Friday, February 20, 2015

Tea Anyone?

I am part of a local group called M&Ms - Moms and Mentors.  Inquiring minds will want to know if we eat boatloads of M&Ms at our meetings - no. Never. Not Yet. These are health conscious young moms.  This week, among other topics,  we looked at the balance between sacrificing for our families and tending to self-care. We discussed how both are vital. We have a responsibility to take care of our souls and fill our homes with things which bring us joy - as well as to lay down our lives for our children.  Both. Together.

While preparing for Thursday's meeting, I kept thinking "If I'll die for my kids, why won't I give up my book, computer time, study time, me time for them?"  Now....I am a homeschooling mom. I spend oodles of time with my children. I am  leading Bible studies. I'm immersed in Eschatology. ::wink::   I'm aging - and get TIRED.....finding this balance is a challenge all through life.  I encouraged our gals to start establishing the balance of sacrifice and self-care NOW as a young moms. I waited too long to learn about self-care (5 years ago). We need both.   I realized  I've gotten into the habit of pushing through school, lunch, study prep, ministry needs and then collapsing for my much earned hour of "me time," before dinner and night time routines begin.  But I have an extrovert who NEEDS to interact with SOMEONE and her siblings would like to crash for me time too. Balance - all about balance.

Nothing fancy - sugar free balls, crackers, the Word and each other
In the middle of this exhausting and busy week, I was led to begin having daily "tea" with Stacia. The older ones and I did this for years. In the midst of the busy - at 2 or 3 p.m. we'd gather at the table for a quick snack,  tea, hot chocolate or juice in pretty mugs/cups.  It was one of the reasons we fought to have time at HOME in those years. Routines change with moves and somehow this one got lost. I instituted tea time again....and Stacia loves it.

This is one way I can both lay down my life for my kids AND do something that feeds my soul and brings me joy. It will be different for YOU.  BTW soaking in the backyard onsen together is pretty awesome too and accomplishes the same things.

Tea time allows us to connect each  most days. We are currently working through Stacia's devotional together while I try to remember the title of the book Arielle and I did about becoming a young lady. ::snort:: I have chosen to use  my "Misawa mentor group tea cup," which reminds me to pray for sweet friends from Misawa and to mentor my daughters, as well. Stacia loves her Barbie mug because it's HERS, "No one else in the house will use it!" This is important to her.

The older kids have more school work and don't have such a great need to connect. Eventually,  Stacia and I felt we should invite them to join us a couple of times a week.  Friday afternoons seem perfect...the week is ending, the school is done....we transition together. 

Today, after Page Turners, I dropped by Papa Murphys for dinner and Safeway/Starbucks for some "tea treats."  The kids had done their chores while I was out and the house sparkled. Stacia and I set it all out pretty - matching china, great grandma's silver spoons and lace and lots of healthy treats to supplement the sweet treats. Then she  called them down. Note the cow bell is not used to summon to tea. ::snort::  You don't HAVE to go to this much work - I will only do this much work once a week - Friday afternoon.

It was great fun and brought back so many memories of tea time with the older ones in TX,  AK,  MT......

It was a sweet time to connect - even with the older ones. We all shared a highlight of our week: The birth of Noble, Kyle and Erika's son, math, serving in the Preschool room, time with friends and tea times.

We read our devo - which in the end fits girls or boys regardless of the color of the cover. It "happened" to tie in EXACTLY with the theme of laying down your life for others. We thought about and discussed this question, "What would you be willing to die for?" We discussed the martyrs in this week's news, prayed for their families, and  marveled at their singing and calm while facing imminent death. We resolved we would die for family and faith.  We cringed at how some are called to denounce or watch family tortured and killed or denounce faith. We committed to pray for persecuted believers.

And THEN - I shared the question God had ringing in my heart all week, "If I'd die for my family, why can't I lay aside 30 min of Wii, or reading, or facebook?"

Yep -a good practice to reinstate. I was amazed and a bit melancholy when I realized I no longer have a toddler in a highchair to police during tea time. LOL The really cool conversation made up for  the lack of toddlers.  When we began years ago the conversations were vastly different.

Note boys will like tea time if you serve their favorite snacks and kids who don't like tea still like juice, milk or hot chocolate in their cup. When the kids were little we found THEIR tea cups at thrift stores.