Wednesday I went the first ever Praise and Coffee Bible Study at a local church that I do not attend because a friend, who was working in the nursery, asked me to.
This is totally out of my comfort zone.
I had all my excuses lined up.
First of all was that I haven’t been able to walk with my girls in the morning much lately and I really didn’t want to mess that up. I mean, don’t they get priority because I did tell them I would be there walking with them Wednesday morning. I can’t go back on my word, right? By the time I walked with them around town I would need to get home and shower and by then it would be too late.
Secondly, I admitted to the girls but would deny to anyone else, I was grouchy.
My walking girls did not let that fly. Oh no siree. “What’s your word?” Alicia asked me pointedly.
“Then go,” she said simply.
As we finished the last stretch Tonya waved, “Have fun at Bible Study!”
Even so, when I got home I was still stalling. Finally, mostly because I knew Alicia and Tonya would give me no peace if I didn’t go and I really really did want to back Christine up, I sent a text to Christine to ask her where to meet at and that I would be late but I would be there.
There. I committed.
45 minutes later I arrived at the church.
I don’t want to cheapen miracles but this was pretty much miraculous. In 45 minutes I showered, dressed, put on make up and arrived ON TIME to the church.
Apparently God wanted me there too.
There was the whole awkward “I don’t know you, I don’t know where to go, I wish this were over” gathering and then we moved over to some gathered couches to begin. We had been spoiled with mini muffins (Guess who had a poppy seed stuck in their teeth and didn’t know until arrival home? That would be me.) and coffee or tea. There was the ice breaker questions and we laughed over how most of us weren’t too thrilled over a snowy winter as our favorite season.
But then we got asked what adventure where we looking forward to.
I laughed and said I was about to go on the adventure of folding laundry, but I wasn’t looking forward to it.
I’m so hilarious and quite obviously very deep like that.
But that question bugged me. What adventure was I about to go on? I mean, songs say life is an adventure but in reality isn’t it pretty dull? I mean, no adventure in waking up, running kids to school, going to work or cleaning house, collapsing into bed at night and doing it all over again tomorrow, right?
Growl that question.
Today I read this quote posted on facebook (because I was apparently using my time wisely being on facebook).
“I want a life that sizzles and pops and makes me laugh out loud. And I don’t want to get to the end, or to tomorrow, even, and realize that my life is a collection of meetings and pop cans and errands and receipts and dirty dishes. I want to eat cold tangerines and sing out loud in the car with the windows open and wear pink shoes and stay up all night laughing and paint my walls the exact color of the sky right now. I want to sleep hard on clean white sheets and throw parities and eat ripe tomatoes and read books so good they make me jump up and down, and I want my everyday to make God belly laugh, glad that he gave life to someone who loves the gift.” – Shauna Niequist
Then I got to thinking that maybe all those little things do make life an adventure – even folding laundry – if it’s life that sizzles and pops.
Anyhow, back to Praise and Coffee yesterday.
We were all being sort of shallow, really, when a woman silently joined us and sat near us but yet not with the group. She stayed silent for a bit and then told us that there was a room around the corner with people in it PRAYING FOR US. Here is where she began to tear up. “God brought each one of you here today for a reason. And I wanted you to know we are all praying for each one of you. I just wanted to come here and see who you were.” This woman was crying over us – strangers to her – and telling us how God would use us together with our wonderful talents. Did I mention she didn’t even know us?
Adventure nudging. Then this.
Next question we were asked?
What is your passion? Other than God and your family, what is your passion?
The favorite season was way easier to answer. This was totally heart piercing.
My passion? Writing.
I don’t write nearly enough. At night I dream of words. When I fold laundry, I dream of words. Then I squish that down because I don’t have the time. Or energy. Or the dare. Or the strength. If I squish it down enough I can ignore it.
At this point I am totally feeling wrecked.
This is the point where we all started to break. We all began to crack just a bit of ourselves.
We hadn’t even begun the lesson.
In the end when we were praying and there were tears and I was digging in my purse for kleenex to pass around, I was blown away by the power of God on a small group of women.
I know Sue’s heart when Praise and Coffee was laid on her heart. I know Ronel’s passion and love for writing curriculum and listening to Papa God for the words. “I just want women to know it’s all about Connect Encourage Inspire,” I have heard Sue say over and over and over again. And here, with a bunch of women they don’t know in a setting they didn’t set up, I saw the work that God has done in Sue and Ronel in action.
All afternoon as I folded laundry I couldn’t shake that.
Do you know the years that they have put into Praise and Coffee and the dream they knew was of God and couldn’t ever give up on because they knew, THEY KNEW, it was God.
And I got to witness it in action.
So, I can’t shake the whole adventure thing. Let’s be honest, folding laundry for four boys CAN be an adventure. I have found some crazy things in my days of folding laundry! I also can’t shake the whole passion thing. I feel the passion thing and the adventure thing are tied.
I think I would be able to think on this much easier if it were summer and I was on the beach thinking this all through but hey, I’ll try to make do in my snow covered tundra thinking on deep things. Because I want to study this more. I don’t want to miss what God is telling me. I want to learn to quiet and listen to His voice. I want to live that life of adventure Shauna (whom I have never read) is quoted as saying.
Just so you know, Praise And Coffee study is available for 2.99 on Amazon. Yes. 2.99. As you can see, Sue and Ronel have no desire to get rich off of Praise and Coffee, they just want it out there to be used.
All you have to do to start your own Praise and Coffee group is get the lessons and get started. The end. Sure, coffee, tea, cocoa, muffins, chocolate – all nice additions. You can meet around your kitchen table. Or, if your table is covered in laundry like mine, meet at a coffee shop. Just grab a girlfriend or a new friend and get started. Then you can study these deep things with me, even if it is Praise and Coffee via internet.
Tell me if you do! Tell me how God works!
I know I’ll be going back to the little group of us that just met. I am curious to see what adventure that will bring about.