Zero For Six and Coffee? I Can’t be Serious!

I went for LaVazza Super Crema, but when I saw that the yet-untried LaVazza Gran Espresso had “notes” of cocoa and black pepper, I called my partner-in-coffee crimes, Seth. “I would be honored to try Gran Espress,” he responded. I could hear him grinning. “Notes” it would be.

The cool thing was that I could taste the cocoa, and that the black pepper was so good it made me extremely happy. Having gotten my cup first, I said to Seth, “You’re going to like this.” Sure enough. The uncool thing was that I didn’t stop with one cup, and the second one gave me a bit of a headache.

There is so much to be said for, so much to be gained from stopping with that one cup, that one serving. Savoring, enjoying, focusing on, being grateful for, that one lovely cup. More is not always better.

I don’t think I’m alone in over-endorsing the belief that, as Mary Engelbreit put it, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful.” Sometimes definitely yes, sometimes absolutely not. It’s called moderation, it’s called balance, it’s called not swinging from one extreme to the other, landing on one ditch or the other–all or nothing! I won’t have coffee for six months!

Why then, am I doing this, if I’m (obviously) doomed to failure? Because what’s obvious is not always true. I may fail now and again, but I’m still moving forward, still learning how to walk wisely in this high place of grace.

So, it’s about grace. God knows I want to do this, to take care of my health, and He knows I want to enjoy excellent French Press coffee with my son. He also knows that I need to move to a place of quality, not quantity, and believe it or not, you can learn that from coffee!

My Zero For Six adventure, as regarding coffee, is Zero consumption of fatiguing foods for six months. I never supposed I would have 100% on this quest. I am simply taking it step by step, and hoping, praying, believing He is with me.

Tea, Perhaps, My Dearest?

In my Zero For Six non-fatiguing foods adventure, it’s not going quite like I planned. I eliminated coffee four days ago, and until today I felt like the living dead. I suppose I was just getting all the poisons out?? Anyway, today the headache is gone and the energy is back! So glad.

Coffee will now be something I have as a very special treat, if at all. I’m so NOT against coffee–it is truly one of God’s greater ideas–but my body is protesting, and I am listening. It’s so tempting to blame everything but the real culprit–that food we love best. Diabetes? Oh, that just fell out of the sky because I was stressed. It had nothing to do with the fact that I put sugar in my coffee, sugar in my tea. I eat sugar at breakfast, lunch, dinner and any opportunity in between. And so it goes.

“I only drink one or two cups of coffee,” a friend said, holding onto her “mug” which was more like a jug. If your cup holds a pint and you drink two of those, let’s just be honest and say we drink a pot of coffee every single morning. If that quart is extra strong, light roast, filled with sugar and fake cream, you aren’t being very nice to yourself. You will, sooner or later, end up with a fatigue issue.

May I suggest that it’s time for a spot of tea?

This is another example of how good habits overlap, or sustain each other. In choosing tea instead of coffee, I am eliminating a substantial amount of money spent on the very best coffee (must be brewed in my French Press), as well as the only thing truly suitable for such coffee–organic heavy whipping cream (the non-organic has carageenan and it makes my joints hurt). Tea, on the other hand can be bought in bulk for pennies a cup, and it is perfectly fine as it is. Just a beautiful color steaming in a pretty cup.

And since it’s summer, it’s the pefect time to try iced teas such as blackberry sage black, ginger peach herbal, or just plain Lipton sun tea. Pure refreshment, and with a lemon or lime wedge on your iced glass, quite a treat.

Let Us Now Be Good Company

The French Café tells us we can frequent Parisian coffee shops of our choice, perhaps because of “the landlord’s personality, the clientele, the ambience, or the décor.”  In a rural setting we are told the décor of old country cafes is frugal, but that, “they often create their own atmosphere of romance and poetry with a remarkable economy of means.”

There is something particularly satisfying about creating our “own atmosphere of romance and poetry with a remarkable economy of means.”  You don’t need a new French Press to make coffee.  Indeed you can brew a satisfactory cup boiling it on the stovetop!

One of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever tasted was cheapo store brand coffee steaming hot out of a thermos.  I was in the back seat of my husband John’s truck, it was very cold outside, we were crossing a high mountain pass.  John was driving, my brother in the front seat with him, and my beloved, beloved sister-in-law sat beside me.  My sister-in-law is steady, to be depended upon to keep up her end of the positivity bargain at all times. I’ve been sharing meals with Liz since the seventh grade, and she hasn’t failed yet to be good and pleasant company, the kind of company that makes a meal a feast, in fact.

The flavor is enhanced by the setting and the company, so let’s all be sure we’re good company!

I was with good company last week driving with my daughter Rebekah and friend Pam when we got on that subject: politics–the fraudulent elections, disappointments being handed out by the Supreme Court (only Justice Thomas does not disappoint), traitors in Congress, small business woes, etc. Pam reached over and touched my arm. “I’m sorry,” she said, “for ranting about all that.”

But because she was ending all of it with her trust in God, with quoting and reminding us all of Psalm 37, with seeing all the good that is coming out of the bad (and there’s lots of it, especially in that Christians are humbly remembering who their Savior is), it wasn’t a rant. It was an air clearing and mutual exhortation among good company.

Keeping our eyes lifted doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s happening, or that we aren’t doing something about it. It just means we’re looking to our only hope. We’re keeping good company with good company.

Let’s enjoy life a little, and let me say it you and to myself again–let’s be good company.

Doors to Delight in the Details of Daily Life

There is a bed to be made lovely, a thank-you card to send, a bit more Quiet Time to be had, as mine was interrupted by a lovely breakfast with my husband.  We talked, rather than eating, so I reheated my walnut-topped raisin English muffin to be split with my son, this after buttering and toasting and topping it all with pumpkin pie spice and raw honey.

Of course, French press LaVazza on the balcony is the only thing for this, along with birdsong-interspersed conversation, and then back inside for a few more details.  Back to a resumption of my Quiet Time.  Earlier I read the words in red (hanging with Jesus so I can be like Him) and now for Oswald.  In My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers I read this:  “The tiniest detail in which I obey has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it.”

Does this resonate, even ring out, to others as to me?  Possibly not.  We are all so very different, unique.  I’m reminded of a previous day’s devotion:  “Never make a principle out of your experience; let God be as original with other people as He is with you.”

It occurs to me that, other than prayer, all other people really need from me is an example—that of the enjoyment of each and every detail and duty of my life, and the smile on my face because I have chosen to obey God in “the tiniest detail(s).”

Putting each moment, task, and detail under the protection and blessing of His Love adds up to a beautiful and wondrous life.  A unique life.