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Women Living Well Blog: April 2010

Women Living Well Blog

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Unveiling of My Brand New Website!

I am beyond excited to unveil this brand new website that has been made especially for the Good Morning Girls Groups!

If you are struggling with your quiet times this site is for you! And if you already have a Good Morning Girls group (last session we had nearly 50 groups - woohoo!!) - head over to the site and sign your group up for the 2010 Spring/Summer session!

In the coming months, I will be adding resources to encourage you in your walk with the King!

There's a video blog waiting to welcome you - and if I could, I'd welcome you with a big hug and serve you some cookies and lemonade! So grab a drink and head on over to GoodMorningGirls.Org I am praying God does a mighty work in your life!

Walk with the King!
*I want to say a special thank you to my dear friend Angela who has worked so hard on this site. And thank you also to her husband for sharing her with me! You guys are a blessing!


Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Winners of Seeds Family Worship ARE...

The winners of the Seeds Family Worship CD's ARE...

Melanie (Signed Soli Deo Gloria!)
Shannon @
Katy @Country Blossom
Melissa Land

Please email me ( courtney(at)womenlivingwell(dot)org )with your home address and I'll put these in the mail to you!! You are going to LOVE them! Enjoy!

Walk with the King!


Teaching Our Children to Do Chores

I was at my friend Jen's home, when I caught sight of this gem box! I had to take a photo and share it with you!!!

In our home we use chore packs which I blogged about earlier. I copied this method from the Duggar's Show (the Duggar's use the Maxwell's system from Managers of Their Chores).

But in my friend Jen's home, they are using the gem method! Here's the box she has made of gems and this is how it works:

Each time she sees something that needs to be done - she asks one of her girls to please do the task. When they are finished she has them take a gem out of the box and drop it into their own cup. If it was a minor task she has them get a 10 cent gem. If it was a major task they pick a 50 cent gem. At the end of the week, she tallies up the gems total value and gives the children their allowance and then they start over fresh the next week.

If I remember correctly, she also awards them with gems for other good deeds that may go unnoticed. If they help without asking she would award them with a gem. This is a simple method for someone who has groan to loathe charts (I loathe charts because I am terribly inconsistent with them!)

As I walked through Jen's kitchen I saw another interesting system on the window sill! These cups sat there:
I again inquired about her cups and she shared how she moves the marbles from cup to cup based on good and bad behavior. This visual reminder that mommy is watching and daddy can see how the day went is an incentive to do what is right and gain praise rather than do the things that make mommy and daddy sad.

Mrs. Joseph Wood (a blogging mommy of 10!) speaks about chores over at A Moment with MOM and she says:

From the moment my children are born we teach them that they have a vital role in the family. Our family can not do all that God has planned for us if we do not all work together in harmony. We continually express the Biblical directive to serve others, esteem others, and to lay down our lives for one another. My husband and I have had to be the first example of this type of love and service. We were created to serve for His Glory and we are honored to do so!

In fact in my home, there is no greater honor to strive for than to be called, A Servant of Christ. That is the highest honor that we can attain! Therefore, we must learn to crucify our selfish desires and lay down our lives daily for each other… starting right here in our home!

Don’t fool yourself in thinking that your child can be so good and serve so well in public but is quite the opposite in your home. Sometimes you will see this type of “eye service” in children but that is the not the heart work that God desires. If a child truly has a heart of service they will be serving at home first and then in their church, community and the world. If they can not serve in the home then all they do in the public eye is of little worth.

Take the time today to "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it" Proverbs 22:6.

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pursuing Excellence

Word Filled Wednesday: Proverbs 31:24 "She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes."

Is anyone else overwhelmed by the Proverbs 31 woman yet? Let me be completely honest - I am! Over the past 16 week series, we've watched her be a jewel to her husband, children, servants and even the poor. We've watched her rise early, stay up late, plant a vineyard, sew her own clothes, her family's clothing, the tapestries and beddings! And now we see that the Proverbs 31 woman knows she is capable of more and she does more! The cherry on top of all of this woman's work is excellence!

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.

The Proverbs 31 woman doesn't just make linen - she makes "fine" linen. She applies excellence to her work. Excellence is not perfection but rather offering quality work. And as a result - her product was in demand by the merchants. The merchants were most likely from Canaan and Egypt and most likely wealthy. So she could interact with people from all walks of life from the poor to the wealthy and she did it with excellence.

The Proverbs 31 woman's family, the merchants and the poor benefited from the Proverbs 31 woman's diligence in her home business. As you ponder this verse ask yourself:
1. What are my talents?

2. During this season of life, if I use my talents to benefit my family financially will I be sacrificing in other priority areas?

3. If the answer to number 2 is no, then am I performing my talent with excellence? In what ways could I be better trained or put more time into becoming excellent at what I do?

For some, this is not the season of life to pursue your talents to be used outside of the home. For others, now is the time to spread your wings and use your talents in a new arena. 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. Seek God and your husband's wisdom in this decision making process and then whatever you do - do it with excellence like the Proverbs 31 woman!

Walk with the King!

I am participating in Seven Clown Circus Wordful Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom Wordless Wednesday.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Spring Time Frozen Yogurt Smoothies!

The warm spring weather beckons me to pull out my blender! It's smoothie time in our home and here is our number 1 favorite smoothie! It's our Fat Free Frozen Yogurt Strawberry Smoothie!

There is no exact science to what exactly I put in - so here's what I kinda put into the blender:
15 sugar free frozen strawberries (slightly thawed in the microwave for 45 seconds)
1 ripe banana (you can leave this out if you want)
3-4 splashes of orange juice
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
And a bunch of scoops of fat-free frozen yogurt (we use Edy's - fat free and only 90 calories!)
Mix it all together and you have 2-4 servings of smoothies!

I like to have my smoothie for lunch with popcorn! Mmmmmm...spring has arrived!

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!


Why Marriage Is Difficult

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words and I think this photo of my son’s tank (that I found in my daughters room) is just that! There is a bit of irony that I see displayed in her heart stickers being stuck to a military tank!

When I flip through a toy catalog it is obvious how different God made boys from girls - the girl toys include doll houses, princess dresses, pretty ponies and pretend baking items. For boys there are transformers, spidermen, Nerf guns, swords, planes and trains

Why is marriage difficult? Because God made men and women differently! And then we come together and rub each other the wrong way - we can either choose to respect and love each other's differences or... fight. And then how we handle that conflict will determine whether there is peace, joy and unity in your marriage or contempt, bitterness and isolation.

To learn the secret to surviving these differences visit Like a Warm Cup of Coffee where the rest of this article is posted...

Walk with the King!

I am participating in Marriage Mondays over at Come Have a Peace.


Friday, April 23, 2010

My Favorite Tool for Scripture Memory Giveaway!

I have discovered a powerful tool for memorizing scripture and it's called Seeds Family Worship. This company makes CD's with verses set to modern music that the entire family can enjoy - while memorizing scripture. And I am so excited to giveaway FIVE of their CD's to FIVE of my readers!!!!

Check out this video below with one of their songs from their CD's. I can guarantee you if you listen to the song the entire way through you will have Psalm 55:22 memorized. Give it a try!

I am so thrilled that Seeds Family Worship has been so generous to give me FIVE CD's to share with my readers! And there's a BONUS, in each case are two identical CD's, one for you to keep, and one for you to share with a friend! So really I'm giving away 10 CD's!!! This is my favorite tool for scripture memory and the children and I treasure our Seeds Family Worship CD's!

To enter to win one of these 5 sets of CD's just leave a comment below! I'll be choosing the winners randomly on Thursday, April 29th. If you don't win, I highly recommend you purchase one of their CD's even if you don't have small children - purchase it for yourself! They are a blessing in my life.

Walk with the King!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Book Review: Sleep It Does A Family Good by Dr. Hart

I have always believed that sleep deprivation plays a large role in kid's misbehavior, marital issues, and even my own "misbehavior"!!! This book Sleep It Does A Family Good addresses all those points and more. Some of the issues were more technically dealt with than what interested me BUT there were so many truths through out the book that sunk in, that I already see a difference in my own sleep habits!

Here's a few things I learned from the book:

1. No two families have the same sleep patterns, habits or problems. The issues my family may be dealing with such as night terrors, snoring or staying up too late on the computer may be completely different than yours such as a neighbors dog, room temperature, or a new born baby. There are a ton of different factors that affect our family's sleep habits including how our spouse was raised. So this is a more complex issue than it first appears on the surface.

2."God has designed sleep into us as a fundamental need, as fundamental as eating food and breathing air." In our culture we treat sleep as optional. The average person sleeps 6.7 hours a night, compared to 1960 when the average night was 8 hours. If we miss one hour of sleep every night - then by the end of the week we are 7 hours into a sleep deficit - an entire nights sleep!

3. Lack of sleep produces more stress not less stress. For those of us who think that staying up late to get our work done is a way to relieve ourselves of stress - think again! The ability for us to think clearly, creatively and productively is reduced when we are sleep deprived. Hence, we take longer to complete tasks and only increase our stress levels with sleep deprivation. We would do ourselves a big favor to go to bed early and wake well rested to work hard during the day.

4. Sleepy teens is an epidemic due to text messaging, twitter, video games and late night television. It's our job as parents to monitor our children and be sure they are getting the correct amount of sleep for their age. Animals sleep based on instinct - but children must be taught or they literally will not sleep! Studies have even shown that 4 year olds are no longer getting their naps and night time sleep that they need in our fast paced, on the go culture, and it is affecting their learning and listening abilities.

5. There is a natural universal drive toward an early afternoon mini-sleep in all cultures. Some actually embrace it but in America we equate napping with being a waste of time, self-indulgent or a physical weakness. Our sleep intervals at night are on 1 1/2 hour cycles - so an hour and a half nap can be quite invigorating - 2 hours could make you drowsy! And he did recommend short 20 minute power naps, which I smiled at because those are my favorite type of naps - doable and they work!

6. You have 7 days to make up for a sleep deficit and after that you can never make up for sleep lost. Weekend naps are healthy and essential make-up times - so allow yourself to take a nap on weekends. If you lose sleep one night, try to make it up the next night or by the end of the week. Sleep can be made up within one week from when it's lost - but after that the effects are irreversible.

Do you want to improve your quality of life? Go to bed early tonight, tomorrow night and the next night - then let me know how you feel! I have a feeling GREAT will be the answer!

"The family that sleeps well, lives well!"

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Help Your Husband Be A Man of Influence

Wednesdays In the Word: Proverbs 31:23 "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land."

It's Week 15 of our Proverbs 31 Series. So far we have seen that the Proverbs 31 woman rises early, works eagerly, works vigorously, shops wisely, even in the evenings she is extremely productive, she extends her beautiful hands to the poor, she is prepared for every season and her clothing is a reflection of her character: classy.

Now we come to the point in the passage where we learn more about her husband. Who is he? he is respected at the city gate where he sits among the elders. This man is a man of respect, honor and influence. As the Proverbs 31 woman works vigorously at home serving her husband and family, she frees her husband to sit at the city gate in a position of influence. His wife and his well ran home bring him honor in the community.

Do you bring honor to the name of your husband by the way you run your home?

Are you mindful of the fact that the way you run your home is a reflection of your husband and his influence? If your husband cannot lead at home, how can he lead in the community?

Do you compete with your husband for respect or do you allow him to have the respect that is due him out in public?

Are you and your husband going two separate directions in life - each striving after your own pursuits or are you following your husband's lead?

This husband in Proverbs 31 is one lucky man! He has landed a wife that most men could only dream of landing! And it has catapulted him in life to a place of influence. You know the saying "behind every good man is a good woman". That is definitely the case here!

In our culture, we tend to bristle at the thought of staying out of the spot light so our husband can shine. Elizabeth George puts it beautifully here:

Proverbs 12:4 "A wife of noble character is her husband's crown"

"God's beautiful woman is pleased to be her husband's crown. Shunning the spotlight, she gladly gives her life behind the scenes so that her husband may be noticed and honored. She is glad when he is the center of attention, when he excels, when he is recognized, when he rises to the top. Indeed, she delights in living in his shadow. His promotion is her greatest reward. She desires that her husband be highly respected and esteemed, so she contentedly offers the supreme sacrifice of herself for him."

---Elizabeth George, Beautiful in God's Eyes

Follow in the footsteps of the Proverbs 31 woman today - your husband will be blessed!

Walk with the King!

I am participating in Seven Clown Circus Wordful Wednesday and 5 Minutes for Mom Wordless Wednesday.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: Monster Mix Perfect for the Kids!

I will admit - this recipe I am about to share is very unimpressive! BUT your kids will think you are amazing! Pack it in baggies for a snack at the park and you will be one popular mommy! So what goes in a monster mix? My monster mix has: Cheerios, salted peanuts, m&m's, peanut butter chips and chocolate chips. Your mix could include raisins, sunflower seeds, teddy grahams, chex mix, pretzels, fishy crackers - whatever you have in the cupboard - just don't forget the m&ms! That's what makes it a hit for the kids AND with the change of seasons you can change the m&m color - like red and pink at Valentines Day, Green on St. Patty's Day, red and green for Christmas, pastels for Easter and red, white and blue for the 4th of July! Just have fun with it!

I am participating in Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday, Dining With Debbie , Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and Tuesdays at the Table recipe exchanges. For more blogger recipes go to these links.

Walk with the King!


Do You Feel Like A Stepford Wife?

This video is in response to a question I received on a radio program last week: "Do you feel like a stepford wife?" Here's my answer:

To read my entire series on the Proverbs 31 woman click here.

Walk with the King!

My Movie Monday @ Traveling Light

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 Winners of A Woman Inspired Ticket Giveaway Announced

Here are the 5 ladies who are winners of A Woman Inspired Online Conference Tickets:

Jessica (the Jessica who posted on April 15, 7:47am)

Sheri Bowers


Michelle (married to Joe with 5 children)


Congratulations ladies!!! Please email me ASAP at courtney(at) with your email address. I will forward them to the Women Inspired Conference and they will email you with your free logins to the conference!!!!

Walk with the King!


Friday, April 16, 2010

What's Your Family Dinner Time Like?

Do you remember June Cleaver in her kitchen wearing pearls and pumps? I remember the Leave it to Beaver family eating dinner while exchanging wisdom and witty jokes. It seems that in our fast paced society where people are working longer hours to pay the bills and children are distracted by television, video games and cell phones, that family dinner time is a lost art!

Studies show that children who eat dinner with the family are less likely to smoke, drink, do drugs, be depressed, have a teen pregnancy, or commit suicide. And studies also show that children who participate in regular meal times eat healthier, have higher grades in school and have a stronger bond with each of their family members.

And yet the schedule demands that we be at baseball practice RIGHT in the middle of dinner time! What do we as mom's do? We have to get creative! We have to be strong and say "no" to some obligations that stand between us and our family time. That's what we have to do. We must not cave in and abandon the age old practice of eating dinner together! It truly is important!

Did you grow up in a family that ate dinner together? I did. We are a very chatty family! I had two older sisters and we joked you had to take a number to get a chance to tell your story. One pastor who visited our home said that talking with our family was like jump roping. You had to pay attention for the lull to jump in. I have pictures of my brother-in-law on thanksgiving with fingers in his ears because my immediate family of 5 can really get loud when we get around a dinner table! We simply have fun together! And I strongly believe that it is one of the reasons why all five of us are close now as adults and why we all are close to our Heavenly Father.

Are you in need of some meal time pick me up ideas. I found a whole slew of GREAT spiritual conversation starters on Focus On the Family (just click here and scroll through the pages of ideas). Also, my friend Kelly makes beautiful and fun lunches for her children - to see those go here.

And if you are a mom who has learned to be creative with meal times or grew up in a family with great meal time ideas then I have the contest that is perfect for you to enter!

Focus on the Family is running a Mother's Day Contest!

The contest runs April 26th-May 7th

Here’s the challenge: Write a 250 word essay or upload a 3-5 minute video about how you or your mother made mealtime special for your family.

This is less about what you are cooking or where you are eating and more about how you have created this time as special for your family.

One Grand Prize Winner will receive a year’s subscription to Thriving Family Magazine, have their video featured on Focus’ websites, and get the choice of one grand prize:

-Plane ticket to see your mom or to fly your mom to you
-House cleaning for one month (I could really use this one!!!!!!!)
-Spa Day
-Night Out (Dinner and Broadway tickets)
-A Celebrate Mom Party (food and decorations)

Four prizes will be awarded daily: 4 /Dinner bracelets (for entire family to wear) – these are similar to the “LiveStrong” bracelets, Great Focus Resources, Sample subscriptions to Thriving Family Magazine (3 months worth)

For more details on how to enter go here: Mother's Day Contest. I know I have some amazing readers with great ideas - so please enter and let me know if you win!!! I'm rootin' you on!!!

Now get your roast in the crock pot and gather your chicks around for a home cooked meal! They desperately need this time with the family.

Walk with the King!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Check Out This HUGE Good Morning Girls Group!

This post is one of my favorite posts of the year! It is fulfilling for me to see women Walking with the King . My heart's passion is to see you, my reader, walking with the King of Kings in your own daily life as he transforms you into an amazing Godly woman.

Let me share with you pictures of the largest Good Morning Girls group yet! This group is all from the same church in Bellwether, MS and they have 43 women in their group (Linda Tate their pastors wife has divided the groups accordingly)! You ladies are beautiful and radiate the love of Jesus from the inside out!

If you are new to Women Living Well - you maybe asking "what in the world is a Good Morning Girls Group?"

The short definition is: The "Good Morning Girls" is a title for a group of women who use email to keep each other accountable for their quiet times. Each weekday morning they email each other to say "Good Morning" and to share what they read during their quiet time with the Lord.

There are now nearly 50 groups with 350+ Good Morning Girls - Wow! They are located in OH, WA, VA, TX, MN, SC, AL IL, ID, KY, GA, IN, MD, CA, OR, MS, MI, Australia, Africa and Taiwan (if I missed your state or country please add it in the comment section!).

The winter session began January 15th and today, April 15th the winter session comes to an end. So if you are in a group - please take a week or two off and reassess your committments to your group. This break gives ladies who have decided this is not for them a chance to exit or vice versa - if you have a friend who wants to join your group - now's the time! Regroup, reorganize and recommit to walking with the King.

The sign-ups for the Spring/Summer session will begin May 1st and end May 15th (the 3 month session runs from May 15th - August 15th) and you will hear more about that soon. So during this time please be praying about who you will ask to join your group. For more information about Good Morning Girls go here.

Coming Soon - A Good Morning Girls website chuck full of resources just for you!!! I can't not wait to unveil it!!!!

Walk with the King!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Mother

Women of Faith is asking Bloggers to share their List of 10 things they wish we knew before we became mothers - so here's my list!

1. I was going to have a boy! I had all sisters - so having a boy has opened an entire new world to me!!!

2. That the child throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store would one day be MY child! I so thought I would never allow my child to do such a thing. And well - I didn't allow them to - but they did it anyway!!! lol!

3. That you can't make a kid sleep. You can make them stay in their bed but you can't make them sleep!

4. You can't make a kid eat. You can make them sit in their chair until the sun sets but you can't make them eat. Thus we implemented the "no thank you bite" rule. Take one no thank you bite of everything on your plate and then you can leave the table with no snacks for the rest of the evening.

5. You can't make a kid go "potty". You can make them sit on it - but not release it! So frustrating!

6. That when I left my children for a fun weekend away I would miss them so much! And they seem to become even more beautiful while I'm gone!

7. That it would be SO fun to home school them - I NEVER planned to home school! I grew up in the public school all 12 years - shared my faith regularly and liked my experience. My plan was to raise my children to be lights in the public school. Someday that will happen - but first I'm gonna keepem' close to me. I'm really enjoying this season of life with them.

8. That I would feel so guilty for mistakes I make in parenting. If I ponder my flaws too long, I end up being a puddle on the floor!

9. That it would take more patience than I had. Good parenting takes A LOT of patience and gentleness! Something I am still working on!

10. That I would get angry with my children and yell. Surprise! I didn't know I had a temper until my son turned 2! The first time I felt my face get hot and I raised my voice, I was shocked at myself! One of the BEST things I have ever done for my family was to participate in the Good Morning Girls Gentleness Challenge. During that time, I found some mastery over my temper. I worked the entire summer of 2009 on this Godly trait and though it is something I will have to continually work on - I have come a long way!
So it's your turn - tell me in the comments section something you wish you had known before you became a mother!
Walk with the King!