It's (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
Testimony from the Antipodes
Posted October 31, 2008
Here is a wonderfully encouraging testimony we recently received from a young lady in Australia. It reminds us that the efforts of one faithful daughter can make a huge impact on her family, and that God can bring incredible blessings through any situation, no matter how dark. The faith, optimism and joy expressed throughout this story should shame any of us who are tempted to lose hope in our situations.
Dear Anna Sofia & Elizabeth,
I just want to say a big thank you for the articles that you have posted on visionarydaughters.com, and for the amazing DVD “The Return of the Daughters”. Both have been a real encouragement to me, since I was introduced to them earlier this year.
Over the last several years, I have been through a real transformation in the way that I think and perceive life. I became a Christian four years ago (at the age of 15) – saved from a life riddled with rebellion against God, my parents and my Christian school. Since then I have been on an amazing journey with God, and He has taught me much.
The point of this email though, is to tell you how amazed I am at the way God appears to be moving in the hearts of daughters around the world. I grew up in a “super-church” in Melbourne, Australia. Just over a year ago, I had never even heard of the concept of “help-meet”; had no knowledge of the authority of the father in the home (my mother seemed to have more authority than my father…!), had barely heard of “submission” and what that really entailed, and was generally completely unaware that I was a real feminist-at-heart.
At school I was considered to be very intelligent, and was constantly praised by teachers, friends, my family, church leaders etc. Everyone seemed to have a different idea of what I should be in life – all of them involving a career of some sort. My chem/biology teachers encouraged me to become a doctor; my history teacher a historian; my English teacher a writer and the list goes on. But I was bored. In 2006 (the year I graduated from school), I read practically every course description on every major university’s website, and balked at the thought of every single one of them. They just didn’t seem to suit who I was – I wanted adventure, variety, something different… I just didn’t know what different was!
After getting the dux of the college, there was no question in my mind that I would be going to university. In fact, there never had been. But what to do? After much prayer, stress and anxiety I finally signed up for a Law degree in one of Australia’s most prestigious universities. I got in, but felt so uncomfortable about it that I deferred for the year and did a year of Bible college with my church instead. I now see that the Lord was strongly guiding my path.
During that year of Bible college, I was struggling to pay my fees. I had a job, but it wasn’t earning me the kind of money I needed to be able to pay my way through. Every time I prayed about the issue, a thought would come to my mind: I should work for my Dad (who owned and operated his own business)! I would constantly dismiss the thought, knowing that Dad had little money to spare and that time taken to help him would mean even less opportunity to earn money for myself.
One day however, I opened my Bible and it fell open to a verse in Proverbs. Here was the verse, staring me in the face (I had never noticed that verse before): “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.” I instantly knew that, in obedience to God, I had to help my father in his business, regardless of the cost. I knew from Matthew 5 that the Lord would provide me with whatever I needed, and that I should not worry. So I approached my Dad about helping him one day a week – which was all I could fit into my very busy schedule (and even that was a stretch…!).
I am so glad that I did. Obedience to God is one of the most wonderful, rewarding things one can do. Here are some of the things that happened:
1) I was able to pay all of my Bible college fees (through a small amount that Dad could pay me each week, plus receiving donations from people and getting enough work with my other job)
2) The work that I did for my Dad encouraged, inspired and motivated him so much that the business rapidly turned around (he had been doing it tough for ages). Dad felt so released by the feeling of having someone to support him that he was able to get more sales, and became much more excited and motivated about his business that he had in any preceding year. And with my help (in sales, admin, project management etc.), we were able to get a lot more done as well. One example that nearly makes me cry everytime I think about it is an expo that Dad and I attended together. The year before, Dad had exhibited there, and had felt so discouraged that he very nearly didn’t go back. He didn’t get a single client there. However, I encouraged him to go and so we went together. With God’s great blessing, we picked up more clients and potential clients that day than I think Dad ever had before in his life!! God is so good!
3) Dad also felt hugely encouraged by having someone in the family not fighting against him, but fighting with him. The majority of my family complained bitterly about his desire to run his own business – we had much more money when he just had a normal job! But I really believed in his vision, and didn’t mind not having much, and I think that meant a lot to him.
4) This is probably the most exciting and rewarding one for me: in March last year I met my (now) husband at a Business breakfast I attended with my Dad. It is a long story, but to cut it short, one of the things that attracted him to me was my support of my father, his business and his vision. My husband Jonathan runs his own business too, and he wanted a woman who would work with him. Jonathan introduced me to the concept of “help meet,” taught me about submission through the Bible, about a father’s authority and the list goes on. He introduced me to the concept of homeschooling and home-making etc. etc. I felt like my eyes had been opened! I felt so excited about the possibility of living a life that I had never even been aware that I could live!
Jonathan and I were betrothed on November 24 last year with my parents’ blessing. I happily turned down my law degree (against the wishes of almost everyone I knew except my father and my husband). We were married April 19 this year, and the last six months have been some of the most blissful in my life! I am working full-time with my husband, am NEVER bored, have variety in my work beyond what I could imagine, absolutely LOVE working in the business, working in the kitchen, and doing as many things as I can to benefit my husband. Most of the people I know say that I am “wasting my life” – but I can’t help but be incredibly joyful at the way the Lord has opened my eyes and introduced me to a most fulfilling life!
Anyway, in February this year I watched the DVD you created. By the end of it I sat there in my chair with tears in my eyes – here I was, obeying the Lord, having been completely oblivious to the fact that there was a whole movement of daughters doing the same thing! It was the most wonderful realisation.
Anyway, I have now shown your DVD to one of my friends, and plan to show it to many others. I think it is a message that needs to be heard!
May the Lord richly bless you both,
Q&A Regarding our Position on Sarah Palin
Posted October 19, 2008
Q: Isn’t it a good thing that feminism is becoming more conservative?
A: We actually see this new “conservative” face of feminism as a very dangerous development. We cannot redeem a movement that was conceived in rebellion against God and His design. Feminism certainly comes in several different flavors, but at its core, its message is this: Women have the right to decide for themselves what is right and wrong for them. Since the Garden of Eden, feministic women have valiantly fought for the right to get their own way, and each woman’s only standard is What She Wants –- what is “right in [her] own eyes” (Judges 21:25). This is why the feminist movement is so splintered, schizophrenic and inconsistent, even on the candidacy of Sarah Palin. This is also why “Christian” feminism is an oxymoron.
When feminism becomes more “conservative,” it becomes more insidious. Modern feminism at its roots is socialist and anti-family, and that can’t be changed by painting conservative values on top. We believe “conservative” feminism will seduce and destroy more women (and their families) than radical feminism. What we’re seeing is not feminism becoming more conservative — it’s conservatism becoming more feminist.
We should be warning girls away from feminism before it devastates their lives, rather than “baptizing” it to make it look family-friendly and righteous.
Q: Why do you target Sarah Palin, when there are other much more liberal woman leaders in the world, such as Hillary Clinton?
A: We believe Sarah Palin’s example poses a more serious threat to Christian womanhood than more liberal feminist icons such as Hillary Clinton. These are strong words, but hear us out. We can expect the enemies of God to act in flagrant opposition to Him, and we don’t see many conservative Christian girls seduced by their example. But when we see professing Christians act in flagrant opposition to Him (or His created order), and fellow Christians cheer them on and call them role models, we are more compelled to hold the line. We believe Sarah Palin’s feminism is more insidious, because it is so attractive to conservative Christians. Unlike the angry, man-hating, radical feminist vanguard of yesteryear, the new feminist Face is beautiful, feminine, and maternal – but it is also statist and egalitarian. Many Christians are too star-struck to notice Mrs. Palin’s record of feminist, socialist policies and compromises, or the fact that she is biblically unqualified to hold this office.
Sarah Palin’s “conservative” brand of feminism could do far more for the radical-left feminist cause than their own camp. The Left tells young women that it is acceptable to neglect children and family. Palin’s example tells young women that it can be conservative and “Christian” to neglect children and family. Her example also subverts gender roles. Despite Todd Palin’s traditional, manly-man image and Sarah’s traditional, womanly one, we believe they are undermining biblical marriage relationships and gender roles with their spotlight examples as Mrs. Civil Leader and Mr. Mom. The message of this possible First Family: men and women are interchangeable. And as Christ’s Bride, under His headship, this is something the Church must stand against.
Q: Do you believe God can never work through a woman civil leader?
A: God can “work through” any vessel he appoints for any specific purpose. He has used a variety of women rulers, from Jezebel to Margaret Thatcher, for His unique and different purposes.
We know God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11) — He raises up (Daniel 4:17) and puts down (Daniel 4:25-33) civil rulers of all kinds to accomplish His purpose for His people (Romans 8:28). God worked through Pharaoh. God worked through Nebuchadnezzar. Voting, however, for Pharaoh or Nebuchadnezzar for president would clearly violate the standards God gave us for choosing civil magistrates — which we believe is also the case for voting the McCain/Palin ticket. The question we should ask is not “What could God do?” but “What has God commanded us to do?” Deuteronomy 29:29 declares: “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
We do not need to be afraid of the consequences of our obedience. We should be afraid, rather, of disobedience, especially the kind of disobedience that justifies pragmatism over principle. God does not need our votes to micro-manage the situation in our nation. He expects and deserves our obedience to principle in every area of life, through which He then manages our national affairs with peace and blessing.
Q: Isn’t a vote for anyone other than McCain/Palin a wasted vote?
A: No. We waste our vote when we vote in panic, in fear of something other than God. When we vote with the expectation that God sees the obedience in our decision, our vote is never wasted.
We must answer to God for every vote we cast. Our vote is not an idle pronouncement. It may be private, but God knows precisely what we have done and why we have done it. Our vote reveals the essence of our faith or our unbelief, and we will be held accountable for our vote. If we vote for McCain/Palin, we clearly violate biblical standards, endorse a clearly unqualified administration, and invite clearly-written Biblical sanctions on ourselves and on our country. Disobeying Scripture is never the way to attempt to fix our imperiled nation, even if it seems like a responsible emergency solution. Our chief concern should be Who is on the Throne, rather than who is in the White House. Our modus operandi should start with sincere and more consistent, biblical obedience in our own lives, homes, and churches. Our strategy for national reformation needs to begin with the understanding that America’s problems cannot be fixed in one election or one presidential term – we need to look at the present crisis in the context of the past and the future. It was the compromises of Christians decades ago that brought us where we are today; we must consider the consequences our voting compromises today may have long after this election is over, when our children will have to reap what we have sown.
God is stronger than the evils that can be caused by the unprincipled conduct of Obama or McCain. If we remember this, we won’t be afraid of voting on principle — we will be afraid of voting any other way.
In the spirit of the Deuteronomy verse we quoted before, we need not worry about the “secret things” which belong to the Lord, but instead the “things which are revealed.” The marvelous works which God has ordained in the future are hidden in His inscrutable counsel, but He has given to us and our children a sure Word which we are called to obey. We are to “do all the words of this law” — this same law which commands us to choose only qualified men to hold civil office.
It’s Here: Father To Son — The DVD Release
Posted October 10, 2008
The Botkin family is pleased to make available one of our most significant products ever: a 6-part DVD series on the father-son relationship, titled “Father to Son: Manly Conversations that can Change Culture.” Click below to watch the trailer:
Fathers need to talk to their sons in manly and specific ways about the duties of Christian fatherhood. This series of informal conversations between Geoffrey Botkin and his five sons provides fathers and future fathers with a simple example of manly discussion about the pressing issues that weigh on young minds. Each of the five episodes tackles an age-appropriate discipline of manhood and how it is developed side by side with fathers.
The set also includes the bonus DVD “How to Talk to Your Sons” and over one hundred pages of discussion material and study guides in easily-printable PDF files.
Go to FirstPacificMedia.com to order now, and take advantage of our special introductory price of $60 (save $10)!
Jennie Chancey on “Curriculum Advice”
Posted October 8, 2008
From Jennie Chancey’s review of our mother’s two new CDs of homeschooling advice — “At Last: The Missing Link in Home Education Is Here!”
A lot of moms I meet wish they had older mentors who could guide them as they take baby steps into home education–or who could give them a reality check a few years into the journey. For them such a mentor is the “missing link” in home education and child training. I’ve been blessed to have my mother, my mother-in-law, and one other lady whose influence had a profound impact on both my husband and me when we were newlyweds just beginning this journey of parenthood: Victoria Botkin.
Matt and I first met the Botkin family shortly after our honeymoon, as we sat starry-eyed on a pew at church. The Botkins lived 45 minutes away from us and invited us over for a meal, then another, then more and still more until they moved away two and a half years later. We got far more than food. We experienced a spiritual and intellectual feast that gave us even greater clarity of vision for our goals as a couple and as a growing family. The Botkin home became legend and still lives in our memories, colored by the warmth of their fellowship and the depths of their conversation.
I’ve often looked back on the times we spent in the Botkin home and wished I had copies of our conversations on tap so I could replay them whenever I needed a boost or a shot in the arm of practical “how-to.” Well, now I’ve got exactly that, and you can get it, too!
Yesterday evening I received previews of two new messages Victoria has recorded for home educating mothers (augmented by sections recorded by her husband and children). Titled simply “Curriculum Advice,” these two messages are absolutely chock-full of practical, simple, breathe-easy guidance to help you create an atmosphere of learning in your home and lead your children to read, think, and communicate. Victoria explains things so clearly that you might begin to think, “This sounds too simple.” Don’t be deceived: It is simple. While training and teaching children is a lot of work and requires a great deal of sacrifice, it does not have to be stressful or difficult. Victoria demonstrates that we make it so when we load ourselves and our children down with textbooks and “methods” that we haven’t carefully examined or sifted through.
Be sure to read the whole review here.
Jennie is also sponsoring a giveaway of these messages — you’ll find the details in the full review.
Curriculum Advice from Victoria Botkin: CD release
Posted October 7, 2008
After much demand, our dear mother has just produced two CDs containing her top homeschooling tips. For the last 20 years Mother has been ministering to young homeschooling mommies around the world, giving them confidence, enthusiasm, and a vision for the importance of their labors. Now, for the first time, her pearls of wisdom are available to all.
VOLUME 1, Ages 3-8
Homeschooling. Lots of families have done it. But can you do it? How hard is it? What does it actually look like? How do you know if you’re on the right track for success?
Victoria Botkin has seven well-educated children who love home education and who plan to continue the tradition when they have children of their own. This inspiring home educator will tell you how you can teach your child at home successfully, inexpensively, calmly, and with the powerful confidence that you are doing the right thing before God. Her curriculum advice will motivate you and change your life.
Young mothers will not only gain countless practical ideas, but confidence, enthusiasm, and a vision for the importance of their labors.
Developing the right attitude
Inspiring them with creativity
Turning your home into an incubator of curiosity, exploration and discovery
And much more!
VOLUME 2, Ages 8-14
Curriculum catalogs tell homeschooling parents to choose from a confusing array of 25,000 products. Government educators say, “Don’t even try homeschooling unless you use our multi-million dollar curriculum.” Then there is Victoria Botkin.
Her advice will help you relax and enjoy the high calling of motherhood. This successful home educator discloses the wisdom needed to educate children 8-14 at home. As an added bonus, you will hear from her seven well-educated children. If you want to combine a godly home life with high academic standards, listen carefully to these CDs.
Guiding children into character, maturity and integrity
How children can take responsibility for their own education
Teaching children to love writing
How to use the media
Helping your child develop a vision for the future
Recognizing and encouraging your children’s gifts
Teaching life skills
And much more!
Go to FirstPacificMedia.com to purchase these messages today! These messages are also available as $8 digital downloads.