Happy New Year my dear friends! What an incredible year 2017 was - stretching and growing and moving and building. It was a beautiful beautiful year. If you've been thinking about your past year, I urge you to think about the times God showed up and ponder and focus on those. Even if you doubt His presence or love, I am confident that you supported you throughout many a trying and difficult time.
Today, I drank my first cup of coffee in over 365 days.
If you've been around me for the past few days or weeks, you're probably sick of hearing this by now. I've posted it to Instagram, and basically won't stop talking about it, but that's because I truly was (and still am) excited for today. I've been waiting so long (one year exactly) to drink a cup of coffee.
I've never done a New Year's resolution before, and I wouldn't necessarily call this one either, but last year when perusing through Instagram, I saw a friend post a similar story at the beginning of the year. She gave up coffee for the year, and I thought to myself, "that's totally something I can get behind."
Let me preface this by saying I didn't actually drink it until my third year of university. I didn't care much for it until I realized if I added enough cream and sugar, the drink actually tasted half decent. And, I couldn't be a university student NOT drinking it, now could I?
I want to explain to you why this matters so stinkin' much to me. Like I said, you might be thinking, "okay, Katie, we get it...you get to drink coffee now, woop-dee-doo," when in reality it's a much bigger deal and a conversation with God that dates back to October of 2016.
As you might know, I interned for a think tank in Ottawa from Sept to Dec of 2016. I had a great time and learned quite a bit, but I was also sitting in an office for up to 8 hours each day and by the end of October hit a bit of a slump. I wasn't overly motivated with my work, so I would get up and make a pot of coffee. My workplace was a great supporter of coffee - if it wasn't fresh (within an hour or two), you would make a new pot. So I did just that, and of course, would pour myself some. I drank it black (because that's what all the cool kids do) and would drink up to six cups in my sometimes four hour shift. I would also snack A LOT and the combination left me feeling not-so-great when I returned home to the house. It soon became something that I looked forward to and a break from sitting at my desk. A mini escape if you will. I would desire to drink coffee at work (and be thinking about that as a representation of my job) more than I wanted to do my work.
During that time, I ended up chatting a bit about coffee with my dear friend Keara. I can't remember word-for-word what she said, but she made a statement about waking up in the morning and yearning for God.
I was waking up in the morning and yearning for coffee before I was yearning for God. I would wake up and think, "I need coffee to wake me up, to get me going, to sustain me" when in reality the word coffee in that sentence should have been God, my Father, the Almighty.
This cup today isn't meant to be over-spiritualized, but a representation of His direction. He asked that I lay the cup down at His feet, and give up something that was taking the place of sustenance and strength. I thought I needed caffeine in the mornings more than I needed to spend time with Him, to get into His word and to have a real relationship with Him.
So I gave it up. The beginning was hard, especially while working 12-hour 5pm-5am shifts with the city in February. I wanted so badly to park my truck at the Tim's and grab a cup, but instead I resorted to tea. Now, perhaps I defeated the purpose of "dependence on a caffeinated beverage" with the increase of my tea consumption this year, I don't know. I really do love tea now and an evolution of my time without coffee was forcing myself to appreciate a good cup of green tea or wait the six minutes for a good cup of Earl-Grey to steep.
With all of that, I tasted the sweetness today and it was beautiful (outside on the most ADORABLE coffee shop patio, below). It was a reminder of how He provides - He never said I couldn't taste the sweetness again, He simply asked me to surrender it in order to put Him first.
I'm pumped for what is to come and having coffee-time in the morning as a way of starting the day slowly and resting before God. My devotional, Cultivate reads (appropriately):
"The thirsty coffee grounds sit expectantly in their freshly ground aroma. I love the artistry of pouring a stream of water over them and watching as they swell and expand, absorbing the water and growing into a beautiful bloom. Water and heat bring the coffee grounds to life, and the result is a delicious and rich dark liquid. I believe the Lord enjoys watching us come to life as well. He patiently and diligently takes the time to care for the smallest details in our lives. He gently works in the midst of our process and savours every aroma and flavour released from our hearts. He must love watching us respond to Him, blooming to life. When we're finished brewing, He sits in satisfaction, holding the beautiful fragrance of our lives in His hands." [JD Gravitt from Cultivate, vol. 2]
That is my wish for this new year - to be expectant that He will work and celebrate with us in the triumphs He gifts us. We can anticipate that He wants to grow us and move us and shake us because He is our Father. Will you join me in that this year?
Thanks for reading friend,