Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

I'm beginning to feel better but most of my ponderings this week were about how much I appreciated a soft pillow and comfy mattress. However, they are not the stuff of interesting blogging... except for anyone else getting over some lingering "bug". So join me as I have a cup of tea and a slice of coffeecake... Anna's recipe... yum.

Today's Sunday Afternoon Tea is a little different from the usual. Rather than prose, I'm taking you along on a pictorial pondering. In this case, a picture (or two, or three, or more) is truly better than a thousand words.

Once I began to feel better, I did let my mind wander towards a few of my favorite subjects... familiar landing places for my thinking. I often ponder the words I heard when living in Detroit, I'm assured they were Wisdom from Above. They were, "Brenda, you have got to start living life on purpose". I knew exactly what He meant.

I tended to drift through days without giving much thought to them, my husband traveled a great deal so Christopher and I were often alone with only the structure of required schooling each morning. Before I knew it, a week has passed, then a month... and it was time for the Holidays or a Birthday... something that shook me out of my days which were running into each other.

I really have been trying to live life in such a way as to make the small things special since that time. For instance, one day this past week, when we finally had sunshine again and I could get outside, I took a cup of tea and some favorite things out to the deck for an extended quiet time. Along side my favorite "tea mug", I brought...

My Bible, my scrapbook journal, my ancient copy of Hidden Art (called the Hidden Art of Homemaking in paperback), and my equally ancient copy of The Victory Garden Cookbook (my favorite veggie cookbook since, well since I can remember... my mother-in-law had borrowed it for awhile and after she passed away, I made certain it went back to my bookshelves). Oh yeah, my reading glasses and our cell phone, along with a snack of cinnamon toast were important additions.

I moved some flowers over near me and had a lovely time studying... pondering... writing... sipping tea and nibbling toast. So much better than plopping the books next to me on the sofa and just reading. It took just a few minutes to make it more special, something I will remember when it is cold outside and the deck furniture is stored in the shed.

The view from my chair ...

You know how I love to find vintage items really cheap. Well, the plate I was using is one from Goodwill that I found a couple months ago. The dinner plates had already been purchased but it was these salad plates I loved, anyway. They were perfect for this very use as I could take them out to the deck without being concerned about them breaking. I think they were forty-nine cents each... below is a closer look.

It doesn't take much money to have beautiful things around us. Gosh, if I can do it than truly anyone can as long as they develop a habit of looking, and knowing when and where to make such purchases. I get teased a lot because I pray before going to Goodwill, thrift shops, or stopping by garage sales but it works.

I can tell you what days look like when I am not living life on purpose. I haven't planned the days menus or given any thought to the priority of my higher energy morning hours. I skip my quiet time, throw up a quick prayer, and turn the TV on to catch a televised sermon rather than gleaning from His Word directly. I only do the most urgent of household chores before driving into town for a trip to the store because I forgot to write down that we needed milk or eggs.

Living life on purpose only happens when I take the time to pray and ponder, absorb my priorities, ask for wisdom, add beauty in the little ways... the fragrance of my dish washing liquid, the aroma of coffee that has been made ahead and waiting for the "on" button to be pushed in the morning, the cinnamon and sugar mixture already combined and ready to use, fun in the kitchen because the pantry is full with well-thought-out items for my favorite recipes, vintage bowls to mix them in or my favorite red mixer, a few flowers in the window, thinking of the guy's favorite foods to serve... where planning meets creativity and beauty.

That's why one needs pictures so you can see as well as ponder. :)

Now, my tea is getting cool and my blueberry coffeecake (just a tiny piece) awaits. Happy ponderings.


Rita said...

Oh my, I so need to keep reading your posts. To live life on purpose. My life is full of lists of things to do and then I'm exhausted. Just doing what comes next. I will keep reading and maybe this thought will soak in good enough to change my life.
Thank you!

Niki RuralWritings said...

I know this....I just have to remember to DO this...thanks for the wonderful reminder Brenda!
Have a blessed Lord's Day.

Susan P. said...

I just loved this post, Brenda. Your writing is so wonderfully descriptive that I felt like I was sitting on the deck with you, AND enjoying every minute of it! Thanks for such an important reminder, one I surely need to remember and put into practice more often.

Sharon said...

What a wonderful post and I LOVED your pictures!Beautiful Brenda!Blessings~Sharon :-)

Daughter of the King said...

I felt like this post was aimed right at was so convicting in such a tender and well written way that I cannot even tell you.
What I have allowed myself to *become* is not good. It has been caused by several things, one which has been a horrible flare this past 1.5 years of fibromyalgia...yet I *know* I can still choose to live life on purpose, through the pain, through the fatigue...the list goes on.
thank you for your frankness and writing from your heart. I need to take this to heart more than you know, and more than I can even put into words right now.
Bless you,

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

This is just wonderful...we are all guilty of living on automatic pilot. I'm so glad that you documented your time with your books and your me ideas!

And, you'll be so proud of me! I visited Goodwill this week with "new" eyes thanks to all of your mentions of it and found two wonderful dessert bowls, a candy dish, and a pair of Italian shoes all for $!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful view. You are very blessed, Brenda.

I agree so much about trying to make each day special. Slowing down and enjoying the smallest of things gives so much peace and joy.

scj said...

Hi, just popped into your blog today - what beautiful photos and lovely words. Thank you for sharing.


Anonymous said...

I love your "soft pillow and comfy mattress" posts, too, but this is a really great one. After my post of last night (thank you for your nice comment, by the way - we have a lot in common), I realized that I have to pray when I get up in the morning, that the Lord will guide me to set the right priorities for the day. I know it is important to live life on purpose and yet I've let that slide so often. This is a great reminder. (And I hope you didn't mind that I tore off a tiny piece of your cinnamon toast while I visited your deck in my mind - it was yummy!)

Bonita said...

I love the way you add beauty to all parts of life, not just the big stuff. Those dishes are so pretty and I'm such a sucker for dishes. That red dish drainer is pretty snazzy too. I'm glad to see someone else other than me actually uses one!

Linds said...

Brenda, I am enthralled by your posts. I was given Hidden Art when I got married 32 years ago, and it is a book I have treasured. I can see it on my bookcase right now, and I am going to get it out and read it again.

Living life for / on purpose. What a wonderful reminder that God sees the small things too. And glories in them.

freddie said...

What a beautiful post Brenda! It was as if I had been there with you, pondering and sipping a nice cap of tea (white and no sugar for me, please)... As for me I manage to have some more time for myself as with my knee I can't do much. time for pondering, praying, reading and obviously blogging... God does know when we do need time for ourselves and he's got mysterious ways to give it to us...

Take care and God bless you and your family

Simply Heart And Home said...


I was so blessed and encouraged by what you wrote. Thank you.

Living each day on purpose with our heart centered on the Lord makes each moment precious. A heart that lifts of prayers is one filled with purpose and then some.

I'm glad you had you quiet time outside. Thank you again for sharing it with us.


Abounding Treasures said...

Living life on purpose rather than just sailing through is something that I've been working on for quite some time now and I really appreciate how you've expressed your heart today!

Your view is wonderful and the way you showed the photos made me feel as if I could just plop down beside you and share a cuppa :o)

Have a blessed week!

Heather L. said...

So enjoyed your post! I LOVE your china plates! I too pray before going to Goodwill, shopping, etc. :) I think I could use a bit of an extended q.t. just now as well.

Jan & Tom's Place said...

What a beautiful post...a beautiful setting for your morning Tea & Quiet Time!! I just love it!

And...Living Life On Purpose...I needed to read this this morning! I think at time, we all need to be reminded...not to blindly go through life and let it happen to us. But, live life on purpose!!


ps...perhaps you would consider joining our little group called COME TO JESUS that posts devotions, stories, bible verses, testimonies...anything having to do with what God is doing in our lives. Check it out on our Blog!

A happy heart at home said...

I enjoyed your post, and I love your dishes! Very pretty! I think it's great that you pray before shopping. I need to remember to do that.


Firefly Nights said...

Your 49 cent salad plates are beautiful. Could you tell us the pattern and who made them?