Author Archives: June Hetzel

Too Tired to Pray – Finding Rest in the Stress

Editor’s Note: On October 6, 2017, after 42 days in the hospital, June Hetzel’s brother moved on to glory. The following blog post, “Too Tired to Pray,” was written in the midst of those trying 42 days.

Looking into a hospital room - too tired to pray BYA blog

Have you ever felt too tired to pray? I have. For example, right now, I am in the midst of untold agony as my only brother, Rick, is fighting for his life at Kaiser Permanente, Anaheim Hills. It’s day 37. He’s out of ICU but he’s not out of the woods. Yesterday was the first day in 37 days that he could breathe on his own for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, he had to get a tracheostomy at day 21. His digestive track is not working and they had to move him from a feeding tube to feeding intravenously. His kidneys are working at 50%. His skin is deteriorating from an advanced case of diabetes. He suffers from depression and I am completely helpless and hopeless to save my brother, and so are the doctors. They give my brother a grim diagnosis. All my emotional energy goes to him. I try to conduct daily business as normal, but nothing’s normal. I’m emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted. I need frequent breaks. Then, I fell and hit my face on the cement. Bleeding, numb teeth, swollen lips, painful nose. Ugh. The Lord forced me to rest … for days.

Now, each of you also have “stuff” going on too … loved ones who are ill, parents who are aging, children who need your attention, and then there’s your homeschooling and other “stuff.” Stuff like relational conflict, troubled churches, financial pressures, health challenges; and you cannot neglect those darling faces in front of you that eagerly await the treasures of your daily homeschool teaching. Yet, you’re exhausted, and at times, let’s admit it … too tired to pray.

In the Arms of Jesus

Could I just suggest the following — curl up in Jesus’ arms and just rest there. Don’t move a muscle, just lay your head on his lap and let His arms enfold you. He knows every thought, every worry, every pain, every confusion, every detail of every contributing factor to your exhausted state. Sh-h-h. Don’t say a word. Just rest. He knows it all. He even knows you are too tired to pray.

Now, stay right there in the arms of Jesus. Again, don’t move a muscle. He’s got it. In my situation, I can’t do a thing to help my brother heal and ultimately, the doctors can’t either. The doctors can treat, but the Lord ultimately heals. Similarly, you can teach, but the Lord is the One who is the real Change Agent — The Spirit who is the Teacher and the One who shapes the internal posture of our hearts. So, when life overwhelms, rest in this, He’s got it, this life is not all there is, and Jesus’ arms are ready to enfold you. You don’t have to practice discursive prayer, just practice non-discursive prayer where you rest silently and let Jesus hold you.

Prayerful Reflection

Spend 10-15 minutes prayerfully considering with Jesus:

  1. When I get overwhelmed, how do I respond spiritually? emotionally? psychologically? physically?
  2. When I am tired and overwhelmed, how does it affect my homeschooling day?
  3. When I am too tired to pray, do I allow myself to just rest in Jesus’s presence?

Dear Jesus, you are the immovable, unshakable Rock of my salvation. There is nothing that is too big for you. All that I am going through, all that feels overwhelming, Lord Jesus, I give it to you this very moment. I ask, dear Lord, that you simply teach me to rest and abide in You moment-by-moment and day-by-day. In your precious name, Amen.

June Hetzel, Ph.D., Dean of Education, Biola University, 10/1/17

Educating for the Civic Square – Homeschooling and Current Events

Times Square, New York - Educating for the Civic Square

When considering the weight of homeschooling in light of current events, it’s been a difficult season, to say the least. The trauma of racism, Charlottesville, the uncivil rhetoric of leaders, local and global violence, and other current events collectively concern us as we seek to live out love of God and neighbor in the context of a chaotic world. This makes your role as a Christian home educator all the more important.  Read more

Managing Multiple Grades in Your Homeschool Curriculum

Two children playing outside with text overlaid: "Managing Multiple Grades in your homeschool curriculum"

When homeschoolers talk about managing multiple grades in their homeschooling curriculum, one topic comes up again and again: Time. There’s never enough of it in the homeschool setting. Three kids. Four dogs. A household. Church. Neighbors. Friends. Spouse. Chores. Three sets of curriculum! How can I possibly fit in three sets of curriculum!? Here are some principles to remember: Read more

Leaving Worksheets Behind – Creativity in Your Homeschooling

Adding creativity in your homeschooling - child coloring with crayonMake room for creativity in your homeschooling curriculum

At the end of each academic year, I would always ask my students, “What were your favorite assignments and projects this year?” In all my years of teaching, I never heard a student respond that his or her favorite assignment was a textbook assignment or worksheet. Rather, students always selected memorable projects like: Read more

Four Tips on Homeschooling at the Kitchen Table

Two students homeschooling at a kitchen table

How many of you use your kitchen table for multiple purposes, such as meals, art, building projects, and recreational reading? Do you also use your kitchen table for the majority of your homeschooling endeavors? If you do, you’re not alone.

The vast majority of homeschooling families have multiple purposes for their kitchen table as well. So, in order to reduce chaos in your kitchen table transitions, here are four tips for homeschooling at the kitchen table: Read more

What We Want — or What We Need?

Holding out roll of cash - what we want

In our homeschooling journeys, are we modeling for our children to pursue what we want, or to seek out what we truly need?

As I read Acts 3:1-10, I was struck by the story of the lame man. Lame from birth, he was daily carried to the gates of the Temple where he asked for alms of those who entered the Temple. Imagine a life habituated towards asking for alms on a daily basis . . . yet, we see it every day in the lives of the homeless. “Do you have a quarter to spare?” the man asked me as I went through McDonald’s drive through. He looked at me expectantly. “Yes,” I responded and handed the man some cash. “God bless you.” Read more

Homeschooling in the Spirit

Young boy laughing joyfully while reading Scripture

Is it possible to educate our children in such a way that we are homeschooling in the Spirit? I always stand amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit each time I read the book of Acts. For example, today I read Acts 8 and was reminded of how in verse 29 the Spirit says to Philip “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip follows the lead of the Holy Spirit and guides the eunuch in his understanding of Isaiah and “preached Jesus to him” (verse 35). The eunuch believes in Jesus and asks to be baptized.

A similar event happened to my friend, Sue, this week. Sue was walking the trails of Fullerton and she passed by a truck with two workers, she felt a nudge from the Spirit to go back and share with the workers. She turned around, walked back, and struck up a conversation with one of the men. Read more

A Prayerful Observer Discovers Entry Points to Paradigm Shifts in a Child’s Home Education

Woman Praying - A Prayerful Observer - Inspired Home Educator Blog Post

When we become a prayerful observer of our children’s thought processes, learning styles, values and worldview, the Lord can highlight entry points to help bring new academic and spiritual understanding.

In Acts 11, Paul addresses the Athenians by standing in the Areopagus and saying, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ What therefore you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you . . . ” Paul then goes on to preach the gospel message.

Note three aspects of Paul’s approach to teaching in Acts 17:22-31: Read more

Fostering Wonder and Curiosity for Science and Research at Home

Little Girl in Wonder watching a hose spray water

How great God is and how great is His creation! Every time I gaze at the stars, scan the canopy of heaven, inhale the beauty of the ocean, explore underwater sea creatures, touch the soft fur of my favorite canine, or marvel at a spider’s orb web, I gasp and declare that God’s creation shouts His glory.

I am awed by His handiwork, wrapped up in His beauty, and enveloped in His love as He displays His love through the gift of nature. We were created by God and placed in a garden among plants and creatures. Nature is the place where we flourish as we are nourished by His love and beauty in the created order. We learn about our Creator through the book of nature (see Romans 1). And so, as an educator, I’ve always given value to building upon the natural design of the child which is consistently awe, wonder, and curiosity in relationship to the created order.

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As the Sculptor Works: Glacial Molding and the Spiritual Lives of Home Educators

Woman standing, facing large glacier - as the sculptor works blog photo

After a busy year homeschooling your children, it is always great to take a break! Robin Slagle, Academic Director, highlighted the importance of rest in one of her recent homeschooling blogs for The Inspired Home Educator. . . I hope you will read it!

The way my husband and I took a break this summer was by spending 10 days in Alaska with our friends, Pete and Dyanna, celebrating their 40th anniversary. Dyanna is a former homeschool mom and currently an educator working with homeschool families.

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