Coffee is a Hug in a Mug

CoffeeWithFriendsIt is a very poorly kept secret that I love coffee.

It’s more than just drinking coffee (although a cup of coffee is a reward in and of itself); it’s all that coffee represents.

I liked coffee ok before I became a mom, but then coffee took on new meanings.

CoffeeOwlAs a pregnant and nursing mom, coffee was something I couldn’t have, something I was very willingly not having for the good (or at least perceived good) of my little girl that was sharing everything I ate and drank.

As a mom of two preschoolers, a cup of coffee represented a nearly unattainable level of luxury – the amount of time to myself to actually drink a cup of coffee before it turned to ice.

ILikeYouMoreThanCoffeeAs I tied coffee to my quiet time, coffee started tasting like reading the Bible felt. The two together stated my day with warmth and strength. Coffee reminded me to be the change in the world*

Then I started a monthly Ladies’ Night where women – many of us stay-at-home moms of young kids – could enjoy a cup of coffee (or four) and conversations that ranged from deep and emotional to downright silly (often in the same night). My “coffee ministry” even went on the road – a friend was spending a lot of time in the hospital PICU with her baby, and me and my thermos brought a “hug in a mug” to visit with her often. Even outside of Ladies’ Nights, coffee was  that “hug in a mug” for me.

I love the picture at the top. I stole it from someone’s facebook. But I totally agree that “a cup of coffee, shared with a friend, is happiness tasted”.

I have a slight addiction to all things coffee. Share coffee inspired art and such with me on Pinterest, or visit my coffee board: “Coffee – The Good, the Brewed, and the Caffeinated

*The Rock, The Egg and The Coffee

(retold by me, because I couldn’t find it anywhere to steal borrow the wording)

Consider a rock, an egg and a coffee bean.

When placed into boiling water, a rock will remain the same. Oh, it heats up some, but when it comes out it is essentially the same as when it went in. Place an egg in boiling water and you get a different story. The egg is cooked, fundamentally and irrevocably changed. Add some coffee to boiling water and something totally different happens – the water itself is changed by the coffee in it.

Think of the world as a boiling pot of water. Are you hard to the world as a rock, not allowing it to change you or you change it? Are you susceptible to the world as  an egg, liable to be changed by the world without impacting it? Or are you the change in the world, like the coffee?

*The Parable of the Coffee Bean

(This is the one I keep finding, but I didn’t realize it was so much more common than the way I thought of it, above)

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, Mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity? Do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?
– Author Unknown

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