You discovered a new coffee shop and asked if I'd like to explore it with you. I smiled to myself because I love adventuring with you, and it means the world to me to be one of your go-to people for trying out new places. Pikes Peak is covered in snow this morning. It's magical and majestic and takes my breath away every. single. time. You say something that is so you and I giggle because I just love you and your quirkiness.

We go inside and chat with the owners for a bit asking about their story, how they got started in this business, and what they hope to do in the future. It's refreshing to strike up authentic conversations with strangers who automatically feel like friends. As conversation slows down, we turn back to our coffee and our own little life updates.

We talk about the past couple of months. How you met me one night with coffee in hand at one of my favorite little spots, and we sat in my car for a while as the sun sank behind the mountains. Sometimes in complete silence. Sometimes as words tumbled out of my mouth while I tried to process. You listened. I cried. You offered a safe space for me to feel all the things. You gave me permission to not be okay for a while. Sometimes you just need a friend who will listen and not try to fix things where they can't be fixed. Thanks for being that listening friend for me and for walking through this season while offering a shoulder to cry on and a hug (or 100) when it's needed. Okay let's be real...I need hugs every day.

I smile a little when I tell you what Jesus has been teaching me through this season. He has given me the grace and patience I've prayed for, and the ability to react more often in a loving way and to forgive quickly and fully. I haven't always been able to do that, and I still don't behave that way all the time...it's a work in progress. But more and more over the past few months, he has helped me react with more heart and more love and less anger and less attack. I might tear up a little as I tell you this because I know how broken and sinful I am, and I am amazed at the ways Jesus works to change our hearts and make them more like his.

I ask about your hopes and dreams for this year. What is the one thing you really want to do, that one thing that hasn't let you go? You let the words spill out as you share you heart with me. You talk about how tired and overwhelming this last season has been. You express your fears in chasing after your dreams. As someone who took years to chase one of her biggest dreams, I understand those feelings. The fear of giving things up for something that might not work out. The fear of what other people think. The fear of letting people down. The fear of something that doesn't feel completely safe or secure. But you know what I've learned over the past year? We are given dreams for a reason. They give us an opportunity to pray and trust. Jesus has shown this one how faithful he is, how he loves so deeply, how he provides in ways we don't expect, and that he does, in fact, give us good gifts. That doesn't mean those dreams come on our desired timeline, and it doesn't mean they always look like we expected, but they are beautiful and they are worth the wait. All that to say, I think you should go for it.

You turn the conversation back to me and ask how work has been and how it's going in the making friends department. I tell you this is the busiest I've been at work since I started, but this is also the first job I've ever had that I actually find joy in. It's a job I look forward to, even after a year, and I'm excited where it's heading over the next few months.

I say I've been so surprised (in the best way) by the friends Jesus has given me since moving here. They are all different and wonderful and just what I needed. They challenge me, encourage me, and include me in their lives. I love the way Jesus brings us into each other's stories, for a season, or a lifetime. He uses the time we have together for his kingdom and for our good, and that is a beautiful thing.

The morning sun is far above the mountains now, and you need to get going for an afternoon full of plans. We say a quick goodbye to our new coffee shop friends, and head out with full and encouraged hearts ready to face the day.