New Discipline in the New Year – CMN Women

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New Discipline in the New Year

By Sarah Means

Starbucks. The church planter’s best friend, right?

I know that I have had my fair share of “I deserve it” Starbucks moments, but it got out of control. I kept finding my car driving to Starbucks like it was magnetized. It was as if the espresso mixed with white chocolate and peppermint were the perfect salve for my tired eyes and weary soul.

However, church planters know that money doesn’t grow on trees (or else we would be planting those too), so I had to be mindful of what I was purchasing – let alone the caloric intake that seemed to add some extra padding where I didn’t need it (like the “Freshman 15,” it’s the “Church Planting 20”).

Now, God has a sense of humor. Knowing all of this about me, He used a wonderfully gracious and funny man in our church named Keith to get my attention.

You’d think that I could quit this habit on my own, but nope, it wasn’t going to happen. So Keith, generous as he is, gifted me a nice amount on a Starbucks gift card. He jokingly shared this should “hold me over,” and I took it as a personal challenge.

The gift card just lasted and lasted. Not because God multiplied it (although wow, that could be fun), but because I started to become more disciplined. I wanted to show Keith that I could make it last. In doing so, God began to speak to my espresso-loving heart. Driving to work, I resisted Starbucks because I knew I could make a cup of coffee at work. Even on Saturday mornings, I was okay because I could create a hot cup of coffee for myself at home.

But, oh boy, Saturday nights when we set up our church in the middle school we are blessed to occupy, it was like Starbucks was a siren singing my name. Like any good Christian woman, I started to ask my husband and son if they wanted something – as if that would soothe my soul when I purchased my own cup of brew. A couple times it even worked. I was able to partake in that beautiful, non-fat, white peppermint mocha with whip that I desired so badly.

But I knew I had to break this habit – it was getting in the way between me and God.

You see, friends, God uses the ordinary to speak to us. My Starbucks treats still happen, but much more rarely. I savor them even more now.

As for Keith, I shared with him how well I was doing when the gift card still had a positive balance months later. I believe God used this lesson to help me gain perspective. Perspective on what really fills my needs. Now, when I want to hold a steaming, beautiful cup of coffee hand-crafted just for me, I go to Jesus, the Beautiful One, brimming with hope who knows me perfectly. He changes everything to get our attention, even the details of our lives, even our routine coffee.

Be encouraged if you think God is far from you. I dare you to hold a cup of coffee and remember that God loved this green church planter in Oregon enough to lead me closer to His Living Water, and further away from Starbucks.


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Sarah Means and her husband, Trevor, planted Praise Community Church in January of 2018. Sarah leads the online social media ministry, Women of Worth Ministries, where she shares consistent encouragement and inspiration to ladies around the world. She is a lover of Jesus, her husband, her son, and great coffee. Trevor and Sarah Means planted in their home town, Eugene, OR, with a focus to seek Jesus, make disciples, and love recklessly until their community knows God!