Punch lists, to do lists, priority list, and whatever you name the list to get things done. This list helps my productivity and leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. I feel good when I line out the completed task and move to the next target task for completion. I juggle blocking them together, map out deliveries, time estimates, and then line out the task. Whooooohah! Recently, though, accomplishing tasks has been difficult and then I feel as if I let myself down. This is where I have learned grace and accepting grace in my space.
Tasting coffee after roasting is called cupping and it has a very specific set of parameters so everything is the same. Click here for the Specialty Coffee Association protocol for coffee cupping. By the end of a cupping session, my tongue feels like sandpaper with a general sense of flavor confusion. This same phenomenon occurred the other day as I was tasting different espresso blends for a balanced shot. We purchased this Ascaso espresso machine with grinder almost a month ago and now just got around to using this machine. I am learning all the nuances of espresso and pulling a shot. A lot to learn, a lot to try, and a lot of time to give myself the grace to enjoy the process, the time perfecting techniques, but most importantly, the taste and texture of the coffee. That is the most important aspect of roasting coffee, the smells and the flavors this small bean gives to me.
Here is the definition from Merriam-Webster of grace:
unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.
a virtue coming from God
a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance
a special favor : PRIVILEGE each in his place, by right, not grace, shall rule his heritage— Rudyard Kipling
As with any word from the dictionary, the definitions go on and on. There is so much to pull part with sanctification, regeneration, or a virtue coming from God. I would like to focus on what grace has meant for me in the past two weeks and my journey with coffee in the realm of grace.
Last week, Absolute Bearing took a week off from the farmers markets. We have four children that where all home for the first time in over a month. My daughter leaves in this week for a job in Virginia since graduating from University of New Haven this year, my son went back to Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on Sunday for his second year after being away for summer cruise through the Navy ROTC program, my second son has been working and enjoying the summer, and my last son has been playing basketball games and helping around the house. We needed all to reconnect before splitting up our separate ways, especially since my daughter is leaving for good and my oldest son desires traveling next summer abroad.
I have found as a parent watching your child grow becoming what they have strived, struggled, and excelled is the most exhilarating and scary feeling at the same time. When my child changed from a a child to an adult, I realized the hard work was still to come. I have had conversations with many of our customers on this journey at the market. You provide me guidance, reassurance, and your stories of life I can relate to a situation. But most of all, you provide me the grace that the reason for our absence from your Saturday or Tuesday market needs was required. We rely on you for exchange of money for coffee and conversation and our customers rely on me to be at the market to provide coffee and conversation. So thank you for extending that grace to me for a rekindling of a tight family relationship.
I was overcome last week at the Waterford farmers market as we were setting up for the day. The flag at the Waterford town hall is behind us and the high school flag is across the street. Kids at the high school playing in the background getting ready for fall sports, while the vendors are preparing for the customers. Some thoughts came to my mind:
The freedom we have to sell our products without fear of being shot or kidnapped by our enemy.
The freedom we have to worship the God we love.
The freedom we have to go to a farmers market to purchase fresh food and goods without having to go through a military check point.
The freedom women and children have to go to school and participate in sports.
These freedoms, and so many more, are given to us in the flesh from God, paid for by service members that support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. This means to me that the first definition, unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification, is so true for the meaning of grace. Our American flag has been at half staff many thousands of times over the past 20 years of war in Afghanistan. But for some reason this past Saturday, seeing the flags at half staff was more raw. It provided me a clearer understanding of the grace of God as a fleshly human on this planet.
Every time I came back from a deployment from overseas, I was so happy to be back in the United States of America. I felt relief, safety, and overcome with the abundance that our country has in terms of raw resources but also consumerism. I love my country. Our country has problems that sometimes are very hard and painful. The grace of God fills my space with his love. How has grace helped you in your life? Leave something for others to share in the comment section. God bless you and God bless the United States of America.