Digging for treasure…

It’s is cold here today, the breeze is particularly chilly, so we are having our time together in the warmth of my lounge room…

brown beside fireplace near brown wicker basket

I have a different blend for us today…Cranberry & Pomegranate tea, delicious served either hot or iced…our treat is a Gf fig & almond biscotti… Now we are seated in the warmth with our treats,  I’d like to share an archeological adventure I began many years ago that I am still enjoying to this day…

As a child I loved stories of treasure hunts, especially treasure that had laid undiscovered throughout the ages. I also loved detective stories, who done its…those clever people who found clues to reveal the truth. When I heard stories or watched movies of  discoveries of ancient treasure, I dreamt of being an Archeologist one day,  going to far off places of the world, looking at the clues in the sands of time down through history to find the treasures of past civilisations for all to see. I loved all things ancient & historical.

When I finally had the opportunity to go to far off places it was not as an Archeologist however, but a wife & mother, raising a young family & caring for their needs. The bonus of living in a foreign country was being able to enjoy the surrounding cultural aspects of the exotic location… but I soon realized that the love of archeology had not left me but was burning deep within…a search for discovering treasures of spirituality had begun…my grandmother had asked me before I left Australia, what would I like as a Bon Voyage gift…my reply, a Bible please. I had never owned a Bible.

When I received the gift, I started reading Genesis, but then got to the begats & put it to one side. I had started to question many of the religious practices & their relevance that I had been taught throughout childhood…& had dutifully gone through for church membership as a child & young teen but had erred in my late teens…

Now as a young wife & Mama I wanted to look at the clues in the sands of time & dig down deep through the layers of traditions to reveal the truth behind the riddles of ritualized practices, that were beckoning to be revealed…so began a spiritual archeological dig…

shallow focus photography of hourglass

I asked the director of this dig, God, the Creator of the universe to reveal His truth to me, to strip away the layers of man made practices, rituals & traditions…to excavate & reveal His truth…revealing who He really is & what He wanted from us & specifically from me…

I observed the various local religions surrounding me while living in this exotic far off destination, their beliefs & practices… But all seemed to be even more steeped in burdensome traditions & rituals rather than the spiritual freedom I was searching for…

However, I kept coming back to the ancient script that I had requested from my grandparents…I started to dig into the differing texts within these scripts to broaden the excavation site of my spiritual archeological dig…both in the old testament section & the new testament section…rather than my dig stalling at the site of the begats.

I found so many on site discoveries as I reached each level, going deeper & deeper clearing away the sands of religious traditions…to the raw truth of God & His seemingly mysterious ways…

At the Isaiah 1:11 dig site in the old testament section I discovered that God too, had grown weary of ritualized practices in the past…

“What are your multiplied sacrifices to me?” says the Lord. I have had enough…”

And then I found a treasure in Jeremiah 29: 13…

“..you will seek Me & find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.”

I was so encouraged by these finds, they were tablets of solid script….almost directly answering my questions on this spiritual quest…

At the new testament section of the dig site in Matthew 13:44 I uncovered another site treasure….in the words of Jesus Himself;

“The kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all he has, and buys the field.” 

Then as I cleared away the sand at Matthew 13: 44 I found verse 45a…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls…”

I didn’t quite understand the script & what it was saying but it was about finding rare & precious spiritual treasure…I asked the director of the dig to reveal the fine intricate detail of this find to me…

Then I met two amazing ladies whom you can meet in Penang, Pearl of the Orient  (If you click on the blue highlighted words above you will be able to read an exciting & very inspiring part of this archeological journey that was a direct answer to my request above…)

Well our time has now come to an end, I hope you enjoyed visiting me on our first part of this exciting archeological dig site…Until next time dear friend,

Jennifer

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Penang, Pearl of the Orient

We are going on a trip down memory lane today…I’m so excited that you are here to join me in this time of reflection together over a cuppa…

person running on seashore under white clouds

I thought we would have a tea that was introduced to me when I lived in Penang…a fragrant Oolong tea & our treat is a local specialty…a crisp sweet delicious peanut pancake, made with coconut milk & cane sugar, that I used to get every market day from a food hawker also known as a Mukken cart, in the Pulau Tikus markets. I do have coffee if you prefer, would you like to try a hazelnut blend…

We are reminiscing in the warm indoors today as it’s a very cold wintery day here in Australia…Now we are seated & enjoying our treats, let’s get started on our journey through time…

Living on Penang Island, Malaysia was a 30 month posting on attachment, many years ago…I absolutely loved the multi cultural experience of this time & immersed myself in learning about the different cultures & languages that surrounded me…Bahasa Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, Tamil but couldn’t quite master any of the dialects but did learn enough Hokkien for market days…there was also a large expat community with a mixture of Australian, American & English young expats. Our home was across the road from an American boarding school called Dalat…This would become very pivotal in my spiritual journey….

My two older daughter’s who were two & four years of age at this time, loved playing outdoors, having a large shaded, fully fenced & secure yard…being in the beautiful tropics, they did this most of their waking hours. The house we lived in was located between two roads…the frontage was on the main arterial road to Batu Ferringi & the back was a smaller access road leading down to a Kampong (village) & a Hindu temple…

Life there was always so full of interesting activities, especially in this location with Hindu festivals going past our back gate with such vibrant colors in costumes, drums & cymbals…Chinese funerals going in the opposite direction past our front gate with full brass bands leading the way. Being in a Muslim country we often heard the call from the Mosques. Yes life was full of interesting cultural festivals & fascinating practices…

On one of these hot tropical days, my daughters who had been playing in their cubby house ran excitedly inside, to tell me that a Clown was on the back road, I thought this really odd & thought they may have mistaken a person in festival costume going past relating this to the clowns in their story books. When we got out the back though I couldn’t see anyone at all… so didn’t think anymore on the subject…until…

aquatic beautiful bloom blooming

A few weeks later, two older American ladies called out from the back gate. I soon found out that there had indeed been a Clown visiting Dalat a few weeks earlier…& that some of the neighboring children had had photos taken with the Clown & these were the photos being shown to me now…the ladies thought they may have been my girls in the photo when they saw my girls playing in the yard…I knew who the children were in the photos so pointed them in the right direction & invited them back for a cuppa once their photo delivery was completed…

Let me introduce you to these two amazing women who became very dear friends, mentors & great inspirations, true pearls found in the Orient…they have both passed now but their legacy & influence in my life & my children’s lives is forever an eternal blessing, Betty MitchellMary Lois Chandler whom I knew as Lois…if you click on their highlighted names above, you will be inspired by their amazing lives, (please note; you need to scroll down the page at Lois’ link until you get to her who is the 9th person honored on the list).

A beautiful time of community & friendship followed with Betty, Lois & the other international staff at Dalat, after being invited to a Friday night potluck later that week…

Well my tea & delicious peanut pancake are now finished…I hope you enjoyed our little trip down memory lane & meeting these amazing women…until next time…dear friend…

Jennifer

Copyright: teawithjennifer.blog   Photos by Pexel

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Eternity

Welcome dear friend, we are going to have such a wonderful time today, I have already prepared a tray with cups, sugar & milk for us…our treats are waiting…

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I thought as its such a beautiful sunny autumn day we would sit under our front pergola watching the birds who come & visit our garden each morning. This black tea blend has many ingredients including cinnamon & peppercorns…our treat is a toasted banana bread slathered with Lemon butter, made from homegrown lemons.

Our front area is protected from the cold winds as we sit in the filtered sunshine, a Kookaburra has just landed on the branch of our umbrella tree. He laughs his laugh…as I sip my tea, I can definitely taste the cinnamon & the peppercorns…very tasty…perfect with the banana bread.

gray and brown medium size beak bird on tree branch

This month, was my daughter Candy’s birthday & anniversary, you see she was born sleeping (stillborn) many years ago, so her birthday is also the anniversary of her death. I haven’t had the raw grief of her loss crash over me for a long time… for I know where she & her little brother, my son Benjamin, also born sleeping within a year of his older sister are….both are living in eternity…

How can I be so confident you may ask…is it faith…yes & I would also like to share my very personal experience in the following…from an excerpt from my book…I go to prepare a place for you…..to read this precious & profound experience please click on the following…Excerpt

I hope reading my experience in Excerpt has given you renewed hope & thoughts for deeper reflection of where you may be spending eternity dear friend, you see its a choice. We choose as to where we will spend eternity, its not an automatic event as popular culture would have us believe. We need to be prepared for our eternal existence….my choice is with the Creator of the universe & His Son Jesus…& we need to be prepared for His return…next time I will share how we can do this…

Jennifer

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Relationships

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

autumn daylight fall fog

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                                                                                                  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 water down with extra boiling water on the side, as its a little too robust for my palate & fresh delicious Gf Lamingtons await us…

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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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…

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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

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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…

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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

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