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My Christian Brother is Struggling With Serious Sin – Should I Say Something?

Here is some of the new material from the second edition of  It’s (Not That) Complicated, Chapter Four: Relationship Bootcamp: How to Be a Sister to Your Real Brothers. Though these thoughts on how and when to give a biblical rebuke are obviously written with the biological brother-sister relationship in mind, they would apply to relationships in general.

In this book, we talk a lot about how women can build up, support, encourage, and affirm their men, but is there ever a time for correcting or rebuking them? Let’s be very clear on this: Loving our brothers means loving them enough to hate the sin that threatens to destroy them. It requires loving them enough to help hold them to the standard God does, not standing by as effectual accomplices when they depart from it. “Building up” doesn’t just mean making people feel better about who and where they are. It means building up the spiritual man, sometimes even by rebuking the “old” man of the flesh. And for that reason, we’re not being supportive sisters if we’re supporting the vanity, worldliness, foolishness, or laziness of our brothers – much less if we’re “covering” more dangerous sins, like pornography, drunkenness, or abuse. Even girls in conservative Christian families can have brothers given to these sins, and choosing to “overlook” them is not love, or biblical womanhood. … Read more →

Family RelationshipsGirl-Guy Relationships
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Should I Keep Preparing For Marriage, or is it Time to Start Preparing For a Single Life?

“I thought marriage was coming, and soon. I thought I gave up the worldly approach to womanhood in exchange for a beautiful biblical picture that included husband, children, a home to be a homemaker in. And something went wrong. I gave up the world’s picture in exchange for nothing. I have nothing to show for it. I’ve spent 8 years in a holding pattern. I pushed off education, training, work, so nothing would be in the way of my getting married. Now I’m wondering if marriage is ever coming at all. Should I keep waiting and preparing, or should I go back to my previous plan?”

This is not only one girl’s question – this is the heart-cry of many young women today. Whether we swore off higher learning and work to engage in full-time waiting for Prince Charming; chose a college based on which one was most likely to provide an MRS degree; were so distracted by boys that we couldn’t focus on a single productive thing through our whole teens and twenties; or simply let the possibility of marriage coming any day now eat up our mental CPU and distract us from moving full-speed-ahead into anything else, most of us eventually realize this is not jibing with a productive, practical Christian life, and that it’s time to choose between our current track and a different one.

If this is the way we’ve been approaching the single season, yes, something does need to change – but it may not involve either of the options “keep waiting and preparing, or … go back to my previous [‘worldly’] plan.” The reason both of these options may feel wrong is because they are – they’re both missing critical elements of God’s plan for women. And no, the critical element is not marriage. … Read more →

EducationMarriage and SinglenessWomanhoodWork
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Announcing a new edition of It’s (Not That) Complicated, plus audiobook and eBook formats

Friends, we’re happy to announce a new edition of It’s (Not That) Complicated, featuring over 20 pages of new content. For those of you who already bought the first edition of the book and don’t want to buy a new copy, we’ll be sharing most of the new content with you for free here over the next few weeks.*

We’re also, at long last, releasing it in audiobook format, read by both of yours truly. You can buy it here and hear a sample here. If you’d prefer to get it in eBook format, we also provide it in a MOBI file for Kindles, an EPUB file for all other ebook readers, and a PDF file for your computer.

And while we’re announcing shiny new things, check out the new Botkin Sisters store. From now until February 14th, we’re running a 20%-off-everything Valentine’s Day sale, so shop soon!

*If your copy says “Third printing,” you already have the second edition.

Uncategorized
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What Every Christian Girl Can Learn From Kate

The fashion leadership of Kate Middleton holds a lesson for every Christian girl. As wife to Prince William and presumed future queen of England, Kate is in a position of representing Great Britain to the world. Every inch of her appearance, from her hairstyle to her fingernails, article-2187534-1586A9E7000005DC-15_964x1220sends the world a message about the nation and the monarchy, the laws and the traditions, the culture and the history she represents – messages the world scrutinizes keenly. As ambassador to the crown, she can’t dress to merely express her individuality, follow the trends every other girl is following, or refuse to think about clothes at all. Her job demands making deliberate and strategic decisions about what message to send through every detail – from her traditional British fascinators to her sleek High Street heels.

The truth is, every Christian girl has just as much to represent as Kate Middleton. Our King is no less ruling, and we are no less ambassadors. Unlike Kate, we don’t have to spend £22,000 per year to represent our King and our heavenly citizenship. Like Kate, however, we also don’t belong to ourselves. We were bought with a price and represent the One Who bought us. Like Kate, we can’t afford to let others make these decisions for us. And like Kate, we have a world watching. What message are they picking up about our Lord, His edicts, and our loyalties?

Beauty and FashionWomanhood in Pop Culture
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The History of Womanhood That Feminists Don’t Want You to Know

The recent naming of Nancy Pelosi as the “most powerful woman in American history” has sparked national discussion on both the history of women in America and the nature of woman’s power. As Speaker of the House, Mrs. Pelosi holds the highest civic position any American woman has held to date, and her hand in putting through the recent Health Care Bill will have huge historic implications. Though we don’t see it as a great advance for women to finally be oppressed by one of our own, this is undeniably a kind of power.

But behind this recent tribute to Mrs. Pelosi is this presupposition: “Women find their power in holding the positions of men – the traditional women’s role has no power. The power traditional women exercised in the past doesn’t count.”

Americans are ready to believe this because they long ago adopted a feminist view of history. … Read more →

Womanhood
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Two New Messages by Victoria Botkin

In honor of the beginning new school year and in conjunction with their Back-to-School Sale, Western Conservatory is releasing two practical new messages on home education by Victoria Botkin (one of them free!)

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How to Teach Your Children to Love Learning: Home Education Made Simple, Stress-Free and Successful by Victoria Botkin

Until your children learn to love learning, homeschooling will be a battle and a chore.

Wrangling unmotivated children will wear you out. School will be the first thing to drop on days when you just can’t stay on top of everything. That nagging fear will creep in: You’re just not teaching them everything they need to know. And you may find yourself being crabby teacher lady more often than fun, lovable mommy.

When children love to learn, they drive themselves as fast you can steer them and fill their own educational gaps faster than you can find them. Their educations march on even during busy days, stressful days, hard days, tired days. But can we turn our children into those children?

Make Homeschooling the Most Fun You and Your Children Ever Had!

With warm motherly wisdom and the experience of over 30 years homeschooling seven children, Victoria Botkin explains how you can give your child that unquenchable thirst for knowledge and motivation to learn. With practical tips on creating a home that will do a lot of the homeschooling for you, getting your children more interested in studying than being entertained, making “free time” educational, helping them take ownership of their own educations, rising above the limitations of your own education, and more, Victoria will soon become the teaching mentor you’ve been waiting for.

If you’re more interested in real, lasting investments in your child’s mind, heart, and character than in expensive programs and gimmicky formulas; if you want to make home education happen without, you know, having to make it happen; if you want learning to be the most fun you and your children have ever had together… listen to this message!

“Victoria, you truly are a sort of spiritual mother to me. The type of motherly wisdom I have longed for and that I desire to be to my own children. As I go about my day, home educating (none of our children have ever been in public school), I often hear your voice in my mind when teaching my darlings or in other daily activities. Thank you for your example. Thank you for giving young mothers and wives a different option to understand in a deeper depth a way of living other than our current culture. A million times, thank you!” T.D.

Top-Teaching-Tips

My Top Teaching Tips (From 30 Years of Homeschooling) by Victoria Botkin

Whether you’re a new homeschooler, or the mom who’s been at this a while and just needs to push the “refresh” button…

Whether you’re feeling bogged down and wanting to start over, or you’ve already got a good system in place and could just use some time-tested tips and advice… this message provides wisdom that could be making a difference in your home by lunchtime.

Victoria Botkin’s “Top Teaching Tips” is both a refreshing step back to refocus on what really matters, and a vault of valuable tips gathered from over 30 years of learning what does and doesn’t work with real children. Victoria’s sane, simple, stress-free, and successful approach to producing well-educated children will give you a sigh of relief, and her warm, transparent, grace-filled spirit will refresh your soul.

Answers to Your Biggest Homeschooling Questions

Learn to conquer the homeschool-mom-bugaboos like teaching writing, getting your children interested in reading, seizing the teachable moment, using the internet, finding good books, using books by non-Christians, helping our sons transition into manhood when they’re with mommy all day, teaching our children to be life-long learners, and much more! Whether your children are toddlers or teens, you will come away from this talk reassured, re-oriented, and refocused (and your husband and children will be blessed by your increased peace and confidence!)

“We would like to thank you for your cd on curriculum advice. I say ‘we’ because my husband enjoys the new, relaxed me! It has allowed me to breathe and relax in our homeschooling journey. Well, I have only had your CDs for a couple months but listen to them ALL the time, along with the virtuous woman series, which my sister-in-law and i just LOVE. I always come away from them peaceful and happy to be a helpmeet and mommy!” E.

Botkin Projects
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Announcing Four New Audio Messages

Well, we’ve got four new audio messages in the store (two of them free! Go download now!) on four topics we’re pretty keyed up about. At the very least, go check out the two free ones, and write and tell us what you thought! (You can reach us at botkinsisters@gmail.com) We love hearing your feedback.

It'snotaboutstayingathome

If you think God’s plan for young women is all about being modest, keeping pure, staying home, preparing for marriage, and waiting for Prince Charming… you will not like this message. But…

  • If you’re tired of a small and fruitless vision for single womanhood, and are wondering if God might want more from you…
  • If you’re frustrated with a lack of fruitfulness, real-world involvement, and opportunities to grow, be stretched, and exercise your gifts…
  • If you’re sick of legalism, idolatry, formulas, movements, bandwagons, Christian-subculture trends and man-made rules, and just want to get back to God’s timeless principles for young womanhood…
  • Or if you’re just trying to figure out what you believe and why…

…take a step back with Anna Sofia and Elizabeth, away from the narrow applications and movement trends, and reexamine the baseline biblical principles that should form the foundation of our vision of single womanhood. Discover a robust vision of spreading the gospel, serving the saints, reaching out to the poor and needy, being full of good works, exercising your gifts, strengthening your arms, working with your hands, making the most of your single years, seeking first the Kingdom of God, and more!

In this message, the Botkin sisters reexamine hot button issues like a father’s authority, marriage, singleness, college, jobs, ministry, giftedness, Phariseeism, pursuing fruitfulness rather than just safety, serving our families vs. serving other people, why feminism is not the big enemy, and of course, “staying at home.” Prepare to be more excited about being a single Christian young woman than you’ve ever been before!

ProblemGuy

You’re a solid young Christian woman. You’re committed to purity and wholesome relationships. You don’t hang out with “bad” guys. And you suddenly find yourself dealing with a guy who’s trying to play you, manipulate you, use you, entice you, or even abuse you. What do you do?

It’s dangerously naïve to deny that predators, manipulators, abusers, playboys, wolves, stalkers, and creeps haunt every circle – as do good guys simply having a hard time mastering their sin nature. And though we’re never responsible for sins men commit, it’s time to know our own power to resist and rebuke evildoers.

Drawing lessons from how Abigail and Bathsheba each responded to the same godly man when he was off the path, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth clear away legalistic relationship rules and formula-based approaches to “purity,” and focus on how to become a woman with the confidence to put the fear of God into men who are in sin. Hear straight talk on self-defense, dealing with a flirt, how not to be a doormat, a woman’s rights and recourses for resisting, combating manipulation, becoming spiritually strong, and the gospel’s hope for moving on from our own past mistakes.

Howtodevelopgifts

Have you ever struggled with purpose and fruitfulness? Yearned to use your single years more fully? Wondered how God wants to see you developing your gifts and using them for Him? Questioned how principles of home-based womanhood can really work out practically in tough financial situations and a failing economy? Then this talk was given for you. In this inspiring, practical, and game-changing message by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, discover the missing keys to a vibrant, fruitful (and economically viable) family life.

Adventurousfemininity

If you’ve ever felt frustrated by a mold of “biblical” femininity that seems small, weak, mousy, or useless, maybe it’s time to re-examine what characteristics God praises in a woman, and the forgotten reason God created woman in the first place — to stand at man’s side in adventure, discovery, progress, dominion work, and spreading the gospel. In this inspiring, humorous, and life-changing message by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin, get challenged to go beyond your comfort zone; be introduced to a handful of adventurous heroines from history; be encouraged to embrace a more full-orbed picture of biblical womanhood; and prepare to have all your stereotypes of femininity smashed (with a tent-peg).

Botkin ProjectsEducationGirl-Guy RelationshipsWomanhoodWork
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Engaged: Isaac Botkin and Heidi Roach!

IsaacandHeidi

One of our favorite things about having so many brothers… is all the wonderful new sisters we keep getting! As of last week, another of our dearest friends is about to become family: Our brother Isaac just became engaged to Heidi Roach. Heidi has been a real inspiration to us over the years as an example of how a woman can be uncommonly strong, capable, sensible — one of those women who can cook for a hundred or organize a 4000-person event without breaking a sweat and then run help deliver a baby or two in the middle of the night — while also being uncommonly humble, meek, tenderhearted, funny, selfless, genuine, and sacrificial. “A virtuous woman,” says Proverbs 12:4, “is a crown to her husband,” and God has given Isaac a virtuous woman and crown indeed.

We’re so happy for you, Isaac and Heidi, and can’t wait to see what amazing things God has in store for you two!

Botkin Life
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The Top 10 Things Girls Should Study (But Rarely Do)

We all want to equip ourselves to be godly women, but do we really know what that equipping should look like? A diet of books on modesty, courtship, and cake decorating will definitely fill the bill if the role we aspire to is simply one of wearing modest clothes, going through a courtship, and decorating cakes. But if we truly believe the biblical role of women is bigger and more significant than this, we need put our money where our mouths are and pursue education and training to match. … Read more →

Education