Coffee – My Gateway to Meaning

Ok – that title is a little tongue in cheek:)

Seriously though – I LOVE coffee.

In fact, as we were doing our research preparing to launch United and Untied, one topic that was most requested from people who knew me well was tips and tricks on how I’ve learned to make coffee!

I’ll admit – I have learned a lot about making coffee over the years and am definitely happy to share!

But how does that fit into the big picture here? Isn’t this blog about exploring meaning in every day? How to be united with God and each other, while untied in spirit?

I’ll let you in on a little secret – and it’s the secret that has led me to enjoy coffee, and many other things at a level that goes deeper than you might expect.

Coffee does help me find the meaning in every day.

It forces me to slow down, pause, focus. Be present. Have a conversation with Sarah. Step out of my own head for ten minutes.

The way I enjoy coffee is not with K-Cup convenience. It takes time. It can be tedious. It can be inconvenient.

And that’s an intentional choice on my part.

Now – inconvenience is not something I normally seek out. I’m type-A, I’m a goal setter, I’m busy, I’m an achiever. I’m not good at things that take forever and don’t have much purpose at face value.

But, I’ve learned the value in making time for those things.

The things that I’ve come to enjoy most are the things that open up space.

Space for conversation. Space for contemplation. Space for appreciation. Space for admiration.

Coffee. Cooking. Walking. Exploring. Creating. Photographing.

Simple things. Inconvenient things in a busy life.

Things that don’t have to be attached to a specific goal or end. They just are. 

And they’re beautiful.

But they all take time. Time that gives me time to think. Time that Sarah and I can just be present and talk. Time where we can explore the meaning to be found in each day.

Coffee doesn’t have to be your thing, although I’ll be giving you plenty of tools if you decide it is:)

However – my challenge to you is this – choose something to be your thing.

Something that forces you to slow down. Something that interrupts your rhythm. Something that you enjoy but might not always have the time for.

Prioritize it. Look for the beauty in it. Use it as a tool. Give yourself some space where it’s uncomfortable.

If you do, I think you’ll be surprised at what you find waiting for you.

(PS – If you were looking for a coffee post that was a little more practical, don’t worry, there’s plenty coming;)



Justin according to Sarah – thrives at almost anything he applies his head and heart to. He never stops learning, and loves dreaming up new challenges to grow himself. His introvert ways give him incredible insight into life’s obstacles, of which he’s had his share. But best of all, Justin fully engages in his relationship with God, our marriage and the beginning of parenthood. Oh, and he spoils us with great coffee and cooking!


  1. Dora March 20, 2017

    Good post Justin . Slowing down to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. This is something I truly struggle with as daily life gets in the way at times. I look forward to learning & growing more in this area. Look forward to hearing more from you 💜

  2. Lynn March 20, 2017

    Wow, i am feeling inspired already. It has been a long time since i slowed down to appreciate some of the simplier things in life..there are.many things i enjoy, but in the rush havent slowed down to take notice of the beauty that is around me..really on any given day.
    Running is my thing..but in the process of setting goals and focusing on the end results..i have not always been present but propelling myself forward to get to the goal..
    I had such enthusiasm initially as every run felt like an its time to get back at pausing..being present and appreciating all that it does for me..rather then just the end goal (race day) read your blogs.

    1. Sarah March 21, 2017

      Thanks Lynn! Running is a great thing! Actually… running used to be my ‘thing’ too, but I’ve stopped for too long. Justin has taught me a lot about doing things for the sake of slowing down and appreciating the moment. I’m a go-go-goer that needs reminding!

    2. Justin March 21, 2017

      I agree – running is definitely another one of my “things”! Although I don’t often do it as often as I would like! I need to work on that!

  3. Shannon March 20, 2017

    Great post and insight Justin. We tend to rush the things we love to get to the things we HAVE to do…coffee is a great example. I find I do this to my husband – on the rare occasion he’s paused to do something he loves, I’m so quick to feel (and suggest) he needs to get back on track, back to something on the to do list or something ‘meaningful’. Looking to find ways to change this in the future. Thank-you for the reminder that the things we love and pause to do are not only important, but necessary and carry more meaning than the never ending to do list.

    1. Sarah March 21, 2017

      Shannon, I can TOTALLY relate. It’s a bit of a discipline to for me to slow down because I always have a list of a million things on my mind. I have to be careful about my expectations… I can transfer that list to Justin without verbalizing it and stress us both out unnecessarily. He actually said that was one of the hardest things about our first year of marriage.

    2. Justin March 21, 2017

      Aw thanks Shannon! It’s still a struggle for me to actually slow down and do things but when I get there it’s always so fuelling – which allows me to go harder on the things that actually are on “the list”:)

  4. Ryan March 21, 2017

    That is why I am looking forward to you trying shooting film and the delayed gratification that comes with it.

    1. Justin March 21, 2017

      I just started poking around with that the other day! Hope to have something to show you soon! 😀

  5. Kristen March 21, 2017

    I did not expect this post at all, I believe that there isn’t a single person or relationship that wouldn’t benefit from this post! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

    1. Justin March 21, 2017

      Thanks Kristen! That means a lot:)

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