If we were on a coffee date, I’d probably be drinking hot tea, even though the humidity is high and the weather warm here in Kentucky. If we wanted to sit outside, though, I’d go for an iced tea latte. It would be a toss up over an iced chai latte with soy milk or an iced green tea latte with coconut milk. No matter what, my order is coming up tea. Always.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you that my favorite tea is Bewley’s Gold Blend, a black tea from Ireland. I had it for the first time on my visit to Dublin in 2011, and since then I’ve been enjoying it almost every morning for years. You can find it at international stores, on Amazon, and sometimes in local coffee shops. I drink mine with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk and it’s so rich and smooth!
If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask you how your heart is after the tragedies of the last week. I’d tell you how my own heart turned, sick and saddened, at each unfolding tragedy, and how I dove in to hashtags and my friends’ posts to listen, to learn, to gain new perspective. I’d tell you it took me over an hour to write and share the simplest Facebook post with my friends, fighting the tensions of finding the words and being brave enough to say them. I’d ask you if you were able to watch the IF:Gathering Unity discussion, Priscilla Shirer’s Periscope, “Talking and praying”, or my friend Retha’s Journey to Balance podcast episode about Latasha Morrison’s call to racial reconciliation within the Church body. I’d tell you that my eyes welled up, my throat got a little tight, and my heart was moved when a simple text message to one of my black friends to say I loved her and was praying for her on Thursday was received with such deep gratitude and kindness. I’d confess that I noticed a deeper level of the whiteness of my world, and started processing with the Lord what to do about it. I would tell you I’ve been studying Romans 12 and it’s so timely; that my pastor was preaching from the book of Judges yesterday, but intentionally turned there and encouraged us to be the Church as pictured in that passage and my heart rejoiced. I’d confess that I logged off of my social media (except for Snapchat, which I put in its own category for some reason) for the weekend and tell you it was so refreshing for my soul.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d tell you how much I love learning about prayer. I’ve been diving in to prayer with the Lord lately, and it’s been so sweet. He’s been showing me how well He can handle my whole being – each and every feeling, thought, confession, and request. He’s been leading me into a greater intentionality with it – praying for friends via the U.S. Postal Service, sending prayer texts, processing life with Him in prayer privately inside of my journal, praying through His Word. As I read books on prayer and continue in the Word, I feel like my soul is expanding and being filled all at the same time. It’s beautiful.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d confess that I’ve had random bouts of body image issues over the last week. After a month of being sick – of not moving much and of eating ice cream (because when you’re sick, what’s better than ice cream?) – I find myself feeling “puffy” off and on and struggling to fit into certain pieces of clothing that used to fit just fine. I’d confess that I know the insecurity is a lie and I’m actually quite lovely. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in the image of God. I know this. But even still, I’ve had to pray against the thoughts that bubble up about shorts that don’t want to button comfortably right now, photos where I think I have “fat-face,” and whether or not it’s okay for me to eat a cookie when I’m trying to bounce back to my healthier lifestyle. I’d also tell you that I ate the cookie – two others, even – and had no regrets. That I looked at the photos again this morning and didn’t see “fat-face” but the light in my eyes and joy in my smile. That I’ve been practicing yoga, going for walks, eating my veggies, taking vitamins, and doing my best to stay healthy. I’d tell you that the best thing I think we can do when we feel insecure is to run to the Father in prayer and confess all our junk and let Him wrap us in truth and in love.
If we were on a coffee date and you asked me to share three things I’m hoping to do this summer, I’d say: dive deep into my local community, develop a consistent yoga practice again, and downsize my belongings. I’ve already done a few rounds of purging, but I’m hoping to tackle my closet, clothing, and desk area again. I feel the need to have less lately. My yoga practice is my primary goal for Do Summer 2016 (the secondary one is writing). So far I’ve completed almost three hours of practice (in just over a week), and it’s felt so wonderful to get back to it! As far as community goes, I’m being more intentional with people – making sure I’m at church gatherings, going to community group, initiating time with friends, and saying yes to being with others when I can. Community is important to me, and I want my life to reflect that.
If we were on a coffee date,
what would you say?