Monday, August 25, 2014

"First we have coffee..."

When I was young, my mom had a special biography among her stacks of home school books called "First We Have Coffee" by Margaret Jensen.  I remember seeing her read it more then once, savoring its pages like they were some of her own story. I remember asking to read it as a child and heard her say, "One day Honey. You're a bit too young.."  Twenty five years later, she handed me and my three other sisters a copy. Keith and I were about to leave Illinois with our car packed to the hilt.  I stuck it in the pocket of the door, hoping perhaps I'd get time to read during the nine hour drive. Traveling with five children means little to no book-for-mama time, due mostly to the "Mama, my tummy hurts" (to which I whip out the peppermint maneuver) or the "Mama, can you play 'I spy' with us?" time beater. Best of all is Keith's don't-leave-me-to-a-book/nap plea. I am certain my Dad must have told Keith early on that the way to a successful road trip was to never let your wife take a nap or get lost in a book, unless she's reading it out loud to you. Of course, Keith uses the "I'm so tired plea" to keep me engaged with him. Alas, somehow this trip was different. I slyly pulled out my book and was whisked away to the 1930's, drinking coffee with a beautiful Norwegian family, who's blood, sweat, and tears were real and true while serving our living God.  I was reminded of the importance of taking time to care for people over our family table, with care and with coffee.  Not just other people- this included my little people.

There's something beautiful about sitting around the table over a steaming cup.  Thoughts, feelings, emotions, sorrows and dreams tumble out.  Ears seem to open and hear. This is what we call "Family Tea Night". Yes, sorry to disappoint. We are not serving our children coffee. Just. Yet. We started this tradition after we returned to Uganda, following our anniversary day trip to Kampala. We were sitting in a gorgeous restaurant, drinking tea, thinking, remembering, and envisioning for our future.  Our children's hearts were discussed, especially in light of the recent transition back to Africa. It dawned on us that we needed to set aside time at the table to ask safe and heart revealing questions over a steaming mug of tea.  We realized that we can't go farther into their hearts if we don't know the beginnings of their thoughts and questions.  First we have coffee/tea, then we can (Lord willing) know their hearts.  Thanks Mom, for making our home the same.  May we hear the hearts of our young ones and all who sit at our table.


  1. My kids LOVE hot chocolate! What a great idea to ask meaningful questions while sipping away. I love your ideas and inspiration. It is so hard to capture the moments sometimes. Thank you for your incite and encouragement sister. Love you!

    1. Thanks Angie! Sometimes something as simple as asking them their high's and low's for the day turns out to be a major heart reveal. Keep it going with questions! They won't forget those moments.