Thursday, October 9, 2014

Coffee Houses - Hold the Coffee

I have a serious love affair with coffee houses. This may not seem so strange, except for the fact that those of you who know me know that I don't like coffee. I don't like mochas, or lattes, or anything "coffee-ish" really (unless I'm going to a) fall asleep in class or b) fall asleep on the road, and then I'll drink it out of necessity. There's just something about coffee houses, however, that brings comfort to my soul. 

I've been using the Time Hop app lately to see daily reminders of pictures and thoughts I've posted for the last six or seven years. The pictures are fun, some should never resurface, and all serve as a good reminder that what you put on social media is NEVER going away! Back to coffee houses though. The other day, a post popped up from several years back that read, "Sits in coffee houses and talks to college women about Jesus - how do I get that on my business card?" See? Love affair with coffee houses.

As I sit in one now and think about just what it is I love so much, a few thoughts come to mind. First, they just seem peaceful. For the most part, coffee houses are pretty slow and quiet. (**I've been to the original Starbucks in Seattle, and NOTHING about that place says slow or quiet, but I digress.**) Likely, this stems from my love of libraries - literally my FAVORITE place to sit during college, just getting swallowed by the silence that is so hard to find in our noisy lives. Speaking of college, I also LOVE coffee houses because they're normally filled with college students (in downtown Springfield at least). From the moment I graduated and started traveling as a Leadership Development Consultant with Pi Phi, The Lord has continued to develop a deep passion for college students in my heart. While that is a topic for an entirely separate post (or series of posts), just sitting and observing and listening to the students around me is comforting. Often, I'll just sit and silently pray for the students I can see. I pray for their growth and development, their safety and health, and their hearts. Satan is thriving on college campuses, and oh how they all need our prayers. Strong coffee and strong prayers.

Coffee houses also tend to be a breeding ground for learning. Surrounded by people with laptops and books, it's like (silent) music to my ears to watch the knowledge absorption happening. I can think of few better places to sit and read, even if it is a Strategic Management textbook! Maybe part of the reason I'd be a student forever (if it paid better!) is that I subconciously equate that with spending a lot more time in coffee houses!

Besides learning, coffee houses are the perfect setting for relationship building. Whether it's two young lovers on an afternoon date, new friends who've just barely met, an informal job interview, or a budding mentorship/discipleship relationship, what better place to gather than a quiet coffee house filled with soothing scents and warm beverages? There's a lot of learning and a lot of loving going on.

Some people are serious about their coffee! Just search for coffee quotes on Pinterest and you'll get endless amounts of t-shirts, mugs, and word art expressing the java obsession. I have to confess I'm not one of them, but...if there's a shirt for loving coffee houses? Send one my way.

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