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  • Writer's pictureKelly Marks

What's In Your Cup?

Last Christmas, Madi gave me a blank notebook; she had artistically decorated the cover with the name of this blog. The inscription on the first page said I was to use the book to doodle, journal, and write ideas for my blog. It turns out to have been a very wonderful tool. After I got over my initial hesitancy to mark up the pristine pages, I used it to write down ideas, quotes, and all kinds of things that I could use for inspiration, or come back to for information on certain topics.

Today it came in handy again. Our Christmas company has all gone home; the house has been reset and refreshed, and I sat down with a cup of coffee to catch my breath and think back over the whole holiday: what worked, what didn’t (the pineapple upside down cake), and what should be tweaked for next year. As I thought about the holiday, I relived some of the jokes and stories, the laughter, and the fun. After sitting there for a while I realized the day was slipping away. After all, it was Wednesday, and I hadn’t written a blog yet so I started flipping through the pages in the journal Madi had given me, and I came upon something that I had made a note of that seemed timely and appropriate.

I’m not sure if you’d call it a story or an example, but here’s how it goes. You’re holding a cup of coffee and someone bumps into you making you spill it. The question is asked: why did you spill your coffee? You say because someone bumped into me. No. The right answer is because there was coffee in your cup. If it had been tea in your cup, that’s what you would’ve spilled. Whatever is in the cup is what we spill. Whatever is inside us is what spills out. It is easy to fake it until we get rattled or shaken, and that’s when the spills occur. Life provides the cup. We choose what to fill it with. When life shakes us, and it will, what spills out? Joy, peace, gratefulness, or harsh words and bitterness? What’s in your cup??

Time and again I’ve seen families fall apart after the parents age or pass away and the adult children move off. This Christmas the “kids” traveled in from Oregon, San Francisco, and Durham, NC. We sat around for hours talking and laughing, we cooked and ate the old standards that Mom used to make, and we told the old stories again and some new ones.

There have been some hard years for different members and everyone gets shaken at some point, but what had spilled out for this family, during this holiday? Certainly some nostalgia, but also a whole lot of love, laughter, joy, and willingness to come together. All of this keeps bringing to mind the old Folgers Coffee commercial: “the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” Maybe it’s time to wake up and make sure what’s in our cups and what we bring to the table.

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