Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Key

I like tea; no I love tea - it's my favorite beverage.  My children chide me for my tea habit - but to my mind it could be worse - I could be drinking alcoholic beverages.  So I'll continue to drink tea, since it soothes and calms my spirit.  I recently downloaded Tea Lovers Devotions To Go by Marilyn Nutter.  This particular devotion really spoke to me, and I hope it does the same for you.

The Key   
Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Philippians 4:8 (NIV)  

As one might expect, original storage containers for tea leaves came from China.  These containers were square, round, or bottle shaped jars made of pottery or porcelain.  Each container had a lid for measuring the tea. It wasn’t until the late 1700’s that the term “tea caddy” was used. The word “caddy” came from the Malay-Chinese word kati, referring to a measure of about 1 1/3 pounds. This amount of tea filled a single compartment box. Through the years manufacturers experimented with different materials for making tea caddies, using wood, silver, pewter and lacquer ware.  The preferred material in the 19th century was fine wood and compartments for mixing tea and sugar were also included in the caddies.  As tea became more popular, the design of the tea caddy evolved and became more varied, adding new shapes. Filigree, painting and distinctive decorating added to the offerings. Some were fitted with a lock and key to keep the valuable contents safe.  In the 1800’s, it was customary for the mistress of the house, not the servants, to hold the key to this precious commodity. Tea was considered just as valuable as gold! If one wanted tea, the woman of the house held the key and you had to ask her to unlock the caddy.

Women of the house still hold the key.  We hold the key of influence.  We influence the world around us: our workplace, friends, organizations we belong to and of course, our families.  We also have an uncanny knack to influence ourselves and sometimes we don’t even realize it. Negative self-talk about our value, appearance and worth influences our decisions and behavior.  We look in the mirror and notice our bad hair day or that we don’t like the way we look in our outfit.  We speak the words out loud.  Our brain believes them and we feel gloomy. We hold the key to be positive and choose to unlock negativity.    Last week I was part of a conversation where it was mentioned that a woman dropped out of an organization because she thought no one liked her. There wasn’t one shred of truth to her perception, but she had internalized it and believed it. She held the key to continue attending meetings, taking initiative and allowing friendships to develop but she used her key to leave.

Perhaps growing up you were told you weren’t pretty or didn’t work hard enough, or you didn’t fit into the “right” teen-age cliques. That was then and this is now-- use your key to lock those perceptions and put them away.   Tea caddies began as small boxes to hold a commodity that was considered as precious as gold. They evolved into intricately designed boxes with compartments and keyholes made of mother of pearl! You can hold on to your key to open new doors and toss out those negative words or you can keep opportunities locked.  As intricately designed. I’m sure He even thinks that the keyhole is more lovely than one decorated with mother of pearl.  

Prayer for serene-tea:  Father, I know that I have been guilty of negative thinking and self-talk and that is offensive to You, the one who made me and loves me. Help me to change my thinking to reflect that I am your creation and precious to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Tea caddy - I had no idea what a caddy looked like, so I googled it; all  contained a key hole!

How will you use your key?

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head -- it's so important for us to use that key that we hold for good and for us to uplift ourselves. Put those old perceptions away and take out another one. That simple...


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