I really, really enjoy coffee. Really. I love the warmth from the mug while I sip on my coffee and how every bit of me begins to feel toasty from the inside out. The flavor can be rich and deep, roasty-toasty goodness that envelopes me in a blanket of comfort. I find that it is best sipped any day of the week at any time but especially when I am reading my Bible.
But I can’t have coffee. Err…rather, when I was 19 years old my family doctor strongly recommended that I never ingest any caffeine. It was at that time that I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. What’s that? It means that I have a tendency to worry about everything, all the time, for no reason at all. Apparently my consumption of caffeine does things like elevate my blood pressure and my heart rate, and on a psychological level it makes all noises seem louder and stress even bigger than it really is. I tell my three boys that sometimes I feel like I’m in a small box. Doesn’t that sound like fun? No? Hmm.
Caffeine wasn’t on my radar for most of my life. Then in 2007 my husband came home from China with this amazing Pu-Erh tea. How did I never drink tea before this? It was so smooth and the taste was incomparable. But, oh, the caffeine! The tremors in my body, the incredible increase in anxiety. This was not going to work, but somehow I just didn’t care that much.
So I explored my options. I tried decaf teas, and that helped a little, but I guess I’m just so super sensitive to caffeine. After I started having children, I longed for something with a little more kick to it since I was tired. You know the feeling, right? Up in the middle of the night to nurse a baby, up early to make breakfast for your brood, up all day long with work and keeping house and cooking, up late to have that time alone that you haven’t had during the day. Tired. So very tired.
One day I upped the ante to decaf coffee. The flavor blew. my. mind. It also blew my heart rate and stress levels through the ceiling. I found that I had difficulty controlling my frustration when I consumed caffeine. Scratch that…sometimes it inhibited my capacity to make wise choices and I felt more like a monster on those days that I drank it. I knew that it was neither wise nor kind to myself and my family for me to continue drinking even the least amount of coffee (or caffeine in general), but it tastes so delicious! And since I am a selfish human being (who among us isn’t?), I continued drinking it anyhow.
The conviction from the Holy Spirit grew and grew, though I tried to ignore Him, justifying my actions with wanting something for this over-tired Mama to enjoy for myself even if that was at the risk of blowing my gasket with my husband and children. I was continuously reminded of what Paul said to the Philippians: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 2:3,4 So…it was time to find a new plan.
This blog is about Practicing Gratitude, right? Right. I whined and complained for years about my supposed “inability to handle caffeine”, but who was I kidding? I made others sacrifice for my own selfish desires; I had no desire to make the sacrifice myself. In the last three months, however, I have completely given up on caffeine, and it has sucked. Not because I miss the high, but because I enjoy the flavor! Many thanks to TimeHop for the reminder that once upon a time, my Aunt Jan recommended that I try out some Teeccino.
Teeccino is a coffee alternative that is “roasted and ground to brew and taste just like coffee.” Did you read that? It tastes just like coffee. I was curious enough to order. Last night with my slice of apple pie I tried a cup of their Organic Chocolate Herbal Tea. Good gracious it’s delicious, and it really does taste just like coffee! Thank you, Aunt Jan! Haha! I can once again have a hot beverage to enjoy at any time of day that will warm me to the core and not give me the jitters. I was craving a smooth, dark, roasted flavor, and boy, did I find it. Oh my lands, it tastes so yummy. I
happily joyfully made myself a cuppa to drink with my breakfast this morning.
Daily cup(s) of coffee are no big deal for most folks, but some of us can’t enjoy that bliss. Today I am immensely thankful to have finally found an alternative. Praise Jesus and thanks again to Aunt Jan for telling me about Teeccino!