I have been severely limiting my Starbucks intake as of late. I can easily get out of control in this particular area of decadence and spend too much money. So I've almost cut back to 2 or 3 per month (Gasp, Buford - its true!)
A few weeks ago I was at our local grocery store which has a Starbucks in it. The roasty, pungent smell greeted me the moment I walked in the door but I resisted the pull of temptation and walked on past. After I'd paid for my groceries and was heading toward the car, I ran into a mom that I knew from school. She was holding two grande Starbucks cups in her hands. I smiled and said something about treating herself. She said that they had messed up her first order and made it full fat/full sugar when she wanted non-fat/sugar free. Would I like the messed up latte? - because she was going to throw it away. Oh horrors! Don't throw away a perfectly good latte! In the name of all things sacred I will save that whole milk, sugary, vanilla cup of bliss from certain trash can demise! I walked to my car savoring a warm, sweet, free blessing that I knew was straight from the Lord.
Then just this Monday, while on another grocery store excursion, I was so thirsty. I scrounged in my purse for the exact change to get an iced macchiato but when I walked in the store, I was met with the awful sight of this on a sign: "Espresso Machine Out of Order. Sorry for the Inconvenience." Bummer! I just took it to mean that I wasn't supposed to have a Starbucks that day. (You know the verse "No discipline is pleasant at the time but later yields a harvest of righteousness.") BUT later on that evening at Bible Study, my leader came in with a whole carafe of Starbucks coffee and vanilla/caramel creamer. Another blessing!
This morning, after dealing with some stressful PTO issues, I decided a pumpkin spice latte was in order. So I went to the drive-through Starbucks and placed my order. (At the same time, I was questioning if it was a good idea - since I don't want to get back on the latte-a-day plan!) After the gray-haired barrista handed me my receipt, she said, "Have a fun day! Blessings on you." Whoa, I was blessed by a barrista! But not really - I know that she was just a vessel through which came the blessing of God.
See, here is what I'm learning: I often get Starbucks (or any other treat) to bless or reward myself. But in trying to honor God in my spending, I'm fasting from something that I really enjoy. And in return, He is blessing my obedience by letting me have what I love either for free or with blessings on it! When I stop trying to bless myself, I get out of the way and allow God to bless me. That is a cool place to be.
Finally, tonight, while looking through some blogs, I found this quote and a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Lattes that you can make at home...the blessings never cease:
“A cup of coffee, home made, that comes to you dark as a hazel-eye, but changes to a golden bronze as you temper it with cream…such a cup of coffee is a match for twenty blue devils and will exorcise them all.” - H. W. Beecher