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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance

At our state home education conference last weekend, I listened to Heidi St. John speak.  I have heard her recommended several times.  It appeared that I was as enthusiastic as just about every other woman at the conference to hear her speak particularly on, "The Busy Mom's Guide to Daylight, or How to Fit your Size 16 Day into a Size 10."  The room was jam-packed.  Must say something about how busy we are?  But that's another topic.  Sort of.  It's really rather related.

So I was visiting her booth at the conference before her workshop.  That is a strategy of mine.  Because you know a speaker's booth will be packed after said workshop.  I picked up this book, The Busy Homeschool Mom's Guide to Romance.

I bought both of her books, actually.  They looked easy to read, practical and even fun.  I think that's a perfect blend for a "busy homeschool mom."  I brought them home and I read this one in the course of two afternoons.  I really liked that easy-to-read part.  Does that mean everything she wrote was "easy?"  Easy topics, easy solutions, easy-to-do?  Definitely not!  Not without the Spirit of God at work in our hearts, anyway. 

I really like Heidi St. John's style of communicating.  Probably because it isn't just like mine, but I completely "get it."  I have a tendency to be quite serious and I rather need people to encourage me to look at things less intensely.  Heidi St. John touts her style as "being real."  And I think that's exactly right.  I very much relate!  I read this book and I laughed, I cried, I learned, and I probably said "Amen" a few times. 

Being that she is my age and has been married close to the same amount of time, she carries a good deal of credibility to me.  I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb here and suggest that one will MOST identify with this book and relate to its message if you have been homeschooling close to 10 years and have been married close to 15 years.  That does not mean you cannot or should not read it or learn from it now.  I really wish I had learned some things written here MUCH earlier!  But I am beginning to think that there are some things you learn with time and maturity that no one can tell you earlier in a way that you will truly understand.  Maybe that sounds confusing.  I write as one who spent most of my adult years thus far learning as much as possible about something before I "got there."  I am sure I carried quite a bit of pride in doing so.  But the last few years have humbled me greatly.  Tender Warrior and I have endured trials in our marriage, just like you have.  I believe it's where God wants me to be to make me truly teachable as well as truly influential.

This woman carries a deep passion for marriage and I so appreciate that!  She has been impacted by divorce all around her.  Many of us who have been married any length of time can relate to this too.  Heidi St. John shares some poignant stories of dear ones in her life and I cried as I read.  I also came away with a greater passion for my marriage and the marriages of my friends and those around me. 

I heard the same message shared in a little different manner from my sweet friend, Lisa, who also spoke at the conference.  (You too can be encouraged by her over at Club 31 Women).  Her exhortations to take care of my husband and keep him as my first love (next to my Lord) really move me to strive for something even more beautiful than I have right now.  And isn't that how it should be?  We should never be complacent!  We must always keep vigilant watch over the health of our union. 

I love how Heidi St. John uses humor mixed with truth.  She does not "sugar-coat" things even though she can make you laugh in the same sentence that you say "ouch" at a revelation in your own relationship.

The word "intentional" flies around home education and discipleship circles a lot.  That is really what is being communicated here.  We must remain intentional toward our husbands.  It is VERY easy to slowly fade into the busy routines of every day.  And it is VERY easy to find escapes and replacements for the first love in our home.  Every mom is busy, but it is true that parents who choose home education will have strains on their marriages that are unique.  We need to keep a pulse on the heartbeat of our home that is our marriage.

I was very grateful for Heidi St. John's reminders that the internet is a dark place and that it is often a dangerous place.  She described it in her workshops as a "magnet for unhappy people."  Be careful!  Guard your time wisely.  Put your energy into your own marriage and check your motives for why you want to be on Facebook connecting with friends from the past (I'm not saying that's all wrong--just that we can have subtle motives that include something like, "I want to feel liked and significant to somebody" or "it's easier to talk to so-and-so online than my own husband.")

Overall, if you've been home educating several years (or have just been very busy with children in this season of your life) and are starting to notice yourself being pulled into what she calls, "the homeschool vortex," this might be the perfect little read to inspire you to remember "That Girl" whom your husband married.  This book is definitely real and will help you love your man well!  I highly recommend it to busy homeschool moms everywhere.


  1. It sounds AWESOME!

    So remind me of it in about 3 years or so? :)

  2. I greatly appreciated hearing your thoughts and heart on this! I've not read Heidi's book yet, but definitely intend to. Thank you for your encouragement and good reminder to us homeschooling wives.



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