When Martinez, Ga., resident Rose Chandler Johnson suggested “God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea” as her book’s title, it was a joke.
But her editor loved it; it fit not only the book, but the author, as well, Johnson said.
“God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea: Experiencing God in the Midst of Everyday Moments – A Devotional Journey” is 52 pages of meditations, scriptures, prayers and “sweet tea moments.”
For Johnson, drinking a glass of sweet tea and writing devotions is her regular pleasure, she said.
“I can drink a pitcher of tea a day,” Johnson said. “It’s almost like a joke with my family.”
She posts devotions weekly on her “Write Moments with God” blog and has faithfully journaled for years, picking up the pace on it in 2008.
One day, she examined her writings.
“It clicked that I could make these into devotionals,” she said.
Though she’s had poems, articles and short stories published, “God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea” is her first book.
For her debut, she created the publication to be a bit personal.
“There are stories that have happened with my children or my students (from teaching for around 20 years), ...situations that I found myself in,” Johnson said.
Right away in the first chapter – The Taste Test, she mentions her children.
“When the dish has been served, the taste test is the moment of truth,” Johnson writes. “Yet, I’ve often had to coax a picky eater to taste a new dish.”
She compares forming her relationship with the Lord to tasting a new dish. She sampled a little bit every day, until her faith and knowledge grew to the capacity it’s at today.
“God became more irresistible to me than my daily sweet iced tea,” she wrote. “It’s made all the difference in my life.”
After her anecdotal advice, she gives those who want to read more reference points in the Bible.
For those who want to journal, there is space to answer her questions based on the chapter.
A prayer and prayer focus follow.
Her “Today’s Sweet Tea Moment” helps top everything off.
“It’s my thought for the day,” Johnson said.
For example, she concludes the first chapter with “The Lord’s pleasure is my goal and not man’s approval.”
Johnson’s guide released earlier this month.
“What I like so much about this devotional book is its wonderful mix of spiritual insights and practical applications,” fellow author Ann Tatlock said. “Rose Chandler Johnson is truly adept at finding God in the ordinary and eternal lessons in the everyday moments of life.”
When she isn’t journaling or blogging, Johnson is spending time with her three sons and three daughters. She is taking a break from teaching but has taught English and French at middle and high schools across the CSRA.
“God, Me and Sweet Iced Tea” is available through Amazon.
For more information on Chandler, visit her blog at www.writemomentswithgod.blogspot.com.
Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard, where she reports, edits and designs pages. She graduated in July 2012 with a journalism degree from Valdosta State University and lives with her family in Evans, Ga.