A Cup of Tea

20160328_125721Last week I got a wonderful package in the mail! It contained this beautiful teacup, a handmade basket, a note pad, some flower seeds, a couple of sweet treats, and a box of earl grey tea bags! And the coolest part was that it came from a total stranger who lives all the way across the country in Idaho! You see, I signed up to be part of a Tea Cup Exchange group this spring. As part of the membership, I agreed to send a teacup to another lady (and now, new friend Debby! See her blog here), and in exchange, I receive a package of my own. (It’s really fun. If you are interested in joining, click here.)

Yesterday evening, I pulled out my beautiful cup to give this new brand of tea a try. As I dropped the bag into the hot liquid and watched the clear water become slowly tainted by the tea, something obvious occurred to me…

The water became irreversibly changed by the tea.
The color darkened, the taste altered, and the aroma was affected. And once the tea is absorbed by the water, it’s so permanently changed that we don’t even call it by the same name anymore.

Obviously that’s what a tea bag is supposed to do, but if you think about it, there’s a profound truth in that simple fact.

20160412_085051What we put into our lives has the power to alter the flavor of our entire being (for good OR bad). When we soak in the fear, selfishness and obsessions of the world, we shouldn’t be surprised when our lives taste of the bitterness of anxiety, pride and indulgence. And the longer we allow our thoughts to steep in the world’s brand of tea, we’ll often find the essence of those attitudes seeping out through our actions and behaviors. They may even bring about such a profound alteration in our behavior, that we become branded by a new label. (‘She’s a fearful woman’… ‘He’s a self-obsessed man’… etc)

Fortunately, this concept works FOR us as well. When we immerse ourselves in the truths of God’s Word and submerge ourselves in the Spirit, then our lives will exude the sweet aroma of life and peace. (Rom. 8:6)

This should be an encouragement and a warning to God’s people. Believers would do well to be vigilant and wary of what we allow our minds soak in and to conscientiously strain out the things that can taint our attitudes. Instead, we should diligently stir into our lives a rich and fragrant brew of right thinking, letting the essence of our being so absorb the fruit of Scripture that we give off “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of (Christ)” (2 Cor. 2:14) and boldly wear the new name… Beloved Child of God.

35 thoughts on “A Cup of Tea

  1. Hello Karen~~I came over from my dear Stephanie’s tea cup reveal, so nice to meet you!
    I appreciated your words of wisdom and inspiration on soaking in things that are not very lovely. Such a great analogy.
    Your tea cup and gifts are so just lovely.
    I am happily following you along, and look forward to reading your posts.
    Have a beautiful day~~

    1. Thanks for coming over! I’m so happy that I met Debby through the teacup exchange. Her posts are so beautiful!! I’m glad to have you joining in! : )

  2. I jumped over from Debbie’s blog. Isn’t Stephanie’s Teacup and mug exchange wonderful! I am now following your blog! Dr. Charles Stanley is one of my favorite pastors!

    1. I loved being involved in the Teacup exchange and can’t wait to do it again in the fall! Glad to have you join in here! : ) Blessings to you Elizabeth!

  3. Love what you extracted from a TEA BAG! I love tea, so much so, that I leave the TEA BAG in the cup until I drink the last drop. I enjoy the dark color and the strength of a long soaking tea bag. Maybe, that’s just my taste. Using your analogy though, “the longer we submerge” in God’s Word…you’ve already filled in the blanks.

  4. My dear Karen, what a beautiful post. I just love how you intertwined the tea into a lesson that was both convicting and encouraging. What you said is so true …we do indeed need to soak in the faithfulness of God.

    Thank you for joining the exchange and for sharing your treasures from Debby on your website. You received a delightful package that was put together in love.

    Have a blessed week! Hugs! Stephanie-The Enchanting Rose

  5. Hi Karen! I participated in a tea cup exchange a few years ago, and it was so much fun. What a great way to get to know other bloggers too.

    I really loved the idea of ‘flavoring’ the water with the tea, and how we need to do that too in our lives. God infuses his life in us, we infuse ourselves in each other. What a beautiful mix!
    From Melanie’s bloghop,

    1. I like that you reminded us that it’s not enough just for us to be infused with God’s life, but we need to go onto allow what He does in us to impact others too! thanks for stopping by!

  6. Karen, this is written beautifully; so simple but yet elegant and loving. I love coffee an tea, I’m going to have to look into the tea cup exchange. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  7. This is a very English post for an American! But then again, I’m English and I prefer coffee! Very good post, a great reminder that one or two hours a week at church on Sunday is not enough, if the rest of the week is spent absorbing things of the world. Our time spent in the things of God must outweigh out time spent in the things of this world.

    1. My husband, to very American, cannot stand coffee, but he does love all sorts of teas. I have been influenced by him over the many years and have really come to enjoy a cup of hot tea, especially on a cool day. and yes, we would do well to make our time in the things of God have more weight than the things we give our attention to that belong to the world!

  8. This was such a refreshing post! Your writing is delightful, the message a clear, colorful picture. “And the longer we allow our thoughts to steep in the world’s brand of tea, we’ll often find the essence of those attitudes seeping out through our actions and behaviors. ”

    I don’t even like tea and you made me love this! May my life (water) become so colored by Christ that others don’t see me – they see Him!

    Found you on Tuesday Talk – thanks for linking with us there!

  9. Very nice to meet you via Thankful Thursdays Karen! I will never look a a cup of tea the same(that’s a good thing;).Such a thought provoking post. I am blessed to say that my “life” is changing color as I spend more time in prayer and God’s word. I am thankful that he has revealed to me just how much I need Him! Love the name of your blog too! I am trusting God as He leads me on the path He desires. Have a terrific Thursday and may God bless you and yours in all your endeavors!

    1. Nice to meet you too Horace! I love the extension of the analogy when you said you are “changing color” through time spent in the Word! Love it! God bless you on your journey to know Him!!

  10. A great reflection that speaks so much truth! A great reminder that if we surround ourselves (and others) with what we want to live and give to each other, our life will be fulfilled and satisfied. Thanks so much for joining us for another round of #shinebloghop this week. It’s always so lovely to read your pieces 🙂

  11. Karen – I love the teacup exchange idea! That sounds like so much fun. As I was reading your post this morning this line that you wrote really struck me and caused me to pause: What we put into our lives has the power to alter the flavor of our entire being (for good OR bad)…. SO absolutely true and such a great word picture to remember. Thank you for sharing today at #IChooseJoy where we are neighbors.

    1. Hey Debbie! The teacup exchange is great fun! I can’t wait till the one in the fall. You should definitely join in! Thanks for stopping by to read!

  12. Hi Karen!! I am so pleased your package arrived safe and sound! It was such a pleasure to put together and I am glad you liked everything. Today as I opened your website I was excited to read what you had to say about the changes in this world and I agree we need to focus our eyes on Jesus to keep ourselves from becoming part of the murky water of this world. Thank YOU for being a blessing to us today. Enjoy your goodies for years to come….your new friend in Idaho, Tilda.

    1. Hey Tilda! Glad you dropped by to see your goodies on my blog! I sure do love them and have enjoyed my tea so much! Thanks for your comment and thoughts! Blessings to you, my new friend!

  13. Karen, how wonderful that the Lord has put this on your heart to share…just one more way Stephanie’s Tea Exchange touches the lives of those who participate! I love this…it’s such a perfect analogy. There is so much “murky water” out there in the world today…and can you imagine how awful it would make the tea taste if we put it in our cup? And speaking of cups, yours is really beautiful, along with the other great gifts you received. The lovely teacup and doily you sent me are front and center on my corner cabinet and I’m so happy to call you my new friend too….North Carolina girls rock! 🙂

    1. Thanks Debby! I agree. We as Christians MUST be careful not to soak in the obsessiveness and anxiety as the world does or we end up giving off the same flavor. Instead, we need to soak in the faithfulness of God so that others can taste His love! And yes, North Carolina girls do Rock! 😀

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