On Being Full-Strength

Coffee is one of my best friends.

Being a homeschool mom of 4 and trying to keep up with them, their schoolwork and our new farmhouse keeps me on my toes.

And it keeps me coming back to the coffee pot.

Every morning, making some coffee is usually one of my first waking thoughts.

I must have been especially tired the other day.

I staggered into the kitchen and filled the carafe with water and cleaned up the sink area while it brewed. I added some cream and caramel-flavored syrup to my favorite yellow cup. I poured in some delicious brown elixir distractedly and then sipped.

Something was wrong.

It didn't taste right.

It tasted like milky caramelly water.

And then I realized I forgot one crucial and important step.

I forgot to change out the coffee grounds and I had brewed a "fresh pot" with yesterday's filter and grounds.

It was not what I had eagerly anticipated. It was a disappointment, frankly.

I poured the watery stuff down the sink and then started over -- this time with fresh grounds and filter. And then I waited....again.

And as I waited, I thought about how watered down things are such a waste in so many ways. They can often look just about right. They might even smell mostly the same.

But watered down things are too often a shadow of the original and also a huge letdown.

As I stood there anticipating a sip of the real, full-strength version, it was a good reminder for me to be true and authentic to who God has made me to be and not give into the temptation at times to water things down.

Because the problem with watering things down is that no one enjoys it. Not the originator and not the recipient.

And I'm not talking about being belligerent or forceful or hateful. I'm talking about just being true to my nature and the convictions that go along with it -- being exactly the strength and flavor that God designed me to be.

Both full-strength and stimulating...just like my morning coffee.

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