This past Sunday we hosted our 3rd annual Ladies Afternoon Tea at Soaring Wings Ministries. It is a spring time event that I always look forward to and this recent Ladies Afternoon Tea was, as I expected, a very special time. There is just something about sitting down with friends and enjoying each other's company while sipping hot tea and eating tea cookies and sandwiches that is nothing but delightful.
There are many things that I enjoy about "having tea". The special little cookies and sandwiches are always delicious and I love drinking tea out of a dainty tea cup, but the thing that I enjoy most about "having tea" is that the pace of life is slowed down for just a short little while. "Having tea" just cannot be rushed. "Having tea" requires that you take a break, relax, linger, enjoy the moment and enjoy the company of those who are "having tea" with you. Have you ever tried to rush through tea while sipping tea served in a tea cup on a saucer? It is very difficult. "Having tea" in a mug (or horrors of horrors, a styrofoam cup!!) isn't the best way to drink tea because a mug or a styrofoam cup usually implies that something else is going on at the same time. When I am working on a project like grant writing, or cooking in the kitchen I will grab a mug of tea for a pick me up, or if I am out and about doing errands I will sometimes grab tea at Dunkin Donuts or Paneras and the tea is served to me in a paper cup because I am on the go. But, when someone serves me tea in a tea cup with a saucer I have no other inclination but to sit down and enjoy the tea and the person having tea with me.
"Having tea" almost always lures you into putting aside all other distractions and focusing on nothing but the moment. Meredith and I both said that one of our favorite things about this past Sunday's Ladies Afternoon Tea, wasn't the food or the tea itself, it was instead the fellowship and the time that we had to enjoy the company of our wonderful friends. There was nothing to distract us from the pure joy of enjoying each other's company. No cell phones beeped, buzzed or rang. No one had their cell phones out checking Facebook or looking at text messages. No one was watching television or reading something. We were nine ladies of various ages, various stages in our lives and from various towns in Colorado who sat and enjoyed one another for two hours. While "having tea" we shared the stories of our lives, laughed at some silly situations that we had experienced, shared some of our hopes and dreams for the future, talked about how God provides for us in so many ways, shared ideas for fun family times and places to visit, and as the tea ended we were already looking forward to the next time when we could all visit together again.
We also had three little girls at the tea and they only added to the delight of the afternoon. They did not linger at the tea very long as they had another agenda that was more appropriate and fun for three little girls. They retreated to our granddaughters room and entered the world of "dress up". But the agenda of the three little girls was the same as the nine ladies "having tea" and that was to enjoy each others company. Rather than "having tea" the little girls connected with each other with dress up clothes. They giggled, laughed, made up cute little songs and later in the afternoon the ladies at the afternoon tea were treated to a fashion show by three very cute little girls. Just like the ladies, the little girls were not entertained by tv, cell phones or electronic games....they delighted in being together and in spending time with one another.
As our afternoon tea was ending and we were saying good-bye to our guests, I was left thinking to myself that spending unrushed, unhurried, uninterrupted time with one other is a very good thing. I don't need to tell you that life is rushed and hectic. The Ladies Afternoon Tea, wasn't a delight because of the food and the tea....it was a delight because of the time we spent with each other. As I was cleaning up our tea cups and saucers after our guests left my thoughts turned to the story in the Bible when Jesus spent time with Zacchaeus. I thought of Zacchaeus because of the little children's song that speaks of Jesus going to Zacchaeus's house for tea. Just to make it clear the Bible does not say that Jesus had tea at Zacchaues's house, but who knows, maybe their time together at Zacchaeus's house did include "having tea". I think that Jesus was probably very busy and probably had so many other things that he could have done that day rather than go to Zacchaeus's house but Jesus, being Jesus, knew what was important and knew what mattered. Jesus knew that it was very important to spend time with Zacchaeus at his house. There is so much more to the story of Zacchaeus and why Jesus chose to go to his house since Zacchaeus was a wealthy chief tax collector, but that is more than I will be writing about in this blog. The point is that Jesus took time to be with Zacchaeus and we should follow His example.
I know some of you won't be interested in "having tea" with dainty little tea cups and saucers....it just isn't your thing, but remember, it isn't about the tea, it is about spending uninterrupted and unrushed time with friends or family and enjoying each other's company. The idea is to find something that you enjoy doing and then take the time to share that with at least one other person. If you like the idea of sitting down and spending time with someone over tea I encourage you to grab some teacups, saucers, a teapot and some teabags put the tea kettle on an invite someone to join you. I can almost guarantee that they will be so happy to spend time visiting with you over tea. "Having tea" is such a simple uncomplicated thing but it is so very nice. I know that here at Soaring Wings Ministries I am going to try to use my teacups, saucers and teapots more often. I love spending uninterrupted and unrushed time with people and I can't think of a better way to do this than "having tea" together.
Time for me to go put the tea kettle on!
Looking forward to "having tea" with so many of you,
Soaring Wings Ministries
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries