Who Broke My Coffee Cup?

Who broke my coffee cup?

When I was a little girl, since I was the baby of six I was the last to join the daily rotation of dishwashers.  You see, back then parents didn’t  buy dishwashers, they made them; much like televisions did not come with a remote control, the kids were the remote controls. I hated washing dishes because I was never the dainty type of girly girl.  I had a brother who was just 13 months older than me, I couldn’t afford to be dainty he was my playmate and we wrestled; therefore when it came to washing my mother’s china and fancy dishes, I would always break them.  My mother loved fancy dishes and she loved to entertaining.  One day my mom came home with brand new fancy dishes with the most beautiful coffee cups and saucers.  Why did this day have to be my day in the rotation for washing dishes?  She said, “please wash these for me so I can put them in my china cabinet.”  Wouldn’t you know it, I broke one of the coffee cups. I refused to get in trouble again for breaking her dishes, so I guess I began at an early age to develop my critical thinking skills.  I decided to secretly crazy glue that cup back together and my mom put it in her china cabinet with much joy and pride.

Keep in mind, my mom loved extending hospitality and entertaining.  She was a nurse and worked the midnight shift, so one summer morning she decided to inviter her boss over for coffee after work.  She was so excited to use her new dishes, I remember the joy on her face as she pulled them out of the china cabinet.  I was full of anxiety this morning hoping no one would get the “broken cup.”  Well guess who ends up with the crazy glued cup?  I purposely stayed in my room all morning and  all of a sudden I hear a bone chilling scream…It was my mom’s boss.  The crazy glued coffee cup could not hold the hot beverage and it spilled all over her lap.  It was later determined she suffered second degree burns on her thighs.  I vividly remember my moms concern, embarrassment and disbelief.  After her boss left, my mom came marching back towards our bedrooms with the most appropriate question…Who broke my coffee cup?!!!  Can you imagine what happened next?

Fast forward 40 years later, I find myself asking that same question when I cannot hold or contain the goodness and blessings that my Heavenly Father has in store for me.  I sometimes shy away from assignments or bigger tasks that I feel are a part of my ministry,  because they seem to be “too hot to handle.”  I sometimes feel inadequate or ill equipped for the work at hand.  When I catch myself in doubt, I talk it out with my husband and supportive friends.  I then seal the deal with prayer by pouring out my heart to God and telling him how I feel.  I’m always amazed at how He responds.  His love and reassurance is much stronger than crazy glue.

I sometimes will run into people who’s coffee cup is broken and they are not aware nor can they hold the goodness in store for them.  It shows up when myself or others offer them a  compliment that is meant to make them feel good, to nurture their soul and spirit and they will reject it.  Even worse, they will point out something negative about themselves.  At this point, I ask them to please accept my compliment and not rob me of the joy of giving. (Acts 20:35) Instinctively, I want to offer them some crazy glue, but quickly remember that didn’t work when I was a little girl.   Growth and godly wisdom has taught me to point them in the right direction towards something much stronger with long lasting effects…God’s love.

I often think about when God gave his son the ultimate compliment at his baptism.  (Matthew 3:17) Jesus did not reject that compliment, but fully accepted it and allowed it to prepare him for his ministry.  He at the moment received love, acceptance, and approval from his Father, something we all need on a daily basis.  So the next time someone is extending you a compliment, notice your initial response.  Is it “too hot to hold in your cup?”

So I ask ladies…Is your coffee cup broken?  Do you turn down greater roles in your life  because of feelings of inadequacy or reject well meaning compliments, If so…what will you use to fix your cup?



29 thoughts on “Who Broke My Coffee Cup?”

  1. It’s amazing how we can talk ourselves out of a good thing. Feelings of inadequacy can surface. Many of Gods Servants felt inadequate at a commission they were given, Moses comes to mind, but with Jah’s help he was able to accomplish his assignment. So, we have to always remember to trust and rely on him for strength and we too can accomplish any task or assignment we are given. For personal growth we have to be willing to push the limits of our knowledge, skills, and many facets of our personality. We have to mentally adjust and believe we are worthy of any assignment we are given spiritually and any compliment we have the pleasure of receiving, never thinking too much of ourselves but recognizing that others may see very good qualities in us that we may not even recognize we exhibit.

    1. Sooooo true Tam Tam. That’s why I cherish good friends and great conversation, because so many times the conversation in our head is not accurate. It is a beautiful thing when those in your company can create a space for you to discover your gifts and talents and at the same time create safety to be able to discuss feelings of inadequacy. thank you Tam Tam for being that person for me;-)

  2. Lisa, Lisa, it makes so sad, to learn of the abuse you had to endure as a child. I wish I could have been there for you. To let you know how much you are loved, to have held your hand and let you know that I too had endured abuse, you could have even borrowed my “glue” 🙂
    But look at you, you survived all, to become the lovely woman you are. Stay strong, and May Jehovah bless you as you travel this journey, and may you gain entry into the “real” life.

  3. This takes me back to a period where I kept breaking my coffee cups. Then like keeisha I would just buy another one. Then I kept buying too many cups so I learned to stop breaking them. It reminded me of failures. I realized I was only breaking them because I was trying to fit in everyone else’s world. I learned how to be okay with me. I learned how to take and give compliments and accept others and they’re cracked cups. Iol. We all have them. I also learned to step outside my comfort zone, you might like it over there. I’ve learned that LIFE is about the experiences. I try to look at everything and create an experience.

    1. Ahhhh…very nice Sheila, stepping outside of our comfort zone can cause us to stretch ourselves and grow, to see life as an adventure as oppose to just going through the motions. When I broke my mom’s coffee cup, I wish I would have stepped outside of my comfort zone and told my mom the truth. I live in fear and anguish for many weeks and then feelings of guilt after my mom’s boss was burned. Had I told her, I could have dealt with the consequences and moved on. So much of our childhood is wrapped up in who we are today. I revisit that place often, because I believe it is the place that gives us permission to buy a new coffee cup! Live…Laugh…Love Life! Thank you Sheila for sharing.

  4. Wow. Wow. Wow.
    I’m gonna have to simmer on that for a few, just know it is exactly what I needed to hear today!

    1. Take your time my friend…that’s what this brewing process is all about. Giving ourselves time to simmer in order to get the fullest roast possible. Can’t wait to hear what comes through the filter. 😉

  5. Ps .. I wanted you to know that it took me a long time to send this posted, beleive it or not this was the short version of all I wanted to let out, so many feelings, emotions and memories and so many tears throughtout this post, but it was healthy tears so I am good.

    1. Thank you for sharing Lisa…remember our tears tell a story. We thank you for sharing your story with us. Thank you for your honesty and transparency and the courage you have displayed. It is my dream that others will benefit from your story of the broken coffee cup that was not really broken! Love you Lisa.

  6. Marvelous Mondays with Cathy! This blog is a compilation of wonderful stories of Overcomers! Ladies of strength and forgiveness! We are learning to walk in the footsteps of The Almighty! I have always been a person who doesn’t take well to compliments! I give them well but I don’t accept them (Until now). I have recently started to catch myself when beginning to undermine my own accomplishments or as You put “Rob the person of giving” or helping me build on my self imagine. I’m constantly learning! I love that I no longer want to be a victim but instead I want to be a Victor! Still awaiting your response to my comment on Spring Cleaning! I greatly value your input And ideas! Have a great week girls!

    1. Marvelous, Magnificent Mondays indeed! Wow…what a wonderful way to phrase your strategy against undermining yourself, “not a victim, but a victor.” I love it! Isn’t having the awareness awesome? Once we have the awareness then we can make the decision to change. Catching yourself and then flipping your train of thought is such a gift. It’s interesting to note that if you do this long enough this behavior will create new pathways in your brain that will allow you to accept the compliments and really enjoy them. Imagine receiving a compliment and allowing it to immediately touch your heart and soul without having to think about it. You’re well on your way KiKi. You are such a bright light in my day. I’m always so excited to see your smiling face and be in the presence of such a gentle and genuinely loving person. You have such great energy, I wonder what would happen if you allowed it to flow inward periodically and give to yourself what you give to others? Mmmmmmmm…let that stew for a minute;-) Love you Kiki.

  7. My cup was broken when I was a child. I heard negative things from family and classmates til about 16 years of age. Although some people impacted my self esteem negatively I was only able to recover through my mother’s love. She only spoke positively into our lives and challenged us to take a chances on ourselves and be strong. So at 17 when I entered college I began to take classes like psychology, behavioral classes and nutrition, I learned to classify those miserably negative people as unhappy and low self esteem. I began to understand why these people were so negative, I began to rationalize their actions which allowed me to see them as people with disabilities and I forgave them because they didn’t know any better. With this thought process I was able to take myself out of these negative equations and see my own worth. So at a early age I was able to fix my cup or buy a new one when I needed one. Now I sometimes want to walk around offering people new coffee cups so they don’t ever get burned again with hot coffee.

    1. LOL…I love it Keisha, what a wide range of emotions I felt as I was reading your comment. My first one was, ohhhh call you mother and tell her to read your response. She would be so honored to read how she had such a strong impact on your life. I know you’re probably think, “I tell her all of the time,” but it’s something about seeing it in writing and hearing your child share it with others. Beautiful. What a gift you had to be able to have the awareness about the human psyche at such a young age and be able to use this knowledge to build your self-esteem and even move to forgiveness. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but you are wise beyond your years. I think you probably have a new coffee cup, because I’m always so inspired by the way to continue to reinvent yourself. You are an awesome business woman and no broken cup could contain all that you have my friend. The truth is, sometimes that reality is “too hot for some to handle.” Coffee cups anyone??? 😉

      1. Thank you Cathy! I will tell her to read it. You know I really enjoy your blog and talking to you. It is very interesting to figure out the things that make people who they are today. I enjoy reading the different comments and sometimes I learn something new about myself through others statements. Sometimes you know the problem but you just don’t have the words or the ability to categorize it. Your blog allows me and many others to grow. Thank you Cathy you are brilliant and fabulous!

        1. Awwww…thank you Keeshi. I had no idea where this would go. I’m amazed and delighted with this forum and the level of sharing that has taken place. I’ve known some of you for years and our bond has been strengthened by our ability to be able to share our stories with one another and our words of wisdom. I can’t think of another place where we are given the freedom and permission to do so except at Coffee with Cathy. I look forward to our next one. Much Love Keeshi.

  8. Throughout my journey in life, I have come to see that some people, not all, tend to “prejudge” others while not knowing anything about their walk in life, nor have they ever taken a single step in their shoes… So for all of my thoughts of feeling inadequate and my insecurities, I will take comfort in the scripture at Psalms 34:18 whereas I am helped to appreciate the fact that my loving Heavenly Father is with me every step of the way through all of my discouragement and fears (False Evidence Appearing Real).
    It is Jehovah God (Psalms 83:18) who created me and He alone knows everything about me, every step I have taken that has gotten me to this point in my life. And even though wo/man merely sees what is on the outside, I am comforted in knowing that Jah sees what is on the inside and it is the condition of our heart that truly matters to him.
    With that said, knowing that Jah is always with me and that he will give me the strength to endure and overcome whatever challenges and struggles that I may be experiencing, I will no longer concern myself with narrow-minded people and their idle talk about things they know nothing about… (If God is for us, who will be against us? ~Romans 8:31.) If God drew me to him (John 6:44) apparently he saw something in me worthwhile; therefore, that assures me that I am precious in his eyes and stronger than I realize, and in that vein I intend to continue to use my God-given abilities and strength to carry on in my service to my all-caring, all-knowing and all-loving Creator, Jehovah God.
    Also, I would like to express my gratitude to my dear sister Cathy for allowing me to use her platform as a channel for me to express my innermost feelings… Hugs, xxx

    1. My pleasure Debbie! Thank you for sharing. My heart is so touched by your comment. Love the scripture at Romans 8:31! I think we just need to remind ourselves daily of his enduring love and presence in our lives. I love reading the comments from the women on this journey with me. I feel like Jesus who said, “I do nothing of my own initiative.” Every week I pray about what I will blog about and how I will respond. I had no idea where this blog thing would go, but it has been a blessing far beyond what I could have imagined. I’m thankful to Jah for allowing me to use my God-given talent to bring praise and honor to Him and provide a forum for women to express themselves openly. Much love Deb.

  9. Oh I so enjoy my Monday sips of coffee with you! Your analogies are so relatable. With me it was a lamp I broke, put back together, then ask my brother to turn it on. I can still see his horrified face when he exclaimed “all I did was turn it on”, but who would believe that? His puzzled look, still tickles me when I think back on the day that I finally got him back. (Tee hee. ) Whether we broke a cup or a lamp, it’s so good to know we have a Heavenly Father who teaches us to benefit from our mistakes and become better people. Just look at the wonderful mentor you’ve become, all from a broken cup. 😉

    1. Awwwww…Thank You Kathy. I love Monday’s too. It is such an honor to share this space with so many beautiful women who are dedicated to the growth process and sharing their wisdom with others. I’m not the only mentor in the group. I think we share this space. I love reading the responses that are generated from this loving and supportive community. We truly are brewing a robust life. I love the spirituality amongst the group and hearing about others childhood stories. Life is so fast paced, this gives us an opportunity to slow down and thank our Heavenly Father for the lessons learned in life. Love you Kathy. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Please Lord, give me your crazy glue and blanket me always in your Jesus teflon! The answers are always with HIM. Thank you for that reminder Cathy : ) You are such a messenger of the Word!

    1. My pleasure Michelle! His love and reassurance gives us the confidence and courage to do things we never thought we could do. (Philippians 4:13) However, because of our imperfect hearts, we need daily reminders. Thanks for sharing…I always enjoy your input.

  11. My coffee/tea cup is cracked. I’m always trying to super/gorilla glue the seam before I add a hot/cold beverage to it. It gets very tiring to always be ahead of the “next glue”. I have decided some time ago to let this cup shatter and get a new one. Then I can relax end enjoy whatever beverage I pour into my new cup.

    1. Wow…what a beautiful analogy. I should have been brave enough to suffer the consequences of breaking my mom’s cup. I’m sure they would not have been second degree burns. It takes courage to know when to get a new cup. You have the awareness and the wisdom to know it’s time. I applaud you for that Barb. Make it a special cup. You are a very special woman and you deserve a cup that represents you well. Love your comments…they are always so thought provoking. Keep em coming. Love you.

    1. Thank you Jan…yes we do. The key is learning how to fix it, or when to get rid of it and get a new one. I love this forum…I’m learning so much from my fellow bloggers.

  12. I definitely can relate to this. My cup had be broken since I was a child and I didn’t even notice until recently. I grew up in a step family and it was difficult. My older step sister, who of course I looked up to, constantly told me negative things. I can still hear her saying, you are ugly. .. no one likes you. .. you can’t dance… you can’t sing.. just made me feel like I was nothing. Being a child I believed her esp combined with the drama of not getting along with my step father and belittling any accomplishments with telling me everyone is superior. ( Of course my mom didn’t know and was quite upset when she found out a couple years ago). But as I continue to grow and see how Jehovah loves me and learning to be balanced, my cup continues to repair.

    1. Thank you Candace for be so vulnerable. Isn’t it a gift to have the awareness and have Jah’s view of who you are. He values you and sees your full potential even when imperfect humans do not. It is HIS view that matters the most. Just think you get to be a fellow worker with the Most High. Every time one of the negative voices floats through your head, just remember how much you are loved and valued. (Romans 8:38,39) That is the best crazy glue ever! “Love is a perfect bond.”
      Thank you again Candace…Love you!

      1. Feeling inadequate or rejected??? – Not at all! – Why you may wonder? Well it all began when I enter Kindergarten. You see my teacher at the time had this rule that none of the kids could play until EVERY single one of us was done with the assignment that she had given us, this particular rule made me VERY nervous , because I was ALWAYS the very last one done with an assignment. I didnt realize at the time all the pressure I was in because all the kids would be pressuring me to hurry up so they could play. I still remember thinking what was wrong with me- why did it take me such a long time to finish an assignment? why was I the ONLY one having a difficult time with this subject? and why was everyone always waiting just on me to finish? – This went on for some time until my Kindergarten teacher told my mom that I was not ready for Kindergarten and recommend me going to preschool first. At the time they thought it had to do with me being 4 and being the youngest in my class.{ birthdate october} When my mom told me the news I felt rejected, but she reassured me that I would defiently come back to kindergarten the following year and that I would love preschool. By the time I got in second grade I was having trouble again. Mrs. Brown was my teacher at that time, she told my mom half way through the year that she was not going to pass me, she believe it was not because I was stupid or lazy but because she felt I had a learning disability. After many test was taken she was right. In order for me to stay in second grade I had to go to another school . I felt scared and nervous I had to leave my friends behind and my sisters and go to seperate schools.I couldnt walk to the bus stop with my sisters again or ride on the “BIG ” yellow bus , for now on I had to ride the small bus that would pick me up in front of my house. By the time I enter the 5th grade after many test was given I was allowed to go back to my old school and be in a regular class but I would still use specila ed for some of my classes or if I need help from any other classes. I was happy and excited, little did I know how things had changed. My peers were older and so I was laughted , teased and called every kind of name EVERY SIGNLE DAY. Due to my learning disability I also had issues with my speech – so of course I got tease for that, I was not developing at all in any shape or form at that time so I got harrass by that too. [ I wasnt even in a training bra yet.] Twice a week in front of all the kids I had to get up in the middle of class and go to my speech therapist. Some kids bullied me ” emotionally” while other kids just stared. ABSOUBLTELY no one sat by me in the lunchroom, no one played with me on the play ground, in gym class I never got picked I was ALWAYS the leftover person who got thrown on a team.By the time I enter middle school things got a little better because I had new kids and different classes by the hour.But I was still harassed, by the time I got in 8th grade I was a “PRO’ at dealing with mistreatment!
        Due to my learning disability you can began to understand why I LOVE the qoute.. ” The Fastest one Does Not always finish the race FIRST ” —YES, one of my weakness is a learning disability, many people are so ignorrant of what a learning disability is, one of the reasons why is because it is not talked about alot because MANY people look down upon it because of not undrestanding it.Many people will prejudge you or think your stupid! —What many people fail to realize is there are all types of learning disabilies.” WE ALL LEARN DIFFERENTLY, even the so called ” SMART ” PEOPLE.
        Even though I have a learning disability still I have many strengths! See, even as a child I was always a deep thinker and I was always very observant of others. At some point in time I began to see as a child that EVERYONE has weakness … NOBODY IS GOOD AT EVERYTHING-!!!! — What I was STRONG in others were weak. Between 7th and 8th grade where most of my peers spent time following the crowd and just dying to do anything to fit in.. I sat back and studied them….. they were mean because they weak… How could they be so mean when I never ever did anything mean to them … it wasnt my fault that I had a learning disability …. to not like me when you dont even know me … to try to impress your peers who arent always your true friends or got your back ….
        My knowledge grew by the time I got in high school my parents went through a terrible divorice so MANY people were caught in the gossip of what happen.No love was shown just judgement and whispers and questions.
        Today I understand deeply why Jesus said pray for those persecuting you! { Math 5:44} – At first it might seem crazy to ask such a thing but it is SO VERY DEEP… those who are mean, cruel and evil –are either jealous, weakminded or miserable. — What I learned from watching people is … A HAPPY and SECURE and HEALTHY person is NEVER out to deliberately hurt ANYONE!!!
        Yes, I was emotionally abuse at school by my peers. They try VERY hard for me to feel bad about myself and lower my self esteem!- But there CRUELTY made me STRONG, it prepared me for adult world.
        Yes, I have a learning disability but I have never been weakminded, not afraid of being different. My bullies taught me a WHOLE LOT… I know what a true friend is and who is not. I am nice to all BUT dont allow negaive abusive people in my life. 2 kings 2: 23 — Lets us KNOW EXACTLY how are loving father Jehovah feels about name calling and cruel kids. If Jehovah can have kids eaten up instantly by shebears–we KNOW he has ABSOLUTELY no tolerance from ANY shape or form!!!!!!!!—- This account touches my heart deeply I feel for ALL kind of abuse because there is so MANY forms, Jehovah SEES EVERYTHING .I recently saw the movie ” UNBROOKEN” — LOVE, LOVE and LOVE this TRUE story despite the CRUELTY shown he rose above them ALL and literaly FORGAVE all his persecutors!
        Today, I AM NOT mad or bitter with the mistreat I recieved by my peers or the MANY unloving people who didnt have the love, insight or wisedom to mind their own business and be kind to those suffering through “ANYTHING”— ANYBODY who can rejoice over anybodies pain OR mistakes shows ONLY two things… it shows thier own character , { which is NOT a good thing} and it shows their own miserabaleness… ITS IMMPOSSIBLE TO be a good christian a follower of Jesus and be MEAN and its impossible to be kind and emotional healthy while being jealous and finding pleasure in anothers pain!— Yes, Jesus words are so deep ” pray for those perscuting you”
        At age 25 or 26 I went to pay a visit and give some of my elementary teachers and middle school teachers a gift — I AM SO VERY THANKFUL for ALL my help I recieved back then. Mrs. Brown died but I am forever grateful for her wisdom and insight of noticing what I needed, so many children with disabilities never get found out until adulthood.I am grateful for my dad for working hard puting me in the best school and paying for my very own tutor so I could succed, working hard so my mom could be at home for us kids. I am thankful for my mom for her patience and ALWAYS being at the school when I NEEDED her.
        Today, I am a medical assistant working at henryfordsystem labor and delivery and at childrens hospital. I have 3 best friends who are TRUE FRIENDS .. WHO BUILD ME UP, instead of down. AND i AM GRATEFUL for all my 4 sisters who STILL help me when I NEED it. -We are NOT in the real life. { 1 tim 6;19} — every mean abusive person we may have to deal with in this world is “temporarily” – they will NOT be tolerated in the “real life”—-

        Revelation 21: 4 ….is comforting and healing to my soul, ALL PAIN of anykind will NOT EVEN be meation …because it will be FORGOTTEN!!! — I dont feel inadequate or rejected today because I am fine with and accept having weakness, I am imperfect so its IMPOSSIBLE for me to do everthing right or be strong in everything.Where I am weak somebody else is strong and vice verse… I WILL always NEED and DEEPLY appreciate HEALTHY HONEST people in my life. My feeligs towards ALL the cruel people I encounter growing up is COMPLETE FORGIVENESS– they played a big part in making me strong…I ABSOLUTELY agree with the quote:
        ‘” WHAT doesnt KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONG “

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