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When Life Shakes You

As you get to know me, you’re going to learn something about me.

Just about everything I know about life, love, faith, relationships, marriage, work, and family, I learned from my mom. And you’re gonna hear about it. A lot.

Like plenty of adolescent girls, I had a tendency to be dramatic, envious, self-absorbed, rebellious, and disrespectful. (lol my husband would tell you I’m still a drama queen. But whatevs.) My mom was always there to lovingly show me that my behavior was a mirror image of what was going on in my heart. It didn’t matter how sweet I was a school or around my friends… my family was there enough to see the ugliness bubble up. I wasn’t very cute when things didn’t go according to my perfectly laid out plans.

She shared this analogy with me and I’ll never forget it:

You are holding a cup of coffee and someone comes along and shoves you or shakes your arm, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee?

"Well because someone shook me, of course!" While that would be the initial response for most of us, it’s the wrong answer.

You spilled the coffee because coffee was in the cup. If tea had been in it, you would have spilled tea. Whatever was inside the cup is what will come out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you, whatever is inside of your heart will come out of you in that moment and show your true colors. It's easy to fake it until you get rattled. And let’s be clear, we will get definitely get shaken.

So we have to ask ourselves.... what's in my cup? When life gets tough, what spills over? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or anger, bitterness, harsh words and actions?

Whatever the heck is in there will come out. Some way or another, life will shake us up bad enough to let that ugliness slosh out of our coffee cups and leave stains all over the perfect image we try to create.

During these adolescent years I also watched my mom. You see life wasn’t perfect at home. We can dive into that later because that’s another blog post for another day. LOL. All I gotta say is that I watched my mom as things SERIOUSLY didn’t go according to plan. I’m talking life-altering, cry-in-the-closet-so-the-kids-don’t-hear-you, get-on-your-knees-and-pray-every-morning kind of pain. But I've watched her through all the wreckage and I saw what spilled out. Love, gratitude, worship, humility, grace, trust, hope, faith.

I want that kind of coffee in my cup.

So remember to examine your heart. But take it a step further and remember that people are watching you. And the joy that can spill out of you during your shaky moments can be the greatest gift to someone else.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs 4:23



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