Last January I started the year as I do most, with a vision for what I would like my days to be and include, covering all the categories (spiritual, physical, mental, relational, professional, etc.). Few of the items on my annual plan are ever resolutions, per se. I’m not picking up new hobbies or attempting to learn a new language or something. No—my annual vision casting is always more general, focusing on being consistent in things that are important to me or in scaling back distractions and such. After developing my list for 2016, however, I felt like something was off. It felt like my list was a bit heavy and critical.
I wanted a goal to pursue that was on the lighter side—something to do simply for the joy of it.
Something I enjoy immensely is good coffee. Whenever I travel, I hunt for a local roaster and coffee shop to try. And the first year Mike and I visited Boulder, I made a festival of the coffee drinking. Coffee sampling has become a thing for me, so it made sense to make this new goal all about sampling new coffees. Each month in 2016, I ordered a bag of freshly roasted beans from a roaster either recommended to me (my friends in the Christ and Pop Culture members group provided excellent suggestions!) or discovered in online searches.
This was the only goal I kept perfectly in 2016. And it was joy producing! I loved choosing a roaster, selecting a roast, receiving mail, analyzing the branding and packaging, and, of course, sipping delicious coffee. An unexpected joy was being gifted a few coffees when friends heard about my goal and wanted to be part of it! Check out the coffees I tried each month at the end of this post (my favorites are marked).
Crafting a goal simply for the joy it would produce was new to me. It stood out from my usual goals, looking a bit silly and frivolous, often raising questions from others as to how coffee sampling could be a 2016 goal. I can attest that the simple act of splurging on coffee once a month awakened my gratitude and stoked my awareness for small joys. Life is not merely a set of accomplishments to achieve; it is a gift, something to be relished and savored. Coffee sampling reminds me to slow down and appreciate all that God has done for me and is to me, all I have to be grateful for.
Interestingly enough, learning to enjoy life to the full is the subject of a friend’s new book. Titled Enjoy: Finding the Freedom to Delight Daily in God’s Good Gifts, Trillia Newbell asks—and answers—the question: Is it okay to enjoy this life? We tend to waffle between over-indulgence and militant abnegation. Both taint and skew enjoyment. Trillia’s book helps readers find the small joys—which are actually weighty in the scheme of things—in everyday life. Touching on relationships, work, intimacy, rest, money and possessions, nature, and more, Enjoy offers a vision for delighting in life, every day. Especially helpful are the exercises in the Enjoy Project, designed to help you practice the principles you read. To celebrate Trillia’s work and the start of a new year, I’m hosting a book giveaway (see details for signing up, below).
Learning to enjoy and savor life is why I’m continuing my coffee goal for 2017. If you have a fav coffee roaster to recommend, post it in the comments!
Enter the Enjoy Book Giveaway!
To enter the Enjoy Book Giveaway, sign-in to Rafflecopter using the FB login option or register using your email. Then choose from the drop-down options, explained below, to enter the drawing:
(1) TWEET about the giveaway (worth 1 entry for each day you tweet)
(2) SHARE about the giveaway on Facebook (worth 1 entry)
(3) COMMENT on this post about why you want a copy of Trillia’s book (worth 1 entry)
(4) LIKE my Facebook author page (worth 1 entry)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Entries are open Thursday, January 5 to midnight (CST) Sunday, January 8. Winners will be randomly selected Monday, January 10, and announced here and on social media.
2016 Coffee-a-Month Roundup
January: Storyville Roasters; Prologue
highly recommended; one of my favorites! bonus points for amazing branding and packaging
February: Leaves n’Beans; Costa Rican
a gift from the Burtons! tasty beans made even tastier because it was a gift
March: Verve Coffee Roasters; Finca Macho, Costa Rica
April: Douwe Egberts
another gift from the Burtons! super strong coffee that, sadly, I could never get proportioned correctly
May: Irving Farm Coffee Roasters; Blue Hill Special Blend
highly recommended; and a gift from the Bushongs!
June: Stumptown Coffee Roasters; Colombia La Esperanza
My friends Eric and Robyn came to visit and brought me FOUR bags of beans that Eric roasted himself. Plus, he made us coffee using his science-lab-like contraption—the best pure cup of coffee I’ve ever tasted. HIGHLY recommended
August: Thirty-Thirty Coffee Roasters; Costa Rica, Las Lajas
super tasty; purchased while visiting the cafe in Peoria with Bushongs
September: Blue Bottle Coffee; Beta Blend
fun branding; tasty coffee; stirred up fun memories of my 2015 visit to a Blue Bottle cafe in New York City with Jacy and Abby
October: ditta Artigianale; Finca San Roberto, El Salvador
whimsical branding; purchased while in Italy; highly recommended
November: Heart Roasters; Guatemala Santa Isabel
fun packaging; tasty coffee
December: Red Rooster Coffee Roaster; Honduras Finca Las Flores Honey Process
excellent branding and packaging; my least favorite coffee of the year, but my niece wanted to try it, so I was able to hand it off for her to enjoy instead