The Big Picture Story Bible presents the profound truths of the gospel in language my three-year-old can understand, and weaves in questions to help us talk together about the story. And of course, she loves the pictures.
“The mother is the hub of the home, holding all the spokes in place. Without her being at her post, the family spins out of control and falls apart.” Mark Chanski
When school starts, do you find that it gets more difficult to “hold all the spokes in place”? I sure do.
On a typical day I must get my son, Andrew, out the door for school (with homework, lunch and back-pack), clean up from breakfast, homeschool my two younger boys, pay the bills, drive to an afternoon activity, get home in time to meet Andrew and help him with homework, prepare dinner for my family and a guest, do dishes, catch up on laundry and finally clean up my house which looks like it has been visited by a tornado.
Just another ordinary day in the life of a mom. But so often, I go through these ordinary days far more aware of what I am giving than whom I am serving.
I need my gaze lifted beyond my daily duties to my eternal mission as a mother. In his book, Womanly Dominion, Mr. Chanski brings us encouragement right where we need it:
“There she sits exhausted on the edge of her bed, her face in her hands, wondering, “Where’s the glory in this?”
She needs something more empowering to keep her going.
She needs to gain and maintain the deep conviction of the glory, honor, and nobility of selfless service. This she finds at the foot of the cross, looking up to the One who earned for Himself “the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9), by “emptying Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” (2:7), humbling “Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (2:8). There she beholds her Savior who mopped up the damning vomit of her own sin with the precious sponge of His perfect life and atoning death. The love of Christ constrains and compels her to press on (2 Corinthians 5:14). The Spirit of Christ empowers her” (pp. 120-121, emphasis mine).
Are you having a hard time being “the hub” today? Then “fix your eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:2-3), ask Him for help and strength, and thank Him for the honor of being a mother.
For ten years, my husband’s and my favorite way to spend a dollar…
Dear Ann Landers: Last weekend, we celebrated my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. This morning, they left on a long-awaited trip to Hawaii. They were as excited as if it were their honeymoon.
When my parents married, they had only enough money for a three-day trip 50 miles from home. They made a pact that each time they made love, they would put a dollar in a special metal box, and save it for a honeymoon in Hawaii.
Dad was a policeman, and Mom was a schoolteacher. They lived in a modest house and did all their own repairs. Raising five children was a challenge, and sometimes, money was short, but no matter what emergency came up, Dad would not let Mom take any money out of the “Hawaii account.” As the account grew, they put it in a savings account, and then, bought CDs.
I can remember Dad coming home and telling Mom, “I have a dollar in my pocket,” and she would smile at him and reply, “I know how to spend it.”
When each of us children married, Mom and Dad gave us a small, metal box and told us their secret, which we found enchanting. All five of us are now saving for our dream honeymoons. Mom and Dad never told us how much money they had managed to save, but it must have been considerable, because when they cashed in those CDs, they had enough for airfare to Hawaii, plus, hotel accommodations for 10 days, and plenty of spending money.
As they told us goodbye before leaving, Dad winked and said, “Tonight, we are starting an account for Cancun. That should only take 25 years.”—A Loving Daughter in Abilene, Texas
For most of our married life, Mike and I have shared one car. It’s a 1996 blue Camry. The driver’s side door is broken so I can often be seen climbing over the passenger seat to get in. (I wonder how that’s going to work at nine months pregnant?) But I’m not complaining. It’s been a very reliable car.
Recently Mike has added a special feature to our reliable little car. You see, Mike oversees the annual kids camp here at CLC known as Summer Celebration. And each year he has car magnets made in order to get the word out to the community.
Well, this particular year Mike came up with a rather unusual plan for the leftover magnets. Yep, you guessed it, he put them ALL OVER our car. (I’m including pictures so you can see for yourself.)
I’ll be driving along and notice people staring at me. Forgetting about the magnets (for a split-second) I try to figure out what they are looking at. Then I remember, and sink a little lower in my seat.
Recently, Caly attended a week-long class for which I drove a daily car-pool. I’d park my Summer-Celebration-mobile (Mike’s name for our car) smack in the middle of the row of mini-vans. While leaving class one afternoon, Caly asked me why we had such a funny car. “Cuz you have a funny daddy” was all I could say.
The other night we went out for dinner and upon returning to our beloved car found that someone had re-positioned all the magnets to spell the word “hi” over and over all around the car. Hmmm…creative.
Then, just a couple of days ago, someone side-swiped the front of SC-mobile and didn’t leave a note. My personal theory? After seeing all the magnets, they were too afraid to get in touch with the owners thinking they might be crazy. I can’t blame them.
My favorite gift to give grads is a laundry basket filled with a towel set a thing of laundry soap and a big jar filled with quarters along with the book, Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung. —Jessica
A college emergency kit: Sewing supplies, first aid kit, shoe goo, phone card, etc.—Rebecca
I just graduated college and this year my parents got me a kitchen aid mixer, which I am absolutely thrilled about! It is kind of a large gift but for any bride or grad who loves to bake/cook, then this is the perfect gift.—Paige
Knowing God by J.I. Packer is my favorite grad gift to give because it was in college that I slowly studied this book, digesting it a little at a time and it was the first time I ever understood the place of my faith in my life. It’s still my favorite book.—Kerry
Gifts for Brides:
We like to get newlywed couples a gift card to a local restaurant so that they can enjoy a date night even if resources are tight. —Jessica
I loved receiving customized stationary with my new name on it—a great gift for all the thank you notes to come. --Diane
My favorite present I recently got as a bride was a homemade cookbook filled with my best friend and her family’s delicious recipes. There was also plenty of spots left for my new family’s new favorites! —Lacee
For Bridal showers: Confessions of an Organized Homemaker by Deniece Schofield (or your favorite homemaking book) in a basket with pretty/funky office supplies to set up a little home office. A month of simple menus with thorough recipes and shopping lists. If she’ll be in the area tuck in a local grocery store gift card, if not, cash. —Rebecca
I like to give brides a subscription to a cooking magazine (Everyday Food is my personal favorite). —Andrea
A favorite gift for newlyweds you know well is to pay for their wedding night hotel/bed and breakfast. Just contact the place and ask them to charge you instead of the couple. The couple will be so surprised and grateful since it is unexpected and most newlyweds are low on funds. This can get pricey, so you can involve other givers, too. —Kelli
To get rid of ink stains (which we get a lot of around here!) pre-treat clothes with hairspray, blot with rag until stain disappears or fades considerably, and then wash as usual. Always works for me! (Note: try on inconspicuous area first to make sure hairspray doesn’t discolor fabric.)
Friday is fun day here at girltalk. That’s not going to change (not if Janelle can help it!). But we want to mix things up a little bit. In addition to Friday Funnies (don’t stop sending them!), we’re introducing a new feature: Friday Favorites.
What is “Friday Favorites”?
Just a few of our favorite things (cue Julie Andrews here)—a book we’re reading, a stain-removal tip, a rainy day idea for kids, a new recipe we’re making a lot, a website we frequent, a song we’ve set on repeat, even some of our husbands’ favorites.
The four of us are always swapping tips and solutions, and Friday Favorites is a way to include you in these conversations. We don’t think we have the best ideas (far from it!), and this isn’t a sneaky way to bring advertising to girltalk. We just want to share with you stuff we like, use, and benefit from—our favorites.
So here’s the deal: you come on Fridays and we’ll have something fun. Sometimes it will be one of your funnies. Sometimes it will be one of our favorites. Whatever it is, we hope you’ll like it!
“Each sphere of life has its own set of restrictions regarding gender roles. In the previous chapter, we saw that the Bible provides certain restrictions for female saints in the sphere of the church. Earlier we saw that the Bible gives principles for women in the sphere of the family as wives and mothers. As we move into the sphere of the public square, we notice that the Bible is much less precise in regulating the roles and activities of women. As we cross the river into this final chapter, I believe the Scriptures speak less dogmatically and provide more liberty to women in their decisions about their roles in the public square (politics, military service, recreation, employment, etc.). Therefore, I will write this chapter in a more flexible tone. Instead of saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ I’ll be saying, ‘Come, let us reason together.’”
We appreciate this chapter as much for what it does not say as for what it does say. Mr. Chanski takes care not to insist on points where Scripture is silent. But he also provides wise, gracious, and reasonable counsel as it relates to a godly woman’s role in various public arenas—politics, the sports field, combat and the workforce. If you are facing decisions related to one or more of these areas, this chapter is well-worth a thoughtful read.
And so we conclude our Womanly Dominion book club study. We hope you’ve benefited from Mr. Chanski’s bold appeal for women to fulfill their God-given calling.
We chose this book—and in fact, we write each post—with one ultimate goal in mind. Long-time readers hopefully know what that is, but it’s best summed up by my husband in this short video clip posted by CBMW. He’s speaking to pastors, but his words apply to us as well.
“To the extent that the church understands and applies biblical manhood and womanhood I believe the church will be strengthened in her role as a pillar and support of the truth of the gospel.”