Coffee and tea…or me?

I believe God created men differently from women. I believe that He did this to allow for mankind to more fully reflect the glory and character of God. I believe that there is some reflection of God, Elohim – Creator – that resides in women in one way that is generally different from men. I believe that this way is found in our desire to see beauty in our lives.

There was a season when I determined in my heart that we couldn’t afford for me to employ any form of beauty in our home. We simply didn’t have that kind of money and I was being selfish to demand such a thing. I believe that was a wrong heart attitude and I believe I “cheated” my daughters out of a precious season of learning.

Since that time, I have purposed in my heart to find ways to add beauty into our daily lives. I so strongly believe that this is a reflection of God’s heart for woman, that I will, without hesitation ask God for ideas on ways or things to add beauty into our days/home. For this current season, the thing that the Lord laid upon my heart was implementing tea time.

You see, ever since I started reading Laine’s Letters or information from Sally Clarkson, I’ve always wanted to have a tea time at our house – it has never worked because (surprise, surprise) I’ve tried to make it “too much.” I wanted it to be perfect. So, rather than allowing it to be the time of refreshing that it was intended to be, I’ve made it a production and simply sucked the life from it. The Lord dealt with that in me and now we are able to appreciate the moment of regrouping and relationship that it should be. It has become a delight. 🙂

What, you might wonder, is different? I will tell you (even if you’re not wondering) 😉 I have put my children in charge of it. The agreement is, you may do whatever you’d like, as long as you clean it up. If you want candles, fine. If you want music, fine. If you want to make peanut butter honey and cinnamon sandwiches and cut them up, fine. If you want to serve string cheese and crackers, fine. I put no stipulations, no requirements and no expectations (THE HARDEST) on our tea time. With my new job, I am busy at the computer for a chunk of the late afternoon, so to have the children prepare tea and invite me from my computer cubby hole, is a JOY! (AND we have had some things I would never have thought to make – not the least of which was peanut butter shortbread. Delicious.)

Another area that the Holy Spirit is tugging on my heart about is (ducking) stuff. I am on a mission, with a vengeance, to eliminate more stuff from our house. We are taking 15 min each day to attack one room and gather a grocery bag full of stuff to get rid of. It really is that painless…right now. (It won’t be as we keep going and we get down to less and less stuff, I am certain.) Father keeps reminding me that beauty is not chaotic and that the stuff is a drain upon my eyes and until I get rid of it, I will struggle to see beauty in my home.

I am rejoicing that as the Lord keeps removing more of me from this equation, my daughters, in particular, are being set free to delight in and foster beauty in their lives and in our home. I cringe to think of how often I have stifled that by my expectations. So, now, rather than having more of me (and my plans), I’m delighting in afternoon tea – no matter what it looks like.

Edit: I realize that part of what makes this work at my house is the Bigs that I have.  However, please know, that even my 7 yr old is responsible for one day.  This last week we had apples that she washed and water, as I recall, but it was still a nice refreshing break for us all.  🙂

10 Responses to “Coffee and tea…or me?”
  1. MamaKayB says:

    Thanks for this reminder, Dawn. With 4 little girls I have also had many a plan for tea in the afternoon with picture studies and fine art to discuss but then I always make it too complicated and so we rarely do it. I think we will try again only this time with fewer expectations. 8)

  2. javadawn says:

    Oh MamaKayB, I had the same expectations. I kept trying to make this into a whole lot more than it “should” have been. (sigh) I pray that Father would bless your efforts and that they would be the joy and delight to your family, that it has been to ours.

  3. valerie says:

    What a lovely thing! I have a cup of tea EVERY afternoon, and there is nothing more refreshing that coming home from a hard day’s teaching, putting the kettle on, grabbing a little something sweet, and just BEING for ten minutes. LOVE it. My grandmother and my great-aunts had some lovely tea-time rituals – linen napkins, tray, bone china cups and saucers, silver cutlery sandwiches and a couple of varieties of cakes – every day! It was delightful, but my (bone-china, of course!!) mug and the plate with a bought biscuits or fried fruit or whatever, taken sprawled on the couch is just as nice, in its own unique way. We need to make life work for us.

    Oh, Dawn – last time I was in London we has tea at the Ritz – now THERE’S an experience! You have to try that one time!


  4. javadawn says:

    Valerie, Will you meet me there, if I get to go?!

    Um, Val…fried fruit?!!!! What type of fruit would one fry?

  5. valerie says:

    OOPSSS! LOL! That would be DRIED fruit. Sorry. My fingers don’t go as fast as my mind.

  6. valerie says:

    And, YES, of course! How much fun would that be??

  7. Melanie says:

    Okay, I have to be quick — it’s DH’s turn at the ‘puter 😉

    I read this earlier…. thinking maybe our snack time could become “tea time”??
    but reading more comments tonight, I just had another thought 😮

    This ‘turning it over to the dc’ to plan & execute works in a LOT of areas, ie: choosing and decorating the “perfect” Christmas tree [I used to own coordinating ornaments, beads, white lights… enter DH who likes colored lights… enter lots of DC w/creative SunSchool teachers (so lots of toddler-made ornaments) …] and enter LOTS of opinions when we go on the annual tree hunt! So one year, fairly early on (pat, pat!) I gave it up. I would say if I liked whatever tree, but I learned to like colored lights again — and be content with whatever ornaments ended up on the tree in whatever order.
    Yeah, me! =)

    …now for the rest of my brain/heart to get a clue!
    and Dawn, you would have to hit hs-ing early on, wouldn’t you?! re. ‘organic’ post …ouch…

    **Relationships. Think: Relationships.**

  8. javadawn says:

    Val, ROFL – dried didn’t even occur to me!! I was sure it was some grand Oz treat. 🙂 I must say, I am rawther disappointed. 😉

    Mel, good gir! I am just getting the “let go of the ornaments and step back from the tree” routine. Last year was my first of doing that and this year it was much easier. (Although the one branch with 4 ornaments hanging on it finally won and I HAD to move a few of them.) 😉

    Sadly, I’m still struggling withe the whole picking the tree out deal. I ended up arguing (???HELLO??) with 2 of my children about the tree this year. (when we went to cut it down, I mean) As we were driving away and the van was untypically silent the Lord said, “Oh, THAT was needful. It sure is important to get JUST THE RIGHT tree. Good thing you held fast to that argument.” UGH!!!!!! I hate it when the Lord gets sarcastic with me. 😉 I apologized to my kids, but thought of it often when I saw it sitting here in the living room. 🙄 HOPEFULLY, dense or not dense, I can remember that this year. Remind me, will ya???!!!! (In fact, EVERYONE please remind me of that!)

  9. Melanie says:

    … the “trick” is always balance, Dawn. Sometimes I wonder if I am more of an observer than a participant in the tree hunt/decorating {and cookie baking, too} =( And that is not what I want to strive for either! {oh, wretched (wo)man that I am!}

    What I am trying to do, I think, is to delight in my family’s delight — does that make sense?? Therefore it doesn’t matter if the tree is short or long-needled ETC. My comments usually focus on if it will fit in our dining room. {LOL or ARgh — I wish we could cancel school between Thanksgiving and Christmas! the room is already overfilled w/hs stuff :p and this does NOT help the Mama smile.}

    And I would be quick to say that this is a small slice of the perfectionist pie.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    OH, and just because I have to tell someone who might be impressed 😉 This year (2006) we found our tree on the old Kate Shelley farm!! Yes, the same Kate Shelley of “Midnight Express” fame. Way too fun for us history buffs 😀

  10. javadawn says:

    Melanie – woo woo – Kate Shelley’s farm! Obviously you’ve attained to “Most Favored Child Status” 😉

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