Saturday, December 21, 2019

Best of Gift Giving

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God...Luke 2:20

     All the little shepherd boy had was his flute and a song in his heart for the little Lord Jesus laying in the hay. The tune was his best gift to give the newborn child. As he played the lullaby, the little lamb of God settled into His new surroundings with a glow that reflected the bright star above. Not a moo nor a meow interrupted the soft melody of the boy's breathless muse. 

    Mary added another moment to treasure and ponder in the wonders of the Messiah's celebrated birth.  

   Jesus, the Son came to stretch out His arms on the cross that day as He laid in the hay. His birth was the beginning of making a way for us to join Him in eternity someday. 

    We may not have a flute to play like the little shepherd boy nor gold or fragrant oils like the wise men of old. Nevertheless, a gift from our hearts is always a treasure. 

    A moment of praise is a priceless gift to give the King who left His throne to atone for our sins. 

And Faith! 
   Faith in Him is a gift to Him as well as a bounty to the giver. 

Faith overflows with benefits.

May you be aware of the gift of Lord’s favor throughout  2020!      

Uplifting blessings,

Merry Christmas!
Carolyn 





Saturday, December 14, 2019

A Gnome Tea Party

Fellowship with a friend is a gift we give ourselves, especially over a teacup. 


All tea parties do not require fancy dress, make-up, or a crowd. 

Not long ago, I had a house guest. She and her husband are global travelers. They’ve seen places that I’ve only heard of, done adventurous things I could only imagine, so what unknown territory could I take her on in upstate South Carolina? 

First of all, our friends came for fellowship, and to offer counsel for caring for my aging mother. Our friendship has over thirty years of victories, crises, and loyalty. Only God can give such a gift. 

So, to make a memorable moment with my friend that I knew she would not experience anywhere else in the world, I set her down in my office to a tea time she will never forget. It was so much fun that I wanted to share the unusual tea party with you. 

Our dress was pajamas. Our makeup was none. Our teacups were favorite mugs. We didn’t have any sweets, scones, or savories. However, we did have 25 pounds of dry
Steeping in scripture warms the soul. 
rice!

What do two ladies do with 25 pounds of rice and two cups of steeping hot tea? They make Gnomes

Yes, it was an adventure my friend had never been on nor ever imagined. After the shock and grumbling that she wasn’t gifted in making things, I showed her a couple of bearded characters I’d made earlier while we sipped our brew


A year-around gift to make with ease. 

The end result was filled with giggles, burnt fingers, cold tea, and characters we made who we would never have invited to a tea party. 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


Dollar store has most of the supplies!
Gnomes are easy to make. The supplies are few. Most of the supplies can be picked up at a dollar store. No sewing! A glue gun makes it simple to pop these guys together. Kids gain confidence in making these ideal teacher gifts

How to Make a gnome. 

Supplies needed: *white small anklet socks *colorful socks *tiny rubber bands *wood beads *faux fur (1/4 yard is plenty) *yarn *glue gun *glue sticks *scissors *rice 






Direction

Fill small anklet sock with long grain rice and close with a rubber band. 
Cut color sock at the ankle and stuff the bottom of sock with the stuffed white sock. Close with a rubber band
Cap the stuffed covered base with a hat made from a top, bottom, or full sock. This will give you an idea of what kind of beard you want to glue on the base. 

Tip: Faux fur should be cut from the back with a razor blade to avoid fur fuzz all over the place. Besides, it makes a better beard. The exception is if the desire is to have a clean looking mustache then after cutting a rectangle from the faux fur with a razor, a scissor cut on the front of the fur piece is best.

Cut a triangle shape for the beard and a second piece in a rectangle for the mustache. Glue the beard on first and glue the mustache over the top of the beard. 

Glue a bead for the nose in the center of the mustache. Add glue dabs on each side of the nose. Pull sock hat slightly over the nose and hold until dry. Holding the sides down with toothpicks saves burnt fingers. 



Gnomes are fun to make. 
Each gnome becomes a unique character who makes for a great guest at a tea party with a friend


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


Uplifting blessings always,
Carolyn 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Holiday Readiness

TeaCup Living is nourishment in faith. 

The holidays are coming?
The holidays are coming! 
The holidays are coming. 

Do I have the strength to face packing another turkey, the confidence to buy the best techie gift for our grandsons, and the comfort of opening our home to family and strangers? 

If I focus on these things then the answer is a resounding “No!” 
Nevertheless, over the years I’ve discovered the joy of serving well in preparations, events, and fellowship in the holiday season. My focus is the same as every day. I recruit the help of the Holy Trinity and hold fast to scripture promises.

It’s rare to have a day go by that I don’t take hold of the gifted promise life-line in Proverb 3:5-6. 

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.    
Proverb 3:5-6 (AMPC) 

This holiday, I’ll be ready to pack the turkey, wrap the gifts with love, and serve with mighty power from each member of the Holy Trinity. God’s mighty power is my strength. Christ’s mighty love is my confidence. The Holy Spirit’s mighty presence is my comfort
~*~


TeaCup Living's Holiday Readiness. 


The blessings are coming!
Carolyn 



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Almost Homemade


She sounded desperate. Her words were short, “Can I come over and talk?”

Mine was shorter. “Sure.” 

Now was not the time to dust and vacuum, but I could pray while I put a sweet treat together.

Always keep doilies in all sizes on hand. They dress up any dish.


Quickly, I decapitated an angel food cake I’d purchased earlier in the day, cut out a trench in the body of the cake and over-filled the ditch with ready-made chocolate fudge frosting. The Cool Whip was frozen when I forced it from its plastic mold into a glass bowl to nuke for a few seconds. In the meantime,  I looked in the fridge to see what kind of fruit I had on hand. 

I dumped strawberries in a colander and let cold water gush over them. They were on their own while I checked the Cool Whip. Perfect!

With one hand, I turn the waterfall off and grabbed a serving spoon with the other. It didn’t take long to shovel fudge frosting in the circular trench as well as adding extra to cover the top of that portion of the cake. 

With a controlled pause and precision, I placed the decapitated
top of the cake over the chocolate delight. With a few quick swirls
A Simple and Tasty Treat
to fluff up the Cool Whip, the cake top was crowned with a white cloud of cool creaminess. 


The rush wasn’t over yet.  Neither was the cake nor my prayers while I carried on. Splitting a few strawberries in half then placing them around the center opening, they added beautiful color. The final touch was lacing the top with chocolate syrup before circling the quick creation with fresh strawberries. 

In less than 15 minutes, almost homemade treat was on the table along with teacups, dessert plates, flat ware, and pretty paper napkins. 

The dishwasher gobbled up the dirty dishes in a blink. I even had time to smear on lip stick before the doorbell rang. Walking with speed and praying even faster for the Lord to join us, I answered the door.

Easy and quick any time treat from TeaCup Living.

The answered prayers were sweeter than the cake. Her desperate request was satisfied with words of encouragement along with words from the Bible’s pantry of comfort. 
Serving others in need with the best we have on hand is okay. Even store-bought cookies will do when the true treat is a listening friend.  

May you be a blessing as you shine on in your serve. 

Uplifting blessings, 
Carolyn 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Summer Delights










There is beauty even in the dry heat of summer. 

As the end of spring brought blossoms and buds of new fruit, so did the summer activities explode into a hot rush to weddings, yard work, and keeping up with grandsons. 

Like the heat waves of summer that distorts images, so are the memories of the beginning of this summer. Nevertheless, they were easily recaptured in a pause at a rest stop on our way to another wedding. 

In the middle of the summer’s blistering heat, pausing to watch a fountain in the center of a pond was a cool treat. It reminded me of the sparkling blessings the Lord had given us in the hot hustles in the beginning of summer. 

As I watched the water being lifted into the air and seeing the sun shine through each drop, I saw life’s moments as a drop of light that has a sparkle of its own. It takes the light of the Son, Jesus Christ to bring sparkle into our lives. That peace filled moment reminded me that His word always refreshes too. As I watched the water droplets dance around, I was reminded of Psalms 32:11,

Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous, sing, all you who are upright in heart!                   
A pause is a treat we give ourselves. A remembrance from the word of God is another beautiful treat that refreshes no matter the weather. 


Have you treated yourself with a pause in the heat of things lately?


May you be refreshed by the promise of the LORD Almighty, 
who said in Jeremiah 31:25, 
“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” 

A rest stop in His word is a beautiful place. 

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn 




Tuesday, May 21, 2019

3 Simple & Satisfying Savories





Simple and satisfying is my summer theme for hospitality events. Date recipes are my yummy go-to treats, but they offer so much more than a tantalizing taste. ( recipes below) 


Healthy and easy to make summer treats.


A date is a sweet fruit that is good for the tummy, heart, and a long list of other health-producing benefits. Dates are loaded with fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, and vitamin B6. 

Research has it that dates keep arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease away. The high magnesium count has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce stroke risk when 100 milligrams are consumed per day. They are quick energy boosters too. 

I’m not a researcher. Nevertheless, I am a reader discovering natural ways for better health. Dates offer so much to good health care that I serve these three sweet date treats at teas and other social gatherings

May you find these simple treats tasty and personally beneficial as you "practice hospitality"(Romans 12:13). These date recipes are so quick to make that my husband and I eat them as a quick energy snack

To learn more about the benefits of eating dates, search “dates benefits” to be amazed by how this ancient fruit helps tummies, hearts, and so much more. 

Serve with simple hospitality and recipes. Serve on!



They all ate and were satisfied. Mark 6:42



Whole dates with three easy fillings.

Slice lengthwise a whole date and remove the pit. 

1. Fill a date with a small slice of brie and add a whole pecan.

2. Fill a date with smooth peanut butter and top with a whole almond.

3. Fill a date with unsweetened coconut flakes and top with a whole walnut. 

These treats are always a healthy hit. 
As well as being a make-ahead treat.

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn 


Friday, April 19, 2019

Stretched Out Arms Made Way for Love




The Carpenter’s arms were strong. His mission was stronger. 

On His final day after a bloody beating, a rugged cross He had to carry to the sinner’s hill. 

His innocence and obedience brought Him to this moment in history — not only for Himself but for mankind’s destiny into eternity. 

The weight beyond the laden cross He bore in silence. 

At the top of the sinner’s hill, He laid down upon the cross, not to rest but to endure the punishment so mankind could choose the best. 

What moans were heard as with each strike on a spike that drove through His hands and feet? 

Not a word escaped the young Carpenter on His way to being our Savior before He and the cross were raised. 

That day only a few saw Him hanging between two guilty thieves. Yet, today, millions honor Him for His selfless sacrifice that eventful day. 

The few words He spoke while gasping for breath changed history and made the way to heaven for sinners. 
Jesus cast His life for us with stretched out arms of love. 





While soldiers cast lots for His clothes, Jesus cast His life for us with these words in Luke 23:34, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” 



John 19:30






Even on the cross with His stretched out arms, the Carpenter was fulfilling His mission when He said with His final breath, “It is finished.” 

His body was finished. 
His first mission was finished. 


Yet, He rose to a new mission on Easter Sunday to give those who believe in Him new life, forgiveness, and grace.

If you are seeking peace, love, and forgiveness, remember, He has His stretched out arms open to you. He will lift you up into eternity. Run to Him today and changes your place in eternity. 

Uplifting blessings,

Carolyn 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

More Than Spring

More than Spring is knocking at our door! 
Trees are budding and daffodils are lifting their golden faces to the sun. Spring is knocking at the door, nevertheless, so is the greatest of all guests.

He taps with the promise seen in Revelations 3:20, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him,
and he with Me."

As the trees grow into full bloom and the daffodils are replaced with a bouquet of colorful flowers, we too will be filled with refreshment when we swing wide the door to Jesus Christ. He knocks at the door to our hearts every day. The season doesn't matter. He waits at the door in rain, snow, and sunshine.

Have you heard His knock? Do you want to dine with the greatest guest of all? If so then open your heart and just say, "Come in, Lord Jesus." Experience more the season of spring.

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn


Saturday, February 9, 2019

Steep in Faith

Steeping in Christ's uplifting presence is always fulfilling. 

Faith helps us to breathe,

Faith comforts in a time of wait.

Faith comes as a warrior when fear rumbles in like thunder.

Faith wins battles that are impossible.

Faith led Jesus to the tree that crossed out sin for man.

Fatih rose Him up to fulfill God’s plan. 

Faith is our mustard seed that grows tall as a tree over the years.

Faith hears the silence of the Lord’s love beyond our ears.

Faith is our strength that takes in our next breath to go on. 
Faith carries us into eternity with Jesus when we release our last breath. 

May you be filled with the joy of Jesus Christ as you steep in His Word. 
He will brew new life in you when you do. 

Uplifting blessings,
Carolyn
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." 
Hebrews 11:1


Friday, January 18, 2019

2 Scriptures of Comfort

Take hold of Christ's uplifting presence. His grace allows us to drink in God's love and
be filled with the comfort of the Holy Spirit. 


The cheating prayer is to ask Jesus to pray for you. His prayers are the best.

Uplifting blessings today and all your tomorrows,
Carolyn








Sunday, January 13, 2019

Joy in January

       
 
May the Lord's loving-grace bloom within you today. 
        Holiday cheer has been put away. The colored lights are boxed and stashed in a dim memory. The gray clouds of winter have settled in. Depression tries to chill us like a cold breeze squeezing through a window. 

         If we don’t take action, we’ll be encased like a snowman who can’t move or speak. The holidays in November and December had us doing, singing, and fellowshipping. We created joy that warmed hearts as we focused on celebrating with thanksgiving the birth of Christ. 

These activities ignited delights. Why leave the contentment of holiday cheer stored away in a closet? Why leave celebrating and thankfulness just for a few days? We can blow out the pity-party candle of depression that tries to creep into the cold gray days of winter. 

January would be a perfect time to blow out that candle and offer simple hospitality to brighten the gray gloomy days of winter. 

      We can create an intimate moment in a cozy corner with a friend or two. To offer time, encouragement, and acceptance creates a sweet moment tastier than a slice of pecan pie. Box cookies will do! 

Joy in January begins with an invitation of friendship. Bleak days turn into colorful occasions over decorative teacups, a treat, and a shining smile. It’s togetherness in remembering Christ in everyday living that turns dreariness into cheerfulness.  

Be a joy giver who continues to point to the Light of the world after the holidays. Offer a dear one or two a cup of time,encouragement, and acceptance as a difference maker who doesn’t let depression settle in when the Christmas lights are stashed away. Serve on!

Serve others with simple hospitality that brings joy any day. 
Uplifting blessings,

Carolyn