Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8
I came home from my retreat in October with a lot of resolutions. Having had time away, I could see things more clearly, recognizing where I wanted to improve.
One issue I’d been having was Jocelyn coming home from school and talking a mile a minute while I was trying to work. I’d half listen, focusing more on doing what my boss had asked of me so I could fulfill my commitment to her. Jocelyn would see I wasn’t really paying attention and would leave my office frustrated.
Afternoon tea was my solution.
Planning to extend my work day so I could take a mid-afternoon break, I’d set an alarm on my phone that rang right before Jocelyn got off the bus. Then, I’d make hot cocoa for her and tea for me for us to enjoy together.
Jocelyn was over the moon! As we sat on the couch sipping our drinks, she’d tell me every single thing on her mind while I listened attentively. After twenty minutes or so, her need would be met and off she’d go to do homework.
She got so into it, she started decorating the tea tray each day to add beauty to the ritual. She also kept gushing about how much she loved this new idea, and she seemed to blossom before my very eyes. Then week two hit…
The newness started to wear off. It showed in her haphazard tray decorating and her lack of enthusiasm to be together. By mid-week, she asked if we could do it every other day because it was cutting into her time to do other things.
Here we are three weeks later and we haven’t had afternoon tea in a week and a half. We broke the routine and it seemed to fade away into the busyness of the days.
I don’t take offense at all. I created the idea to meet her need. I enjoyed our time together, of course, but it was really about her, not me.
I also don’t take offense because I did the exact same thing with God in my younger years. I’d experience a spiritual high, or a devastating low, and need to talk with Him. I’d show up consistently, candle lit, prayer space clean and beautifully adorned. I’d pour out my heart and know He was listening attentively.
Then, my need would be met and off I’d go, breaking the routine, and letting it get lost in the shuffle of my days.
I’ve grown up a lot spiritually since then. I realize now that if I want to have a strong and healthy relationship with God, I need to spend time with Him consistently. So, I do. I also recognize that the more I go to Him, the more I’m able to receive His blessings – often times ones I never asked for or expected. That wouldn’t happen if I didn’t consistently open my heart to Him.
There’s more I want to bless Jocelyn with too. So, if you hear an alarm going off this afternoon, that will be mine, prompting me to turn on the kettle and set up the tea tray for us two.
Questions for Reflection:
• Is there someone I should be spending quality time with? How can I go about making that happen?
• Have I been spending quality time with God? If not, what can I do to make that happen?
Claire, that is amazing!! What a beautiful way to take a break from all the busyness and connect with Jocelyn! Wish I had thought of something like that so many years ago. Your time with God certainly bears blessed fruit! xo
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Thanks Mom! I thought you’d love the tea idea since you love tea so much. In my recollection you were always ready and available to listen when I needed to talk. So you did things perfectly – with no need for regrets. Love you!