Feb 7

“Does Thin Equal Beautiful?”

2006 at 2:24 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under 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

Feb 6

A GirlTalk Valentine’s Day

2006 at 5:19 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Homemaking | Holidays

Heart_2A 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.”

Feb 6

My sis Nicole…

2006 at 11:46 am   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood

...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.

Feb 3

Friday Funnies

2006 at 6:54 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | 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!
Nicole
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.”

MALE PROCEDURE:

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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FEMALE PROCEDURE:

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.

Feb 3

Baby Watch: Week 37

2006 at 3:53 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Motherhood

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!

pregnancy due date

Feb 2

Ending Where We Began

2006 at 10:33 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

We have taken a number of days now to consider the “7 habits of the highly effective woman.” It has been our prayer throughout that you would get hold of some new idea or practice that will truly help you as you endeavor to glorify God with your life. We hope that has happened!

However, there is a tendency in all of us to become proud when we are implementing a useful practice or to become discouraged when we are not. We are susceptible to legalism when considering practical topics like those we’ve been covering. There is also the danger of trying to pull off a habit in our own strength or even doing it for our own glory or self-satisfaction.

It is for that reason we would like to conclude this series where we began—reminding you of the biblical truths we must never forget: the source of our justification, the source of our motivation, and the source of our ability.

So would you do us a favor today and go back and read the following posts?

Time Management and Justification
Time Management and Dependence
Time Management for the Glory of God

Feb 1

Peace and Order in the Home

2006 at 1:46 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

You’ve patiently waited, and now it’s time for the final habit of the highly effective woman. Over the past few weeks, we’ve learned that this woman:

1. Rises early
2. Maintains the spiritual disciplines
3. Focuses on relational priorities (Part Two)
4. Sets up regular times for planning
5. Develops and effective to-do list and calendar/planning system
6. Establishes an efficient routine for managing her home

Last but not least, she organizes her house systematically. Why is this so important, you might ask? As a young, disorganized spontaneous girl, I was skeptical of my mom’s commitment to an organized home. I thought she needed to “loosen up” a bit. However, now that I manage a home of my own, I see the wisdom of this habit.

Mom would always quote Elisabeth Elliot, “God is a God of order and peace.” Therefore, having an organized home is one (albeit small) way we can reflect God’s character in our lives and surroundings. An organized home makes for a pleasant environment, and an uncluttered home makes for an uncluttered mind and heart.

I asked Mom and the girls: “What’s the most useful tip you’ve learned for organizing your home?

Mom:
To organize my house, I begin with a master list of projects. This helps me put the projects in the order of priority: first, what would serve my husband, and second, what would help me serve my family more effectively. Otherwise, I gravitate toward organizing and cleaning those areas of my house that most bother me, but don’t necessarily serve my family. The master list helps me to be purposeful and strategic in my organizing.

Once I choose my priority project, then I come up with a strategy to tackle it in small increments. Or, as the phrase goes, “eat an elephant one bite at a time.” A huge project can be overwhelming at first (an elephant!), but by breaking it down into smaller, manageable segments (one bite at a time!) it’s doable. This may mean spending 20-30 minutes a day organizing one area of my home—cleaning out one kitchen cupboard or one dresser drawer or one file folder. Tackling one part of a project while I’m on the phone, or waiting for Chad to finish a school subject is an efficient use of my time. Not to mention that it makes the overwhelming task of organizing my entire home just a bit more manageable.

In her book, Life Management for Busy Women, Elizabeth George writes:

“I’m working my way through my house by my own method. I call it the ‘one foot’ method. I clean out at least one drawer, one shelf, or one foot of space every day. And it’s usually done during transitional time, while I’m doing something else, like warming something in the microwave, waiting for the coffee to brew, heating food on the stove, talking on the phone, etc.”

Kristin:
The well-known phrase, “A Place for Everything, and Everything in its Place” is my motto for organizing my home. If an item ends up floating around my house, that usually means it belongs in the waste-basket. Having a designated place for everything in my home forces me to clear out piles of Crate & Barrel catalogs, McDonald’s Happy Meal toys, and lonely socks that seem to magically congregate on my stairs. If they don’t have a place, their place is in the trashcan.

Janelle:
I’m a big thrower awayer. I’m constantly throwing away, paring down. Every couple of months I will go through drawers and closets and toss anything I haven’t used recently. My guiding principle: if you haven’t used it in three months, get rid of it; good chance you’ll never use it again. But you have to watch out for that “I’ll use it next year” syndrome. You never will. Throwing stuff away makes it easier for me to keep things clean and organized in my home. Rather than having a basement you haven’t visited in three years, or taking two whole weeks to organize your home, tossing stuff (or giving it away!) keeps the home running smoothly.

Me:
The most helpful tip I’ve learned for organizing my home is to invest in containers. As a new wife, I often tried to organize my home by simply collecting items into neat piles. But it didn’t take long for those piles to melt into other piles and I was right back where I started. Last January, I finally took the plunge and purchased containers of all shapes and sizes from Wal-Mart (much cheaper than the Container Store!). Now that everything has it’s own container, my house stays relatively organized, and when it gets a little messy, I can de-clutter it in a snap.

I’m sure it’s painfully obvious that we’re not organizational experts, just ordinary women fighting the war against clutter. Not that we’ve won! It constantly is and will always be a work in progress. But as we strive for an organized home, we hope in some small way to reflect to our family and guests the peace and order of our Lord.

PS—We’re taking a breather from Q&A for a couple of weeks. We’ll pick back up with your questions next Wednesday.