The Notebook Café

Are you looking for a unique place for your upcoming women's group or meeting? The Notebook Café invites you to consider reserving our beautifully restored circa 1875 bank building. We'll prepare our 'Blessing in a Bag!' signature Café lunch or brunch, provide a tour of the historic restored bank building, and present a brief devotional by The Notebook Café. Get to know us in our 'Cafe'...then walk along the quaint brick streets and enjoy the amazing bakery and many awesome shops. Great for a'Girl's Day Out with God!' where you'll be refreshed in the Word...enjoy a relaxed time of fellowship with friends...and have fun with a sprinkle of great shopping!


Are you looking for a unique place for your upcoming women's group or meeting? The Notebook Café invites you to consider reserving our beautifully restored circa 1875 bank building. We'll prepare our 'Blessing in a Bag!' signature Café lunch or brunch, provide a tour of the historic restored bank building, and present a brief devotional by The Notebook Café. Get to know us in our 'Cafe'...then walk along the quaint brick streets and enjoy the amazing bakery and many awesome shops. Great for a'Girl's Day Out with God!' where you'll be refreshed in the Word...enjoy a relaxed time of fellowship with friends...and have fun with a sprinkle of great shopping!

Click here for more information...


This historic 1875 bank building was renovated by The Notebook Café Publisher, Shelly Thompson and her husband 
(Click here to read 'Restoration').





A Glimpse in the Manger


By Shelly Thompson, Publisher

The Notebook Cafe

The book our readers have given excellent reviews (you can read the reviews click here),The Notebook Café & Co. Publishing book release Entwined by Shelly Thompson and Brenda Hamilton is now in it's third printing. Entwined brings together the stories of two women, who didn't know each other, until God weaves their stories together in His perfect way. Brenda is battling Stage 4 cervical cancer while Shelly is living her life trying to escape the deep distrust for God that has been buried in her heart for years after learning her then almost five-year-old daughter was sexually abused. The Master Author of heaven is present in both of these women's lives through years of unexpected twists and turns weaving His perfect plan together.


The pages of Entwined are filled with encouragement and hope despite heartbreak and disappointments as God's plans are being intricately woven together to create...His perfect life story. The pages of Entwined are the combined journals of Brenda and Shelly beautifully illustrating God is involved in all the small details of our lives though often we can't see it. In a very personal way their stories show that we can trust Him even when we don't know the plan. God beautifully takes the ashes of pain and tragedy making all the seasons of our life into something more beautiful than we can ask or imagine...if we give Him control...to weave our perfect life story.

Click here to learn more and order...

This Christmas has been different for me…my heart has felt peaceful, yet quiet and sometimes sad...this is the first Christmas my mom is in heaven and not here.

It’s been a difficult season for my family; BUT GOD has given us His joy through moments of laughter, and covered us with His presence and peace through quiet times of tears.

The other day at a coffee shop I overheard four sweet women discussing what they wanted for Christmas…a trip to a beach, a new car, a remodeled kitchen, shoes…I know they were joking…well, kind of…but all I could think in my heart was…my Christmas wish is for one more hour with my mom…one more hug...one more 'I love you.'

I want the sadness and grief I see on my Dad's face to disappear…

Later that night, the words of a commercial caught my attention. The faceless voice in the commercial informed me that Christmas is a ‘magical’ time of year…those words kept echoing in my mind…

I just couldn’t shake the feeling in my heart…Christmas has become what we creatures of earth have made it…a ‘magical’ time. Time to make a magical ‘Christmas wish’, as if God only performed miracles on command at Christmas. The faceless voice on the TV was right about how we celebrate Christmas. And yet, the Bible does not tell us to celebrate, or even honor, the day of Christ’s birth…it doesn’t even mention the exact date…

The Bible states it so beautifully simple…on this day…a savior is born…

There was no fanfare at his birth. No royal announcement was made. No ‘Sale’ signs were posted throughout merchants in Bethlehem offering a bargain gift to celebrate the birth. There were no social media posts with the announcement. It was a quiet gratefulness of the heart that surrounded his manger, in a tiny stable…unnoticed by many…unnoticed by the masses…

I suspect…God knew…that like Adam and Eve, left to our own interpretation of His son’s birth…we would turn it into exactly what it has become…so, He never instructed us to celebrate the occasion, or even mark the date on our calendars.

Christmas has become a ‘magical’ time of year. A guilt free time to try and buy happiness in something new and shiny, even if we can’t afford it...to make ourselves, or someone else, feel a little better.

The media would tell us…

In December we can max out credit cards, shop ‘til we drop, busy ourselves with all kinds of festivities making ourselves crazy, watch movies with beautiful scenery and wonderful endings, surprise our spouse on Christmas morning with a shiny new car in the driveway topped with a red bow…

In search of the ‘magical’ feeling of Christmas.

The problem is…

January 1.

The fake ‘magical’ feeling is gone.

We’re broke and exhausted…even the 24 hour always-happy-ending Christmas movie countdown on Hallmark can’t be found…

What happened…where did the ‘magic’ go?

We find we’re not so different than those that were outside of the stable all those years ago…in the city of David when Christ was born…

His birth…

…went unnoticed…by the masses…nothing changed for them that day…

Our society has chosen to have the message of His birth compete with something completely fake...a fictional character in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer…

…who by the way…drive out of sight…only to be reincarnated for next years ‘magical’ frenzy.

Although not intentionally, we have watered down the truth…we have walked away from the manger in search of something better…

Trying to improve upon the divine birth, to give it a ‘magical’ feeling, we’ve even given it a price…

That comes in wrapped packages and bows…

He wanted the birth of His son to be about His great love for us…

He sent His only son…to show us the truth…as he lived out a Godly life…demonstrating for us a selfless example to follow…feeding the poor…blessing the widows and orphans…living righteously and obediently before God, fulfilling God’s word…giving His life…

…in exchange for ours…

The ultimate gift exchange...his life...for our sins.

This was His gift to the whole world…so that those who would believe…

…would never experience an eternity in hell.

Now that…is something to celebrate!

Everyday…

I believe that God wanted us to celebrate the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus everyday…the whole package…not just one part and not just one day. The message can’t be found in just one part, it is all inclusive to be fully understood, accepted, and cherished.

He wanted us to honor Him by sharing His love everyday…not just at Christmas, or any designated time.

I know where my mom is celebrating Christmas this year…

I can celebrate in my heart too because I know she has the greatest gift she could ever receive…

...Jesus.

He never comes wrapped under a tree. Nobody ever needs to make monthly payments for him. There will never be sales tax charged to receive him. He won’t even arrive with a bow…

There is simply gratefulness in the heart… a moment at the stable, a glimpse in the manger, a life and heart forever changed.

When we receive His gift of pure love…we receive all the gifts that come with it…mercy, strength, shelter under His wings, protection, endurance, grace, hope, peace, and forgiveness...

I hope this season of ‘magic’ becomes a season of truth and gratefulness among the masses…those who are walking around staring through store windows, and searching Amazon…looking for the perfect gift. The best gift ever to be received has already been provided by God through His son. A timeless gift from a loving Father to His children that He cherishes in His heart. He calls us His beloved. We are His most precious children.

I pray that He restores your hope, regardless of your circumstances and gives you peace that passes all understanding, and fills your heart with His joy…no matter what struggle you may be facing, or wonderful season full of life’s blessings you’re in…it’s all part of His perfect gift…

And, in January…and every other month that follows…every single year…His sacrifice and love are a treasured gift that grows more valuable each day as you unwrap His love in His love letter to you, the Bible, and seek Him through prayer.

God is good. God is faithful. God will carry you. God’s plans are perfect. God’s abundant love never ends. If you’ve never accepted His free gift…His son, Jesus…today, my sweet friend, is the perfect day…to receive the perfect gift.

Shelly Thompson
The Notebook Cafe - Inspired Words for the Journey

Heart of a Warrior released by The Notebook Café & Co. Publishing 2018