Grab a cup of something warm and join me for a holiday heart-to-heart…(and a Starbucks giveaway! at the bottom.)
If you’ve been around awhile, you know I love coffee dates. I mean, I love coffee, but even more, I love to have coffee with a friend. Maybe it’s because I homeschool my kids out in the country (on an island, no-less) so actually getting out to meet a friend for coffee is kind of a big deal. As in: It rarely happens. 🙂 So, when it does, it can be quite a scene. Usually there are big hugs and lots of “You look great!” “No you do!”‘s And then laughter and more hugs and then: “There’s so much to cover!” “Where do we start!?” I am often so excited to meet up for a long-past-due coffee date that I will have a list in my phone of topics we just have to cover..
And that’s how I’m looking at today’s post. I’m seeing you in my mind, whether you’re a reader I know in person, or one who I feel like I know because we’ve interacted here or there (Comments? Facebook? Instagram?) Or maybe you’re just a super cool mom who I envision in my head (cuz I imagine all of you reading this to be super cool) and I picture you hanging in LA or Texas or London or Australia, or on a boat or on the mission field or…you name it. And we are finally meeting for coffee. (Ok, I might have just wiped a tear thinking of all of you from all over the world who I’ve been blessed to know because of this blog.)
And because I already love you and feel like I can trust you with my heart, I imagine we’d dive in just like I do with my in-real-life friends. Skip the chit-chat and get right to the things that matter.
First, you’d get your favorite holiday drink, and I’d order mine: a nonfat Peppermint Mocha with half of all the sweet stuff and light whip (because moderation.) (And whipped cream is life.)
And then this is how I imagine it would go —
To start, we’d just acknowledge: The Holidays. And I’d ask, “How are you?” Like, the lean in close, look into your eyes (ok maybe your soul) and say “How are you really?” (Cuz good friends can do that.) I’d trust you to be honest and open. And you might tell me you love Christmas or you might say it’s hard. You might say that you’re overwhelmed or the kids are not behaving well or the marriage is rough. Maybe you’d tell me that finances are tight and you hate that you can’t get your son that thing he really wants. OR you might say you’re getting your son all of the toys but you feel like you’re blowing the whole advent-focus (again!) and you hate that.
And after listening to you spill it all out (like a good friend would) I would reach across the table and take your hand (it’s ok, I’m officially old enough to do these things) and I would say:
It’s all ok, friend, it really is. The holidays can be such a mix of good and hard, of lights and glitter and big hopes and dashed expectations. In fact, I’d camp out on expectations and tell you we really need to lose those…You and me both. I’d tell you that I, too, struggle to keep my head, and most years I end up feeling like Christmas was a big blur and I never seem to find the balance in it all. I would remind you that none of us really have it all together, despite what we put on Instagram. I’d encourage you to step back, zoom out a bit, and see this season in light of a much bigger picture. And give yourself a lot of grace. I’d tell you to get alone with God and talk to Him about whatever is on your mind (stressing you, hurting you, even bringing you joy). Then listen for His voice above all the noise — and I’m pretty sure that will be enough to calm the nerves and comfort the hurt and make you smile, because He loves you so much and He’s got things all under control, even when you don’t. (And I’d say that I need those words as much as you do.)
THEN, you might just ask me how my Boy Mom book is going (because you’re a good friend like that 🙂 ) and I’d let out a sigh, shake my head slowly, and tell you that I never knew how much work a book really was. I just turned in my 3rd round of edits, and I’ve looked at those pages so long that, honestly, I’m not sure I even like the book anymore.
And you’d say: Of course you like the book! It’s gonna be great! (You’re such a good friend!)
And I’d say: YES. I do believe it is. I really, truly poured so much of my heart into this book — it really has been a labor of love. And the research — oh if you could see how many books I’ve read and all the work I’ve done. Then I’d lean in and almost whisper…
But honestly: I’ve never felt so vulnerable before. You see, with blog posts I can go back and edit any ole’ time…(You know I’ve woken up at 3:00 AM to change a sentence in a blog post before!?) But a book — Once my part is done (basically now, gasp!) it is done. And I have to wait until next summer for the whole world to see it. No more editing. No changes. I have to step back now and let it go. And I’m terrified that someone (or lots of someone’s) may not like it, or I might be misunderstood or criticized. And being that I’m an Enneagram 3, it’s really important that people like me. (we would laugh at that, and the mention of the Enneagram might set us on a temporary tangent because that happens when I talk to friends about the Enneagram.)
BUT, (I’d smile and add) When I am thinking clearly — I actually do think it’s a great book. I wrote it with the purest intentions, and it’s exactly what I wished I had when my boys were younger. It’s helpful and encouraging and honest. (You smile, knowing I’m talking to myself at that point.)
Then we would have to talk about kids and what each of them are up to, and that usually takes up most of the rest of our coffee date because we are madly in love with our kids and even if we couldn’t wait to get away from them to go have coffee, we start to miss them as soon as we start talking about them. (and we laugh at how weird that is!)
I’d tell you that Josiah gets home from his first semester of college next week and I cannot wait to have him in my home and sleeping in his bunk bed and sitting at the dinner table. (goosebumps!)
And you might kindly remind me of the whole thing of expectations (see above) and I’d nod, acknowledging that even a son home from college might end up being bittersweet. I’ll want to hog him, but so will a lot of other people. And I need to hold loosely…He’ll be gone again in a blink.
Then just when we look at the time and realize we have to go (because kids! husbands! groceries! Things!) we’d do a speed-round of “Wait! Tell me– What are you reading!?” And we’d rattle off a quick list (See mine at the bottom!) and then we’d grab our purses and toss our empty cups in the trash and as we walk away we can’t help but smile, thinking maybe we really are doing ok after all…and how coffee with a friend is the very best sort of therapy.
We wave across the parking lot and yell “I love you!’ like silly teenagers and we laugh and don’t care…We yell promises to do it again “soon”. Even if soon is not nearly soon enough…
Would you join the conversation and comment below? All commenters will be entered to win a $20 Starbucks gift card!
Tell me: What would you want to talk about over coffee? Share anything from your life/family/world that we might chat about over coffee! What are you reading? How are you…?
(I’ll draw a winner on Sunday night, Dec. 9th and contact winner via email.)
Books we’re reading now:
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional. A beautiful Advent Devotional! Use it on your own or with your family (and no, it’s not too late! Plus get it now and you’ll have it for next year. :)) This will draw your heart back to Christ and remind you what Christmas is really all about.
Mom Up: Thriving with Grace in the Chaos of Motherhood This book is available on January 1st but I got a sneak peak advanced copy and it is really GOOD!! Such an encouragement. Order it now and and you’ll have it for the new year!
Becoming Mrs. Lewis: The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C. S. Lewis I’m listening to this on Audible and it is such a fascinating story. Love it so far!
This Is the Day: Reclaim Your Dream. Ignite Your Passion. Live Your Purpose. **This will be under the tree for Luke (*shhh*) We love Tim Tebow and his books have been a HUGE encouragement to Luke in his surfing and his faith!
Growing with God: 365 Daily Devos for Boys (VeggieTales) Great little devo for young boys. It says ages 4-7 on the book description, but when Levi (who is 8) does devotions on his own, this is what he uses! Short, fun, and always encouraging for young boys!
Sub-Marine: An Epic Tale of Fear, Trust, and Courage. My oldest son, Josiah, published this last year, and it’s an exciting and charming read (or read-aloud). Great for older elementary through young adult. This story grew in all of my boys’ imaginations for years before it became a book! We are reading it out loud to Levi now! (and Josiah has a great following of college friends reading it now! So fun.)
**I am an amazon affiliate so if you click through my links and order books, your purchase will also support this blog! (Thank you!)
Thank you so much for the coffee date, friends!! Since I am not posting very often here any more, please be sure to SUBSCRIBE to this site so you don’t miss my occasional notes of encouragement, updates or special announcements.