I love my coffee. Strike that…
I love creamer… with a splash of coffee.
When I presented the Nineveh 90 (N90) challenge to my husband, he chuckled and said he could see me doing the challenge, but couldn’t envision me going the entire 90 days without creamer in my coffee. His response actually made me more committed to participating in the N90.
I once lost 40 pounds on NutriSystem – once I had committed to changing my dietary habits, stepping up my working out, and focusing on being a healthy weight, I had no problem cutting out my
creamer coffee. I gave up all liquid caffeine, and within the first week, was rewarded by a sharp drop in my weight.
And, that is initially how I approached the N90 requirement of giving up creamer in my coffee – if I couldn’t have creamer, then I apparently didn’t need the coffee, either!
A couple weeks into N90, sitting at a restaurant with my family, I was tired of drinking only water, so when the waitress asked my drink order, I informed her I would take an unsweetened ice tea, even though I really desired sweet tea. This scenario also occurred around the same time I read these thoughts on “The Little Way of Fasting” by Fr. Aidan Kieran.
I quickly realized my previous pat on my back for eschewing coffee altogether was actually quite juvenile. Giving up coffee was not a struggle for me!
As a mother, giving things up isn’t anything new – I don’t watch the television shows I want to watch. I don’t eat all the dessert I can fit into my belly. I don’t sleep in as late as I’d like. Even in early stages of pregnancy, I give up my coffee habits, usually sticking to water.
Sacrifice and motherhood naturally go hand-in-hand!
But, what is a struggle?
Partially depriving myself of something is a struggle!
Giving up a luxury not for the sake of my children? That is definitely a struggle!
I realized I needed to readdress my coffee consumption during N90. The point of N90 isn’t to see how badly I can make life for myself, nor is it to see how many things I can give up.
Rather, for me, the goal of N90 is to sacrifice a little – to struggle a bit for love of another…
…for love of Christ.
By giving up coffee entirely, I was spending little to no time reflecting on Christ, on N90, and on my faith life. I just went back to autopilot in early stages of pregnancy (which, for the record, I am not pregnant!).
So, aside from the celebration of the Easter Octave, where I enjoyed coffee in my creamer a couple times that one week, I have given up coffee in my creamer. On the days where I would otherwise purchase a sugar-laden Starbucks drink, I instead order a black coffee.
As I choke down the bitterness of the coffee, I reflect on my small sacrifice.
I reflect on the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
I reflect on how God’s Mercy impacts me every day.
I reflect on my faith and relationship with God.
Which makes my small sacrifice more meaningful – both spiritually and physically.
If you are participating in N90, I’d love to hear from you – have you had any insights, or any moments where you recognized something about yourself, and how it impacts your faith life?
15 thoughts on “Coffee Thoughts this Nineveh 90”
Hello Godcidence Post lol. I was just speaking to my Spiritual Director YESTERDAY about my need to stick to my elimination diet because of my food allergies. How I suffer needlessly because I can’t resist chocolate, cookies and wine lol. Maybe I should put some real thought to the N90; or at the very least remember that nothing i crave is more satisfying than my relationship with Christ -and focus on that instead of a runny egg on my hamburger lol
Man, I would have serious difficulty avoiding chocolate and cookies if it were contributing to allergies!
One thing I heard asserted at the beginning of Lent was “dieting is fasting without God,” or something like that. I’ve noticed N90 has made me more intentional in my relationship with God on many aspects… the dietary part of it has definitely become more intentional, although I confided in my spiritual director that I am really struggling with the “fasting” aspect of N90… I am not doing well with that!
I am glad you found some inspiration with this post!!
Yes! How often have we all patted (pat? I’m suddenly questioning the past tense of the word) ourselves on the back for something that was sacrificial in pretense only? Such a thought-
and reflection-provoking post!
Ha! I do it all. the. time… 🤔😒
Thanks for the reminder I am not alone! Glad you liked this post!
Thanks for this, Anni. I’m not doing Nineveh 90, but I like what you said about the sacrifice of Christ and the cross and the little things we do uniting us to it every day.
That sentence was a grammatical horror. Sorry 🙂
Haha! I don’t watch for grammar… 😉
Thanks! I was hoping my thoughts on sacrifice would resonate with others, even if they aren’t participating in N90 – I was hoping it will be useful for anyone looking at sacrificing for something!
Wow! I loved reading this today. And can I say I just love reading your posts. They flow so nicely and are super enjoyable for me to read through. I didn’t participate in N90 although I wanted to I has so much sacrificing going on from the natural world I didn’t impose anything else and just tried to offer up what we were going through to and for Jesus which I think circle around to your point anyway. Our sacrifices should be for Him! Not can I go x number of days with out xyz for the sake of me being awesome at giving up things 😉
Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed reading this!
I actually made sure my husband and my spiritual director were both in support of me doing N90… and, it’s also why I did something super small for Lent! So, I totally understand where you are coming from in not wanting to bite off more than you could reasonably handle… I actually have also had to make tweaks to this challenge to make it more attainable/realistic for me!
I did not do the Nineveh 90…but I have enjoyed the peek into your journey. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Some things (like no creamer) have been intense. Other things (like listening to music which is pleasing to God) have been a breeze. Thank you for reading! (There may still be more to come… 🤷♀️
Umm I consider drinking black coffee in the category of suffering…🤢
Hah! Then it would be true sacrifice!! Which is what He is sometimes asking of us! 😉
I haven’t done N90 – – – and probably won’t. It sounds like a good idea, don’t get me wrong. But I’ve got my hands full, learning to do disciplines like Eucharistic adoration.
I am, however, learning a great deal from posts like yours – – – giving perspectives on what for me is the other side of humanity.
Eucharistic Adoration is one of my favorite activities!! But, I will say, it looks different to each person… I enjoy sitting there with earbuds in, listening to religious themed music, reading a good religious themed book… or, praying. Neither of which happens when kids are in tow!
But, my hope with exploring the N90 is that the things which have struck me will hopefully be applicable to others, when they try other avenues of faith based, and faith building exploration… so, next Lent, when someone gives something up for the 40 days, they will find some unique way of looking at that small sacrifice for support through their experience… fasting and sacrifice aren’t exclusive to Lent or N90, so this I hope, would serve as another support measure for anyone doing any faith-based sacrifice.
But, you’re correct – definitely don’t tackle too much at once. I’d rather perfect one technique than do a handful in a shoddy manner!