When Home is not Muffins and Tea

Chocolate chip muffins baking in an oven

“I almost missed my bus! I am exhausted and so ready for home” was the text from our fourth child, Stefanie, a few days before a break. Stefanie is in her first year of college in New York City. She has navigated her first year well, but she is tired. I sent back a text “Home is ready with muffins and tea.”

And it was. Muffins and tea represented the warmth and comfort that were waiting for her. That one phrase said “Come in and leave your troubles outside the door, at least for a time, while you relax and are cared for”. There are those times in life where we desperately need to be cared for, to have someone who erases the responsibilities of our lives and replaces them with those things that signify comfort and rest. That is what home is supposed to be.

But because this world is not as it should be, for many home is not muffins and tea. It is a place of pain and tension. A place that signifies anything but rest and instead of being a place to escape to, it is a place where you want to escape ‘from’. For those who have experienced that kind of pain from those closest to them, my words above don’t make sense. Instead, they are like the words of a Polyanna who sees life through a lens that hasn’t experienced real-life.  Home is nothing like muffins and tea – pictures of warmth and grace.

From the beginning of time we have a picture of what life is like with healthy relationships and what life is like without. In the Garden of Eden we have a picture of a home with all the beauty imaginable, fresh fruits and vegetables, comfort and communion. And then we have a picture of what it was like to lose that home; to not know the beauty, the comfort and, worst of all, the communion. The perfect relationship was marred and communion with God underwent a change that would affect every man, woman and child who was ever to live and walk this life. Home was no longer “muffins and tea”.

The redemptive piece of this is that even in our brokenness and flawed understanding, we can help create homes that welcome, not only our own families, but those who are outside of our families. Those that desperately need the warmth of home but don’t have it. The redemptive process can be seen through something as simple and as profound as muffins and tea.

12 thoughts on “When Home is not Muffins and Tea

  1. Just back catching up and I feel like i need to make some muffins. My children always wanted pumpkin chocolate chip muffins when they came home or in their care packages sent to them while in college and even after. But I especially appreciate your thoughts on how some have never known this expression of love. When we widen our tent, open our doors to those outside our family units and welcome the stranger we can show a love and acceptance that they otherwise would not have known. We can show them Jesus.
    and grandbaby #2 did not want to arrive, so a few days after I returned home, she was forced to make an appearance….Annika Ruth!

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  2. Marilyn, my grandson who is graduating college in a few weeks loves my raisin bran muffins and receives periodic shipments from me. AND when he comes home I have them in the making. (You know his parents are overseas.) “Nothing says lov’n like muffins from the oven.”

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    1. Oh I love this so much! I think I remember a FB post where you talked about making him batches of muffins to take. There’s something about muffins as you say…

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  3. This brought tears to my eyes, and to my grandmotherly heart. But then I thought, “Who made muffins and welcomed my daughter home (& your brothers, too) when we were 10,000 miles away?” But so glad for the times I’ve been able to welcome you home. Will Stef be home for Mother’s Day?

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  4. Awww, I have been baking muffins as of late,it’s the one thing I can bake! :)

    With all the nerves of going to U of M on Thurs and hoping they find out what is wrong with me and all the stress this brings into my life, my marriage and the constant dealing with ‘ my medical issues’ hearing of the Garden just made my morning. You do this for me so often so bless you my friend and bless your sweet child that out there, someone will offer her the warmth of muffins and tea!

    xxoxoox
    Traci

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  5. Do I ever know the feeling of needing a place to drop!! I’m so thankful for a mom that always welcomes me home with a hot meal, love, tea and questions about my day. She’s the one that is really concerned if I had trouble with a certain class … if I had trouble finding parking … if my test was difficult … even little things like if I had time to eat a decent lunch. :) Thanks to all the moms out there that love and support and are just THERE for us, day after day!

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    1. Love this – your mom sounds great! It’s funny – here I am at 52 and still love going to my mom’s – I walk in and start reading all her mail. Not sure what that says about me but there it is. And I know good relationships can’t be taken for granted.

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    1. I love that verse. Growing up in Pakistan I felt I got such a good picture of this. We would never let single people be alone for their vacations – they were a part of our families. It was a great way to grow up! Thanks for the verse Sophie!

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  6. I’m glad you were able to provide something famailiar and homey to your college student…I have one away at college and two at home going to college. The mothering never ends…

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