My Tea Set

CIMG0879This “Tea Set” stamped made in Germany was given to me many years ago by my friend Kathy Wellde with her husband,  an Ambassador.   Over the years she and I shared many stories over tea and her delicious baked breads. She later wrote her very own cookbook which  one stays close by me. The Ambassador died young leaving Kathy with 5  precious children to rear. We had much to share with and about her  children. At this particular time I didn’t have children so I spent much time being a part of their lives. I always loved hearing about the times she got to dance with King Hussein among other notable happy times as they served America as an Ambassador and family.

So many in my story including the  Ambassador and King among many others have been dead for many years. I often stop and wonder at times if I even remember her stories correctly or if and why I even heard and commented on them. Yet, the “Tea Set” remains just as beautiful as it was when the giver and stories of that day were still  earth living.

Another great ONE, another KING, “that was and is” lived long before the Ambassador and earthly King in my “Tea Set”  story was even born. He told us an even greater story about Himself and baked bread; Jesus, the King of Kings said, “I am the bread of life.”-(John 6:35) He goes on to say if you eat of this bread you will live forever. Awesome story!

What does this all mean, kings, breads, dances and giving and sharing of story. Kathy, told me many stories about her faith, her husband, their children and the life of a working woman, artist and writer. She was a mentor in many ways. What does  King Jesus telling me, one of His ambassadors,*that He is the bread of my life mean? His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105) His words of forgiveness and the heaven-earth-cross connection has nourished my wounded soul in times when wounds just did not want to heal. He is a healer. I think we have found the connectors: just as Kathy’s homemade baked  bread, story  and tea satisfied and nourished my body,  Jesus satisfies and heals our souls when we allow Him to be Our Shepherd. He sets a table before us in the presence of our enemies. (Psalm 23)

We gather at tables, enjoy tea and bread, share stories of The King, desiring to know how to be better Ambassadors* for Him. Sharing stories of our lives and lives of our families and friends until we join The King of Kings, other kings and ambassadors to live out the vision set before us. Have you noticed stories seem to take us back to a life no longer with us but we have a small token of their life to remind us of a lesson taught, and a lesson learned. Do you have a “Tea Set” story?

*2 Corinthians 5:11-21



16 thoughts on “My Tea Set

  1. Sara, that is a beautiful story and as I read and read your words and look and look at the tea set, I see a matching complementary style that weaves patterns and stories and eternal truths into an inviting, lovely, living setting.
    “Have you noticed stories seem to take us back to a life no longer with us but we have a small token of their life to remind us of a lesson taught. Do you have a “Tea Set” story?”
    Yes, I can see that stories take us back and can remind us of lessons. A ‘story’ that came to me to share is about a primitive wood grating board handed down to me by my mother that I still use to grate cabbage for making coleslaw. Why, of all the many lovely things my mother and grandmother gave me, does this one thing stick out in my mind? Perhaps because it connects me to gardens and plants, subjects which they both introduced me to; which I later found to be my vocation; and which help me understand and picture many lessons that Jesus taught about gardens and plants and fruit. Or, maybe because even though it is a rather cumbersome and crude utensil, it still functions usefully after all these years, a reminder that God can still keep us useful in old age. And lastly, it helps me work to produce coleslaw, something that I have been able to share with others in different settings throughout the years.

    1. Thanks Debi. It’s always rewarding to have one appreciate your work.

      Nice to hear about a keepsake from your mother. It’s interesting that you purposely give opportunity to make use of your item of remembrance and remind yourself of many well prepared meals by your Mother. I have heard you mention some of her old favorite dishes and the lasting effects they are having on you and your family. Thanks for sharing your story. Not sure I have seen a wood grating board. Interesting.

      1. Debi, be nice to see a photo of your Mother’s grating tool? Is it a chopping board? Or, a wood grater? I just can’t get the visual. Sounds so interesting.

  2. There is a lot to think on your recommended scriptures, 2 Corinthians 5 and and on what you wrote , Sara, “We gather at tables, enjoy tea and bread, share stories of The King, desiring to know how to be better Ambassadors* for Him.”
    Vs 11, “Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others” was a measuring tape verse for me, letting me know how far I still am from the goal post.

    1. I agree Debi as I often feel the same way. . But, you have so often shown the Love of God thru your deeds and actions. When we work in group or as a body one will speak, and one may serve, etc. Yes, we need to find the scripture of how the body is knit together with Jesus as the Head.

  3. Thanks, Sara, that is a very encouraging reminder to all of us who want to find ourselves joyfully doing our special part in the body of Christ.

    Is this the scripture you were referring to?
    Ephesians 4:15 (NLT) “but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”
    The NLT version says “(16) He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

  4. Sara..what a lovely tea set. It’s elegance bespeaks another era….strangely different than our ”in-your-face time of the present. It speaks to me of a kinder, gentler time….far away from the blare and blast of today. Heartwarming and just lovely to look at.
    Debi & Sara, I enjoy the intertwining of your stories with your diverse experiences …well, twined together like….. Braided bread that I have seen in the bakeries especially during the holidays. ….intertwined to be one loaf.
    My Mother left me a few lovely things…one of which is our wonderful kitchen table…that really is a dining room table, beautifully made and still well preserved with the original leather seats on the chairs in pretty good condition. That is quite a feat since three active kids sat at that table three times a day over the course of…all told…. 81 years to this date…where it now sits in my den, often inviting me to spend time in Bible study and journaling just like we used to do our homework on that table after dinner. There was always a cloth of some sort…often what we called”oil cloth” pretty and durable and easy to clean up spilled milk or soup for whichever kid had the misfortune of knocking something or other over.
    But Now it seems all mine….and yet, not really. It belongs to two generations and sometimes three….of family who loved and laughed and dined at that lovely wooden table.
    And when my den is refurbished, I will again be able to go sit there at Sister Grandma’s table and recall the many scrumptious meals she made lovingly for her family from the fine meats and groceries Daddy brought home from his uncle’s market where he was employed as a butcher as in ”butcher, baker, candlestick maker”. That butcher! The real ticket. Sometimes others joined us at that table. Mostly relatives, cousins and aunts & uncles.
    But As I contemplate a verse from the Word of God the first that comes up in my heart is Proverbs 31…yep, Sis G., my Mother, is strong on my heart right as this moment. Sara, you seem to have opened up a …shall we say… a portal in my heart that she is peeping through & touching my soul, right now?
    And this is her tribute…”A wife of noble character who can find.? Her husband has full confidence in her and she brings him good…”.[And he brought her goods!!] She provides food for her family…..[ we always had good food and her preparations were always excellent no matter what she prepared for us….although my father always would peer over her shoulder when she was cooking something that smelled absolutely divine which was always…..and suggest….. a little more salt or a little more pepper….it was a private sort of running joke between them…and they enjoyed it immensely which none of us kids ‘got’ till we were well advanced in age….and had left the ‘nest’ ] to continue…” Speaking of Bread in this thread…”she doesn’t eat the bread of idleness” ….and didn’t tolerate in us, either. We later joked about the ubiquitous finger of our mother….and the now famous quote….”You missed a spot” which could be applied to dish washing, scrubbing floors, sweeping, dusting, bathtub scouring…it didn’t matter to Sister Grandma, our beautiful picky mom….somebody, somewhere at sometime always MISSED A SPOT!
    Those memories go into a book of remembrance and maybe I will sit at that table again sometime soon open my Bible to Proverbs 31 or even more…when all has been refurbished after the flood…. Others will sit at Sister Grandma’s table and I will have the honor of serving them although I could never duplicate those glorious dishes she created which was her gift from the Lord. For I think…even as I serve my honored guests somewhere in the background of the decades I will hear my father say…..” it could use a little more salt”
    BTW… I think I hear my FATHER in Heaven say…. ” we need more salt down there!!” Daddies seem all alike that way!!

    1. MG, I was blessed to have the opportunity of meeting your Mother affectionly known as Sis G. I can easily place her in your story. She sure would be full of of joy knowing you are using the ‘family table’ to study and feed the soul. Love your stories. I know by experience that you sure are a daughter of your Mom and Dad in culinary! My imagination sees them arm in arm smiling while peeking over the bannister of heaven as you fulfill their dreams for you. So happy that you have touchstones from home to give you daily strength.

  5. My grandmother was gifted with sewing, crocheting, quilting, among other things. She quilted a beautiful quilt that I have displayed on a quilt rack ( my cousin, Frankie made), in my home. When I look at that quilt and think of the number of hours it must have taken to sew all those pieces of material together, I can’t help but wonder how many hymns she must have sung , or how many prayers she must have prayed, as she worked diligently. You see, my grandmother loved Jesus, and she would always encourage me to depend on Him. ✝. Love reading all the “Tea Set” stories. Beautiful picture above of the tea set.😊

    1. Tammy, you bring to the table a beautiful lady known by most of us that dialogue here. I am certain if each of us all knowing her from many years to a few years told of our memories we would hear a consistent storyline of a lady that sits as a Lily of Lilies among us. Her faith stood the test of time.

      What a blessing for you to have her quilt and one made by her always serving hands. Frankie, a grandson, she loved dearly and so admired displays family unity in your home. Therein lies the love of God that she so displayed to all that she met. Thanks for sharing a thimble from her river life

  6. It is so nice to read your story, Tammy. I have fond memories of singing some of those favorite hymns of your grandmother with her and others in her home.
    And MG, reading your story brings fond memories of Sister Grandma with her lovely smile.

    1. Debi, I know it must have brought my grandmother much joy singing those hymns :). I’m sure you must have played the guitar some too? Thanks for sharing your gift of playing and singing with her, as well as others.

  7. In reading portions today from Michael W. Waters in his book ‘Freestyle’….I was struck by how his story just perfectly fit into our stories shared here. He told how his wife one evening after they were ready for bed was having some discomfort in her throat.

    He made her some hot tea and found an unopened economy-sized container of honey near the back of their pantry. As he was putting the honey in her tea his wife told him a story; “…her recently deceased mother had given them the container of honey.” Then comes the part of Waters’ story that touched my soul and helped soothe the pain of grief of losing loved ones.

    ”I don’t know how such a large container of honey fit into her shopping plans or what inspired the purchase. I don’t know if the purchase was planned or impulsive. But what I do know is that as I squeezed out the honey into my wife’s tea, I felt as though I was a conduit of a mother’s love to her daughter. I could not help but think that even though my mother-in-law had been gone from us for several months, her acts of generosity and hospitality continued to flow and to minister to us.”

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