Zondervan: Homeschool Mom's Bible {Review}

By 11:42 AM

As a homeschooling wife and mother, I am constantly giving and trying to meet the needs of those who depend on me; definitely not perfect by any means!  Many days I feel as though I am being pulled in all directions-- giving to all, but myself.
But then I ask, "And just how do I do that?"  
How do I "fill up?"  


By tuning in to God's Word.  

Thankfully, the well known Christian publishing company, Zondervan has given homeschooling mothers a way to start anew, energize, and fill up their spirit.  They have taken NIV and KJV versions of the bible and added 365 devotionals meant to encourage and uplift the homeschooling mama in the Homeschool Mom's Bible.  It retails for $34.99.
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As a member of the SchoolHouse Review Crew, I was beyond thrilled to be able to review the Homeschool Mom's Bible {NIV}.  Just looking at the cover refreshes my spirit!  It is a sturdy hard cover book which includes a matching dust jacket.  I'm not a fan of dust jackets; it lasted for maybe 2 days and then I had to take it off.  Thankfully, the hardcover is the same image.  The turquoise and pink hues are right up my alley.  But aside from being pretty, it's full of encouraging words that hit straight to my heart.  

The daily devotionals are from Alpha Omega's Daily Focus devotionals and are spread throughout the Word of God.  The devotionals are short, sweet, and to the point.  They were written by a homeschooling mama, Janet Tatman-- someone who has been there, done that!   Janet Tatman, has been in the "trenches" before us; she has 25 years experience homeschooling her four children and brings encouragement and truth in each devotional meant to help us as we "carry on in [our] calling as a homeschooler."

The devotionals are dated with the month and day, but it is not necessary to read it that way.  Eager to be encouraged and wanting to stay "with the day," I started reading the devotionals in September.  Each devotional is titled, begins with a scripture verse, contains 3-4 paragraphs of reading, and ends with a short prayer.  You can obviously take as much time as you wish per devotional/ Bible Study time, but if you are short on time or need a quick refresher when the kids (or you) seem to be going bonkers, each devotional takes no more than 10-15 minutes to read through.  

The Bible also contains a Topical Index in the back so that you may look up devotionals by subject and/or person.  Topics range from clothing to deception to peace to strength.... Though, with an abundance of topics, I wish that it was broken up a bit differently.  Instead of alphabetical order, I would have liked all "subject" related devotionals listed separately from people of the Bible.  Thus, Nehemiah, Peter, Samson, etc. would be in a separate list.  

I loved that the devotionals were written by a fellow homeschooling mother-- who else could provide such encouragement and wisdom than someone who has already been in my shoes?!  Though we have different personalities, experiences, struggles-- we share a common bond in being committed to teaching and training our children.   And how interesting it was that I felt many of her devotionals were written just for me

On September 19th, I opened my Homeschool Mom's Bible to the devotional titled, "Broken Promises." This devotional pierced my heart as I realized I sometimes make promises I cannot keep, and though I many think "Oh, my son/ daughter will get over it," little did I realize that it only breaks their trust in me and my word.  Thankfully, I was given a chance to say a short prayer asking the Lord to help me weigh my words and honor my commitments.

On October 1st, the devotional was titled,"I Quit!" That day I was reminded that it isn't just my children being "schooled;" I am, too.  "God knows what he is doing. Both you and your children are being "schooled" at home. Together you will learn all the lessons of life he has prepared for you."  While my children are learning how to read, write, add/ subtract, I am taking continuing education classes in patience, forgiveness, and endurance.  It was a great reminder that homeschooling is much more than learning "stuff;" it's about building Christ-like characteristics, too.  
Mamas, do not grow weary in all of life's demands!  Find rest and check out what other crew member's have to say about this wonderful Bible for homeschooling mama's!

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