Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Tea & Sanity

Oh boy, do I need a cup of tea!! Over the years, tea has been a consistent reminder to slow down and sit and chat. It is funny, I have never been a fan of coffee but tea, yes. It has been a relaxing reminder that there is always time to sit and be still and let the tea cool over quiet thoughts or rich conversation when I am with some of my favorite people. Everything will be OK! It has been a common theme  from NJ to PA to SC to Niger to the Philippines. My tea buddies...you know who you are!

A few weeks ago, I was reading a story to the Kindergarten class that I love to visit. Owl, the character in the story was making "tear-water tea"....it struck a cord with me.  I have always been a crier, happy /sad, tears of joy and sorrow spill from my eyes. I have cried and even sobbed over many quiet conversations with Jesus and others over tea. Yesterday, I started a new Beth Moore Bible study with some friends here...mmmmm "Snowy Day Tea" was the choice for me. I honestly can remember multiple cups of Blueberry tea with Karen, Mint tea with Joy, a "proper" cup with Marcia, tea in the country with Beth, Tuareg tea with Julie et all my Nigerien friends, any type of tea with Mo, new tea experiences  with Jocy and certainly many cups with my tea loving husband and the list goes on.... my kids are even tea drinkers, but it is much more than a beverage choice to me. It is a tangible reminder of many precious times. It is time to be "real", it has urged me in some way to be authentic and honest with myself.

One of my favorite tea times was when I had sent my last child to Kindergarten. It is hard, right? The loneliness could be a bit overwhelming. Well, I felt the sweet quiet nudge of Jesus to make time to sit on the swing in the backyard and have tea with Him. It felt a little silly, but it changed my perspective totally. What a gift to sit and talk to Him, looking on to our beautiful yard and hearing the water in the pond, the birds in t he trees. Sweet quiet time just having tea.

I love the gentle reminders to slow down and not let circumstances get the best of me. This past few months have been quite hard, but yesterday, sipping my "snowy day tea" I enjoyed the peace and the sanity of being surrounded with ladies that I love and share life with me, who build me up and who I do not need to see all the time. Times spent with my Mom and Auntie Bren & Hillary. Man, I can not list all of you!! The connectedness is amazing, you know people who you just click with? One of those friends, I only see a few times a year when she is in town, but that has been full of joy. She often brings me this fabulous tea! I am so thankful for friends like her. The nature of our life has us living in two places, intentional  relationship is very important to me. It makes me savor the time spent!

Moving as many times as we have, I feel like I miss out on the really close..."I knew her since preschool" types of relationships, I have a bunch of what I would consider life-long friends. But I do not have a weekly girls night or a standing lunch date.  I do see those people, just not regularly. I have to be super intentional about who I see and when. I am constantly welcoming new friends and saying "see you later" to others. I am thankful for friends that have stuck with me through this crazy life of big and frequent changes. Those who speak those timely words, who pop me quick notes of encouragement, who hear me cry a lot and then laugh a lot, those who can be brutally honest with me.  I am loving this stage of life, yes, many challenges for sure, but sweet tea times  help me reflect and help me slow down and remind me of how rich my life is. I am so thankful for Jesus (who is constant through it all), tea and friends....they keep me in my right mind and bring me joy. Something wonderful indeed.

9 comments:

  1. Thank you, Chris--what a lovely image of friendship and communion. You are so generous to express how this practice has been the occasion for sustaining fellowship. Bless you there in beautiful Davao.

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  2. Snowy day tea in the tropical climate 👍 Met a hotel employee in Edmonton, Alberta last week who knew Davao well and it made me think of you all. Thanks for your blogs!

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    1. I know, never a flake here. We have lots and lots of Canadian friends! Did the employee happen to be Filipino?

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    2. Yes, she was, but I can't remember the town she was from. I think she said it was just a short distance northwest of the city.

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  3. Sitting near the ocean this morning in Davao, thinking i'll have a cup of Chai Tea. The only white we've seen lately is the white sandy beaches, but that's over on Samal Island... Chuckle... Thanks for the reminder, to slow down and enjoy His presence...

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    1. Sounds like you are enjoying!!

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  4. I love you, your heart, your sentiment, your humor, your honesty, I need to become a tea drinker!

    Sarah

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    1. Tea, milkshakes, whatever.....just slow down and enjoy who you are with! Moments need to be taken and savored and the memory of them bring joy to the heart and a smile to the face.

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