Monday, January 17, 2011

The Great Coffee Debacle

So, I woke up this morning with the distasteful knowledge that today was going to be different.  What I mean by different is this - Sam is no longer on vacation.  In other words, he's going back to work today and my broken toe and I will be left to fend for ourselves.  Just having this knowledge in the back of my mind seemed to set my mood differently - negatively, actually.  Good grief, haven't the last four days of pampering been enough?  Apparently not...
So, here's a quick recap - I broke my toe last Wednesday night on our new pup's wire cage.  Since then, Sam has graciously slept in our son's room with both kid and pup, allowing me to sleep uninterrupted in our room.  Not only was I free to go to bed at whatever early hour I wanted, but I was also allowed to sleep in, completely undisturbed.  He got up with the little darling without ever waking me.  I knew this relaxing arrangement was only temporary but at the time I didn't allow my mind to dwell on upcoming change.  Monday was Monday and I was going to let only the day I was in be the one to reign in my mind. So, here we are.  Monday made it to an unavoidable place in my thoughts.  As a barking puppy woke me at 6:30 this morning, I was painfully aware that my mini-vacation was nearing its end.  But, wait!  It couldn't end just yet! Had I milked the broken toe enough?  Was it possible that I could get a minute or even hour more of pampering?  My groggy mind scrambled at an impressive pace as I stepped out of bed. 

As my foot met the floor, I winced in pain and let out a couple of nasty words.  I wasn't ready to apologize to God just yet. I knew there would be more apologies to add to the list, so why bother so early? I was just getting started.  Though Sam had gotten up with the pup at four something this morning, I wasn't concerning myself with that...or the fact that he had been doing it continuously since last Thursday.  It was clearly about me at this very moment in time.  I found myself quickly annoyed that he didn't budge as I rolled noisily out of bed.  "The nerve of him sleeping while I drag myself and broken toe out of bed," I muttered.  "Doesn't he remember that I have a broken toe?" Geez, just rehashing my own thought process makes me annoyed...with myself. But, wait - it gets worse. 

As I hobbled down the hallway to get Lucy Liu from her cage, I continued to murmur about having to be the one going to get her.  It didn't bother me that no one was awake to hear how miserable and mistreated I was.  I knew God was listening so surely He would do something to bring me justice - even then I knew this wouldn't be the case, but hey....a girl can hope.  So, the grumbling continued.  As I was letting a rambunctious puppy out from her cage, my sweet son informed me that he had an accident in the bed and needed a bath.  As of yet, I still hadn't made it to the coffee pot, but this sent me on my way.  I told Ashton I would be back after taking the pup out and getting some coffee. "Put your clothes in the washer and I'll get your bath started in a minute",  I told him.  Well, I made it to the coffee pot.  After adding creamer to my cup, I began to pour my coffee with the first excitement today had to offer.  Even in my sleepy state, I knew that what came out of the pot wasn't coffee.  WATER? I almost screamed.  There was no coffee, just hot water.  "That miserable husband of mine, I should go wake him right now and tell him he made it wrong last night," I thought as anger arose within me.  Let me remind you that for multiple consecutive days, this man I now wanted to strangle, is also the man who essentially waited on me hand and foot....and brought me coffee in bed every morning of his own sleep-deprived day.  I forbade my mind to think about that stuff though. It simply wasn't important at the time.  What was important was that the coffee wasn't coffee.  It was water. 

So, not a big deal - just make more, right?  Well, here's the kicker.  I don't know how to operate our coffee machine.  It was a Christmas gift from my parents and in my efforts to get Sam to start making the coffee, I refused to learn how.  I didn't want to know how because I didn't want to be the one having to make it each night at bedtime.  "I do everything around here so he can be the one who makes the coffee," I declared with a stubborn defiance.  Well, look how great that was working out for me.  So, in a new effort to prove I didn't need that coffee, I decided to pour myself a glass of orange juice.  Let me pause to tell you the significance of morning coffee.  I usually get up very early and sip coffee while I spend alone time with God.  It is without question the most important and enjoyable part of my day.  The two just go hand in hand.  It's not that I need the coffee, it's just what I enjoy drinking.  This is usually the case for every coffee drinker.  Its not that we need it - we simply enjoy it. 

Well, I discovered that orange juice wasn't providing me with the same content feeling.  In fact, I started becoming more irritated.  Well, I'll just get alone with God and offer thanks for everything else, I thought.  I have a specific notebook for this time with Him and I write out my visions for the day and write out a list of things for which I'm thankful.  For the first time, I couldn't think of anything to write.  I couldn't believe that I couldn't even muster up a simple "thank You, God for this day." "Wow!" I thought to myself.  It seems that coffee was having entirely too much power of my life at the moment.  "This is ridiculous," I thought. I decided to get up and see about making the coffee pot work. Sitting there thinking about it was only making me more angry that Sam was still in bed and not up making sure I had coffee. Looking back, I'm totally grossed out by my ungrateful and bratty attitude, but more on that in a minute.  As I tinkered around for a minute, it seemed I had success. I breathed a sigh of relief and waited for it to brew.  Gathering my still empty coffee cup, I poured creamer and prepared to smile. The coffee was on its way.  Well, after enough had made its way into the pot, I began to pour.  Any calmness that had just set in was completely wiped out as I fumed with anger over the second pouring of water into my cup.  Completely exasperated and almost in tears because of frustration, I decided to ask God to keep me calm.   The last time I got into a complaining spirit, I broke a toe.  "I will not complain, I will not complain," I silently chanted over and over again, desperately hoping it would sink in.  It didn't.  I now looked like a scary cartoon character with bulging eyes and wild hair.

I had two choices at this point.  Wake Sam up and ask for his help or go to Starbucks down the street.  In a bittersweet way, I opted for Starbucks. Though I was beyond irritated with absolutely everything about this morning, something in me was able to remember all he had done for me over the last few days.  I decided to let him sleep and go get coffee from Starbucks.  God was clearly beginning to intervene because I even felt the urge to bring some back for him.  How generous of me, right? Well, as it turned out Sam got up as I was on my way out.  I muttered something about how the coffee wasn't coffee and that I would be back in a few minutes. Then I left.  I turned it on 95.9, a local Christian music station and said "Okay, talk to me God. Make me feel better." Well, God is a funny God and in recent months I have no doubt that He has been getting major laughs at my expense. I pulled into Starbucks and took my place in the drive-through number nine to be exact.  With nine cars in front of me, it hit me.  The amount of time I was going to wait in line was around the same amount of time I would have had to wait for coffee to be done at home since Sam was now awake and available for coffee pot repairs.  A smile tried to make its way into my lips, but I was having none of that.  "I'm seriously upset, so there will be no smiling or laughing" I firmly told God.  Well, it was as if He was patiently holding a feather to my arm and moving it back and forth while waiting for me to laugh.  At that moment, I pulled forward a few feet and once I rounded the corner, the sun shone brightly through my dirty window.  All of a sudden, I felt the warm presence of God drawing out a smile from my lips that I so desperately tried to hold back.  I caved and started to laugh, not only at the situation, but also at my own ridiculous behavior. 

"Okay, God - it's a little funny," I reluctantly admitted.  Well, by the time it was my turn at the drive-through window, I was miraculously happy.  Warmed both inside and out from the overwhelming beams of sunshine,  I thanked God for His presence, patience, and place in my life and I headed home with two black coffees and an oatmeal.  I got home and Sam told me the problem had been a clog, but that we now had an abundant amount of coffee that was strong to boot.  Though I find my initial behavior and attitude utterly repugnant, I am so thankful that the turn around time from ungrateful to grateful is decreasing with every new test God brings my way. 

God will test us by allowing us to find ourselves in situations that are, for us, supremely frustrating.  However, this is actually a good sign when we find ourselves in these places because it means God is giving us an opportunity to grow.  The more frustrations with which we're faced, the more opportunities we're given to get closer to Him.  I used to let an incident like this set the tone for my entire day, but I'm learning to let it go quicker than what I used to.  It takes tests like these to shape us however.  May you all have a great coffee debacle of your own!  And Sam, I love you and thank you for being the most patient, loving husband :)

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