Category Archives: Devotional

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

Prayer and Self-Regulation: A Spiritual Practice that Increases Focus and Self Control

Editor’s Note: Enjoy this week’s blog by Luciano Cid, Assistant Professor of Biola University’s School of Education, as he explains the connection between the role of prayer and self-regulation in a child’s development.

Young Girl reading quietly on a couch demonstrating prayer and self-regulationRecently, while I was teaching Sunday school to a group of four and five year old children, I experienced an amazing psycho-spiritual event. You see, although the children who normally make up my Sunday school class tend to be extremely well behaved and respectful, this particular day, for some reason, a great majority of them were acting a bit unruly. Read more

Grace-Filled Homeschooling – Finding Hope in the Mess

Editor’s Note: Today, we welcome Director of Torrey Academy, Catherine Hood. Her first contribution to the Inspired Home Educator is this blog, “Grace-Filled Homeschooling.” She is an alumna of Torrey Honors Institute at Biola University, and comes to us with home education and classical education experience from The Cambridge School in San Diego, CA and Grace Classical Academy in Laguna Niguel, CA. Her keen insight into the lives of our students, the role of education, and the importance of faith is evident in conversation, and—as you’ll see—her writing. Know of someone who needs to find hope in the mess? Consider sharing this blog on grace-filled homeschooling with them.

Closeup sad child being hugged by his mother at home. Grace-filled Homeschooling.Parenting is hard work. Teaching is hard work. Sometimes you may wonder why you chose to combine both of those challenges into your daily life. During a recent Torrey Academy Parent Forum, one homeschool mom shared the best piece of advice she had received when she began homeschooling: “You just need to accept that as a homeschool parent, you will see the worst of your kids, and your kids will see the worst of you.” Read more

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

The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child

Editor’s note: This week’s post, “The Case for Homework: Capturing the Heart of My Child” is written by our BYA Temecula Valley Campus Coordinator, Barb Tupaj. We’re grateful for Barb’s keen insight, gathered and gleaned from over a decade of homeschooling and years as a BYA parent and campus coordinator.

Mother and teen daughter spending time doing homeschool curriculum homework together

The 2017-18 academic year marks my tenth year as a Biola Youth Academics parent. This is also the year my youngest of five children began schooling with Star Academics. This milestone has proven to be exciting and challenging for my daughter and for me.

Biola Youth Academics is known to be an academically rigorous program for homeschool students—which I love. It is also known to have equally high expectations of parents, which I admit does not always stir up loving emotions. In particular, the requirement that parents grade their student’s homework can sometimes frustrate me as I struggle to complete my daily tasks as a wife and working homeschool mom. I can be inclined to put off the grading or view it as a burden. 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

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

Modeling Christ at Home

Woman writing at home

Our children pick up on whether or not we are modeling Christ at home. For instance, I am not a professional writer, but I love to write. However, I have not always enjoyed writing. In high school, I used to loathe writing assignments, and saw them as time spent not doing other things that were more interesting…talking on the phone with my friends (remember stretching the phone cord as far as it would go so you could have some privacy?). I tried to complete these assignments as covertly as I could, because if my mother discovered an opportunity to write, she took it; whether it was a thank-you note, a letter to my grandmother, but especially if it was a homework assignment. 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

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