crummy coffee


Saturday mornings are great for many, many reasons.

The particular reason I am writing about today is my crummy cup of coffee; groggy eyed and in bed.

You see daughter number 3, upon learning how to make a cup of coffee to Mama's liking, stored that information away in her absorbent first grade mind, and has been bringing me and Mr.MS our coffee in bed…early on Saturday mornings.

Awesome and sweet and adorable and such a great Mommy memory right?

Well, it goes without saying her kind offering aint exactly like drinking it at Starbucks-piping hot, fresh, professional and sleek.

No, it's lukewarm with either way too much cream, or not nearly enough, and has coffee grains bobbing on the top of the tepid warm surface.  Sometimes she gets confused with who gets decafe {daddy} and who gets the real stuff {mommy}.

But none of that matters. It is still my most favorite cup of coffee of the week.

You already know why.

It's not really about the coffee.

Its about the heart propelling those hands to scoop, pour, stir and carry up those stairs, on Saturday morning.

Let me fast forward to today and briefly fill you in:

I decided to start a ministry at our small local church.

I am calling it:

School's Closed. Church Open

Rewind 2 years ago:

A friend of mine dropped a simple phrase in the middle of a long conversation as she related the story of how she took in three children for foster care, and then adopted them. Being very abused and neglected she told me that:

"when there was no school it was terrifying"

That phrase would not leave my mind.

Rewind to about 9 months ago:

  a blog friend recommended the book Hold On To Your Kids: why parents matter more than peers.

The gist of the book: even for those kids who are not being abused, who have plenty of food in the cupboard and have very normal parents who love him, the fact remains that with the norm of two parents working full time kids spend more time home alone and with their friends than with their parents.  Parents are supposed to shape values, not their bffs or buddies they play sports with.

Rewind 4 months ago:

Our family leaves our large and established church that we love and know everybody, to start attending a tiny, newborn babe kind of church; very unpolished, lots and lots of empty pew rows. We know next to no one.

But man, the heart of the pastor, and what starts to happen to both of our hearts as we sit in this run down dinky church where no joke, our family of six sprawling out an entire wooden pew- doubled the attendance! {only on a couple weeks…and we had fun making jokes about it as we drove home let me tell you}

Rewind 2 weeks ago:

My Pastor is speaking about laborers. {"the harvest is plenteous but the labourers are few"-Jesus}

The Spirit has been speaking-its not about filling pews with people who are just doing the church thing, cuz going to church is what we folks do. 

I found myself seeking out my Pastor after service and heard a quivering voice that sounded a lot like mine tell him about this phrase that keeps thumping in my mind:

School's closed. Church open.

I spill out sentence fragments, rambling faster and faster- the way I do when I am nervous- about feeding kids breakfast and lunch, teaching them that they matter based on what The Bible says, crafts, skits, acoustic guitars, and vegan cupcakes!

I tell him what I just typed above.

Latter, I stand in front of the church and tell all them. { I actually like public speaking…go figure…its the one-on-one that leaves me a bumbling idiot}.

And after the warm fuzzies, and "wow that is awesome of you"

The work…


It's a freakin lot of work.

Which is why Mr.MS just shakes his head and says "your crazy".

But I can handle it. I grew up in church and "I know how to serve", man!

I can color code, laminate, lesson plan, make copies, plan menus, delegate , download, stay up late, live on caffeine and spoonfuls of peanut butter, and command a room of distracted children with my voice alone– with the best of them.

And yet.

I can't get that cup of crummy coffee on Saturday mornings out of mind. Well polished and practical and professional- is not how Jesus did ANYTHING.

Last night sitting up making notes in bed, exhausted, because I ran around all day preforming the to-do list {as pictured above}, I reflected on how everything that could of went wrong did- including but not limited to: a child spraining her ankle at school, forgetting keys, and using the wrong card to pay-and that really I am quite inadequate.

Then I wrote this, turned off the light feeling a burden lift off me, and slept like a baby…


"What do you want me to teach Lord?"

Our communities are full of hurting, aimless, empty-inside children.

Our churches are filled of haggard, stressed, guilt-laden volunteers.

I can not possibly take the place of a loving Mama and Dad, and I certainly can not solve any of the huge problems and pain in children's lives and their families. And I certainly DO have the responsibility to do this thing well. And it will take time and planning, and chicken nuggets and ramen noodles will be my new best friend this week.



this lady keeps getting grains in the coffee.  Sometimes I use too much
cream, or not enough.  I am easily distracted, and confused, mess up the order.

And yet.

When I gave my life to Christ, I didn't simply sign up for a philosophical idea, and now I have to roll up my sleeves and do a lot of religious stuff{and by the way stop doing a lot of other stuff}.  I gained a new heart.

His heart

It's now my heart.  




Full of Life. 


Loves to Laugh.


That is what I will present come this Martin Luther King's Day. And will hopefully continue to do throughout the school year on those state holidays and random days off of school.  It may look to most like a crummy cup of coffee but to those "with eyes to see" it will be the best darn part of their week.

But honestly, please say a little prayer that it is not a huge embarrassing flop.



4 thoughts on “crummy coffee

  1. I believe in you!! Your heart is so full, anyone could glean love from it Leah. Just do your thing and you will be heard. Much love and luck to you this weekend, you will rock, I just know it….


  2. Leah, I hope this is going well for you! What a blessing to those kids! And I love the analogy of the cup of coffee. God’s so good to use all we give Him, even it’s not quite up to par! 🙂 I am one who constantly finds myself in that place of feeling like what I give isn’t good enough and I’ve found it to be destructive to me. So I’m glad I read here tonight. God’s so pleased with our hearts! Blessings!


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