2007 at 3:43 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Wow! You all have been busy. We received a deluge of amazing “before” and “after” photos for our “Pick One Spot” contest. While we wish we had enough money to reward everyone for their hard work, hopefully you are all enjoying a newly beautified closet or room.
You didn’t make this easy for us—there were so many remarkable transformations! After much deliberation, however, we managed to narrow it down to five runners-up and one grand-prize winner. Each of the runners-up will receive $25 and the grand-prize winner will receive $100, good for making another spot in her home beautiful.
For the next four days we’ll be posting “before” and “after” pictures of the winners. Friday we’ll reveal the identity of the winner of the $100 prize. Today we have two runners-up for you:
Priscila is a young mom who wrote to say: “Thanks for the incentive. I finally got the push I needed and was able to clean our office/spare bedroom which was a total chaos…I have been enjoying the clean room so much since last weekend that I even forgot to send you guys the email.”
Our second runner-up is a student named Rebekah who was inspired to get her bedroom organized in time for graduation.
Congratulations to you both!
2007 at 8:56 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
C.J. and Chad love to eat crab legs. I only cook the kind you buy frozen, however, for this very reason. (Thanks Clara!)
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you this weekend!
for Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
2007 at 4:33 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Ladies, we are on countdown. You have until midnight tonight to send in your "before" and "after pictures for our spring clean contest. To all of you who have already sent in your entries, we are pouring over your pics and loving all of the progress. We have seen some pretty amazing transformations. So much fun!
9 hours to go…
2007 at 12:19 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
No worries, everyone. We’re all fine here at the girltalk blog. I just completely forgot to put up the Friday Funnies yesterday. But I think I have a good excuse, don’t you? I sure hope none of you were up in the night checking your computer to see if we’d posted your weekend laugh yet. Here it is, finally, thanks to Brian, a “bloke” from Wales whose wife reads girltalk. I’m off to change a diaper. Hope the rest of your weekend is full of joy in Christ!
for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle
2007 at 12:07 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
If you haven’t yet perused John Piper’s article on “submission” that we highlighted in yesterday’s post, may I request you stop now and go read it? It’s too good to pass up!
One point Dr. Piper makes in his article is that “there will be times in a Christian marriage when the most submissive wife, with good reason, will hesitate at a husband’s decision. It may look unwise to her.” He goes on to encourage wives to express their misgivings in a manner that endorses her husband’s leadership and affirms him in his role as head.
How do we share a concern with our husband in a God-honoring way? John Ensor explains in his new book, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart:
“[A husband] will be far more apt to give [consideration to his wife’s appeal] when it is heard as an appeal or a suggestion rather than a directive. Think of it as the difference between casting a flashlight down the path versus pointing it in his face. Direct light causes us to close our eyes. Indirect light, pointed away from them, cause us to strain to see.”
Let’s purpose as wives to wisely use our flashlights! If we think our husband has made an unwise decision, we aren’t to simply keep our mouths shut and hope things will turn out alright. Rather, we should put our trust in God and lovingly and humbly appeal—in a manner that makes it easy for our husbands to see.
2007 at 5:26 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Today we want to refer you to an oustanding article by John Piper entitled “The Beautiful Faith of Fearless Submission.” Here’s an excerpt that will surely make you want to read more:
“A Christian woman does not put her hope in her husband, or in getting a husband. She does not put her hope in her looks. She puts her hope in the promises of God…She looks away from the troubles and miseries and obstacles of life that seem to make the future bleak, and she focuses her attention on the sovereign power and love of God who rules in heaven and does on earth whatever he pleases. She knows her Bible, and she knows her theology of the sovereignty of God, and she knows his promise that he will be with her and help her strengthen her no matter what. This is the deep, unshakeable root of Christian womanhood.”
What did I tell you? This article is worth reading, studying, and sharing with friends. Or, if you prefer, you can listen, or even watch Dr. Piper deliver this sermon.
2007 at 4:52 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Birth Day Diaries
My little Tori turned two weeks old yesterday. She’s doing very well—loves to eat and sleep and let her big brother Jack put her passy in her mouth.
It’s impossible to adequately thank all of you for your prayers over the past two years as we wondered if we could have more children, then during morning sickness and finally as I faced a high-risk delivery. Thank you for caring for me in trial and for rejoicing with me in the blessing of this little one. Your emails of encouragement and congratulations mean so much to me and I intend to save them to show them to Tori one day.
Several of you have kindly inquired about the somewhat abrupt end to the birth-day coverage two weeks ago. I am so grateful for your care and concern. As you already know, I ended up needing a D&C procedure following Tori’s birth. The placenta had attached itself to the c-section scar and needed to be removed. God was gracious and the procedure was successful.
However, in the process I lost a lot of blood (about twice as much as women normally lose in childbirth). This was further complicated by the fact that I was already anemic going into delivery. So the next day, the doctor ordered a blood transfusion and put me on an iron regimen. In addition, a number of potentially serious concerns surfaced within the first twenty-four hours of Tori’s birth—related to both my and Tori’s health.
In the midst of the transfusion and tests and consultations with various doctors, Mom, Janelle and Kristin were so busy helping Steve care for Tori and me that they were unable to update the blog.
While the nature of the potential concerns is probably not appropriate to mention in this context, we were very grateful to receive back favorable test results on all fronts within about thirty-six hours. And both Tori and I came home from the hospital only three days after she was born.
My recovery has been slow due to the anemia. I still have a ways to go before my numbers reach “normal” range again. But I am thanking God for His faithfulness in preserving my life and giving us a healthy little girl. And I am thankful to you for your prayers.
Hope you enjoy these pics Janelle snapped of my little girl!
2007 at 2:46 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Suffering
Grief, fear and questions abound in the wake of yesterday’s horrible shooting at Virginia Tech. Only in God’s Word and the saving message of the gospel can comfort, hope and answers be found. The following are some biblical resources we hope you find helpful as you interact with unbelievers, or maybe even grieve for a loved-one or comfort someone whose family was affected by this, or any other tragedy.
To equip you to discuss the problem of evil in the world today, we want to encourage you to listen to yesterday’s Albert Mohler radio program entitled “Tragedy in Blacksburg: Explaining Evil in a Morally Confused Age.” Here Dr. Mohler provides the biblical answer to the question everyone is asking: “How does something like this happen?”
Even if we aren’t personally affected by the Virginia Tech tragedy, events such as these can have a troubling effect on our souls. If you are tempted to fear or doubt, learn from the prophet Habakkuk in this audio message from CJ, third in a three-part series called “When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.”
Maybe some of you know families who are living through this tragedy—or another difficult trial. John Piper’s 21 suggestions for how to comfort the hurting (first posted after 9-11) is an invaluable tool as we seek to care for those we love.
Please join us in praying that the God of all comfort would comfort those who are grieving and that the saving message of the gospel would go forth in the midst of this tragic event.
2007 at 6:47 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Many thanks to all of you that have asked about Nicole and Tori. She has been so blessed by your care. She will be posting the full story sometime this week complete with new pics. Until then I have included a couple of pics for you to enjoy right now.
2007 at 8:36 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
Check out this hilarious picture and have a productive weekend tackling that "one spot." We’ll be back on Monday!
for my three girls—Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
"What To Wear When Your Wife Pulls Out the Honey Do List"
2007 at 3:43 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Series Girltalk Book Club
As we conclude our book club series (interview with Sharon James coming soon!) this quote from chapter twelve fits well with our spring-clean topic this week. On page 193, Elizabeth writes to a friend:
“I sympathize with your fear of spending too much time adorning your home, etc. etc. It is a nice question how far to go and how far to stay. But I honestly believe that a bare, blank, prosaic home makes religion appear dreadfully homely [unattractive]. We enjoy seeing our children enjoy their work and their play; is our Father unwilling to let us enjoy ours?...It seems to me that we are meant to use all the faculties God gives us…”
Elizabeth understood the truth that Mom highlighted on Monday. By making our homes beautiful we can reflect God’s delight in beauty to those around us. So let’s enjoy using the faculties God has given us and pick that one spot!
2007 at 6:47 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Mom, Nicole and I are going to join Kristin and attempt to eat our own elephant one bite at a time. And we want to offer a little incentive for you to do the same. Yep, it’s been way too long since we’ve had a girltalk contest. So to inspire us all to do some spring-cleaning, we want to offer a challenge.
Here’s the deal: find that room, closet, or cabinet that really needs some reorganization. But before you get started, snap a “before” picture. Then, get to it, a little bit at a time (or all at once if you’re really inspired!). When it’s looking sparkly clean, take another picture and email your “before” and “after” pics to us here at girltalk. We’ll choose our favorite organizational makeover and the winner will receive a $100 gift card toward enhancing the beauty of her home. The deadline to participate in the contest is April 27, so pick that spot soon. Happy cleaning everyone!
2007 at 6:23 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
Continuing with our theme of “spring clean” and Janelle’s encouragement to “pick one spot” I want to share the following excerpt from our forthcoming book, Shopping For Time:
This final suggestion will assist us in tackling those outsized projects—the ones that simply don’t fit into the sixteen waking hours of a given day. Instead of being intimidated by their sheer size and running the other direction, we can break them down into small, manageable segments. Plan to do a little bit each day. Or, as the phrase goes, “eat an elephant one bite at a time.”
In the book, Life Management for Busy Women, Elizabeth George explains her approach:
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.
Organizing an entire house is a daunting task, an elephant; but one that can be accomplished by eating it a bite at a time. So what’s the elephant in your life—boxes full of old photographs, piles of unsorted papers, a big thick book? Simply subdivide them into smaller portions and eat them one bite, one day, at time.
There is a room in my house that I am seeking to avoid at all cost! It’s my storage and laundry room. Yes, it is quite messy right now and no, you may not go into it and borrow something (as I told someone yesterday). I would be happy to get it for you.
Every time I walk into this particular room I exit mentally trying to figure out how I can make enough time to bring it back to order. Needless to say, that “time” has not magically appeared. You see, the last month has been rather busy for my family and the stomach bug brought my laundry piles to an all time high (my boys rarely made it in the bucket).
This room is my “elephant.” So inspired by this quote I decided to come up with a plan to tackle this project using the “one foot” method. This week I am going to spend twenty minutes per day organizing this room. It may not all get done but progress will certainly be made!
So let’s do it together. Find that spot in your house that you want to avoid at all cost and plan to organize it for a certain number of minutes each day. You, like me, will probably be amazed to find out just how much progress you’ve made by the end of the week.
2007 at 8:36 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Yesterday, we heard from Mom about how we can imitate God’s delight in beauty by making our own surroundings beautiful. One practical way we can apply this principle is by cleaning and organizing our homes. By clearing away clutter and scrubbing surfaces, we can make our homes pleasant and attractive for our family and guests. This in turn reflects God’s character by creating a beautiful environment for others to delight in. That’s why, with spring in the air, we thought this week would be a great time to encourage us all to do a little spring-cleaning.
Traditionally speaking, spring-cleaning implies a thorough cleaning and organizing of the entire house from top to bottom. (I’m getting tired just thinking about it). But have no fear—I’m not about to suggest anything of the kind. I’m actually partial to an idea featured in a recent Washington Post article, which suggests that we “pick one spot” to clean and de-clutter.
ONE spot—that’s doable, isn’t it? Take a minute to check out this article. We think you’ll be inspired, like we were, to make one area of your home more beautiful. More on spring cleaning tomorrow!
2007 at 5:23 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Beauty
Spring is here and among the many blessings it brings is an opportunity to worship God for one of the many aspects of His character: His beauty. Not only is God “the perfection of beauty” (Ps. 50:2), He takes great delight in beauty.
All we need to verify this fact is to consider the beauty He has created all around us.
Think with me for a moment about the world God has created. Whether it is an elegant flower, or towering trees, or a meandering river, or billowy clouds or the majestic night sky, or the first purple crocus of Spring. Every time we stop and take in one of these breathtaking scenes on display in God’s creation, we can’t help but be convinced that He delights in beauty!
All because we are created in the image of our Creator, each of us has a propensity to make things beautiful.
This means that when we decorate our homes, or we plant a lovely flower garden, or add some form of beauty to enhance our surroundings we are actually imitating and approving the works of our Great Creator. We are imitating God!
Now granted, these activities can be sinfully implemented, but we must not overlook the fact that the essence of our desire to beautify comes from God.
John Angell James in his book, Female Piety, offers this helpful thought:
This taste [for beauty], however in many cases it may be altogether corrupted in its object, wrong in its principle, or excessive in its degree, is in its own nature an imitation of the workmanship of God, who, “by his Spirit has garnished the heavens,” and covered the earth with beauty.
Thus we shouldn’t automatically dismiss our “taste for beauty,” even though it is tainted by sin, because our “taste for beauty” is an imitation of the workmanship of God.
Rather, we must discover from God’s Word how to regulate and steward this desire to bear good fruit. How can we use our “taste for beauty” to glorify God?
This week we’re going to consider one small way to imitate God’s delight in beauty. So come back tomorrow to find out more.