A Tradition of Tea

Another tradition my friend Tanya and I have is taking afternoon tea. We’ve enjoyed tea at the Drake Hotel Palm Court (Chicago), the Mandarin Oriental Hotel (Bangkok, Thailand), and the Pink Bicycle (Virginia).

We’ve just added the Arizona Biltmore to the list!

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Looking forward to more tea adventures!

Friends and Bookends

I am going to let you in on a little secret.

My friend Tanya and I have been friends for more than 20 years and we plan on being friends for a very long time! When we were in grad school, I suggested that we might be good travel buddies. And, we are! We traveled to Paris in 1999. She took a job in Thailand, and I went to visit her in 2002. In 2005, when she was working in Germany, we met up in France to visit and see Annecy and Lyon.

Okay – back to the secret. When we arrived in Paris, my cousin and his wife took us out for Thai food. On my last night in Thailand, it seemed fitting to go to a French restaurant (or rather a French/Moroccan/Thai fusion restaurant). So, when she visited last week, Tanya and I kept tradition and had Thai food on the first night and French food on the last.

Making memories and traditions as we go….. Enjoying delicious Thai

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Enjoying a fabulous alfresco French meal

Cuisine and Wine Bistro

My Best Reads of 2016

We are well into 2017, and I have already started a list of favorite books for this year! Following is a list of my favorite readings from 2016 (in no particular order):

Making room for life: Trading chaotic lifestyles for connected relationships by Randy Frazee — This book challenges me to prioritize community in a very intentional and life-giving way.

DNA of a revolution: First century breakthroughs that will transform the church by Gary Mayes — This book explores the question of how the church (the living, breathing, human body of Christ) is to live in the world.

Embracing the body: Finding God in our flesh and bone by Tara Owens — This book honors the earthly frame of our experience.

Beauty and the bitch: Grace for the worst in me by Jan Meyers Proett — Jan writes: “Grace sees the ugly and says, ‘I’m going to release the beauty anyway.’ Your beauty will win as you are caught off guard by Jesus, who celebrates you even though you don’t trust him.”

God is good: He’s better than you think by Bill Johnson — This is a book on a big topic that takes time to mull over and ponder.

Refrigerator rights: Creating connections and restoring relationships by Will Miller and Glenn Sparks — Will and Glenn point to the decreasing number of folks in our lives with “refrigerator rights” — those who can walk into our houses and freely go into our refrigerators for whatever they need — as an example of weakening social support systems. They encourage reversing this trend.

The coaching habit: Say less, ask more, and change the way you lead forever by Michael Bungay Stanier — Michael suggests five simple questions to help uncover new information and give fresh insights for collaboration and problem-solving.

The index card: Why personal finance doesn’t have to be complicated by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack – Helaine and Harold offer a simplified plan for financial planning and health.

The sacred search: What if it’s not about who you marry, but why? by Gary Thomas — Gary takes an honest look at the dating and marriage process and offers his insights from counseling numerous folks over the years. I reflect on this book in another post.

Shadow boxing: The dynamic 2:5:14 strategy to defeat the darkness within by Henry Malone — This book provides insights and strategies for pursuing holiness in mind, body, and spirit.

Land of Silence

“If the Lord had not been my help,
my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence.” Psalm 94:17

Do we or others live with silenced souls?
O, that we would listen for the soul’s voice.

“He who planted the ear, does he not hear?
He who formed the eye, does he not see?” Psalm 94:9