Mama Guilt…

A Mama malady of our time is the topic of reflection today…It is so lovely to have you here…shall we begin our time together…

pexels-photo-355097.jpeg

I have prepared a special tray just for us, it has vintage cups, tiny sugar bowl, a tiny milk jug & freshly baked Gf scones with homemade strawberry jam for our treat. We are sitting at my dining room table which is positioned in front of a double sliding glass door that looks out onto our front garden.

Our tea blend today is an unusual one that I think you may enjoy, it is called Orange Pekoe, I have the teapot, so, as I pour our tea or would you prefer coffee…we will begin reflecting on today’s topic…

Mother guilt seems to be a malady of recent times, although, it may have always been… I have observed this in Mamas both young, old & across different cultures & whether they are birth, adoptive, step or foster mothers.

Let me explain what exactly Mother guilt is; it is the feeling we have not done or doing enough for our children. 

It is a very unpleasant feeling for any Mama…who has & is doing her absolute best for her children, whether they are young or now adult….within the knowledge, life experience, circumstances, health & energy, resources & maturity she has…at any given time along the way!

So….why do we feel this way… It comes down to what we either continually expect of ourselves (I am guilty of this one) or the pressure of expectations that are continually placed upon us….or maybe a combination of both…

Over the past 50+ years media in all its forms has had a huge part to play in this malady & the expectations that are placed upon motherhood…I grew up with movies & programs…where the mother always had the perfect house, her children were always clean, neat, well mannered & well behaved all the time…she was the perfect mother, wife & cook, always had a smile on her face & the perfect words on her tongue for every occasion…she did everything perfectly to keep the family running smoothly…

The actual reality of motherhood, of course, was never shown…that imperfection, exhaustion & messiness reigns with raising children….in all its glory!

Conversely, mothers who fell outside of this perceived “normality of perfection” were judged & found wanting! Which I am here to tell you…is all of us Mamas! As hard as I tried & I can tell you…try I did! I could never attain that level of perfection… I was not the perfect Mama… My children may have started the day clean, neat & tidy…but by the end of the day they were not…I taught them good manners & what was acceptable behavior, I gave them a solid foundation of God’s love but children are children…they mess up, just like us adults do!

While of course we want to do our very best for our children…absolutely & without question! The main thing they need & want from us is….relationship!

pexels-photo-341378.jpegThey want to be with us, spending quality time with us, watching us go through both the good times & the challenging times…so they too can learn what a real role model of resilience looks like…imperfect & messy but trying….& in observing us…meeting & overcoming the challenges of life…they learn that they can too….going on to lead their best lives in the good & the challenging times that will inevitably greet them as adults!

So, Mamas let us who have done & are still trying to do our very best for our children, whatever age they may be & whatever capacity we may have…do away with Mama guilt in all its manifestations & see the real priorities…spending quality time with our children & grandchildren when we can…& enjoy the precious moments of relationship…for what it is…imperfect & messy……but loving each other within it with kindness, patience, respect & tolerance!

I hope you enjoyed our time together & the Orange Pekoe tea…until next time

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog

Family Friendly blog link ups

Mending brokenness

Today I am brewing an interesting blend its called Russian Caravan tea…welcome dear friend, how lovely to have you drop by…it is just about ready…come let us begin our time together…

pexels-photo-358383.jpeg

I have some delicious gf Macadamia shortbread to accompany this tea blend. I was introduced to this tea many years ago…it isn’t readily available in our area, so it’s a lovely treat to have for our time together today…As I sip the taste is smokey & ricey, very interesting & quite enjoyable, combined with the shortbread it really makes for a delightful treat!

I have been reflecting upon brokenness…

Have you ever suffered a broken heart? Or maybe a trauma so great that you felt completely shattered emotionally, mentally, spiritually or physically…I am sure all who visit here have experienced some type of brokenness in their lives…

But you know what…to truly understand brokenness we first need to go through the process of healing…& that dear friend…can be a painful, scary & anxiety inducing process…but ultimately very rewarding, restorative & transformative…to a healed wholeness for a greater purpose in our lives.

In my life I have experienced many such times of brokenness…A great deal of restoration has been done but there is yet more to accomplish…I have not done this work on my own though…I have had the great Restorer, God Himself & those whom He has sent along the various crossroads in my life to accompany me on this journey of healing transformation…

Recently…while I was walking along the beach & thinking about this, an image of what God’s healing & restoration process looks like came to mind…a vase was laying on the ground, where it had fallen, broken in pieces, some larger & others completely shattered…our brokenness can look similar….Then God approaches us, as explained in Hibiscus & Cranberry tea …& if we will allow Him…picks up each broken piece delicately & then examines each one carefully with us…as part of His healing work…restoring the larger pieces with the clear glue of His love. But some pieces are so shattered that instead of restoration He replaces those areas wholly with Himself….in a transformative way.

Then the transparency of His love allows His light to shine through those transformed areas! So, that through our mended brokenness others may see the light of His love & strength in us….beaming forth..as living beacons of hope…

pexels-photo-275852.jpegThose who allow God to do His healing work in them will each have a unique pattern to His shining light. Though this does not mean that they are perfect, they are still being transformed in other areas of brokenness…but it does mean they are looking to Him for their lives….

While we are still reflecting together…shall we ask ourselves…What pieces of the broken vase are we still holding onto deep down…that we know only God can heal, restore & transform…with His love, strength, patience & kindness…so that we may uniquely shine His light in this darkened world…

Well our time has now come to its end, our tea & treats are finished, until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog All rights reserved. Photos by Pexels

Family Friendly blog link ups

Views…

Today we are journeying down memory lane to share some special times together…

pexels-photo-371589.jpeg

I have brewed strawberry tea & today’s treat is my own homemade Gf banana muffin (Recipes), warmed & spread with lashings of Lf butter which is slowly melting upon its deliciousness…

On sipping the tea it is a refreshingly sweet peppery blend which is mellowed by a mouthful of the banana muffin, a very satisfying combination! A ‘mmmmm’ is heard as it involuntary leaves my lips…shall we walk down memory lane together…

Several years ago my youngest daughter invited me over to her home for afternoon tea, it was Mother’s day. When I arrived my grandchildren met me at the door very excited. As I walked into the house I could see why…a beautiful setting was set before me, my daughter had prepared a delicious High Tea, there were two double tiered servers laden with delicious treats! Mini quiches, petite triangle sandwiches, mini cupcakes, cookies & picklets with homemade strawberry jam.  There were several choices of tea, beautiful antique cups & saucers, teapots, sugar bowl & milk jug & bunches of my favorite flowers placed on the table. She had gone to a great deal of effort freshly baking all the treats herself, bought & borrowed serving items & planned this special surprise gift for weeks…

We enjoyed the delicious treats, tea & special time of love together as we chatted & laughed over silly family things. I felt so blessed that she had planned this out & had done all this work to specially honor me on Mothers day. When I left to travel home later that afternoon, my heart was full of joy & gladness…

I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do the same for my dear friend….You may like to meet her in Heart matters!.. as a gift for her 60th birthday. I prepared all her favorite treats…I set the table in our front garden under our pergola with my best linen, antique crockery & silverware…All was set & looked amazing! I was so excited to finally have all the planning & preparation done!

She arrived &….we started this special birthday luncheon…but things didn’t go as planned…it was a really hot February’s day & our neighbors had decided to locate their compost bin right beside our front outdoor seating area, on their side of the fence & place very smelly kitchen scraps in there just before we sat down to enjoy all our goodies!

food-holiday-love-holidays.jpg

We ended up having to transfer everything indoors because of the offensive odor & the plague of flies that were attracted to it…but it actually ended up being cooler indoors & we continued our time together feeling less harassed by the heat & the flies…

After she left I sat….feeling rather disappointed at the chain of events that had unfolded that morning, feeling that it had not been the special gift I had envisaged & planned to give to my dear friend on her birthday…

While I was sitting there reflecting,  I heard a message come in on my phone, it was from my friend…thanking me for the time spent in creating the High Tea luncheon, stating that she felt so honored that I had made her birthday special & how much she had enjoyed it!

Sometimes things don’t go as planned…do they…no matter how much planning, organization, effort, desire, passion or prayer we have put into it…Life just doesn’t go as we had hoped…We can get understandably disappointed in the outcome or we can choose to see it through different eyes…You see, my friend had not known what plans I had had for the experience…apart from the smelly compost…she didn’t know it had not gone as I had envisaged! But viewing it through her eyes it had been an absolutely enjoyable success!

What are we viewing through our own clouded perceptions that have become burdensome…Just like the hot sweltering day & smelly scraps….We can’t control the world around us, but we can control our actions, reactions, attitudes & behaviors to every & any situation in our lives…it’s all in the way we view it!

I pray that the eyes of your heart will be enlightened, so you may know the hope of His calling… Refer

Until next time….

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog

Family Friendly blog link ups

French tea time…

Bonjour! It is lovely to have you drop by, let us begin our time of tea & reflection together…

This particular blend was given to me as a Mother’s day gift. It is Earl Grey blended with lavender & rose petals. As I place the tea into the glass infuser which fits snuggly into it’s companion teapot, allowing it to steep & infuse in the steaming water…I proceed to remove a blue & white mug from my shabby chic dresser & place a Gf toasted fruit bun with strawberry jam on a matching blue & white plate.

As I sip this very tasty blend with its lavender & rose petals, the taste & aroma instantly transport me to a movie scene I saw many years ago filmed in France…

pexels-photo-52065.jpeg

A naive young woman goes to Paris to learn Fashion photography. She finds romance while there with a handsome photographer but realizes that the romantic ideas she has for a man back home has not left her.

After seeking advice from an older lady she goes on a quest to find herself in Parìs..she takes long walks, journals while sitting in quaint cafés, photographs scenes of Paris & has new adventures…a growth & transformation has begun…

On returning to her hometown, she arrives transformed as a very sophisticated & beautiful woman, gone is the young girl…but sadly the naive notions of romance for this ideal man has remained.

When the man of her dreams sees her…he initially doesn’t recognize her..so she sets out to make it happen…she soon realizes that this ideal soul mate, is but an allusion… he has never had any romantic desires for her…until…her new look! Another man on the other hand, had always seen & recognized her true inner beauty & had always thought her beautiful

With twists & turns to the story, the Other becomes the One…as she finally realizes that he has always seen her true qualities, the very essence of who she is which had only been enhanced by her growth & transformation from a girl into a woman…

heart-wood-love-wooden-161711.jpeg

This has me pondering…on our hearts… We can have ideas, ideals, notions & thoughts on what desires we have in our hearts…can’t we…we all do it… Then we consciously or subconsciously set about to make these happen, in the way we think they should happen! We think that these will make our lives… better, healthier, richer, more blessed, easier or a little more perfected. These can be quite innocent things initially either with…people, experiences, careers, position, wealth or lifestyle…

But these can also become obsessive hunts for an allusive treasure…while convincing ourselves that these quests are absolutely valid, as after all, this is the true desire of our heart…& it will be so wonderful to have…….

Over the last 30 years, especially in my professional life as a clinical Counselor, I have seen so many people give their hearts to pursuits that end up being extremely unhealthy for both them & their families.

The wisest of men said… where your treasure is, there your heart will be also! Refer

Let us ask ourselves…what treasures are we pursuing in our lives…that we have convinced ourselves are all important…are they actually taking away from the true treasure of our life…the lover of our soul…Who is the One… who has always seen our true beauty & qualities…which He created & will only be enhanced in growth & transformation in relationship with Him…

Until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog

Family Friendly blog link ups