Thursday, September 13, 2018

Warrior Bride Says Yes to the Dress



The Warrior Bride of Christ
Have you ever been in a Bible study that inspired you and moved you to take action? Have you heard about the bride of Christ in waiting? Have you been convicted of not using a God given gift lately? 

Yes, yes, and yes are my answers to these question. 

Beth Fortune was our ladies’ Bible study teacher this summer in a six week series called Completely His: Loving Jesus Without Limits. She began by showing us through scripture A Love Story Like No Other in one of our sessions. Beth reminded us that our bridegroom has gone to prepare a place for us and that our love story is from everlasting to everlasting. 





 "I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus said in John 14:2.


Then Beth opened our eyes to the Ancient Jewish Wedding Ceremony with supporting scriptures that showed us Jesus Christ’s proposal, the price He paid, and what we are to wear while waiting for His return. This section was called, Saying Yes to the Dress: What does it look like to be the Bride of Christ…waiting on her Bridegroom. As we looked at scriptures, we saw how we are to live in the wait using the gifts from the Son, gifts from God the Father, and gifts from the Holy Spirit. 

I was convicted and motivated to use a God given gift I haven’t used in twenty years, Then deep inside me, to draw a concept of the Bride of Christ standing ready on the battlefield of life. Prayer was my weapon when fear and doubt caused me to throw down the pencil and run from the task. Like the Warrior Bride, I put on the full armor of God, picked up the pencil again and to applied what was given to me by Him.  

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readings given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,     Ephesians 6:13-17 ESV

With the thread of Beth Fortune’s teaching, the fabric of the Word, and a pencil as my needle, I crafted The Warrior Bride of Christ sketch. At the end of the Bible study, Beth gave each attendee a bookmark with the picture of the drawing to remind them of the Groom’s return and the accessories He has given us in the wait. 

What about you, have you attended an inspiring Bible study or challenged to use a rusty gift lately? 

     
Beth Fortune 
  If not, check out Beth Fortune’s Bible studies, retreats, and encouraging blog posts at  www.bethfortune.net




Uplifting blessings, 
Carolyn 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Good Read and Tea






Toes in the sand, an umbrella hat on my head, iced sweet tea beside me, and a good book in my hand makes for a perfect summer day’s vacation. 

However, before making it to the beach, I started reading A Vast and Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter with a morning cup of hot tea. The book was so good, I couldn’t save it for the 
vacation. 

My goal was to read a page or two to wet my appetite for my beach read. Those first pages were truly appetizers to a good story, interesting characters and multiple challenges to be solved. Reading every chance I could find, I read on until I was fully satisfied at the end of the story.

My hot tea grew cold that first morning as Lisa Carter introduces me to the Outer Banks of North Carolina and two challenged characters of brokenness, stubbornness, and providence. As tasty as my steamy French Vanilla tea with a splash of Almond milk was, I couldn’t reach for cup while reading the scene on the beach where Caden Wallis happens upon McKenna Dockery doing a ballerina lift on the water’s edge and lands as graceful as a butterfly. Before being caught watching her, Caden turns to quick and falls flat on his face. His prostheses tripped him. The tea grew cold but the story didn’t. 

Grace and trust were the battles between the two main characters while the coastal community was pummeled with fires, drugs, and murders. Choices turn the tides on this romantic suspense to a real good read before digging my toes in the sand and sipping tea. 


However, A Vast and Gracious Tide is a worthy re-read for as Psalm 34:18 says,
 "The LORD is close to the Brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." 



Read on!


May your summer be filled with a good read, lots of flavorful tea, and favor of Jesus Christ.  

    Uplifting blessings, 
   Carolyn

  

Monday, May 14, 2018

Serenity in the Shelter of the Savior




Spring is here with buds, blossoms, and storms. 

Warnings are splashed across the TV screen. 
Thunder rattles the windows. 
Fear tries to fill my heart. 

Whispers of scriptures begin to patter down 
like soft rain to remind me 
where to take shelter. 

As the lighting flashes, the thunder roars, 
and the TV goes black; 
calm replaced my fear. 

 There is serenity in the shelter of the Savior’s scriptures.
My heart is fortified as I ponder 
His faithfulness to shield. 

Storms may brew so strong that windows rattle, 
yet fear will flee 
because scripture pours out 
serenity in me. 


At times questions are like buds that causes us to blossom
when we seek answers in our life storms. Let us ponder budding questions and the fertile scriptures which produce fragrant answers.

Where do I run to when storms darken my life? 

What scripture is my life-line of serenity

When did serenity overcome fear as I rested in the shelter of Jesus Christ, my Savior

~~~~
Your comments are always treasured.    





~~~
Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn 



Friday, April 6, 2018

Multi-Millions Were Mine to Keep!

God's answer to my prayers was a basket full of sweetness and worth millions. 



Schwinn Bicycle company was my account in Boulder, Colorado when I was with Professional Travel Corp as a corporate account manager. I inherited this neglected account when I began with the company. Like most new employees, I started off on a three month probation trial. Millions of dollars would be lost if I didn’t find a way to restore this business relationship. 

Prayer always works. However, God’s answers to prayers are not always what we expect or imagine. 

When I asked God for guidance in how I could repair this broken relationship, I heard within my heart, “You are a mother.” Repeating my prayer request didn’t change God’s reminder. He reminded me that I was a mother. I pondered this response all day while working with other accounts and duties. 

Before falling asleep that night, I went back to the Lord with the details of my challenges with this account. “Lord, the decision makers won’t take my phone calls. They don’t even know me. How can I show them that despite being new with the company I am committed to giving them the service they deserve even when they won’t meet me?” Peace and sleep overtook me.

Upon waking, I understood God’s plan on how to begin building this damaged relationship as a mother. It became an exciting challenge once I gained the insight in how to reconnect my companies’ service to a neglected client. 

Schwinn’s central USA headquarters in Boulder was filled with young adults doing the major global travel for their company. My research showed, our company didn’t acknowledge or respond to negative experiences or requests. In short, our youthful clients weren’t being listened too. 

Therefore, my experience as a mother, I used tea times to find out what was going on in our daughter’s world. So I took this transferable skill into the work place! 

Contacting the HR department at Schwinn Bicycle, I arranged a date for me to host a cookie and chat event. Two key items I included to entice the employees to participate proved effective. First, I promised four travel agents would be there to listen to their needs and desires for higher quality service. Second, there would be a drawing for two free round trip tickets to Hawaii. 

Like any tea-time event, preparations had to be made before the date. Going to Otis Spunkmeyer cookie distribution center, I picked up 40 pounds of cookie dough and two portable baking ovens the day before the big event. I baked 30 pounds of cookies. Next, I placed three cookies in clear baggies and closing with curling ribbon.  Two giant baskets were filled with bags of chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies. 

I slid in on time with cookies, milk and prayers. 
The next morning, I headed from Denver to Boulder, Colorado with baskets of cookies, 10 jugs of milk, two ovens, and 10 pounds of raw cookie dough in a snow storm! I slid in on schedule. 

While the ovens were heating up, I spread a tablecloth on two connecting tables. Making sure the cookie baskets were easily accessible, I poured a couple-a-dozen glasses of milk. Like most moms there were napkins place at both ends of the table. In the center of it all was a bouquet of colorful flowers along with my business cards.

Curiosity brought a few people in while the first batch of cookies were baking. They were invited to take a bag or two of cookies back to their desks. As hoped for, some lingered to chat. More people started coming in when the fragrance of fresh baked cookies started dancing throughout the building. Repeaters showed up for more cookies and long chats with me or with the travel agents I had invited to answer questions the travelers’ questions. 

Before the last batch of cookies were baked and the big drawing for the Hawaiian trip took place, the president of this branch came into the break room. His first words to me were, “Carolyn, you win.” His next words were the answer to my prayers, “We’ll talk to you about keeping our travel business with your company. Set the date with my assistant.  People have been pouring in and out of my office telling me about you and how you want to reconnect with us. We’ll give you a try. The cookies were a nice touch.” 

God was so right, I just had to be a caring mother who worked outside our home to get a conversation started with forgotten. Multi-millions were mine in keeping this neglected account, all it took was a mother’s touch. 

I just had to remember Romans 12:13, “Practice hospitality.” 

May you experience an unimaginable answer to a prayer that only God can give. 
The experience is worth multi-millions. 

Uplifting blessings,

Carolyn 
The TeaCup Lady

Bike riders and snow storm pictures by Pixabay

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

From Deepest Darkness

"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said." 

In the deepest of darkness,
In the quietest of silence,
In the loneliest of loneliness,
Jesus Christ arose
with light,
with love,and 
with everlasting life.

He has risen from the grave. 
He has ascended into heaven.
He is preparing a place for those who believe.
He has promised He will come again.

Has your heart been given to Him?
Will you be risen on that day? 
Or do you choose 
the darkness, the silence, and the loneliness
of the worldly grave?

Come celebrate the risen Christ
in the coming days. 
He awaits with open arms that saves. 

May your Easter be filled with rejoicing 
for Jesus Christ who suffered the grave
to bring you pardon, light and 
victory. 

Jesus Christ's promise,
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

T-shirt Necklace for a Teens Tea-time

Teen Tea-time Activity at TeaCupLiving.com 

Tea-time is always a fun get-together. Adding an activity to a tween or teen tea makes it extra special. 

Making T-shirt necklaces is easy, quick, and does not require any sewing. Below are the basic steps. 

1. Pick up a T-shirt or more at Goodwill. The key to success is to make sure the T-shirt is seamless on the sides!

Pick lively colors


2. Smooth out the T-shirt on a flat surface with the bottom edges matching. 



3. Cut a straight line from arm pit to arm pit. Double thickness is best. 



4. Cut off the hem. Discard hem and pieces above the arm pits. 



5. Smooth out remaining center piece which will be double in thickness. Cut from rounded side to rounded side about an inch wide.  Note: Less than an inch will make a thinner loop while more than an inch width will result in a broader necklace loop. 


6. Place thumbs inside a fabric loop and stretch arms as wide as possible. The T-shirt fabric will automatically roll into a tighty loop. Wear multi-loops in similar or contrasting colors for a necklace. 

7. If braiding is desire, then cut one end of three loops and braid them together. Close braid by tying ends together or hand stitch for a smooth look. 



T-shirt necklace craft is a great ice breaker for mother/daughter tea-time talks too. 

May the joy of the Lord be with you all, 

Carolyn 






Friday, February 9, 2018

Make a friend while serving T-time E-encouragement A-acceptance. 


Did you know that sharing T.E.A. with an acquaintance or stranger can result in making a friend

What is T.E.A. besides a warm brew in a cup? T.E.A. is giving another person your Time, Encouragement, and Acceptance. 

I've moved 20 times since I've been married. One way for me to make friends in new places was to host teas. Another way was to invite a stranger to meet me for tea at a bakery. No matter the place, making friends was easy with the T.E.A. practice. 


Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.   Hebrews 13:2

By giving others time to talk in a comfy corner with a warm brew broke down barriers. Other times, a cold shoulder melted when I offered kind words of encouragement. Engaging in acceptance with someone I just met opened opportunities for our conversations to go from superficial to meaningful in areas of shopping, schools, and faith.  

T.E.A. is good with old friends too. Friends are gifts we give ourselves. Best friends are gifts from God. May your life be overflowing with gifts of friendship. They are worth making.



What's your method of making friends? 

If there's a 21st move in my future, your insight would be an encouragement to treasure.  


Note:  National Make a Friend Day is on February 11th. 


Serving on, 

Carolyn 










Saturday, January 27, 2018

The LORD Reads Our Hearts



As we steep in the Word of the LORD
He is reading our hearts. 

As we immerse in the Word of the LORD
we are filled with His radiant light. 

As we overflow with the Word of the LORD
we touch others lives. 

Therefore:

Let's steep on. 

Let's shine on. 

Let's fill up more to flood family and friends with 
the LORD's blessings.  


God's favor be with you all, 
Carolyn 





Monday, January 15, 2018

Pick a hat and join the fun at the TeaCup Living table. 
Tea-time gatherers are extra special when topped with a hat. 

Even if we can't be together on National Hat Day, I hope you'll pick a hat on the table and share why it's your pick. 

The power blue one is for me. Being able to adjust the brim is especially fun. Nevertheless, each one of these hats hang on my mud room wall. Each one has a personality and set my mood when I don it upon my head. 

They cause giggles and laughter when tea-time guests see them waiting for them on the table. Conversation starters are easy when these toppers show up. 

More hats line my closet shelves. One I call "Perky" because she lifts my spirits on a rainy day. Her colors are bright as well as having a very flexible brim for me to hide behind when turned down so I don't drown. Her adjustability is great when the sun comes out. Lifting a part of the brim and tilting her to one side of my head makes her look a bit sassy. Nonetheless, she's a lady with grace and class rain or shine. 

Hats at Tea-time gatherings make it fun to apply   1 Peter 4:9,

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Hats brings giggles instead of grumbles. 

Hopefully, some day we'll be able to have tea together - with or without a hat. You're always welcome at my table. 

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn  




Friday, January 5, 2018

Bountiful Blessings

The tea has steeped to perfection. 
The cold winds blow loud with little cheer. 
The outside chill is beating at the windows and doors. 

Yet, my heart is warmed by the remembrance of God's many provisions like our home and the hospitable heat as I'm ready 
to pause with my cup of tea. 


Psalm 13:6 comes to mind,
I will sing to the Lord,                                                              because He has dealt bountifully with me. 

Steeping in this peace filled moment, I pray for those who are out in the cold world lost without knowing the comfort of the Lord and His bountiful provisions. Lost time in prayer has caused my tea to become cold. It doesn't matter, immersed in gratitude and prayer was most satisfying. 

My prayer for you and your personal pauses in Christ's uplifting presence is to be filled with rejoicing experiences.  This season of cold winds and chilly days are best endured steeped in scripture, prayers and gratitude for they never turn cold. 


Uplifting blessing, 
Carolyn