Thursday, November 5, 2009


You are cordially invited to a delightful tea honoring
Miss Julia Sanders
and her decision to become a
a Daughter of the King.
The special day was three years ago Friday.
On this most important day, we would like to celebrate this momentous occasion marking it as the best day of her life.
Please join us Friday at 2:30 at the home of “Miss Denise”
for tea and light refreshments.

On the morning of our trip to Georgia, Julia found the invitation tied with fancy ribbon on a silver platter in her room. When I realized the day she asked Jesus in her heart would come and go while in Georgia, I wanted to make sure we did something out of the ordinary. My main motivation was to be sure I was putting forth the effort to make a big deal out the things that WERE indeed a big deal. I called Denise and this is what I asked, “Could we come over for afternoon tea that Friday I am home? You just make some hot tea and Mom and I will bring the treat.” Now, I’ve known Denise basically all my life and, well, I should have known better. It was Denise I had called and we were in the South. She wasn't going to let me do a thing and if that wasn’t bad enough my simple request and Denise’s reality were like comparing The Dress Barn to Chanel. Just like the invitation said, the afternoon tea was "delightful".

Julia was intrigued by the invitation. It was the last thing to go in her backpack for her trip to Soperton. Having wonderful memories of our tea time in Branson, she had many questions about our “tea” at Denise’s as she anticipated the next 24 hours. She wondered what would be different, what would be the same, who would be there, and would she have to eat the cucumber sandwiches. Great and plentiful memories from Denise’s kitchen allowed me to answer her last question with a firm “no”. There would be absolutely no cucumber sandwiches.

As Denise opened the door, all her focus wrapped Julia up with a hug and sweet words of welcome. Then we saw the table, set for four princesses, Daughters of the King-- flowers, silver, china, crystal, beautiful napkins, scrolled place cards and a unique crystal tea pot. There was no mistaking which chair was Julia’s for it was adorned with the color of royalty and topped with a lovely, sparkling new tiara, which was promptly nestled on her head. As we sat down, Julia read this from her place card, “Her Royal Highness, Julia Karis Sanders, Princess in the Realm of Jehovah, Joint Heir with Yeshua”. Amen!
And then came the “light refreshments” ..........Denise-style (and for those of you who don’t know what that means--- all home-made AND delicious. ALL of it.) She served us bite-sized gourmet pizzas, chicken salad in pastry cups, miniature pear tarts on puff pastry, ham spirals, scones and the crowning “light refreshment” was her famous thin layer chocolate cake made petit four style. You have NO idea. Really.

With all of that on my fancy plate, hot tea was the last thing on my mind until I tasted what she had poured for me. It was called Margaret’s Hope from Alice’s Tea Cup on the Upper West Side in New York. I am not a huge fan of tea and I had two cups. It was the ONLY tea I have EVER tasted that gave me the slightest inkling that I could possibly replace coffee cravings. Possibly.........until she poured our next drink----caramel coffee punch. So much for tea. Oh my. It was truly dessert in a crystal coffee mug. Even Julia's taste buds were in love.

Denise continued to communicate love for Julia by praying for her, thanking God for her sister in Christ, celebrating her new life in Jesus and praising Him for Julia's promising future of serving Him. Julia described to us the night she asked Jeff if she could pray to receive Christ as Lord and Savior after bedtime Bible reading. They came downstairs to find me so I could be a part of the life-changing event. After she prayed, she told us how she felt “different” which she usually describes as an “I don’t know” feeling because she had never felt that way before. I remember her beaming, huge smile and an energy that could not be contained. Three years ago. She was almost five. Young? Yes. Ready? Yes. A lot to learn? Of course.

My Mom, Denise and I were privileged to be able to celebrate this day with Julia but Mom, Julia and I were just as privileged to be witness to our sister in Christ serving Him wholeheartedly by serving us the way she did. The tea party was “wholehearted” in every way- the warm welcome, the beauty displayed, the incredible hospitality and the rich love of Christ shown so extravagantly to Julia from one sister to another.

Denise, “I thank my God EVERY time I remember YOU.” Philippians 1:3


Anonymous said...

You have described the event perfectly. What an honor it was to be a part of it! Mom

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Alyssa said...

I love that Julia got to wear a tiara! What a sweet celebration!

Erica said...

That is absolutely amazing and definitely something I want to remember to celebrate with my girls. Oh, how I wish I could spend an afternoon with you! Next time I am in Ft. Worth, maybe we can get together with Susie!

Jeff Sanders said...

Love it

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. Julia is SO blessed to have a mama that makes "a big deal out of the things that are indeed a big deal!" What a special celebration and memory that Julia can keep with her always! Love to all of you!

Krista said...

The best thing I did was pick up the phone and call Denise! I have been so blessed by her. If you don't have a "Miss Denise" in your life, pray for one........and BE one to someone else! Celebrating this day is an idea I picked up from several different people. I am always grateful that friends actually read this!!

nikki said...

how beautiful...i want to be like "miss denise" when i grow

TJ Wilson said...

love love love this, and ditto to Nik!