2006 at 8:26 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
This Friday Funny from Abby sounds suspiciously like a few grandsons (and one daughter) I know…
We’ll be back on Monday (that is, unless Janelle goes into labor).
for Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
In Jack’s Sunday School Class the kids were sharing what their favorite fruit was. Some said, "banana, some said apple, some said orange".
Then the Sunday School Teacher asked Jack what his favorite fruit was. It’s amazing how our hearts can be revealed in two small words . . .
Jack’s response was . . . "fruit snacks."
I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I do feed my son real fruit.
He just loooooves his fruit snacks and those two small words run through his mind all day long.
2006 at 4:04 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
As a mom of three young, active boys, I could relate to Mom’s post yesterday and the temptation to make my role as a mother a priority over my role as a wife. This story of “Michelle” from Mom’s book, Feminine Appeal is a wonderful reminder to me of the importance, and the blessings of prizing my husband above all others!
Michelle poured her life and energy into her two small children. However, the demands and joys of motherhood crowded out her love for her husband. Friendships and service in the church even took precedence over her relationship with Peter. They didn’t have any major problems, but their marriage certainly wasn’t exciting anymore. Intimate communication and even daily expressions of affection had dwindled. After nine years of marriage, their relationship more closely resembled an amiable business partnership. Michelle was so busy raising her daughters, she didn’t even notice.
Michelle had ceased to “prize” her husband. There was a time when Peter was the most important person in her life, but over time her children and friends had become more significant.
Michelle was unaware that she was putting her children before her husband until several faithful friends from church brought it to her attention. “It was like waking up,” she said. “I was blind to it.” Michelle immediately began to make changes. She started by praying each day that God would give her greater love for Peter. But she didn’t stop there. She began to express affection in creative ways—through cards and letters. She took time to think about things that would bless Peter. She sought his opinion first instead of going to her friends. In short, she made her relationship with her husband her highest priority.
Her actions had a tangible effect. As a couple they began to pursue interests and activities that didn’t involve the children. “Things went so well,” Peter said, “that we began to look for more opportunities to steal away together and have fun and enjoy each other.” For their anniversary they spent a weekend alone. “The most enjoyable part was simply enjoying one another and our newfound romance. We had a blast!”
Let’s be wives like Michelle and do whatever it takes to prize our husbands. Let’s make every day Valentine’s Day!
2006 at 11:30 am | by Janelle Bradshaw
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
This wife has got the creativity thing down. Make sure to check out her second idea if you are engaged…
Mark had been working a lot of extra hours and I took the initiative of planning a “surprise” getaway. It would necessitate Mark taking a day off work, so I found his boss’ email address and requested Mark have that Friday off, which he graciously gave. I kept it a secret till the night before, where I joyfully told Mark he did not need to go to work the next day. It was a wonderful trip and to this day we have fun recounting all our memories.
For those who are engaged…For our first Valentine’s Day as an engaged couple, I made up a basket of 18 gifts/cards to coincide with the 18 weeks we had from Valentine’s Day to our wedding. They ranged from love notes to coupons (to be used once we were married, i.e. breakfast in bed). For one week, I put a cd in there with Nat King Cole’s “Unforgettable” song. Each Friday, from Valentine’s on Mark had a countdown to our wedding day.
2006 at 10:36 am | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Baby Watch
No, no, nothing to report as of last night. We just wanted to inform you that whenever Janelle goes into labor we will be "live-blogging" the event. Don’t worry, no graphic details! However, should she go into labor over the weekend or even in the middle of the night we’ll begin posting regular updates on her progress. If this little one comes in the early hours of the morning Eastern Standard Time, many of our international friends will be the first to know!
So keep checking back for updates. Baby Bradshaw should be arriving soon!
2006 at 11:30 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Baby Watch
Yeah!! Little girl made more progress this week. Today’s doctor visit found me at 2 centimeters and almost 80% effaced. My doctor is pretty convinced that I will not make it to my due date (which is the 20th). This report gave me fresh faith for walking, and I dragged Mike on a walk around the block right before dinner, despite the fact that it felt like 30 below outside (Thanks, Babe, you are the bestest!). This evening has definitely found me in the worst pain yet, and my faith for baby to come SOON is increasing! I will keep y’all updated.
2006 at 7:23 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
This may be a future idea if your love story took place miles away from home, but you may be able to pull it off this year if your romance unfolded locally. Mandy, we hope it won’t be too long before you can take your husband on this memorable trip!
I have been thinking about this Valentine’s Day idea for quite a while and when my husband’s seminary training is done and finances allow it, I am going to give him this gift….
My husband and I met at college in the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It is a beautiful area and we were married there as well. My idea is to give my husband a date/weekend of all the beginnings and milestones of us.
The first thing we would do is go back to our college campus on, say, a Friday afternoon. When my husband first noticed me, he said I had a lime green L.L. Bean backpack that he could see all the way across campus. To remind he and myself of those carefree college days when love first began to bloom, I would surprise him with a picnic lunch on that same lawn where the sparks first flew.
Secondly, my husband proposed to me in the parking lot of my dorm. It was the sweetest memory. He had my engagement ring in his sock and he was so nervous he was going to drop it that he was sweating and couldn’t wait any longer to pop the question. His original plan was to take me to a romantic spot and sing me the song that he had written me with his proposal in it. It didn’t quite work out that way mostly because of me and my chemistry homework that kept him waiting for hours longer than he had anticipated. Anyhow, the backup plan included opening my car door and telling me that he had finally gotten the Captain Crunch fan club membership card (David is quite the goofy guy) that he had been jokingly telling me for months he was going to join. When he opened the door, he pretended to accidentally drop the card and when I turned around, he was on one knee! It was not what he had originally planned and he was a little disappointed later on when he proposed with the song, but it was perfect. That night, I would take him to the dorm parking lot where he proposed and we would enjoy a big bowl of Captain Crunch together.
That night, we would drive 30 miles south into Tennessee to stay in the same room that we stayed in the night we were married. I think it would be so amazing to share and dwell upon what God joined together that day in 2002 and where He had brought us to 4 years and 3 children later. We are so blessed!
The rest of the weekend I would leave up to my husband what we did. Whether it be attend services in the church we were married or have dinner in the hotel where we celebrated our wedding reception, it would be up to him. The possibilities would be endless. It would certainly be a weekend to remember!
2006 at 11:09 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
Valentine’s Day celebrates love and romance, which is what we want to do this month. Whenever my husband teaches on the topic of romance, a question he encourages men to ask their wives is: Do you feel more like a mother or a wife? CJ’s goal with this question is to help husbands discover whether or not they are making their marriage a priority, even over raising their children.
Come to think of it, this is a useful question (slightly reworded) that we wives should ask ourselves: Do I act more like a mother or a wife? Which is my greater priority – mothering my children or being my husband’s helper, lover, and best friend? Now, with this question, I am not denying the importance of a mother’s role. Motherhood is exceptionally important. However, the Bible makes it clear that, after our relationship with God, our relationship with our husband is to be our highest priority. In fact, one of the most loving things we can do for our children is to prize our husbands.
Now, if you are like me, this question can be both helpful and discouraging. I find it helpful to see more clearly how I can improve in the wife department, and yet discouraging to recognize how far short I come from where I should be. Yet, seeing my deficiencies propels me to Christ. I am freshly reminded of my need for grace and mercy.
That is why Hebrews 4:16 was my morning meditation: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Let’s receive God’s mercy and find grace to prize our husbands above all others today.
2006 at 7:54 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
From time to time we get this question: “I like such and such a guy but I’m not sure what his intentions are. I want to tell him how I feel, but I’m not sure what to do.”
When feelings of attraction toward a guy are strong, even a perceived interest on his part can raise our hopes and drive us to want to “do something” about those feelings. How do we know what is the right course of action?
As always, we must turn to God’s Word for direction, for Scripture is, “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). Regardless of how strong our feelings are, we must examine them under the light of God’s Word and submit them (by force if necessary) to the authority of God’s Word.
So what does the Bible have to say to the young woman who wants to make her feelings known? The Bible isn’t merely a reference book for our problems; however, it does have all the answers. Understanding who God is and the purpose for which He created us, will cause everything to fall into place. Three guiding principles apply here:
1. God has created us as women to be responsive to men’s leadership. This is clear throughout Scripture, not only in the created order and our calling to be helpers (Gen. 2:18-23), but in the commands for a wife to submit to her husband (Eph. 5:22-23) . If we seek to take matters into our own hands and “do something” about a situation such as this, we are depriving a man of an opportunity to fulfill his God-given calling to lead. Truly believing in the importance and significance of our femininity means living it out, even in the pressure cooker of strong desires. We must resist the temptation to allow our feelings and desires and not God’s Word dictate our direction. On a purely personal note, my mom used to ask me: Don’t you ultimately want a guy who is attracted enough to pursue you, without needing hints from you?
2. God is sovereign, loving, and wise. “But this guy I like hasn’t pursued me. How do I resolve the fear that he won’t notice me unless I take some initiative?” You may ask. Enter: the character of God. Human reasoning would say that this is incentive enough to buck the created order. However, we must hold fast to God’s Word and trust in His character. God is intimately involved in every detail of our lives (down to the hairs on our head). We must trust that His sovereignty is more than powerful enough, His love is more than true enough, and His wisdom more than knowledgeable enough to fulfill His perfect plan for us. This perfect plan may or may not include the desired relationship. But it will most definitely be for our good. As a single woman, Psalm 84:10-12 was my hope: “For a day in your courts is better? than a thousand elsewhere. ?I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God ?than dwell in the tents of wickedness.? For the Lord God is a sun and shield; ?the Lord bestows favor and honor.?No good thing does he withhold? from those who walk uprightly.?O Lord of hosts,?blessed is the one who trusts in you!”
3. God rewards our trust in Him. We don’t say “no” to our feelings and “yes” to God’s Word without a fight. And yet, there is joy and peace and freedom to be had. Psalm 131’s description of the weaned child, not concerned with things too lofty or wonderful, comes to mind. So does 1 Peter 3 and the woman whose beauty is of great worth in the sight of God because she does not “fear anything that is frightening.” Waiting and responding instead of initiating romantic relationships is not some kind of manipulative trick. It is the path to true attractiveness, the miraculous kind that only comes by the grace of God producing trust in God. For truly blessed is the woman who does not sinfully strive after a relationship, but quietly rests in the goodness of God!
Again, let me restate that these are guiding principles. Every person’s experience and situation is different; consequently we need the help of others to apply God’s truth to our lives. If you are unclear about how to relate to a guy in a God-honoring fashion, don’t try to figure this out on your own. Seek out your parent’s counsel or guidance from another wise couple or mature woman. God will surely guide your steps.
2006 at 11:03 am | by Janelle Bradshaw
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
I’m loving these Valentines day ideas! Bobbi supplied us with a great one and we thought it might spark your creativity as you are plotting and planning for that big day. Enjoy!
When my husband was in seminary, we were on a tight budget which I am sure many can relate too. So for Valentine’s day one year, I went to our local Walmart and purchased a shiny red heart filled with 25 chocolates; the flavors didn’t matter. When I got home, I removed all of the chocolates but left the brown protective wrappings that they were sitting in. I then made 25 little hearts in shades of pink, red, and white. On each little heart, I wrote on one side “The sweetest thing about you is….” and on the reverse side I would lavish him with compliments such as “your dreamy eyes” or “your drop dead gorgeous smile.” I carefully rolled up the hearts and tied little bows around them to keep each one in place and then put one inside each of the brown protective wrapping that the chocolates were in. My husband loved it! He wasn’t at all upset that I had already picked out the chocolate covered caramels! Happy Valentine’s Day!
2006 at 6:19 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
We’ve been getting some great ideas from you ladies. Keep ‘em coming! Our first GirlTalk Valentine’s Day submission comes from Elaini, and it’s a great idea for singles or families.
Yesterday our family was blessed with an anonymous traveling Valentine from another family from our church. When we awoke we were greeted with a lawn filled with large paper hearts attached to stakes and balloons on sticks. On each of the hearts were scriptures on love with the word “love” enlarged to fill most of the heart. They were beautifully made and laminated. At the front door was a large plastic envelope. Inside we discovered a journal, pen, two disposable cameras, postcards, and instructions. The instructions told us that we had been the recipients of a traveling Valentine.
First off we were to read the journal entry that had been written particularly for our family with words of encouragement and appreciation. Then we were to take a picture of our family with the yard decorations. Next we were to prayerfully decide which family in the church to which to pass on the blessing. After that decision had been made we wrote a note of appreciation in the journal to them. We then had 24-48 hours from the time of receiving to secretly and stealthily plant the hearts and balloons along with the packet in their yard (this usually takes place after they have gone to bed and is a lot of fun). Then we came home to report a successful or unsuccessful mission on the addressed and stamped postcards that had been provided. These postcards were addressed to the church PO Box. Here is a sample of the postcard:
The __________ Family was “loved” on February ____, 2006.
Our family’s reaction to this expression of love:
We chose to pass on this “love” to the _____________ Family, and passed on the Love hearts to their yard on February, ____, 2006. We were successful/unsuccessful (circle) in our stealth and secrecy.
The postcards are meant to track the progress of the Valentine. This Valentine was intended to circulate for one month and the last recipient is to bring everything to church and give it to a deacon. I still do not know what they will do with the pictures and journal but it was such a blessing to receive and then pass on the gift. This would be a fun idea for care groups. I hope this idea is a blessing.
Elaini’s idea reminds me of one way my sister-in-law’s husband expresses his love for her. Each year on Valentine’s Eve (usually after Betsy has gone to sleep) Gary decorates the front yard. He puts hearts on stakes in the ground or spells out “Gary Loves Betsy” with lights in the bushes or hangs hearts from the tree. In this creative way, Gary reminds all the neighbors, and Betsy most of all, of his constant love and affection. Wives, I think we could do something like this, don’t you?
Thanks to Elaini and Betsy for today’s ideas. Check back tomorrow for more Valentine creativity!
2006 at 2:24 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Beauty
Eating, thinness, and beauty are pressing issues for women. Bombarded by our culture’s image of the beautiful women, we can be obsessed with our appearance and preoccupied with food. Countless women struggle with eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia.
As a Christian counselor, and the author of When People Are Big and God Is Small, Dr. Ed Welch has counseled many women in bondage to these sins. And in a recent message at Capitol Hill Baptist Church entitled “Does Thin Equal Beautiful?” Dr. Welch describes the truth from Scripture, which provides lasting freedom and hope.
Whether you are obsessed with your appearance, or discouraged by constant dieting, or trapped in a cycle of bulimia or anorexia (or know someone who is)—this message contains vital truth for you! In fact, Dr. Welch’s wise, gentle, and prescient counsel is for all of us, regardless of our temptations. As we look to Christ, we shall be truly changed.
“Those who look to him are radiant,?and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 35:4
2006 at 5:19 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Homemaking Holidays and Seasons
A brand new bride, Shannon, wrote: “I was wondering, with
Valentine’s Day coming up, if you all had any ideas of unique ways to
show my husband how much I love him?”
We thought we could help Shannon by putting the question to you. So,
send us your most creative, memorable, and successful ideas for
romancing your husband, and we’ll post selective ones throughout this
week. On Valentine’s Day, we will choose our favorite idea and award
that person a $50 gift card—good for one romantic dinner.
(For all you husbands who peek in on this blog, the guys over at MarriedLife have been posting some sure-to-please ideas for showing your wife how much you love her.)
To kick things off, here’s my favorite poem, written by Anne
Bradstreet. It hangs on the wall in our bedroom. May it inspire you, as
it does me, to tell your husband just how much you love him—and not
just on Valentine’s Day, but every day!
To My Dear and Loving Husband
“If every two were one then surely we.
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee;
If every wife were happy in a man,
Compare with me, ye women, if ye can.
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold
Or all the riches that the East doth hold.
My love is sure that rivers cannot quench,
Nor aught but love from thee give recompense.
Thy love is such I can no way repay,
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray.
Then while we live, in love let’s so persevere
That when we live no more, we may live ever.”
2006 at 11:46 am | by Janelle Bradshaw
...gave a great message to the ladies at her church last Saturday, and I thought y’all might enjoy checking it out. (Sisters get these kind of bragging rights!) The title was “Biblical Femininity in Every Day Life” and she specifically focused on God’s assignment for us as women to be helpers.
One of the things that I love about this message is how Nicole makes specific application to all seasons of life. I think we can often limit this role of helper to marriage; only that’s not what we find when we take a closer look at God’s Word. Nicole examines what this helper role looks like practically for teens, singles, and married women.
Click here to listen. I know that you will be both challenged and encouraged by God’s specific plan for you.
2006 at 6:54 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
I’m convinced someone came up with this week’s Friday Funny after following me through the ATM machine. Special thanks to our friend Carolyn McCulley for this one!
Grace to you this weekend!
for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle
A sign in the local Bank Lobby reads: "Please note that this Bank is installing new drive-through teller machines enabling customers to withdraw cash without leaving their vehicles. Customers using this new facility are required to use the procedures outlined below when accessing their accounts.
After months of careful research, MALE & FEMALE procedures have been developed. Please follow the appropriate steps for your gender."
1. Drive up to the cash machine.
2. Put down your car window.
3. Insert card into machine and enter PIN.
4. Enter amount of cash required and withdraw.
5. Retrieve card, cash and receipt.
6. Put window up.
7. Drive off.
1. Drive up to cash machine.
2. Reverse and back up the required distance to align car window with the machine.
3. Set parking brake, put the window down.
4. Find handbag, remove all contents on to passenger seat to locate card.
5. Tell person on cell phone you will call them back and hang up
6. Attempt to insert card into machine.
7. Open car door to allow easier access to machine due to its excessive distance from the car.
8. Insert card.
9. Re-insert card the right way.
10. Dig through handbag to find diary with your PIN written on the inside back page.
11. Enter PIN.
12. Press cancel and re-enter correct PIN.
13. Enter amount of cash required.
14. Check makeup in rear view mirror.
15. Retrieve cash and receipt.
16. Empty handbag again to locate wallet and place cash inside.
17. Write debit amount in check register and place receipt in back of checkbook.
18. Re-check makeup.
19. Drive forward 2 feet.
20. Reverse back to cash machine.
21. Retrieve card.
22. Re-empty hand bag, locate card holder, and place card into the slot provided.
23. Give dirty look to irate male driver waiting behind you.
24. Restart stalled engine and pull off.
25. Redial person on cell phone
26. Drive for 2 to 3 miles.
27. Release Parking Brake.
2006 at 3:53 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Baby Watch
Baby girl decided to take a vacation over this last week. We didn’t lose any ground, but we certainly didn’t gain any either. Still 1 cm dilated, head down, and 60%-70% effaced. I guess my run/walk with all the nephews yesterday didn’t really do anything. I’ll have to work on some other ideas. The doctors are really pleased with everything, and though they are always commenting that she’s small (4th percentile), they say that she’s right on track and there are no concerns. The doc that I saw today said that she may even top out around 7 pounds. I, on the other hand, feel as though I’m in the 200th percentile and can’t wait to return to “normal” (whatever that feels like). The countdown continues!