Virtual Coffee Date

There’s a blogger I read and like who does an occasional, reoccurring post entitled Virtual Coffee Date.  She borrowed the idea from another blogger, and I, who love coffee, also love the idea of pretending we’re sitting down here for a sacred cup and gabbing like old friends.

I admit, in the same breath, that I’m kind of intimidated about a post whose very premise seems to suggest that I have this busy, interesting, important life to keep up with, but then I’m reminded how instrumental this blog has been to process this (and many of life’s) transition(s), and I’m thankful for a space to spew some of these fears, hopes, and prayer requests, and especially humbled by readers who attend to them!

A typical morning scene for this gal.

So if we were sitting down to coffee I would tell you all about the dissertation, how much it strikes fear into my heart when anyone mistakenly asks if I’m done yet (I’ve hardly just begun), and how paralyzing it is to think of synthesizing a life–anyone else’s or the one that I had in China–into a word document.  It’s mostly difficult for good reasons: my life in China taught me so much, not just about culture and childrearing, but about God and humility and faith everyday.  So I’m a ball of nervous energy and excitement when it comes to this daunting project!

I’d tell you how much I’m looking forward to fall here in Princeton, how welcome the crisper, cooler mornings are to a girl who was previously living in the tropics, and how I can’t wait to bring on the pumpkin spice, the leaves on the tow path, chunky sweaters, my October birthday, and getting cozy with warm coffee.  I love and have missed all of that!

A foster mother and her daughter in Guangxi, Nanning.

I’d tell you about my friends in China, and my best girlfriend who is in crisis and constantly on my mind, and how hard it is to be away.  Please pray that she feels closer to God and God’s peace and also pray for the mothers, fathers, children, and orphanage workers there.  Pray especially for a twelve year-old girl who will be adopted in the coming weeks to a loving family in the states and for the joy-filled foster mom who has raised this soulful, mature young woman.

I’d tell you (and thanks in advance for listening) all about this course I’m excited to take at Princeton on modern Chinese intellectual history in Chinese that I’ll use to work out my Chinese and my mind this semester.  Feeling pretty blessed to be at one of the best Chinese language program’s in the country and looking forward to speaking and writing more competently about my research in Chinese through this course.

And finally, I’d tell you about the brokenness in my home church, where huge changes are stretching everyone’s patience and faith.  I grew up there and out of that wonderful place of diverse thought and acceptance sensed my own call.  And my deepest prayer is that those in the church find a way to love one another and be one in Christ despite the hurt and the pain.  Healing takes time, and as a child of the church, those suffering are ever in my thoughts and prayers.

My lunch view here on Princeton’s campus. Gorgeous!

And I’d ask you to praise God for finding me here in New Jersey, for God’s persistent call on my life, for the depth and the breadth of experiences these past few years, and the possibilities that remain. 

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10 thoughts on “Virtual Coffee Date

  1. You are full to brimming these days! Love you and reading your thoughts. BTW there has been a recent increase in the reading of your blog amongst my friends for some Godreason! < Mom

  2. Good luck, and good coffee.. As a coffee lover myself, that might be my new saying. You heard it here first!

    P.S. I doubt you need good luck, as you certainly have a grasp on things. I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to convert the live of the people you saw into ‘word.’ Your dissertation isn’t meant to be a novel (or this blog) where rules can be broken and you can bring life into what you see. We put high expectations on ourselves sometimes.

  3. Erin,

    My prayers will continue to lift up your friend in China. I will also pray for your strength as you begin writing your dissertation (it was truly God’s hand that supported me three years ago when I completed that enormous, yet rewarding task). I also lift up the 12 year old and her caring foster mother……and know that the adoptive mother feels His loving presence, too!

    Warmest blessings,
    Donna

    1. Donna, Thank you for the breadth and the depth of your prayers. I felt them as I spoke with my Chinese friend via skype this am! I can’t wait to hear about your grand adventure- please keep the updates coming, and I’ll keep praying for you and yours. In Christ, Erin

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