Two New Deals!
Posted February 12, 2013
Announcing the Reclaiming Beauty Study Course
Posted December 19, 2012
We’re delighted to announce the release of the Reclaiming Beauty Study Course! The response to our Reclaiming Beauty webinar was so tremendous that we’ve repackaged the recordings into a digital study course, which includes nine hours of video recordings (audio with image-rich power-point, plus Q&A) and a brand spanking new study guide, ideal for women’s study groups.
To be honest, we’re grateful the webinar is over. It was a fascinating glutton of time and energies that we’re now very happy to be able to devote to other things, like gearing up for future family projects and studying things that are not beauty-related. And taking a minute to organize our messy closet, like we told all our listeners to do theirs.
That said, we gained a huge amount from the experience of preparing and hosting this webinar. And most importantly to us, the webinar seems to be doing what we prayed it would: helping young women sort through the important, frustrating, confusing subject of personal image.
During the webinar, listeners signed up from all over the world, some getting up in the middle of the night to tune in. The flood of notes we received after each session, and are continuing to get, made the whole thing worth every moment of effort. Here are just a few, out of hundreds.
Finally, the help I need…thank you! — C
The webinar helped me to truly “reclaim” beauty. I felt inspired with every session! — J
There were so many times where we would say, “Wow! I’ve never thought of it that way before.” Our lives are changed (or should I say, changing) for the better – practically, physically, and most importantly, spiritually. — V
I loved how you brought everything back to Christ and the truth of His Word. — B
It is amazing how one topic can do so much to change a person’s life. … Before listening to this seminar, I would have such terrible anxiety about what I was going to wear and who I was, that it was affecting my health. I have been battling with Anorexia for 7 years and I can’t thank God enough for your obedience to Him and sharing the discoveries you have made in His word. …I no longer feel like I have no purpose, the suicidal grip Satan had on me has ceased, and my relationship with my family is beginning to blossom with healing. — S
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this! It is so refreshing to hear a well-balanced view on this subject- a view that is based upon the Word of God and a love for the Lord Jesus. — A
…listening to you both was very helpful, encouraging, exciting, fun, freeing, enlightening, insightful, thought-provoking, action-provoking… It produced growth in all of us and it was a huge blessing! — V
After each session, we were amazed by the number of questions we hadn’t considered and the answers so graciously and persuasively presented from Scripture. …Your presentation was carefully researched, fiercely loyal to Scripture and yet gently and winsomely communicated, practical to everyday use and eminently vital for the cultural transformation of the world. — K, E, and A
“I encourage you to check it out because I have experienced myself what these ladies live and breath, what beauty shines forth from them.” (R.C. Sproul, Jr.)
“My daughters and I have heard the Botkin girls many times and we are always improved in our thinking as a result. I commend this experience to all those who would like to grow in their understanding of this important subject.” (Scott Brown)
Session One Finished and Available!
Posted September 28, 2012
Praise the Lord for giving us a successful first session to the Reclaiming Beauty webinar. And our very warm thanks to all of you who joined us on Tuesday night!
For those of you who didn’t, we’ve decided to make the recording of this one session available to everyone free of charge. Go here to download the session, and here if you’d like to sign up for the rest of the webinar. There are six more episodes to come!
Reclaiming Beauty: A Webinar
Posted August 8, 2012
A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body
What is beauty?
Some say beauty fits in a size 0. Some say beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Some say beauty is only skin deep. Some say beauty is only a quality of the heart. Some say beauty is truth. Some say beauty is a lie. Some say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some say beauty is as beauty does. Some say Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly are beautiful. Some say everyone is beautiful. Some say beauty is divine. Some say beauty is corrupting.
From all this confusion, one idea emerges clearly: The world knows beauty matters. They talk a lot about it, write poetry and paint paintings celebrating it, and spend $160 billion dollars a year on it. But what’s equally clear is that they don’t know what it is. The question is: Do we?
Today’s young Christian women have grown up in the most image-obsessed generation in history, a generation that worships some of the most twisted ideals of beauty the world has ever seen. But whether we love them or hate them… they tend to shape our own perceptions of what beauty is. Some of us accept its ideals, and struggle to fit into its mold – others of us are repulsed by it, concluding that physical beauty itself is immodest, worldly, and unspiritual, and reject the realm of beautification completely. But when all we’ve ever seen is the counterfeit the world offers, we can sometimes forget that the world did not create beauty – God did. And though we all know the world has a lot to say about image, we sometimes don’t realize how much God does too.
It’s time to reclaim beauty. For thousands of years, believers, pagans, Gnostics, Humanists, Neo-Platonists, iconoclasts, and creators of culture have battled over this critical turf called “beauty.” Today, we have only to look at who designs the fashions, markets the beauty icons, rules the red carpet, adorns magazine covers, crowns Miss America, and designs clothes-and-makeup advertisements, to know who is currently holding the turf.
It’s time to take beauty back. When faced with an industry that runs on photoshop airbrushing, plastic surgery, starvation diets, grotesque catwalk styles, and billions of squandered dollars, our response can no longer be, “Beauty is not for us.” It’s time for our response to be, “Get your flag out of our ground.” It’s time for us to be a light in a culture that uses beauty as a weapon against God. It’s time for God’s ambassadors to make His principles – such as modesty and femininity – look as beautiful as they really are. It’s time for us to show the world: Ugliness is not beauty. Emaciation is not beauty. Androgyny is not beauty. Immodesty is not beauty. Unnatural distortion is not beauty. From Genesis to Revelation, God paints a different picture of the inner and outer beauty of a woman, and it’s time to show the world what it really looks like – one soul, one body, one face, one closet at a time.
A Webinar on Reclaiming Beauty
with Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin
This fall, the authors of So Much More and It’s (Not That) Complicated and producers of “Return of the Daughters” are launching an intensely practical, image-rich, 7-week webinar on the meaning and cultivation of beauty from the inside out. Join sisters Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin as they dive into Scripture for the answers to an issue of great importance and frustration to young women: personal image.
Is it OK to look pretty? Wear makeup and jewelry? Put effort into my clothes? Take care of my body? Do I have to care about how I look? Where can I find modest, classy clothes without spending a fortune? What should my attitude be toward the latest fashions? How do I figure out what looks good on me? What is appropriate to wear when? What in the world do I do with my hair?
“Reclaiming Beauty: A New Look at How to Glorify God in Your Body” will cover topics ranging from such practical issues as skincare, fitness, posture, voice, modesty, home-made beauty products, and color analysis… to subjects as penetrating as personal identity, insecurity, comparisons, worldliness, vanity, idolatry, our attitude toward others, and the state of our hearts before the Lord.
- What it means to represent the Lord as His ambassadors to the world
- Where true beauty starts
- What the Bible says about beautification and adornment
- How we should respond to the world’s idea of beauty
- The history and philosophy behind the most popular garments
- The proper priority-level of beauty in the Christian’s life
- The biblical relationship between the physical and the spiritual
- What it means to be separate from the world
- What we can learn from the beauty industry
- What the beauty industry has gotten wrong
Get practical tips on:
- Clothing yourself better for a lot less money
- Making modesty and femininity look excellent instead of frumpy
- Making off-the-rack clothes modest
- Putting together great outfits with what you already had in your closet
- Using makeup tastefully
- Giving sloppy garments new life with minimum alterations
- Cultivating taste and style
- Getting out of a fashion rut
- Creating a minimum-time-and-effort plan for looking nice every day
A Webinar That’s Not Just Skin Deep
Webinar sessions will run every Tuesday evening, 7-8 PM Central Time, from September 25 to November 13 (excluding October 30). The seven sessions include:
#1. What God Says About Beauty and Beautification
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
#2: What Style Is Your Heart, Mind, and Soul?
Pardon Me, Ma’am, But Your True Identity is Showing
#3. Getting Your Temple in Order
The Physical Foundations of Beauty
#4. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
How to Work with the Build, Coloring, and Natural Beauty God Gave You
#5: Putting Things Together
Composition, Style, Occasion, Accessories
#6: Acquiring New Pieces (and Revitalizing Old Ones)
How to Get What You Need with Minimum Time, Money, and Fuss
#7: The Focal Point
Being a Good Steward of Your Face and Hair
The webinar registration fee is $44 per family. It is recommended for young women 12 and up, although parents are encouraged to listen with their daughters.
Click Here to Register
Starting out as aesthetic ascetics and determined frumps who were clueless about beauty and fashion, Anna Sofia and Elizabeth have had to build their understanding of beauty from the biblical foundation up (a work still in progress). They have no beauty certifications whatsoever, though they do have experience dressing for everything from speaking engagements to political events to concert harp performances to good old dirty work around the farm, and each get everything they need (clothes, shoes, hair care, accessories, cosmetics, etc.) for around $130 a year. They’re also interested in reclaiming the biblical family, film, art, music, and politics, and work with their family’s ministry, Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences.
What Will You Read this Year?
Posted January 13, 2012
Our friend Howard Phillips has often quoted to us the maxim, “You will be the same person each year except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
This concept had a pretty big effect on both of us. Obviously, we don’t want to be the same people this year that we were last year. This is why we’re beginning this year (as we do most every year) by plotting out some major goals for ourselves, including relationships we want to develop and books we want to read.
As we both change and grow each year, the books we read and appreciate change each year as well. We both grew up loving to read, and voraciously devoured all books of all ilks and genres. Some we loved. Some we hated. Some we loved and shouldn’t have. Some we hated for bad reasons. Some we positively binged on. Some we tasted and spat out. And along the way, we’ve realized that girls’ natural literary tastes cannot always be trusted.
Last year we revisited some of these beloved and be-hated books from our childhoods and did a brief study on women’s most popular literary choices, and then put together a message for a conference we were speaking at. We titled it, “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, and romance. In this audio message, we attempted to analyze authors from Jane Austen to Janette Oke to Stephanie Meyer, and lay out the basics of a healthy literary diet. (Click here for more information.)
Well, to celebrate this whole new year we all have been given to read books, study, and nourish the little gray cells, we wanted to give a copy of this message away to one of you! To enter the draw, simply write to us (damselsATvisionarydaughtersDOTcom) and tell us three books you’d really like to read this year. Giveaway ends January 20. (By the way, congratulations to Brielle, winner of a copy of It’s (Not That) Complicated ! We pray the book will be an encouragement to you.)
And just for fun, we’re going to give you a peek at all the great cover ideas schemed up by our sibling design team. We liked them all so much it was hard to choose a winner. Which one do you like best? You can enter the giveaway a second time by writing and telling us your immediate reactions to each cover (e.g. #1 is the most punchy, #4 gave me the willies, etc.). We’d love to hear your thoughts!
What will you be reading this year?
It’s (Not That) Complicated: Table of Contents
Posted October 25, 2011
To provide a little taste of what’s inside the pages of It’s (Not That) Complicated, we thought we’d share the table of contents with you all. We’ll be posting more excerpts and updates as we near our November 1st release date, so check back with us soon!
Coming Soon: It’s (Not That) Complicated!
Posted October 20, 2011
We’re excited to announce that our new book, It’s (Not That) Complicated: How to Relate to Guys in a Healthy, Sane, and Biblical Way, will be released on November 1st! Many thanks to all of you who wrote us with your ideas and questions; we wanted this book to be as timely and practical as possible, and we couldn’t have written it without your help.
Stay tuned – we’ll be posting updates, sneak peaks, and bonus features over the next couple of weeks!
Our Egyptian Adventure
Posted October 14, 2011
Many of you may be waiting to hear an update on our newest book project… and you will… soon. But first we want to tell you about an adventurous endeavor that we undertook with our brother Isaac, and are now ready to unveil.
Navigating History: Egypt — more information here
Several months ago, Isaac (with Dad’s blessing and encouragement) conceived and developed a vision for a six-episode series about Egypt that would take viewers from the top of the mountains surrounding the Valley of the Kings into the tombs under the pyramids. His goal was to take a team with cameras to explore the darkest and most secret parts of Egypt’s history and illuminate them with the light of Scripture.
But Isaac wasn’t about to have all the fun without us. He brought us on board at the beginning to help make his vision a reality. Though we didn’t get to be on the trip this time, this was our part of the adventure: We got to help man Mission Control and the snazzy project website while he and his team were on the ground in Egypt.
Anna Sofia and the not-yet-Nadia-Botkin editing B-roll images
No, we didn’t get to have the boots-on-the-ground experience of actually being there and seeing and touching Egypt. But we were enjoying plenty of action on the home-front with our family; doing things we had never done before and had no idea how to do. For example, we had to learn Photoshop and basic HTML, and had to write briefings for the team on subjects like Islamic architecture and ancient Egyptian medicine.
Elizabeth and Nawelle hashing out website details
All of us had to work around the clock, marketing, managing the live broadcasts, writing articles and designing headers. And then, when he got home, the real work began – writing content for the 220-page companion book, on everything from biblical chronology to French mysticism to Shariah law to pagan death rituals to evolutionary history-revision to pyramid-building-theories (in which we discovered that aliens didn’t do it).
Anna Sofia does hands-on research on Egyptian heiroglyphs
We didn’t do this because we believed we had a biblical duty to submit to Isaac, or to be his junior helpmeets. We also didn’t do it because we particularly (initially) cared about proving that aliens didn’t build the pyramids. We did this because we particularly cared about Isaac. Isaac was about to take a big step, a bold risk, a fearless stand, and we didn’t want to miss that for the world! If Isaac was going to stand inside a mosque and call Muhammed a false prophet, and denounce Statism in front of the giant pillars at Karnak, we, for one, wanted to be on his home team. It was our way of saying to him, “We think what you’re doing is important – we think it’s important enough to put our money where our mouths are.” And we did it because our time of being with Isaac, and available to help him, won’t last forever.
Sending the Navigating History team off to Egypt with prayer.
It was an experience we wouldn’t have traded for anything. We discovered a whole new world of ideas and broadened our intellectual horizons. We learned that sisterly duties don’t have to be limited to domestic things, far removed from what the boys are doing. We discovered how much fun it is to be part of a man’s world, even if it means taking the plunge into finding world politics as fascinating as they do.
Multi-tasking: Elizabeth compares notes with Isaac on Islam’s view of women over dinner prep.
Most importantly, though, we became much closer to Isaac; and we helped him accomplish his dream, making big strides as a dominion man and disciplemaker.
(And we ended up having enough time left over to still be able to write our upcoming book about relationships with boys. But more news on that soon. Stay tuned!)
We’re Writing Another Book
Posted July 6, 2011
It’s been over five years since we released So Much More, and since then, we’ve seen much, heard much, done much, and learned much. And we’ve decided it’s time to write another book. The topic, this time, is relationships with boys. What we need now is for you, dear readers, to give us your feedback! What information would you most like to see in a book on this topic? What questions would you most like answered?
What do you think are the biggest issues girls deal with regarding young men?
Their biggest questions about proper guy-girl interaction?
Their biggest fears regarding relationships, marriage, and singleness?
Things they’ve always wanted to know about the young man’s perspective?
The most complicated relationship situations they face?
What lessons have you learned that you would most like other girls to hear about?
Please send your feedback on any or all of these questions to us at damselsATvisionarydaughtersDOTcom.
We’re eager to hear from you soon! This is an exciting project, and your help with it will be invaluable.
Our Favorite Married Couples Speak On Marrying Well
Posted June 28, 2011
Over the past year and a half we have had the privilege of watching two of our brothers humbly and prayerfully consider the decision to marry their future brides. Their examples have taught us a lot about discerning the Lord’s will and studying Scripture for answers to the many questions that surface along the way. We’re excited to announce that our father, Geoffrey Botkin, and our dear mother Victoria will be joining David & Nadia and Ben & Audri for a five-week webinar discussing marriage–and the challenges and joys of getting there. Find out more at westernconservatory.com!
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