So this week marks an important date for me.
Wednesday the 1st July.
Honestly? It's never been important before.
This is the first year.
But for this year, and this year only, it marks the day that…. I begin a month of…. No tea.
That's zero tea.
That's the girl that normally drinks approximately 10 cups of earl grey on a daily basis, not being able to touch any form of black tea, green tea, milk tea or fruit tea for the entire period of July.
Every single day.
That, is quite frankly a challenge of previously unprecedented proportions.
The penalty, if I break said no-tea-challenge, is that I have to run 20 kilometres the day following my misdemeanour.
That is also quite frankly, something that I'm not keen on attempting.
Ok. Before I continue with the spiritual point of this crazy-sounding-summer, I should give you some of the back story.
Let's rewind about 5 weeks.
I was drinking some water post-morning-run with one of my friends (also post run). And he was about to light up a cigarette. Yes. You did just read that right. He was about to light up a cigarette. After we had just run 5 kilometres.
Ironic. Kind of. Sort of.
Because honestly, although we started some running, the holistic health thing is a bit of a work in progress.
I must have made some comment about the smoking thing. And the irony thing. Or something.
And the comeback I received was the following.
'You can't talk. You drink 10 cups of tea a day. You're a tea addict. It's exactly the same.'
To which I replied, 'Really? It's exactly the same? Exactly?!'
Which led to this rather ridiculous challenge.
That July would become give-up-something month. It's a bit like a late version of lent. Only they don't really have lent in Japan. So no one else has ever done it before.
So that day, me and my two friends committed to giving up the vices in our lives. One friend, smoking. Another friend, alcohol. Me, tea. Since then a few other folk have joined us and committed to everything from coca-cola to convenience store food to cup ramen.
In a weird, I-can't-drink-my-favourite-beverage-for-a-month-way, I'm actually kind of excited.
Because I'm learning a little bit more about community and journeying through this whole doing-the-crazy-with-your-best-friends.
I'm learning in a few ways.
And today, as I've been enjoying the fellowship of church, and BBQs, and laughter, and deep conversations, these are how a few of these thoughts have come together.
1. It's okay to not have all the answers, as long as you're with the right people on the journey. The not-knowing of life is okay. In fact, sometimes it's where God wants us. But man, I prefer it when it's shared. I think it's meant to be shared.
2. I think that heart-to-hearts are the cure for most things. From praying with the girls that I love on Friday, to late Saturday night drives, to a Sunday afternoon sharing the depths of some heart-stuff… Long weeks and long days, moments where you can hardly breath, and the realities of sharing an ¥800 meal for dinner, are totally put right by the depths of doing life with others.
3. Thanking Jesus is the start and the finish of everything. Thanking him for laughter and peace and forever friendships. Thanking him for food and tea. Thanking him under the night time stars and the sunset that illiminates everything. Thanking him and exhaling the negative with that same breath. Thanking him and breathing in the fresh of new hope and new beginnings.
And so, I'm gonna give up tea in two days.
Right now, I'm drinking one of my final cups of precious earl grey and kind of freaking out about it.
But I'm also excited. Because God's gonna teach me through this. He already has been.
Here are some snaps from my week 🙂 BIG LOVE!!