Today we are honored to have Linda J. Hawkins as a guest writer on the blog. Linda is the author of many beautiful tea, recipe, and children’s books, in addition to others, which you can find on her website, www.lindajhawkins.com. Please enjoy this post! If it inspires you to hold a tea party — or if you have any tea ideas of your own — let us know in the comments!
“The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come”
(Song of Solomon 2:12).
I was born into a Pentecostal family that showered me with such love and devotion. We weren’t wealthy, but we were rich in God and what He had given us. At a young age, I felt the need to have my own Pentecostal experience and was blessed to be baptized in my Savior’s name–JESUS–and filled with His glorious Spirit. As a child, I attended a small, rural, country church. As an adult, I attended, and still do, a much larger church: Nelson Pentecostal Church (NPC) in Central City, KY. Best of all, I am still serving this GREAT, AMAZING GOD!
“We snap a picture, then a sprig — both to share with those we love.” –Linda J. Hawkins
As an avid tea lover and fun-time creator, I love creating good memories for my grandchildren and friends. My own memories begin back in the 1950s when my grandmother prepared my first tea. It was nothing fancy, only a quilt spread beneath a big tulip poplar next to a fence overlooking the horses and cattle. She took the time to make tea cakes then sit and share. My own imagination then set me on a journey which has never ended.
As a little girl, I imagined myself as the queen of my own castle. Perhaps we can now sit and sip, imagining ourselves as Queen of our Home (our castle)! We can make it a place of joy to share tea time. I still love traveling to tea houses or, quite simply, setting apart time for a tea, just as my grandmother did for me years ago.
Tea–be it iced tea or hot tea, summer or winter–is the only drink that energizes you at the beginning of each morning and calms you at the end of the day: not to mention there are so many health benefits attached to this tasty drink.
Food is art to me. We can lovingly create simple tea times or elegant teas. They can be all homemade–straight from your kitchen–or half and half. That means if you’re too busy to prepare all from scratch, find gourmet items to purchase and add to your menu as you prepare for your family and friends.
We can graciously garnish and decorate the table by theme. The food we prepare will complement the occasion or event on each particular celebration day. We can allow God’s love to shine through as we prepare and serve with a heart full of love—a gift to those we love.
“A memory is a treasure that lasts forever.” Unknown
I love both people and cooking. This makes a great combination for tea time together. It can be a morning brunch, luncheon tea, evening tea, or full-blown high tea to finish off the day. Tea time is about creating fond and precious memories for days and years to come.
Here are seven ideas you can use to share the tradition of tea and make beautiful memories with the ones you love:
- Sunday School Tea for adults or children. After all, we are all children at heart! Within a group of believers, we can serve one another with love.
- Dress-Up Tea: elegant and fun with Dainty Jewell’s beautiful dresses! My theme would include crystal, china, and all the elegant trimmings served with mini tasty morsels to please the palate.
- Vintage Tea with costumes and furniture set outdoors. Arrange this tea in the garden to serve buffet-style. You may use items from days gone by to make a lacy, antique, whimsical, dressy statement.
- Tea for Two is an intimate way to share moments with the love of your life, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Choose a tablecloth with cloth napkins to match. You can arrange beautiful china cups and plates or lovely goblets, silverware, and a teapot. Fix a special spot in your cabinet for a supply of various teas. Stock up throughout the year with black teas, green teas, white blooming teas, fruit teas, or tisanes. (Decaf is best for relaxing.) For many years, you could find special treats frozen in our deep freeze. It was easy to pull out a few items for serving and was great for helping us not to overindulge. (My keyword: moderation!) For an easy alternative, wrap up a few of these items to add to a picnic basket for a tea in the woods, by the lake, or in the park.
- Spring Tea can be served inside or outside. Vases of spring blooms and complementary foods are sure to add that special springtime spark to luncheon or an evening tea.
- Spring Brunch Tea
- A Bless Someone Else Tea can be a time of blessing someone in need of a pick-me-up. Maybe they have been sick, or they live alone, or you’d like to bless them “just because.” Everyone needs to be made to feel special. What better way than sharing tea time? One precious tea time, we surprised a friend who had finished her last chemo treatment. What an impact such simple kindness can make in the life of a friend!
Whatever the occasion, remember: Any reason is a great reason for sharing with others!
“Enjoy the moment; live in the moment, or life will slip right by while you are waiting for that one perfect moment.” Linda J. Hawkins
Award-winning author Linda J. Hawkins has written numerous books for children and adults. She is the owner of Heart to Heart Publishing, Inc., and her mission is helping families be healthier and happier. She served many years as a Sunday School teacher and youth leader and is still active in her church, NPC. Linda volunteered ten years as a crisis counselor for abused women and children and has spoken in many venues inspiring others in this journey of life.
She cherishes the time of serving others, especially her family, and loves preparing special meals and teas for them. Her hobbies are gardening, canning, and photography–nature photography, in particular, as it declares God’s creation. She has hundreds of beautiful butterfly pictures — her primary subject aside from food and tea shoots.
“Whenever we behold nature, we see God’s handiwork given to us.”
–Linda J. Hawkins