Jan 8

From Our Readers

2008 at 6:02 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Our friend Diane wrote regarding “Robin the Waitress” just to make sure: “I hope she got her tip before she left!”

Thanks for looking out for that kind lady who served us, Diane. And yes, I’m happy to report that Mom did tip Robin—not once, but twice—for breakfast and for lunch (plus a little extra for putting up with us all day!)

Stockxpertcom_id518909_size1_4 After Janelle’s post, “Help Keeping Resolutions,” our friend Valori sent us some excellent quotes she’d compiled on the topic of dependence on God. Here are two of our favorites. We’d all do well to keep these thoughts beside us as we plan our year—or do anything at all. Thanks Valori!

“What men do by themselves they do for themselves. They eat their own fruit, devouring the praise of what they do. Only the Christian who does everything by Christ does it all for Him. He takes his nourishment from Him into whom he has been grafted; and this is what makes him fruitful.” –William Gurnall (The Christian in Complete Armour, Volume 2, p. 49)

“If he can do any duty, he acknowledges it is Christ’s strength more than his own. As the ship gets to the haven more by the benefit of the wind than the sail, so when a Christian makes swift progress, it is more by wind of God’s Spirit than the sail of his own endeavour.” –Thomas Watson

Jan 7

A Planning Day

2008 at 5:39 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Today being the first Monday of the New Year, the four of us girls had a planning session. We spent several hours talking about how to grow in our relationship with the Lord, and how to be better wives, mothers and homemakers. We stayed at the diner so long that our friendly waitress Robin served us breakfast and lunch, and finished her shift before we packed it up!

15513302 Here’s a snippet from chapter four of our book, Shopping for Time that we used today (and that we use on our own) as a guide for our planning:

“Begin by listing your priorities. Here’s Mom’s list:

• Grow in godliness.
• Love my family.
• Serve in the church.
• Fellowship with Christians.
• Evangelize non-Christians.
• Attend to my work.
• Care for my physical health.

Although your list may look slightly different, it’s important that your priorities come from God’s Word and not culture or personal preferences. We should all have similar priorities stemming from our identity as Christian women, even though we may use other words or categories to describe them.

Once you’ve listed your priorities…evaluate yourself, prayerfully going through the priorities one at a time. Under each category, assess how you are doing—what is going well and what needs to change. Then consider how you can grow in that key area in your life.”

Thanks to Mom, each of us girls came away with a few key ways we can grow in biblical womanhood over the next year. We’d encourage you—on your own, or together with your husband or a godly woman to have your own planning time.

More thoughts for the New Year tomorrow….

Jan 4

Friday Funnies

2008 at 9:48 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

A few weeks ago Kristina sent us this funny story from the school where she works…

Our Principal is one man in a school full of women.

The librarian of our school is due with her first child on New Year’s Eve. The social committee has been trying to find a time during this busy season to have a baby shower. As the day has come closer, they have had to work with our principal for find an available time. His idea was that we could have a one hour faculty meeting followed by a half hour shower, because in his words “A half hour is plenty of time.” After we corrected him on the fact that half hour baby showers do not exist. He sent all of us an email thanking the social committee for putting their time and effort into planning a party in such a short time. It all looked great. Then at the bottom, this was his last sentence:

“I personally can’t wait for the ‘Hat with the Bows’ part!”

I have since informed him of the difference between a baby and a bridal shower. His response was “I’m a man, what do you expect?”

(Just as a follow up: the ladies of the faculty did make a hat just for our principal!)

Thanks Kristina, and we hope your librarian is enjoying her new little baby!

Nicole for my mom and sisters

Jan 4

Help Keeping Resolutions

2008 at 2:17 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw

“Is it possible to make a resolution this year and truly keep it?

Yep, it sure is. As Nicole and Mom reminded us, we start by “righting wrong resolutions” and “picking one resolution.” But we still need help to keep our resolutions.

I remember a field trip that I took to the Baltimore Science Museum when I was in junior high. There were a variety of experiments that you could watch and participate in—some, like the electrical experiments, were more hazardous than others. An oft-repeated phrase to the children watching was: “kids don’t try this at home.” Why? Because kids can’t safely perform complex science experiments on their own. They need help.

A similar warning should be issued to all of us when it comes to keeping our resolutions: “Don’t try this Stockxpertcom_id7480621_size1_3 on your own!” Any resolution, big or small, is impossible to keep without the help of the Lord. If we try, it will simply blow up in our faces—like a science experiment gone awry. We are dependent creatures. We cannot take our next breath without the Lord granting it. What makes us think we can keep resolutions on our own?

But the Lord is gracious and eager to help us. I love the words of Charles Bridges on this subject, “Take one step at a time, every step under Divine warrant and direction. Ever plan for yourself in simple dependence on God. It is nothing less than self-idolatry to conceive that we can carry on even the ordinary matters of the day without his counsel. He loves to be consulted.”

Did you hear that? “He loves to be consulted.” Start right now. Take that one, God-glorifying resolution and consult your gracious Father. Ask Him to help you carry out this task. Ask Him for the strength to be diligent and faithful. Depend upon him for the grace to accomplish all that He has set before you. And watch Him work!

Jan 3

Keeping One Resolution

2008 at 4:16 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Is it possible to make a resolution this year and truly keep it?

Absolutely! And now that we have righted our wrong resolutions, we should eliminate most of them. That’s right. Let’s reduce our resolution list down to one. Let’s choose that single area where we most desire to grow in godliness.

But there are twenty ways I should be growing right now, you might protest.

That’s true for all of us. But what’s also true is that we can’t change in every area all at once.

Author and speaker David Powlison makes this insightful observation:

“We are simple people. You can’t remember ten things at once. Invariably, if you could remember just ONE true thing…you’d be different. Connect one bit of Scripture to one bit of life…. Apply one relevant thing from our Redeemer to one significant scene in your story. Bring one bit of the Bible to one bit of your life….You can’t deal with it all at once. Scripture never does…. Life goes one step at a time.”

So we see that the mark of true spirituality doesn’t require ten giant steps forward. One step at a time is sufficient. In fact, you could argue that choosing one area for growth in godliness is an expression of humility. It’s a humble acknowledgement of our serious limitations as “simple people”.

Stockxpertcom_id7480621_size1_3 And what’s more, growth in one area almost always affects every other area of our lives. So rather than lament about the twenty ways we need to grow in godliness, let’s be encouraged that as we isolate just one and devote ourselves to change in that area, by the grace of God it will affect the other nineteen.

Oh, and one more thing. We need to make sure our resolution is specific. “Overcome anger” is too vague. However, if we choose to take the next 30 days to memorize and meditate on Eph. 4:29 – 5:2, list the circumstances that tempt us to anger and pray about and plan how to respond humbly at those times – now that would be a detailed resolution!

Jan 2

Keeping Right Resolutions

2008 at 3:06 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre

Is it possible to make a
resolution this year and truly keep it?

The answer to this question is
“YES”! That’s a bold assertion, I know. But there are some simple
and specific ways to make a resolution that we can actually stick to.
And we will take the next three days here at girltalk to talk about them.

First, we must consider why, so often, our resolutions don’t have
the shelf life of a gallon of milk. Maybe, it is because they are the wrong resolutions—by that I mean self-exalting instead of God-glorifying.

In his book, A Godward Life, Part 2 (p. 62), John Piper cites a newspaper article based on a book entitled The Body Project. The author examined young girls’ diaries from the 1800’s to the 1900’s and found that “In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, girls’ diaries focused on ‘good works’ and perfecting the character. In the 1900’s, the diaries are fixated on ‘good looks,’ on perfecting the body.”

Now of course, it’s not wrong to resolve to lose a few pounds or to take better care of our bodies, which are, indeed, temples of the Holy Spirit. But if “good looks” or any other goal is driven by selfishness, or a desperate grasp for glory and attention, we are merely resolving to sin against God.

If James 4:6, “God opposes the proud” means what it says (and Scripture always does), than God is actually opposing our efforts instead of blessing them. No wonder we fall flat on our vain little faces!

“But…” as James 4:6 goes on to say, “[He] gives grace to the humble.” If we depend upon God to do good works and perfect our character in order to reflect His glory, we can anticipate His grace to blow life into our feeble efforts. By His power, we can sustain our resolutions beyond the “best if used by” date.