"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have" (Hebrews 13:5a).

The money shortages we experienced while homeschooling gave our family plenty of opportunities to discover life's simple pleasures. My husband and I enjoyed inexpensive dates, and we found activities for our children that cost very little money.

One springtime activity we enjoyed most was having the first picnic of the year and walking barefoot through the new green grass. After a long winter, the grass felt so good under our feet, and our children loved creating craft projects from the dandelions. My oldest daughter especially liked making dandelion rings and stringing them together into a necklace. My son streaked his face with yellow war paint made from the blossom's pollen, and my youngest daughter picked as many dandelions as her little hand could hold, giving them to me as a beautiful bouquet. Years later, when listening to my children speak of their favorite childhood memories, I found they remembered these simple, ordinary things the most.

Learning to be content with what you have is a secret few discover in this life. The apostle Paul is a wonderful example of someone who knew the contentment of having much or little when he said in Philippians 4:12, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." The success of his ministry to the Gentiles wasn't dependent on his paycheck from tentmaking; rather, it was dependent on God. In today's language, Paul learned to be happy eating steak or eating macaroni and cheese for supper. Either way, he knew that God was with him providing exactly what he needed.

Would you like to feel more content homeschooling? Learn the art of appreciating life's simple pleasures. If you constantly struggle to give your child the biggest and best, you'll not only deplete your pocketbook, but you'll also deprive your children from enjoying ordinary, everyday blessings. Adding more outside educational activities to supplement your curriculum is not always the answer either. Spending time loving each other with the blessings that God has already given is the homeschooling joy that you and your children will remember most.

Lord, please give me wisdom to understand what my children really need. While we homeschool, help us to enjoy each other's love every day and the simple things in life that You provide. In Jesus' name, Amen.