Monday, October 7, 2013

TOS Review: Homeschool Mom's Bible

A girl can’t have too many Bibles. Being married to a minister means that there is a Bible laying around the house for about every occasion and translation. And it means that none of the Bibles I have for personal use are safe. At any moment the one I am currently reading out of could be used for study purposes that are not my own. It’s a hazard of the job. 

However, I now have a Bible that I’m almost certain won’t show up as part of “someone’s” Sunday Evening Bible Study.  Though one never knows. 

The Bible of which I speak is the new Homeschool Mom’s Bible. I recently had a chance to review this new Bible put out by Zondervan, a well-known Christian publishing company. 

What I Received

The Homeschool Mom’s Bible (I received the NIV) contains 365 devotions written by a homeschool mom, Janet Tatman. We homeschool moms have a special set of challenges and situations. Janet wrote these devotions to address the needs, frustrations, and concerns of homeschool moms everywhere. ‘

The Bible also contains a very encouraging foreword written by Vickie Farris, author of A Mom Just Like You. Vickie is also the wife of the HSLDA Founder, Michael Farris. 

In addition to the foreword, there are informative “About” sections featuring Alpha Omega Publications and Janet Tatman. 

Located in the back of the Bible is a very handy Topical Index. You can see that there are a number of subjects near and dear to the Homeschooler's heart. 

The Bible I received costs $34.99. It is a hardcover book with a paper cover. There is also a leather edition available. The translations for this Bible include the NIV version or the KJV.

How I Used It

I can remember thumbing through my Grandmother’s Bible. Tucked between the well-loved pages were funeral programs, funnies she had clipped from the Sunday Paper and other mementos from special occasions. She also had a few older church bulletins in which she had scribbled an occasional note to whatever family member was seated beside her during church. When she passed away, I found a “conversation” between her and my mom. You could tell they were practically in hysterics when writing this note between them. Apparently, I was upset at my mom for something (I was 15…it could have been anything) and they were having quite the time “bemoaning” my misfortunes.  I am sure I would have been appalled to read the interaction when I was 15, but when I was 18 and had just lost my strong and independent Grandmother suddenly, her words made me cry and laugh…I missed her so much. 

My husband’s Bible chronicles his Spiritual journey at any given moment in his life. He is of the “note taking” persuasion. The Bibles he has had throughout our married life have been filled with thoughts, Sermon ideas and earnest prayers filling the margins of every page. And he is the only one I have ever known to actually use the note taking pages located in the back of some Bibles for actually note taking. 

I personally believe the Bible needs to be a constant and faithful companion in every Christian’s life. Never mind that it is a living and breathing Word of God. Instead of a family heirloom that records the comings and goings from this life, a Bible should be the center of a family’s soul. I don’t take for granted the absolute privilege it is to be able to have a Bible for almost every occasion. There are those in our world who would treasure a just a single page. 

That being said, I feel just blessed to be able to add the Homeschool Mom’s Bible to my collection of well-loved Bibles.  I used the Homeschool Mom’s Bible as a daily devotional as well as my daily Bible Reading. The devotions are dated so I simply followed along with the calendar. Obviously, the unique nature of the devotions (all geared to Homeschool Mom’s) made this Bible one I picked up time and time again. 

One of the more memorable devotions for me was entitled “Pillow Talk.” It happened on September 25.  

I was feeling exceptional overwhelmed with my “To Do” list. I was also feeling like I was focusing too much on how much schoolwork Josiah was getting done and not the substance of what he was learning. But how did I change in midstream? I was overwhelmed with the thought of giving up control. 

In “Pillow Talk,” Janet encourages Homeschool Moms to open up our hearts and minds to God’s wisdom and just to rest in those spontaneous moments.  I was so encouraged. Who else but a homeschool mom knows about those issues specific to homeschool moms? I also felt a bit of a correction. I had been so wrapped up in my schedule and need to get things done; that I wasn’t taking advantage of the wonderfully special moments that can happen in homeschooling. And (the most painful of all) I hadn’t stopped and asked for God’s wisdom and strength. I was trying to do it on my own (again!)

A feature I found to be helpful was the topical index in the back. Depending on what one is going through at the time, I could simply look in the back at the Topical Index and find a relevant devotion. 
One day I was procrastinating (actually that is not a new thing). I was procrastinating because I was struggling with one of Josiah’s lessons. When things get tough for him, my first reaction is to put it off for another day. I don’t want to overwhelm him. I don’t want to fight. I dread introducing lessons that I know will be difficult for him. 

I really, really needed some extra motivation (and no…a new pair of shoes is not the motivation I had in mind). I utilized the topical index in my Homeschool Moms Bible and looked up Struggles. One of the devotions listed was called “It’s Too Hard!” I’m sure we’ve all heard that before. I’ve said it! The devotion encouraged me to break the lesson down into small parts (how practical!) and then reminded me of Joshua. Joshua had an almost impossible task put before him. Despite the difficulty, Joshua was faithful and God gave the Israelites the victory. I was reminded that I am not alone in this homeschool journey. God is on my side! 

As I mentioned, I also used this Bible for my daily reading. Now for those of you who like to really dig in and study this Bible won’t meet all of your one stop Study needs. There is little in the way of extra study resources.  This didn’t bother me as much as it might some. It probably will dissuade my Bible Scholar husband from using it as a resource :<). It’s the little things. 

I think that overall any Christian Homeschool Mom will be blessed with this Bible. The devotions were such a blessing. I felt like the author had such incredible insight and wisdom. 

You can also see for yourself that the Bible is just plain cute. I love cute. Cute goes along way with me. 

Other member of The Crew reviewed this Bible and the KJV version as well. Go see what they thought!


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