Day 5: #foodfriday Mrs. Wendy’s Sweet Tea

I know sweet tea isn’t food.

But in the South, it’s a staple.

Growing up, my Mama never let sweet tea run dry in our refrigerator.

I am pretty sure there was sweet tea in our sippy cups. 

I can’t even count on my fingers the amount of times people came over to our house just to sit + sip tea and just simply visit.

My friends would come over and immediately open our refrigerator asking for “Mrs. Wendy’s sweet tea.”

People were always coming to their house, some blood related, some not, coming just to be there.

Some were just killing time.

Some wanted wisdom.

Some came for just time together.

But no matter the reason,

it was at their house that they had that tea. 

That tea that my mama mastered.

She learned it from my great grandmother.

And it is, it really is the best sweet tea.

I’ve tried my hardest to be able to make my tea taste like hers.

But it NEVER tastes the same.

But I think the reason that tea tastes so perfect is the reason we all drink it.

Because yes, I’m not lying y’all, its amazing.

And yes, mother, if you’re reading this I know the key is to “let it sit” before adding water.

BUT

We drank that tea at supper every night as kids.

We drank tea when we had a bad day at school and my mama fixed us a glass to make us feel better.

We drank that tea when all my friends came over after school or church.

We drink that tea at #PlunkettTuesday dinners.

My mother stewards hospitality in the most honoring way.

She opens her home every single week for everyone to come over and sit around her + my Dad’s table.

She is a mom to those whose parents live in other cities, states, and countries.

She has spent her life allowing her home to be a haven for people to comfortably walk into without knocking…

Just to sip on some sweet tea.

Her sweet tea really is the best.

BUT

Her hospitality is what makes us all crave it.

Because,

It means more time learning from her.

In 30 days of wishful doing, I challenge you to be a person who loves people well.

A person who allows the world around you to experience the power of Jesus through your kindness, your joy, your listening ear….

and maybe just a glass of sweet tea.

Day 4 Wishful Doing: Throwback Thursday

Last year there was a day that my husband and I went exploring in a place that was a little extra special to me… and ended up experiencing something pretty magical.

Enjoy this #throwbackthursday

Roughly 13 years ago, I was sitting in my family Suburban with sponge curlers secured tight in my hair, breakfast hot-pocket in hand, and an excitement in me that I’m not sure anyone could understand.

My dad hopped in the drivers seat and said “you ready, moviestar?”

I nodded, almost with so much enthusiasm that I slightly lifted from my seat.

My greatest dream at this point in my 11-year-old-life, was to be an actress.

You see, Big Fish casting producers had traveled through Montgomery searching for 5,000 extras to be in the film that was soon to be shot in our town.

I was one of the chosen “few”.

And Y’all, I just KNEW it was going to be my chance to make it big. 

The scene I was chosen for took place in Millbrook, Alabama.

The Town of Spectre.

Apparently some family in that little farm town allowed the producers to send their crew to build a movie set on their land, or so the story goes.

And that movie set, well at least a few pieces of it, is still standing.

13 years later.IMG_5474

Our beautiful friend, Meredith had recently shot her engagements at this set and I was enamored by its now whimsical mystery and decided to trek my way back to Millbrook.

My sweet Cody Bell had not seen this movie set, so it was only natural for us to make it an exploration of the sorts.

We walked slowly looking intently at all of our surroundings,

marveling at the crooked architecture and barely-standing houses.

It was cloudy and drizzly as we ventured down the one street the holds the “Town of Spectre.”

Noticing movement coming from the little church building, we walked closer to let our eyes adjust…

goats.

Yes, goats.

We took some of our exploring to ourselves when I noticed Cody sitting on an old stump… and I knew he was thinking. 

For anyone who knows Cody, he’s a deep thinker, internal processor, and many other incredible things, but he is one who thinks the best thoughts.

I quickly walked over to him and sat on the stump perfect placed beside him.

I started the conversation (as per usual in all circumstances) and said,

“This place was my dream as a little girl. With life, obviously, I realized Hollywood would not be where I wanted to be, but it was a dream, a big one too. I wonder if there are places in us that are just wasting away in our hearts, with no movement or change.  I wonder if there are desires that we have and haven’t asked the Lord for because they seem too far and out of reach.  This place, especially with the cloudy skies and drizzle, makes me realize how much we don’t pursue because it could somehow disrupt us to go to uncharted or uncomfortable places.”

Cody looked at me with those hazel eyes that always seem to twinkle a little more than anyone else.

“We can’t grow in our lives if are aren’t willing to get uncomfortable. Growth comes in the uncomfortable and it seems to me that nobody is willing to go that place of discomfort. Do you think that there are places you aren’t willing to be uncomfortable to unveil the dream that you desire?”

Y’all,

in case you aren’t aware, we are deep talkers and I’m often emotional, so this conversation wrecked me.

We both word vomited our craziest ideas and dreams as we continued walking through the town.

Hand in hand we talked and talked, walked and walked, unable to really stop ourselves from blurting out our desires.

And then, before I knew it, Cody was just telling Jesus.

Gripping my hand tightly, he just started telling Jesus his honest truths.

Right there, in the middle of this uncharted place, he told Jesus everything.

In the sweetest way, humbly and boldly, asking the Best Friend of our Hearts to befriend our fears with Perfect Love.

I yelled scripture out and we both awkwardly laughed at the strangeness of it, yet the excitement of our realization.

This place of wasted “stuff” showed us the places of our hearts that we are willingly allowing to waste away.

We realized that we can’t throw away our desires even if the desires of our hearts don’t happen tomorrow.

Because really, those little things that give us an extra heart beat may have actually been placed there on purpose by the One who put your heart in it’s rightful spot.

We pulled up to this place that was once so magical, once so brand new and alive with Tim Burton and his Hollywood wizardry-hair, once a place where an 11-year-old girl from Montgomery, Alabama had a piece of her dream come true.

In just 13 years, this place is now desolate, paint chipped, abandoned and left to rot.

Left for people like me and my husband to go explore, play with random wandering goats, and stare up towards the southern spanish moss hanging so effortlessly with its beauty.

In 30 days of wishful doing, we are doing the simple task of asking Jesus what we have allowed to sit and waste away in our heats.

Praying that He would give it the heartbeat it once had to pursue uncharted territory.

Join us in worshipping in the ghost towns of our hearts, to bring them back to life. 

Day 3: Fear not.

A while back I wrote a little snippet of this story, but I feel like maybe this should be shared again.

When I was a little girl, we moved from a small gentleman’s farmhouse to a house in the city.

At that old house on that land, I shared a room with my big sister, Rebecca.

We lived a simple pasture distance from my cousins and maybe a mile down the road from my Grandparents.

Then we moved.

No, not to another town, but to TOWN.

I remember my parents saying,

“In our new house, you’ll get your own room.”

I totally thought that’s what I wanted.

Finally, I don’t have to share.

Well, that first night in our new house, the lights went off.

I heard sirens in the city.

I heard noises that were unfamiliar.

I was alone.

So I grabbed my pillow and went to Becca’s room.

for two years.

Eventually I eased my way out of being afraid to sleep alone, but it took night lights.

It took falling asleep before the rest of the house did.

But one thing I remember was my Dad.

He would tuck me in at night.

He would leave two lights on in the living room to shine into my room, so if I woke up I could see light and not be afraid.

He would say, “If you get scared, just holler out. I’m right down the hall. I’ll hear you and holler back so you’ll know how close I am. Remember, LouLou, Greater is He living within you than He that is in the world.”

That bedroom that I once slept in no longer has sunflowers and dolls, and dance competition medals dangling from every corner.

It’s a grown up guest room.

My mom made it pretty and welcoming for any guest who randomly decides to pop in and stay (which with the Plunketts is a VERY common thing.)

Recently I slept in that room after a surgery and opened my eyes in the middle of the night, only to see that living room light on.

My Dad still does it.

He still leaves the light on.

Maybe it’s habit.

Maybe they actually always wanted it on to begin with.

But it reminded me how close the Father is to my heart.

He leaves the light on.

He created us and knows what is scary.

That light is love, shining into fear with perfection.

No matter how old we get, no matter how scary our lives become, no matter how hard the enemy presses up against us,

That light is always on.

Day 3: Fear not, He is incredibly close to you.