Invest in the Ordinary

We did it girls! We survived.

Survived dance recitals

Graduations

Open houses

Field day

Class parties

Holiday weekend and

I survived car shopping..

We decided upon a 2013 charger. I may be having a mid mom crisis I was thrilled about how non momesque it is!

Sometimes life is about surviving, putting one foot in front of another and making it across the finish.

But I don’t think that is the plan God has for us. He gave us the Holy Spirit to bolster us when we are weary. He provided his word to rejuvenate our tired muscles. Even in the waiting he doesn’t intend for us to only plod along. There is joy to find in the ordinary waiting.

I write this boldly to myself because I have found myself struggling with envy and plodding through the ordinary. I see young women being appointed by the Lord to step into ministry roles and I compare. I see my waiting to mean not needed. I see my blog as not enough. I see my 34 years and still not a clue of what I want to do when I grow up as partial failure.  I know, I know it’s my season, it’s not without purpose. The rational portion of my brain knows these things. The midnight laying awake portion of my brain likes to argue! And to have the same argument over and over!

How do we combat these thoughts because please tell me I’m not laying awake at midnight arguing with myself alone.

How do we run our race well, so that when we cross the finish line we hear well done good and faithful servant.

In the ordinary waiting that is life we must see the beauty.

The ordinary waiting that is life we must see the beauty | Me, Coffee & Jesus
The laughter that fills a new car on its first road trip.
The twinkle in our sons eye because he is so thrilled to now be taller than mom.
The giggle of your daughter as you tell her stories from when she was a baby as you enjoy your scrapbooks together.
The joy of nieces and nephews being chased by their big cousin.
The smile of your friend across the table.
The smell of coffee and conversation with your bible study girl.
The new life of flowers.
The smile lines around your husbands eyes as he tells another goofy joke just to see you smile.
The utter enjoyment of your daughter experiencing the elegant chocolate shop, with pinkies up, drinking ice water, and eating amazing cheesecake.
The delight of reaching the end of an amazing book.
Watching a bride and groom exchange shaky vows and loving glances as their lives change and intertwine.

We have to look before our waiting so we don’t miss life. We must not live for the one day or someday and we must start investing in today.

Cultivate a friendship.
Play a game with your kiddo.
Go for coffee.
Go on a date.
Celebrate the little moments.
Hug intentionally.
Be kind when you want to be grouchy.
Open a book.
Eat a fancy chocolate

Enjoy the life you’ve been given, don’t focus so intently on the big picture goals you miss the little relationship moments.

Deeper meaningful relationships are what the Jesus life is about. What would Jesus’s ministry have looked like if he had not used the ordinary waiting of life. He on several occasions didn’t want those who experienced his miracles to tell anyone else. He wanted to stay in the ordinary as long as possible so he could grow deeper in relationship with his tribe. He needed to prepare and teach them for what was coming.

Invest in the ordinary. Invest in your tribe. | Me, Coffee & Jesus

Invest in your tribe.

Invest in your ordinary.

Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up

 Loading InLinkz ...

6 Verses to Make Us Brave

Well girls I have to say I should know that when you write about something, you get attacked there. Boy, did it happen this week! The beginning of the week started out amazing you all were so loving with your comments and shares, I was reassured that I was walking in my calling.  The bug of discouragement showed up and bit so hard Friday though. Friday I was beaten and run over by the mac truck of life.  I was consumed by the social agenda that is attacking America.

 

See, I thought in my little mid-western town we were safe for awhile, unfortunately that was not the case. My school district was faced with what to do when a boy walks into the girls room looking like a boy. In the social uproar, that has been my fear. That boys and men would try to take advantage, and it happened. As you can imagine, the mama bear inside let anger and fear consume me. I do not think this is a subject to ignore, but it can’t be allowed to dictate life and it dictated my Friday.

 

Saturday came and fear lingered. Fear for my kids and myself. Fear for what the future holds. Fear. Fear. Fear. Anxiousness joined in because we are in the midst of car shopping….uh, can you say ughhhh! I think that is a true test for marriage! We haven’t car shopped in over a decade. This is long over due but scary to commit to a payment and to have to decide on which vehicle to have for another decade. I am fairly certain that premarital counseling should include car shopping!

 

As Saturday came to close my sweet daughter began to help my heart be realigned. She asked to color together in my bed, after coloring for a bit she said “Mom, lets read the bible.” We opened to Luke and she read chapter nine to me aloud.

 

We talked about the feeding of the 5000 and what the disciples must have thought.  I have to tell you child faith is awesome. I asked her if she was a disciple and Jesus said he could feed near to 10,000 people (guessing on women and children) with 5 loaves and 2 fish would she think that sounded crazy? She said nope, Jesus could do it. We also discussed how Jesus provided a leftover basket for each disciple. I said to her I think Jesus wanted to show them when they have a need he not only can provide but he can provide enough so that everyone can have LEFTOVERS!!

 

That applies to us, if we have a need He will not only supply for the need but give over and above.

 

For real, can God get anymore personal!? I needed that reminder in that moment desperately!

 

God is so gracious and loving to us. It is so easy to get consumed and overwhelmed in this world. It’s not an if, only a when. What we do next determines our day though. Do we live in fear or allow ourselves to be realigned? Sometimes we are so worn out that someone else has to take us by the hand and help us find Him again.

 

If you find yourself drowning in fear, take my hand and listen to the Father.

6 Verses to Make Us Brave | Me, Coffee & Jesus

He says:

“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.” Isaiah 35:4
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
Girls that’s just the SHORT list! Those are His promises to us! His perfect love will drive out our fear. Doesn’t that just make your heart soar? It does mine.
I don’t know why, even after walking with the Lord for so long I don’t immediately turn to Him with my fears. I hope I’m not alone, please someone say me too!
Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up
 Loading InLinkz ...

22 Encouraging Must Visit Sites

I sense that lots of Christians are becoming discouraged and overwhelmed with our world. There are a lot of scary happenings, I’ll admit but, there are also some really great happenings that are going unseen. This idea of sharing a post filled with places to find encouragement began by being asked to write a post on the political and social happenings in America but with a positive spin. The requester felt that there was so much negative spin that we have lost sight of who the true King is. While I too find lots of negative, I refuse to let that determine my life direction. I don’t have my head buried in the sand, I am fully aware of political happenings and I have all sorts of opinions on the social buzz that is being stirred and forced upon America. I just know my calling for my blog isn’t to be vocal about this arena, my call is to be an encourager. I support and pray for those who have been called to this area. I pray that you are aware of these Christians and support them as they fight for our religious freedoms. I also challenge you to not let your call in life be an excuse to bury your head in the sand and be unaware of the political and social areas of America.

Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

This list is only a snippet of places you can look for encouragement.

 

Follow these amazing pages on Facebook:

  • Daughter by Design This page offers encouragement daily with posts like this:  “When the enemy tells you that you are worthless, remember the price Jesus paid on the cross for you. When the enemy tells you nobody loves you, remember that Jesus left heaven to be with you. When the enemy tells you that you are too sinful, too broken, and have made too many mistakes remember that Jesus forgave you and washed all your sins away. When the enemy tells you that you are alone, weak, and vulnerable remember that you have the savior of the world next to you. The enemy will try to break you, steal your joy, shake your confidence, destroy your faith, and make you feel hopeless but you don’t need to listen to one single lie of his. You are created with a purpose. You are loved. You are victorious with Christ. Hold on to these truths and never forget that the enemy is a liar and his lies have no power in your life because you are a child of God.”

 

  • SoulScripts by Jordan Lee Jordan gives real life lessons, the kind that let you know you aren’t alone with your mistakes, doubts, and fears. You can also find her on Instagram.

 

  • Tera’s Online Christian Journey This is the page to follow and to be challenged by scripture everyday! I met Tera at She Speaks last year just by chance when she sat next to me at the last session of the weekend. We got to chatting and I said, oh, wait you are the yellow marker page! Go follow her, you will love her heart for the word …and her yellow marker!

 

  • Dr. Michelle Bengston This sweet encourager will help you find hope in situation. #hopeprevails is her life hashtag and will soon be a book that will give hope to all who read it, I’m sure!

 

  • Clayton Jennings This guy gives me so much hope for America. He is unafraid to teach the full truth of Jesus. Hundreds come to hear his revivals, I’m encouraged by his page to know that so many are hearing the truth and love of Jesus and allowing their lives to be transformed.

 

  • Kelsey Humphreys Kelsey has a heart to encourage others to chase their dreams. With her quick pep talks she shares bite-size tips from those who are crazy successful in a way that will always give you a chuckle!

 

  • Propel Women This page encourages women in their calling and passions.

 

 

Check out these blogs for posts to lift your heart up:

 

  • God-sized Dreams This page will encourage you to chase your God-sized dream, even when it’s hard.

 

 

  • The Masterpiece Mom I’ve talked about these girls before, Amanda and Anne-Renee are the real deal, they are moms who love moms! You will have your mama heart encouraged by just one post…but you’ll want to read more!

 

  • Becki Campbell Transparent and a for-real-kinda-girl! Every post I read I finish thinking, yes, me too! PS: she has a shop on her blog where she sells t-shirts, you’ll love the truth you can wear!

 

  • Grace with Silk  At Valerie’s blog I just feel so at home. The way she can make a home makeover a teachable God moment just gets me!

 

  • Dare 2 Hear the Voice of God Debbie’s blog always encourages me to keep going! She wrote a post about dreams awhile back that I loved and she is currently writing a series that involves Boldly Going…you know she is my jam!

 

  • See Jane Write I follow Jane on Instagram but love to read her blog posts! She recently wrote a post on waiting, God finally has blessed her waiting with an answer. 

As a writer I love books as well, here are a few that I’ve enjoyed recently:

 

  • For The Love by Jen Hatmaker – so I realize that I am likely the last women to read this but just in case you haven’t oh good golly it’s hilarious. Now don’t pick this up and expect a deeply spiritual book, this book is real life. Real life has funny stuff with God tied all through out and this is how For The Love is written.

 

  • Your Made for God Sized Dreams by Holley Gerth – I read this a few years ago but it is one of the few books I like to reread. This book is so encouraging and inspiring to keep going, keep chasing after the dreams God has placed within us.

 

  • Wild and Free by Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly – This is one that is on my list, I’ve had friends RAVE about it so I can NOT wait to read it!

 

  • Looking for Lovely by Annie F. Downs – This is another on my list that’s been RAVED about by my friends! There are too many books and not enough hours…can I get an amen!?

Especially for the bloggers:

 

  • I’m Not a Writer There is just so much yes in this post! It hit so close to home for me because I too have always loved to write but the proper way to write does not come naturally to me. So if you’re like me and find yourself doing something because God said do it and you aren’t especially good at it, you’ll love this!

 

  • When You Want to Give Up Blogging When you feel like quitting remember “…it’s never been about you. It’s about Jesus in you.” The World needs your voice, keep writing, keep singing, keep creating!

 

 

I’ve found the best way to fight discouragement is to surround myself with God-filled influences. We put scripture as art on our walls, why not fill our social media feeds with it as well!

Do you have a blogger, Facebook page, Instagrammer, or book I need to check out? Let me know in the comments because I’m always on the look out for new reading material!

PS: Bonus encouragement….my favorite Pandora station….Jordan Howerton Band-this station is the best mix of all the artists I love!

PSS: None of these lovely pages, blogs or authors asked me to do this, none of them know that they are included (unless they are a reader) they are just pages/books that personally speak to me and I thought they might to others as well. There are a TON of pages and blogs that I didn’t post about that I love so much! (I have to save some for a part 2 in the future!)

You can find me at these lovely blogs!

Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up

 Loading InLinkz ...

Lessons From My Children

 

Blog friends, this post might not be your favorite. I understand, and that’s ok! This is a post that has been swirling around for a long time and it needed to be written so one day my kids have my thoughts from when they were 12 and 8. I hate that it took me this long to write it! I want to tell each one of you just how much I appreciate the love you’ve given me since coming back! It amazes me that I was missed (ridiculous insecurity revealing itself there, I guess) and that you noticed my absence. You melt my heart and blow my mind!!

 

To my sweet and crazy kids,

Brandon my first born, who taught me to be a mom, I’m so grateful that you are an easy-going, roll-with-it-kind of kid! I certainly didn’t have all the instruction manuals when I started and I still don’t. You taught me to be less selfish. When you knocked my tiny little bottle of expensive perfume off the shelf in the bathroom and I was hit with a flash of anger at first, until I realized that no matter the cost of a thing it was not as valuable as you. I’m sorry for being a mom who has to learn her lessons the hard way, for being slow to realize the value of you over stuff.

A mom who has to learn lessons the hard way | Me, Coffee & Jesus

You’ve taught me boys aren’t just rough and tumble but boys can treasure their moms. When you were a toddler I didn’t always think I was important to you, See, you ALWAYS wanted to be off doing boy stuff with Dad or Grandpa. Building, pushing dirt, riding a tractor, none of those required Mom. Now I know that it was a phase and I don’t have to dig in the dirt to be important to you. You show my importance to you by stopping what you are doing to give me a hug, by teasing me endlessly about being taller than me, and by wanting to go to the movies or ice cream with me. I love your kindness and patience with your nephews, it gives me a tiny glimpse of you being a man grown up with children of your own. You make me proud to be a mom.

 

Rachel, my sweet and sassy girl. My mini-me, as you are often called. You have taught me lessons on listening and obeying. I won’t soon forget the time when you kept asking why do I have to, when I had told you to do something. I replied in a frustrated tone I don’t have to explain why, I’m your Mom and you just need to listen. In that moment I got it. I got the fact that, that is how God views us. We ask over and over why. When really we don’t need to know, we only need to listen and do as we’ve been told.

 

Lately you have been argumentative, always needing to be right, even though there is no more defense to your argument. While I find myself Crazy about this, like pull-my-hair-out-scream-at-the-rafters-kind-of-crazy, because it is meaningless things you stand your ground on. Then it hits me (uhh, today as I thought about starting this post a few hours ago) one day it won’t be meaningless, what you ate when you were a one year old topics, but why you love Jesus topics. Right now is practice for moments that will matter eternally. In the meantime while you practice your voice I will practice patience.

 

You both make this house a family. You make me a Mom and dad and Dad. You are such a good mix of the two of us, Brandon you got Dad’s sense of humor and quietness and my compassion for others.  Rach you got my gullibility (sorry about that) and creativity and Dad’s orneriness. You both are kind, willing to work hard (usually, you’re kids not saints!), and have a deep love of video games, all thanks to your dad (that one I just don’t think I can ever jump on board with, I’m terrible at them-laughably so!)

We know who's we are and we always trust Him even when it's hard | Me, Coffee & Jesus

I’m so thankful that I get to be your mom, it is a joy to watch you grow up. I hope that you forgive me for my imperfections, that I’m not the cause for any therapy needs. I pray that you will grow up to love the Lord and find favor with Him and His people. I pray that you will learn that loving people is always better than loving stuff. I hope that you both always remember you are Lawsons and we know Who’s we are and we always trust Him, even when it is hard. I thank you both for the lessons you’ve taught me, you make me a better person.

 

Love, Mom

 

You can find me sometimes linking up at these amazing blogs! 

 

Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up

 

 Loading InLinkz ...

No Hypothetical Jesus Girl Here

I’m a hypothetical kind of girl.

You know, hypothetically I want to exercise.

Hypothetically I want to eat veggies and no sugar.

Hypothetically I want to be an early riser, read my bible before anyone else in the house is awake, and have a hot breakfast on the table (that has fresh flowers artfully displayed on it) upon the waking of hubby and kids.

Do I do any of these amazing things on a regular basis….NO!

By not doing these amazing things am I less of a woman, wife, or mom….NO!

You know the ONE thing I refuse to be a hypothetical girl on though? Jesus. I want to chase Jesus and what He has for me as hard as I can. Are you with me? No, almost Jesus girls here, ok? 

 

If we all say we want to be real and authentic Jesus girls, what does that look like?

Some of us would maybe say it looks like filling our bookcases with lots of books about Jesus. Making the only station on Pandora we listen to a Christian one. Others would say being in church every time the doors are open. Yet others would say it just looks like being a good person. What does Jesus say it looks like?

 

He says in Mark 8:34 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”

 

Hmmm, no mention of a full bookcase or which Pandora station to listen to. Although it does say turn from your selfish ways. We are all me focused, right? We all are focused on our marriage, our kids, our dreams, our homes, our schedules….should I go on…no, ok, thank you! Now I’m not saying you stop feeding your kids or sacrifice your dream, but I am saying maybe look and see if there is another kid you can feed or another mom you can help encourage in her dream. Jesus asks us to not be so focused on our agenda, in order for us to see His agenda. Yikes, Jesus just got pretty close to my toes there!

Jesus's agenda not our own | Me, Coffee and Jesus

When the rich man in Matthew 19 asked what good must I do to have eternal life, Jesus responded by saying to keep the commandments, but went on to say in verse 21, “if you want to be perfect go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 

Well, no mention of church attendance here or of being a good person. Just if you want to be perfect then give up what you love the MOST and follow me. What do we love? What do we chase? Some of us chase careers, I did for a long time. At the sacrifice of my family and my relationship with Jesus. Then one day, Jesus, who had blessed me with my dream small business, said if you want more of me lay it down. But Lord I’ve worked so hard, I thought. This was my chance to be my own boss, to no longer have to work in an environment that seemed to create a bad attitude within my heart. I wanted more of Jesus, and what He desired for me to have, that meant sacrificing my desire to His.

 

Sometimes we can chase an idea. The idea of being a good person, a good “christian” can look like attending bible studies but never really reading God’s word. It can look like getting involved with as many volunteer opportunities as possible. Yet, when we allow the good to become bigger than the relationship, we lose the good of the action.  Because it isn’t bad to participate in bible studies or volunteerism but when we use that to replace truly following Jesus we’ve missed the point.

 

The teacher of religious law asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus replied “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

 

Jesus here shows us loving the Lord must be the first filter of life. Then love others. The real kicker is he says there in the middle the second is EQUALLY as important. That’s the hard part for me. Because some days (uhhh, most days) it’s really easy to love God, but is so hard to love others. Loving others means putting them ahead of what we want. Loving others means being patient in the endless line of the grocery. It means slipping money into a struggling friend’s car without taking credit. It means putting down our phones so we can really hear our daughters story (maybe for the 10th time just today). Love, not the mushy gushy kind, but real love takes hard work and sacrifice. The closer we remain to Jesus, the easier it is to love others well. Paul says it best in 1st Corinthians 13:1-2 “If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. ….if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love other, I would be nothing.” Nothing without love. 

closer we remain the better we love | Me, Coffee & Jesus

Well I want to be something, I hope you do too. Although I think it sounds impossible to love as Jesus did. I find it reassuring that the disciples did too. They were astounded in Mark 10:26 when they asked “Then who in the world can be saved?” In verse 27 Jesus responded with the words that can be the balm to our souls, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Yep, it’s true we can’t love well, we can only love well by asking each day for the Lord to align our hearts to His. To remove our selfish focus and replace it with His endless love. 

 

So girls, do the impossible this week, love others so well that it could only be the love of God. Look for how God wants you to love better. Maybe it’s huge, like laying aside a dream or maybe it’s small like putting down your phone. Maybe it means doing what He asked of you, even if it means being willing to risk your heart on those who have hurt you or disappointed you in the past.  Love those that are really hard to love. Whoever you love well this week, make them say wow, how do they do that, because we want to be known by our love.

 

Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up

 Loading InLinkz ...

Jumping On, Finding Focus

Do you remember when you were a kid and raced to the merry-go-round at recess? That was my favorite recess past time. Running as fast as my little legs would go, dirt kicking up behind me, sweaty hands griping the rails and then…….

J U M P!

Jumping onto the platform to ride surfer style. As I rode until it came to a slow stop, my eyes continued to spin. I knew I needed to step down and find my balance so I could start again. I would continue this until a rut was worn into the ground from all of my running.

 

Isn’t this how we can live our lives?

 

We are running hard after a goal, we jump on to ride just a bit and the next thing we know the world is spinning and it seems impossible to see the path we need to continue on. It is easy to get stuck running around and around and then jumping back on. That’s where I’ve found myself, running, digging myself into a rut and losing focus.

 

Losing focus on my calling.

Losing focus on my dream.

Losing focus on what God says is for now.

 

Look to him | Me, Coffee & Jesus

 

The rut starts innocent until it gets harder to jump out of and up onto the platform. My platform that is for the now is my family, bible study both personal and with friends, and my little blog. We see our now as a rut, God sees our now as practice and obedience. I see running and jumping as tiresome and unnecessary, God sees it as endurance and being faithful to what he has given me.

 

I have been unfaithful and disobedient because I viewed life as a rut instead of the beauty that God has blessed me with. I have been impatient and less than nurturing with my kids. I have been absent from more days of bible study than I care to admit to you (but God knows :/ ) I have been intentionally silent here on the blog and all of my social media.

 

I must break the lie of: “life is a rut” that I’ve allowed myself to believe. I have to trust the growth process. I have to trust that God has made it clear to me more than once (more than twice) in the last 4 years that my focus and job is raising children and studying his word. It is so so easy to think I’m ready to jump and miss the step of tying your shoe only to fall flat on your face. I talked last in my vlog post about applying for a ministry position, sure I was going to get it only to be told no. While no is hard and a little part of me is still pouting about it, I know that God kept me from tripping over my shoelaces and has lessons for me to learn before that jump!

He keeps from tripping | Me, Coffee & Jesus

So girls, if your like me and you have big God-sized dreams and it doesn’t feel that you are chasing them fast enough, remember God has a plan and path of growth perfectly designed for you to walk.

 

If you’re over on the swings and life is feeling pretty up and down and you think the merry go round looks pretty sweet, I promise running in circles can look fun, but it is as hard as pumping your legs on those swings! How about we just promise to nod to one another and say a prayer for strength and endurance for where the other one is.

 

This week I challenge you to join me in taking a breath and savoring where you are right now. This spot in life has so much to soak in. And don’t forget to say a prayer for the girl across the playground. Even if it looks like she’s having fun and life is perfect, it’s never without its own rocks that end up in your sandal.

Us, Coffee & Jesus Link-Up

 

 

 Loading InLinkz ...

 

You can find me linking up at these awesome blogs!