We had the privilege of hosting my Mom in our home for three weeks recently. She came at my request to spend time with us while my husband was in Haiti. We enjoyed her so much. The time passed quickly as always, and we were sad to see her leave.
One of the highlights of our time with Grandma was the time we set aside for afternoon teas. Most afternoons, when my youngest was down for his nap, I would set the table with steaming tea, candles, a plate of finger food, scripture reading, prayer and great conversation. This turned out to be everyone’s favorite part of the day!
I wanted to create a special time. A time when the house was quiet and we could all focus on sharing time together as a family. A time when we were not rushing to move on to the next lesson, the next church service, the next committment. A time when Grandma could share thoughts with us and partake in some of our discipleship.A time for making memories. A time for truly enjoying each other. I also had one, minor ulterior motive….manners.
I had been finding myself growing more and more frustrated during our evening meals. With six children and Dad coming in from work, there was a level of excitement at the table. Often that excitement seemed to turn to chaos. Full of loud voices, reaching hands, quick eating, and people so eager to share about their day without being willing to listen.
My hope was that tea time would afford us a positive opportunity that would also help us to address issues around manners without scolding or shaming. It worked! Everyday the children would ask, “When is tea time?” “We are having tea time today, right Mama?”
This time was special. It provided a opppoortunity for us all to come together peacefully, and respectfully – each of us working to make it a special time.