Customer Reviews: Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home
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on October 1, 2013
The book opens up with Courtney's visit to the Rachel Ray show where her interview is sliced apart to edit out the faith aspect and I have to say it seemed like Rachel Ray was degrading Courtney on her choice to be a homemaker as a profession. But as a stay at home mom I feel like that sometimes. I feel like society does not value the women who stay at home and our work is our family. Courtney addresses all of that. She strengthens the desire to stay at home and raise my children to love God and to believe in Jesus.

And oh the section on marriage hit home big time. Because I get so irritated at my husband and I am guilty of derogatory comments to and about him. And I admit that I am wrong in that. There is a 10 day marriage challenge in this section that is worth the price of the book for it alone.

Courtney speaks in a way that will encourage you while showing you through scripture what the role of a biblical wife and mother should be. This book will inspire you to keep going through the days where you question why.
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on January 22, 2014
Partly because I AM one, and partly because I'm in the home stretch of my PhD in Christian Women's Studies, any book about Christian womanhood catches my attention. So, when I saw Women Living Well: Finding Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home, by Courtney Joseph, I decided to have a look. Courtney Joseph is a homeschooling mom who founded online Bible study forum for women.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the content of the book. Courtney has done a great job of appealing to Christian women today by focusing on the hotspots of God, marriage, parenting, and homemaking. For each topic, she includes a timely section on how the media (especially social media) plays a part in how these areas play out in our daily lives.

For the most part, the book is based on biblical principles and clearly has the aim to draw women closer to God. I do want to point out some areas that I found troublesome...but, before I do, I want to be clear that, though I may disagree with some of Courtney's ideas, I have to wholeheartedly support her as a Christian women who is doing her best to do what she believes God has asked of her. God doesn't say that we always have to agree...but we do always have to love one another!

That said, I found the book to be equally encouraging...and discouraging. Though she constantly claims that she doesn't have it all figured out and has her failings, Courtney presents herself and her husband as the perfect, godly couple. The book is filled with stories about her life. She has a prayer closet set up in her bathroom, gets up early, brings her husband drinks, etc, etc, etc. There is NOTHING wrong with any of these things (and I would so love to have a prayer closet--even if it is in my bathroom! lol)--but despite all her warnings about how every family is different, she's clearly set herself up as the perfect example to follow--after all, she reminds us more than once that she's been asked many times to allow television crews to film her family!

Unfortunately, everyone's life is not like hers. Most women's biggest problem is not her toddler running around on the beach during vacation or whether or not her husband eats the breakfast she's cooked for him. Rather, it's not having enough money to pay the bills, trying desperately to save a house, a marriage, children. For someone who's been through some real turmoil...a lot of the book may just seem a little whiny.

Most moms just need to be reminded that it's ok! As one of my wisest friends told me over and over again when my kids were little--"this is just a season, Karen." Having little ones running around is not going to last forever. It's ok if you don't have prayer time all to yourself every single day--or if that prayer time happens to be during your morning walk or while you're doing the dishes or eating breakfast! God will meet you where you are! He'll speak to you through Sesame Street and working in the garden, through changing diapers and even through street signs.

Many women have (and will) take exception at her insistence that the man is the head of the home and therefore he should make all the decisions. This is faulty theology based upon one or two verses taken out of context, not on the entire Bible as a whole. (I'll be discussing this a little later on my own blog.) However, despite my disagreement about her reasons for 'submitting' to her husband, I'll say that we do agree at least partially on the end result. We should submit--not just to our husbands but to EVERYONE--because that's what the Bible tells us to do. Jesus humbled Himself before all men, and asked us to do the same. As we humble ourselves in the sight of God and men, He will lift us up. However, we--men AND women--are ALL called to this humility in our lives. Not because someone is 'head' of someone else--but because Jesus set that example for us. If the King of the Universe will wash the feet of His friends, so should we put others above and ahead of ourselves. (And submission does NOT mean just doing what someone else says like a robot! Maybe I should do a post on this one, too! lol)

Despite the areas where I personally took issue with the book, I did find some great information. Courtney has some wonderful tips for managing social media and not letting it become the center of our lives. She also includes some nice practical tips--I really love her menu plan (Mexican Mondays, Tomato Tuesdays--Italian, etc), and, while it doesn't work for me, her schedule for house cleaning is one that many women I know use and love. The best part of the book is the focus on walking with God through everything. It's clear that, though we disagree on some of the smaller issues, this one is the most important and one on which we are in agreement. Seeking God first in all areas of our life will help to bring contentment and JOY, despite our circumstances.

In the end, I have to say that the book was just so-so for me. There were some great ideas, and Courtney's heart is in the right place. Though I don't agree with some of her reasoning, I support Courtney's choices because she's made them out of a love for God and out of an effort to serve Him. In a lot of ways, this was an easy book to read--it's well-written, well-organized, and contains some great nuggets from the Bible, but I finished it with a sigh of relief--glad I was finally done with it.
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on October 21, 2013
Most women, if they are honest, struggle with balancing their spiritual walk, their marriage, their kids and everything else and keeping a check on their priorities. Fifty years ago, women didn't have as many distractions as we have today. Television, telephones, computers, Facebook, and that's just the technology distractions. Add the stress of working outside the home and the kids' extra-curricular activities and there is precious little time to do the important stuff like cooking, cleaning, laundry and quiet time with God and quality time with your spouse and children.

Courtney Joseph, author of "Women Living Well", shares fresh ways to hold on to the family values that existed before technology and the media got involved. It requires intentionality, focus, purpose and strategy. It means giving up the world's view of what a woman's life should be and taking on a biblical view of womanhood. It won't make you popular, but it will bring you joy and contentment.

Most of the concepts Courtney outlines in her book are common sense. We've heard it before, but now we are listening to the wisdom of someone who is living it--someone who is not afraid of sharing what doesn't work as much as what does.

If you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home mom, you will find most, if not all, of Courtney's book helpful and easy to follow. However, if you work outside of the home, you won't find a chapter on how to balance the priorities of motherhood and marriage while working 8 hours a day outside of the homeplace. She glorifies the stay-at-home/work-at-home mom which is fine for her. It is a choice of many families, but some mothers are working full-time out of necessity rather than desire. If you are one of these women, you will find the first three parts helpful, but the final section on home-making will probably be out of your reach.

Courtney's main objective is for wives to check their priorities against those God has given in His Word and see where we can improve. God may ask us to do some pretty tough things, but Courtney assures us that obedience and submission will increase our joy and we will find contentment in a world that is constantly begging us to live with discontentment and stress.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from BookSneeze, as part of Thomas Nelson Publishers' Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on October 1, 2013
This book has made me laugh, cry, get mad, and humbled me. 230 pages of amazing insights, stories and suggestions. Courtney wrote this book as if she was sitting down with each one of us personally. Having a chat over coffee and we were able to ask her any question we wanted. She, like any good friend, pushed you to dig deeper and grow closer to God. She shares what her real life is like in her journey of "Walking with the King". She also makes sure that you know that your journey and her's are not the same. We may have the same desires, to grow closer to the Lord, but our paths to get there are very different. She does a great job of pointing this out. Gentle encouragement is offered throughout the chapters to help you shed light on your circumstances. Explanations and encouragement on how to crave out time throughout the day to be in God's word, how to find your happily ever after, how as a mom you will mess up (but that's okay), and how to make your house a haven for your family. This book is a must read for all women no matter where you are on your "Wallk with the King." Courtney's straightforward conversational style will help you grow closer to the Lord. One of my favorite quotes from the book is "It's okay to cry to him. He cares- He loves you so." This simple statement can mean so much in our hour of despair.
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on December 29, 2013
I was really excited to review this book for Booksneeze. I follow Courtney's blog and I think she puts out such an amazing example of what it's like to be a Christian wife, following our husband's lead, and embracing our God-given role in marriage, family, and in life. In Women Living Well, Courtney takes the time to tackle issues such as parenting, home life, being a blessing to all those around us, embracing our roles as supporters/helpmates, and coping with living in a digital age. Not only that, Courtney uses several examples from her own life and plenty of Biblical references to further add to the book and ensure that what she is expressing is truly rooted in God's Word.

For the most part, this book is wonderful. Courtney does a great job of explaining just how essential we are in our loved ones' lives, as well as how important it is to maintain a constant line of communication with God and strive to please Him. However, I do feel that she uses examples from her own life a little too much. Authors frequently use examples from their own lives to really drive home a point they're trying to make, and I get that. Seeing how someone has applied what they're saying in their own life can be very valuable, especially when the reader may not be too sure about what the author is saying. In part of the book there is a sequence of "marriage challenges" that Courtney lists out, and in one of the challenges she, well, challenges the reader to pray for their husband. She then follows with an example that she uses symbols to remind her to pray for her husband, like when she looks at her wedding ring. Those types of things add to the understanding and that's not what I take issue with in this book, it's other occasions where it seems like she wants to share her personal experience rather than how maybe God used her experience to work through her...I just felt like the book was *full* of her taking opportunities to talk about herself. I found that highly annoying and more than once had to skim past the part where she talked about herself to get to the point she was trying to make.

With the exception of that, the book is actually quite good. I did really enjoy the marriage challenges part of the book, and it was nice to finally read something that did align with my core beliefs. It also feels nice to be validated as a submissive wife, a mother who truly believes my most important job *is* my family, and that it's okay to be a "Time Warp Wife".

All in all, I would recommend this book, more as a "fun" read than an informative read.

I was provided this book free of charge in return for my honest opinion. Anything written here is my own, personal opinion.
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on October 1, 2013
I can't tell you how relevant this book is to me in my life AND for so many others. In this world, we are dealing with an onslaught of distractions and temptations from the devil on a daily basis. This book brings to light how we need to stop paying attention to the many voices that come into our life (TV, the news, pop culture, etc..) and focus on what God says instead. While reading this book I saw many areas in my life that I had neglected and how I had become ineffective as a christian, mother and wife. I definitely had some time to repent where I know I am lacking. But along with highlighting these things, Courtney shares how she deals with these areas in our lives in a biblical manner. I came away from the book with practical tips to loving my family better, making my home a haven and strengthening my relationship with Christ. This book was a blessing and I already bought copies for my family and friends to share. This is a must read!!
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on October 24, 2013
Sometimes it's so easy for women to be overwhelmed in this world, trying to balance their identity and roles in marriage, as moms, as women of faith and in ministry and careers and more. Courtney Joseph's book, Women Living Well: Find Your Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids, and Your Home, is full of grace, tips, and Biblical insights into how to bring beauty into every arena of a woman's life.

You may know of Courtney as The TimeWarpWife or maybe through GoodMorningGirls. She encourages women to fight the trend to try to have everything, do everything, be everything in this world and to find our identities in God and value our ministry in Him.

I love how her book is organized around a woman's priorities, placing God first, then marriage, then kids, then the home. It helps us to keep "first things first." She includes strategies for Bible study, handling conflict in marriage, parenting in the digital age, and even how to take a proper bubble bath (for the stressful days!). The book particularly emphasizes information on how social media and the Internet can be useful (when used wisely) rather than harmful in our homes and lives. Ultimately, the book is both encouraging and practical---reminding women that living this life and investing in our families takes skill and takes God.

The book is a lovely resource for any woman, but she is writing from the perspective of a stay-at-home, homeschooling wife and mom. She is very careful not to judge or argue that her life choices are right for everyone, but you may need to look elsewhere for tips on balancing a career in addition to these other life roles and also for information on how to parent Godly children in the public schools.

It's easy to think that someone who authors a book like this must have it all together and sometimes to even feel overwhelmed by how great the author is and how much we fall short. Yet, Courtney Joseph writes with grace and humor, reminding us, as she puts it, that "perfect women aren't real, and real women aren't perfect....but that should not stop us from pursuing a good and godly life" (p. 148). She's written this book to help us do just that.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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on October 2, 2013
Excellent, well written, fairly "easy" read. I read through the book in a weekend, but am taking some time to go back through to read more thoroughly. Good things to think about towards your Walk with God, your marriage, your kids and your homemaking. I think this has something for almost any Christian woman seeking to learn more about herself. Even though Courtney is a homeschooling, stay at home mom, she didn't focus on that. She focused more on the Biblical principles that should be at the core of any Christian woman's life, especially one who is married with kids. My favorite quote from her:

"The Biblical principles we apply to our marriages should be the same, but how this is carried out in our homes will look different. There are no cookie-cutter marriages. Your husband is not my husband, but my God is your God, so our principles should match."

She doesn't care that I work outside the home, or send my kids to daycare, or that my husband is the one who cleans our house. She DOES care whether or not we are following Biblical principles: that I respect my husband, that I am training my children up in the way they should go, that I have a personal relationship with God.

I'm not sure a single woman with no children (or desire for a family of her own) would get much from the book other than the first chapter as there is a lot of focus on family.

Overall, a good book that I would recommend to my family or church family.
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on November 24, 2015
I wish that I had read this book as a young woman and wife. It is instructive of holy living and therefore living well. Such great nuggets of instructive practical wisdom especially relating to the lure of social media in our current lives. Every young women should own a copy - a manual on living well. Well written, easy to read and most women would relate to the content and be able to apply it to their busy lives. Good reminder of how we should biblically be relating to our husbands - counter cultural, but biblical truths whether we like to hear them or not!
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on October 12, 2013
So true to the quality of writing-from-the-heart that Courtney always gives, this book touches you the same way her blog does. It's full of good, practical ways and advice, to get your priorities right when it comes to family, home and faith.

Every woman needs a copy of this book! It's one that you'll want to highlight, dog ear, and refer back to over the years.
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