“Everything in my life has something to do with coffee.” – Lorelai Gilmore
There is no denying or hiding the truth that I am a major fan of coffee. I think that most of my successes in life since the ripe old age of 15 can be traced back to a single cup of coffee at the start of each day. And my greatest failures? They were survived in part by a warm, rich, cup of coffee bringing me a few moments of peace to gather my thoughts before trying again.
I cannot stress to you enough how important a quiet start to your day with a warm cup of coffee is for your soul. If tea is more your style, its an acceptable choice also, the point being that everyone should start their day with just a few moments of peace while filling their bodies with something rich that makes them smile.
Pick your drink, but for me, its coffee. Always has been and always will be.
Over the course of the last few years, I’ve fallen to the wayside of my morning ritual. There are kids to get ready, lunches to make, and I need some time to tame my hair before attacking the workday. Like so many other others, I am often tired and getting up earlier than I “had” to just didn’t interest me like before. Instead of starting my day in a calm place of peace, I sprung to action the minute my feet hit the ground scurrying around the house and dragging two children along with me as we rushed out the door.
It was not uncommon for me to be in a full on sweat by the time I sat down in the driver’s seat to head out and drop everyone off at their schools for the day. A full sweat guys. For real. All before 8am. That’s just not right.
My evenings were pretty much the same thing, but in reverse. I was trying to get everyone undressed and unwound from their day so they could get off to bed. This left a little time for some basic chores and time with my husband before I collapsed into bed each night, fully exhausted. It’s no wonder I felt burned out all the time and my crazy expectations for my life were hanging over me so severely.
I wasn’t giving myself a moment to breathe, let alone to enjoy my life or sort out any thoughts or feelings I was wrestling with that day.
It came to a head last Spring, when I was faced with some very real personal struggles both at home and in my professional life. I had been running around for so long trying to do everything for everyone that I lost myself and forgot to even enjoy this life I was so frantically trying to build. I was lost, scared, overwhelmed, tired, and felt very alone in this place.
I confided first to my husband, then my pastor, then my best friend that I was not happy where I was. I could see all of the good, all of the love, and all of the things to be grateful for – and I was grateful, just not satisfied. Which felt so terribly greedy and wrong.
At their suggestion, I decided to carve out just 30 minutes each day for me. I could watch a show, read, pray, think, or just stare out of the window; whatever I wanted to do was fine in my personal time. It was a kind of daunting thing so I started off with something I knew I could do well, consistently, and happily. I would drink a cup of coffee every morning before starting my day.
The first few weeks were spent sipping and scrolling my Facebook to send happy birthday messages I always forgot before and to see what people were up to. I found myself more awake and ready when the day started and the mornings started to be a pleasant experience. Well, as pleasant as any early morning wake up call can be.
As I started in deeper, books joined my morning routine as a way to feed my mind and soul in my morning stillness. Over time prayer, reflection, and devotional time trickled in also. This quiet 30 minute cup of coffee was quickly becoming my favorite part of the day and making the rest of the day feel less overwhelming.
“ So then let us pursue what makes for peace and mutual upbuilding.”
Over the course of my mornings, this verse came up in my readings on more than one occasion and I can’t help feel it was not just a coincidence.
I wish we were sitting here in my quiet den together right now so you could see and feel what I am talking about. If you were here, I’d offer you one of my favorite quilts to curl up under on the cozy pillow-back sectional near the large windows facing my neighborhood. We would both have oversized mugs of warm aromatic coffee hugged in our hands and sigh happily when the first sips warm our bodies from the inside. We would be in a place of peace that we created together.
I would share with you that I believe starting our days from a place of peace is the greatest gift we can give to ourselves and to others. By sorting our day out, taking time to process events fully, and making time for prayer and reflection we are bringing our best selves to each day. There are definitely days when I still feel overwhelmed or not enough in the world but my coffee time gives me time to process and remind myself that these moments will pass.
The coffee in our hands wakes us up to the day, but our time of reflection and peace wakes us up to life. This awake feeling reminds us that there is some good in every day, even if coffee time is all there is some days. That’s ok. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to show up. Much life coffee becomes a habit in our lives, so does this personal time. Your body and soul will crave it as you fall asleep at night. You will find this peace becomes an important part of your day, just as much as eating, drinking, and brushing your teeth. You won’t feel right without your morning coffee peace break. Once you start coffee or seeking peace in God you won’t want to stop.
What started as a selfish quiet time develops quickly to a practice of building up others around you. Praying for those who are hurting, learning to be more compassionate, replying to emails to friends in need, and cheering on those around you from a place of love. And sometimes, sharing your coffee space with someone else to enjoy life and peace together.
Find your spot, set your alarm, select your favorite mug, and pursue your peace.