Redirecting Our Hearts When Our Strength Fails Us

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There are days I don’t want to get up early and start school. There are nights I don’t want to sit down and prep for the next week or even the next day. It’s these days that are mixed with part chronic pain and fatigue and part laziness.

How do we overcome our reluctance to do what we know we ought to?

Sometimes weariness weighs us down, and it’s just easier to take the easy way out, allowing for more lazy days or cutting corners with the lesson planning.

It’s one thing to allow for a day of rest. It’s quite another to make a habit of it. So where do we go from here?

I’ve been here—a lot! There have been so many disruptions to our school with having a medically-complex son. There have been a lot of weeks of running back and forth to Children’s Hospital Colorado. And then, when we are finally able to have a day at home, the last thing we want to do is buckle down and learn the eight parts of speech.

First, give yourself a little grace and take a deep breath. Burnout takes on many forms. Sometimes it’s due to taking on too much and working at a rigid pace. Other times it’s because life comes at us. And does not relent. Ever.

I’m definitely in the latter group. I don’t feel like I’ve ever had a normal school year. I start the year off with great expectations only for it to fizzle a month into it. But one thing I’ve learned in all of this is that I cannot quit. I may crawl for a while, or even take a few days to regroup and catch my breath. But because I am determined to stay the course, I will not give up.

We’ve all heard the adage, “Slow and steady wins the race.” It applies just as well to homeschooling.

The key is to keep our focus on the main thing. Not academic rigor. Not personal peace and affluence. But on CHRIST. He should be our sole focus. Everything else will fall into place.

Give yourself enough grace to fall. But get back up. Keep plugging along. Drag your feet if you have to. You’ll get there eventually. But you will get there.

Our hearts do not necessarily have to be into it. But with repetition and keeping focused, it soon will follow. We may not love homeschooling, but homeschooling will love. Consider what you are doing a commitment to your children, your spouse, and most importantly, to God. You may not feel love for it yet. But you will. Love is doing, not feeling.

When you’ve lost the luster, when you feel that you can’t go on, keep on. It is God who replaces our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh; it is He, too, that gives us the desires of our heart. His heart. Pray for renewal, for wisdom, for strength.

So when you’re curled up in bed, underneath piles of warm blankets, and you are tempted to stay there a little longer, smile, and thank God for the opportunity He has given you. To nurture and love the children God has placed in your care.

What a blessing! Keep looking up and keep moving. You’ll get there.


Cheryl L. Stansberry is a Reformed Christian (OPC) writer with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people. She homeschools her four children out on the eastern plains of Colorado.

But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord ~ Joshua 24:15b

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).