A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers

A Blog Devoted to Encouraging Homeschooling Mothers
The Burts in 2013

Monday, December 31, 2012


If you know me (that is, know me in real life versus the blogging world) then you probably know that I am none too fond of the self-help mentality. It's not that I have anything at all against people in need of help; I put myself at the top of the list of people I know who need help. But the notion that I can somehow fix myself ~ let alone fix anyone else! ~ is a complete misnomer.  It's a continual cycle of "work harder" followed by gut-wrenching disappointment. And there's a reason this is the cycle of's because we cannot fix ourselves! That's God's job, and He's exceptionally good at it.

Having said all that, I'd like to share about something that we moms do have the ability to change for the better. Our attitudes. I'll go so far as to say that I feel many homeschool mamas could benefit from an attitude adjustment (me included!). We're often so tired, over-worked, and spread thin that we succumb to a bad attitude without any conscious effort on our part. It doesn't have to be that way! And I don't mean to say something contrary to my stance on self-help...I really think this one idea I'm about to share can have a positive impact on a mom's attitude, and subsequently on the entire family, and it's actually not that hard.

So here's my big idea. What if we went to bed each night having made the conscious decision to wake up thankful and happy the next morning?

The ramifications of a happy mother on the family and the homeschool are incalculable. The happiness will spread and so will the thankful attitude. And a happy, thankful homeschool environment is really one of the greatest blessings a mom can receive.

So why not try it in the new year? Pray and ask the Lord to bless you with a happy demeanor and a heart full of thanks, and prepare to be amazed at how the Lord moves in your family. That's something I can be resolved about!

Happy 2013 and may you be abundantly blessed in every way all the year long!

Day 251 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Real Life Real Miracles ~ by James L. Garlow & Keith Wall

The book Real Life Real Miracles (by James L. Garlow & Keith Wall) is an easy-to-read, fast-paced and enormously interesting book that kept me reading "just one more chapter" late into the night. Each person's story is shared with enough detail to keep the reader engaged, but not so much that it seems watered down. And the authors' have done a first-rate job of honing in on the main points of each miracle story while maintaining the individuality of those who experienced the miracles.

From finding a lost diamond to the crushing weight of a semi-truck, those raised from the dead to a woman who lived through a plane that came apart in the air, electrocution to deadly cancer, the miracles you will read about in Real Life Real Miracles point toward the love, mercy, compassion and awe-inspiring power of God. The same Jesus who walked the earth over 2000 years ago performing miracles to those in need still works in miraculous ways today. It's good to pause and remember that He really is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

I really did enjoy this book, and I am certain I will re-read it in the future.

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

Read it and be reminded of the God who does the miraculous!

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

Day 250 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Dreams and Visions ~ by Tom Doyle

I was very interested in what details this book might contain from the moment I opted to review it...and I was blessed, encouraged and humbled by what I discovered in it's 23 chapters. This book is one that all Christians should read; but in all honesty, I think Christians who live in America ought to put it on their "Annual Required Reading" list. Our attitude toward Muslims needs a little adjusting, and Dreams and Visions is just the book to provide said adjustments!

Easy to read, with only the most well-documented cases included, Dreams and Visions opens your door to the world of Islam and your heart to those living for Christ in a way that most of us can hardly imagine. While many in the western world plod along in our walk with the Lord Jesus, needing others to beg and plead and cajole and entertain us while we grumble-all-the-way, those who follow Christ in Cairo and Mecca often do so after one dream or vision or Jesus saying, "You are to follow Me." They don't hesitate to risk their lives by obeying His call, and they walk in faith a path that is life-threatening. It is amazing and encouraging to me that I will spend eternity with so many former Muslims, and I am blessed to be able to learn about a few of them by reading Tom Doyle's book.

Buy this book and read it - not just once, but as often as you need to be reminded of the great work God is doing in the world of Islam. We truly serve the One True God, and He is able to save those who are perishing.

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 BookSneeze. All opinions shared here are solely my own. 

Day 249 done :)

Jan L. Burt

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What Are You Reading This December?

Okay, maybe I should rephrase that question! What are you reading this December BESIDES homeschool books?

Many of us celebrate Advent with our families during the month of December, and that often includes family reading. Are there any books you just have to read each year? Or does your book list vary? And do you only read as a family, or do you have something special that you read this month?

When my kids were younger, I found it hard to give myself "permission" to read a book in my spare time (whatever spare time is, haha!). I felt guilty if I wasn't reading the Bible or something homeschool related. Now I see the folly in that type of thinking. There are long, tough seasons of motherhood and often it's during those times that we refuse to allow ourselves a break. But there's nothing wrong with having a book on your nightstand...even if you only manage to read a page or two each week.

My kids are all growing up quickly (the youngest is 12) and those long days of toddler-hood are in the past. They are all readers, and they each have a few books they're juggling at any given time. It's much easier for me to have a book or two that I'm reading just because I want to. I only wish I had figured that out when my kids were young, rather than giving into a legalistic homeschool mentality that only allowed me to read the most pious of books. If it sounds silly, that's because it was a very silly way of thinking.

So, I'll ask you again - What are you reading this December other than homeschool books?

Read as a family ~ maybe The Hobbit or A Christmas Carol or even How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  And read for yourself too. I'd love to hear about the books you're reading this month, so feel free to leave me a comment!

Lord bless you this season of Advent & may you find His grace to be sufficient for all your daily needs!

Day 247 done :)

Jan L. Burt