Friday, December 8, 2017

A 3:00 A.M. Tea-Time with a Grandson
Teachable moments change lives. 
They can last a life time too. 
~~~~~
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.     Proverbs 22:6
Our daughter and her family came for the Thanksgiving holiday on Wednesday. At 3:00 a.m. on Thursday, our 17 year old grandson beat me down stairs to have a snack while I started the turkey preps. As I brought out the supplies and utensils, Seth munched on green grapes as my teacup waited piping hot on the counter for me to take quick sips. 

Note: Tea-time is just an excuse to come together. Drinking the liquid isn’t always necessary. Grapes will do too

“Do you want to learn how to make the dressing, Seth?”

His response was as enthusiastic as his quick spring from the kitchen stool, “Sure.” 

Taking advantage of the unplanned moment, I handed Seth the bag of dressing mix and said, “Follow the directions.” With a whip-lash look at me, he took the challenge. 

Smiling ear-to-ear when all was complete, Seth thought he was finished. 

My own smile crossed my face with a mischievous twinkle in my eye as I handed him an egg. “This is my grannie’s secret to a moist dressing. Open the egg, drop it in the mixture and stir.” 

While the dressing was being made, I cleaned the turkey once more.  So, it was ready for Seth to stuff his first turkey. The smile dropped from Seth’s face when he realized, he was going to be cramming the bird himself. Teachable moments do have unexpected surprises

The packed 21 pound bird looked comfortable in the aluminum foiled pan lined with extended foil. “Dry your hands real well. You’re going to season this big guy.” 

Dried herbs from our garden was waiting on a plate. “Take hold of the Rosemary branch. Smell it.” 

With a look that silently said, “O.K.” Seth waited for further instructions. 

“Pull the barbs off the stem and crush them in the palm of your hand like this.” 

He mimicked me. 

“Now smell!” 

“Wow. It’s smells stronger.” 

“Crushing dried herbs brings out their oils. Do this with all these herbs as you sprinkle them over the turkey.” 

The Thanksgiving smells were beginning to fill the kitchen. The bird looked good with its colorful makeup of seasonings. Now was the time of sharing a secret of my own with Seth. 

As I was showing Seth how to fold and seal the extended aluminum foil around the turkey without touching it, I shared, “The best ingredient you can add to anything you are making is prayer. Yes, pray that the food turns out good without becoming a burnt offering. However, it’s the prayers you pray for the people you’re going to serve that makes the work seem easy, the food tastes fine, and peace fills the air as well as your guests.”

With quivering arms, Seth carried the decked out bird to the hot oven. Avoiding the oven walls and elements he laid down the heavy silver pod with ease. As he closed the oven door, it seemed as if he stood taller than ever before. 

A grin crept wide on his face, “Grand-mommy, I’m going back to bed.” 

I’d planned on going back to bed too after the kitchen was back in order and my teacup was empty. Nevertheless, as I headed to bed our youngest grandson surprised me with, “Good morning, Grand-mommy.” There’s a teachable tale here too, but that will wait for another day. 

The best bast is prayer. 
Time ticked on, the seasonings were sending out waves of wonderful aromas, and Seth was ready to experience basting the turkey. Folding the foil back and tucking the ends under, it looked like a nest of silver around the bird. Seth’s parents watched with surprise as he took ownership of the process. 

Thanksgiving morning started with a cup of tea and a bowl of grapes in the wee hour of 3:00 a.m. that turned into a teachable moment that built confidence in a teen that will last him a life time.  


What was your favorite tea-time? 

Teachable moments make the most interesting stories. What is one of yours? 

May you continue to steep in the Lord’s presence for unexpected teachable moments that will last you a life time. 

Uplifting blessings, 
Carolyn 


Friday, November 17, 2017

Thanksgiving Delight

May the aroma of your Thanksgiving prayer fill the room like a bouquet. 
When the turkey is in the oven, the pies are already baked, and the side dishes are waiting their time to be to put on the table, it's the perfect time for tea.

As host and cook, one needs an uplifting break to be able to fulfill family and friends expectations of the Thanksgiving meal. For some of us it's a joy while others see it as a living sacrifice. No matter ones point of view, prepares are the calling cards of bring everyone together.

Taking a pause in Christ's uplifting presence over a teacup is a gift one gives ones self.

How do I know? This is my 51st Thanksgiving day preparation since I've been married. A pause with  just Jesus and me renews me before family and friends ring the door bell. The tea is the excuse to give a personal thanks to the one who makes the Thanksgiving celebration a blessing.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Enjoy overflowing Thanksgiving blessings in your serve. 

Carolyn 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Big Dipper is My TeaCup




God gave me the Big Dipper for my 70th birthday present. I’d known since I was seven years old that God had given me a full cup of His love when He answered my prayer asking Him to let me be His little girl. 

My mother had abandoned my younger brothers and me when I was five. Our step-mother told me she tried to give me away to my mother’s family but no one wanted me without my brothers then she told me that my mother didn’t want me, my father doesn’t want me and for sure she didn’t want me. 

Nonetheless, I knew Jesus loved me because of the song the Vacation Bible School ladies taught us. “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so.” Along with this song and the dark blue felt board Gospel stories, I knew to go to God for love, comfort, and acceptance. 

The day of my 70th birthday, I woke up with joy. I asked God to celebrate my birthday with me. It was my plan to look for His gifts especially for me through out the day. I wasn’t disappointed. 

Before I had my first cup of tea, I took our miniature long haired doxie out in the backyard for his morning constitutional. The stars were like diamond chips on a black velvet sky. They just seemed to sparkle extra bright and then I saw the Big Dipper. It’s handle seem to almost reach down to touch the horizon. I felt like I could reach out and take hold of it. 

As I paused in the wonder of God’s creation, I felt within my soul God said to me that the Big Dipper was my teacup. It was filled with His love for me. This was my first birthday gift for the day. It was huge!

Immediately, I made a birthday wish. I can’t wait for Abba to fulfill it. All I can say, because I can’t tell a birthday wish, is that the desire will be part of bringing God glory and a gift to Him from my heart. 

I’ve seen how big and full God’s love is for me specially on this birthday when I saw the Big Dipper sparkle in the dark sky.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14
 is my birthday wish for each one of you on your special day. 

Keep an eye out for the gift God has for you. 

What’s the biggest gift God gave you? Have you ever woke up with so much joy that you asked God to share the day with you? What happened? 

Uplifting Blessings, 

Carolyn 

Monday, July 17, 2017

A pause in scripture is a sweet treat any time. 

Summer time brings sweltering days.  Nevertheless, there are two things that refreshes the soul. 

⏩ The first is a personal pause in scripture. 

          Even in the summer a cup of French Vanilla is for me while steeping in scripture.

⏩ The second is pouring over scripture with a friend.

         Sharing an icy cold pitch of peach tea is extra refreshing while discussing what we've read. 

Proverbs 11:25 has a promise for those who are willing to refresh others. 
             
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. 

As the hot days carry on, may you take time when the heat of the day tries to drag you down and drink in the Word of God. It'll be a sweet experience.

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sharing More than Peaches

With an arm load of fresh peaches a neighbor shared  her treasures with me.

The unexpected delight inspired me to make my simply easy peach cobbler. Little did I know the peach cobble was going to be shared beyond my family.

A sorrowful friend stopped by as the bubbling cobbler was pulled from the oven. She was having a real pity party and wanted me to join her. However, with a bowl of peach cobbler and over a teacup, we blow out her pity party candle with prayers and scriptures. She went home full of renewed strength,  peach cobbler, and a doused candle.

We never know what God has planned when one friend shares what they have and we make something from their gift to share with another in need. That's TeaCup living in action.

Remember the meaning of TeaCup:
T = giving time to others
e = encouragement to others
a = acceptance of others
in
C = Christ's
u = uplifting
p = presence.

Simple Peach Cobbler


Simple Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup butter, sliced
4 cups peaches, peeled & sliced
2 cups sugar, divided

2 teaspoon almond extract, divided
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking power
1 cup heavy cream

Place butter slices on the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. 

Toss together peaches 1 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon almond extract
in large bowl. Spread mixture evenly over butter slices in baking pan. 

In a medium size bowl combine flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon almond extract, 
heavy cream. Mix until smooth. Pour batter over peaches and drag a spoon 

through batter and peaches to marble. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until golden brown. 

Serve warm or cold. 

Uplifting blessings, 
Carolyn

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Scandinavian Almond Cake below is easy to make. 
There is a time and a way to be both  Martha and Mary when practicing hospitality. 

Martha was one who chose all of the distractions of preparations when Jesus came to her home while Mary "sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said."(Luke 10:39)

Hosting tea-time gatherings is my delight. Over the years, I went from being a Martha who continued to fuss when the guests came through the door. With a quick welcome, I would rush around to bring perfection to the party. However, the only thing perfect about those times were my frayed nerves.

Learning to pause over a cup of tea to plan a tea-time schedule before the gathering helped me to become more like Mary. With a make ahead menu and reliable tablescape, I had the pleasure to sit with my guests and enjoy their company after the welcome.

While preparing the treats; I stir in prayers, spread praises, and lift up requests for my expected guests.  As the cups and saucers are lined up like faithful soldiers, I ask God to fill the place with His presence. 

I'm usually the last things I work on before the door bell begins to ring. Nevertheless, my nerves are not frayed, but my hair maybe. Combining preplanning, make ahead treats, prayer filled pauses, Martha and Mary traits makes practicing hospitality a breeze. 

This recipe I double the batch when I make it. One to serve and the other to freeze in order to be ready for impromptu teas.

Scandinavian Almond Cake

1 1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds
powered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat cake pan with cooking spay and dust with flour.  Set aside.

Beat together sugar, eggs, almond extract and milk.  
Add flour, baking powder and melted butter.   Mix well. 

Pour mixture into cake pan. 

Bake 45 to 50 minutes.  Cool and dust with powdered sugar.  


Option: may serve with fruit and whip topping

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.
Psalm 29:11

Not all wars are on a foreign battlefield. Not all weapons are used by hands other than held tight together in prayers. 

When we steep in Christ's presence before any battle, we are made strong. There is victory on the battlefield of faith when we infuse ourselves in Christ's uplifting presence. 

May your battles be few. Your victories reflect Christ. Your triumphs lead others to Jesus Christ. 

Steep in victory!
     Carolyn

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who's Your Valentine?

May your Valentines Day be sweet and filled with blessings. 

Gifts of chocolate candy are sweet. Red roses are beautiful. A gift of remembrance is a delight for Valentines Day, Christmas Day, or any other Special Day when the gift is given with love or appreciation. 

1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV) reminds us, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.” Since God is love and the Spirit is the very spirit of God, then when we give gifts, it’s not the item that shows we care but the act of sharing the Spirit of love. 

A friend gave all of us in our book club a dish towel with a heart that said, “Happy Valentines Day.” The unexpected gift is a treasure for the silent message she gave each of us. She thought of us when she picked up these towels to show she cares. Today, this special towel will be hanging in my kitchen. Tomorrow, it will be cleaned, folded with care, and put away in order to be brought out again next Valentines Day as well as in the years to come. 

I have found that dish towels are ideal gifts. They can be beautiful as well as practical. When I have a sick friend, I like to use a tea towel to wrap a teacup filled with tea bags to take as I wish her well. Teen’s eyes light up when they receive a tea towel gift too. 

Shopping is not my thing.  Nevertheless, I am a buyer, picking up half a dozen or more tea towels when I find charming ones making these pre-picked gifts easy to store and ready gifts. 

However, 2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV) reminds us who we should continuously praise for the best gift of all. It says, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” His Son, Jesus is always there to reach out to, take a hold of, and steep in His uplifting presence. 

Let’s all remember that Jesus is the best Valentine ever. He doesn’t want sweets, flowers, or towels. He just wants each of us to show up with open hearts to be filled with Him. 

Happy Valentines Day!

Carolyn 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Steep in Praise

TeaCup Living brings refreshing moments of peace, joy, and praise. 

Only seven days into to 2017 and Psalm 47 encourages us how to live; especially me. May you find time to pour a cup a tea (coffee) to pause in this boosting power for the year ahead. 

Psalm 47

1 Clap you hands, all nations;
   shout to God with cries of joy. 
2 How awesome is the LORD Most High, 
   the great King over all the earth!
3 He subdued nations under us, 
   peoples under our feet. 
4 He chose our inheritance for us, 
   the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.          Selah

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy, 
   the LORD amid the sounding trumpets. 
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
   sing praises to our King, 
   sing praises. 

7 For God is the King of all the earth;
   sing to him a psalm of praise.
8 God reigns over the nation;
   God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
   as people of the God of Abraham, 
   for the kings of the earth belong to God;
   he is greatly exalted. 

Enjoy a moment of giving God a personal praise to sweeten your tea-time. 

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.  2 Thessalonians 3:5