In 1995 I started rising early each morning to read my Bible and do a daily devotional. I had purchased the Women's Devotional Bible by Zondervan. Over the course of that year I went through the entire Bible (not reading the whole Bible, but reading each and every devotional in it). I would read the scripture for the day, read the whole chapter from the Bible where the verse was located, read the devotional, and pray. Then the next year I purchased the Women's Devotional Bible 2 and read through it's entirety. Then the next year I went back and reread all of the devotionals in the first Bible. Then I gave it to my grandma so she could read it. The Women's Devotional Bible just spoke to me as a woman, and I gained wisdom and encouragement from it each morning.
Zondervan has done it again. They have published a devotional Bible called Homeschool Mom's Bible (a 365 day devotional) that I have had the immense pleasure of reviewing. I take that back. It started out being a review product. But, it has become my daily conversation with God.
I received the Homeschool Mom's Bible, in the New International Version (NIV), one afternoon at 4:00 p.m. We had just completed a productive and positive day of schoolwork, but I was so excited to crack the cover of the devotional that I went straight into my Sitting Room with it. Because, I noticed first off one of my favorite features of a devotional Bible ... the devotions are dated! I turned straight to August 27th and snuggled in for some time with the Lord.
I was thrilled to see that it is set up exactly like my Women's Devotional Bibles! Oh, my! I just knew that this was going to be a devotional Bible that I would treasure for the whole year (and beyond!)
August 27th's devotional was titled "Put Away the Phone". The scripture was Hebrews 12:1, but I read the whole section where it was contained. I was convicted to put away all things that hinder me and cause me to sin and was encouraged that Jesus endured the cross to receive His joy. I may have to endure a lot in my life, but I imagine I won't ever have to endure that cross. Thank you, Jesus.
And then the devotion hit me smack between the eyes. I had just been thinking that morning about how having the computer in front of me, where I am easily able to check my e-mail or read or write a blog post, causes me to be focused on it instead of fully focused on the kids while they are doing their work. When they look up from their work they see my eyes glued to a computer screen. I'm not a very engaging or available teacher when I do that.
The devotion said, "Do you feel like you are always behind and homeschooling is becoming a burden? Pray to ask God to show you what activities need to be eliminated from your daily schedule. Homeschooling is too important to your children's future to not give it your best effort. Get rid of those distractions that may be worthwhile in themselves but eat too much of your time each day." I don't think I need to tell any of us bloggers that the computer is a HUGE time stealer. If I wasn't feeling a prompting of the Spirit to put away my computer during school hours before I read the devotion, I sure was feeling it after.
From that day on I purposefully put the computer in my bedroom, out of temptation's way, as it hinders me in doing what God has called me to do.
Since that date I have read the devotional each morning and have awoken each morning so excited to see what God has to say to me. Not only do the devotionals relate to me as a homeschooling mom, but also as "just" a mom, and also as a woman.
I highly recommend the Homeschool Mom's Bible by Zondervan. It is a complete Bible including Old Testament and New Testament and has 365 daily devotions with prayers written by Janet Tatman and Foreward written by Vickie Farris. It comes in hardback in both the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) at a cost of $34.95 and can be purchased at the Zondervan website. There are also leather bound versions of the Bible for $49.99 and an e-version for $14.99. Although the Homeschool Mom's Bible is intended for homeschooling moms, it could be a blessing for any mom.
To read other Crew reviews on the Homeschool Mom's Bible, go to the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.