I can't function without coffee. I'm not just talking about the kind that drips out of a pot you can buy at Goodwill for $1.50 either. I'm talking about freshly ground espresso beans sent through a machine that costs more than my car and topped off with some skim milked steamed to a perfect 145 degrees and a crown of silky foam. I love my "mocha-frappe-spresso-cino" as my husband calls it. It doesn't seem like such a bad thing - it's not illegal, the only alteration to my behavior is mostly positive - if you don't count the withdrawal headaches I get when I don't have any - and I get more work done when I drink it. So, what's the big deal, right?
Lately, I've been trying to cut back on my trips through the latte lines for one simple reason - it's too stinkin expensive!
Speaking of money, the last month has definitely been a little trying on my faith. I have an accountant brain. I like everything to add up and have a positive balance at the end of the month. I like to have a certain amount of money in my account at all times that I can spend however I want. For the most part, things worked that way the entire 3 years I was a single mom. I always had plenty to cover everything I had to pay for, I don't have any debt, and I even started a college fund for my oldest son. But, we've been through a lot of changes in the last few months, including getting full custody of my boys after their dad moved to Texas, getting married, and letting go of a job that had provided me some pretty steady income for the last 4 years. I have to say here that it is because of my husband's wise stewardship with his money that we live in a very nice house, have two cars that are paid for and plenty of money in the bank. There just isn't any money in MY account. So, I've had to rely on my husband and God to provide - AND let go of control.
Back to the coffee...
While I was holding my freshly steamed latte this morning in church, Shaun Groves led worship, and then talked to us about how he had cut back on a lot of things in his life to partner with Compassion International. I was moved by the precious little faces that were flashing on the screen in front of me, yet overwhelmed at the same time by the responsibility of providing for my own precious little faces, while their own father lives responsibility-free. I let it go for the moment.
Later in the evening, I returned to church for a free concert by Shaun, and once again found myself heartbroken by the thought of children living in poverty. I started a dialog with God, telling him how badly I wanted to sponsor a child, but that I didn't want to put any additional burdens on my hard-working husband that had already sacrificed so much for me. It suddenly ocurred to me (by no random chance) that the amount of money I spent on coffee every month would easily cover the cost of sponsoring a child.
"Are you seriously asking me to give up coffee?", I asked God.
You have a coffee maker.
"True, but it doesn't taste the same."
Just as soon as the thought crossed my mind, I realized what a spoiled, rich American I was. I cried as I thought of all the wonderful things God has blessed me with, and how I desperately wanted to raise children who loved to share their blessings and are content with what they have. I walked out of the concert with a picture of a boy named Steven from Uganda. He is the same age as one of my boys, and I'm pretty sure he'd thank me for his month of food I traded for some sugar-infused-over-priced-caffeine.
We really have SO much. Even with a poor economy, we are BLESSED. My prayer this week is that I have a heart that is satisfied with what God has given me, and some taste buds that are satisfied with drip coffee :-)