It’s Like Having  Coffee With a Trusted Friend

I’m assuming, since you’re here, that you have at least a small curious streak. You must have seen the link on the homepage that says “conversations among friends.” I know, I know, I didn’t give you very much information on what you were about to click on. I’m sorry, I could only fit so many words on the little rectangle graphic. But you clicked anyway, and I’m so glad you did!

Now that you’re here, I can explain what this spot is all about. Conversations Among Friends


Typically when you’re on your favorite blog, you find posts grouped by topic, hopefully nicely mapped out for you in the menu along the top. Lots of times the blogger will write not just one post on a topic, but an entire series. And some of us have a strange addiction to our editorial calendars. We do enjoy planning our posts and creating just what we believe our readers need and want.

But I got to thinking the other day, how different that is from how I really think and how I communicate “in real life” with my friends. So many times I’ve had thoughts swirling around in my head; something I’d really like to share, but I don’t quite have my thoughts fleshed out into a coherent blog post. Or I put the thought on hold thinking “I need to work out the details or plan a series around that.” And the thought sits on my computer (or worse, in my head) and seldom gets released into the world. (OK, sometimes that’s a good thing. Not all of my thoughts are helpful, or logical, or tied to anyone’s reality but my own!)

For those thoughts that should find their way out of my head, I finally decided to give them a place to go. That place is this little page called “conversations among friends.”

Let me ask you a question. When you get together with a friend, say, over coffee, or on your couch, what do you talk about?
Do you schedule the “date” for a time when you know you’ll have a certain number of topics to discuss? And do you get all of your thoughts on those topics organized into a logical sequence, with proper conclusions drawn, before discussing them with your friend? I’m guessing not. Most of us just chat. We move seamlessly from one topic to the next. Rarely do we stick with one topic long enough to come to a “conclusion.” Never do we solve the world’s problems, rarely do we solve many or our own. But we enjoy the conversation, the edification, and the sharpening of our own swords with the questions we ask, the council we give and receive, and the empathy we share.

That’s what I want to do here. Just chat. Ask questions, empathize with one another, point each other to truthful encouragement, and enjoy each other’s friendship.

So, on a totally random basis (because that’s how regularly I get together with friends) I’ll come right to this spot and “invite you to coffee” and start the conversation with something that has either been on my mind, or something a friend brings up in conversation either online or “in real life” (just so you know–incase it’s not obvious–I believe online friendships are very much “real life.)

I really wanted to avoid giving each topic its own post. I want to keep this very free of formalities and as organic as possible, like how a “real” conversation would flow from one topic to the next.  But there would be no way for you to leave your comments on a specific topic if I did that. So… each topic will have its own post. But no picture. Just words among friends. (Yes, the means it will be difficult to share on Pinterest. But that’s OK. How often do you post the conversation you just had over coffee on Pinterest? And besides, you can pin this page if you like.)

Here we go! Choose any of the conversations below, click on the link, and join us there for some encouragement and some mind-sharpening.

First topic; Is is Ok to cry?

Are You Struggling To Find Your Fire For The New Year?

  How is it possible that we’re already two days into a new year? Wasn’t is just February two months ago? I don’t think I’m ready for this! I typically love this time of year. I love the excitement of making plans for my “best year ever.” I’m a sucker for a blank...

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Is It OK To Cry, Even If I Claim To Trust God?

Hi friend! I'm so glad you came by, we have so much to talk about... **********sips coffee, breathes deep, and begins the conversation************* I’m very blessed to be part of a small group of Christian blogging moms. We meet in a private facebook group and we talk...

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Are Some Of Us Called To Be Ordinary?

What I’m wondering today is this: could it be that my “extraordinary thing” that I’m supposed to do for God is not something that looks extraordinary at all but in truth looks rather ordinary?

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Don’t Be SAD: Take Steps Now To Avoid The Winter Blues

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Autumn is fading into winter and it's the season for gratitude and joy as we share Thanksgiving and Christmas with loved ones. It truly is a wonderful time. Pretty soon it will be a new  year; time to polish off those New...

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When You Can’t Find Your Christmas Spirit

I love Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the sweet treats, and the extra time spent with loved ones. It’s the time of year that snow is welcome and hot chocolate covers a multitude of sorrows. When the Christmas spirit hits me, I’m ready to jump in and enjoy...

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Let Us Live Like Daughters Of The King

  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit...

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How You Can Be A Blessing To A Tired Mom

This post is part of a blog series on a topic that is weighing heavy on my heart. As I look around I’m seeing busy people all around me, and fewer meaningful, mutually edifying relationships. I’ve personally been hurt by our culture’s lack of community, and I know...

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Not Just Heaven, But God Himself

One of my Bible readings this week was from Philippians 1:19-26. In these verses,  Paul is deliberating which is better; to live, and therefore continue to share the gospel, or to die, which means to finally be with Christ. When we think about those verses, I know...

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What Grace Means To Me; A Fallible Mom

What does grace mean to you? God’s unmerited favor. That’s what it means to me. It means that even though I’m weak, and I mess up, He still loves me, and makes things work out for my good. When we offer grace to each other I think of it in terms of not being too hard...

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He Wants Me To Love Him

 We finally did it! We overcame the many obstacles and got family pictures taken! Such a burden lifted. I'm the queen of procrastination when it comes to family photos! But it's done, and our friend did a fantastic job capturing this little group of people I'm blessed...

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Learning To Embrace Seasons Of Solitude

    “I feel so isolated”. That’s what I said to a friend of mine several years ago while visiting for a few minutes after church. Little did I know that even deeper isolation was on my horizon. It wasn’t the first time in my life I had felt alone and...

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Even Through the Heavy Grey, Beauty Still Blooms

I was going to begin this post by apologizing for not updating my Healthier You series last Friday. I was going to say that I had had a difficult week which left me in no mood to write. And that would have been okay, I’m sure. I would have shared how I’ve been doing...

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When I Prayed For A Richer Prayer Life

Do you ever feel like you’re really just talking to yourself when you pray? Sometimes I feel like my prayers are just getting lost in the atmosphere. Not because I don’t get the answers I want, I feel that way before ever giving Him time to answer. It feels like maybe...

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A Blogger’s Prayer

Have you ever written or created something that was really just for you, and you were a little bit nervous to share it with anyone? You thought maybe it was special to you but others might not get it or worse, they'd think you're a little ... weird? That's how I felt...

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The Three Little Words That Are Poisoning My Soul

  I have to tell you, right from the start; I really don’t want to write this article. I  don’t want to have to admit that I struggle so much with this. It reminds me of a quote from Abraham Lincoln that I heard many years ago. “Better to remain silent and be...

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Do Your Kids Know You’re an Ordinary Person?

How do your children perceive you? Do you remember discovering things about your parents that as a younger child you never really understood or considered a reality? I’m not talking about deep, dark secrets, I mean ordinary aspects of their humanness. Were you...

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Giving our Children Roots And Wings

  Late last night I posted the following on my business Facebook page: “I just wanted to check in and say I haven't forgotten all of you. I've been pretty quiet lately due to some pressing family matters. We've been away from home a lot lately, visiting with my...

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Finding Beauty In This Darkness

Around this time last year I made a commitment to learn all I can about fighting depression. It’s not a glamorous subject and not one I would have chosen. (I still find myself asking God “Are you sure?”) But this is the road I’m on. I have to do what I can to learn to...

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Mom (and Dad) Relax, This Parenting Thing Takes A While

Recently in a mentoring group I participate in a desperate mom asked for prayers. She feels like she has lost the joy of parenting and has become a grouchy old lady. She shared, “I am trying to raise godly men, but they are more like wild men lately!” Oh, how I can...

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When Your Kids Declare “It’s Not Fair!”

“It’s not fair!” Is this what your children declare every time they don’t like a decision you’ve made? Somehow, children learn early on that by playing the “fair” card, they can stop an issue in its tracks and turn things around in their favor. Or at least they think...

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When You Need Community

A guest post from my friend Nancy Backues. Please be sure and read about her below and connect with her on her website. Thanks Nancy! I know people will be blessed by this message!     I held a feverish, crying infant in one arm and the phone in the other....

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It’s So Good To See You Smile

  Have you ever taken notice of the first time your child smiles, after many days of sickness or sorrow? If you’re a mom (or a dad) you know how painful it is to see your children hurting. Whether they are sick, were treated badly by a friend, or have experienced...

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But How Will I Lead Them?

Recently I began reading through “The Story; The Bible As One Continuing Story Of God And His People.” Today’s reading took me to the part of the story where the Israelites are about to enter the beautiful and abundant land  that God had promised them.  Moses, who had...

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Refreshed by an Unfair God

Yesterday I woke up feeling kind of blah. I'm not sure if that’s a word, but that’s how I felt. I was tired and emotionally drained. Truth be told, I didn’t really feel like going to church. I felt like crawling back into bed. It didn’t help when both of our kids...

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Let’s Make it a Great Year

  Just after Thanksgiving, the  question “What do you love most about this time of year?” was asked on facebook. Here’s how I responded: “For me, it's the overall joyful atmosphere. It's a time that we get to begin again. We celebrate new life because of Christ,...

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Stepping up to Offer my Small Gift

You’re probably familiar with John 6: 5-15 .It’s the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. A large crowd had gathered around Jesus to hear him teach. Knowing they were hungry, Jesus asked Philip “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He was only testing...

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Are You Addicted to Facebook?

    If this sounds familiar, you might be addicted to Facebook. Maybe you’ve already realized that, and you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to spend a lot less time there (and on other social media). And you will. Stating tomorrow. It’s too late today...

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Does God Really Love Me?

Does God actually like me? I mean does he enjoy my presence? Does He smile when He thinks of me or watches me go through my day? Does He love me with an affectionate love? Maybe it’s an obligatory love, one that forgives because of the nature of who He is but not a...

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New About Page

Hi, I’m Beth Cranford, very blessed wife of one, and mother of two. I was raised in Maine by loving parents along side two brothers and two sisters. My biggest claim to fame and my highest source of joy, peace, and courage is that I am a daughter of the king! A...

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I Will Meditate on His Unfailing love (Psalm 48:9)

When the darkness starts creeping in and the father of lies tries to tell you that you are not loved, meditate on these truths.    Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his...

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When All You Can Do Is Pray

Maybe you’ve been there. Life has thrown you a cruel twist that has taken you by surprise and is threatening to destroy you. You get through your days the best you can, just trying to keep everything together and hold on to some level of normalcy and hope. Your...

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Isolation is Not Your Friend

The depressed person feels like this is what helps them cope, it almost feels like a security blanket, a hiding away from the world and all of its trouble.

But isolation is anything but healthy, especially for a person who is depressed.

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Insist on Solitude

When was the last time you spent a good chunk of quality time… with yourself?

I can hear some of you saying “Ha ha, wouldn’t that be nice! I’d love a few minutes to myself, but it just isn’t going to happen. At least not until my youngest child is 18!”

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Freedom Requires Action

I want you to win this battle. I want you to turn around and help the person climbing the mountain behind you to win their battle. If you want that too then you must choose to take up your weapons, put on your armor, show up at the battle, and do the hard stuff. …

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Don’t Panic; This is Not Your New Normal

The world stops turning and your thoughts start spinning. All of your memories from past depressions flash before you, but so clearly that you recognize that these are memories of things you’ve overcome. It’s more vague than that. You’re just transported back to that very place where there is only darkness, and because it’s so dark, you believe that you are there to stay.

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I Wish I Was a Mom Like That

Do you pale in comparison when you look at other moms? Stop it! You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Live your strengths, thank God for them. Be thankful for the strengths of those around you but stop trying to be someone els. It would be a boring and ineffective world if we all had the same strengths.

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Keep a Tight Reign on Your Thought Life (Fighting Depression)

There we sat, in the emergency room, awaiting a CT scan for our preschooler. He had taken a hard fall on the garage floor about two hours earlier. Initial signs looked OK, but the doctors wanted to scan, just to be sure what we were dealing with. They were pretty sure he had a mild concussion.

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Is Your Example Really Enough?

Do you feel comfortable leaving your kids’ faith to whatever they happen to find for themselves or see in your example? I don’t. Let’s commit to using every opportunity we have to “Tell of all his wonderful acts” (1 Chronicles 16:9a)

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When My World Went Black

I was terrified that I would never be well again. I fully believed that I had arrived at a place from which there was no escape.

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What is Depression?

Depression is complicated. There is no way we can really answer the question “What is depression?” in one article. I’ll share much more as we go along on the quest for weapons against this dark and debilitating illness

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It’s Time to Fight!

I’ve always been a little bit on the sassy side, willing to say what I think, fight for what I want, and stand up for what I believe. Hopefully I’ve matured a little and have learned to apply that trait more appropriately.

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Just Sit There and be Quiet

I wonder: Can I get to a point where I can be still before God even before I’m totally spent? Can I learn to be still even when things are going my way and I have plenty to say?

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photo courtesy of Antonioguillem