“Steeping” Season….

I’ve been using natural teas for many different reasons lately. (stay with me) The benefits that teas have to offer is endless. I’ve been on a quest to digest (TMI? haha!), a sleepy time tea that actually makes you sleepy, and a calm down tea that really does settle your mind. If you don’t know much about tea, it’s ok! I didn’t know anything about tea before I started this tea drinking journey. But here is what I’ve learned.. I have learned that in the process of making tea you have to “steep” it in hot water in order to get everything extracted from the tea or else it loses its effectiveness.

I’ve learned that the same thing applies to the time that you spend with Jesus. You can DIP your tea in water all you want but if your water temperature isn’t right you wont be able to extract anything. You can “spend time” with Jesus but if you’re only half into it (distracted by the tv, your phone, Facebook) you won’t pull out what you need to from that time. So either your water is hot, or you don’t waste your time making it.

You can DIP your tea bag in hot water, but the water won’t have any change. It will still be flavorless. Spending time with Jesus, in order to see or taste a change, needs to be steeped. You need to dwell there in those moments, drinking deeply of his presence. Simply dipping into his presence is not enough for times such as these. In these steeping moments with my father is where after a hard day, I can do it all over again the next. It’s where my anxiety decreases moment by moment, calming my spirit. It is where fear is dispersed and I get the boldness to tell the enemy NOT TODAY. Its in these moments with Jesus that I can close my eyes, imagining myself in the throne room, bowing before his feet, giving my every breath to his praise and honor. This is where I feel my feet begin to steady again, although they were shaky before. This is where I can look back over my life, and although tomorrow looks a little blurry, I am thankful for the 28 years of blessings and protection that he has given me. Steeping in his presence extracts everything that your soul needs.

What I love most about steeping tea is that once you submerge the tea bag into the hot water and it changes the water’s color and flavor… it never goes back to the water that it was before. You can’t separate the water from the tea. You remove the useless stuff left over from the tea bag, but the good things that were extracted during the steeping process remain.

This should give the mom that is worried about her child returning to the faith so much hope and encouragement. If you have bathed your child in God’s presence and raised them in the way of the Lord the Bible says that they will NOT depart from it. Mama your child will come home to Jesus.

I am telling you from experience that once you steep in the presence of Jesus, you are never the same. It is an encounter that will change you forever and it will leave you wanting more; more of his presence, people that are like minded, more time spent in prayer, more worshiping. And once you have steeped in him you can never separate what has been joined.

If you continue to steep tea bags that have already been steeped, what you extract from it gets weaker and weaker. We must be willing to throw away what has already been steeped. We must have an opened hand and not a clenched fist. We have to have faith that the Lord will refresh and give back more than we disposed of. Start every steeping moment with a refreshed steeping sack. Ask the Lord to forgive your sins of the past, we all fall short of the glory of God. Allow him to wipe your slate clean so that you can enter in to these steeping moments with a pure and clean heart.

Steeping in my spiritual life is my favorite time spent with the Lord.

How do you steep when you have children, a full time job, a husband, laundry… the list is never ending?

Some of the BEST teas take 10 minutes to steep; many of them less than that. You can pull the best things from teas in less than 10 minutes.

So can we not find 10 minutes to fully devote our time with Jesus?

This is why prayer closets are so important.

the Bible talks about going into your prayer closet to pray but I truly believe that your prayer closet does not have to be an actual closet in your house. You just need a space that you can fully devote some time alone with the Lord.

Can I realistically tell you what this has looked like in my life?

A.) both kids asleep in the car, pull up in the drive way- spend time alone with God

B.) hubby stays up later than I do, the baby is asleep, the toddler is watching tv- spend time alone with God

C.) kids are asleep in the car on the way to work in the morning- spend time alone with God

(One time I was talking out loud to God on the way to work and my sweet little 3 year old, who I thought was asleep, starts adding things to my prayer, that then became our prayer..it was a special moment)

D.) Kids aren’t asleep on the way to work, drop them off at my moms, only have about 7 minutes until I am at work- spend time alone with God

E.) my students will be coming down the hallway in 5 minutes, read my daily devotional and pray over our day- spend time alone with God

My point is that you don’t have to have hours to yourself to find steeping moments with the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you identify moments in your day that you can pause and steep in his presence. Once you grab hold of a these steeping moments alone with God you will search all day to find more of them, to sit at his feet, to drink from the cup in his hand.. and then your ten minutes that you could hardly fit in, becomes twenty.

There are times that I pray and ask Jesus for specific requests but in these steeping moments, I really just want to thank God for the so many things that he blesses me with. I just want to spend time letting him know the love that I have for him and thanking him for the love he has for me. Its a time that I want to grow closer to him and really focus on his mercy, grace, and abundant love.

Jesus,

I pray that you would give every person reading this a multitude of opportunities to steep in your presence. I pray that once they experience these moments and draw out all of the goodness that you have to offer that you will leave their spirit wanting more of everything that you have to offer. I pray that these steeping moments are full of peace and rest and that they will fuel them up and give them the strength that they need to get to the next steeping moment. Lord I pray that their children will see them steep, so that they will want what mama has. Let them be an example of what being in your presence can do. I pray God that no matter where this woman is in her walk with you that you will show her and lead her into spending time with you. I rebuke any excuses that any person reading this had as to why they could not find time to have steeping moments with you. God it is YOU that should be first in our life over everything else. If we have to stay up later or wake up earlier to find that time with you then I pray Lord that you will give us the strength, desire, and motivation to put you before sleep. You are deserving of our time. I pray that you will drop it in everyone’s spirit to spend more time with you, to steep in your presence. Bless their steeping time with you Lord. May they draw out every little bit of your presence that you have to offer in that time. I pray that their cup runs over, their blessings are abundant, and your presence in their life is GREAT. I pray that you will put like minded people in their lives. People that will encourage their spiritual callings, friends that will pray for their needs, family that will share in their faith and walk with the Lord, leaders in the faith that will grow and elevate their Christian journey. Steeping moments are for you Jesus but the things that are extracted during that time for us…we are all so thankful for. Lord I pray that the leaves that serve no purpose, that are left behind in the old tea bags, will be removed from our lives. Maybe for some Lord that is a person that they need to distance themselves from. Maybe it is just their past that they need to stop steeping over. Maybe they had tea before God but it just needs to be refreshed. Or even Lord, maybe some have never tasted your tea at all and need to invite you into their journey. Whatever they need to put behind them Lord, I pray that you will give them the strength to let it go. You cannot receive with a clenched fist. Let go of the old tea bag and trust that God is going to put a new refreshed one in the pot for your next steeping moment with him.

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