thoughts from the coffee shop

What is it about a chunky sweater (rocking those neutrals lately--just got hired at Starbucks so I'm wearing black,) an iced chai tea latte (because I'm obsessed,) with coconut milk, a rainy afternoon, and hanging out at the corner coffee shop? Call me basic, but I feel the vibes HARD. Taking the opportunity to sit and write while my mind is buzzing and I have a moment, because once I start working full time in November I'll most likely disappear from Blogdom all over again.

I had a challenging summer. Just going to be honest. Every year for every normal human being is going to present something unpleasant or difficult. Don't get me wrong, it was also the most incredible summer of my life. But I ran and ran. I was in do all the things NOW mode. . .and I really did do all the things. I set goals, made plans, and accomplished all I set out to do. Looking back its a blur, but at the same time, I haven't and can't seem to process everything I did, saw, felt. When people ask me how Thailand was that I put on a perfect little smile, suck up my annoyance, and say something like--"oh it was great. Beautiful country, amazing food." La-de-da. Its a well meaning question, but people don't really care. Not truly. They told me to expect that, but I didn't believe them. American Christians live in their complacent world and perhaps tithe a little extra on Sundays or maybe volunteer at the nursery. Noble things, but don't pretend to understand the heartache of a lost souls or a country shrouded in darkness and pagan rituals. Don't look at me and act like you've experienced life in a third world country. If you have, kudos to you. Then maybe we can talk. This isn't me speaking from a place of pride. Its coming from a heart who has seen deep suffering and was left with a feeling of emptiness. Its like I'm hanging by a thread, dangling above my life purpose. . .but I can't see my reflection, don't know my own shadow.

The mission field was my life calling. I longed to traverse foreboding jungles and eat roasted crickets with local witch doctors. :P I thought living in a hut and sleeping on a dirt floor was romantic. But the adventurous missionary life is fantasized by so many, myself included before my trip. It really is a calling. . .and sometimes God calls us to something only to show us that it isn't our calling after all. And maybe that's the journey. Pushing for our best potential, only to realize the every day doldrums of life are really what we want, in the long run.

The heart-cry of my blog posts over the last several years has been pushing for a purpose, exceeding comfort zones. Do it. I still recommend and stand behind that principle. But like I outlined a bit in my last post, sometimes the best path, especially to the spiritually war-torn traveler, is just sitting back and listening to His still, small voice. Because sometimes it's painfully still and small. Sometimes it seems that you've made strides forward only to be kicked back several hundred paces. Sometimes it means leaving your cozy little brick house in the country and moving back in with your parents so you can save for a car. Sometimes it's knowing deep down that everything's going to be alright, even though the walls are crashing around you and the waves rise to a tempest. Sometimes when you've waited and the light at the end of the tunnel shines its ray of faint hope into your soul. . .you see that in the end God really did have a purpose. That He makes no mistakes and that you can trust Him, even though the idea is so elementary. Sometimes the quiet places are exactly where you need to be until at last you fall to your knees in surrender with the anthem cry--"not my will, but thine O Lord!"

There are no shadows. There is no empty place or sense of loss. Life gets us down, its a normal cycle. But its impossible to know defeat. I don't know if others struggle to find self worth nearly as much as I do. . .or maybe I'm just more open and vulnerable about it. I think if more Christians took off their masks and were honest with each other, took the scriptures about accountability to heart and stopped pretending their lives are together and their hair always looks that perfect. Maybe then we'd have a stronger, more united body. I love the journey of life because if things were always easy, what would there be to live for?

So here I am in my middle-late twenties, embracing my smalltown life and taking everything a day at a time, a step at a time. Becoming a woman of God living out her singleness and taking life by the horns is probably the scariest and most exciting thing I can think of. I imagine warrior-princesses of the Bible like Deborah, Ruth, the woman in Proverbs 31, and I believe they were strong, capable women. If they were alive in the 21st century they would be world shapers in their communities. They would make a name for themselves because yeah having a husband is a nice idea, but being independent, classy, and established is attractive and so fulfilling. They'd throw off the bias and legalism of the church and wait, listen while they worked. They wouldn't sulk or stop doing in an act of defeat. They'd wear heels and cocktail dresses, they'd rock out to their favorite pop songs at sunset, they'd go out with their friends, cuddle up with Netflix in the evening, stick their nose in the Bible, and just live. My strongest desire is to be the best version of myself that I can be. There will always be naysayers. There will always be pitfalls. But there is never, ever defeat, for like Elevation Worship says, "we will not be moved though the earth gives way, for the Risen One has Overcome."

Just some coffee-shop thoughts from a soon-to-be-barista in a chunky black sweater, empty chai tea latte cup melting ice on the table, Thai-backpack by her side, and a head full of daydreams and happy, happy hope.


  1. Michaela, you're amazing and I love reading these bits of your heart. Congratulations on the job! You're going to be a fabulous barista :-)

    1. Emma! I don't think you'll ever really understand how much of a blessing you are in my life. I felt so close to you at the ranch, and really hope we can connect again in person now that we are both home. I see God working in and through you in so many ways! I can never hear the song Sweet Home Alabama (or watch the movie! ;) ) without thinking about you! Mwa!

  2. Hi Michaela! I don't comment on your blog, but I have been avidly reading your blog for a few years. I am around your age and understand some of the topics you have addressed on a deeply personal level. I have been on the pushing forward, rushing around path, and have come back around from that to a more moderate pace. I have questions about what 21st Godly womanhood looks like that no book on the topic seems to able to answer fully (and which probably never will be able to). I have come to a place where I try to enjoy the beauty each day offers. One of the words I have focused on this year was peace, which is unlike most words I focused on in the past. I am not sure if I am anywhere close to understanding some of your feelings during this time, but I sense focusing on peace, and cultivating more rest and humility in your life may help you. It has helped me greatly. Take care.

    1. Hello! Thanks for stopping in. I'm usually really bad at answering comments, but I'm working on it. ;) I agree, no book will ever be able to answer the questions. That's why each individual story is so unique and special. Doesn't mean the road is easy or that everything is made clear; some of it may never make sense. But I wouldn't trade the chaos for the world, because I understand that God is using it to refine me and create me into the woman He designed. I pray that you continue to seek God on your journey! Please feel free to contact me whenever! :)