July 26, 2013

A Simple Cup of Tea

I'm super excited to have my mom, Debbie Lowrie, as my guest blogger today. I definitely wouldn't be the person I am today without the investment that she poured into my life. Thanks, Mom, for modeling motherhood and for not selling me to the circus during my temperamental toddler years (I now understand what patience that must have required)! You can read more at her blog: A Splash of Grace. 

A Simple Cup of Tea

I start almost every morning with a cup of tea.  Some mornings it may be an English breakfast tea or green tea.  Other days it’s a fruity herbal tea or a spicy chai!  No matter what the flavor, I find comfort in sipping the hot beverage.  Research has discovered many health benefits of tea.  Some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  Others encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol, and help with mental alertness.

Even though there are many health benefits to drinking tea, that’s not the primary reason I drink it.  To me, a cup of tea represents a few moments away from the hectic pace of life.  It’s soothing.  It’s a time when I can stop and enjoy a few moments of quiet before my busy day begins or as a mid-day break.  It may also have something to do with my Scottish heritage. 

Great Britain is known for its tea consumption.  As I researched how their afternoon tea got started, I discovered that in the early nineteenth century in England, people usually only ate two meals a day – breakfast and then dinner around 8:00 in the evening.  Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon.  The Duchess found that the solution was to have a light snack and a pot of tea privately in her bedroom during the afternoon.  Later friends were invited to join her for “tea and a walking the fields.”  Others quickly picked up on this idea and before long, many were nibbling on sandwiches and sipping tea in the middle of the afternoon.

I realize that the “sinking feeling” Anna had was just hunger, but sometimes we can get a “sinking feeling” in the middle of the day that has nothing to do with hunger.  Sometimes I wake up with that “sinking feeling” or it hits me in the evening.  Mine has more to do with fatigue, or stress, or sadness. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed  and wonder if I’ll survive one more day! How about you?  Maybe all we need is a good “cup of tea and a walking the fields”!  But how is that possible when you have little ones that need your constant attention – when you haven’t even had time to take a shower. You simply long to go to the bathroom without little fingers poking under the door.  You daydream about a time when you’ll have a few quiet moments to yourself to walk the fields. Those days WILL come, but in the meantime have a cup of tea – even if it’s just in your mind!

When you get that “Sinking Feeling,” stop for a moment and savor some TEA:

TBE THANKFUL for what you do have. 
It’s easy to get in the habit of wishing things were different. Life can be hard, but even in the mundane work of your day or in the trials that you face, you can be thankful.  As you put your dirty clothes in the washing machine, stop and thank the Lord that your family has clothes to wear; that you have precious children that can make them dirty; that you have a washing machine and don’t have to walk to the river to scrub your clothes on the rocks!  Turn moments where you normally would complain into moments of thankfulness and prayer.  Being thankful has a way of putting things in perspective. Take a sip of tea!

EEMBRACE the phase of life you are in. 
We often live in the past or the future, but seem to have a hard time living in the present.  Children can’t wait to become teenagers. Teenagers can’t wait to be adults, and adults wish they were teenagers again!  Each phase of life has its own joys and struggles.  Wishing a phase away robs you of all the blessings and “growth” that can be experienced in the present.  So laugh and dance with your little ones while they are young.  Enjoy the messes and make memories.  These times really do go by quickly. Don’t wish them away! Take a sip of tea!

AALLOCATE time for yourself. 
Life as a mother of young children is EXHAUSTING!  Take a little time for yourself.  You need time to regroup, rest, and be refreshed or you will have nothing to give to others.  For me, one of the most important ways to be renewed is to spend time reading the Bible and praying. Sharing life and frustrations with others is also important.  Knowing you are not alone often gives you the courage to press on one more day!  Take advantage of your child’s nap time, or perhaps partner with a friend and trade off childcare – maybe once a month – so you can have an uninterrupted couple of hours to be refreshed.  Do whatever it takes, and you’ll be a better wife and mother for it. Take a sip of tea!

So, the next time you get that “sinking feeling” in the middle of the afternoon, (or in the morning – or even in the evening), why don’t you stop and grab a simple cup of tea.  Pause for a moment and savor its warmth.  And while you’re at it, like Anna did, invite a friend to join you for a cup of tea. She probably needs it too!

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