Welcome to week eight of the series, Women of Intention! We are about halfway through and Maple Alps will continue to feature a woman every week who will talk about intentionality in specific areas in her life. So glad you've decided to stop by! For more information, and a list of topics, visit our introduction post HERE.
THIS WEEK'S INTENTIONAL WOMAN:
Today, we are going to meet Courtney of, Sown with Strength.
Courtney is a an inspiring woman who lives out her faith and today, she will be sharing her story and some valuable points with us! I hope you are encouraged and inspired but her interview - I know I was!
After reading this, don't forget to check out Courtney's website, and share this post! :)
Tell Us A Bit About Yourself: What are your passions, work and interests?
I grew up expecting BIG things from God. I wanted to travel the world, work a job I was passionate about, marry the man of my dreams and live happily ever after.
When I graduated college, I lived in China for a year, teaching English and serving to share more about what Jesus has done in my life. When the year finished, I was left with no choice but to return home because of student loan debt. Thankfully my parents were generous and allowed me to live at home while I worked on paying my debt. The debt was so heavy on me, I began to feel my dreams and expectations of God diminish. I felt stuck. No longer believing God had incredible plans for me, my faith faced a crossroads. I needed to CHOOSE to believe God wasn’t finished me with yet and He would STILL use me.
When I made this choice, my life began to shift. I grew in understanding of how to honour God daily even if my life looked different than I expected or hoped. As time went on, He brought me my husband. And with my husband, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel the world with him as his cheerleader for his career as a professional basketball player! So far we have lived in Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, and Hungary! Because of his job, I have the travel I always dreamed of. But I was still missing purpose.
I believe God has created each of us for a divine purpose with a unique story. But I was having a hard time finding my own voice as a new wife following my husband on the journey God had him on. So I began praying, “God what is MY purpose?” A few weeks later, He opened up the door for me to begin pursuing a new ministry. I became an online health + fitness coach! I run monthly online fitness bootcamps, and I mentor others to successfully start and build their own businesses as coaches! It’s the perfect ministry and business fit for me! Despite the hard times to get to this point, God has totally had an incredible plan for me all along. It may take time to get to where you hope to be, but God has a reason and purpose for each season. I’m so blessed to now be living that life I was always praying for; living on purpose for the Kingdom, and being able to travel the world with my best friend!
The steps along the way have been challenging at times, but it has refined my faith and given me the chance to rely on God even more!
How Do You Intentionally Live a Faith Filled Life?
I intentionally live a faith-filled life by filling my life with Jesus. Always Jesus. As much as I can! My husband and I keep each other accountable. We are reading “Me and You Forever” by Francis and Lisa Chan. In that book, they mentioned how their family had a house rule where they could only watch TV after spending time with Jesus. So we decided to commit to the same thing. Currently, we are reading the Bible in a Year through our Bible App. We spend at least one night a week praying together. I also am intentional to live a faith-filled life through my business. Growing is an important foundation as a coach, so it encourages me to be growing and create life-giving, faith-producing content that encourages + equips others.
I loved your post, “Confessions of a Christian Fitness Coach.” It’s refreshing to see a fitness page that is quite different than the ones we’re used to seeing. Could you tell us just briefly why you’ve chosen to go this route?
Aww thank you so much. That was hard to post. Even as I narrowed down my boundaries as a fitness page, one that would honour both my God and my husband, I still had temptation. It’s so easy to look at other fitness accounts and see how successful their posts and numbers are attributing it to them showing more skin. Many times I would think, if only I post more ab shots or in my sports bra, then maybe I would have the same engagement. But when I began this business, I knew two things for sure: 1. This was from God and 2. This was for God. I knew deep in my heart I would feel guilty and not have confidence in my ministry/business if I wasn’t being true to my identity in Christ. I feel confident in my choice now. I believe that God is blessing my obedience and ultimately, regardless of the money or numbers I get from my job as a fitness coach, I am making a difference for the Kingdom and that is the only thing that matters when it comes down to it.
How else does your intentional faith translate into your every-day activities and work?
I want everything I do to be done with the Gospel in mind. I’m constantly growing as a leader in my business, as an entrepreneur networking, as a wife, as a coach, as a daughter and friend how to communicate in love; how to offer gentleness instead of selfish gain. For example, I had a situation come up where I was utilizing a marketing company to grow my business. Somehow it got linked to liking inappropriate pictures on Instagram. While many would see that as just a sacrifice worth making to grow a network, I was not on board with that. My commitment was to God first and being pure in my business practices. It is damaging to my business to have others see my account linked to those. Therefore, I chose to have faith that God would grow my business in authentic, organic ways instead of compromising on my image as a believer in Christ with a marketing company.
I also am intentional with everyday things. For example, I have written bible verses on notecards and taped them around the house as reminders. I have one right by kitchen sink so I’m reminded even washing the dishes or preparing dinner for my husband can honour and glorify God. It’s about inviting God into our everyday activities that may seem mundane at the time but cultivate within us an awareness and intentionality that God is our focus.
What would you say to encourage someone who is struggling with intentionality in this area of their life?
Set up accountability. It’s the same thing that makes the difference between people trying to get in shape on their own and people who work with me in my online bootcamps. You can have all the right intentions and tools, but if you don’t have accountability to change and transform, you won’t see that actually play out. Same can be said about growing in your faith. To be intentional about anything, it takes commitment. A new commitment can be difficult to stay consistent with. Therefore, accountability plays a healthy, important role to make sure that commitment is consistent. For me, I am not good at remembering to sit down with Jesus every day unless I feel depleted. But I want this to be my habit no matter how I feel. So I need accountability. My husband keeps me accountable each day.
What about you? What helps you live faithfully and intentionality in life? Why don't you tell us about it in the comments, and connect with us on social media?
(Don't forget to use the hashtag #WomenOfIntention16 so no one misses it!)