It’s a Noisy World Out There

Hello! It’s been a while friends, I’ve missed this and I’m hoping to get back to some writing this year.

Can you believe that Praise and Coffee is 10 years old?!

Hmm…might be fun to do an Anniversary Magazine…??

Anyways. I’m still having fun doing my “Real Moms” segment on Star 105.7 with Tommy and Brook and have had the awesome opportunity to sit in live for Tommy a couple times. So. Much. Fun!

Also, having fun at Mezzo Coffee House and we opened a gift boutique with over 30 local merchants- adjoining Mezzo- called “Marketplace at Mezzo” in Sept. 2016 and wow, what a lot of work blast! My sweet friend Sarah Knash has been incredible…it would not be open without her.

My daughter Steph has also been a HUGE help at both the coffee house and Marketplace. She’s actually the reason I dusted off the blog today. She wrote a post that I think is so timely and I think it will be a blessing to you. Check it out: Just a Small Reminder

Looking forward to more connection with you this year! Look for more inspiration on our Praise and Coffee FB page.

Much love,

Sue

 

Now Available In Print: Praise and Coffee to Go

Connect, encourage and inspire…
Now available in print!

Praise_and_Coffee_to_Cover_for_Kindle

Six Praise and Coffee Conversations to help you facilitate a Praise and Coffee group (or any small group or personal devotions) as you gather in coffee shops or around kitchen tables.
No preparation required.

Invite two to twelve friends to a coffee shop/restaurant or around your kitchen table. It’s that easy!

Consider these six conversations a springboard. Do not hold rigidly to them, instead let the conversations serve your group fluid and flexible. We pray they lead you into conversations that promote connection, encouragement and inspiration. No one in the group is required to participate, but do encourage anyone to share.

Praise and Coffee to Go is not intended to resemble a classroom with students and a teacher but, instead, a group of friends sharing life, laughter, tears and the desire to connect, encourage and inspire one another!

Praise and Coffee to Go is set up for gatherings of two or more, but of course you could use the lessons as a personal study or devotional.

And to answer the question: why this book? I thought you wanted these groups organic and self led???

I do. The reason I put this together is: so many women wanted to host a Praise and Coffee group with their friends but were uncomfortable with the idea of how to do it and what to say. I DO NOT want you to use these as a script, with ladies sitting stoic around a table, answering questions when she is called upon. I want you to use this as a springboard for conversation that will lead you to connect, encourage, and inspire one another. I trust that when we meet, 2 or 3 or more, and He is with us….He will direct the conversation. You don’t need a book for God to move among you, but I wanted to help you take some steps into conversation with this book.

$$? I certainly did not create this as an income source, I added pictures to make it interesting and I think I make about .12 cents per copy sold on Amazon…and only because they would not let me offer it cheaper.

I pray that this helps women do what God intended us to do, connect and love one another, appreciating that we are all unique and beautiful women.

We are hardwired for connection… Click here to read why connection is so important.
If you are interested in starting a Praise and Coffee group in your community, feel free to join our online group page:

Praise and Coffee Leaders

Trust God

climb up and trust Him praise and coffeeWhen you’re hurting, feeling alone or facing the trial of your life…He’s there.

He never intended you to dance alone.

Trust Him.

 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!
Proverbs 3:5 The Message Bible

 

Fun Graduation Party Ideas

Taken from my Real Moms of West Michigan series on STAR 105.7 with Tommy and Brook… It’s Graduation season and they made it…no, YOU made it! Homework, sports, first loves and braces. It’s time to celebrate so put away the Kleenex for a minute and let’s throw a party! Here are some simple and fun ideas to make your day great.

1. Put up a video camera on a tri-pod and hit record for the party. Also, make a sign that asks the guests to say a few words to the graduate, it will be lots of fun watching this later!

2. FOOD! Be creative with food. It’s ok to step away from the ham and cheese sandwiches.

  • Baked potato and salad bar
  • Taco bar
  • Appetizer and Dessert party
  • Brinner! Breakfast for dinner is a fun buffet that people love.
  • Search Pinterest! I have a board all set up with a bunch of great ideas and you can find that on my website.

3. Decorations:

  • Dollar stores are your friend! You can find all kinds of great stuff there: lawn signs, balloons, plates, etc
  • An easy table decoration: Colored M & M type candies that you can find right in the bulk food section
    • Pick out your child’s school colors and add a few curly ribbons around them and call it good!

4. Stressing about getting the house ready? Have a destination party: host the party at a local hotel or restaurant. A local venue is ideal if you plan to have a large number of guests at the party.

5. Theme Party: Base the whole party around a sport or activity that your graduate loves. Video games, TV Shows, Twitter, travel, music, COFFEE…whatever they enjoy.

Another fun idea to have at a graduation party is get the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”…by Dr. Seuss and have all the guests attending sign the pages as a keepsake for the graduate. Most importantly: Real Moms are not afraid to ask for help! If your child is graduating, you probably know a couple other moms who are also planning parties, barter help with each other so you can spend time visiting with the guests. Then do the same for them. So, those are a few ideas, check out my Pinterest page for lots more. And congrats to all the graduates and their great moms that got them there!! Click to listen to segment: Real Moms of West Michigan on Star 105.7 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 More that might interest you: Has God Been Calling You to Step Out? Six Ways To Connect With Your Kids Helping Our Kids Deal with Separation

Fitting In Makes YOU Irrelevant

Anyone can fit it, but you are not anyone. YOU were created with a purpose and a plan in mind. YOU were not created to just fit in.

Be yourself, stand out and SHINE for Him and who He made you to be.

fitting in show up

Psalms 139

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

 

 

When the Journey Is Not What We Expected




journey trust praise and coffee

I look at my life and never could have imagined the journey that brought me to this place in my life.
I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t love every twist and turn and re-route along the way. I took some detours and jumped right into a few ditches along the way. BUT I love that God has been with me through it all and when I look back on even the most confusing and painful times in my life, I see Him.
I see His hand, I see where He was loving me and guiding me towards His plan.

Take a look around and see where He is in your current circumstances. He is there. He is loving you right now.

Hebrews 13:5

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” NIV
 My dear friend and ministry partner Ronel Sidney has shared some of her testimony, broken roads included, in this radio broadcast. I invite you to grab a cup of coffee and take a listen:

Courage Calls Us Out of Hiding

denise postMy very good friend Denise Dykstra posted this on her blog and I loved it so much I had to share it with you.

She pours her insecure heart out for all of us to see and bravely shares what so many of us would rather hide. The post: Praise and Coffee

Why I Make Mashed Potatoes

Originally posted January 2012

Want to help your kids stay off drugs and do better in school? Get cooking Momma! Or pay good money to a take-out joint that does.

Studies have actually shown that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to get into trouble…literally they tend not to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and they are much more likely to do well in school.

One study says that kids who eat most often with their parents are 40% more likely to get mainly A’s and B’s in school than kids who have two or fewer family dinners a week.

The chair is an anchor, not a bad anchor like a ball and chain, but a good anchor like the one that keeps your boat close enough to shore but just out of the weeds so that you can swim. Because, if you are anything like me and your foot touches a weed, it’s game over. Weeds and the theme to Jaws, two things that make me a big fan of pools.

Back to anchor…we sit, we eat, we talk. We live and grow together.

The conversation at the table is a window into each other’s lives. We share stories from our day and Lauren asks questions.

“How do people talk with their mouth?”

“Why is my head this size?”

“Why don’t we lick ourselves like dogs?”

And that’s why I make mashed potatoes because Lauren loves them and calls them “mashed-ta-pa-tatoes” and they keep her mouth really busy. Sometimes we just need her mouth to be busy.

Click on picture to go to Ree’s incredible mashed potatoe recipe!

I admit, eating together at the table is a struggle for my family. With kids ranging from 7-21 years old living in the house with busy schedules we have a hard time getting us all in the same place at once. But I love it when we do and I’m working on making it happen more often.

What about you? How often do you eat together as a family and what are your thoughts on the subject?

I’m on the “Real Moms of West Michigan” which airs Tuesday mornings at 7:05 AM EST.

If you are not in the West Michigan area, you can listen online at iHeart Radio: STAR 105.7

And visit Tommy and Brook at:
STAR 105.7
STAR 105.7 on Facebook
@TommyAndBrook on Twitter

Leave Yesterday’s Mistakes Behind




yesterdays mistakes

 

Our past is a huge part of our future…our stories shape us and we become a women of our individual journeys. I don’t believe we can or should leave our stories behind us and think that we can just forget where we’ve been or what we’ve done.

But let’s not let our mistakes or sins keep us from the beauty that God has before us.

The ashes are a necessary part of the beauty, but don’t let the ashes direct us, let hope and trust in the Father direct us.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Guest Post: Prayers for New Brides by Jennifer O. White

Hello ladies!

I’m going to dust off the blog and share a few things next week but today I wanted to let you know about a book that my online friend Jennifer has published. I love it when women take their ashes, brings them to God and He makes them beautiful!

Sue

blog PFNB Book Cover
Praising God for Marriage and Your Husband
Today we have a guest post from Jennifer O. White. Jennifer’s passion is helping people pray God’s Word for themselves and their marriages. She’s the veteran of one failed marriage and one rescued by Jesus, the marriage Savior. Her brand new book, Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor after the Wedding Dress, helps brides recognize the spiritual battle in their marriages. With Bible teaching, scriptural prayer and action plans, she leads us all to show up, surrender and salute Almighty God who will strengthen and defend us against the evil one.

 

blog PFNB Quote Lyn Smith

 

For encouragement on arming your marriage with God’s Word, stop by Jennifer’s blog, Prayerfully Speaking, for a free chapter of Prayers for New Brides: Seeing Your Spouse as God Sees Him.

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