Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fini-TEA-ude : a fuzzy cuppa

I just had a big cuppa fini-TEA-ude as it was a word I heard on audio book in the wee hours.

Have fun looking it up---as I run a "dayload" of errands and do fun stuff with friends all the way thru dinner. Will finish entry later---probably much later---unless my morning  cuppa becomes my final cuppa!

I think the French probably have the definition I'm looking for---I just can't read French. Maybe Aggie can help me out. At first I thought my phonetic spelling was incorrect (without TEA inclusion) based on my foggy recall of the context of my night-watch message. 
Let me know what you find.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Sereni-TEA : one cuppa at a time

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. (Proverbs 3:24, NIV)
A recent email from DOC in LA, a self-proclaimed "king of naps" reminded me of the value of a good old fashion nap.  I even blogged 5 years ago about being the "queen" of said naps.
Plus, this time last year I had given myself a re-gift in the form of a nap.
Everyone has their own nap strategies. In college, LA Doc could put his head down on the desk for a 7 minute nap. Even as a working adult, he would prop his feet on his desk after lunch for a little snooze. Hubby stretches out in his big brown leather recliner and and lets the Jeopardy™ theme song lull him to sleep. I learned the value of a short nap from Millie D of Tennessee who crawled into bed for hers.

Research shows that a little nap will do you ---and is good for you. It seems good for me because I seem to sleep peacefully. When I awaken and it's still daylight, all those dragons of the dark have no power. With a nap there's no tension about trying to fall asleep. It's as easy as falling off a log. But....at night, I want to sleep like one, not fall off of it.

A quick sleep in the daytime never seems to come with the night-time baggage. Often in the dark of night, sweet sleep is interrupted with worries. Thoughts that race as I try desperately to return to sleep---so fearful of being tired the next day. Most concerns can not even be remedied in the night. Did I pay that Visa bill? Did I return DT's call? Why would Dr. Smith want me to schedule a visit? Wonder if grands will remember to.....?

I love what Hemingway said about sleep.
"I love sleep because life has a tendency to fall apart when I'm awake." For me that would read...when I'm "awake in the night."

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety, is how the psalmist states it in 4:8. Safe-TEA from those dreaded thoughts in the dark.
That's it in a nutshell---the pursuit of peace even as one sleeps. There's just something so peaceful and serene about a nap! As DOC says, "Long live the nap!"
I'll drink to that----with a cuppa warm herbal sereni-TEA to carry me peacefully into  sleep, regardless of the time of day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

SABBATH SNAPSHOT : s-TEA-ress & s-TEA-rain of marriage

Following a weekend wedding, a book on marital bliss seemed appropriate to review----tho some of the portrayals showed some not so blissful nuptial moments. Certainly all marriages have  both. The stress and strain of any marriage can be daunting, but when one factors in the role of a very public ministry, that relationship can face tough obstacles.
C.S. Lewis Had a Wife by William Peterson is a look at marriages of some stalwarts of the Christian faith. Even these 5 couples, as Peterson's research revealed, had to face everyday sorts of problems, typical in all marriages. 
None of the book is written in "southern English" and those chapters written in "olde English" leave room for deciphering for this southern miss. Founder of the Presbyterian denomination in Scotland, John Knox, who settled into marriage, his first of two, at the age of 42, wrote in a letter describing self as "now burdenit with dowbill caris." (p. 33) Of course, as one who took his mother-in-law along on his homeymoon, Knox might have lamented thrice caris. But even years after death of wife Marjory (at age 25) he described her as "darrest spouse of blessit memorie." (p. 44)

The Hudson Taylor entry, told of early rejections from two different fiancés and his ensuing marriage to Maria, an orphan who would be such a backbone to his China Inland Mission that Taylor "learned to value her judgment and prayerfulness that he never took a step without consulting her." (p. 71) They buried two of their children together and then tho he felt "utterly crushed" when she died in childbirth, he drew closer to the Lord and was able to "thank Him for ordering it for her, that she might be with Him." (p.82) 
Taylor, along with his second wife Jennie and through China Inland Mission, put 825 missionaries on the field by 1905---all 'for Jesus sake.' (p. 86)

My favorite entry was "Meet Jack (C.S.) and Joy Lewis."
C. S. Lewis did not marry until age 60 and his spouse, a divorcée, was considered by many as a most unusual woman---a marriage of the minds. "For Jack the attractions was a t first intellectual...in width of interest, in analytical grasp, and above all in humor and sense of fun." (from brother Warren's diary entry, p.165) An ecclesiastical ceremony was performed at what seemed was Joy's death bed. But God gave Jack and Joy a 2 year reprieve. Though eventually she succumbed as the cancer returned, this entry focused on the meaningful time they had together. 
Lewis recalled a belated honeymoon in Ireland, writin, "I'm such a confirmed old bachelor that couldn't help feeling I was being rather naughty staying with a woman at a hotel. Just like people in the newspapers." (p. 170)
Following her death, "in A Grief Observed, Lewis tells how Joy and he 'feasted on love: everymode of it---solemn and merry, romantic and realistic, sometimes as dramatic as a thunderstorm, sometimes as comfortable and unemphatic as putting on your soft slippers.'" (p. 174) 

All in all the book is a good nighttime read---like short stories. Each chapter is a complete entry. Revealingly interesting, concise, mostly calm and inspirational.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Propitious Ma-TEAri-mony

Marriage should be honored by all, (Hebrews 13:4, NLT)
Some marriages seem to be made in heaven---though none of that is likely to be totally determined on the wedding day. Yet, tonight's wedding of Emily and Nate certainly came close. A God-honoring ceremony. A great beginning. Propitious---heaven-sent and indicating a good chance of success.
Both graduates of Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Both in professions of service as physician assistants in the medical field. Bride at UTMG and Groom at St. Jude. But more importantly, both are believers. Equally yoked.

The bride, whom I and others had prayed for even before her birth, the groom a young man taking his vows, as unto the Lord, turned facing the world as Pastor Taylor introduced the "you and you who tonight became y'all."

Then..... drove away in a hidden surprise....a 1932 Ford Victoria, restored by the groom's dad....a young couple beginning a life lived as "unto the Lord" in a fun vintage car, no less!

Friday, September 12, 2014


"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting. (Job 8:21, NASB)
Pondering aging on this "eve," I surmise (tho I have no research to prove it) that a few things help those of us advancing in years: acceptance, a caring family, good friends and LOTS of LAUGHTER! As I typed this, my elusive vitamin D, once again rolled off the table and out of sight! I feel more like crying than laughing at this ongoing frustrating nuisance, tho I am working on it.*
I have no idea the source of this picture,** it just makes me laugh---it's so-o-o me!
Aging with a friend over a cuppa with scuffs, piles of books and chocolate nearby.
Thanks to hubby who noticed 2 more of my "likes"--tulips & freshly sharpened pencils!
Tea-hee--tee-hee--tea-hee---Life with a cuppa, even in "the home," is  better with laughter.

* I found a stray peanut on the floor but I have yet to find that &#%!@?!" vitamin D. BTW those symbols are baby boomers' substitutions for "dadburn."
**My siblings---note the lamp on the table. We all have one...thanks to Uncle Clarence Davenport.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die. (Psalm 116:15, NLT)
I believe the truth of that scripture but it certainly doesn't negate the earth-side pain experienced by believers and those of all faiths who lost loved ones on 9/11/01. 

A series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City, the D.C. metropolitan area and UA Air Flight 93 in PA on that Tuesday. 

Most of us remember where we were on that day. The shock as the morning news was interrupted. Ensuing events continued as our nation began dealing with the tragedy---and has continued remembering and commemorating those September 11 attacks of 2001, which killed nearly 3,000 people.

A friend's son, Rob, (38 at the time) was in the south tower, as I recall, and he actually spoke to both his wife and his dad on the phone, prior to the collapse of his World Trade Center tower. It was the second tower, but the first one to collapse. Rob, as many others, was never to return to his loving family.

Rob's name found me---as info kiosk was unreadable that day. I shielded my eyes from the sun and hubby and I bowed our heads and prayed for all the Lenoirs and Robinsons, as the Memorial pool shimmered in the background and not a human sound was heard, except shuffling of feet.
Today, there is more than just solemnity at Ground Zero--I know there is still heartache and great loss experienced by all the families and friends who lost loved ones that day, wherever they are today---as they remember.

My morning cuppa is full of solemni-TEA and the knowledge that all I can do is pray---but that seems the right thing to do.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12, NIV)
Grandson Owen is only in first grade but already he is learning about the importance of descriptors. Words that describe a person, place or thing---thus giving said noun, a deeper meaning.
Adjectives. Descriptors. Choice words to modify that noun of a person......or a tea.

A name describes who a person is; a title relates to some office that person may fill, whereas an appellative, such as believer, beloved of God or God's chosen ones describes some distinctive characteristic of the person. Just as Paul was encouraging Timothy, as a believer to set a distinctive example in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity.

Those "choice" examples can be modified for deeper understanding thru the use of descriptors. Speech free of obscene talk. Exemplary conduct. Unconditional love. Continual faith. Sheer purity.
Such descriptors are sought by those who desire to "walk worthy of one's calling." May the descriptors in your life have others see you as humble, loving, gentle, patient, _______. (Ephesains 4:1-2)
Fill in the blank with your name if your desire is to live this "worthy" example.
As I go to my pantry to select from an array of tea, each with a different TEA-scriptor for my cuppa, I make a choice. Just as in life. It's all about the life (example) I choose to brew and pour out to others.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pho-TEA-graphs in the mind

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. (Psalm 107:29, NIV)
Word Pictures. Auditory to visual. Sometimes a single word or phrase evokes mental pictures. Certainly in God's word there are terms that remind us of life in all its forms. Warring. Race. Wrestling. Journey. Climb. Voyage. Storm.
  • a fight or a race as Paul describes in (2 Timothy 4:7), 
  • a wrestling match for Jacob, a man of never ending life struggles who wrestles with God, until God blesses Him after the "divine encounter," (Genesis 32:24-30)
  • a journey as Abraham followed God's leading away from kin and kindred, (Genesis 12) 
  • a climb "surefooted upon the heights" as Habakkuk 3:19 relates, 
  • a voyage as Jonah in the whale's belly (Jonah 1:17)
  • a storm--as the disciples experience in the stormy seas, (John 6:16-21) 
Of all the word pictures, storms and whirlwinds seem to resonate loudest with me, thus producing striking images. Storms of life agitate me---then grow. Just as the stirring waters in the ocean, can bring about ferocious storms when churned by the fierce winds.
That's when I have to call out to the One who is in the whirlwind, (Job 38:1) and recall the words of the psalmist in Psalm 89:11, "When the waves arise, Thou stillest them." His calm....deep within each human heart. An undisturbable calm available when one is in His Presence.
And no storm, however fierce or violent,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord, inThee. ---Harriet Beecher Stowe.
A cuppa served with pho-TEA-graphs of the mind to soothe a soul.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Prac-TEA-cing Hospi-tali-TEA

Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13, NIV)
Some people just exude hospitable kindness. They make hospitality look easy, when I, for one, know it tain't always so,........easy that is.
Their door is alway open. One feels welcome. Breakfast. Lunch. (& Dinner)
There are even "pillow prizes"....and when a senile relative leaves their's behind, they bring it to her, without murmuring and disputing. (Philippians 2:14) No complaints ever. 
Service is taken seriously----whether it's to family, friends or strangers from the household of faith. All are treated royally. Isn't that what the "Good Book" teaches! They don't just know it----they practice it.
Always a cuppa hospitali-TEA is served, whether at the table or on the balcony--and they're not even cuppa consumers!
I  got to keep my cuppa!

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore A Novel by Robin Sloan---

Not exactly my kind of book, even though “Bookstore” in the title was a draw. 
Yet, fantasy spine label was my first hesitation. But, intrigue was my 2nd draw. I was intrigued by the great reviews and the awareness that area book clubs have chosen to read it, thus group guides are available. Draw #3 was availability of "free" eAudio book for trip to Texas--and main driver, hubby, does love fantasy. The reader was excellent, actually adding a little understanding for this gal who was so out of her league in a "fantasy" genre.
The story seemed somewhat YA-ish to me, with their "crazy" wild language, even though all characters are adult and some adult situations are alluded to. It probably would appeal to those 40-some folks who grew up in the era of Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, & the Dragonriders science fiction series of Anne McCaffrey.

Plot deals with arcane fellowship of book-lovers (aka bibliophiles of the Unbroken Spine) seeking the key to immortality through the imprints of A. Manutius (1449-1515) with internet-savvy characters coming on board to join in the pursuit. Did I say very savvy. Google must love it.

"Googler" terms fly and at times it seemed like a tech book as the googlers "play in the Big Box" plugging into power and fiber optics, flexing their fingers as "they" (think thousands worldwide) log on---as if "practicing an algorithmically generated waltz." (p. 222)

If you do decide to read it---be sure to read it at night and watch what happens to the cover when you place it on your bedside table and then turn off the light.