Up until last night, I didn’t know that tea boxes came with instructions.
I didn’t know that for your cup of tea to be full of flavor and goodness you have to steep the bag in hot water for 4-6 minutes. I pulled out cups for my housemate and I then she went to the cupboard and pulled out the box and carefully read the instructions. Tonight, I made another cup of tea for myself and read the instructions on the box for directions to a really good cup of tea. All this time, I’ve just been making tea pretty haphazardly not with ease, intention or diligence at all. I did not realize that there was an art to tea making.
Don’t we kind of do this with a lot in our own lives?
We get into a repetitive mundane habits, we rush decisions or miss out on really good steeped moments because we don’t want to wait for them to be fully what they can be. The water has to boil, the tea bag and the water have to learn how to let the other one in a little bit in order to create something really good (Oo that was deep and definitely a good relationship connection, I’ll save that for later expanding).
Right after graduation, I got the idea to start a weekly email group. I currently get Hannah Brencher Monday email and that has always been a huge inspiration to me. I fought with attempting to replicate the idea because it seemed unoriginal but the idea kept me up one night and so I sat on my phone designing/ thinking of different names I could call it. I thought of a lot of terms that was geared towards a mainly woman focus because that’s my go-to comfort zone and where I feel I can share the most experience but then Hearts of Gold came to mind. That could easily be taken really female gender friendly but in my first email I explained why I chose the name, Hearts of Gold;
Why gold? Why not hearts of silver, titanium or some other type of chemical element?
I asked myself this same question on the night that this little email group started stirring in my soul. I had other names of course for instance, “The Sunflower Brigade” almost won because well I’m obsessed with sunflowers but for some reason gold kept coming right back to me. So then I did some research on gold not the color but the chemical element itself. According to good ol' Wikipedia, Gold in its purest form “is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable and ductile metal.” A Ductile metal means that when the metal is under stress it shapes and molds into something different BUT it does not break or crack.
Malleable means that something can be hammered or shaped completely out of its original form but it does not break. Instead, it turns into something different but with the same capacity of strength and simultaneously manages to remain in its purest form. I know you weren’t expecting to get a science lesson when you signed up for these emails but I figured what better way to start this journey off then by explaining the name that ties it all together.
Here’s the beautiful application that I see with this… with us, is that our hearts go through a lot, they are some strong mother suckers because we are reckless individuals who say hurtful words and get hurt in return. We sometimes forget how fragile yet how strong and malleable our hearts are. I chose Hearts of Gold because God is constantly shaping, molding, forming us under stress, challenges and all that life throws at us so that we can become our purest and most beautiful self. The discomfort that comes with being hammered and shaped is no comparison to the final result of who we will become because of his handiwork in and through our lives. And when it is “all said and done” after the tension, the stress, the shaping and molding our hearts don’t really break, WE don’t break, instead we realize that we are capable of so much because he says that we are and allows us to be.
Two weeks ago, I sent out a Wednesday email admitting that I wasn’t focusing or spending the time I would like to spend on these weekly emails. I was throwing them together with whatever came to mind -- I felt frazzled and disoriented and overwhelmed. So I put the emails on a short hiatus, I got notification after sending the email that a few people unsubscribed from the list -- I can’t lie and say that this didn’t sting a little bit. I realize that it’s hard for people to stick around when we admit that we are broken and empty handed. We prefer to see people put together with a plastered on smile whether that was their reality or not. But i will be the first to admit when I’m a hott mess (and not the attractive kind) because I never want transparency to be something I consider a weakness or become a downfall.
Now back to the tea--
The steeping of tea is worth the time, worth the patience because honestly good things do take time. They take work, they take diligence and a lot of love. I needed to take the hiatus from my emails in order to realize how important they are to me, in order to feel re-fueled and encouraged and ready to spill my heart out to a group of people who signed up.
I want these emails and everything that I write and even everything I do to be the art and process of steeping tea.
I want to pour the hot water, add the tea bag and sit and let the goodness unfold without rushing or skipping a step. You don’t get the full result when you skip a step, I wasn’t necessarily the savviest student in science class but I did get a B+ in High school chemistry and I’m pretty sure I remembered that when you go outside of the instructions and guidelines given for an experiment you will either 1. get an explosion or 2. not have any response or result at all. Good things take time, so sit back, light a candle and read a book while you wait. Then grab your favorite mug, add your dash of honey and or steamed milk and enjoy the goodness!
It’ll be worth it, it’ll be worth the wait.