Tag Archives: Cafe Chocolat

Sabbath Joy

Day 289 in my pilgrimage to meet up with Mickey

Today’s plan was to (1) go to worship to praise the God who loves me, (2) give a sister in Christ a new copy of Birnbaum’s 2015 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide and (3) have a family of four who are new to our church over for brunch.

  1. Today our summer schedule began: one service each Sunday at 9:30 am.  The service was such a blessing!  Since today is Pentecost Sunday, our first reading was from the Second Chapter of Acts.  This chapter is all about the coming of the Holy Spirit.  We heard verses of it read in ten different language, including Greek, Hausa (a Northern Nigerian language), French, Catalan, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Latin and Hindi.  It was very powerful.  And then during the Lord’s Prayer, each of these readers recited it in their language.  Awesome!
  2. Melinda Voelcker is a dear sister in Christ.  She was the Worship Leader at our Cafe Chocolat Retreat.  Then she filled in for me as director of our contemporary band, Damascus Road, while I was recuperating from my recent surgery.  She and her husband are taking their two daughters to Walt Disney World in October for the first time. I told her she needed what I consider to be the definitive guide:Birnbaum’s 2015 Walt Disney World: The Official Guide, so I picked one up for her. I’m so excited for them!  They will have a ball, for sure!
  3. We had a lovely few hours with the Bakfwash family: Yakubu, Diana, Faith and Teyphyra.  How wonderful to hear of their lives and to share ours with them.  I look forward to getting to know them better as we continue to worship together.

Meet you at the Kingdom!


God Is Up In Here

Day 280 on my way to the House of Mouse

Today in my quest to be healthier when I meet up with Mickey, I will go in for my post-operative exam.  I had hoped to be much farther down the line by now.  I have had three post-operative set backs: 1) oozing/bleeding sores from the tape that was used, 2) exercised induced asthma (which, I have no idea if this is true, but I suspect is a product of the anesthetic + high tree and mold counts in our area) and 3) a raging urinary tract infection.  A dear sister-friend pointed out to me that God wanted me to have this extended time to heal and to be ministered to.  And when I cried as she chatted with me, she said, “Tears of joy are OK.”  (Thank you, dear Shelly Holmstrom, for putting things into a right perspective!)  I have cried a lot of tears of relief, joy, thankfulness and peace.  And it is all balm to my soul.  (But I just have to say to my ladies out there: isn’t it interesting that happy tears still looks like ugly crying face???)

And speaking of balm to my soul, at our church’s Cafe Chocolat retreat, I was in a “Sweet Circle” with four other women.  Some I knew quite well, others not so much.  We were given a lot of time to share, laugh, cry and pray together.  Definitely balm! One of the women in my group spoke about a book that she was using for daily devotions: “My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge and Belonging” by Rachel Naomi Remen.  Here’s what Amazon says about it.

“In My Grandfather’s Blessings, Rachel Naomi Remen, a cancer physician and master storyteller, uses her luminous stories to remind us of the power of our kindness and the joy of being alive.

Dr. Remen’s grandfather, an orthodox rabbi and scholar of the Kabbalah, saw life as a web of connection and knew that everyone belonged to him, and that he belonged to everyone. He taught her that blessing one another is what fills our emptiness, heals our loneliness, and connects us more deeply to life.

Life has given us many more blessings than we have allowed ourselves to receive. My Grandfather’s Blessings is about how we can recognize and receive our blessings and bless the life in others. Serving others heals us. Through our service we will discover our own wholeness—and the way to restore hidden wholeness in the world.”

Thank you, Carol Bettendorf, for recommending this book and for sending me a copy of it!  I has helped heal me; it has blessed me; it has been my “Balm in Gilead.”  (Check out the words to that old, old, hymn…priceless!  It is by Washington Glass, I think.)  Here’s a sample: “There is balm in Gilead, To make the wounded whole; There’s power enough in heaven, To cure a sin-sick soul.”

Dear Readers, this sin-sick soul is feeling bathed in love and light.  I have been held up by a wall of prayer from those “angels” in my life,  I have been ministered to by my loving husband (thank you, Lord, for Mike!), and I have been wrapped in the Holy Spirit and in the Savior’s promise to never leave or forsake me.  This healing goes way deeper than my cuts and scars.  This healing goes all the way to my soul and spirit.  Thanks be to God!

Meet you at the Kingdom!

Blessed To Be A Blessing

Day 260 in my pilgrimage to the land of Mickey.

Todays’ plan was to attend Cafe Chocolat and keep all the plates spinning.  It was a wonderful day of laughter, tears, faith, fun, deeper friendships and the Word of God.  I came away renewed and forgiven.  Oh yeah, and exhausted.  I am sitting with my feet up with my newest furry friend. (Kitty…so soft!)

I am so grateful to God.  He is so faithful.  He showed up in a big way and blessed our time together.  And there was a miracle. I LOVE chocolate.  It is my personal crack.  It is an addiction that runs deep and is well-embedded.  And by the end of the retreat, I couldn’t even look at a piece of chocolate.  The smell made me feel sick to my stomach.  I would have never believed it was possible for me to reach a saturation point with chocolate; God gave me that gift today.  (I know it’s a very tongue-in-cheek miracle, however, for me it was a miracle none the less.)

Thank you dear friends and readers for all the support and especially the prayers.  I feel them deep inside me.  And thank you, Holy Spirit for the strength to see it through.

Meet you at the Kingdom!

“…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  Ephesians 1:6 New International Version (NIV)  Such EXTRAVAGANT GRACE!

Pushing Through My Pain and Getting It Done!

Day 257 in muscling my way to meeting up with my pal Mickey at the Magic Kingdom

Today’s plan was to set up the room for the Cafe Chocolat retreat this Saturday.  I set up six tables (4 round and 2 long), 5 chairs at each table.  Then I covered them with tablecloths.

Thank you, Lord, for Pat who is making the coffee and hot water for cocoa and tea, putting out water pitchers for the ladies, and making the centerpieces for the tables.  I seriously had a couple of nightmares about making these centerpieces.  Pat is a lifesaver!  Major mischief managed!

I was sweaty and wiped-out after setting up the room, but at the same time I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment.  It always feels good to get active and bull some stuff around.  🙂

That’s it for today, Dear Readers.  Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: Thank you to my sweet Emi for sending me Method Mickey Mouse Foaming Wash!  What a treat to come home yesterday and find 2 bottles there waiting for me.  Love you to the moon and back Emi-Bean!  And of course James, too! You made my day!


Conquering Fear

Day 248 in my inner journey to Mickey (6 months to go)

My plan for today was to continue to turn away from the fear that kept me frozen and on the sidelines for so long.  I dug back into our upcoming Cafe Chocolat women’s retreat materials.  It took me about an hour and a half to read through all the materials again.  Now I feel better and more familiar with how things are put together.  I am so excited about sharing this retreat with women from my St. James family!  However, I have had a nightmare two nights  in a row, about big blunders at the retreat that were my fault.  It’s only a matter of time before I have the “standing naked in front of the group” dream.  But you know what?  It’s OK.  Because God is in charge, and he is ever faithful.  I will just keep praying for this retreat and for all those who attend it.  May God’s grace become more real for each of us.

Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: My friend Mickey was on Dancing with the Stars tonight for Disney night.  What a treat!  Yay, Mickey!

Accepting the Challenges

Day 183 in my challenges as I try to change before meeting Mickey in October (8 months and 6 days to go)

I have made a habit out of hiding behind my weight.  I would participate in some activities; however, I would, in general, try to avoid leadership positions.  But I am taking a huge first step to turn that around.  I have volunteered to lead our Women’s Retreat at church in April.  I have two distinct feelings about this.  (1) I am excited at the thought of experiencing this retreat with our ladies.  It’s called Cafe Chocolat.  It will be a study on the extravagant grace of God.  AND (2) I am absolutely terrified at the prospect of “the buck stopping here.”  I am asking women to pay $35 for fellowship, worship, Bible study and lunch.  This will inevitable drive me to my knees in prayer.  “Help, me, Jesus!

My plan for today was to get a complete overview of the retreat by re-reading all the materials.  And then to start formulating plans to implement the retreat.  So I did.  It took me approximately four hours to get through it all.  I came away (1) excited and (2) overwhelmed.  but mostly excited.  This will be a wonderful retreat if the women will embrace it, AND we get chocolate.  Just a little, but enough to feel a bit pampered.  (And I hope to find good sugar-free chocolate for those of us who are avoiding the white stuff.)

So here’s to the new me: the person who welcomes the challenges that God sends my way and even thanks Him for those challenges.  🙂

Meet you at the Kingdom!