Sunday, October 13, 2013

But first, coffee.

When I have a lot on my plate, my default coping mechanism is list-making. Most mornings, here’s how it works out:

My alarm goes off. I snooze it. My alarm goes off again. As I begin to realize might actually be time to join the living, the things I know I need to do start flashing through my brain. I walk briskly to the nearest appropriate list-making material (i.e. my notebook) and start to write. 1. Do this. 2. Finish that. ETC! I immediately set off accomplishing things so I can check them off my overly ambitious list.

This is not a great way to live, folks. It tends to increase worry and stress, and it also warps my perspective. There’s nothing calm or even levelheaded about the above scenario. Jumping straight into a day full of tasks and to-dos is a good way to forget all about things that are really important (maybe even more important than the sum of my list items).

There’s nothing wrong with list-making, but it shouldn’t come first. You know what should? COFFEE.

I could explain that, but it’s kind of obvious. Of course, coffee should be first. And I don’t just mean making coffee, I mean taking the time to drink it like you mean it. Brew that cup of joe, doctor it up with a pleasant amount of cream and sugar, and take at least five minutes to sit and sip. You may feel the need to “take advantage” of those moments by “productively” scribbling away things to do, but don’t! Coffee first means five minutes peace! Take that time to think, to breathe. Pray. Read a Psalm—the Psalms are really great. One of my favorites says this: “It is good to proclaim the love of God in the morning.” And later, “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

This is just a simple encouragement to list-makers like me to resist the urge to start your days with worry. Start with coffee, and peace.

 “But first, coffee” is a 6” x 6” watercolor, commissioned and inspired by Taylor Reyes J. It’s a simple reminder to slow down before jumping into the day ahead. 

Click here to view "But first, coffee" in my Etsy shop. 


  1. LOVE. Coffee as an instrument of peace, prayer, and waiting. You are making your own doodled psalms, Anna :)

    1. Alina,
      This is a delayed reply, but I just wanted to say thank you, and that I LOVE the idea of these paintings as "doodled psalms." You certainly have a way with words. :)