2005 at 9:20 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
We’ve begun assigning categories to our posts to make it easy for you to find a previous post or to check out what’s been written on a particular topic (or just to read the Friday Funnies when you need a good laugh!). You’ll find the list of categories on the right sidebar.
We hope this serves you!
2005 at 6:46 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies Girltalkers
This week we thought we’d poke a little fun at ourselves.
Each year on vacation we try to take a picture to chronicle the growth of our family. With three boys two and under, this is no small feat. It took three separate photo shoots (with multiple pictures per shoot) before we finally came up with a picture worth a spot on Grandma’s mantle.
Given the challenge of getting five boys, our husbands, and ourselves cleaned up and looking presentable three different times, and the additional difficulty of getting all the boys happy at the same time, we weren’t exactly laughing during this process. Although we did manage to smile for the camera.
Here’s a picture from each shoot to give you an idea of the journey to Grandma’s mantle. The final picture is the winner!
May God give you much grace, peace, and laughter this weekend!
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
2005 at 5:25 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
The Girl Talkers are kindly letting the fellas say a few things to the guys who are reading the Girl Talk blog. Yeah, we know you’re out there. Some of you have even admitted it. Look, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. When the Girl Talkers talk, we listen too. There’s a lot we guys can learn from the women.
We’re all on vacation right now, which is why we are able to guest post. We want to offer our thoughts to husbands about vacation. Remember the post a few days ago where the ladies talked about serving while on vacation? Here are our ideas for how you can serve your wife:
1. Play 18 holes of golf, not 36.
2. If you have children, don’t use the last of the milk for your third late-night bowl of Lucky Charms.
3. Offer to watch the children during the afternoon nap.
4. If you’re going to take a toddler on the jet-ski, try to keep the speed under 50 mph.
5. Consider giving your wife the remote control during the 5:00-6:00 a.m. slot.
We can do a little better than the ideas listed here. Guys, vacation from our normal work responsibilities does not mean a vacation from our responsibilities to lead, serve, and care for our families. It’s all too easy to view vacation as a refuge of relaxation rather than a unique opportunity to serve and lead our families.
The temptations to selfishness and laziness are strong, but our leadership and service will set the tone for our vacations. So whether we are planning the activities for the day or making sure that our wives get time each day to meet with the Lord, let’s be sure that we are leading and serving for the glory of God and the good of those we love the most.
Steve, Brian, and Mike
2005 at 12:29 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Speech
Today is the final post in our little series on speech. We’ve learned of the dangers of corrupting talk and discovered that Ephesians 4:29 instead directs us to use edifying words and appropriate words. Finally, this verse also tells us that our words should be purposeful, “so that [they] may give grace to those who hear.”
What amazing power and potential there is in our speech! When we are purposeful and intentional to use edifying and appropriate words, this is the result: God promises that our words will impart grace to those who hear. Every conversation we have with another person carries this marvelous potential of passing on the grace of God. And we are a people in need of God’s grace, are we not?
So if a friend is condemned or legalistic, I want to give her justifying grace through my words. And if my husband is struggling with a particular sin, I want to give him sanctifying grace through my words. For a fellow church member who is suffering I want to give them comforting race through my words. If a child is disobedient, I want to give him or her convicting grace through my words. And if a friend is weary, I want to give her sustaining grace through my words.
There is no doubt that we will be talking today. No doubt. So in light of this verse, let’s purpose that each of our 25,000 words be edifying and appropriate, that we “may give grace to those who hear.”
2005 at 12:42 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Speech
We’ve been studying words this week from a message my dad gave on Ephesians 4:29 entitled “Encourage.” We’ve learned that we are to put away all corrupting talk and instead speak edifying words. But not only should our words be edifying, they should also be “appropriate” or as it says in verse 29: “as fits the occasion.”
As women, we generally give due attention to our dress. When invited to a party, dinner, or event, we take great pains to ensure we are wearing proper attire. We would never attend a formal event in sweats, or waltz into a pool party in high heels.
However, I am not always nearly so careful with my words. I don’t stop to consider whether or not they “fit the occasion.” And yet, unlike my dress, words are of the greatest significance. For “death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Prov. 18:21)
That’s why Ephesians 4:29 is a much needed reminder to stop and listen before I speak. Proverbs 18:13 says: “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” And all to often I play the fool. Instead, I must consider the person to whom I am speaking. And I must choose the precise words that would serve them in that particular conversation.
First Thessalonians 5:14 is the “dress code” for our words. It tells us what words are appropriate for what occasion. “And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.”
So let’s ask ourselves: does our child need to be admonished or forgiven? Does our friend need to be warned or comforted? Does our husband need to be counseled or encouraged?
We take great pains to dress appropriately for our own reputation, and yet when we speak appropriately, we bring honor and glory to God and bless those who hear.
“To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!” (Prov. 15:23).
2005 at 5:51 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
This week, a question from a mother of daughters, Rebecca:
Do you have any comments/thoughts on doing hope chests? Is this something you did? I like the idea to point my daughters’ hearts ahead to the time of their life when they will be investing in homes of their own, but not sure of how to forge ahead with this.
For those who may be unfamiliar—a hope chest is a tradition of purchasing and setting aside household items (such as dishes, flatware, kitchen appliances, bedding, heirlooms, etc.) for a daughter’s future home.
I did hope chests for each of my daughters with mixed results. It definitely served, as Rebecca noted, to point my daughters’ hearts toward the home. And in this day and age, I’m enthusiastic about anything that will encourage young women to glorify God by loving the home. However, styles and preferences for household goods change so rapidly that many of the items I purchased when my daughters were teenagers no longer appealed to them by the time they moved into their own homes.
If I had it to do over again, I would probably do a variation of the traditional hope chest. Instead of purchasing items, I would set aside money each year. When my daughter got married or bought a home of her own, I would take her shopping with that money to purchase the items she needed. It would be a special memory and also fulfill the practical need for household items. It’s not cheap to set up a house these days!
Let me emphasize that these thoughts merely come from my own personal experience. I am sure many women out there are far more creative than I am. However, I would want to encourage all mothers to think strategically like Rebecca. If not a hope chest, what are other ways you can encourage your daughter to love the home? How can you prepare her, practically and spiritually, to manage a home and possibly care for a family one day? Even though these skills might not be tangible—like a hope chest—they will be a valuable legacy for your daughter.
2005 at 12:39 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Speech
Yesterday Nicole talked about the words that shouldn’t come out of our mouths (corrupting talk). Today we want to consider the words that we should be speaking.
In our Ephesians 4:29 verse we are commanded to communicate edifying words: “only such as is good for building up.” Edifying words are words that identify how God is at work in someone’s life. Philippians 2:13 tell us that “it is God who works in [the Christian] both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
C.J. said in his message entitled “Encourage” that, “We have the privilege of discerning where God is at work and drawing attention to how He is at work in their lives. And God is at work, all the time.” These ways that God is at work my husband likes to call “evidences of grace.”
One way to identify evidences of grace: Begin by reading the lists of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and the gifts of the Spirit (Rom. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. 12:1-11). Then look for one of these specific signs of God’s activity in the life of someone you know (start with those you live with!) and tell them about it. No doubt, by the end of this day, you’ll be more aware of God’s constant activity in the lives of His people. And you will have obeyed this Scriptural command to build others up.
2005 at 4:07 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Vacation is a super fun time for food—or in this case, I should say drinks. One of my favorite things about the South is sweet tea. When I order iced tea at home it takes at least 45 sugars to get it sweet. The ice makes it impossible to dissolve, causing my last few sips to be nothing but sugar. So while I’m in Tennessee, I drink all the sweet tea that I can hold. (For all you non-southerners out there, one great place to get a good sweet tea in your neck of the woods is Chick-Fil-A. I would recommend topping that off with a lemon.) Now, while we are on the subject, another favorite is Coke with lime. But the trick is to first put in your ice, than squeeze in the lime, and pour the Coke in last. This works best if the Coke is already cold so that the ice doesn’t immediately water down the Coke. Finally, the perfect breakfast “food and drink in one” is my favorite cereal, Cocoa Krispies (a vacation staple for my nephews and me). The greatest thing about this cereal is how it turns your milk into chocolate milk. I always pour in extra milk so that there is plenty left to drink after I finish the cereal.
Although I love my food, what really makes food so fun on vacation is enjoying it with my family. One of our favorite activities is sitting around the dinner table talking until it’s almost time for the next meal. I can remember my parents beginning this practice of intentional meal time when I was very young. My dad would ask about our day and in turn direct us to ask each family member a question. What began as a training process developed into a much loved tradition.
So that’s it for now. There’s still much talking and eating (and of course drinking) to be done.
2005 at 12:02 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Speech
Before I left for vacation, I cleaned out my refrigerator. Generally, I try to toss leftovers before they turn rainbow colors and sprout biological plant life. But it’s not unusual for me to find four half-used containers of sour cream coated in blue-green fuzzies.
This fridge-cleaning illustration does in fact relate to our ongoing series on speech (see yesterday’s post). For any experience with rotten food will help us to better understand Ephesians 4:29. In this verse we are commanded to, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths…” In this instance, “corrupt” is a word used to describe spoiled or rotten food. It not only stinks, but it also spreads. Not a pleasant thought.
What sorts of words are corrupt and rotten? Obviously lying, profanity, and vulgarity make the list. But Ephesians 4:31 widens the description a bit. Here we read: “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”
Dad said in his sermon that corrupt talk includes all words or communication that deters growth in godliness and hinders the cultivation of godly relationships. It defiles others. It has a decaying, rotting effect on a person’s soul. This end result is certainly worth further reflection.
So the question is, how many of our 25,000 words per day are like rotten, moldy sour cream—repulsive to God, and injurious to others?
The Bible says we should eradicate these corrupt words from our speech. Instead, our words sould be edifying: “only such as is good for building up” (Eph. 4:29). And we’ll examine these edifying words more closely tomorrow.
But if you are all too aware of the corrupt nature of your speech, let me remind you of the good news of the gospel again. Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, came to earth and lived a perfect life on our behalf. He never once spoke a corrupt, bitter, malicious, or angry word. Not once. And if we have repented from our corrupt speech and put our trust in His perfect righteousness, His blood covers every filthy, rotten word we’ve ever spoken.
So let’s revel in the Savior’s perfect righteousness today, and purpose to put away all corrupt words and so bring glory to Him.
2005 at 1:18 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Speech
From the time our children were little, we sought to pass onto them our enthusiasm for Sunday—our favorite day of the week. Sunday is the day we join with the members of our local church, worship God, hear preaching from His Word, and fellowship together. No other activity on any other day is more important than this.
One Sunday each year we spend time with some special friends of ours—Bill & Cheri Kittrell and family and Cornerstone Church of Knoxville. This church has “adopted” our family and made us feel as if we were one of their own. Their kindness is a gift from God to us. If you’re ever visiting this way or if you live near Knoxville, we recommend you check out this young, vibrant, joyful church whose members have a passion for the gospel and a heart to serve.
Here’s the Kittrell family (L2R:Cheri, Bill, Lauren, Will, Bryant, Dan is not pictured) in front of the construction site for Cornerstone’s new facility opening this December.
My husband C.J. gave the message yesterday and it forms the basis for a little series we are doing this week (among other fun things). His message was entitled “Encourage” from Ephesians 4:29: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
It was about speech, communication, conversation—something at which we women are prolific! It was certainly convicting to me, and this is probably the third time I have heard this message. Some of us were talking after the meeting about how we needed to go home and apologize to our kids for unkind words that very morning!
C.J. pointed out that speech is significant. In other words, our words matter. It’s just that there are so many of them—an estimated 25,000 per day—that we don’t often take them seriously. But, as Paul Tripp wrote in his book War of Words: “When we speak, it must be with the realization that God has given our words significance. He has ordained for them to be important…God has given words value. So we must do all we can to assign words the importance Scripture gives them.”
This week we will examine our 25,000 words per day in light of Ephesians 4:29 and assign those words “the importance Scripture gives them.” We’ll also discover the kind of words that bring glory to Him: edifying, appropriate, and purposeful words. And we will look at how this verse applies to our speech as women.
If you would like to listen to C.J.’s message, you can download it by clicking here.
2005 at 11:27 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Every mom can relate to the mortifying experience of having her child misbehave at just the wrong time. However, few of us can probably relate to Jane Roberts, the wife of John Roberts—the man that President Bush nominated to the Supreme Court this week. Here’s what her son was doing while the president was speaking:
This post comes to you with thanks to our very good friend Justin Taylor. He helped us start this blog and has provided invaluable advice and encouragement along the way. Thanks Justin!
See you Monday everyone!
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
2005 at 12:12 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Today is a very important day on our vacation. The guys are sending the girls shopping. (The four sweetest husbands ever!) This is serious stuff. No kiddos allowed. (Pray for our husbands today if you think about it, they are gonna be slightly busy.)
Believe me, on a few crazy occasions we have gone shopping with the kids…it doesn’t work. We need to give each store our undivided attention. There are serious decisions to be made today, “do I buy the pink one or the red one, the big one or the small one?”. You get the picture. Each of us has to register our opinion to help the potential buyer make her choice. And as you can probably imagine, there are no lack of opinions to be expressed. Each purchase is a joint decision.
So, Pigeon Forge, here we come. (Despite the name, it is one of the top rated shopping spots in the south.) But really, it’s not the shopping that excites us the most, but just hanging out together. Lots of laughing and serious talks alike. Shopping is just another way for us to enjoy God’s gift of friendship with one another.
2005 at 12:30 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Biblical Womanhood Spiritual Disciplines Series Resource Recommendations
Nicole wrote the other day about the temptation to neglect the spiritual disciplines on vacation. But as a mom with three young children, I find myself daily prone to skip my quiet time. When you’ve been up countless times in the night with a baby who needs a bottle, a toddler who won’t sleep, and a five year old who wets the bed—all of whom wake up by 6:00 a.m.—it’s occasionally a little hard to have Bible study and prayer first thing in the morning. Then my roller-coaster ride of a day begins and the demands on my time come fast and furious. When nap time rolls around (if Liam actually stays in his bed), I’m in need of rest myself. If you’re a mom with young kids, I’m sure you can relate.
However, even though my quiet times may not always be an hour or more as is my goal, and although the times of day may vary, it is vital that I make it my highest priority to spend time meditating on the gospel, and as George Mueller once said, “make my soul happy in God.” In this unique season of my life, short books that take me straight to the cross are the most valuable. I want to share with you some of my favorites, as well as those of other mommy-friends of mine:
The Cross Centered Life and Christ Our Mediator – I know I’m a little biased, but these books by my dad have helped me tremendously.
Morning and Evening – Two verses, two simple readings, and I am more grateful for the Savior.
The Passion of Jesus Christ – Friends of mine love this John Piper book that has fifty verses and meditations on the cross.
Beside Still Waters – If you are in a trial, this comforting book of short thoughts by Charles Spurgeon will help transform your perspective of suffering.
The Valley of Vision – As we’ve said before on this blog, these prayers promote communion with God.
Finally, one last recommendation: It’s an investment, but I highly recommend purchasing the ESV Bible and The Valley of Vision on cd. Playing these throughout the day are not a substitute for a quiet time, but they refresh my soul—not to mention my kids are hearing God’s Word.
2005 at 11:36 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
This week’s question comes to us from Tatiana in Chicago:
Q. Is biblical femininity applicable to single women, because I most often hear it spoken of in the context of marriage and motherhood?
A. This question deserves a much longer and more thorough answer than I can give in a brief post. But let me say, emphatically, “YES!” Biblical womanhood is just as important for single women as for married women. Here are some excerpts from our book, Girl Talk, to more fully explain my answer.
“The important point here is that God created us. We are the planned and foreordained determination of an all-wise, all powerful, and all-loving God. It is not mere chance that we are female; our gender is not accidental. We were intentionally and purposefully created.
When God created the first woman and every woman thereafter, He made fully feminine creatures. You and I did not become feminine because our moms gave us dolls and put pink dresses on us. We were born feminine because we were created feminine.”
“[When] God created the first woman, Eve, [He] assigned her the honorable task of helper. As a fully feminine creature, she was stamped with a helper design. She was created both complementary to and yet distinctly different from man. She was created equal in worth and yet different in function…And your helper design isn’t something you cash in come marriage. For you were born feminine…Your helper role is called for today.”
So then, you may ask, what does it look like for a single woman (or teenage girl for that matter) to display biblical femininity? Jeff Purswell, the Dean of the Sovereign Grace Pastors College provides us with a definition for all women:
“Biblical femininity suggests an inner disposition that is supportive, responsive, and nurturing in its various roles, responsibilities, and relationships.”
Supportive — (Gen. 2:18) “an inclination towards giving help and assistance.”
“As women, we have been specially equipped to provide strategic, effective, and valuable help to those around us….So consider, whom God would have you assist and support in this season of your life.”
Responsive — (Eph. 5:23) “an inclination to cooperate with and respond to appropriate leadership structures”
“God has set up authority figures in our lives for our good….Spend a moment in self-evaluation. How well do you cooperate with and respond to the authority God has placed over you?”
Nurturing — (Prov. 31:27-28, Titus 2:3-5) “an inclination to provide care and strength to others.
“God has created us with a heightened sensitivity to the needs and pain of others and a large capacity to express compassion.”
The bottom line is this: “Although femininity may look a little different for a teenage girl or a single woman than for a married woman, we are called to fully express our helper design, no matter what our age or marital status is.”
All quotes taken from Carolyn Mahaney and Nicole Mahaney Whitacre, Girl Talk: Mother-Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood (Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, 2005) pp. 105-111.
On this note, I want to highly recommend an outstanding book on this topic by our good friend Carolyn McCulley, Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?: Trusting God with a Hope Deferred . Carolyn’s life and example backs up the message of her book which provides a pattern of biblical femininity for single women to follow.
2005 at 12:20 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Vacation is great. I can get in a car and drive away from many of the responsibilities of everyday life. I can clean my house and not clean it again for two whole weeks. I can leave behind the errands and the meetings and the emails. But as much as vacation is an “escape,” there is one thing I can’t get away from: sin.
As my dad is in the habit of reminding people: indwelling sin doesn’t take a vacation. As long as we’re in this world, we can’t escape it. We can’t get in the car and leave it behind. We take it with us. Everywhere.
In fact, it seems to me as if new sins sneak into my luggage. Serving others sometimes seems like more of a sacrifice on vacation. I’m often more tempted to be impatient and self-centered. Worst of all, is the temptation to spiritual lethargy; the lure of pleasure and ease that seeks to pull my soul away from communion with God.
Because sin doesn’t take a vacation, I cannot—I must not—take a vacation from dependence upon God. I desperately need His help to fight the sins that surface on vacation. But, sadly, I must confess that all too often I have neglected the spiritual disciplines. I start off with good intentions, but by the end of vacation my soul is cold and lacks passion for God.
That’s why I need others on vacation. My husband challenges me and encourages me in my walk with God. My mom and sisters and I trade off watching the kids so each of us gets time with the Lord. They all provide an example that inspires me.
But even though sin travels with me, the good news is that I cannot escape the grace of God! And I don’t want to! The gospel tells me that God sent His Son to redeem vacationing sinners like me. And even better—one day I will truly escape from sin, and spend eternity worshipping Him!
In light of my temptation to neglect the spiritual disciplines on vacation, this prayer, entitled “Backsliding” encouraged me this morning:
“I bless thee that those who turn aside may return to thee immediately, and be welcomed without anything to commend them, notwithstanding all their former backslidings. I confess that this is suited to my case, for of late I have found great want, and lack of apprehension of divine grace; I have been greatly distressed of soul because I did not suitably come to the fountain that purges away all sin….Give me to believe that thou canst do for me more than I ask or think, and that, though I backslide, thy love will never let me go, but will draw me back to thee with everlasting cords….Keep me solemn, devout, faithful, resting on free grace for assistance, acceptance, and peace of conscience.”
(Arthur Bennett, ed., Valley of Vision (Carslile, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2002) p. 156-157.