As my mom handed me a cup of her freshly concocted Folgers instant coffee she said, “Here’s your frappa-wrappa-crappa with extra whip, almond milk, Hershey’s syrup and a drop of peppermint.” We both laughed. She loves to make fun of what she calls “the foofie coffee” that I prefer to drink.
The best part of this scenario?
My mom handed me that gross instant coffee in my grandma’s mug. It’s a tiny little 1970s avocado green cup, which I distinctly remember my grandma using in her own kitchen. At age three, while waiting for news of my brother’s birth I drank OJ from a real glass cup and she had coffee…in the green mug. I remember her using the green mug when we visited at Christmas each year…a trek from Oregon to Arizona. She had it in her hand while we picked grapefruit off the tree in her back yard and while she supervised her grandchildren’s use of her old-fashioned wooden clothespins. I remember my Grandpa bringing her the green mug with a fresh refill.
The day she had a stroke, that mug sat next to the sink with a coffee ring gluing it to the counter. An offensive stickiness that she would have never allowed had she known her kitchen looked less than her normal perfection. And the morning after she died, I remember holding that mug in her backyard as the sun woke up. I held that mug to my heart and told my God that He had better take good care of her until I could see her again.
There are so many memories wrapped up into this small mug.
It is a tiny mug in comparison to most American mugs. It looks dwarfed by my Starbuck’s city mugs. It’s not as tall as the pretty flowery mugs I love. It’s itty bitty next to my ‘dreaming of owning my own bakery’ macaroon mug. It stands short next to the clay Air Force mug my parents gave me when I made my final promotion.
Ask Erin. I have dozens of mugs. I love them all for various reasons. They remind me of dreams, people, and places. I use them all. Some at work, some at home. Some for coffee or tea…some for water. Even the broken ones find their way into usefulness as penholders or new planters in the flowerbeds.
But the avocado green mug with its tiny little stature is my favorite mug.
All because of the memories associated with that little mug. Good memories. And hard memories.
Our God is an amazing provider, who doesn’t hold anything back from us. How many precious memories has He given me…and let me hold on to? Too many to count. And yet, here I am looking at this tiny little mug that represents the memories I have of one woman. Imagine all the memories you have. Both good and bad. All those memories are markers of how much our God has provided for us. The good memories to reflect on, the bad memories to learn from.
I am so very grateful for that little mug. For all my grandma memories associated with that mug. And for the new ones that mom continues to make for me. Take a moment and reflect on what memories you have that remind you just how amazing our God really is for us.
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” ~Philippians 1:3-5 (ESV)
“But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.’” ~Luke 16:25 (ESV)