Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quitting Coffee Again...the difference is Night and Day!


Watch this clip from one of my new favorite movies, Knight and Day. This is how I laughingly picture God talking to me in the experience I want to share with you below...



Hi everyone,
I just had to share the latest in my adventures with God and my body! So, if you have read my blogs about my food, you know that I began a journey back in August where I began to surrender control over my eating and trust God to lead me with my body and food. This January 1st I attempted to cut coffee and all sugars from my diet. It did not go well. I bombed hard after 12 days. So fast forward a few weeks and I am still struggling over wither or not to keep coffee and fruit in my diet. I had talked with a few friends who mentioned that they were cutting out fruit as well as all other kinds of carbs. The thought made me grumpy and you all know where I was on the coffee. But still I wasn't feeling great, my stomach was still hurting, and my energy levels were awful. I was using coffee every afternoon to get through the bewitching hour of kids coming home from school through the routines of homework, activities, dinner, and bedtime.

Finally, it occurred to me that I had said I was going to trust God to tell me what to do for me. I realized I hadn't asked Him.

So, February 2nd,  I sat at my kitchen table with my journal,a cup of coffee,and my bible and I wrote out my questions to the Lord.
And waiting to hear His response.
 I like to write down what I hear the Lord say to me, so I am copying exactly what we said to each other that day.

Me:"Do you want me to stop drinking coffee? "

                The Lord: "Child, are you depending on it to get you through the day?
Me: yes
               The Lord: Is it healthy psychologically?
Me: umm, no.
               The Lord:"It is making your tummy feel good?"
Me: no
               The Lord:"Do you feel emotional resistance to giving it up?"
Me: YES!
               The Lord: "Will you trust Me and give it to Me?"
Me: " I don't want to , Jesus! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
               The Lord: "Remember I said I would withhold no good thing from you. My anointing is on                  you to do this. You failed last time because you tried to do it without ME. But I am teaching                    you I am for You and You can do it."
Me: But I'll be so unhappy...I'll have headaches and no energy....Can't you just make me hate the taste?"
               The Lord: " 😉I could, but I choose this way. Will you trust Me?"
Me:"But what can I have instead?"
               The Lord,"Trust Me."
Me: When can I have it back?
              The Lord: "Trust Me."
Me: "I'm really weak Abba, I need You to give me a boundary of days."
              The Lord: "Here Daughter, take one last sip of that cup you just made, then I am asking you to               give me the coffee to hold until your birthday. on that day we will re-convene on the matter."
Me:" ok"

I want you to understand the gentleness of His Spirit as He asked me to do this. It was very similar to a story I heard during a Women's retreat many years ago about a little girl and her fake pearls. The little girl loved her fake pearls and wore them always, even to bed. Every night when her Daddy kissed her good night, he would ask her for the pearls. She always laughed and said no way! But finally one night she agreed to give them to her Daddy and in return he pulled out a strand of real pearls he had been carrying around waiting to give her. So this is the way I felt God's heart  towards me, as He asked me to give Him my coffee. He knew how much coffee meant to me.

So what happened, You see up there that I agreed. I took one more sip and then I dumped my coffee out. But the next morning, I took back the coffee. I just couldn't do it. I was so grumpy about having to give up one more thing that I loved. And do you know, the Lord did not strike me dead. Instead, He gently pursued me like this:

Feb.3rd I received a surprise package in the mail. It was an adorable gift box from my friend Leanne and inside it was TEA! It was a cardboard box that contained photos of us over the years, her sweet note, and a graphic that said, "Sip Joyfully". I immediately thought, God, this better not be a sign that you really want me to give you the coffee. Then I thanked my sweet friend and went on my coffee sipping merry way.

But Feb 4th, feeling bored, restless, grumpy and unconnected, I had another conversation with God.
And it went like this:
Me: I'm tired. Lord, I'm kinda scared to enter into conversation with You right now after the other day...did I hear right or wrong? have I disobeyed drinking coffee?
are you angry with me?
            The Lord: Daughter, I am not angry with you. I just want you to know I'm willing to take your               "fake" pearls and give you real ones. "

Me: "I'm such a mess!"
But I was not ready to surrender.

Feb 5th found me at church. In our class we were wrapping up a series from Andy Stanley on making Wise Choices. These words he said pierced my spirit.
"The Goal isn't to just know what I should do, but then to DO it."
"We easily trust in the laws of this earth: ie: physics, gravity, etc, yet we struggle to submit to the Creator of it all."
"A wise decision comes from submission to the Author of Life."
"Sometimes to understand why, you have to submit to apply."
We ended the lesson with this question:
Have I surrendered my will to God's will?
And there we were again.
 I realized that I had taken back my surrender. That I had stopped surrendering to God my body and food like I had told Him I would. No wonder I was struggling. Still I wrestled with the surrender all that afternoon and into the evening. Right before bed I was googling Adrenal fatigue...we all know how smart it is to be randomly googling your ailments before bed....lol! Yet, God arranged for my search to land me on a site that had the testimony of a woman saying everything fell into place for her with her physical issues when she gave up coffee.
 And that was the straw that broke this donkey's back! I got up Monday morning, drank tea instead of coffee and I have not looked back since.

 It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since I had coffee. Have I missed it? only a couple of times.
Honestly, my experience this time is Night and Day different from those 12 days in January. The first day, I was tired and had a headache but then starting the 2nd day until now, I have had more energy and more clarity and my stomach has felt so much better. I cannot even express the improvement in how I feel! And naturally, as with any relationship, when you trust someone and follow their instruction, it brings you closer together.

 God is so so good and He is so so kind.
 If you don't get from this story anything else, get this:
           The God who made us and this whole world, not only loves us each in very personal real to life ways, but He also is long suffering with our ignorance and stubbornness. He pursues us with such love and care.

Romans 2:4 says
"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?"


Consider for a moment, can you see a place in your life where God is gently, lovingly, and relentlessly pursuing you to surrender to Him?

If I know Him, He is.
And if I know Him, its for your good.
So learn from one stubborn donkey...surrender its always worth it!

                                                                     xoxox,
                                                                             Michelle







Monday, January 16, 2017

Free Coloring Sheet








Hi There,

I decided to take a stroll through my Pintrest boards yesterday.
I found inspiration for this adorable snowman drawing. It makes me think of my parents buried under many blankets of snow in Colorado right now.If you are stuck inside on this winter day, print off this sheet and let your creative side out! 
XOXO, Michelle





Friday, January 13, 2017

Shoot for the Moon.....( I gave up coffee one time)



I shot for 3 months, I made it 12 days.

As I sit here happily drinking my cup of decaf coffee, I'm ok with that.

If you know me, you know that I'm an "all in or all out" kind of girl. I mean, have you seen my hair extremes?



 I often bite off more than I can chew and sustain. I should've tried to cut back to a cup a day with out sugary creamer. But instead I cut all coffee out. ha! Typical of me.

But I choose to look at this as not a failure or one more way I'm a nut case, I see it as growth.

12 days is still longer than I've gone without coffee in my adult life. 😅

I tried a big leap, I didn't quite land where I intended to,

But I leaped ( or is it lept?) in the first place, so there ya go.

At the beginning of 2016 I laughed at the thought of no sugar....and I've come a long way on that front. So who knows what 2017 holds...
For now, I'm going to embrace the coffee and its boost to my mood, energy, and GI tract!

How do I feel about publicly "failing"?
Well, I just figure I can get used to that. If you are authentic in your life, people are going to see your faults.
Yall know mine: I tend to go too big, too fast! 😁
Or as Charlie says to Maverick in Top Gun,
 "At that speed its too fast. Its a little bit too aggressive."



But God's can work with that and its why He gave me all you supportive, gut checking, wise friends. I'm sure there will be a future post on how God is teaching me to slow down...bahhhhhhhahahaha!

Coffee Ban is now OVER.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Quit Coffee and What the Hell was I Thinking? (An Update!)



So here is the update for all you guys out there considering quitting coffee...
DON'T.

Day 10 and I'm still waking up angry that I can't have my coffee.

Over the last week we have had some of the coldest weather Houston ever gets, hmmm, what goes nice with gloomy cold weather? oh yeah, COFFEE!!!
Me and Coffee Snuggling on a  cold morning
So they say, detox lasts a few days.
They say day 9 and 10 are the hardest.
And maybe they are but days 6,7,8 weren't all that easy either.


Me with my Tea
If you find yourself committed to a season of no coffee, and are scouring the internet for a timeline of the withdrawal effects here is what I've experienced:
  • SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO TIRED!! Like its too much energy to find the remote to change the channel tired.
  • Constipation (ugggggh!)
  • Irritability
  • anxious tight chest

Watch out for your very logical reasoning that will come telling you that this is ridiculous, your body needs caffeine and its silly to not have just one little cup of coffee every morning.

                                                             Because you will be damn convincing!

Still, I'm hanging on by a thread.
Here are some of my strategies:

1. I drink tea .
                I am trying to like it.
       I cannot have my favorite kind, black chai tea at the moment due to my food sensitivities,
      So I am constantly experimenting with making my own herbal teas or trying store bought. So far,  Celestial Seasonings Blueberry and Peppermint are my top favorites.
      I made a really yummy ginger, cinnamon tea the other day, however I cannot duplicate it to save my life...the dangers of creative cooking.

          Many people have suggested Rooiboos tea, but I think it tastes like a swisher sweet cigar! GAG! Anyhoo, adding a lot of almond milk and a dash of  cinnamon, and nutmeg makes my tea a bit more fun.

2. I drink hot bone broth and lemon water.
       For healing your gut and supporting your immune system, these are awesome and soothing.


3. I GO DO SOMETHING!

  • walk with a friend
  • do a chore
  • work on some art
  • do yoga
  • whine on my blog about not drinking coffee...
I hope to report in another week how awesome being off coffee is, until then, here is an 
 excellent quote from my coffee loving Dad on tea..

And I totally agree.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

I Quit Coffee and Other Hilarious Things I never thought I'd Say

Coffee....ahhh, coffee!
And by coffee I mean, delicious flavored coffee with cream.
How I have loved you, let me count the years!

OK, so seriously, I have been drinking coffee since I was a kid.
 Being a Roper = Loving Coffee
I remember sitting around family dinners with the grown ups having decaf coffee and milk when I was 8 years old. But I didn't full out adopt the habit for myself until my college years. As an adult, waking up to a mug or two of coffee , my bible and journal has been a constant daily routine. Sometimes, I gotta be honest,  coffee with God was my only reason for pulling my exhausted body out of bed. You see, when you are surrounded by your darling children all day long, those few moments of centering and quiet with the Lord and a steaming cup of coffee in the morning are priceless.

The soothing delight of a cup of coffee is woven into so many aspects of my life...perhaps its lingering over coffee  with my hubby in our red chairs on a low key Saturday morning.
 Maybe its taking in a gorgeous Colorado sunset with my parents on their deck.
Or grabbing a Starbucks with a friend.
And sometimes it's the little perk of sipping on your coffee during a long drive or meeting.
 Yes, I have a lot of emotion wrapped up in my coffee drinking habit.

So why on earth would I give it up?
This fall I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and celiac.
This gave me a revelation about why my mugs of coffee were key parts of my day, even in summer. Coffee was flat getting my cortisol depleted body through the day! 
However, it was also causing increased stress on my adrenal glands and was part of a cycle where I was hyped up and then crashed. To support my adrenal glands and heal them I needed to cut the caffeine. 

So I switched to decaf! BOOM problem solved! not really...

There were other issues.
 my coffee had been tampered with.
You see, when I was diagnosed with celiac and all my food sensitivities, I found out that milk was a problem for my gut. So out went the half and half (btw I had spent a year weening my taste buds off of processed GMO creamers to half and half).
 Let me tell you, my coffee was not the same with almond milk or coconut milk. 
Yes, I tried bullet proof coffee with coconut oil and ghee in it. Not the same! 
Fall is a horrible time of year to have limitations placed on your coffee...I mean its PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE time!


So fast forward to Thanksgiving, my family was in town. 
My energy was tanked and my mood was bleck...I decided to have a cup of REAL CAFFEINATED COFFEE..and within 5 min I was in a happy mood and my body was ready to roll! 
When you have felt fatigued, depressed, and foggy for months on end, experiencing that high really is delightful! I jumped back into my caffeinated coffee addiction with two feet! And bonus, I found a delightful pure cane sugary vanilla  almond milk creamer to go with it. At times my cup was 1/3 creamer and 2/3rds coffee.... just writing about it makes me giddy with cravings. 

Did I mention I was supposed to be off sugar? yeah...Dr's orders. 

Funny thing about caffeine and sugar...you know they aren't healthy, you know that they are bad for you in the long run, but damn aren't they good when you use them! Don't they just perk you right up and give you the energy to do your day! HELLO ADDICTION!

So I decided I would indulge this unhealthy delightful habit through the holidays, then in January I would cut the chords. 

So, damn, its January. And its day 4 of no coffee.
 I thought I would crave it more. 
I don't really crave it for the taste at the moment, what I crave is the instant energy and brain fog lift. 
I nearly caved this morning when it was 9am and I felt like crawling back into bed. 
But I didn't. 
I drank a protein shake and went walking with a friend. 

I mean if you blab this stuff on a blog, someone will call you out if you are a loser who quits after 4 days, right!?

This is hard stuff...but I know it will help me heal and bring balance to my body.
 I look forward eagerly to the day when I can be one of those chicks that says, " oh I used to drink coffee but I feel so fabulous off of it! " 

Until that day, or at least until my detox days pass, you probably don't want to mess with me! 

Will I bring coffee back at some point in the future? Who knows. Right now, I commit to nothing but  3 months...January, February, March...no coffee...then we will see!!