Happy Now: Let Playfulness Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit (August 3, 2021, Rose Publishing).
Foreword by Marlena Graves.
Happy Now: Let the Power of Play Lift Your Load and Renew Your Spirit is a rollicking, investigative, and thoughtful invitation to open ourselves to the joy and freedom of play all over again. It is designed to invite readers to let go of their most serious selves, grant them permission to engage in curiosity and wonder of all kinds, and delight in the release of its transformative effects: creativity, innovation, delight, rest, and—above all—a more trusting relationship with Jesus.
Through wry observations, first hand experience, Scriptural study, and broad research, Courtney Ellis addresses questions like: How does God invite us into play? What does it mean that we are created for curiosity? In what ways can wonder help us love our neighbors more fully?
The world can be a serious place. Because of Jesus, Christians don’t need to be.
Dive deeply into the waters of whimsy, embracing the joy God offers. Sometimes that looks like welcoming holy laughter. Other times it’s learning to see mistakes as learning and innovation rather than mess-making. Play brings about transformation and rest and praise. And isn’t that just the reason God created us?
Almost Holy Mama: Life-Giving Spiritual Practices for Weary Parents (June 3, 2019, Rose Publishing).
With the honesty of a close friend, the hilarity of a late-night comic, and the humility of a mom up to her eyeballs in diapers and dishes, Courtney Ellis invites us on a journey to draw closer God amidst the joyful, mundane, exhausting days of young parenthood. Probing ancient Christian practices for renewal, Almost Holy Mama chronicles one mom’s quest to discover an answer to her most pressing question: can God use the crucible of parenthood to grow us in virtue?
Instead of adding more tasks, Almost Holy Mama will help you integrate your spiritual practices into your daily life. From studying Scripture in the shower to listening in prayer at the foot of Laundry Mountain to being forced into the discipline of stillness by a rough pregnancy, Ellis finds that meeting God in sacred disciplines can breathe new life into one of life s most joy-filled and trying seasons.
“Courtney Ellis reminds us that we are held in grace. I’m grateful for the reminder.” –Micha Boyett, author of Found: A Story of Questions, Grace, and Everyday Prayer
“Eavesdrop on Courtney Ellis’s year-long experiment with practicing the classic spiritual disciplines while driving, changing diapers, and managing bedtime, and you just might be inspired to do the same!” —Catherine McNiel, author of Long Days of Small Things: Motherhood as a Spiritual Discipline
“Almost Holy Mama is an encouraging guide for parents who want to draw close to Jesus during one of life’s busiest and most exhausting seasons. ” —Jana Alayra, singer, songwriter, and worship leader
“What a gift this book is for parents, for families, and for the churches they belong to.” —Ryan Hamm, senior writer at Open Doors USA, former managing editor of RELEVANT magazine
“Courtney Ellis is a relatable guide to your Lego-strewn journey with Jesus through the challenging early years of parenting.” —Michelle Van Loon, author of Born to Wander
“Almost Holy Mama is full of grace, humor, and a relentless desire to grow in holiness—not to prove ourselves to God but to learn again how to live as little children. It’s a message we all need.” —Ashley Hales, author of Finding Holy in the Suburbs
“Courtney Ellis gives us a graceful glimpse into how these Christian disciplines can find a place in our twenty-first-century, everyday lives. It’s a practical, rich, insightful guide.” —Shawn Smucker, author of Once We Were Strangers
“Combining good humor with deep, practical wisdom, Almost Holy Mama is a rare accomplishment. Courtney Ellis comes alongside us as both the mentor that we weary parents long for and the friend that we need.” —Chris Blumhofer, professor of New Testament, Fuller Seminary
“Courtney Ellis reminds us of two things simultaneously: that the spiritual disciplines are serious business, and that there’s no reason we can’t have a holy sense of humor about our occasionally stumbling attempts to practice them.” —Kevin McLenithan, film critic, and cohost of the Seeing and Believing podcast
“This book is what tired mamas like me have been looking for: how we find God in the lives we inhabit (not the ones we used to have or might have ten years from now). I can’t wait to share this book with my congregation and mom friends.” —Elizabeth Hagan, author of Birthed: Finding Grace through Infertility
“In Almost Holy Mama, Courtney Ellis offers hope for the always overextended mom to forge a deeper relationship with God.” —Harmony Harkema, founder and editor, The Glorious Table
Uncluttered: Free Your Space, Free Your Schedule, Free Your Soul (February 2019, Rose Publishing).
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the “too muchness” of it all? Realizing that piles of possessions, an overfilled calendar, and digital addictions threatened not only my happiness but my very soul, Uncluttered chronicles my pursuit of a radical idea: what if less really is more?
If you’ve ever desired a simpler life, one filled with love, laughter, friendship, and worship rather than overflowing closets and overfilled hours, look no further.
“Peace. Less. Still. Enough. Simple. Clear. Rested. Read Uncluttered.” –John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Church and author of I’d Like You More if You Were More Like Me
“The key to healthy, sustainable, contagious faith is our commitment to living simpler, quieter, more uncluttered lives. This is the urgent and soul-nourishing message of Uncluttered.” –Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition
“With disarming candor, sly humor and the empathy of the pastor and spiritual counselor that she is, Courtney Ellis has given us a gift.” –Tod Bolsinger, Vice President & Chief of Leadership Formation, Fuller Seminary
“In Uncluttered Courtney Ellis does what our productivity-obsessed culture tells us is impossible: unplugs from the unnecessary demands of life and plugs in to God and relationships that matter.” –Nicole Caldwell-Gross, Pastor at St.Luke’s (UMC)
“A practical and profound work, tailor-made for this era of noise and busyness.” –Dorcas Cheng-Tozun, author of Start, Love, Repeat: How to Stay in Love with Your Entrepreneur
“Uncluttered is somehow raw, relatable and hilarious, all at the same time.” –Cara Meredith, author of The Color of Life: A White Woman’s Journey Toward Love and Justice