2006 at 5:54 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
This past week (in between caring for my poor husband who contracted a stomach virus) I’ve been intently focusing on the discipline of my three boys. It’s so easy for me to overlook or tolerate half-hearted obedience: children who comply (at least by the second command), but make it clear through a facial expression or body language that they don’t want to obey.
However, along with Brian, I am responsible to teach them to obey the first time and with a joyful heart. Because after all, this is the obedience our Heavenly Father requires.
So often my unstated goal in mothering is “peace and quiet” for me. (Although, I’m not sure why I think that’s likely with three boys!) But God has called me to a higher purpose in mothering—to train my boys to obey their parents so they will receive the blessing and favor of the Lord and so their hearts will be tender and open to the gospel.
Recently my mom pointed me to this quote a friend shared about Elizabeth Prentiss—author of one of my favorite books, Stepping Heavenward. This powerful description of this godly mother is worthy of posting on my refrigerator:
“With her children she was a model disciplinarian, exceedingly strict, a wise lawmaker; nevertheless a most tender, devoted, self-sacrificing mother. I have never seen such exact obedience required and given, or a more idolized mother. ‘Mamma’s’ word was indeed law, but—O happy combination!—it was also gospel.”
I pray that God will help me to be a faithful and “wise lawmaker,” but that my word would not just be law, but gospel too!
2006 at 9:10 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
As mothers of three or more, Kristin and I can both confirm that the following is absolutely true! Thanks, Charlotte, for sending this our way.
May your weekend be marked by the joy and peace of God!
for Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t’ t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress—a whimper, a frown—you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!
2006 at 4:14 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
For the better part of a year, sweet Caly has held her own with four crazy boy cousins. However, it would appear that a little friend is on the way. Yesterday the sonogram technician told Steve and me that she was “100 percent certain” we will be having a GIRL in March. No name decision yet, but the future of girltalk is growing stronger!
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and love!
2006 at 5:16 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Biblical Womanhood Spiritual Growth
I recently had a conversation with a woman who expressed regret over how she had parented her daughter. Mothers or not, we all have regrets. We are sinners, who, although "made anew by an unseen power of grace," (The Valley of Vision, "Man A Nothing") still await glorification in heaven some day. Maybe our regrets are mild and nagging, or perhaps they overwhelm our everyday thoughts and stymie our progress in godliness.
Whenever I am tempted to wallow in regret over a mistake, an unwise decision, a sinful comment, I have often found encouragement in these thoughts from Charles Spurgeon:
“What is the use of regret unless we can rise by it to a better future? Sighs, which do not raise us higher, are an ill use of vital breath. Chasten yourselves, but be not discouraged. Gather up the arrows which aforetime fell wide of the mark, not to break them in passionate despair, but to send them to the target with direct aim, and a more concentrated force. Weave victories out of defeats. Learn success from failure, wisdom from blundering” (Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership by Steve Miller, p. 93)
Let’s get off our mental couch of despair over past sins and mistakes. Let us not be like the one the apostle Peter describes as “so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins” (1 Peter 1:9) By the power of Christ, let’s be all the more diligent to make our calling and election sure (v. 10). Let’s weave victories out of defeat.
2006 at 3:05 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Spiritual Growth
All the girltalkers awoke this morning feeling extra tired and a little achy (Nicole especially!) from having walked many miles over the past two days for our annual shopping trip. We say it every year, but it’s true once again: This trip was our best one yet! We had a blast together and were able to finish almost all our Christmas shopping to boot!
How grateful I am for the friendship I enjoy with my three daughters. I’m even more thankful that they passionately love the Savior, ardently adore their husbands and children and delight in their homemaking careers, and faithfully serve in their local churches. I am a rich woman indeed!
However, I am freshly aware that this relational richness is not of my own making, but a gift from God. As my all time favorite preacher reminded us in his sermon on Sunday from 1 Corinthians 4:7: “What do you have that you did not receive?” Of course, the only right and appropriate answer to this question that Paul asks is: Absolutely nothing!
This reality should have a humbling effect on our souls and should produce expressions of gratefulness as we identify countless gifts throughout our day. Instead of arrogantly imagining we had something to do with all the blessings we enjoy, let’s recognize they come to us straight from Calvary.
For further (and more profound) thoughts on this topic, take some time to listen to my husband’s sermon. And may God receive the glory for all the good gifts He bestows—most of all, the gift of His Son.
2006 at 8:22 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
Yesterday we learned that two mothers you met here and here on the girltalk blog lost their little ones. Both are trusting God in the midst of unspeakable sorrow. Please remember them and their families in your prayers today.
Our hope today is in our Savior who “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
2006 at 11:57 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
It’s the girltalk highlight of the year—the shopping trip! We’ve even managed to extend it an extra day, so we have two whole days of shopping ahead of us. We’ll post some pics tomorrow, but today we want to encourage you to listen to Friday’s Al Mohler radio broadcast. That’s because my little brother, Grant, was the guest, to talk about youth ministry.
Little bro—When we were kids, I outran you after the bees attacked us for throwing rocks at their hive. But you’ve outrun me now! Love ya! Carolyn.
2006 at 9:33 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
The following Friday Funny is a look into the future for Kristin, Janelle and me…
There were three sisters—ages 92, 94, 96 who lived together. One night, the 96-year-old drew a bath. She put one foot in, then paused. “Was I getting in the tub or out?” she yelled.
The 94-year-old hollered back, “I don’t know, I’ll come and see.” She started up the stairs, but stopped on the first one. She shouted, “Was I going up or coming down?”
The 92-year-old was sitting at the kitchen having tea, listening to her sisters with a smirk on her face. She shook her head and said, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful,” and knocked on wood for good measure. Then she yelled, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s at the door.” (From PreachingToday.com)
Have a happy weekend,
for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle
2006 at 4:28 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Hey girls, it’s popcorn time. Not the microwave kind! No, you have to go for the real stuff. Pop it in oil on the stove and drench it in butter and salt (I like to add parmesan cheese, but I’m weird). My mouth is literally watering as I am writing this. Okay, all this talk about popcorn is really to recommend a movie. With me, things just start with food. Anyways, I wanted to tell you about a recent girly flick that we discovered and enjoyed called North and South. Not set among the Civil War as you may think, this movie takes place in England in one of the centuries before this one. It’s perfect for that slumber party or girls night. If you enjoyed Bleak House than you will enjoy North and South. So check it out! Happy Friday!
2006 at 4:18 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
All my siblings will tell you this about our childhood: When the church doors were open, we were in attendance. Our dad made sure of it! And not surprisingly, it was his example and his insistence that the local church occupied primacy in our family life that hugely influenced my own passion for the local church.
I hold many fond childhood memories of attending the little white cinder block church building at the corner of 17th Street and Tuttle Avenue. One such memory includes my father leading the congregation to sing:
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Trust and obey. That seems way too simple. My life feels complicated. My besetting sin seems baffling. In my pride I can search far and wide for some deep profound truth—the key to unlock my “mysterious” problem; or spend excessive time trying to analyze and figure out my sin. Rather, I must act upon the simple profound truth found in this song: Trust and Obey
Paul Tripp explains in his book, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands: "The Christian life can really be boiled down to two words: trust and obey. I must always entrust the things that are out of my control to God, and I must always be faithful to obey clear and specific commands."
So what are your “complicated” problems today? May I encourage you to simply Trust and Obey.
2006 at 5:24 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:34
It’s true. Each day comes packaged with its “own trouble.” Today, my little troubles came in the form of a broken door handle that requires a screw-driver to get back in the house, a car and garage door in need of cleaning due to Halloween thrill-seekers throwing egg on them, last minute forms to turn in for my son’s basketball tryouts, a kaput homeschool schedule, and a house in disarray.
No calamity or tragedy was part of today’s “own trouble.” However, add all the little troubles together and they did make for a trying day.
I’m not complaining. Rather, I am grateful for the comfort and truth of Scripture that is sufficient for each day’s “own trouble.”
The Psalmist’s cry reveals a confident expectation in God’s help: “May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you! May he send you help from the sanctuary and give you support from Zion!” (Psalm 20:1-2)
What has been your day’s “own trouble”? Maybe you have had one of the most difficult days of your life. Or maybe the little tiny troubles have accumulated with the hours.
Regardless, we can, like the Psalmist, turn to God for help. We can be confident in His help, support, and protection.
As Charles Spurgeon exhorts us: “Let us fly to the cross for shelter in all times of need and help will be sent to us. For praying breath is never spent in vain.”
May the Lord answer you as you call upon Him today!