Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tea Cup Exchange

After reading posts over the past couple years from many bloggers who have participated in Stephanie's tea cup exchange, I finally decided to give it a try.  
After all, why should I spend my life wondering what it would be like to join in, never do it, and then as a wrinkled old lady have to tell the youth of that era that the greatest regret of my life was never joining in a tea cup exchange?

My exchange recipient was Carrie Hay of Teatime Journeys (visit her blog to see what I sent). The day I sent out my package to her, I received the above package from Alena Seraya from Oregon.

I was surprised by how many goodies she was able to fit into one box!  Along with the tea cup and lemon spark tea, Alena sent a Ukrainian pastry, Tulski Pryanik, Milano dark chocolate cookies, candies, and milk chocolate with hazelnuts.  The first package I finished off though was the Ukrainian coconut-flavored cookies--a perfect snack.
I don't regularly drink much tea (my beverage of choice is water), but I did find sitting down with a cup of tea quite relaxing.  The chocolate added just the right sweetening to the menu.  If ever I find myself in a high-stress environment, I might consider teatime as a possible habitual antidote (it might seem slightly more American if I considered taking up coffee--but even patriotism has its limits!)
The bachelor's buttons on the journal cover remind me of the flowers I grow in my garden every year, and I love the pretty blue of the cover.  Inside, there is a Bible verse on every page.  

Hearts of Fire: Eight Women in the Underground Church and Their Stories of Costly Faith  is a thought-provoking book by the Voice of the Martyrs with relatively modern stories of women persecuted for their Christian faith.

 It's sad to read about people who were tortured and martyred for their faith centuries ago, but it's even sadder to know that such atrocities are still committed today.   I plan to review the book here after I finish it.

"They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy...)"
--Hebrews 11:37-38
I'd like to thank Alena for the very lovely package!  Thank you also to Stephanie of The Enchanting Rose for hosting the tea cup exchange!  It was a fun experience.
The Enchanting Rose

44 comments:

  1. Hi Bethany~~ How wonderful that you joined in this time around, and you certainly received some beautiful gifts. Your tea cup is quite pretty with that vibrant flower.
    The book "Hearts of Fire" sounds like a terrific book, I may have to order that. I love hearing what others say about books.
    Enjoy your treasures~~

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    1. I was very glad I joined in! The package was a treat. So far the book is pretty good!

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  2. What a fun blessing to share in. Such a lovely gift for you to enjoy. <3 ~Lisa

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  3. I'm delighted you received such a sweet gift! These exchanges are always fun. Usually I opt for the tea cup but I chose a mug this time. Enjoy your week, Bethany!

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  4. How delightful. What a wonderful exchange! So much fun and an interesting variety of goodies shared. And it's always exciting to receive a package, isn't it?

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    1. Yes, personal snail mail is always fun to receive--and packages are extra special. Neat finding out what's inside!

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  5. A tea cup exchange is a really awesome idea! I love the one you got. And I loved your humor! ;-) Have a great day!

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  6. Hi Bethany! I'm so glad you decided to join in the fun. You certainly received a bountiful box of goodies and your teacup was lovely! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. I was surprised how much Alena was able to fit into the box! If there's ever a contest for how well people can pack items in a box, I definitely would recommend her as a contestant!

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  7. How neat that you finally joined in on the fun of the exchange. You received some wonderful items.

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    1. Alena sent some very thoughtful selections!

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  8. It's amazing how much religion has caused the world turn to violence. Catholics and Protestants butchered each other for countless years in Europe. Shia and Sunni Muslims aren't much better to each other today. And Jewish people (which I have a small amount of ancestry) didn't have much luck no matter what country they migrated to. The Japanese didn't start crucifying people until Christian missionaries came to the area. In the Muslim-majority countries, a good number of atheist bloggers are murdered on the street and in Saudi Arabia sentenced to death for not believe in any kind of God. Not many religions are kind to apostates.

    And before the Age of Reason, the minority faiths were often imprisoned for just not being the majority faith in practically every country. There were a few exceptions. Kublai Khan was pretty liberal on letting all religions (including Islam and Christianity) have their freedom during his rule in China.

    Good thing the founding fathers realized that freedom of religion was the only way to go.

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    1. It is very sad how much killing and violence has been done in the name of religion. Even atheists effectually treated their lack of faith as a religion in persecuting the faithful in the USSR, Red China, and (still) North Korea.

      For that matter, religious leaders of the day were the ones who crucified Jesus in their "devotion" to God. The secular authority (Pilate) couldn't have cared less about the case.

      It's ridiculous that in the colonies even Protestant denominations persecuted each other. In Episcopalian Virginia, Baptists were beaten and tortured! Why do people think they can somehow prove their religion is the best or impose their own way of thinking on others by treating others cruelly?

      We do have a lot to be thankful for in the way of religious freedom here in the U.S. We have been blessed.

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  9. This looks fun Bethany! And I'm now hungry! :)
    Also, Hearts of Fire is very good--I know from personal experience. ;)

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    1. Good to hear! I'm about halfway through, and the book has been good so far.

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  10. Hi Bethany! Wow, you got all sorts of lovely goodies! I just wanted to thank you again for making my box so special :)

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    1. It was fun selecting what to send! Thanks for the lovely post about it!

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  11. Aww Bethany - you sent out such a nice package, and got a very nice one too. I'm not a tea drinker either, so I've never joined but maybe I should reconsider like you did!

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    1. Alena made sure there were plenty of good things to delight the chocolate-lover, reader, writer, and inveterate snacker that I am. I don't think I could have asked for a kinder or more thoughtful exchange partner.

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  12. What a fun, lovely, and yummy teacup package! :D I'm glad that you have found out the benefits of teatime. ;) I've been thinking of doing the exchange too...I shall have to join next time...after all, I don't want to have that regret. O.o

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    1. That's right. ;) I somewhat decided to join in last year after seeing all the lovely packages everyone received in the 2015 exchange. And I'm glad I went through with it.

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  13. Dear Bethany, It was SO nice to have you visit my blog today! Stephanie's exchange has proven to be such a dear blessing in so many ways! We not only met two new friends who we either sent to or received from, but we are also becoming acquainted with other kind friends like you who leave comments. You seem like such a dear, spiritual girl, and I am so grateful to make your acquaintance. I will be following your blog now! Thank you ever so much, and it was just such a pleasure to meet you.

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    1. Nice to meet you as well, Cheryl, and thanks for following!

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  14. Beth, I really love this idea :) I am a tea lover and it could be a perfect exchange for me. Love all the gifts you received. I can spot some Russian letters hehehe I guess that it is that Ukrainian pastry. Sending you love and care, Liuba x

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    1. Perhaps you will join in next year. I believe Stephanie holds the exchange annually. There was writing in various languages on the packages. I could not recognize them all; but Russian would make sense, as I imagine it is a primary language in the region. Take care Liuba!

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  15. While I have participated in a couple of swaps, I have not tried the tea cup exchange. You received some pretty, yummy and thought provoking gifts. I am going to visit you partner's blog to meet her. Meeting new folks through swaps can be the best gift ever. Gracie xx

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    1. Yes, it's awesome to "meet" new bloggers with similar interests!

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  16. You received some wonderful gifts! The tea cup is quite pretty. This is my second exchange and I would definitely do it again, so glad you joined.

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  17. Dearest Bethany, I was thrilled to see what you received from Alena. The tea cup is lovely and the extra goodies added are simply wonderful. The book sounds like a great read and I look forward to reading what you think about it.

    I am so appy you joined the exchange and even happier to see how blessed you were. I had to chuckle about you being a wrinkled old lady some day :) Now you won't have any regrets about not joining the exchange. Hugs!

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    1. Stephanie, thank you so much for hosting this exchange! I really enjoyed participating this year, and I believe all of us who participated were blessed.

      As for becoming a wrinkled old lady, whenever I visit nursing homes, I'm always on the lookout to get an idea of whom I will look most similar too. I've had a few elderly ladies tell me they used to have my hair color, so I have been getting a good idea what my hair will look like in 50 years. Some of the ladies have the prettiest white hair...though I am hoping mine stays red a while yet! It's nice to be young. :)

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  18. No, you wouldn't want that regret! And what a beautiful and generous package you've received.
    Enjoy your weekend!

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    1. I know. It's hard to imagine lying on my deathbed and having my parting words to those weeping around me be, "I've lived a good, long life. I have only one regret: I didn't join a tea cup exchange. I spent my whole life wondering what it would be like. My advice to you as I leave this world is not to make the same mistake I did. Farewell."

      Now I can be sure that will never happen... ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. I'm glad that you enjoyed your first exchange,Bethaney. Your teacup is lovely and it's always fun to try new foods. Tea and chocolate are a match made in heaven!

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    1. It's hard to beat chocolate in any combination!

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  20. Glad that you enjoyed the exchange of packages! These are some very nice gifts. We aren't coffee drinkers, but do drink tea pretty regularly, usually cold, though.

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    1. My family drinks cold sweet tea often, but it's a rare occasion when I drink any.

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  21. Have to have tea ... almost as much as coffee ... love your blogger .. just found you by random typing in liberty freedom .. blogger is great .. check me out sometime in Canada .. cheers .. http://indiemediaeastcoast.blogspot.ca .. liberty is the best we can all aspire to .. always taken .. never given ..

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! True that governments are always trying to take away liberty from the people, but Christ has given us a liberty in Him that no one can take away. :)

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