Bryan and I have been doing an awful lot of dreaming and scheming this past year and a half. On road trips and plane flights, over morning coffee and during afternoon cartoons, in small moments stolen while we lock ourselves in the kitchen — our eyes have practically sparkled with the possibilities, and then quickly glazed over in the “oh sh*t!” moments when we realize how much work and change and risk our dreams might ask from us.
We are going to open a roaster and espresso shop in Japan. (!!!)
We love coffee. Coffee connected us before our hands had ever touched, with a mutual love for the environment it created. We gravitated toward the coffee shops with warm, artistic vibes — places we knew were built for human connection, not strictly commerce. There, we learned about ourselves, and each other, and the world — and there, we dreamed. We toasted with that sweet, black brew at our wedding, and we had our favorite beans shipped to us once we moved to Japan. Friends who stopped by always knew we would offer this drink — iced, black, au lait. We became known for it, because we loved the taste, and we went to bed thinking about our morning mugs, and an outing was never taken without consideration for how we would ascertain a cup.
We talked together often about opening up a coffee shop in our retired years, after kids were gone and time was aplenty. We had ideas, even then, but they were for a season that felt so far away, it might as well be imagined. We dreamed, also, of owning a business in Japan — sandwiches, maybe, so there would be a place to buy that deli meat we missed most. But doing this hard thing, in a country not our own, seemed like too much to ask. Doing something we’d really enjoy, also, sounded too good to be true. Our excited conversations would end like a bubble popping, with our hope evaporating and our faces shading over. We saw other people doing something crazy, something they really loved, and felt a twinge of jealousy.
Over the course of our lives, God teaches us more about Love, about His heart for us. We begin to realize that wanting to live in the mountains does NOT mean we should move to the beach, just to sacrifice our desires for the Greater Good. Somehow, our desires matter to God. For some reason, He intends to use them for His purposes. So, mercifully, those dreams stopped looking so unrealistic, and we began to ask, “What if? What if we did what we most wanted to do? And did it right now?”
Dreams are like water for the thirsty soil — they help us see possibility in a life that is full of hardness, and remember that our work matters, whatever it is. We have talked and planned and dreamed and talked some more. We have asked questions and opened up our ideas to others. And God has been moving us forward, with tangible, fluid steps — we are now at the point were we are writing business proposals, and attending national coffee conferences, and learning roasting techniques from professionals, and wondering how to get investors, and asking friends to consider doing business with us, and looking around for land, and scratching out names and sketching graphic ideas, and drinking more and more and more coffee. It’s awesome. And it’s all so very, very exciting. 🙂