Mom’s Mama came from New Brunswick, I can’t quite remember the name of the town, but it was along the Miramichi River. Mama came to care for mom and her brother and sister when their mom died in child birth (giving birth to my mom) later marrying grandpa.
Along with Mama came her brown teapot and the time-honored tradition of drinking afternoon tea. So even though tea may not run through our veins, we were adopted into a love for tea. My mom spent many an afternoon drinking tea with her Mama, so naturally she began the treasured tradition with my sister and me. I can’t speak for my sister, she is eight years older and was out of high school before I have a recollection of arriving home from school, but many a day I’d walk in the house after school and find mom putting on the tea water.
Those times of tea and chatting helped keep me grounded and on the high road. It brought joy and comfort. I always had a place to go to share my not so good days and my great days. I had someone who would cheer me on. No matter what the day brought, it all seemed better over a cup of tea.
Yesterday’s blog referenced one of the most popular passages on the topic of love, I Corinthians 13. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy….I’ve always thought of this passage in one way: relationally. Am I patient with my students? Do I show kindness to my mother? Am I envious of my neighbor who has a nicer car than I do? Do I keep a running tally of all the times I’ve felt that my husband’s done me wrong?
Yesterday, it dawned on me that these verses can also be applied to how you view and treat yourself as well. Am I patient with myself? Am I kind to myself? Do I forgive myself? After all, love isn’t supposed to keep records of wrong. So if I genuinely love myself, I will forgive myself when I mess up. That’s a tough one for me to do. So often, I find myself holding on to past mistakes. I harbor these strong feelings of guilt over mean things I’ve said and wrong actions I’ve committed yesterday, last month, and even years ago, sins of which I’ve already been forgiven. Psalm 103:12 says “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” I’m not saying we should attempt to forget about our past sins. On the contrary, I do believe we should remember so that we can learn from our past. But we should not live in defeat and let our past rule us or define who we are!
Sometimes we don’t realize the lasting impact the little things of life will make. This was driven home in a recent conversation with one of my kids.
We were talking about love — what it is, what it isn’t, how you express it. Not just romantic love, but exhibiting the characteristics of love in relationships, on the job with co-workers, in everyday circumstances when interacting with others.
I was going to look up I Corinthians 13 in the Bible because to me, that describes the characteristics of love in a way that I can understand and is so practical. My daughter began quoting it word for word before I could even google it. Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy …… I asked how she knew it, she said ‘Mom, how could I not, when I was growing up you had a picture on my bedroom wall with the words of those verses on it. I read it every night before I went to sleep.’
Right then, I realized that it’s the little things that have lingering effects on our children, for the good or bad. Making every effort to speak, show or allow them to read the truth of scripture in natural ways allows for it to settle deeply within for development of their character and be available in their memory for instant recall when needed.