Welcome!

IMG_7529

Welcome to A Coffee With Friends!

We are Marc and Ann. Ann is a registered nurse and nurse practitioner.  Marc has a degree in exercise science.  We have spent the past 22 years living in Southeast Asia, raising 4 children, traveling, and beginning an organization to help the rural poor of Southeast Asia. Through this journey, we have learned life lessons and pushed our family to the limit. We want to share the good and bad with you. Life is a journey that is both hard and beautiful, we all need a friend to help us through!

The adventures and misadventures of our life have led us to blog. We welcome you to join us at the coffee table for some honest talk. Our experiences can be the key for you. Let us take you on our travels through Asia, talk about the keys to happiness, discuss the ins and outs of family, and lead you to your success!

ann-working
marc-on-log

We are entrepreneurs and successful at starting and directing an international organization that helps thousands of people.  Let us share with you how we have found success, balance, happiness, and
de-stress in our lives.

Four kids and 20 years of marriage.  The happiness we have found has not come easy.  We want to share our experiences and hear yours!  Happiness, joy, and peace are all attainable.  Through burnout, depression, anxiety, and a nervous breakdown, I can tell you that freedom from these emotional burdens is available for you.  Let me show you the way out!

Planning a trip? For the best hotel deals, click here!

How to help Christian workers around the world

Originally posted on Brave Introvert:
I often think of my friends across the world that work full-time to spread the Gospel.  They have the same struggles and worries that I have: how to raise their kids to be kind, what to fix for dinner, how to make time for their spouse….BUT they live in a…

Clichés I Cling To!

As a teen and a woman in my 20’s, I honestly did not believe that wisdom comes with age.  I thought what I knew was enough and didn’t need the input of others.  Wow, thank God He knew what I needed and didn’t give me what my arrogant self deserved!  This got me thinking.  What…

It’s Okay to Not be Okay: Broken-Heartedness as a Believer

Vulnerability and inspirational healing from a friend who has endured pain and choose surrender: Tallie Thompson There is nothing that makes you feel lonelier than being rejected by someone who you love. Loneliness is one of the Devil’s favorite tools to use against a believer of Jesus Christ. It seems like such an ironic tool…

The Secret To Intentional, Purposeful Living

“I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”…

Dirty On The Outside; Clean On The Inside

When we moved to Cambodia, God as He always does, showered us with an unexpected blessing: dirt, less access to medicine, and no processed foods.  Today, we get to reflect on this lesson and share this unexpected healthy lifestyle with you! Our first few years we craved it.  At times we would drive through the…

Find your Upward Trajectory In Leadership

“God did not make you a leader to respond to stuff all day. He made you a leader to move things forward.”  Bill Hybels There is something new in me and I can’t put my finger on it.  As a leader, I use to find my myself preparing for each meeting, leadership events, and mentoring…

Leadership Pain: Putting Blood, Sweat, and Tears Into Others

“Leadership is the lifting of a man’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a man’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a man’s personality beyond its limitations. —PETER DRUCKER” ― Samuel Chand, Leadership Pain: The Classroom for Growth When did I come to realize that we were unusual? It was a personality…

What Every Expat and World Traveler Needs To Know

I’ve lived overseas for 17 years!!  I began young and free and now . . .well lets just say that I’ve learned a lot and caused a lot of damage to my body.  After meeting a lot of you out there, I find one thing in common: expats and world travelers are notorious for not…

Needing Some Monday Motivation?!

What do I do when I have deadlines, obligations, paperwork, bills that needs my attention and I could name 500 things I would rather be doing?  It’s Monday.  But friends, it could be the BEST Monday ever!  Over the weekend, I read a great post by a Facebook friend: Carrie Owensby Wilkerson who is an author,…

The Underutilized Power Of Faith, Hope, and Love

Life With Purpose After one year of silence, I have decided to rerelease this blog which to me sums up my heart and purpose in life.  Why have I been so quiet?  Honestly, I feel as if I lost purpose in my blogging.  Distracted by, well…me.  It’s time to begin writing again, and prayerfully continue…

The Ancient Practice Of One Day A Week Rest

In the year of 2009, our partner in business and best friend died of a sudden heart attack at the age 43.  Why did he die so young?  He didn’t get enough rest.  Next week, I turn 43. Are we the first generation to ignore rest?  I’m sure the answer to that is no.  Actually…

The Key To Whole Hearted Living Is Vulnerability

Are you holding back in sharing your heart with others?  Do few people know your greatest struggles?  I believe your struggles were chosen for you by your maker who loves you and wants to help you through and strengthen you to be there for others. People from all around the world are sick of liars…

16 Things That Will Stop You From Meeting Your Purpose In Life

Trial by error.  Each of these lessons below are stated from experience and hey, I’m an open book.  I hope you benefit from my mistakes and get a laugh out of it too.  Marc and I’s purpose in life is to impact the lives in Southeast Asia for good which led us to begin an…

Meditation And Spiritual Games We Play

I couldn’t wait for the big day.  I have 2 bucket list dreams for Christmas. One being Bethlehem and the second Notre-Dame Cathedral.  I have dreamed for years of visiting Notre Dame for Christmas.  Why Notre Dame? Ancient beauty, stain glass windows, and worshiping with many different nationalities and denominations. Not to mention its one…

Meditation As The Foundation Of My Spirituality: Part 2

As I enjoy this Easter weekend with family and friends, I’m reminded of the many benefits of meditation in my life.  One benefit being in a constant state of being ready to be with others.  Often we may socialize, listen to our kids or spouse, but in our mind be miles away.  Meditation allows the…

Meditation As The Foundation Of My Spiritual Walk: Part 1

There is no better time than Easter to learn and practice this ancient foundational art! I want to share this part of my life with you because it is key, life changing, and the basis of any and all good in me.  Silent meditation or hearing God speak to me, is how I accomplish all…

Pain and Poverty Have The Same Smile

Women smile. People assume we’re happy. Living in Southeast Asia, the “Land of Smiles” has taught me an unforgettable lesson. A smile doesn’t show what is in the heart. How do I know? I mastered the art of fake smiles.  I smiled at you when I was in my deepest pit of depression overwhelmed by…

I Chose Faith Over Fear To Accomplish My Purpose In Life

I’m facing fear and contemplating its use in my life.  We’ve chosen a life that exists 6 hours from a hospital,  reliable health center, and airport in a 3rd world countryside.  Why did we choose this life?  We have a calling and this is where we belong. But, alongside us are our 4 children.  These…

Friends, Your Silence Is The Greatest Sign Of Love

I’m awkward with silence.  You know the 7 minute rule followed by the “natural” pause in conversations.  I’ve always tried to fill that natural pause with something.  For the first time, I wasn’t able to fill the pause.  Its like my brain couldn’t pull anything out.  Therefore, many times friends and I sat in quiet….

The Many Reasons I Love To Travel Alone And You Should Too

Don’t get me wrong, traveling with my wonderful husband and/or 4 kids is always a delight for me.  But, there is much to be said of the benefits of traveling alone.  Whether it be a business trip or chosen vacation, traveling solo has many rewards. There are many well respected leaders who have enjoyed traveling…

48 Ways Depression Made Me A Better Person

Hurt People, hurt people. Healed People, heal people. I knew I needed to heal so that I could rid the darkness in my mind, thoughts, and heart from me and not be prickly like a porcupine to others.  I prayed this day would come and honestly wasn’t sure it would.  In the midst of pain,…

What Not To Say To A Person Experiencing Depression!

Lets have some fun and maybe learn a bit in the mean time. I’ve been writing so serious lately and I’m too much fun to keep it up too long. We should always be able to laugh at ourselves. How do we find healing if we can’t break a smile?  Join me for a bit…

Hi! I’m A Christian And I Suffered From Depression Too.

I once believed my faith in God would keep me free from depression and all mental illness. I found out that this is a commonly believed myth.  Depression has no common denominator except that one be human.  No matter what you might think, depression affects all people no matter what race, economic class, religion, gender,…

5 Tips For Hiking With Kids

“Their too young. . . it costs too much. . . we have no time!” Excuses that are holding you back from adventuring with your family.  We’ve been there too but we now have at least 3 good reasons why you should dust off your hiking shoes: Families that exercise together, stay together. Financially speaking,…

When It Rains It Pours. . . Or Does It?

Recently circumstances are not as I have wished.  The puppy died suddenly, a disagreement broke out unexpectedly, and stressful demands have been placed in front of me.  I found myself saying “when it rains, it pours.”  Then I begin to think, how do I feel when I say this to myself?  Fearful, apprehensive, and waiting…

Your Raising Your Kids Where?!

Today I am in the city of Phnom Penh sitting at Starbucks far from my wonderful kids who are being homeschooled by their dad. It’s a nice break but city life isn’t for me anymore. I’ve come to love the country way of life. The way nature invades every moment of our day. Sleeping, eating,…

How To Walk In The Room and Be THAT Person!

Are you the kind of person that can walk into a room and instantly everyone knows you.  You crack a joke, and the room breaks out in laughter. The end of the night there’s not a person in the room who doesn’t know you and love you! Yeah, me neither.  But, I have progressed from…

7 Relationships That Will Change Your Life!

Living in the jungles and long periods of time in isolation has changed our life and perspective on many things but one greater than all is friendship.  Some of our heroes and those we respect who have accomplished amazing tasks in this world, have relationships with those who believed in them, encouraged them, prayed for…

Pursuing My Passion In Cambodia: The Breakdown

I had to choose.  This decision has been made by me many times before but never had I felt so unable to make any decision. How did I get to this low point where I had nothing left for anybody and no vacation, meditation, or time off could take away the weight that I carried….

Tips For Living A Life of Risk And Happiness

Does being a risk taker make a more fulfilling life? Being one myself, I had always been curious about this side of human nature particularly if being a risk taker increased happiness or did it decrease the years one gets to enjoy life?! “Everybody dies but not everybody lives.” William Wallace Fortunately, there is much…

Traveling Through War Torn Countries. How Does It Impact You?

Much can be said about the impact war has on a country but what about the impact on those traveling through?  16 years living and traveling through countries who have spent years in war and countries with years of peace, has given us experiences to be able to answer that question now and prevent you…

Your Spring Could Look Like This!

Yes, it’s time. Kid’s soccer and school activities may be absorbing your every evening while scheduled work and social events the other evenings but don’t let this Spring pass away from you. According to Psychology Today, Spring is the happiest season for most people.  Spring Raises Your Happiness Levels  But, many of us will miss out due…

Living In Small Spaces: An International Perspective

The tiny house movement is sweeping across the western world today.  This growing movement has international attention on CNN, AP, Guardian, Huffington Post, NBC, Oprah, and PBS. In pursuit of minimalism, financial freedom, help the environment, or freedom from guilt many middle class and rich alike are choosing to live in small spaces.  But, this…

Attention All Travelers: Together We Can Make A Difference!

The other side of traveling that doesn’t get discussed enough is how travelers often come face to face with pain, suffering, hunger, and needs.  Whether its a beggar in the market or looking outside the hotel window.  Countries with some of the most amazing natural beauty are often engulfed with poverty impacting every traveler who…

10 Asian Cities

10 Asian cities with kids, there is much to be said.  Many similarities but important differences for each traveler to know.  It’s up to you to draw the facts.  This is a matching game.  Below is a link to the game that you should play first.  Afterwards come back here to find the answers!    …

4 Benefits to Aging in Asia

One of the most interesting topics in exploring our world are the differences in culture particularly in caring for children and the elderly.  This picture is my father before he passed away.  Watching him squeeze unnaturally into a tuk tuk in Thailand reminds me of the differences in the elderly in these cultures compared to…

Self Confidence: How To Gain It And How To Lose It

I can’t speak enough about self confidence as you don’t know what you have until you lose it. Why is self confidence so important? Because, understanding our own significance impacts whether we value others in this world.  Because when we know that we are loved and cared for, we can confidently give, lead, teach, and…

5 Lessons Learned From Arranged Marriages

Valentines Day, dating, rooming in, trying things out, and moving out on your own as a couple may seem like normal transitions to some but did you know that 90% of marriages in India and 60% of the population of the world practice arranged marriages?! With that being said, I know many families who had arranged…

Overcoming Loneliness

Loneliness: One of the top ten googled words in February.  It was the year 2000 and my husband and I embarked on our grand adventure to leave family and friends and move to the other side of the world. It didn’t take long for loneliness and tears to come. That was 16 years ago and…

6 Things I Learned Eating With Asians

Eating is an adventure in Asia and there is so much to share I want to burst! But I’ve limited myself to my favorite 6.  Make sure you follow my blog because soon comes food preparation which is interesting for anyone who likes to eat. First, why.  Why seek out foods from other cultures?  Research…

Successful People Around The World Have One Thing In Common

Do you know ordinary people accomplishing great things? I do and am motivated by watching them change the world.  After years of friendship, I found one thing in common in all successful people. To begin with, Bill and Lori are 2 excellent and highly educated doctors who left their home with their 4 children to…

Asia through The Eyes of an American Child

It caught my attention years ago, traveling in 100 degrees heat with a broken air conditioner while stuck in traffic in an Asian city.  I was just trying my best to hold myself together when I looked into the backseat to find 4 very sweaty red faced children.  “Hold on a bit longer guys. I…

Volunteerism: My Love Hate Relationship

I’m a volunteer. The Fall of 2000, I took a life changing trip to Cambodia. My team dug a trench to free a flooded school from water and did a medical clinic in a rural village. This trip led my wife and I to 16 years of following a calling to serve the poor in…

7 Ways That Play Can Change Your Life

What percent of your day do you feel stress?  Why should you laugh, play, and find humor when this world is so stressful?  When surrounded with concerns about our government, money, relationship issues, and work, how in the world can you find the time and place to laugh?  After feeling crushed then burned out, I…

How To Make Your Next Appointment The Best Ever

Whether your meeting a client, friend, or family member, you need to change your meeting place from that Starbucks today.  Do you want the next “meet up” to be memorable, conversations go deep, and impactful on all lives involved?  Then, your next appointment or time together should be outdoors. Imagine a business partnership made while…

How To Attract People To You Instantly

One of the most fascinating parts of traveling or living overseas is the array of faces we see each day.  The world outside of our hometown Oklahoma, has so much more variety.  Over the years, we’ve come to love this diversification and recently read about what we can tell from a face.  Our faces can…

Top Tips For The Best Challenge You’ll Ever Undertake!

Are you up for it?  I have a challenge for you.  I’ve always taken the dare on truth or dare and I’ve always enjoyed going against the crowd.  But, this is a challenge of proportionally great significance for you.  This challenge will change who you are and may even be the most difficult task you…

How To Have An Optimistic Family

“Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimists as on the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better.” Martin E.P. Seligman Are you an optimist, pessimist, or somewhere in the middle?  Do you feel that who you are must be who you will always be?  Do you desire to be more of an…

7 Easy Changes To Regain Control of Your Day

Did you know that many of the goals you have in life that aren’t being accomplished may result from the way you start your day?  It’s true! I wish I could have a dollar for every time Marc has said to me “I’m a night person.” For years we’ve been under the belief that Ann…

How and Why You Should Live More Naturally 

Mud, bugs, slime, moss, yellow snow:) They all bring a sense of disgust to our faces but why?  When we reflect on our environments one of the greatest changes has been the cleanliness of our environment and upbringing.  What are we doing?  We are sterilizing every aspect of our life and those we care for…

7 Relationships that will Change your Life (2 min read)

Originally posted on Millionaire's Digest:
Written By Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Ann Hall Founder & Owner of: A Coffee with Friends Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Family & Life and Travel Writer I have lived life in the jungles with long periods of time in isolation which has changed my life and perspective on many things…

2016: The Year of Refugees

The contrast couldn’t be more subtle. The beauty of Paris was marked by the pain of war.  Guns, refugees, and fear was in a place where it didn’t seem to belong. Every time I leave America, I face refugees along the tourist paths.  Every country is being impacted by the immigration of people some refugees…

Why you should take kids to the places people tell you not!

Our night at the opera! So opportunity comes for cheap seats at the Opera in Paris and I’m looking for a good culture experience. I buy the tickets without even asking what was showing! Hoping for a ballet, I searched the internet to find it is a Greek tragedy with modern twist. After more reading,…

The Greatest Counselor and The Walls He Conquered

Years ago, Marc and I took a break from the work in Asia and vacationed to the Great Wall of China.  The year was 2002 and traveling to foreign countries was new for us.  We checked into our hotel and took off immediately to Tiananmen Square anxious to revisit history in a nation struggling with…

Getting The Most Out of the Holiday

A few things we have learned about the holidays to increase joy and experience it to the fullest.  Go slower, keep it simple, buy less, spend time with others, choose activities that require more one on one time and less busyness, take conversations deeper, love more, feel the energy from the friends you meet.  Here…

A Christmas Miracle

One of my favorite things about living in Asia, is monkeys.  Many of you watched the video of the “attack of the monkey on my hair.” If not, I’ve included this for your viewing pleasure at the bottom of this post!  But, the sad part is that this video is only one of many of…

Nomadic Living From a Volcano Lake to the Plains of America

We added it up.  Since summer this year, our family has slept in over 40 different beds each!! We have been in 3 countries and will add France to that list by next week.  Nomadic living has taken us off the path and to many hidden jewels.  When we travel, we stop momentarily where the…

I’m Glad I’ve Suffered Because of Love

Suffering hurts but I am glad that I have suffered and wouldn’t change the bad things that happened to me.  I’d like to share why. Suffering has brought friendships deeper and surrounded me with the real friends who truly care and love me. Suffering taught me that we were created to heal.  That it has…

Goodbyes and Hellos With Adventures To Come!

We got our tickets today and head back to the place our kids call “home” Cambodia.  Mixed feelings fill our hearts.  Mostly joy but fear too. The love we feel from friends and family whose relationships seem to go on hold for another 3 years.  Don’t get us wrong, those 3 years will be a…

Holiday Blues: Our Testimony of Sadness To Joy

It is full blown holiday season and for many a time of happiness, peace, and joy but for others this is not true! The stress of the season can pull many down.  The weather changes can cause darkness and cold decreasing outdoor activity. And often this is a time we feel the loss of loved…

Visit These Places To Get Close With Endangered Animals in Asia

But hurry, because they may not be there in the near future! Why I’m writing this article: The time is now because it won’t be much longer until these opportunities will likely pass just like its passing for the slow loris pictured above. (Picture of slow loris skins was taken by me at local market)….

Having Babies Overseas: Tourist Turns Native

Now that we have some old and new friends to join us on our blogging journey, we would like to share a bit of our lives with you!  The most unusual part of our lives is that we have 4 kids all birthed and raised in Asia. If you ask them where they belong, well…

Myanmar Lessons of Simplicity and Beauty

I’m going to take you back to December 2004 to one of the most amazing trips.  We traveled to Myanmar with my first child who was just 4 months old.  From Yangon to Inle Lake, we got to experience traveling with a child for the first time.  Amazed to see the hearts of the Burmese open…

Family Vacationing Well: Teaching Kids To Persevere

Before you say that we are the worst parents ever! Please know that my son Eli watched this video and gave us permission to use it.  Why? Because he knows what we know.  We’ve all had that kind of a day and often they happen on a vacation! You know how it goes, we decide…

How To Make Your Next Trip The Best Ever!

Do you have a trip on the books?  Whether you have one scheduled or are thinking about one in the future, you need to read this now! Vacations cost money and time.  Way too often, we see money spent and wasted.  Sure, you may see some amazing things and even experience something no else you…

How I Defeated My Worst Critic on an Island Far Away

Who would think that a bustling city such as Hong Kong could provide solitude, motivation for life, and a pirates cave to explore? When thinking of Hong Kong, you might picture tall buildings and LOTS of people.  You are right, but there is another side of this big city that you may not know! Hong…

Saturday Afternoon Picnic

Does it seem too cloudy or cold to head outside? Don’t let the weather hold you and your family back because the benefits of nature are too many to count!  Think about the last time you spent with your family or friends outside.  It doesn’t require toys to keep the kids happy.  Men can talk…

Surviving My Nervous Breakdown

Two years ago, I experienced what I would call a nervous breakdown. You might wonder why I use a term so antiquated to describe this experience but it is actually a perfect label. You see, I was afraid of labels. If I had seen a doctor, being that I am a nurse practitioner, I know…

Can You Do Nepal With Kids?

Stop #3 is Nepal with 2 couples and 8 kids. A journey we will never forget. From Nagarkot to view Mount Everest, Pokhara the boutique jewel of Nepal, Chitwan National Park with rhino safari, and ending with Kathmandu shopping galore. What do you say when your doctor friends offer their frequent flyer miles to travel…

Healing from The Mountains: Pain from Rejection and Hope For Healing.

Doi Suthep Mountain in Chiang Mai is where the story hit bottom emotionally, as we ascended upward.  No good story can begin without a good cup of coffee.  The secret in Thailand for good coffee is to always assure your getting the real thing. Often hotels and restaurants want to replace their delicious home grown…

Coffee Stops Across Asia

Coffee Across Asia Why acoffeewithfriends? What are Marc and Ann doing now? The reason is that “a Coffee with Friends” reminds us of the intimate conversations we’ve had over the years with friends and family. The times of laughter and tears. It brings excitement for the new friendships that will come our way. It also…

Having Babies Without Babies R Us!

I had 4 babies without needing much of anything. The change from my Western cultural worldview came fifteen years ago when I helped deliver a baby in a refugee camp. She had absolutely nothing. Not a diaper, no clothes, only a cloth to wrap him in. I watched this family over the next year to…

Looking At Life Through a Poor Man’s Lens

As we’ve lived in Asia, some of the greatest experiences is learning from the people.  As Americans, we often think we have all the knowledge.  I have come to realize that true knowledge comes from understanding our Creator and learning from those who have experienced life more than from textbooks (or blogs:) This past year,…

Questions American Kids Ask After They’ve Been Out of America Too Long!

My kids were born and raised in Asia.  They know no different but some of the greatest laughs have been seeing America through their eyes when we visit.  Here are some of the classic questions and phrases they have thrown out over the years! These are the top ten ordered in what I think is…

Release Your Inner Teacher

What did I say when given the opportunity to move to the jungles of Cambodia away from civilization surrounded by waterfalls, elephants, and hill tribe people.  “Yes!” But, one caveat, I would have to homeschool my 4 children.  To some of you elementary ed grads, thats a slice of pie but not me.  I am…

Sending My Son To an Earthquake Zone

On Saturday, April 25, 2015 a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake had hit Nepal and the country was devastated.  Our organization had the opportunity to go and help establish a clean water filter factory to help those in need of water.  He was 11 at the time and Marc had a trip scheduled to Nepal. My…

Why Kids Need To Be Bored

Do you ever get tired of hearing “are we there yet?”  Do you ever sense a feeling of guilt come over you when you don’t structure activities for the kids at all times?  Be free from that guilt that comes when its finally downtime and they come to you for the hundredth time with “I’m bored!”…

Lessons in Bathing an Elephant

What did I learn from bathing an enormous, bristly, wet creature? 1. Peace comes from taking in nature, especially BIG nature. 2. Risk is usually worth it. 3. Kids need it. 4. The more senses you can pull into your experiences, the better. 5. Comfort comes at a cost. Get dirty!

14 Comments on “Welcome!

  1. We have a lot in common, I’m interested in your adventures and how you all cope to de-stress. I’m always game to learn something new. Great post and nice site.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Ficklefifty Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: