I was given a special gift last Christmas from a good friend. It was a sample of specialty teas called "Lifted Cup." I love the various flavors, especially green tea and chamomile tea which also boast great health benefits. The packaging of course was also very pretty, serene, and dainty. Just receiving the gift made me smile. Then upon sampling the tea, I knew I had discovered a new favorite product. Drinking that tea often lifted my spirits on the cold, dreary days of winter. This got me thinking of this phrase, "Lifted Cup Lifted Up." Now there's a good title for a podcast or a book, I thought! Too bad I'm not an author. So today it's just a blog post title. It has a ring to it, doesn't it?
But here's what I really want to acknowledge, and why this phrase came so quickly to me. What I have discovered to be true is that whenever I am able to sit with a dear friend to share a hot beverage, whether it be tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or just plain old hot water (yes, I really do drink that sometimes, you can call me granny) I find myself being encouraged and blessed by that friendship. There's something special about sipping and sitting with friends. It's how we can find a place of rest and where we get to catch our breath. Joy rises as we share relaxing moments of laughter retelling stories and reminiscing over fond memories.
Last winter I became very intentional about reserving time in my schedule to "sit and sip" with friends. Some weeks I scheduled it directly in my weekly calendar so as not to miss out on connecting with others. It's easy to neglect our friends when life gets in the way. But if we are to cope well in life we need our friends!
I was reminded of that fact very strongly this past summer. I got out of sync with my regular routine and found myself in a lonely place. I had neglected to continue making time in my calendar. Sometimes we think that with the lazy days of summer, we will have time to connect more easily. But I actually found the opposite to be true. We get out of our normal rhythm during the summer and days slip away. Everyone's schedule is different and people are scattered all over vacationing and traveling. We need vacations and a change of pace. I love that season of new adventures. But sadly, July had come and gone before I even knew what had happened and I hadn't connected with many of my friends and family at all.
I was feeling sad and disappointed with myself for that. I had let precious time slip away. So I had to set some new intentions for August. Thankfully, that got me back on track. I was able to reconnect with friends whom I hadn't seen in a long time. I took advantage of a couple of "girl time" excursions. I even got to spend time with three sisters from Point Leamington who used to be our next-door neighbors when we lived there. This summer marked the fiftieth year since we left Point Leamington and since we had all been together. Needless to say, it was quite an interesting visit with a few stories shared around the table. What a joy it was to have that opportunity.
Another visit reunited three friends for just one day. But what a rich day it was. Again, there was a lifted cup and we were lifted up! However, when I mentioned the phrase "lifted cup lifted up" they thought it would make an awesome slogan for a bra company. Did I mention that my friends are funny?
We are blessed with our friendships. I believe God places specific people in our lives for specific reasons and specific seasons. It is up to us to nurture those relationships so that we can all enrich each other's lives. It makes our journey all the more fun and interesting. So this week take the time to lift a cup and to lift up others!
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