Homeschool Mom Friendships
“We are hungry for the sustenance of sturdy, deep friendships, but we are fed an idea of friendship that is neither nourishing nor satisfying. Friendship can and must be so much more.”
— Sally Clarkson (Girls’ Club: Cultivating Lasting Friendship in a Lonely World)
Motherhood and Community
A beautiful part of motherhood is finding your tribe of friends. And to be frank, our society that increasingly values busyness has made friendship into a burden when it is most certainly a blessing. Taking the time to care for each other, to share delights and burdens, to serve with hearts unfettered – these are the things that make life more beautiful. Friends are imperative to our lives, especially as busy homeschool moms –
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
I ask you sweet friend, to please consider spending more time on homeschool mom friendships this summer. Redeeming the days begins with our own hearts. If we want our children to value friendship, integrity, service, and trust we must model that for them first.
A wonderful way to do this is by hosting a friendship tea.
Hosting a Friendship Tea
We all enjoy feeling special and a personal invitation through the mail or handed off at church or co-op always has that effect. Once you have chosen your date for your friendship tea, print off invitations (we have included some below for your convenience) and give them to your selected invitees. I would recommend keeping your guest list small so there is plenty of opportunity for community building conversations.
Once you’ve invited your guests, you can begin preparations! Choose special linens (or special disposables at your favorite party store), gather lovely flowers for the table, and perhaps get some small favors together for your guests.
Your efforts to make your guests feel loved and cared for will be a gift to them, but also to you as well. We often lose track of time and miss many opportunities for small kindnesses with our hectic schedules. When we set aside time to intentionally care for others in a big way, it brings many of those smaller opportunities back into focus as well.
Nothing connects us to each other like words. Sharing words that have touched our souls is the perfect way to learn more about each other and to share beauty amongst friends. Have everyone bring a favorite poem or written selection that touches on the beauty of friendship to read aloud to your group like the one below.
Friendship by Henry David Thoreau
I think awhile of Love, and while I think,
Love is to me a world,
Sole meat and sweetest drink,
And close connecting link
Tween heaven and earth.
I only know it is, not how or why,
My greatest happiness;
However hard I try,
Not if I were to die,
Can I explain.
I fain would ask my friend how it can be,
But when the time arrives,
Then Love is more lovely
Than anything to me,
And so I’m dumb.
For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak,
But only thinks and does;
Though surely out ’twill leak
Without the help of Greek,
Or any tongue.
A man may love the truth and practise it,
Beauty he may admire,
And goodness not omit,
As much as may befit
But only when these three together meet,
As they always incline,
And make one soul the seat,
And favorite retreat,
When under kindred shape, like loves and hates
And a kindred nature,
Proclaim us to be mates,
Exposed to equal fates
And each may other help, and service do,
Drawing Love’s bands more tight,
Service he ne’er shall rue
While one and one make two,
And two are one;
In such case only doth man fully prove
Fully as man can do,
What power there is in Love
His inmost soul to move
Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side,
Withstand the winter’s storm,
And spite of wind and tide,
Grow up the meadow’s pride,
For both are strong
Above they barely touch, but undermined
Down to their deepest source,
Admiring you shall find
Their roots are intertwined
A Friendship Tea Menu
And of course, what is a tea time without the scrumptious delights of savory and sweet! Our summer tea menu includes a wonderful Citrus Chicken with Avocado Citrus Salsa and Strawberry Shortcake for dessert. You can download both recipes and a lovely invitation below if you’d like to print them out.
Set your table with a lovely cloth, get out the special occasion china, put on some soothing music, and get ready for a time of fellowship and soul-care with your friends. We can’t wait to hear how your tea goes!
A Strawberry Shortcake for a Friendship Tea
There’s nothing quite as wonderful as a homemade strawberry shortcake in the summer when the berries are perfectly ripe and sweet. This recipe is guaranteed to delight all your friends and family and makes a beautiful centerpiece for your mother culture tea gathering.
Ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake
For the cake:
- 2 ¾ cup all purpose flour (gluten free flour can also be used)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup butter (for diary free, we use Earth Balance baking sticks)
- 1 2/3 cup sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 2 ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 ¼ cup milk (for dairy free, use almond or coconut milk)
- About 1 cup halved strawberries plus more for topping
For the whipped cream:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream (for diary free, use heavy coconut cream for whipping)
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- Combine all dry ingredients (minus sugar) into a small bowl and set aside. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Slowly add in the sugar until fully combined and fluffy.
- Add in the egg whites one at a time, making sure to combine each before adding the other.
- Add in about ½ of the dry mixture while mixing on a low speed. Alternate adding in dry and wet ingredients until they are all combined. Mix for an additional 3 minutes on a medium speed.
- Prepare 3 6″ cake pans with “goop” (see above) and distribute the batter evenly between them.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before frosting.
- To make the whipped topping, pour the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on a high speed until stiff peaks form. Add in the confectioners sugar (you can add more or less to your taste) and mix for another minute.
- To assemble the cake, place one layer of cake on a cake stand or plate and top with about ½-1 cup whipped cream. Top with strawberries and repeat with the other layer. Garnish with fresh berries and enjoy!
Download a Friendship Tea invitation and printable Strawberry Shortcake and Citrus Chicken recipe here!