Amy's Humble Musings

Life in rough draft — by Amy Scott.

Getting through a tough week

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I should’ve known that this past week was a bad time to kick my one-cup-of-coffee-a-day habit. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve done it. I’ve kicked my caffeine habit permanently about ten times now. But like my toddler and the stairs, I just keep going back.

Who meets up for herbal tea? Social occasions call for a cup of coffee with caramel chocolate creamer. I just can’t resist. If I drink water, they’ll make me sit at the kids’ table.

Greg thinks it’s real funny that one cup of caffeine can have such a grip on me. If I miss a morning, I have headaches, nausea, and fatigue. I’m down for the count. Once the irritability sets in though, he stops laughing and fires up the brew. He’s a believer in its effects.

I believe in it, too, and that’s why I should’ve known. I weaned down to a half a cup before it was time for Greg to leave on another trip. (This time he went to Missouri, but he came back empty-handed.) The first morning after he left, I woke up to a headache, a fussy baby, rain that wouldn’t stop, and a dog who threw up on the carpet. These were all signs: It was going to be a bad week.

It was a long week, and bless the Lord, it’s over.

Sometimes you just have to get through it. Sometimes you have to take control—changing some things around to make it work. And sometimes you have to change who you are in order to rise to the situation.

In my case—caffeine notwithstanding—it was all three of these things. Morning sickness returned. Though it wasn’t the hyperemesis that I suffered through the first trimester, it is hard. This is the stuff of life that you just get through.

Secondly, some of my naughty children need more structure. I’ve been lax with the summer routine, and so Greg sent me out alone this morning to create another schedule and order our lives better. Our family happens to thrive on routine—a home with preschoolers usually does.

Laundry Kid

And thirdly, God has sent me here for this task. The qualities that we often lack to continue this journey—patience, charity, long-suffering—are fruits of the spirit that are necessary for godly lives no matter the task God calls us to. It is no use blaming it on the children. Get wisdom, be humble, and be quiet enough to hear Him.

By the time Greg got home, I was weaned. No more coffee. Greg was sure glad to be out of the state for this episode. He said so. But I’m sure glad he’s back.

Written by Amy Scott

July 9th, 2007 at 10:40 am

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  1. You are not alone. I was just realizing today how our lack of a routine this summer is causing havoc in our home. I, too, am in the process of trying to create order out of what has been a wild summer. great post.


    9 Jul 07 at

  2. My husband just got back from a two-week trip to Thailand, and I’m feeling the same gratitude! Sometimes for me it takes him physically leaving for a while for me to pull myself together and have the spiritual disciplines that I want to havec (“get wisdom, be humble, be quiet”) when he’s here but just don’t, and it does seem to come about because everything seems to “fall apart!” For me it wasn’t coffee but working on web sites…. I was forced to have very little to no computer time because by the time I got the kids asleep at night I was exhausted! Sure makes me thankful for his servant heart :)


    9 Jul 07 at

  3. My husband works out od town but it is pretty easy for us-only a 12 and 16 year older.He has come home to a broken washing machine and every so often sick children.I can’t imagaine with 5 small ones and one on the way!

    Way to funny picture!!


    9 Jul 07 at

  4. I’ve done the same thing with coffee many times. . . that one cup can be just such a big help to get you going though!


    9 Jul 07 at

  5. I can relate to the caffeine thing…I have quit many times,too…I don’t drink a lot, but I do enjoy a cup in the morning and green tea in the afternoon. If I miss it, I am sick,literally.

    I’m glad Greg made it home safe and sound!

    Schedules are a must.



    9 Jul 07 at

  6. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m right there with you. Actually, you are farther along than I am. That one cup of coffee seems to help get me through the day. If I don’t have it, I do get a bit cranky and the day doesn’t seem to go well. Crazy how 1 cup will do that to you.

    Your blog is a favorite, always “fresh” and adventurous.


    9 Jul 07 at

  7. Sounds like a not so great week. Glad God saw you through!

    Jana (sidetrack'd)

    9 Jul 07 at

  8. And thirdly, God has sent me here for this task. The qualities that we often lack to continue this journey—patience, charity, long-suffering—are fruits of the spirit that are necessary for godly lives no matter the task God calls us to. It is no use blaming it on the children. Get wisdom, be humble, and be quiet enough to hear Him.

    Thank you for this. It is so true. I am 5 days overdue on preg. #5 (oldest dc is 9)and have not been bearing these fruits lately.


    9 Jul 07 at

  9. Summer schedule sounds great…Was wondering what exactly your schedule looks like? We need structure to our day, but we’re not quite ready to start school just yet. Any suggestions? I love to sit down and read your posts.


    9 Jul 07 at

  10. My dh is the same way with his coffee. He has to have a cup in the morning, or he gets a headache. He actually talked to his doctor about it, because it concerned him a little that he was dependent on the stuff even just to that degree. The doctor said “Do you like coffee?” He didn’t think it was a problem. I’m not sure dh agrees, but for now at least he just enjoys his one mug a day.


    9 Jul 07 at

  11. Thanks for validating that coffee withdrawals can hit you hard. I have kicked it twice now; the latest about a year ago. I was in bed for a couple of days until my son persuaded me to at least have a cup of hot tea and the two halves of my head finally knit themselves back together. I’m now hooked on Lipton mixed berry flavor green tea with honey, but you’re right, Amy, it’s kind of a drag to be the oddball who doesn’t drink coffee.


    9 Jul 07 at

  12. I don’t drink coffee, but I can relate to how you feel in the abstract. I would be very unhappy if I had not access to chocolate…kwim? Sorry to hear about the morning sickness. Mine came and went with my 6th pregnancy. I need more patience, charity, and long suffering with my little ones. Thanks for the reminder!

    Nancy P.

    10 Jul 07 at

  13. Well, if you enjoy drinking coffee–whether alone or with others–and it makes you feel better, why give it up? Drink, enjoy, and thank God for the gift of caffeine!


    10 Jul 07 at

  14. Glad you came out alive. ;)
    I know the feeling.
    Can’t imagine doing it without coffee.
    But, then, also can’t imagine doing it without the Lord.
    Thanks for the encouragement.


    10 Jul 07 at

  15. Amy, I am a lurker but I had to comment on this post. First, my hubby will return tomorrow afternoon after being gone a week as well. We have 3 dd’s (6, 4, 2) and I am 7 mo. pregnant. I can relate quite well to your week. And I am sad to say that the longer the days wore on the less effectively and graciously I handled them. The capstone was a trip to the emergency room yesterday afternoon with my middle daughter (she’s going to be fine). I needed your reminders, so thank you very much.

    I will pray your morning sickness abates–what a bummer that it’s back! Also, with regard to your move investigations, we live in an area where the nearest reformed church is over an hour away (too far for this mom). We attend a 4C’s church 20 miles away where the pastor is basically reformed, though he will not use the term. The part we truly miss is the Presbyterian government model. It’s definitely worth it to find what you’re looking for near a reformed church if at all possible.

    Blessings on you all!


    10 Jul 07 at

  16. This so hit home with me! This is our first summer homeschooling and when we decided to stop school, I just relaxed and thought the kids would too. They were all over the place and crabby with it. I realise now that I can’t just drop the routine for the summer, I just have to make it more flexible. Please let us know how the new (caffeine free!) routine goes!


    10 Jul 07 at

  17. This is off topic, but I am sorry to hear that Greg came back from Missouri empty handed. I’m guessing he was looking for land. Southeast Missouri is without a doubt God’s own dear country…except there is a total lack of Reformed churches. We’ve been looking high and low for one ourselves.


    10 Jul 07 at

  18. I think coffee is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Just one of many proofs, but a proof all the same. :)

    We have to stick to a schedule through the summer as well. I guess if we lived in the country there would be enough work to keep everybody cheerful and content, but being in town they just need that structure. Idle kids are really not happy kids, IMO.


    10 Jul 07 at

  19. Sounds like a terrible, no good, very bad week….Sorry it was so bad. I also try to kick the habit, but mine is with coke. I do better than I did before I became pregnant, but I still steal a coke every once in a while! :)


    10 Jul 07 at

  20. [...] our wonderful ladies, we call MOTHERS. Amy’s Humble Musings has a, “you’re not alone” post for [...]

  21. I didn’t give up caffine until my children slept through the night. I’m a total green-eating nut, but view caffine as a natural stimulant. It is better for you than sugar. That said…I gave it up when I didn’t need it. If you still need it there are lots of studies that show it isn’t that bad for you.

    It stinks when husbands are gone. I’m glad you have one that understands how to help you when you need time alone to plan.

    LOVE the pic! I blogged about my CLOTHESLINE memory…but I don’t remember anything that funny about a clothesline!

  22. Awwwwwwwww … tough weeks are, well, tough. I always mix my coffee with half caf and half decaf. Then I can have a full cup (and sometimes even two). And I don’t feel guilty.


    11 Jul 07 at

  23. Love the picture! We are not so big into coffee in Ireland as you Americans seem to be , however, I do have a cup every few days and like one of your readers, I mix it half and half, De caf/caf. I do think that it is an addiction when people get withdrawal symptoms and I also think that the only thing that should have a hold over us is the Holy Spirit? My husband loves his 3 C’s diet… Coke, Crisps (Potato Chips in U.S.) & chocolate! Recently he gave up the chocolate, then the crisps but is still on the coke. Weather you are addicted to food, drink, gambling, or coffee, it is all the same.. May the Lord help us all in the little addictions as well as the big ones!


    11 Jul 07 at

  24. So sorry for the lousy week, Amy. I commiserate.

    Love the article by Rabbi Boteach in your side bar. So true, so true.


    11 Jul 07 at

  25. Tough weeks? I’ve had one too. We’re in a new house and my kids seem to think it is great fun to drive me crazy while I figure out a new routine for us. I miss my old house!:sad_wp: A lot can be said for routine. We have always thrived on it.

    And I can’t kick the caffeine either. But I am not so much a coffee girl as I am a Dr. Pepper girl. I do like my coffee confections though. The one plus to our new home is that my new grocery store has a Starbucks in it. But I think my husband is starting to catch on because I am always offering to go to the store in the evenings…lol. Nothing like sucking down a grande Caramel Light Frap (with whipped cream of course…why else would I order “light”?), while driving home. Now I have a reason to buy milk a gallon at a time. :wink_wp:

    Please share your routine! I’m growing weary of keeping the two-year-old out of the toilet and the stupid dog from chewing up toys. I need some fresh ideas…lol!


    11 Jul 07 at

  26. Sorry to be MIA this week again! Thanks for all your comments.

    Wendy, Best wishes for a speedy delivery. I know how much I hate waiting, too.

    As to my schedule, I am still working on it and could use some ideas. Please feel free… This is for my nine-year-old; each child has their own schedule:

    Math: MCP (Book D, Fourth Grade)
    Spelling: Spelling Workout D
    Writing Paragraphs
    Basic 4-5: Grammar & Usage
    Cursive Writing
    Daily Journal

    6:30 – 8:00 Jobs first—dishes, counter, and kitchen cleaned. Feed and water Knox. Then free time.

    8:00-8:30 Breakfast and clean up. Check your room now that Charles is up.

    8:30- 10:00 Schoolwork.

    10:00 – 10:30 Take Knox on a walk and get a snack.

    10:30- 11:45
    Finish schoolwork. If you finish early, you may (1) read or (2) go outside.

    11:45 – 12:45 Lunch and clean up kitchen.

    12:45 – 3:00 QUIET TIME (Currently reading Terrestria Chronicles)

    3:00 – 5:00 Free time: swimming, play outside, movie only if it’s raining, play a game from the game closet, bake something (downloaded “kids in the kitchen” recipes from Google), or educational computer game.

    5:00 – 6:00 Feed and water Knox. Dinner and do your job—the kitchen. [Baseball.]

    6:00 – 7:00 Get ready for bed—jammies and brush teeth. [Baseball.]

    7:00 – 8:00 Daddy reads.

    8:00 Bedtime—you may read until 9:00 p.m. if you are in bed by 8:00.

    Amy Scott

    11 Jul 07 at

  27. I’d like to mention that there is no piano practice in this routine. Don’t let me tell you how much this pains me…

    I have high hopes for my #2 though! :)

    Amy Scott

    11 Jul 07 at

  28. My #2 plays piano at every free moment and he’s sounding pretty good! But he rarely reads….. I guess we can’t have it both ways!


    12 Jul 07 at

  29. The four weeks I couldn’t drink coffee during my morning sickness stage STUNK!!

    It was like crashing down off a meth-addiction. Not that I know what a meth-addiction is like, mind you.

    And now that I’m past morning sickness, I have returned to my coffee drinking ways and let me tell you: the world is a much brighter, more beautiful and lovely place.

    I love my coffee. I would never give it up willingly. But I admire you attempting to do so. Let me know when you’re ready to go back to cofffee and I’ll send you a Starbucks card! :0)


    12 Jul 07 at

  30. Wendy, Best wishes for a speedy delivery. I know how much I hate waiting, too.

    Thanks Amy. Our newest did FINALLY arrive 6 days late (as 3 of her other sibs did) on Tues. night. God was very merciful to me as we really only labored 30 min. or so!

    Sorry about the land deal or lack thereof. You are right. God is sovereign and much to be praised for that!



    13 Jul 07 at

  31. Congratulations, Wendy! I am glad for you and thank God for His mercy in such a quick delivery!

    Amy Scott

    13 Jul 07 at

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