Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coffee Talk


I am so thankful for a blessing this season of life affords me: coffee dates with the girls I know and love. I have been especially blessed with a plethora of those lately -- and the sweet, encouraging, rich times they have been.

My friend Annie Meade has been a model to me of making coffee dates with the girls in her life. She willingly gets up at any hour, or stays up until all hours, to meet with the girls who want to talk over a steamy hot latte. Annie's flexibility is probably why she is so marketable in the coffee-date business -- she'll meet me early before work (thus forcing her to be up and ready for work much earlier), or late at night at the end of a long, exhausting week to lend a sympathetic ear to a single girl from small group. She has regular meetings with other girls, where they discuss books they are reading together. One thing I loved about Annie the minute I met her was how she "buys up" all the best bargains for this season of life. Since she and her husband John don't have kids yet, she knows this is the season of life she can be so flexible to meet girls wherever -- and whenever -- they're at!

I've started making coffee dates of my own -- frequently. In fact, the idea of "going to coffee" has come to symbolize to me the very act of sharing in female Christian encouragement (similar to going to lunch, which is a close second). The Lord has been gracious to give me wonderful coffee dates with girls who are ready to share, or open up, or who are so kind to listen to me explain what I learned from a book or my sin of discontentment, and then patiently encourage one another, pointing to Christ and the Gospel. What a beautiful picture of living out the "One Anothers" of Scripture!

I don't say all this to brag. I know there are many things in life that are more easily enjoyed in different seasons. If you are a stay-at-home mom, getting coffee with another girl might pose some challenges right now. You savor that girl time when you can get it! Or, if you are low on cash, you may not be able to afford a whole bunch of trips to Starbucks, so you have to be creative. Regardless of your current season of life, let me challenge you to make the most of it -- don't waste it shooting the breeze, discussing television shows or analyzing the minutiae of your child's everyday life. Instead, engage your girlfriends with deep questions, share time in prayer, confess sin to one another and then build one another up by reminding each other of the gospel and the glory of sin forgiven! Imagine if that were our template for spending time with our Christian sisters! Is this not true fellowship?

That said, who wants a coffee date? I'll put you in my planner.

16 comments:

Molly Carlisle said...

i want a coffee date!!!

Rebecca said...

I do, I do!! Are you willing to come to KC????? :-)

Annie said...

You are too kind! I look forward to many more coffee dates with you in the future! They have been a tremendous encouragement to me! Love, Annie

GloryandGrace said...

You tell me when! We've already worked out that it can be either a Monday, Friday, or Saturday night, so you tell me when! I think Monday would be fun, but if the weekend is less hectic for you, just let me know :) Oh, and I have a new place we can go if you haven't been there yet!

Anonymous said...

Gretchen,
You post at 4:30 a.m.? How can you even think? Maybe its the coffee :)
Love ya, Aunt Diane

Anonymous said...

har har good one Aunt Diane!!! Really Gretchen!! BTW, I feel sickly that the last time you, Emma and Misty gathered at Starbucks I had to work...:( How wonderful it would have been. Today I was there alone with C.S. Lewis. :)

Anna

Gretchen said...

I think the clock on my computer is an hour off, Aunt Diane. I began this post at around 5:30, but had to shelf it until last night. :)

Anna -- what book were you reading?

Sarah said...

Gret, I will be down tomorrow.....don't I wish! Thanks for the challenge to make every moment of our lives "God-focused". I do not like I should. :-(

Emily said...

I love this post almost as much as I love coffee....;)

oh Anna! You have to come visit!

-emily

PS-New blog post!

Gretchen said...

Sarah,

Oh my goodness, I totally thought you were serious at first! I was like "NO WAY!" . . . oh. DUH!

~Gret
P.S. Didn't you say something about coming at the end of the month?

Karen said...

Oh.........I do, I do! If I could just justify the 12 hours driving!

Great posts Gret!

Love you!
Karen

Anonymous said...

oooo Gretchen, it was Prince Caspian....a timely read. :) (obviously I've read it before), but one of my goals this year is to re-read the The Chronicles of Narnia so of course I'm reading them out of order kind of. :)

Anna

Anonymous said...

oh, and Emma, I miss you and your coffee drinking self at like 11 at night at Mom and Dad's..I shall shed a tear. :*)

Anna

Steph said...

It sounds so nice...give me a few more years! :) When the kids are in school I am totally ready for a coffee date!

G-Knee said...

I remember that ladies from church would frequent our house in afternoons...summer or winter...it didn't matter. and mom always put a pot of coffee on while she got supper ready, or invited them to follow her outside while she hung clothes. I, too, hope one day I am that person who other women will drop in on whenever they are in the mood for coffee and conversation.

In this church-age of serving, serving, serving, it seems that we can forget the benefit or not chalking our schedules so full that flexibility becomes non-existant. It is something that I have to strongly guard against as our church has 100s of serving opportunities on a monthly basis.

WOuld love to see you here for the conference!

Stacy said...

Available for a Michigan coffee date? I love the idea and wish I was in the area.