If you have been around this little corner of the internet for any extended period of time you might have learned a few things about me. First, I generally like to choose a “Word of the Year”. Something that I can anchor down on for the year and direct my focus. For 2019 that word has been faith. I will say that for the most part I got pretty off track when it came to figuring out how I actually focus on my faith in all the different areas of my life. But, as I sit and begin to reflect I can see how my faith in the Lord, myself, and those closest to me has grown. However, that is a post for another day.
The second thing you might have learned is that I like to be in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, eating, drinking..the works. The kitchen is my happy place. I get it from my mom. The saying in our house was “When mom gets stressed, mom bakes.” That has flowed down to me and I find it is easy for me to reflect and process the world around me as I mix up dough, pour batter, and kneed bread.
And the third thing you might have learned is that I LOVE tea. There are a lot of people in the world that will be the first to tell you that they can’t make it through the day without their coffee. Coffee first thing in the morning, a cup or two at the office or place of work. I am not that person. I, on the other hand cannot get my day started without my tea. And then, I generally keep it going throughout the day. The joy of tea, unlike coffee, is that once I get that initial jolt of caffeine I can switch to herbal tea and just keep on sipping all day long.
Now that the year is winding down I started to think about what I wanted to focus on for 2020. Over the last month or so I have been tossing different ideas around in my head of what my word or theme could be for the year. The problem is nothing was resonating with me. Everything was just sounding so….fake…in my head. You see, over the last 6 months, since we left Fort Worth and our little seminary bubble I feel like there has been this..I don’t know..veil I guess…lifted off of my eyes. Don’t get me wrong. I truly appreciate the time that I had at seminary. I met some wonderful people who became what I like to call “forever friends” (you know who you are :). I had the opportunity to sit and learn from some WONDERFUL people and gain very valuable knowledge that I would never have had the opportunity to learn otherwise. However, I also got to experience first hand the, as I called it earlier, bubble that is seminary life.
Each and every day you are surrounded by very like minded people. It’s not uncommon to hear casual lunch conversations centered around what many would consider a supremely obscure verse found in the depths of the book of Lamentations. Or discussions of where God was moving in the lives of friends and fellow students as the main topics of discussion. I am not by any stretch of the imagination saying that these types of conversations were or are bad to have. In fact I love them. However, here in the middle of nowhere New Mexico the number one topic of conversation is the wind speeds for the day. And now that we aren’t surrounded 110% by Christians working toward very similar goals I find that I am having more…real…conversations. Conversations that are truly about living life in the depths of everyday struggles. And in a lot of those conversations people are just trying to find a way to justify all the hurt, pain, and stress they live though everyday with the good and gracious God that I know.
So, back to the original topic at hand..my focus for 2020. As I got to thinking about what I would be focusing on for 2020 I began to think about my love for being in the kitchen and my love for tea. And I came to a conclusion. That is what I will focus on for the new year. And I hope to use this focus to help draw out those conversations. Because who doesn’t love a good cup of tea and a few cookies, cakes, muffins, or scones to go with it.
There you have it. 2020: The Year of Tea and Cake. My goal is to search out all different varieties of tea. (I had NO idea just how many tea companies were out there until I began to look into this idea). I will be breaking down the various components of the tea, sharing what I think of the taste, pairings to go with the tea, and if the company and price point are worth it. I also look forward to sharing some of my teapots I own and the stories behind them. And who knows, maybe I will add one or two more to the mix by the time its all said and done.
Another goal I have for the year is to work toward growing my own tea garden and creating my own blends of teas with various herbs, fruits and spices. So stay on the look out for developments in those areas.
I hope you will come along on this tea journey with me over the next year. Share with me your favorite teas and where to get them and maybe even learn something you didn’t know. And remeber: there is always time for tea and cake.