girltalk Blog

Jan 25

Coming Soon…

2010 at 4:35 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Devotional Life | The 5 O’Clock Club | The FAM Club

chair fieldTo cap off our sitting series, we’re excited to announce a new feature here at girltalk. Next Monday, February 1, we will officially launch our two clubs: The 5 O’Clock Club and The FAM Club.

The 5 O’Clock Club is for those who want to rise early (it doesn’t have to be 5 O’clock, that’s just the name of the club) to meet with God.

The FAM Club (Fast A Meal) is for those who want to fast one meal a week to pray for a family member’s salvation.

You will have the chance to put your name on the rolls, to share testimonies, and to read about God’s grace through these spiritual disciplines. We hope these clubs will provide encouragement and accountability to keep sitting at Jesus’ feet long after the sitting series is over.

Many of you are long-time members of one or both of these clubs. Or maybe you’ve let your “membership” lapse. Some of you have never heard of these clubs! But all of us need reminding and refreshing. So for the next few days we’re going to post information, encouragement, and the stories of two women who experienced the grace of God to rise early and to pray eagerly for unsaved family members. As you read, we hope you’ll prayerfully consider joining one or both of our clubs.

Next Monday we’re going to kick things off with a 28-day challenge, one that we will take ourselves: to rise early and/or fast one meal a week for the entire month of February.

You don’t have to take the 28-day challenge to join our clubs, but we hope it will help all of us—by God’s grace!—turn a good intention into a consistent practice. We’ll try and provide encouragement along the way and you can do the same for us through your testimonies.

And of course there will be fabulous prizes! The first 28 people to join each club and every 28th person after that will receive a prize.

So grab your mom, sisters, cousins, and friends and get them to join our clubs with you (oh, and did I mention they are free?).

Together, let’s rise early to sit at Jesus’ feet and listen eagerly to his teaching. And let’s bring unsaved family members before His throne of grace.

(P.S. - Tomorrow we’ll post the Pick One Spot contest winners. Yep, you read that right: We couldn’t pick just one!)

Jan 16

College Girls Join the 5 O’Clock Club

2006 at 11:04 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O’Clock Club

If you thought the 5 O’Clock Club was only for wives and mothers serving their families, this college student just might change your perspective. She and her friends have several God-glorifying reasons for starting their own 6 O’Clock Club. And their example is provoking others to join as well. Read and be encouraged!

“As a graduate student I am very aware of sleep—the need, desire, and idol it can and often does become during the semester. After reading your post on the 5 O’Clock Club, I was duly encouraged to get up in the morning. Not only was it an encouragement to get up and get things done in the morning, it spurred me on to desire to read my Bible in the morning and made me anxious to prepare myself for my future (God willing) family. In your post, the Lord opened my eyes to show me how beneficial it is to get up early…beneficial to my own soul and to my future husband and children.

I live with four other girls and after we all read this post, we decided to institute our own club for the purpose of change and growth. We formed the 6 O’Clock Club (we decided we didn’t have enough to do if we got up at 5,and 6 seemed insanely early to us as is). For the past 3 days, we have gotten up at 6 am…we all check on each other to make sure we are awake and then proceed to our family room to do our devotions. At the moment, we’ve decided doing our devotions in the same room will serve us to hold us accountable to actually doing them and not falling asleep in the process.

It’s great being able to start the day off with the Word and it is also enjoyable to be with my roommates before school. Not only has my house been transformed with a desire to get up in the morning, other girls from our campus ministry have the same desire. As we get up, we make about 3 phone calls to hold other girls accountable to getting up. We are hoping that the idea of being disciplined in the morning spreads like wildfire—if it does, I think our lives will be transformed in a way that would make us more dependant on the word of God with hearts fixated on the cross.

So, thanks for your post on the 5 O’Clock Club. It has planted a greater thirst for the Word in our soul and has given us a desire to prepare for our future as perhaps a wife and mother. Slowly we are cherishing our mornings, and even though we are groggy at the outset, we look forward to much good fruit as we learn to become disciplined and place a greater importance on Scripture.”

Jan 11

A Wife Joins the 5 O’Clock Club

2006 at 8:39 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O’Clock Club

How exciting that so many of you want to join the 5 O’Clock Club! We thought that this email we received today would particularly encourage you wives:

“Thank you so much for GirlTalk and in particular this post! God has been tugging at my heart for a long time about what time I am getting up in the morning. I am married to an early-bird and I have always resented this trait in him. After reading Feminine Appeal, I was very convicted that I lacked self-control in this area and that I wasn’t just a ‘night person’ married to a morning person, but that I was being selfish and not serving my family well.

Getting up before my husband means getting up before 5:30—something that I have really resisted. After reading about the 5 O’Clock Club yesterday, I knew that I could avoid this no longer.

So, this morning, the alarm went off at 5:20, and I got up. I was awake and available to greet my husband and help get him off to work….God provided some extra incentive in my husband’s comments. As he was leaving today, he expressed his gratitude that I had gotten up early—he was thankful because he said it showed him where my heart is. If simply serving him this way speaks so loudly about my care for him, I am sorry to have not done it sooner. More importantly, it was a blessing to have that extended time with the Lord.

Thank you for ‘speaking the truth in love and helping me to serve my family more effectively. I am praying for God’s grace to become a regular member of the club!”

Jan 11

Q&A—The 5 O’Clock Club

2006 at 5:49 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | The 5 O’Clock Club | Q&A

We have received an absolute deluge of questions about the 5 O’Clock Club. So we have postponed this week’s planned Q&A (quiet time materials for middle school kids) in order to provide answers to some of your questions. You know, it’s looking like we might actually need some club bylaws after all.

The most common question was, “What time do you go to bed at night?”

Well, the 5 O’Clock Club rules are very broad, allowing even slackers like me to be a member. Mom is our standard bearer. She gets up at 4:30 a.m. each and every morning, almost without fail. So she tries to go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00 each night. When that is not possible, she will extend her 20-minute power nap during the day, or try to go to bed early the following night (8:00 or 8:30). But by getting up at the same time each day, she has trained her body to that rhythm.

Janelle’s strategy is to wake up at 5:00 a.m. five days a week and then sleep in on Sunday and Monday (Mikey’s day off). Kristin and I bring up the rear with fits and starts. We’ll get up early for several days in a row, but when a meeting keeps us up until midnight, we don’t bother trying. We just call it a wash and try again in a day or two. I’d recommend Janelle’s approach for beginners. Mom’s strategy is for advanced members only. However, a half-hour nap during the day is recommended for all 5 O’Clock Club members.

Another frequently expressed opinion was: “I’m not sure about giving up my free time after the kids go to bed.”

Understandable. And it’s important to state here, again, that the 5 O’Clock Club is founded on principle and not practice. The question isn’t, “How early do you get up in the morning?” but rather, “Does your daily schedule reflect your priorities: specifically, seeking God at the outset of the day, romancing your husband, and serving your family?” The purpose of getting up early is to make the most important priorities most important. You may not have to get up at 5:00 a.m. to do that (I can see it now: 6:30 clubs popping up everywhere!). But I would encourage you to consider whether or not your schedule is truly serving your priorities.

Personally, I have noticed that my time early in the morning is often more profitably spent than my time late at night. If I get up early, I’m not tempted to stay up late, wasting time in the evening. I want to go to bed! And that extra hour in the morning is usually spent more productively than it would have been the night before. Now this isn’t true for everyone. My dad has a friend who does his best work between 11:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.! The important point is that our schedule reflects biblical priorities.

Finally, a wife communicated a dilemma: Her husband’s schedule allows him to sleep in late, while she has to be at work early each morning. Staying up late with him means she misses out on significant time with the Lord.

This is a tricky one, as we always want to encourage wives to orient their lives to their husbands. And yet, this woman’s longing to spend more time seeking God is right and commendable. Now, this woman didn’t indicate whether or not her husband was a Christian. If he is not a believer (and therefore would not appreciate her desire to make QT a priority), she may need to schedule another time in the day to read her Bible, or consider getting up a little earlier (30 minutes, let’s say) and taking a nap over her lunch break. If her husband is a Christian, I would encourage her to have a conversation with him about how she can both serve and spend time with him, and still make her devotions a priority in the morning.

Jan 10

The 5 O’Clock Club

2006 at 12:47 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under The 5 O’Clock Club

The 5 O’Clock Club is a Mahaney-family club. Mom is the founder, chairman of the board, and the secretary. Without her, there is no club. This club has very few members (only six); no chapters to speak of. It is extremely unpopular from about 5-6 each morning and very popular every hour after that.

Actually, the 5 O’Clock Club is all about The First Habit of the Highly Effective Woman: She Rises Early. In fact, Mom would say that this practice BY FAR has been the most helpful in seeking to fulfill the other six practices on the list. I wholeheartedly agree.

The 5 O’Clock Club began a few years ago while Mom was writing Feminine Appeal. The only way to meet her deadline was to get up at the insanely early hour of 4:00 a.m. Then, when we were writing Girl Talk, I reluctantly joined the 4:00 club. That was painful. When the books were finished, Mom realized that all that extra early-morning time could be put to good use for her family. And so the 5 O’Clock Club was born.

Every morning, Mom wakes up at about 4:30 a.m. She makes her coffee and then she makes phone calls—to the Bradshaw, Chesemore, and Whitacre homes. We all answer in our groggy voices—“thanks, Mom” and then roll out of bed sometime between 5:00 and 5:30.

I have to say for the record, that after Mom, Janelle is the most consistent member of the 5 O’Clock Club. This should give women around the world hope for rising early, because until this past year, Janelle would have been the champion sleeper of our family. If Janelle can do it—anyone can.

So why should you join the 5 O’Clock Club? For starters, getting up early ensures you get a quiet time each day. If you have children, you know that “quiet time” after they are awake is something of a misnomer. If you work a job or go to school, being on time is usually non-negotiable. Waking up late means your quiet time is probably the first to go.

Referring to Bible reading and prayer, John Piper says: “I earnestly recommend that it be in the early morning, unless there are some extenuating circumstances. Entering the day without a serious meeting with God, over his Word and in prayer, is like entering the battle without tending to your weapons. The human heart does not replenish itself with sleep. The body does, but not the heart. We replenish our hearts not with sleep, but with the Word of God and prayer.”

A second reason for getting up early is that you are prepared to serve your family’s needs. Rather than be awakened by husband or children and expected to meet needs before you are fully conscious, you are ready to serve your family when they arise.

Now that you have two good reasons for rising early, I want to stress that this will look different for everyone! The point is not that really godly women get up at 5:00 a.m.! Nowhere in the Bible will you find such a principle. The point is that there are great benefits to rising early—both for your spiritual life and the good of your family. And there are Scriptures that encourage this practice (Psalm 5:3, Prov. 31:15, Mark 1:35). But “early” will look different for every woman reading this post!

Also, this practice may not be realistic for moms with young children who still get up at night. You are already a part of the midnight club and the 3:00a.m. club, aren’t you? No mother of an infant should be condemned by this post. This is a time management principle to consider in the future.

At this point you might be saying, this sounds like a great idea, but how do you do it? I’m just not a morning person and I’m not sure I can get up early! Here’s Mom’s strategy, and her sleep-loving children can testify that it works:

  • Set my alarm for the same time everyday.
  • Get up. Turn off alarm, which is strategically placed on the other side of the room. (I’ve learned this is my most critical moment in getting up early. It is crucial that I never, never, never, hit the snooze button or lie back down to catch a few more winks.)
  • Head straight to bathroom and then proceed directly to the coffee pot.
  • Be prepared to feel absolutely miserable for about 10 to 15 minutes. (But the feeling of misery turns into pure gladness as I soon experience the delight of having that alone time and as I reap the benefits all day long. It is totally worth feeling miserable for about 15 minutes.)
  • Your body responds to a regular wake up time. In other words, it gets easier.

So, do you want to join our crazy club? Try it for a week, and if it doesn’t work for you, well, at least there wasn’t a membership fee.