A Coffee Date // December 12

My dearest friend Amber is the original queen of coffee date blog posts, and even though she's taking a hiatus from blogging, my lovely friend Erin is keeping these monthly virtual coffee dates alive. I shared some little letters just a few days ago, but I'm still glad to be here chatting with you!

If we were on a coffee date... I would tell you writing letters is one of the best ways I know how to process and learn and heal. I write them to myself, I write them to God, sometimes I write them to my feelings, sometimes I write them to other people. Just getting all the messy feelings out of my head and onto the paper is healing. Who have you written letters to recently? If it's been a while, I'd encourage you to give it a try, even if nobody else ever reads the words.

If we were on a coffee date... I would want to know if you pick a word for your year. Do you choose one specific thing to focus on as the year goes on? How have your words changed you in the past? How do you settle on your words? I've done this since 2012, and it's been incredibly life-giving. I can't think back on those years without thinking about how these words helped shape them. (2012 was beloved. 2013 was commit. 2014 was devote2015 was selah. 2016 has been rhythm.) I think I've settled on my 2017 word, and I can't wait to share more about it soon!

If we were on a coffee date... I would ask what you've been learning in this Advent season. Has anything struck you in a new way this year? My church has been going through a sermon series focusing on different characters in the Christmas story, and I've been thinking about the whole story in so many new ways. From Simeon, I was reminded of what it looks like to wait eagerly for the Lord. From Zechariah, I was challenged to not just have rituals and rules, but to have trusting faith and to truly be expectant. From Mary, I was encouraged to trust God when the curveballs come and to respond with "Here I am!" What are you learning this year as we journey toward Christmas?

If we were on a coffee date... I would tell you the best place to buy flannels is the thrift store. There's just no question. I'm totally wearing one today to work and feeling NO SHAME. I'm cozy and warm and that's all that matters when it's a Monday and it's freezing and it's raining.

If we were on a coffee date... I would ask you about your favorite Christmas traditions. I am the biggest fan of traditions, and love all the sentimental things about this time of the year. I love monkey bread first thing in the morning while we're opening stockings, and the person with the santa hat being the one to hand out presents to the others, and doing a puzzle together, and having a big brunch after the gifts are opened... Ahh, it's the most wonderful time of the year.

If we were on a coffee date... I would probably be pretty giddy about recent developments in my life. I'd gush about things I don't think I'm quite ready to tell the whole world about yet, and I'd be beaming ear to ear. I haven't felt this way about anyone in a long, long time. It's uncharted territory and exciting and a little scary but mostly just really wonderful. AHHHH.

If we were on a coffee date... I would ask what the best book you read this year was! I'm working on my list for 2016 and it's been so fun to remember all the great things I read this year. Also-- did you set a reading goal for 2016?! Are you going to make it?! (I upped my goal twice and am now just 7 books away from my 150 goal! The pressure is ON.)

If we were on a coffee date... I would tell you I'm grateful for my people. I count you as one of them, and it's just the best thing to have people in your corner. Thanks for being here, friends.