Back in 2012, I joined Pam Ford Davis’ group Tea Pot Testimony on Facebook.  In one of her posts, Pam asked what one does with a cup of tea that is full of bits of tea due to a broken tea bag.  As I thought about my answer, the idea for this story was born.  The memory of that first cup of tea is my own, shared with my mom and my Gramma Olcott when I was small.

Gramma went home to be with the Lord many years ago, and this past Saturday marked two years since my mom’s death.   I miss them both so much, and while trying to decide what to post for today’s fiction, I chose to re-post this story in their memory.

MOM & GRAMMA O OCT, 1988 b - Copy2

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I stared out the window as the tea kettle began to steam, lost in thoughts of past tea times.  It was on afternoons such as this that made the emptiness of my heart pulse with an ache born of loss and grief.

Many had been the days when the three of us would settle at the scarred farmhouse table with a steaming pot of tea and whatever baked goods Gramma had whipped up for our time together.  Three generations of Olcott women, sharing hopes and dreams over spicy ginger snaps, dark molasses cookies or scones.

Many were the lessons learned as I sat with my mother and grandmother.  Learning the proper way to brew a pot of tea, learning the lessons of being a Godly wife and mother.

I remembered the day I had first been invited to join the gathering, growing the number to the three of us.  I had been just a child, secretly thrilled with the tiny cup and saucer that had been set in front of me.  I had watched in awe as the cup was filled half full of steaming tea, then watched as a spoon of sugar and a liberal amount of milk had been added.

I smiled slightly as I relived the moment of that first sip, the unimaginable pleasure of being allowed to share in such an adult ritual.  All these years later, no other cup of tea ever equaled the taste perfection of that first cup.

The tiny hiss of sound steadily grew until it reached an ear-piercing whistle.  I reached out and turned the knob to shut off the burner.   As I lifted the kettle to pour the water into the pot, tears stung the backs of my eyes, even as I smiled mistily.

When I had filled the pot and set the kettle back on the stove, I lifted the tiny ceramic lid and settled it back on the pot, closing in the scent and heat.  Lifting the tray, I carried it across the large kitchen and set it on the same old table that had taken up the center of the room for generations.

Even as I settled into my customary chair across from my mother, the emptiness of Gramma’s chair pulled the tears from my eyes to run down my cheeks.  Swiping my hand across my face, I swallowed and lifted the pot to fill the three cups that rested in their matching saucers.

An indrawn gasp filled the kitchen as I looked at the tiny bits of tea which swirled in the cups.

“Oh, no!”

I lifted the bags out of the pot, shaking my head at the large hole in one of them.  I closed my eyes in exasperation, then looked across at my mother.

“Don’t worry about it,”  she told me.  “Just get the strainer.”

I did as I was bid, and poured the tea from the cups back into the pot before using the strainer to catch the tiny bits of tea leaves as I refilled the cups.  As I did so, I was reminded of one of the most prominent lessons that I had learned during our afternoon tea times.

I glanced at the newcomer to the gatherings and studied the young face.  Love swelled in me as I met my daughter’s eyes.

“Did I ever tell you about the time great-gramma had this happen?”  I asked.  When my teenage daughter shook her head in the negative, I recounted the story.

On that afternoon so long ago, the tea bag had also been ripped.  When my grandmother had gone through the same process, she held up the tea strainer and pointed to the tea leaves that lay therein.

“Do you see these tea leaves?”  When I  had nodded, Gramma had continued.  “These tea leaves are like our lives before we accept Jesus as Savior.  They are the sin that fills us and contaminates our souls.  But when we are saved, that sin gets strained from our lives, leaving us with a clean soul and heart, just like the tea in your cup.”

My daughter smiled as she studied the tea in her cup, then grinned.  “Who would have thought that you could learn something about faith just sitting and having tea?”


© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012, 2017

My Year So Far

This year has gone by so quickly.

I have repeatedly attempted to post more, but it seems as if things always conspire against me to keep me from doing that. This year has been no different.

Back in February my husband was diagnosed with a growth on one of his kidneys, and some smaller stones that needed to be surgically removed.

We spent most of our time following this diagnosis doing the work around the house and gardens that he would not be capable of doing for weeks after his surgery.  From weeding and mulching, to planting flowers to laying down a stone path; we made sure we got all the tough, strenuous chores done.


Gnome Hollow 039

Our neighbors had a tree cut down and Bill has been using the logs to make gnome houses.

He went through test after test and finally  had surgery the last of May.  He was in the VA Hospital in Syracuse for a week.


Just inside the doors of the Syracuse VA Hospital


This was a trying time for both of us.  He was anxious about the surgery, and I was nervous about driving to Syracuse each day.


Interstate 81, Syracuse, NY

But God is faithful, and answered each prayer in a way that I know could only have been His doing.  From keeping the rain away until I was home in the evenings so I didn’t have to drive through it, to getting me safely through Interstate 81 and the section of Syracuse that is known for drug related crimes and murders, to making sure Bill pulled through and healed properly.  Recent follow-up tests show that things are still clear.  He is scheduled for another test at the end of September and I am trusting the Lord to bring about a good result from this one also.

We took two days to make day trips to the St. Lawrence River.  I love the area and had not been there in many years; so we decided to take a day and make the drive.  We enjoyed it so much, we took another day the following month and went again.

Trip to St. Lawrence 2 159

Thousand Islands Bridge, Alexandria Bay, NY



Also, the past few months, I have felt a burden to really apply myself to intercessory prayer; for President Trump, for the nation, for the church worldwide and at home, for my friends and family.  I have been reading books on prayer – D.L. Moody, E.M. Bounds, Andrew Murray – and really learning what is required of us in our prayer life; what it takes to pray within God’s will and have Him hear our prayers.

I have to admit that reading these books has made me realize just how shallow my prayer life has been, just how much I did not know about effective prayer.  Make no mistake, I have been praying, but I have realized that there is much room for improvement. I have asked the Holy Spirit to lead me, to guide me, to teach me how to pray fervently, effectively and humbly.  And praise God, I am learning, and growing and becoming a prayer warrior through His leading!

“The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  James 5:15

© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2017