FAITH BARISTA'S BLOG ANNIVERSARY IS HERE !
** BY GRACE ALONE NECKLACE GIVEAWAY **
To celebrate, I'm giving away Lisa Leonard Designs Necklace
This beautiful silver sterling necklace features a pendant
with the engraved words: by grace alone.
Enter the By Grace Alone Giveway At The End Of Today's Post !
How do you overcome discouragement when you run into one dead end after another?
Anniversaries provide a wonderful moment to reflect on where we’ve been and the spot we’re standing today. As I step into this month of August, Faith Barista’s blog anniversary, I’m thankful to see you’ve stopped by for break.
Sit down. Take a load off your feet.
I know you only have a few minutes. Let me pour you a fresh cup of coffee, just like the virtual ones we’ve shared throughout this year.
You know, people sometimes say God is silent because He wants to teach us a lesson. I know they mean well, but I have discovered what God does best in the dark isn’t hiding. It’s not so much about instruction, but it’s all about relationship.
I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency of setting my heart to the side, to get through my days as best as I can. Days turn into weeks and before you know it, it’s not too clear what has happened between yesterday and today.
Where there is whitespace and my words comes to a drip, Jesus enters.
Can I come in?
He quietly knocks.
In a moment of intimacy, He assures me.
I know what your heart longs for.
I know what you need.
Just when I think He can’t, God surprises me. I go deeper with Him — and I find friends along the same journey of faith. Our paths all look different, but our goal is the same.
Your faith is like that first sip of caffeine in the morning. It stirs my heart.
I see Jesus in our stories: our pauses, our joys, the questions equally as intriguing as the answers.
I taste God’s grace.
How did Faith Barista first start, you ask?
Let me share a Faith Barista Anniversary reflection with you today. But, before I do, I want to say this –
Thank you, Jesus, for your grace that has brought me here.
Thank you, faith friends, for the stories you share,
as we look to find God fresh in our everyday lives,
and offer our journeys to each other as gifts.
As to how Faith Barista began, I’m remembering a story, told once upon a time…
Once Upon A Time
If you’ve ever house sat or been volunteered to water your friend’s plants or feed her cat while she was away on vacation, you know how important the keys are.
After you’ve pawed under the mat or turned over the flower pot and come up empty, you figure she forgot to put the key out. The thought of shriveled ferns and a dried out feline drives you to hit the panic button.
You dial your friend’s number.
After exchanging a few pleasantries, you confess you can’t to find the keys.
You’re so sorry, but could the keys be somewhere else?
O, yeah. Your friend chuckles. I forgot. The keys are hanging on a nail. Behind the downspout. Near the back door.
Does this scene sound familiar?
I’m not simply talking about the keys to a house.
I’m talking about the keys to God’s plans for you.
You’ve prayed, read your Bible, and done everything you could possibly think of — to the best of your strengths and even to the detriment of your weaknesses.
But, the keys to your questions can’t seem to be found —
— that opportunity you’ve been knocking down doors to open
— that breakthrough you’ve been waiting for, hanging by a thread
— that big problem you’ve been trying to solve, failure instead of success.
What can you do?
Shock and Loss
I was processing a stack of mail when I pulled it out. It was an official looking envelope from the State of California. It’s the kind of letter you open right away.
Reminder: Your business state taxes are due by the end of the month.
I started a business and became a statistic.
In less than two years, I closed up shop and liquidated all inventory.
It was a shock to me and our bank account because it was the last thing I expected.
I crunched the numbers and accepted the risk. I became a entrepreneur because I believed God was in it 100%.
My needs were real. I was a new mom who needed a job with flexible hours and a greater desire to stay home with baby.
My priorities were godly. Motherhood and family. Slam dunk, right?
My prayers were answered. I prayed and sought God’s guidance for a year, as I did the market research, built a business plan, and prototype. At every intersection along the process, I saw God confirm prayers.
My due diligence. I sought wise counsel and applied my expertise from a career of releasing products for high tech corporations.
Business opened and sales looked promising. I was hopefully optimistic.
Then, the market crashed.
I Never Would’ve Guessed
Why would He lead me down a path that He knew would not only be fruitless, but a loss?
The answers to this question merits a book, which I’d love to write one day.
But, I’m telling you this story because I sit here in the red years later, with a business closed and the door to a lifelong passion opened: my writing.
To market my product, I created a company blog.
I have always longed to pursue writing. But it passed me by like the midnight train to Georgia.
I faced one dead end after another. I gave up hope and resigned my writing life to an underground pursuit behind closed doors and a motley crew of notebooks.
Then, my business died, along with the company blog.
But, I didn’t want to stop writing.
If I blogged for a product, why can’t I blog for purpose?
What if I wrote about all this stuff in my journals and published it online?
Would anybody read it?
I would’ve never guessed in a thousand years I’d be here to celebrate the birth of Faith Barista Blog with you today.
My disbelief didn’t change God’s plans for me.
Yours won’t change His plans for you either.
The Doors We Cannot Open
Do you have a plan for your life that hasn’t gone the way you expected?
Are you confused to why God’s led you down one path and not another?
We can try to engineer the perfect solution, with sincerity and by faith.
But there are some doors that we cannot open.
6 Keys To Overcome Dead Ends and Discouragement
If you find yourself discouraged, remember the 6 Keys To Overcome Dead Ends and Discouragement:
1. God has the keys to your life and purpose.
2. God hasn’t forgotten to tell you where they are and you aren’t left out in the cold.
3. In His time and wisdom, God will open the doors of opportunity for you. No matter what.
4. No hardship or personal failure can keep that door from opening. No matter how late you think it is.
5. Stay faithful in unchanging situations, while God aligns the needed sequence of events with your heart.
6. If it is time to make changes, set them in motion.
Nothing is wasted. Everything done by faith that is unseen is visible and useful to God.
It may seem door after door is shutting closed in front of you, but God has his hand on the special ones reserved. Just for you.
At the right time, you will walk through them, with a smile on your face and amazement in your eyes.
“These are the words of him who is holy and true,
who holds the key of David.
What he opens no one can shut, and
what he shuts no one can open.”
What are your thoughts on today’s post?
Because, as you know, I love to read each and every one of them.
To celebrate Faith Barist’a blog anniversary, I’ve lined up some goodies this month to usher in a new year of friendship! I’m kicking off the festivities by giving away a Lisa Leonard Designs necklace to ONE RANDOMLY SELECTED WINNER.
** Winner Update ** * Congratulations to By Grace Alone Giveaway winner #114 – Jeri T.!*
I purchased this same necklace after Faith Barista went live, to remind me how I can dare to be who God made me: by grace alone.
1. Share a comment or blog post by Midnight Wed 8/10/11.
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*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
This Thursday’s Topic 8/4:
Whitespace topic: Share a moment you felt close to God recently.
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Next Thurday’s Topic 8/11:
The gift of hospitality.
Approach it any way you feel inspired!
Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
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