I may not be from Seattle anymore, but coffee is an integral part of my day. To be honest, it’s an integral part of multiple parts of my day. To me, coffee represents more than just something to wake me up and get my engine revving for whatever the day holds. (And if I am totally honest, coffee really does not have a big caffeine-based effect on me anymore…sad but true). When my hubby brings me a cup of coffee in the morning – usually before I am really awake and definitely before I have pretty-fied myself – it speaks love to me. When I meet up with a girlfriend for coffee at our favorite café, it speaks love to me. When I get a rare moment when all of my girls are sleeping or playing happily and quietly and I make myself a latte and enjoy it in silence, it speaks love and peace and contentment to my weary heart.
I would give anything to be transported to Seattle and share a cup of coffee with Asha, or to be on a beach somewhere with my hubby, drinking coffee and watching the sunrise. That’s because those peaceful, fleeting moments and others just like them are jam-packed with so much joy and happiness that I can barely even speak of them.
And here’s the kicker:
While coffee is delicious and makes all sweet and peaceful moments a little bit more wonderful, it is not at the core of what I long for when I daydream about those moments. What is at the center of my coffee-filled universe are the friendships and relationships that go along with drinking that sweet, sweet java.
When my hubs brings me coffee in the morning, it means we have a few stolen minutes together before the crazy of the day begins. It means that we can laugh and talk and pray together – and all the while we are sipping on something he took the time to make because he loves me. Not because he loves coffee…but because he loves ME.
When I meet a friend for a coffee at Starbucks, we leave filled up with so much more than just our daily (or hourly) caffeine jolt…we leave filled with encouragement and love and solidarity. While I wish I were able to carve more time out for these little meet-ups, the truth is that I am so grateful for even the briefest moment with my friends. They lift me up and share joys and sorrows with me – and I get the chance to do the same for them. There is something so beautiful and fulfilling and necessary about linking lives with another person, and those coffee dates are, for me, the perfect time to rekindle friendships and dig a little deeper into the wonderful lives of those that truly matter to me.
When I am able to sneak a mid-day latte at home, it is a little slice of heaven that touches me to the core. Maybe my kids are napping peacefully or maybe (gasp) they are playing together happily and quietly, but whatever the reason, when those few-and-far-between moments come along, I inhale them as if they were my last breath here on earth. I perch on the couch, cup of coffee cradled in my hands, and drink in both the yummy beverage and the serenity surrounding me. In those moments, I feel so swallowed up by God’s grace and peace and love…and even though hell usually breaks loose quickly after, I feel like I can tackle whatever life throws my way with increased patience and grit.
I remember as a child hearing over and over that “Joy is a choice – happiness is a feeling.” And you know what? It’s true. There will always be ups and downs to this life, and our happiness will ebb and flow in relation to those life experiences and situations. Our JOY, however, is a gift from the Lord, and if we choose to take hold of it, we can approach each day with the fullness of grace that God longs to give us.
Because it does not matter if everything goes as planned or if the dog barfs on the carpet or if the baby is sick or if hubby does not have work or if the economy is bad or if any number of other things don’t pan out like we wish they would. If we have made the choice to be joyful – to carve out time and thought and purpose to be thankful for the Lord and for all He has blessed us with, then we can stare unflinching in the face of the worst Satan can throw at us and still be at peace.