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.


Currently | November

loving | Dreaming up possibilities, The Bible, online shopping, rearranging our furniture, hearing this little girl say "thank you, mama," getting hugged by Ann Voskamp, turning 26, snail mail from friends who just get it, seeing Switchfoot in Atlanta, the kind words of strangers, getting to be wife to this one.

wanting |More of Jesus all the time, community, deep roots.

needing | All of the above + a week's worth of rain.

watching | The Crown. So beautiful. Law & Order SVU, of course. And all the trailers and interviews for Jackie.

listening | Jon Foreman, Colin & Caroline, and The Mowgli's.

reading | The Broken Way -- life changing. Also Hannah Brencher's 13 thoughts on mental health, Erin Boyle's peace and justice advent calendar.

learning | The importance of slowing down, being generous, honoring myself and others by being wholly present, the beauty of the upside down kingdom.

feeling | Rested, for the most part, after Thanksgiving. Grateful for family, excited and nervous for the future.

craving | A lifetime supply of chestnut praline lattes.

laughing at | Dad jokes in the car with my eight year old brother in law, hearing LG call pickles "tickles," new and old cartoons with C.

Tell me all the things about your November. 

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.