Thursday, August 18, 2011

A STRAND

A strand (posted with permission, written by Karen Ehman P31)

By itself, not very strong.

However, if enough strands are intertwined together, they can be mighty hard to break!

I’ve noticed something in my up and down battle with my weight, among other issues in my life.
(Face it gals, we all have issues!!!) The times I seem to be on track, living life in a way that lines up with scripture, are the times I am intentionally asking for accountability in my life.

No, not those friends I see on the screen who ‘like’ my Facebook status or whose clever comment I re-tweet to the world (although there is a place for fun friendships like that and I certainly treasure my cyber friends.) I mean a fellow believer who desires to walk with Jesus.
And who helps you do the same.

Whether it is with your weight, your tongue, your attitude or actions, they point you to God and His word for solid, real answers. The only answers that really last.

My best friend from college, Kelly, is one such gal. She told me last fall about something she’d discovered. A cyber accountability group designed to help keep women consistent with their time alone with God each day and their relationship with Him. It was called Good Morning Girls.
I’d never heard of it.

A week or two later, a woman named Courtney contacted me to ask permission to share a post I’d written called Nine Doors DownWe became fast friends.  As we continued to connect, I found out about her wildly successful blog called Women Living Well, her speaking at the Relevant Conference, and being featured on the Rachael Ray show as a dying breed– a 1950′s-style housewife.

Then she mentioned something else she’d recently started– yep–Good Morning Girls.
I thought in light of my devotion today, my sharing my struggles and my need for accountability in my life—bless you Lysa And Shari. And Mary. And now Ruth. (my newest weight loss partner) that I’d tell you about this fabulous find.

I am excited to bring you my new friend Courtney Joseph as she tells us how to join a Good Morning Girls group to help keep us in the Word (and hopefully keep our issues at bay!) Read on:
Courtney blogs at WomenLivingWell.org about her faith, marriage, parenting, and homemaking .  She has been married to her high school sweet heart for 14 years, homeschools her son and daughter and is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute.

In November, 2009, she was featured on The Rachael Ray Show on the topic of marriage.

Since then she has had over 220,000 views of her youtube videos on her channel Courtneylivingwell .   Her passion to see “Women Living Well” inspired her  to start a second blog called GoodMorningGirls.  There over 1,500 women meet in tech accountability groups called “Good Morning Girls” groups, as she leads them through on-line Bible studies.

She can be followed on Women Living Well Facebook, Women Living Well Twitter , Good Morning Girls Facebook and hashtag #GoodMorningGirls on Twitter.
Now–for our little interview:

Courtney, tell us how did your Women Living Well blog begin?

I began blogging  exactly 3 years ago this September!   For over 10 years, after graduating from the Moody Bible Institute, I led women’s ministries, Bible studies, mentorships, retreats and Titus 2 Workshops.

Then I decided to homeschool my 2 children.  I wanted to continue to do ministry but move my ministry home, so I started WomenLivingWell.org .  I chose the title Women Living Well because I believe women will only live well when they drink from the living well – that is the living word of God.  So all of my blog posts on marriage, parenting and homemaking point to God’s word.

I just have to ask, what was it like to be on the Rachael Ray Show?

First, it was a huge surprise to see an email in my inbox from CBS!  I thought it was a practical joke and almost didn’t call them back!  My knees went weak when the lady answered and said she was a producer for the Rachael Ray Show and she had stumbled across my blog!
They sent a 4 person camera crew to our home to record us “in action” for 8 hours.  They videoed me cooking, cleaning, and even kissing my husband…a bit awkward!

When we arrived in New York City they had a car pick us up at the airport and take us to a hotel right in the heart of Manhattan.  The next morning, my husband and I prayed in our hotel room before walking over to the studio for hair and make-up.

There we were taken to a green room where producers came in and out –making us a bit anxious – telling us what to expect and drilling us with questions (which by the way – Rachael asked an entirely different set of questions than they prepared us for and they also edited out every spiritual comment we made).

We walked into the studio, sat down, and out came Rachael.  Our first time to see and meet her was just a minute or two before taping.  It was fast paced and we quickly went right into our segment.

We talked for over 20 minutes about our marriage (they had tagged me as a 1950’s wife) and when our segment ended they quickly ushered us out of the building.  Within 10 minutes of the taping we were standing on the streets with our luggage, baffled that it was over so quickly.
We did not get to talk to Rachael nor get a picture with her (I asked and they said no)– nor get to see the other guests.  That was unexpected.  But we were not there to meet Rachael or to be entertained –  we were there to testify to God’s truth in our marriage.  We were there to be faithful.

You also began a cyber-accountability group called Good Morning Girls. How did that come about?

I mentioned above that long before blogging I led women’s Bible studies.  I found that at times women came to Bible study with their homework pages blank or having done a week’s worth of study in one late night.  So as the leader, I decided that I would invite those who were interested to join my 6am club.

Every morning at 6am I offered to email them after I had my quiet time and then they could email me back after they had their quiet time.  11 ladies joined me for 3 months – but we discovered that 6 am was WAY too difficult for nursing mamas, or mamas of bed wetters etc.  So we changed the name to Good Morning Girls and our goal was to just get them in before 11:59am.  But we come from a place of grace and the goal is just to be in God’s word daily – so doing them during kid’s naptimes or at bedtime is wonderful too!

I shared about my Good Morning Girls group on WomenLivingWell.org and some of my readers were interested in creating their own groups and they did.

The first session had 25 groups.  The second session had over 50 groups.  Then we reached 90 groups (that’s hundreds and hundreds of ladies!)  and it was taking over my Women Living Well blog.  So last summer,  I asked my best friend from High School if she would help me start a new blog titled GoodMorningGirls.org  Together we lead on-line women’s Bible studies and help women create tech accountability groups using email, facebook, twitter or texting.  Our summer session had over 150 groups and over 1,500 Good Morning Girls – praise the Lord!

If the readers of this post want to be a part of Good Morning Girls, how can they?

Oh I hope they do because studying God’s word on a daily basis will change the entire course of their lives!!
Our fall session is JUST about to begin on’September 15th and enrollment begins September 1st!

Here’s how you start:

~ Pray and ask God to show you a couple (or a lot) of friends you can invite to join your tech accountability group.

~ Email them or facebook them and create a group and then enroll on our http://www.goodmorninggirls.org message board. Over on GoodMorningGirls.org you will find more details.

~~ PLEASE NOTE: If you do not have any friends to ask, you will find like-minded ladies on our message board who are looking for a group. God has brought together Pastor’s Wives, Military Wives, like-minded moms and missionaries around the globe on our message boards.  These ladies lives thousands of miles apart but are close at heart.

~ Next, if you start a group but don’t know where to start reading in God’s word, then print out this Fall Bible Study Plan We will be going through the book of I John and we provide a free plan, videos, blog posts and resources to help you in your study of I John.

Any advice on effective cyber accountability?

Be committed, give grace, be refreshed and refresh others.

Thanks Courtney!!

Well, I hope many of you head over to Good Morning Girls and join! Lets band together, strand by strand, as women who want to walk with Jesus and strengthen our resolve in the midst of the battles and issues we face.

And, if you are planning to join Good Morning Girls, I’d love to know. Leave a comment here on this post. I’ll be praying for us all! (Yep, I’m signing up too!)

Loved this idea and wanted to share with my friends! Yes, I need accountability when it comes to studying His word, what about you?


Blessings to all!
Kelly



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