“Encouragement is in the DNA of all people, both in our ability to encourage and our personal need for it.” ~ Max Lucado
I love coffee because it is hot.
To fully enjoy a cup of java, it needs to be coaxed. It requires time to sip and even more leisure when taken with a bit of conversation, in between bites of sweet pastry. The way to a woman’s heart is through this combination of dark and chewy bliss.
During the weekday, it’s another story. It’s all about caffeination. It gets so busy multi-tasking, getting things done, I often pick up a cold cup of joe and throw it in the microwave a few seconds.
Not on the weekends. No, I drink it the way I read a good book.
I was after a piece of this heaven last weekend with Hubby, when we set out on an excursion in the city. It was our 7th wedding anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, we each picked out one thing we haven’t had the chance to do yet.
Easy To Forget
Mine was easy. I wanted to sit down with a cup of French roast at a delicious bakery down at the Mission District in San Francisco named Tartine — with a fresh baked, super buttery, giant croissant.
As we made our way towards the red target on our GPS map, we sighted a queue snaking out of the black storefront with open windows.
“Is that a line?” Hubby’s eyes squinted in disbelief as we drove past.
I prayed silently for a parking space to miraculous open up. We had another fun activity lined up later which meant our SUV needed to pull into somewhere else in a little over an hour.
As we inched along the meters, hunting for a spot, I anxiously acquiesced. “Maybe we’ll just get our coffee and pastries to-go…”
Visions of sunning myself along a street side cafe flew out the car window.
It’s easy to forget how simply encouragement can come.
We turned a corner. More than a couple spots stood empty.
I yelped with joy, literally running through the streets to wait my turn. Standing there, inhaling the scents of blackberry tartes and bubbling quiches coming out of the oven, I noticed the sea of people outmatched the tables and chairs set up along the sidewalk.
It’s easy to forget how simply encouragement can come — when I zero in on the now.
It Is A Choice
It’s just like me in everyday life. I go too long holding staring contests with my worries and my discouragement becomes as impenetrable as kryptonite.
Even with friends in our lives, we first sit at a table for two when we confront our problems and even our dreams. It’s just us and our circumstances.
It is a choice then, to decide when — and who — we are willing to make a space for.
Even God waits for our invitation. He stands there, very near, but will not force His way in.
God has a variety of ways to get us to open our hearts to Him. All of which, come by way of encouragement.
Maybe you haven’t turned the corner yet. Most likely that space you’re looking to get freed up in your circumstances is still missing.
Hold on. God wants to comfort and strengthen you while you are still searching.
Is it a word He is holding out to you?
Or a friend who He’s placed by your side?
In my case, it was a table that opened up, as I walked by with my pastries in a to-go box in one hand and coffee in a paper cup in the other.
We sat down with so much time to spare, I laughed in between every morsel. I fell in love all over again with the God who sent me Hubby, who shook his head at my funny stories as we savored our croissant. Bite by bite.
“We urge you…
encourage the fainthearted,
help the weak,
be patient with everyone.”
~ 1 Thess.5:14
A I read this verse, I felt God was curiously asking me to extend encouragement, help and patience to not only others… but to myself.
As we recognize our own need for encouragement, we move ourselves in a position to receive. It is in this humble posture, our hearts become sensitized to ways we can encourage others.
What are your thoughts on today’s post? Share a comment.
It was the National Day Of Encouragement earlier this week, on Sunday, September 12th. I’m celebrating by writing a series of posts this month in dedication to the ways God encourages us.
Remember to join me
in the quest to —
*Keep Faith Fresh*
THIS THURSDAY 9/16/10
I’m kicking off the series today — along with you this Thursday at the Faith Barista Jam! Click Here to see how you can participate!
Share a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I post my replies on the blog within a day… or two.
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what a great reminder! Thanks for this and love the post 🙂
.-= Maureen´s last blog ..שנה טובה! Happy Jewish New Year! =-.
Thanks, Maureen! Smiles across the miles…
It is so true. Encouragement can come in the simplest forms. Today it was in a text from my hubby. Very simple, but oh, so timely.
And now…sleep and looks like I’m baking something now that I’ve got a craving from your post 😀
Can you send it to me to enjoy too? 🙂
did you get them? blueberry and vegan choco chip! So ono 😀
Encouragement came this week to me in the form of a letter with some scripture. So thankful for friends who take the time to write a “real” note.
Also, just had to say when I was in SF last spring visiting a friend we got coffee at Tartine and yes, it was packed. So fun to read about someone hundreds of miles away going to the same place I’ve been to. Kinda cool. And I think there’s an AWESOME ice cream place down (or up?) the street from Tartine. Have you been? Interesting flavors and yes, a long wait but it moves fast and worth it. 🙂
.-= Danielle´s last blog ..Set Apart =-.
Aaahhh!! You know, then, Danielle!! No, I haven’t. I will make sure to do that next time and think of YOU! Even with digital notes, those notes are so special…
I live many many miles away from you and am much, much older than you but our hearts
rejoice in the riches, blessings and joys of knowing the same Lord. I love your encouraging words and the way that you express your joy in the simple things of life that God has given to us. I am so glad to know that you know & love Him too. You express God’s love so beautifully. Keep it up, GO GIRL !!!!!!
In His Grace,
Thank you for such encouragement, Martha! We DO know the same Lord and sweet it is to find each other… across the miles. Friendship is ageless.
So glad you got the table. I enjoyed seeing the picture of you and yours, too. Happy Anniversary!
.-= Maureen (Mo)´s last blog ..Thought for the Day =-.
Thank you for popping in, Mo! 🙂
[…] This post was Twitted by strategicdad […]
So timely! I have been asking God to help me be a better encourager to those around me and my friends in particular.
On Sunday, I got my free Dayspring card at the bookstore, wrote to a friend, sealed the envelope and set it down on the passenger seat.
Well, yesterday as I was taking the girls to school, a HUGE spider crawled down the side of the car. All I could find was the CARD and because I despise anything creepy, I whacked the heck out of that thing…screaming my head off at the top of my lungs, mind you…
…and well, now my card doesn’t look so encouraging….
but my girls (and the college students walking by) got a GOOD laugh.
.-= Melissa | Madabella: made beautiful´s last blog ..DIY Printable- Signed- God =-.
That is HILARIOUS!… I am imagining a very crazy insect swatting scene with you and your kids in your car… ! Is there an old banana seat down under your seat there like I do, too? 🙂
Huh! I never thought of encouraging myself. I am so afraid to have too much pride. Maybe I should relax a little and let God take care of it.
I am so happy that you got your coffee and your table 🙂
Just a note to let you know that I will be running late every Thursday. They have me going to Pulmonary Therapy for a few weeks. I won’t drop out! I have my thoughts in my head about the first subject already!
I love you!
Grandma Patty Ann
.-= Grandma Patty Ann´s last blog ..Grandma Goes Bye Bye! =-.
Hope you will be well Thursday … this is supposed to be fun… for enjoyment … so absolutely, be free!
Hi Bonnie, I came across your blog via (in)courage and decided there must be something “in the water” when I read the faith challenge of writing about encouragement as I had just been thinking and writing about encouragment that very morning! What a fantastic idea to have these jam sessions because there is nothing like the encouragment we get seeing how God is working in so many varied lives! Thanks so much – Becky
So many great thoughts here, Bonnie. All I can say is ‘Amen!’ It takes humility to receive the encouragement we need–excellent.
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..All the Reason Why Not =-.
You grabbed my attention from the beginning of this post Bonnie. I too love coffee! I hate to drink it when it’s cold; it must be hot. When I’m busy I also heat it in the microwave. I”ve spent much time in San Francisco over the years so I can almost picture your little coffee and pastry shop.
Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby! Seven is a very good number.
I love to encourage others as I believe that is a gift fom God. I also believe that you are an encourager Bonnie. I’m so glad that your choice turned out well.
My blog is named Heart Choices so I am very much into things of the heart. The Lord calls to us but we must respond. How many times do we get so busy and never acknowledge that tug on our heart? Or take the time to speak to the woman in the checkout line who seeem so sad and lonely?
I pray that you will be encouraged to continue writing. I have come to look forward to Faith Barista posts.
Blessings and love,
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..BSF Headquarters in San Antonio =-.
You are beautiful…and–
is it Thursday already? Egad, I can’t keep up. I sorely wanted to play but am finding myself in deep need of encouragement these days instead! I found some here, and I thank you, friend.
Experiencing a strange urge for cafe and pastry…
.-= Laura´s last blog ..We Walked Across the Ohio River at Night =-.
Hi Laura! I can’t ask for anything more. You put a smile on day!
I enjoyed this jam – I always need encouragement, and I always need to give it back out, too. I look forward to the next topic.
Hi Lisa! So great to hear. Our next topic this Thursday is “Letting Go Of Worry”.
[…] She wrote and asked if I would talk about unexpected encouragement. I answered with an exuberant, “You bet!” Then I waited. […]
Bonnie! You got it. Great post, it is amazing how light and hope comes into our lives if we keep looking. Great blog.
Love to you and yours,
.-= Claire Vorster´s last blog ..Encouragement – The Gift That Keeps on Giving =-.