Another Biscuit with Tea

Today I bought some frozen pillsbury southern style biscuits, ones that taste closest to my own homemade biscuits made from scratch, —that is when I get up the nerve to gather raw ingredients and do all “dirty work” involved in making biscuits. Along with them, I bought Bonne Maman Strawberry preserves and ordered clotted cream. Phew. It felt good to finally do something that takes me right back, front and center stage, to the living room of my tiny apartment in San Antonio, Texas where God would move so much, and the aroma of all things home permeated my apartment.


My original homemade biscuits

Recipe Here: https://jesus-and-tea.com/recipes/2/

It was where I hosted girlfriends, shepherding them directly to the heart of God, which I believe to be healing, and enjoyed piping hot cups of tea with a side of buttery biscuits or scones and preserves.

Tea, as it happens, is actually so inexpensive to host with. It goes a long way, feels like home, and has healing properties. There is nothing better in my opinion to accompany a cup of tea than a biscuit or a scone. Both are so subtle in nature, only inviting you to have as much or as little as you need at a time. “Come home”, they whisper. “But only when you’re ready.”

Instead of having had to make my way home, home came to me in the form of these biscuits. It is hard for me to fathom what a sacred act I made of eating and serving biscuits and tea. What a sacred place I made of my home throughout the series of conversations in which God made himself real to my friends and I. I still thirst endlessly for intimate moments like those again, and for genuine encounters with God.

This is all significant because it has been difficult making Denver home again. I’ve moved to several different properties and experienced a host of changes since arriving here in July 2020. I’ve fought tooth and nail to create home everywhere I’ve gone, and most things have not come close to what I created over the years in San Antonio. Yet God, in his perfect timing, and by his grace alone allowed me to stumble upon these biscuits at my local grocer, and to be thus brought mysteriously home into the sacredness of a tradition I created: Biscuits and Tea.

Creating Deepest Fellowship

I believe most ardently that there is a profound sacredness in breaking bread together. We even see so in the way that Christ blesses us in partaking in the Eucharist (the blood and the body of Christ). As it written in the gospel according to Saint Luke: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying ‘This is my body; do this in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19-20)” He could have asked them to do anything in remembrance of him, but he asked them to break bread and drink wine, which I believe knit them together in deepest fellowship.

So friend, I invite you to open up your home more often and to serve something that will warm souls and inspire people to draw near to Jesus. It can be anything from a loaf of bread, to a tray of fruit, but serve! Open your heart and home, and you will find that Jesus makes himself known profusely among you.

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A Time to Heal

“There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1

I am trying to reconcile the incongruence between my extroverted self, and my painfully introverted self. On the one hand I present, without an effort as amiable and warm. I am bubbling over with joy and a desire to be social with everyone around me all the time. My heart is bursting with vibes of love and genuine good will toward every creature around me.
On the other hand all the life is zapped right out of me due to the series of mental illnesses that I battle and I don’t so much as want to look at anyone.

I’m tired all the time. I’m weary. It is by the grace of God that I arrive to work each day by means of a 20 minute bus ride followed a 20 minute walk because the bus doesn’t take me quite all the way. I’m constantly thanking God throughout the day for the strength to endure the shift, and then comes the big debate about how I am going to get home. It is my responsibility to save money so I must trot my way back to the bus stop somehow. I must muster up the strength. More often than not I find that I cannot strain past my limits any further and I end up spending the money on an Uber home. I thank God I at least have the money, and I pray that next time I will find the strength just to walk instead.

My body constantly aches from head to toe. I’m not in any extreme pain, but I feel overcome by those aches you feel when you have the flu. Yeah those, except mine is derived from depression. My body is so overwhelmed by chronic depression that it manifests itself as physical pain, and I find myself swallowing ibuprofen and wondering how much my stomach can actually take before this is bad for me.

It really just feels like a long dream. I’m experiencing the world from a really deep place within myself, constantly in some profound state of rest and inner meditation to avoid sensory overload. It’s all in someway so damned beautiful and yet it needs to end because I wasn’t made for this. I cannot do this forever.

I’ve resolved it in my heart that I will not let this overcome me. I am too much of a fighter for that. Then again an echo of honesty reminds me that I do not know how long I can do this. I need rest. So much rest. So I find myself lulling in and out of sleep countless hours throughout the day. Moments that I am awake are spent staring into space…in a sort of peaceful daydream just resting my thoughts— sort of talking to God without speech.

Part of me thinks I was made this way. This is the beauty and the uniqueness of my life. These are the things that make my soul so unsearchably beautiful. How mysterious it is that God has formed me this way…

I cannot find fault in my maker. His ways are higher than my ways after all. That said. I do long for rest. I long for stillness, poetry and the sounds of running water. I long for cozy snuggles with throws piled on top of the bed. I long for hugs and fellowship. I long ultimately for more of my creator. More of Him.

Prayer: Father I know that in your wisdom you have formed me the way that it pleased you to form me. You know what hurts, where it hurts and how much. Give me this season father to rest, to heal, and to desire more of you!

With Grace,

A Life of Purpose

“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver

I recently made a friend at work whose been stressing to me the importance of having a sense of direction and springing forward, full-throttle in pursuit of what you think your purpose in life is. “Make sure you have goals”, he told me.

“I do”, I replied.

“Yeah but do you have them written down?” He challenged me.

“Of course.” I lied.

The thing is that of course I have goals, but I don’t necessarily have them written down, and now that I’ve settled into a completely different state with minimal support and have sold and given away most of my “estate” if you will, my identity has been flushed clear down the the toilet. It is drifting out somewhere in the ether waiting to return to me on these simple terms: “You are a gift from God Mauriel; a light in the darkness.”

The bedroom I used to call my own


And so I find myself in these humble circumstances working part time in a grocery store and relying on disability checks from social security, just praying that the devil would not outwit me into a sense of shame and nothingness. I work at a grocery store… and you know what? I do it with my head held high because I was born for something greater than this moment.

Delicacy

Baby Me

The other day I I came across a woman coddling her infant, and he was so contented just nestled in her arms. I looked at him and thought what a miracle it was that he survived childbirth. He is a warrior in my eyes, to have left the safety of the womb in order to enter into this cold “every man for himself” world. He won’t be in his mother’s arms always, but the fact that he was born, tells me that he was marked by something divine with a purpose. I know his mother’s heart sings to that melody in her gratitude for her sweet babe.

The chat with my Coworker:

Chatting with him sort of peeved me initially because he was striking a sensitive nerve inside. I knew that I had stopped dreaming and hoping in God, because my heart had been broken by life. I’ve come all the way from Texas’ thriving economy, a full time corporate job, a degree and my own place down to virtually nothing except a couple hundred in my bank account and a part time job meant for teenagers. I am at the foot of a big mountain, climbing back to stability and a sense of settlement, and it feels like I have a long way to go. Somewhere underneath all of those raw words he was speaking I heard: “I see you, I believe in you, you can do this.”

And so here I find myself, at the intersection between the fragility of life and strength of my own soul. All the trauma of my childhood has not destroyed me. Here I still stand like a tree planted—“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength(Philippians 4:16). I am not the sum of all my failures. I am the sum of things I’ve overcome.

While on the onset, I was frazzled by these “Dad talks” I think in retrospect that it was God’s favor. So having had my faith rekindled by my co-worker’s strong sense of hope and responsibility, I have returned to my own—that is “hope and responsibility.” I understand (God) the Father’s love, a little bit more, though not entirely, and I so look forward to the plans that He has for my life, and I am ready to be disappointed by life. What can shake someone rooted in the Lord?

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11