My Introduction to CM

For the last 17 years I have homeschooled our children. For the most part we have been eclectic unschoolers. I could never fully buy into being a radical unschooler, but having a daily schedule consisting of curriculum was not going to work either. While this particular method, or lack of, worked well for our older two children I was not sure I wanted to continue this path with our 3 children still at home. So, we joined a co-op and added a little more curriculum, but overall we have stayed pretty laid back in our approach. We are not exactly curriculum fools around here, but we are not unschooling either. While this is working for the time being, I am not thrilled with the direction of our homeschool and have been trying to figure out what needs changed. I didn’t know what was coming into view on our horizon…

Two years ago I dear friend began a local Charlotte Mason book study. Now Charlotte Mason was a name I have heard throughout the homeschool community, but honestly I never really paid much attention to her or her educational philosophies. However, I was really intrigued with this particular lady’s approach to homeschooling and life so I decided to attend. Over the next year I discovered that many of Charlotte Mason’s 20 principles were things I already believed. At the end of our first year of book study I was willing to give this Charlotte Mason some room in our homeschool, but how much room was yet to be determined. Summer break had arrived, life moved on, and Charlotte Mason and her ideas were put on the back burner.

As the 2018 school year began I re-dedicated myself to learning more about Charlotte Mason through the book study and joined a Charlotte Mason group. Once a month I gathered with other mom’s to continue our exploration of Charlotte Mason’s principles and philosophies. The more I read and learned the more enthralled I became. By now I owned all 6 of the pink volumes, but only ever opened 1 or 2 (Philosophy of Education & Ourselves). As for the CM group, we met twice a month for Art Study, Composer, Poetry/Recitation, Hymn/Folk song, Handicraft, Shakespeare, Swedish Drill, and Nature Study. It was a wonderful introduction for someone like myself who really had no clue how to bring CM into our homeschool. However, that truly was the extent of Charlotte Mason that would enter our lives over the next year and now summer has come upon us again.

Only this time I have a plan and made a promise to myself to learn more about Charlotte Mason, her philosophy, and how to implement a Charlotte Mason education into our home. I have put together a stack of books to read this summer: Know and Tell, The Living Page, and Pocketful of Pinecones are just a few that are sitting by my bed. These books, which I am eager to read and I expect to be wonderful, do not compare to the knowledge I hope to gain from reading Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschooling Series.


Fat Tuesday

In celebration of Fat Tuesday I made Jambalaya and Kings Cupcakes. It was a delicious meal and a simple affair here at our house. But it is what starts tomorrow that really had me excited. For tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, which means Lent begins and I cannot wait! 

This year I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out what I can give up for Lent. Unfortunately, I have been drawing blanks. Chocolate, chips, soda, food of some sort is a common item to fast. TV, Facebook, or another electronic is also something many consider. I’ve looked at all of these as an option, but in the the end I decided to join a challenge to spend the next 40 days de-clutttering my house. Clutter is something I definitely need to give up, but is not just physical clutter that needs to go.

As I set out to get rid of 1 bag a day to de-clutter I also want to add value to my life. I want to intentionally bring joy, happiness, and God into every area and throw out the self-hatred, self-destructive, and selfish behaviours I have. I want to succeed in goals that sit on the backburner, because I make excuses for not accomplishing them – whether it’s working out, reading a book, or going to school.

This Lent I’m taking steps to begin living life the way God wants me to. 

The Feet of a Child

As I rummaged through the box of shoes looking for a pair to slip on so that I could go check the mail. I came across my 10 year olds flip flops. Hmm, I slip one foot into the shoe and as the realization that our feet are now the same size hits me so does a flood of memories. 

Me pregnant and shoveling snow, holding him right after his birth, playing with him as a baby, toddler, a little boy, the numerous conversations we now have and how he is so excited to stand next to me hoping that he is close to being the same height as me.

It amazes me how fast time slips by. This child who is such a blessing from the Lord above is growing up to fast. In a few years he will be driving, heading to college, and leaving home to start a life of his own. 

But for now I will cherish the time we still have. Too soon his shoes will be to big for me and I will have to look up to see his face. So for now I will savor this moment where I can wear his flip flops to check the mail.

God Sweetened

For years I have felt alone and not worthy of God’s love. I watched women come into my life who had the radiance of God pouring out from them. Oh, how I longed to be like them. Yes I was jealous, because I wanted that. I wanted to feel the sweetness that came from their soul to pour out of mine as well.

Clueless as to how one becomes God sweetened, I found myself praying that God would fill me. That I too would become the vessel of love that these women in my life portrayed. Yet, it did not come. I did not know the secret. Nor did I know how one found the secret to being God sweetened.

Days have gone by and I still longed for the sweetness and the love of the Father to radiate throughout me. Would I ever feel the way I thought these women felt? Would my life ever exemplify the love that these women show me and those around them.

God sweetened – that was what I long to be.

Eventually I did learn the secret to how one becomes God sweetened. It was revealed to me as I drove to a “training event”. I was so nervous and anxious. I did not know anyone there. It is in a town an hour and a half away from my home. I was totally out of my comfort zone. I could feel my anxiety rising and I knew that the only way I would get through this weekend was by the grace of God. Only I knew that while God’s grace would get me through the weekend. If I truly wanted to feel His presence and bask completely in His love it was going to cost me something.

You see I have been wrestling with God for years and every fiber in my being knew that he was requiring one thing from me –

One thing I have struggled to give-

One thing that my control nature –

One thing that my sin nature –

One thing my flesh did not want to let go of –

That thing was MYSELF! He was requiring me to surrender all to Him. This is not easy. This is not fun. This is not what I want to do. Every part of me wants to control the reigns. To drive my own vehicle to my own destiny. To live my life according to my own terms. To guide my own path. To see the future I WANT.

Yet, there is a yearning in my soul. A calling on my life that I have run from since I was a child. A calling to surrender all. To give up all.

As I pulled into the parking lot I have up my weekend, my wants, my desires, and placed them in His hands. In return I found the secret to how one becomes God sweetened.

To be God sweetened you have to surrender. You have to align your heart with His. Then you will taste what I can only describe as pure joy. A joy that overcomes, that shines into the darkest parts of your soul and brings life to the hurt. To the pain. To those places that you keep buried deep inside.

Only once I allow Him to penetrate every part of my being can I become the woman God has called me to be.

Only once I surrender it ALL can I be God sweetened.

“So he cried out to Adonai, and Adonai showed him a tree. When he threw it into the waters, they were made sweet.” ~ Exodus 15:25 TLV

“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” ~ John 7:38 TLV


Learning Obedience

“It has been well observed that each of the three recorded temptations of our Lord in the wilderness is a suggestion, not an act of overt sin, but of an act of wilfulness, that state directly opposed to obedience, and out of which springs all that foolishness which is bound up in the heart of a child” Charlotte Mason Vol 1 p 161

This month as we work on the habit of obedience it is not only my children’s wilfulness, but my own which must be brought to the cross. It is so easy to see my child’s lack of obedience, but how often do I look at my own.

Over the past few months the Lord has been calling me. He has wanted me to take steps within my life that truly if left to me I would never have taken. He is calling me out of my comfort zone. I have stepped out in faith and my heart has been refreshed and made new as I begin listening to His call.

It is NOT easy to obey as my own wilfulness gets in the way. The condemnation of Satan torments me and sends fear to my heart. Yet, my Father comforts me and tells me to not be afraid. For my path had been set before me. I see the future, I see the way, but yet it is a hazy.

The reality of where my Father is leading me is just around the corner. It may not be perfectly clear, but I know that as long as I’m on the path He set before me, as long as I’m obeying His call it will be the perfect place for me.

Only each day I must cultivate the habit of obedience. I must die to self that I may live for Him. Each day I must confront my own wilfulness, my sinfulness and kneel at the cross.

I began the month trying to instill a habit of obedience in my children. However, the Lord is using this month to instill the habit of obedience in me.

“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people; and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you.” ~ Jeremiah 7:23

DoTerra “Breathe”

Recently I joined DoTerra. To be honest I am not sure why I joined, but I wanted to see if their oils were really as good as some of my friends believe.

Before I go an further though I need to tell you a few things: First, I am not a stranger to essential oils. In fact I use to joke that I used oils years before they became cool. Second, I am aware of the terms used by DoTerra. Third, I know what many say about using oils without a carrier and internally as well as using oils on children.

With that said… Years ago it was recommended to me to use Eucalyptus when one of my older sons would get sick. I would dilute it and rub it on his chest and honestly I never bought Vapor Rub. The oil may not have “healed” his colds, but it always eased the stuffiness and coughing, which resulted in less frequent asthma attacks.

Fast forward 10 years, a few more kids added to our family, and a cold that has been trying to attack my family over the holiday season. We have done quite well holding it off, but as I lay in bed this night I hear my daughter starting to cough in her sleep. My daughter is also asthmatic and 99% of her attacks are a result of a cold. So  I typically go on high alert when she is the one who is catching a cold.

Tonight was no different. I tried to ignore her cough, I prayed it was just a little one, but the longer I laid in bed the more she coughed. I knew by the sound that she didn’t need a breathing treatment, but she did need some relief. I looked at the oils and made a mental note that I do not have eucalyptus and I need to order some more. I have two different kinds for respiratory: Eden’s Garden -Breathe Easy and DoTerra – Breathe. I decided to go with DoTerra since I haven’t tried it yet. I diluted it to be safe in a roller ball put it on her chest and then went back to bed.

The results: she coughed once and has slept soundly ever since. Seriously, I am beyond impressed! I will definitely use Breathe again and hopefully I will have the same results.


Welcome to Mom’s Mission Field!

I am Tanya, your host – I have been married for 21 years and have 5 beautiful children ranging from 4 – 19 years old. We spend our days homeschooling, pretending to be homesteaders and enjoying each others company (most of the time). We live in the Southeast on 5 acres with 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 parakeets, a hamster, and 2 American Guinea Hogs.

I love holidays so much that my family says I will make up a holiday just so we can celebrate. We start with the New Year and end with counting the 12 Days of Christmas. We clean our house of leaven for Passover and hide eggs on Easter. We camp during Sukkot and dress up for Halloween. We light the Menorah & the Advent candles. Our goal is to have fun and find God and Jesus in all things.

You see I am on a mission to bring my children to Christ. To have our family grow in God’s love. To bring our family into healthy living. To get out of debt. To learn some new crafts. To bring our homeschool more in line with Charlotte Mason’s philosophies. To live a life of purpose and to live a life worth living.

These are my goals for the new year. This is where I will share about my mission. Welcome to Mom’s Mission Field!

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