Coffee Date No. 13

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be drinking an iced caramel latte. And I'd have to ask if you say care-amel or car-amel. I am in the first camp. Anyway, I've been on something of a caramel kick lately. And I might add a pump of vanilla. I'd let you choose whether we sit inside or outside, because I could go either way.  

If we were on a coffee date, I might tell you that I've been feeling pretty restless lately. First, practically speaking, it has just been a busy month. We've seen both sides of the family, C has had a lot of projects for work, and I feel like we haven't had dinner at home in ages. Honestly, a staycation never sounded so dreamy. But then, I've also been feeling restless in my soul. Do you ever feel that -- like you're not where you're supposed to be (or not where you thought you would be), but you can't quite pinpoint the why? I have a nagging feeling that my why has to do with discipline. So I'm praying through some small changes I can make in order to feel more at peace.


If we were on a coffee date, I'd share about the sermon series we're in at church. It's called "No Ordinary Family," and it's all about how God calls the Church to be different: diverse, unified, and living into the tension of being made well. I'd tell you that every single Sunday has just gotten better. Each sermon has made me love the Church more, which is honestly saying a lot, because sometimes that is hard to do. And I'd ask you what you would want to say to the Church if you had the chance?


If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you that I'm praying for renewed faith. I want to run after Jesus harder than I ever have before, and for the power of the gospel to really transform my life in practical, tangible ways. How are you seeing your faith growing, and how do you want it to grow?


If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you what you've been reading lately. This weekend, I finished "Letter to My Daughter" by Maya Angelou, and let me tell you -- if you haven't read it, you need to. I have loved Maya Angelou since my junior year of high school, when I was chosen to recite her poem "Phenomenal Woman" during our poetry unit in American Lit. Her words are just so lovely and unpretentious, dripping with wisdom and grace. Her thoughts about America are so relevant, even a decade after the book was published.


If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your heart is, and I'd try to really listen. Because I think we all just need someone to really notice us. And we would probably laugh and cry, both of which are more than okay, because life is funny and sad and beautiful and really really hard.


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


Coffee Date No. 10


If we were on a coffee date, I would tell you that I've given up social networks for Lent. If you've clicked over from Facebook or Twitter, you might be wondering how and why it appears that I'm posting to the sites, and the answer is the publicize feature on my blog. It allows me to share posts to Facebook and Twitter without actually having to visit those sites. Anyway, I would tell you that I looked up the rules for Lent, because I thought that Sundays were exempt from fasting. The site I looked up said that whether or not someone fasts on Sunday is up to their individual conscience. Knowing my own lack of self-discipline, this made me more than a little itchy, so I just decided to give it up for good, with no off days, until Easter. What makes this hard is that I basically have zero accountability. I'm alone for long spans during the day, so if I were to log in, there wouldn't be anyone to call me out. But I have to say, I have made it this far (almost a week as of the day I'm writing this section) and thanks to Hulu, it hasn't been that difficult.


If we were on a coffee date, I would ask what your thoughts are on Lent. I guess I never really understood it until I became an adult, and until God sweetly and patiently started showing me the areas in my life where I was worshipping other things. I used to think that that sounded really extreme, but the devil is way more sneaky. I see what other people have, and am quick to believe that I will be more whole once I attain those things. I believe they will make me feel better, but in the end, I only feel the holy conviction that comes with realizing that Jesus is the only true life-giving thing, and that I should be craving more of him.


If we were on a coffee date, I'd share that my husband's hard work and dedication at his new(ish) job was met with the word salary a couple weeks ago. I cannot put into words how proud I am of him. This feels a bit like coming full circle after everything that happened in October. If not full circle, then the home stretch, at least. I'll be honest, I still don't know what God's plans were when C lost his job five months ago, but he has done more than enough to prove himself a faithful provider in the weeks and months since. Even though most days my mind was fraught with worry, my heart knew that we would be taken care of. The company he is working with is a very small business, but they have felt like family from day one, and they have been so gracious to make room for us. I couldn't be more grateful.


If we were on a coffee date, I would gush about the latest episode of This is Us. No spoilers, but of course, I sobbed. The scene with the mailman was especially poignant, because it made me really think about how my life has the potential to impact the lives of those around me. I want to be the kind of neighbor who people can come and ask to borrow a cup of sugar from, and it makes me sad that we don't really do that anymore. In the spirit of transparency, I don't know a single one of our neighbors. We're all so busy coming and going that we forget the simple truth that we belong to each other. Do you know your neighbors?


If we were on a coffee date, I might tell you about a conversation I had with a girlfriend recently about having children. Specifically, about the kind of children we want to raise. My ideal picture of having a family currently looks like adopting in addition to having my own children. I think I've always liked the idea of adopting, but over the past few years, the Lord has really laid it on my heart to open my home to children who don't share my DNA and might not look like me. Anyway, I told my friend that I don't care what they look like, what they wind up being good at, or who they wind up choosing to love.  All I want is to raise my babies to be kind and generous people who follow Jesus.


If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask how your heart is. What you're praying for, if you feel seen, how you're growing in ways that surprise you, what you're struggling with, and what you're celebrating. And I'd try to be honest when I tell you about mine. We wouldn't talk about how God doesn't give us more than we can handle, because in my experience (and I'm guessing, yours too) God is always gently nudging me farther and farther away from my comfort zone. I wouldn't offer any bumper sticker slogans, because they just don't cut it. Instead, I would ask how I can pray for you, and I would pray right then and there. And I would probably cry, because when am I not crying?


What would you tell me on our coffee date? Spill your guts in the comments, link up your own post, or, you can always email me.

Coffee Date | One


Coffee Dates are inspired by my beautiful friend, Amber Thomas.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be drinking something iced, because it has been in the 90's in South Carolina in the past few weeks. I'd tell you that summer in the south makes me want to move to Antarctica and never look back.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you about all the things I'm learning about my word for 2016. I'd say that I know how silly it sounds, but I can actually feel myself changing. I'd tell you that we took communion at church last night and I remembered the other thing that Emily said happened on Good Friday. So often, we think only on Christ's death, and neglect that our own flesh died with him.

If we were on a coffee date, I would definitely talk about community. God has woven something so beautiful over the last eight months. I'd tell you about how we went to dinner and mini-golfed with two new friends and that the whole night was like an answer to prayer. I'd tell you about how we laughed, and it felt effortless, but then I would add that cultivating community really does take a lot of effort. I'd tell you that no matter what, the effort is worth it.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd tell you that even though my community is growing strong and beautiful, I'm still figuring out how to fully be myself. I posed this question in one of Hannah Brencher's webinars recently. I don't feel like I am being fake in either area, but I often struggle to bring the depth that shows up in my online community into my IRL relationships. Is this something that you feel, too? How do you navigate it?

If we were on a coffee date, I'd be embarrassed to admit that I've only very recently discovered the glory that is Ben Rector. And now I kind of want to quit my job to be his groupie.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you've read this post by my friend Jess Connolly. And I'd tell you how I literally sobbed through the whole thing and felt like she and I were the only two people in the room.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask if you know Jane JohnsonHer writing is absolutely beautiful, and homegirl knows the Word. My favorite post of hers as of late is called "So That It Is Well With Them." Not to mention the posts about how after 10 years of infertility, she took a test and saw TWO PINK LINES! I'm currently knee deep in her 30 day Quiet Time Challenge and I couldn't love it more.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd share my recipe for grape saladand how it is one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted and I want to eat it everyday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I recently made it for a Memorial Day cook out because it is the easiest potluck dessert ever.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd definitely recommend Hannah Brencher's Craving SeriesThis girl has helped me light my own fires in a way that no one else on the internet (or maybe even in real life) has. She makes me more hungry for Jesus.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask you if you were grieving for Orlando. Because I cannot imagine the heartache and devastation that they are feeling in these moments. This is the hard eucharisteo that Ann talks about. The kind where there are no words because we're just so stunned by the anguish.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd ask about your theology of exercise, and if you've found something that works for you. Lately, I've really felt convicted about how I treat my body. So I've started using an app to track my meals and exercise. I've been doing cardio on an irregular basis, and I'm kind of getting tired of the treadmill. I'd ask what your recommendations are for exercise programs and/or healthy recipes.

If we were on a coffee date, I'd definitely talk about house buying. It is the next step for me and the man, and I am getting so antsy! But adulting is hard, and I honestly don't know much about loans and mortgages and building credit. I'd add that you can find my dream house on Apartment Therapy, if you're curious.

What would you want to share on our coffee date? Amber and I would love it if you would write your own posts and join our table by linking up!