In honor of Mother's Day coming up, I'm going to share my current favorite activity to do with my boys...tea time!
I love how it's a culmination of wisdom from all the mothers who have influenced me.
1. The Preparation:
- While I heat the water, the boys select their tea. I've placed all my tea bags in a wooden box to make the selection process even more special.
- We pull down their monogrammed silver cups and plates.
- While I select a few special snacks, the boys go and pick candles for the table (I have a drawer full of decorative, yummy smelling candles).
- After setting everything on the table (candles, tea, & treats), one of the boys picks a Bible from our basket (collection of Children's Bibles) and another boy gets to pick which Bible story we read.
2. The Fellowship
- Before diving into the treats (which are sliced or cut into equal pieces), I say a prayer for our time and for the boys.
- After praying, the boys like me to tell them about each treat and how many they each get (4 slices of banana, one Maraschino cherry, two pieces of Pop-Tart...high class tea treats).
- We discuss proper tea manners. Like using a napkin instead of your shirt. Or only taking one or two treats at a time to put on your plate instead of grabbing all of your snacks at once. Sipping tea instead of gulping it down.
- Just because it's tea time, do not get any impression that it's "proper" or stiff...there are typically lots of giggles and smiles.
3. The Discipling
- Once everyone is settled with their snack and drink, I open up the Bible to start reading the story.
- This is the part that always amazes me. How one Bible story can lead to two or three. How what should be a 5 minute story turns into a 30 minute conversation.
- These boys are hungry to know God and His character.
- By the end of the tea I may have one or two boys on my lap looking at the pictures or flipping through the Bible.
My desire in this tea is not to make up for the fact that I don't have little girls. It's to create beauty in our home. Order out of chaos. To make them feel special because I took the time to cut up bananas and buy heart-shaped Little Debbie treats. For them to associate warm feelings with God's Word. To know He is good and His goodness can be known.
These moments with my boys I treasure in my heart. I want to thank the following Moms for their influence--for wisdom in manners of hospitality, discipleship, and mothering. Thank you for helping me shape boys into mighty men for the Lord (who like tea).
- Sally Clarkson inspired me that tea is not just for girls, but a shared experience between a mother and a son. She also opened my eyes to the idea that motherhood is a ministry. Not something to "get through" but to intentional plant seeds of faith in tender souls.
- My mother spent hours at our kitchen table discipling women. Teaching others to study God's Word and share His gospel message. She took time to make our home clean, orderly, and beautiful.
- Kat Lee not only inspired me to wake up before my children and meet with God (hard to lead others where you haven't gone yourself). She also gave me the idea of teaching my children to study God's Word. To put together a basket with study Bibles and a jar with prayer sticks. And as an "incentive" to serve hot chocolate.
- My mother-in-law modeled a way to engage with my boys through conversation over food. She also taught me the best way to make food more appealing...cut it into pieces (still in awe of how boys will say "no" to a banana but fight over slices of banana).
- Ann Voskamp opened my eyes to the gifts of grace when I sit across the table from my boys, stopping long enough to take in the freckled noses and bright round eyes of these little men. She also taught me to pull them in close at the times I most want to push them away (a monumental concept).
- My grandmother spent hours in a tiny kitchen to serve us mouth-watering food for community around the table. A woman who valued education and never missed a learning opportunity.
- My sister modeled parenting in grace and love. She always has some yummy baked treat on her counter for consumption, which makes a visitor feel welcome.
- My boy mom mentor, Leslie, taught me boys can be exposed to beautiful things so they can learn to appreciate them...music, art, and decor. She also knows how to throw a great party...making each person feel special by her warm hospitality and attention to details.
Happy Mother's Day!
"And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers." (Acts 2:42)