Sunday, 16 April 2017

Outside Tea in Lent

 Well, there's the end of another Lent. I hope yours was full of insight, and warmer than ours here in the Frozen North! I think I did learn a few things along the way...

  If you drink tea outside every most days in Lent, you may catch cold. This cold could last forty days and forty nights plus their associated Sundays. You may well end up on a very strong antibiotic! Falling asleep outside, see below, will not bode well! If you do all this in the Frozen North, be not deceived by short moments of sunshine. And most of all, climbing Northern Ireland's third highest mountain with said levels of congestion will not be a happy experience, at least on the way up!

 Secondly, there is a distinct contrast between the earlier and the later days. At the start it was all about taking time out, literally, to be more disciplined about listening to God. Then the idea took over, to the exclusion of the reflection. This has happened to me before, and is for me, I think, quite linked to the whole social media thing. So in the days before Pentecost I am going to be much less on farcebook, and much more locked in the metaphorical upper room, before the invention of WiFi! Waiting for the Spirit, rather than the likes. This is a shameful admission for a woman of nearly fifty! I do have a greater desire to seek God now than I did forty pictures ago.

What strikes me very much about the pictures is that the vast majority of them are taken in our garden. The meadowplace is predominantly where I live and move and have my being, but there needs to be a bit of an effort now to have open doors, an open life as our sermon encouraged today. There are a few opportunities that I have ignored for weeks, but I am saying yes to them now. Very scary in all three instances, but small steps!

 And lastly the Cross. My main intention was to appreciate, not just understand, the importance of the cross. This has been a very humbling journey. Right through the denial of Judas, and predicted denials of Peter, in John 13. It was my sin, my daily denial, that held him there. And yet, immediately after John 13, in 14:1-4, Jesus promises a room for me, prepared, with safe passage guaranteed.You know the way to the place where I am going!

 It does tickle me that I ended up with forty pictures- admittedly they are not all outside! I thought I would be able to pick a favourite, but now I'm not so sure. My top four might be mountain tea, soon-moving-to-Glasgow-Catherine tea and the silly black and white ones: there's a trend among the wittiest of folk-from-church-on-farcebook to be witty in grayscale. I don't quite cut it, but it was fun to have a go!

So, cheers! A kind, and incidentally hilarious, colleague of Prince Charming's sent me at one point an envelope full of delicious tea sachets to help me along the way, and I have two left. Leave a comment and I'll pull a name out of the hat, and send them on. But if you're going to be drinking outside tea- do wrap up well!


M.K. said...

Ah, Mags, that would be quite fun to have a bit of tea from you!! Thank you for this post, and for your honesty about it all. I can tell it wasn't exactly easy, even if it was just daily drinking tea. But it's the inner battle that's hard. You've been good to do this, and although I did follow you (yay!), I never did drink tea outside (boo!!). Wait -- you know, I kind of did. I developed a new habit over the past month of taking my morning chai with me outside to let the chickens out and open the greenhouse. Does that count? It was very fun to stroll through the quiet of the pasture (with dogs jumping on me), sipping hot tea, thinking of the day. But I wasn't particularly thinking of Lent or Lenten thoughts. Wish I had. I'm glad you did this. It is a good exercise and good for us to think about.

GretchenJoanna said...

I know what you mean about the meme taking over... One cannot imagine the Lord's disciples sending pictures back to the family of their Times Apart with Jesus. I find that sometimes when I am ruminating over what to write about various experiences on my blog, that He reminds me that it's okay occasionally to just enjoy the flower or whatever with Him alone as company.

Christ is risen!

Angela said...

I have followed your teatime with interest. I have resisted asking silly questions like "Are you reading the epistle to the He-brews?" But I really appreciate your candour, in admitting that sometimes the original intention was overwhelmed by the process. Like other Lent aspirations, I am sure it's better to try, and keep on, and achieve a small victory, than to not bother at all, or give up after a couple of less than satisfactory days. I was wondering about doing the Alfresco Assam next year, but then remembered that Easter falls earlier in the calendar. But God has clearly spoken to you in this time, and that's what matters most. Well done. X

Pom Pom said...

Oh, thank you for sharing honestly about the outside tea-ness.
I love the pictures. You are such a lover of people, so kind and inviting.

ellen b said...

Oh boy you never know what you are going to learn in the season of lent or life in general. I am glad that we are in process (sanctification) and that God is always there. Hubby and I failed miserably at our grand intent for Lent this year, Oye. I'm glad you had many good tea times and that you taking small steps. I read an article this morning about making a two word request of the thief on the cross, "Remember Me". Hope you have a good week!

Lisa Richards said...

Yes, posting daily on social media can really get in the way of living real life, can't it? I love all that you shared. I'm also challenged with getting out of my comfort zone and interacting with the world that Jesus wants us to bless. God's blessings on your attempts to be faithful as He calls to your heart.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Mags, I did notice a lot of your photos were outside; all were wonderful. Falling asleep outside, eh? Your body is trying to tell you, perhaps, you need more Mags time...sleepy time IOW. Lately, I've been thinking about Peter (a lot) and his vagabond, wild ways with his Master. That Peter was all over the board and then ended up saying he "didn't know the Man". Yet, how mightily he was used...then and now. It boggles my mind.
About tea...S2 sent the nicest package for my birthday and it contained.... a
package of Thompson's Titanic tea! She's the bomb when it comes to finding things on Amazon!
Back to Lent...I haven't a clue. You know what these past few years have been like for me. Hanging on. Wondering what He wants of me, for me to do, to move, to stay. Questions, always questions but no answers. So, I'm trying to bloom where I'm planted (the mission field is under my feet) and follow Exodus 14:14.
love you lots.