When they were youngins, shared stories around the dinner table or walks to neighborhood playgrounds were fun family connection points. In a sweet season with daughters who now have “nests” of their own, one of my favorite connection points is a throw back of the good ol’ days. You see, “now-a-days” Teal, Tori, Tress, and I enjoy what we affectionately call “coffee walks.” We live in an older area of town where a plethora of cool coffee shops are all within walking distance of our house. So, most weeks, I get to connect with one (or all of them) by sharing our stories around a coffee shop table. And of course, our family’s golden doodle (named “Sport”) excitedly walks with us to a quaint local java joint for an hour of good coffee, good conversation–good connection.
Each time we open the door to our neighborhood coffee shop, the fresh ground scent reminds us that somethin’ good is brewin’! Yes ma’am. Coffee walks are wonderful. But in the fall these connection points are far more fabulous! Why? Can you say, “Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING?”
In Kentucky we say it loud and proud: “It’s FALL, Y’ALL!” The cooler days somehow make the coffee and conversation even more of a treat! We drink up the seasonal specialties while drinking in the brisk air and sunshine. And Sport, well, he loves the ‘specially-made “pup cup,” dog treats, and extra attention he gets from the coffee shop folks on his weekly tail-waggin’ trips!
Coffee shops are the unique gathering place for our generation, aren’t they? In Bible times, it was the city gate or the well. In decades past, it was the general store, barber, soda shop, or the front porch. But now, we have the coffeeshop. As a momma, these generational hubs for gathering stir up the desire in my own soul to have a coffeehouse kind of home, a barista kind of hospitality, and a coffee cup kind of heart that’s continually overflowing with Christ! If these seem like your cup of tea too, then top off your mug and let’s share some refreshment!
I want a coffeehouse kind of home.
Why do we love coffee shops so much? Some are vintage. Others industrial. But they are all places where everyone is welcome. Come as you are kind of places. Business suits? Fine. Exercise clothes? Terrific. Want some time to work or read alone? Perfect. Need a place to gather and chat? Pull up a chair. Want to order food and a cup of overpriced coffee? Super. Don’t want to order anything? Yep. That’s cool too!
Moms, that’s what I want for our family home! Whether it’s a struggling young momma ironing out family conflicts or the kiddos down the street, I want an open door that says “Come on in! You. Are. Welcome. Here!”
As a young parent, I remember being challenged with Titus 2:5 (NIV) which advises us “…to be busy at home…” In this culture where moms wear busy-ness as a badge of good parenting, this is a tough one. There are certainly “good things” God wants us to be involved in outside our homes. Whether its school sports or church involvement, I’ve worn my “taxi hat” many hours each week.
However, my mentor also reminded me often that “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” AND “Even the good is evil if it keeps you from what’s best.” Ouch. Sometimes what’s “best” is staying home so the coffeehouse doors can stay open for God’s business rather than unnecessary busy-ness.
Without intention, our homes can quickly become a bed and breakfast service rather than a coffeehouse kind of place where people want to abide. Linger. Sit a spell. We know that the best coffee, the strongest coffee, is slowly brewed, right? In a world of instant-coffee kind of conversations, homes that are like coffee houses can brew the richest relationships.
God’s certainly called me to seasons of life in corporate “workplace” ministry. Then there are seasons of life He’s called me to more coffee-“HOUSE” ministry. I’m learning that when God’s calling me to be home more, He brings more ministry to my home. Whether it was the census taker who accepted Jesus on my front porch, the neighbor who saw my open door when she was discouraged, or the football-playing kiddos who need another cup of cold water, our homes can be like coffeeshops. Gathering places where folks of all ages can get their “cups” filled up physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yep. I want a coffeeshop kind of home.
I want barista kind of hospitality.
Each visit, our first stop at the coffeeshop is a trip to the counter. “What would you like today?” our barista kindly asks. Once we decide on our delight, her hands begin to brew up somethin’ special, just the way we like it.
Certain baristas even know our “favorites” without an order since they’ve served us so often. Yes. Baristas are not necessarily known for what they serve. Baristas are known for HOW they serve. Serving is their “specialty.” I want to be a barista kind of mom. I want to know my husband and kiddos so well that I can anticipate what will delight them.
Our barista’s “service with a smile” attitude consistently sets the tone for our visit. She is a “student of her customers.” As a momma, I too want to be a “student of my family” so God can provide what truly refreshes them in our home. I’m not talking about spoiling. I’m talking about specializing. Just as there are many specialty drinks, each of my family members has his or her own special flavor. And like a Starbucks menu, those flavors usually change with each new season of life, right? As a barista momma, my desire is to fully savor all our family’s seasonal specialties while they last!
Jesus showed the ultimate “barista” spirit of hospitality. In John 1:38-39, the first question Jesus asked His disciples was, “What do you want?” (total barista question) They replied, “(Jesus), where are you staying?” “Come and see,” He said…They went with Him…and they remained with Him the rest of the day.”
Now granted, Jesus was not staying at a coffee shop, but He cared about what they wanted and made them feel welcomed to “remain” unrushed with him for the rest of the day. That’s barista-style hospitality. That’s coffeeshop compassion.
Biblical motherhood wants our children and husband, friends and family, to look forward to pulling in the driveway knowing that this house is a place of peace. I can remember a teen who had a troubled home life. One day she confided, ”I love coming to your house because I feel peace here.” Sometimes peace is quiet and still. But peaceful places also free people to overflow with joyful laughter, friendly competition and transparent sharing. Like a coffeeshop, we can set the table for our homes to be a place of refreshment. Is that kind of coffeehouse spirit brewin’ in your house? Like a barista, I know as “mom,” more than anyone else, I can set the tone for our home. Yes. I want a barista kind of hospitality.
I want my coffee cup kind of heart to overflow with Christ.
In this world, mommas run on empty, don’t we? Many days, my soul is running as empty as my mini-van gas tank. Both physically and spiritually I need to take the time to fill up. I’ll admit it. I do LIKE having a cup of Joe each morning. But what I really NEED is a grande pour-over of JESUS to fill me each sunrise so this momma can live from His overflow all day long!
With each season of life, however, my first cup with Jesus definitely has looked differently. Whether our house is full of toddlers or teens, schools and schedules, many times my “fillings” happen in the only place not occupied before dawn—the only “full” bathroom in our house. It’s true. A towel on the floor before the “throne” can be a holy filling station. In these quiet unhurried moments I ask Jesus to empty me of me—and fill me for the day ahead. An older mom wisely reminded me years ago, “Kim, we can plan for our theories, but only God can prepare us for our realities.” Only He knows what is ahead in each day and can prepare just the right “specialty” that morning to fill us for it.
So yes. It is necessity (not luxury) for this momma to face my Jesus before I face my day because as Ann Voskamp beautifully penned, “When we steep ourselves in Jesus, there’s no mountain too steep for us to face.”
My trips to get a Holy Spirit refill are daily, if not hourly. I am definitely a loyal repeat customer. Even when I don’t have time for a long “linger”, I love that God keeps His express window open 24/7 to fill whatever tall order this barista mom has. What an encouragement to know that free hand-crafted re-fills of wisdom, strength and grace can be mine all day long!
One day Jesus met with a woman like me. He met her at the local “coffeeshop,” I mean—the neighborhood well. Like us at our local Starbucks, she came empty and left full. Like her, if we leave our empty yetis at His feet, He specializes in filling us to overflowing. Following her coffeehouse visit with Jesus, she became a barista kind of gal. Her overflowing cup of Christ splashed over the whole town. So will ours as we keep drawing all our delights from Him.
But my favorite question in her “coffee shop” conversation with Jesus was when he asked her, “Woman, will you give ME a drink?” (John 4:7) Wow! In an amazing way, this imperfect, sinful female (like me) was able to refresh her Savior. She was able to fill the cup of Christ!
Later in the gospel Jesus pours out this truth, “When you give a cup of cold water in My name, it is as if you have done it to Me.” The way I see it from my coffeehouse window these days, Jesus is all about us becoming barista mommas to a thirsty world. As we daily spend our lives specializing in serving our husbands and households, neighbors and those in need, we are refreshing the One to Whom we owe our whole Latte.
When it’s check out time, filled with my Savior’s Spirit, I want to have a coffeeshop kind of home, a barista kind of hospitality, and a coffee cup kind of heart that is overflowing with my Christ! I want to enjoy this Pumpkin Spice Latte season as a Jesus-loving barista kind of parent. A momma who refreshes the One who fills me to overflowing. So come on in. Join me in making our homes and hearts gathering places for God’s glory—hubs for His harvest this season!
If you would like to host a “barista style” Bible study with other moms and daughters, Heart of Womanhood Resources specialize in setting the table for coffee house kind of ministry in our homes, neighborhoods and churches.