MaryBeth Eberhard shares a daily ritual that has made a big difference in her relationship with her growing children.
I have a morning ritual that has served me well in my mothering. I wake up and brew two cups of tea. The flavors vary but they are known as “Mom tea” in my home—a variety of blacks served with cream and sugar. Choosing their own cup of tea, no one in my home would brew this cup. This ritual has made a dramatic impact on my mothering.
It started when I went to a women’s retreat. There I asked the Lord what He wanted from me in this stage of life. Things were hard and my heart was so heavy with worry for my children. I could not control the outside influences in their lives and my momma’s heart was struggling. (Note to self: I still cannot control those outside influences.) So I laid it out before the Lord in a heartfelt prayer of supplication during Adoration. “Make me a cup of tea,” He said. ... I thought to myself, "Really? That's all you want from me?" Having learned over the years that His ways are wiser than mine, I began this ritual.
From that time on, I have lovingly made two cups of tea each morning, and inevitably, someone will wake up early and come sit with me while I am praying or working and give a nod to the cup of tea. I smile and offer it and we share our hearts. I have had little ones set their alarms to get the cup of tea first. I have had older ones home from college or preparing to go to work get up early and grab the tea and sit with me before they leave.
The mothering moments that have come from this time have been invaluable. In the quiet sipping of a warm cup of tea, the walls are let down and I ask them, “How is your heart?” When we go deep to the heart, they must look inward and reflect. From there, come stories. These stories are a light into their hearts. I can more easily see their joys and their wounds, and I can pray more intentionally. This light is the gift I was asking for from God, the one I did not know I needed.
In the offering of the tea for the Lord, He sheds a light into the hearts of my children and shows me exactly what He wants of me in this time. There are no more diaper changes for me, no more snacks to be packed or as many bedtime stories. My children are growing older. My doing has become praying. It is in the praying that I am fighting back against those influences, wounds and hurts my children are experiencing. A mother’s prayer is powerful! So I make the tea and God provides.
There are mornings I have had the tea get cold and prayed for the one whom the cup is for that day. That in itself is a mother’s offering. I find that it is in the simple offerings that Jesus shows His presence so clearly to me.
Copyright 2023 MaryBeth Eberhard
About the Author
MaryBeth Eberhard spends most of her time laughing as she and her husband parent and school their eight children. She has both a biological son and an adopted daughter who have a rare neuromuscular condition called arthrogryposis and writes frequently about the life experiences of a large family and special needs. Read more of her work at MaryBethEberhard.com.