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Women Living Well Blog: Putting Your House In Order

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, January 17, 2011

Putting Your House In Order

I'm excited to begin a series titled "Putting Your House in Order". This series of posts includes some of my bloggy friends who will be writing on other areas. I have been assigned the area of faith. I hope you will visit my friends!
Children: Connie from Smockity FrocksDecorating: Myra from The Casabella Project and My Blessed LifeFinances: Alyssa from Kingdom First MomFood: Jessica from Good Cheap Eats and Life as Mom

Order - I crave order. I make schedules and lists and plans and then the children wake up...and well - the order goes out the window! That's when I light my candle, put on some classical music and say a prayer for peace in our home lol!

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

I have been journaling since I was 16 - so for about 19 years (I'll save you the math - I'm 35 years old lol!).

So you may ask, what do I write in my journals? My answer: It's a massive plethora of stuff - that's why I get the 5 subject, college rule, notebooks!. I write:

1. My daily prayer requests. Sometimes they are in list form and sometimes I write out entire prayers.

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

3. Confessions. I confess my sins in my notebook - yikes - do not let the kids get a hold of these lol! Lately, I have grown more private and I use code words or often I write the word "confessing" and then I pause to confess my sins but I don't write them down. The discipline of confessing is unnatural - it is easy to become neglectful in this area.

4. Verses. Often I write out verses from my quiet time that I don't want to forget.

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

What I don't journal:

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

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

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

Next, start reading your Bible. If you don't know where to read, I have the perfect Bible study for you! TODAY, the on-line James Bible study launches over at my sister site We have over 135 Good Morning Girls Groups and over 935 Girls enrolled from all over the USA and in Brazil, Korea, Austria, Germany, Canada, Scotland, Australia, and Croatia. You do not have to have a Good Morning Girls Group to participate in the James study! Join Angela on Mondays, a link up on Wednesdays and I'll be there blogging on Fridays.
Here's a video from Angela with all the details:

Join me for the James Bible Study as I put my house in order starting with my spiritual life.

Walk with the King!

The Be My Valentine Marriage Challenge and Link Up begins this Wednesday!

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Blogger Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

January 17, 2011 at 6:52 AM  
Blogger jamers said...

What a great legacy to have 19 years of journals through your walk with God. I love to journal as well. I have fallen away from it recently with homeschooling our girls. Just ran out of time, I think. But I think that is what is missing in my quiet times and will start that back up. Thanks for the great reminder of what a precious time and reminder journals can be as we grow in our faith.

January 17, 2011 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Rene said...

I love your posting about what to and what not to journal. I wanted to add, I totally agree about not journaling your spats with your spouse or even your friends/family. I do want to share that I still do write them down. I will sometimes beat the heck out of my keyboard venting my frustration. Then I print it. Then I pray over it. I pray that God help me to move past, forgive, learn from or even help the said person/situation I was just venting over. Afterwards....I immediately shred it. It's like a "ah hah" moment. Literally I feel freed fom whatever the issue was. It so helps me to physically see it "disappear".

January 17, 2011 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger mommaof3 said...

Oh I love journaling I Journaled since I was abt 15 yrs old but lost most of my journals in a fire so the only one I have is the one I stated when my hubby started dating and having kids etc. until now of but I love journaling it makes you feel better to everything off of your shoulder on paper.thats like my therpy. I thought Im the only one does this still

January 17, 2011 at 7:32 AM  
Anonymous RaeAnn said...

I've never journaled ... oh, I've tried. I just don't like to write. But after reading this post I'm determined to try again :-) It sounds so simple and encouraging...thanks for this post!

January 17, 2011 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Frances said...

I like to journal also because it just seems like I get so much more out of my quiet time. However, I always start with good intentions and slack off after a while. Maybe this year and this GMG study in James will be the start to some good continued journaling for me this year :)

January 17, 2011 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Smockity Frocks said...

What great advice about what NOT to write in a journal! Now, if we wives would just follow that advice with our "mental" lists!

January 17, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Soaring Eagle said...

Thank you for writing about what not to write. I guess my husband was right about not wanting me to write about the bad things that happened (along with the good). I just started back up with journaling but writing about my quiet time and what God is saying/wanting me to do.

January 17, 2011 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anna said...

I love journaling as well. But there have been times I've crossed things out that I wrote about my marriage, because I was angry and sinful and I didn't want to remember them. So thank you for the great advice!

January 17, 2011 at 9:54 AM  
Blogger Lady-in-the-Making said...

Love you, Courtney! You're the best!

January 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM  
OpenID living-the-balanced-life said...

I have journaled through the years, but not nearly as consistently as you have! I have gone back thru though and been amazed at my awful attitudes and weaknesses I was battling! I believe I may start using your guidelines as what to journal!
Thanks Courtney!

January 17, 2011 at 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Alyssa said...

Thanks for the encouraging words about what NOT to journal about. . . I need to put that into practice

January 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Kara said...

Sent over from Smockity's site:) I agree with your journeling don'ts. I have been journaling since I was a young child, and always cringe when anger or immaturity rear their ugly head in my entries. But on the positive side, I can see much growth. Of course I should, since I'm 38 now!!

January 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Dee said...

Courtney, in regards to today's post about "Put your house in order", I'd LOVE (maybe even beg) for you (or someone you know) to post help for us moms that need help organizing, daily routine stuff and keeping a clean house. I am so weak in that area. Thanks!

January 17, 2011 at 3:25 PM  
Blogger Kassandra Wood said...

Hi Ladies!!! How Do I become a Good Morning Girl????

January 17, 2011 at 3:42 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Dee - I have done several posts on my "schedules" here's a link to my current one - the only change is I exercise in the evening now:

Also, you can go to the right hand side bar and find under labels the word "schedules" click on it for more.

Kassandra - go to to find all the info there!!!

January 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM  
Blogger Sarah beth said...

OH wow that is alot of writing to look back on, that is wonderful! I love to look back at the prayers that were answered! I love to write but stopped journaling for awhile, how sad! For Christmas I recieved a beautiful prayers journal..I am excited to start again!

January 17, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Coffee and a Mop said...

Woohoo! I have been waiting for you to post some type of challenge/series.

I got my 5 subject notebook that my wonderful SIL blessed me with and I saved one "subject" for your challenges and stuff.

can't wait to start...I also will be doing the James bible study.

January 17, 2011 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous shannon said...

I journal everymorning and it is amazing to go back and reread and see how God is working in your life. I am in awe of how He answers me. I also love the fact that my girls will someday read these and REALLY know me. My heart, my desires, my fears, the real me and my real relationship with the LORD. LOVE YOUR BLOG!

January 18, 2011 at 6:35 AM  
Anonymous lisa maria said...

Hi Courtney

I just wanted to say that I keep journals too and I totally agree with what you said about not keeping notes about your emotions at the time of conflicts etc.

I've been there- done that! I have come to realise.. finally!! ;) that I cannot keep these things around they do take you back down an ugly path. I kinda used to hold on to everything I wrote and wallow in those feelings I guess!

Anyway, thank you for your inspiring blogs, I enjoy them so much. I want to invite you to follow a blog I just started, at my husband's prompting. You can find me at

God bless

January 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Wow what a great post! I really love what you said about confessing. So many times that part of our spiritual walk gets overlooked, but it's such an important thing!

January 18, 2011 at 11:30 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I am an avid journaler, I love that you use five subject notebooks. What a legacy you are leaving to your children! This is a wonderful way to begin a new year!

January 22, 2011 at 5:24 PM  

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