Are you ever a bit envious of our friends from other cultures who faithfully honor their children turning into young adults on their 13th birthdays? As Christians, we may not hold Bar or Bat Mitzvahs or Quinceaneras, but we can certainly recapture the spirit of this unique age by commemorating this milestone with a Christ-centered celebration. While many American families are throwing slumber parties for their 13-year-olds, one woman in California decided to throw a “Blessing Tea” for her daughter—and the trend is taking off among Christians.
Roxanne Packham, President of InspiredDesign Ministries, had the idea several years ago to put on a “Blessing Tea” for her then 13-year-old daughter. The concept is taken from the Jewish tradition of celebrating this momentous year of “becoming a woman” with a huge party, centered on the Jewish Scriptures.
Roxanne invited several of the most influential Christian women in Hannah’s life (mentors) to join them for a tea to honor her daughter. While she used her love for table decorating to create a beautiful environment, the real beauty lay in the hearts of the women who came to “bless” Hannah.
Each special mentor woman shared a note/letter to Hannah. The notes included encouraging words, favorite memories, prophetic insights, special scriptures, and wise teaching/advice for the teenage years.
The concept of a Blessing Tea began to take off in homes of people who had heard of Roxanne’s experience. One woman, Camille, a long time friend of Roxanne’s, loved the idea so much she has now done it with two of her teenage daughters. She added an additional layer of giving each of the mentors their own blessing and Scripture as a way to honor the women who have helped to guide and shape her daughters spiritually.
According to Roxanne, “Especially because I only have one daughter, I wanted to make the most of every moment of her life. I was inspired to use my gift for creating a beautiful table and practicing hospitality with my love for my daughter. My biggest desire was to create an environment where very dear Christian women could pour into my daughter blessings and encouragement to carry her through the next phase in her life. Often, a mother’s impact alone only goes so far!“
Roxanne’s book Inspired Design has a chapter about this Blessing Tea and serves as inspiration for other mothers looking to recapture the age old tradition of “coming of age” for young women. Proceeds of her book sales all go to fund the Heart of Hope Ministries International who provide love and resources to orphans in Romania.