Drinking Coffee Is a Fun Way to Pay For Waking Up

I didn’t always drink coffee. Not in high school, not in college, and I didn’t have to give it up during my 4 pregnancies in my 20s. But after having 4 kiddos in 6.5 years, a pick-me-up was needed.

I never did like the taste of coffee, so I started here–this very Starbucks (pictured above) in Dublin, Ohio (before there was one on literally every corner). I remember ordering the White Chocolate Mocha because someone insisted I would like it. Of course I did! Who wouldn’t love 1000 calories of hot white chocolate sugar with a hint of coffee topped with whipped cream in a cup??? It was like hot liquid ice cream! But since we didn’t live near a Starbucks and we really didn’t have room in the budget for an expensive habit, I needed an alternative. So I started drinking coffee at home so I could keep up with my four young children. Mainly creamer and sugar with a little coffee….. But then my husband (and my diet) convinced me to eliminate the sugar.  So I did.  Then over time, I lessened the amount of creamer.  Then Husband started drinking it black.  And eventually, so did I.  And now here we are–seasoned coffee drinkers sans sugar and creamer.

And now you see memes like “First I Drink the Coffee, Then I (fill in the blank).”  Yes, that is me.  Must.  Have.  Coffee.  First.  No matter what the day has in store.  Now, with many coffee drinkers in the house, if you get up late, you’ll have to make another pot!  I guess you could call it an addiction.  But I guess if I’m to have an addiction, I could think of worse things to be addicted to….

But it is also a nice go-to when you need a pick-me-up, or a hot cup in your hands on a cold day, or just a “wow, coffee sounds really good right now”!  I understand the attraction.  So when the author of Chapter 3 “Craving Connection” started in with “All I wanted was a Starbucks…” and she couldn’t find one, I could feel her pain.  Although like I said, I don’t necessarily need a Starbucks, but this woman was just after a cup of coffee after a rough morning.  She just wanted a little familiarity considering she was temporarily living in a hotel with her family while their house was being built.  She was in an unfamiliar routine in an unfamiliar town with a stressed-out family, so wanted to find a little solace in a little cup of sugary goodness.  And when she drove around on unfamiliar roads and couldn’t find the little green mermaid enclosed in a circle, she had a little breakdown.

But it was that little breakdown that taught her a big lesson.  In that weak moment, she leaned on Jesus.  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 NLT.  Not that her soul was crushed from the heaviness of this world, but her world felt very heavy in the moment.  Weeks and months of uncertainty had finally come crashing down on her.

Like she said, what if she had found a Starbucks that day?  Would she have had the “come to Jesus moment”?  Maybe not.  Maybe she would have found temporary happiness in her $5 cup of coffee, and gone back to her stressful morning.  Instead, she let the weight come crashing down, let Jesus pick up the weight, and continued on with life a little less heavy in her spirit (and a little heavier in the wallet).  “He is always there to rescue those whose spirits are crushed.  Stop splashing and reach for the life raft.”~Eryn Hall

Prayer from the end of the chapter:

“Father, thank You for the promises of Your Word.  Thank You for being close to the brokenhearted.  Lord, thank You for rescuing us when we are crushed.  Thank You, Father, for being our source for comfort, hope, and peace.  Heavenly Father, draw us nearer to You when we feel lost and alone.  Strengthen and cover, God; bring a reminder and understanding that You alone are the ultimate need in our lives.  Lord, thank You for Your faithful promises and Your unfailing Word!”



Meet Me Halfway

skatesThese look familiar?  These skates are referenced in the 2nd chapter of the book “Craving Connection” (that I failed to get to last week…oops.  Turns out, blogging does not come naturally to me.  Working on that!!)

The author references growing up in the 80s and skating every Saturday at the local roller rink.  She laced up her rental skates and dreamed of being the girl skating with the cute guy to Kenny Loggins’ “Meet Me Halfway”.  Instead, she was the girl clinging to the wall week after week–too afraid to let go and possibly *gasp*…fail.

Anyone else too afraid to try something because you might fail? (Yeah, this girl has her hand raised, too).  But you think, “How could she go skating EVERY SATURDAY and still not learn to actually skate??”  Well, if you think about it, we’ve probably done the same thing, just a different scenario.  Too afraid to go to that bible study class for fear of not being accepted or not having enough Bible knowledge.  Too afraid to ask the boss for that well-deserved, I’ve-worked-so-hard-but-I-don’t-get-compensated-enough-for-it raise?  Too afraid to jump in that pool and actually learn to swim?  Yeah, we all have those scenarios.  Time after time we tell ourselves we can’t even try because we KNOW we’ll fail.

But how to we really KNOW?  We don’t.  And we never will if we don’t….that’s right….TRY!  And if we try knowing we have God on our side–or maybe He can meet us halfway– it will be way less scary.  Knowing we can rely on Him as our strength, He can get us through anything.

Just know I am preaching to myself here.  I know what it is I’ve been putting off for fear of failure.  I will get into what that is in the next post.

Until then, I leave you with this prayer from the end of Chapter 2:


“Heavenly Father, take this beaten up, tired, fear-laced heart of mine and breathe new life into its veins.  Draw me closer to Your desires so that they become my own.  Lord, I need You.  I need Your guidance, Your love, Your wisdom, Your compassion.  I need to root myself in Your love so that I can return that love to others.  Remind me, Father, that no human being, no material gain, or worldly experience can bring me the freedom, power, and wholeheartedness that comes from fellowship with You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.



It’s the start of something new…


Ahhh, the song title that began the High School Musical dynasty (and Zac Efron’s career although he doesn’t like to admit it).

So I’ve been sidetracked by this thing called “life”. Unfortunately, that’s the very thing that keeps us from making the personal connections we so crave as mentioned in my previous post. I wanted to start blogging through the Craving Connection book last week, but we got sidelined. (On a personal note, our oldest daughter, 19, had a grand mal seizure the morning of January 19. Not being medically trained, I had no idea what was happening. I called 911 and she was taken to the ER. She doesn’t remember anything that happened, but thankfully, she’s okay and has been since that day. We still don’t see a specialist until next week, so we still don’t have a diagnosis or prognosis. She just hasn’t been able to drive which is pretty much a paralysis in our home…)

So just when you think you have a plan, life can sideline you. That was pretty much all of January in our house. The weather, illness, you name it. Nothing seemed to go as planned. Of course, that’s an overexaggeration, but it was just a little on the crazy side. Today is February 1 and the day has been calm and “normal”. So far, so good 🙂

So back to the Craving Connection book–I’ve read the first chapter several times. It’s all about starting something new and how that can be so very scary. Yes, yes it is. Probably another reason why this blog has been on the back burner. If I publicly start this book, I have to finish it, right? Well, here I am starting it, and hopefully will be motivation for me as well as you!

Chapter 1 is about change. And trusting God to move forward with change. The change I am trying to make is internal. I want to be able to connect to God better, which then will lead me to connect with those I know more often, and learn to connect with those I don’t necessarily know all that well. Hopefully by starting inward, that will help me with the outward connections in the future (which we will get to).

At the end of each chapter, there is a set of questions to get you thinking. Chapter one has us thinking:

  1. What new things might God be doing in your life during this season?
  2. When it comes to change, do you tend to retreat or pursue growth?
  3. What kind of connections are you craving most today: God, friends, or community?

I know for me, during the darker winter months, I tend to turn inward since it’s harder and less desirable to get outside. And I’m a bit of a germophobe (refering back to illness–I was stomach-flu-sick over New Years. Welcome, 2018!) So my connection is less about friends and community at the moment. Looking for more of that God connection. But that requires discipline in picking up a bible and praying. Having a hard time with those things, too. As I said before–life is just taking over. But I need to take life back.

One way I am doing that is by attending the IF:Gathering in Bellefontaine next weekend. Jennie Allen is the founder of IF: and is one of my favorite authors. She’s genuine with a true heart for God and a gift of bible teaching. She believes in trying to equip the next generation as leaders and disciples. I believe I am supposed to go and help fill this God-shaped hole so much that I am closing the bookstore Saturday, Feb 10 since no one is available to work. Normally if no one can work, I do. But I have made IF: and my heart my priority. If you want to read more about how IF: and what it is and how it got started, check it out here.

If you’re local and would like to check out and/or register for IF:Bellefontaine, click here.

I hope if you are also needing to connect with God, you’ll reach out and make that scary change. Whether it’s finding a church to attend and plug into, joining that bible study you know you should, or attending that conference calling your name, take that leap and try it. We wouldn’t want to close those doors God is opening! Jump in head first with me!


Craving Connection

So it’s already 18 days into the new year.  How crazy is that?  I feel like between illness and weather, I’ve lost a lot of time.  But now with the kiddos back in school and activities back to normal, I can FINALLY find a groove (I hope!)

So that new year’s resolution about reading more and strapping running shoes on again?  Yeah, I’ll get there.  Like a meme I saw yesterday, “I’ve decided my 2018 will start on February 1st, January is a free trial month”.  That’s kind of what it’s felt like!  But I’m going to get my act together sooner than that…but not by much!

So I’ll talk about running goals for this year some other time (like when I’m finally back at it again).  For now, I’d like to get into another goal I have for this year–connecting with others.  Whether that’s face to face, through a hand-written note/letter/card, phone call, etc, that doesn’t matter.  As long as it’s not social media or texting, because I’m fairly convinced I should have grown up in the ’50s (thank you, “Back to the Future”).  All this tech is enough to make me want to build my own Delorian time machine and move to Hill Valley, CA….  I want human interaction, less phone time, and relationship.  In 2018, it’s a bit sad we’ve gone backwards in this basic human need–real relationship with other human beings.  Probably why we struggle with loneliness, isolation, depression, anxiety, all those other not pleasant side effects of technology.  So my desire is to change that.

An aid I have to help me in this journey is a book called “Craving Connection”.  It’s written by staff at Dayspring, the Christian card company I use at the bookstore.  It’s comprised of 30 challenges for real life engagement.  I plan on posting once a week about this journey, hence it will take 30 weeks.  I admit–I’m not real good at sticking with something like this for 30 weeks, but I did learn last year that I was able to stick with a 365 day devotional all year.  That was just reading, so this year it’s a step further.  But that’s where you come in–doing this together gives us all accountability!

This book is available at the bookstore for 30% off right now. Along with notecards, journals, stationary, conversation starter jars, coffee mugs, and more.  I wanted to offer these things to you at a discount so you can stock up and become more connected to humans, too!

So this is the start of me utilizing my “word” for 2018. Last year my word was “grace”.  Believe it or not, choosing that word and keeping it at the forefront of my mind actually did help me to extend grace to others more than I ever had!  This year, the word is “intentional”.  I’ve not been intentional with my time and my relationships.  I hope by the end of the year, I have gained new and improved habits.

(Below is a phone wallpaper my friend, Kathy Rohrs, made for me out of the goodness of her heart.  Since I look at my phone too gosh darn much, I figured this would be a good place to put my word!  She has the cutest little business call Delightful Days in which she letters just about anything you want! Check it out on Facebook @delightfuldaysOH).

I hope to see you on this connection journey with me!


Fifth child?

So a couple times in the recent past (including last night), I had a dream I was pregnant.  Yes, pregnant at 43.  Not something I would ever want for myself considering I see the light at the end of the tunnel with these four teen girls!  (And if you know us at all, you know there is No. Medical. Way. my husband OR I could ever reproduce again, so please don’t tell me to see a doctor.  Thank you.)

And we already have a 5th child.  A boy.  His name is Bruno, and we adopted him 3.5 years ago.  He’s 30 pounds and fiercely protects his people and two feline brother and sister.  In case you don’t know, Bruno is our dog.  He’s a mutt.  We think beagle, min-pin, and maybe Chihuahua?  Who knows.  Doesn’t matter.  (And he will bite your leg off if he thinks you’re threatening us….  Yes, that is him pictured above.)

Anyway, enough about kids/fur babies.  Since I thoroughly enjoy psychology, I decided to look up what pregnancy dreams mean.  This is a snippet from an article online (because everything there is true, right?)

“At its core, this dream is about creativity,” Mead says. “Women literally create new life out of their bodies. If you dream of being pregnant, you are likely craving time to be creative, or ‘dreaming up’ a new and exciting creative project that will come into existence down the line. This could be as small as a home-based renovation project or a large-scale artistic work.”

I can see that.  I’ve been thinking about this blog for some time.  There is a lot I’d like to share in hopes to capture those individuals who are where I am in this life.  Or those that would like to be.  Or those that are further along and can help me!  So whether or not this means something is ready to “birth”, I don’t know.  But I’ll keep writing…

What I would actually like to talk about is the birth of another new year.  I know, we’ve all heard a lot about it the last 7 days or so (but I lost a few days–Dec 30 thru Jan 2–due to illness, so I’m just now getting a start on my new year…)   Like many of you have likely heard, those looking to improve in the new year might adopt a word to refer to and maybe strengthen in that area over the year.  I did that for the first time last year.  My word for 2017 was “Grace”.  Grace is something I needed to learn to extend more to others, and also was hoping people would extend back to me.  I did keep it in the forefront of my mind all year, and I do hopefully, because of that, extend grace more than I used to.

For 2018, my word is “intentional”.  I came up with this one because I have been more than unintentional with my time lately and that was upsetting me.  I think many of us can fall in this trap so easily–and this darn technology isn’t helping!!  So I deleted the trouble-making games from my phone, put social media on the back page of my phone (I’d get rid of it all together, but need it for work purposes), and I plan to be more well-meaning with my time.  Not just in everyday activities, but also with those things “I’ve been meaning to get to”.  This blog would be one of those things 🙂

So since my pregnant dreams mean I am longing to be more creative or begin that new project, well, here it is.  (Or at least this is one of the projects in my head….did I mention I was Pinterest-ing how to get new cheap, DIY flooring in my house???)

Next entry I plan on talking more specifically on what I’d like to be intentionally doing with my time (and not just flooring projects).  Join me next time!







First blog post

Welcome to this blog!  I’m not exactly sure what to post this first time out, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling.

If you read the “About” in the right hand column, you’ll see this blog is just an extension of Lighthouse Christian Bookstore in Marysville, OH.  This way, I can share some more personal thoughts without clogging up business emails and social media posts.  I’ll talk about a little of everything–spiritual thoughts and events, the sport of running, fighting pediatric cancer, eating well, family, and events and promotions we are holding through the bookstore.  These are all things that are near and dear to me.  Maybe they are to you, too!  So this is my way of establishing a community that can come together and support one another in whatever the topic may be.

What this blog ISN’T is a place to debate or tear each other down.  Or tear me down.  If you have a concern about something I write, please contact me personally through our website http://www.marysvillelighthouse.com.

But I do hope you all and myself benefit from this blog existing.  Mainly to build community and unity around issues that matter.  Of course, there are many, many other issues that are worthy and also need brought to light, but these are ones that I have either been involved in for some time or just sit very near my heart for one reason or another.  So these will be the ones I talk about.

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you’ll follow us and we can get to know each other 🙂