Friday, July 25, 2014

Are You Ready to Flourish? {A Review}

Do you want to thrive and to live from a framework of abundance instead of being subject to the "tyranny of the urgent" and the burnout of imbalance?

(Note:  This post may contain affiliate links.  Dee disclosure here.)

I most certainly do!  And that is why I happily accepted the opportunity to read the Apologia Educational Ministries book
Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms by Mary Jo Tate in exchange for an honest review.  For, although I knew I'd have to push some tasks off my plate in order to find reading time this summer, I also felt that by doing so I might discover a few more tips and strategies for ensuring my plate is nourishing me regardless of what is piled onto it.

I was not let down in my expectation.

Who is Mary Jo Tate?

Mary Jo Tate is not only the woman who has gifted others with her book, Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, but she is also a homeschooler, a radio show host, an international editor, a book coach, a homeshool co-op teacher, a blogger and a single mom of four sons.


Just reading Mary Jo Tate's short list of accomplishments inspires me to think, "Now this woman speaks from a place of expertise and experience!"  It also makes me wonder, "How does she do it all?!"  For, undoubtedly, balancing all the roles in Mary Jo Tate's life that I just mentioned is an incredible feat in and of itself, but also managing the rest of life which is included in her official bios?  Why, that must be impossible!  No one can do everything and stay balanced!

In truth, Mary Jo Tate does not do it all either. Yet she does stay balanced (usually!).  For she has learned, as she shares in Flourish, that:
  • one must "find peace in the space between the ideal and reality" .

  • there can be "'No Whining.'  The irreducible facts (of life) are just that -- facts.  Pity parties are simply counterproductive, and they sap your energy."

  •  life is full of choices and that in saying yes to one choice you say no to others.

She has also, of course, made a practice of using self-discipline in order to delight in the choices she makes.  One of these choices, thankfully, was to key into a question many folks ask her, in order to bless her own family and others through writing Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms. 

What is Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms?

Flourish is a book that is already getting a little dog-eared in my hands as I have been carrying it around to read at opportune moments wen my children are engaged in other things or I have wait-time at appointments. 

It is also a book that contained enough wisdom, wonderful quotes and practical strategies that I gave up taking notes on it and broke my usual "rule" of "no writing in books" in order to mark up passages that spoke to me.

But, that is what it is to me.

What might it be for you?

  • A read that can offer you breath.  A sigh knowing else gets it - maybe not exactly - but enough to speak from a place from a place similar to yours.  Or, better still, a place just beyond yours, where the light and delight of balance feeds a flourishing life.

  • A resource that offers practicality.  Among other things in this 288 page book aimed at moms are customizable planning forms, step-by-step exercises and special chapters target for families with home businesses and for single moms, but useful for all no matter what your roles in life are as even these "specialized" chapters contain ideas and strategies that can help those that are not single or working.

  • A mentor's manual.  Mary Jo Tate gives forward.  In Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, she wraps some of the best of what she has learned and succeeded with and offers it to her readers, much like I imagine that she might do if she were giving counsel to a personal client, to a young colleague or to a friend in need.  In doing so, she wraps the gift of her expertise up with real stories from her own life and a host of excellent and inspiring quotes from other sources and offers it to readers as a source of encouragement:  I found ways to flourish.  You can, too.

Am I Flourishing Yet?

When I began reading Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms, I was surrounded by household clutter, discouraged by a long list of to-do's, trying to find time to do some contract work and often on the go with homeschooling activities.  

As I finish my first-reading of it, the clutter remains, but small parts of it have been chipped away at.  The list of to-do's is being re-evaluated from a standpoint of priorities.  Time for contract work is blocked off on my calendar.  Fun and learning adventures with my children continue to take us out of our home for long hours each day, and, most of the time, during those hours, I do not feel weighed down or distracted by what piles I know I pushed off my plate in order to be out.

For, yes, those piles DO exist (literal and figurative piles), but, yes, I also feel encouraged about how to get through them.

Did Mary Jo Tate's book honestly push me into such a positive direction?

Yes.  Even as someone who has read many help-me-organize-and-thrive books in the past, I found gems of wisdom, tools for discernment and improvement, and most importantly to me, a balance of practical tips, encouragement and wise mentorship in   Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms.  Having read the book through once for review, I gleaned some new ideas and affirmed some thoughts I already held.  I also decided I am going to review the book more slowly again, using it in place of the in-person mentor that is not within my realm of reality again.  (Wish me luck!)

I would love now to take the time to list the many, many quotes and passages I highlighted in the book, but, honestly, I cannot.  For as Mary Jo Tate says, affirms, "Our families are our primary mission, but other things-- even good things-- can lure us away from taking care of them properly and tempt us to see our children as hindrances rather than blessings."  My reality is that I cannot control when my children wake up and have not yet set in place strategies that will allow me to continue working on blog posts after they have risen for the day and begun to seek my attention.  

As I wrap this post up, my children need me and I am choosing to go to them.  I do so with the confidence that I have shared enough about Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms that others who can be blessed through reading the book and applying its strategies and wisdom will have the inspiration and information they need to get started.

Flourish truly is an encouraging read that I am happy I made time for and absolutely planning to move through again.  I believe many homeschool moms (and dads!), WAHMs and others who seek to improve organization and time management can benefit from this homeschool resource.  In fact, I believe it is a book that can be a resource for a wider audience, too.  So, if you are ready to learn how to flourish (or to add a few thoughts and strategies to your already flourishing self), I encourage you to check out Mary Jo Tate's book.

Learn More
Flourish: Balance for Homeschool Moms is published by Apologia Educational Ministries.

You can find out more on Facebook and follow Mary Jo Tate on Twitter.

Also, please enjoy learning what others gleaned from the book by reading the wide variety of detailed reviews at School House Review Crew.

Click to read Crew Reviews

Crew Disclaimer


Related Posts with Thumbnails