The Summer 2013 Praise and Coffee Magazine, Our Last Issue

The Summer Praise and Coffee Magazine is here!

Click here to read: Summer 2013

It’s filled with great articles by amazing women. The topic is freedom, and we tackle it from all angles.

Freedom from our past, freedom to forgive, freedom from debt and more.cover summer 2013

Our last issue…

It was a little harder to press “publish” on this magazine. As you will read, it is the last magazine for an undecided amount of time. I tell you about the decision on the last pages of the magazine.

We’ve had three great years publishing this magazine! I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who submitted articles and poured their hearts out on the pages over the years. I’ve met some wonderful ladies along this journey and connected with women that have become friends in real life.

My focus is shifting and I have some other projects that have been calling for my attention for a long while and I’m hoping I can make some forward motion in those areas now.

The topic of “Freedom” was decided before I decided that this would be the last issue, but it is quite fitting. I don’t mean to say that I’m ‘free of the magazine’ because I’ve loved doing it. Loved it! But it is freeing to know that it’s ok to lay down something you love doing when you do it while trusting that God is leading you and has other things on the horizon.

It’s easy to go with the flow and once a system is started, just keep moving but the past few years I’ve learned to enjoy the fluidity of a relationship with Jesus. The message stays the same, but the vehicle changes. Freedom brings peace, but it often has to be fought for. We have to fight the voices and disappointments of others. Don’t expect everyone to love or understand the changes that God calls you to do.

But bravely step out, or step back, whichever you’re feeling the tug to do. Peace is the signature of a walk with God. I did not say quiet or calm or even easy, but I said peace, that inner sense that you’re on the right track and the contented rest that comes with trusting the Father’s love and leading.

I hope that even this move to stop publishing the magazine will encourage and inspire you to follow close to what God lays in your heart because His ways are always better than ours.


Here are some of the article pics if you would like to Pin them for us! And we would love it if you did!

diema freedom




freedome julie



mel capture melanie

tracee article

tricia capture

Tips for Teaching Our Kids Honesty

I’m not talking about those times when our little ones asked someone in their 60’s if they have a baby in their tummy. Not good. This is not the honesty we’re going for, that’s a whole separate issue.

I’m talking about teaching our kids not to lie.

Lying in our home has always been one of the most serious offenses our kids could commit because it’s something that- when a child becomes accustomed to lying about things, they become known as a liar and if people don’t trust you…it affects all your relationships.

So, we really want our kids to learn to be honest at a young age.

A couple tips to help our kids do that are:

1. Reward honesty-I think this is huge! Reward those times when they tell the truth- when a lie seems much easier and without negative consequences.  Praise them, applaud that behavior!

2. Grab those teachable moments…seeing someone lie on TV or if a friend lies to them…use these moments to talk about how lying hurts others and causes people not to trust us.  Talk about how they could have responded differently. If they have a friend that lies often, you might want to limit their exposure to them if possible. Sadly, we tend to become like those who we surround ourselves with.

3. Little eyes are watching us. Lead by example. If they see you fudging the truth, so will they. When we go back in the store and pay because the cashier missed that water under our cart, our kids are learning to be honest- even when it would be easy to get away with it.

Moms, let’s help our kiddos learn honesty!
Click the “Star 105.7” tab above to hear today’s segment.

I do the ‘Real Moms of West Michigan’ segments on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook every Tuesday morning around 7:05 AM. If you are not in the West Michigan area you can listen on iHeart radio

It’s here! Summer 2012 Praise and Coffee Magazine

We hope you enjoy it and we’d love it if you share it, tweet it or pin it!

Radio, Magazine and Online, a 3 Part-er!

Part 1:



It’s Tuesday so that means that it’s time for my “Real Moms of West Michigan” post!

And I have to tell you, I phoned this one in, literally!
I was in the parking lot of a MOPS group in Coopersville waiting to go in and speak to the group as I shared this with Tommy and Brook.

Today I talked with Tommy and Brook about one simple word: remember.



Remember what it was like to be little.
Remember the things you worried about.
Remember how it felt when you mom was too busy or always on the phone.
Remember how it felt when mom and dad argued.
Remember how it felt when you parents took you somewhere special.
Remember how it felt when your parents cheered for you!

Sometimes it helps to put ourselves in the place of our kids and think about how they feel, it just might help us to be a better mom.

Remember, simply remember.

To listen to the segment, click on the Star 105.7 tab.

Part 2:

The Spring Praise and Coffee Magazine is out!
We focused on moms this issue so we have some great articles and encouragement for mothers.

Also some great stuff about marriage from Sheila Gregoire and Lori Byerly!

And some wonderful fashion input from Andy Paige, yes THE Andy Paige that you’ve seen on the TODAY show and TLC and heard on Star 105.7!

We hope it connects, encourages and inspires you!!


And Part 3:

Don’t forget to join us for our online Praise and Coffee Night this Thursday!

To join us, click on this link at 7pm EST or 7pm PST:
Online Praise and Coffee Night Webinar

Ever Struggle With Not Fitting In?

I sure have.

I wrote about it over at the Internet Cafe’:

“I think we do the same thing online. Girls start gathering around this ministry or that ministry…the Blissdom conference, the SheSpeaks conference, Praise and Coffee, Beth Moore siestas…the list goes on and on. If we’re not attending or on the inside track of these things, we feel isolated, alone and rejected.”

To read the rest of the post, click here.
Whose Circle Are You A Part Of?

Can you relate? Drop me a note over there if you can.

Whew, I didn’t break out in hives.

I can hardly believe the LIVE webinar went off without a hitch. I didn’t break out in hives, the dogs didn’t attack the UPS man and Mitt Romney didn’t call, not even once.

The webinar went a bit longer than I had hoped for and of course I have a million more things I wish I would have said, and why did I make that funny face so often and good gravy what was going on with my hair?

But here you go, if you’ve been thinking about starting Praise and Coffee Nights this video shares the heart of them with you.

The ladies that attended were truly a delight. I wish they had all been here in my kitchen. I would have baked them something fattening and yummy.

Here are the links for the Ebook:

And webinar:

This is a fresh approach to women’s ministry. Sharing conversations that matter as REAL women with real hurts, joys and trials.

  • No agendas, just relationships.
  • Gathering 3-12 women together, facilitating conversation and allowing God to intervene.
  • Based on Matthew 18:20, when 2 or 3 gather in His name, He comes.
  • Meeting outside the four walls of the church with women from all backgrounds, churches (or no church) and walks of life.
  • Sharing life.

And this is me. Watch the webinar, you’ll understand.

Thank you Denise for all the behind the scenes stuff that you did while sitting in my dining room all alone, I really should have baked you something. I love you to pieces.

Have a great weekend!!!!

PS: I almost forgot…if you would like to join in with women all over the nation world starting Praise and Coffee Nights on March 15th, click here:!/events/290042004382067/

A Fresh Approach to Womens Ministry

Edited to add:
If you missed the webinar, the info is here: 

Ok girls, I’m scared and excited and nervous and overwhelmed all at once. Yes, I need to lay off the caffeine but this really is BIG news.

We are hosting our first ever Praise and Coffee webinar. We will be helping to train and equip women from all over the nation world to host Praise and Coffee Nights.

No airplane tickets or hotel reservations needed…in fact, you don’t have to brush your hair or get out of your jammies for this! Although, I will be on video, so I’ll try to freshen up so as not to frighten you.

The interest in hosting a Praise and Coffee Night has been growing and women want to know the what, when, where and how’s of starting them. So if you are interested, jump in on our online webinar this Thursday at 1:00 PM EST. No commitment necessary, lookey-loo’s are more than welcome.

RSVP here: (or leave a comment on this post).!/events/231394873604052/

Praise and Coffee Nights are a fresh approach to women’s ministry. The fresh-ness is that we’re not looking to create a mega-ministry, but instead create a movement. Real women meeting in small groups at cafés and kitchen tables, connecting-encouraging-and inspiring one another.

You don’t have to be a minister’s wife or even part of your church ministry team…we want every day REAL women to start with the influence that God has already given them and take it one step further. Invite 3 or more (we like to keep it under 12) women out to a coffee shop or over for a cup of coffee and some encouragement. Note: Coffee is not actually required 🙂

This is NOT your Momma’s Bible study group, this is girlfriend time with the only agenda being connect-encourage-inspire. Share life, and watch how God intervenes.

Matt. 18:20 says that when 2 or 3 are gathered in His name, He comes. I love that! And honestly, I desperately need that. I don’t know what I would do without the girlfriends in my life that have been Jesus’ heart to me.

Do that Bible study, memorize that scripture! But also connect with women in a relational way that deepens your life and gets us out of the four walls of the church and into the world that God put in front of us.

To join us for the online webinar, click this link on Thursday, January 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM (if you miss it, we are recording, I’ll add the link to watch it when it’s available):

Enter as a guest and type in your name! It’s that easy. You can chat with other women who have already started them and many who are about to start.

We also want to invite you to start your first Praise and Coffee Night with us on March 15th with women all across the world.

That info can be found here:!/events/290042004382067/

Use the comments for any questions or drop me an email! I can’t wait to hear from you.

OH! I almost forgot!! During the webinar we will be giving away TWO…yes 2 SIGNED, yes signed copies of Lysa TerKeurst’s new Made to Crave devotional!
And…because we love you…TWO…yes 2 SIGNED, yes signed copies of Mary Snyder’s new book too!

Hope to hear from you!!

PS: Local friends, here is a link to the training I’ll be doing at my house in February:!/events/214266648657988/ 

The Summer Praise and Coffee Magazine!

The Summer 2011 issue is published!

Again, I am so touched by the stories of women who walked through the hard times and clung to the God who loves them.

From a mother who saw her daughter engulfed in flames.

To a wife who while working in the mission fields of Africa only to find that her husband had been cheating on her. That same husband working side by side with her to help aids victims.

And the mom who faced the painful fact that maybe there was more to the story when her young son didn’t make eye contact with anyone else. Maybe he was autistic.

All the while God is bringing comfort and healing in the midst of these painful trials. And eventually these wonderful women find a reason to laugh and enjoy the journey that they are on.

Real women ~ real stories.

Another very exciting part of this issue is a new column by Melanie Shankle, some of you know her as ‘big mama.’
She debuts her Fashion Cafe with us, sharing 10 darling pieces that would look great in our summer wardrobe.
You will love her picks and her adorable personality. And if by any chance you’ve never met her online, please visit her blog. big mama I promise you will love her. If not, you can call me a liar and take a sharp stick to my eye.

Sorry, I’m a little slap happy after being on the computer for the past 24 hours straight to finish the magazine on time.

So, enough listening to me- click on the cover to view the magazine!

And have a wonderful weekend.

Feeling left out of the cool girl circles

So any other girlfriends here willing to raise their hand to this question…

Who else feels left out of the cool-girl circles sometimes?

Tell me I’m not alone in this.

Crazy isn’t it?
We get thinking about how we feel outside of a certain circle of gals…all the while overlooking the circles that God has put us in.

What if God has us right where He wants us?
What if maybe the circle we think we belong in, would not be beneficial to us at all.

Maybe, just maybe the Lord wants us to be thankful for the people that He’s put in our little sphere of the world and quit trying to belong somewhere else.

Proverbs 25:13 says:
Reliable friends who do what they say are like cool drinks in sweltering heat—refreshing!

Instead of worrying about what circle that we DO NOT belong to, let’s try being this kind of friend to those in our life.

Be refreshing! Like an ice-cold mocha latte’!

I’m pretty sure that if we took this approach, we would deal less with rejection, loneliness and feelings of self-pity.

And besides that, in my book you are all so super cool and you can be a part of Praise and Coffee’s circle any day!
So, carry on and coffee up!

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