Our most popular quote with two new options just in time for Christmas.
Our most popular quote with two new options just in time for Christmas.
Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 by Daniel James Brown
Wooden: A Coach’s Life by Seth Davis
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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:
“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
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 with quotes from the recently released, True Beauty. 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.
“[T]ake the…sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:17-18).
To fight fear we are to “pray at all times.” But we have another weapon in our arsenal: the promises of God. We are to wield the Word against the onslaught of mothering fears.
We are to ”take” the Word of God and use it. To do this, we need to have it nearby. This means we need to be daily reading the Word and consistently meditating on it.
And we need to pull out the promises and put them into action. We have to pick up the sword and fight. A sword must be swung in order to deliver a blow.
We have a legacy of faithful, fear-fighting, women to follow: “And you are [Sarah’s] children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening” (1 Pet. 3:6).
John Piper writes: “[T]he daughters of Sarah fight the anxiety that rises in their hearts. They wage war on fear, and they defeat it with the promises of God.”
Let’s be daughters of Sarah and fight our mothering fears with the promises of God.
To conclude: Our two, fear-fighting, strategies are:
Prayer: “...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).
Promises: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Rom. 10:17).
Saints throughout the centuries have leaned on God’s promises and called out to Him in prayer. And each and every time, they have found Him to be faithful. “I sought the Lord,” David tells us, “and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Ps. 34:4).
So, let’s follow the example of David and that great cloud of witnesses. Let’s seek God through constant prayer, and in the space of His promises, let’s park our souls.