June’s Blogs

My Tea Closet

Recently, I’ve begun moving my assortment of teas from the kitchen into my tearoom. By doing so, I’ve established a “Tea Closet,” of sorts. Having them handy makes choosing easier, rather than searching through my kitchen cabinet. Now I have it all in one place, making it a joy to select a new flavor or brand to try.

My “go to,” in the morning is English Breakfast Tea, but I love being adventurous occasionally (much like reading in a different genre), and choose something different. I find this doable when I have it gathered in one place. My taste buds learn something new when I sample various flavors. It might be a, “oooh, this is smooth and delicious,” or “wow, that’s too wild for me.” But I always learn something.

In my tearoom, across from the table, is my “Prayer Closet.” I found a comfortable recliner to snuggle up in, and I enjoy having my prayer shawl on the arm rest. The shawl was sent to me by my sweet friend, Sam, in Florida. Next to my chair, I keep a small basket which contains items I use during my quiet time with The Lord. A Bible, devotional, my prayer notebook, a gel pen, tissues, stamps and notecards (in case The Lord puts someone on my heart).

When I spend time in my tearoom, I leave changed. While sipping tea and communing with God, my perspective becomes more of His view than my own. The process of preparing my tea, settling into my Prayer Closet, and exploring God’s Word, gives me insight, wisdom and understanding. Often, my response is, “oooh, this verse brings peace to my spirit.” Sometimes, the Holy Spirit convicts me and I’m like, “Yikes! I’m sorry, Lord. Forgive me.” Either way, I’m changed because His forgiveness brings peace into my life.

How about you? There may not be a Tea Closet in your life, but I pray you have and use a Prayer Closet daily.

Tell me how a Prayer Closet might change you!

Tea Makes Everything Better

Does a hot cup of tea REALLY make everything better? There are many cute signs which promise there’s a tea for everything. Being an avid tea drinker, I understand the meaning behind the memes.

The simple process of preparing tea is contemplative. You can’t rush tea. It has its own time schedule. Waiting for the boil of the water and steeping of the leaves, allows me to slow down and prepare my heart.

Drinking a hot cup of tea calms my nerves, soothes my spirit, and relaxes my mind. When I’m stressed it untangles me. During times of hurt, it coats my inner pain. When my mind is so crowded I’ve left no spiritual whitespace, it erases the margins and opens up the mental page I’m thinking on.

I’ve given thought to why tea makes everything better for me. I believe It positions me to slow down so I can hear God better and be stirred by His Holy Spirit.

Why not take time today to indulge in a hot cuppa and spend time with The One who can make everything better?

My “Go To” Tea

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I love many flavors and varieties of tea. It’s interesting to experience various nuances, tastes, and aromas. One year during National Hot Tea Month (January), I sampled a different tea each day. I had so much fun and looked with anticipation toward the next day’s surprise. Some teas were smooth and mellow, while others stalked me all night. One smelled like pipe tobacco and I sampled it holding my nose with thumb and forefinger while sipping. It actually tasted decent once I made it past the smell. Predictably, it isn’t one I restock in my tea closet. Another tea I love is Margaret’s Hope, a Darjeeling. I save it for times when I meet with the Lord to discuss things on my mind. Someone asked me how many types of tea I have. About as many as the hats and books I own, was my answer. I’m really not sure. I love variety. Having confessed to such truth, I’ll add, I also have a “Go To,” tea. It’s one I enjoy in my bird mug first thing every morning. English Breakfast Tea. I believe I’ve tried the majority of its varieties and they are all delicious. My Go To Tea gets me going.

Anyone who knows me well acknowledges my love of books. They reflect many genres. Writers must be readers, so I normally have several books started and stashed all over, including one in my tote. This way, I’m able to make progress on each one, depending where I’m at. Even with books I have a Go To. The Bible. It’s the one I rely on to get me going each day. It contains many genres within the covers. There are even parts where I’d like to hold my nose and avoid the stench of sinful acts recorded by authors inspired by God. I learn from it and each day is an adventure as I read from both the Old Testament and New Testament. They soothe my soul and motivate me internally. Someone asked me how many Bibles I own. I’m not sure. I give some away when I feel led. I have different versions and use the NIV to study. I enjoy reading a passage in several translations. It gives me a broader picture of the meaning.

What is your “Go To?” What do you need daily to function and set things in motion? Let me hear from you.

Where Do The Characters Go?

After the book’s been read, where do the characters go? As the Author of The Estate Sale, I’ve lived with Emily, Seth, Rita, and the rest of the characters within the pages. After months of watching them interact, go through trials and experience God’s work in their lives, I’ve come to love them all.

They have lived with me daily. I’ve spent some sleepless nights because of decisions they made and I’ve gone through the consequences with them. They’ve caused me to laugh, cry and celebrate as each one turned a corner according to God’s plan for them.

Now that the book has been out almost six months (hard to believe), I wonder, for my readers, where the characters have gone. Do you simply put them on the shelf and forget about them? Are certain characters still roaming around in your mind or heart? I wonder about things like this.

For me, since I’m now about half done writing Book Two in this Legacy Series (which, by the way, has been named, “Legacy’s Path,), I still live with my original characters. A fun part of this is, I created new characters to join them. They live with us too so we’re one big happy family.

I can’t wait for you to meet Greta Thumburg, she’s really quite a character. Sometimes she says things which baffle but make me laugh. I shake my head and wonder if I should step in, but she has a mind of her own. Actually, all my characters do, and that’s why I can’t get them out of my head. When I’m not actually writing scenes, I’m wondering what they’re up to (like when a mom doesn’t hear her little one for a while and knows silence can’t be good). I must check in at the computer regularly just to make sure things are moving along.

I don’t think I’ll ever lose touch with my characters. They are special, heartwarming, and sometimes provoking, but they live with me. I can’t evict them so I’ll give them room. I may have to get my carpenter hubby to add on to the house, but that’s okay.

Where have my characters gone after YOU finished reading the book? Do they still come to mind? Are they roaming around your heart? I hope so. Please leave a comment and share which of the characters you can’t get to move out, and why.

Full Flavor

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I love black tea. I enjoy the full-flavor it yields. My tea pantry contains many brands and varieties, some mellow, others robust, and a couple just so-so. It’s fun to explore the fragrance, taste, and blends of each adventure in a teacup. Some flavors live up to my expectations, some disappoint and then there are those that totally take me by surprise.

The flavor pictured above had me at porch sippin’. Immediately, I was transported to some cottage or cabin by a stream, watching wildlife scamper through the trees, pausing occasionally to stare at me. After brewing a pot, and experiencing the aroma of pecan in the swirls of steam rising from my cup, I wasn’t disappointed. The right tea can do that. Transport you. It’s a state of mind, body, and soul.

When I write, I feel transported into the world I’ve created. I can live temporarily in a place I’ve never been, interact with people I developed, and express myself in ways I never dreamed of. My characters sometimes surprise me and I know then, I’ve written something I’ll be pleased to share with my readers.

One flavor of tea I tried, Sherlock Holmes Smoked English Breakfast Tea, definitely surprised me, but not in a good way. I may introduce one of my male characters to it. There have been times when, after reading out loud, a scene I’ve written, I wonder where my muse disappeared to or what new flavor of tea I drank.

That’s the adventure of the world of tea and writing. I love them both and enjoy the full-flavored satisfaction from a well-brewed cup.

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Letting Go!

January 18, 2019

I have worked hard getting my tiny tearoom rearranged and set up so I can actually invite a friend for tea. There was excess which made it feel cluttered, so I began boxing things up and creating space. I had to let go of some cute things but it wasn’t easy as a keystroke. When I first started this project, I would move an item to a different place. Then, when I worked my way to that place, I’d move it somewhere else. It finally dawned on me…I was not making progress because I refused to let go of things. I had to change if I wanted this room to serve as a place of solice, friendship and fun.

I prepared a delicious cuppa and sat in the rocker in the corner. I surveyed the room and made notes as I sipped. God joined me. I put down the note pad, leaned back and listened as He reminded me of other things I had to let go of. Things we all have stuffed within us. Unforgiveness, anger, impatience, along with a few snippy words at times. He said those things didn’t belong in any room in my heart, and He would help me let go of them if I would simply trust Him.

I finished my tea, tackled the room again, this time boxing up what needed to be eliminated. I still have more to do but I’m making progress (as you can see in this photo). The same is true with the heart things, I’m making progress, only because God’s Holy Spirt quickens my spirit when I fall back into old attitudes. As I sit in “June’s Tearoom,” this evening, I feel peace. The room seems a place of peace, and so does my heart, simply by Letting go!

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Exciting Changes

January 11, 2019

I finally, a little sadly, took down the tea tree in my tearoom. I always have mixed emotions when it’s time to pack Christmas away. This year is no exception. Once the tree was denuded of tiny teapots, teacups and meaningful ornaments from friends, I recovered. I discovered I had room to rearrange and create new cozy nooks for enjoying tea. To do this, I first had to move things out and then bring in tables and what-nots to complete my vision.

The room began to change, I tired at times, but the more I did, the more excited I became. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m enjoying the transformation. I want to give you a peek at one area I completed (although some minor changes could still happen).
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Our lives are a work in progress just like my tearoom, except God is the designer. Sometimes areas of our life get moved around, while things in another area must be removed. The good news is that God knows how he desires our life to be and what must be done to achieve it. The best part is that God never gets tired or discouraged. I get excited thinking about what God has in store for me this year and look forward to opportunities He brings my way.

Please come back to visit as I post more photos as the tearoom changes and comes together.