Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos  -     By: Vicki Courtney
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Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos

B&H Books / 2013 / Paperback

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Product Description

A woman's real life begins where fairy tales and chick flicks end. Taking a poignant, funny, and spiritual look at marriage and motherhood, Vicki Courtney shares mistakes made, lessons learned, and memories to keep. Most of all she offers the hope that Christ meets you wherever you are - and that he is the only way to happily ever after.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: B&H Books
Publication Date: 2013
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 X 0.75 (inches)
ISBN: 0805449876
ISBN-13: 9780805449877
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Most every woman dreams about having a family and a building a home. We grow up on a steady diet of fairytales and chick flicks that drive our dreams . . . and leave us with a sugarcoated version of reality. We want it all: the prince, the kiss, the proposal, the ring, the castle, and eventually, the kids in smocked rompers playing cheerfully on the perfectly manicured lawn. Our hopes and dreams are pinned on the world’s version of happily-ever-after.

The problem is, the fairytales and chick flicks end where real life begins. We never see that follow-up scene where the prince and princess argue at 3 a.m. over who will get up with the colicky newborn. Or the princess reluctantly returns to work to help pay the bills and feels the stress of juggling work and family. And you certainly won’t see that part where the princess moves her last child into the dorm and realizes the bulk of her identity has been based on being a mother.

The truth is, marriage and motherhood are hard. Few of us are prepared to handle the balancing act of being a good wife and a good mother, without one or the other getting the short end of the stick. No matter how much we give or how hard we try, we never quite feel like it’s enough. And heaven help us, we always imagine every one else is doing a much better job.

In Ever After, best-selling author Vicki Courtney addresses the realities of marriage and motherhood, the difficulties and the blessings. It offers women a behind the scenes glimpse of what a fairytale really looks like on the average day for the average wife and mom. Poignant, funny, and even cathartic, Vicki shares mistakes made, lessons learned, and memories to keep. Most of all, she reflects the hope and promise that God meets us in the middle wherever we are in the journey.

Author Bio

Vicki Courtney is a speaker and the best-selling author of many books and Bible studies. Among her popular writings are the ECPA Christian Book Award winners TeenVirtue and TeenVirtue Confidential. Vicki and her husband have three grown children, a son-in-love, a daughter-in-love, and a grandchild. They live in Austin, Texas where they are blessed to have all of their children living nearby. More information can be found at VickiCourtney.com.

Product Reviews

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  1. Cindy Navarro
    Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Reality with a huge twist of humor
    August 22, 2013
    Cindy Navarro
    Cullman, AL
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Little girls often grow up with their heads filled with the stuff of fairy tales: You grow up, Prince Charming finds you (even if it means slaying dragons, defeating witches, and dealing with evil stepmothers, etc.), you marry, and ride off in your shimmering carriage to live happily ever after in your beautiful castle. Right?

    Reality Check!! Tiny apts.; sky high bills; work demands; the pumpkin that turned into a carriage is actually a 'lemon'; the fairy godmother loses your new address; the sweet babies you envisioned cry, make messes...and turn into teenagers; Prince Charming doesn't always make your dreams come true; and , truth be told, your "princess persona" and crown may slip a notch or 2...sometimes. Vicki Courtney calls this "Fairy Tale Letdown."

    Ever After: Life Lessons Learned in My Castle of Chaos should be required reading for those who need a dose of reality, but I also absolutely recommend it for those who long realized that life isn't a fairy tale...but is so much more exciting. This is written from the perspective of a married woman, but is also a great book for divorced or never-married women; there are topics that appeal to all women. Courtney's sense of humor shines through the pages as she tells stories from her own life about mistakes made, lessons learned, tears, laughter, and the reminder that God's grace is sufficient for our happy ending and the Prince who awaits us.

    I rarely give out a 5, but I would give this a strong 4.5 stars.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of its 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."
  2. Jill Jones
    Opelika, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Once upon a time....giving up the fairy tale
    August 21, 2013
    Jill Jones
    Opelika, AL
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    There is a reason that fairy tales begin with "Once upon a time..." Because it only happens once. upon. a. time. Long, long ago when ladies were served and princes, I mean men, were perfect and, well, charming. Now, we live in a time where women are "supposed" to serve and men are not the charming creatures we read about in fairy tales.

    The problem is that we continue to believe the prince charming myth right up until we discover the perfect man we married has faults and no longer thinks we are his lady in waiting. Then, there are the demands we place on ourselves as wives and mothers trying to live up to the lives we see on Facebook and Pinterest. What we see and read online lead us to believe in a modern-day fairy tale--that women can work 40 hours a week, work out for 2 hours a day, cook gourmet meals 7 days a week, take care of the kids and the housework and still maintain a scrapbook for three kids, sew their own clothes, grow their own food, etc. etc. etc.

    The truth is that women can't do it all. We can't build a home and have a family on a steady diet of fairy tales, Facebook statuses or Pinterest ideas. In her book, "Ever After", Vicki Courtney shares her life lessons about marriage and motherhood (some quite humorous) and helps put them into perspective. There is only One Person who can meet us where we are and be the happily ever after we long for.

    Courtney shares her mistakes and the lessons she learned and shows us what a real fairy tale looks like--the one where the husband and wife argue, the kids get sick and the house gets dirty. Wherever you are in your journey, Christ meets you there.

    If you struggle with how you look or the aging process, you will find peace in the last few chapters where Courtney shares things to consider as we face body image and aging issues. She helps us realize that things aren't always what they appear to be online or in magazines. I highly recommend "Ever After" for women in all stages of life. This would make a perfect gift for a girl as she prepares to leave the nest. This is, after all, the best time to put all those fairy tales to rest.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Shelton Interactive, as part of its 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."
  3. Fitzysmom
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    July 29, 2013
    Fitzysmom
    I really wish I could just read aloud to you the introduction of this book. After hearing it I'm pretty confident you would say, "Give me that, I need to read it for myself". If you've ever had the privilege of hearing Vicki speak and enjoyed it you are definitely going to delight in reading this book. Her witty yet wise voice comes through in her writing.

    Each chapter addresses one of our fairy tale notions and walks us through what the reality is and should be. Don't get me wrong this isn't a preachy you're doing it all wrong type of book. How could it be with chapters that include: P-31 Flunkie, Great Sexpectations, Prince Charming Letdown and Fine Whines: Aged to Perfection.

    This book is designed with every woman in mind. It is for the single woman who is looking for her prince charming. It is for the young married woman who can't believe her prince is looking like a frog. It is for all those mommas out there just trying to keep the moat around the castle clean. And it is also for the woman who is looking back and ahead at the same time.

    Since I couldn't read you the beginning let me at least leave you with a quote from the ending:

    "No fairy tale can match the rescue mission that took place in God's story. ‘Bud God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us' (Rom. 5:8 ESV). Our Prince awaits. Ever after begins today."

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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