girltalk Blog

Nov 26

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sales

2014 at 5:09 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under 52home

​The 52home store will be having its annual Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales this weekend.

On Black Friday we’re offering a sale on the 52home calendars. For every calendar you buy, you get the second one 50% off. The sale begins at midnight on November 27th and ends at midnight on November 28th.

On Cyber Monday we are offering 20% off on all 52home products and our most popular wood signs. That sale begins at midnight on November 30th and ends at midnight on December 1st.

Give friends and family the gift of 52home this year!

Nov 25

Avoiding a Thanksgiving Train Wreck

2014 at 8:51 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Emotions | Homemaking | Holidays

The small town in Kentucky where we live grew up about 150 years ago around a train station. Trains still rumble through all day, to the delight of my children who try to count the cars and guess what’s inside.

The other night, though, we came upon an ugly scene. The train had collided with a huge white semi, which lay twisted on the track, illuminated by the glow of emergency vehicles. Thankfully no one was hurt, but it was a dramatic sight.

For some of us, this is where our emotions are headed this Thanksgiving. We are a train wreck waiting to happen.

Maybe we sense a crash ahead. Things haven’t been great with the family lately and a holiday conflict is in the offing. Or we are tense and irritable, unhappy about a lot of things in our life: we’re speeding into the holiday with no emotional brakes.

But maybe we’re totally unaware a semi is ahead on the tracks. We’re happy because the Thanksgiving table will be full this year. We’re energized by all the dinner preparations.

All of us, the excited and the anxious, must consider the source of our emotions this Thanksgiving. Can our happiness be taken away if things suddenly go wrong this Thursday? Is a peaceful holiday or some change of circumstances the only thing that will make us happy?

Tim Keller has a few words of wisdom for the holiday:

Most contemporary people base their inner life on their outward circumstances. Their inner peace is based on other people’s valuation of them, and on their social status, prosperity, and performance. Christians do this as much as anyone. Paul is teaching that (in Eph. 1:15-19 and especially verse 17), for believers, it should be the other way around. Otherwise we will be whiplashed by how things are going in the world.

If our holiday happiness is dependent on what the people we spend Thanksgiving with think about us, or how our children behave, or whether the gravy thickens, we’re headed for an emotional crash. We’ll get whiplashed by how things go.

But Paul wrote in Philippians (4:10-13), that he had learned to avoid such collisions. He had learned the secret to being content (happy!) whatever the circumstances. The strength of his joy was in his Savior.

If we set our joy in God at the beginning of this week, our happiness will be unassailable. It won’t be ruffled by a family member’s put-down or burnt with the rolls.

You know what? We do not need the approval of our family or success in our job or a feeling of significance. We don’t even need to have a conflict-free holiday in order to be happy. Our happiness can really be, as we’ve quoted often here at girltalk, “out of the reach” of all these things. That’s because for those of us who are Christians, our joy is safely and securely in Jesus Christ.

When you can honestly say, “My worst fears about this holiday may come true, or it may be the best holiday ever, but either way, I know I will be happy this Thanksgiving” you know you’ve discovered Paul’s secret. Here’s praying we all will find it.

Nov 19

CJ’s Christmas Book List 2014

2014 at 8:15 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Holidays | Resource Recommendations

Per your request, here is the ninth annual edition of CJ’s book list. Get your Christmas shopping off to a great start!

Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 by Daniel James Brown

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides

Wooden: A Coach’s Life by Seth Davis

Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis by Tim Townsend

Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian’s Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand

The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tim Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta by Gil Capps

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965 by William Manchester

For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War by James M. McPherson

Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off by Jay Bilas

A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War Torn Skies of World War II by Adam Makos

Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb

Frozen In Time: An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam

Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball
by John Feinstein

Nov 18

A Game-Plan for Handling Holiday Emotions

2014 at 7:51 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Emotions | Homemaking | Holidays

Today the girltalkers are sitting down over lunch (maybe leftover chicken and orzo or a couple of roast beef sandwiches from Arby’s—Janelle’s still deciding on the menu) to plan Thanksgiving. Yes, we’re a little early on the Christmas music and late on the Thanksgiving planning this year, but we’ll pull it together.

Holiday planning is essential. We plan menus and seating arrangements, we make lists of gifts to get and to give. But there’s one holiday event we often fail to plan for, and that is our feelings.

The holidays stir up feelings we thought were ancient history, feelings that only seem to surface this time of year and if we aren’t prepared, our emotions can end up running (even ruining) the holidays.

Anxiety spikes over the holidays. Will the children like their presents? Will the turkey be moist and will the gravy thicken? Is the family going to get along?

When life is hard and we are down, we feel bitter and resentful of holiday cheer. Maybe Scrooge had a point.

Disappointments litter the holiday season. Your daughter couldn’t come for Christmas. The party wasn’t a huge success. Your husband wasn’t as excited about his present as you’d hoped.

Envy and jealousy rear their ugly heads this time of year. You were reasonably content until you had to spend an evening listening to your cousin talk about her new house and her amazing church and her wonderful kids.

We feel stressed about all the work and irritable because no one is helping us do it.

Feelings of judgment and anger (you thought you’d repented from) are rekindled along with the yuletide fire. Guilt is served up like a side dish.

Many of us feel happy and excited over the holidays, only to get hit with a bad case of post-holiday blues.

For some, the holidays bring a sharp stab of pain and sadness from the loss of a loved one.

How do we deal with our holiday feelings? There’s a ton of advice out there, but as Christian women, we have a higher goal. We want to glorify God with our holiday feelings. We want to rejoice in our Savior’s birth. We want to have hearts full of gratitude for the gift of salvation.

We have a higher goal, and we also have a greater hope. Our hope is in our Savior, who has rescued us from the wrath of God and forgiven us from our sins. Our hope is in the Holy Spirit who is active in our hearts this holiday season to help us rejoice in Jesus Christ.

How can we experience God-glorifying emotions this holiday? Let’s receive wisdom from God’s Word to make a plan.

Nov 17

“Prepare Him Room”  Winners

2014 at 8:14 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Holidays | Resource Recommendations

Thanks to everyone for the great children’s book suggestions for Christmas! Our winner is Meredith, who wrote to tell us how a book we know and love is actually perfect for Advent:

My favourite Advent resource for children is Sally Lloyd-Jones’ very wonderful The Jesus Story Book Bible The format of this children’s Bible is such that there are twenty one stories presented from the Old Testament (each of which “whisper Jesus’ name”) and then the Christmas story is presented in the first three stories in the New Testament section. That makes twenty four stories that will paint an Old Testament backdrop to the birth of Jesus and then tell the story of his birth. Twenty four superb readings to do with children - one a day - during the month of December leading up to Christmas. Isn’t that amazing? Made this happy discovery a few years ago.

Love it, Meredith. Thank you!

Our runners up are Shea and Jaime who both recommended another book by Sally Lloyd-Jones: Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story

We’ll send all three of you a Prepare Him Room cd right away. Enjoy!

Nov 13

Christmas Music, Advent Reading, and a Giveaway

2014 at 7:13 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Holidays

Here at girltalk, we’ve been breaking all the rules and listening to Christmas music for a few weeks now. The new Prepare Him Room album is just that good!

We’d love to give one of you a complimentary cd as an early Christmas present. Write and tell us your favorite Christmas book for children (we are always looking for new ideas!) and we’ll enter you in the drawing.

Also, in preparation for Advent, here are a few ideas:

1. The new Advent devotional for families by Marty Machowski, which pairs with the Prepare Him Room cd.

2. The Good Book Company is my go-to source for advent calendars, and they have a new children’s book and calendar this year, The Christmas Promise.

3. Last year, we published a read-aloud list for kids with stories for every day of December (I’m hoping to add to that list from your ideas!).

P.S. Look for the much-requested CJ’s Christmas Gift Book List next week!

Nov 11

What’s Missing?

2014 at 11:09 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Gospel

Do you ever feel like something is missing? So did the rich young ruler. It was, in the words of Sinclair Ferguson, “one thing which amounted to everything.” Find out what he (and each of us) may be missing, from Sunday’s sermon: The Rich Man and Discipleship.

And join our church on an exciting journey through the gospel of Mark. A few other highlights:

Divorce and Discipleship | Mark 10:1-12 | C.J. Mahaney | 10.19.14

Greatness Redefined | Mark 9:30-37 | C.J. Mahaney | 09.07.14

A Beautiful, Unusual Miracle | Mark 7:31-37 | C.J. Mahaney | 06.29.14

Nov 10

Today is an Important Day

2014 at 9:47 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Trusting God

“Every day is important for us because it is a day ordained by God. If we are bored with life there is something wrong with our concept of God and His involvement in our daily lives. Even the most dull and tedious days of our lives are ordained by God and ought to be used by us to glorify Him.” ~Jerry Bridges