An Invitation To Tea

Hospitality should have
no other nature than love.
- - Henrietta Mears - -

My sweet friends,
the other day I was reading in my
Tea Lover's Devotional by Emilie Barnes
and I was truly blessed by her words
so I thought I would share them with you.

Take a moment
and slow down, dear ones.
Enjoy these words written by Emilie Barnes.

There's no hurry about the ritual of tea
since you can't go ahead with the tea
until the water is boiling.
And there's more waiting to do even then,
because the tea leaves or tea bags
must steep in the pot.
But while you are waiting for the liquid
to turn its fragrant amber,
you can carry the tray to a comfortable nook
and wait in peace.
If you are with friends,
this is a wonderful time to reconnect with one another.
If you are alone,
you can read or think or pray or just "be."

The brewed tea is too hot to sip quickly,
but it will cool.
You can simply sit and wait until the boiling liquid
settles into comfortable warmth.
Maybe you can read yet another page of your book.
Or you can politely pass the cream and sugar
and cookies or fruit to your friends - more ritual.

Then your cup is ready to enjoy.
And somehow as you sip,
your mind continues to settle down 
from its habitual rush.
Your words and your musings slow down
and sink deeper.
Your relationships - even your relationship with yourself -
are granted space for a leisurely stretch.
And the beautiful thing is,
all this slowdown takes so little time!

Enjoying a cup of tea
is not like taking a summer off
or going away on a retreat.
It's an island of calm
you can reasonably visit in the course
of your busiest day.

Once you make the decision to adjust your pace,
you can relax and enjoy the journey.
You may need to change your mental gears
to enjoy it fully.
You may need to practice waiting
and learning to enjoy the repetitive freedom
of the ritual of tea.
But once you do,
the change of pace will renew your mind
and refresh your spirit.

Plan a tea party to gather some old friends or new friends.
Even having just one person over
for a cup of tea and good conversation
will create a time of hospitality and connection.
Make it simple so that you enjoy it
and can focus on sharing your heart with your guests.

Last week I held a giveaway for the children's book
Busy in Boots by Madison Meadows
and today I am announcing the winner.
Many thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.
The lovely winner is. . .

One last thing. . .
many of you know my dear mom
who blogs over at 
Today is her 60th birthday
and I want to wish her a year 
of happiness, love, and sweet blessings.
She is a beautiful woman inside and out,
and it's an honor to call her my mother.
Happy Birthday to a rare 
and truly amazing gem!

Have a most wonderful day!
Love and hugs to you, my friends.


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How beautiful! We could all use more gracious living in our lives and our homes. You always make everything so beautiful! And I'm so happy for Sheri to win. She has been so encouraging to me this past week and she has that precious grandbaby to dote on! Enjoy your day! I'm happy to be happy blogging...well, I will have a happy thankful post for tomorrow! Hugs, Diane

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

A special Happy Birthday to your dear Mother! I'll hope over to give her birthday wishes! Hugs to you both!

Sylvia said...

Beautiful Stephanie, I am going to have a cup now!

Annsterw said...

Happy birthday to your mother! I love tea and now I know why! I had never thought of it that way! Annster's Domain

Kerin said...

Such a lovely and thoughtful post; thank you.

I am trying to learn to adjust my pace, and find more joy in the journey :)

I wished your mom a happy birthday on her blog, and it was fun to see her pictures and read her thoughts.
I know you will help her celebrate this wonderful birthday :)


Debbie Harris said...

I LOVE Emily Barnes! I Had the privilege is enjoying one of her speaking engagements, you were just a baby. :-)
Emily is such a gracious lady and her books show it very clearly.
You my dear, never cease to amaze me!
Thank you so very much for those precious Birthday wishes, you surprised me. :-)
You are lovely and I love you dearly~

Regina said...

What a lovely devotion! Thank you for sharing and I will email your mom and wish her a happy birthday!

Tamago said...

Beautiful flowers and tea set. Now I want to sit down and have a nice cup of tea :-)
Happy birthday to your very special mom, Stephanie! I hope her a wonderful day!

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

What an amazing post! I can almost breathe in the scent of roses and feel my teacup warming my hands. And sharing the time with friends? Priceless.

Benita said...

What a beautiful teacup, I used to have one similar. I had to pare down the teacup and teapot collection because of our many moves. Emilie Barnes...I hardly ever see her name any more, but she holds such a special place in my heart. I saw her many times and have quite a few of her books...she was such a genteel spirit and a lovely lady! I enjoyed reading your post! Have a great day! Hugs!

Sarah Rogers said...

What a sweet article on taking time for tea! I had intended to implement a "relaxing cup" in the afternoons this winter, but alas, it has yet to happen. :) I enjoyed the beautiful roses in your photos!

And happy, happy, happy 60th birthday to your mama!!! I hope her day is as sweet and special as she is!!!

Carla from The River said...

I needed this today, Stephanie, thank you. I have been feeling a little over my head in a few projects. We have had so much snow (I like it) but at the same time it takes so much work to move it. I am not complaining, I just need to look at things differently.. remind myself, if snow needs moving I just may not get to the other project today, and that is alright. :-) And it is alright to relax and breath and pray.
xx oo

Happy Birthday to your mom. I just starting to follow her blog. I do enjoy it.
I enjoyed her Love Story she shared. Your dad is an amazing skier! WOW!
Love, Carla

Sherida Stewart said...

Stephanie, thank you for a beautiful and timely post. Your thoughts on slowing down and waiting while we anticipate a tea break are so appropriate...always. I recently had foot surgery, so I’m having a hard time with waiting as the recovery process happens. Your post lifted my spirits.

With birthday wishes to your mother!

mamasmercantile said...

What a beautiful post. I am thinking of you as I sip my tea from a Royal Albert Country Roses cup and saucer, taking my time...

NanaDiana said...

Your posts are always so full of love and beauty. They are interchangeable~ I 'talked' to your mom a bit ago and wished her a happy birthday. You are such a wonderful daughter and she KNOWS what a blessing you are to her.
Have a wonderful Wednesday- xo Diana

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

What a perfect post, Stephanie, as I'm sitting here and sipping on a cup of Paris tea. Emily Barnes writes such beautiful words, doesn't she? Thank you for sharing the restful tea ritual with us. I loved the picture of you and your dear Mom, and I'm so honored to have met both of you in person. That was a special day for me because you're both such beautiful women both inside and out. I hope your Mom has the best 60th birthday! Love to you, dear one.

Chas' Crazy Creations said...

Oh how lovely my friend. Beautiful post, as always and a joy to read. A very happy birthday to your mom! Can't wait to have tea together sometime again :) Sending hugs to you.

Cindy said...

This was beautiful and so true! There's nothing like the perfect cup of tea!

Julie's Creative Lifestyle said...

Hi Stephanie, oh what a beautiful post about tea. I love your flowers and the teacup with pearls. Happy Birthday to your mom!
Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Julie xo

Vee said...

I so enjoyed my spot of tea with you. Wishing your mom a very happy day! She is just a young lady and still a junior citizen. 😉

Debby Ray said...

Such beautiful thoughts and words you have shared here. And your photos are amazing...those beautiful roses!! I had a chill last night as I was home with just my fur babies and I thought, Hmmm, I need a cup of tea to warm me up. It just hit the spot (and the 2 lemon snap cookies didn't hurt either!) as I sat there just soaking up the goodness of the tea and how warming it was to my soul. Lovely post! Hugs!

Louca por porcelana said...

Adorable photo with your mother and stunning teacup!I love this amazing post!Happy Birthday to your Mom!

Margie said...

Happy Birthday to your mom! This seems to be the year for milestone birthdays.

Thank you for the wonderful tea time post. It reminded me that I have a copy of the tea time devotional. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've had it for YEARS, but never really perused it.

Roosterhead Designs said...

Dear Stephanie,
Thank you for the beautiful photo's, and for sharing thoughts from Emile Barnes~
I needed that. : ) As a tea drinker I understand just what she means about - -the waiting.

I love your mom so dearly! She is a true friend. Her blog today was so encouraging and her spirit and attitude area always encouraging to me~ Wishing you a blessed evening with her, and a happy week ahead.
Loving hugs, karen o

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Happy birth day wishes to your sweet mom! I suspect there might be a cup of tea involved in her birthday celebrations.

Sue said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful thoughts from one of my favorite authors, Stephanie, and you absolutely know how to give a lovely tea party!
Wishing your mom a very Happy Birthday, she is indeed very special as you are too, I truly cherish you both as friends here in blogland.

Marilyn Mathis said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us. It makes me want to stop and sip some tea and rest a while. I already wished your mom a Happy Birthday. She is so precious and has raised a beautiful, sweet daughter. Thanks for all the lovely pictures that you share. You certainly have so much talent. Hugs.

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

What a delightful post dear Stephanie! I must look for this devotional, Emilie is such an inspirational writer and I do so love the slowing down, and relaxation that sipping a cup of tea brings! Your pictures are gorgeous, as always! Such a beautiful teacup paired with the roses! Truly such a precious woman your mother is, and how wonderful to be celebrating her today! Darling picture of the two of you together!! Blessings and hugs!!

Red Rose Alley said...

Stephanie, what a beautiful post, and Happy Birthday to your beloved Mom. What a sweet picture of the two of you. I really liked the words written by Emilie Barnes, and they're so true about tea time. Look at these roses! The pink colors are so pretty, and I especially like that softer pink one. It kind of looks vintage haha. You always take the nicest rose photos. I can't wait to get the book in the mail, I love surprises. I hope you got my address - I sent it through e-mail. Thank you so much for the giveaway, Stephanie. I appreciate it very much.

love, ~Sheri

Red Rose Alley said...

ps.....I'm going to make myself a cup of tea now, Chamomile. Your precious post makes me want to slow down and enjoy the ritual of tea. : )

e l i z a b e t h ♥ said...

My dear friend, what a peaceful, beautiful post this was! Oh, how I needed this little bit of loveliness and calm...thank you for sharing such beauty, dear Stephanie ♥ The words, teacups photos and pretty pink roses were perfectly blissful.

I have the book that you mentioned from Emilie Barnes, yet I haven't read much from it yet. It seems as though that needs to change...these words were absolutely delightful.

That photo of you and your sweet mama is just precious...I know you treasure her dearly, but I also know that she treasures you...such a wonderful daughter you are. I hope she had a splendid birthday!

Sending love and hugs your way! ♥

Anne Payne said...

My eyes welled with tears as I read the soothing words of Emily Barnes. Life has been hectic and fraught with much anxiety lately. I need to take time to sit and savor a good cup of tea.

Happiest of Birthdays to your dear Mom!!! I am blessed to call her my friend! ❤️

Oh, the quilt in the background of a couple of your photos...I have the same one!!! :-)

Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made said...

Beautiful indeed as are your photos. I’m so glad you let us know it’s your mom’s birthday. I adore her. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful mom!

Chris Lally said...

Your heartwarming post was most welcome today, Stephanie. The beautiful text & gorgeous photographs - another feast!
I really enjoyed your mother's birthday post. Not only are you blessed with a wonderful mother, your mom is blessed with a wonderful daughter!

AnnMarie aka Vintage Junkie aka NaNa said...

Now I want to host a tea party! What a beautiful description of the perfect tea. I had a tea party about 25 years ago for my daughter as a child and I have been to English Tea restaurants, so I have some idea of how special they can be. And the food is divine!

Lowcarb team member said...

Those flowers are so beautiful and I love the tea set...
What wonderful words you've shared too.

Happy birthday wishes to your mom.

All the best Jan

Conniecrafter said...

Sweet post, Great picture of you and your mom, I will have to stop by and wish her a happy birthday.

Debbie said...

i always hope i am "slowing down, enjoying the little things"...i think i am. your pictures are beautiful today, those 2 woman look like sisters!! hehehehe

happy birthday to your mom!!!

Natalia said...

What a well writren post, I love it☺ This cup is so adorable☺

sarah said...

Beautiful as always, like a blessing for the heart.

Marilyn McLeod @ Pink Paper Cottage said...

I love the thoughts and words you wrote here... that's why I love tea so much.. just making a cup helps me to slow down and contemplate life. It's always a time to relax and do something calming. Happy Birthday to your mom too. You two look so much alike! Your roses are gorgeous. xoxo. Marilyn

Andrea Ostapovitch said...

Happy Birthday to your wonderful Mom! Have a great weekend!


Lorrie said...

Happy Birthday to your beautiful mom. Emilie Barnes' words are calming and gentle. I find myself doing a million things while the water boils, and then half a million more while waiting for the tea to steep. Slowing down is a good thing. I'll try to practice it.

My Tata's Cottage said...

Hi Stephanie, I have missed stopping by. I need to be better organized when I visit blogs and comment. I tend to catch up and then I run out of time. IT is so nice to see you here. Your mom is a real sweetheart too. I enjoy catching up with her too. I know she had a wonderful birthday. Emilie Barnes words are so lovely. I will always miss the sweet tea cup exchanges. I can't find anyone who does them. The wonderful people I met made it all so worthwhile. It is very nice to see you here and I hope you are staying safe and warm with this new storm covering our state in a blanket of white.HUGS

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

Such a lovely post! Happy March.

krishna said...

Oh dear! you are a great tea lover!

We have started a tea business online. You can can check the link below.


Red Rose Alley said...

Stephanie, I'm sorry you're feeling under the weather right now. I am feeling under the weather too, and it started with a toothache, and now I don't know if it's just that or a bug that I caught. I wanted to tell you that I got your wonderful gift in the mail, and thank you so much for that. I love the book and already read it. I mentioned it on my post today as well.

Feel better, my dear friend, and take care. It's the flu season, ugggh.

love, ~Sheri

Carol Henstra said...

Happy Birthday to your Mom Stephanie and I adore you. The teacup is beautiful. My hubby just had his 80th Birthday. I posted it on my site. May you feel better. Most of my friends here in Canada where I live suffering with phmonia. One of my friends died. She was age 77.My best friends hubby is very sick as well. We got the flu shot now the Drs say people need three shots this year for flu.

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