Tag Archive | coffee

God and Me and a Cup of Chai Tea

I’ve been praying and waiting on God for an answer to those specific prayers. Some for me, some for others. The waiting is hard. I was sharing with a friend one of my favorite instances of God answering prayer for me so thought maybe I’d share it here too.

I don’t like coffee. Never have. When I worked in Milwaukee someone introduced me to spiced chai latte and I fell in love with that. This was before Starbucks and the only place I could get it was at Einstein Bros. Bagels. So some mornings I would do that. I discovered that they used Big Train Chai so eventually I found out where I could purchase that myself and started buying it.

When I moved north to live in a tiny mobile home to become a stay-at-home mom to two little boys and eventually add a daughter, I would make my chai early in the morning and sit and have my quiet time. It became part of my routine. God and me and a cup of chai tea.

My hubby at the time would go through phases where he liked chai or would lecture me about enjoying the sugary drink. I took it to my naturopath and asked him: “Is this bad for me?” He tested it and said: “It’s neutral. Enjoy your chai.” I continued to do that.

I only had one cup in the morning. That’s it. Rarely any other time. One day I noticed my supply was low so I ordered some. My hubby found the box after it had been delivered and this was one of those times he chose to lecture me. He brought the box into the kitchen and yelled.

“Why did you buy this? You shouldn’t be having sugar. You can’t have this.” He grabbed the box and put it in the laundry room. Unopened.

He dared deny me my one little enjoyment in the challenges of raising kids. If you’re a coffee drinker insert that in there and how would you feel? I was livid and told him I did not appreciate being yelled at and demands made of me. He ignored me and went about his day.

I really wanted to honor God in submitting to my husband even if he was being a class-A jerk. So I prayed. God, I don’t need chai. I can live without it. I don’t want this to be an idol so I’m going to trust You. If You, Lord want me to have chai You will have my husband bring that box into the kitchen, open it, and empty a bag into the container.

I waited.

Friday came. It had been about a week. I had enjoyed my very last cup of chai and washed the container I stored the powder in. I again let God know I was fine if I couldn’t have chai. I would trust Him.

Later that afternoon, my husband rushed into the house and opened the cupboard, and exclaimed, “Where’s the chai?”

“It’s gone. I just washed out the container,” I responded.

“Didn’t you buy more?”

“Yes.” He didn’t remember this? He’d been pretty angry about the purchase and my desire to enjoy it.

“Where is it?” he demanded.

“On the dryer in the laundry room,” I responded and stood back to watch what might happen next.

Hubby rushed down the hall, grabbed the box, and brought it to the kitchen. He placed it on the counter, and with scissors, broke the tape and pulled out a bag of chai. He cut open the bag at the top and poured it into the container I had washed that morning. He then proceeded to make himself a cup of chai and left the house to return to his office.

I said nothing but inside I praised God. Apparently for me, at this point in my life, I could enjoy chai with the blessing of God. Never again did my husband do anything like that although I have many other stories I could share where I obeyed him even when he was rude, controlling, and unreasonable. Yet God answered my obedience and the prayers I said in those moments to reveal that He loves me, hears me, sees the challenges I face. God not only gives us what I need but delights in giving His children some of the simple things we want.

I need to remind myself of those stories. There were dark years of poverty and verbal abuse, along with a challenging firstborn son who had mental health issues. Being a stay-at-home mom is not for the faint of heart. God was still there in those days giving me moments of joy. First with His presence and then in the unexpected but very much wanted answers to prayers.

Sometimes the answers were no. Sometimes it took years before I could understand the reason for the timing of those prayers. But now I thank Him for those no’s because they were really more of a “not yet, I have something so much better for You. Wait for my perfect timing.”

Life is hard at times and we can’t see the big picture but when I recite to myself the ways God has worked, they become markers, like they used to do in the Old Testament, of an intimate encounter with the Most High God. A way to remind me that God is personally involved in my life for His glory…if I only wait on Him.

God gave me a different man for a partner and you know what? He will get my hot water started if he awakes before me. When we travel, he will go out of his way to buy me a cup of chai in the morning. Maybe I don’t get to enjoy it with God at that moment, but I get to enjoy it with one of His many blessings, a man who treats me well.

Wait on God. His answers to prayer are all the sweeter for the wait.

How have you seen God answer prayers? Take note and remind yourself of His faithfulness to you!

Coffee Snob

I drank my first cup of coffee this year in January.  My friend who was with me at McDonald’s laughed but congratulated me at not making a face.  I don’t know how many packets of Stevia it took (it was a lot for that little cup), but I managed to get that cup drained.

My Great-Grandmother once asked me if I drank coffee.  “Nope, don’t like it.” Her wise response, “When you grow up, you will.”  My dislike of coffee was so bad that I couldn’t even stand coffee breath.  I would not kiss my husband if he had drunk coffee.  We do not own a coffee pot.  I am a total loser if you ask me to brew some at church. So yes, I was a coffee prude.

So I’m in my forties and only now “growing up!”

I’ve found that I can tolerate flavored coffee.  Butternut Rum, Highlander Grogg, Vanilla Nut and my current favorite: French Caramel Crème. No sugar added – Stevia only.  No cream or milk.

I’ve tried the offerings at coffee shops.  Not fond of espresso.  Many others I’ve tried I’ve struggled to down (even with adding my ever handy Stevia).

So now my friend Lisa says I’ve become a coffee “ snob.”  It’s true. I have.  Plain coffee just doesn’t do it for me.  I can go for certain frapps, but not a cappuccino or espresso.  Latte’s are tolerable.  I’ve gone from prude to snob.

Someone asked me why I started to drink coffee.  It’s simple. I used to drink spiced chai. It was “my thing” every morning.  A whole lotta sugar. A little caffeine.  Great flavor.  As I embarked on a new diet, that was “out” and I was looking for a no calorie substitution that could carry me into the future.  Regular tea didn’t satisfy me in the morning – not enough body or what have you.  So I tried coffee and here I am, every morning with my French Press and flavors.  Don’t really even need the caffeine to be honest – just something hot to drink, take the edge off the hunger and warm me up as I sit with God in the morning before the kids are up.

So there you have it. My name is Susan M. Baganz and I’m a coffee snob.  I still enjoy a cup of chai every once and awhile and love that Starbucks has low cal offerings using Stevia so I can enjoy fun stuff at times without worrying I’m going to go up two dress sizes. Will I ever grow up enough to like just regular coffee?  I’m not sure. Part of it is the smell.  Flavored coffees also smell wonderful (to me), and that’s half the battle with the taste.  How about you?  How do you take your coffee (if at all!)?  Any suggestions on a favorite coffee drink you think I should try?