How a simple drink order completely wrecked my world.

We decided on a breakfast date before our appointment and headed to the best pancake house in our city (shout out to Magnolia pancake Haus!). While we patiently waited for our table, we told each other the most immature jokes we knew and giggled like we were both 16. Toilet humor is our favorite and we each told our best potty jokes. I may or may not have spoken in a British accent half of the time.

Her phone buzzed, letting us know that our table was ready, and we both shot off the waiting bench and almost knocked each other down trying to get to the table the quickest. I won because I outweigh her by a million pounds and she’s easy to push out of my way.

By the time we settled in our seats the conversation had somehow made a dramatic flip and we found ourselves sitting with serious faces. We talked about depression, addiction and how suicide totally sucks for those left behind. We couldn’t decide if we were sad or mad that our dad hadn’t taken us into consideration before taking his own life but we could both agree that it’s wrecked our worlds. Her world was wrecked at the sweet young age of 12, mine at 36.

The waitress approach in the middle of the thick and asked for our drink order.

Black coffee for me.

My sister asked for coffee and a chocolate milk.

That’s when my heart was torn in two, much like her drink order.

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The kid in her craved an ice-cold glass of chocolate milk, the kind we all cherished as kids.  I remember dumping heaping spoon full of Nestles Quick into my milk and stirring as fast I could, trying to get it all down before the remaining undissolved powder settled to the bottom.

My sister is a child. She was born when I was 23 yet my silliness and immaturity brings us to the same age. We overrule the fact that I’m old enough to be her mother and treat each other like sisters. She giggles like a kid, does crafts with her nieces and stays up late at night sharing secrets with my oldest daughter.

My sister is just a little girl. She likes her chocolate milk as cold as ice.

The adult in her likes her coffee hot with a side of cream. She needs the morning boost. It’s sometimes hard for her to face her day and she needs a cup of grace to get her through. She’s not like other kids her age. She’s seen more storms and treaded through taller weeds. She’s delicate when she pours her cream. It’s like sweet therapy.  I like my coffee black. I prefer nothing come between me and the fresh brewed goodness.

My sister is an adult child. She was born when I was 23 yet her boldness and maturity brings us to the same age. We have to sometimes remind ourselves that I’m old enough to be her mother and help her make choices only an adult is capable of. She spends hours in her room alone, painting with methodical strokes. She meets once a day with adults who have faced life in a similar way that she has.

My sister is walking a fine line on a fast track to adulthood. She likes her coffee hot with a swirl of sweetness.

My heart is torn in two for her. I want her to be a child. I want her to have a milk mustache that I have to tell her to wipe off. I want to correct her homework, fold her clothes, cook her dinner and watch her play in the yard. I want her to just be a kid but she can’t, the world has messed that up for her. The world has stolen from her, beat her up and knocked her down. But she’s got a little fight in her. She’s got resistance and spunk. She’s a little bit of a princess and a whole lot of a warrior.

My sister like her chocolate milk cold and her coffee hot and that shatters my heart into a million pieces.

I’ll always fight to keep the little in our kids. We’ve become a society that expects them to grow up so quickly, turning our little girls into teenagers long before their time. Turning our teenagers into adults extremely prematurely. Giving miles where we should only give inches. Letting go when we should covet just a little longer.

There’s no rush.

Let’s let them be kids, play with dolls, have bare faces and natural hair, unadorned with jewels and covered in age appropriate clothes. Let’s let them stay small and allow them the joys of just being a kid.

Let’s pray that their drink order stays an ice-cold chocolate milk for as long as we can.

Let’s keep the little in our kids.

God Loves Coffee

I sell food for a living. I wouldn’t call it glamorous and definitely not what I dreamed of doing as a kid but I cant complain about the flexibility, pay and benefits. One of my least favorite things about my job is running food to restaurants that either forgot to order something or ran out and need it before we send the big truck out there way. We call them “will calls”. I have to literally drive right outside of the city to our warehouse, pick up the product and then drive it all the way back to the restaurant. It is truly the one thing that we all try to avoid in our line of work. About two weeks ago I got one of those dreaded calls. My customer was out of coffee and it couldn’t wait until their next delivery. I let out my most pitiful sigh (after I hung up of course) and headed to the warehouse. As sales reps we get lots of time alone in our cars and I try to spend mine in constant conversation with God or signing christian music at the top of my lungs. Yes, you can jam out to christian music. On this particular trip I was talking to God about my job. I asked Him why in the world He would put me in this type of job. I mean is it really my destiny to sell food. I’ve been in the restaurant business for 20 years so its easy for me but is it spiritually and mentally fulfilling? That day it was not. After about an hour round trip, I finally made it to the restaurant. When I went in the manager was not around and some sweet waitress walked up to me with the most beautiful smile and said “Oh, coffee for me, you shouldn’t have.” So refreshing. We teased back and forth about the box of coffee that I was delivery and joked about how important this box of coffee was. That was it for me, she was one of my new best friends. Later that week when I had to go back to the restaurant I got to visit with her again. She came up to my table and we joked about the coffee again and then for some reason we started talking about church and being a christian. Neither one of us had any reservation about opening up to each other. I told her about W3 and she told me about how she serves in her church. On my next visit she talked to me about how she read some of the W3 devotionals to her mother. What an honor! This wonderful woman was reading our devotionals out loud, I am truly not worthy. She has even asked me to talk to her young women’s group at her church. Yesterday when I had lunch at the restaurant she was my waitress and she wore her beautiful smile, hugged me and even told me that she loved me when I left. All of this because of a box of coffee. She told me yesterday that she has thanked God for that box of coffee and I to have thanked Him for it. The day that I had to delivery the coffee God was setting up an new relationship for me the whole time. Yes, my job is spiritually and mentally fulfilling. God has known for many years about this meeting. He knew about it long before I worked in my current job. He knew about this meeting when my new friend was in another country preparing her heart for her big move over here. He wanted to use the most simple and none obvious tool to help spread His word. I mean He used a box of coffee for crying out loud! What has He been using in your life to help you grow in your faith and to minister to others. Keep your eyes open because you never know what He is going to put in your life to bring you new blessings. Lets pray ” Sweet sweet heavenly Father, I am in awe over how Your great strength and love can shine through the smallest moments in our lives. Thank you for the beautiful and loving woman that You brought me to. Please help me to keep my heart and my eyes open so that I never miss one of the opportunities that You bring to me. In Jesus name, Amen.” I was a waitress for many many years but I know that I never did my job with such pride and love that my new friend does. You can see it in her smile that she is working for the Lord and glorifying Him in what some of us would see as a not so glamorous job. She takes pride in her job, puts a smile on her customers face and truly acts like she is serving people as if they were sitting at the table of the Last Supper. If you happen to get a table at this restaurant, make sure to order a cup of coffee, apparently God loves it!