A Tale of Two Mugs

Feb 24, 2014 by

2 mugs up close

Today, I made coffee and went like everyone else to grab a coffee mug; I reached up in the cupboard and stopped for a quick moment. A mug that we have had for a while caught my attention, so I chose to grab and use it instead of the one I had intended.

The mug was one that our son had given to his mom. It had the name of the company he used to work. It was a company that I too had worked for while going through undergraduate and graduate work. There will always be that common bond between Shay and I with this.

The mug caused me to spend some specific intercessory prayer for Shay, our son, and his wife, Haley. This was a designed extended time with God for prayer and study. It was a reminder for whatever reason that I was to focus on them today. Now, Jerolyn and I pray for our children everyday, but during certain seasons, which we all go through, God calls us to intensify specific prayer.

The simple coffee mug was the trigger that God used for me to spend that focused time. It also caused me to smile and thank God for our son and how special he is in our lives. We love our kids and they are terrific. But often we can get in the routine of life and forget what an incredible blessing each of them are to us. Jerolyn and I more and more are so grateful for our kids and celebrate them. But today, God used a mug to remind me of how blessed I was to have a wonderful son.

The story of the second mug…the other day, at our office, some of the staff were getting together in the conference room. A mug that I keep in my office and periodically break out to use myself was somehow pulled from the conference room cabinet shelf by another staff person and was about to be put into use by them, for them. I calmly and politely YELLED at them to stop and said that I would take that mug and put it back in my office. No, relax, I did not yell.

heart coffeeNow I am not the “this my recliner or remote kind of guy and no one better touch it when I want it.” I am the guy who will let you use my golf clubs to try to hit a shot or borrow if you need them. The same goes for pretty much anything else I own. If you want to use it, have at it. This coffee mug is really not valuable at all. There is nothing special about it and as it has the name of a public place that many families go every year and year after year. But this mug was given to me by our oldest. And the reason she bought it for me has sentimental value. So although it is worthless as value is concerned, it is priceless to me. It reminds me again of an event and causes me to be thankful for one of our children. It causes me to smile, knowing the back-story to the purchase, the love and effort to remember me in buying it, and the generosity for her to do so.

Two mugs, both because of who gave them and/or why, remind me of that time, event, or just about our children. Jerolyn and I have many more of these kinds of gifts from all our kids. It was interesting to me how God used these two nondescript items. We all have those gifts that do that. We have a painting of whatever they tell us it is of, or that hand made present, or something we received that has that sentimental value. The gifts give us a reason to pause and have a flashback, like certain events, trips, etc. that we shared with others.

Around our house we often have said, “Create the experience to make the memory.” Most often we are talking about a family trip or time together, but it can be a picture, a gift, etc. That is exactly what these kinds of gifts are for us. They tie into an experience that has made a fond memory and bond between our children and us.

Don’t allow the simplicity of the gift, or moment, to cause us to dismiss the moment and the memory.

  • What is something that you have that is a prize possession?
  • What are some things you need to stop and remember, touch and hold, or look at, to cause you to say thanks for someone?
  • What do you need to write or buy or make to give to someone to connect even deeper in your relationship that would cause someone else to stop and be grateful for you?

They may all be simple inexpensive things, but because of the person, the season of your life, and/or the relationship, these are priceless to you. What would it do for you, and for the other person, to say thanks to them for this silly gift that reminds you of the moment, causes a smile to come across your face, and be thankful for them? The note or call could make their day. To stop and pray may be exactly what God intended.

~ Jim



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