As a homeschool mom blogger, it seems that at the beginning of every year, I begin a blog post by saying that it has been a tough year. Or if I don’t actually write that, I at least think it and perhaps even speak it out loud to someone sitting close by. It really has been a tough year. I’ve struggle healthwise, in my marriage, and in parenting. Because of all that, I’ve also struggled in my walk with Christ. This is not how I want to begin 2016, and it surely is not how I plan to end it.
If you’re anything like me, a couple of things happen at the start of the new year:
You think about the past year.
And you think about the past semester.
We all know that as homeschool moms, pretty much everything intertwines — our goals, dreams, plans, actions, regrets . . . and because of this fact, as I contemplate the upcoming months, I struggle to separate out my different roles as homeschool teacher, mom, wife, homemaker, and blogger (WAHM).
I usually begin my new year by doing 3 things:
- Prayerfully choosing my one word for the year, hoping it will serve a grand purpose in all areas
- Begin creating a book list, because I am often inspired, encouraged, and fed by the writings of others, and
- Taking a look at what is and isn’t working with Ben in our homeschool
This year, I am working hard toward addressing all of my roles separately, while remaining connected to them all daily. This is much trickier than it sounds. I am easily consumed by one role or another, to the detriment of all else. For the past few years, it has been my work life that has received much (most) of my attention as I have worked to build a blogging business.
Frequently, someone (usually another blogger or homeschool mom) will speak these words to me: “I don’t know how you do it all!” Truth is . . . I don’t do it all. I don’t even do most all of what I need to be doing. They assume I am doing everything I should be doing, plus everything they see me doing. It’s all just a smokescreen, friends. I am so broken in this area.
I have already put stops into place to rectify past mistakes, but there is still much work to be done to heal relationships and get my home back into order.
As I beg Jesus to help me, He reminds me that the Bible says I can do all things through Him, and I believe that. I may have to remind myself daily, but that’s okay. I do believe. Help my unbelief.
I addressed the first thing I usually do — choosing my one word — a few days ago. And I will blog about how things are progressing in our homeschool later this month. So for today, I want to share the books that are on my list to read early in 2016 that I hope will influence all areas of my life. I truly am hoping that 2016 will be the best year ever, even as my heart struggles to change.
I have chosen these books based on my desire to lead a more fervent life, in all areas (speaking of fervent, be sure to read the life-changing book Fervent, too). All of these books have either crossed my radar because someone I know has read and highly recommends them, or because I trust the author after reading others of her writings. I may end up blogging about a few of these, too, because I am very excited about them. A couple I even started to read in 2015, but for one reason or another (maybe the crazy busy holiday season!), I shelved them. If you are not a homechool mom, just skip the two books about being a homeschool mom. Any woman, wife, or mother will benefit from reading the other books on the list.
I would love to hear about what you are reading in the coming months, too. I’m always looking for my next great read!
Many people begin a new year with a commitment to read the Bible through in 365 days. These intentions are good, but the reading plan they choose may not be the most effective one for reaching the goal.
Every Day with Jesus Daily Bible manages to overcome many difficulties of reading the Bible straight through in a year. From day one, the plan provides rich variety in the readings.
Each day includes a selection from:
• The Old Testament
• The New Testament
There’s also a devotion from beloved pastor Selwyn Hughes that is linked to one of the four readings for the day. Those who follow this plan will read the entire Bible in a year.
Although Blumenthal’s method is not a quick fix, it is a surprisingly simple one: make one small change per week, for fifty-two weeks, and at the end of a year, you’ll be happier and healthier. After all, it is the small changes that are the most realistic, instead of trying to overhaul your lifestyle all at once. 52 Small Changesaddresses all areas of wellbeing, including nutrition, exercise, stress management, mental wellness, and even the health of one’s home environment.
Those who have made the decision to homeschool their children have done so out of great love for their children and a desire to provide them an excellent education in the context of a warm, enriching home. Yet so many parents (mainly mothers) who have taken up this challenge find the enterprise often full of stress, worry, and anxiety. In this practical, faith-based, and inspirational book, Sarah Mackenzie addresses these questions directly, appealing to her own study of restful learning (scholé) and her struggle to bring restful learning to her (six) children.
Goodbye worry, fear, doubt, and guilt. Hello grace. This concise guide serves as the apologetics for the homeschool mom. Grace for the Homeschool Mom addresses the most common lies, fears, temptations, traps, and pitfalls that homeschool moms face. Use this book as a reference to arm yourself with God’s grace and His Word to rebuke the deceptions of the enemy. Break away from the enemy’s bondage and begin to experience peace and freedom in your homeschool journey right away.
Do you ever long for days full of joy and energy―days that bring out the best version of you rather than leave you exhausted? Do you sometimes catch yourself wishing life was more impactful and fulfilling? In a world that’s moving so fast, it’s easy to lose your sense of purpose. So now is the time to make each moment of your ordinary, everyday, beautiful existence count. It’s time to own your life.
Make It Happen is the story of how I surrendered my fear, took the leap, and got a life. In my case, a perfectly imperfect, fulfilling life as a mama, a working woman, and a grateful wife. This is the story of how I chose to make “it”―a greater purpose than mine―happen, and how you can too.
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Today’s culture is increasingly hostile and suspicious toward anyone who appears to be different–especially when tragedy strikes. Our instinct is to bolt our doors and protect the ones we love. But deep within the heart of Benedictine spirituality lies a remedy to hatred, fear, and suspicion: hospitality. At once deeply comforting and sharply challenging, true Benedictine hospitality requires that we welcome the stranger, not only into our homes, but into our hearts. With warmth and humor, drawing from the monastic tradition and sharing personal anecdotes from their own lives, Pratt and Homan encourage us to embrace not only the literal stranger, but the stranger within and the stranger in those we love.
Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul? Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes, she will help you: Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love. Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no. Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process. Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.
If you enjoyed this book list, you might really love these Encouraging and Helpful Books for Homeschool Moms.