I love having the opportunity to share my friends with you every Friday through this Coffee Date series. It gives you a chance to meet other encouraging ladies and it gives me a chance to catch up with them - a win-win for everyone! While I often share women who have other creative businesses or blogs, I also have the chance to feature some unsung heroes - ladies who are doing great big things in the simple day-to-day.
Logan Gibson is one of those gals. I was blessed to have several classes with her during our time at Virginia Tech, even though we didn't share the same major. And I've since been keeping up with her, especially during the last 11 months. Why, you ask? Keep reading!
Friends, I'm so very excited for you to meet Logan.
What's in your coffee cup this morning?
I absolutely love coffee! I typically take mine black, the darker the roast and the bolder the flavor the better. However, for the last 11 months I have been traveling around the world participating in a mission trip known as the World Race. While there have been some great cups of coffee (like the cinnamon coffee served in a miniature French Press I got at a coffee shop in Kiev), most of the coffee I've had looks more like my cup this morning. Nescafe 1+2 instant coffee served out of a little flavor packet mixed with hot water from one of those office-type coolers. I can only assume the 1+2 means coffee + sugar/creamer. While the flavor leaves something to be desired, fellow coffee addicts can attest that bad coffee is better than no coffee.
What is the first thing you did today?
Today is an "off day" for me here in China. Our team does ministry 6 days a week, so off days are either spent in a rush of touristy activity or savored in slow hours of relaxation. This is one of those savoring days, and my morning has been idyllic. After sleeping in, I made my way to a second story terrace that overlooks the complex of our ministry site this month. With the aforementioned cup of coffee and a plate of fresh cherries purchased from the village's Lunar Market, I enjoyed time in prayer and reading God's Word. I would love if everyday started like this, slowly entering the world's busyness with the peace that comes from time with God, but my mornings typically look a little different. This month in China the norm has been to roll out of bed at 7:30, get ready in a 10 minute routine perfected from months on end of third world living, order breakfast in the cafeteria while stumbling through the few Chinese phrases I've learned, and head off to prayer meeting and ministry.
What's something you've been loving lately?
Lately I have been loving Judah Smith, the pastor of City Church in Seattle, Washington. While I have never met him or been to his church, I did hear him speak once before when I worked at Liberty University. His book, Jesus is ______, was being passed around my team, and a couple months ago fell into my hands. It was one of those times where I assumed I was just reading a book, but God had much bigger plans. He brought this book into my life with a divine appointment to bring together months of lessons on His grace, love, and freedom that He has been teaching me. Smith's words resonate with my soul because they are presented with hilarious truth in the most down to earth way. I often listen to City Church podcasts now on long travel days, off days, or as a makeshift church with my team.
What's something you struggle with and what are you learning as a result?
My 11 months of missions and world traveling are rapidly coming to a close (I will be Stateside May 30th), so the big question on everyone's mind is, "What will you do next?" The stress and pressure this question produces takes me back to finishing college 3 years ago when I graduated with a BA in history, no job plans, and a failed MRS degree. My struggle lies in releasing the decisions to God and trusting fully in His timing and plans. Before coming on the Race I was so hopeful that God would place a specific country, people group, or ministry on my heart that I would be pursuing post-Race. So far in my prayers and the words spoken over me, this is what I've heard from The Lord: "I have your future in my hands. Even though you cannot see it right now, trust Me." Through this time of God asking me to wait I am learning what it truly means to relax into God, experience His presence, and be content and at peace in a time of uncertainty.
Life can get busy and stressful. How do you simplify?
Usually to organize my chaotic thoughts and mass of activities, I resort to a classic To Do list. The last year of my life, however, has been a time of constant transitioning and never really knowing what your schedule is going to be, which induces quite a bit of stress. To Do lists don't work for that. I've craved order, simplicity, and routine more than I ever thought I would. The best way I've found to simplify is often the hardest because it means relinquishing control, the exact thing we often feel we need in order to simplify. What I do is become "God aware." Breathing out quick prayers before beginning tasks. Telling Him my plans for the day, and then opening myself up to change. I find that the more I open my heart to Him, the more my perspective changes, and the simpler my life becomes.
And lastly, what is something that made you smile this week?
My reasons for smiling this week are all chubby cheeks, tiny fingers, and footsie pajamas. I am currently working with a foster home for children with special needs and physical disabilities here in China, and I have been blessed with hours of holding the smallest of these babies as my ministry. There is something profoundly joyful and deeply spiritual about cradling new life in your arms. Staring into their bright, deep brown eyes I am amazed by all the miracles God has already performed in their lives. Successful surgeries, organ transplants, and diseases just disappearing. God's love is etched into their very beings. And as I hold them, I pray for the next miracle I know our Heavenly Father has planned, adoption into a loving family.