Day 452: God’s Little P.S.

coffeeless coffee pot

I promised in my post the other day that I would tell you about the other thing that God called me to give up over the next five years.

Honestly… I did NOT expect for Him to call me out on this one, buuuuuuuut, He did.

Coffee.

Oh yes, you heard me right… c.o.f.f.e.e.

I mean… how many times have I said that I couldn’t give up coffee? wouldn’t give up coffee? (Day 94: Oh! My! God! is a great example of that)

But there I was sitting in that comfy arm chair on my women’s retreat, looking out at the lake, praying to God, hearing from God. And, well, actually… there was more to the conversation than I said on Day 444: So. Worth. It. THIS was the entire conversation:

So, as I prayed, I distinctly heard: No sugar for 5 years… until your 40th Birthday. On your 40th Birthday, you can have cake.

Yes, God, Yes… I will do this… I will follow You.

… and coffee.

Uhhhhhhhhh, say what? Come again? Did you just say “And coffee?”

… and no coffee for five years.

{Lengthy Pause} Yes. God. If you say so.

Oooooo, I’m just gonna admit right now that my last response was, well, a little begrudging.

But, looking back (and being able to look back so easily is one of the big perks of this blog) I can see how he has been prepping me for this.

And, well, I’m back in agreement with myself again. Coffee… ain’t… all that and a bag of chips. or, a bag of grounds. or whatever.

But here’s what is interesting – I have only experienced POSITIVE things from being off of coffee. I have only missed it, like, a couple of times and it was only because there was no tea there when I wanted some (like at church on Wednesday morning and at Nanny’s house). Tea actually tastes better. I drink less tea than I did coffee because I am so satisfied by the taste from the beginning. I drink more water because I’m not dumping gallons of coffee down my gullet. I am not “addicted” to caffeine anymore. I actually eat a good breakfast because I’m not filling up on coffee and almond milk.

Let me praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for me. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. Psalm 107:8-9

Hold on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Day 225: Limitation Station

Day 1 off of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

No, I promise I’m not gonna count every day of the days that I’ve been “off” my hard-core fast, but today it is kind of important. The days following a fast when I institute food back into my diet are often precarious.

I have been a bit nervous about adding back in coffee (and excited too… not for the buzz but because I have been missing the flavor!) and bread… cause I have been having some issues with bread the past few months.

So I had a cup of coffee this morning! And please note: I had a cup of coffee this morning. Not two. Not three not four, five, six. But a cup! It was delish!

Actually. Falsehood. It wasn’t delish. I mean. It was good. Now, I had it after the boys woke up so I didn’t really get to sit and enjoy it like I usually do before they wake up. I had to reheat it twice, but still… it was good. But mostly I was happy that I limited myself to one cup!

And then during my typical hot spot, I did my prayer time so no worries there. But about 3:00 I got hungry. Needless to say, I need to go to the store so we had like nothing covenant-worthy in the house.

Waiiiiit. Falsehood. Again.

Maybe that’s what I “told” myself but truth be known, there is an apple, a clementine, raisins, peanuts, peanut butter, beans, and several other things had I really looked. But I have been limited to those things for the past few weeks and I wanted… something. else.

So I made my “granola bar in a bowl”. It’s very filling and I really enjoy the flavors. But it can be a “dessert” substitute if I’m not careful.

So, I realized pretty quickly. Okay, if I “turned” to this on day one and I know I shouldn’t have it every day, then this might need to be a thing that I put a limitation on. So, I decided that I can have it once a week. And even just deciding that made me feel better!

It’s weird, too, when I think about it that the longer I’m on the covenant, the more limitations I want to put on myself. I guess the covenant experience has shown me that my true happiness and freedom are found as I bind myself to God. Limitations are no longer something to be feared. or dreaded. Limitation is something that I embrace because it gives me freedom from stressing about those things. freedom from the spiritual war. When I limit myself, I feel as if I have already won the battle! That is a wonderful feeling!

And this verse totally struck my mind… it totally expresses the journey that I have gone on this year:

    Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 7:24

Day 142: Got Almond?

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I think that everyone has “those” foods that are areas of temptation, or weakness, or just plain old habit. Most people list things like sugar (cough, cough… chocolate) or salt. But a lot of people also have drinks as an issue… Route 44 Dr. Pepper is one I hear a lot, mocha frap from Starbucks, etc. For me… it’s milk. Good, fatty, whole milk. Back when I used to work out I would have a glass after a good run when most people would drink water. My best friend used to tease me about coming over and having a glad of milk and a handful of Hot Tamales candies. In fact, her mom kept them stocked with both for when I would come over… which was often.

So, when I made my covenant, I knew that milk would have to go as well. Even though I could have dairy… milk was just… well, almost a dessert to me. Certainly a treat, and definitely an avoidance to drinking water. (I know it’s weird, but water has never really been that “awesome” to me… maybe cause I was always drinking milk instead!)

Well, the other day I was in a bit of a daze as I was making my coffee (which is not entirely that odd seeing as how I am half-asleep when I make my coffee most mornings), and I poured whole milk into the mix instead of the almond milk that I have in my coffee every other morning. Once I realized it, I wasn’t going to pour out that precious milk (two young boys in the house… we go through a lot of milk) or the even more precious… coffee (two young boys in the house… need I say more?). So I drank the coffee with whole milk in it. No biggie.

It was actually kind of gross.

I mean… in comparison to my coffee with almond milk, which has like… flavor. It was kind of cool though how this life of sacrifice is actually better than my normal life. Again like I mentioned yesterday, I would have missed out on a lot of things, both spiritual and “earthly” if I had not done this covenant.

And honestly, I’m not sure of a scripture to put with this one (comment below if one comes to your mind). It just makes me think of how we just don’t see… the whole picture. And by that I mean, there I was for years thinking that whole milk was kind of the end all be all for drinking in coffee. But… it wasn’t. There was something better out there.

And I think that is what this covenant has shown me… there is so much about this world that I haven’t discovered, and might not ever discover… without God showing me. But it took me committing to Him, allowing Him to break down this wall inside of me… in order for me to see that the grass IS indeed greener on the other side if HE is the one that takes you there.

It just makes me want to covenant with Him about… everything! So that He can show me how lame my “whole milk life” is (that I thought was oh-so great)… and reveal to me how amazing an “almond milk” kind of life can be (which I don’t even know exists)!

Day Ninety-Four: Oh! My! God!

Ya know, going on a “strict” fast for Lent of only fruits, veggies, and nuts (oh, and coffee… cause, seriously… I have a toddler… and if we follow the whole “What Would Jesus Do?” thing… well, if Jesus had a toddler… he would drink coffee!)… anyway, eating just those things for forty-six days and then coming off of that fast back to my regular Daniel Fast… well, it has been super good for me. A peek into the future of what I might experience, or think, or feel, or struggle with whenever my covenant is “over” in January 2013.

First of all, I have to say that this week of “struggle” has been, relatively, no struggle compared to my struggles with food in the past when coming “off” of a diet. Has it been a perfect week? No. But it has been a learning week for me. And that’s just what I want and exactly what I need. It’s sorta like going off of a diet while still being on… a diet.

My biggest lesson: the week “after” is the single most important week to read the Bible, pray, think on things of eternity, etc. And I say that because this has been a week where I have done pretty much none of those things! And it has been a crummy week! I didn’t want to read my Bible (yeah, thanks for that joy killer, Satan) and because I wasn’t reading my Bible I wasn’t really thinking about the things of God. And because of that I wasn’t really wanting to post. And because of that my mind began to wader from my freedom and back into my previous slavery. And because of that I was helpless to the mozzarella and bread sticks.

And oh. my. gosh.

Soooooo I just got out my phone to search for a verse to put with this post.

And seriously… oh. my. gosh. No. Wait. Better yet, I’m going to use the real deal.

Oh! My! God! You are soooooo GREAT! You are AWESOME! AMAZING! My… EVERYTHING!

Friends, just read this verse that is oh-so-perfect for my lesson learned this week that God just plopped down in front of me and you’ll see why I say that He is so great, awesome, amazing, and my everything:

I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food. Job 23:12

Amen!

PS… I love you God!!!