Remember that sweet Bible study group I mentioned in last week's Coffee Date? That's where I met the lovely lady who's joining us this morning. Back then, she was the pretty new girl in town with a who had just moved from Andersen, South Carolina, with a gorgeous smile and a great southern accent. Four years and many other Bible studies later, Maranda has become one of my dearest friends.
Oh how I miss our in-person coffee dates at Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea, but a Coffee Date on the blog this morning will suffice! Friends, meet Maranda McCauley:
What's in your coffee mug this morning?
Currently, an iced black coffee from Mill Mountain, the only coffee shop where I can drink my coffee completely black and actually enjoy it. I've also had a bit of a tea obsession lately, and I've been drinking a different one every week. I love trying out different kinds and I'm itching for a new teapot :)
What is the first thing you did today?
I hit the snooze button on my alarm clock and pulled the covers back from my adorable husband who steals them. When the last extra five (maybe ten) minutes are over, I jump in the shower and get ready for my day. David usually has to leave before I do, so we say our goodbyes and I finish getting ready.
It's actually been really fun getting ready lately! I have a new internship at the Roanoke County Prevention Council, so I get to dress up, go to the office, sit at my own desk, and do real work that affects people. I LOVE it. I am learning so much about promoting healthy behaviors and how to prevent risky behaviors in adolescents.
What is something you've been loving lately?
I'm learning how to garden for this spring and summer. David and I are having a blast going to Lowes and picking out seeds, pots, plants, and soil. I'm having a little too much fun with trying to find the cutest watering bucket and gardening gloves. It will be an adventure as we learn how to grow various things and harvest them. I'm so excited for it!
What is something you struggle with and what are you learning as a result?
I feel like I could go on forever on this one! Right now I am struggling with patience. Patience with others, patience with wanting to know what the future holds, and even patience with things that I know are completely out of my control; this list could seriously go on for a while. I have been reading Romans in my quiet time lately. The Lord speaking through the book of Romans will wreck you so be careful :) I'm continuing to learn to wage war on sin (Romans 6). It is a battle, but we must die to ourselves daily and be renewed in Christ.
I am also learning that suffering is a great thing, but it is so hard to view it that way. We don't understand why bad things happen to "good" people or why things aren't going the way we thought they would be. It is even harder to know that you are right where God wants you, but things are still incredibly difficult. Thankfully, Romans 5:2-4 states, "Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory in our God. Not only that, but we REJOICE in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope."
Life can get busy and stressful. How do you simplify?
Since the day I said "I do" to my wonderful husband, David, life has not slowed down one bit. He is the Student Pastor at our church campus, and each day he has a different schedule. From student ministry events to Bible studies to meetings and student hangouts, there is never a dull moment or even just a moment to breathe some weeks. It is critical that we are both reading Scripture to be renewed each day. I have a huge calendar that I carry with me to keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly events. Since David is out of the house a lot, having both of our schedules in one place helps me keep track of our time.
I'm also learning that keeping things simple means having to say "no" more than I have ever been comfortable with. Since we started dating, I never missed a student ministry event or a Life Group night. But now I have to scale back to keep things from getting too crazy. I may have to stay home some nights to keep the house tidy or prepare dinner, and it's nice to have nights off to clean and prepare for the next day. I also like having a nicely made bed and a clean kitchen to wake up to.
What is something that made you smile this week?
Our precious kitten, Molly, is forever making us laugh. She is so curious and gets herself into more pickles than any other kitten I've ever known. She somehow managed to get herself stuck under our bed in the box spring, and we both had to crawl under the bed to get her out as she frantically "meowed" at us for help. Hopefully she learned her lesson and won't have anymore under-the-bed adventures. Now we have a hole to patch, unfortunately, but we are still laughing about it.