A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Homework for the Homeschool Mom

As the homeschool mama, I am the one doing the assigning and not usually the one receiving the assigning. I am sure you feel the exact same way. But today I am giving you, the mother who is (most likely) primarily in charge of her children's education, a homework assignment. And I really hope you will take the time to complete it!

The first part of your homework assignment is simple:

          Grab your Bible, turn to Matthew 25:14-30, and read it.

Re-read, highlight, underline or take notes on any portion(s) of this passage that stand out to you. Be an active reader. Read this while thinking about your own life. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about this passage.

Then, read it one more time.

Finally, the "hard" part of the assignment....

Sit quietly before the Lord, pen and paper in hand, and write what He speaks to your heart about this passage. Ask Him to show you where you are rightly using what He has given you for His glory and His purposes. And, on the more difficult side of the coin, ask Him to show you where you are not.

If you will take the time to do this - to agree with the Lord that He meant it when He said He will ask for an account of the assets He has given to each one of us - He will most certainly reveal something (or several things) to you. Let Him do that! And then honor Him by doing His will with what He has given.

Will this be difficult? Maybe...

Will this be scary? Possibly...

Will this be worth it? Definitely...

Lord bless you, homeschooling mom, as you complete your homework assignment! Feel free to leave a comment to let me know you got your homework done and to encourage other moms to do the same!

Day 360 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study (available on Amazon)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Not A Post I Ever Wanted to Write...

Okay, here goes nothing.

I have a serious heart condition. Or, more accurately, I have a couple of serious heart conditions that are somewhat conflicting and have made my treatment, shall we say, a bit tricky. Add to that some dissension between my cardiologist and my electrophysiologist regarding my treatment, and it becomes dicier still. And the cherry on top is that medication, even at it's lowest dose, is deadly for me (the mildest meds at half the lowest dose lower my resting heart rate to 30 beats per minute - a full dose would likely stop my heart, according to my doctors). So, meds are out.

And the beginning of my journey from Wichita, Kansas to Cleveland, Ohio, to pursue treatment at the Cleveland Heart Clinic is my next step. It's going to be " 'spensive" to quote Lucille Ball. So some of my family members (two of my aunts and my hubby, to be exact) have teamed up & started a YouCaring page to help raise the necessary funds.

I seriously dislike sharing about my heart, but I guess it's not a bad thing to ask for prayer for these next few months. So, there it is....the post I never wanted to write has, in fact, been written.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post and thanks to all who have already been praying for me, and to anyone who prays for me in the future. I am blessed by the concern shown me by so many.

And here is a link to the YouCaring page ~ but there is zero pressure from me to click on the link ('cuz I don't believe in pressure, I believe in the leading of the Holy Spirit!)


Lord bless you all!

Day 359 done :)
Jan L. Burt

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Old Age in Your Young Age

An old saying goes something like this:

         “For the foolish, old age is like winter; for the wise, it is a harvest.”

Read that one more time and ponder it for a moment.

What truth does that speak to your mind, to your heart, homeschooling mother? What do you hear the Lord saying to you? How can you live today so that you will have a harvest in your old age?

It will always be far easier to be in a bit of a foul mood on any given day ~ this day! Far easier to gripe a little here and moan a little there. The hard, right choice to make is to live learning from today so that you reap that harvest when you are gray and wrinkly. But you cannot make hard, right choices if you do not decide in advance to make those hard, right choices. Being joyful in your day to day life as a busy mom requires that you yield to the Holy Spirit and let Him produce fruit that is worth harvesting. This cannot be manufactured in your own strength. Nothing worth anything can.

It’s so easy to live today so that tomorrow is a long, icy winter. Far more difficult, and far more vital, is living today so tomorrow is a perpetual harvest.

Be blessed today as you live in anticipation of your many tomorrows.

Day 358 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald (Revised & Updated)

The book Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald is a classic among Christians, referenced from the pulpit on a regular basis and often found on the bookshelves of believers. And now, it has been revised and updated. I pretty much jumped at the chance to review this book.

Fifteen chapters. A preface and an epilogue. Even a study guide to make this accessible for a small group. That's the skeleton of this book - but what about what's on the inside?

There's a lot inside. A whole lot.

The first chapter or two were a bit s-l-o-w for my liking. I had heard so much about this book over the years that I was chomping at the bit, ready for the heavy stuff. The author lays a nice foundation for the rest of the book in the early chapters, which is exactly what a good author does. I just wanted to skip ahead, but I didn't. And I am glad that I didn't, because I see now that the book moves at a pace that can draw in even the most disorganized mess of a person, allowing them time to ease into trusting the author. Possibly even making them more open to what he has to share because he is very honest about his own problems managing his time.

I don't want to give too much of this book away, because it really is a worthwhile read. But I will share that the chapter comparing King Saul to John the Baptist was fantastic. It brought a whole new level of thinking to the way I have been approaching several aspects of my life as of late. I doubt that I will forget the insights I learned, as I find myself rolling them around in my mind at different points throughout the day. To me, that is the mark of a really good nonfiction book - the fact that I am a changed person for having read it.

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I gave this book a 5.

Disclaimer ~ I received this book free of charge for review purposes from Handlebar. All opinions shared here are solely my own. 

Buy this book. Read this book. Share this book with others.

Day 357 done :)
 Jan L. Burt

Friday, September 29, 2017

About Flattery...

 So, I read this quote a few days ago and it really struck a cord:

                  "Flattery is not communication; it is manipulation."

Um, wow.

When I flatter someone, why? Why do I do it? What is the point? What end result am I hoping to achieve? Just, why?

I don't think I have a good answer. Sometimes, I suppose, I sort of sincerely mean what I am saying (when I compliment or congratulate someone - which is different than when I flatter them). But most of the time I use flattery as a means to an end. Isn't that basically using people?  Oh good grief, that's awful! It makes my stomach turn! But there it is in all it's hideousness. Ick.

Communication brings to mind meaningful, two-way conversation that is relaxed and full of intentional listening on the part of all conversing. It's genuine. It happens when people care deeply about one another and want to make that known more than they want their opinion to be known. It's powerful because it's so darn real.

I want to understand in my inner being the difference between flattery and communication. I want to want to be consistently careful with my words and the intentions behind my words. I so want to be dialed in with others that my heart and mind are fully engaged in talking with them and not to or at them.

 My prayer for myself is this: "Oh Lord, do not allow me to be a manipulative person. I was created in Your image and I ought to behave as such. Remove flattery from my vocabulary, Lord. Make me a woman who communicates well." 

Let us all be women who love well via our communication with others. 

Day 356 done :)

Lord bless you!
Jan L. Burt

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Wisdom of God by A.W. Tozer

I have recently been reading through the book "The Wisdom of God - Letting His Truth and Goodness Direct Your Steps" by A.W. Tozer. True to form, Tozer delivers a whole lotta punch in each and every chapter. It's heady, weighty stuff, this book; it's meat and potatoes of the spiritual sort.

In short, do not read this book if you are looking for soft serve, cuz this ain't that.


This book is comprised of 23 chapters, none of which is very long. They are short, but pack a powerful punch. Each chapter has enough to say that you feel as if you have read far more than a few pages. The core of the subject matter is the Lord's wisdom; the applications of this topic spread far and wide. There is far more to this than I had previously thought, and it has proven that my own studies of wisdom as laid out in the Bible have been scant at best. It's an education in wisdom. And of course, as with any type of education, there is homework. Said homework being the application of these truths in ones own life.

If you know much about Tozer, this book will be similar to what you have read before. If you have never heart of A.W. Tozer, be prepared to learn a lot from this man who lives on via his writings, though he went home with the Lord in 1963. You may recognize his other books, such as The Knowledge of the Holy or The Pursuit of God.

Whether or not you have heard of the author, you may want to prayerfully consider picking up a copy of this book. But be sure, it's not light reading.

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I gave this book a 4.

Disclaimer ~ I received this book free of charge for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions shared here are solely my own.

  Day 355 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Verses to Embolden Your Faith

This post is short & sweet ~ just a handful of Bible verses that will, hopefully, bless you today.

          1 Peter 1:13a - So you must live as God's obedient children. Don't slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your desires. You didn't know any better then.

          1 Samuel 12:7 - Now stand here quietly as I remind you of all the great things the Lord has done for you...

          Isaiah 41:10 - Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

          John 14:27b - Do not let your hearts be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

          Exodus 2:23b - They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God.

          Psalm 40:17c - O my God, do not delay.

          2 Corinthians 13:11 - Live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

          Jeremiah 31:9a & b - Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble. 

          Mark 14:38 - Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

          Luke 1:74-75 - We have been rescued from our enemies so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness for as long as we live. 

I hope these verses encourage you today in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Beyond simply encouraging you today, I pray that they stir up a desire within your heart for the Word and that you would begin to daily feast upon it, allowing our loving Father to fill you up.

Lord bless you and keep you as you seek Him today. Remember, all who seek Him will indeed find Him.

Day 354 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Adrift in Chaos?

Homeschooling is hard. Attempting to live out the guidelines in Proverbs 31 is hard. Parenting is hard. Marriage is often hard.The catchy phrase, "The struggle is real," adequately describes many aspects of the life of a mom who homeschools.

But has the struggle become chaos? Do you feel completely adrift in that chaos?

Friend, chaos and a sense of being adrift in a sea of overwhelming burdens and hardship is not the Lord's will for you. I promise you, from the bottom of my heart, I know this to be true.

You are His beloved. He has not spoken chaos over your life.

My son graduated from Wheaton College, and for this blog post I am going to directly quote one of the school's most famous female alumni - Elisabeth Elliot.

          "Either we are adrift in chaos or we are individuals, created, loved, upheld and placed purposefully, exactly where we are. Can you believe that? Can you trust God for that?"

Are your days longer than 24 hours - flying by yet dragging on and on? You are not alone, and this is not your life's story by accident. Expenses beyond your means? God has both a purpose and a provision for you in this. Unsure how to home educate a preschooler, middle-schooler, and a high-schooler? Remember, you are not adrift in chaos. Your life is not a blunder on God's part. You have been placed exactly where you are today by the loving hand of your loving Father and He has promised to uphold you and strengthen you. And we know He never breaks His promises. 

So today, right in the middle of your mess ~ whatever that mess may be ~ trust in the Lord and know that He knows exactly where you are today. How does He know, you ask? He knows because He is the one who placed you right where you are...and He never misplaces His possessions. 

Live like you are dearly loved today, because you really, truly are.

Day 353 done :)

Jan L. Burt
 author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Women Who Move Mountains (praying with confidence, boldness, and grace) by Sue Detweiller

Over the last 6 years or so, I have reviewed quite a few books. Far more than I can remember off the top of my head, and too many to bother taking the time to try and count them all. I have read some duds and found some real treasures. The book I am reviewing today is a gem. It is a terrific book.

Women Who Move Mountains, by Sue Detweiller, isn't just another book about prayer. It's something more akin to a life-guide wrapped inside an in-depth personal Bible study. It's not just a book you read ~ it is a book that you pray through as you let God's Word be applied to the deepest parts of your life and the neediest aspects of your life. 

The book's layout is unique: each chapter of reading material is immediately followed by a chapter of study material and questions that cement the content from the prior chapter. The reading material is not difficult, but it certainly is not easy reading. And the questions are not "fluff". On the contrary, they are heart probing and journal entry worthy. They are meaty and they are effective.in addition, Part II includes 21 days of devotions. 

Sue Detweiller has taken prayer to a new level via this book. Using real life examples and rightly dividing the Word of God, she propels the reader to a place where they will either move forward in their prayer life or will make a willful decision not to engage with the Lord via prayer in new and powerful ways. She intends for you to come away from this book changed, and wanting to be a change agent for others via prayer. This book, and it's accompanying study prompts, is both intense and intensive. 



If you are considering a new Bible study for your women's ministry, something to spur on your personal prayer life, or a new book to work through as fall approaches, then this is your book. It is phenomenal and I intend to keep it on my bookshelf for the rest of my life so that I can grab it and re-read it over and over again. And I don't feel that way about too many books. It's a keeper, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to read it.

On my "Page Turner Scale" of 1 to 5, I gave this book a 6.

Disclaimer ~ I received this book free of charge for review purposes from Bethany House Publishers. All opinions shared here are solely my own. 

Day 352 done :)

Jan L. Burt
author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Invest in July - Reap in September

If you're like me, you don't homeschool year-round. I like to end our homeschool year some time in May and start up again in late August. That, however, is our actual academic schedule. I am always thinking about homeschooling ~ combing through our curriculum bookshelves, updating transcripts, reading books to encourage me as a homeschool mom...you get the idea.

As a long-term homeschooler ~ as in 20 years! ~ I can tell you that the time spent focused on your homeschool in July pays big dividends come September. First off, mom won't feel nearly so overwhelmed when facing the advent of the new academic year. Second, your kids will have a far better school year if they know everything is ready to go before the year begins. Third, your home will run more efficiently if you are totally prepared for the school year (by totally prepared, I mean caught up on laundry, have all the library books you need, meals are planned, all supplies have been purchased, etc). And your husband will probably be glad you took the time to plan ahead!

Now, all of those are excellent reasons to invest in your homeschool during July and reap the benefits in September. But the biggest reason I plan over the summer is because it makes my job easier. Yup, it's a purely selfish reason. And I'm willing to admit right here on my blog that I am a selfishly motivated homeschooling mom.The way I see it, my job as a woman who homeschools is a tough job, a full-time job, a job that requires so much from me on a daily basis. So anything I can do to make my job easier come fall, well, I'm all about that!

Use whatever tools work best for you; buy a planner that makes your job simpler, use a different colored high lighter for each of your kids appointments and assignments, have plenty of coffee in stock for those slow mornings that follow long nights with sick little ones or fussy babies. As long as you can afford it, and your hubby is all for it, spend a little of your homeschool budget to help make sure you, the homeschool mom and sole educator of your children, are ready to face the new year. (For me, that means a good planner, coffee, time with the Lord every morning before the school day begins, and, umm, new pens....which is weird, I know, but I LOVE brand new pens!)

Lord bless you this July as you seek to glorify Him in your family's homeschool!

Day 351 done :)

Jan L. Burt

author of The Homeschooling Mothers Bible Study