” So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I am a southern girl through and through and for many years the only tea that touched my lips was cold and sweet! I have learned to love a good cup of Earl Gray or Red Raspberry tea with honey but sweet tea is my first love. If you are like I was and not a huge fan of hot tea, don’t’ despair you can have some great tea time discipleship without any tea. My oldest is the only person in our family that does not like tea in some form or another. He doesn’t want it cold or hot. However, we still enjoy the concept of tea time discipleship. It just means that with him I choose lemonade in the summer and hot cocoa or apple cider in the winter. It isn’t about what we are drinking but taking that time apart from everything else to enjoy a treat and conversation.
“I don’t feel very much like Pooh today, ” Said Pooh, “There, there, ” said Piglet. “I’ll bring you tea and honey until you do.” A. A. Milne
My dear friend and college roommate’s mother, known as ‘Mama Judy’ is well known for her assertions that a good cup of tea can fix most of life’s problems. On the outside it seems a bit silly, but when we dig a bit deeper I think we come to see that Piglet, ‘Mama Judy’ , and Sally are all onto something with their glasses of hot tea. It is not necessarily the tea itself, but the concept of taking a few minutes to relax and enjoy a comforting beverage especially one prepared by a friend who is ready and willing to listen to our hearts. As Sally said on page 174, “Preparing ahead of time speaks to others of my love and their value. It’s an open invitation for them to share life with me. ” When we take the time to offer refreshment, care, and time to those we love we speak into their hearts.
1 Thessalonians chapter 5 talks about building one another up and encouraging each other. For Sally that was often serving tea and cookies with a listening ear and an open heart. How can we apply that verse in our own lives and homes? I have been trying to make sure that my children all have time with me when they can share their hearts and enjoy my undivided attention. This is still a work in progress for me as multiple children and multiple home businesses sometimes make my attention feel divided. I have found that for one child a few minutes in the evening at bed time can really be an encouragement to him and provide him the support he needs. Another child loves tea and all the accoutrements. In addition to my children and my spouse, I am really praying about who in my life needs love and encouragement. It is so easy in today’s society for us to all be going in different directions and not take the time to really love on those we care about. It is my goal for 2018 to find ways to show love to those around me and to be more aware of the needs of my friends and family.
Each year my daughter hosts a Christmas tea for some of our friends and neighbors. This event is such a great time of training for her as she plans a menu, cooks the food, sets the table, and shows love and hospitality to those that we have invited into our home. While it is not the one-on-one time that Sally talks about in this chapter, I pray that it helps her to be more mindful of encouraging and serving others.
Sally challenges us at the end of the chapter to write a love note for each of our children, telling them what we love about him or her. I think this is such a great practice and an easy and inexpensive way to give them a tangible reminder of our love. I hope that this chapter encouraged you share your love and encourage others either literally through tea time or whatever ways you feel led to do so.
When you sign up for our free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on. We have several fun Christmas freebies in the library already and I should have another fun holiday printable by the end of the week.
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