I not only like to write on my blog, but I also have several blogs that I follow and read almost daily. Recently, I saw a comment on one of their posts that said, "If I ever move back to Oklahoma, we are so having coffee." That comment stuck out to me and made me start asking myself, "Am I someone someone would want to have coffee with?" Would my readers want to have coffee with me? Would the people that know me want to sit down, chat and have a cup of coffee with me?
I wasn't sure. And sadly, I believed the answer to be, no. And actually, I think I was scared to admit that while maybe someone would want to have coffee with me, I probably wouldn't want to have coffee with them. Why was that? I don't think it was because of any individual person, but because conversations scare me, or maybe it is that people scare me.
My whole life I have put labels on myself which a few include: I am an introvert. I don't like hugs. People scare me.
The past couple of months God has put on my heart over and over the 2 greatest commandments. Love God. Love Others.
What? Why? What do you want from me, Lord? What does it look like to love others? And to love God? In 1 John chapter 4 verse 20, John says, "If someone says, 'I love God,' but hates a fellow believer that person is a liar; for if we don't love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?"
So how could I say I love God, but not love his people. But how do I love others? Especially, when it hurts.
Over the past couple of months God has been showing me different ways to love people and has been bringing new people across my path to love on. He has been softening my heart towards others. He's changing my heart and enabling me to love people. Because without His Power living inside of me loving others would be impossible. He's helping me to not to be scared of relationships. This past year, I have developed a slight trust issue in relationships. A really good friend of mine decided to walk away from our friendship without a word to me as of why. I have not talked to her now in over 6 months and I still have no idea why she no longer wants to be my friend. This is something I've had to work with God to overcome. To not let the hurt change me. To not let unforgiveness, anger, or bitterness grow inside of my heart. And to not let her decision effect my current friendships.
I have prayed and prayed to God to give me His power and to fill me with His love so that I can overflow love to others. A few people are in your life forever - your spouse, kids, parents, family, and a few friends, but most people are only there for a season or even one encounter. I have to learn to love every person, if for forever or for the one day that I know them.
Yesterday I was in Mardel's, the Christian bookstore, and ran into a lady with a young daughter. I did not know this lady, but we started talking about parenting books and giving each other recommendations. She said she was a new mother who was going through the process of "foster to adopt" and that she was still learning. I told her I think as mothers we are always learning. I have a 5 year old and I mess up and learn everyday. She commented how encouraging that was to hear, to know she wasn't alone. I'm not sure if I impacted her life at all with that short encounter, but she impacted mine. God showed me that loving others didn't have to be hard or scary. A friendly smile, a few minutes of exchanging words, and being real and honest was all I needed to love on someone.
I recently finished my new favorite book, Love Skip Jump, by Shelene Bryan. Oh my, it is SO GOOD. And talk about learning new ways to love others. God loved us so much THAT HE GAVE. To love others is to GIVE generously! She talks about loving and giving to those in need. This has broadened my world of who I can love. To open up from my "clique" and open my arms to love other people that aren't necessarily my friends, but that are in my church, in my community, and all over the world. Ok seriously, go buy this book and read it.
I think one other reason I wasn't sure if someone would want to have coffee with me was I didn't feel like I had anything to add to the conversation. That is not true. What Jesus has done in my life, who I was before him and now after is completely different. He continues to love me daily and I have that to share.
What makes someone want to have coffee together? BEING REAL. If we take off our masks that we wear daily - the one that answers, "I'm fine", when inside we are screaming "LIFE IS HARD, I CAN'T DO THIS ALONE" then just imagine the conversations we can have to those hurting and needing encouragement and how that can restore our mommy souls. Masks keep us from what God intended for deep and keeps it shallow. I am vowing to take off any mask I wear. To keep it real. To everyone. On my blog and in person. Ugh, it can be so scary. But I just can't do fake.
So my favorite coffee is a Starbucks Iced Coffee Vanilla Frappuccino. Let's have coffee.