Grown-up tea parties are throwbacks to days when little girls dressed up in their moms’ pretty dresses, put on big-girl lipstick, and drank lemonade from tiny teacups.
I had the chance to be part of a celebration this past weekend that was a big girl tea party. A dear friend’s daughter turned 21, so the gathering was a merry mix of ages. We dressed up and drank tea like ladies from an era gone by. Honoring a rite of passage for a gal we love.
It was held at a whimsical place called The Lemon Lily Tea Room and Bakery. It brought to mind fairy tale parties with Mad Hatters, girls in old-fashioned dresses and funny little mice in teapots. As we celebrated a new chapter in our young friend’s story, we were surrounded by a multitude of stories.
All reflected in the teapots.
There were so many teapots.
They came in all shapes, sizes and colors. Old-fashioned china pots with tiny flowers painted on them. Pots shaped like houses looking as if they’d come from the Shire. One was shaped like Aladdin’s lamp. Another looked like Mrs. Potts from Beauty and the Beast. Pots with bold colors and designs. Simple pots that appeared more utilitarian. Pots with complex shapes. Delicate pots I’d never want to touch.
Some had been collected by Micah and her mother. Others had been gifts from patrons. She laughed as she told of women who’d brought in beautiful dishes and pots, wanting to get rid of reminders of a marriage gone bad. A hundred-year-old woman had given her a pot she hesitated to use because she didn’t want to break something with that much history.
Every pot had a story. Every one of them had something special she enjoyed. All had value to her.
It was a visual reminder of the uniqueness and beauty of each of our stories. All of our shapes and colors, created for the purpose of being in relationship with the Grand Designer. All having value, not because we’re alike, but because we are so incredibly different. Our beauty comes from our differences. From the things and people in our lives that have been used by God to craft who we are today.
We’re each living a story. There are pieces of our stories we may not appreciate or enjoy. Parts we want to forget that have brought us close to breaking. Chapters we’d like to rip out and pretend never happened.
All our chapters are necessary. Really good stories, long-remembered stories, are filled with challenges and twists, hardships and victories, pain and hope.
Like beautiful teapots, filled with hot tea that steeps over time to release all the flavor, our stories are filled with chances to grow rich through the hard times.
Maybe the best thing we can do is sit with someone over a cup of tea.
And value the unique flavor of who they are.