“I am a self-proclaimed control freak. Most of the time I don’t like surprises or any sort of variable. I always drive the way I know gets me to my destination, and order the same thing at Starbucks because I know it’s good.” Inspiring Women: Life With Courtney
Courtney was the adorable little girl from next door. She spent a lot of time in our home, playing with my daughter Charity. From day one, we knew Courtney as sweet, kind, generous and compassionate. To see her now married with a Christian husband has brought our family great joy!
Her family made wonderful neighbours and her mom Susan would spoil us with preserves and a big smile. They have been a blessing to our family!
Inspiring Women: Life With Courtney
A Little About Me:
Hi! My name’s Courtney, and I am nervous. Let me begin by being completely honest with you: I have been in a spiritual slump. When Cindy asked me to write a piece for her blog, I felt like I wanted to throw up! Not totally out of fear (okay, mostly out of fear – what could I possibly have to write about that anyone would be interested in reading?)
But also because I’ve been praying for a stir in my spiritual life and, as always, God delivered.
So, here we are.
I’m not quite sure where to go from here, so let me start with the basics:
I’m a 27-year-old wife, new mom, and dental assistant. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Josh, for 2 years, and we just welcomed our first beautiful baby, Clara, this past July. We also have 2 cats, Vader and Pip, who keep our home cute, cozy and fur-lined… *insert crazy face here*
Our lives the past 2 1/2 years have been a whirlwind of adventure! Josh finally moved to the Soo after graduating from college, he started a new job, we got married, moved in together, had a baby, and bought a house! 2.5 years of high stress (some good, some bad) and I’m ready for life to settle down a little bit, but I’ve heard and have experienced enough to know that God usually has a different plan than I do.
So, here’s a summary of my spiritual background:
I didn’t grow up in a Christian family but was introduced to Jesus when Cindy’s family moved in next door to my family, 23-ish years ago. I made the decision to follow Jesus when I was around 6 or 7 years old.
Charity and I prayed on their swing set to give my heart to Jesus, and that was that.
Well actually, I think I prayed the same prayer 10 more times over the next 5 years “just in case I didn’t do it right” haha. In the years after they moved in, Charity, my sister, and I started going to Galilean Bible Camp (check out the camp). We spent a week every summer at Galilean until we were 13-ish and I loved it! Those weeks were just what my young self-needed to keep the fire in my heart burning.
Through my teen years and during my early 20’s, I chose to “do my own thing.” My relationship with God was put on hold, despite hearing that familiar little voice – it didn’t go away. But I chose not to listen to it a lot of the time.
It wasn’t until I made my way back from Nova Scotia (that’s another story). I went back to school, and I decided I wanted to make things right with God; I missed having Him in my life.
Slowly, but surely, I felt the connection with God again.
So, the spring following me moving home from out east, I moved again. This time I moved to Sudbury to follow my dream of being a Dental Assistant which started with enrolling in college at Cambrian. Long story short, I met Josh there and, well, you already know the rest.
Here’s a reminder to anyone who may need to hear it: God is a gentleman. He will knock quietly at your heart, time and time again, but He will not open the door Himself. He wants you to open the door for Him. When you do, He will always be there waiting to meet with you again!
A Typical Day:
A typical day in my life… Well, We seem to be in a period of change.
Once Clara wakes up, she is almost always ready for breakfast right away. Clara is an amazing baby – she really only cries when she is hungry or overtired, and for this, I will be eternally grateful. She usually gives a few “warning whimpers” before she really lets loose. So, I’ve quickly learned to heed those warnings! She is normally ready for her morning nap in about an hour to an hour and a half after waking up. During whatever time frame Clara gives me while she naps, I try so hard to remember to do my devotions. I either get an extra bit of sleep or get up and have a shower/hot breakfast. Depending on how I’m feeling or what time of day it is.
Throughout the day, Clara provides lots of snuggles, smiles, and now giggles!
These are the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.
Clara is starting to LOVE her jolly jumper… and my back is loving it too, haha. She naps 2-3 times a day, and during those nap times I get my chores done, meals made, and this blog post was written/edited. If Josh is home, we get to spend some time together!
Depending on the day, I will get Clara ready, and we will go run errands while she naps. Some days, I will bundle her up and take her for a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s house (unless they stop by in the morning). I know that her naps won’t sync up with errands forever, but it’s easiest this way for now!
When Josh works a day shift, he gets home around 6 pm, so that’s when we usually do a trade-off. He spends some time with Clara while I get dinner ready/served. We take turns eating, and by then, Clara is ready for her evening feeding. Then it’s time to wind down for the night. Clara gets a bath and a story or 3, some snuggles, we pray as a family, and she is sleeping by 8:30-9pm. Now it’s my turn!
I am not joking when I say a clean kitchen puts me at rest like nothing else.
Some people have a glass of wine or a bubble bath to wind down at the end of their day – I clean my kitchen.
Sleep and Repeat.
My Daily Struggles:
I am a self-proclaimed control freak. Most of the time I don’t like surprises or any sort of variable. I always drive the way I know gets me to my destination, and order the same thing at Starbucks because I know it’s good.
Being married to Josh and becoming a mom has greatly aided in the reminder to let the little things go.
Or as Josh so frankly tells me; Get Over It.
As much as it bothers me to hear him say it, he’s right. Sometimes I really do need to just get over it. This has also been the area that I’ve noticed God’s gentle reminders to give it all to him, whether I want to or not.
This has been a long-standing struggle of mine. Daily, I need to remind myself that not only am I loved, but I am wanted and needed! The anxiety part is tough, especially when meeting new people or talking with people whom I haven’t seen in a while. The conversations I have will play on repeat in my head for days along with the thoughts of “Did I come across as annoying?” or “What if they thought what I said was stupid?”
Having that constant voice nagging me can be absolutely exhausting for both Josh and myself, but he is a champion of boosting my self-esteem and has the best ways of reminding me of my worth.
Having Clara has also made me more aware of how much I am absolutely needed at all times! It’s the best feeling!
I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with the self-esteem struggle. I really do try to be a positive person, but as I said before, there is a very annoying nagging voice in the back of my mind that has the “what if” thing on repeat – about everything.
Which sometimes has me jumping to the worst possible conclusion about the silliest things.
I remember one particular night when I was younger and my parents went out for a few hours and my sister, and I had a babysitter. Our parents told us they would be home by 9:30 pm. They weren’t home on time, and I very vividly remember crying thinking they had died because they weren’t home at EXACTLY 9:30. That poor babysitter probably thought I was nuts.
I dislike sweeping, and I keep forgetting to buy a broom. =)
Joys In My Day:
I am so blessed. There are so many things to be joyful about and thankful for!
If I have to choose a short list, a few joys in my day are:
The good-morning smile that Clara greets me with every morning. Playtime with her. Our house, which we are making into our home. Bear hugs from Josh. When my parents drop in for a visit, or to help with whatever needs to be done that day. Phone calls with my sister. As well as visits with her as time allows! The evenings when my sister-in-law stops by after work to snuggle Clara and/or visit me and/or let me have a normal length shower (thank you again, Rachel!) My in-laws who are so easy to talk to. Tea. Driving (this is my escape from cabin fever). Cooking/baking. And music!
I don’t think I could go through a day without music or else I might die.
Oh dear. Again, how can I make a short list of dreams? There are so many…
- Raise Clara & our future children to love God and be kind, independently functioning humans.
- Get to Disney/Universal Studios (specifically for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!) This is another story; Josh actually got us tickets to go to both Disney and Universal Studios but hurricane Irma came through the week we had planned to go, and then when it came time to re-schedule, I found out I was pregnant with Clara. We will get there someday!
- Fly a kite.
- Have a Collie mix dog.
- Learn watercolour painting.
- Learn a second language.
- To set foot on every continent.
- Become proficient in essential oil use.
Moments With God:
These have been plentiful lately. I’ve been really trying to keep an ongoing conversation with God throughout the day rather than trying to “make time” for God; I want all the time to be with Him! As an anxious person, I am thankful for being able to leave the burden of anxiety with God which usually is several times a day.
I’ve tried for so long to carry it all, and it doesn’t work.
I am learning to live out Philippians 4:6-7 a little at a time, and it has done wonders for my mental health and daily life. I am able to be present and content in my marriage and during mom duties (especially now – teething mixed with the 4-month sleep regression is just ridiculous).
What I’m praying for lately and what God has been teaching me:
- P a t i e n c e ! ! !
- Letting go of the things I cannot control.
- How important making time for prayer and scripture is.
- Communication is key to every relationship – including your relationship with God.
- Humour and hugs go a long way, and lighten the mental load!
I’m hoping and praying that this didn’t bore you to death, and I sincerely hope someone could relate in some practical way.
Thank you for getting to know me just a little bit!
I can personally verify that Courtney is the least annoying person on the face of the earth. I think most women can relate to having that “voice in our head” lying to us. Thank you, Courtney, for being open about a struggle we all have. I know many women will be blessed by your feature.
Would you like to read a post by a mom who shared her struggles in raising a child with cancer and begging God to give her a miracle? Click here: Life with Sherie
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