Our Response to Rapunzel

Dear Rapunzel,

Thank you for your email. We happen to already be familiar with your story as presented in “Tangled,” and even know a little more about your backstory than you do, and so we do have some thoughts for you.

We will be unusually blunt, because we know you are not a real person with feelings; you are the carefully written, cast, voiced, sketched, sculpted, scanned, painted, rigged, animated, rendered, and composited brainchild of John Lasseter, Glen Keane, and the Disney scriptwriting committee. We’re talking to you, polygons.


“Trapped in a Tower” Asks for Advice

Dear Botkin sisters,

I just turned 18 years old and I have a question for you. My name is Rapunzel and I’m in the middle of a very challenging situation. I’ll give you some backstory.

I’ve spent my whole life living at home in a tower with my mother, who told me that the tower is the only place that I could be safe from people who want to steal my hair. I’d always been happy at home, and felt like my mother and I had a fairly good relationship, until recently. A few days ago, I mentioned that I wanted to leave the tower for my birthday. You see, I really wanted to go see some mysterious lights that always appear in the sky on my birthday – ON MY BIRTHDAY – which of course has always made me think that they were somehow for me! Mother said it was a bad idea, that there were ruffians and thugs out there, that I couldn’t handle myself, etc. I tried to convince her otherwise, but then she exploded and said that I could never leave the tower.


Will You Be My “It’s Complicated”?

We’d like to share with you another excerpt from our new book. This one is pulled from Chapter Eleven: “Will You Be My It’s Complicated? How to Just Say No to the Wrong Kind of Relationships.”

Let’s Play Romance

There are plenty of people who have technically kissed recreational dating goodbye, but are still looking for romantic flings outside of marriage. They want the fun of being in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships without purpose or commitment. Enter flirtship, the popular new alternative to dating and courtship. It’s like dating, only you don’t go out – you use email, chat, or phone, or just pair off whenever you’re in the same vicinity. Either way, you’re definitely – though not officially – well, apparently, anyway – boyfriend and girlfriend.


A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing?

Dear Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin,

I’m 16 years old, I’m home schooled and (surprise) I love to read . I’ve always read ANYTHING I can my hands on from Jane Austen to Stephen King to John Steinbeck to Anthony Burgess and back again. My Mom and Dad, never prohibited me from reading anything, from the time I was about 11 years old, I pretty much took control of my reading censorship, and I’m not afraid to say I’ve had a awesome time with it.

My Mom and Dad are good God fear people who put a great love of Jesus in me, and I don’t want you to think they haven’t given me guidance, because truly they have. In fact, I think by giving me that intellectual freedom, they gave me “so much more” than if they had only allowed me the “proper” or “age appropriate” literature.


Jane Austen and Vampires: A New Audio Message

One of our most fun (and most favorite) talks yet, given at a homeschool conference last year, on the subject of choosing carefully what we put into our heads: “Jane Austen and Vampires: Examining Girls’ Literary Appetites and Literary Eating Disorders.”


What do handsome heroes, bonnets, and vampires have in common? Not much, but they’re all pieces of the most famous and influential girls’ literature of all time – literature that has revamped the way thousands of young women view reality, the world, themselves, men, and romance. In this audio message, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin analyze authors from Jane Austen to Janette Oke to Stephanie Meyer, and lay out the basics of choosing a healthy literary diet.

“…something every girl that loves to read should listen to! …a captivating and humorous discussion of what we should be ‘feasting’ on from our libraries. I highly recommend getting this riveting and convicting discussion that motivates every girl to really examine what her bookshelf ‘pantry’ contains. This would actually be a wonderful tool for the whole family as it could pertain to more than just girls and romance novels.” B.C.

“…brilliantly done!! … We have already made a list of people to hand this message out to, and are greatly looking forward to seeing what God will do through it.” K.F.


Giveaway: It’s (Not That) Complicated


We’re giving away a signed copy of It’s (Not That) Complicated! To enter the draw: Just write to us (damselsATvisionarydaughtersDOTcom) and tell us what you’d like to see us write a book about next!

To enter a second time, either 1: Put our nifty “It’s (Not That) Complicated” sidebar button (see left) on your own website sidebar (see here for instructions), and send us an email telling us, or 2: simply “like” the “It’s (Not That) Complicated” page on Facebook and write and tell us. Best yet, you can enter three times by doing all three.

Giveaway ends December 9.


Emotional Purity Revisited

We’re excited to share with you a number of excerpts from our new book. These next few chunks were pulled from “Chapter Seven: The Heart: Victim or Perpetrator? Getting Your Heart to Follow YOU.”

Emotional Purity Revisited

We’re very grateful for the groundwork that has been laid by the Emotional Purity advocates, people who first began to seriously address the problem of handing out bits of our heart with reckless abandon. We, for two, needed to hear about the concept of guarding our hearts, keeping our emotions under control, and being faithful to our future husbands in thought and deed. But we believe this foundation needs a little more built onto it. For many, the concept raised more questions than it answered.

As one girl wrote to us: “My friend + i hav both decided that wee r neva goin 2 d8 + we want our 1st kiss 2 b on our weddings. …[but] i was tellin sum of my friends @ school about the decisions ive made and another question came up, is it wrong to have a crush on a guy? my friend says that you can’t control whether u have a crush on sum1 or not and im not 100 % sure how 2 answer that. Can u guys help?”


Why So Complicated?


Boy-girl relationships are hard. They’re hard because they’re made of people, not mathematic equations, formulas, or quantifiable factors like numbers. When talking about relationships, we’re dealing with fluctuating factors like motives, irrational feelings, and a nature that was made by God to be one way and twisted by sin to be another. Numbers are easy because they are predictable, but the heart, as Jeremiah 17:9 says, “is deceitful above all things… who can understand it?” And if one person wasn’t complicated enough, just add another person, multiply their sin natures, and we’ve got an equation too hard to solve in our own strength. When we do try to boil these relationships down to simple rules and formulas, they can come out looking something like the diagrams below. Because when it comes to each of these quandaries of the heart… it’s just (not that) simple.

Here are some drawings that didn’t make it onto the cover of It’s (Not That) Complicated, but we wanted to share with you anyway:

comic3 comic5 comic1 comic2 comic7


Have You Ever Wondered…


“My biggest concerns are how should I even treat boys period? I have
no idea how to act around them…I know I should be myself but, besides

“I’m not around a lot of young men, so when I am in a group with one,
it gives me the jitters. How do I act natural?”

“Is it a good idea to be good or close friends with a guy? And if you
do sense yourself beginning to be interested in someone, is it an
option to try to get to know them better, or should you keep things
the same and wait for the guy to make the first move?”

“If I say ‘hi’ and strike up a conversation is he going to think that I
am too forward, shouldn’t my kind of man be the first to speak, and
what will others think of what I do?”

“Where do you draw the line between being friendly, which is okay, and
being flirty, which is (presumably) not okay?”

“…can you encourage a potential suitor to pursue you without being
flirty, forward, or inappropriate? …can you let them know you are
available in a God-honoring way without becoming the initiator?”

“What takes a girl from someone a man likes to be around, to someone
he wants to spend his life with? I see a lot of lists by girls about
‘my husband must be such and such.’ But it seems all I ever hear from
guys is ‘a godly lady.’ What does that mean to them?”

“If there is a particular guy that I have noticed, what is the best
way to deal with these feelings? And what should I watch out for when
I am around him/do to guard my heart?”

It’s (Not That) Complicated will explore all of these questions sent
in by our readers and many, many more. (And will, hopefully, make them
all seem a lot less complicated.)

For more information and to order a copy, visit NotComplicatedBook.com.