Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Real Berry Tea

Berry tea is a delicious drink, especially when taken in a fine teacup.
This colorful and incredibly fragrant tea is made with frozen berries. These are from Costco, but any kind of frozen berries will do.
Put the berries in a strainer over the top of a tea pot or tea cup and pour boiling water over them.

I always want to share the scent of this wonderful tea, but they have not invented a scent patch for computers yet. I have served this oftenin my home and it is a favorite. The scent of this tea is so relaxing! I cannot serve it to you personally, so I hope you will make some for yourself and tell me It is true about the fragrance.

This lovely teacup comes in a pretty gift box, and can be ordered at my other blog, Lovely Whatever's, where there is a collection of art and pretty things for the home.


Some people have asked me to allow them to donate to my blog. I do not have a donate button and I do not require any payment for my efforts here on this blog.

However, for those who want to contribute something (and will not take "no" for an answer), I would like to tell you about something you can do.

Go to my other blog, Lovely Whatevers and select a pretty teacup or something else for the home and buy it for yourself.

This way, you will get something for your contribution, and it provides a discount for me if I ever need to buy anything from the merchants I select for that blog.

Today I will address the topic of ministry. Several times I have been asked to take part in a "women's ministry".

Some of the ministries existed to raise money for charities. Those who joined the ministries would create interesting events for the the women in the ministry, to bring friends and recruit more members.

My first observation of these ministries that were introduced to me, was that the women involved were spending quite a bit of time away from home. The leaders were especially pressed for time because they were out recruiting more members for their ministries, and spending time networking their selected charities and ministries.

I did wonder how some of these women in ministries got their laundry done and kept meals on the table for their husbands. I find that even though I am home all day that cooking and keeping house-and-garden, it fills the entire day and I still never get it all finished.

It seemed to me that some of the ministries were as time-consuming as working at a job outside the home. The difference is that at least in working outside the home, a person would be paid. Some of the ministries cost quite a bit as you donate to one cause or another, or pay admission fees to an event.



Women at home should be very particular about what they do with their time, especially if they have children at home. If they have no children at home, there is still a lot to do. A ministry, like a home business, can take over your life and crowd your time.


One of the problems of being involved in something like a women's ministry is that it can make you rush through your homemaking so you can attend a meeting of your group on time. When you are in a hurry, the task is just not as enjoyable, and even your thoughts become rushed.


The New Testament allows women to be keepers of the home. When home making is done conscientiously, the task is very fulfilling. It becomes a personal service to others and personally rewarding to you.


Homemaking is not less of a ministry than the women's ministries that are being promoted. Before you get involved in one, have a look at all the things that need to be done for your family. Then take a personal analysis of your own health, such as getting enough rest, eliminating stressful thoughts and situations. Perhaps you need to be taking time for correspondence, or sorting family mementos and photographs into books. There may be yard work or flower gardens to care for. Take a little time to thoughtfully list all the things you need to do or things you wish you had time to do, and you will find that the home and family itself is a huge ministry.


Some of these women's ministries are promoted with a tea party, and that is very appealing. I have attended several, and found there is never anything said at the meetings to encourage the woman to keep her house or take care of her husband and children. I have never found them to be ministries about true Titus 2 womanhood, nor about how women who have more time, can serve the local church members. Many of these women's ministries do not operate within a church.


Women's ministries can cost some money. Sometimes the fees for charitable events may seem minimal, but for a woman who is trying to live within her family income, a contribution to such a ministry can cost as much as the ingredients for several family meals from the grocery store. I have found that helping someone monetarily, someone I actually know, who can use the money, is a good ministry. While there is nothing wrong with giving money to a ministry, you can have your own ministry where you decide who to give your gift to, and it can be a quiet, simple act, that does not involve spending a lot of time away from home.


If you are guarding the family income, the best way to contribute to a charity is in your weekly church contribution. In the church I attend, the men are in the leadership, and they budget a certain amount of the contribution for benevolence. They also distribute money to help spread the gospel, through radio and printed matter and the supporting of preachers at home and overseas. They send money to aid congregations in distress in other parts of the world.



Your local congregation of the Lord's church helps churches in poorer countries, so a regular contribution from a family at church each week goes a long way. The church sends money and men to dig wells in Africa and preach the gospel, while you get your housework done, teach your own children and prepare nutritious meals for your husband. While you fulfill the Titus 2 scripture, the church ( which includes you) fulfills the great commission (Mark 16:15-16) by sending teachers and providing world-wide correspondence courses.




Ministries may appeal to ladies at home because they have more freedom to come and go throughout the day. It is easy to feel you are doing nothing if you do not get involved in a ministry, but the home is a full-time ministry that must not be neglected. It is important to train your mind to focus on the serious God-given ministry of taking care of husband, children, and home. A family can set aside just a little time every month to do something for the church members, send out a Bible correspondence course, or extend hospitality. There is ministry enough in all that.


Be assured that your home is your mission field and is the best ministry on earth. There are a lot of neglected husbands and children and houses when women get involved in ministries. Even if ladies are asked to do something for a woman's ministry while at home, it can use up the time a homemaker needs to do a thoughtful and thorough job. There is a lot more to being a keeper at home than cleaning and cooking. There are spiritual values included in every task at home, and that is a ministry. Never allow the pressure to join ministries that use up too much of your precious time.


You can minister from the home via correspondence or blogging, and you can minister in the home by serving your family. It is important to reach out to others but it should be with the purpose of creating the impact of your life upon theirs with the gospel. Your children can be in your "family ministry" by watching what you do to personally help others. Many women's ministries are women-only, without the entire family unit.


If you know you cannot possibly join a ministry but feel you are missing out on something, try having a lady over to share a cup of tea. This can be as rewarding, if not more.


Some of these women's ministries appear to be a re-marketing of Toastmasters speech classes, and motivational courses. You can get good speech training by reading aloud to your children and reading the Bible aloud. There are good homeschool speech courses you can take in your home, with your children.



Meals and laundry are as much a ministry as anything else, and what is more, they are natural and God-given duties. When you clean house and teach your children at home, and teach them how to look after a home, you can know for certain that you are already in a full-time, woman's ministry.


You do not need a women's motivational ministry or find-raising ministry to do good works. I know several families that go as whole families to places like the crisis pregnancy centers and soup kitchens to teach and to serve and to donate needed supplies. You can do this independently and make your family the vehicle by which it is done. I have attended several of the women's ministry tea socials and been disappointed (especially that the tea does not seem to be made properly, with boiling water, but that is a minor problem :-)So your home is probably the best place in and from which to conduct a ministry.

If you give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he will eat for a lifetime.



Andrea R said...


Such truth. We cannot be made to feel like we are wasting our time in our calling of "only" ministering to children and caring for husbands and home!

My oldest son gave me a letter on Mother's Day this year that explained to me how he felt that I had one of the most important ministries in the world..right here with this family in North Idaho.

It reminded me of these truths, and touched me to my heart.

Christine said...

Wise words that are full of the truth.
With all the material "eye candy" that fills our lives with more, more, more, we are left to feel less then adequate.
Your words (God's truth) is all we need!
Thank You!

Susan said...

There are so many people in need today that ministry can happen at any time. It's important just to look around you and see other people's needs. While I was running errands for my family this morning I saw an elderly woman in line at the grocery store who was clearly in need of help. I walked over and asked her if she would mind if I gave her a hand and she was so grateful. Her eyesight was bad and she could barely get her shopping done. I helped her gather up her groceries and put them on the counter. A friend then came to pick her up and helped her to her car. The cashier commented about how kind my action was but I don't consider it kind, I consider it part of my personal ministry to those in need. I can do these things and still make sure my home is cared for. It's the little things that can change another person's life. So many are deeply suffering today. Giving money is helpful, but giving a minute of your time can make a person's day. I also always keep in mind that young people are watching my actions and learn from other people's behavior. If you do these kind ministries while your children are with you they will learn to be caring of those in need.

The tea looks wonderful. I don't seem to be able to find a strainer in my local stores. I have been looking for awhile. As soon as I get one I will let you know if it's fragrant since I have frozen berries waiting.

Lydia said...

Susan, that is what real ministry is and it costs nothing. In the real church, it does not cost money to demonstrate the fruits of the spirit (Galations 5:22,23) . We do not need a women's organization to enable us to have a personal ministry to our family and others. I believe that much of the women's ministry movement is a huge marketing and networking system which requires a lot of fund raising. The tea table events sometimes cost a hundred dollars for a table, and your group shares the cost of one table among many tables.

Homemaker's Heart said...

Thank you! I have been contenplating helping with the church for the food pantry. I just moved to the area 2 wks ago and still am unpacking, but was presented with the opportunity. I have never looked at keeping the home as my ministry. I have much to do first at home, especially time for tea and rest so I am happy at the end of the day. Good to pop in and see how you are!

ChristyH said...

I recently left helping in youth ministry. It was busy and taxing. My husband was grumbling about how Sunday were never family time anymore. He was helping early Sunday mornings and then I was gone in the evening helping with youth group. Felt like a huge weight was off my shoulders when I was done last month. My family has been meeting the needs of extended relatives around us since.

Jill said...

I have found that when I minister within my home (by hospitality) it has a more powerful impact on the person that if it is someplace else. If I am listening to a lady tell me her problems and she sees how I interact with my children, talk with my husband and meet the needs of my family, she learns from me. She sees Christ in me because she sees that I am just an ordinary woman in a home (2 Cor. 12:9) and I'm not the head of a "ministry." When I minister outside of the home, I try to take my children with me. My 12 year old daughter helps me wash, fold and hang baby clothes at the Pregnancy Center. It has to be done there because there are so many of them so we work together in a quiet room and pray for the babies.


Lydia said...

Jill, the women's ministries I am referring to are not the same as the church activities in a local church, nor the crisis pregnancy centers. This kind of women's ministry that is going around is a motivational, speaking and fundraising type of networking and marketing system. Their websites use words like "empowering women"

Other words they use are

Equipping and empowering
Aspirations and visions

anonymous said...

Thank you Lydia for your insightful post.

I agree and lately my daughter, husband and I are cleaning and preparing a new rental home for our son and his family who will be arriving in mid-July to live near by. It has been a long dream of our family for us to live closer in proximity.

Its been over two weeks since we closed on the rental property and feels good to finally be doing something to further this dream.

Now my ministry to my family will be advanced as I have opportunity to share homemaking with my daughter in-law and granddaughter.
They seem eager to learn. I see lots of fun times ahead.

Mrs. J.

Lydia said...

When you help your own family and extended family, to keep them from putting a burden on others and on the government. So it makes sense to minister to them first, to take care if them first. The New Testament teaches tha families are to look after their own and not make the church pay for theor care.

anonymous said...

I love your method of making lemonade from fresh whole fruits and plan on giving it a try.
Also the hot berry tea. Yummm! Thank you for posting.

Did you knit the tea cozy for your tea pot or is it sewn from a sweater? I'm interested in making one also.
Mrs. J.

E said...

What is that little sleeve on the spout of your teapot?