Coffee Date No. 14

via All In.

 

Hi, friend. It’s good to meet you here. Just in case you’re new to this corner of the interwebs, let me give you the skinny on these coffee date posts. Once a month, on the second Monday, a group of gals meets at a virtual table for an unfiltered chat about whatever is currently going on in our lives. Nothing is off limits, and there is more than enough grace to cover our messes. So if that sounds like the kind of thing your soul might need, we would love nothing more than to have you pull up a chair, bring your favorite mug filled to the brim with your beverage of choice, and we’ll spill it all together. Don’t have a blog to link up? That’s totally fine. Tell us what you would share in the comments below.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d take you to my new favorite spot. Living within walking distance of one of the biggest college campuses in the state does have some perks — one of which is All In Coffee Shop. They have a very nice outdoor seating area, but I’d suggest that we sit inside, because the heat in South Carolina has been in the high 90’s for what feels like ages, and according to the weatherman, it isn’t going to get better any time soon. I’d definitely be drinking an iced coffee — maybe something with caramel or lots of chocolate.

 

If we were on a coffee date, you might ask about mine and C’s recent trip. In the month since we last chatted, C and I celebrated our fourth anniversary by taking a road trip up the east coast. Maybe you’ve seen the pictures on Instagram. We went to Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. Craig drove up the coast with his dad and brother last fall, but I actually hadn’t ever been north of Maryland before he and I took this trip. It was wonderful. We went to the top of The Rockefeller, which was my absolute favorite part of the trip. I was pretty hesitant to go to the top of anything, but it was seriously the most beautiful, peaceful part of our day in NYC. And we topped it all off by seeing U2 in Boston, which was absolutely incredible. Happy anniversary to us!

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask how you and God are doing these days. What are you learning at church and from scripture? What has your quiet time looked like recently? How are you engaging culture? Lately, I feel like he and I are on the cusp of something really big. But of course, I don’t know exactly what that is yet. Do you ever feel that way? What do you do to unpack it?

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d have to gush about the fact that LG is going to be a big sister! I haven’t talked about this on social media at all, so it will probably come as quite the surprise. Her mama is actually due to have another precious girl this week! I have to say, I’m a little bit anxious to think about how much this will change things for us, but my excitement to meet this beautiful new baby far outweighs that nervousness.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask how you handle it when friends move away. Our best friends recently told us that they are moving two hours away. I have been totally devastated, even though I know that two hours isn’t that far. It just feels far away because of how much we love them. We’ve pretty much been inseparable since C and I moved to South Carolina, so I know that there will be lots of long weekends spent going back and forth between here and Charlotte to see each other.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what you’re reading. I’m slowly but surely working my way through Louie Giglio’s new book, Goliath Must Fall. Have you ever just known that a book was written for you? That’s how I’ve felt about this book from about page seven. With every page turned, I say, “okay, God, you have my attention.”

 

If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that we went to an event at church and met two of the nicest couples. Guys, meeting people is hard. I don’t consider myself to be a shy person, but I can be terrible at instigating new friendships. For now, I’m going to take the easy way out and blame this on my INFJness. Of course, the underlying current of thought is that it is especially difficult given that we’re still adjusting to new surroundings after an ending we didn’t ask for or see coming. Starting over is just plain hard, but we have to come to a point where we realize that people are worth fighting for. We are worth fighting for, too.

 

If we were on a coffee date, you know I would ask how your heart is. Because small talk makes me itchy, and I want to get down to the nitty-gritty, no holding back space. You know, the space where you can laugh or cry or curse or pray or whatever your heart most needs to do. And I would ask if you know what you’re made for, because I’m starting to get tiny glimpses of my own meaning and there’s nothing I would love more than to call out those things that are beautiful and alive and growing in you.

 

What would you share with me if we were on a coffee date?

Coffee Date No. 12

 

If we were on a coffee date, I would invite you over to my new apartment. We love our new place, and being done with this move just feels so freeing. We haven’t quite finished unpacking all of the boxes, but I cannot wait another minute to have people over. Naturally, I’d have my playlist from Lent on in the background, and I’d have some chocolate chip cookies to go with our Caribou (or whatever brand is currently sitting next to my coffee pot). There’s really nothing I love more than having people in my home.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you about what you’re learning lately. What is the Lord revealing to you in scripture or through the people in your circles? Recently he has been showing me areas where I have been holding back in community. We talked community in church yesterday morning, and Meredith said there were three tiers to being known: people knowing your name, people knowing your story, and people knowing your secrets. Brad added an innermost tier, which was people knowing our needs. It is a scary, humbling thing to think about someone peeling back our carefully constructed layers of protection to get to the heart of where we’re really at, but it’s like Hannah Brencher said: if you want to be found, you have to be honest about where you are. And I really want to be found. Meredith also pointed out that our union was the last thing Jesus prayed for before he went to the cross. And if unity was the last thing he prayed for, it should be the first thing we fight for (serious mic drop).

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d timidly admit that I’m trying to unplug again. Why is this so hard? I want to stay informed now more than I ever have before, and I want my voice to be light — but the honest truth is that I’m just so frustrated with the world and the church right now, and I’m struggling to see where Jesus is. I feel like my blood has been at a steady temperature of 211 degrees, and the next tweet or status I read is just going to send me over the edge, and when this happens, I know that the best thing I can do is to just shut it down.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what books are currently making themselves at home on your nightstand. I have Nish Weiseth’s Speak, Glennon Doyle Melton’s Carry On Warrior (which admittedly, I’ve also been listening to on Audible, and ya’ll, it is just so good), and Jennie Allen’s Nothing to Prove. 

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you that I’ve TiVo’d all things Princess Diana. We have satellite television now, and along with new episodes of Chopped, I am obsessed with Di. I feel like she is just one of the most fascinating human beings of our time, and I so wish that she was still here.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what you’re working on right now that brings you to life. Because we need to do more of the things that make our lungs swell big with oxygen and gratitude and the scent of home. And I’d laugh when I told you to look around at my unfinished apartment. Making home is what has been keeping me settled lately. I put on an audiobook and do dishes by hand and try to figure out where to put this or that homeless knickknack (sometimes they wind up in the trash or the Goodwill bin). And I feel like I can breathe.

 

If we were on a coffee date, you’d be welcome to stay as long as you’d like. Because there’s nothing that I don’t want to hear about what has been going on in your life lately. The hard parts and the beautiful parts and everything in between.

 

What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?
Share all the things in the comments below OR by linking up with your own post!

Coffee Date No. 11

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask if we could sit outside. After a few days of really precarious weather, including a bitter cold front and the greatest risk for tornadoes in South Carolina in something like a decade, the air is finally warm and the sun sits high in cloudless skies. Also, I would, at long last, be drinking something iced.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d share that I haven’t been perfect at Lent this year. But really, am I ever? I decided to give up social networks this year, and honestly, while I have logged on occasionally, it hasn’t been nearly as often or for as long as it used to be. And even though I feel a bit uninformed, I feel lighter. Besides, it is not my responsibility to respond to every single thing going on in the world — nor is it healthy to even attempt to. 

 

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask about your margin. Lately, mine has felt kind of nonexistent. Even though my plate has been spilling over with good things, my soul still feels a bit edgy. I didn’t realize until this moment that it is possible to have a full and glad heart and at the same time have a soul that resides on the border of chaos. What I can tell you is that I know that God has given me some supernatural energy this past week, and that I need a double dose this week because we are moving to a new place this weekend. It is a new start that feels like grace, and hopefully, once we return the keys to the U-Haul, we will be able to breathe again.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d admit that my word for 2017 hasn’t gotten a lot of love. I landed on rhythm for the year and had all sorts of good intentions for planning out a budget and a better morning routine and actually following the cleaning schedule on the fridge, but literally none of that has happened. But I think (I pray that) this move will help me to dig deeper into the discipline. And of course, I’d ask how things are going with your word, because there’s nothing I love more than stories of becoming rooted and established, and I think that’s what our words help us to become.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask if you have an accountability partner in any area of your life. What is that relationship like? How did you go about finding and asking that person to keep you accountable? Honestly, accountability makes my skin crawl, but I know that I need it in order to be the person I want to be for myself and those around me. Once we finish with this move, I would really like to get back in the gym. I haven’t been since the holidays, so there’s that. Also, I really need to be better about getting in the Word. I started a Bible in a Year plan on January 1, but can we all just admit that trudging through parts of Deuteronomy and Numbers is a bit reminiscent of trying to get through Captain Ahab’s monolog about whale blubber? Anyway, I digress. The point is, I am longing for someone to stand beside me and say “hey, I see you, and I know you can do this because it is worth it.”

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask you about your normal, but I wouldn’t try to compare it to my own. It is so dangerous to assume that our normal is the same as the person across the table or across the globe. And I’ve been trying hard to avoid blanket statements in my conversations because I just find them to be ignorant and irresponsible. My friend Kristen recently wrote an incredible blog post about this very topic, and her timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you how wonderful I think you are. And I would mean it. When I look at the people I count as friends, both online and IRL, I could not be more grateful. There’s this line in a song in Hamilton that has been hanging out in the recesses of my heart lately: let this be the first chapter where you decide to stay. And I think that’s beautiful. Here is where I would very much like to stay.

 

What would you share on our coffee date? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Coffee Date No. 9

If we were on a coffee date, I’d take you to Methodical Coffee in downtown Greenville. It’s where I’m writing this coffee date post from, so you know it’s legit. They have the most delicious mocha I’ve ever had, twinkle lights, and the sweetest little view. They’re currently playing Sufjan Stevens’ Carrie & Lowell and I think I may never leave.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d have to tell you that I actually met a virtual coffee date friend IRL this month! I got to sit down with Amanda from Not Your Average Coffee Bean, and it was lovely. We sat and talked for a couple of hours about life and love and family and God, and meeting her reminded me that taking chances on people is always worth it.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you about my experience with IF: Local last week. Since we’re on the subject of taking chances on people and all. Ten days ago I showed up at a church I had never been to and ate lasagna with women I had never met before and we shared our stories and sang songs on the floor and heard women bring the Word and God showed up. It was so good. I made friends that I hope to keep for as long as God will let me.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask if you’ve heard Ellie Holcomb’s latest album, Red Sea RoadThe title track has been on repeat for an entire week now, because it is just so applicable to my current season. The entire album is just phenomenal, and I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

If we were on a coffee date, perhaps I would cry when I tell you that I’m asking Jesus for a new heart. I feel like I’m starting to move forward in this grieving process, but then last week, I got an email asking if we were planning to renew our membership at the church that let my husband go last fall, and all that bitterness finds it’s way back to the surface. Also, I still feel a sense of hesitation when it comes to reaching out to new people and settling down in a new place, and I don’t want that to be the case. I want to walk into this next season with grace and openness. So I’m asking Jesus to come in and make things new.

If we were on a coffee date, I might tell you that my word for 2017 hasn’t gotten much love lately. I think I dove into rhythm in hopes that I could bypass or at least somehow mask the grieving process that we’ve had to go through after my husband lost his job. That’s not to say that I don’t totally need better rhythms in my life, because I absolutely do. And while I’m certainly not the most patient person, especially with myself, I’m learning that it is okay to take my time sometimes. And I’d ask how you’re doing with your word for 2017.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask if you feel free. Because honestly, I don’t feel free most of the time. I’ve been reading Rebekah Lyons’ new book You Are Free, and I’m trying to soak in the sweetness of a Jesus who lets me come exactly as I am — a Jesus who says that I am already free. His perfect love casts out fear. We talked about that in church yesterday, and I sat dumbfounded in the pew. What that phrase actually means in the original Greek is that the love of Jesus slams the door in fear’s face. And let me tell you, I need me some of that.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask if you have any recommendations for a hair mask. Because girl, my mane is in serious need of some TLC. I think I’m going to book an appointment with my hair stylist so that I can go back to brown and maybe get some bangs, and then I will probably never bleach my hair again.

If we were on a coffee date, I might tell you that I’m trying to take a break from social networking. But that wouldn’t really be true. Maybe I need someone to change my passwords on me, because lately, my feeds are like a nasty car accident that I can’t seem to look away from. And all this bickering is toxic for my soul and my body.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what is filling you up these days. Is it a hobby that brings you to life, or time with a particular person or group of people? Is it quiet time alone? Do you like to get outside?

If we were on a coffee date, of course I’d ask how your heart is. I’d ask how I can be praying for you. And I’d hope that you would feel safe enough to really lay it all out on the table.

What would you share with me on our coffee date?
Link up your own blog post or share your heart in the comments.

 


Coffee dates were born and brewed at my friend Amber’s place, and
we’re keeping them alive here while she is on a blogging hiatus. 

Coffee Date | Two

Coffee dates originated over at my friend Amber’s place,
and I never cease to be grateful for her warmth and hospitality.


If we were on a coffee date, I’d be drinking something iced and sweet, because we’ve topped a hundred degrees here in South Carolina and the humidity is absolutely horrendous.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d recommend this sermonand tell you that Genesis 15:6 is absolutely wrecking me. I’d share that this whole faith thing is too simple, too good to be true, and sometimes just too damn hard. I mean, let’s be real: its easy to believe in God. It is much harder to believe him when he speaks over me. I see that verse, and I see promises that go against everything I know to be true. I see callings that lead me far and away from my comfort zone. But I also see the seed of the faithfulness of God, and that is something that I never ever want to lose sight of.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you feel seen. Maybe I would pour my heart out and tell you that this is a constant struggle in my life right now. Maybe I wouldn’t. I’m good at stuffing those kinds of things down. But I would definitely ask you — because the headlines and the trending topics are incredibly sad, and it makes me wonder if anyone is really taking the time to look into the eyes of the people they’re with and let them know they’re not alone.

If we were on a coffee date, I would ask if you’re doing a Bible study. In June, I read through Genesis with She Reads Truth and this month, I’m doing a study on Moses. I cannot recommend that app highly enough. While the study wasn’t wildly in depth, it was a great way to keep track of what I read and have a little bit of quiet time. Right now, I’m camped out and refusing to move on from the burning bush.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d share that I’m honestly sick and tired of being asked when I’m going to have a baby. I’m being asked multiple times a week, often by people who don’t even know me. PSA: This is not an acceptable form of small talk. We have not ventured into trying yet because we would like to be in our own place and be more financially stable before bringing a baby into the equation. But for many of my friends, being able to conceive has been either very difficult or impossible (at least by human standards). Several of my friends have had multiple miscarriages. I’m grateful that so far, this has not been my story, but it easily could be. So please, if you don’t know someone’s story, do not continue to ask when baby will be coming, or saying things like “just you wait.” You may be unwittingly adding to already unbearable pain.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you that I just want there to be a few more hours in the day. Because household chores and the gym and dinner on the table and writing and finishing all the books and meeting with all the friends and maybe a little bit of rest and there are only 168 hours in a week and I don’t know where it all goes. Do you know where it all goes?

If we were on a coffee date, I’d share that I’m trying to become more independent from others and more dependent on the Lord. This post by Jenna struck all the chords. “I thought they’d stay after they set my world spinning, but it turns out that God’s the one who rotates my orbit and still answers when I call.” 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what your best yes is right now. Oh my gosh, you guys, this is SO unbelievably hard. Because doing all the things is looked upon as a virtue. There are things going on every single night of the week and I crave community and to be known, but like Bob Goff says, “the battle for our hearts is fought on the pages of our calendars.” I want to want God more. I want to hear his voice saying “this is the way, walk in it.” 

If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you I got a new planner, and I am so excited! I had absolutely no idea that Day Designer partnered up with Blue Sky Designers and that their planners were carried in Target for (cue the fanfare!) $12. I am absolutely a pen and paper planner kind of gal, but I just don’t know if spending a ton of money on a planner is realistic for me right now. So I’m really really excited to try it out and see if I should splurge next year.

If we were on a coffee date, I’d definitely share this song in light of everything happening in our world. I could (read: do) listen to it on repeat all day every day.

If we were on a coffee date, and I was feeling particularly brave, I might ask what your excuses are. Because we all have things that we want and need and dream of and feel called to do, but we often drag our heels. In my multiple readings about the burning bush lately, I’ve thought about this idea a lot. Moses didn’t really want the place where his feet were to be the place where God met him, and he made lots of excuses about not being enough and being unable to control the outcomes. I am the same way, and maybe you are, too. But this is holy ground, ya’ll. And we were made to move.


What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?
I’d love nothing more than to hear all about your life.
Join us at the table, either in the link up or the comments below.