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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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August 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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helping moms raise
confident daughters 

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

           elcome to another cover story! I had the honor and privilege of sitting down and talking to the amazing Terra Mattson. She is a Christian Parenting spokesperson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor. Alongside her husband Jeff, Terra co-hosts the Dear Mattsons parenting advice column and the Living Wholehearted Podcast and are the co-founders of Living Wholehearted, which is a professional counseling and organizational development firm. Terra is the author of Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. She is also a mom to two girls, a novice gardener, loves to paint and bake, and craves reading a good book by a pool on a hot day. 

 

Courtnaye - Hello Terra, how are you? 

 

Terra – So good to be here today, Courtnaye!

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Well, we’re going to be talking about, Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters today. You also have some courses. We’re going to talk about them in just a little bit. But I’m so excited to talk about this topic today, because I have a daughter who just turned 18 and I know that some of our readers are moms of girls. So, let’s dive in. Terra, what do you feel is the #1 issue that our daughters are facing today?

 

Terra – I get asked this question on almost every interview and by every mom. It’s all rooted in that “Identity” place. Most girls are being branded, objectified, and they're really confused about what it means to be a woman. There’s all of these competing voices and then there's the old-school longing to be known, seen, and loved. So, whether it’s eating disorders, trying to be what others want them to be, or people-pleasing, it goes back to the root of fighting for a sense of identity. 

 

Courtnaye – So true. It’s so important for our girls to know who they are in Christ, but also to stand firm in that truth. Now Terra, let’s talk about confidence. How can our daughters be confident in Christ? Can you give a couple of examples? 

 

Terra – Yeah. One of them is through experiences. Oftentimes, moms want to come in and rescue our girls rather than see it as an opportunity for them to lean in and grow towards, "What does God say about me?" 

 

Courtnaye – Yes! 

 

Terra – Also, as women we know that life is good, but it’s hard. I want these girls to be confident in God, know how to ask for help, and know that it’s okay to be human. God is not expecting us to be super women, but He is expecting us to come to Him and let Him be God. 

 

Courtnaye – So good. And you’re right. Life can be hard. I tell my own daughter that life is hard out here. The world can be cruel. This leads me to my next question which is what do you think we need as moms to raise confident daughters?  

 

Terra – I think we need to be honest about our own journeys with our girls. I’m guiding moms to have real conversations and show their girls where God’s Word meets real-life humanity. I’m calling moms to be the woman that you long for your daughter to be. I’m calling moms to be honest about where you are, where you’ve made mistakes, and what God has been teaching you. It’s not about perfection, but we can get there with honesty. 

 

Courtnaye – Yes, so good. Honesty and transparency, right? Being open and true with our girls. And you’re right, we’re not perfect as moms. We make mistakes and our girls are going to make mistakes, too. But we can go to God and confess where we are and work through it together. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Amen! Well, let’s move on a bit further because we’ve been hinting at your courses from The Christian Parenting Guide: Helping Moms Raise Confident Daughters. I think this is going to be so beneficial for us as mothers, today. Can you share some of the topics that you cover with us?  

 

Terra – Yes. We cover topics like body image, how to sustain healthy friendships, what do boundaries look like, how to build trusted relationships, what does dating look like, and the fruit of the Spirit. Also, for high schoolers, we’re also talking about suffering and how to come alongside their friends who are wrestling with hard things like parents going through a divorce, and social media. So, we cover the gamut – anything you want to talk to your daughter about, it’s in there!    

 

Courtnaye – I love it! It’s loaded! Now Terra, I want to go a little bit deeper into the topic of how some kids are walking away from the church. How can your courses help us safeguard our homes and kids, while helping them to stand firm in their faith?  

 

Terra – Great question, Courtnaye. I would say in these courses you’re helping your daughter to discern who did God make her to be and what is His voice really saying to her? And it doesn’t mean that she might not go on her own journey of doubting, but you’ll be more confident knowing that she’s got the Word of God in her, she knows He loves her, and she knows how to do real-relationship, and those are vital to staying connected in the body of Christ for the long haul.   

 

Courtnaye – That is so rich! Also Terra, you have a book that’s entitled, Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. In the book, you share about your own personal story of an eating disorder, in particular, bulimia. How can your book and the courses help our daughters who may be facing things like this? 

 

Terra – Yeah, so I share my story with bulimia and the connection is emotions. I have a chapter on, “You’ve Got to Feel It to Heal It.” Our bodies hold our emotions. So, if we can help our daughters regulate and understand that emotions aren’t the enemy, but that they are God-designed (we have an emotional God). It’s what we do with our emotions. 

 

Courtnaye – Right. 

 

Terra – Oftentimes, having a few trusted safe people (hopefully, us mamas are one of those) where our daughters can process them and move through to the other side – they’ll be more confident when they move into life. And when they feel despair, disappointment, or alone, they won’t panic and go to some of those unhealthy coping strategies. Instead, they’ll say, “This is a part of being human. It’s an emotion. I’m going to feel it to heal it. I’m going to talk to God, a couple of my safe people, and watch it move.” 

 

Courtnaye – I love that. And you’re right, as women, we are emotional. I think this segment is good for us as moms, but also for our daughters too. All of this is so good! Again, get the courses dear reader and grab her book. Well, before we close, can you share an encouraging word today, Terra? 

 

Terra – Yes. My word of encouragement is to trust that God knows you. I believe that God is raising up a generation of women and daughters who are going to be resilient and who can stand firm when God says, “I see you. I know you. And I have a plan for you that can’t be thwarted. So trust Me even when the story and plan looks pretty fuzzy.” We all can be courageous and stand confidently as women.   

 

Courtnaye – Terra! That was a word!

 

Terra – Amen!

 

Courtnaye – Wow! That was so encouraging! Thank you so much for sharing that with us. So, how can we get the courses and connect with you further?   

 

Terra – The easiest way is to go to www.terramattson.com or www.cpguides.org. Also, if you have older daughters, get the book, Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted in Grace. You can get it anywhere you buy books. I’m also on Instagram @terramattson. 

 

Courtnaye – Thank you so much, Terra! Connect, connect! ;-) 

 

W

WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

Download Courtnaye's Life Management Planner

for Busy Christian Women in 2022

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July 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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Living a whole life 

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

          ello there! I am so glad to be sitting down and talking to Nicki Koziarz today. She is a wife, mother, three-time best-selling author, podcast host from Lessons From the Farm, first-time generation farmer, Bible teacher, sought after speaker where she has spoken at events through Lifeway, Proverbs 31 Ministries, and has been featured on LifeToday and Awakening TV. 

 

Courtnaye – Welcome, Nicki! 

 

Nicki – Thank you! It’s an honor to be here. 

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Well, we’re going to be talking about, “Living a Whole Life.” But before we get started, I want to quote you on a powerful statement, “I believe we are on the verge of revival with God in our homes, communities, cities, nation, and the world. I want to see people whole, confident, and becoming all God intended them to become through the power of understanding the Bible.” I love this so much! Nicki, tell us. What does it look like for a woman to be whole?

 

Nicki – That’s a good question. The reality is that each of us have different things that break us. I think we have to understand our brokenness before we can begin talking about wholeness. For me personally, I’ve walked through a lot of grief in the last four years of my life, where I lost pretty much my entire family with the exception of my dad (and within the span of two years).

 

Courtnaye – Wow!

 

Nicki – It was a really difficult time. It brought up a lot of childhood wounds, mother wounds, and father wounds – lots of wounds that I didn’t even know were there. It took taking time with the Lord to understand things that were making me feel so completely broken. 

 

Courtnaye – Gotcha. (nodding)

 

Nicki – I remember, there was a time when I was getting ready to go out to teach, I was laying on the floor in my prayer closet and I said, “Lord, I know your word says that you are all of these things to all of these people, but I just don’t feel like you’re good to me or that you’re with me or for me. I feel like you’re so against me right now.” That's when the Lord had to show me the brokenness that I had with Him.  

Courtnaye – Yeah (nodding). 

 

Nicki – So, understanding my brokenness, but then also understanding that my husband was not my Savior. My counselor was not my Savior. My ministry was not my Savior – only Jesus is the One who could make me whole again. So, in past four years, the Lord has shown me what it really means to be whole with Him. But Courtnaye, I’m still in a process with it. 

 

Courtnaye – Being whole is definitely a process. Nicki, thank you for sharing this with us – so transparent. For a moment, I want to talk about being confident in our calling as we deal with hard things in life. How do we do this?  

 

Nicki – You know, right before this interview, I saw something that shook my confidence (laughing). We have things that will try to shake our confidence all day long. But I think confidence comes from a place of identity. So, as a writer, speaker, and communicator, I have to go back to saying, “No! I know who God created me to be. I know the voice that God has given me.” 

Courtnaye – So good! 

 

Nicki – I also think one of the greatest ways to do this is by understanding our personality, wiring, and gifts. What’s so beautiful about the Kingdom is that there are so many seats at the table with diversity, different voices, and teaching styles (that's who God created us to be). The people that you’re going to reach are the people that God put there for you to reach and the people that I’m going to reach are the ones that God has called me to reach.     

 

Courtnaye – Right! 

 

Nicki – It’s understanding who we are, but then it’s also learning to champion other people. And Courtnaye, you do this really well. It’s about not letting comparison threaten you and make you feel like there’s not enough pie to go around for everybody. I believe these two things can really help keep us grounded – knowing who we are and cheering other people on

 

Courtnaye – Amen! Now Nicki, let’s shift a bit. You are doing a lot of things! You are a farmgirl, podcast host, speaker, author, and you’re also a mom and wife. Tell us what your devotional life looks like and how do you balance it all? 

 

Nicki – We’re all dropping the ball somewhere on something. But Courtnaye, the best advice somebody ever gave me was probably about 10 years ago. It was at a point when I was just getting into ministry, speaking, and writing, and my kids were little. I just felt like every day, I was falling apart over something else (laughing). Yet, this person told me, “Nicki, you’re going to drop a ball every single day. You’re not superwoman. But the key to staying consistent in life is to not let the same ball drop two days in a row.”

 

Courtnaye – Gotcha!

 

Nicki – So, if I drop a ball with one of my kids today, then I know tomorrow I can’t drop the ball. If I drop the ball with my husband today, then I can’t drop the ball tomorrow. It’s the same with writing. That has been the best advice that I’ve gotten, and I’ve really tried to live by that. 

 

Courtnaye – Nicki is dropping nuggets! Thank you so much! Now, you have a new book that’s coming out, but you also have a book that’s entitled, Flooded. What’s the main theme throughout this book that can help women right now to live a “whole” life?

 

Nicki – If I could sum it up in two words it would be, overcoming doubt. It’s based on the life of Noah. If anyone had the right to have doubt, it would’ve been Noah because he received this massive God-assignment – which made no sense to anybody around him. Yet, somehow he was able to push through. He not only obeyed, but lived out his legacy in such a way that God would pick him to be in the Hall of Faith (see the book of Hebrews) for us to look at and say, “Okay, there are some things that I need to learn from his process. So, that’s what the book is about. The subtitle is The 5 Best Decisions to Make When Life is Hard and Doubt is Rising. It just helps us to walk in the posture of faith. 

 

Courtnaye – I love it! I was actually just thinking about Noah yesterday. Sometimes in life we do face doubt. We sometimes find ourselves saying, “What if I do this and it doesn’t work? What if it fails?” So this is good. Instead of walking in doubt, like you said, we need to walk in the posture of faith. Grab her book Flooded, dear reader! Okay Nicki, tell us about your new book that releases in 2023!

 

Nicki – (smiling) Actually, this will be the first time that I’ve talked about it publicly!

 

Courtnaye – Ooooo! Exclusive! 

 

Nicki – Yes! The book is called, Your New Now: Finding Strength and Wisdom When You Feel Stuck Where You Are. It’s based on "transition." As a woman, no one ever taught me how to transition well. No one ever taught me how you finish or stick a season out a little while longer. No one ever taught me how to grow in every season that you’re in. Again, I went back to the Bible and I found someone who could teach us some lessons about transition and it’s Moses. It releases March 2023, but it’s on Amazon right now. So, you can pre-order it!  

 

Courtnaye – Awesome! Grab it dear reader! I know I’m going to grab it because it sounds like a really great book! Thank you for giving us an inside peek. Before we close with an encouraging word, you have a podcast called, “Lessons From the Farm.” As I mentioned earlier, you’re a farmgirl. What are some of the topics that you and your guests share on your show?

 

Nicki – Well, you were one of my guests on the show! We’ll have to link it here. But normally in a series, the listeners will get a Bible teaching from me (I love teaching the Bible), but I also bring on guests and we talk about what we’re learning. That’s why it's called, Lessons From the Farm. We record here on my Fixer Upper Farm. The next series is all about learning their process.

Courtnaye – I love that! I also love the fact that you are a Bible teacher. Can you share an encouraging word with the readers today? 

 

Nicki – Absolutely! If I only had one message to give someone for the rest of my life, it would be the message of perseverance. In the book of Galatians, it talks about us not growing weary of doing good, for at the right time, we will reap the harvest that God has for us (see Galatians 6:9). So if you’re reading this today and you feel like you’re just not sure if you want to keep going with God anymore, I feel like the Lord is saying, “There is a new harvest that’s coming. It’s a new season.” I also feel like God is telling us to not quit, don't throw in the towel, don't walk away from the church or from people who challenge us or even from the assignments that He has given us, because it’s time to rise up for such a time as this like Esther. 

 

Courtnaye – Yes!

 

Nicki – And I will tell you, the second you make the decision to persevere with God, be ready for the opposition! But remember, every ounce of opposition presents the opportunity for God to display His power through you. So, as we approach the broken down car, the bank statement that doesn’t line up with the bills, growing something or trying something new while feeling all of this opposition around us, we've got to shift it! We’ve got to say, “This is an opportunity for me to see God’s glory and His power on display in my life, so that others will see it and testify of His goodness as well."  

 

Courtnaye – Wow! Preach Sister! I love it! What a powerful word of encouragement today! Thank you so much Nicki! I want the reader to connect with you. 

 

Nicki – I love to hang out on Instagram more than I do anywhere else! I’d love to connect with you there, but I’d love for you to visit my website where there are tons of FREE resources and blessings to speak over yourself and your family at www.nickikoziarz.com. It’s also a great place to find my books and Bible studies that I’ve written as well.

 

Courtnaye – Yay! Grab, grab, grab everything! Nicki, you have been an amazing blessing to us and I pray God’s favor over your life this year and your new book! 

 

Nicki – Thank you, Courtnaye!

 

Courtnaye – Absolutely!

 

H

WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

Download Courtnaye's Life Management Planner

for Busy Christian Women in 2022

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June 2022

BLOG COVER STORY

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Living well with Karen 

By Inside Out with Courtnaye

       elcome! Join me as I sit down to talk to powerhouse producer, award-winning actress, highly sought-after speaker, and an avid environmentalist, Karen Abercrombie! She is a Parents' Choice Award winning storyteller, award-winning independent film producer, and is best known for her award-winning portrayal of the spicy, 80-year old prayer warrior, Miss Clara, in the Kendrick Brothers film, War Room, Karen has an impressive body of work under her belt. She also has her own independent film production company called, Earth Mother Entertainment LLC. Her first film, ‘Discarded Things’ has garnered five Best Actress awards for Karen's role in the film, two Best Picture awards, and three Best Supporting Actor awards (view on Amazon Prime, Pure Flix, YouTube TV and a few other streaming platforms). Karen's latest project is one that has been a dream of hers for a very long time – which is a new non-profit organization that is called, “The Village is Alive.” The organization makes creative arts available to children and adults in under-served communities. 

Courtnaye – Hello! How are you Karen?

 

Karen – Oh, I am so good. So happy to be here with you Courtnaye.

 

Courtnaye – Well, I am so excited that you are here! And wow! You are doing so many amazing things, Sister! Now, a lot of us know you from the amazing movie, “War Room,” where you played alongside Priscilla Shirer. How was the experience working with the Kendrick Brothers? 

 

Karen – It was wonderful! They are what you see. These gentlemen are really good people who are on fire for the Lord, and they strive to live a life according to the Lord’s direction. They walk the talk. 

 

Courtnaye – They do! I love their films and I cannot wait until they come out with another one. Their films are definitely biblically sound. Well, we know the movie is centered around prayer and we also know that prayer changes a lot of things as it relates to marriage, children, and just all of the things that we go through in our lives, but also to communicate with God. 

 

Karen – Yes (nodding).

 

Courtnaye – Karen, I’m going to shift for a moment. With many of us doing all-of-the-things, self-care is very big for us as women. I know you have a new self-care program. I’d love for you to share more about it. Can you tell us about it? 

 

Karen – Yeah, it’s called, Living Simply, Naturally, and Well. For me, it was important for me to wind down from the busyness. I needed to stop and just focus on sometimes doing nothing. The Lord says, “Rest” because it’s restorative. It gives you time to meditate, think, and even plan.  

 

Courtnaye – Yes. 

 

Karen – As a young actress, I was so concerned of aging out – playing different roles (that can weigh heavy on you). But with War Room, Father God (Daddy) said, “Hey girl, you’re playing an older woman. You don’t have to worry about aging out. Your Father has you. And you’re going to use your skills. So step up in there and play an 80-year old woman. Daddy’s got you!” God can use you at any age or stage. I’m in my 60’s, so be encouraged.

 

Courtnaye – So good! 

 

Karen – He said, “My timing is perfect. My plans for you are perfected and filled with love, hope, and everything that you could possibly need. I’m your Father and I love you.” And so, I want all women to hear this and walk in that – knowing who they are in Christ. We are more than enough. The things that He’s placed in you and each one of us is fresh and new.  

 

Courtnaye – Yes! I love that! 

 

Karen – And it’s for such a time as right now. In your make-up, there’s something that you have that no one else has to give to the world. We’re all here on assignment. Your ups and downs, struggles, and everything that He brings you through is refining you and preparing you for all that He has for you ahead. 

 

Courtnaye – Amen!

 

Karen – I tell women when I speak, “Who better to speak to someone about overcoming drugs or alcohol than someone who has overcome drugs and alcohol.” Go and tell someone what He’s done for you. Because if He’s done it for you then He can bring them through it, too. So when He’s brought you through it, then you can speak and encourage someone else. 

 

Courtnaye – Right.

 

Karen – We've also gotten so separated from nature. God created it, first. It’s extraordinary, mind-blowing and mind-boggling. I love nature. I would love for people to just reconnect and respect what God has created and given to us.

 

Courtnaye –Yes!

Karen – So, it’s a lifestyle - Living Simply, Naturally, and Well. Wellness is a result of us taking care of ourselves, others, taking care of this incredible planet, and spending time with Daddy. It's also letting the Word sink in and not just being able to recite it (not impress other people by knowing the verses), but live the verses. 

 

Courtnaye – Mhmm!

 

Karen – That’s what the walk is about. It’s living it. We are the church walking – the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is the church walking. It’s not a building. So all of these things that I call a lifestyle - they make room for wellness

 

Courtnaye – Wow! I love your vision, your heart, and your passion. Personally, I love nature, too. I love the trees. And I love sitting by the lake. It’s just a quiet place for me to be with the Lord and simply be still from all of the busyness. This is all self-care.

Karen –Yes!

Courtnaye – Now Karen, you also have vlog on YouTube with the same title. Let’s talk about that!

 

Karen – Actually I started it, but the Lord is sending me other opportunities (I only have one video up). Soon I will add others, but I don’t know when. I’m not going to put that pressure on myself, because we do that. We say we have to have this out by Monday or by Thursday. But no more. So whenever I do get to it, I just want Him to flow through me and direct me in what to say. And there you’ll have it. 

 

Courtnaye – That is freedom! I love it! Because I’ll tell you, we do get that way. It’s just a hamster wheel that has us going, going, and going. It frazzles us. So thank you for giving us that freedom. Well, Karen, I know you are an award-winning actress and I know there will be some women reading and watching this cover who may want to know how to break into this industry. Do you have any advice or wisdom for women who are aspiring actresses or maybe for those who have already tapped into it?

 

Karen – Study. Perfect the craft. For me, when I step onto a stage, because I love LIVE theater (I prefer that over movies because it’s just the energy in that room)! But before I do that or step in front of a camera or sit down to write, I get myself ready. Because all of that is worship for me. When I step out to use the gifts that God has given to me, that’s worship. It’s between me and Him (even though I’m saying someone else’s lines). So, perfect your craft and do it unto Him. That will also help you not do projects that you shouldn’t be doing. 

 

Courtnaye – That’s wisdom right there – knowing what God wants you to do. I love that! So study and perfect your craft, dear reader. Well, I always like to end with an encouraging word for the women reading or watching. Do you have an encouraging word to share today, Karen?

 

Karen – I would say, learn to trust and lean on God like you never have before. Also, seek that one-on-one relationship – not your mother’s relationship, not my relationship, not Priscilla’s relationship, or anybody else’s relationship – yours. He created you because He wanted to spend some time with you. So stay open and go deeper and deeper, and see that He is good. He loves you!

 

Courtnaye – That is so encouraging! He loves us. Thank you so much, Karen. Well, I would love for women to stay connected and find out more about what you’re working on right now. How can we stay tuned? 

 

Karen – Well, I’m working on a couple of projects right now. God is just rolling the stuff in and in an amazing way! And He’s allowing me to produce. I have a Christmas movie that will be coming out and it will be playing on PureFlix from something I wrote and I’m acting in it. So, November 1st is when it will start running. They also came back to me for a romantic comedy! That will run for Valentine’s Day.

 

Courtnaye –Wow! Awesome!

Karen – My website is www.karenabercrombie.com and I’ve got two Facebook pages to follow me. 

 

Courtnaye – Perfect! Sounds great! Thank you so much for being here, Karen. I appreciate your time. I know you are a very busy woman, and I am so grateful for you and all of the things that God is doing through you! 

 

Karen – I am grateful for this connection! I love you. 

 

Courtnaye – I love you too, Sister! 

 

W

WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

Download Courtnaye's Life Management Planner

for Busy Christian Women in 2022

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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. ;-)

 

I

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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. 

 

WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW HERE...

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