Jun 6

Where Did the Time Go?

2012 at 2:12 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

Not that long ago my mother kept in touch with friends and family via a telephone tethered to the wall in the kitchen. She bought the longest cord available so that maybe, if she worked it right, she could reach the coffee table in the living room. But basically, if she wanted to connect, it had to be in the kitchen.

To find the best stroller, she had to ask each of her friends for a personal recommendation, look up the stroller in a borrowed copy of Consumer Reports, and drive around to local stores to find the best price. And if Mom wanted to go somewhere for the first time she had to call for directions, write them out by hand on a piece of paper, and then hope she wouldn’t get lost and need to stop at a gas station or pay phone.

It’s only been twenty-five years, but compared to my mom, I have the equivalent of a full-time personal assistant. I can connect with friends anytime, anywhere. I can research, purchase, and schedule delivery for the latest stroller in five minutes without getting up from the couch. I never have to ask for directions. My smart phone redirects me when I’m lost, instantly provides me with reviews, tips, and solutions; and if I wanted it to, it could even babysit my children.

It still doesn’t clean the toilets. But in truth, there’s something comforting about that.

So why is my generation of women more busy, overwhelmed, and anxious? We should have vast amounts of time on our hands in order to rest, read Scripture, ponder and pray. And yet our lives seem increasingly hectic compared to the world in which we were raised. Why?

Think about it, and let’s talk more tomorrow.

Jun 5

Facebook, Friendship, and the Local Church

2012 at 2:04 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Church Life | Time Management | Friendship

The messages from Next are online and I’m working my way through all of them. I love how the Internet makes it possible for a thirty-something mother of four children to benefit from a conference for teenagers and twenty-somethings that happened two weeks ago, a thousand miles away.

But I wanted to mention one session in particular, because in his message The Church and Friendship, Kevin DeYoung touches on a topic we’ll get to later in our series—that of technology and friendship:

“Friendship is wonderful when you can get it, but it is frequently hard to come by…There is a real sense in which that technology can foster friendship… And yet as good as the technology is…the danger with friends today is that we have friends everywhere and friends nowhere. We have a lot of relationships but how many friendships? We have more acquaintances than ever before, we have more people in our networks than ever before, we are known by more people and can know more people than ever before and yet have no friends.”

Do you have friends? Or, more importantly, as Kevin asks, “What kind of friend are you? A fake friend, a foul friend, or a faithful friend?”

Listen and learn how to be a biblical, better, friend.

Jun 4

First Things

2012 at 11:45 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Stumble to the coffee maker? Brush your teeth? According to a 2010 study, at least one third of young women check Facebook first thing in the morning—even before they go to the bathroom! This study might be two years old, but I’m guessing, if anything, those numbers have only gone up.

Now it’s not wrong to check Facebook before you go to the bathroom. But we need to consider what our first thoughts and actions say about what we want most, what we think we need most.

Do you wake up more aware of that itch to see what’s happening online or are your first morning sensations of your desperate need for God? Does a few minutes with your laptop pull you out of bed more readily than a few minutes with your Bible?

It’s so easy to dismiss the simple pleasures of Pinterest or Facebook as harmless activities. But that’s exactly why we need to be careful. Even simple pleasures, especially simple pleasures, can drain our affections for God. John Piper has famously made the point:

“If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.” (Hunger for God, p. 23)

Each morning, how do you stuff your soul? With small things online, or great truths in God’s Word?

Our morning desires and activities, our first thoughts and inclinations, should be like the Psalmist: to hear, sing, pray, and be satisfied with the steadfast love of the Lord (5.3, 59.16, 90.14, 143.8). To put first things first.

Jun 1

Heather Platt Interview, Part Three

2012 at 2:14 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Interviews

We conclude our conversation with Heather Platt talking about motherhood, marriage, and missions. (Catch up on the conversation: bio, part one, part two.)

What do you enjoy most about being a mother?

Snuggling with my kids! I love reading together on the couch, playing out back, laughing at their many antics and funny sayings. I love watching them grow and seeing little bits of fruit being produced in their lives through much prayer, teaching and training. The days feel long sometimes, but the months and years seem to be flying off the page. I want to take a deep breath and savor these sweet moments with everything that is in me.

Who is a godly older woman who has influenced you and what is the most important thing she has taught you?

dont waste

My friend and mentor Debra Shaddix, whom I mentioned earlier, has influenced me in profound ways. If there is one thing that she has modeled and taught me over the years, it is to love my husband. Love, respect and honor him in front of my kids and in front of others. I also have several friends who have modeled this, even in some very difficult situations and circumstances. I respect them for their courage to love their husbands, even when their husbands have acted pretty unlovable. I am so grateful for the grace of God in their lives.

Your husband is well-known for his passion for global missions: in what ways are you able to support and share in this burden for all people in every nation to hear the gospel?

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that what I do at home enables my husband to do what he does all over the world. We talk about this often and David encourages me constantly in this. He is quick to remind me that we are a team, and that although I might not be with him on many of these trips, the Lord is using both of us for His glory in the roles He has called us to. At home, we constantly pray as a family for missionaries around the world and various people groups. We learn about different cultures and have even had the opportunity to travel overseas with our children on several occasions. Although it is difficult and requires much planning and an army of help, I believe it’s important for me and for my family to see me traveling overseas with David and sharing the gospel with those who have not heard. But just as important, they need to see David and I sharing the gospel right here in our neighborhood as we serve others and teach the word where we live. As the children get older, we look forward to taking family mission trips together and serving in various contexts around the world.

What are you currently studying in your times with the Lord? What is one aspect of God’s character and the gospel you’ve learned about this past year?

Currently, I am studying about “taking every thought captive to Christ.” I am doing a study by Jennifer Rothschild called “Me, Myself and Lies”. I have a tendency to be a worrier. I feel it even heightened now that I am pregnant with our 4th child! So many “what ifs” surround each day. The Lord is teaching me to think on things that are excellent and praiseworthy, not all the endless possibilities of “what ifs.” I am so thankful for a gracious God who meets me where I am and takes me into a deeper love relationship with Him. HE is my everything…

Heather, your passion for Christ shines through in everything you’ve shared with us. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your life and walk with the Lord. And congratulations on your pregnancy! May God continue to richly bless your growing family and your ministry to others. We look forward to meeting you in person some day soon!