It’s the Little Things in Life

It’s the little things in life people. We all know my love for coffee goes deep but then at Christmas, my sweet baby boy passed on some coffee that had been given to him by a friend. Now this was no ordinary coffee… no people it was SNICKERDOODLE flavored coffee!! I am not sure I can impress upon you how truly amazing this stuff is. It smells and tastes of the perfect mix of cinnamon, sugar and that warm buttery flavor of fresh baked cookies. But to top that off… you put just a little bit of Sweet Cream creamer in it and that’s it… I’m done… off to the land of bliss.

If you told me there would be something come along that would make me look forward to getting out of bed in the freezing cold, I would have laughed in your face. I am a well-documented non-morning person. (I’m pretty certain it’s even in the Library of Congress- Wendy Reeve: non-morning person) But I’ve found it and people, it is good stuff.

Bad news? Oh come on you knew life had to have a kink in it… this particular coffee came from out of state… way out of state. Like not even a border state of a border state. I can’t even drive there and get more… well I guess I could drive there… over a few days. Hmmmm… who’s up for a road trip??

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My Ansley

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               It started oddly enough. Our church’s women’s ministry was beginning a new mentoring program. Now this is something that has always been near and dear to my heart because I’ve always been blessed to have an older friend to help me navigate life. Cindy showed me how to be a wife, Peggy showed me how to be a mom and Leigh showed me how to be a Godly woman. (hey, they did their best… they’re not miracle workers) So when the sign-up for this appeared, I was SO in!!

                There was an initial meeting to see who was interested and then a second meeting where you found out your match (yes, it felt somewhat like match day at med school… would I get picked? would I like said pick??) When they introduced me to my mentee, I was perplexed to say the least. She was single, young, career oriented and worst of all A MORNING PERSON!!! What were you people thinking?? I knew without a doubt this was never going to work.

                She insisted we get together the very next night to decide when our required weekly meetings would take place. I began to soften when she wanted to meet at California Dreaming since they have croissants to die for. We were not far into our conversation when she dropped the BIG BOMB “Let’s meet early one morning.” Those of you that know me might need a minute to stop laughing…. those of you that don’t, should know that I sleep until the LAST POSSIBLE SECOND because I am not, nor have I have ever been or even aspired to be a morning person. So I quickly responded, “I can’t I have to be at work by 8:30am.” (insert sickeningly sweet smile on my face J) to which she quickly replied in her self-assured twenty-something way, “Get up earlier. It will be like found time.” Well, what do you say to that?!?! I rolodexed through my brain to find an excuse, any excuse to get out of this horror that I found myself in and I. HAD. NOTHING. So I agreed.

                That was the beginning of many realizations for me: we are never too old to learn or make a new friend, I was oh so wrong about this not working out, God’s plans are SO MUCH better than ours and a diehard non-morning person can change. Our meetings (yes, she not only convinced me to meet TWICE a week but to meet at 6:45am- over an hour and a half before I had to be at work) not only were the highlights of my week but seven years, one move to Nashville (her), one retirement (me), two babies (her!) and one empty nest later (me) we are closer than ever. We text/email daily and see each other no less than once a quarter. She is a part of my boy’s lives and I am a part of her kid’s lives. We keep each other on track especially where our faith is concerned. She even had her own “Are you kidding me reaction?” when we were paired and if she’s really nice, I’ll let her share that one day.

It’s funny because a co-worker once pointed out that when I’d refer to her in front of others I would always say “my friend Ansley” like that was her whole name. Before long, I noticed that I’d shortened it even more because she is my dearest friend, my confidante, my book-loving twin, my cheerleader, my pride check, simply put people, she is MY ANSLEY.

Friday Morning Girls

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             I am not a morning person. Nope, not even a little bit. I love my sleep. So for me to get up at 5:30AM every Friday during the school year is a big deal people… a BIG deal. (remember I don’t have a job and could sleep til noon if I wanted… not that I do … not very often anyway) So when I tell you I am joined by up to 35 teenage girls, you should pay attention. Teen girls are beautiful, complicated souls and being the mother of three boys I have come to appreciate all they entail. They also LOVE their sleep so when they join me it’s an even bigger deal!!

                We don’t get together for coffee or to workout. Nope. We get together to study the Word of God. Not sugar coated, not politically correct, but the plain and simple truth of God. We talk about the hard stuff like boys and modesty (Modest is Hottest!), the easy stuff like daily prayer and everything in between. The funny thing is that I have learned just as much from these girls as they have from me. Sure I was a teenage girl once upon a time in a land far, far away but I’ve been in the world of testosterone for so long now that I’ve forgotten much of what I knew! I’ve learned that girls eat… a LOT and are beautifully healthy when they do that. I have learned that nothing sounds sweeter than a group of girls laughing at 6:45am even when they’re laughing at me (ok, there are sweeter sounds but I’m making a point here… WHAT? Just living the truth) I have also learned that girls want to please the boys they are so madly in love with at the moment and I have learned that girls can learn from their mistakes. Most importantly of all, I have learned that I’m going to love being a mother-in-law. (no rush boys!)

                There are three of us that lead the study- Kathy, Leigh and me. Between us we have seven sons and ZERO daughters. This is not by accident. You see those of us without daughters want to help raise up a generation of Godly women for our sons to marry. It’s common knowledge that husbands tend to spend more time at their wives families for holidays so were just trying to building up some alliances. I kid! I kid! But when this opportunity came up, I thought what if I have the opportunity to teach a future daughter-in-law? In Bible Study no less?? How cool would that be? Do I seriously think my boys will marry one of these girls? It’d be great if they did but if these girls don’t marry one of my boys, they will be marrying someone’s boys. So my prayer is that the girls my sons will marry are at their own Bible Study somewhere being taught by women like Kathy, Leigh and me.

                 I’ve done this long enough to see some grow in their faith as they go to college and to see some turn their back on their faith as well. But the truth is this, I’m just called to plant seeds in the hopes that one day they will remember a piece of scripture, word of advice or Godly truth just when they need it most. The byproduct for me is getting to know some AMAZING Christian teen girls, understanding what they are seeking in a mate, learning how to deal with my future daughters-in-law and seeing the joy when they discover that the truth is truth not matter what the world says.

                So if you’re looking for me on a Friday morning during the school year, look early and listen out for the laughter of teenage girls… and do me a favor, bring a LARGE cup of coffee for me OK? Thanks