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Inside Out with Courtnaye

WELCOME!

Hey Sis! So glad that you're here! Check out my blog cover stories and features where I share with you, Christian women from around the globe who are making a great impact for the Kingdom of God! As I interview each one, get ready to be inspired, instructed, and encouraged as we dive into some biblical and practical insight. Let's go Inside!

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May 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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creative ways to connect
with god 

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

       was so delighted to sit down and talk with Asheritah Ciuciu for this month's cover story! What a gentle-spirited woman of God who loves spending time with our Heavenly Father. Asheritah is a bestselling author, national speaker, and host of the Prayers of REST podcast. She is a Romanian missionary kid, who is passionate about helping people around the world enjoy Jesus through creative spiritual habits. Asheritah is married to her high school sweetheart and together they raise their three spunky kids in NE Ohio. 

Courtnaye – Welcome Asheritah! How are you sister? 

Asheritah - I am doing well (smiling). Thank you so much for having me Courtnaye!

 

Courtnaye - Absolutely! Well, I know a lot of women are excited to learn more about this topic, especially as it relates to spending quiet time with God. So, let’s go ahead and dive right in! Asheritah, what is your favorite way to connect with God?

 

Asheritah – I think it depends on the day (laughing). For a long time, I’d get stuck in a rut of just kind of doing the same thing. Right now, one of the things that I enjoy doing to connect with Him in the morning is listening to a prayer podcast (not my own). This gives me time to just set my eyes on Jesus and fill my heart and mind with Scripture before I do anything else. 

 

Courtnaye – That’s so good. You know, the morning time is a great time for me, too. I'd have to say that it’s one of my favorites. I love getting my coffee first thing in the morning and then asking the Lord, “How was Your night?” After that, I start journaling (which kicks off my devotional time with God in prayer and the Word). Asheritah, why do you think it can be challenging to get into our quiet time with the Lord, today?

 

Asheritah – I think there are a few things that are obstacles to a thriving prayer and devotional life and one of them is distractions. Even when we do sit down to pray, read the Bible or to journal, it’s easy to get distracted the first 45 seconds in. We start thinking, “Oh, the laundry needs to get switched over to the dryer” or “I need to remember to send that email in for work.” In our own minds, we are distracted. 

 

Courtnaye – So true. 

 

Asheritah – And then there are external distractions like our phone pings or checking one quick thing on Instagram, which then turns into 13 minutes later (where you’re still looking at cat videos). I also think it’s our own expectations. Like, we picture this ideal quiet time with the mug of coffee, candle, flowers, while the kids are still sleeping or playing quietly. Yet, we need to understand that there is no formula or expectation. 

 

Courtnaye – Right. 

Asheritah – So I just want to start by saying lay aside the spiritual To-Do-List and embrace the invitation where Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” 

Courtnaye - Yes!

 

Asheritah –  It's going to look different in different seasons and it will require some creativity, especially in a busy hectic life. And that’s okay because God’s Spirit is within us, and He’s going to guide us through it.

 

Courtnaye – So good. That is so freeing. We need to get rid of the spiritual To-Do-List. Yessss! I love that! Now, I know you’re a mom and you’re busy doing a lot of things for the Lord, but how do you make time for quiet time around your kids? 

 

Asheritah – There was a season when it was my first time being a mom and my prayer time with the Lord would be the first time I got into my car for the day. So, whether I was driving to a doctor’s appointment, grocery shopping, or to a playdate – the first time getting into the car would be the trigger. I linked my prayer time to clicking in my seatbelt for the first time every day. 

 

Courtnaye – That's creative. 

 

Asheritah – So I would say, link it to something that you’re already doing and make it tiny. Then at the end of the week, look back. If you’ve read your Bible four days out of seven, celebrate those four days. It’s things like this (and that I’ve done in my own life) that have created rhythms of spiritual habits that lead to a life of joy instead of guilt and overwhelm.

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! I love that - tiny habits. Are there any other tips that you’d like to share from your guide? 

 

Asheritah –Yes. The guide you’re referring to which is 120 Creative Ways to Connect with God actually came from my reading of a book by Gary Thomas entitled, Sacred Pathways: Nine Ways to Connect with God. For me, my kitchen sink faces west and I can see the sunset. So when I see the sky light up with a blaze of God’s glory, I just put down the dish sponge for two minutes to walk out onto the deck and sit with Jesus to admire His handiwork.    

 

Courtnaye – Beautiful. You know, there’s such a variety of ways to connect with God. Asheritah, before we get out of here, can you share an encouraging word, today? 

 

Asheritah – Yeah, a verse that I’ve been meditating on recently comes from Psalm 46 and it says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.” And the psalmist goes on to list, “If the mountains crumble, if the oceans roar” – if the worst happens…we will not fear. So whatever that blank looks like for you – what is your worst-case scenario? Is it relationships, finances, or health? Rest in assurance that because God is our refuge and strength, we do not have to fear. We have Him to run to and rest in His loving presence. 

 

Courtnaye – No fear, dear reader. You heard it from Asheritah and the Word of God. Now, you also have a new book coming out that's entitled, Prayers of Rest and it's full of daily prompts to slow down and hear God's voice. I’d love for the women reading to grab it and connect with you online and social media. How can they connect with you?

 

Asheritah – Absolutely, all of the written encouragement is found at www.onethingalone.com. Also, you can find me on Instagram at Asheritah, but you can also find all of my links on my website and www.prayersofrest.com

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Connect, connect with Asheritah, today. Get her new book and thank you for joining us. ;-)

 

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April 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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having a Mary Heart in a Martha World

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

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          o glad that you are here with me for another blog cover story! I am sitting down and talking to the beautiful and sweet-spirited Joanna Weaver. She is a wife, mother of three, speaker and award winning author. Joanna is the author of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, which has sold over a million copies. Other books include Having a Mary Spirit, Lazarus Awakening, and a devotional, At the Feet of Jesus. Her books and companion DVD Bible studies have been used by hundreds of churches as well as home groups and individuals. So grateful to have her here to share with us today. 

Courtnaye – Welcome Joanna! How are you?

 

Joanna – I am good. It’s such an honor to be on your show. Thank you for having me. 

 

Courtnaye – Oh, thank you so much for taking the time to share with us! Well, as you know, we're going to be talking about, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World today. A lot of us are super busy as moms, wives, and some women are single who are working and doing all the things. This is such an important topic because busyness just happens. Joanna, can you share why it’s so important to make time to spend with the Lord? 

 

Joanna –  You know, God created us for relationship. He chose us to be known by Him and to know Him. And so whether we’re Mary or Martha, that’s the invitation. But I think choosing to make the time for it, is the challenge we all face. I always like to say start small, but begin. 

 

Courtnaye – So good!

 

Joanna – And don’t put so many “shoulds” onto your time with the Lord that it becomes a burden. He never intended for it to be a burden. Once we begin to taste and see that the Lord is good, we’ll just want more and more. 

Courtnaye – So true! Now, I’m going to shift a bit, because as we talk about the busyness of life, I want to ask. Have you ever burned out in ministry, Joanna? 

 

Joanna – I would have to say, “Yes!” There have been those moments, but it’s been more of days when I’ve been doing really good and then I’m not. 

 

Courtnaye – I get it. 

 

Joanna – I like to say that by God’s grace, He allows me to coast for a little while, but it’s His grace that allows me to hit a wall. Yesterday, I hit a wall. I’m writing a new book that comes out in August on trusting God. And I’m really excited! Yet, I’m also having to live it too, right? So there are days when I’m a woman of mighty faith, but then there are days when I wake up and everything is cloudy. Yet, once again, I’m brought back to the feet of Jesus. 

 

Courtnaye – I love that.

 

Joanna – Sometimes we’re just going so fast. There was a time when I was filming Bible Studies that were on Lazarus and Mary and Martha. There were overlapping deadlines (and we were missing deadlines). It was probably about six to seven years of intensity. I had to look at my life and go, “Wait a minute. This has been crazy!” And so, I set aside a year just to be quiet. I wasn’t going to do any big projects. But it was so funny because it felt like one foot was on the gas still, even though the other foot was on the break.    

 

Courtnaye – Wow!

 

Joanna – So I wasn’t necessarily doing any forward movement, but inside, there was this fanatic pace. I needed help. I prayed, “Lord, help me find the still point.” I was living at that fanatic pace that even when it wasn’t required anymore, I couldn’t get my soul still. It became this period of time of learning to breathe. Like literally taking a deep breath. So just breathe and rediscover the good, good Father. Because He’s a good shepherd. He never drives us, He leads us. 

 

Courtnaye – I love this! Burnout is indeed real. So just breathe dear reader, just as Joanna encouraged. Okay, so you also talk about the treadmill of life in your book. Can you unpack that for us a bit?

 

Joanna – Well, for me, it was the treadmill of performance. I had so many expectations for myself. As a pastor’s wife, which God called me to be when I was 16 years of age (and I love it), there's a whole lot of expectations and I know what I ought to be. So I can get onto this treadmill of performance – trying to be all things to all people. Trying to be the perfect mom, wife, the perfect online person, and there are so many “shoulds" that are on us. But once you buy into that lie that we have to perform for purpose or value, then it is a terrible taskmaster. For me, somehow, I had even transposed that onto God (that I had to perform for Him). But I was saved by grace. 

 

Courtnaye – Yes!

 

Joanna – He wasn’t the taskmaster – I was. He wasn’t demanding more of me. I was the one demanding more of me. That was the treadmill that I was on – going faster and harder. Yet, God was just saying, “I’ve got a better way.” So it’s not just the grace that saves us, but it’s the grace that changes and empowers us. It’s the power to do and want God’s will. As I learned to link my heart to that, where it's coming out of that place of acceptance, rather than trying to strive for acceptance - it's changed everything. And I can't say that I've got it down, but that fear of not being enough in God’s eyes was definitely broken. 

 

Courtnaye – So good! We are enough. You know, Jesus said, “I’ve come to do the Father’s will, not my own.” He also said, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest…learn from me.” 

 

Joanna – I think of that verse and it comes back to the “living room” again and that intimate friendship that Mary enjoyed at Jesus’ feet.

 

Courtnaye - Yes!

Joanna - Martha was busy serving in the kitchen and she was using her gifts. In the Bible, the word that they use for “preparation” in the Greek can be translated as “ministry.” She was doing ministry. But she was distracted by all of the preparations. 

 

Courtnaye – Right. 

 

Joanna – Also, the verse where Jesus says, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” And they’re like, “But wait a minute, we did all of this. Look at all of the works we did for you.” Yet, when it was all said and done, Jesus said, “I don’t know you.” Now, of course, He knows us because He made us. But that intimate friendship that we were made for – the garden intimacy. If we miss that, we may miss it all. 

 

Courtnaye – Such a valid point! He saved us for close fellowship. Of course, for salvation from our sins, but also to restore the right relationship with the Father and to have the friendship with Him. This conversation is so refreshing. Well, before we get out of here, Joanna can you share an encouraging word with the women today? 

 

Joanna – Yeah. You know, looking at my laundry list of things, every single one of them are important, Courtnaye. There is not one that doesn’t matter. They’re all crucial. But I want to encourage all the girls out there that He has not set you up to fail. He’s called you, set you apart to know you, to fill you, and then to spill you to the world that He’s put you in. And that He's going to be with you every step of the way. Just trust in Him. 

 

Courtnaye – Wow! So good! We have got to get your new book too which is entitled, Embracing Trust: The Art of Letting Go and Holding On to a Forever-Faithful God. Pre-order it here dear reader!

 

Joanna – Yes! I would love that! 

 

Courtnaye – Well, Joanna thank you so much for being here and sharing. You’ve been such a sweet treat for us! I also want to encourage women reading or watching to grab your book, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. But also how can the women connect with you? 

 

Joanna – Yeah, I’m at www.joannaweaverbooks.com. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram at Joanna Weaver. I would love to connect with you there. I also have The Living Room Podcast where I have some wonderful guests that I’d love to share with you. And if you’re interested in being a part of my online community that’s called, “The Living Room with Joanna Weaver.” It’s my private Facebook group. I’d love to have you join me there, as well. 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Connect, connect dear reader. Until next time, let’s be intentional about spending time with God. 

 

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March 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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Enduring Faith for families
in today's culture

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

          elcome to another blog cover story! This month I am sitting down and talking to my sweet sister-friend, Sara B. Anderson. She is a wife, mother of five, ministry leader, author, speaker, attorney, Christian apologist with her Masters of Divinity in Christian Apologetics, life coach and founder of Fruits of Faith Ministries.  Sara uses her education and experience to empower parents to raise the next generation of faith on the firm foundation of God's truth. She provides the necessary tools and knowledge to help mothers reach their goals by supporting four pillars of a strong biblical family: Bible Literacy, Biblical Marriage, Parental Authority, and Early Child Training. Join us in the conversation!

Courtnaye – Hello Sara, how are you my friend?

 

Sara – Hello Courtnaye! It’s so good to be here. 

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Sara, you are very passionate about keeping families biblically strong. Today, we're talking about, Enduring Faith for Families in Today’s Culture. Why is faith and family dear to your heart? 

Sara – Well, I have five kids and I care very deeply for my kids. What we care about becomes our passion, right? So while raising my children, I realized something is changing from past generations. How we raise our children today has to be different because culture has changed. Although the enemy's tactics haven't changed, the tools that he's using has changed. And we have to do something about it. 

Courtnaye – For sure! I agree. Social media is one of those modern day schemes and tactics. Sara, do you have some tips for us as parents on how to keep our kids grounded in their faith with all of these apps like Snapchat and TikTok at their fingertips (on their phones)? 

 

Sara – Yes. We want to get to our kids between the ages of 0-12 and fill them with the truth and beliefs from the Bible. If we do that, then our job when it comes to TikTok will be a whole lot easier. If we haven’t done that, then God will redeem the time, but we need to start today. Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train them up in the way that they should go.” 

Courtnaye – Right. Amen. 

 

Sara – Also, limit the exposure. When they get between the ages of 12-24, we have less proximity to them. They have more independence. It’s going to be much harder as they get older. So start young, limit exposure, and continue to ask your children questions about truth which is built on faith and not on evidence. 

 

Courtnaye – So good! What does it look like for you to sit down with your kids to help them have enduring faith?

Sara – There's a lot of conversations. My daughter and I love apologetics. This is what I have my degree in. However, I want to say that apologetics is not arguing someone into the faith. Instead, 1 Peter 3:15 tells us that we are supposed to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that we have, which is Jesus and the promises of God. So I would encourage parents to read C.S. Lewis books. There are so many good resources out there. When we do this, we will be so equipped when we’re having these conversations with our kids. For me, it’s making sure that my kids know truth. 

 

Courtnaye – Thank you for taking us into your home and sharing how you teach them to endure in their faith. So in a nutshell, it’s reading the Word of God, having conversations, teaching, training, but also asking them questions. I love it! I have two teenagers, so I know about the importance of those conversations. With that being said, how can you help women prepare their families to have enduring faith as we await the return of Jesus Christ?

 

Sara – I would say, we can’t pass down what we don’t know. As parents, we have to learn Scripture so that we can then pass it down to our children. For a lot of people, it’s intimidating. There’s no manual for parenting. And sure, we have the Bible, but God doesn’t expect us to be experts. Yet, He does expect us to be authentic and transparent with our kids. So, we need to teach them the Bible as we know it and walk through it together. 

 

Courtnaye - Good stuff! Sara, do you have a Bible verse to share with the women? 

 

Sara - I love John 14:6, where Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Jesus is truth and He will show us the way. The only way we can be free is through truth. And there is only one truth and that’s Jesus Christ. He is the Word. 

 

Courtnaye – Yes, He is! Now before we go, let’s talk a little bit about your book entitled, The Best is Yet to Come. Also, how can we prepare and endure in our faith considering the times that we’re living in? 

 

Sara – Jesus is coming back soon. While we don’t know when Jesus is going to come, we still need to prepare today to be ready at any moment. Knowing this doesn’t mean that we can just assume that we’re not going to have to suffer for Christ or make difficult choices, now. We’re witnessing a convergence of Matthew 24. This is what the book is about. 

 

Courtnaye – The best is yet to come! Amen. So, no matter what, we want to be ready. In the meantime, we’re watching, praying, reading, and preparing our households to endure unto the end. Sara, I always end with an encouraging word for the readers. Do you have an encouraging word today?

 

Sara – Yes, I want to tell the readers to remember that God loves you very much. He is calling you in this moment to seek Him, so that He can open Himself up to you regarding His knowledge and truth. Submit your life to Christ, today.

 

Courtnaye – So good! Thank you so much for being here today. How can women connect with you? 

 

Sara – Sure. They can find me on www.sarabanderson.com and I have a ministry called Fruits of Faith Ministries. I’m also on Facebook and Instagram.  

 

Courtnaye – Also, grab Sara’s Christian Parenting Toolkit for FREE that is loaded with helpful links to help you train up your children with biblical truth. Don’t forget to check out her book below. Thanks so much for being here Sara!
 

 

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February 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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Balancing
Marriage & Ministry

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

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          ey Sis! It's time for another cover story! This month, I am sitting down and sharing marriage tips with my hubby who goes by the name, Calvin "Go Hard" Richard. Join us as we share on Balancing Marriage & Ministry as it relates to...

  • Understanding the Demands of Ministry

  • Dealing with Conflict

  • Doing Ministry Together

  • The Importance of Intimacy & Sex While Balancing it All

  • Date Night Ideas

  • How to Help One Another

  • Balancing Family Time

  • And More!

 

The written transcription is coming soon and don't forget to grab your FREE "Successful Wife Toolkit" below...

WATCH THE VIDEO COVER STORY HERE...

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January 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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THE BEST IS YET TO COME

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

          ey Sis! As we go about life, along the way, we have dreams, hopes, visions, and things that we believe God is calling us to do. We sit back and think, ponder, and envision what life could be like if we began walking in what we’ve dreamed, hoped for, seen, or believed. It’s fun and tough to imagine at the same time, especially if they haven’t happened yet. Today, I am praying and believing God that whoever sets their eyes upon this post that The Best is Yet to Come.

 

Yep! I am praying and believing that for you and for me. I don’t believe it’s by chance that you either clicked onto this post, opened it up from an email, or seen it on social media. I believe God has you on His heart and mind, and He wants you to know that He knows exactly where you are and what you’ve been praying for. He also knows what’s best for you and the perfect timing for all things to be revealed.

 

And listen, Sis. Even if you don’t get what you think you wanted, guess what? God will do what is truly best for you. Don't forget, the best is yet to come, which means that something great is still on the horizon! With that being said, let’s talk briefly about what this encouraging phrase means and where it originated from. 

 

It’s actually from a British poet named Robert Browning (1812-1889). The quote “The best is yet to come” was a line from one of his poems. And it’s amazing that in the same poem there is a line that reads, “Trust God.” This amazed me when I saw it, because “Trust God” is actually my phrase (instead of a word) for this year! Every year, most people pick a word or phrase to live by. What’s yours? 

 

As you think about it, let's move along. 

 

It’s also good to see what it means by definition. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the phrase is defined as good things have happened, but even better things will happen in the future. In other words, life is good now, but the best is yet to come. Isn’t that encouraging?

 

In addition, www.idioms.com further defines it as whatever is happening now will be surpassed by something better in the future. It also goes on to say, “The best things have not come, but it will.” This phrase in a nutshell means things are good now, but the future will be even better! I love it! 

 

For me personally, this phrase resonated with me the moment I first saw it. It has kept me hopeful. Dreaming. Praying. And trusting in the One (God) who brings forth the best for His children. 

 

So, what are you waiting on God to do in your life? If you’re married, what are you hopeful for? If you’re a mother, what are you praying for regarding your child or children? If you’re single, what have you been dreaming about? If you’re simply a woman who is waiting on the Lord to do something amazing related to your profession or purpose (like me), then keep trusting Him to move in the best way (also, listen to this song (after) you finish reading this post. ;-) It’s by Maverick City Worship entitled, “Wait on You”).

 

Again, the phrase, “The Best is Yet to Come” is an encouraging one. And it’s one that is shared on social media, wall-art, coffee mugs, journal covers, devotions, you name it. I think it’s just a little creative reminder that God is still at work behind the scenes preparing His best for us while we wait.  

 

Just like heaven.

 

Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” First Corinthians 2:9 also states, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” These are beautiful promises and glimpses of what is yet to come. 

 

It is coming to all of those who love God and have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. Have you done this yet? If not, I pray that you will. And if you have already, awesome! 

 

Remember, the best is yet to come!

Also, remember that Jesus Christ is coming back soon. And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So, let’s be ready from the Inside Out!

~Courtnaye

  

 

Question: What are you waiting on God to do in your life? Let me know by emailing me. 

Also, if you need prayer, you can email me directly and I will pray for you at insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com.

If you haven't subscribed yet to receive my weekly blog or updates, please sign up here. I talk about real life topics for Christian women who want to grow in their walk with the Lord, endtimes, and equipping women to do what they are called to do. So stay in the know in every way.

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December 2021

BLOG COVER STORY

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Taking Leaps into Your Calling with Focus & Balance

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

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          elcome to another blog cover story! This month I am sitting down and having a chat with my sister-friend, who I talk to just about every day, Rachel G. Scott. But before we dive into our candid and lively conversation I want to tell you all about this dynamic woman of God! Rachel is a devoted wife, mother, author, and speaker. She has written on platforms such as Huffington Post and YouVersion. She is also a guest co-host/partner with Moody Radio Cleveland, and she is now the host of her NEW podcast called, Taking the Leap with Rachel G. Scott. Join us for the conversation.

Courtnaye – Hello Rachel, how are you? 

 

Rachel – Hi Courtnaye! I am so excited to be here with you!

 

Courtnaye – Yay! I'm excited too! Just to give a little backstory. Rachel and I met through Dr. Saundra B. Dalton Smith’s Mastermind, maybe a couple of years ago, and we’ve been connected ever since. 

 

Rachel – Right!

 

Courtnaye – Now Rachel, we talk every day, don’t we? (laughing)

 

Rachel (laughing) – Yes! We do. We are each other’s accountability partners. 

 

Courtnaye – So true. Okay, so let’s get started with our topic today which is, “Taking Leaps into Your Calling with Focus and Balance.” Why is having focus so important for us as women?

 

Rachel – Focus is important in order to get things accomplished. I think as women, there’s so many different things that we want to do and that we feel called to do. Yet, we have so many other things pulling on us, as well. And the enemy tends to distract us. Yet, focus is essential to getting things done.

Courtnaye - Amen! So Rachel, how do we regain focus when we lose it? 

Rachel – Awareness is key. Meaning you have to be aware of what focus looks like for you. For instance, think about that moment when you were most focused and then find your way back. 

 

Courtnaye – That’s good. You know, one of the things that helps me to regain my focus is silencing my phone, putting on some instrumental worship music, and letting my husband and kids know that I will be out of pocket for a couple of hours. And then I just get after it! Sometimes we have to be that intentional.

 

Rachel – Yes! 

 

Courtnaye – Now, let’s talk about these leaps. You have a devotional on the YouVersion Bible App and it’s entitled, “Taking the Leap.” Tell us more about it. 

 

Rachel – Sure. For starters, I remember praying and asking God, “What does it look like for people to honor you when taking leaps or moving from one space to another?” In that quiet time with Him, He gave me five different types of people in the Bible who took leaps that didn’t look all the same. One was Abraham which is the Shepherd Leap, the Disciples which is the Fisherman Leap, Nehemiah which is the Builder Leap, the Apostle Paul which is the Tentmaker Leap, and Jesus which is the Trailblazer Leap

 

Courtnaye – Wow! Awesome! (reader, to learn more in depth about each leap, please watch the full interview below and download her devotional on the YouVersion Bible App). Okay, so let's move on even further. If people are stalling or if there is a delay or setback as they're trying to take leaps in their lives, ministries, or businesses, how do they press through? 

Rachel – Obedience. What I tell myself all the time is “Obedience is a non-negotiable.” When we make obedience a non-negotiable, then we won’t stall or delay. We have to get to a point that what God has called us to do is not something that we negotiate. When His voice becomes the most important voice to us, that’s when we’ll begin moving forward in what He’s called us to do.

 

Courtnaye – Agreed! Obedience is better than sacrifice. I love it. Okay, so let's shift into balance. We’ve both taken leaps and signed with literary agents and are working on book proposals for traditional publishing. As a writer, how are you balancing out writing with your life at home?

 

Rachel – I’m still learning. To me, balance is knowing what to move forward and what to pull back on. It’s saying, “This is what I need to focus my attention on, now.” But I know balance is a process. In my journal, “The Balanced Life Journal, I talk about seven specific areas where we can find balance. For instance, what do I do for my community, family, myself, future, or finances? Doing one thing in each of these areas will help us live balanced lives.

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! So let's dive into talking about your new podcast which is called, “Taking the Leap with Rachel G. Scott.” Woohoo! And who are some of the guests that you’ll have on your show?

 

Rachel – I have to say, this was a leap! (laughing) But I am super pumped about it! Of course, you’ll be a guest on the show sharing your amazing story. I also have Shawn Bolz who is a TBN host. He'll be sharing on how he took a leap into the Christian entertainment industry. Michelle Myers who is the founder of She Works HIS Way, and then there’s Brooke McGlothlin who is the founder of Million Praying Moms

 

Courtnaye – Wow! I love it! You'll also have Carla H. Hayden from Hope*Writers and Mindy Kiker from FlourishWriters and Misty Philip with Spark Media Ventures.

Rachel - Yes, yes! 

Courtnaye - Well, we're almost at the end here, can you share an encouraging word with the women, today? 

Rachel – Absolutely! One of my favorite Scriptures which is 2 Thessalonians 1:11 says, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all of the good things your faith prompts you to do.” I love this because we don’t have to be afraid of the leaps that He’s going to call us to make or the unknowns. Whatever He calls us to do, He is going to equip us. 

 

Courtnaye – Amen! Now, before we wrap up, we want to let everyone know that we’re going to be collaborating on a new endeavor in the Clubhouse app. This endeavor is called, “B4Women.” It will always be 4 women talking around the topics: Bible, Business, Balance, & Branding. We're the hosts, but we'll be rotating guest co-hosts throughout the year, which includes summits. So, if you’re reading this and you’re on the app, search for our new club and join us. If you’re not on Clubhouse yet, please check your phone app store, and we look forward to seeing you in there beginning January 2022! Okay, so lastly, how can women connect with you, Rachel? 

 

Rachel – I can be found on Instagram and Facebook under “iamrachelgscott.” Also, everything else can be found on www.icantcomedown.com

 

Courtnaye – Yay! You also have a freebie today, which is a mini audio course called, “Distractions vs. Me.” Grab it, grab it dear reader! And thanks so much for joining us, today! 

 

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

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"Distractions vs. Me" - Audio Course 

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scroll to the bottom of Rachel's home page to grab it.)

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November 2021

BLOG COVER STORY

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an inside look:
faith & family

 

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

I

          t’s that time of year again. It’s Thanksgiving time! In this month’s cover, I am sharing with you my family. Yep! I’m going inside to ask them two questions and it’s quite simple. What are you most grateful for in this season of your life and what’s a real life insider fact about our family. Let’s go inside…

 

LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

(FULL WRITTEN VIDEO IS COMING SOON!)

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4-WEEK DEVOTIONAL ON "BALANCE" FOR DECEMBER

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October 2021

BLOG COVER STORY

become the woman 
god made you to be

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

I

          am so excited to sit down and talk with my sister-friend, pastor’s wife, mother, speaker, and author, Simi John. She is a contributing writer for DaySpring’s (in)courage, author of the inspiring book entitled, I Am Not: Break Free from Stereotypes and Become the Woman God Made You to Be, and sought-after speaker. Simi was born in India, but now resides in Norman, Oklahoma with her husband Jason and their two beautiful children. 

Courtnaye – Welcome and how are you, Simi John?

Simi – Hi Courtnaye, I’m doing good!

Courtnaye – Awesome! I'm so excited to talk to you today about identity and purpose. Simi, this is an area that you are very passionate about. For starters, can you tell us why is it so important for women to know who they are?

Simi – Yes. I always say, if you don’t know who you are, you cannot live out your God-given purpose. As women, as Christians, as children of God, especially today, we need people living out their purpose. The world needs us, and so we are the ones that know the truth that can set them free. If we are living out our God given identity and purpose, our world will look better and God will be glorified in and through us. 

Courtnaye – Simi, you have a book entitled, “I Am Not.” I want to know more about the inspiration behind the title. It’s like a declaration! 

Simi – (smiling) That’s exactly what it is! It’s a declaration. When I was writing the book, my son was three (you know, like the “three-nage” years). It’s like craziness with all the sass and attitude. No matter what I would tell him, he would keep saying this phrase, “I am not!” I would say, “Honey, you’re too tired.” And he’d say, “I am not!” I’d say, “Honey, you are too small.” Again, he would say, “I am not!” Whatever, I would try to put on him, he would say, “No, I am not!” He knows who he is. 

Courtnaye – Amen! That’s awesome!

Simi – As we go throughout our lives, as we grow up in this world that is broken, we have experiences. We have people who speak negatively over us. We have social media and TV media telling us narratives that this is what women are like. Women gossip. Women always compare themselves to each other. Women are naïve. Women are emotional. When we recognize this and live according to Scripture and the way God designed us and who Jesus has called us to be, then we’re able to break free from these narratives and say, “I Am Not!”

Courtnaye – I love it! Knowing who we are and declaring it! Yes! I would say this is a good segway into my next question which is, what if someone doesn’t know their purpose? How do they know it? How do they even prepare for it?

 

Simi – I think that’s the number one question on Google. What is my purpose? But if we go to God instead of trying to go through personality tests or trying to figure out where do I fit in, then we are able to better hear and understand Him when He says, “This is the way, walk in it.” If we stop focusing on trying to figure it out on our own and by ourselves, and we look to Him and seek Him, then we’re able to understand our purpose. 

Courtnaye – So good! He will reveal it to us. Simi, do you feel like you’re walking in your purpose?

 

Simi – When I released my book, I was like, “Yes! I’m living out my God-given purpose!” Because it felt so big. It felt so good. But then God asks us, “Are you being faithful today with your kids and your home and with the house that I’ve given you - with the job I have given you and with the people in your world today? Are you being faithful?”

Courtnaye - Ooo, yeah. 

Simi - That’s what our hearts should want because we want to hear, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Not “famous” servant. 

Courtnaye – Come on! Amen!

Simi – This is not about me or my platform. This is about God. Wherever God wants me to be, I’m going to show up. I’m going to be faithful. I’m going to live out my purpose. 

Courtnaye – So good! I love how you put purpose into perspective. This is not about being famous. It’s all about being faithful to what God has called us to do. Yes! Simi, before we close, can you give an encouraging word or word of advice to the women reading, watching, or listening today?

Simi – Sure, I would give them the same advice that my dad gave me that has stuck with me since high school. He said, “Your life is bigger than yourself. It’s bigger than just you being happy and having a good life.” He told me to always be kingdom-minded. That means that I get to make an impact through the people that I get to see every single day. So, I live with my eyes wide open and look for opportunities. So, if you want to know who you are and your purpose, keep your eyes open and know that you were made for more than just to be happy and live in this world and to go through your daily routines. You were made for more! 

Courtnaye – What a word! Thank you so much! I so, appreciate you!

Simi – Thank you!

Courtnaye – Dear reader, definitely grab her book on Amazon. Before we head out, Simi how can women connect with you and for speaking?

Simi – They can connect with me on Instagram under my name Simi John. That’s my favorite place on the Internet and my website is www.simijohn.tv. I have some free resources on purpose and identity. 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Thank you so much Simi! I so appreciate you for being here and taking the time. 

Simi – I am so honored! Thank you so much!

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