Courtnaye Richard

Balance, Boundaries, & Bandwidth

Photo Credit: Canva

www.courtnayerichard.com

Have you ever felt like you needed to get your life in order? Have you ever felt stretched, overextended, exhausted, or like you bit off more than you could chew? If you’re feeling any one of these emotions right now, let’s talk about balance, boundaries, and bandwidth today (or tonight, depending on when you’re reading this). 

I’m going to jump right into it, because you’re either busy trying to grab these nuggets before you dive deep into your workload, during a break, or while lying in bed reading with the covers pulled over your head at night. So, let me not waste any time with this post.

Balance – Most of us are busy working on something in our lives. And so having balance between work, ministry, creating content for our audiences, and making time for our personal lives or family, I think it’s really important to manage our schedules better. But also knowing when to just stop for the day.

Jesus balanced His ministry between work and rest. He healed, casted out demons, taught His disciples and those in the crowds, fed 5,000+ people, raised many from the dead, and calmed the storm. Matthew 8:23-24 states, “Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”

Did you see that, Sis? Jesus was sleeping. He was resting. Right before this moment, in Matthew 8:14-17, it reads that He healed Peter’s mother-in-law and after that He cast out evil spirits. Jesus worked, but He also knew how to stop and rest. We have to learn this great exemplary principle. So here are a few quick tips…

  • Work-Life-Balance - Create a schedule from 9am-5pm and go home (even if you work from home). End the day. It’s over, Sis. That’s it, because in order to balance things out where you don’t tip the scales, you have to work and then be home. Meaning, be present for yourself if you’re single (rest, read a book, take a hot shower or bubble bath, scroll your phone, and then go to bed, etc.). If you’re married, be present for yourself and your husband and/or family. Prepare a meal or order take-out and sit down to eat together, relax and read, take a hot shower or bubble bath, watch a movie, scroll your phone, workout, etc. Today, you have been given permission to balance out your work and home life. ;-) This is balance, my sweet Sister.

Boundaries – Yes, yes, yes! You have to set boundaries if you’re going to have moments to do things that you love and enjoy, but also for moments that bring you peace and sanity. Setting boundaries is like creating borders around yourself. Imagine that. Once that border is placed around you, no one can get beyond it. There are no cracks. No one can get in. It’s like setting work hours and being off when you say you’re off and sticking to it.

Personally, I work a LOT! I am a bond-servant of the Lord (i.e. blogger, author, speaker/teacher, mentor, and worship leader), but I am also a wife and mother. My life is pretty spent and full. It’s a life dedicated for service to God and my family. And I love it!

BUT…I need balance and boundaries between my ministry, business, and personal life. For instance, just this past week, I updated my email signature to read, “Saturday & Sunday – Closed/Off.” That was me setting a healthy boundary. And let me just tell you, Sis. That was so liberating for me! I felt FREE! I actually looked forward to the end of the workday Friday, because I knew that I was getting closer to my time of rest.

God rested after He finished creating (see Genesis 2:2-3). Amen! So we can too. With this being said, I want to share with you a few tips on how you can set boundaries between your service, work responsibilities, and personal life…

  • Consider your Non-Negotiables – What boundaries do you need to set in your life right now? How can you make time to rest or intentionally have quality time spent with your family or friends? What do you need to move around to have that uninterrupted time with God? And when you know, set your boundaries around them and don’t let-up (unless there is an emergency or the Holy Spirit leads you otherwise). This is all about creating that border around the things that are important to you.

For example, it could be setting a boundary around your bubble bath time (i.e. putting a “Do Not Disturb” note on your door). It could be not being on social media for the weekend. It could be setting that date night on Friday night once a month with your husband, while allowing nothing or no one to come between that invested time in your marriage. This is setting boundaries, Sis.

Bandwidth – I think this may be one of my most passionate ones to talk about, because we are living in a time when everyone is so super busy and just doing all-the-things, but also a time of information overload. Am I right? Are you there? I know I am!

But here’s the thing. We have to know our space, limits, and know when to say to ourselves, “I can’t take anymore! I don’t have enough mental or work space (bandwidth) for this!”

Using this word in this way, is definitely figurative. By definition, the term “bandwidth” actually means the ability or time to deal with a situation, especially one that involves a large amount of information or a number of problems. I also love what Verizon said, “Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed when it’s actually the volume of information that can be sent over a connection in a measured amount of time.” So here are some tips to manage your personal bandwidth…

  • Volume - Don’t try to squeeze everything into one day, week, or month. Know what you can realistically handle. Know what you can actually consume before you buy another program or sign up for another monthly subscription of information. Pray and ask the Lord what you could actually add on, commit to, or schedule. If you’ve realized that you’ve reached your maximum capacity of energy, calendar space, commitments, obligations, then stop. That is your allotted bandwidth. Don’t add another thing (or clear out some things to make space for that additional thing). The point here is to know your limitations and only commit to what you can actually do.

We simply have to learn how to balance out our lives, set our boundaries, and know our bandwidth (capacity and limitations). Because in order to have peace, sanity, rest, while embracing supernatural joy, we have to pay attention to our workload and lives. We have to create structure and stick to it.

We also have to learn how to say, “I’m sorry, but I can’t commit to what you’re asking at this time” or “I’m typically off on weekends. I’ll be back in touch with you on Monday.” NOTE: I say “typically” because sometimes I do have speaking engagements on the weekend. But my angle here is that we have to be “okay” with what we’re saying. When Jesus laid down to rest, He didn’t apologize for it. He just ceased from His labor and slept. Boom. Done! I love it!

So let’s learn from His life-giving example, while paying attention to our need for rest. Trust me, the work will be there, just as it was for Jesus. But let’s be determined to show up well and rested in every area of our lives as we practice balance, boundaries, and knowing our bandwidth. I believe everyone will benefit from this healthy lifestyle, including you.

Remember, Jesus 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: How are things going for you? Do you feel balanced? Do you have boundaries? Do you have enough space in your life for all that you're doing or committing to? Let me know. In addition, if you need prayer, you can email me directly and I will pray for you @ insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.

Before you go, check out this month's blog cover story as I talked to Viv Mubuni about having, "Open Hands & A Willing Heart." Read it here.

Also, discover more resources from my ministry and find out more information about upcoming events and booking for your next conference or event by visiting www.courtnayerichard.com. Let's connect and let me know how this post ministered to you today! 

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE MY BLOG EVERY MONDAY AT 7:30AM

*ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY NEW 52 WEEK DEVOTIONAL 

WITH STUDY GUIDE TODAY!

*Grab my NEW book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

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).


How to Know When God is Speaking to You

Contributing Image: Canva

www.courtnayerichard.com

Sometimes I hear people say, “I don’t know if I hear from God.” How about you? Do you ever speak those words? To the contrary, can you remember if or when the last time you heard from the Lord? Because the truth is, He does speak to us. He just speaks in a variety of different ways. In this week’s post, I’m going to share with you a few ways on how to know when God is speaking to you.

Again, God speaks to us in so many different ways. If you’re a wife, He speaks to you when you’re getting ready to address something with your husband or when you’re about to disrespect him (or if you’ve already done it). The Holy Spirit might whisper to you, “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

As a wife (myself), I hear Him. I know that if I’m about to cross the line with my husband, the Holy Spirit is right there to quicken me to bring my tone or voice down. He might remind me of a Bible verse, like the one that I just mentioned. But guess what, sis? He also speaks to me through conviction after I’ve already messed up and disrespected him. If you’re a wife, then you know what I mean. The next step for me and you (if you’re a fellow wife) at that point would be to humble ourselves and apologize in order to make things right and peaceable between us.

But also if you’re a mother, you hear from Him. He may whisper to you from Proverbs 31:21 and 27, “She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes…She carefully watches over everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.” This word of wisdom that was inspired by God can help us just when we start thinking the season is changing and now we’ve got to go shopping to take care of the needs of our children and home-front.

He speaks to us as ministry or working women. He gives us provision, wisdom, and continued strength when we’re either tired or slothful. He gives us this word of wisdom found in Galatians 6:9, “Don’t grow weary in well doing, for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not.” And Proverbs 13:4, “Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.” I don’t know about you, but both of these scriptures help me to keep pressing.

There are so many ways God talks to us. He speaks to us when we’re lonely, broken, hurt, uncertain, afraid, confused, experiencing lack, and waiting. But He also speaks to us through encouragement, love, peace beyond our understanding, comfort, and knowledge of who He is and what He’s doing sometimes. God is speaking to you, sis.

He speaks to us through…

  • His Word
  • His Holy Spirit
  • Other People
  • A Book
  • A Movie
  • Music
  • Dreams
  • Visions
  • Billboards
  • T-Shirts
  • Coffee Mug, Journal, or Bible Cover
  • Wall Art or Coaster
  • Hobby Lobby ;-) (there are all kinds of encouraging words in that store)
  • Bumper Stickers

That last one is one of my personal favorites! When I see a bumper sticker that reads, “With God All Things Are Possible” or “In God We Trust,” it’s usually right when I need to see it. It’s like He places that word right in front of me on the back of someone’s car or truck for me to see that He knows right where I am. That’s Him speaking to me.

Sometimes you’ll be in your prayer time or devotion time and as you sit still and quiet, you’ll hear Him speak to you in your spirit. He’ll remind you of the word you’ve been feasting or meditating on. He’ll tell you something that only you and Him could know. He’ll sometimes even show you at some point later that He heard your prayer or heart-cry. That’s that WOW factor when that happens! He’s so supernatural and I love it and Him!

Now, before I close, let me also caution you. There will also be times when you will think you’ve heard from the Lord, but it was really either the flesh with wishful thinking, the enemy, Satan, or someone speaking or writing from their own feelings, opinion, or emotion. That’s when you’ll have to pray for discernment to know who is truly speaking to you. But don’t worry, fret, or beat yourself up about it. Time will tell if it was a genuine word from the Lord or someone else. God is still faithful to reveal wisdom, truth, and whatever else you need from Him.

Remember, He does speak to you, sis. Just listen closely for His answers, prompts, conviction, and His written or spoken word to you. This is how to know when God is speaking to you.

Also, remember, Jesus 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:  So I’ll ask again. Has the Lord spoken to you, lately? Have you heard Him in one or more of the ways mentioned above? Let me know. In addition, if you need prayer, you can email me directly and I will pray for you @ insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you. 

Also, discover more resources from my ministry and find out more information about upcoming events and booking for your next conference or event by visiting www.courtnayerichard.com. Let's connect and let me know how this post ministered to you today! 

SUBSCRIBE HERE TO RECEIVE MY BLOG EVERY MONDAY AT 7:30AM

*ORDER YOUR COPY OF MY NEW 52 WEEK DEVOTIONAL 

WITH STUDY GUIDE TODAY!

*Grab my NEW book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

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).


10 Ideas for Thanksgiving Day During a Pandemic

Photo Credit: Canva

There is no doubt that this Thanksgiving season is different from last year. We’re dealing with the delay of a presidential election, Covid 19, natural disasters (hurricanes to be specific), racial tension, am I missing anything? Not to mention, the personal tests and trials that we go through as Christians, right?

Yet, here’s the thing, sis. This Thanksgiving, we can still be grateful for who we have and what we have. Meaning, we can still be grateful that we have Jesus, family and friends who love us. We can be thankful that we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, a church home, and food to eat.

You see, as believers, no matter how hard it may ever be in our lives or on this earth, the Lord promises in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” He also promises that when we seek His Kingdom first and His righteousness, everything else will be added unto us (see Matthew 6:33). This is His Word to us and for us, and we can trust it and Him.

So even though we’re in the middle of a pandemic and all-the-things, God is still here. He is still in control. He is still faithful. And He is still a God of comfort and healing (see 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Exodus 15:26). So be encouraged, my sister, as you prepare for this holiday season.

With that being said, as promised, I want to share with you “10 Ideas for Thanksgiving Day During a Pandemic” that I pray will help you get through it with peace and joy…

1. On Thanksgiving morning, during your quiet time, write out at least 3-5 things that you’re personally grateful for and express those to the Lord.

2. Sometime during Thanksgiving Day, call, text, or private message a family member or friend and tell them how grateful you are for them (they may be so surprised by this one – totally unexpected, right?).

3. Put on some worship music while you’re cooking or pop in your earbuds and listen to a YouTube video or podcast that will feed your soul spiritually as you prepare to feed others naturally.

4. Make a different dessert this year. Try something new. Baking can be fun, especially when it’s a new recipe.

5. While hanging out at home this year or in a small gathering due to Covid 19, enjoy every bit of the fellowship (i.e. the food, conversation, sports game, etc.).

6. Take fun pictures and savor the memories (i.e. selfies, family or group pics right from your phone).

7. Do a Zoom or Skype video chat with family members (schedule a time and go for it).

8. Break out the board games! Whoop, whoop! One of my personal favorites! My family LOVES board games.

9. Think about a good movie to watch. Get ready to watch it with family and/or friends. Break out the popcorn and coke! Yummers!

10. Just eat and relax. Sounds good?

Well, that’s it for now, my sister! I know this year has its unique challenges, but God! I know there’s a lot going on in our world today, but God! I know that Thanksgiving 2020 will not be like last year, but God! Remember, the Lord is faithful, even in the midst of everything that we’re going through. So let’s find something to be intentionally grateful for, while allowing the Lord to bless us with His supernatural peace and joy.

And guess what? I’m grateful for YOU! Happy Thanksgiving, sis!

Remember, Jesus 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: So, which idea or ideas do you think you'll try this Thanksgiving Day? Also, if you need prayer, you can email me directly and I will pray for you @ insideoutwithcourtnaye@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and praying for you.

Also, discover more resources from my ministry and find out more information about upcoming events and booking for your next conference or event by visiting www.courtnayerichard.com. Let's connect and let me know how this post ministered to you today!

*Grab my NEW book today! Visit www.courtnayerichard.com or Amazon to order! Thanks!

 

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).