Relationships

Welcome dear friend, we are sitting in the warmth of our Autumn sun today…under our flourishing Jacaranda tree introduced in Maple tea…

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I have an interesting tea blend called Prince of Wales for us to try & I have baked a Gf Earl Grey tea Date loaf (Recipes)…sliced, still warm & spread with lashings of real Lf creamery butter for our treat…

Prince of Wales tea is a rare treat as I can’t seem to find it readily available in my area…it is a black tea blend that has a roasted nutty flavor…the Earl Grey tea date loaf is so moist & delicious I have put out two slices each! Well now we have our tea, treats & are settled under the Jacaranda, let’s begin our reflection…

My husband & I, have just celebrated our wedding anniversary. We went for a drive out to where we had our first date the other day, a few days before our anniversary, it was through the beautiful ranges we have surrounding the area we live. We took a picnic just like that first date…we chatted about the years we have been married as we drove, the many challenges we have faced over those years, how we have grown, what our dreams & plans for the future are together!

This is called relationship…spending quality time together, chatting about past, present & future dreams…seeing where we have grown & what areas we still need to grow in…raising issues for discussion before they become contentious…is all important.

I believe where a relationship really reveals its truth, is behind the closed doors of the relationship, where only the two dwell…away from others eyes…where mutual respect, kindness, gentleness, dignity, consideration for each other & how one speaks to the other, a relationship of equality (within the differing roles of marriage) & mutual love…is truly demonstrated or not!

For this is true relationship; being kind, considerate, gentle, loving, caring & in giving each other dignity! It should never be controlling & abusive in any way what so ever! (Refer)

You see God Himself does not control anyone in relationship to Himself, He has given each one of us the freedom of choice in relationship with Him, we are free to choose to have that relationship with Him through His Son Jesus or not! So….then….if God the Creator of the universe does not seek to control us in relationship to Himself…then what right does anyone think they have, to control the other in their relationship!

As we sat & ate our picnic lunch, looking out over the most picturesque quaint little country village…we dreamed & planned together, we chatted about our desires for the future individually & as a couple…we wondered where God would lead us & discussed where we are at…in Him…individually & as a married couple at the moment. As we returned home, we felt at one with each other & in Him…having renewed those all important bonds of relationship, friendship & love.

It takes time…to listen to your partner, to give them your undivided attention, to see where they are coming from, to really enjoy their company & to really appreciate them for who they are…the person you fell in love with….to be able to see where you both are within your relationship presently…make time to do this often & regularly…you won’t be disappointed with the results!

Note; If you are being controlled & abused in any way in your relationship, please seek professional help as soon as possible, you need to protect your physical, emotional, mental & spiritual wellbeing! A professional can help you with strategies to address the situation safely…while your partner either gets the help they need (if they seek it) or lives with the consequences of their behavior apart from you…God does not expect anyone to be in a relationship that is controlling & abusive, ever!

Well, with the delightful tastes of the tea & the fruitiness of the loaf still lingering upon my tongue…our sun has moved its warmth… its now time to go inside, until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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

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Tea on the 77th Floor…

What an amazing view from up here…welcome dear friend, today I am sharing a special adventure I had with my daughter not too long ago…

I have prepared a lovely hot cuppa for us, depending on what you prefer tea, coffee or maybe a hot chocolate, I have them all…with some Gf cinnamon toast, as its cold today, our Autumn weather has finally arrived, yay…after a prolonged hot summer.

Let me set the scene for our reflection today;

It was a lovely hot summer’s day, when we decided to have an adventure, we often share lovely fun adventures together when visiting, we decided to play tourists for the day, I had not been to the new high rise building, so I was excited for us to share this experience together.

On arrival, we had our tourist photo taken on the ground floor, while waiting for the lift to take us to the 77th called Skypoint, as neither of us were keen to climb the 1,331 steps! Once in the lift, my daughter directed my attention to the ceiling to watch our ascent, we all looked up at the screen, within 42.7 seconds we had arrived! It was like being in a rocket without the effects of the G forces!

As we walked out of the lift & turned left, a breathtaking panorama greeted us, 360 degrees of spectacular views, from coastal views to the horizon, out to the hinterlands in the west…we lazily made our way around taking in the views, chatting & taking photos, as seen above! We ordered lunch & of course I had a cup of Earl Grey tea. The view below us was microscopic…people looked like tiny ants, traffic as toy cars & houses as miniature buildings…even other tall buildings were dwarfed!

Heights & our reactions to them are quite interesting, aren’t they…When I first approached the floor to ceiling windows on arrival, my instant reaction was to back off, this was an involuntary reaction on my part. My brain could not work out its depth perception & had decided I was in danger, so it sent an instant message to my body to react & back away from the perceived present danger before my conscious mind could override it!

We do this in many things don’t we…we find ourselves reacting, recoiling or backing away from a situation before we realize it…whether it’s a person, relationship or a real or perceived danger. This may be a wise & healthy course of action for us at the time, our subconscious mind may have picked up on a danger, that our conscious mind has been too busy or didn’t want to actually acknowledge. However our reactions may also be uncalled for, like mine,  as I wasn’t in danger & was quite safe!

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When we find ourselves reacting in this way, we need to gain a new perspective & look at the bigger picture of how we are feeling & why we are reacting to the situation.  Prayer, God’s wisdom in His word & reflection are my first go too…chatting to our spouse, trusted friend, pastor or professional counselor also may help to bring things into perspective. I find journaling my thoughts down always a worthwhile practice… alternatively art, gardening, craft, listening to music or walking, can all be things, that give us time to process our thoughts & emotions.

We may find an old or new hurt, that hasn’t been totally healed or forgiven, has been triggered & actually has nothing to do with the present person or situation that has triggered these reactions in us. Maybe the situation or relationship has changed & there is a real & present danger to your wellbeing now! Or maybe you are sensing a change in the other party which has bought a different dynamic into the relationship, this may need to be gently approached with them, regarding what you’re sensing, as they may be going through something they haven’t shared with you.

By drawing apart we can sort through these thoughts, feelings & reactions, some will seem insignificant & others will be very significant. Just like the view from the 77th floor you can see the bigger picture once you see the view in its entirety & gain wise insight through a new heavenly perspective!

Well our cinnamon toast is only crumbs left on the plate now, our cups are drained of their refreshment…until next time dear friend…

Jennifer

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Mothering…

Mother’s day is this Sunday here in Australia, so come & join me in a tea party, I do have coffee & other refreshments…if tea isn’t your forte…it is open to all whom have taken on the role of mothering a child at anytime in their lives…

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I would like to share a poem that my eldest daughter gave me many years ago. It was a beautiful artwork she had done of hand sketched Australian native Flannel flowers bordering the poem on parchment paper & she had placed it in a frame for me on Mother’s day 1994. Its colors are too faded now to include here in a photo but the message is still precious…

What is a Mother 

It takes a mother’s LOVE to make a house a home,

A place to be remembered no matter where we roam,

It takes a mother’s PATIENCE to bring a child up right,

And her COURAGE & her CHEERFULNESS to make a dark day bright…

It takes a mother’s THOUGHTFULNESS to mend the hearts deep hurts.

And her SKILL & ENDURANCE to mend little socks & shirts…

It takes a mother’s KINDNESS to forgive us when we err,

To sympathize in trouble & bow her head in prayer…

It takes a mother’s WISDOM to recognize our needs,

And to give us reassurance by her loving words & deeds…

It takes a mother’s ENDLESS FAITH, her CONFIDENCE & TRUST

To guide us through the pitfalls of selfishness & lust…

And that is why in all the world there could not be another,

Who  could fulfill God’s purpose as completely as a MOTHER!

By Helena Steiner Rice

There are many who have stepped up to the plate in a child’s life & been everything mentioned above to that child, given mothering through the hard times, the good times & the messy times! Whether you are the biological, adoptive, step, foster, grandparent or a family kin Mama to that child…Mother’s day is for you to celebrate too!

Enjoy the memories of the good times & whether you see these little or big ones now or not. Know that you made a difference in that child’s life & rest assured God hasn’t forgotten the love, sweat & tears you poured out for them!

You may also enjoy my post, the legacy we leave children in Ginger tea time…

You’re welcome to linger awhile & enjoy more cups of inspiration, there’s plenty of food for thought to choose from! Happy Mother’s Day!

Jennifer

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Listening…

“Are you still there?” asked the voice on the other end…our mobile signal here at home is poor & intermittent…but this wasn’t the issue….”yes I am still here, I was listening to what you were saying” I replied…..”Oh, I thought we had lost the signal” said the voice…

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Today I am having a cup of Lf café latte…a treat I often have when I am out & about…it is accompanied by some Gf sweet almond bread. We are sitting out over the water at a village restaurant which is on the marina. I can hear the gentle lapping of the water under my feet & the squawking of the seagulls in the background, it isn’t busy at this time of the morning, so it’s quiet & relaxing…I have found a table for us in the sunshine looking out over the bay…shall we begin our time of reflection together…

Listening, communicating & conversations are different elements that successfully work together to bring clarity for understanding between two or more parties & nurtures relationships. But what happens when one or more of these elements aren’t functioning properly, like our mobile signals at times, we either get disjointed understanding, frustrated emotions or a break in connection…

Listening also involves complex high order cognitive functioning & processing of what is being communicated…& involves high levels of energy…..since having the demanding tenants take up residence…shared in Vanilla Rooibos Tea…I have struggled with energy levels, combined with the malady of what is known as “Fibro fog”…which is a brain haze that interrupts quick & effective cognitive processing especially for communication & language (we can’t think of the word we want to use or lose concentration in the conversation etc)…just like a bad mobile signal…fibro fog & low energy levels have disrupted my ability to converse on the phone, most days.

Just to add another ingredient in the mix…I am a listener & have always found listening much easier than talking (that’s why I enjoy writing, I can take time to process what I want to say! And if you have read my Meet Jennifer page you will know that my career involves professional listening!). Thus, if the other on the phone enjoys talking, I can listen while energy levels permit….but if the other is a listener,  then this creates a huge pressure…inducing stress to keep the conversation going…which in turn impacts the fibro fog… causing anxiety & my cognitive processes to overload & stall! Agghhh!

pexels-photo-355296.jpegHow to work through this overwhelming issue is one of the daily challenges we face…as there are many who experience brain fog in their chronic illnesses…the following is to share how I am addressing this malady;

  • Firstly, I have learnt to be kind to myself in this mind malaise, as I can not change the situation, there is no cure for the demanding tenants that have taken up residence (although I am definitely open & hoping for a miracle anytime!). In the meantime I am doing my best but I need to listen to my body’s capabilities each day. Otherwise the demanding tenant called Fibromyalgia will take its revenge tenfold.
  • I have shared the situation with family & friends, as best I can. Trusting, they have some understanding when I can not make or take calls…but that they are still very loved & cherished!

However, keeping the lines of communication open with family & friends is very important to me & I still desire a two-way connection with them otherwise isolation, dissociation & ultimately a disconnection can creep in…so…

  • I use other forms of communication to keep in contact…mainly in written format through mobile text messages & emails…until I have the opportunity to see them face to face & spend quality time together.

So, if a significant other in your life has chronic health issues, that have irreversibly changed their lives, please be kind, patient & compassionate with their new normal…they really are trying to do their very best in the daily challenges they face…they aren’t rejecting you, they are still who they have always been, they can still be who they are in these challenges….but they do need that understanding from you…

If you are the one facing these challenges, be kind to yourself! I would love to hear what your coping strategies are with the challenge of brain fog.

Well, the restaurant is much busier now & our lattes are finished, so it’s time for us to leave…until next time…dear friend…

Jennifer

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Home sweet home

I heard what I thought was a knock at the front door, I opened it…sitting on the mat before me….is my big Russian Blue cat, Bobbie…& my work dog Polly…

How lovely to have you drop by for our time of tea & reflection together…I am reminiscing today…

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We have traveled back to 2002, I have prepared an Australian Afternoon tea blend, its a strong black tea, which I watered down with extra boiling water on the side, as its a little too robust for my palate & delicious Gf Lamingtons await…

We are sitting on the side verandah of my homestead with the sun warming us in our comfy chairs & a small recycled table nestled between us. We are looking out over the paddocks down to the creek that weaves across the front of the property, birds are singing & sheep are bleating…

Present reflection….around this time each year, I go deeper into thought & become a lot quieter than normal, my husband asks if I’m okay, I then realize…its that time again…when my sweet gentle late husband was diagnosed on April 30, 2002 with brain cancer (Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4 ~ was the clinical term). We only had 12 weeks together after that diagnosis to his final passing on August 3, 2002.

You see our subconscious minds have a memory of past traumatic events, which quite often precedes our conscious memory….this has an effect upon our emotions & on our behavior!

Back to Bobbie on the doorstep in 2002, he has been rather naughty & stayed out all night…Polly, my Australian Kelpie, being part of the family decides to have her say in the situation by barking her “talking bark” which is quite comical. They have a love hate relationship these pets of mine, each morning they lovingly greet each other than have spats for the rest of the day!

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My thoughts now wander to when my late husband had passed away a few months beforehand…now living alone in our rural Homestead on an 800 acre working farm. We have reduced the stock to 800 head of fine merino sheep from 1200 & are debating over a cuppa, on this same verandah, as to whether to sow this years crops or not. As we are in the beginning of a drought (that would last for years) & are already hand feeding sheep each morning, from our grain storage & Lucerne hay stores. “We” are my late husband’s eldest son & I, it has been a traumatic & devastating few months, we are still trying to come to terms, each in our own way, with this death. He the death of his Dad…me the death of my beloved husband & work mate!

It was comforting to be in our home that we had created together, it was lovely to go out & work the farm each day, have my pets as little companions… Polly beside me working the sheep & Bobbie to greet me when I came home but there came a time when change would inevitably come & a new home sweet home would become a place of sanctuary…in a different season of my life…enjoy Tea by the sea…

Death & loss, grief & sadness, healing & wholeness are all a part of life…this life…it’s how we handle it for our continued wellbeing, is the main thing…I handle mine with God…in His strength, wisdom & healing…please read Mending brokenness

We don’t get over the loss of a loved one but we can come to a place of acceptance…it is okay to remember them & enjoy the happy memories & be kind to ourselves when the sad memories come…for they will surely arise especially at significant times like anniversaries that you shared together! It’s just a part of being human & what we have been created to be…emotional beings!

Well I hope you enjoyed our Aussie tea & Lamingtons on the verandah…thank you for journeying with me back to a difficult time in my life that is now remembered with fondness & kindness…I truly appreciated your company!

If my story has triggered memories for you of your loved one who has passed, enjoy the happy memories & be kind to yourself in the sadder ones…however, if your life is being significantly impacted by grief, to the point where you can’t maintain your normal life…then please seek professional help…God’s help comes through others too…

Until next time…

Jennifer

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