By Julie Grosz
Little Moments Publishing www.heartofdakota.com
110 W. 7th Street
Dell Rapids, SD 57022
As a busy homeschooling mom of seven children ages 12 and under, finding time in God's Word is one of my ongoing challenges. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get a glimpse of Little Moments Publishing's newest work: a devotional written just for moms like me.
Each of the 18 well-organized weekly themes focuses on a subject close to the hearts of parents schooling their children at home. With topics such as stress and pressure, anger, and organization, homeschooling moms will relate to the material. Each chapter has five devotions focusing on the week's subject and then explores that topic as it relates to a woman in her roles as Christian woman, wife, mother, and teacher.
The week begins with an encouraging quote and then a page titled "Prepare Your Heart." This section begins with a simple prayer, an outline of the week's studies, and then a "Music Connection," which recommends both a contemporary and a traditional song to accompany the week's devotions. The suggested music is from Michael W. Smith's Worship and Bill and Gloria Gaither's Ryman Gospel Reunion.
Each day's devotion begins with an additional challenging quote and then a personal anecdote from the author's life. Next comes a "Bible Connection," which introduces the reader to a Biblical character who matches the role being studied that day. For example, the focus of week nine is "Worry." On day three of that week-the day you study a woman's role as mother-the "Bible Connection" is about Hannah, who was worried because the Lord hadn't blessed her with a child. The Bible stories are written as part of the lesson, but Scripture references are also listed for those who would like to dig deeper into the Word. A "Personal Connection" relates the Bible story to the topic being studied and challenges the reader to see God's work in her life. Finally, the day ends with "A Welcome Retreat," which includes a prayer, a challenging question, and a repeated list of the week's suggested music. The fifth lesson of each week is a "Reflection" that recaps the week's study by asking challenging questions related to each role a homeschooling mom plays.
Mrs. Grosz has written an encouraging devotion sure to reach the hearts of many homeschooling mothers. Aside from teaching her young children at home, Mrs. Grosz has watched her two sisters teach their children at home for many years. Observing her sisters live the homeschooling life has obviously given Mrs. Grosz an insight into the challenges that moms like us face, and she's written a thoughtful response.
The study is designed to be completed in 10 minutes a day. My only reservation is that as busy homeschooling mothers we may have a tendency to rely on this devotion as our only time in God's Word. When I received my copy of the book, I was hoping for an in-depth study that I could really delve into, and I was disappointed. Rather, I came to realize that this devotion is best placed where we can grab it for a quick source of encouragement in the midst of a crazy day. My copy is going on my phonics shelf where I can read it before yet another child says, "C-A-T ... dog?" Perhaps I'll find the attitude adjustment I'll need to calmly reply, "No, Sweetie, C-A-T doesn't spell dog. Let's try again."
You can find a complete sample week available for download at the publisher's website: www.heartofdakota.com. Perhaps you too will find some needed encouragement.
Product review by Lisa Kjeldgaard, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2006