Monday, June 27, 2011

The Difference Project: 2nd & 3rd Month

It has officially been 1 day without any coffee at all.

Honestly, I never thought I'd be able to say "I don't drink coffee". I have loved it since middle school. Despite being extra tired from lack of sleep, I woke up this morning with no desire for coffee whatsoever. No headache. No desire for it at all. (This never happens! Normally I head straight to the kitchen to make a pot.) In my last update, I really felt like I should give up coffee. I don't need to be so dependent on it, especially when I go to Ethiopia this fall. God is proving to me time and time again that He will give me the strength to do what He has called me to do. As silly as it may seem, quiting coffee has helped grow my faith in God...and so has the rest of this project thus far.

These past two months were a whole lot harder than expected. I had to go to Target to get a few wedding presents and had to force myself not to take a peek at all the cute summer clothes. I've had several strong urges to buy some new things, especially before going to weddings. I've also found myself making a mental list of all the things I "need" for my trip to Ethiopia. Yet, time and time again God breaks me, breaks my heart and I remember why He led me to do this. Through this project, my heart's sinful, selfish, and egocentric ways have come to light. At times I pity myself, feel proud of this project and others I am humbled before my Lord in tears, appalled by what is in my heart. Oh, if it were not for grace!

Today I read Psalm 57 in a different perspective. I challenge you to read this from the point of view of a young girl in sex-slavery, forced to be with 30-40 men a day. She cannot escape. Imagine reading this as an 8 year old boy forced to fight and kill in a war that is not his own. He must murder innocent people, or die. Feel the pain of a poor mother who has just had her first child. She is so malnourished that every day is one step closer to death by starvation. But her child, her precious there any hope?

Now read it. How can I now go out and spend money on frivolous things? How can you?

Psalm 57

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.
2I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
3He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples me.
God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness! 
4My soul is in the midst of liona; I lie down amid fiery beasts—
the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
 whose tongues are sharp swords.
5Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
 6They set a net for my steps; my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way, but they have fallen into it themselves.
7My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody!
8Awake, my gloryAwake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
9I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
 I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
11Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

I'm not saying all this to make you feel bad for drinking coffee or buying things you don't need. I certainly have lots of things that I don't need still. I am just hoping to be a part of a generation that lives for more than American dream, a generation that lives for Christ above all else. My desire is to be the difference to the needy in the name of Jesus and in order to further the gospel.


Anonymous said...

Your trip sounds exciting! May I ask why you're giving up coffee? Certainly conventional-grown coffee is hard on the environment, but there are a lot of great small farms and collectives that are restoring traditional coffee growing methods, which provide a lot of bird habitat as well as a sustainable livelihood for the producers, since a coffee-growing ecosystem will generally include lots of other fruit-bearing trees, as well as hardwoods that can be sustainably harvested... sorry! Environmental studies background and a huge love of coffee means I know WAY too much about sustainable coffee growing, but it's definitely available if that's your angle :)

Jeanine said...

Reading your post made me tear up. So much more than me and my own existence. My own frivolous wants and even things I think I need. So much more to life than what's within our own comfortable neighborhoods. There is a world of people out there waiting for someone like you and me to stand in the gap and pray and go and be Jesus to them. Thanks for reminding me. Great song.

Laura Elizabeth said...

Your difference project is just... wow. I read your previous posts about it. I personally don't buy a lot of clothes so that's not really an area I need to work on (and I realise that this project is not *just* about clothes), but there are about a billion other things in my life that I could change to make a difference. God is really opening my eyes, it's scary but I pray I can trust in Him!

Emily said...

Great Psalm. God's amazing, he really is. He can get anyone through anything. I'm witness to His strength and wisdom in my own life.

Praying you get the funds needed for your trip and your continued aversion to shopping.

Jennifer said...

Sorry, I guess that I should have clarified about the coffee! I felt like I should give it's more about the caffeine and the money I spend on coffee than the coffee itself.

Alexis Kaye said...

you don't seem very selfish to me! This is so great. I'm so happy for you that you're holding strong! You might find it interesting my religion doesn't believe in coffee drinking! I think it's great to not be dependent on things, if at all possible and treating our bodies with the highest respect :)

Mia Helen said...

Thank you so much for this Jen! I really needed to read this. having a shopping ban has been a battle, one that I seem to be losing more then winning. Your passion for this project and love for the Lord has definitely been like iron sharpening iron for me. Thank you!

Beka said...


You are a gifted writer! SO AWESOME! :)

Also: So happy our blog worlds have crossed!

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

Have I told you that I think you are super amazing & inspiring? :)

Jennifer Rod said...

thanks for the inspiration. ive been thinking too that i should stop drinking coffee or at least cut it down a lot. ive created a bit of a dependency and feel like sooo much caffeine is harming me.

i am encouraged by your commitment to this project...

annie said...

what a beautiful way to read that psalm. your thoughts here are so convicting. thank you for sharing your journey with us. to Him be the glory!

Carly said...

Isn't is awesome how we feel God reaching us and empowering us through something as seemingly insignificant as a cup of coffee?!

Thanks for sharing, inspiring, and empowering.


Rach said...

i love it. so good to be reminded to put things into perspective. :)

SavedthruLove said...

I shared your blog on twitter. I think anyone and everyone should read this post. Your a blessing. I know I use that word way more than I probably should but I just don't know how else to describe you and some of the other amazing women I get to follow. You guys challenge me in loving and living more for and in CHRIST. That is all I could ever ask for from sisters of faith. Love you girl.


Love Lillian said...

I haven't read about all your projects but this one sounds great. I have been coffee free now since Mid April and I feel so much better, also my wallet is a lot happier. You can read about me quitting coffee and how I used to love it over on my blog. It really does get so much easier and soon you won't miss it at all. Simple things like green tea can make a big difference, oh and vitamins. They give me more energy than coffee ever did.

Faith said...

We live in a shopping culture, and it is difficult to abstain from those "necessary" purchases. Josh and I have been sorting through wedding gifts and storage totes, and we are overwhelmed by all the THINGS we have. We live in excess and extravagance. One trash bag and donation box at a time, we're trying to purge wisely. Thanks for the encouragement to live as to the Lord!

Jennifer said...

Lillian, I really haven't had much of a desire for coffee at all since I quit! I do love warm drinks though, so I may switch over to green tea. I know it's good for you. Thanks for the tips!

Katie Brown said...

thank you so much for posting this! this has been a huge inspiration for me to do something similar... i've recently gotten into photography, and am going to start giving some of my proceeds to missions, both local and cross-cultural. You can read my blog post about it here (

thank you again!! -katie


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