Founder & CEO, Coffee As You Are
I’m so happy you’re here!
Currently, Coffee As You Are is a singular, “who am I?” but I have dreams of a whole team of people facilitating this great vision. If we haven’t met, I’m Denell Woller and welcome! Here’s a few pertinent details to get you started: I’m single (for now), love the quiet of living alone, but also love laughing loudly and with friends. (see the “Who is Denell Woller?” section below for more)
I’ll be honest, coming up with a name is tough when you don’t want to use your personal name.
But, I do love coffee! After I thought of that, I made a list of things I love that I want to be able to share with others… that I might be able to inspire and empower others to do as well. My list was:
- Welcoming to all
- Coffee (yes, I have a thing for coffee, but am ok if it’s tea or water or even kombucha for you!)
It became easy to see: Coffee As You Are: Jesus welcomed all people, of any condition, to come to him. I love that we can show up, as we are (pj’s or formal; clean faced or full make-up), and Jesus meets us. And I love “coffee dates” where a cup of tastiness and a good friend turn an average day into extraordinary.
Coffee As You Are is a place for all women, of all faiths, to come together to individually grow closer to God through community, accountability, and discipleship. I’m glad you’re here and look forward to meeting you!
We believe all are welcome.
While this is a place for women to build community, that is not to exclude the contributions that the men and children have in our lives.
While our core beliefs hold fast to the teaching of the Catholic Church, all faiths are welcome. I believe that it is only when we allow other viewpoints to be shared, and are open to seeing the world from another’s point of view, that our own is strengthened by the grace we’ve extended.
We’re firmly rooted in the Gospel, the traditions and Magisterium of the Catholic Church, we look to the example of Jesus and his Mother Mary to guide our life.
We’re also human, flawed, and only capable of trying, not of perfection. And we’re full of grace & love & kindness for each other as we live as best we can.
We believe God created woman to be beautiful, feminine, wonderful, and powerful. Coffee As You Are is a place to discover those attributes in yourself, to figure out how you’re beautiful, feminine, wonderful, and powerful in ways that are uniquely YOU… We’re not here to tell you how to be you, only God can.
We created this space for you have have the freedom to explore and experiment and be accepted through it all. This place is for those who can’t see any good in themselves and for those who’re sure of the creation God made them. This space is for each of us to inspire and be inspired by each other – we’re all strong and beautiful and woman in different ways and there’s room for every one. There’s room, celebration, and need for every woman.
There’s no such thing as too much or too many. With God, there’s always room for more – more women, more beauty, more laughter, more fun, more prayer, more praise , more gratitude.
Who Belongs Here?
We believe all women are welcome. PERIOD.
We also believe that this is not for all women.
But… what?! How can that be?
Are you a woman who wants to deepen your spiritual life, find community and accountability with other “like-minded” and “like-personality” women, but just haven’t found your group? I know your pain because even after working for the Church, I still tried a bunch of different groups because maybe my not-fitting-in had changed. It hadn’t. The women were great, the groups had a great purpose and many loved them, but I just found myself shrinking in some way to better fit in. I’d wind up tired and not nearly as fulfilled as I had hoped I would be. I just wasn’t as quiet, demure, or kind as the statue of Mary makes it seem all Catholic women should be.
Below are a few of the characteristics of the kind of women you’ll find here (and you can be the judge of whether this is a group for you). If what you see isn’t resonating with you, that’s ok! There’s a lot of groups and communities and organizations out there made for all kinds of different people.
- Believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – that they are one in Being, and the Trinity can show up in infinite number of ways
- Believe God created humor, and laughter, and light-heartedness – something you like to practice!
- You are strong: the life you’ve led hasn’t been a walk in the park, but you’re still here and you plan to be for as many years as God gives you
- You have a job, friends, all the “things” but life isn’t as full of joy or passion or energy or gratitude or abundance as you know God created you for (maybe you have memories of a time when you were living as your best self, but you’ve lost it along the way and want it back)
- Outwardly, the world thinks you have it together. Inwardly, you know something is missing.
- Outwardly, the world thinks you have it together (or not). Inwardly, you do too!!! You are fully alive, a shining beacon of God’s radiance in your every breath.
- You just want more.
- You crave deeper conversations about the things in life that really matter (but you’re too afraid to ask for fear of sounding like a bad Christian, or for fear of starting an argument, or just any kind of fear).
- You desire a passion that can bring tears or laughter (or both, simultaneously).
- You need accountability to do better in your faith – lack of wanting to is not the problem, but finding a safe accountability partner who’ll offer grace when you trip and encouragement to try harder is… hard.
- You believe that the Church’s teachings are right (or at least, a great many of them are), but you’re still not sure how to live them out in a way that’s loving and kind and faithful. You want a place to question the how, not the why.
- Or, you want to question the why too because it’s never made sense (which means the how never even starts).
Who Is Denell Woller?
As a 40-something, single, working woman I’ve been able to really create a life I love and enjoy. I have always had a very strong faith in God, and I’ve been involved in a lot of churched: I was baptized as an infant in the Lutheran church, then raised for my childhood through early college in the Assembly of God church (and a few nondenominational ones) before I joined the Catholic Church at the 2003 Easter Vigil.
I love that I have a varied background of Christian churches because there’s something wonderful to be found in everyone. I was born in Wisconsin, but my parents moved to Alaska when I was 3 so I grew up there and consider myself an Alaskan! But, Wisconsin called me back for college, where I graduated with a double major in English and History from the University of Wisconsin. Go Badgers!
After graduating with a degree that I enjoyed getting but wasn’t worth much on its own, God opened doors for me to move to Southern Oregon to become the Coordinator of Youth and Campus Ministry at Our Lady of the Mountain Catholic Church. I started teaching and leading teens and college students closer to God through their Catholic faith just three years after I was confirmed myself!
Life happened and a variety of things led to my leaving the job after six and a half years to move back to Wisconsin. That’s a whole other story, but the short version is that I ended up unemployed, in a serious major depression (and super high anxiety – they’re bff’s after all!), living with my mom. Through therapy and a lot of meds, I started working part time at Starbucks (I love coffee!!!!) and was able to transfer to a store in Oregon after about 7 months. I was back where it felt home and I loved the no-snow, no-frozen-temps “winters”.
I’m finally stepping out of the boat* and building this business to be able to mentor and encourage and disciple women in faith after years of doing it just as part of who I was – now it’s time to get serious and really use these gifts God’s given me to strengthen the world by supporting women of faith.
“Stepping out of the boat” (re: Jesus calling Peter to walk on water, Matthew 14:29)
March 12, 2021 was my last day at a formal/traditional job. God called me to quit the regular paycheck that was draining my very life (energy, positive emotional well-being, physical health, etc.) from me. God had taught me so many things, had brought me through and to so many things, that I was as prepared as I could be. As you come to know me and this community, the faith I used to step into the unknown, at the end of a pandemic, will be shared more – it’s a juicy story!
Update 9/12/21: I was a guest on the Roots Change podcast (ep. 27), “The Hole Is Never Too Deep”, where I share more about some of my darker days and how I got to where I am – not in the hole anymore! Listen HERE.