The winter day reached its golden hour, the one where light burnishes everything warm and beautiful. Faith and I set out the Noritake “halls of ivy” china for our tea party like we’ve done many times before. My daughter usually has lemonade or milk to drink instead of tea because there’s only a couple kinds of tea she likes. And for some reason, those flavors can’t seem to make it on my grocery list.
So when I dig around my tea chest and discover some of her favorite wild sweet orange tea, I poor the steaming hot water over not one but two teabags. After five minutes, we take the tea over to our table and enjoy.
The next day, Faith asks for another cup of orange tea. As she mmmm’s the warm goodness, she says to me in a dreamy voice,
“Mama, drinking tea is soooo relaxing.”
I smile, “Yes, I know. Why do you think I do it everyday?”
“I thought you did it everyday because you’re old.”
She laughs at my gaping open mouth.
What she doesn’t know is that my mouth hangs open for more than her sassy comeback. I’m shocked that this girl of mine – this girl who is the very definition of perpetual motion – has discovered that slowing down to enjoy a cup of tea has its merits, too.
I hear a common expression of my mama’s inside my head: will wonders never cease? Because let me tell you this straight-up: if my ten year old girl – the same girl who more energy than a half a dozen boys – could find enjoyment in slowing down, then there is something to it.
Generally, I do tea late afternoon while keeping company with Southern Living, a good book, or my laptop. On weekends, sometimes a child will join me. On the one weeknight my teens and tween don’t have an after school activity, they all join me. On that night I also warm up homemade scones kept in the freezer or chocolate chip cookies kept in the glass covered pedestal and make it a tea party. One child isn’t a tea fan, so he gets hot chocolate instead.
I’ve never seen my tea time as a luxury but a necessity, a way for me to hit the pause button on my day and rest up before beginning dinner prep and the swirl of evening activities.
In other areas of my life, I have only a fingertip grasp of intentional living. I have a lot to learn about leaving white space in my schedule and slowing down the chaos. I tend to run late and have a bad habit of cramming too many things into too tight a schedule. So on a Tuesday morning when I received Tsh Oxenreider’s brand new book, Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World, I wonder if this beautiful blue and white book could turn my fingertip grasp on these areas into a much firmer one.
It arrived late morning, and while I intended to just take a peek at it before getting back to work (most my reading time is in the evening and before bed), I was still turning pages some 30 minutes later.
Oh y’all, her book does not disappoint.
In Notes from a Blue Bike, Tsh tells of her experiences living overseas and how she modifies principles that were a way of life in other countries – in areas such as food, work, travel, education, and entertainment – to work in our fast paced western culture. In her relational, non-preachy style, Tsh gently passes on her methods that read like a gift to the reader rather than bossy commands. Her voice is approachable and her ideas are manageable. If you are someone like me who wants to live more intentionally without feeling overwhelmed but is highly allergic to preachy materials, then Tsh’s book is your cup of tea. Truly, I cannot recommend it highly enough.
The kind folks at Thomas Nelson, Tsh’s publishers, are offering us two books for a giveaway! Just leave a comment below to be entered to win. You can also find Tsh’s book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, CBD, and DaySpring.
Tell me: what is one way you hit the pause button on your busy day?