Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Blessed (10/11/12)
TITLE: My Cups Overflow
By Genia Gilbert
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Gathering my Bible, devotional book, pen and journal, I was looking forward to a quiet time for prayer and reading God’s Word. I placed my books next to the chair and made my trek to the kitchen and the coffeemaker.
Opening the cabinet, I chose a mug, poured it almost full, and headed back to my special spot by the window. I settled in, placing the coffee on a coaster, and stared at it for a moment.
I’m not sure exactly when, but in passing years, my collection of mugs and cups has grown and become a part of my devotional time.
This particular one is beige with a rose design and rich pink letters forming the words “Love is patient; love is kind... Love never ends,” from First Corinthians, chapter thirteen. Not only is its message a frequent reminder to my spirit, but the cup itself came from Aunt Polly’s kitchen.
Aunt Polly was my mother’s younger sister, who bore and raised eight children. She cared for her husband when he became bedridden for several years before his death, always cheerfully and with kindness. She was, to me, a living illustration of the verse on the cup.
Also in my collection is a large mug covered with bright golden sunflowers. It came from central Kansas and brings backs memories of the job transfer which took us there for several years. Not only were the sunflowers beautiful, but so were many of the people. At a challenging time in our lives we were welcomed and helped through our transition. When I use this mug, I’m reminded and thankful for all those relatives and friends in the little Kansas towns.
Another mug is tall, graceful, with delicate flowers on swirls of burgundy and periwinkle blue. Printed in large letters on one side are just three words, “Live by Faith.” This one is especially sweet to me because it was a gift from my daughter. It says to me that she wants to please me and realizes the importance of my faith. She probably also knows my tendency to worry instead of trusting. Nevertheless, I still get a rush of joy every time I lift this cup from the shelf.
Another favorite came from my brother. It has a cute little guy, holding a huge umbrella, with the caption underneath, “Into each life some rain must fall…followed by large hail and damaging winds.” This one always makes me smile, even on my worst mornings. I think of all the laughter and fun I’ve shared with my three special brothers and our families through the years, and those thoughts lift my heart for the day. They bring to mind the statement of Jesus in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.” (That takes into account the “large hail and damaging winds,” I’m sure.)
I have one small cup with only a hospital logo, which I keep because it was acquired during the long and final illness of a dear older friend. Though it was a time of suffering for her, it was also a privilege to be with her, sharing her expectation and joy as she drew nearer her heavenly home.
I have a Christmas mug from a former co-worker who befriended me in a stressful job. I love pulling it out in mid-August, recalling her smiles.
In Psalms 23, David speaks of the Lord’s presence and goodness, saying, “my cup overflows.” Though the cups from my kitchen are just glass and stoneware, they have become tangible reminders of that same divine touch in earthly places, ordinary circumstances, and completely human people.
Taking anther sip from my mug, I jotted in my journal a note of thanksgiving and praise to my heavenly Father. It is His presence, along with relationships with others, that makes me truly blessed and causes my “cups to overflow.”
I began my prayer, “Lord, let that overflow spill out into my world today.”
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