Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WLW- Chapters 16-18 Making Your Home a Haven

Have you ever thought about how much you set the tone for your home?
I desire greatly for our home to be a haven. My husband has a tiresome job and that job comes home with him every night. I want him to be able to relax once he is home. To put work aside as much as he can and just rest. In order for that to be possible I have to help make it happen.

In Courtney's book she shares about her homemaking and her struggles with it.  Lately I have felt overwhelmed with taking care of our home. The weekends of the past few months have not been restful to me. Instead I am checking off my to do list and barely making time for friends or doing other things I enjoy.
I love the encouragement and ideas Courtney offers in her book. She doesn't just offer ideas on how to keep your home tidy but how to fill your home with peace and love.

In the fall Courtney also shares a Making Your Home a Haven challenge on her blog. The past few years I have tried to participate in it. She has a challenge to light a candle in your home each day and to pray for peace in your home as you walk by that candle. I love to do this not only for that time in prayer but also it is something my husband loves to come home to. I usually have a few more candles lit and just some lamps turned on. He says he loves how cozy the home feels and it makes him so happy to be home.

My desire is for him to feel that way about our home constantly. I help set the atmosphere for the way our home will be. Through the Lord's help I pray that I make our home a peaceful haven.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WLW- Your Marriage

 Chapters 6 & 7 in Courtney's book are about marriage. I have been so encouraged by Courtney's wisdom and marriage advice she has shared on her blog over the years.
Celebrating our 8 year anniversary this past December

I remember when I found her blog, it was right at the end of the school year and once school was out I spent those first summer days reading through her blog.  After reading through her posts and watching her many videos my eyes were opened.  Courtney showed me what being a helper to my husband means and gave examples and ideas on how to pursue that.

Courtney offers ideas on how to show respect to your husband. This is something I didn't realize I needed to be better about so many years ago.  I know for myself I try to daily encourage and show respect to Chad by thanking him for all he does in his work. Owning our own business and starting a new one keeps him pretty busy and he is always being pulled in a thousand directions. I also know he is working hard to make some of our dreams and my desires possible. I want him to continually know I understand and am so grateful for all he does.
Don't think that I or we have this marriage stuff figured out! We are still learning, but the journey to where we are has been wonderful and I know it will continue this way as we commit to putting God first in our marriage and following him.

Do you need some encouragement for your marriage? Here is a link to Courtney's posts on marriage.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Soup Swap

Last night one of my friends hosted a soup swap. It was so much fun and such a great idea.

Each of us made 6 quarts of one soup. Then we brought our soups in one quart containers. We used one quart to share with everyone for the night and then everybody took home one quart of each soup.

The soups each person brought were so good!

We all agreed this was such a great idea and we will have to do it again.

My friend that hosted has such a beautiful house and it was so cute all decorated in her winter decor. She set out mugs and bowls for us all to use for each soup.
I realized while I took this picture that I wrote 2013 for the date! 
The soup I made was Taco Soup. It is an easy soup and my husband loves it! That always makes it a winner.
Enjoy this soup and maybe try a soup swap with your friends!
Taco Soup
Source: Weight Watchers
1 lb ground beef or ground turkey breast
1 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (any flavor)
1 (15 ounce) can stewed tomatoes (Mexican flavor)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1 1/4 ounce) package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
1 (15 ounce) can hot chili beans
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

1. Brown the the meat and onions and drain.
2. Mix the taco seasoning mix and ranch dressing mix into the meat.
3. Add all the other ingredients, without draining.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour.
5. Serve hot, topped with sour cream, cheese, avocado, raw onions, or nacho chips (optional).

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WLW book club - Chapter 5

Chapter 5 was probably the best part of the book for me. Courtney discusses a woman-to-woman mentoring ministry she started at her church.  When I read about this I was almost in tears (good tears).The ministries she tells about in her book are exactly what I have been desiring to start in our church hopefully, this might encourage other women to start or become more involved in women's ministries.

In the Fall of 2012 I started a women's ministry at our church called Mugs and Muffins. I really wanted it to be a time of hearing testimonies and words of encouragement from ladies in our church. The first event we had a decent turn out even though we scheduled it the same weekend that a large women's conference was in town. So I thought the second event would have a better turn out since all those ladies could now come but it ended up being about the same amount of women but thankfully different ladies. Then the last event this past fall well the attendance was terrible! At the last minute a church event was scheduled at the same time and many of the ladies who would have come to Mugs and Muffins ended up having to go to the other event.

I still have problems with thinking that its just something silly and I shouldn't pursue it anymore but then I remember how much I felt like the Lord was leading me to start this ministry and I don't want to give up just because of a few silly things.

I was so encouraged to read about the ministries and bible studies Courtney started. Courtney reminded me with 1 Timothy 4:12 to not let others discourage me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

WLW- Chapter 2 Time for Quiet Time and Chapter 3 Your Prayer Time

Today's focus is on what you do for a quiet time and how you spend time in prayer.
Right now I am in a season where I can easily find time with the Lord. Lately I have had quiet times and prayer times that last for about an hour and I love it but in the back of my mind I think how will I do this once kids are in my life. I thirst and thrive for these times with God.

Courtney describes how in her journey finding a time and place to spend with God changed with each new season.  She gives some practical tips on how to find time to be in the word. Such as writing a passage of scripture on a note card and pulling it out to read through the week. Another idea I love that she suggests is to place your bible on the kitchen counter opened to that passage. Lately I have been writing verses I am working on memorizing or that I need to just remember daily on index cards and placing them on a ring.
 I put it in my purse and set it out on my desk at school and work to look at them through the day.

      Courtney starts chapter 3 off talking about prayer journals she has kept for many years.I love my prayer times!
These are my prayer journals. I cherish them and love to frequently look back through them.

Growing up my youth pastor taught us the PRAY model for our prayer times. Our youth pastor set aside one Sunday night a month as a prayer night. We would spend the night in prayer using this model. It is a great model to use when thinking of what to pray.
Praise- Praise God for who he is and what he has done
Repent- Ask for forgiveness for times you have strayed from following God
Ask- Lift up requests for others and yourself
Yield- Yield yourself to God and ask him to work in your life in whatever way he is leading you.

Feel free to  leave any tips or what you may have learned from these chapters as well!
Check out my thoughts on chapter 1 here.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

WLW- Chapter 1

Walking with the King
Courtney always ends her blog posts and videos with her signature, Walk with the King!

How is my walk with the King? There are times when I can say my walk is great but many times I know I fail at carving out time to be fully devoted to my King. In this chapter Courtney talks about slowing down and taking the time to hear from God as well as spend time with him.

I need to strive each day to slow down and walk with my King.
How will I do this? I know I need to get up earlier and start my day with him. Lately I haven't been so great about this. I do a quick read through from a devotional book and a short prayer and that's it for the day. I desire to dive into the word and have a meaningful prayer time each day. This will be tough for me but I will pray for God to help me rise each morning  and start the day with him. I also need to make time each day to hear from God and find rest in him. That can be hard because once I'm at school and as soon as I get home I just start going and don't stop and then I don't take the time to listen for God.

Do you have any tips on how you walk with the King?
Check out Courtney's post on chapter 1

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Women Living Well book club

Well hello again! It's been awhile but I'm hoping to keep this blog going. In my last few posts I discussed a book I had the privilege of helping launch!!

Courtney's book gave me such encouragement and new insight and I hope it does the same for you. Over the next 8 weeks Courtney will be leading a book club study through her book. I hope you'll join me as I discuss the chapters here. Join Courtney on her blog also.

A free companion study guide is also being offered to use as you go through the book. Check it out here.

Grab the book and join us each week!