Life-Changing Truth from Mrs. Betty’s Tea Parties

I’ve always been drawn to quiet, gentle people–the ones content to serve others without recognition.

In May, I spoke to the ladies of Galilee Christian Church in Jefferson, GA  at their annual tea party and wrote about it here. 

But there’s more to the story. 

Once a month, a small group of ladies from Galilee Christian invite women who are new to their church to a tea party. In May, I received an invitation.

The minute I arrived, I felt loved. They welcomed me. Served me. Treated me like I belonged. 

Their kindness inspired me. My sister and I are having a little tea party for Mother on her 80th birthday in July. 🙂

And the ladies invited my mother and me to their June tea party–

So yesterday we headed up Janice’s walkway.

“You’re gonna love it,” I said.

“I already do. Look at her gorgeous hydrangeas. Reminds me of childhood summers.”

“Just wait.”

“How sweet. Two chairs under the tree,” she said.

“One would’ve looked sorta lonely, wouldn’t it?”

Everyone welcomed us. The tables had been set with TLC.

Our table below…

When we sat down, our plates had been prepared, along with handmade place cards.

Mother couldn’t decide what to taste first.

The centerpiece came from flowers in Janice’s yard.

So much laughter…

They made a gluten-free plate just for me…

And my very own gluten-free chocolate chip scone! 🙂

The food was amazing, but the best part came after we ate.

We read Scripture verses inside our place cards.

Simple.

Powerful.

Then Betty Williams (90) told us how she began having tea parties twenty years ago. She wanted ladies to feel loved and accepted.

When she joined Galilee Christian Church eight years ago, she began a Tea Party Ministry.

Mrs. Betty’s below, on the left. Janice is on the right.

Right before we left, one of my new friends gave me a precious gift–tiny spoons, knives, napkins, and a teacup from her own collection–

To help me with Mother’s birthday tea party.

I came home with a car full of goodies and life-changing Truth.

Nothing–absolutely nothing–outshines kindness when it comes from the heart. Click to tweet

Mother Teresa was right. “Do small things with great love.” Click to tweet

…serve one another humbly in love. Galatians 5:13 NIV Click to tweet

Do you see other Truths from the tea party? 

Does this give you any ideas for new ways to love others? 

Love,

Julie

 

Comments

  1. “do small things with great love”… thank you J

  2. Anna Haney says:

    My mom turns 80 in August. Oh, how I wish she were well enough to go to a place like this.
    I am reminded of when Mary Magdalene poured the expensive perfumed nard on Jesus’s feet and Judas scolded her but Jesus said she was doing a beautiful thing. Mary gave her best.
    It’s like dressing up, using your fine China. Make every day special. Send a hand written note. Smile at others.
    Let people know they are loved

    • OHHhhhh, Anna, yes, yes, yes, the expensive perfume!! Beautiful connection!!!! I love that.

      Our mothers are just one month apart. How about that?! Sending up a prayer for you both right now.

      You’re exactly right. Simply smiling can change lives.

      xo

    • Anna,
      If your Mom is not well enough to go to a place like this bring it to her if possible. I just know your Mom feels your love for her. There is such tenderness in your words. Care giving for our parents is not always easy, is it? I have never regreted any thing I did for my parents. It was not always easy and I did not always do it well. I just pray God was honored.

  3. Brenda Greene says:

    How absolutely lovely Julie Girl! I was hanging onto every word you wrote. I was there! Among the pretties! Thank you. I have nothing more to add to your words…can you believe?!! A Blessed Day my Dear. A Blessed Day indeed! Much love from my front porch in the woods! Brenda

    • Hey Brenda!

      And you have nothing more to add? 🙂 🙂 I kept thinking surely there were other great truths in this little story. I know we both felt loved–in a big way.

      Thanks so much for letting me know you’re reading–from your little front porch in the woods!

      Love you~~

  4. Carm Russell says:

    Fellowship

    “Blessed be the ties that bind our hearts in Christian love. The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.”

    Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I am there with them. Matthew 28:20

    Carm
    ⚓️

    • YES, YES, YES, YES!

      Thank you, Carm!!! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!! I knew there were more tidbits of Truth here.

      So much love to you this afternoon! And I’m praying for you~~~~~

  5. Patricia Martin says:

    What a beautiful party, Julie! You and your mom were princesses for a day (you both are queens everyday)! Tell your mom from me that she looks 70 not80.(: this party reminds me of when Jesus cooked breakfast on the Sea of Galilee for his disciples. I love hydrangeas as they look like colored mounds of snow or lace. Gf food- looked so good and made me wish I was there.(: how is your novel? Please pray for me as I am trying to stay well and am losing sleep at the same time from the intense AZ heat. How was Rick’s Father’s Day? Did you barbecue?():
    Hugs and Blessings
    Xoxo

    • Hey Patricia! I always smile when I see your name pop up in the comments. 🙂 🙂

      The AZ heat–is it really 130 like we heard? Oh, wow…. So, are you just staying inside all the time? I can’t even imagine. That’s never happened (at least not since I’ve been alive) in the Atlanta area. Do you have hydrangeas in AZ?

      Father’s Day–We had a brunch on Saturday morning here…steak, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, fruit, biscuits, and mini cheese blintzes–which are wonderful. I made some regular ones and some GF ones. Let me know if you want the recipe.

      Love your Sea of Galilee thoughts. Just beautiful. And you’ll totally make Mother’s Day by your age comment. 🙂

      Rick’s doing just fine, thank you.

      Love you, my sweet friend.

  6. Cathy Mayfield says:

    Julie, how blessed you must have felt, nurtured and loved, and in the company of your dear mother. As I thought about the last time I’ve felt true kindness from someone, my mind decided to wander back to an act of kindness from my grandmother, my dad’s mother.

    When I returned home from the hospital after delivering our second daughter, I found a horrendous mess. Due to premature contractions, I’d spent the last 10 weeks living with my mom while Kevin lived at home and came there for meals. He had not vacuumed, swept, dusted, or cleaned anything in all that time. To make matters worse, I caught the stomach virus the doctor tried to keep me from by extending my hospital stay an extra day. And the 12-hour bouts the others had? Yeah, mine lasted FOUR days! Imagine trying to nurse a baby, while expelling grossness from both ends, in a bathroom which hadn’t been cleaned in 10 weeks! And of course, with the forced bed rest of those weeks, the delivery, and then the virus, I could not lift a finger for more than just to care for our baby and our two-year-old.

    About the seventh day, a knock on my door startled me, causing me to look around in a panic! Company, in this mess?!! I opened the door to my grandmother, standing there with a bucket, a scrub brush, and cleaning supplies. And using her gardening kneeling pad to protect and comfort her arthritic knees, she proceeded to scrub my kitchen floor, using Comet to get every inch of it clean and sparkling. (And it was a huge floor, since our home was an apartment on the first floor of a farmhouse, whose big rooms my whole current house could almost fill.) She never took a break until the task was done, and then she left.

    An act of kindness of the rarest kind.

    • Ohhhhhhhh, Cathy~~~~

      This is so beautiful. I could see the scene happening in my mind. And wouldn’t it make a wonderful scene in a novel??? You’re at the end of your rope, don’t think you can keep going, and then…..

      I just love this!!!! Thank yo for sharing.

      One kindness really matters, doesn’t it?

  7. marci says:

    What a wonderful bit of refreshment your writing for today is for me.. I can almost feel like I was there, and enjoy it with you. So nice on these summer days. I have read several things recently that link together and have lifted my spirits, and been a reminder- of both God’s love for us, and Loving each other. Caring for each other, valueing each other. What a perfect picture of that in the tea party. And what timing for me as I prepare for my Aunts and Uncle who may be here- in a few days. Still no firm date. I have been working hard, and trying to not stress. Turning a room that has been used for storage for years into a welcoming bedroom is still a work in progress. I know it wont be perfect in the little time I have left. Your blog this time was like a much needed hug that is keeping me going, as I could vision myself at such a tea party – for a little minute vacation.. Your Mom turning 80 in July! How nice- I hope that she will have a wonderful birthday- both my parents had July Birthdays, as do a lot of the ones in Chas’ family, including him. A lot of us, will be there in spirit, along with you as all of you celebrate your mom’s birthday.

    I love the quote you gave. All 3 of them. And as so often happens they do make me think and link to other things I have thought on and read recently. Upper Room, for today was on Nurturing, then had Paul’s verse from 1 Cor 13:1- the importance of doing everything with love. Then I read from another booklet, Matt 20:26-27, the importance of being a servant.. that all seemed to fit, and fit in with the tea party you wrote about. Love + service to others. And ofcourse this is all fitting in with my trying to make preparations.

    I will be praying for Patricia and those suffering in the extreme heat. That kind of heat zaps the strength right out of a person, it is so draining. In Tucson, at night it would cool off to the 70s and that was a blessing. A lot of activities in the summer were planned in the evenings. I hope it is a bit cooler in the evenings in Phx so they at least have that break.

    I don’t remember seeing any hydrangeas until I got here in the delta. Here they usually grow on the north side of the house, and I enjoy them so much when I see them, though I have not tried to raise them myself.

    God Bless, xoxoxo

    • Marci’a,

      You know, I realllllly want to see pics of your new room, right? 🙂 It’s gonna be perfect–no matter what–because your heart is all over what you’re doing.

      Last night, I went to a restaurant with my small group (all ladies) and one wall was decorated with old shutters. They weren’t even re-painted. And it looked amazing! I came home wanting to find a bunch of old shutters.

      I can’t wait to hear all the details of their visit.

      Love your Scripture! I had a feeling there were so many other good ones that would’ve gone with the tea party. You nailed it, my friend.

      So much love,
      Me 🙂

      • marci says:

        Julie,
        I am getting back on the computer so late, I can only hope you see this. I may try to write you an e-mail soon. I have been very busy preparing for my aunts and uncle who are to be here tomorrow. I still have things I really want go get done before they come, and probably will until the very last minute. I will try to send you some pics sometime, but it may be a little while.
        Much love to you,
        xoxoxo

        • Looking forward to seeing them. No rush at all! Praying for y’all to have am amazing time together. I know you will.

          So much love~~~~

    • Patricia Martin says:

      Thank you, Marci’a, for the prayers as I will definitely be needing them as it is hot enough to bake bread here.(): Are you from Arizona? Hope you have a blessed week!
      All the best,
      Patricia

  8. Jane Ensminger says:

    My friend gave me a tea party for my birthday this year – she sponsored it and it was held at the home of a friend of hers. My friend requires GF food as well. The table theme was birds – on plates, on napkins, napkin rings, etc, with a special plate of GF foods. There were only three of us, but we donned hats, scarves and gloves (all furnished-). After our tea meal we then sat outside on a covered porch, listened to and watched the birds and chatted for as long as we wanted. Yes, I felt special and loved – by the hostess, by my friend who gave the gift, and by the honor of inviting friends to join us.

    • Yes,Yes, Yes, Yes, Jane!!!! This is how we felt!! I can just see your tea party in my mind… nothing like it, is there–that feeling of being loved and cherished.

      Would love to see pics!

      Thanks so much for commenting, my friend.

  9. Tricia says:

    Julie, I love how you show us in your writing the kindness & beauty that we are all surrounded by,what a gift we are all given, even if it’s not in the form of a tea party.Thank you for sharing your experiences. You are a breath of fresh air in a world that whizzes by too fast. You have a way of slowing it down so we can see and appreciate. Thank you….

    • Ohhh, Tricia,

      I felt itty-bitty happy tears coming when I read your comment. Thank you. Means so much to me. That’s exactly what I hope my writing does for others.

      From my heart to yours~~~~~

  10. How beautiful. How fun. How inspiring.
    Have a wonderful tea party for / with your mom!

  11. Patricia Martin says:

    We swim in the morning and so that helps us cool off(: I have never seen any hydrangeas around here yet… Thankfully, it is only 110-120, but is very dry here so it is manageable. I would love your gf recipe for cheese blitzes and maybe your peach cobbler? I had peach cobbler once cooked on the back of an outdoor Dutch oven.(-; Soooo good.(); I am currently trying to figure out some fun crafts to send to a friend. When your mom’s b-day? Hope you and Rick enjoy your beautiful summer porch parties! I am just starting to tan, but am trying to be careful about the sun as sunburns are nasty.():
    Xoxo(:

    • Okay, Patricia. I’ll email the recipes to you. They’re amazing! And with temps that high, I don’t think hydrangeas would survive. My wilt every afternoon and then perk back up the next day.

      Ohhh, yes, we’re having nice porch parties every single morning. Thank you for asking.

      Love,
      Julie

    • marci says:

      I am writing this so late, I am not sure if you will see it or not- I was not on the computer again until this evening. To answer your question, I grew up in Tucson, love it and miss it. I now live in the delta, so it was quite change for me when I started living here. Prayers are continuing for you with the heat. God Bless.

      • Hey Marci’a, I’m seeing it! Hope Patricia does too. 🙂

        We hit 101 (at least our car said so) this weekend. Can’t even imagine going into the 120’s.

        xoxoxo

  12. Julie, I love that Scripture … “covered you with the shadow of my hand” … isn’t that beautiful. I think of all the times I’ve covered the girls in my shadow … to keep them from getting injured by the sun, the heat, to keep them comfortable … the list is long. To protect them. Why? Because I love them. And God, our Father, loves us. Oh … I just love that. I’ve never noticed that verse before. xoxoxo I’m waiting for biopsy results … would you pray for me?

    • Yes, I love this Scripture too. And I’m doing to my knees right now…didn’t know about your biopsy, Shelli.

      Love you.

      xoxoxo

  13. Oh, I wish I could have come. I love tea and life-changing, thought provoking conversations.

  14. A tea on Mothers Day makes a mother smile and feel special. Thank you for sharing your pictures with us, Julie.

    I love the idea of having each place card with a personal scripture verse. That makes for a meaningful keepsake.

    Share on!

    • I’m smiling big-time, Carolyn. So honored that you took a peek at this post. I’m saving my place card forever.

      So much love, my friend.

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