Courtnaye Richard

Quiet Time Transformation

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www.courtnayerichard.com

Do you feel like you need change at this moment of your life? Do you feel like you could grow more spiritually and personally? If so, I feel you! Did you know that as you spend time with God in the quiet with an open Bible and heart that you can begin the process of transformation, today?

Now, I know that I started this post with a lot of questions. But it’s all about self-reflection. The truth is you know where you are. God knows where you are. Sometimes through our actions or what comes of our mouths, people will even know where we are. Jesus actually tells us in Luke 6:45, “…What you say flows from what is in your heart.” (NLT) So what’s going in your heart, today that may need some transformation? 

Let’s go a little bit deeper.

As you spend time alone with God in your quiet time, talk to Him. Like really talk to Him as if you were having coffee or dinner with a friend. Also, if you have any sins that you need to confess to Him, go for it in that time. In other words, confess any recent mishaps. Confess your struggles to Him. Tell him about what you’ve been feeling. Tell Him what you’ve been thinking. Tell Him what you need right now. Again, just talk to Him. He's here for you. 

In my personal quiet time, I talk to God about everything. I talk to Him as my Father and my Friend. I talk to Him when I’m feeling up or down. I talk to Him when I’m sad or when I feel super elated about something. I talk to Him just to tell Him how grateful I am for all He has done. I also talk to Him about my needs and desires. But I also talk to Him about my issues and sometimes even when I don't even recognize that I have issues, the precious Holy Spirit will reveal them to me in the quiet. That's when He'll show me where transformation needs to take place.

For instance, recently in my own life, God revealed some character flaws. He showed me that I hadn't been as kind or gentle as I have been in the past. This revelation in my quiet time helped me to self-reflect and pause to examine myself. I knew that I'd been super busy. Swamped. Loaded. Overwhelmed. Stressed. And quite frankly burned out.

Yep! Completely burned out.

This feeling of exhaustion and eventually no motivation to do anything came at a time when I was doing a lot of speaking, training, and working on a new book proposal. Add the roller coaster ride of marriage (where the enemy likes to play the most), and plain old doing all-the-things, it all just began to weigh on me and the enemy tried to wear me out.

Yet, in God’s infinite care and love for me, He revealed my heart in my quiet time. He knew and I knew that there needed to be some form of transformation of my heart and actions. It was in the quiet time where the Lord revealed to me that I needed rest.

Jesus reminded me of His sweet and refreshing words found in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” So refreshing, right? He also reminded me during that time about the fruit of the Spirit written in Galatians 5:22-23 that states, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.” (NLT)

Rest and fruit.

God knew that I needed rest. And it was in the rest where He revealed to me that I needed to work on some things in my life that was flawed. I was weary and weak. I was tired and snappy. I was exhausted and not gentle with my words. I was drained and irritated. My love walk needed some work. Again, I needed transformation.

Scripture tells us, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful…” (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, ESV). So I discovered that my love walk was weak, because I was growing weary in well doing.

I also had gotten so busy that my devotional time suffered as well. I kept giving God rain-checks saying, “I’m coming Lord. Let me just send this quick email. I’m coming Lord, let me respond to this message on messenger real quickly. I’m coming Lord, I have a meeting that starts in 30 minutes, I’ve got to go and get ready.”

Honestly, I got to a point where I was spending this quick time in the Word of God or saying a quick prayer and then running off to do all-the-things. And while it’s okay to do all of those things, including spending at least some time that we have in the Bible and prayer, but I knew that too much time away from the Vine and too many rain-checks would eventually take a toll on my character. I was becoming less and less fruitful because I was running so fast and hard. 

And Jesus tells us in John 15:5, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (NLT) Ouch!

While I know remaining in Christ is remaining faithful to Him, yet it also means remaining fruitful. Apart from Him, we cannot be fruitful. Meaning, we won’t be as loving, joyful, peaceable, patient, kind, showing the goodness of God, faithful, gentle, or meek (humble/self-controlled), or even as effective in the work.  

With all of this being said, we have to stay connected to the Vine at all cost, my friend. So again, let me ask you. Where are you at this moment in your life? Are you good right now or do you feel like you need some transformation in your life? How is your love walk? How is your thought life (healthy or unhealthy/pure or impure)?

How have you been acting lately? Is it fruitful? Are you growing weary in well-doing? Are you doing too much and giving God rain-checks? Lastly, how is your faith walk, right now? 

Whatever it is, pray. Talk to the Lord. Confess. Let Him know exactly what you’re feeling or going through and allow the power of His Word and the Holy Spirit to bring forth the transformation that you know and God knows you need. Do that in your quiet time. ;-)

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: Do you feel like you need transformation in some area of your life right now? If so, what is it and do you need prayer? 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 and if this post has helped you, please share it with others that you know. Oh, and don't forget to grab my freebie for you today...

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Also, don't miss this month's cover story with Joanna Weaver! I am sitting down and talking to her about how we can find intimacy with our Father in the midst of all of the busyness. You can read, watch, or listen to it, TODAY here...


More Like Mary or Martha?

 

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 www.courtnayerichard.com

The biblical story of Mary and Martha has been read and heard by many for countless years. And we’re still talking about these two sisters today. This familiar passage of Scripture gives us the illustration of two siblings who both loved the Lord Jesus, but when He came for a visit, they had two different reactions. One was busy and one was still. The question of the hour is are you More Like Mary or Martha in this season of your life?

Let’s read the account of this story found in Luke 10:38-42 before we go any further:

“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’ But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

The key word that stood out to me was, “distracted.” What word or words stood out to you the most within this particular passage of Scripture? Think about that for a brief moment. Personally, my heart’s desire is to spend time with the Lord when I wake up in the morning. I long to spend uninterrupted time with Jesus at the start of my day.

But…sometimes my reality is a flood of thoughts surrounding the emails that I need to send out (or respond to) as I’m reading the Bible. Sometimes I start thinking about my To-Do-List while I’m journaling. Sometimes when I’m in prayer, my mind shifts from praise to sharing my long list of things that I’d like for Him to do for me. And sometimes, as I’m trying to read and study the Word of God, I get easily distracted with the alerts on my phone shouting, “Check your social media accounts and engage in conversations that are happening right now!”

Have you ever experienced any of this? Guilty? Or am I the only one?

On the flip side, Jesus is calling us to silence the noise, quench the thoughts, focus on the words that He’s trying to impart in us, and just be still to hear and talk to Him. And listen. There is nothing wrong with any of the things mentioned in the previous paragraph. But there is a time for all of that. Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”

So, there is a time to work, answer emails, engage on social media, check off the boxes on the To-Do-List. And it’s totally okay to share our heart’s desires with the Lord, while preparing things as Martha did. It’s also okay to grind when it’s grind time on an assignment, deadline, or project.

Jesus isn’t saying, “Don’t work or prepare.” But what He is showing us through this passage is that when He visits us or desires to spend time with us or teach us something (in whatever way that looks like for us), that’s when it’s time to know when to stop and be still.

Jesus, the Master Teacher, wanted to teach Mary and Martha that day. Mary got it! But Martha was too distracted and too busy doing all-the-things for Jesus. Sounds familiar?

Jesus was calling for stillness, not busyness.

One of the key lessons here is that when the King of Kings wants to spend time with you, lay it all down and go and learn from Him, my sister. In other words, when He calls, that’s when you need to be sensitive to His Spirit and pause on the work that you’re doing, so that you can receive what the Lord is trying to get to you in the season that you’re in.

It may be listening for direction, wisdom, or peace. It may be coming closer to receive comfort, encouragement, understanding of His Word, or knowledge of what’s taking place in our world. It may be Him wanting to remind you of His great love and care for you. It may be a reminder or whisper to trust Him. Whatever it is, when you feel the Holy Spirit quickening you to be more like Mary, pause and be still. And when He quickens you to prepare to work like Martha, by all means go for it. Just know the difference. ;-)

As I prepare to close, I want to go back to the original question. Who are you more like in this season? Are you more like Mary or Martha? Or are you a mix of both? I’d love to know. I actually created a quiz surrounding this very inquiry. I think this will be a fun and great little exercise of personal reflection towards finding that good balance between work and listening to the One who longs to spend time with you. Take a moment to take the quiz.

Recommended Resource: “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” by Joanna Weaver.

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: Are you more like Mary or Martha in this season? Let me know.

***WATCH MY SHORT YOUTUBE VIDEO here on "Being  a Mary in a Martha World."

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.

Take the Quiz Here

*Download my FREE "Busy Christian Women Life Management Planner for 2022" TODAY!

***NEW ENDEAVOR for 2022! It's called B4 Women. To learn more about it visit...https://www.b4women.com TODAY!

*Also, grow even further with my 52-Week Devotional on Amazon TODAY!

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).


The Best is Yet to Come in 2022

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www.courtnayerichard.com

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!

“I am counting on the Lord;

yes, I am counting on him. I have

put my hope in his word.”

~Psalm 130:5

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: Are you waiting on God for something this year? Let me know via email.

***WATCH SHORT VIDEO on "The Best is Yet to Come" here.

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.

*Download my FREE "Busy Christian Women Life Management Planner for 2022" TODAY!

***NEW ENDEAVOR for 2022! It's called B4 Women. To learn more about it visit...https://www.b4women.com TODAY!

*Also, grow even further with my 52-Week Devotional on Amazon TODAY!

Courtnaye Richard is the founder of Inside Out with Courtnaye, a ministry that helps women grow in their walk with Christ from the heart and equips them to fulfill their God-given purpose. She is also the author of the book, IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ and Moving Forward in Your Purpose. Courtnaye is married with three beautiful children and is a contributing writer for ibelieve.com, Women’s Ministry Tools, speaker of a host of women’s conferences, and her blog reaches thousands of women across the globe. She resides in the beautiful Texas Hill Country (outside of Austin, Texas).