After entering the Tea with Grace tearoom, a teenage girl ushers me to a table. I request some green tea and ask to see Grace Hearst. Soon a round woman in her mid to late 40’s with bouncy brown hair and rosy cheeks approaches my table carrying a tray laden with a teacup and pot of tea.
“I’m Grace. May I help you?” She places the cup in front of me and pours tea into it.
“Yes, I’m Michele Wilder, the author of a book you’re a character in. I know you’re busy, but may I ask you a few questions so that people who read my book, From Shards to Sea Glass, can get to know you a little better?”
She sets the tray on the table. “Why, of course! She flutters her blue apron, pulls out a chair, and sits beside me. Ask away!”
“Have you always wanted to own a tearoom?”
“Not exactly. I grew up working at my parents’ café where I learned how to run a small restaurant. When I married my husband, I understood that if he were to become a pastor of a little church we’d probably need a second income, so when my husband accepted the pastorate of the church here in The Cove six years ago, opening this tearoom was a natural fit for us and for the area.”
“Do you have any hobbies?”
Grace chuckles. “I don’t have much time for hobbies, but I enjoy sipping a strong cup of black tea while poring over old baking books. I’m a romantic at heart and enjoy reading a Christian romance novel once in a while. Oh, and I also love skydiving but haven’t jumped in years.”
“Do you have any dreams for the future?”
“After taking a workshop once, I’ve dreamed of having a special ministry to abused women—perhaps even opening a home for them.” She frowns. “But I don’t see either of those happening any time soon.”
“One more question. How do you manage being a pastor’s wife and running a tearoom full time?”
“I start each day reading my Bible and praying for God to keep me focused and driven. The ladies in our church know I’m always available if needed no matter what, but I also consider the tearoom an important part of the ministry. Here I keep my fingers on the pulse of the community, help people when possible, and witness to those who don’t want to step foot into a church. I people and love every minute…” Grace glances at a table in front of a large window where a pretty young woman in dusty jeans is sipping tea. She heaves a sigh. “…even on those days when ministering can be especially difficult.”