Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Everyone who knows me, knows I LOVE coffee!! In fact, when I see a Starbucks my heart goes pitter patter!!! Last year I actually bought a Starbucks Logo Car decal....haha....I got teased so much for how big it was that I ended up not using it. Crazy, I know but it's just ME and my love. :)

I started to ponder all the reasons of why I love coffee. It's not the caffeine since that doesn't affect me. I could drink decaf all the time and that would be great. It's not the actual taste of coffee.....I definitely DON'T drink black coffee. I am all about the cream, the fluff, the fat! Pumpkin Spice Latte or Caramel Mocha are my faves!! So after many years of teasing....why coffee and me are synonymous....I had to figure out "why". Today I did.

My sister and I went to Starbucks this morning. She ordered an iced Pumpkin Spice Latte and I got a Caramel Brulee Latte with a blueberry scone for each of us. YUMMM! As we sat outside Starbucks at a cute little table in the sun we caught up on life. We don't live near each other and so it was nice to spend time together. We chatted about our kids, our families and our lives. We talked about what God is teaching us and what we struggle with. A special time with just the two of us.

I realized today that it's not really about the coffee or about Starbucks. It is about the time spent with special people in my life. I cannot tell you how much money I've spent on "coffee" over the years....or how many times I have taken up space in a Starbucks. (Although, I could come close by counting how many city mugs I own!!!) I CAN tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my sister today sharing our lives....and all the times I have sat with a teenager hashing out life.....or chatting with my friend about how to be a better mom.....or another friend venting about the frustrations of life. "Coffee" for me is not about the beverage but about the experience. It's about the memories made with people I love. It's special to me.

So now, I don't usually ask someone if they want to hang out....or go to dinner or whatever. I just ask, "Do you wanna go to coffee?" Even if we don't end up at a Starbucks....we will do something together and spend some special time. A coffee....mocha....or latte....it's ALL good!!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Here comes JOY!

This morning I was sitting with my coffee, spending time in God's Word. I came across a verse in John 16...."You will grieve, but your grief will turn to JOY." I wasn't thinking about my Mom this morning or contemplating spending the holidays without her. I wasn't sad. I wasn't really awake yet either. I was just spending time with the Lord and reading. As soon as I read verse 20, my heart jumped. I realized in that moment that my grief had turned to JOY!!!!!

I have mentioned before that I am pretty joyful already. On an average day I can find the beauty in most things, the good in most people and I make a pretty darn good lemonade out of lemons!! This past year, however, has tested me beyond what I thought possible. I have been devestated some days and utterly in despair on others. I've never felt grief like this until my Mom died. Suffering through this grief is like a whole 'nother animal. It's nothing like when I lost my grandma to alzheimers....or when my uncle drowned unexpectedly.....or when my college friend died in a car accident. These losses were great and broke my heart. After a few weeks of grieving I was back to normal. I thought all grief was that way and anyone who took longer to grieve was "milking" it. I didn't have a lot of empathy for any sadness that went on for a long time. Now, one year later, I have great compassion for others who are grieving.

My friend just lost her mom to liver disease at the age of 49. It was one month ago that my 24 year old friend said goodbye to her mom. My heart ached for her....I wept for her. I understand the pain, the sorrow and the shock. God allowed me to love her and minister to her in a way that I will never forget. He used my life and my year to help her.....to show her compassion....to give her some sense of normal. I know that someday she will have JOY again. I have been able to tell her that......and to encourage her that this is not the end of the road.

"You will grieve, but your grief will turn to JOY." Thank you Jesus that you know the end from the beginning. You carry us through the valleys and give us sunshine as we walk. One year later, I have an unexpressable JOY. God has blessed me with understanding, wisdom, family, deep friendships, ministry and a sweet realization that He is my everything. JOY JOY JOY....AMEN!!