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.


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.


Navigating History Begins Tonight!

Don’t miss this evening’s inaugural session of Isaac’s “Navigating History” series! The Egypt team is starting off the series with an audio Q&A session on the eve of their voyage, explaining more about who they are and what they’re hoping to do. Bring all your questions, get to know the team, and gear up for the adventure to begin! Go here to subscribe — it starts 8PM CST.

Below, our brother Isaac explains the vision for the trip.

And here is a clip from an early brainstorming session, where Chris speculates about spiritual sustenance in the afterlife.


The Navigating History Project

Our oldest brother, Isaac, is about to spearhead an exciting online video series designed to teach history, geography, and current affairs to a young Christian audience. He and his team will be starting with a 6-episode adventure history series about an expedition to Egypt, to help viewers understand Egypt from a biblical worldview. The team departs and the adventure begins in two weeks, for an educational journey you don’t want to miss!

As the guys prepare for launch, we girls are having the time of our lives helping with the research for this amazing project. Egypt teaches us so many lessons that apply to our present day. Through our research, we’ve been seeing in whole new ways:

How God works through history
How religion externalizes itself in a nation’s culture
What bad government does to the arts
What superstition does to the world of medicine
What bad theology (Islam) does to gender roles
What a nation of ruler-gods does to law
How art shapes the world-view of a society
How God judges infanticide and racial extermination
How hydraulic empires work
How the pyramids were built
What Greek and Roman influence did in Egypt
What the Ottoman Empire did in Egypt
What British and French imperialism did in Egypt
How modern Egypt is affected by its past
And much more.

If you’ve ever wanted a crash course in historic civilizations, government, law, economics, architecture, technology, sociology, and the arts – and how religious ideas drive all of these – you will want to join the Egypt expeditionary team for this incredible learning adventure.

Discover the Egypt that Abraham sojourned to, that Joseph sustained during famine, that God judged with the Ten Plagues, that the Hebrews were delivered from, and that Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled to. See the wonders of the ancient world through the lens of a biblical worldview. Learn about the big issues of the world you live in today. Go to to learn more.


Movieguide Reviews Return of the Daughters

Movieguide has just posted their recent review of the DVD Return of the Daughters on their website. The DVD received ratings of +4 and 4 stars for content and quality, the highest possible. From the review:

Appealing yet controversial, this manifesto of Christian daughterhood is beautifully produced and sure to provoke families into examining the scriptural and cultural foundations of their ambitions for their daughters.

Read the full review here:


Announcing Our New Favorite Blog!

Our brother Benjamin has just launched his brand new website,, a rich repository of commentary on the theory, philosophy, theology, history, mechanics, science, technology and future of music. You will also be able to hear samples of his latest compositions. But don’t waste time here reading about it: go here to check out the site for yourself.

If you have not yet seen our brother Isaac’s fascinating filmmaking blog, be sure to visit there as well.


The Return of This Daughter

Visionary daughter Evangeline McNiel writes an open letter to our readers:

Dear Daughters near or far, at home or abroad,

I want to write to you and share how the simple true message of So Much More changed my life and satisfied my unexplainable longings. A phrase from the book broke my heart and pinpointed my error. The contributor wrote, “I began to understand that my calling was not somewhere out their waiting for me to ‘find it,’ but my calling was to help my dad fulfill his calling.”

As an energetic, go-getter gal, I was always planning projects, taking leadership positions, “making waves” as my seaside university’s motto urged us. But it all left me thinking, “Is this God’s best?”

I come from a homeschool family of six. When my senior year came, our family knew no better course than college. All three of my older siblings attended private Christian colleges, so I when I received an offer for a full-ride scholarship to any university in my state, I counted it a blessing. My father was uneasy, but there was so much hype in the air about my acceptance after months of interviews and essays, I did not seriously consider his premonitions.

My first weeks at the university were fascinating for a people-loving girl who had been homeschooled and homechurched most of her life. Living in the dorms, I had running buddies, surfing friends, a ballroom dance clan, international students—it was exciting. Although many of my friends confessed to be Christians, very few were true followers. I was discouraged by the lack of spiritual and academic seriousness, but I made the best of it. Soon I was class representative, president of the Spanish club, a young women’s Bible study leader, an active member of a local church, part of a Hispanic ministry, a straight A student. It all left me so empty, but the novelty of my new independent life kept me going and my reports home positive. I lived in the “Christian dorm” and had good relationships at church, so I was blind to a lot of what was really going on, until the second year.

My second year I was a house parent (“Resident Assistant”) for 63 students in a co-ed dorm. I am to blame for this ridiculous idea. The summer before, I was doing mission work in Mexico City, so my parents had very little input. My new life was the antithesis of a protected stay-at-home daughter. Mcniel I had to go on night patrol until 3 o’clock in the morning breaking up drinking parties, and going into the depths of a very dark and depraved world. Around this nightmare of a time, I was chosen to represent the school of education for an “Academic Life” promotional booklet. My plans and smile seem so cool and confident, but behind it all I was the most broken, lost and instable as I have ever been. And it wasn’t just me. I felt it in all the girls — the insecurity…the fruit of an unprotected life. “Her focus is clear,” my bio read. I had no focus. I had no idea how to be a good Christian girl. I was lost.

Meanwhile, I read voraciously in search of a real education and deeper purpose. One day I saw a woman from my church mentoring a friend of mine in a local coffee shop. They were reading So Much More. The attractive cover and the words “Visionary Daughters” caught my eye. I will never forget the night I sat on my bed reading that book until 4 in the morning, weeping over it. My heart had ached for a protected mission, a biblically sound mission, an ancient mission. And here it was! What joy! What relief! I was not designed to be an independent woman, but rather part of a man’s life, a helper. And what better man could I help but my dear father?

That next weekend I drove home to present the idea to my family. At first, my parents were surprised at my desire to move home after recently announcing plans to study abroad in Spain and Chile the next year. But at the end of our few days of sharing and crying and much repentance and prayer, my father would have it no other way. I was to come home as soon as I finished my final exams.

I returned back to school and feared what my scholarship director and friends would think and say. My resolution began to crumble when friends reacted in disapproval and even advised me to see a counselor. One day, I was seriously doubting it all as I drove to class when I spotted two bumper stickers that made me angry. “Nice girls never make history” and “Feminism = No more oppression.” Our cars were on the same road, but I thought, Do I want to be driving the same direction as they?

I have passed a joyous year in my father’s house, and our family of 3 adult children is learning how God can use our unity for his glory. My mother is teaching me how to love our family and make home a wonderful place. I help manage meals and hospitality and am beginning to keep the books for the family. My father sends me out to help homeschool families, mentor young girls and share the Gospel with Hispanic women. Vision Forum’s Father-Daughter Retreat and a recent visit to the —– family’s home and Grace Family Baptist Church in Houston sharpened my vision and joined me to like-minded people. If you are a newly returned daughter or if you want to be but you are afraid—don’t be. Have faith in God; He is able to do exceeding abundantly more than you could ever think or imagine.

Evangeline McNiel (r)



A Wonderful Testimony

Dear Anna Sofia & Elizabeth,

I have been greatly blessed through your book, So Much More, and your film, Return of the Daughters. Thank you so much for being willing to combat the evil philosophies of today, and speak to women about their biblical roles.

Here is my story:

I was a rebellious teenager. At ages 13-15, all I could think of was having fun, being cool, and catching boys’ attention. My mother continuously prayed for a change of heart it me, but I was determined to run my own life and do what I pleased. I often got angry with my mother for trying to steer me in the right direction, and would many times try her patience to the limit. I also didn’t have a good relationship with my father. I often mocked him, and pushed him aside. I was always jealous of my two brothers; I would use my jealousy to justify my actions against my family.

Then, the Lord began to work in my heart. My family attended the Jamestown Quadricenntenial put on by Vision Forum in 2007. While there, my father bought me your book, So Much More. I really wasn’t planning on reading it, but on the trip back home, I opened it up and started reading. I couldn’t put it down! I was fascinated by the testimonies of the young women, and the biblical truths in the book. I began to feel convicted by the way I treated my family, especially my father. I started to get things right with my father, my mother and I started having a wonderful relationship, and I stopped being jealous of my brothers. Our family was finally getting along! My parents bought me Return of the Daughters for Christmas that year, and again I was inspired to be the young woman God had created me to be. The Lord was doing a marvelous work in me. Little did I know what blessings He had in store for me in 2008.

My father and I became really close in the early months of ’08. We’d go for hour long walks and just enjoy time spent together. My mom and I were becoming friends, and my brothers and I were getting along splendidly. Then, in May, our pastor’s eldest son asked my father for permission to court me. My father “grilled” him intensely, and gave his permission. We both knew that the Lord was bringing us together, so B. wasted no time in getting my dad’s blessing to marry me! (We courted for 23 days before B. asked me to marry him!) We were married on August 23, 2008, under a tent in my parents’ backyard, surrounded by family and friends.

As of now, we have been happily married for about 8 months, and we are expecting our first child in July! The Lord has showered His blessings on me! If He hadn’t prompted me to read your book, I probably wouldn’t have started to change. The clear message of embracing my God-given role as a daughter, then as a wife and mother, tugged at my heart. I turned from the world and returned to my Savior.

Thank you, again, for your book and film. I look forward to teaching my daughters about their roles, and watching them go from our home to their husbands’ homes.

May the Lord God bless you both for your faithfulness to Him.

In Christ,