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Monday, February 28, 2011

Should the "Mary's" look down on the "Martha's"?

Luke 10:38-41
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came
to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and
asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by
myself? Tell her to help me!” "
Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are
worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

As a highly motivated, busy kind of gal, I used to read this verse and feel instant condemnation.

How dare I be so busy?

I am such a loser. I will never be that calm, sweet, quiet gal who sits still for hours at a time…somewhere in a tranquil room, probably an empty closet, and talks to Jesus. I don’t know why I pictured her this way, I mean, who has empty closets anyways? I’d be sitting on old worn shoes or a pile of dirty clothes if I camped out in my closet.

But I thought that Mary, the one who chose “the better part”, was surely looking down her nose at this Martha who was busy fussing over the dishes in the sink and making sure to bring homemade cookies to her daughter’s class for treats while cleaning up the mess the puppy just made in the foyer.

For the rest of this post, jump on over to the Internet Cafe's Ministry Counter:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Operation Beautiful ~ Let's Do This!

If you haven't heard about this project, you must check it out.

I'm so impressed with this and it goes so perfectly with our mission to connect, encourage and inspire!
Let's do this girls, I'm starting today!

Here is a link to their website:
Operation Beautiful

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling left out of the cool girl circles

So any other girlfriends here willing to raise their hand to this question...

Who else feels left out of the cool-girl circles sometimes?

Tell me I'm not alone in this.

Crazy isn't it?
We get thinking about how we feel outside of a certain circle of gals...all the while overlooking the circles that God has put us in.

What if God has us right where He wants us?
What if maybe the circle we think we belong in, would not be beneficial to us at all.

Maybe, just maybe the Lord wants us to be thankful for the people that He's put in our little sphere of the world and quit trying to belong somewhere else.

Proverbs 25:13 says:
Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

Instead of worrying about what circle that we DO NOT belong to, let's try being this kind of friend to those in our life.

Be refreshing! Like an ice-cold mocha latte'!

I'm pretty sure that if we took this approach, we would deal less with rejection, loneliness and feelings of self-pity.

And besides that, in my book you are all so super cool and you can be a part of Praise and Coffee's circle any day!
So, carry on and coffee up!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More Sunday Ramblings and an Exciting New Thing to Do

So it's another Sunday ya'll.

(I'm not sure where "ya'll" comes from because I'm a Northerner. I've lived in Michigan all my life. But it's possible that my hopeless adoration of big hair makes me channel my Southern self.)

I'm not planning as ridiculous post as last Sunday, but the night is young.

Today hubby is getting over the flu and is weak so it was easy to wrestle the remote from his clammy hands. Well, not really but he went upstairs to rest so Lauren and I are watching the Daytona 500. Well, technically I'm not watching it, but it's on TV. I'm playing on my computer. Catching up on blogs and tweeting with all my wonderful friends around the world.

I love how the internet has connected us.
I'm a big "connections" kind of gal.

In fact the tagline for the ministry of Praise and Coffee is "connect-encourage-inspire."
That's my passion.

I'd like to put a little disclaimer under that that says, not: preach-teach-lead.

Don't get me wrong, I CAN teach, sometimes I DO preach and I BELIEVE in good leadership, but really, my heart for the whole ministry of Praise and Coffee is to connect women and let the Lord do the amazing work He does in honest authentic -let's live this thing out together- relationships.

Note: to state what I hope is obvious, I have the utmost respect for ministries that do teach, preach and lead...just sharing my heart for this ministry.

Which brings me to another thought (careful, we take sharp turns on this blog!)...

There are:
Praise and Coffee Nights
Praise and Coffee Magazine
Praise and Coffee Runs
(go to the main website to see more about these: Praise and Coffee)

and now- in our quest for world domination- we are adding:

Praise and Coffee Cooks!

NO, not a cookbook. Oh for the love of donuts, there are plenty of cooking blogs out there doing a morethanfantastic job, I'm not re-inventing the wheel or the donut as it may be.

This will be to encourage women to get together with one-two or three girlfriends and prepare a full meal to bring home to their family that night.

Of course this adventure should include lots of coffee drinking, laughing and letting the kids play.

I am sure that as you get together, you will also sharpen one another and realize that you're not in this dance of life alone.

Doesn't that sound like fun?!

Denise and I making The Pioneer Woman's lasagna, it was incredible!!!

Denise and I have done this a few times and just loved it. AND may I add, our husbands were thrilled too! They even ask us now..."when are you two going to get together and cook again?"

Denise is actually the one that will be leading this new venture. Which primarily means that she'll be encouraging you all to do it, take pictures, send them to us and tell us how much fun you had!

There is no big sign-up or registration, we're not building an empire girls, remember:


We just want you to do it and see what happens.

We will have a special section in future magazines to show your beautiful faces and meals off, so stay tuned.

Here is a link to the info on our webpage:
Praise and Coffee Cooks

And of course, check out our FB page and add your pics there too!!!
Praise and Coffee Cooks on Facebook

Well, that's all I have right now. I have to go save the dog. Lauren is flipping a coin and yelling "heads or tails?!"

The pup is about to get a quarter between the eyes...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No one else looks like me

My heart broke.

Lauren had the day off so we went to the grocery store and then to Pizza Hut to redeem her book-it coupon that was burning a hole in her pocket. She was sorely disappointed when she realized that all she received for her coupon was a pizza. I think she was expecting balloons and pony rides, or at least a prize box from which she could pick a super ball or plastic necklace. Nope, just a pizza. But that's not the heartbreaking part, at least it wasn't for me.

As we sat there and talked she complained about her swollen lip. She had a slight accident while sledding the day before and her top lip was red and swollen making the scar from her cleft lip surgery even more pronounced than usual.

She was very self-conscious about it, constantly checking in the mirror to see if the swelling had gone down.

I assured her that it would go away and look just fine by the time she went back to school. This didn't satisfy her. I mentioned that it was right on her scar so it looked worse than it was. The minute I said that I saw the life drain from her beautiful brown almond-shaped eyes.

Her head dropped and she slinked out of her booth to crawl into my lap and weep.

"Mommy, why does my lip look like this?" she asked with tears streaming down her face.

With every mommy bone in my being aching I answered, "honey, you were born with a cleft lip and the doctor fixed it but it left a little mark but it will fade."

"No one else in my school looks like me, NO one." she lamented.

I held her tight and kissed every inch of her I could reach.

She calmed as I told her how beautiful she is and how special God made her. That she was also the only one in her class that came all the way home from China. This seemed to appease her for the moment.

As she climbed back in to the booth across from me I asked her to give me a great big smile so I could take a picture of her.

I know that not one of you looks at this picture and sees a "flawed" little girl, but you see her heart and passion and know that she is a precious gift of God.

I pray that you would remember this the next time you start to compare yourself with someone else. Think about how you wanted to convince Lauren that she is beautifully and wonderfully created by God...and look yourself in the mirror and say that same thing to your reflection.

The Father feels just as heartbroken when we compare ourselves and rate our own worth.
You are His daughter, He loves you.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I told you I was not a night owl

So my husband's watching 3 different shows which is not unusual but tonight I would like to watch the Grammys and check out all the dresses and raw meat that might be worn.
He's not interested.
Currently we're watching the logging people cut down trees.
They just had a near miss that almost took the life of some young man but he narrowly escaped.

So I thought I would ramble on about nothing blog.

Many of you know that I'm a morning person. Which may sound mildly impressive with the whole "she rises before dark" thing hanging over our heads, but at 9 pm it's pretty pathetic.

I put Lauren to bed at 8 and then go back up the stairs three times for the usual questions:
1. What day is tomorrow?
2. Where's Macy? (the dog that sleeps with her every night but somehow always disappears at 7:45)
3. Is the monitor on?

After that, I am spent. If there is a fourth call for me, I almost start to cry. I'm just sure that the long walk up the stairs will be more than my legs can carry me and I will tumble to the bottom in a tired heap.

Which makes this post a dangerous thing to do. I'm curently only operating on 3 brain cells, and they've been worn to the edges today by Lauren's constant coughing and questions.

She asked me all day long if she has a cough OR if she was sick. Which is it?
And because I know that if I say she is sick, it will instantly become a much bigger deal, I try to stick with, "you just have a cough." To which she replied, "so am I sick?"

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

So I rubbed Vicks into her chest, filled her vaporizer and tucked her in.

Tomorrow's a big day.
No, not Valentines, the carpenter's are finishing my pantry re-do.
Currently I have everything from my walk-in pantry displaced all over my kitchen counters and table. Not sure why but we had this overwhelming need to put custom shelving in all our mainfloor closets. It will be a great feeling when it's all done. But for now, it's just looks like I should be on Hoarders.

Ow. I just rubbed my eye. Vicks.

Speaking of Valentines. What a terrible time for me to be on a sugar fast. Ugh.
You may not want to talk to me tomorrow, I plan to be quite bitter about the whole situation.

Yes, I know. It was my decision. But it is starting to feel like a poorly timed decision.

My dear friend and trainer Casie (check out her brand new blog) is set on getting me healthier. First she encouraged me to start running and then she tricked me convinced me of the benefits of fasting from sugar for a couple weeks. Really, she's sweet and I love her bunches, but sometimes I wish I could be right...that chocolate cures all.

Speaking of chocolate.
Spring is coming.

I can not wait.
But I am a litte concerned about my gardens this year. When I say gardens, I mean flowers. Every year I think I might plant a vegetable garden but the garden fairies beg me not to make them watch it die an agonizing death.

I'm concerned about the newest addition to our family. Zoey.
She is our 5 month old German Shepherd. When she was 2 mos old she dug through the snow to my tulip bulbs. The ones I bought at Lauren's school for a fundraiser. They were the really overly priced nice ones promising huge beautiful flowers.

Instead, they became chew toys.

Speaking of snow, I hope ours all melts this week when it warms up. They are calling for near 40 degrees! Practically summer only colder.

Well, I know this didn't make much sense but I'd better stop now. I just yawned and my vision blurred. We're watching something else now. Still no Grammys.

Have a good night and a Happy Valentines Day and if you come walking by my house with chocolate you'd better watch out. I have a 5 month old German Shepherd and will tell her you look like a tulip bulb. The rest will be history.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Guest Post: Sandy Coughlin ~ Reluctant Entertainer

I'm so thrilled to have Sandy guest posting today. We connected years ago when I first started blogging and I've watched God do amazing things with her ministry.
Her heart and passion is to help others find the lost art of hospitality and entertaining.

Of course this resonates with me as I love connecting and encouraging women also!
I wish Sandy didn't live on the other side of the country because I sure would love to have her cook an amazing meal for me have coffee with her and talk for hours!

Check out her website and grab her book "The Reluctant Entertainer ~every woman's guide to simple and gracious hospitality"

Family Unity, Marriage and Blogging
by Sandy Coughlin

Sue asked me to guest post today, and she knows me well because we've been following each others blogs for years now. I'd say we both believe in good, healthy, strong marriages and family unity.

Even if you say you know a perfect family – well guess what? You probably don’t know them very well.

Our family is not always in unity, but when it is — when my marriage is going great, I am meeting my children’s needs, we are spending time together, our family time around the dinner table is rich, our kids are on track and content, we are growing and living for God — then I am using my gifts wisely. That where blogging comes in ...

God has blessed me with a wonderful man. And the “center” of our growth as a couple comes from Him. But I recently told a friend that I gage where I am with my blog and priorities as a wife and a mother by using a barometer.

My barometer is this: How is this working within my marriage? And this is a question that we can ask ourselves about whatever we are passionate about.

If my marriage isn’t strong, then everything else seems to fall out of line.

• Is my husband in my corner? Is he in support of my passions?
• Am I making creative time for my marriage?
• Am I wowing! my husband and planning date nights?
• Does he know he’s the most important person to me (and my kids)?
• Is there tension or resentment between us?
• What is the tone when we are talking to each other?
• Am I always running off for girlfriend time?
• Am I listening to him?

If things are not good between us, these questions challenge me to get back on track. That is why I’ll sometimes say to a friend, how is this working for you and ? (hubs name here).

I’m tying this post to Reluctant Entertainer and blogging because I’ve learned that with entertaining, it can be a miserable event if I don’t have peace within my marriage and my family before it all begins.

It seems so empty if I barge ahead with plans if there is stress and strain in the home. It’s like walking into church and putting your “happy face on” when you just had a fight in the car with your husband!

Unity is important to me, as the hostess, to be real and open with my guests when they walk through the front doors. Real entertaining for real people.

How's the unity in your home, if you are married, and even (ouch! this could be a tough one) with the things that you are passionate about?

I’d love for you to share your thoughts!

Sandy Coughlin - Reluctant Entertainer
Twitter: SandyCoughlinRE
FB: Reluctant Entertainer

View her website: Reluctant Entertainer

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February Praise and Coffee Giveaway!

This month's praise and coffee giveaway is actually a Book & Coffee giveaway but I'm sure there will be no complaints when you see the book.

It's Candace Cameron Bure's book "Reshaping It All":

Written with our dear friend Darlene Schacht!

Check out Darlene's website here:

And of course you will also receive some AH-MAY-ZING coffee by our great friends Barista deCasa!!!
Have you heard about their candy bar's to live for! :)
Click on their ad to visit their shop.

To enter the drawing, it's simple:
1. Leave a comment on THIS post. Drawing will be February 10th and the winner will be posted on THIS post then.

2. Make sure I have a way to contact you if you win.

3. If you have any of my blog buttons on your blog, let me know in your comment and you will be entered twice.
AND....check it out...we have some *NEW* buttons available now, update your sidebar!

4. Note: Past winners are eligible to enter again 1 year after they win.

Feel free to tell your friends on Facebook and Twitter about the giveaway and thank you if you do!!

Drawings will be on the 10th and I'll post the winner to this post.

The winner is: Deanna from Home Haven Ministry!

  ©Blog Design by Amy Bayliss.

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