girltalk Blog

Nov 25

52Home Weekend Sales

2015 at 4:34 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 26th and ends at midnight on November 27th.

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 29th and ends at midnight on November 30th.

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

Nov 24

Children’s Reading for Advent

2015 at 6:14 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Holidays | Motherhood

A couple of years ago we shared this reading list for Advent. We continue to add to it, and this year we look forward to trying two new books: Prepare Him Room by Marty Machowski and The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung.

Whitacre Family Story Time Readings for Advent

Each morning in December we light the appropriate Advent candles and my husband leads our children in Scripture reading and discussion from one of The Good Book Company’s Advent devotionals. The kids meanwhile munch on a piece of chocolate (for breakfast!) from the Advent Calendar house that Mom-Mom bought us a few years ago

Then every evening we light the candles again after dinner and read a Christmas story together. Over the years I’ve collected our favorite stories and developed a schedule of readings. Here it is below in case you want to follow or adapt. I’m looking forward to the Advent Season where we anticipate the celebration of our Savior’s birth!

December 1

“A Kind of Christmas Tale” by John Piper

December 2

Jed & Roy McCoy by Andrew McDonough

December 3

“He’s Here” from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

December 4

If You’re Missing Baby Jesus by Jean Gietzen

December 5

The Donkey Who Carried a King by R.C. Sproul

December 6

Chpt. 1 & 2 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 7

Chpt. 3 & 4 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 8

Chpt. 5 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 9

Chpt. 6 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 10

Chpt. 7 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 11

Chpt. 8 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 12

Chpt. 9 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 13

Chpt. 10 & 11 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 14

Chpt. 12 & 13 of Keeping Holiday by Starr Meade

December 15

“The King of Kings” from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

December 16

The Plan: How God Got the World Ready for Jesus by Sinclair Ferguson

December 17

“The Light of the Whole World” from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

December 18

Chapter 1&2 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

December 19

Chapter 3 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

December 20

Chapter 4 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

December 21

Chapter 5 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

December 22

Chapter 6&7 of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

December 23

Not What I Deserve by Annette B. Gulick

December 24

kidtalk Christmas by Mike Bradshaw

Nov 19

How to Express Our Emotions

2015 at 8:48 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Emotions

How does a mature Christian handle her emotions? “Keep a tight lid on them” is the answer many of us might offer. But this intuitive reaction is not God’s prescription. He made us in his image, and he gave us emotions. Suppressing our feelings goes against his good design. That’s why it doesn’t work so well. Instead, God gives us a better way to handle our emotions. We are to pray. Rather than suppressing our emotions we are to express them to God. Instead of denying or ignoring our feelings, we are to bring them to the throne of grace.

The Psalms—indeed all of Scripture—is full of countless examples, but let’s consider one today: the story of Hannah. As you know, Hannah was barren and unkindly treated by her husband’s second wife, Peninnah (1 Sam. 1:5-6). She was overwhelmed by wave upon wave of tempestuous emotions. She was so upset she could not eat (1:7).

Did Hannah bottle up all of those bad feelings and put on a good front? Did she deny the bitterness and pain in her heart? No, Hannah’s painful feelings compelled her to pray.

”[Hannah] was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.” (1:10)

Hannah prayed to the Lord. Her misery drew her to God.

Here we have a vivid illustration of the usefulness of unpleasant feelings. Bad emotions can have a beneficial role in our lives when they compel us to pray.

Charles Spurgeon highlights this point:

“Observe, that through her sorrowful spirit, Hannah had learned to pray. I will not say but what she prayed before this great sorrow struck her, but this I know, she prayed with more intensity than before when she heard her rival talk so exceedingly proudly, and saw herself to be utterly despised….Thus bitterness of spirit may be an index of our need for prayer and an incentive to that holy exercise.”

Hannah’s sorrow was the incentive to pour out her soul before God. Hannah rightly handled her miserable feelings. She didn’t allow her miserable feelings to drive her away from God; instead, they were the impetus to turn to God for help. So too our miserable feelings: they should drive us to God, they should compel us to pray.

Prayer is absolutely essential if we are to rightly handle emotions. If we expect to keep our emotions from wreaking havoc on our lives, then we must pray!

Dr. R.C. Sproul makes this assertion about prayer: “Prayer does change things, all kinds of things. But the most important thing it changes is us… Prayer changes us profoundly.”

Prayer changed Hannah profoundly. God changed her heart through prayer and subsequently her feelings changed. And as we know, Hannah’s emotions changed rather dramatically. She went from being “deeply distressed” at the outset of her prayer to being “no longer sad” by the end (1:18).

Pour Out Your Soul

Hannah’s prayer wasn’t some lifeless, dutiful, half-hearted prayer. It was an honest, fervent, “meet God where you are” kind of prayer. There were tears with this prayer. Lots of tears.

As the tears spilled out, Hannah spilled out her soul to the Lord. So emotional was Hannah’s prayer that Eli, the high priest, mistook them for drunken mutterings and wrongly accused Hannah of being intoxicated (1:13-14).

Hannah assured Eli that she was not under the influence of alcohol, but in a state of prayer: “I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord” she told him.

Did God condemn Hannah for her emotional prayer? Quite the opposite! He put her in Scripture as an example of a woman we should follow. It was Eli—the one who looked down his nose at Hannah’s emotional prayers—with whom God was displeased.

Hannah unburdened her soul before the Lord. She did, as Charles Spurgeon put it: “Turn[ed] the vessel of [her] soul upside down in [God’s] secret presence, and let [her] inmost thoughts, desires, sorrows, and sins be poured out like water.”

She poured out everything to God.

We can only imagine the lightness of soul Hannah must have felt after she poured out all the grief and resentment that had been pent-up in her soul for so long!

When we suppress our emotions, it weighs us down. It’s as if we are lugging around a heavy bag with us wherever we go. We all know what happens if we have to carry that bag for an extended period of time: The longer we carry it, the heavier it feels.

So it is with an overwhelmed soul. The longer we bear it, the heavier it feels.

The longer we ignore our sin and suppress our sorrow, the more weighed down we become. The bitter emotions only grow stronger. The depressing feelings only get more intense.

That’s why we should pray. There is no simpler, better way to find help for our overwhelmed souls than to pray. There is no other means whereby we experience relief from our sorrows and forgiveness for our sins than to pray.

That is why James instructed the believers to whom he was writing with these words: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray” (5:13)

Let me turn James’ question on us: Is there anyone here suffering? Is there anyone here whose soul is weighed down? Maybe you are burdened by a severe trial you are walking through. Possibly you are distressed about a particular sin you can’t seem to overcome. Or maybe you feel depressed and you are not even sure why.

If so, may I encourage you to pray?

Let’s pour out our souls before God. No matter how we are feeling, God wants to hear from us. He wants us to tell Him everything that’s on our hearts—to hold nothing back.

Nov 16

52Home Calendars Are Back

2015 at 12:46 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under 52home

52home Calendars are back in time for Christmas! Available now in the 52home store are two new calendars for the New Year. Choose from urban doors and windows featuring inspiring hymns or floral vignettes featuring prayers of faithful women from the past. Each calendar contains 12 individual 5x7 prints and the unbound pages provide endless display options: framed, pinned to a bulletin board, hung with clothes pins, displayed on an easel or attached to the fridge! And when a month is over, simply trim off the calendar portion of the print and you have a 5x5 photograph which can be framed or mounted.

Hymns Calendar

Prayers Of Faithful Women Calendar