Let’s Make a Memory…Over Tea! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015A cup of tea???

Tea…What comes to your mind?

As I think back over the years since that first cup of tea, I think beyond the various types of tea…the beautiful tea rooms and homes that have welcomed me for the ritual…the unique cups and teapots, each with its own story…all those details blur. But, one thing brings me back to “tea” over and over again…relationships! Relationships forged over moments shared over a cup of tea. Sweet, sweet memories that forge forever relationships.

My very first memories of tea were on the front porch, truly Southern Style with Iced Sweet Tea. There was never a meal served or a family gathering without plenty of Iced Sweet Tea. Just visiting Mamaw, I could always expect a big, tall glass of Sweet Lemon Tea whether we were working in her kitchen or swinging on the front porch enjoying her flowers and sweet conversation.

My very first cup of hot tea was typical Southern Style as well. At the end of my first year of homeschooling, I spent a wonderful day with a dear fellow homeschooler. We were preparing dresses for her to hand-smock for her youngest little girl. Her precious pre-teen came in mid-afternoon to ask if we would care for any tea. Being the TRUE Southerner that never passes up a great cup of tea, I said, “Sure!” She went on preparing tea, as was usual in her home. When she brought it out, I had to ask for directions on how to “take tea.” That moment my true love for tea was born!

Since that moment, I have developed a true passion for ANYTHING to do with tea of ANY kind! I love the different types of tea. I love the books that all share little tidbits about the fine art of tea. I love collectables that each have a story to make them more and more endearing. I love the recipes for goodies that make a nice addition to ANY day. I love the versatility of tea for all ages, all settings, all occasions. Want to see me in pure bliss? Take me to a tea room! But, most of all, I love the many sweet, sweet relationships and precious memories that have been forged over cups of tea, both hot and cold!

Tea truly meets us right where we are. If we love to collect antiques, we can’t help but to fall in love with the little dainties that are hidden away in all of the antique stores around. If we are looking for a healthy treat, none can be greater than tea! If we want to take a moment away with our children to build relationships and memories, tea is a must! If we want a perfect touch to a holiday, tea makes the day. If we want a theme for a party, tea always step forward with its touch of femininity. If we just want to minister to a friend or relative, tea ministers to their belly while “we” pour forth into their heart!

My prayer is that you will see the beauty, grace, encouragement, tradition, and fun that is awaiting you. I pray that you will find that touch of tea. I pray that you will make sweet memories with those you love the most, over a cup of tea.

So, my friend, do you hear the call beckoning to you? Take a moment, pour a hot steamy cup and come apart with me…

…it is time to make a memory over a cup of tea!

With Love, Cindy

“You prepare a table before me…my cup runs over.”
Psalms 23: 5 Amplified Bible


Ready for Tea? Let Cindy Help! Grab her best-selling book, A CUP OF TEA. Includes her easy recipes and fresh ideas for your tea-time!

A Cup of Tea
Ready for a cup of tea? Do you just LOVE tea?? This NEW book was a blast for Cindy to write. She wrote this book as a gift to Elisabeth, her daughter so she would have all of the “Family” recipes and ideas that have been part of their family traditions. Now, this is available for you and your family as well! If you are intrigued by tea and want to bring the tradition into your home, this is your book. If you want lots of recipes and ideas for tea time or even a tea unit study, this book is just what you are looking for. Even if you are looking for that perfect gift idea, this is one that you will find perfect for anyone, any age, at any time of the year.

Quick Tips For the Perpetually Late, Disorganized, Stressed Out Mom! By Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015Does this SPEAK to you?  Nothing is more frustrating than great intentions but failure with the time management, organization, and gentle spirit thing!  So, what can REALLY help? Need a bit of hope?  Practical ideas? Well, beloved, here are a few tips that have made a world of difference for me:

–>    Be sure to slow down and have a quiet time EACH DAY! Take time for God to fill YOUR cup each day. Let Him give you HIS peace, order, and best of all, schedule!  Take time to hear HIS plans for your day.  Throughout the day, listen to His gentle direction.  Be sure that you are willing to let go of the things that God wants to prune away. Without this, all else is only a band-aid!

–>    Invest in a Planner! I am the world’s worst at trying to do it all while trying desperately to remember those incredible details that are doomed to slip my brain! I decided to take a long, honest look at the things that were creating chaos. Most often, the biggest culprit was overcommitment or an underestimate of time involved with commitments. Writing down ALL commitments, along with an honest look at the time commitment involved [Read more…]

Accident Proof your Egg Decorating

Cindy2015Getting ready for Easter? I LOVE this time of the year. I LOVE Easter! Just the word brings back a flood of memories from my childhood AND all of the sweet memories that were made with my children through the years. Even now, with the empty nest, we will have everyone coming home again next week for celebrations. Yes, even EGG DECORATING! Fun, huh?

Egg decorating is a must! For kids, dunking plain white eggs into a bowl and watching them turn a different color is almost magical. Even my grown children LOVE IT! The downside is the MESS. So, here are a few ideas to help minimize the mess this year.

1. Try stickers. If you are not attached to the traditional method of egg decorating, this is a way to minimize the muss and fuss during Easter. Stickers make easy decorations. They leave nothing to clean up afterwards. And, there’s nothing tricky about it. Just purchase ordinary Easter stickers and stick them onto the eggs. Presto!

2. Dye eggs at the stove. Avoid the mess that comes with sitting your children at the table with their own dipping cups. Mix the dye ingredients in a five quart Dutch oven. Wrap an apron around the child. Let the child take the dried boiled eggs and place them in the dye solution. When the eggs are ready, use a slotted spoon to lift the dyed eggs out of the pan. The slots leave less liquid on the spoon which means less liquid on the stove, the floor, you, and the kids. Spoon the eggs back into the carton. Place the cartons in the refrigerator until time to use them.

3. Work on the kitchen floor. The lower you are to the ground, the shorter the distance a boiled egg has to fall. Spread an old vinyl tablecloth on the floor. Give each child an apron and a pair of exam gloves. The gloves can be purchased from any medical supply store. Gloves allow the children to dip the eggs with their hands instead of a spoon. When they have finished, have them take their gloves off and throw them away.

4. Purchase a ready to use Easter egg kit. PAAS® has been making egg decorating materials for years. Each year they seem to come up with something that will make the egg decorating process easier and faster. They feature egg wrapping kits which create virtually no mess at all. The pre-formed pattern is ready for the decorator to transfer to the dried eggs. They also offer egg cups with their own dipper so you don’t need spoons at all. You can purchase PAAS® products wherever decorating items are sold, including most grocery stores and craft stores.

Egg decorating is great for everyone, but no one likes to clean up at the end. Make it easier on yourself this year, Mom and Dad. Try these tips for some good clean fun. Make this week fun and filled with precious memories!

Cindy2015Need MORE Help?

If you need more help, don’t miss any of Cindy Rushton’s LIVE workshops that she will be teaching on these topics. She is scheduled to speak for many conventions, conferences, retreats, and Bible Studies. If you want for her to come to your area, message here today at CindyRushton@Gmail.com

It Might Only Take a Notebook… by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015

It was a normal day, just like so many others, but my life was changed. In fact, it was a conversation similar to so many throughout my life…just girl talk in the kitchen over meal preparation. Who would imagine that it would change my life and lead me toward my life call? Who would imagine that it would put together all of the pieces to my jumbled-up life?

Mamaw Alma Lee Rushton was my ex-husband’s grandmother. I remember the first day I met her. We had an instant bond. It was amazing.

When Mamaw spoke, she spoke vision… instruction… inspiration… and a deep passion for Godly womanhood. Her opinions meant so much to me. Her insight was always biblical. Her instruction was patient and kind. I clung to her words. They were steeped in a love for God, a love for family, and a deep love for me.

So, imagine the day that my life changed. We were busy in the kitchen preparing one of those good old summer meals. Family meals in our families meant that all of the family favorites were part of the menu. The funny thing, this day had ALL of the favorites. Looking back, the entire time was so special that it was beyond a regular day. This day would go down in our family history as pivotal. It changed my life and in turn changed our whole family.

Being a godly woman is so important. Sure, we are born to be women. But, godliness is a choice. The choices are made in little things and big things all along the way. Those things influence not just our own lives, but those around us, those we all touch, and those in generations yet to come. We are women with great influence. Our greatest influence cannot be planned. Our greatest influence will happen when we least expect it.

Going back to that special day…

The kitchen was bustling and yummy smelling. Mamaw was her usual sweet, rosy-cheeked, and upbeat self. I was a bit weary. We were back home in our home-town because his dad was having a triple by-pass. Mamaw was in deep prayer for her son, but you saw only her intense faith in God and not even one moment of fear, worry, or doubt. The kids were tickled to be running around Mamaw’s yard playing and chasing her “critters” outside. He was enjoying time with his grandfather. It was the typical picture of what things were like when we went “home” to see our family.

I was soooo excited, in spite of my concern for my father-in-law. I had just received a nice package filled with beautiful slick copies of the magazine which was featuring one of my articles for the first time in a magazine. In spite of the difficult circumstances, I was elated to get to give Mamaw her own copy of my first article in a magazine. It was my treat to give her that day. I was hoping it would brighten her day. I had NO idea that it would lead to a pivotal moment in my life.

She was in awe! She stood there with big alligator tears in her eyes as she beheld the magazine. Seeing my name there on the glossy page was a total delight to her. Just months before we had stood in that kitchen having a very interesting conversation that was the “back story” for what was going on that day. Actually, so many of those special days in that kitchen were the catalysts behind that very special day.

I remember time-after-time sitting there or helping her with her chores while she just poured forth into my life. She would talk about little things like tips for sewing or cooking or homemaking. She would talk about even more challenging things like disciplining the children and being a godly wife. She would also talk about life-changing things like my relationship with God and how to live an authentic and intentional Christian life. While the conversations were never planned, they were milestones in my life–big and small. I don’t know how many of you just crave for a Titus Two mentor, but as a young woman I just wished that God would send someone to be a Titus Two mentor into my life. Little did I know that it was through those God put in my life to influence me. There could never be anyone who could teach me to love my husband and children like their very own grandmother. No one else could teach me to love my home and the ministry within my home like the grandmother who’s home called us “home” from so many miles away. Her influence was perfect training. Isn’t that how God does it?

I loved time with her. Every time I was around Mamaw, I came away with so much wisdom. Many times, I took a notebook and jotted down tips and ideas while we talked. They were GOODIES! GEMS!

It was not long until I became the secretary for our local smocking guild (heirloom sewing group). I was responsible for producing the newsletter for our members. For those who know me, you would not be surprised that I simply COULD NOT stand to have the page only include the details for the meeting. There was SO MUCH WHITE SPACE! I thought that sewing tips were an adorable embellishment for our newsletter. I loved tips so much that I thought it would be fun to include them each month in my newsletter. They made it all fun. Of course, most of my tips came from learning at Mamaw’s side. I got so many great ideas from her that I decided to pay for her membership to the guild so she could get the newsletter. She LOVED it! Actually, she loved it so much she passed it around to all of her friends.

I had no idea until one day I went to see her and she asked me to go by the local paper to ask our editor to put the tips in the paper. My response was probably the very same response you might would have, “Mamaw, BUT I AM NOT A WRITER.” She gave me a quick list of reasons why the newspaper “needed” my tips. All I can say is that I knew not to mess with her! ha! I went to the paper to just ask. I was completely convinced that they would laugh me out the door and that THEY would silence Mamaw’s crazy idea once and for all. Well, it didn’t go that way. Mamaw was right. They not only wanted my tips, but they wanted for me to begin my own column. Every week after that I had a column. I always tell everyone that I fell into it backwards. I think Mamaw shoved me! ha! Either way, God used her belief in me to give that nudge in a direction that would have NEVER been one I would have even thought to pursue.

Now, fast forward with me. I had moved away. My column had grown. I loved it. But, I still did not have a vision for what God was about to do. In fact, I had no idea what God wanted for me to do with my life. I knew He wanted for me to be a godly wife and mother. But, I wondered what He had meant by calling me into ministry. He had been so specific at several times of my life. I could not put the pieces together. I had kept right on moving forward, being faithful in all that I KNEW I was to be doing each and every day. But, I just could not see how all of the pieces came together. It was really unsettling. Well, that is where this story gets good! I have told you already about my first magazine article and how I was about to surprise Mamaw with her own copy of it. But there was more to the back story.

One of the reasons Mamaw had wanted the tips put in the paper was that she was keeping a notebook filled with my goodies and did not want to miss even one. Her notebook was filled with all of those articles, my recipes that I would copy and share with her, all of my letters sent from Alabama, all of the cards I sent her, pictures of our family, etc. It was her “Cindy” notebook. Now, I do want for you to know that I was married to her grandson. I was an “inlaw.” He was not even her only grandchild. She had a beautiful family filled with grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But, she valued my writing and I was just a Dental Hygienist–NOT A WRITER!! She valued my writing so much that she KEPT it all. What is even more touching was that she had set up a PLACE to keep everything. That takes great effort. She not only kept it, but she invested in a nice, big notebook and sheet protectors to guard every piece like it was a great treasure. She kept things that would have been long forgotten, long lost. But, she kept them because they were dear to her. They were dear to her because I was dear to her. Do you think she ever knew how that one commitment would change my life?

Well, now let’s go on to that precious day. I had been writing my heart out for my sweet little column. I fell in love with writing. It was like having a nice afternoon tea with friends. I could pull back as my little ones played or slept in and pour myself a cup of tea and just share my heart. Sometimes it was tips. Other times it was my excitement for being a wife and mother. Every article was a piece of my heart. I simply loved writing! It became my favorite hobby. Who would have figured it? Mamaw???

That day was very special. As we look back, it was the last day I would see her and spend time with her. Only one short week later, she passed away. Her death was a sweet, yet very difficult time for us. Never before had I seen a true Proverbs 31 woman pass away. Yet, in her death every word spoken about her was declaring Proverbs 31 over and over. She was the one! Well, one of that beautiful crowd!

To me, looking back, I know that day was a gift from God. It was to go down in my story as a pivotal moment. I have never been the same since.

Remember I mentioned going through those years enjoying my calling as a wife and mother, yet having a void there in my life. I was a Christian. I was a committed Christian. I loved womanhood. But, there was a void. It just was not coming together. I wondered many times if I had somehow missed my calling along the way. Very often, I would get a bit frustrated that I did not use my single years to pursue ministry and missions. I could not figure out how I would use my gifts and talents to pursue my purpose. I was just confused.

That last day with Mamaw was precious. I was so excited to give her that beautiful copy of my article in a REAL magazine. I knew it would be a delight to her. But, I had no idea exactly how much of a delight. I don’t know, maybe things don’t always “click” with me. I had heard her talk about her “Cindy” notebook. I had even started writing for the newspaper because she wanted to be sure that no one kept HER COPY of my articles. But, until I gave her that gorgeous magazine, I had not SEEN the “Cindy” notebook. WOW! She pulled it out. It was a treasure to her. I could tell. I stood there with big tears in my eyes. Her commitment to protect my work as a treasure to her was overwhelming. She really LOVED my writing. She really TREASURED my writing. It was more than important. It was a treasure! You don’t just “keep” things like this. It was intentional. It was a priority. It spoke volumes to me.

No one, not even myself, had kept EVERYTHING with such a passionate love for me. Sure, my mom kept so many things. But, I don’t think she had even kept those articles. In fact, *I* had not even kept them all! UGH! Mamaw did not miss even one of them. They were all there. Kept for future generations. Precious. Guarded. An investment into ME and those who will come after me.

I stood there looking at the notebook. I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness, but there was more. You could see it in Mamaw’s eyes. She truly LOVED and ADORED my writing. It meant so much to her. I had never thought about my words being valuable, much less loved or needed. They never seemed to be too great in school. Well, in school, actually I always felt that my words and my ideas did not measure up. They never seemed good enough. My teachers never really gave me outright encouragement in those areas. Sure, they made me editor of the school paper. Of course, I thought that was to torment me! (ha!) They were very hard on my writing. I could not understand it. The last thing I wanted when I came out of school was to write anything for the rest of my life. Funny how God changes things, huh?

There was something that was rising up in my heart as I stood there looking at that notebook and Mamaw’s excitement over the magazine. I could feel all of the pieces in my life coming together as I stood in that room with her. It was more than pivotal. It was life-changing.

She took a few moments to read the article. She was “buzzing” as she did. She LOVED it! I felt a pride inside that was just precious! I respected her sooo much that I wanted to please her. This was a beautiful gift for her that day.

As she finished reading the article, she said something that would point the way for the next thing AND would change my life entirely. She, very matter of factly, said, “Cindy! You HAVE GOT TO write a book!” My immediate response was almost exactly the same as my response in that room to her challenge to write for the newspaper, “Mamaw, BUT I AM NOT A WRITER.” Can you imagine her sweet face in heaven as she looks down upon me today after I have written almost 150 books, thousands of articles, and taught thousands of workshops in the last 25 years? Just funny!

The most precious part of that afternoon in that sweet Southern kitchen was what followed. She told me that I could easily take my articles and put them together into a book. She was not a writer. How did she have SUCH vision? She continued to talk to me about sticking to my priorities. She told me that I was a good wife and mom. She told me how proud she was of our family life and our family. She shared with me her one prayer request that God had answered for her–that all of her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren would be saved and serve God all of their lives (all of us were saved and serving God in ministry!). She literally passed the torch to me that day. It was a spiritual mantle that she placed upon me in that sweet Southern kitchen. I wear it today. It is my passion. It is the call. It is my life purpose–to help those in our culture get back to God’s design for true, authentic godliness and the godly home. The pieces all came together that day.

We had our biggest dinner ever that day with Mamaw. It was her last one to cook. But, I was full before the blessing was ever asked and one bite was taken. She had poured forth more that day through her spirit than she had cooked up in that kitchen in all of the years of her marriage!

She believed in me. She had faith that I would pick up the torch and carry on the legacy for generations yet to come. She saw something in me that I did not even see in myself. She delighted in something in me that I did not even know was there.

I wonder today who WE could touch like this? Is there someone we could just believe in? Is there someone we could just enjoy and delight in? Is there someone who’s life just might be different if we would invest in them? I am talking about the little things and the big things. I am talking about the moments we least expect. I am talking about being ALL THERE even in the kitchen LIKE we would be in a pulpit! That is where the legacy is built. That is where the legacy is passed on to future generations. And, it might only take a notebook!

Cindy2015About Cindy Rushton…

Cindy Rushton is the mother of Matthew (28) and Elisabeth (25). She is Mimi to Joshua, Achilles, and Oliver. Cindy lives in Middle Tennessee. Cindy is the author of almost 150 books, Bible studies and homeschool resources. She has become a beloved and favored speaker for churches, special events, conferences, homeschool conventions and retreats across our country. You may contact her through email: cindyrushton@gmail.com. See her online at:

See Us Online!
http://www.CindyRushton.com
http://www.CindysDesktop.com

http://www.MomtoMomRadioShow.com

 

101+ HOT Ideas for Romancing Your Sweetheart! by Cindy Rushton

Cindy2015How are you doing in your marriage? I remember when we began homeschooling. For the first time in my life, I had finally found the fulfillment that God had planned for me from the foundations of the earth. The only problem was that I found myself either entirely too child-centered, talking about the children and homeschooling with every breath OR simply too exhausted from the pull on my time and energy as I balanced homeschooling, homemaking, and motherhood! I found myself in awe of this good-looking man I had forgotten along the way. How are your home-fires? Are you finding that good-looking love-bug to be a stranger and you don’t know where to begin romancing him? Want some fun ideas??? Here are 101+ ideas that are SURE to make your (AND HIS) heart patter with that same passion from your honeymoon days! Have fun!

Plan a daily Pow-wow time! Whether it is coffee in the morning…coke over a mid-morning break…afternoon tea (coffee!)…or bedtime cuddles, set aside a time for the two of you to keep up with one another! Share your plans, dreams, vision, struggles, concerns, ideas. Get to REALLY know one another! Be sure that your children learn to respect this time. They will LOVE to watch their Mommy and Daddy as they deepen the romantic love for one another!

Make him a “CD” of “your” love songs from your dating years! [Read more…]