Driftwood Coffee: Drinking Coffee with Intention

Coffee.  It’s a morning ritual for so many people.  It’s dark and deep and mysteriously bitter yet surprisingly delicious.  Maybe the ritual is about the smell.  Or maybe it’s about the taste.  Or maybe it’s about the routine.  Or honestly, maybe it’s just about the glorious caffeine.

But what if you could make it about more than any of those things?

What if your morning coffee experience could be an intentional moment?  A moment to stop and savor.  A moment to prepare for what lies ahead.  So many of us grab a cup o’ joe and hit the ground running.  There’s no sipping, no savoring.  It’s all a rush.

But that coffee that you’re sipping?  It has a history, an origin.  It doesn’t just appear in your cup.  There’s a process to it and as with all art, it deserves more than a cursory glance (or in this case, sip).  But it’s hard to adjust our minds to be intentional about something that we’ve taken for granted for so many long years.  So maybe it’s time to re-examine the coffee that fills your cup, your belly and your energy level every morning.

Start local.  Find a company that consciously chooses their coffee bean, based on things like ethical farming and country of origin. {Remember: Allow your spending to be intentional!} Then let that local company roast that bean to pure perfection.  Buy it fresh.  Then use delicious pure, filtered water and pour your cup immediately.

Now sit and savor.

Here in Corpus Christi, we have a local company that does just that.  Driftwood Coffee Company, a locally owned and operated coffee roasting company began as a hobby but it quickly grew into a dream of bringing ethically harvested coffee to the local community.  Over the years, Driftwood Coffee Company has grown and expanded but it has never lost its original intent.

Randi and Steven first began roasting their own coffee beans in 2009 when a friend shared his hobby with them.  A popcorn popper, some online green beans and Steven found himself falling in love with the science and the art of coffee bean roasting.  Randi fell in love with the idea that she could choose where to get her coffee beans from and by doing so, she developed an appreciation for its origins.  She researched farm after farm looking for real folks ethically raising beans and supporting causes that she believes in (such as Women’s Coffee Alliance).  And she found them.

After a few years of roasting beans for themselves, Steven and Randi spent a year away from home doing missionary work and while they were gone, they found themselves missing the familiar routine of roasting beans and then savoring a cup of freshly made coffee every morning (they served in central Asia where fresh coffee was hard to access and a rare treat).  When they returned home in 2013, Steven quickly picked back up his hobby.  Soon Steven and Randi began to see a vision for something beyond a hobby.  They wanted to share delicious, ethically raised, perfectly roasted beans with local folks so with a leap of faith, they bought a real roaster, converted some personal space into a roasting area and began marketing to local coffee shops and coffee drinkers.

Now four years later their specialty beans can be found in seven local shops and stores (including places like Coffee Barrel, a non-profit cafe where all profits go to providing restoration for victims of human trafficking) and their website hosts an online shopping experience where you can have their beans shipped directly to your door or you can read their blog and learn all kinds of fascinating facts you’ll be glad you now know (and your coffee drinking experience will surely be enriched by this newfound knowledge).

Randi and Steven are a beautiful testimony to allowing intentionality to seep into life.  Despite the chaos of being parents, working full-time jobs and volunteering with their church, they still manage to find time to sit down first thing in the morning with a cup of freshly made coffee, made from beans they have lovingly roasted to perfection and intentionally savor the moment.

Couldn’t we all benefit from a little more sipping and savoring?

 *Start sipping coffee intentionally today.  Allow Driftwood Coffee Co to introduce you to some amazing beans…you won’t be able to help being intentional when you taste that goodness in your cup!  If you’re local, head over to one of the shops that features Driftwood Coffee’s amazing coffee or you can order on their website and have it shipped directly to your door.

**Photos are courtesy of Taren Martin Photography**

 

A Tea Party

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think.  It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”  L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Katie met a kindred spirit, Eliza, at ballet a few months ago.  Fancy Nancy was the common factor (along with a love of pink and all things fancy and dancing, of course).  Katie began dreaming of celebrating their mutual love of Fancy Nancy with a fancy tea party from the moment she found out their mutual interests.

Then a few weeks ago Eliza came to ballet and announced that she was moving.  Katie was crushed.  She rushed out of class to tell me that she absolutely had to invite Eliza over right away for tea.  Eliza’s dad gave me her mom’s number and we began texting trying to work out a date to get the girls together for a tea party.  After a few weeks of scheduling and postponing and rescheduling {repeatedly} (all on my part as we’ve had a lingering cold virus hanging around), Katie finally got to celebrate their fancy friendship with a wind-blown Fancy Nancy picnic.

(Originally it was planned as a tea party, but upon cleaning out the cupboards, Katie discovered my fancy picnic basket from my college days of nature trekking and the tea party morphed into a fancy tea party picnic.)   So a few Mondays ago, we packed the picnic up and all of our fancy clothes and then we headed over to orchestra lessons.  As the picnic would be on that same side of town, we avoided trekking back across town by readying ourselves while waiting for the boys to finish their lessons.  Katie was rather pleased as I let her pick out eyeshadow and lipgloss to wear.   A freak cold-front blew in right before the tea party picnic but all of the picnic attendees were good sports.  William and Joseph insisted on bringing their instruments to play music for us (although as soon as the food came out I noticed the music disappeared!).  Katie planned the menu with brownies and pirouette cookies and lemon wafers along with sandwiches (cucumber for the more refined tea partier and peanut butter for the rest of ’em), a fruit bowl and refreshing liquids, of course, which included raspberry tea and lemonade.  It was a beautiful picnic despite the wind and overcast sky.

The actual picnicking was followed by a rather odd game of duck-duck-goose (clearly, I need to make an effort to teach the actual rules).  It started off normal enough.  Duck-duck-duck-duck-duck-goose.  But then the goose would chase “it” on a serious wild goose chase…not around the circle as it’s meant to be done.  The best part was that as soon as “it” and the goose took off, all the rest of the kids followed with wild laughter filling the air.  It was a rollicking good time and entertaining to watch.

I’d be cheating the lovely afternoon out of my favorite part if I didn’t include here the fact that it wasn’t just Katie that met a kindred spirit…Eliza’s mom, Amy, and I discovered over the course of scheduling and rescheduling that we too share a love for many things (including fancy tea parties and Downton Abbey, blogging and children’s literature).  It’s terribly sad to meet a kindred spirit only to have them whisked away.  Of course I have to remember Anne Shirley’s wisdom when she said, “Remember, true friends are always together in spirit.”  So despite the fact that Eliza and Amy (and sweet little Jed) have up and moved, Katie and I are already delighting in the idea of a reunion to celebrate all things fancy sometime again soon with such dear, kindred spirits.

{A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}

Being intentional is easier said than done.  It’s easier imagined than executed. 

So here’s where we inspire you with a simple picture and a few words. 

Think of this as a chance to help you realize the simplicity of intentional. 

Sometimes it takes an interruption that literally steps in our way to make us stop and notice what’s around us…embrace the interruption and savor the moment.

Be inspired.  Allow gratitude and joy and beauty to sneak in with every intention.  And then won’t you come back and share your moment with us?  Or leave a link in the comments to your blog where you celebrate {A Glimpse into an Intentional Life}. 

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{this moment}

{this moment} – A Friday ritual.   A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  If you’re inspired to do the same, visit Soulemama to leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

Fed by Bread: Intentionally Making a Difference {One Baked Good at a Time}

There are the people that talk and the people that do.

You know what I’m referring to, right?  I’m sure you’ve met folks of both kinds.  There are the people that dream big and talk big and make big plans and have a vision but somewhere along the way, they get lost in all the details of pulling it off.

And then there are the people that dream big and they just do it.  They jump in with intention and nothing stops them.  They’re persistent and passionate and unstoppable.

Those are the people that inspire me….the people that DO.

Take for instance, Hollie.  Her delicious line of bread and baked goods does more than put food on the table for the folks that purchase it.   “A South Texas bakery nourishing African youth,” is the opening line on her website.  And while that is exactly what she does, it’s about more than just food for Hollie.  It’s about relationships.

Born and bred on an Oklahoma wheat farm, making bread is just genetically programmed into Hollie’s hands.  So after traveling internationally throughout high school and college and witnessing poverty and its effects on women and children, Hollie knew that she wanted to do something that would give the people she had met through her travels a chance to break the cycle of poverty.  When the time came and she felt a calling to reach out and help with the world food crisis, it seemed only natural that she would do what she knew how to do: bake.

In his book Start Something that Matters, a book that inspired Hollie, Blake Mycoskie says, “Love your work, work for what you love, and change the world—all at the same time.”  And that is EXACTLY what Hollie began doing in 2009.

Fed by Bread began in Hollie’s own kitchen in 2009 (when she was 7 months pregnant!).  Folks began to spread the word about this bakery with a mission and a grassroots movement was born.  After a few years of using the proceeds from her baked goods to sponsor children with companies like Compassion and World Vision, she knew it was time to form a relationship on a deeper level with a company that shared her vision.

Enter Africa New Life, a ministry that “exists to transform lives and communities through Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Acts of Compassion.”  Africa New Life focuses their ministry on Rwanda, a country forever changed in 1994 by the Rwandan ethnic genocide that killed more than 800,000 people.  Hollie crossed paths with Africa New Life in 2014 and immediately felt that this was what she had been looking for.  She began to send the bulk of her Fed by Bread proceeds to them (with a small amount reserved for the children she sponsors through Compassion and World Vision).

That same year, Hollie was able to visit the village of Kageyo in Rwanda and actually meet the people behind Africa New Life along with the children that were benefiting from her baked goods.  She was met with an overwhelming display of gratitude and her heart was full.

She knew at that moment, without a doubt, that what she set out to do was truly being accomplished.  Her intention to feed the hungry and break the cycle of poverty was being accomplished, one baked good at a time.

Today Hollie enters the commercial kitchen at Annapolis Christian Academy where she does her baking and sets about her tasks with intention.  While her hands are immersed in dough, her heart is immersed in thoughts of the children this dough will provide for.  She has started something that matters.

It’s not just a bakery, it’s Intentional nourishment with a purpose.

*You can support Hollie in her mission by ordering online and either picking up goods locally or having them shipped to your door.  While most items are intended for local pickup, she has a selection of baked goods that can be shipped.  Regardless of whether you pick-up or have it shipped, I promise her baked goods will make your breakfast table a happier place.  Plus knowing you’ve spent your money to make a difference is an intentional thought all of its own.*

**All photos are courtesy of Kristine Endsley**

 

 

March Daybook

In my backyard…it is a perfect spring day.  Low humidity, beautiful sunshine.  Oh how I’ve missed these days!

I am remembering…our last ride out to the University.  It was a bit of a rushed ride but so many things in bloom.  I’m looking forward to Spring and long days outdoors again.  

I am grateful for...this sweet smile.

I am watching…Elementary Season 4…I tried to quit after season 3, but there was a cliffhanger and I just had to keep going.  I’m imagining crime scenes everywhere I go so this can’t be a completely healthy hobby.  I’ve also been sneaking in a late night episode of Gilmore Girls each night (season 1).

I am listening…to Before We Were Yours.

I am laughing…as I remember this particular afternoon at a friend’s house.  Belle and Joe had constructed a “jump through the hoop” type game and my kids thought it was the funniest game ever.  Lots of giggling.

I am reflecting…on this beautiful Valentine I received this year from Joey.

In the schoolroom…we did a little mini study on the Olympics and included some chalk pastel lessons.  It’s been fun to see the kids work with the pastels and delight in their beautiful creations…

Around the house…I wish I could say it’s clean and the laundry is folded and put away and the counters sparkle, but that wouldn’t be completely true.  The laundry is folded, the house is mostly clean, but the counters are not sparkling…I’m still scraping off the play-doh from this morning’s activities.

In the kitchen…meatloaf.  Nothing beats a meatloaf with crispy bacon on top.

I am wearing…some kind of flowing blouse.  It has a bright yellow fitted lining and it has a pale ivory flowing fabric on top.  It’s a beautiful top and one I would never spend money on as I’m sure I will drip something on it or a kid will spill something on it before long, but my neighbor brought over a bag of clothes from her daughter (who by the way is half my age) and I found all kinds of treasures in it (I also found mini-skirts that would barely cover my backside and tops that I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my bust size would need to be to hold them up, all of which have been passed along to younger, trendier people than myself).  Plain black shorts on my bottom half.  Bare feet with hot pink toenails lovingly painted by Katie.  Ooh and a necklace given to me years ago by Mom.  (It could be worse…I could be tied up in pink silk with a hairband for a belt like some people around here…)

We are preparing for…a trip to Ohio this summer.  It’ll be one with lots of miles, lots of adventure and lots of love as we plan to see all of the Holland side of the family.  I look forward to introducing Fremont to my children through my parents’ eyes.

Someday I am going to miss…looking up from washing dishes and seeing this from my kitchen window…

One of my favorite things…an incredibly patient dog.

A peek into my day

 

 

Please visit The Simple Woman’s Daybook for more daybook entries.

 

 

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