Anyone who knows me, knows that coffee has sustained me through many days of life...I was thinking about this the other day when I was preparing for a summer youth conference that I'd be taking my kids (as in my youth group kids) to in just a couple of weeks. The weekends used to be (when I was in high school) such an invigorating weekend. Now, as an adult they can be very draining...hence coffee became very important in my life. I took a look back on the 7 years of ministry that I've clocked and remembered that at the first parish I was a youth minister, fresh out of college and striving to be the holiest person possible, I decided that coffee had an unnatural hold on my life and therefore I should give it up...well, only for Lent. This lasted about a week before my pastor came into my office and shut the door...he proceeded to tell me that if my "sacrifice" made others suffer it ceased being a sacrifice. He handed me a cup of coffee and walked out. It was then that I knew I was hooked.
Throughout the years my youth group kids would gift me with Starbucks gift cards, coffee mugs of all shapes and sizes and often come into my office bearing coffee drinks of all flavors and temperatures. I never considered this a problem seeing as it has some good health perks (right?) and it was a great tool for ministry ("let's meet at a coffee shop and talk about that").
The day I realized it was a problem was the day I found out that the little human inside of me wasn't compatible with the copious amounts of caffeine I drank every morning...noon and night....and I had to take teens on a weekend retreat, where we slept on the floor with hundreds (yes, hundreds) of other teenage girls who didn't need the same kind of sleep a pregnant woman needs. Early on I saw the struggle. Now, with another retreat looming in my very near future I found myself dreading the late nights, early mornings and lack of coffee with energetic teens. I had to redirect my thoughts before they took me to that dark place...I have my lack of coffee as a constant reminder that I am being given a huge gift, well a tiny gift who doesn't like coffee, but a huge gift who will be appreciative (maybe not now) of the sacrifice that I am making for her. It's a small part in learning how to be Christ like...but I still look forward to the day I get to order my regular coffee...only three more months to go!