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Friday, November 30, 2007

Caring, Conversation, Coffee & Connection

What is it about a good cup of coffee and a nice long chat with a really good girlfriend?

My soul can get the endorphin fix it is craving simply by planning this time. How uplifting it feels to have those I love the most take time of out of their hectic, crazy, busy lives to sit and linger over a cup of coffee with me...with me.

My mom calls it coffee cup counseling. I've heard it called mentor meetings, coffee and accountability, girlfriend gab. I think the English even call it tea time. No matter what we call it, I love it. I'll take all I can get!

I can leave this scenario feeling more encouraged and connected than I have in a really long time. Especially if the friend is someone I care about deeply and don't see near enough of in my crazy life.

Things are really good in life right now. God is moving mightily. The kids are doing well. The marriage is going well. The business is booming. I feel in tune with God's purpose and voice.

But lately I've felt rather lonely. Not alone, not depressed, just apart from those who happen to know the deep parts of me really well. Disconnected from the ones who know my heart, hear my heart, feel my heart...a feeling that one cup of coffee and one glance into my soul can cure.

Thankfully, I am learning to recognize this feeling and reach out to connect to someone before I launch into a pity party, cry for no reason or just become plain old isolated.

My life is entering a phase where it's harder to find gobs of time to bond over coffee, corporately pray and worship on weekends or evenings outside of church or even sit on a park bench and watch kids ride bikes.

I became intentional in building intimacy with girlfriends in college. I needed the accountability, encouragement and support. With my older friends I needed wisdom, accountability and experience that their life had given them already.

Now my life is more full and more busy than it's ever been with my family's responsibilities. Sometimes this breeds loneliness. Not a bad loneliness, more like a purposeful loneliness. I know what God is calling me to do. It's just different. Wonderful. Wonderfully different. I love it. I miss my friends. Friends I used to see regularly.

However, I am involved with many people on a regular basis...I don't feel many are involved in my soul life. The deeper life. The place where God speaks.

One way to enter that place together where God speaks is to spend lots of time there...together. The ladies who have reached out to the Lord, responded to him with me and prayed me through many, many years of life...They get me. They know me.

It's not that any of my newer friends don't get me or know me in this way. It just takes time.

Just like our relationship with the Lord, our relationships with our friends and loved ones take cultivating. We spend huge amounts of time together. Great quantities of time are spent together when life is slower, easier, smoother. Then when we hit a bump in life, the relationship is in place, the trust is built and we have that to fall back on for help and support.

Quality time is born from quantity time.

We can't build quality.

We can invest quantity.

Thank you to everyone who has invested quantities of quality time in my life. I pray God will continue to grow us and connect and add to our numbers.

Thank you to all my girlfriends who touch my soul. Your prayers, love, concern and support carry me to the throne of God on a regular basis.

Whether it's been short or long since we shared that cup of coffee know that as I think of you and pray for you today I am encouraged. I hope you are too!

I love you!!!


Kathryn, Michael & Alex said...

Oh my dear sweet Lisa, how I miss you.

I miss our coffee conversations.

I miss worshipping, praying, crying, laughing and just sitting with you.

I know that God has given us a bond that will last more than a lifetime, it will last an eternity.

There will come a day again when we can sit on the couch together and do all of those things.

Until that day comes we are secure in knowing and loving each each other deeply.

I love your heart, the heart that becomes more like Jesus every day.

Know that I pray for you daily and I am always a phone call away.

I love you my faith friend!!!

Angie Love said...

Let's have a coffee cup conversation over the phone this Christmas break. Sweet Eugene's...just over the phone! How I long for time with you, to laugh, to cry, to swallow tissues during deep prayer time!

Renee Heaton said...

Seriously....are you in my head?!! I think you are and you stole this thought from me! Because I have been lonly too.

Do you think that it is because God is growing us up to rely on Him and not man? I know that God brought us others for companionship and love and for His glory. But I can't help but think that He wants to remind us that our happiness doesn't come from others. If we rely too much on that man-centered companionship then we can become lonly.

For me the lonliness is not a bad thing at all. It has been refreshing because I am learning so much just from Him.

Thank you for your thoughts and love. You are my kindred spirit!

lisasmith said...

Kat--I miss you all too, my friend!

Angie, email me your phone number again...I can't keep up with anything except my blog...especially laundry, phone numbers, addresses and birthdays!

Renee, yeah, I'm in your head. I was just telling someone that I think God has always taken friendships that are important away from me seemingly due to moves, jobs or circumstance but I thought that He really removed me from these relationships so that I would seek Him first and not the phone! When I have something to say, He wants me to tell Him first. When I need an opinion, it's His that matters first. I already started a future post about this! Again, I'm in your head.