When I think about the love of my father, I think of a green coffee cup.
I know it seems an odd thought.
That a silly little thing that found its way onto our wedding registry from Crate and Barrel years ago would reflect 36 years of father-daughter affection.
What is perhaps even odder is that there was a time where my husband and I actually thought we were Crate and Barrel people. I assure you, we are not. We are mismatched, ever-loving messes.
Our dinnerware. Our sock drawers. Our linen closets.
We matched once upon a time and then life took over.
Plates broke. Washers ate socks. And beach towels became bath towels.
But somehow, even in our mismatchiness, the mugs have made it.
I suspect it is because they are never used save for the days my Daddy comes to visit.
The tradition began nearly eight years ago when my Grace was very young. Every time Pops would come to dote on his grandgirl or babysit, I would find a green mug sitting on my counter. At some point during his visit, it had been pulled out of the cupboard and filled with water to wet Pop's whistle.
And every time I would find it, I would smile.
I mean, who uses a coffee cup for water?
My Daddy, that’s who.
It was shortly after I realized how much it warmed my heart that I made it a point to tell him,
“Dad, promise me you won’t ever stop using those green cups…each time I see one on my counter top, it reminds me you were here.”
In his quiet way, he smiled, laughed a bit and nodded.
And every time since, even if he hasn’t needed a drink, just before he leaves, my Daddy pulls a green cup down from the shelf, fills it with water, takes a sip and says,
“Just so you know that I was here!”
Makes. My. Life.
Sometimes, I rinse it out right away, smiling as it goes into the dishwasher. Other times, I leave it next to the sink so that when things get rough, I see it. And I am reminded just how much I am loved.
But no matter how long it stays, the sight of it strikes me to my core.
Because a father’s love can change everything.
Especially when you are in the nitty, gritty throes of mamahood.
Yes, this gig is rewarding and fleeting and precious. But it is also tough and daily and sometimes, thankless. And what will often keep us moving one foot in front of the other are the tangible reminders that our Father is with us, loving us, holding us.
It may come from a friend bringing you that life-giving cup of coffee. Or the kind words of a stranger that lift your heart in the precise moment you’d given up. Or the little note your baby leaves you that says, “Mom, you rock!” two days after she said she didn’t like you anymore.
Those are God’s green coffee cups.
So don’t miss them, girls.
Because as simple and unsurprising as they may seem, every blessed one will remind you just how much your Daddy loves you. How specifically He has heard your heart’s cry. And how closely He will bend down to salve a need.
Be it in big ways, in small ways or in silly ways.
For in every remembrance, we are reminded just “how great is the love our Father has lavished on us…”
In coffee. In kind words. In love notes.
All that comes as an answer to anguished and exhausted prayers.
Our Daddy purposefully pulls down a cup from the cupboard, fills it with water, takes a sip and says,
“Just so you know, sweet girl of mine, that in every minute, every moment and every mismatched mess, I was here.”
Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew and one-year-old Sophie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail. Be sure to check it out.