November Thoughts

“It was November – the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.” — L.M. Montgomery

Ah … sweet November. It’s the time of open windows, cold nights and falling leaves. The following weeks are buzzing with busyness as I expect visitors, organize a book fair and soak up the last of fall’s goodness. You each have blessed me immeasurably with your comments and kindness — thank you. I feel much better and am finding much strength in the joy of my Lord and the loving-kindness of those around me.

How are you celebrating your early days of November?

Much love, blessings and coffee,


♥ p.s. for photo credit please click on the pictures.

A Monday Moment // Blogging Break


Things will be quiet around here — the leaves, cold evenings and desire for country-side are calling me and I cannot say no. As I spend evenings playing games, mornings drinking coffee and moments relaxing in the presence of loved ones I’ll also be dreaming of new posts, new adventures and new challenges.

In the mean time I hope you can find a cozy, old blanket, a cup of hot something and enjoy these few fall time favorites of mine.  These beautiful links lead to a lot of refreshment and Autumn relaxation for me — and for you I wish the same.

For the Musical Folk

For the Cottage-loving Souls

For the Readers

For the Pinterest-People

For the Nostalgic

With much love, blessings and coffee,



When You’re Faced with Conflict and Hate Being Responsible: Conflict Resolution Memoirs

I hate arguing. It really is the pits. Throughout my timid life I’ve settled most of life’s conflicts by keeping my peace, ducking my head and resolving to get over whatever irked me.

Thankfully, living 24/7 with a loving, albeit stubborn, man requires me to grow-up and mature in the conflict resolution arena.

So, here are my bits of advice for resolving conflict thoroughly and lovingly. Take whatever you can from my meager words; I’m still learning.

  1. Relationships = Opportunity for Bitterness

Knowing that you can become bitter is the first step in choosing not to. No matter the size of the conflict (think “she keeps clanging her spoon in the cereal bowl” small to “we can’t agree on family size” big) there will be opportunities for you as an individual to grow angry, bitter and hurt over the situation. I think acknowledging that we can or will be hurt is a step worth knowing because only then can you move onto step two …

2.  Opportunity for Bitterness = Opportunity for Empathy

When we’re faced with conflict I’ve discovered that a major step toward reconciliation is being empathetic. Empathy, according to the Webster Dictionary, means “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated.”

In other words, to put yourself the other person’s moccasins. In the long-term scheme of things it doesn’t really matter how I feel about so-and-so’s irritating complaint. Instead of belittling their feelings or opinion it is more useful to put myself in their shoes (even if they seem ridiculous). Only when we decide to see their complaint from their eyes will we be ready for step 3.

3. Empathy = Chance for Resolution

Real, life-giving reconciliation involves taking responsibility for our actions and the impact they had (even when we did not intend for the impact to occur). To illustrate I’ll tattle on myself and my struggle with punctuality (it’s a family curse). Let’s say I’ve worked 15 minutes later then planned finishing an awesome library display and, therefore, am 15 minutes late picking up D from his 10 hour shift.

Most likely my Man will be a little irate. From experience the following situations become possible (okay, all of these scenarios have happened).  I could:

A) Offer a myriad of excuses instead of a genuine “I’m sorry for being irresponsible and making you wait for my lack of planning.” Excuses will most likely look like “Well, you’ve been late picking me up before so we’re even …”

B) Become irritated with my Man’s lack of patience and  grow impatient with his irritation. Situations like this most likely end up with a cold, silent ride home. :/

C) Take responsibility for not being punctual but accuse D of also falling short of true patience and understanding.

D) Take responsibility for not being punctual and for causing feelings of frustration in a normally calm, patient man who is simply ready to take his boots off and eat dinner at the agreed upon time.  Putting myself in my Man’s shoes (being empathetic) will allow me to be patient with his impatience and grace-filled with his momentary grumpiness. Instead of a cold ride home there will be open communication and trust will continue to be built between two sinners who need each other more than they know.

4) Resolution = Growing in Individual Maturity and Opportunity for Relationship Growth

When we choose to be empathetic, responsible and grace-filled we choose both individual and relationship growth. We choose opportunities to develop deeper bonds, richer trust and increased wisdom. We love our neighbor as ourselves and honor our relationships.

Because it’s like my mom always said, “You can only be responsible for yourself.”

And that my friend is a beautiful thing.

Are you an avoider, an arguer or an avid resolution maker? How have you discovered to peacefully and fully resolve conflict (both big and small)? Share your ideas with us … I’d love to know!

With lots of love and coffee,


Beautiful Asking: The Lord’s Prayer

Coffee With You Series

Hello, lovely people!

Welcome to our moment of rest and encouragement. Pull up your chair, pour your coffee and prepare to be reminded how beautiful and lovely your Lord God is.

Provision is a blessing we often forget to notice. We eat, sleep, drive, walk and relate every day but seldom stop to see the hand of God in each step. Lately, I have been forming the habit of praying the Lord’s Prayer at least once a day; while each phrase works something good in my heart I am often particularly drawn to the simple request, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

God works wonders in my heart through that sentence. It’s a request, my asking my Heavenly Father to meet my needs for this day. It’s eminent and trusting and along the lines of, “Father God, please provide my breakfast, lunch and dinner today.”

I believe this request extends far beyond our stomachs; when we ask God to meet our daily needs we are, in essence, asking for the strength we need to serve our families, the ability to perform our jobs well, and the grace to love someone as Christ loves us.

For me the knowledge that God gives so much just by our asking is overwhelmingly encouraging and shocking. God of the universe sees my needs and meets them in His way and timing.  It’s humbling to know that Someone so capable notices me.

It’s also challenging. Sometimes, I focus on what little I have. I haven’t much status or wealth or vivaciousness. I’m limited on the amount I can give. Just like the lad with five barley loaves and two fishes I sometimes feel like what I have to offer the world is lacking. But God says it’s just enough.

It takes a lot of faith to believe that what I have is more than enough when given to my great Provider. If every good thing is a gift from Him who am I to complain about the amount of it? My personality, status, and wealth are merely gifts given by Him and He wouldn’t short change one of His daughters.

Daily Bread Coffee Series Authentic Virtue

How amazing is it that this one, seven word sentence can strike the match of encouragement, humility and thankfulness. As we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” we’re lighting a flame of beauty in our lives. Suddenly, our days become brighter because we’re seeing how much God cares and exactly what He can do in and through us.

We serve a great God, don’t we?

With so much love and coffee,


September Joys

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many…. September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

I love this time of year. Here I sit, coffee nearby, outside my door listening to lullabies, watching the golden sun hit the top of September trees. The windows will stay open till the close of day, candles will stay lit and snuggles will be had on this cool, glorious day.

How are you enjoying your September day?

Love, coffee and blessings,