Coffeegirl63's Blog

Releasing and Embracing May 21, 2010

Filed under: Life Questions,Love,Times with My Family — coffeegirl63 @ 6:09 pm
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I apologize for the gap in posting. I’ve been busy at work, as well as in my off-work time, and I’ve been working on this post for several days wherever I have been able to grab time.

This is all about my kids, so there definitely will be some shameless bragging going on. I’ll tell some stories, but none that would make my kids change their names, shave their heads, and move to another country… they may move to another country, but that was inevitable anyway. I’m pretty sure they’ll keep their names and their hair, however.

Recently, my kids have been given opportunities to realize some of their very important and long-held dreams.

Jimmy and Jeanice have often talked about traveling for fun—just taking off and exploring the world. The first time I learned that God has His hands on my kids, that I could trust Him more than my own ability to protect them, was almost 22 years ago. In July, 1998, Jim and I took our one-year-old son, Jimmy, with us on a short-term missions trip to Guatemala. One day, we went to the garbage dump to work with the people who lived there. After we presented the drama, as I spoke to a group of women, one of them reached out and took Jimmy from me, and the other women surrounded her so that I lost sight of him. I had a split-second to make a decision. I could have pushed my way in, taken my baby back into my arms, … and lost an opportunity to speak into these women’s lives. And don’t think my mommy-instincts didn’t scream long and hard at me to charge in and protect my own. Instead, I worked my way through, put my hand on Jimmy, and talked to those women about the love of Jesus and how He wanted to be a part of their lives. As a result of this learned trust in God to protect my children better than I ever could, I have had peace as Jimmy and Jeanice have collectively been on 22 trips to 18 countries. This summer, they get to experience their first overseas adventure together since they were preschoolers. Jimmy is heading to Germany for a missions trip at the end of this month. On the last day of his trip, Jeanice will fly to Berlin to meet him and begin their adventures. They’ll spend a couple weeks “backpacking Europe.” Jimmy has been blogging about their preparations, and he’ll continue at least through the course of their trip.

Johnny has had a heart for Africa and for babies since he was very young. The first time I saw it was when Johnny was about two years old. I was reading to him the story of Hannah, Samuel’s mother. Hannah (for those of you who are unfamiliar with the story) desperately wanted a baby, but she couldn’t conceive. Every year, she would travel to the temple weeping and imploring God to give her a baby. As I read the story, Johnny himself began to cry. It just broke his heart that Hannah couldn’t have children. He couldn’t fathom pain that deep. A couple years later, Johnny was in the room as I was teaching early American history to Jimmy. (Free side-note tip for soon-to-be and young parents: kids are listening, no matter how unlikely it seems that they would be doing so.) When he heard slavery explained, he became very upset: “You can’t *own* a person! Why would they do that??” Later, we read a story about a missionary family in Africa. These and other events began to compile a world-view in Johnny’s developing little mind. When he was about 4 or 5, I heard him in his room and went to investigate (as any good mother would! 🙂 ). The only way to describe what I saw is to say that my little man was travailing. He was on his knees, rocking back and forth, crying, and praying, “God, please! You have to send someone to Africa. Mommy says I’m too young to go, and the people there will die before she’ll say I’m old enough to go. Please, God!!” Yes, deep beyond his years! Well, I’m thrilled to say that Johnny may have the opportunity to work in an orphanage there. I’m so excited for him. We don’t know what God will have Johnny do with his life, but we know that it won’t involve sitting still somewhere.

Many of you know that my kids have lived only with their dad for years. The two main reasons for this were: he was in a better financial position to house and feed them, and my mental health didn’t leave me room to care for anyone but myself for a while… and then I went through a very selfish period… and, well, anyway… Life has held some regrets over the years, but I’m moving on and making some good choices. Now, on to happier thoughts. J Julia and I are buying a house together! We are very excited. Julia has been living with her dad and her brothers for quite some time and is, as she puts it, “done with testosterone” for a while. I have been renting a room in somebody else’s house for the last seven years. We are each ready to have our own bathroom, to run a kitchen and keep a house as we like, and to just have mom-daughter time whenever we want to. I could (and even want to) write pages and pages about the house we’ve found, but instead I’ll be keeping you posted on that in updates. Ok, here’s one little sneak peek:

 In Him, Joni

 

Just an update May 10, 2010

Filed under: House hunting — coffeegirl63 @ 6:56 am
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This weekend, I found a house I really like! I appreciate your prayers as I make decisions about whether this is the one for us. Julia and I both really like it. It has a front porch, from which I can sit and sip wine, with a clear view of Pikes Peak. There’s a park behind my house (uh, oh–not a good sign… I’m already taking ownership) and a greenbelt in front… so pretty unobstructed views. There are good running paths in the community. It’s near enough to the highway that my commute wouldn’t take much longer. The foundation has been poured, but it has to be completed. It’ll probably be done in July. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

 

Coffee and Chocolate May 6, 2010

Filed under: Food,Life Questions — coffeegirl63 @ 8:32 pm
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Recently a friend posted a question on his facebook page: Wondering…of all your favorite foods, which one would you find the most difficult to give up completely for the rest of your life? I was seriously torn between chocolate and coffee… but then as I thought about how particular I am about each, I wondered if I’d rather give up each than have certain chocolates and/or coffees.

Coffee–I drink my coffee black. I’m sure I’ll receive persecution for this, but I always believed that people who had to put stuff in their coffee didn’t really like coffee. Most people add water to their coffee when I brew it. There are people in my life, very special people, who can now drink my coffee without adding water. I think that almost everybody I know puts stuff in their coffee–with the exception of my dad and my friends, Art and Mary. Having grown up in CA, my favorite coffee for years was Peet’s. I used to have it delivered to me every month because there wasn’t a Peet’s here; well, Denver, but that’s too far to drive to get coffee. After a while, I decided it was too expensive to keep having it mailed to me. I set out on a mission to find a new (local) roaster. I went to a couple places and suggested they should have something like a wine tasting so I could find a new coffee blend. Most of the places were not open to that–couldn’t imagine how it would possibly benefit them to give away coffee like that. These were people who had obviously notgrown up or ever lived in Wine Country! … Until I found Pike’s Perk Coffee. I stopped in at the downtown store, and the manager thought it was a great idea. She gave me a few tastes there and then sent me home with enough beans to make one pot of each origin and blend she’d given me. I talked to her about the possibility of having coffee delivered to my office, even though it wouldn’t be much. She said they would deliver with no delivery charge. She gave me the owner’s cell number so I could get more information. He said there were no restrictions (in other words, no minimum order), and I just have to call the answering machine or fax my order each week. I order on Mondays, they roast on Tuesdays, package on Wednesdays, and deliver on Thursdays. Rick, the owner of the Pike’s Perk brand name, is very friendly and helpful if I want to try something else, but I’m not sure what. Even if I only order one pound, he always seems happy to be delivering. Their prices are very good, and they don’t charge shipping when you order on line. So, my favorite coffee is Pike’s Perk’s French Roast. There’s another important point to note regarding coffee. Just as the wine glass affects the flavor of the wine, the coffee mug affects the mood of the coffee drinker. Sometimes my mood dictates my choice, and sometimes my choice influences my mood. Below are a few of the mugs I keep at work:

Jeanice bought me this one on a trip to Germany. I use it when I miss her, or when she’s here, or when I’m feeling particularly German.

My friend, Helen, bought me this one. The back has a line, below which is written “this glass is now half empty.”

My friends, Art & Mary, bought me this one. They say that I’m high maintenance, and that I know I am high maintenance (ref. When Harry Met Sally). I’m really not high maintenance—I just feel strongly about certain things (like having the right coffee and the right chocolate).

Ok, my mom says my Aunt Kathy bought me this one. I don’t remember the event at all… but it’s a great mug for almost any occasion, don’t you think?

Chocolate–some of you may have read that I NEVER accept the union of fruit and chocolate (with the exception of a fairly dark chocolate with a good port). Why, just today, I had a conversation with someone who I THOUGHT was a good friend but who actually purposely ate orange-blossom chocolate. I mean, seriously? What if I wanted to stop by and see her today? We’d have to visit from different rooms in case the scent wafted. And she actually had the nerve to tell me that orange blossom is more an essence than a flavor… as if! Anyway, I’m rather particular about my chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate over milk–and white chocolate really isn’t even chocolate at all, so don’t get me started! In my opinion, Lindt Lindor dark chocolate truffle bars (and it’s crucial that they be the truffle bars–the truffle spheres are way too big for my mouth) are the best in the world! My friend, Katie, introduced them to me over 20 years ago when she went on a trip to Europe. Unfortunately, when people hear I like dark chocolate, they buy me something that is akin to unsweetened baking chocolate. Sorry, but that’s a little bitter and intense even for me. (However, melt a square of that 90+% chocolate in milk, stir in vanilla, and you’ll have the best hot chocolate ever!) Anyway, most American chocolate tastes rather paraffinny to me. However, Ghirardelli is a wonderful exception to that generalization, and their Dark Chocolate with White Mint Squares are the best of all! YUM!! I always have a bag of those around. 🙂 The Lindt are a little more difficult to find, but I try to keep one around for nibbling on.

So, those are my current thoughts on coffee and chocolate. I have two questions for you: how do you feel about coffee and/or chocolate? and of all your favorite foods, which one would you find the most difficult to give up completely for the rest of your life?

In Him, Joni