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?