My heart is heavy and I am so disgusted. Ever realize there is something you have been doing – it’s become a way of life and you CAN’T live without – that you absolutely have to change. The last few years I have had to change a tremendous number of things about my diet. No dairy. No gluten. No high fructose corn syrup. More recently, no corn syrup and a few months ago I went on a strictly gluten free diet. I’ve heard whispers in my brain that I have often ignored. I now realize it’s this built-in compass that God created to help me navigate. I should go running – no brain, it’s too cold and too windy and I’m too tired. Lately, my brain has started screaming at me because I need to cut caffeine. Okay, I’m listening, but I absolutely don’t like it. It’s 1 a.m. and I can’t sleep. I currently have a heart monitor on because I’ve experienced some unsettling episodes with my heart over the past few months. Enough for me to go to the doctor three times now – that’s three times more than I have gone in the past three years. I’m physically tired all the time and feeling more irritable all the time too. Coffee has been my happy place. My pick me up. My I can do anything drink. I know I’m addicted to it, but I have brushed it off for so long since I don’t consume what so many others live on. No pop. No alcohol. No cigarettes. Is this addiction of mine really that bad?
Coffee has turned into a monster. I turn to it when I’m exhausted or feeling like I just need something to get me through my day. It helps me deal more patiently with my strong-willed daughter (bless her). It takes off the edge of stress and helps me feel better. Is this addiction of mine really that bad? I have been reading the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It has rocked my world on many levels, including the lack of boundaries I have had in taking care of myself. My family is fed with clean clothes and the extra million things on my to-do list that are so important are checked off. I’m exhausted because I didn’t eat or drink enough (except coffee) and can’t remember the last time I went for a run. This was normal for me and still is to an extent. I realized I needed to get more sleep a year or so ago (goodbye working until 3 a.m.). My spirit was craving to be fed and I still thirst for spiritual food. I’ve learned to balance taking in spiritual foods, but I feel like the rest of my life is out of control. I don’t feel compelled to take care of everyone else before myself anymore, but I’m realizing that I don’t have great boundaries for taking care of me. My body has clearly been screaming at me for in taking too much caffeine and I haven’t listened. It’s screamed at me for not exercising enough and I haven’t listened. I feel so far away from my goals and the really athletic person I used to be seems a lifetime away. My body rocks though and I know that I can bounce back and get into shape again, for now. I started reading Hosea and this verse really made me feel the guilt and shame (in a good way) of what I have been doing. Hosea 4:6 “…Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests;…” Ouch. I know the information about the affects of caffeine have been starring me in the face. I wrote an article in college about the negative affects of caffeine and how you can increase your energy more by increasing your level of exercise. I recognized a while ago that the amount of coffee (not decaf people) affects my heart rate. A friend invited me to a health seminar over a month ago and a lot of the information was stuff I had already learned over the past few years, but I mentally wrote off the recommendation to cut back and even eliminate tea and coffee. “Because you have rejected knowledge.” How else would you describe what I have been doing? “I also reject you as my priests…” Ouch. God is in the business of repeating and He has been speaking to me for a few years now about ways to improve my health because He cares and knows that I can’t possibly take care of anyone else if I don’t first take care of myself.
I have a huge responsibility to take care of myself and God is revealing to me how to do this through the various pieces of information I research and write about, conversations with friends, messages from church, songs and so many other ways. I often think about what I want to teach my daughter and I can’t possibly teach her how to have a balanced life that includes taking care of herself or even listening to God if I don’t do this first. Cutting coffee is the last thing I want to do, especially in a very busy season of my life right now, but I can’t afford not to. I’m not looking forward to it because I know it will involve pain. My brain tells me that I don’t have time for a migraine and all I will want to do is sleep and I will be irritable. I know the reward will be worth it. I know that I can only do this with God’s help and He will help me through.