When The Coffee Isn’t Good

Alive and Active Life
Alive and Active Life
When The Coffee Isn't Good


I had a coffee nook  some years ago. I LOVED IT! My favorite place to visit first thing in the morning was this little spot in my kitchen. Half awake with blurry eyes and a groggy brain, my slippers dragged me toward the coffee nook. And much as I’d like, my French Press didn’t make coffee on its own. So, in a drowsy state, I found it’s best to wake up a bit before making coffee. All it takes is one miscalculation to ruin the coffee. Too much. Too little. Knocking it over. Forgetting cream or sugar. That’s when the coffee isn’t good.

When The Coffee Isn’t Good

To my faithful readers: I posted a portion of these reflection years ago. Some of you may remember. Because it was appreciated, I decided to republished. However, I’m going to breathe more content into it.

Each day, we have opportunity to learn and grow. A daily, pro-active approach keeps life fresh. So, I want to share a bit more with you.

Portions I Wrote – Plus New Reflections

“I love my nifty silver and white personal coffee carafe. It makes a great brew every time. So, it’s dependable. Additionally, in my experience, it’s the “maker of the coffee” that creates a bad coffee experience. I did that once – well, a couple of times! But we must start at the beginning.”

Here’s How The Brew Is Made

Before sharing one of my tragedies – when the coffee isn’t good – it’s worth remembering how the brew is made in a personal carafe. It’s much like making a good cup of tea, if you prefer that over coffee.

  • One full scoop of rich coffee grounds in a personal-size carafe.
  • Add boiling water to carafe – half full, and stir. (Inhale. Anticipate.)
  • Wait a minute.
  • Stir again. (Look forward to your cuppa.)
  • Fill to top of carafe with more boiling water.
  • While waiting another minute or two, pour favorite creamer into a special morning mug to change the color of coffee to toffee. Soft and mellow. (Unless you love it black!)
  • If you like sweet, add a bit of sugar.
  • [It’s the experience of preparing this delightful beverage in my coffee nook that keeps this morning ritual special.]
  • Securely fasten the plunger lid and pour out . . . BUT . . .




“So, I’m not yet fully awake, and my morning clumsiness pushes the plunger lid off center as I place it into the carafe! The rubber, non-slip-base of the carafe hugs the counter – and the off-balance plunger pushes the top of the carafe over. I manage a panicky, “Oh no!” as I witness the tragedy in “s-l-o w  –  m-o.”

Straining for the tipping thermos, I just miss what could have been a glorious save! Too late. Wham! The whole carafe topples over. Beautiful steamy brown liquid flows into a lake over the counter with spreading clusters of coffee grounds. And I realize – this morning, the coffee isn’t good.

What a mess!” 


Have you ever had a tragedy happen – and you find yourself caught in an “instant replay loop” – re-living the awful moment? This re-living could happen in a small circumstance – like my coffee accident. But it can also accompany a major tragedy that reshapes your entire life!

Sometimes, caught in that “re-live loop,” you find yourself wondering if it might be a bad dream. You might still wake up. But alas! The tragedy is real. I’m sure you’ve spent a little time in this loop.

Consequently, you wonder what you could have done differently – better – to avoid the terrible thing as you re-live it again.  However, you eventually realize the best thing to do is go forward, clean-up, learn what you can, and grieve (if appropriate) for your loss.

Some tragedies wound your heart for a long time. And when that happens, I suggest – Grieve genuinely! But then get up and do what must be done.

What Did I Do With My Coffee Mess?

Back to my coffee nook story . . . “After I acknowledge the coffee experience simply isn’t good this morning, I reject grogginess and face the challenge of clean-up. I grab a rag. Have you ever tried cleaning up a lake of coffee with coffee grounds? It’s awful. The grounds stick to the counter, not the rag. Tiny early-morning rebels remain all over – as testimony of what happened.

Still, I keep working. Contain the mess. Absorb it. Gather up. Wring the rag out in the sink. Back to the mess to repeat those steps. I sandwich the grounds in the rag, pinching them into submission in the fold – and head for the sink – again and again. All my free morning minutes gone! Now – emergency speed to make another carafe and get ready for the day.

I find myself thinking, “This isn’t at all what I had in mind for my morning,” as I hurry to my special chair with my cuppa to read the Scriptures. No leisure lingering today. Time ticks, and my commitments for the day remain. I hope maybe tomorrow the coffee will be better.”

When The Coffee Isn’t Good – Reflections

Thinking about that bad start, I realize – that’s how life is. Often on a much larger scale with infinitely more important issues, there are days – and even prolonged seasons – when the coffee isn’t good.

That can happen even after you do your best work in life.

Some examples:

  • You go into young adult life – or a new season as an already experienced adult – with hopes for helpful experiences and relationships.
  • You learn better action steps for successes.
  • It becomes easier to laugh at yourself as you learn and grow (if you’re humble).
  • Perspective is corrected as you shift focus from self onto Jesus, and then others.
  • Enjoyment of good things is a conscious choice each day.


But even after working hard to live well each day, life can take a fast turn, a twist, a completely new direction.

Then comes the unexpected slam. The topple. An unforeseen mess. Without any preparation, you find yourself in shock, disappointment, and inner sadness. Perhaps you even engage a self-scolding.

Yes – even after you adopt a daily, disciplined, pro-active approach that keeps life fresh, you can find yourself all over the counter in a lake of major life upset. That’s often when the “instant replay loop” starts. “If only . . . “

The Inevitable Invitation

Yet! – that inviting carafe with pour spout and plunger – even the rubber, non-slip base – still beckons, “Try again. It’s OK. I’m still here for the special morning cup ceremony.”

Will you accept that invitation?

This, too, – is how life is. An invitation into the future. There’s another kind of life cycle that’s much healthier than the “re-live loop.” It’s God’s continuous circle of love, mercy, and grace. He always invites you – “Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28)

God knows not every day goes well at the coffee nook. Between accidents, not having a clue, and outright sin – we need a fresh, new start many times.

God Wants To Help

God wants to help. He loves you deeply. And even when the coffee isn’t good, God is good! There’s nothing like starting the day in God’s coffee nook. In His presence –


  • Fill your personal carafe to the fill line with His hope.
  • Pour yourself into His safe, healing love.
  • Drink His fresh, daily brew of renewal with eager expectation.
  • Rest in His unique ability to help you clean-up messes.
  • Know the power of being forgiven and forgiving others.
  • Learn how to grieve genuinely! But then get up and do what must be done.
  • Commit to make the best of each day.
  • Establish a solid, non-slip base as your foundation in the Lord.


God redeems every tragedy and loss – for the person who trusts Him. He knows when the coffee isn’t good. And because HE IS GOOD, He knows how to redeem every life spill – big or small. He said, “I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5)

He also nurtures a unique richness and depth in your soul from having experienced and survived tragedy. That undeserved work from God enhances your life.

Will you accept the invitation to rise up from a spill?

“Come near to God [in all your topples] and He will come near to you [to help in every way].” (Jas. 4:8)

Application Thoughts And Questions

  1. What’s in your personal carafe – coffee, tea, chicory, cocoa, something else?
  2. Do you have a favorite coffee or tea nook? Think about that special place now.
  3. Have you ever thought of making that special place a point of worship where you connect with God for the up-coming day?
  4. What upset or life spill have you experienced? Have you grieved genuinely? And have you gotten up to do what must be done?
  5. Even if you don’t “feel” it, will you come close to God in your upset and trust His love, mercy, and grace?
  6. Do you believe God loves you deeply?
  7. How will you respond to God’s invitation to go into the future with hope?


This is a picture of my coffee nook from years ago. It still brings joy to my heart each time I remember it.


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