shining that beautiful light! 🙂 also can you give us any hint on when your book will be released? I can’t wait for it 🙂

  90. Oh Courteny!! Congratulations!!! So happy for you!! You are such an encouragement!!! Can´t wait to read your book!!! …And can´t wait for the Spanish edition 😉 😉 LOL!!

  91. Courtney, So happy for you! Your living your dream! I enjoy your emails. I have 4 grandkids and some of the emails I forward to my daughter-in-law. I don’t want to take away from your good news but wanted to ask a favor of you and your readers if I could PLEASE! I get discouraged as I don’t know how God is using me. I have been working in a job for over 4 years where my co-workers laugh at me, talk about me (sometimes behind my back but mostly out loud to my face) and degrade me (comments like “Don’t know why your here you don’t know anything.” Hurtful to say the least. That is a mild day! I have grown so much in my faith! My prayer life has been consistent of everyday and sometimes 8 hours (all day) when I am at work. But as for a purpose I am lost. I ask God to help me to be an example but they make fun of me for being a Christian. I am alone against 5 other people. When they gang up on me I just want to cry! I try to be strong but it is so hard! I really need Prayer! Every day I have to go there makes me physically sick at my stomach. I know God can change this but it has not happened. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME, Please! Again sorry to bother you but I am desperate for some encouragement!

    1. Oh, Leslie! Obviously I’m not Courtney, but felt compelled to reply! I’ve certainly felt like you are, only the cruelty came from a majority of my family. I’m praying for you, and just know God has big plans for you! He said we would be persecuted for loving Him. No one will ever love you more than Him. Nothing and no one will ever provide complete satisfaction on this earth either. He is the only one Who can offer that. I often remind myself of these facts. What helps me most is reminding myself that no pain I ever endure in this life will come close in comparison to the pain my Savior endured when He shed His blood on the cross for me. In a sense, I’m honored to endure cruelty because of my love for Him. No one will ever shut me up!

      On a side note, have you addressed the individuals who are hurtful to you? If they are badgering you or harassing you, this should not be tolerated in the workplace. Have you considered looking for new employment? I know…easier said than done.


      1. Jen, Thanks for answering and for your prayers! I have considered but right now in Ohio that is not possible. Hard to find a job. I have addressed this issue with my boss, who is elected, and with my supervisor. He said “he can’t make them like me” but as I said you can make them be civil at work. He chooses to ignore the situation. His wife works next door and she does not like me so that makes them not want to get along with me also. I am not from here so I am an outsider. They all grew up here and are friends! They just want me gone. I am memorizing scripture and praying constantly! Thanks again for your response!

  92. Sooo excited and proud of you! I can’t believe it’s done. I remember us talking about the “possibility” of you one day writing a book at Relevant last October. It’s been less than a year since then and you already have it written. That is seriously amazing and such a God-thing!! Although Im not surprised – the book was already written in your heart and lived for decade at least so it was only a matter of time. His timing is so perfect.

    Tossing confetti your way!! Love you!

  93. Way to go!! God has called me in so many ways this year; more than ever before. He’s called me to lead a moms prayer group during the school year, to work year round with Operation Christmas Child, to teach a Sunday school class of toddlers, do our church bulletin, be in the kids worship rotation, and finally, to lead our monthly ladies Bible study. All in the past year. He has also provided for my family while I stay at home because my father is in the last stages of Alzheimer’s. I am so humbled by each of these things and it blows my mind that God would want to use my scattered self! I do not feel qualified, nor do I have anything together (just ask my teenage son who is making me ride the just started dating girls rollercoaster). Especially humbling is the ladies Bible study. The majority of the women are older than I and I consider them to be my spiritual mothers. I can’t for the life of me figure out what He thinks I have to offer them. If He can use me, He can use anyone!!

  94. Courtney-
    Congrats on the upcoming book! It is amazing how God uses us when we seek His face and humble ourselves before Him.
    I am in a season of waiting. I have young children, and I struggle sometimes with the passions in my heart- wanting to find an outlet to serve, to use my gifts. Yet God keeps telling me-Wait. It is so hard! I have worked with pregnant teens and women in crisis for many years- and my heart aches and longs to be out there loving on these women and sharing Jesus. Please pray for me as I strive to find contentment now and wait to see where God will use the gifts He has given me- all for His glory! May our light shine! God bless you.

  95. Courtney, this is so very exciting! I’m praying lives are touched and changed by your words and for Him to be glorified through them! Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that He wants to use each and every one of us, right where we are 🙂

  96. First of all, congrats on your book! I am very happy for you, and look forward to getting a copy when it is published :)…So, my question is, what does a gal do when her husband isn’t supportive of what she is passionate about and feels “called” to do? To be more specific, I feel such a heavy burden for orphans, especially those in China, and feel beyond driven to adopt a “special needs” child that is currently available. My husband really has no interest in adoption at all, and I find it very hurtful that he won’t “support” me on something that is so dear to me, and we could financially afford. I feel so conflicted because in my heart I know I should submit to my husband’s wishes for me to stop talking about it, yet I feel so frustrated because I feel like it would make a huge difference in so many lives. Not only would it help this one child, but it would teach my children to care for orphans, and be an example to people in our community. The ripple it could potentially make could be huge! I have been praying about it, but I just feel a deep sadness and longing, and even a little “unloved” by my hubby 🙁 Thoughts?

  97. Courtney, as I sit here and write I am crying uncontrollable. I am so happy for you! Congratulations! You are such an inspiration to me and many others. It has always been my dream to write for God and with your post you have given me such an inspiration and touch to move forward on my dream and let God shine through me. Thank you for ALL you do and for motivating and encouraging me! Blessings.

  98. How wonderful that you have been able to finish you book but also remember it is not boastful to share and help other’s with ones wisdom. God wants us to shepherd. Looking forward to knowing more about your book.

  99. Congratulations!! I wanted to write and say what an amazing blessing you and Good morning Girls has been in my life I have always struggled with being consistent with my quiet time with god and sometimes still do :: ) but with Good morning girls I have been able to be more consistent then ever before!! And it has completely changed my life for the better. We have gone through some really hard stuff in the past couple of years and good morning girls and God is the only reason I have made it through. Thank you so much!! May God truly bless you as you have blessed me

  100. Wow Courtney! That is so exciting. Those pre-requisites… oh, yes. I resonate with those also. Especially as I read your words about stepping out into where God has called. At first nothing came to mind and I thought… well, maybe I should think about a GMG group. THEN it hit me…. JUST this past week at church I sensed God leading me to step up and serve in a capacity at my church that I’ve never served in before.

    I’m excited but also nervous because it’s also very “new” for me in that we have only been in this area and our church for about a year. So just now really starting to begin making some friendships. It’s also an area of ministry I don’t necessarily feel comfortable in… or at least part of it. But I know… know… KNOW that this is probably the precise reason God was stirring my heart about it. Thanks for this encouraging word from God… He is truly using you in some amazing ways in the lives of many women including myself.

  101. Courtney,

    This is the first time I’ve been on your sight. Congratulations on the book! It is always good to see how God is always directing the paths of myself and others. My husband is a writer and I look forward to the day when he will have this opportunity.

    Wanted to let you know that through the scripture you used from 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 God is speaking to me. We recently resigned as Co-Pastors at our church. It’s been one month and we’ve started visiting other churches to be refreshed and rest. This past Sunday the pastor ‘s message was centered around these verses. Honestly, I was almost annoyed because something was stirring in my spirit and I wasn’t getting it. I prayed that afternoon and asked Him to show me why I’d felt this way. Then, Monday morning I’m reading through Karen’s blog (I’d gotten behind) and she directed people to your sight. Yep, there were those scriptures again. So much to pray about and ponder!

    Blessings to you and best wishes on the publishing of the book! Look forward to reading it.

  102. Oh, I just read this in my reader, and I am so excited for you! I love your humility and joy of the Lord! Praise Him and so blessed seeing you shine your light! I cannot wait for your book!

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