Dec 3, 2012

A Cup of Christmas Tea

I was asked to speak at our annual Ladies Luncheon this year. Several have asked for my notes. They are below.

A Cup of Christmas Tea

The book that Norma read reminds me of another story. You can find it in Luke 10:39-42

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said. But Martha was distracted with all the preparations she had to make, so she came up to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work alone? Tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed. Mary has chosen the best part; it will not be taken away from her.”

[the original Brady Bunch moment here]

Mary sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what He said. Martha was distracted with all the preparations.

There is so much truth in these words. Is there ever a more distracting time in the life of a wife and mom than the holidays? So much responsibility to make it special falls to us, doesn’t it? I honestly cringe when I hear my children say things like “22 more days till Christmas” when I remember that I’m the one who’s gathering and wrapping the presents and I haven’t started yet!

We have a tendency to be a Martha around Christmas. We have to be intentional to be a Mary.

This year, I’m going to choose to be Mary. Yes, there will be Martha moments, but I will strive for more Mary moments. I want to make my family’s Christmas special, I want to honor traditions and make wonderful food. But I want to slow down and treasure my savior and the season with the people that the Lord has entrusted to my life..

In the bustle of this holiday season, I’d like you to take time for two ‘cups’ of tea daily. The first cup of the day needs to be with your Savior. Mary spent time at the feet of her Lord. She understood that He was the most important thing. She understood that time in His presence brought perspective to all the other activities of the day.

I’m not naturally a morning person. But over the years I’ve learned to become a morning person. I start each day in the Lord’s presence. Actually I’ve gotten to a point where I wake up, sometimes before my alarm clock anticipating my time with Him. I hate it when something interrupts my ‘flow’ of our time together. It’s my sanity in the day, the lens that I put on to remind me of His perspective throughout the day. This ‘cup’ should not be a hurried thing, but a relaxed time of fellowship in His presence. I usually journal, read a devotion, read a portion of scripture in my overall ‘journey’ through the Bible, and lift up specific areas of concern or joy. But sometimes He has a totally different plan and we go on a scripture treasure hunt together or He points out an area in my life that He wants to deal with. The thing is that we spend that time together and it’s precious and life-giving.

The Lord wants your first cup of tea of the day. Don’t rob Him of that time and don’t rob yourself of that joy. Especially during this season, when you spend time with Him you remember what it’s all about. Daily time with the Lord will only further enrich your Christmas experience this year.

The second cup of tea I’d like you to partake of daily is with your family. Maybe you are in a season where you don’t have family, but you do have close relationships. Take time each day to slow down and appreciate your family or your close loved ones. Maybe you literally sit down and have a cup of tea or coffee with them. Maybe you play a board game with you child or grandchild. Maybe you all pile in the car and tour Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. Maybe you go caroling to your neighbors or set a night aside to bake cookies as a family.

I know we have a wide age range of women in this group, but I’d like to take a moment to address the moms with children still at home. These years are precious. My children went from being helpless newborns to eight and eleven in a minute. Pastor Rob and I have worked with teenagers for a few decades now, I know how fast the next 7-10 years with my kids will go. We need to intentionally slow down and invest time and attention into our children. Holidays are a unique opportunity to make soul deep deposits in your children. We have the chance to lead our children deeper into their faith by showing them what Christmas is truly about. Don’t miss this, Mom!

Now to every lady in this room who either doesn’t have children or they’ve grown and gone on their own. You have a unique opportunity to invest in someone else this Christmas season. Take time for your family, or your neighbor, your grandchildren or the elderly friend down the road. Remember that relationships are what this life is really made of. The gift of time is the most precious commodity you have, share it willingly.

Remember that there are two cups of tea to have daily this Christmas season. The first and foremost is with the Lord. And the second is with others. Don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season turn you into a stressed out and bitter Martha. Choose to be Mary, listening at His feet instead and treasuring what He treasures most… people.