On his radio show yesterday, the ever-courageous Dr. Al Mohler took on the issue of modesty in weddings. With the help of his wife, Mary, Dr.Mohler encouraged women to dress in a God-honoring way, and exhorted churches to give more attention to the appropriate way to celebrate the wedding ceremony as a service of worship. He and Mary graciously answered caller’s questions in a thought-provoking and Christ-honoring manner. We thank God for this couple and their commitment to the virtue of modesty in the church. We hope you’ll listen to this insightful program today. (To review our review our recent series on the heart behind modest dress, click here.)
Devoting our lives to domesticity would not be considered a worthy pursuit by the majority in our culture. However, a pastor from Hampstead, North Carolina and a homemaker from Gaithersburg, Maryland recently communicated thoughts that applaud all women who pursue this noble profession. And today, we wanted to pass along this article (HT: GenderNews) and this audio testimony (transcript here) for your encouragement.
...is by none other than my handsome, wonderful husband, Steve. In fact, Steve started blogging before we did, and on Friday he celebrated his first year anniversary (Congratulations, my love!).
Five15—as in 2 Corinthians 5:15—is the name of the youth ministry here at our church that Steve has the privilege to lead. The five15 blog is one way for Steve to extend pastoral care and leadership to the parents and teens and model a redemptive use of this medium to teens who are bombarded by many corrupting influences on the internet. It’s also an outlet for Steve’s love for words and all things unusual.
Truth be told, one of the first things that attracted me to Steve was his love for reading and the English language. I mean, how can you not fall in love with a guy who reads The Federalist Papers to fall asleep at night and proposes with Shakespeare? So of course, I’m a little biased on this one, but I think he’s the best blogger around!
Variety is the main reason I love Steve’s blog. He posts on everything from chocolate milk and caesar salad and driver’s ed advice to “This Day In History” features and “Thursday Thoughts for Parents.” His posts challenge teens, encourage everyone, and make me laugh. And while this blog is directed to the teens and parents in our church, we at girltalk think it deserves a wider audience. It’s a great resource for youth pastors, teens and parents, and the rest of you just might enjoy it too!
So, girltalk readers, I’d like to introduce you to my husband, Steve. You can meet him here.
We want to thank each and every one of you for the tributes you sent in to honor your mothers last week. It was painful for us not to be able to post all the tributes we received, but we took comfort from the fact that you were able to honor your mom yesterday. We hope all you mothers felt our respect and the pleasure of the Lord.
But there is a certain group of mothers whom I’ve been thinking about the past few weeks. They are the single moms. And my mother-in-law is one of them. Kaye Chesemore 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. She once told me that she took 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 all are serving the Lord. I have her to thank for my husband, and I am eternally grateful for what she has given to me.
So I want to thank and encourage all the single moms who sacrifice for your children like my mother-in-law did. It may be that your Mother’s Day wasn’t very restful because there was no one to make dinner or do the dishes for you. You might feel exhausted and helpless and alone. However, your labor does not go unnoticed by the Savior. He is your help and your strength, and He will surely bless your efforts to raise your children to glorify Him.
And may I encourage all of us to remember the single moms and their children? Maybe this week, take a moment to write a kind note to a single mom in your church, or make a meal for the single mom in your neighborhood, or begin to pray consistently for a single mom you know. These women are heroic servants, and we in the church should help carry their burdens.
We will celebrate Mother’s Day with Kaye (“Mimi” to my boys) this evening. What a joy it will be to thank her once again for the blessings I’ve received as a result of her faithful mothering. I pray that all you single moms will be encouraged this day!
“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
We want to close out our week of “tributes to mothers” with a tribute to our Savior, as expressed through the words of this song:
“I Will Glory in My Redeemer”
I will glory in my Redeemer,
whose priceless blood has ransomed me.
Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails,
and hung him on that judgment tree.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
who crushed the power of sin and death.
My only Savior before the holy Judge:
The Lamb who is my righteousness,
The Lamb who is my righteousness.
I will glory in my Redeemer.
My life he bought, my love he owns.
I have no longings for another,
I’m satisfied in him alone.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
His faithfulness, my standing place.
Though foes are mighty and rush upone me,
My feet are firm, held by his grace,
My feet are firm, held by his grace.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
Who carries me on eagle’s wings.
He crowns my life with lovingkindness,
His triumph song I’ll ever sing.
I will glory in my Redeemer,
Who waits for me at gates of gold,
And when he calls me, it will be paradise,
His face forever to behold,
His face forever to behold.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO YOU!
From the moms here at girltalk,
Carolyn, Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
(“I Will Glory in My Redeemer,” © 2001 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by Copy Care International. Used by permission.)
I want to honor my mother, Kathy Bowers, for teaching me the most important thing in life, that Christ has taken care of my greatest need by dying on the Cross for my sins, and that is what truly matters. You see, my mom has only weeks left to live. She has been heroically battling cancer for the past 7 years and unless the Lord chooses to heal her, she will soon be home with Him. My mom’s life beautifully portrays a deep trust in the truth of the Gospel in ALL areas of her life. As she faces death, she has not even a hint of fear. She knows she is going to be with the Lord, and when she talks about it, she does so with a huge smile and great excitement. Mom has suffered severely this past year, often in intense pain, yet has never once complained. She tells others often that she deserves God’s wrath and anything else is pure grace! She is a perfect example of joy in the midst of suffering. She trusts God completely—he is her solid rock that she stands on in trying times and because of that she has a steady faith that does not waver with the changing circumstances.
Mom lives with the truth of the Gospel in full view every day. There have been times when she has been in the emergency room in extreme pain and she has shared the Gospel with the nurse caring for her. She recently had a party held in her honor at which she spent twenty minutes sharing with her 200 guests that she has no fear in the face of death, that she is going to the place she was created for and it is because she has put her trust in the Gospel. She then shared the Gospel with all who were there. Mom has been sharing the Gospel with unbelievers her whole life—from women in her neighborhood, to orphans in Mexico.
Mom has lived the 50 years of her life on this earth serving heroically and focusing on others. She has impacted hundreds through her example, but I believe my family has been the most blessed by her. She has faithfully loved her husband and three children. She has faithfully served us. She has laid down her life for us and made us her priority. She has set an amazing example for my sister and me to follow as a wife and mother.
Mom has also faithfully discipled my sister and me. She has set an example for us of a women deeply in love with the Lord and His Word. She always told us being in the Lord’s Word was her favorite part of the day. Even now, when at times she is so fatigued that she cannot read, she asks others to read to her. She has faithfully met with my sister and me week in and week out, caring for our hearts and teaching us to be godly women. She has always made herself available to talk to us, dropping whatever she is doing. Even now that she is sick, she makes a point to still ask about our day and our devotions. Without hesitation all three of her children would call her both their Hero and their best friend.
As Mom’s life on this earth is coming to an end, it is evident to all that this woman ran the race hard and has glorified the Lord with her life. She is leaving behind a legacy of faith that will be legendary and inspire many. She has taught us how to rejoice in suffering and to live in light of eternity. She has taught us that placing our trust in the Gospel is truly what matters and that we should yearn to be with the Lord in Heaven.
Mom, I love you so much. Thank you for the godly woman you are. I will deeply miss you when you go home to be with the Lord, but praise Him that we never have to say goodbye. A crown of righteousness is awaiting you!
Thank you for your truly excellent example of a Titus 2 woman. You have shown me examples of godly womanhood as a single parent, a married woman - in extremely difficult circumstances, and now, I am delighted to say as a betrothed woman. You have always demonstrated such faith, joy and love to me. Recently you bought me a fridge magnet that said “daughters are just little girls that grow up to be your best friend” and how this is true!
A few things come to mind - the Sunday afternoons when I was little and we would bake together - what precious times of fun and laughter, dancing around the kitchen with frying pans! Then when I left home you presented me with my very own folder full of handwritten recipes that we had cooked together. My husband now benefits from those, and is grateful!
Other memories I have are when I was involved in evening activities either at Church, Guides or Sea Cadets, and despite a busy job and home life you would drive me around, often touring the local villages to collect my friends. Thank you - I now fully understand how much effort it is to engage in evening commitments when you are working full time.
You recently moved to live near to me, and have given up a very well paid career as an acountant to work with disadvantaged and homeless people in Bedford (UK). The level of love, patience and kindness that you show them surpasses what many people show their own family, and how you relish the opportunity to share the gospel with them.
We were not a rich family in monetary terms, and we had some very difficult times at home, but I always felt rich in love and faith through your sacrifices and efforts that you displayed daily to me, and that I now try to emulate. Thank you for your example. I love you Mum.
She raised my husband from the time he was just a couple of weeks old. Unable to bear children, she took him into a loving Christian home.
She wept with me and prayed fervently for me when we were told we would not be able to have our own children. She rejoiced with me when we became pregnant, praising God for miracles.
She prayed for my husband and led him to the Lord when he was only a young boy.
She prays for my daughter that she too will come to know Christ as her own.
She was a loving wife for decades. Faithful and devoted, an example to me of what a Christian wife is.
I wept with her when he passed away and rejoiced with her for the many memories and years they shared. Her faithfulness in all things as a wife is a trait I want to emulate.
She opens her home and displays gifts of hospitality.
She encouraged me as I took on hosting a holiday for the family and shares her knowledge with me, so I may flourish with my gifting in this area.
She does more for others with a heart of joy than any other woman I know.
She spurs me on to do the same by her example.
She raised her two children, was a wife, served the church, and was called to be a nurse.
She continues to work to provide her children’s family with little extras as they start out. Blessing us in the years that are “hers.”
She let her son go.
She gained a loving daughter-in-law and friend and student.
As I (Mandy) am sitting here thinking about my mom, my mind is flooded with so much that I could say about her. If I had to choose just one word that would best describe her, it would be JOY. My mom is a Proverbs 31 woman on every account, but when I think about her in relation to this Proverb, verse 25 comes first to my mind, “…she can laugh at the days to come.” You see, my mom is a woman of grace—her anchor, her rock, her trust, her foundation is the Lord; and her relationship with Jesus and her love for our Savior is where her joy springs from.
Three words that I (Emily) can think of to best sum up my mom’s character would be faithfulness, devotion and joy. Growing up, it was a daily routine to observe my mom rising early before the rest of the family, spending her first moments with her Bible and a daily dose of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening. Some of my most cherished memories are of time spent early in the morning, snuggling close to my mom as she finished out her devotions with prayer, thanking God and laying her requests before Him. As years went by, it became apparent that Mom’s devotion to spending time with her Lord and Savior each morning and communing with Him truly was the foundation and strength of her life—in good times and in bad.
(Mandy) About 5 years ago, our father became ill with a serious blood disorder. The disease moved him, my mom, and my three youngest siblings out of the state and away from friends, family and their local church, while I and my oldest brother stayed at home. After about 6 months, my father passed away and went to be with the Lord. During the end of my dad’s life, as my family and I spent several difficult weeks in the hospital with him, my mom showed me what it truly meant to love and be committed to and faithful to one man. Now as a newly married woman, I am so thankful for the grace the Lord gave to my mom to love and care for my father through their entire marriage but mostly through the hardest part of her marriage—saying good bye to her husband for the final time. I am so grateful that when she could have given up, and walked away and said this is too hard, she instead obeyed the Lord, and stayed by my dad’s side and served him and loved him when he needed her most and showed me that it is possible to love and care for and be faithful to my own marriage vows and to the one man that the Lord has graciously given me—until the day when I might have to say my final good bye to him.
(Emily) I’ll never forget Mom’s response to my many questions of “why?!”—“We have to trust God,” she said. “Don’t ask why, and don’t try to figure it out, trust God. He is sovereign and He is good.” In the following weeks and months, the pain was intense. We all took turns crying and holding each other, struggling to find a new “normal” as a family. Throughout this time, my mom drew nearer and nearer to God; she had moments of despair, of not wanting to wake up in the morning, not wanting to move on with life and accept the changes that God had brought, but still each morning she devoted her day to the Lord. She drew her strength from God’s Word and each day discovered the hope in God’s eternal promises to carry on.
(Mandy) In the days following my father’s death, I watched my mom experience sorrow, and loneliness in a way that I think can only truly be understood if experienced; yet at the same time, I also watched her draw nearer to the Lord and find her complete dependence and strength and, yes, even again, new joy in the Lord more so than ever before in my life. Since then, my mom’s anchor in the Lord has only deepened and I’ve seen her grow in greater love with Jesus and consider Him the most precious treasure in her life. I’ve seen her step-out in faith and obey the Lord doing things that’d she never on her own choose to do, yet once done for the Lord, I’ve seen her experience God’s joy and favor.
(Emily) As the years have passed, bringing graduations, weddings, a grandchild and more changes, Mom’s joy increased. It has become evident to all, that her joy is in the Savior, not her circumstances, and she has chosen to acknowledge His sovereignty on her life. With open arms, she has embraced the new life and responsibilities that God set before her, all the while growing in strength and wisdom from her times with the Lord. Today, Mom exemplifies what it means to be a woman of God. God has graciously provided a job that she can do from home, so she is faithfully home schooling my little brothers and has created a warm, inviting and hospitable home. She serves in her local church and is a wise friend and encourager. She delights in her family and she overflows with joy and peace. Looking back over the years, seeing all that God has done and brought into our lives, the various circumstances, the blessings and the heartaches, the numerous changes that we never saw coming, I see my Mom, in her quiet and humble strength, proclaiming that God is faithful, that God is unchanging, and that God is good. I cannot thank God enough for her example, for giving her to me as my Mom.
(Mandy) If you were to talk to my mom now, you would hear her say in word and in action that God is good and faithful! My mom would tell you that there is much hope in the Lord and in trusting your life to Him even through the hardest of seasons. She would tell you that even though the Lord’s ways may not be understood they are trustworthy. And she would tell you that there is nothing better than knowing Jesus as your Lord, Savior and Faithful God. She would tell you that the only true source of joy in all of life springs from knowing the One who created joy for us to experience, the One who gives us abundant joy here on the earth and the One who is Joy Himself. My mom, “laughs at the days to come.”
Mandy Reel and
Thinking about my mom brings tears to my eyes. It’s funny how the older I get the more appreciative I am of my mom and sometimes I wish I could really spend more time with her. As I’m writing this, she’s halfway across the world, sleeping, and I hope she would feel that love of this tribute.
We grew up in a poor family and my mom was a housewife as she did not have the level of education needed to have a good-paying job. However, she does the odd job here and there, like cutting and washing hair while us kids play around in the background. Although we don’t have much, we were happy.
I remember the times when we don’t have much and buying grapes was a luxury. She would give it all to us kids only pinching a few for herself. Although she would have to divide those grapes by weighing them so we kids would not fight over who’s got the bigger bunch. Or just letting us kids have our fill of a meal first before she has hers.
She may not have a lot of education but she knows the importance of having a good education. She would sit with us kids every night after dinner to make sure that we have completed our homework and that we read up on what the teacher was going to teach on the next day so that we understand better in class. She helps out in whatever areas that she can, for example in arts and living skills subjects.
Her faithfulness to the family is beyond words. When I was 16, my school shifted to a new building that was very isolated and the only way to get there was by private transportation. My mom will rise up early every morning just to make sure I have my breakfast and take me to school, which starts at 730am. We did not have a car and only a scooter. Even though her health deteriorated slightly due to the morning chill five days a week for a whole year and pain in her wrists due to the motion of the scooter, she never complained. All she thought about was my future.
If I were to write done each and every sacrifice that my mom made for me, it would take a long, long time. These were just a few from the top of my head. My mom does not know God personally as her Saviour yet, but she is a big reason I am who I am today. I could never thank God enough for her as my mom. I pray that one day she will accept Christ as her Lord.