Monday, January 27, 2014

Cup of Care - Reaching In

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care - then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Philippians 2:1-4 (MSG)

There are a million and two things to do. I'm leaving town for a couple of days, and my bags are still in the attic. The laundry is waiting in heaps in the washroom. I want to focus on a full day of school before anything else. And when I wake and walk to the kitchen, I find the coffee pot stone cold dead.

It takes about forty-five seconds for my head to pound. Addiction beats at my temples.

"Morning, Mom," Logan says. His hair is wet. His feet are poking out bare from his jeans. He's late, back pack hanging over his shoulder, toothbrush in hand. He's been working in a pharmacy lab this semester, taking classes near home, and I'm not sure which he's off to, work or school, but I can see that he's pressed tight. "How are you?"

"Fine," I say.

 He looks at the coffee pot. He looks at me. "Oh-oh. Again?"

I nod.

The coffee pot has been a aggravation. It was pricey and it has been replaced twice because it gives out with ease.

Logan rushes around the corner. I putter in the kitchen. Load the dishwasher. Assign chores in notebooks for the smaller boys. Brush the crumbs from some one's late night snack into my palm and shake them into the trash. When Logan returns he's zipping his jacket. I notice that he's found socks but his shoes are under his arm.

"I'm sorry about the coffee. I know it's your steam," he says.

This son, as silly as a broken down coffee pot in in the grand scheme of things is, understands.

And in a mad rush he's gone. Out the door.

A few minutes later, I'm in the shower. I can hear the younger boys milling around the dining room. The day will start full-throttle soon. I decide that I'm not going to wallow. Whine. But I'm missing that caffeine and the jump-start it brings, and right or wrong, I'm moving in slow gear.

I shut off the shower, wrap in a towel, and am rooting through the cupboard for my toothbrush when I hear my son's voice. He's calling from the kitchen.

"On the counter, Mom," he shouts. "I love you. Have a good day." The kitchen door slams.

I pull my robe from the hook, wrap my head in a towel turban, and head for the kitchen. And when I get there, I see that my son is gone. Again. But there's a cup of coffee, in a gas station cup, on the counter.

And this kindness blesses me.

Logan's day will be just as wild as mine. He was off to a late start. No doubt, things for him, too, are stacked deep. But he took the time to see what was happening in my day, and he reached straight in.

In with helping hands.

In with putting someone else first.

In with a hands-on kind of love.

I stand in my robe, in the kitchen, and take a warm sip.

And my cup, my heart, overflows.

Lord, thank you for Logan's sensitivity to the needs of others. Help me find ways to reach in, to love others well, too. Amen.

Note: Written last November. Logan has since returned to Wheaton College to finish Bible degree.


  1. I have goose bumps from this. These are the kind of boys I hope to raise. Good job, Mama. It comes back to you.

  2. Thanks, Kathy. I appreciate the kind words..and these moments, bc you know, there are the other mother-moments, too....:) Love and hugs....

  3. This is SO beautiful. Like so many of your pieces, Shawnelle, this one touches the heart. What a sweet son. Don't you just love them all to pieces?

    1. Thanks, BJ, for the sweet encouragement. And yes..just love, love, love our children (love you, too).

  4. Aww teary eyed. I too have to have coffee to jump start my days but i keep hidden pop in the cubbard in case of an "emergency" such as your might occur! ;-)
    I keep reading your blog searching for the posts when raising five boys myself will reach the "easier" phase... and this week i realized there really isn't that phase coming... and now Im just lerning to find contentment in those few quiet minutes... during the boys nap time or feeding baby, or walkng to the mailbox. Im learning to look for rest in a new way... in Him. ;-) Thanks!

    1. Oh, very wise..soda in the cupboard. Sold! I'm borrowing that one:)
      So - you must have five sons? Precious. Easier..hmm. I don't know. Life here is always moving. Always changing. But I think you're very wise to find peace in the quiet places, even if they seem small, like a walk for the mail. We're always learning as we go and I'm so grateful for that. My word for 2014 is "quiet" - sometimes that's a moment around me, sometimes it's a quiet heart when all else seems wild. Well blessings to you, friend! So dear to find new ways to rest in Him. He is so faithful!