Jul 10

girltalk links

2012 at 2:20 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

We don’t have audio from Mom’s TGC session to share with you yet, but Paula Hendricks shares some reflections from her message over at the True Woman blog.


What does God’s Word have to say about childbirth? More than we might think. Rebekah Merkle explains.


These two articles from Mary Kassian are well worth your time—Complementarianism for Dummies and an insightful review of a new book about motherhood.

Jul 9

Calculations of Grace

2012 at 10:59 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood

Speaking of math—which is not something I speak of much, if I can help it—it came up in conversation one night on vacation with my husband’s family. And I discovered something completely new to my experience: math can be encouraging.

We were chatting with my in-laws about all the wonderful, crazy changes in our little family this year—how well our new children fit into our family, what joy they bring us on a daily basis, but also about the increase in sibling squabbles. Some days I feel like all I do is try to remember whose turn it is, and speak in a never ending loop: “no unkind words, no pushing, no grabbing, no mimicking, no using your brother’s toothbrush.” Our four children seem to really love each other and are bonding well—so much so, that they play and argue like they’ve been brothers and sisters all their lives. I’m grateful for the bonding, but the dramatic increase in situations to resolve can be exhausting sometimes.

Sympathizing with my struggle, my father-in-law—who was a math major in college—pointed out that with four children, there are twelve times as many opportunities for conflict than with two children, and that a family of six has thirty times more opportunities for conflict than a family of four.

Well that explains some things!

And in a funny way, it was a relief. The sudden and dramatic increase in “sibling situations” wasn’t just my imagination or impatience. It actually made sense, mathematically.

But it also made me freshly grateful for God’s abundant grace to our family through Jesus Christ. With so many more opportunities for sin, there isn’t nearly as much conflict as there could be! And by this calculation, there are also twelve times as many opportunities for our children to enjoy, love, serve, and forgive one another. Thirty times more opportunities for God’s grace to invade our family than before. And so it has.

I think I’m beginning to like math.

Jul 5

Praying Work

2012 at 5:58 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Prayer

Recently I was reminded me of what my long-time friend Nancy Loftness calls “praying work.”

Nancy’s a woman who loves God’s Word, loves to pray, and deeply cares for people. When she found that she didn’t have time to pray for everyone she wanted to pray for during her morning quiet time, she came up with a plan.

She thought about her regular chores that didn’t require any thinking or talking—such as ironing, cleaning the bathroom, or driving by herself—and she turned those into times for prayer on behalf of friends, family, members of her church and the unsaved. Praying work.

Just imagine how many requests Nancy has brought before the throne of grace while in her car or working around her house!

Consider your daily routine: what tasks can you turn into “praying work”?

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers…” Ephesians 5:16

“No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” Charles Spurgeon

~from the archives

Jul 4

Happy Independence Day!

2012 at 2:24 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Holidays

We are off to a 4th of July picnic—the first gathering of our Louisville church planting team! Here are some wise thoughts about patriotism to ponder today. Happy 4th!

”...I am not ‘proud to be an American.’ To be precise, I am not proud because I am an American. I am not proud because pride is for those things that we accomplish, those achievements for which we deserve credit. How did I end up an American? I was born one, and I would be a fool to be proud of something for which I can take no credit. My Americanism was granted to me and is a gift, not a status. That does not make me unpatriotic. Patriotism ought not to be a prideful touting of our country’s greatness but rather a joyful exclamation of it. My parade going and grilled-meat eating are not hypocritical. They are expressions of thankfulness. I am thankful…In all, we ought to be humbled on this Independence Day. This American life we lead is an undeserved opportunity, and for most of us, one that we did not choose. We did not find it, neither did we claim the right to it—we were given it as a gift.” ~Barnabas Piper, “Thankful and humble to be an American”

Jul 3

White Barbecue Chicken

2012 at 5:07 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Recipes

At the beach last week we made one of my husband’s favorite meals: White Barbecue Chicken on the grill. Taken from an old Southern Living cookbook of my mother-in-law’s, this super easy recipe uses mainly pantry items and tastes different yet delicious. The perfect main dish for a red, white and blue meal!

(Our photographer is busy unpacking today and I can’t take a decent picture to save my life, so you are just going to have to take my word for it that this chicken looks and tastes super yummy!)

WHITE BBQ CHICKEN

1 ½ cups mayonnaise

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons white wine Worcestershire sauce*

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

I like to double the sauce, and use one third to marinade the chicken, one third for basting, and the last third to serve at the table. Score chicken and marinade for a few hours. To keep chicken from drying out, I cook it in the oven at 375 degrees and throw on the grill at the last minute. Serve with lots of extra sauce!

*This product is now called Lea & Perrins White Wine Worcestershire Marinade for Chicken but I have been unable to find it in my local store. To make your own decent substitute combine:

1 1/2 tablespoons white cooking wine

1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Jul 2

The Difference the Day Can Make

2012 at 12:08 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

So one week and miles and miles later, the Mahaneys and Bradshaws are settling into their new homes in Louisville, the Whitacres are back from vacation, and the Chesemores survived the strong storms and power outages back in Maryland. There is lots of unpacking to do around here, and I’ve got to get to the grocery store today because my lettuce is brown and we need milk.

If you too feel like you have a thousand things to do today—all of them urgent, but none of them very “significant”—then take a moment to consider this quote a dear friend sent me recently. The opportunities that lay before us today mean a lot more than we think:

Second Peter 3:8 says, “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a day.” We all know the old adage that God looks at the last 2,000 years as a couple of days gone by, but what about the other half of the verse? The part about seeing each day as a thousand years? It’s like divine geometry. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out God’s mathematical formula. If we see each day as comparable to a millennium in eternity, then each 24 hours is chock full of opportunities to invest in a thousand years’ worth of eternity. Each day God gives us the precious gift of hours to invest in the lives of others – investments which will have eternal repercussions for us and them.” ~Joni Eareckson Tada (emphasis mine)