Hopeful Thoughts

Finding Balance


As I lounge on my new couch savoring my first cup of coffee of the morning at 11:00 AM, I am convicted by reading all the Facebook posts from my friends who rose much earlier than I did this morning.

Statements are made like “It’s a Monday” and “How can I become a morning person?” and “Time to start another work week.” And what am I doing????

Sipping coffee at 11:00 AM from this mug: (Since I’ve been too busy to blog lately, here’s a quick version of the Coffee Cup Chronicles! This mug was given to me by my college friend and suite mate, Elaine. She was quite influential in my decision to be baptized as an adult who’d only been sprinkled as a baby. )


Don’t get mad at me because I’m home on a Monday morning and you are not. I, too, fight a weekly battle with the Mondays. Some weeks I walk out the door at 8 AM to a sub job and some weeks I ease into it at more like 10, but each new week is a chance to try again to get it right.

When I was employed full time, I did what I had to do in the time I had to do it, otherwise it wouldn’t get done. “Tomorrow” simply wasn’t an option, because it was full of other things to be done. Now that I pick my schedule, I find myself saying “I’ll do that later” far too often. It’s a horrible thing to have to say about myself, but, truth be told, I get LAZY!!!!

I’m hoping to get better about utilizing my time instead of letting it slip away. But, in the meantime, I just want all my working friends to know that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Argentina Day 3, September 7, 2009

We were awakened at 6:00 AM by the sound of singing “Because He Lives” in the lounge. I think we all assumed that it was some kind of Bible study. We later found out they were Nigerians here to train and try out for soccer teams. As much as I approved of their early morning devotional time, I was glad I packed my ear plugs!

Today we were supposed to go help a lady named Tina to clean up her house. She is a single lady in the church and there is a lot that needs to be done to her yard.

However, it rained.

So we ended up working on cleaning and repairs at the church.

The guys pulled up old, dirty carpet from the stairway leading up to the church. They also worked on repairing the windows which would not close all the way.

The girls worked on clearing out and cleaning a room which will soon be expanded to provide a nursery space for the babies in the church. After that, they worked on picking up the trash around the church building. Littering seems to be a real problem. Much of the trash was stuck underneath plants because it had been there for so long.

Evelyn and Josias on Cleaning day.

Evelyn and Josias on Cleaning day.

These stairs were covered with old carpet that the guys had to remove.  The carpet was full of fine dust, so you can imagine the mess it made to clean it up!

These stairs were covered with old carpet that the guys had to remove. The carpet was full of fine dust, so you can imagine the mess it made to clean it up!

We had lunch a a nicer restaurant. I ordered a “hamburguesa completa” which means “hamburger with everything”. It was a small beef patty with lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, ham, and a fried egg. It was pretty good! I also had a “Coca Cola light” which was served in a glass bottle. I had to then pour it into a glass to drink it, as it is considered impolite to drink directly from bottles or cans in this culture. I’ve included a picture of Don with his coffee. Notice the pretty little serving piece for the cream and cocoa.

hamburgerWthEgg eveAndJosi2 FancyCoffee

After lunch, we went back to the hotel for a short 1 hour Siesta. We then went to the Hogar Betel to visit with the children. We taught our Bible story from Sunday and played Soccer and Jumped Rope with them. They were so happy to see us.


HappyKidwithJumpRope MeAndJose Milagros

Finally, we went to have “cafe y Helados” (coffee and Ice cream). I tried the Mento Granazido (mint chocolate chip). It was the best mint chocolate chip ice cream I have ever had. If you’ve ever tried eating two mints in a row and noticed that the second one never tastes as good, that will give you an idea of what it was like to eat this ice cream.

Cafe Con Leche (Coffee with Milk)

Cafe Con Leche (Coffee with Milk)

Amazing Mint Ice Cream

Amazing Mint Ice Cream

Our whole team out for coffee and ice cream.

Our whole team out for coffee and ice cream.

Finally, we returned to our hotel at the early hour of 8:30. This is the earliest we have been able to turn in so far and most likely the last time we will be able to this early until the team heads home next Tuesday.

Tomorrow we are going to try again to help out Tina, but it all depends on the weather!

One more note … I am finding that I understand and am able to speak more and more Spanish. Today, when people asked me questions, there were many times when the first response that came to mind was in Spanish!! This is a skill I really want to work on and I am enjoying the opportunity God has given me to practice here as we work for him.

Coffee Cup Chronicles: Part IV

Once upon a time there were two sisters. They loved each other dearly, but they fought and and fought. One was a neat freak and the other was a “little miss messy”. One was a peacemaker and the other was an instigator. One was a planner and the other took life as it came. The mix did not work well when you consider these two girls also had to share a bedroom.

Well, over time, each girl came to know Jesus as Lord and Savior of her life and learned what it meant to walk with him. For one, it was an easy road, and for the other it was very difficult and painful. Eventually, these two sisters became sisters in Christ and very best friends.

sisMy sister is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is kind, creative, strong, determined … I can’t find enough words to describe how amazing she is. Nearly four years ago, she became a mommy, and she is doing a GREAT job raising her two girls along with her husband. (They have one more on the way in December!!!) However, the demands of parenthood have kept her from pursuing many of her former joys. Among those is her art.

Today’s coffee cup was a hand-made gift from my dear sister. I don’t actually drink out of this one, mostly because I am afraid I might mess it up! Instead, it sits out for all to see and is a reminder of the beautiful friendship I have with her.

beeI LOVE YOU, BEE!!!!!!!

Coffee Cup Chronicles: Part III

On June 14 of this year, my husband and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. This summer marks 10 years since we met back in 1999 on a Campus Crusade for Christ summer project to Branson, MO.

In order encourage more students to attend summer projects, this particular project included working at a local business for 4 days a week. My job was at the Blimpie Sub shop, while Ryan worked next door at the Photo developer under the same ownership. Since we were working next door to each other, we were able to carpool to work and eat lunch together every day. The rest is history!

Today’s mug was a souvenir from my summer job at Blimpie.


Coffee Cup Chronicles: Part II

Today’s cup of choice happens to be the one I am sipping out of as I compose today’s post. It is a favorite both because I love the design, and because of it’s large size. Bigger is quite often better when it comes to a good cup of coffee. However, it is most precious to me because of the memories. This lovely mug shines in pastel print with some of the names of our Wonderful God and was given to me at a very special time.


I moved to Denton just over six years ago. I’m kind of shy in new situations, and don’t easily come out of my shell unless circumstance force me to. So, when I moved here to get married, I decided that if I was to make new friends, I was going to have to jump in head first and join the first Bible study my new church offered, no matter what. It ended up being a study of Titus 2. (GREAT stuff, by the way). As a result, I became good friends with many of the women in the church.

Not long after, I was invited to serve on a team to plan our annual women’s retreat. As a newly married woman, not long out of college, I was quite surprised and very honored to be asked to help some of the women I admired most in my church (including the wives of several elders) to plan such an event. We planned the weekend retreat around the theme of “The Names of God”. Each name of God reveals something about his character, and the mugs were given to each woman to remind us daily of who God is.

So now, years later, as I hold this lovely mug filled with coffee, I am reminded of the love of God and the precious women in my church.

Coffee Cup Chronicles: Part 1

I love coffee. I’m not one of those purists who think you have to drink it black, but I can tell the difference between a GOOD cup of coffee and the cheap stuff, even if I do like to add flavored creamers and sugar.

Many mornings as I savor my hot cup of coffee, I have noticed my mug and remembered where it came from. Nearly all of my mugs have a story to go along with them. I’m not sure I have a single ceramic much that I just bought for myself. (This IS the case with the majority of my travel mugs, however). Recently, I had the idea to post pictures and share the stories of each of my mugs. It will be a fun trip down memory lane for me and I hope an enjoyable read for my friends.


Did you ever meet one of those people that you just loved immediately? A person who was kind, understanding, available, a good listener? This is the type of person who is a friend to everyone. It was a friend like this who gave me today’s coffee mug.

I met Alison E. (now Alison R.)while I was a student at Meredith College. We were both involved in Campus Crusade for Christ and lived on the same hall in the dorms at least two years. Alison was one of the people I spent the most time with while I was in school. She encouraged me through stress, relationships, and life in general. She was always there if I needed a friend. We spent a lot of time together even after graduation. I would spend weekends with her in Raleigh after I’d moved back to Greenville. I’ve seen her two or three times over the last six years since I moved to Texas. I wish it could be more. She’s so precious to me.

I don’t remember the occasion of this mug. I know it was during our senior year or after graduation, because I was already dating Ryan and we were pretty sure that I would be moving to Texas. Alison picked this mug because the cows were traveling to Texas, just like I was going to do! Thanks, Alison!

My new goal in blogging is to address a different theme each day. Look for the Coffee Cup Chronicles each Thursday._