I’m just going to say it.  I really love beer.  To write that on a Christian blog, or even just say it as a woman, makes me 1. Sound like a hillbilly 2. Sound not-so Christian.  I think it would be better to say I love martinis or red wine.  At least then I might sound sophisticated.  But that is a lie and it would be more wrong to lie on my blog.  I don’t love martinis.  I do enjoy red wine, but not like I enjoy beer.  I think I am actually more of a connoisseur than my husband which is saying something because he has loved it since the day I met him.

I am more of a new beer drinker.  We had a wonderful opportunity about 9 years ago to go to Germany.  In Germany, they love their beer.  They love it so much; they drink non-alcoholic beer during the day.  And, when in Germany, do as the German’s do.  I loved Germany and thus started my love of beer.   I like darker beers, IPA’s, home brews, you name it.  My favorite is actually called, Bitch Creek.  That sounds really bad, doesn’t it?  But it is delicious.

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We even keep an “emergency” stash downstairs so we won’t run out.  Oh geez……

So, today’s challenge is to go on a beer fast for the next 32 days.  And, I am just going to go ahead and throw red wine in there too.  I don’t really drink anything but those two things, so that pretty much covers all liquor for me.

I don’t drink a ton.  This is not about AA.  I actually have had the pleasure and honor of being inspired over the past year watching one of my good friends attend AA and yesterday celebrate 10 months of sobriety!  I am super proud of him and have a TON of respect for him and many of my other friends who have admitted they have problem and have given it up forever.  I cannot imagine the tenacity it takes when you are that immersed in it.  So, I want to give tons of kudos to everyone who has done this.

But, this is not about AA.  I am not in denial. At least I don’t think so. J  Drinking is a habit for me.  Pure and simple.  Even on nights that I don’t necessarily really want one, I have one.  It’s just what I do.  I particularly enjoy having a drink while I cook dinner.  Most nights I have 1-2 drinks.  I don’t get drunk.  I am not drinking because I am unhappy or stressed out or because I can’t face my feelings.  I’m not drinking for any reason other than I just really like it. On the surface, it seems harmless enough.  Lots of people drink every night.  And, for them it might not be an issue that needs to be addressed, but for me, at this time in my life, I think it is.

Again, the purpose of my 40 day challenge is to get out of my comfort zone to better experience and exemplify God’s love and ultimately become a more committed follower of Christ.  On a day to day basis, I want to be at my best so that ideally others will see Him through me and so that I have the energy and the focus to carry out His will.  If something is getting in the way of that, then it needs to be questioned.  Drinking every night needs to be questioned.

Like I said, I don’t get drunk, but what I do find is that it makes me more tired, which makes me less patient and more easily irritated.  I find I snap at my 3 year old more.  I get frustrated with my husband more, and often times I just feel worse about my day.  I am not at my best.   At those times, I don’t think God is impressed with me.  He is not looking in on my life and saying “Wow, way to go.  You have snapped at your young son and now you are huffing and puffing around your house because your husband didn’t do something really menial like wipe off the table.  Way to exemplify my love!  You are really hitting it out of the park.  The huffing and puffing and pouting are really impressive.  I’ve never seen someone do it quite like that before.”  Pretty sure this is not impressive to Him or anyone else who gets to witness it, namely my family.

I am sure that I will unfortunately still do these things from time to time, regardless of if I drink or not, because I am a human being and I get irritated with other human beings.  But if I know that drinking is exacerbating it….which I am 99% sure it is, then why don’t I just give it up, at least most of the time?

There are other issues as well.  Is it really a great example for my kids?  Is it really a good use of God’s money?  I’m not sure it is.  Am I at my best the next day? Probably not.  Does it distract me from His purposes?  Probably so.

It’s a habit.  I like it.  It’s comfortable.

I’m not so interested in comfortable anymore.  I don’t want to miss out on what God wants me to do or the blessings God has to pour out on me and my family because I couldn’t see past comfortable.  This is what I really admire about my friends who are in AA or NA.  It had to be horribly uncomfortable for them to stand before all their drinking buddies and say “I’m not going to do this anymore.”  But they did it.  God didn’t promise comfortable.   And living for Him is not always going to be comfortable.  However, there is an inherent joy in doing the right thing and living a life that is pleasing to Him.  Today, I will challenge myself to look past comfortable, even if it is delicious!

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