As a mom of four busy kids who struggles to fit in all the tasks required of mommy, teacher, wife, etc., making time for studying the Scripture is simultaneously incredibly difficult and of paramount importance. There are days when I have time to linger in the Word, but there are days when it seems impossible to keep life simmering long enough for me to think an entire thought much less do any in depth study. For those rushed, harried days, I've had the ability of late to turn to my Homeschool Mom's Bible.
Published by Zondervan, this is a sturdy, hardcover Bible that is specifically meant for homeschool moms. This is available in either NIV or KJV and is basically a regular old Bible with the addition of devotionals written specifically for homeschool moms.
The devotionals are scattered through the Scriptures and there is one for each day of the year (except for Feb. 29). They are written by Janet Tatman who homeschooled for over 25 years. They consist of a Bible verse, a short, one-page "story" and end with a prayer. They are dated with the month and the day. (For example: January 24) The devotionals are rather randomly scattered throughout the Bible and don't match up to nearby Scripture at all. So you have to do a lot of page turning if you wish to read the verses mentioned, or even the context of the main verse, which isn't necessarily a big deal, but can slow you down if you are squeezing this in between washing dishes and refereeing the latest brawl. In the back of the Bible is a place for notes, a table of weights and measures and a topical index of the devotionals.
This Bible has a cute cover, and attracted attention from other homeschool moms (and a couple of "used to be" homeschooled kids that are all grown up) when I took it to church. It was easy to carry and easy to use when I just wanted to read the Bible. I used it often to read aloud to the kids for school. It had your basic footnotes in it, but the main difference in this Bible and any other Bible is simply the devotionals.
As I said before, some days I don't have time for much, but I found that the devotionals in this Bible are really great for those days. I could turn to that particular day (or just pick one at random if you are one of those laid-back types) and receive a quick dose of inspiration or encouragement. With topics such as "Blunders", "Fears", "Truth or Consequences", and "Dry Times", the words of a fellow homeschooler were often just what I needed to hear.
I kept this Bible on my nightstand (or brought it to the school table with me) so that I could pick it up and read whenever I got a free moment. I really liked that there is a border around each devotional page, so they were easy to spot when I flipped through, looking for that day's date. There is also a "Go to page..." at the bottom of each one, so if you are one of those got-it-together moms who use bookmarks, it is easy to find the next day's devotion and mark it, ready to go.
I do wish they had more options of translations than just NIV or KJV, but maybe that is coming in the future?
At any rate, I look forward to reading Janet's words of encouragement throughout the coming year.
You can purchase the Homeschool Mom's Bible in this hardcover form for $39.99.