Serving a Cup of Hope {Especially for Moms of Teens}

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She walked into my kitchen and handed me a basket overflowing with tea bags. It wasn’t arranged by brand or flavor. It had no order, whatsoever, and seemed a rather irrelevant gift for me in that season of my life.  I certainly was not a tea drinker. Who had time to slow down a day to sip a cup of tea when toddlers were chasing me from chore to chore, and nearly two dozen teenage girls clamored at my heart and for my time. Five Reasons to Serve Tea to Your Teen

But the basket of tea wasn’t about me.

I clumsily embraced the gift as she addressed the puzzled look on my face.

“Lisa, every time you talk to one of your girls, especially in a difficult situation, offer them a cup of tea before you say a word.”

All her years of wisdom boiled down to this:  Make them a cup of tea.

I heeded her instruction as though it was a command from God, and in the process, I learned a a secret that forever changed the way I mentor and parent.

Slowing down to make a cup of tea sets the stage for a {double} heart transformation.

As I write in Impact My Life, making a cup of tea for one of my mentor girls, or my own children, has become something I do in light of Christ’s work on the cross. The “t” in tea reminds me about my Savior’s purposes, prompting me to serve in submission to Him and His plans. Even when it is hard. Even when it is uncomfortable.

For, isn’t His work we’re after, as we co-labor with the Lord in reaching the hearts of our teens? <--click to tweet

Whether I’m facing a difficult conversation or simply looking for a chance to connect, doing so over a cup of tea seems to make communicating a whole lot more effective. Oh, I know this isn’t natural when things aren’t going smoothly. Every mother bone in our body insists on giving finger-wagging, especially when discipline and consequences inevitably loom.  But there is something about fixing that cup of tea that often is the better option.

Five Reasons to Serve Tea to Your Teen

  1. Simply serving tea is an act of love and the invitation reflects a commitment to your teen.
  2. In the time it takes to boil water, you can pray for the Lord to get your own heart and spirit in check.
  3. While sifting through the basket to pick out a tea, you can pray for God to sift through your teen’s heart and bring to the surface anything that needs to be discussed.
  4. Sipping tea together will encourage you both to stay calm and communicate purposefully.
  5. Having a cup of tea together is like having a timer on the conversation, encouraging a point of closure should things get too intense.

It may seem too simple to think that a cup of tea can help you connect better with your teen, but I’ve seen God work in extravagant ways as I’ve served tea to teens over the last decade.

When I want to reach a teen’s heart -- and get mine in the right place, too -- I’ve discovered that a cup of tea {and a lot of prayer} paves the way to amazing connections.

Would you be willing to serve a cup of tea to your teen, and pray for God’ to show you how to reach their heart this week?

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If you’d like more encouragement on how to connect with your teen, sign up for the M2B Mentoring Training Course that starts on April 8th.