Coffee, Kids, and Crazy

Brittney Serpell

Coffee. Kids. Crazy.

Most parents experience these things within the first few hours of the morning. If you’re like me, they also happen again in the afternoon. (Who doesn’t love a cup of coffee after 2 p.m.?)

When I sat down to pick the title of the new podcast I’m cohosting, it didn’t take long for “Coffee, Kids, and Crazy” to land as the obvious choice. Our purpose for the podcast is to come alongside you, moms and dads, and help you hold on to your sanity and vision for raising your children, running your home, and remaining connected to God and one another through it all.

Let’s break it down. [Cue music . . .]

First, COFFEE. Can I get an “Amen”?

For me, this is a life necessity. These days, my mornings look like this: wake up, let the chickens and goats out, and make coffee. I can talk and be kind before coffee, but there’s only so much I can handle before “No Fun Mommy” comes out.

Most days, I spend my coffee time reading in the quiet—usually the Bible, along with several other books. I wish I could say I loved reading like some people I know, but I confess that to me, it’s another chore, like letting out the goats and chickens. If I don’t let them out, there will be messes made that I don’t want to clean up. Apparently, the chickens might even turn on each other if they’re cooped up too long. I don’t want any cannibals on our property, so I let them out every morning. In the same way, I’ve found that consistently reading every morning (sometimes it’s ten minutes, sometimes over an hour—consistency, not quantity, is the key for me) helps me focus, fill my mind with truth, and prevent bad thinking and other messes in my day.

However you structure your coffee time, my point is that you need it. As parents, we need time each day to feed ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally if we hope to give our best to those around us. We can only give away what we’ve received and lead our kids where we have gone. So, moms and dads, I am passionate about encouraging you to take fresh ownership of your coffee time.

Next: KIDS.

I have three children whom I love with everything in me! But that doesn’t mean that dealing with their less-than-ideal choices, stubbornness, laughter, crying, fighting doesn’t cause intense frustration from time to time. And if I’m not careful, frustration—which at its core is an experience of powerlessness—can still sabotage my best efforts to communicate well, protect connection, and avoid trying to control my children in an effort to get them to do what I want them to do.

The other night, we were driving home and my children were putting up huge resistance to my instructions about how I wanted bedtime to go. As my frustration hit boiling point, I attempted to do what I always do—give them a choice. Here’s what came out of my mouth: “You can stop whining about it or listen!”

The backseat got quiet, and I thought, “Finally, they stopped!” But as I replayed the words I had just said in my mind, I realized I hadn’t given them a choice at all, but an ultimatum. My tired, frustrated self had gotten the better of me.

When we have too many of those moments, where we know we could have done things so much better in our interactions with our kids, we start to feel the lie of defeat creeping in. This is when we often need some help and encouragement so we can forgive ourselves, forgive them, and receive fresh grace from the Father. Whatever strength I am gaining from being in the trenches learning how to love my kids like the Father loves us, I want to pass it on to you!

Last but not least: CRAZY.

I can’t go into details about it (we’ll probably share the story in an upcoming podcast), but this summer Ben and I had one of the hardest seasons with our eldest daughter we’ve ever endured. I’ll simply say that our connection was weak, she was mad, and we were hurt. On many mornings, I woke up crying at the thought of getting up to face the day and her. I just didn’t know what to do to fix the situation.

Finally, one morning during my coffee time, I received some revelation that confronted my powerless thinking, clarified what I needed to do, and restored hope that we could get through this. I rose to the challenge before me, said, “Not today, Satan!” and redirected my heart like a captain of a ship toward the journey of pursuing my daughter’s heart. It wasn’t easy, but I’m thankful to say that we were able to restore connection with our daughter and come out the other side stronger than before.

This is my dream for every parent. We are all going to go through crazy times with our kids. Our connections will be tested, hurt, and even broken. But there is always hope of restoration and redemption. I want to share my victories in this area and encourage you to pursue them for yourself. I have always found that sharing our breakthroughs gives others the hope that theirs is coming.

The Coffee, Kids, and Crazy podcast is going to be fun, helpful, encouraging, and vulnerable. We want to help you create a new way of living. Our hope is to help you laugh while giving you the courage to choose connection over any chaos you may be facing. We can’t wait to come together with you on this journey!

Listen to our podcast intro below:

P.S. The Coffee, Kids, and Crazy podcast will be launching in October! We’ll announce the dates on social media and through our newsletter, so stay tuned!

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