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returning home – see the changes taking place in you

This is the place where He meets us. This home. Within walls and without walls. Where we suffer together and alone. With people and without. A sanctuary. A prison. A refuge. A catastrophe.  A place of connection. A place of isolation. A place of community. A place of loneliness. Nine years ago, my eldest son asked why our house is so small, why we don’t have a big yard. We had just spent the previous evening with our friends who live in the hills on a large piece of property outside of town. While the parents chatted, the six kids got to climb trees, race mountain bikes across the large back and front lawns while playing hide-and-go-seek, and plan spy missions in the huge oak tree over the vegetable garden, where the zip line was going to connect with the tree house to be built soon. ...

The Rhythm of the Day

What was the rhythm of my days, in the Time Before? I can hardly recall. There was an alarm clock, I know—the same 1992 Sony Dream Machine that still sits, silent now, on my bedside table—and I used to set it for 6:15. There was blundering into the shower and wrapping a dish towel around the coffee grinder so I wouldn’t wake the rest of the house and sitting down to a predawn bowl of yogurt before rustling my kids out of bed. There was driving, lots of driving: to work, to school, to soccer and baseball and church and piano and the grocery store and the winter band concert and the zoo. There was food to be cooked and dishes to be washed and laundry to be folded, and I suppose there was a rhythm to it, but it didn’t feel like a rhythm. It felt like a rush. And then we entered Quarantine Tim...

Don’t Grow Weary in Doing Well

Have you ever had to remind yourself of the same scripture over and over again? Most recently for me, it’s been Galatians 6:9. With all the uncertainties we’re facing, the ability to grow in the strength to keep going is always a good idea because although things have slowed down on some ways due to stay at home orders, companies encouraging their employees to work from home, and even kids moving to online learning in a lot of ways there’s still more work to do. On more than one occasion I’d had a friend tell me that in this season they are actually busier than ever and they are tired. We are in a season primed to grow weary and want to give up. This is why Galatians 6:9 has been on repeat on my heart and mind recently. It reads: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season ...

letting yourself feel–attending to your mood to discover the underlying truth

Our moods are ones we tend to ignore. Or at least pay little attention to. We might nod to them briefly. Say a quick hello and back away, nervous about the power they have to claim the outcome of our day.  But to ignore them is to ignore the deeper places within us aching to speak. I imagine there is an emotion you have felt this day that is uncomfortable–a little unpleasing to you–a feeling you wish were a bit different, a feeling you wish would listen to reason, chill out for a while, be calm and relaxed in a corner of the room: be good; don’t cause a stir. Or maybe you wish it speak up, be brave enough to stand up and have its say. Whatever the emotion is that you’re feeling, don’t ignore it. Attend to it. Let it do what it needs to do. Feel it. Let it speak.  I invite yo...

Sweet Rest

www.courtnayerichard.com I have to tell you, just sitting down to write this post is refreshing. Personally, I had such a busy week last week (at the time of this post). I had my blog, coaching clients, a feature story interview, and an online women’s event. While I am forever grateful and elated to be able to pour out to others (as many of you reading this are as well), after all of our work is done, we also need to find time for sweet rest.  Can I get an Amen? Trust me. I know that we have to hustle and grind, do kingdom work (which I absolutely LOVE), engage with others, take care of those and things entrusted to us, but we also need to find sweet rest. In other words, we need to do the work and then cease from our labors. Genesis 2:2 reminds us, “On t...

After Graduation—What I Wish Someone had Told Me

Graduates of 2020 will never forget the unexpected circumstances that shifted their expectations for what finishing one chapter of life and beginning another would look like. For many, it became impossible to walk across the stage, shake hands, and receive the paper proof that they did indeed finish. Still, graduates around the world are stepping out into a world full of questions those of us who’ve walked the stage are familiar with. What is next? Who do I want to become? This road… or that? My life post-high school felt like it sent me through loops of exhilaration and anxiety and back again. The roller coaster of early adulthood can be filled with faith defining moments. Faced with decisions that set the course for the rest of their lives, each person must decide not only what they say ...

You Cannot Fix Them

We Can’t Fix “Them” by Jennifer Maggio    The first fourteen years of my kids’ lives were pretty easy – not in the sense that we faced no challenges because there were plenty. Rather, I felt in control of my children’s lives on most days. Sure, there was the occasional temper tantrum, dirty room, or smart mouth, through the years. But I don’t know if anything could have adequately prepared me for the journey I would take through those teen years. What happened to my sweet, obedient little angels? It seemed that almost overnight, my son developed a mind of his own – complete with his own ideas and thoughts about life. (Yes, I know that’s what is supposed to happen, but annoying nonetheless!) One afternoon, I received a call from my son’s school that he had gotten in trouble for ch...

the sometimes confusing but worthy exercise of self-reflection

The photo albums lay stacked on the floor–a tall pile of brown leather between couch and wall, an impossible and inconvenient location over which somebody in the house was going to trip any moment. This pile had my daughter’s name written all over it.  I was about to ask her to put them back on the shelf when I decided to look at them first. This particular pile of albums commemorates family adventures backpacking in national parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Zion, Grand Tetons, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords, beginning when our youngest was four–and I poured over them, marveling at the kids’ small sizes and dirty but smiling faces.  I remember the feeling of most of these places–the challenges both physical and emotional: Will we get to the campsite bef...

the sometimes confusing but worthy exercise of self-reflection

The photo albums lay stacked on the floor–a tall pile of brown leather between couch and wall, an impossible and inconvenient location over which somebody in the house was going to trip any moment. This pile had my daughter’s name written all over it.  I was about to ask her to put them back on the shelf when I decided to look at them first. This particular pile of albums commemorates family adventures backpacking in national parks, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Zion, Grand Tetons, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords, beginning when our youngest was four–and I poured over them, marveling at the kids’ small sizes and dirty but smiling faces.  I remember the feeling of most of these places–the challenges both physical and emotional: Will we get to the campsite bef...

5 Time Management Tips for You

www.courtnayerichard.com If you clicked onto this post, then I would guess that you’re pretty interested in managing your time better in this season. I think it’s something that we all need to do, especially women, because we wear so many hats. We have the responsibilities of being a wife (if you’re married), motherhood, work, taking care of the home, ministry, and caring for those who are in need. Yet, with all of these hats, we’ve got to learn how to rock them well. So let’s dive into my 5 Time- Management Tips especially designed for you.   Tip #1 – Review Your Week on Sunday  Before you jump into your work week (whether you work from home or outside the home), try to review your schedule on Sunday (or early Monday). Do you have any upco...

Change: California Interstate 5

There were trees uprooted next to the freeway. Mounds of dirt clod clumps clinging to thick roots sticking up, awkward, misplaced. I wanted to get a better look at them, but I was driving on California Interstate 5 to Los Angeles. Husband and kids and bags and I journeying to friends who said, please come. It was overcast, gray sky low, arms stretching out in embrace. If I was in the passenger seat, I’d have taken a photo. Or, I would have grabbed words and tried to work out what it was that was making my heart feel so tight in my chest when I looked out. Gnarled empty limbs, cement brown, so undignified, trunks sprawled, broken and exposed, on their sides. I am familiar with almond trees–as a farmer’s daughter who watched her dad bend low, dirt crusted in lines of tanned skin, watching an...

What Are You Working On?

www.courtnayerichard.com I just recently asked the women in my Christian Women of Impact Facebook Group this very same question. I received so much feedback and I hope I’ll get the same from you, Sis! Because here’s the thing. Jesus is coming back and before He does, we’ve got to be doing what He has called us to do. The Word of God commissions us to occupy until He comes. The parable found in Luke 19:12-26, is all about servanthood. It’s actually been called the Parable of the Ten Servants. For starters, Jesus told this story to correct those who thought the Kingdom of God would begin right away. He did this because He didn’t want them to stop serving or working and begin living idle lives (also see 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15). So He told a story. The story begins with Jesus sa...