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Friday, 19 January 2018
Tea Time Theology // Establishing Family Traditions
It was around 18 months ago that I first heard Sally Clarkson talk about the value of creating a special "teatime" opportunity for teaching truth to her children. The suggestion immediately grabbed me. The simple idea of gathering together around teacups and treats for the intentional purpose of talking through the big questions of the universe, discipling and sharing, was something I knew the children would love. It would be the creation of a family ritual, a precious tradition that would help us all to root faith in daily reality.
For a long time I had wanted to start to teach some simple Bible doctrine to the children... but with school schedules, after school activities and (at the time) three children underfoot, it seemed victory enough to carve out time to daily read the bible with them. Another opportunity, with the specific purpose of earthing biblical truth, seemed a luxury that was only for the homeschoolers or those mothers who were better at time management than I was.
But with her simple little idea, the impossible suddenly seemed possible. And with the discovery of Marty Machowski's wonderful book "The Ology" our Thursday afternoon ritual was born.
When I picked up the children from school yesterday, and reminded them it was Thursday, Heidi's response spoke volumes...
"YAAAAAAYYYY!" she shrieked at the top of her lungs... "Ava!!!! It's Ology!!"
Their love for this little half hour is genuine... and that's because when you're talking rich and beautiful truth, you have to lay a rich and beautiful table, right?
Teacups and saucers, a little teapot they can pour themselves... sweet treats and fruit tea. It's the same every single week, and so requires very little effort on my part, but its those little things that create an atmosphere and environment that is ready and eager to learn, to share, to speak honestly. It's around these little cups of tea that we've had some of our best deep and meaningfuls, and the children have understood concepts and truths for the first time, and as a teacher, watching that penny drop moment is one of the most rewarding things you can do...
Especially when that penny is so full of life-giving truth!
I share this because its another reminder to me of the beauty of gleaning from older and wiser christians than ourselves. Though I had always longed for a weekly input that didn't feel "teachery" or overly formal, I had no concept of how to make that happen until Sally shared her own experience. There are so many things in my parenting that I have magpied over the years. Some of our favourite family traditions have been gleaned from those who have gone before, and I am a true believer in sharing ideas...
For our family, this little gathering has become one of the most enjoyable and rich times of our week.
And I hope that whenever we gather over a cup of tea, our children will always be ready to share what's on their hearts... and look to the Saviour.