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

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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!

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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

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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…

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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…

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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

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Tea at Easter…

All was hushed, there seemed to be a sacred expectancy to this event… Welcome  to our time of tea & reflection together…

As we waited, with the cold creeping into our bones & the deafening quietness of our surroundings, all feeling tired from the two hour hike in the dark but also excited…it began…

At first there was just a glimmer, then it grew brighter with hues of orange against the dark sky giving a breathtaking contrast in spectacular colors of blues & purples…we were on the mountain top looking across the bay for this special sunrise…the water below reflected & magnified the effect… it was easter Sunday…watching God create a new day in all of it’s breathtaking beauty, from a mountain top perspective was amazing…& one I will never forget…

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Then as the dawn turned into morning, we enjoyed hot tea boiled in the Billy on the campfire, as we thawed our freezing bodies beside it & awaited breakfast of bacon, eggs & toast cooked over its hot coals.

As we drank our iconic Australian Billy tea sweetened with sugar & taken with milk, & chewed mouthfuls of our delicious breakfast, we reflected upon the reason for our time together upon this mountain. We were all Missionary & Bible College students, we varied in ages. But that morning we were there to celebrate that special morning long ago that changed the course of mankind, forever, when the tomb of Jesus was found empty.

That Easter mountain top experience was many years ago…You may ask the following….Why does Jennifer believe in Jesus & His life, death on a cross, resurrection & ascension to heaven & in His love for her? Is it because of the following…evidence?…tradition?…knowledge?…experience?

My answer is; No none of those is the reason, although all of them have credence! I believe & accept Jesus as my Lord & Savior through faith, because He first loved me & because of His sacrifice for me…I don’t just believe but I also live in God’s amazing love, grace & forgiveness through His Son Jesus.

I am not perfect, I do screw up at times, I am still living this side of heaven but I live in His love because of His continual kindnesses to me…please read Wisdom. He is the bridge to an amazing relationship with the Father through His sacrifice & resurrection. Our many times great grandparents created a huge gap in their & our relationship with the Father through their deliberate rebellious choices at the beginning of our family history. We inherited their legacy but through Jesus we can once again enjoy a personal relationship with God the Father & Jesus the Son through being born anew in His Spirit!

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It is totally an individual choice to have this relationship…However it doesn’t just happen automatically…You need to choose, believe, accept & open the door of your heart to Jesus & His Spirit to be born anew…asking for this new life & acknowledging Jesus’ work for you to Him personally (Refer). I did this in quiet prayer 38 years ago…

Have you ever thought of where you will spend the rest of Eternity? Did you know that each one of us are already living eternity, as death is not the end of our existence (this I not only believe but have also experienced in a NDE). It is entirely your choice as to where you will spend the rest of eternity…please choose wisely…enjoy Blueberry tea time…

Well it’s now time for my afternoon tea with a cup of Chai & some fresh apple chips, until next time…

Blessings to you this Easter dear friend & may you know God’s amazing love & grace for you,

Jennifer

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Heart matters!

We are having tea with a difference today, I have been able to travel to the ferry terminal, not far from my little village, to cross the Harbour to a quaint Italian Cafè to meet with an old friend. These outings are particularly precious these days…

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She is waiting…we order a Chai tea Latte made on almond milk & a flat white coffee. We both decide to have the Vanilla Bean Panna cotta with Berry sauce & strawberries.

We have known each other over 32 years & have been through the changing seasons of our lives together, giving & receiving much needed support along the way. This dear friend brings great joy & laughter to my heart. We have mutual respect for each other & can laugh at the silly things in life.

Our order is served by a friendly young man, as we sit looking out across the Harbour as huge ships sail into port, people amble past & the occasional squawk of a seagull can be heard. We happily chat, drink & eat the delightful Panna cotta which is creamy smooth with the contrasting tartness of the strawberries & the sweetness of the berry sauce…making a delectable combination. My Chai tea latte is particularly good.

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I share that recently I made a comment to a fellow blogger, about being heart broken in a particular situation..my words were “it absolutely broke my heart“. We have a lot of sayings about the heart….don’t we…as mentioned above this friendship brings great joy & laughter to my heart. I have also heard statements like; heart attitude, heart ache, heart glad, desires of the heart, wears their heart on their sleeve, put their heart into it, makes my heart sing…& the list could go on…

What are all these statements actually trying to say? It’s a way to convey the seriousness & depth of the emotion we are feeling behind the words. If it involves the heart, the very core of life itself, than its of the utmost importance! The Heart is what keeps every other organ alive! It keeps the flow of oxygen & nutrients to nurture all within….without it, there is no life, it is crucial to life itself!

Recently, one particular statement has stuck with me, as I seem to be hearing it at every turn…

Being true to one’s heart”…

What does this actually mean…we ponder….

It means… following the core values, convictions, beliefs & choices of one’s life. Being true in how you live your life, within the choices you have chosen. I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I need to live my life to the values & beliefs I have chosen…conversely I need to also respect the right for others to do the same & they too, need to demonstrate that mutual respect in return!

We agree that God has given every person the freedom & right to choose how they will live their life & what they will do with their choices of their hearts. It doesn’t mean they have to come & join us in ours nor we in theirs.  This is what mutual love & respect for others is…join us in a cup of Iced Wine tea…

Of course I am not talking about any type of criminal behavior here, no one has the right or freedom to bring any type of harm to another whether physically, mentally, emotionally, socially or spiritually! Ever!

What we need to remember though…my dear friend…is that each of us, will face the consequences of our heart choices. Whether these will bring eternal blessings…will be seen…when each of us gives an account for the chosen values, beliefs & convictions of our individual lives…

We need to ask ourselves…are our heart choices nurturing our spirit for eternal blessing…

Well I am now traveling back across the Harbor, having said farewell to my dear friend. I am enjoying this ride on the ferry with its rhythmic rocking across the waves, people quietly chatting around me & the sight of passing bright colored sail boats. Until next time…

Jennifer

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Blueberry tea time…

Welcome dear friend, it is so lovely to have you drop by for our time of reflection…

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Blueberries, flavouring black Ceylon tea is my choice today, taken with Lf milk & a touch of raw sugar.  A Macadamia & honey bar is my treat of deliciousness.

Blueberries are great boosters to our immune system & make this particular tea blend very satisfying & healthy at the same time! I have a little Blueberry bush growing in my garden, the bush gets full of plump juicy little dark blueberries, just ripe for picking, when a sneaky little Wattle bird decides to have a feast & I am left with only a few! Oh well, she finds our garden a haven in which to raise her chicks, so I don’t really mind. We also have a Macadamia orchard in the area, these trees flourish here in Australia, my absolute favorite in the nut family, combined with honey this sweet bar is perfect with this tea blend…

We glean so much in childhood from the positive examples around us…don’t you think….I grew up in a home that followed God’s principles & was taught in schools that gave reverence, awe & respect to Him.

The positive legacies left to us from those who have gone before are also very important & influential (enjoy reading Ginger tea time…)… Some of the blessed legacies I gained from my grandparents, were knowing my father’s parents met at a church picnic. And observing my mother’s parents loving & honoring God in their lives. I was fascinated to hear the story of my great Aunt spending her adult life helping & ministering to those suffering from leprosy on a remote Island in the Pacific, where she ultimately gave her life, surrounded by those same sufferers, who had grown to love her.

While these examples & legacies are very positive signposts for us on the road of faith…we were created for a unique relationship with our Creator & each of us has an invitation to go on our own spiritual journey to find that personal relationship with Him…this search may take some to exotic destinations (mine was to Penang Island, Malaysia), some will experience distractions & get side tracked, some will of their own choosing take alluring detours along the way, while others will remain in safer locals….or procrastinate…

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But the name on the ticket to this adventure is your’s alone, it is not transferable & remains an open ticket only for the time that is allotted to you, it’s your individual journey to choose to travel or not…

A point to reflect upon though…is….none of us know the date, time or place of our final departure, my advice to you my dear friend…is…don’t wait or procrastinate too long. The invitation & ticket for the adventure of your life is there waiting, it has already been paid with a great high price…whether you have got distracted, side tracked, detoured or are yet to begin the journey…He is calling out to you….please enjoy a Hibiscus & Cranberry tea

I can attest that it will be the greatest adventure you will ever have (poetry Wisdom)…Just like the Macadamia & blueberry plants…you too will grow & flourish….When planted in His care…

The honey of the nut bar has my fingers all sticky & the blueberry tea is but a drop in the bottom of my cup now…Until next time…

Jennifer

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Ginger tea time…

How lovely to have you drop by, shall we begin our time of reflection together….

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The aroma of ginger triggers pleasant memories of a time with my father in childhood. When I was 5 years old he taught me how to tell the time with a toy clock that had movable hands. Each night after dinner, he would sit & help me to understand what the numbers & the various position of the hands meant. I eventually came to understand the concept through Dad’s patient tutelage… Dad would often enjoy a Gingernut cookie, an old favorite of his, with a cup of tea at this time.

Ginger root, apple pieces, white & red hibiscus & licorice root are the ingredients for this tea. The tasty treat for today is an Gf Orange & Poppy seed cake with orange sauce. The ginger in the tea is definitely fiery upon the tongue with the first sip but then quickly mellows. It is an enjoyable tea blend & the cake is so moist & delicious…this treat reminds me of my paternal grandmother who would always have delicious freshly baked goodies for our visit.

The passage of time, is a topic that has come into the spotlight in my life… time is such a strange concept to grasp & experience…don’t you think…it seems to go slow & speed up depending on what activities we engage.

I remember many years ago when my grandmother turned 80, I asked her how it felt to be that age. She said that she still felt like the young woman of 25 in spirit but her body just would not cooperate anymore. Adding how incredibly fast that time had passed! I was a busy young Mum back then, so I didn’t understand this concept of time…but now as a grandmother myself with my eldest granddaughter living & working overseas, I grasp exactly what she was conveying & experiencing in the passage of time. I can now attest to the same sentiment! It has gone amazingly fast!

While I have not yet reached octogenarian status, a way to go yet,  the unwelcome tenants (introduced in Vanilla Rooibos Tea)   have caused a rapid increase in how time has affected my body… my hair once deep strawberry blonde is now white, my skin has lost most of its elasticity. Energy & resilience has massively decreased while muscle, joint pain & stiffness have majorly increased. To be able to have a verbal telephone conversation is now on my personal most endangered list!

However, time marches on, it stops for no one…. we need to ask ourselves…. What are we to do with the time that is left to us? This is the great question…isn’t it…

We can look at our circumstances & spiral downward into a thick blanket of despair, spending precious time on focusing on the negative or we can look at them from a positive perspective…

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As I look in the mirror, I can choose to see a rapidly aging woman who’s life has been turned upside down by nasty tenants & wonder what time is left to her… or I can look at the reflected image before me…choosing rather to see a woman who has triumphed over many tragedies throughout her life (shared in The Marie Antoinette tea Tea by the sea…  ), one who has been faithful in following her Saviour, encouraging others to also experience His amazing love. A woman who is definitely feeling 25 in spirit but who’s body just won’t cooperate anymore. And if I look very closely I can see past & present generations reflected back at me….

What positive aspects can you chose to see in the image that is reflected before you as you look in the mirror?

You see we leave a legacy… in what we have done with the time that has been given to us…it will be either a legacy of blessing or not, for those who follow.

Have you thought of the legacy you will leave behind……thought provoking isn’t it!

Once again my tea is delightfully consumed, my taste buds are tingling with citrus tangyness & our time has now come to its end…until next time…

Jennifer

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Hibiscus & Cranberry tea

How lovely to have you here for a time of quiet reflection…have you got your beverage & tasty treat…you do, let us begin….

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The main ingredients for my tea blend today are rather unusual; Hibiscus, Apple pieces & Cranberries. I was introduced to this tea last month, a small pack was included in a birthday gift, our twin 3 year old grandsons proudly marched up to me with big smiles on their faces, jointly holding the gift bag for Nanny! Very cute!

As I brew this interesting tea blend in the beautiful cup & saucer of pink, white & gold, also a part of that gift, I am reminded of two things, seasonal & generational change. My tasty treat is a home baked savory cheese & herb muffin with a blob of butter, slowly melting upon its oven warmth, placed on a scalloped, gold edged plate. This tea is a sweet mellow blend, a very enjoyable combination, I can detect the individual ingredients as I sip. It is a perfect accompaniment to my savory muffin…

Reflecting upon seasons & generations, they both signal change…Don’t they…. we are experiencing seasonal changes that come with our Australian Autumn, the cooler weather has begun leaving the sweltering hot summer days behind. It is most welcome, with cooler nights comes a cosy & more restful sleep!

As the generations change, there are some precious things that thankfully don’t… we are left great pearls of wisdom & encouragement by those who have already done the hard yards of life. I was reading one such ancient transcript this morning…It was wisely informing us to take courage & not to be afraid of the things in life that seem overwhelming, because there is always one who is near to help. Let me set the scene for you for this ancient pearl…

Those following Immanuel had gone on ahead to cross the large body of water, they were approximately halfway to their destination when a huge storm suddenly surrounded them, they struggled against the overwhelming power of the storm, wind & waves that fiercely tossed the boat to breaking point….

In the mean time Immanuel, having had an exhausting day, teaching & miraculously feeding five thousand people a delicious picnic, from one child’s lunch, stayed behind to assure all the crowd left safely. As He waved them goodbye, He took time to commune with His Father, before it was time He too was on His way. He left the shore…Walking towards those in the boat, who were now exhausted in their battle against the power of the storm.

Those in the boat saw a figure coming towards them, walking upon the water, they were overwhelmed with terror, as they thought it was a spectre… when Immanuel called out to them, they recognized Him. He calmed both storms, the storm upon the water & the storm of terror in their hearts as He entered their boat. Ref

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As you may have gleaned by now, this ancient wisdom is very real & relevant for us today. There are seasons in our lives that seem overwhelming struggles against storms that toss us into places of terror. These storms can come in the guise of financial struggles, chronic health issues, mental health challenges, difficulties in relationships, the loss of a loved one or something very significant in our life, maybe the consequences of unwise choices or behaviors.  We see Immanuel walking towards us, which may add to our battle anxiety, as we perceive that He is something different to who He is!

He is calling out to us dear friend not to add to our anxiety but because He cares. He has come to calm the storm in our hearts, minds & spirits. Our part is to allow Him to do so… you see He will never force His way into our lives, He is the ultimate gentleman…we need to allow Him into our boat (life) just as the ancients did. What ever condition or circumstance, whether we have known Him for a long period or dont know Him yet, He is the calm for the storm we are battling…

Well my savory muffin is now reduced to only a few crumbs left on the scalloped gold edged plate, my tea has been totally consumed with the taste of cranberries left upon my tongue, until next time…

Jennifer

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The Marie Antoinette tea

Welcome, today is a special day of reflection, I am so glad you dropped by for our time of sharing together…

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I have been given a beautiful gift, by my daughter, personally carried all the way from the Palace of Versailles in France. It is a tea dedicated & blended in Marie Antoinette’s honor, Queen of France 1755 – 1793. It is a black Ceylon tea flavored with apples & roses picked from the King’s Kitchen Gardens in Versailles!

As I open the pretty pink & gold box, I am meet with the beautiful sweet fragrance of freshly cut roses.  I brew the tea, I have my regal setting ready, used for special occasions, a treat of Gf double choc brownie with fresh strawberries awaits.

I lift the cup to have the first taste of this royal blend, the brewed fragrance is now a mixture of sweet apples & roses, melding with the aromas of chocolate & strawberries. This is a delightful sensory experience, the tea is very delicate & tasty, a very smooth blend, the combination is so pleasing… I pour a second cup, while I enjoy my treat in purposeful reflection…

 

This special occasion is my son Benjamin’s birthday, however he won’t be joining me to celebrate today, as it is also the anniversary of his promotion into eternity. You see he was born sleeping (stillborn) many years ago.

I no longer grieve a life not lived, though I do find myself quiet & thoughtful at this time, each year…I like to remember him in contemplative reflection, with a special cup of tea & a tasty treat…it is healing. You never get ‘over’ the loss of a child or loved one but rather you come to a place of acceptance in processing your grief & live in that acceptance…accepting that he lived within, he died & I am absolutely assured of seeing him again through the promises of being born anew of the Spirit.

Over the ensuing years, I have had the privilege of sharing my story many times, to many people, in many different places both as a guest speaker & personally. However, I had not written about my experience for publishing… in 2017 I launched my second book;

I go to prepare a place for you….John 14 :2*

This is the story of Benjamin & my daughter Candy who were both born sleeping within a year of each other & my near death experience in giving birth to Benjamin.

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The book was written in their memory to honor them. Just as The Marie Antoinette tea has been specifically blended in her honor…& is a delicate blend for a delicious tea experience. This too was very therapeutic, being able to put these important experiences in my life & the lives of my family into a book that blended writing, publishing & hand compilation was a very pleasant healing experience.

It is healthy to grieve a life lost & acknowledge that they are gone from your life, it is okay to honor & remember them, you may like to visit the grave with fresh flowers or be in quiet reflection in the time you set aside for this. You may find writing your story to share with others or just for yourself therapeutic, all this is totally healthy & a normal part of processing grief. These activities remember & honor those who have gone before us & help our own healing.

However, being stuck in any particular area of grief ~ eg. anger, deep sadness, fear of the future without your loved one, blame, denial, regret, or an overwhelming feeling of loneliness, for a prolonged period of time, not processing your grief, isn’t healthy. If you find that this has happened to you, please seek professional help…so you can live the abundant life you were created for & your loved one desired you to live…Tea by the sea…

Well my brownie & strawberries were delicious, our time of reflection together has now come to its end…until next time…

Jennifer

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* copies will be available when stocks are replenished.

 

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Iced Wine tea

As I opened the package labeled “Iced Wine tea” the most beautiful aroma filled the air. I was curious & excited, I hadn’t known there was such a tea available, the instructions indicated it could be enjoyed hot or iced, once brewed. The aroma & name of this tea had my expectations rather high for a delightful tea adventure. Welcome to our time of reflection…

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It is a hot summer’s day, I have brewed the tea & placed enticing cupcakes (Recipes) on a pedestal cake stand. My husband, Steve, has his usual Australian black tea & we are sitting surrounded by the beauty of our garden. The preparations are now complete for this anticipated exciting taste adventure…

I pour the cooled amber liquid into my icy glass…I lift it to my lips, closing my eyes to linger in the moment of that very first sip of a new taste…but…my expectations were sadly not met…this tea’s flavor had both an initial & lingering chemical taste that was rather pungent & unpleasant.

This had me pondering upon our reflection today….

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On my own high expectations of this little tea adventure & the desired outcome I had been hoping to experience…

Expectations, are interesting aren’t they…we all have them. We often have expectations of loved ones, relationships, society, ourselves & experiences (like my tea adventure). The problem with expectations, they are constructed from our own perceptions of cultural, familial & personal experience. They involve; a mixture of imaginings, core beliefs, hopes & standards of past experiences & behavior, either positive or negative that have impacted us.

We combine these, to have an anticipated imagined outcome. This can put undue pressure both on the focus of our expectation & upon ourselves. Giving an unrealistic level of expectancy which may result in disappointment. This then may lead to constructing unfair judgements against whatever or whoever has not meet our expectations.

To be fair, there may be circumstances surrounding the practicality of our unmet expectations…in the case of the tea, it may simply be a bad batch or past its prime.  If it’s an unmet expectation of a loved one in our life, they may not be able to meet our expectations because of circumstances in their own lives, that we are not privileged too or it is simply beyond their capacity in this season of their life.

It is absolutely healthy to look forward to the goals, events, experiences, time with loved ones & our personal bests in our lives, even stretching beyond our comfort zones for new personal growth. But it is very unhealthy to have expectations of others & ourselves that can never be met because they are unrealistic & have been constructed in our own imaginings.

So, may we be kinder in our expectations of others & ourselves. May we include actual practicality, understanding, love & respect for another if they can not meet our expectations. May we also include our own realistic personal capacities in what we expect of ourselves & be fluid in the changing seasons of our lives, living our personal bests & enjoying the moments within that season.

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Lastly, may we see the beautiful moments in a tea adventure that wasn’t quite the taste experience that was expected but none the less, was a delightful time, with a loving & caring man in the garden he cultivates. With birds chirping & chortling, delicious cup cakes & companionable times of chatting…until next time…

Jennifer

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Tea by the sea…

Welcome, we are sitting overlooking azure waters of the bay today, the sun is shinning, the birds are chirping & the waves are gently lapping upon the shore, let us begin our time of reflection…

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I have brewed my all time favorite tea blend, Earl Grey. A black tea with bergamot added, a leafy herb that was used as a tea by the early American Indians for sore throats, stomach ailments & colds. My tasty treat is a chocolate covered organic bite with coconut & candied citrus pieces.

Earl Grey tea is the one blend I keep coming back to, I enjoy it everyday mainly with breakfast.  It’s like an old friend, you know exactly what to expect & it never disappoints. Especially in that early part of the day when you need that true & trusted cup that is part of a comforting routine, as you prepare for the day.

I must admit I do find routines very comforting, I particularly realized this after my late husband passed away from brain cancer in 2002. I was living & working on our farm as a wool grower & also as the region’s clinical counselor when he died.  The big drought had just started… Going out to hand feed our large flocks of sheep & checking their water troughs each morning was comforting. I knew what I had to do, to keep my husband’s life work going & I was determined to honor his memory in this way…

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In greener times

After a while though I realized, although these routines were comforting & my intentions honorable, they had also started to be emotionally draining. As I was living another’s dream, my late husband’s, not my own. I came to a point where I knew that I needed to get out of the routines that had initially bought comfort & live the life I had been created to live. His greatest desire for me before he died, was for me to go & live an abundant life after He had passed into glory…I had to ask myself was I living that abundant life?

After much prayer & soul searching, for this was not an easy decision to make, I made preparations both to hand the farm over & to head for my dream & God’s clear direction for my life to the mountains by the seacoast! A short time later I found myself living in the most beautiful seaside paradise, that has been so very healing & restorative for my soul.

So, while I still enjoy comforting cups of Earl Grey tea as part of my morning routine. I no longer try & keep someone else’s dream or life’s work alive but live my own life, abundantly. Trying new tea blends & new little experiences that are healthy for my soul as I go…like starting this blog!

While we are in reflection, ask yourself…are you living the abundant life you were created to live or are you trying to live a life that is or was someone else’s dream for you or them? Yes, it may have started as a comforting routine or a great idea at the time but it has now become unhealthy…

My Earl Grey tea is now finished & the chocolate bite was absolutely delicious! The tide has come in & my shady spot is no longer shady…Until next time…

Jennifer

 

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