"So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33).

"OK, I think we are just about ready to go," I said to my husband as I set the last backpack and the lunch cooler by the front door.

Looking at all the items that needed to be loaded into the car, he shook his head and said, "Do we really need all this stuff just to go on a field trip for the day?"

"Yes," I replied. "The children need to work on their schoolwork in the car, and you never know what we might need once we get there. This way we will be prepared for whatever comes along."

Reluctantly, he carried each of the items to the car, even though he knew they would probably be carried back into the house without being used.

The early disciples of Christ were much better at traveling than I am. They packed nothing as they went out two by two preaching the good news of the kingdom of God. Leaving the comforts of home behind, Jesus specifically told them, "Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes" (Luke 10:4a). Freed from the weight of personal baggage, they came and went quickly as they preached and healed others in the name of Jesus. Their ministry was much more effective without the burden of lugging stuff around, and they discovered a total reliance on the Lord for everything they needed.

As homeschoolers, we can carry extra baggage that weighs down our homeschooling efforts. Instead of trusting the Lord for what we need to teach our children, we compare ourselves to other homeschooling families. We see what they are doing, and we complicate our lives by adding their activities and events to our day, robbing ourselves of simple homeschooling joys. Although these activities may be good in themselves, we risk losing the spontaneity in teaching our children because we are locked into a full schedule. Why not leave the suitcases in the closet and rediscover your freedom in homeschooling?

Lord, forgive me for placing such a burden on my children and me with all our activities. Help us to prayerfully consider all that we do as we homeschool, so we don't lose the joy in the homeschooling journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.