Category Archives: Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time Tuesday: A Word Aptly Spoken

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” Proverbs 25:11

If you ever received a note, message or card where someone has taken the time to write out words of love, affirmation, encouragement, inspiration or wisdom to you personally then you know the powerful effect of the written word.  In fact I would be willing to bet that you have some of those meaningful notes, cards or messages stashed away in a special drawer, box or in the attic. 

Sometimes I wonder in this new age of facebook, twitter, text messages and email if the future generation will have the joy and pleasure of re-reading  and treasuring words of love and affirmation given to them by friends and family?  I hope not!

I have a box (actually I have three boxes!) of cards and notes that have been given to me over the years from my husband, children, parents, siblings, friends, business partners and former students.  If I ever need a good “pick me up” or am feeling unloved or unappreciated (any of you Moms out there ever have one of those days?) I can simply open up one of those boxes and read through those wonderful words once again.  They always lift my spirit and refresh my soul.

Today during Tea Time Tuesday we talked about the value of loving, affirming and encouraging others through our written words.  I pulled out one of the boxes and read some of  them to the girls.  We talked about the importance of not merely signing a card with your name but taking the time to write out something sincere, heartfelt and meaningful.  It does not have to be long but needs to be thought out.  We shared many things you could include:

  • adjectives that you could use to describe someone
  • stories you could tell to remember something special about them
  • prayers of blessing on their lives
  • words of wisdom that would add value to their life
  • giving encouragement or inspiration
  • adding relevant Bible scriptures or quotes

Let me share two different cards as examples.  The first is from Gloria Grupe, a dear family friend who always takes the time to not only remember my children’s birthdays but is also really gifted at making cards meaningful.

Dearest Joy:

God loves you dear one – so precious to the Lord.  I hope you are having a good birthday celebration. Always be a good thoughtful helper to Mom and the younger ones.  I saw you one day playing with Daniel when he could not even walk yet.  You were playing and entertaining him while your Mom and I were talking. You were on the kitchen floor. Now you have a brother and new sister.  You are the closest in age — a very special teacher you are.  They need to know all the very important things you know at 7 years old.  That is part of God’s plan for your life, that you be an example, helper and teacher to the younger ones. I know you will do a very good job!

Have a Happy Birthday,  Lots of love and blessings, Gloria

Isn’t that a great birthday card to my 7-year-old daughter?  What a blessing to have a wise older saint in her life that not only speaks words of love and blessing but also gives guidance and purpose for her life!  I could not ask for a greater birthday gift for my children. It challenged me to write with purpose to those who are following along behind me in years.

The next note is from a dear friend who is also gifted at using words to express love and appreciation. Here is a portion of her note:

The gift of your friendship spans more than words can say and is truly among the greatest gifts I count in my life. How blessed I am to have a friend who…

  • I can trust to never veer away from God’s eternal truth
  • has proven to always put God’s interests first
  • lives a life that does not shift as sand among the circumstances of life or the popular notions our culture offers
  • is not afraid to look me square in the eye, tell me the truth, then push me to be better
  • has a good & cheerful heart (Proverbs 15:5) Everything you do is a celebration. You lift life from the mundane, welcoming everyone you know to join in with you

Now about everything else…it would take a book and among the chapter titles would be: Motivation, Inspiration, Encouragement, Excellence. In your full & overflowing life you have always included me. I know you would do anything for me and I hope you know I would do anything for you and your family.  As Jacopo told the Count of Monte’ Cristo – “I am your man (friend)…for life!”

This letter not only blesses my heart but inspires me to greatness. What a gift to be able to use such a simple thing as a note, card or letter to bless and inspire others!  And better yet…it is free! 

We had a lovely tea time and each of us walked away motivated to write some notes of love, affirmation, encouragement and wisdom to our precious friends and family.  I hope to instill a lifelong desire in my children to use the power of the written word to make a difference in the lives of those who cross their paths.



Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Making a Difference, Positive Words, Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time Tuesday – beginning again

Our school year routine is back in full swing!

It is a bit different for me this year because for the first time since 1998  I only have two home schoolers (6th grade and 2nd grade).  Last week I was a bit melancholy about the whole situation as it seemed a bit small, quiet and lonely.  But this week I have recovered and began to get excited about all the great things we have in store for us this year.  I am a fairly eclectic homeschool Mom not really following one system or philosophy of schooling. 

One of the things that we have recently decided to do together is reading biographies of great men and women of faith  – George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, Charles Spurgeon, Jim Elliot, David Livingston – to name just a few.  This week we began with Brother Andrew, reading his biography together aloud and stopping to review vocabulary words (grammar), looking at maps to see where his home in Holland was as well as how close they were to Germany (geography), going on the Internet for a picture of the Nazi Germany flag (history), and discussing how their own great-grandfather was killed in World War II.  All of that while being inspired and challenged by God’s work in  Andrew’s  life and his amazing faith.  Now that is my kind of school! (We also spent the late afternoon while the “littles” were napping watching Sound of Music because as we were reading the girls were reminded of things in the movie concerning the German invasion of Austria before the war….music, history & culture – bonus!)

We also started up our weekly – Tea Time Tuesday!

Tea Time Tuesday (yes it is on Tuesday because I love alliterations!) is something that we began years ago when I had four daughters being homeschooled together.  I decided to set time aside every Tuesday afternoon during the school year to have a “formal” tea complete with the fancy china, delicious teas, homemade goodies, classical music and a decorated table. Besides it being enjoyable, relaxing and fun I wanted to use this time to be purposeful about training, teaching and mentoring my daughters in:

  • proper manners, ladylike behavior and etiquette
  • modesty in dress and action
  • purity and godliness
  • relationships and courtship

As we sat down today to have our first tea of the season I realized that these two girls were very young when we began Tea Time Tuesday events and that perhaps we needed to “begin again” in our training.  So today we chatted over tea about the use of the words – please, thank you, you’re welcome and excuse me. We discussed that your napkin should be in your lap and used to dab your mouth clean (as opposed to wiping your mouth on your sleeve which is the norm for the 7-year-old right now).  We also brought out one of our favorite books…”The Princess and the Kiss” and read it aloud.  What a great message about saving your heart for the man you will marry! (complete with beautiful illustrations)

I have also decided that even though my high school girls lives are full to the brim with school work, sports, clubs, church, chores and jobs that I need to make time at least monthly to have a “Tea Time” with them during their final years of being in our home so that I can continue to influence them in these areas through reading books, telling stories and having discussions.  I will simply have to put it on the calendar and “make it happen”!

Perhaps we’ll call it – Team Tea for Three?

We also solved the problem of “the boy” wanting to disturb our tea party by setting him and our neighbor boys up in the farthest back corner of the backyard and giving them PB&J sandwiches and apple sauce with some ice tea (with of course plastic plates & cups). That kept them distracted long enough for us to enjoy our tea time! (another lesson for the girls?? “Food – the way to a man’s heart.”)

 I guess I have a few years to decide what type of similar idea that Dan can regularly do with “the boy” (and hopefully by then it will be “boys” should we get the desire of our hearts – adopting two young boys from Ethiopia) to instill these values, philosophies, paradigms and character qualities in him. (ideas anyone?) Although you can be sure any boys in our home will also occasionally attend our tea time so that he can learn to play the role of a proper gentleman as well as being wild at heart!

PS – If you want to read my other blog posts about past Tea Time Tuesdays you can find them here.


Filed under Homeschool, Inspiration, Life at the Lambdins, Raising Girls, Tea Time Tuesday

“Tea by the Sea”

It’s Tuesday and that means it’s tea time! And at the beach it is – “Tea by he Sea”.  The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful and we were joined by a few friends who are staying in a house down the street.  As the late afternoon sun’s rays sparkled upon the ocean, the gentle breeze blew and our classical tea music played softly behind the sound of the waves we enjoyed our tea, cookies and relaxed conversation. No courtship classes at the beach….just tea by the sea!

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Tea Time Tuesday

It was rainy & cold this afternoon as we prepared for our weekly Tea Time Tuesday – so we decided to do it around the fireplace in the living room. It was cozy and warm and very relaxing as we sipped our tea and ate fresh baked peanut butter cookies and chocolate truffles (well at least that is what the girls ate – I had Ezekiel bread drizzled with flax oil and sprinkled with cinnamon – resolved to stick with my diet plan).

Rachael Ruiz – a regular tea time friend!

 We continued to read through our book – When God Writes Your Love Story.  It was a great chapter today on being faithful.  The girls seemed to really get into this chapter as the author explored the concept of being faithful to your spouse even before you know who that spouse will be. Yes, somewhere out there is the man whom they will someday commit to love for a lifetime – why not commit to loving them even now?  Why not be faithful to wait patiently for that person that the Lord has for you instead of giving your heart, soul and body away to others along the way?  I believe that if we raise our children with these hopes, dreams and standards that they will forgo the heartache of broken relationships and the sadness of painful memories. This chapter was especially compelling.

Tuesday Tea Updates from Christmas Time

Yes – We did have Tea Time Tuesday during the holidays (except for Christmas Day & New Years Day)  The best part of these teas was having Michelle home to join with us.  The first Tuesday she was home we had our dear friend Nicole McBride & her daughter Alex over as our special guests.  Nicole shared her incredible story of how the Lord brought her & her husband, John together. It is always wonderful to hear others stories who have followed Gods plan and are enjoying the blessings of a solid marriage.

Another Tuesday before Michelle left,  I asked her to share her views on dating, courtship and marriage with her sisters.  What a joy as a mother to hear your adult child sharing your values and passing her the wisdom and influence on to her sisters.  Michelle is such a wonderful role model and example for the rest to follow.  She is greatly admired and respected by them as well. We look forward to her being back home the next two Tuesdays for tea! (She is coming back from Hawaii along with the family she is working for to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of JECHS at the Founders Gala!)

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Tea Party Recipes

Many people have asked for the recipes used at our tea parties – so I thought I would post them here – Enjoy!

Also a great reference book about having Christmas Tea is called – The Twelve Teas of Christmas  by Emily Barnes

Almond Chicken Tea Sandwiches

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, blanched
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper
  • butter
  • mini white or sourdough  bread (2×2 inch)

Mix chicken, almonds and mayonnaise.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Butter bread & put a spoon of mixture in between slices.

Shrimp Crescents

  • 3 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon catsup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 cup finely chopped shrimp, cooked and cleaned
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
  • 10 mini crescent rolls

Blend cheese with mayonnaise, mix in catsup and mustard. Stir in shrimp, celery and onions. Use as filling in sliced crescent rolls

Cucumber Cream Cheese Slices

Slices cucumbers 1/4 inch thick.  Spread softened cream cheese on top.  Lightly sprinkle with salt & pepper

Egg Salad Sandwiches

  • 8 eggs, hard boiled and grated
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons pickle relish
  • salt & pepper
  • white bread

Combine all ingredients.  Put filling in between slices of white bread. Cut off crusts and cut sandwich into triangles

Blueberry Scones  (from Granny Borden – recipe sent to us for our very first tea party)

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons blueberries
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bow with pastry blender, cut butter (let it sit out for awhile so it is softer) into flour mixture until it resembles course crumbs.  Add sugar, baking powder and blueberries. Mix well

Gradually add milk, tossing gently with a fork, until soft dough forms. Turn out on floured surface, knead gently to form soft dough

Roll out dough 1 1/2 inches thick.  Cut out scones with biscuit cutter & arrange on cookie sheet 2 inches apart(or if you have a scone pan – you can skip this step & just press dough into scone pan. Gloria Grupe gave us some as a gift several years ago – what a blessing!) Brush top with milk.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes until golden. Remove from pan. Cool on rack.

Serve with lemon curd & clotted cream! Delicious

Cinnamon Scones

  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400F. Blend together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Cut in butter. Mix milk, egg and vanilla in another bowl. Add flour mixture, and stir until just moist.

Shape dough into 8 inch round loaf and cut into 8 wedges and separate slightly (or use scone pan) Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 8 scones.

PS -We always make PB & J sndwiches for the little girlies (as some of these fancier ones are lost on them!) Just cut them in triangle slices without the crust and voila!  – fancy tea sandwiches for them


Filed under Christmas Season, Family Traditions, Reference, Tea Time Tuesday

Tea Time Tuesday – Happy Birthday Grace!

Today at tea we celebrated Grace’s 9th birthday!  My “sweet baby Grace” is nine….where did those years go?  Grace was born during a season of God’s incredible grace upon our lives as we were in the midst of living by faith day to day (isn’t that how we should always live?) as we were working to found Jim Elliot Christian High School. She was our first Christmastime baby which made the Christmas story – the “great with child” Mary traveling to Bethleham and the birth of a new baby seem very realistic for us all.

Happy Birthday Grace!

We began our tea with each one sharing the things we love and admire about Grace.  We decided to take a break for a few weeks from courtship classes and spend tea time singing Christmas carols and work on memorizing Luke 2:1-20.  We all love singing Christmas carols and as the girls get older and their voices mature, I am so very impressed with how beautiful they sound.  We always sing ALL the verses of each song too! (there is incredible meaning and deep theology in many of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th verses of those beloved carols)  It was such a wonderful time together singing praise to God during Tea Time Tuesday.

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Tea Time Tuesday

It’s been over a week since I have sat down to do any blogging….not for a lack of things to share….they are buzzing around in my head continually…so beware if I get “on a roll” soon you may be inundated with posts sharing all that has been happening lately!

But despite all the craziness surrounding me on all sides, we do stop on Tuesdays for tea time.  Today as I got ready to set the table with all the Christmas china for our first tea of the holiday season there was a knock on the door and the postman handed me a package. (don’t you just love brown paper packages?)  Joy and I quickly tore it open and there was the most beautiful tea pot I have ever seen, sent as a gift from my dear mother. (who has been the inspiration for our teas!)

Isn’t it simply stunning?  I love it!  What perfect timing too.

Today we read the next chapter in our book for our courtship classes.  It emphasized the difference between romantic feeling type of love and a deep committed unconditional love. A love that gives expecting nothing in return.  A sacrificial and unselfish type of love.  A love that survives the test of time, tragedy and trials.  A love that is steadfast and never ending.

I have living examples of this life long love and commitment. My own parents would have been married 48 years this month, if my Dad had not passed away 12 years ago and yesterday was my in-laws 52nd wedding anniversary.  A few years ago at their celebration of 50 years I was asked to sing a song for that event that is truly a beautiful testament to the commitment we are to make in marriage.  It is called I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman.  These are the powerful words that all our marriages should commit to –

Tomorrow morning when you wake up and the sun does not appear,

I will be here

If in the dark we lose sight of love, hold my hand and have no fear,

‘Cause I will be here

I will be here when you feel like being quiet; When you need to speak your mind, I will listen.

And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying; through the winning, losing and trying, we’ll be together,

‘Cause I will be here.

Tomorrow morning if you wake up and the future is unclear,

I will be here.

As sure as seasons are made for change, Our lifetimes are made for years,

So I will be here

I will be here, and you can cry on my shoulder; When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will hold you.

And I will be here to watch you grow in beauty, And tell you all the things you are to me;

I will be here

I will be true to the promise I have made, To you and to the One who gave you to me.

I will be here!

I have seen too many marriages fall apart in recent years.  Couples who I would have never thought would walk away from one another. Couples who appeared to love the Lord and love one another.  Yet somehow they have been able to turn their back on the commitment they made to loving one another through all of life’s trials and tragedies.

My prayer for those of you who are married and reading this today is that you would renew that life long commitment each and everyday of your lives to your Lord and to the one that He gave you to love. I pray for my children that they will find their perfect match and then commit to choose to love that person for life, no matter what comes their way.

Dan, my dearest husband….I once again commit to you to be here!

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Tea Time Tuesday – God’s love


I am still sitting at this peaceful tea table surrounded by the low lights of the candles and listening to the soothing sounds of classical music.  What a refreshment.

Today at tea we continued to read “When God Writes Your Love Story”.  This chapter was about God’s love – his perfect, unconditional, unchanging love.  The type of love that we can only truly give to others when we have first experienced it ourselves from the Lord.  God loves us through everything, in everything, despite everything. God loves us….no matter what!

He loves us when we are “bratty”, selfish, unkind, flaky, mean spirited, impatient, arrogant, controlling, bossy…..and so on.

He loves us when we are overweight, unattractive, dirty, smelly, unkempt, messy, old, grey and wrinkled.

His love is truly amazing and perfect.  When two people come together who have truly experienced God’s love and as a result of that life changing moment commit to choosing to love each other with that same amazing love – you will have a marriage that is beyond anything you could have ever imagined.

Unfortunately most people’s love is limited and conditional.  We only choose to love if or when they do or do not do this or that. Or we base our love on a feeling or attraction. God gave us a check list that we can use to judge ourselves and see if we are truly loving others as God loved. (1 Corinthians 13)

[ ] Are you patient and long suffering with all their inadequacies?

[ ] Do you care for their needs, wants & desires BEFORE your own?

[ ] Are you kind, compasssionate & caring?

[ ] Do you forgive easily & not keep a record of wrongs?

[ ] Are you humble and willing to give up your way of doing things?

[ ] Do you act in a becoming way and treat them with respect and honor?

[ ] Do you always look for and hope for the best?

[ ] Are you committed to the end….never looking back?

 Dear darling Dan has read that scripture as he has presided over many a wedding.  As the couples stare starry eyed at each other they are usually not even thinking about what those words mean & how they will play out in the months and year ahead.  Often, when couples are headed for divorce court they don’t want to be reminded of the love they committed to choosing.  No, at that point you hear a lot of – buts & can’ts, rationalizations & excuses –  I tried…but, I wanted it to work…but, I can’t live with…, I can’t put up with…., I can’t stand…..  The laundry list of grievances is long & passionatly verbalized to all who will listen.  In fact the love chapter of the Bible is not only forgotten but seemingly completly erradicated from their lives.

So girls……how will you love?  Will you choose a “no matter what”, “in, through & despite everything” committed love? Will you wait to find the person who will love you with that same type of love in return? I hope and pray so!

Always remember though…we can only love, because He first loved us!  So look for the man who has experienced God’s love so intimately that he can love completely.

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Tea Time Tuesday – one of the few

Ahhhhhhhh….to just STOP whatever I am currently doing and walk away from the never ending “to do list” that is truly one of the best things about our weekly Tea Time Tuesday. It is a time to just relax, to just enjoy life, to just “be” instead of “do”, to breathe in deeply, to sit down with loved ones face to face, and to fill my senses with the beauty of the fine china at a decorated tea table, with the sweet smells of scented candles, pastries and tea, and the soothing sounds of classical piano music and tinkling tea cups – it is the perfect antidote for the turbo speed pace of life I am currently living.

We continued on with our “courtship classes” and the reading of the Ludy’s book.  This chapter was emphasizing the concept that God truly does want to have control over every area of your life – that He has a beautiful story to write if you will just give Him the pen.  The author, Leslie Ludy shared her struggles, frustrations and heartaches during her “normal” teenage years before giving her love life over to the Lord.

What God impressed upon her sounded like this –

Don’t you believe that I know who you will marry, and that I am capable of leading you to that right man someday?

Can you also believe that I am the God of all creation? I know you better than you know yourself, and I am perfectly able to bring this man into your life in My own time, in my own way…and I don’t need your help.

My favorite section in todays reading was when she shared a quote from Elisabeth Elliot’s book A Chance to Die about the life of Amy Carmichael –

“The preoccupations of seventeen-year-old girls – their looks, their clothes, their social life – don’t change much from generation to generation. But in every generation there seem to be a few who make other choices. Amy Charmichael was one of the few.”

Isn’t that the truth?! I have had the eye opening experience of being on the popular social internet network called facebook the past several days in search of graduates of  JECHS  , as I am starting an alumni association for the school. It would seem that not only teenagers are preoccupied with looks, clothes and their social life, but twenty somethings as well.  In fact I am convinced after a couple of days in this world that if just a percentage of time spent on these social networks was used for service, outreach, ministry or missions – the young people of todays generation would change the world!

Ok…off my soap box.  But I do want to raise young ladies (and gentlemen) who are one of the “few” who make other choices –

  • choices to let God be in complete control of every area of their lives
  • choices to not live a common  life but to be uncommon (I need to post my daughters valedictorian speech on this subject) – true “counter culture” is living a life in complete abandon for the Lord!
  • choices to give God the pen to their lives and let Him write their love story
  • choices to live an uncompromising life according to Biblical standards
  • choices to live to serve others an make a difference in the world!

I pray that I will be able to impact and influence these wonderful children God has given me to be one of the few instead of one of the many!

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Tea Time Tuesday – festive fall

After a fairly crazy few days….the thought of sitting down and enjoying tea with my girls was very appealing today.  Since we had officially decorated for fall over the weekend, we anticipated an autumn atmosphere with all the beautiful fall colors adorning our table. 

We even were blessed to get wonderful mugs with fall leaves on them to add to the fall flavor. It was a perfect fall afternoon tea!  After savoring our tea and cookies and chatting about how much we loved this season, we settled back to resume courtship classes today.

I recently purchased several books for us to read and discuss over the next years – Passion & Purity by Elizabeth Elliot (a personal all time favorite of mine!), I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Josh Harris, When God Writes Your Love Story by Eric & Leslie Ludy and Your Half of the Apple by Gini Andrews.  I asked the girls which one they wanted to begin with and Rebekah (the strongly opinionated one) chose When God Writes Your Love Story.

We read the introduction today which was written by Leslie who shared her story of greatly desiring to be in a relationship and having one after another end in a broken heart. She finally desperately cried out to God who assured her that He wanted to be in control of this area of her life and that He had the greatest relationship & romance awaiting her if she would only give Him the pen in her life to write the story.

Our discussion afterwards consisted of talking about the purpose of teenage relationships. I asked the girls to tell me in their opinion what were the benefits of being in a boy/girl relationship as a teenager. We have discussed this topic often since they were young they immediately said…. “There are NO benefits!” (I have influenced their thinking!) So I asked them to share perhaps what others might say or what they have heard from their friends. Their list of the benefits included:

  • To feel special and loved
  • To have someone to hold your hand & walk you to class (belonging)
  • To experience a relationship

That is all they could come up with.  We then discussed how these things could be experienced in their relationship with the Lord and that if we rely on any human to always meet our needs to be loved, feel special or belong that at some point we will be let down.  Even in a committed marriage relationship there are times that only the Lord can meet your deep longings.  We all must first seek to a loving relationship with our creator before we can truly love another.  We need to be content and confident in God’s love.

We moved from that topic to the discussion of what it actually means when someone says about a member of the opposite sex…”I like him or her”.  In our society it starts in the church nursery with Moms thinking its sooooo cute to say….”Look, Johnny likes Sally” Our toddlers are soon saying it for themselves, with no understanding of what they mean – “I like this boy or girl”, to the laughs and smiles of their Mommys.  It continues on through elementary school and is full blown by junior high & high school.  BUT I want to know what “liking” someone actually means?  When a young person says “I like him” – what are they really saying?  I asked my girls (by this time the current high schooler, Amy was home) what their friends meant when they said those words. (and believe me – they say them OFTEN!)

They shared what they thought most girls meant when they say “I like him”  (and they decided to do an informal survey this week and ask what others actually mean when they say this)  –

  • He’s hot!
  • I think he’s cute
  • He makes my heart flutter
  • He seems nice
  • I want to “go” with him (although that is another unclear, undefined, what does that mean? statement.)

We all agreed that words are important, they mean something, and that we should attempt to be clear in our communication. (especially when poor communication or the lack thereof is detrimental in relationships) The word “like” is pretty generic and is used for everything from – I like coffee to I like my neighbor.  So before we get caught up in the teenage norm of saying “I like this boy or that boy”, we should be clear about what we are saying.  And on a side note – is physical appearance or chemistry a valid reason to pursue a relationship with someone or are there more important things for example –

  • spiritual life 
  • character
  • personality
  • virtue
  • temperament

We decided to get out a thesaurus and look at synonyms for the word “like”.  Instead of using “like” when talking about our feelings for or thoughts about a person (as opposed to a “thing” – I like coffee, candles, cookies etc…), we agreed we should use more accurate and meaningful words. By doing that we would be more careful about defining our relationships.

 Here are our favorites –

  • Admire
  • Adore
  • Cherish
  • Care for
  • Fancy
  • Hold dear
  • Greatly esteem (yeah Jane Austen!)

Wouldn’t it be lovely to hear young people using verbs that take thought, examination and real emotion to describe their feelings for someone rather than settling for the generic -“I like him” that is often based merely on physical attraction or casual observation? Or is that only for another time in history?

Great dialogue and discussion today at tea.  Until next week….


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Tea Time Tuesday – haircuts & hospitality

Here I sit outside on the hammock, enjoying a bit of rest and relaxation on this beautiful fall afternoon. Tea Time was a bit different today.  After we were all set up to enjoy yet another backyard tea we were pleasantly visited by a long time friend and her two daughters.  We invited them to join us for tea time but they had just finished a late lunch and declined.  Her daughters gladly took the baby to play with him for a bit, as my friend sat down to share with me the incredible experiences she had this week with the body of Christ. It was wonderful to hear about brothers and sisters surrounding and supporting her during a difficult time in life.

By the time we said goodbye to our visitors and got ready to sit down for tea, Dan and Amy had arrived home from school and were more than happy to join us! Of course by that time, we were running short on time, with evening soccer practices just around the corner. So we skipped the courtship lessons and I took the opportunity to emphasize a few of lifes’ lessons we have experienced recently.

  • Some things can’t be fixed….so you are better off listening to and obeying your parents!   Ok, so what is that all about? Here is the story.  This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I hear Kristen say to Joy – “Mom’s going to be really mad, you better go show her.” Great, I thought….what now?  Joy came sheepishly into my room and to my dismay, I saw immediately what was wrong! She had cut her bangs to within 1/2 inch of her forehead! (so much for a professional family photo when Michelle gets home from Africa)  The discussion that followed went like this:

           Mom (with exasparation in her voice)- Why did you do that Joy? (she shrugs her shoulders) Joy…why did you cut your hair?

 Joy – Because it was fun

Mom – Did you think that was ok to do? Did you  think Mommy & Daddy would let you cut your own hair?

 Joy – No, Mommy

Mom – But you did it anyway because it was fun?

 Joy – Yes, Mommy.  Can you fix it?

Mom – How can I fix it Joy?

 Joy – Can’t you put it back on?

 I went on to explain to her that when we do things that we know are wrong or we disobey our Mommy & Daddy that sometimes there are things that can’t be fixed and we have to live with the results. Now perhaps this great analogy was lost on a 4 year old,(and thankfully hair does eventually grow out) but I decided to not let the teens and pre teens in my house miss out on the life lesson, so we talked about how that could relate to them. Yes, it is so true that some things simply can’t be easily fixed and some things simply can’t be fixed at all. Some mistakes, sins or things we decide to do because they look like “fun”,  we just have to live with the consequences for life (examples – being lazy and blowing your grades and then not getting into college, taking that first drink or doing drugs that could become a lifelong addiction or driving a car under the influence and killing yourself or someone else, marrying the “wrong” person, giving up our purity & getting a disease or becoming pregnant……and so the list goes on).  It is a truth – some things can’t be fixed so be careful of what you decide to do (and listen to your Mom & Dad).

  • Hospitality and showing kindness to others (especially the “outcasts”) We needed a bit of review today on what it means to practice hospitality – that we need to make others feel warm and welcome in our home at all times.  That we need to sit down and talk with people, ask questions and be interested in the answers.  We also talked about showing kindness and compassion to those that society does not treat well…the outcasts. (the socially awkward, the disabled, the mentally slow, the overweight, the disfigured, the loner etc..)  I have such a passion for those that society tries to leave behind.  Many want life to be “picture perfect” and become uncomfortable when faced with someone who doesn’t look, act or relate like we do.  I made a point to remind them of some recent missed opportunities and challenged them to be purposeful this month about seeking out those people that the Lord puts in their paths. (we personally have this opportunity almost every week as a sweet women with cerebral palsy sells books outside our grocery store and is routinely ignored by those who walk quickly by her not wanting to even smile at her)  We can all look for those people in life to reach out and say a kind word, give a hug or just a smile.   I want my children to grow up with a heart of compassion for the Lords special lambs. (“As much as you have done it to the least of these…You have done it unto me.” said Jesus to his disciples.)

Despite the seriousness of  these lessons we did enjoy the afternoon tea and even laughed about Joys “new doo” (and told stories of our own hair cutting experiences…it must be a childhood rite of passage). We chit chatted about Michelle text messaging us today from Spain, Amy’s practical joke in her Dads class, Moms exciting emails from JECHS alumni and baby Daniel’s adorable antics. All in all it was another memorable Tea Time Tuesday.

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Tea Time Tuesday – God is my matchmaker

The weather in Stockton has finally begun to cool down so we decided to have our Tuesday tea on the back porch today.  It was lovely and we all enjoyed the fresh air.  dscn3590.jpgIn celebration of Rebekah’s birthday we had one of her favorites – blueberry scones – yummy! We continued on with our courtship classes this afternoon and as promised I shared the “rest of the story” about when my commitment to a season of singleness came to an end. (see Tea Time Tuesday from September 4)

This is the wonderful love story that God orchestrated just for me!  It was in the fall of 1985 when God began to move in my heart and do a new thing in my life.  Little did I know however that the man He would ultimately lead me to commit my heart & life to was a part of my life during the entire time I was in that season of singleness.

I had met Dan Lambdin as a freshman at the University of the Pacific.  His sister, Jennae was one of my dorm mates and since my own family had moved 3000 miles away from California to Virginia, she invited me to join with her family for many occasions.  Dan was not a Christian at that time and if someone had told me that one day he would be my husband I would have laughed.  He was certainly nice enough but his morals and lifestyle were starkly different than my own and spiritually we were miles apart. He was simply…my good friend’s brother.  He came to know the Lord Jesus the following Spring and over the next few years we developed a casual friendship.

After college I became the youth pastor at a local church and very quickly realized that as a single young woman,  I needed HELP from a few good men!  I asked several of my brothers in Christ, including Dan, to volunteer with the youth & disciple the teen boys.  During that next year Dan & I became close friends as we ministered together.  I grew to admire and respect his strong faith as well as his incredible ability to influence the teens in the youth group. We, along with the entire youth staff spent much time together praying, ministering & fellowshiping. During this time there were several men of God all around me and many friends who desired to play matchmaker, yet I was determined to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord & do His work until He showed me the man I would marry.

One weekend Dan’s mother called & asked me to come listen to her share at a Bible study at her church. Over the years we had become close so of course I agreed to come & listen along with a close friend.  At the end of the meeting, Dan stood up & closed in prayer.  I can not explain to you in the natural the feeling that came over me.  It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes & I was seeing this man for the first time.  I felt the Lord impressing on me that his would be the man I would someday marry.

I left the meeting a bit shaken and wondering if I really had heard the Lord correctly.  I asked that God would confirm it through His written Word & in prayer.  I also knew that if this was really God that He would speak to Dan heart &that I was not to say a word.  For the next several months I prayed consistently for Gods will to be done.  Unbeknownst to me at the time Dan was seriously seeking the Lord for direction in his life.  He spent a week up at Springs of Living Water Christian Conference Center praying & seeking God.  During that time he decided to quit his full time job and pursue full time ministry.  During that week the Lord also began to impress upon his heart that he may pursue a relationship with me.  He too took that to prayer.

Several months later in February of 1986 after we had driven together to the Springs of Living Water to pick up some of the youth group from counseling at winter camp, Dan decided to open the door to pursuing a relationship.  As I was getting ready to go home that evening he took my hand looked intently into my eyes and said with a twinkle in his eyes – “Perhaps you need to pray about if the Lord really wants you to marry someone with blonde hair & blue eyes”.  (Let me explain….over the years I had shared often with the youth group the list of  godly characteristics I would look for in a husband…ok so really 99% of them were NOT physical attributes but I did often throw in – “and I’d love it if he had blonde hair & blue eyes”) I knew when Dan said that he was opening up the way for conversation to begin about where this friendship may be headed.  With my heart pounding, I blushed profusely, told him I had already been praying & quickly left….a bit amazed a the events taking place before my very eyes. 

We did spend the next month in prayer seeking Gods will & confirmation.  Believing that the Lord often uses parents wisdom to lead & direct our lives, Dan called my father during that time to ask his blessing to marry me. My Dad said yes.

On March 18, 1986 at the end of our weekly youth service at church Dan stood up, took the microphone & said he had something to say.  At that moment one of the girls walked out & handed him a bouquet of red roses as I began to turn white realizing what he was about to do.  He told the youth group that he had a question to ask them – “I would like permission to marry your youth pastor”.  The room erupted in cheers, screams, clapping & jumping over chairs as he turned to me, got on his knees, opened a box with a beautiful diamond ring and asked – “Beth, will you marry me?”  I was a bit stunned but managed to say yes throughout all the chaos going on around me.  After the evening came to an end and Dan left to drive some students home, I sat alone in he darkened sanctuary singing songs of praise & worship to the Lord and thanking Him for His awesome plan for my life and for answering my prayers.

We went on our first official date two days later and thus began a nine month courtship where our six years of friendship and our new found passion would grow & develop into a deep and committed love.  We have now been married almost 21 years and Dan is truly the love of my life, my best friend and partner in everything! God is the perfect matchmaker!





I pray that each of my daughters and my son will seek the Lord and let Him be the ultimate matchmaker in their lives!




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Tea Time Tuesday – 9/11 Remembrance

 It is Patriot Day! 

A day to remember the events, heros and victims of September 11, 2001. We decided to have a patriotic tea party and special remembrance of 911 for our weekly Tuesday Tea Time.(for those of you anxiously awaiting the next part of my courtship classes…it will be coming next week!)

We set up our tea with a patriotic theme – festive red, white & blue table settings and flags as a centerpiece. (for those of you who think this was planned out in advance and that I am super organized…think again! I simply realized this morning that it was tea day & that it was September 11 so I “threw it all together” on a whim!)  The girls (including cousin Ashley dscn3511.jpgdscn3517.jpgwho is here visiting from Redding) got into the spirit & dressed for the occassion. We even found an instrumental CD called “Stars & Stripes Forever” to play as background music. As we served our tea & cookies we talked about September 11, 2001.  Each of the older girls shared what they remember from that day. Most could remember the television showing the planes hitting the towers, the feelings of fear and sadness as well as the American pride & patriotism that prevailed.  Aunt Jennae showed up unexpectedly and joined our tea time. (What a blessing! I knew I should have listened to that still small voice that said I should always have an extra tea setting on the table.)  She shared her remembrances of that day and touched our hearts with her passion.dscn3522.jpg

After they each shared I got out my 2001 photo albums.  I was actually in the Washington DC area on a business trip on that fateful day in American history, along with my then 7 year old daughter, Kristen. (she is now 13!) We were getting ready to fly home on that very same morning those planes were flown into the twin towers. dscn3523.jpgI read to them my reflections & remembrances of that time. (I am so thankful that I took the time to write this down!)  Here is an excerpt from my album –

From the moment I turned on the television at my mothers home in Springfield, Virginia…everything began to become surreal.  I sat frozen alone on the couch as I realized the atrocity and severity of what was happening.  All I could think was that I wanted to be home with my family. I was 3000 miles away and with all air traffic being suspended indefinately, there was no certainity of when I could get home.  I called Dan who was still unaware of what was happening on the East Coast (It was still very early in California).  He prayed for me & told me how much he loved me.  He also shared how relieved he was that I was at home at my Moms and not on an airplane at that moment.

As I sat back down to watch the unfolding drama I learned that another plane had crashed just down the freeway from where I was into the Pentagon.  I was stunned! What was happening…and what would be next?  It was at that point I looked down at my confirmed airline itinerary dated September 11. 2001 from Washington DC to California.  The full impact hit me.  I easily could have been a passanger on one of those airplanes heading to California. I began to cry & praise the Lord that it was not my time to die and that I was not on an airplane right then being divereted to another city somewhere in the U.S.  I was at my mothers home with my sweet daughter. I had a lot to be thankful for that day.    We finally did get home four days later. (but not without several delays including getting stuck in Minneapolis for a night and being graciously taken in by a business associate Leanne Anderson) I was so happy to be home with my precious family.

In the aftermath of 911, it was inspiring to see patriotism come to life in America. Everywhere you looked people were wearing red, white & blue, flying flags, putting up signs & showing their love for their country & fellow citizens.  Flags were everywhere – on every home, hanging from bridges, on cars, on buildings, on clothing…it was overwhelming & emotional.  I found myself with eyes filled with tears and getting choked up several times a day as I witnessed the love of others and the patriotism that had been sorely missing in the daily life of most Americans.  People also began to give of their time, talent & treasure in abundance.  On every street corner money  was being collected & people gave freely.  Many volunteered their time and stood in line for hours to give blood.  It was an incredible moment in history to witness this outpouring of love & generosity.

This tragedy of 911 also turned many peoples hearts back to the Lord and to faith.  Everyone was in desperate search of answers and in great need of peace, hope & security.  People were coming together in droves to pray and seek God. Our common faith in God became evident to all.  The cross rose up out of the ashes of the towers and became a symbol of hope for those at Ground Zero in New York.  We all knew that we desperatley needed God.  No one was offended by people praying or evoking the name of Jesus. There was a National Memorial Service broadcast worldwide where Billy Graham boldly proclaimed the gospel.

September 11, 2001 was truly a day that changed everything. 

We ended the tea by watching this video.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did as you remember where you were on September 11.  We here at the Lambdin home…will NEVER forget!

 God Bless You & God Bless America!


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Tea Time Tuesday – Season of Singleness

Today we had a wonderful surprise – guests for tea!  Our dear friends Amy & Kylie Williams stopped by this afternoon and we quickly added another table and invited them to enjoy tea with us. dscn3469.jpg We served peach & english breakfast tea with our Peppridge Farms fancy cookies as we enjoyed relaxing & fellowshipping with one another.

I shared with the girls about the “season of singleness” in my life when I decided to no longer date but to give myself exclusively to seeking & serving the Lord while waiting for Him to bring me the perfect match.  The Lord gave me this scripture during that time in my life – 

But I want you to be free from concern; One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord, but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife and his interests are divided.

The woman who is unmarried, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

This I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is appropriate and to secure undistracted devotion to the Lord.

1 Corinthians 7:32-35

I wanted to be wholly undistracted & devoted to the Lord and I commited myself to seeking Him & Him alone and forsaking all other dating or intimate relationships until He clearly told me it was time! 

That decision to not date resulted in four years of developing an intimate relationship with the Lord where He became my “everything” and I grew more into the person He wanted me to become. I was able to fully serve others and led many close friends to the Lord as well as becoming a full time youth pastor ministering to hundreds of youth. 

A bonus to this “season of singleness” was being able to avoid the pointless dating, relationship & break up cycle that often results in a broken & damaged heart and physical impurity.

I shared how this “no dating” decision was met with disdain & ridicule by some friends, family members & even other believers.  I was considered “strange” or “out there” by many.  But I held my ground, despite others opinions, knowing that the Lord clearly led me to make this commitment.dscn3470.jpg

That season lasted a short four years (although the girls shouted in unison &  in disbelief “FOUR YEARS!” like it was an eternity! Too funny!) and was an incredible and awesome time in my life!

Of course they then wanted to know – the rest of the story (how I met their daddy & got married!)  Next week – My love story with God as the matchmaker!


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Tea Time Tuesday – The Princess & The Kiss

Every Tuesday afternoon, the girls (who are still homeschooled) and I have tea….complete with the nice china teacups, golden spoons, fancy table settings, cookies & classical music playing.  We have a wonderful hour of relaxation, conversation and learning about manners, courtship, and being a woman after Gods own heart.

     tea-002.jpg        tea-001.jpg         tea-005.jpg

“Sir Daniel Guy” joined us this week & was a perfect gentleman….although we know by next year this time he will forgo tea for a romp around the backyard!tea-003.jpg This week we read “The Princess and the Kiss”  by Jennie Bishop.  It is a delightful book that teaches children to value their purity and the beauty of saving themselves for marriage. We all enjoyed the story and the pictures. 

After finishing reading, the 4 year old declared that she was going to marry a cowboy before proceding to dump two tons of sugar into her tea.  The rest of the girlies (13, 12 & 8 year old) each shared their thoughts on the meaning and symbolism in the book.  They all loved the part where the future prince went to the princesses parents to ask if he could court her!  They agreed that they would be really impressed with any young man who would do that for them. I am praying that there are parents out there raising up those types of knights, warriors & princes who will one day come asking to court our daughters…the 6 princesses!


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