Jun 16

It’s That Time of Year

2009 at 4:29 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement

June is wedding month (my own happy day taking place 6 years ago as of the 1st). I’m also declaring it contest month and combining the two for a “Wedding Contest Month” here at girltalk.

We want you to send in your funny and crazy wedding tales. They don’t have to be from your own wedding; they just have to be good!

Maybe a relative has a funny wedding story that still makes you laugh, even though you’ve heard it a hundred times. Or maybe you were a guest, or member of the bridal party on hand to witness some humorous wedding-day events. (You may have unintentionally been the source of laughter yourself!) Or, it could be that your own wedding day had one or more humorous moments that you can only bring yourself to laugh at years later.

Whatever your story, we want to hear it! All types of entries are allowed—written stories, pictures, audio, and even video. The winners will be featured in our Friday Funnies.

And while we don’t have a ten thousand dollar grand prize, we can offer you a free book of your choice from our new “Books and Audio” section. That’s right. Any book. It’s yours. For free. If you win.

I’m gonna stop writing so that you can get started. Just click on the Contact Us tab and begin typing. I’m waiting.

Jun 15

A Homemaker’s Dilemma

2009 at 10:32 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking

“I’m a feminist in remission,” Julie confessed in her email to us. And aren’t we all, by the grace of God?

She continued:

“Honestly, I still struggle in my role as wife and mother though I’ve lived in it for ten years now. So when I read Carolyn’s take on the Today Show a few days ago and the new book about sharing the home responsibilities 50/50, I just had a question, or maybe, a dilemma.

I stay at home full time, homeschooling my four children and I do love it. I wouldn’t want to work outside the home even if it was offered to me. But does that really mean that the husband has NO share in the household duties? Does that really mean that he should never wash some dishes, put laundry away, bathe a child, or pick up his own socks? I mean, if stuff needs to be done, should my husband be able to surf the web or watch a game while I tidy up after dinner and get the kids in bed? I guess I’m truly wondering if this is what It means to be a biblical woman? I WANT to be. I want to do my duties without grumbling and complaining. But it’s hard. It’s easy to feel like the maid. So, any words of wisdom in helping me to see this issue clearly and biblically, would be great.”

I suspect many women struggle with Julie’s dilemma; but I admire her desire to know and obey God’s Word. In Feminine Appeal, Mom tackled this question, and I will quote her at length here:

“Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation, once quipped about his wife: “In domestic affairs I defer to Katie. Otherwise I am led by the Holy Ghost.” While facetious, Luther’s comment holds biblical credibility. As wives, we are to be in charge of domestic affairs.

The command in Titus 2 to be “working at home” is further illuminated by 1 Timothy 5:14 where Paul says: “So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander” (emphasis mine).

In the Greek, the phrase “manage their households” carries a strong connotation. It literally means to be the ruler, despot, or master of the house. So we see that “working at home” means we are to function as the home manager—taking full ownership for all the domestic duties of the household.

Once again the woman in Proverbs 31 is our example. She presided over the entire range of responsibilities in her home. She helped her husband; cared for her children; completed chores; supervised servants; oversaw land; invested money; bought, sold, and traded goods (just to name a few duties!). The Proverbs 31 wife maintained a broad sphere of rule in her household.

Imitating this woman’s model, Sarah Edwards, the wife of the eighteenth-century preacher Jonathan Edwards, managed her household with careful and thorough diligence. One day Dr. Edwards emerged from his studies and asked his wife: “Isn’t it about time for the hay to be cut?” To which Sarah was able to respond, “It’s been in the barn for two weeks.”

Sarah created a world where her husband could fulfill his God-given duties without being concerned for the domestic tasks of the home. We should aspire to do likewise.

Now, with the command to “rule” in our homes, I must provide two cautions. First of all, this is not license to usurp our husband’s authority. Our management in the home must be carried out in complete support of his leadership and direction.

But this mandate also precludes the currently popular “co-responsibility” approach to homemaking. As wives, it is our job to manage our homes, and we should not expect our husbands to contribute equally to this task.

This is not to say that our husbands shouldn’t help around the house. There are times when we legitimately need their assistance, and this is especially true for moms with small children. The point is not to excuse our husbands from service in the home, but rather to solidify our role as manager of the home. God has given that assignment to us.”

A clear and compelling vision of our God-given assignment as home managers will help us guard against complaining and resentment. For further study on this topic I’d recommend the entire chapter on homemaking from Feminine Appeal, as well as Susan Hunt’s chapter on the same in The True Woman. You can also check out some of our posts on homemaking.

Jun 12

Friday Funnies

2009 at 1:51 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

A Friday Funny from the home front today….

Recently we bought some Bible stories dramatized on cd. My six-year-old son Jack was listening to them by the hour and I was thrilled. This morning, however, I began to think maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Jack was bored and when he’s bored he can easily slip into complaining; so, to keep him busy, I told him to go water the flowers for me. A few minutes later I came by to encourage him. He looked up and said (in his woe-is-me voice): “Mom, “Pharoah made the people work hard and why are you making me work hard like that?”

Speaking of hard work, I think we’ve got a lot of that ahead of us to train this boy! But my husband’s up for the challenge: “If he’s going to play that game” Steve told me, “Then let’s read to him what God did to the Israelites when they started complaining.”

Hmmm….I’m sensing a detour in tomorrow morning’s Bible time with Daddy.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole for my mom and sisters

“Women, whose lives are harder, need jokes more than men and make them more often.” Paul Johnson


Jun 11

My Summer Guest

2009 at 2:50 pm   |   by Kristin Chesemore Filed under Motherhood

Guess what I get to do this summer? I’m hosting my mother-in-law as she recovers from hip replacement surgery. Lest you think I’m complaining, I’m not. Quite the opposite, in fact. I am delighted to be able to serve this woman who has lived to serve others.

Kaye was also a mother of three active little boys like me. When she became a single mom, she had to take on a brand new job, and pursue her master’s degree at the same time. Although circumstances required her to work outside the home, she never sacrificed her care for her boys.

They each played sports and she found a way to attend all their games, often rising at 4:30 am so she could get to work early and be home in time. She once told me that she brought her textbooks everywhere in order to fit in her homework. All three boys took music lessons, had special birthday parties, and went to Pizza Hut with Mom every Friday night. They knew that she was always available to talk to them at any time.

Her sacrifice was great and her labor was constant. Many times it went unnoticed, but it has borne much fruit. Today her three sons have grown up to become godly men. All three have wives and sons of their own.

And Kaye is a wonderful grandmother to a new generation of active boys who are so glad she’s staying with us. They pester me all day to be allowed to “visit” her and bring her trays of food or show her the picture they have painted. No matter how tired she feels, she always greets them with a joyful smile and listens attentively to their chatter.

Do you see why having Kaye in our home is the highlight of my summer? What can one do to repay a woman like this? I have her to thank, humanly speaking, for my husband, and I am eternally grateful for what she has given to me.

To all you single moms reading this, I want to say thank you for your sacrifice. May you be encouraged by the fruit of one woman’s faithfulness to press on in this work that God has called you to. As you draw upon His grace, and rely upon His strength, you can look forward to a day when future generations will be blessed.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Jun 10

Ideas for Father’s Day

2009 at 10:14 am   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Resource Recommendations | Homemaking | Holidays

It’s almost here—Father’s Day, that is. My sisters, Chad, and I are faced with our yearly dilemma: What on earth do we get Dad? I mean you can only give so many Barnes and Noble gift cards before that gets really old. But what else is there?

My dad is a man with a few, clear passions that don’t make gift buying easy. He loves the gospel, my mom, his family, the church, reading, sports, raspberries and lobster, in that order. (Although maybe lobster comes before raspberries…I’ll have to ask).

So what about raspberries or lobster? Done that. Lots of times. Remember, this is all we have to work with for his birthday and Christmas too. And you thought your dad was tough to buy for!

So, when Abby emailed us to request that we ask our dad for a few Father’s Day book ideas for your dad, we took pity on her, and all of you. We got a book list from Dad, and we’ve posted his ideas below. We figured that since we weren’t making any progress with our gift giving, we may as well try to help someone else.

Seriously, we hope one of these books will be the perfect gift for your dad. Wish him a Happy Father’s Day for us.

P.S. And if any creative gift ideas for our dad just happen to pop into your mind, please feel obligated to email us.

A. Lincoln: A Biography

Killing Hitler: The Plots, The Assassins, and the Dictator Who Cheated Death

Juicing the Game: Drugs, Power, and the Fight for the Soul of Major League Baseball

Breaking the Slump: How Great Players Survived Their Darkest Moments in Golf—and What You Can Learn from Them

Gilead: A Novel

Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age

Sports Illustrated: The Basketball Book

Sports Illustrated: The College Football Book

Across the Line: Profiles in Basketball Courage: Tales of the First Black Players in the ACC and SEC

Jun 9

Because the Days Are Evil

2009 at 10:57 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood

I was in bed with a stomach virus one morning and wanted to distract myself from how miserable I felt, so I turned on the Today Show.

Co-Host Ann Curry was interviewing two moms who recently wrote a book entitled Getting to 50/50. The point of the book is this: A woman can have a great career, a great marriage, and be a great mother—all by getting her husband to share equally in the responsibilities in the home. Thus the title, Getting to 50/50.

These two authors were very pleasant and gracious. They were not the militant, angry type who can easily offend many. And they weren’t men bashers; in fact, they seemed to want to pursue a loving relationship with their husbands.

And yet, the premise of their book is in direct contradiction to Scripture, which assigns men and women equally important, yet different roles (Gen. 1:26-27, 2:18, 21-24; 1 Cor. 11:7-9, 1 Tim. 2:12-14).

These women believe that there is no difference or distinction in the roles men and women are assigned. They want men to take on fifty percent of the woman’s role and women to assume fifty percent of a man’s role. Their assertions fly in the face of God’s creation design and mandate—and they do it all with a smile.

After watching the interview, I turned the TV off. Instead of distracting myself from how sick I felt, now I felt sick and depressed!

Millions of people watch this show. And no doubt, many of the women watching were convinced of the rightness, the wisdom, and the attractiveness of these two woman’s assertions.

“The days are evil” it says in Ephesians 5:16. And this form of evil is attractive and persuasive.

We are living in days where biblical womanhood is being assaulted and undermined by feminism. Over the past fifty years, the ideology of the feminist movement has so permeated our culture and even the church, that today many of its tenets are simply assumed and accepted.

That’s why we blog about biblical womanhood.

We want to help women discern the evil of feminist ideology gift-wrapped in pleasant and appealing words. We want to encourage women to receive God’s grace and strength to fulfill one hundred percent of the role to which He has called them.

Jun 8

Family Breakfast

2009 at 12:19 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Homemaking | Recipes

My sister Helen lives in Florida so I don’t get to see her that often. But last week, she and her husband came through town and we got to spend several, delightful days together.

Breakfast was at my house, and together with my mom and other sister Janice, the women of my family had great fun talking, laughing and reminiscing around my kitchen table. Helen’s husband, Steve, was a great sport to endure hours of family stories—you know, the ones that are only interesting if you were there?

So that I could spend as much time as possible with my sister, I chose breakfast menus that allowed me to make most of the meal the night before. This meant little preparation and minimal cleanup in the morning.

I thought you might enjoy these recipes from Helen’s visit. They are perfect for company, but also for a delightful, relaxing vacation breakfast with your family.

TUESDAY BREAKFAST MENU:

Caramel Apple French Toast
Bacon
Coffee and Juice


Apple

Caramel Apple French Toast:
(Meredith Huspeni)

1 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup butter, cubed
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 – 3 large tart apples, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 slices day-old French bread (3/4 inch thick)

In a small saucepan, cook brown sugar, butter and syrup until thick, about 5-7 minutes. Pour into an ungreased 13”x9” baking pan; arrange apples on top. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla. Dip bread slices into the egg mixture for 1 minute; place over apples. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350* for 35-40 minutes.

WEDNESDAY BREAKFAST MENU

Breakfast/Brunch Bake
Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes
Fresh Fruit platter
Poppy Seed Tea Bread
Coffee and Juice

Breakfast/Brunch Bake
(Betsy Ricucci)

1 lb. sausage
6 eggs
2 cups milk
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
6 slices favorite bread, cubed
10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt

Saute sausage; drain well. Beat together eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Layer bread cubes on the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish. Next, layer the sausage and then the cheese. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.
Note: instead of sausage, you can substitute with 1 pound of cooked bacon pieces or ½ pound of cooked ham, cubed.

Cheesy Hash Brown Potatoes:
(Karen Carr)

2 (20-oz.) packages Simply Potatoes shredded hash browns (refrigerated, not frozen)
½ cup chopped onion
1 cup (8 oz.) shredded cheese
1 ½ cups sour cream
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease a 9”x13” baking pan. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, place in baking pan and bake in preheated 350* oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes.

Poppy Seed Tea Bread
(Nancy Royer)

3 cups flour
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons poppy seed
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon butter flavoring
1 ½ teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350*. Mix all the ingredients in the order given with an electric mixer. Pour batter in 3 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake for 50 minutes at 350*. Remove onto racks and glaze while warm.

Glaze:
¼ cup orange juice
¾ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon oil

Melt all ingredients in a saucepan. Prick loaves with a toothpick and pour the glaze over each.

Jun 5

Friday Funnies

2009 at 3:36 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Friday Funnies

The Friday Funnies have always amused us. I don’t mean the jokes (although they have made us laugh too), but the fact that the Friday Funnies are a fixture on our site about biblical womanhood.

We never expected to become a clearing-house for every cute kid story and clean youtube video, email forward and blonde joke. I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re happy to do it, but it wasn’t part of the original girltalk master plan. Oh, wait, that’s right, there wasn’t a master plan. Nevermind.

Anyways, as I was saying, the Friday Funnies just kind of happened. We ran a contest for cute kids stories, but long after the contest was over, the funnies kept rolling in. And they’re still coming. For four years now, we’ve signed off every Friday with one of your jokes.

Well, recently I discovered why the Friday Funnies belong on a site devoted to biblical womanhood, and are, in fact, a strategic and vital part of our efforts to encourage women. (Generally, I recommend you figure out why you are doing something before you do it every week for four years; but in this case, it turned out we were on the right track all along.)

So today, instead of a Friday Funny, we want to share the profound purpose for the Friday Funnies. It comes from scholar and historian Paul Johnson, in his book, Creators:

“One of the most important [forms of creativity] is to make people laugh. We live in a vale of tears, which begins with the crying of a babe and does not become any less doleful as we age. Humor, which lifts our spirits for a spell, is one of the most valuable of human solaces, and the gift of inciting it rare and inestimable. Whoever makes a new joke, which circulates, translates, globalizes itself, and lives on through generations, perhaps millennia, is a creative genius, and a benefactor of humankind almost without compare.”

To be fair, I’m not sure Dr. Johnson had bad women drivers or confusing grocery lists in mind when he wrote this, but he’s right about one thing: every Friday your funnies lift our spirits for a spell.

What’s more, as Dr. Johnson goes on to explain (and here’s the kicker!): “[W]omen, whose lives are harder, need jokes more than men and make them more often.”

Our lives are harder (and pity the poor man who tries to tell us otherwise!), so we need jokes more than men and make them more often—every Friday, in fact.

Happy Friday, everyone,
Nicole
for Carolyn, Kristin, and Janelle

Jun 4

Womanly Dominion

2009 at 4:01 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

My husband receives a lot of books to review, and the ones for women he passes on to me. Recently this book, Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit by Mark Chanski, appeared on my desk.

The title intrigued me, but the subtitle deterred me.

“What? More than a meek and quiet spirit? Why would I want something more than what Jesus declares to be beautiful in His sight?” (1 Peter 3:4).

I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t going to read it.

But then I flipped to the back cover and saw endorsements from men and women I greatly respect—men and women whose teaching is solid, biblical, complementarian

Hmmm….I thought. Maybe I should check out this book after all.

Well, I’m so glad I did.

In Womanly Dominion, Mark Chanski fearlessly tackles practical and tricky questions related to a woman’s calling; yet, his biblical perspective, winsome style, and inspiring examples make this thought provoking read a pleasurable one as well.

That’s all I’m going to say for the moment—my goal today is simply to entice you to read this book for yourself.

To that end, let me give you just a sample of what you’ll find. In speaking of Abigail in the Bible, Mr. Chanski explains:

“There’s a time for a woman to resignedly sit back and wait for the Lord to change her husband’s mind. And there’s a time for a woman to assertively rise up and take matters into her own hands. Abigail knew how to tell time” (p. 77).

Now are you intrigued? Do you want to learn how to exercise womanly dominion and “tell time” like Abigail did? I hope so.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” is wise advice, to which I would add: “Don’t judge a book by its subtitle either!”

Jun 3

Little Faces

2009 at 3:56 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Girltalkers

As the new site was taking shape, our kids were busy growing up (one of the few things kids seem to do without being told!). The photo album—along with everything else on the old site—was terribly out of date; and since you asked, I was happy to pull out my camera and give you a fresh look at the little faces that fill our world with delight.

This little face isn’t so little anymore. Two days from now, Andrew will graduate from the third grade. Hard to believe he was only five years old when we started this blog! This young man loves the Lord and respects his parents. We want all the other cousins to be like him when they grow up. Keep praying for them!

Energetic. Silly. Joyful. Loud. That’s Liam. One of the highlights of his year was watching football games with Pop-Pop on Sunday evenings. He’s hoping to sign with the Redskins as soon as he’s old enough, and uses the front yard as his training camp.

Did you know that chinchillas can see in the dark? Jack does. This little guy loves to read and learn and always has new facts to stump the family. Look for him at the National Spelling Bee in a few years. But he’s already won the “best big brother” award for the way he looks after his little sister, Tori.

At five, Owen is the youngest of the boys. He might appear quiet and sweet, but he can hold his own with his older brothers. He loves to play legos in the corner by the hour, and he makes Kristin proud by cleaning them all up perfectly when he’s done.

Caly is the drama queen whose days are full of dollhouses, dressups, and teaparties. She loves to do “hardworkings” with Daddy in the garden, make sandcastles in her “Timmy the Turtle” sandbox, and mother on her baby sister MJ.

This face says it all. Tori’s our “sweet girl,” always showing off the grins and handing out the hugs. But watch out—this future girltalker is tough! She’s even managed to bring Liam to tears and will fearlessly take on any cousin who has something that she wants (usually food!).

Last but not least there’s baby MJ or “Emmy” who at eight months is crawling everywhere these days. She’s as sweet as they come except when she’s screaming because I’m not getting her food fast enough. What can I say, she’s my girl?