Thursday, July 7, 2011

Guest Post: Author Anita Mellot {book giveaway}

I'm delighted to have author Anita Mellot as a guest on Making Home Work today. In 2003, Anita and her husband sensed God's call to homeschool their daughter. Shortly afterward, she felt a tug to write down her experiences to encourage other parents. These writings lead to her first book publication, School is Where the Home is: 180 devotions for parents.

Today, Anita shares an excerpt from her book and offers to give away a copy to one lucky reader! Read the excerpt and leave a comment to be entered for the drawing. Contest ends next Thursday, July 14 {open to U.S. Residents only}.



Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:32)

“Why are you so frazzled these days?” My husband, Jim, met my gaze over the rim of his glasses.

I almost choked on my latté. My delight at having time alone with him evaporated.

“You’re like a tightly coiled spring.”

I glared. “I’m just trying to keep up with everything I’m supposed to do.”

“Like what?”

I shrugged. “Cooking; cleaning; grocery shopping; taking care of the kids, you, my mom; and homeschooling . . .”

“You’re supposed to do all that? Says who?”

I paused as his words hit home. “Says me.”

His eyes twinkled. “Lower your expectations of yourself. Let the rest of the family pitch in. I’ll help, too.”

Could it be that simple?

He rattled off what he was willing to do and what we could add to Lisa, our tween’s chore list.

It’s worth a shot, I thought as we left Starbucks.

In the following weeks, I struggled to let go of my expectations of myself and how things should be done. When Lisa whizzed by sock-skating to clean my floors, I bit my tongue. When eighteen month-old Katy grabbed a washcloth to clean the floor, I sat on my hands to keep from pulling it away from her. When my mother took double the time than I would to cook a meal, I left the kitchen.

My family didn’t care if the banisters were polished every week or if the floor was shining. They were happy with a fairly neat house. My family wasn’t interested in elaborate meals, and when we had company, simple meals were fine.

They wanted me—a happy, not-so-tired Anita. That truth is setting me free.

Digging deeper: What expectations do you have of yourself? Reflect on John 8:31-36.

Excerpted from School Is Where the Home Is by Anita Mellott, copyright © 2011 by Anita Mellott. Used by permission of Judson Press,


A homeschooling mom since 2003, Anita Mellott lives its joys and challenges. With post-graduate degrees in Communications and Journalism, she worked as an editor with Habitat for Humanity International, headed the Department of Journalism at Mt. Carmel College, Bangalore, India, and did a stint in public relations and advertising. Her articles have appeared in various publications including Homeschool Enrichment, Novel Journey,, The Christian Post, and magazines in India. When she's not homeschooling, chauffeuring her kids to various activities, or caring for an aging mom, she blogs at From the Mango Tree:


  1. It's wonderful to see you here guesting, Anita! Your devotional book will surely be a blessing to all mothers.
    Thanks, Joy, for bringing us Anita and a great excerpt from her devotional book.

  2. I was just editing my chapter in Hired @ Home about juggling work, home and family, and was reminded of the expectations we women put on ourselves.

    My husband told me yesterday that he thought I was working too much on stuff, that perhaps I needed to scale back. Part of me said, "No, my to-do list has to be done." While another part of me said, "Yes, I think he's right!"

    So I made a pact with myself to stop working before supper. Whatever's done then, is what will be done for the day. The evenings are for being with family, with few exceptions. Hopefully, I will have the strength to resist the riptide tug of work....

  3. Sally, so good to see you here. Thanks for your sweet words.
    Joy, thanks for having me. I'm still learning to ask for help!
    Sarah: I'm trying to do the same thing--walk away from work and leave evenings free for family. It seems to be a constant learning experience for me, and I'm thankful for a husband who is willing to hold me accountable.

  4. Knowing where our expectations come from and when to release them is freeing not only in relationships, but in fostering creativity. My dil plans to home school my 3 grand kids this fall. This will make a great devotional for her. I'm pleased to have a chance to win it. God bless you.

  5. Anita, I have immense admiration for a home schooler. It's a tough job. My daughter in law home schools five. Encourage both of you and all the others who home school to keep up the good work. You devotional sounds so appropriate.

  6. Anita, so beautifully written and so true.

  7. what a wonderful idea to offer a devotional specific to the needs of homeschool moms! loved the sample. It will surely be an encouragement to so many and bring those little changes in our lives we all need.

  8. I'm just starting homeschooling, so adding another thing to my "plate" so this was a good reminder of not going overboard to do "everything"--I know I don't have to, but I know me and will think so sometimes--hopefully I'll not start doing the craziness I am known for.

  9. As someone just starting homeschooling as well this seems like a great book for me -- I ALREADY am told I have "too much on my plate" so this is a good reminder to start saying no, especially with my third little one due any week now. Anita, though I've only met you a few times I am so grateful for your ministry to homeschooling moms!

  10. What a great article! I think many of us who homeschool are used to feeling responsible for so much, that we feel we need to control things so they turn out alright, and in doing so, we forget to trust God and the people He gave us! What a great reminder that it does not all rest on our shoulders!

  11. what a wonderful glimpse into your book Anita! Thank you for sharing with MHW readers!

  12. Thanks for that glimpse at your book and into the busy lives we moms lead. It does get overwhelming at times.

  13. Great topic, I have seen your articles before and am excited for you to have finished a book! Especially one so relevant to many women. Thanks!

  14. I would love to be entered. I am a former home school student turned home school mom. Having a copy would be a great way to share with our home school group!

    srstormo at yahoo dot com

  15. Thank you all so much. I pray the book will be a blessing to many moms. I'm still learning to let go of my expectations and rest in the One who called me to this path.
    God bless!

  16. I've been a homeschooling mom (officially - and all you homeschooling moms know what I mean) since 1996. I graduated that child last year. My youngest is going into "2nd grade" by public/private school standards so I still have many years to go. I could still use the encouragement. Please enter me into the contest.