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About the Writer:
Sherrill Schlimpert

An ordinary suburban girl with an extraordinary passion for seeking the Lord’s will in her life, Sherrill is more than a poet. She is a retired elementary school teacher, mother of two grown children, and wife for over 31 years. One dreary morning's drive awakened her passion for writing prayer-poetry as God greeted her with a spectacular sunrise. Her flow of words and faith has filled two self-published books so far.


A Spot of Tea - An Afternoon Delight

By Sherrill Schlimpert

The English have always seemed to me as more refined than we Americans. They talk with a beautiful lilt with perfect diction, they are ever so mannerly, many still dress for dinn-ah, and…they take time for tea. Maybe they really ARE more civilized.

I have never been overseas, but everyone I have talked to upon returning comment about the pace of life being slower. All Europeans and Australians take weeks of holidays, Italians open and close their shops to suit their mood, the Mexicans have their siestas, and, of course the English have their tea.

I have led the life of the typical American superwoman – dragging out of bed to the blare of an alarm, and working all day (and I do mean work for more than 25 years as an elementary teacher.) After work, I’ve spent years running my own kids to ballet and soccer, eating a fast food supper, or throwing one together in 30 minutes
(I could teach Rachel Ray a thing or two!) Add PTA and church meetings – and you’ve got the recipe for “How to Run Like an American.”

That was all UNTIL I decided to add tea to my afternoon. Now understand, I love coffee and start the morning with a cup. But tea – the civilized, British way – steeped in a teapot, covered with a cozy, complete with cream and sugar, served with a saucer – has changed my life.

I started coming home from school (on those days with no meetings or pressing errands), brewing my tea and sitting in the recliner with a bit of inspirational reading before starting supper. Immediately I felt calm wash over my jangled nerves fresh from teaching social studies to a group of equally exhausted third graders who had one eye on the clock inching toward dismissal. As I sipped the warm liquid something magical – no spiritual – happened.

As the caramel- colored waters soothed my body, my mind took in new truths that I hadn’t taken time to let sink in before. Books like Hannah Whittal Smith’s “A Christian’s Secret to a Happy Life, Rick Warren’s “A Purpose Driven Life”, even classics like Brother Lawrence’s “Practicing the Presence” began to stick with me rather than getting a perfunctory glance in stolen moments. I reread books like A. J. Russel’s “God Calling”, and Ozwald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest.” Sometimes I even actually read my Sunday School lesson for the week, instead of going to class in my usual state of unpreparedness.

Part of the new retention of what I read came from the newfound urge to journal as my mind learned to quiet. I began to sense the need to capture in pen and ink some of the thought and insights I was beginning to understand as important.

Yes, you could say, a spot of tea changed my life. And now – I’m addicted – not to tea, in fact I prefer decaf. But I am drawn like a magnet to that spot in my day to look into the steaming brew - and into my soul. After all those years in the classroom followed by 6 years as a traveling reading consultant facing often more than an hour’s drive home, I learned to “Americanize” my tea time… I would stop at the closest mini-mart and sip my tea on the drive home. Now, even though I am retired, I still find the need to refresh, even from a day at home doing mundane tasks, with my tea and my thoughts.

A spot of tea? The British have something there.


A Spot of Tea


More than refreshment to quench my thirst,

A spot of tea is where I go first

To soothe my nerves at the end of a day,

To let my body and mind settle for a quiet stay.

After years of pushing harder and longer,

I’ve found a time for tea makes me decidedly stronger.

A creamed and sugared cup with an inspiring book

Allows me to quiet and inside to look.

For a few moments to unwind and quiet my mind

Are minutes spent of invaluable kind.

For when tea is gone, I find I’ve nourished my soul

Only then can I go about life ready and whole.



Copyright © February 1, 2007 - Sherrill Schlimpert. All rights reserved.

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