Coffee Dates: In Every Season

Hey, how are you?

It’s been a second since I’ve done a post like this because I’ve just been empty when it comes to inspiration, and every time I start writing something it comes off in the wrong way.

However, I’ve realized that what I have been trying to write and keep deleting can be summed up in two sentences: 

It’s hard to be content in every season, especially the lonely ones. 

Right now, I am really struggling with being happy with where I am. 

Wow, that wasn’t so hard to write, I don’t know why I’ve had around ten drafts of me trying to say that… 

Coffee Dates In Every Season

Seasons can be tough.

Maybe you’re like me and you’re in one that you don’t really want to be in right now.

People tell me to enjoy this season of my youth, but as I’m sure you also know, that’s easier said than done. 

It’s hard to be content in a season of singleness when you don’t really want to be single.

It’s hard to be content in a season of youth when it feels like your age (or lack of it) is the only thing people see when they look at you.

It’s hard to be content in a season of little close friends when you crave connection and to be needed by others.

It’s hard, but it’s not impossible.

The Bible tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that to everything there is a season, which means yes, there is a season to be single, lonely, and young, and even though sometimes it can be hard to understand why, we can still understand that we need to keep going.

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”-Galatians 6:9

How can the season we’re in be used for good? 

For me, a big thing I realized was time, I have a lot of time, especially since COVID. Sometimes I think that I have way too much time because I often spend it overanalyzing things.

However, I have so much time that I wouldn’t have if I had a social life or a boyfriend, which might sound depressing, but that means that right now, I can wholeheartedly study the word because of how little distractions there are in my life.

Not only I am capable of getting into that habit now when it’s easy versus trying to dedicate myself to it when I’m in a busier season, but I have no excuse. 

I should always make time for God, but right now, I don’t really have to. I already have so much time that I can give to Him instead of using it to worry or wish that I had other things to do.

And you know what? I have come to enjoy parts of this season.

I enjoy being able to read my Bible on my bed while drinking coffee in the morning, I enjoy reading my Bible in the evening, I enjoy being able to go on evening runs, and watching the sunset over the fields. I enjoy talking to my mom late into the night, I enjoy driving back home from work with a little bit more money than I had that morning. I enjoy the quiet of this season.

So, what should you and I do in these seasons? 

We need to refocus and…

  • Seek the kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).
  • Understand that we need to be content where God has put us even when it’s hard (Philippians 4:11).
  • Know that God is with us (Romans 8:28).
  • Know that we are stronger than our struggles when we are with Him (1 Corinthians 10:13).
  • Understand that there is more to life than the things we are currently wanting (Luke 12:15).
  • Trust in the Lord (Psalm 91:1-16 ).

 

The world may tell us that we should always be wanting more, that we are not where we should be at our age or place in life, but the Bible says: 

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”-Romans 12:2

The world may tell us to seek after our own selfish pleasures, but the Bible says: 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”-Matthew 6:33-34

When seasons are hard, we really need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “Am I living this season for me or for God?”

And then: “Who should I be living this season for?” 

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How are you doing with the season you’re currently in?

 

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Coffee Dates: Bad Day?

Have you ever had a bad day?

If your mental answer to that question was no, are you human? How long have you been living on this earth? 

Coffee Dates: Bad Day?

Most of us can think of times from recent to even years ago where we were having a bad day.

Maybe you had some good reasons to be upset, maybe you just woke up sad, both happen. 

I was having a bad day (well, more like a bad week if I’m being honest) a few days ago that made me think of this blog topic.

Why was I having a bad week?

There honestly weren’t any great reasons, aside from some petty drama that I wasn’t even involved in, nothing terrible had happened to me that week.

But because I was in that sad and a little bit down on myself state of mind, I soon found other reasons to be sad.

I got my feelings hurt by jokes that were simply that: jokes. Normally, I would have laughed, but instead, I fought back tears.

Clumsy mistakes started seeming like huge travesties on my part.

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It’s like being up at 3 a.m. when you’ve had a long school day: everything just seems ten times worse and like the world is going to end. 

Except, it’s during the day, throughout your week, when you can’t just sit in bed and stare at the wall, you actually have to do stuff.

You have to interact with people, and that’s when your bad day can start affecting other people’s days.

Obviously, most of us don’t want that for others.

We don’t want to make others feel bad, but yet, our bad days can lead to snapping at others, overlooking the needs of friends, and pushing loved ones away.

When we’re so focused on ourselves and our problems, we tend to forget that others have struggles too. 

I could come here and tell y’all that when the bad days come you guys need to take a second and pray, read your Bible, etc…

 

While you should do that, 100%, for some reason people tend to want more of a solution for a bad day.

I’m here to give it.

Are you ready? This could change both of our lives…

Stop focusing on yourself. 

Whoa, and I’m not being sarcastic when I write that, whoa.

One lesson that was taught from my youth group when I was denominational was this one:

The man teaching it that night turned to the white erase board, uncapped his marker, and then looked back at us.

“Kids, I’m about to teach y’all something huge. Something I’m still trying to learn.”

He wrote “It’s not about you” in big blocky letters on that board.

To be honest, that’s all I remember of that lesson.

But it was true:

It’s not about you or me.

 

Isn’t that what a lot of bad days are; us thinking it’s about us?

I know for me it is, I’m being selfish and throwing myself a pity party.

It’s ridiculous, I can be so focused on God and on helping others and then just throw all the progress I’ve made in that area to the wind just because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed.

I don’t want to do that, I don’t want to be like that, and I know you don’t either.

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How can we work on getting better with handling our bad days? 

 

  • Remember the bigger picture. Do we take a second every time we start to focus solely on ourselves to remember God, His sacrifice, His children? We need to look to Him instead of to ourselves. (Proverbs 3:5-7).

 

  • Draw closer to God (James 4:8-9).

 

  • Replace your discouragement with encouragement (1 Peter 4:13).

 

  • Focus on truth (Philippians 4:8).

Are your thoughts on your bad days…

 

-True?

-Honest?

-Just?

-Pure?

-Lovely?

-Of good report?

-Virtuous?

-Praiseworthy?

If not, then why are you thinking of them?

  • Talk to a trusted person in your life, they can help you sort through your emotions. If they’re like my mom, they might Edna-from-the-incredibles-slap you in the face with a magazine, but you don’t have to sort through tough times alone. (Also, my email is always open and I try to respond as soon as possible if you need to reach out for encouragement or prayers).

 

Let’s stop letting our bad days control us.

You’ve got this, friend.

We’ve got this. :))

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What do you do when you have a bad day?

What advice would you give?

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Friendships: The Excluded, The Included, and Those in Between

There were once these two girls who invited another girl to go to an event with them in hopes of getting closer to her. They took her shopping, introduced her to people, and tried their best to engage her.

The girl was on her phone the entire time, even when people at the event tried to talk to her.

When they came back, someone asked them how they had enjoyed their time and the girl they had invited chimed up and spoke of how it was horrible and how no one had included her.

The other two girls were hurt to hear that because they had tried their best to include her.

Sadly, this is something that actually happened, and something that happens a lot:

People distancing themselves and then blaming others for their feelings of disconnection.

I know I have been guilty of it as well in the past.

Friendships: The Excluded, The Included, and Those in Between

On the flip side of that story, here’s another true one that I was a part of:

Our congregation hosted a ladies’ day, and since it was our church building, my friends and I showed up a bit earlier to help set up and place food out.

My friends and I were all together when the other women came in, and we stayed together through the first two lessons.

However, I noticed that while there were other girls our ages there, we weren’t really doing anything to include them.

“We should ask them if they want to sit with us,” I said to one of my friends.

“I know,” she answered, “but I don’t think there’s room on our pew, and I think they’re happy where they are.” 

I remember standing there and feeling like I was doing something wrong, and I didn’t know how I should go about fixing it. 

Lunchtime came around, and still, I realized I was standing in a group of the same friends, the ones I saw twice a week.

“Do y’all want to go be social?” I said half-jokingly, half hoping they would notice the cliquishness. “Come on, let’s go talk to people.” 

They shrugged me off, and I knew I had a choice to make.

“If you guys don’t come with me, I’ll go alone.” 

“You can do that if you want to.” one girl answered me.

As an introvert, it was scary walking away from a group of people I knew well and walking up to a group of girls I didn’t know at all, but I did it, and I sat with them during lunch and had a good time getting to know them.

When it came time for us to go to the next lesson, one of the girls I had sat with asked me where I was sitting. I told her that the pew I had been sitting on was full, but that we could just move to an empty one near the front so we all could sit together.

I walked up to my group of friends and told them that I was moving pews so I could sit with the other girls and I asked them if they wanted to come. I thought they would say yes, but they said they wanted to stay where they were.

Once again, I was alone. I went up to the other girls who I hadn’t had a chance to talk to at lunch and asked them if they wanted to sit with me and the new group of girls I had met. They said yes and even thanked me for inviting them, and I felt even worse for not taking action sooner that morning. 

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 As you can see, these are two stories where there were shortcomings when it came to including and reaching out to people. 

One where (while I wasn’t there) there was a problem with someone blaming others for not being included while they distanced themselves.

The other where I should have been more friendly since the start and I failed because of the lack of support from my peers.

Sometimes, it goes both ways at the same time. In the past, I have apologized to someone who expressed their feelings of loneliness to me, and she apologized to me as well because she also pulled away when she started feeling left out instead of telling me sooner.

Sometimes, both parties are in the wrong, and sometimes it’s your fault, or it’s the other person’s fault and you’re not accountable for their actions or inactions.

I’ve been forced to leave friends behind to go meet people because those friends wouldn’t come with me, only to have the same friends who simply said “no” when I asked them to meet people with me later say that I left them behind. To that, I usually answer, “No, you chose to stay behind.” 

I share these things not to point fingers, but to show that we are all guilty of these things.

I have probably been each of the people in these stories in the past and sadly will be in the future.

In Philippians 2:4 the Bible reads:

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

This is so important because if we are truly looking out for and loving others more than ourselves, we won’t be leaving them out or accidentally excluding them.

And Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 speaks about how important friendships are:

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”

Don’t exclude others, but also don’t exclude yourself.

So many times, I have seen friendships fail because of bad communication, and that’s so terribly sad.
The Bible makes it clear how important friendships are (Proverbs 17:9, 27:6, Luke 15:8-9, John 15:15, etc.), but in order to have friends, we must be good friends (Psalm 18:24).

Right now, for many of us it is harder to be good friends since we are no longer going to school, events, work, etc.

But there are still so many ways to reach out and be there for others.

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These are scary and lonely times for a lot of us but have you… 

  • Texted, called, or emailed a friend today who might need encouragement or just a sense of normalcy right now?
  • Written thoughtful letters to the sick?
  • Prayed for your friends and loved ones?

 

These are all things that we can still do, and I’m sure, with creativity, you and I could think of so much more!

It’s so easy to feel disconnected right now, I am currently feeling that way and it isn’t fun, but this is a good reminder of how precious our friends are and right now we just need to work harder to keep them close even though we are separated by six feet, quarantine, and shelters in place.

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How are you?

How are your friendships?

What are some ways you could start being a better friend today?

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