We are beginning again!
I will be the first to say this was not an easy decision. I mean why, after nearly 9 years, change the name & look of a seemingly successful business model? Why make the change after becoming a welcome brand and a community of leaders and stakeholders in our city. I mean really, who does this?
Well…, we do. We are the wild ones, the ones who did not take the conventional tried and true approach to launch our venture. The ones who popped up a tent at a festival before pop-ups were a thing and launched a not for profit coffee house with no real location or solid plan with hopes of seeing a city reinvigorated by faith alone. We are still awake to this dream and this way of trusting in God to light our way forward as we grow, but AWAKE is not us. For years we have had a generic name, one crafted out of necessity, haste, a learned modern business ideal, and a western evangelical approach to reaching our community. We have been known as AWAKE Coffee Community. However, if you ask others they may call us, the AWAKE coffee house, or the AWAKE community coffee, or AWAKE coffee company, you get the idea…. This name is just not working and does not even begin to declare our identity as a brand. It is time to show our city who we really are and express our why in all we do. While we do plan to keep our 501(c)3 as AWAKE Communities International, Inc. as our foundation, we have a renewed vision to assist other communities like our with wisdom, connection, and training, we knew time had come to rebrand or really for the first time try to brand our coffee, arts, and maker community into one whole expression of who we as a family. We are excited to share our story and then re-present her to our city and the region. Thank you for the many, many years of helping us to #drinkcoffeelovepeople. We hope you will support our new journey and continue to share in our joy!
Lily & Sparrow, the story behind the brand……
It all began one day while we were in our old location at 862 Main Street. One afternoon the local tattoo parlor was running a special on Friday the 13th Tattoo’s for a mere $13 (plus a $7 tip, $20 for a tattoo, I’m in).
My daughter Kara and I thought it would be a fine idea to get matching Mother/Daughter tatts. We were the first in line and first to see the special offerings of the day. Amongst the very creepy options was a simple sparrow. We had our decision. “Pick your color for the wings,” the tattooer said. We both chose a vibrant blue and off we went to have our tattoos complete. The process took about 30 minutes and we were off to show our new works of art to the others waiting at AWAKE Coffee Co. Meanwhile Alec (the “Captain” of our Internship at the time) had already made his way to the tattoo shop and lo and behold upon his return he donned his new Sparrow tattoo. I thought this strange so I began to research the biblical/prophetic meaning of Sparrows. What I learned was astounding and breathtaking. These simple little creatures represent significance to the Lord, for not one of them falls to the ground without His awareness, how much more does He love us. Strangely I felt the Lord was giving us a mascot of sorts, an icon to help us know that He sees and knows us. Sparrows, like our coffee fam., are also communal, noisy little birds who live in connection and care for eachother. They represent family. I shared this knowledge with our team and those hanging out that day. Jason caught wind before his tattoo appointment and of course he chose a blue Sparrow as well. This seemed a repeating pattern and by the day’s end we had an entire flock of those that felt connected to usas family with their icon tattoos and a sense of joy and connection we still enjoy!
After this I simply thought that it was just a fluke and now we all had something to laugh about and share….permanently as a reminder of our faith and friendship. Some years have passed since that day, but of course I can never forget it because I have a forever reminder branded on my left forearm.
Fast forward to a Friday evening in mid-March 2022. Jason and I are going through what I would call a “Great Push” season, a time in Kingdom life where a long awaited birth of sorts is about to take place. It has felt as if everything has been very transitional and different these past three years and Springtime is finally here. We have weathered storms of the goodness of God, endured treachery in relationships, the restoration of our marriage-union, loneliness, grief, wholeness, and joy unspeakable. Now here we are, praying, seeking, and asking Yahweh for a new identity for our beloved family of coffee and creators. By this time He had already given us Proverbs 24:3 as a refounding scripture, and a renewed mission “We exists to inspire and equip a renaissance of arts & innovation in the communities we serve”, we have a roaster brand that speaks vision of seeing families, cities, and regions reclaimed around a table, but alas no BRAND….
This Friday had been a particularly difficult day of making yet another hard post-pandemic decision. I was glad to hear that our pastor had scheduled a last-minute time of gathering and worship. I came in that evening with surrender in my bones. I asked Abba to simply light the path, just give me an answer, just tell me what He wants, what do I do, where do we go from here? Of course, as He always does, He heard me. He knew I needed to hear His voice and feel a peaceful assurance in His presence. So He came close in that moment, not in an audible answer, but in a whisper through a song.Taylor, who was leading us in worship, began to sing a song called Jirah. This was so precious to me because now in a room of my faith family I saw my sweet brother who co-authored this song being able to simply be ministered to by it, what a sweet blessing. Then, I looked up and saw rainbow colors swirling around me from the streamers hung from the ceiling representing the promises of God and realized that all the pain of the past and exchanges I had made were more than worth it. I began to hear the song beckon me to be content with EVERY circumstance and in that moment peace flooded my spirit and I felt the Kingdom realm take hold of my heart. I knew that no matter what would happen in the months to come I have found a true home in Him, in this family, in this region, and my heart settled as I wept softly. Just then the music changed, I heard Taylor sing, “If He clothes the lilies in all of His splendor, how much more does He love you, how much more does He love you, if He watches over ALL of the sparrows, how much more does He love you, how much more…….” and over and over again. About the third round I heard Yeshua sing it over me and emphasize ALL of the sparrows and I saw a vision of all of those with the little bird tattoo and I began to weep all the more. I saw a new location, a new brand, and a new beginning. I continued to enjoy the moment until the song ended and then sat down and opened my notebook and began to pen Lily & Sparrow in script over and over…. I knew this was it! Lily & Sparrow Coffee & Art (or something like that).
Complete confirmation that I was hearing the Lord came the next morning when I shared my encounter with my husband Jason and his heart and eyes lit up. “That’s it “, he said. Then while sharing my story he realized that I was the sparrow and he was the lily, a peace lily to be concise. Jason’s journey these past few years has been about Yahweh bringing him into peace & comfort after losing both his father and step-father, and becoming planted in his garden (AWAKE). As a prophetic act, and part of his process Jason cares for the plants in our current location. He waters them and has become a husbandman to them. Each week he tends to his garden in so many ways and has grown into an even-kinder and gentleman through this process. Tending to his plant babies have become a source of hope and a practice in nurture that has matured him into a seated son of God, a more loving husband and father.
Later that Saturday evening we went to our current location at 909 Commercial Street in Olde Town Conyers. Upon arrival we noticed a sign, Abba had given us an exclamation point to our new brand. Our largest Peace Lily plant was in bloom ! We had our path lit up and then we knew that we knew we had our answer !
Lily & Sparrow, Jason & I, Peace & Significance.
Noelle Dawn Cosby