About the Nebraska Family Times and Shelly Burke

About Shelly Burke

From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom, a writer, and a nurse.

I spent many hours "taking care" of my sisters, and when they tired of my "nursing care," my dolls, on whom I started many "IVs" and gave lots of "shots."

I remember starting a book, writing in pencil in wide-lined, spiral bound notebooks, which I bet my mom has packed away somewhere. I don't remember what the book was about, but I do remember the satisfaction I felt at writing. 

After I graduated from high school I attended Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University), where I achieved my dream of becoming a nurse. I married after graduation and my first job was at a children and adolescent psychiatric hospital. Over the next few years I also worked on a telemetry (heart monitoring) unit, and as an inservice coordinator, and in home health.

Our son Cody was born in 1991, and daughter Morgan in 1993, and another dream--that of being an at-home mom--was realized. I loved (and still do love!) being a mom! Cody is now a senior at Kansas State University, and Morgan is is a sophomore at Colorado State University! I can't believe how fast the time has gone by.

When Cody and Morgan were toddlers, I began to pursue writing for publication. When writing for magazines, the prospective author must send a query letter, outlining what the article will be about, to see if the magazine is interested in an article on that topic. While I published several articles in nursing magazines, parenting magazines were not interesting in the articles I proposed. 

After receiving yet another rejection letter I decided, after much prayer and consideration, that instead of writing individual articles (which no one seemed to be interested in) I would write a book about being a mom. The idea for Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family, and Her Home, was born!  After several years another dream came true, when I held the first copy of Home is Where the Mom Is in my hands.

The Nebraska Family Times

Through this time I continued to promote both of my books; as a self-publisher I was responsible for all of the publicity and promotion. As part of promotion, I contacted various magazines and newspapers about doing a review of either book. One of the newspapers I contacted was the Nebraska Family Times. To my surprise, the editor of the paper at that time asked me if I would write for the paper! I was thrilled with the request and happy to do so; I reported on Nebraska news.

In the summer of 2008 the editor of the paper approached me with another request; would I be interested in buying the paper from her and taking over publication of the Nebraska Family Times? I was shocked by the request and my immediate thought was "I've never done anything like that--I can't run a newspaper!" but after much prayer and talking with friends, I became the publisher and editor of the Nebraska Family Times!

The mission of the Nebraska Family Times is to "inspire, encourage, and motivate readers in their Christian walk," and I strive to do that with the articles I print and write every month. It is my prayer that articles will touch the hearts and minds of readers, strengthen their faith, and bring them closer to God.

Through the years I've added and changed features of the paper, in an attempt to bring more valuable information to readers. We recently added the columns the Bible Quiz and Ask the Expert to the paper and have received very positive feedback about those features. I'm thankful that several local authors write for the paper on a regular basis; I enjoy reading their articles am blessed to have them writing for the paper! I work to continue to improve the paper, and I welcome any suggestions from readers. We also publish articles by nationally known Christian authors. 

One of my favorite parts of being the editor is featuring local people, families, and events. I enjoy promoting organizations that people might not otherwise hear of, and spotlighting individuals and families who are using their faith to encourage and help others.

A Different Stage in Life...

In 2012 I was preparing for the empty nest, as Morgan was going to graduate from high school and go to college in Colorado. Sadly, I not only had an empty nest, but had to find a new nest as well, when my marriage ended. I would have done anything to keep it together but after much prayer and talking with my pastor realized I had Biblical grounds and it was my only option. This has been the biggest disappointment and most difficult time in my life. But during this time my faith has grown and my relationship with the Lord has become stronger than I could have ever imagined. He has answered so many of my prayers and shown Himself to be present in every aspect of my life! In time, I will share my experiences and "comfort others as He has comforted me." (2 Corinthians 1:6)

Today I have jobs that I love! I work as a nurse at Columbus Surgery Center, where we do eye surgeries--mostly remove cataracts. I also work at our local community college, teaching Certified Nursing Assistant classes. I continue to publish the Nebraska Family Times as well. I pray for the Lord to guide my steps and help me to use my time wisely! I am blessed that in my current jobs I have found the best friends I have ever had--Christian friends who encourage me. I hope I do the same for each of them. 

The last year-and-a-half has been the most difficult in my life. As I learn what my "new normal" is I feel led to do more writing, including devotions and a re-write Home is Where the Mom Is; A Christian Mom's Guide to Caring for Herself, Her Family and Her Home  Being an at-home mom was the best job I ever had and I want to share my enthusiasm and encourage other Christian moms in the most important job in the world--raising the next generation. Being part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge will get me back into the habit of writing--another passion of mine.

My theme verse for 2014 says what the Lord is doing for me and in my life, better than I could: 
Remember not the former things, 
nor consider the things of old. 
Behold, I am doing a new thing; 
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. 
Isaiah 43:18-19

More about the Nebraska Family Times

Back issues are available at no cost, as long as they are available, to share with others or to read yourself if you've just discovered the Nebraska Family Times. Commission is paid to readers who get new sponsors or advertisers; contact me (information below) for more information.

The Nebraska Family Times is for readers, so if you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know, by e-mail at shelly@shellyburke.net or by calling (402) 750-3496. If you would like a FREE sample issue of the paper, or would like a FREE sample issue sent to someone else, contact me by e-mail or phone.