Isn’t time spent sipping tea (or coffee) one of the best parts of the day? For me, it always has been. When I do, it typically means it’s a part of day where I can take a breather. It's a time for me to nestle up with my journal and Bible to spend quiet time with the Lord. That, or I’m sitting down with a dear loved one to catch up.
Coffee and tea have never given me energy, but I know after leaving the space where I consume it, I always feel empowered to conquer the day. It’s in those moments I find encouragement, promises of hope, reminders of God’s faithfulness. It’s where life is breathed into my soul. That’s what I pray the words that I type will bring you.
You might be wondering where the name came from. Let's rewind a few years.
It was Christmas season in 2015. We had rearranged where we put our tree up, and that year, there was a cozy chair across the room from the Christmas tree. I became infatuated with sitting there, reading and writing. I’d warm up a cup of tea every night and would sit nestled in that chair reading. There was no better sight than the lights on the tree to accompany it.
There was just something about the lights on the tree that captivated me- the white and brightness of them. The words I read in the Bible leaped off of the pages and reflected off of the tree- the white- the hope and promise that they portray. So full of hope, a reminder of the new life we celebrate every Christmas season. Life that was given to us with the birth of Jesus so many years ago. It was in that spot my faith grew deeper as I transitioned from a teenager to a young adult.
A few years later, it was in the space by the tree in our first apartment where my husband and I prayed, dreamed, and planned. When we moved, I now sit outside amongst the trees to recharge. No matter where I’ve been, the trees have been the consistent factor. When I surrender my time and seek the presence of the Lord, I’ve been convicted time and time again that I will be a vessel for Him to share of His relentless, reckless, love and grace with anyone that wants to listen.
The name of my blog originally started as tea by the tree, but when I was looking at domain names and teabythetree was already taken, it provided some suggestions of names that were available. It hit me then that this was the perfect name. SweetTea by the Tree. If you know me and have been around me and my family, you’d know that my parents have called me SweetT for as long as I can remember. It was the nickname I’d get on my softball shirts growing up.. it’s what my parents still to this day call me. So when I saw SweetTeabythetree, I knew that was it. How did I not think of that in the first place?!
And so it was born and will continue to be for as long as the good Lord wills it to be the path for me.
Through the winding roads of life, writing has been my outlet. Whether it be in my journal, a post on social media, a handwritten letter, writing literally fills my cup to the brim with joy. I love being able to look back and see just how far the Lord has brought me. There have been some monumentous highs, and some lower than a valley lows, but through it all, it's helped me to know and understand God's peace, strength, and hope that I know only comes from Him.
So here I am, here to share what He's taught me. Here to bring you some hope. Some laughs. Encouragement. Peace. Empowerment. Confidence. Lots of Jesus. I pray it's a space that will fill your cup up.
You see, God didn't create you to wander through life mindlessly, without a plan or purpose. I hope I can be a person that empowers you to see yourself as Jesus does, to help you become confident and walk boldly into the life that God created you for, to become all that He created you to be.
My prayer for you is this: That each word you read on this blog or in my newsletter will remind you that God loves you. It’ll help you feel like you can come to Jesus with your cup of tea and get real and raw with Him. You don't have to show up perfectly. He wants and loves you exactly as you are- no matter how broken, confused, or stressed you might feel. He loves you Infinitely, entirely, every inch of you, every flaw you think you possess, every single little hair on your head. He knows the worst of you and still loves you the most. I’m going to be here to remind you, as often as I can, that you are a prized possession in His eyes and there’s nothing in this whole world that could ever change that. Let's change this world together. Let's be lights shining as bright as the lights on the tree while we're having our tea.