Dec 31

Friday Favorite (and Funny)

2010 at 8:24 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews | Friday Funnies

clocky

For those of us who have trouble getting up early, we found a novel solution over at the What’s Best Next blog—Clocky, an alarm clock that runs away from you!

“Can’t wake up? You’re not alone. Stats show that 40% of people ‘abuse’ the snooze. Typical alarm clocks just don’t work well. Ours never lets you oversleep again. Clocky runs away and hides if you don’t get out of bed. When the alarm sounds, Clocky will wait for you to get up. But if you snooze, Clocky will jump off of your nightstand (from 3 feet), and run around your room, determined to get you up on time. Clocky’s hip, innovative and charming. What could be better to wake up next to?”

Clocky even comes in a girltalk pink (and other colors). It’s a little pricey, but if it helps you (or someone you love who loves to sleep) get up early in 2011, it just might become your favorite purchase of the year.

May God’s grace be yours in abundance this New Year!

Nicole for the girltalkers

Dec 30

Early Morning Grace

2010 at 3:58 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club

Here’s a 5 O’Clock Club testimony from the archives. Read to the end if you (like me!) have trouble getting out of your warm bed each morning:

As a mom to 2 small children, I have been consistent at one thing for the past few years, and that is struggling to spend time with God. It has been a constant source of frustration and guilt for me, as I have focused on my lack of a quiet time and not the goodness and grace of a loving God. I have even attempted the 5 o’clock club before and failed miserably because of my motivations and dependence on myself.

Well, this time has been very different for me. I began rising early to spend time with God in January, so when I saw that your blog would be focusing on this for February, it was truly confirmation for me that God was drawing me into deeper communion with Him. I cannot tell you how thankful I have been for the accountability and encouragement of your blog over the past few weeks. I have more than enjoyed my times of rising early everyday and I am so thankful that God has given me His grace in this area.

My goal from the start was to get one load of laundry done and spend 45 minutes to an hour, reading, praying, etc. Getting the laundry done has been HUGE for serving my family. It is no longer a constant source of irritation…now it is a constant source of excitement.

I could go on and on about how meaningful my time with God has been (much more so than having the laundry done) but that would literally take several days. I am so grateful for what He has been showing me and the desire He has given me to pray for my friends and family. I am 31 years old, and can honestly say I have never experienced such a sweet time with my Savior! I am so, so, so, so grateful!

One more thing…I wanted to share something that has actually helped me get up in the mornings…it’s rather amusing! One of the hardest things about getting up, to me, is how cold it is! Getting out of a warm bed into cold air is no fun! I found myself wrapping up in a blanket every morning, but that often got in the way of folding the laundry or reading. Well, as sort of a gag gift, my husband bought me a Snuggie! I know, I know…A SNUGGIE?! BUT…it has been fantastic…I love getting out of my warm bed into my warm snuggie…what a fabulous invention!!! The only downside has been folding laundry filled with static while wrapped in a Snuggie…there have been a couple of times where I felt like I was being electrocuted…I guess that’s good if you’re having trouble waking up!

I included a picture of me in my Snuggie. I would have preferred pink, but my husband got blue…I think it is because secretly he wants to wear it, too!

Erin

snuggie

Dec 29

Two FAM Club Stories

2010 at 10:08 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The FAM Club

The FAM Club is all about praying and fasting one meal a week for the salvation of family members—whether they be children, parents, siblings, nieces or nephews. To encourage your participation, we have two stories to share with you. The first we received just the other day from Rachel:

My mom was a great mom. Loved God, her husband & her 4 kids. God in His wisdom took her home sooner than anyone would have expected, instantly in a car accident during my freshman year of college (1996). She was 44. I was 18. At her funeral service, several ladies contributed to her eulogy, most of the things they shared to honor her I already knew being her daughter. I was surprised when a close friend who lived with us shared something none of us kids ever knew! I’ll spare the long details of how our houseguest discovered the secret, but my Mom spent every Monday lunch for years fasting & praying for us kids & my dad. Once the friend discovered Mom’s secret, she was sworn to secrecy too. It was the best inheritance anyone could have handed me at her funeral. Many times as I see God at work in my life and my siblings, I wonder how many prayers my Mom didn’t know the answers to but prayed anyway and I am so glad she served us in that way! I can’t wait to “catch up” with her on the details!

What a legacy this godly mother left for her children! Rachel, thank you so much for sharing her story with us. I want to follow her example!

And I want to emulate the faith and faithful prayers of this mother, who prayed and fasted for her daughters’ salvation:

In a seaport town of New England lived a pious mother of six daughters. At the age of sixty, she had been for many years subject to disease and infirmity, which confined her to her house, and almost to her room. In an interview one day with a friend, she said—“I had not for many years enjoyed the pleasure of going to the house of God with his people, and taking sweet counsel with them. But I have another source of grief greater than this—one that weighs down my spirits day and night! while disease and pain bear my body toward the grave.” Her friend tenderly inquired the cause of this peculiar grief. She replied, “I have six daughters; two are married and live near me, and four are with me; but not one of them gives any evidence of piety. I am alone. I have no one for a Christian companion. O that even one of them were pious, that I might walk alone no longer.” Such was her language. Yet she seemed submissive to the will of God, whatever it might be, having strong confidence, that in his own good time, he would answer her daily prayers, and in a way which would best advance his glory.

Not long after the above interview, a revival of religion commenced in the town in which she lived. Among the first subjects of this work were four of her daughters. A fifth was soon added to their number, but the other, the eldest, remained unmoved. One day one of the young converts proposed to her mother and her converted sisters to observe a day of fasting and prayer for the sister who remained so insensible. The agreement was made, and a day observed. Of this the subject of their prayers had no knowledge. But on the same day, while engaged in her domestic concerns at home, her mind was solemnly arrested; and she was soon added to the Christian sisterhood.

The praying mother lived a few years to enjoy their Christian society. They surrounded her dying bed, received her last blessing, and unitedly commended her spirit to God.

Our hope and prayer for The FAM Club is that God would mercifully grant us many such testimonies of His saving power in the lives of family members. We hope you will join us!

from the archives

Dec 28

A 5 O’Clock Club Story

2010 at 7:17 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club

In preparation for the new year, we want to introduce you to Julie, a long-time member of The 5 O’Clock Club. See if you can relate to her experience:

“When my sons were three years and nine months old, I reached a point of desperation. I was exhausted all the time, often getting up in the middle of the night to care for one or both boys. My morning wake-up time happened only when the boys were no longer quiet in their beds. At best, my passion for Christ was lukewarm. I was not enjoying the Holy Spirit’s presence on a day-to-day basis in my own home. Sinful attitudes such as anger and judgmentalism were at an all-time high, and my desire to fight sin was weak. I was not quick to humbly receive my husband’s counsel. I was not pursuing biblical fellowship. I felt isolated and alone. I had lost perspective on what my priorities were. In short, I was in emergency mode, and my time alone with the Lord was not in its proper place. Always so much to do—and never enough time to stop and give attention to my soul.”

In emergency mode. So much to do. No time for the Lord. Desperate. Alone. No doubt every woman—whether you are a mom, a student, or a businesswoman—can identify. We all want to be consistent to sit at Jesus’ feet. And yet it can seem impossible to find a slot in the schedule that we can maintain.

Dramatic action is needed. Enter the 5 O’Clock Club. For many of us, the only cure for our starving souls is to wake up early—or at least earlier than we currently do. It doesn’t have to be 5 O’Clock to join the club, just early enough to secure a regular time to sit at Jesus’ feet.

Here’s Julie again:

“I knew I needed to wake up earlier, but I kept telling myself that I’d never be able to do it. I dreaded the thought of failing yet again. Then it occurred to me that I made time for other things I considered important such as grocery shopping, showering, doing my makeup, eating, date night with my husband, spending time with friends. Was my love for God truly my highest priority? The realization: MY daily schedule was not reflective of a heart set on seeking God first. I needed to take radical measures. If I was going to have consistent and quality time with the Lord. It would need to happen before the rest of the family was up and before the day was rolling. If I waited until the boys always slept through the night or until everything was ideal, it would never happen.”

The consequences of a lackluster spiritual life and the advantages of rising early to seek God finally motivated our friend Julie to take action. She began having her husband nudge her awake and having a friend call her:

“Here we are, three years later, and I’m still waking up early—which for me is quite a miracle. I’ve never once regretted the days I’ve risen early. The boys are not five and three, and I am still aware of my desperate state, yet more aware of God’s grace. Having my early morning time with the Lord doesn’t eliminate my sin or guarantee the day will go as I have planned. But having received fresh perspective and vision, the day starts more peacefully. I now have a much richer understanding of the gospel of grace that transforms me, and I love Christ Jesus more today than every before.”

What a transformation! From desperate to dependent, from sporadic to consistent, from anger and anxiety to peace and perspective, from lukewarm affections to growing love for Christ—only because, by the grace of God, she chose to rise early and sit at Jesus’ feet.

So what radical measures do you need to take to consistently sit at Jesus’ feet? Maybe it’s time to join our crazy club! Together let’s develop a habit of rising early that can last a lifetime.

from the archives

Dec 27

Join our Clubs in the New Year

2010 at 8:41 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O'Clock Club | The FAM Club

Because this is the time to start to thinking about New Year’s resolutions, we want to remind you about our clubs.

The 5 O’Clock Club is for those who want to rise early (it doesn’t have to be 5 O’clock, that’s just the name of the club) to meet with God.

The FAM Club (Fast A Meal) is for those who want to fast one meal a week to pray for a family member’s salvation.

At our club pages, you can put your name on the rolls, share testimonies, and read about God’s grace through these spiritual disciplines.

Many of you are long-time members of one or both of these clubs. Or maybe you’ve let your “membership” lapse. But all of us need reminding and refreshing. So for the next few days we’re going to post encouragement to rise early to sit at Jesus’ feet and to bring unsaved family members before his throne of grace.

As you read, we hope you’ll prayerfully consider joining one or both of our clubs this year.