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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Conversation Coffee

This week I have had the privilege of meeting friends at Starbucks three different times. Don't worry I didn't indulge all three times but only because they were very close together! I do luuuv me some Starbucks.

I had coffee with a special friend who has crossed my path many times over the last several years but we've never really had any opportunities to share our stories so sharing was super fun.
I am sure we'll do it again!
I met Annette in real life. Meeting her is a wonderful reason to blog and I know we'll meet in person more often. I'll be begging because I need the benefits of her life experiences!
I met some of my Bible study girlsat Starbucks and I met some old, loved and missed prayer partners for lunch (not at Starbucks).
In honor of all the coffee consumption of the last 48 hours, I thought I'd post a rerun from November of 2007:
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!!!

5 comments:

His Hers Ours and Autism said...

It was good to see you, but Starbucks seems so public and I longed very much to dive into some deaper conversation on where God is leading each of us in our lives. I hope so much that we can have a time to share. I so enjoy our growing friendship. Somehow I left thinking, "This just wasn't enough of the girlfriend time that I need." I am so excited to know someone that loves God like I do, loves her children, struggles with keeping a clean home, finding time, and longing to be a Godly woman and wife. You're special! Thanks for taking time to read my words, and encourage me.

B His Girl said...

I met a friend and reconnected this week in Starbucks too. We both vowed to get together more often. With little ones, it is important you have some time away, where you can finish your sentences. I like coffee counseling or maybe latte' language. Girls need that. B

Sandy at God Speaks Today said...

Lisa,

I love this post. I've been living this post on and off for years now. No surprise, since we're twins separated at birth and all.

My best friend had a severely premature baby, which quite literally had her consumed for more than two years. More than a year of that time, she was living in the Ronald McDonald house, two hours from her home.

She was the one who "got me" more than anyone. Who heard God and helped me hear God. When she wasn't available to me, I had no idea what a toll it would take on me emotionally.

Because of the busyness of raising little kids, writing and keeping up with my marriage and my house kept me occupied, I didn't try again to reach out much. It just seemed like too much work to try to connect on that level with new people. It's so time-consuming.

God really spoke to me about this. He reminded me how much I NEED the body. I wasn't meant to do this alone. For me, the loneliness is the first red flag than I need to schedule some coffee time.

I try now to get a sitter once a week during the day so I can do this. It doesn't happen every week, but just knowing I have it on the calendar gets me through the lonely times.

~Sandy

Joyful said...

Lisa, this post was 'almost' like a coffee conversation. I so relate to everything you wrote here.

My husband makes fun of my "tea parties", but they are crucial. Just yesterday I extended a "Starbucks" invitation to a good friend, knowing we needed to make time to re-connect and share life.

I am refueled, blessed and so much happier after time invested with a friend heart-to-heart.

Visiting here always refreshes me as well. Maybe someday you and I will have the opportunity of enjoying some "Starbucks" together.

Blessings,
Joy

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