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…or perhaps I should say, especially with, when the day starts off rocky, be prepared! Wait with great anticipation for the Lord to show up in a completely unexpected way, and open your heart for a celebration of joy that will leave you astounded!

That was my day yesterday. It definitely started off rocky, I wanted to run away, to hide and cry, and it turned into a joyous celebration that has truly left me astounded at the amazing, merciful, healing grace of God.

My daughter, Bri, has the week off due to spring break at the university. So she volunteered to drive me to school and spend a bit of time in Seattle. Driving it with is such a nice break from driving it alone! But we got a late start and as can be the case at times, we did not start off on good footing. (Have I mentioned here how much I hate conflict, especially conflict with the people I love?) After a heated exchange between us and my desire for Bri to just turn around and let me drive myself, we spent the first half of the drive in silence. The good side of that was that I finished one of the books I had to read for class.

We stopped for gas and lunch and that helped to break the ice. From there we were at least able to converse and be together without the adversarial feel. We went to REI and then on to MHGS. Bri walked up to Pike Place Market and I met with our registrar about classes for next term and then Bri joined me for class.

Brianna “found” a Chinese tea house, Vital Tea Leaf, on her wanderings to the Market, and dragged me back there after class. Yes, it was a willing dragging, but not something I would normally do. After two and a half hours with Dan and the Marriage and Family Therapy class, I am pretty wiped out and ready to hightail it home. But, I am so glad she dragged me and I went!

Vital Tea Leaf offers free tea tastings of the best teas I have ever enjoyed. The shop itself is wonderful – with amazing offerings of all the essentials and accessories connected to the beautiful traditions surrounding Chinese tea. I will have to go back and take some pictures, ’cause I just didn’t think about last night. We must have sampled between 8 and 10 different teas – each one delightful and different. The atmosphere is welcoming, hospitable, and relaxing.

Bri is a tv series buff – especially British series. Not to long ago we watched the BBC Sherlock Holmes series and in one of the episodes the ancient tradition of Chinese tea is highlighted. One of the characters, a young Chinese woman working in the museum, demonstrates the tradition and describes the need to continue to use the teapot for it to flourish. Chinese teapots are made with a special clay that enhances the flavor of the tea. The patina of pot is continually beautified with use.

Bri's teapot and my rose tea.

We experienced this first hand at Vital Leaf. Of course, the downside is that I now “need” about $500 to buy my own tray, pots, and accessories to begin practicing and sharing the tradition with others. Bri bought a teapot and we each got one of our favorite teas to begin.

What a gift we received in the hour and a half we spent in Vital Leaf – a wonderful transition from the intensity of class to the rest of our evening.

This past weekend Bri attended a conference that addresses issues of the heart and family and all sides of generational heritages. Our conversation on the way home was beautifully painful and healing – all at the same time. We talked and shared and questioned and pondered together. Even as I am dealing with issues of my own family of origin, I am challenged to turn around and see the issues created by own parenting and relationship failures and the harm done through my mistakes and lack of understanding.

I have been praying for a number of years that God would change the course of the curses passed on by the generations before us and enrich the blessings that have been bestowed. I am beginning to see that prayer being answered before my very eyes. What a joy! I had no doubt that He would answer, just didn’t know if I would actually get to see the answer with my own eyes.

So our journey home was filled with tears of sorrow, tears of joy, laughter, musings, and beautiful, sweet fellowship. My daughter is truly becoming one of my favorite, treasured friends – a sister in Christ and a joy to behold!

Thank You, Lord!