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Your Dracut Today

An Ordinary Cup of Tea

Feb 11, 2018 05:29AM ● By Bonnie Lyn Smith
It had been a rough week. Advocacy (a convenient euphemism for "mild confrontation") had been needed for one of my children at school, and a different child was struggling with some ongoing, unresolved health issues. In the meantime, my work schedule increased, and running two (very small) businesses was starting to weigh on me. I had implemented some goals for self-care, fun, personal growth, and business. I realized I needed to add "parenting goals" to the list.

At the top? Be more patient. Listen.

So, after a particularly challenging day, I came home from dropping my daughter off at her dance classes and settled down for the evening shift of my work-at-home lifestyle when I noticed it sitting there:
A cup of tea.

My daughter had placed it on the kitchen table with a sticky note. The note simply said: "Mom," but it was enough to get my attention.

In that single moment, I felt God was reminding me that it is one of my most precious roles. It certainly is my most important one (besides being a child of God). He was speaking to me through a 15 year old trying to find her way through the tumultuous journey of adolescence.

And while I've been through that rite of passage myself already, sometimes I feel like I go through it again in a different way. Know what I mean? At times, I feel as wearied as the underslept high schooler, hyped on caffeine and the thought of Friday, trekking through the halls, dodging insecurities, looking for acceptance, and trying to slog through the day.

But that cup of tea. 

Yes, my kid was thoughtful for a few minutes and timed that well with my own need for a brief reprieve from the onslaught of stress. 

But, you see, as awesome as she was to do that for me, it's not really about that.

On a different level, God spoke this (through my daughter's action): 

"Bonnie, I love you. You matter. I see you. I know the trials and the joy you experience. I see the uphill climbs you are experiencing in some areas of your life, and I see you sliding down carefree like a child on a sled with no obstacles in front of you on the other side. I see the beginning, the middle, the end. 

"Stop for a second. Just stop. And grab some still. Drink this tea. 

"You are a good mother. Keep looking to Me for guidance. This tea is your daughter loving you. And I love you. And you can trust Me with the love you have for all the people you care about. 

"I'm big enough. I am enough."

That is how God works in my life. He knows my personal love language, and He speaks it. He is that personal.

How about you? 

Maybe my story is too emotional for you to relate. That's okay. God knows exactly how to reach you. He created you! 

What if you stopped and asked Him to show Himself to you? To leave His precious signature for you to find as you walk through life, like a treasure hunt?

Because that's exactly what it is: a treasure.

That a Holy God would bridge a way for us to have relationship with Him through the sacrifice (and resurrection) of His only Son...is there anything more precious?

Romans 5:8, ESV

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. I'm not against it; I'm simply not into the hype and expense. But this Valentine's Day, whether or not you have a sweetheart on earth, you can have one in heaven. His love is an eternal love, and if you ask Him, He will make Himself known to you.

God is very creative. He delights my heart in ways that surprise me. They are often subtle and ordinary, but on the days I ask for His eyes to help me see where He is loving me, I see Him in the cup of tea.

Did a bill suddenly get paid? Money found in the budget to pay it that didn't seem to be there before?

Did a kind stranger offer the change you needed to finish paying for the gas for your car?

Maybe you fell on the ice, and someone noticed and stop to help you.

Perhaps a note came from a dear one you haven't seen in a while.

The Bible says that "the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD."

Psalm 33:4-5, ESV

For the word of the LORD is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

I'm hesitant to list too many examples because it limits God to the box of my own imagination, when in fact, He can show us His active presence and love in countless, limitless ways. 

Silly as this sounds, I see Him in the joy of our lionhead bunny Sookie when she "binkies" (a bunny hop of happiness). I see Him in the love of others—not only toward me but also with each other.

Job 12:7-10, ESV

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”

He moved my daughter's heart to do something kind, and you know what?

I did something right today: I stopped and noticed.

I'd love to hear how He gives you eyes to see His love lived out in your daily life. I can't imagine going through one day of my life without it. 

Exodus 3:14, ESV

God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

 

Author Bonnie Lyn Smith writes about mental health advocacy, special education, faith in the valleys of life, drawing healthy boundaries, relational healing, renewing our minds, walking with a Holy God, and much ado about grace. Join the conversation at Espressos of Faith.

She is the author of Not Just on Sundays: Seeking God’s Purpose in Each New Day and the founder and editor-in-chief of Ground Truth Press, a book publishing company.

 

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