Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Musings

Wow what a week this has been!! One week ago today, I was painting a step/stool behind our gelato case in preparation for our "normal business hours" opening the next day. In so many ways that feels like so much longer than just one week. And obviously in others, it seems like I have only been doing this for a week, mostly because of how my body feels. My SHOULDERS are killing me! Which is awesome, who doesn't want to build up muscles you haven't really ever worked, but seriously, want to discover muscles you didn't know you had? Become a barista.

Since I was hired and trained as a barista, its what I've been doing a lot of, but I've been able to scoop some gelato. It's an art, let me tell you. You'd think plopping some frozen milk in a cup or cone would be simple, but it's really not. It slides off my paddle into another flavor, and I greatly admire my sisters and dad for being able to scoop it so smoothly. I'm sure the muscles they're working they're feeling as well! How could you not??

When things get popping around here, I am especially thankful for my little sister who is also trained as a barista. We have a three group head machine (which basically means there's three places where water comes out) and it's awesome since we can each craft a drink and hardly get in each other's way. Makes efficiency easy to attain!

The week has had it's fair share of ups and downs, and our first slow day was almost disappointing. We have since learned however, that Wednesdays just tend to be that way. That was pretty reassuring. However I confess amid the "new" and "exciting" I've had some fear. The previous occupants of this building shut down because they didn't have enough traffic to stay open. What does that mean for us? Well, I don't know yet. What we do have going for us, is they were a three season, walk up that sold ice cream exclusively. We have indoor seating and serve coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. So maybe we'll have some more success? I can only pray!

I have been exceedingly thankful for the friends who have stopped by and sat and chatted for a bit. Friends who have no idea what's going on in the coffee world, and other barista friends. Each have been encouraging in their own ways, and I am so thankful to be so well loved!

Before starting, I was so nervous about crafting drinks, feeling like maybe I wouldn't be able to remember how to construct each one. But not only have I remembered and been able to craft quality drinks, but I've been able to master several. Milk pouring has become easier, and I even have a bit of a following for one of my drinks! It's been so cool. I've also had customers ask for something that wasn't even on our menu, and there's been some flops and some wins, but learning new ones has been fun! (Ever heard of a red eye? Neither had I)

Overall, I think this is going well. The hours are brutal, because only three of us are here full time. (Little sister part time, and older sister comes after work). I love the work, I love being able to build relationships, but I am tired. It's hard work.

I'm thankful though, for this season in my life, with so much new! So much is changing and going on. It's been a crazy ride, but I am thankful! <3

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

I plead the Blood

Growing up, my sisters and I watched a series called The Super Kids. Think 80's/90's cheap special effects, with the lead roll being the daughter of charismatic, name-it-claim-it pastor, Kenneth Copeland. Watching them as an adult? They're a little much. But as a kid, those movies were the bomb dot com. I actually remember when the last one came out('99 to clarify, there was a new one put out in 2013, and this one I have not seen)

The last (of the original) movies was when the leader of the group of kids, Commander Kellie was put on trial for being a Christian. As a little kid, I didn't get a lot of the lessons in the movie. Right over my head.

But the other day in church, (confession time) I zoned out. The pastor had just made a comment about how God punishes sins. That was all it took. One little phrase popped into my head.

I plead the Blood.

The thought took me right back to 2000 on the living room floor, watching as the bald, sleazy judge asks Commander Kellie if she pleads guilty or innocent, and after standing silent for a time, she says "I plead the Blood."

Once the thought was settled into my mind, I considered what it actually meant.

I plead the Blood.

What an enormous thing to be able to say.




You're guilty.

But JESUS came in, and took that punishment that you rightly deserved. You're still not innocent, but you no longer stand in your shame and sin, your life has been paid for, and you stand coated in the Blood of the most innocent Man to ever walk the earth. The only Man that has ever been both fully man, and fully God.

You are no longer charged as guilty. You have pled the Blood, and you walk a free man. Free only because of Christ, free only IN Christ!

What a massive thing to be thankful for, as we move into a season of thanksgiving. Be so beyond words thankful friends, that we live in the time in history, when we can plead the Blood.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Jump

You know that feeling you get, right before you're about to jump off of something, where you're pretty sure you're going to land just fine on your feet, but there's always that small chance something will go terribly wrong? You have faith that the harness is strong enough or the distance isn't too big, but there's always that slight fear it could go terribly wrong, and so your belly kind of knots up. But you've worked to get to wherever you're jumping from, and so you get ready....

...and. you. jump.

Head first, into whatever abyss lies before you. No turning back, no redoes. Just freefalling into the plans the Father has laid out before you.

Sometimes those plans are one step, or jump, at a time.

"Just go!" your heart is screaming, blood pumping.

And so, you let your foot leave the ledge, then the other. And you go.

Here goes nothing.


(So there's some obvious "poetic" license[metaphoric license?] going on here; for those who would like to know, I'm starting my job at my parent's new gelato and espresso shop tomorrow!)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Questions in the Waiting

We're all wanting something. I think I can pretty comfortably make that broad statement and be fairly accurate. Maybe you're wanting a package to arrive or your dinner to finish cooking or a day out. Maybe it's a bit bigger and you're wanting a new job or for your loved one to be ok or for your broken relationship to be mended. 
It doesn't matter how big or small, how immediate or how long it is, we're all wanting something. And once you get it or get an answer or whatever, your want will change and you will want something else. Again, something I'm fairly confidant in.
We as humans are always wanting. I'm confident of this, because we have records going back to the beginning of time, back to our deepest roots in the garden. Adam and Eve didn't need to want for anything. They had everything; they literally didn't need anything else. Life would never be more perfect than it was there in the pre-fall garden. And still, our ancestors wanted, although the context of their want versus the context of ours may be different.
So whether your want, like there's, is fueled by jealousy whispering into your curiosity, or if its a long standing gut ache put there by the Father Himself, you more than likely are experiencing want right now.
But there's something that often comes with your want: a period of waiting.
When you want something, you more than likely don't get it at the exact moment you decide you want it. You have to wait. Maybe an hour, maybe a day, maybe a year. Maybe a few years. But I guarantee you, if you want anything, you will wait for some amount of time.
Sometimes this waiting is good. It causes me to question if what I want is really necessary, or if it's a desire from God or if its just a silly, selfish, purposeless want. 
But I hate waiting. Almost nothing makes me more stressed out than waiting.
The questions I can ask tend cause me to become anxious- even if its a yes!!! I find myself asking "is this finally it?" and then I get hung up on how it will actually happen- the biggest picture of me doubting His omnipotence I can think of.
"Am I finally getting a new job?"
"Am I finally going to be in a relationship?" 
"Am I finally going to go on this trip?"
"Am I finally going to get the new car?" 
It honestly causes me to become worrisome. Which, I know, is pretty pathetic. But it does. I feel like I could almost handle the waiting if I didn't ask so many questions. (Which probably isn't true if I'm honest with myself.)
I feel like I'm there right now. On the brink of so much ~new~ in my life. About to start a new job, working for my parents (a full blogpost on this soon...ish.) and wondering if this is it. Is this the job I've been praying for for so many years, or if the Father is still leading me to other things, and this just is just an in between time. And if that's the case, how do I know what to be pursuing?
See?? I'm ridiculous with the questions. I have got to learn to just be totally where He has me at any given moment. I've always loved Jim Elliot's quote "Wherever you are, be all there." But I have always struggled to be all there because my want and my waiting cause me to worry about what's next. I rarely know how to be all here. But I digress...
I've felt so full of unanswered questions as of late. Constantly trying to seek the Father, and asking Him to make the next steps clear. Truthfully, the job is just one of many things, and I so desperately want to do what He wants from me- and to be sensitive to His leading. Sometimes I find that hard when I'm not sure what it is He wants. More than one option sometimes seem right sometimes, and the questions just keep rolling.
Pray for me sisters, as I try to hear His voice- and that when I do, I obey. And please, pray for me while I wait.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Mountains past the Fog

I love the mountains. I love their beauty and their majesty and the glory I feel they represent. Its as if God placed them on earth to say to us "See how big I Am".

And yet yesterday, though I was in the mountains, I did not see the mountains. Not because I didn't look or wouldn't look, but because you simply could not see them. The fog was so dense, you could barely see quarter a mile down the road.

It gave me pause and made me think about my last blog post when I was constantly reassuring my heart of His goodness.

And then it hit me, He is still there, even when I can't see.

Its such a simple concept, and yet, standing in the valley, looking around for the mountains I knew were there, it sunk in. Those mountains are there. I have seen them a hundred times. Walked all over them, picked apples on them, had picnics on them, taken pictures on them and of them. The mountains are real, and beautiful. Yesterday, I could not see them. But behind the fog they were still there, still just as strong and big as they always have been. Yesterday the fog covered my eyes, and yesterday the fog was apart of my reality, but the sincerity of the fog did not in any way diminish the reality of the mountains.

In the same way, the sincerity of my circumstances in no way diminish the reality of God.

As I watched the fog, I began thinking about the Israelites (probably because my nephew was on this trip and to keep him happy we plugged in the Prince of Egypt), and the time they spent held captive in Egypt. I wondered if their circumstances may have caused them to no longer see that God was still a reality. Imagining what it must have been slaving for all those years under abusive conditions, and then what it was like when the gates swung open and Pharaoh finally said, "go". Imagine what it was like to finally see the reality of God and His promises, no longer tainted by your dark reality. Imagine to see what you have all along known and believed.

Imagine what it is like when the fog of your circumstances lifts, and you see His hand, not once again at work, but still at work, as it always have been. It's that "ah-ha!" moment when everything kind of shifts back into focus and you see things, not through the foggy lenses of your circumstances, but from the place of a reality where God is still on His throne as He always will be.

I don't think my circumstances have ever truly shrouded my view of Him, but I know it's certainly tainted it. I know that circumstances heavily dictate my view of God and His hand in my life.

Sisters, I'm not ignorant so let me remind you of this, our circumstances don't always change. Sometimes they stay the same. So if the fog isn't lifting, that's ok. But pray that He would let you see the mountains through it. Although it can be so very trying to look for His hand and not immediately see it, He's there. He has not abandoned you. My favorite promise comes straight out of Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

Search with all your heart, even through the fog, and you will find Him! <3
I promise, behind the fog, the mountains are there

Monday, September 12, 2016

When you question what you've been promised

Ok sisters how many of you have ever asked the question: "What do you do when you find yourself doubting the goodness of God?" Not that He is good, but that He is good to you. I'll be honest, that's where I'm at. 

I don't just know it, I believe it: God is good. He does good. I know and believe He is good because I have seen His goodness. 

But sisters, I confess, I'm having a hard time seeing His goodness in my life. I have seen Him be good to those around me, to my family. I have seen Him be good to my sisters and my parents. I have seen Him be good to friends and bodies of believers. I have seen His goodness across this country and heard of His goodness from across the seas. 

But I am having such a hard time seeing His goodness in my life. I feel like this begs for me to ask myself a few questions: bear with me, I'm working through this as I write. 

1) am I doubting His goodness because I don't feel His goodness? 
If we're really honest with ourselves, we know that as ladies, we base so much on our emotions. Even matters where they shouldn't be the main contributing factor, we're quick to inject how we feel about something. God gave us emotions, I have no doubt that He knew He was making emotional creatures, but that doesn't justify our overly emotional responses to life. 

2) am I doubting His goodness because it's not what I think is good? 
Ouch. This hurt just writing it. I believe He is good, and I believe He can show His goodness go me, but am I missing it because it's not how I want Him to be good to me? Have I decided how He should be good, and when that doesn't happen, I become disappointed and feel He does not show His goodness to me? I dare say yes, I do. 

3) am I doubting His goodness because I am consumed with what He does for me, instead of what I should be doing? 
The very same verse that tells us of Him working for our good, tells us that His goodness is for those who love Him. Have I inserted a genie filter and stopped loving Him deeply and well? Have I gotten too used to His goodness that I now expect it in very specific ways and stopped being thankful that I get to love Him at all? 

Sisters, readers, friends, whoever you may be, God is good. He does good. Sometimes He is good and you get to see it immediately. And sometimes He is good right now, and you don't know it until later, but He is always good. 

“we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...” Romans 8:28a 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I've been so happy lovin' you

I had about a million good reasons for changing my job, and since quitting the one to more to the next, I've had no regrets. But I would be lying if I said that the actual job changing was without pain. In fact it's been one of the most painful job transitions I've made. When you leave a nannying job, you leave more than just a job; you leave this little person you love so very dearly.

Pictures have been coming up on my newsfeed from two years ago when he first came and I confess, I have actually cried a little. I miss him.

I keep looking at this picture.

I keep thinking about that sweet lullaby that Uncle Jesse sang on Full House. The one line, "I've been so happy loving you" keeps playing though my mind. Although nannying did not come without it's own little baggie of trouble, I was so very happy loving my little Bear.

I can't wait to make coffee all day. I can't wait to smell like coffee at the end of my shift. I can't wait to serve people and build relationships with customers. But I confess, I miss my boy.

I'm ready to move on to the next adventure, but as there's a time for everything, I'm not totally over this job.

I still miss his silliness.

I still call bananas "buhnahs"

I still have the little blanket you used for nap time.

I hope dearly you come by for gelato for time to time baby, your nanny loves you still! :)