Apr 30

Pick One Spot Winner!

2012 at 5:39 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement | Homemaking

As my mother-in-law will tell you (and we shared a home for six years, so she would know) there are few things I enjoy more than reorganizing a cluttered spot in my house. But I think it might be even more fun to judge the pick one spot contest—all of the satisfaction one gets out of uncluttered floors and neatly stacked boxes and bins, but none of the work!

Every year, you all make it so difficult to decide a winner, but I think we’ve found one—congratulations to Jasmine! We’ll let her give you a tour of the before and after:

We have a spare room closet that was a junk closet:

Over time the junk closet became a junk room:

But not anymore!

Apr 26

More Time to Give Mom 52home

2012 at 10:24 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Fun & Encouragement

Due to the wonderful response to our 52home sale we wanted to give you a little more time to buy that last minute Mother’s Day gift. So we are extending the sale through midnight, May 3. Just enter the promo code “MOM” at checkout and you will receive 25% off your entire order. Get your mom a beautiful gift for the home she loves.

Apr 25

Kindergarten Troubles

2012 at 5:25 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Fun & Encouragement

I don’t think I’m cut out to be a school mom. (Probably not cut out to be a homeschool mom either, so I’m not sure where that leaves me.) I only have one child in school. Just one itty-bitty kindergartner who only goes half-day. I mean, really, how complicated can that be? She’s six years old and one of those responsible firstborns. But her mom is, shall we say a relaxed third-born? And that’s where we run into problems.

First off, there is homework. Homework has due dates, and I have challenges with due dates. I find them hard to keep in my brain. I must confess that on more than one occasion the “relaxed” adult has been found dragging the responsible kindergartner out of bed early on the morning of said “due date” to do the homework that was assigned seven days ago. And if that isn’t bad enough, the last two weeks, I completely forgot about the homework and the due date. It’s rather embarrassing when the note to your child’s teacher is asking for mercy for you and not the student.

It’s not just the homework that causes me trouble. Last week I sent Caly to school with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, all the while forgetting about the little boy with the peanut allergy in her class. Caly told me that he sneezed during the entire snack time. The teacher very kindly told my daughter that “adults just forget things sometimes.” That’s a nice way to put it.

And today, I find myself in yet another kindergarten jam. Caly’s book that she checked out from the school library is missing. As looking under beds and inside closets has yet to yield the missing book, a fear that I have been working hard to ignore is quickly becoming a reality. I think I might have returned the book to my local public library. Mrs. Keeler, if you are reading this, I want you to know that I will not rest until I locate Three Billy Goats Gruff somewhere in the Montgomery County Library system and return it to your beloved library shelf!

The good news in all of this? The school year is almost over! Three whole months where I can walk around guilt-free. And for those of you that may be seriously concerned about me by the end of this post, let me just say—you probably should be.

Off to search libraries near and far.

Apr 24

“The Object of His Inflictions”

2012 at 9:24 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Suffering

In the midst of the joy of having Jude and Sophie home, the single worst day was when I took them to get their first round of immunizations. They had no idea what was coming and of course they screamed in pain when they received their shots. What hurt me most was the look of surprise on their faces, like I had betrayed them or something.

I did everything I could to make it up to them. I must have said “I’m so sorry” a hundred times before we got in the car. I drove straight to the Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen and basically offered them the store. But for many days after, even when the pain was certainly gone, Sophie would still come to me and point to her shoulder and give me the most pitiful look. Jude would make a face whenever anyone said the word “doctor.” And I had no way to explain that it was for their good, because I love them, and not just a cruel joke.

William Wilberforce once observed his granddaughter receive a vaccination. It was following the untimely death of his daughter Lizzie, and as biographer Eric Metaxes explains, Lizzie’s daughter “gave her grandfather some consolation and prompted this rumination on God and suffering: “‘I was much impressed yesterday’ he wrote:

’...with the similarity in some respects of my own situation to that of [Lizzie’s] dear little innocent, who was undergoing the operation of vaccination. The infant gave up its arm to the operator without suspicion or fear. But when it felt the puncture, which must have been sharp, no words can express the astonishment and grief that followed. I could not have thought the mouth could have been distended so widely as it continued, till the nurse’s soothing restored her usual calmness. What an illustration is this of the impatient feelings we are often apt to experience, and sometimes even to express, when suffering from the dispensations of a Being, whose wisdom we profess to believe to be unerring, whose kindness we know to be unfailing, whose truth also is sure, and who has declared to us, that all things shall work together for good to them that love Him, and that the object of His inflictions is to make us partakers of His holiness.’” Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxes, pp. 270-271

How do we react when we feel the sharp poke of God’s providence? Unlike my new children who don’t know me very well yet and are understandably confused, we know God to be perfectly wise and loving. We have proof in the cross of Jesus Christ. And yet, as Wilberforce observes, we still respond with impatient surprise, quickly forgetting that whatever God ordains, no matter how painful, is for our good and His glory.

Jude and Sophie do not know that in my desk drawer lies a schedule from the doctor for many more shots in the months ahead. But these immunizations will protect them from serious diseases that could otherwise take their lives. We do not know what trials God has ordained for us to endure. But we can trust our Heavenly Physician because we know that “The object of His inflictions is to make us partakers in His holiness.”