My coffee cup cupboard is a dangerous game of Jenga. Porcelain teacups are stacked with heavy Starbucks mugs. Insulated cups, ready to hit the road are perched on cracked faded cups gifted by students, 30 years ago. (This type of stacking is what happens when your family empties the dishwasher. Unless you want to be doomed to forever emptying it, never redo their effort. #momtipoftheday) My mom has concerns that the cupboard will be pulled from the wall due to the sheer weight of this messy collection.
The greater risk? Once in a while, a precarious stack will lose it’s balance and a cup will tumble out and try to kill me as I reach for that first cup of the day. Maybe it’s not the stacking, maybe it’s some coffee cup cultic practice of throwing out a sacrificial cup to appease the cupboard god to assure it stays firmly bolted to the wall for another season.
I have about a 30/70 chance of catching the cup. If I don’t, there is about a 50/50 chance of the cup surviving. There is a 100% chance I will at least think a cuss word when this happens.
Most of the time a broken cup is kind of a relief. A natural culling of sorts. One less cup to wash. One less to try to fit in the cupboard. The truth is- I just can’t bear to throw any out. And, people know you drink coffee? Cups become the perpetual gift.
I truly believe you can’t have too much coffee. But, you can have too many cups. (Hint: the threat of death by coffee cup bomb in your own kitchen means you have too many. Just sayin.) A broken cup is just a part of the circle of coffee.
Except yesterday, when my brave cup was the chosen sacrifice. It’s actually my “Be you, bravely” mug. That creamy warm mug has become part of my prep before speaking engagements. It reminds me who I am is enough and that I can be brave. Bravely me, and brave in general.
Like my cup, some days my brave is broken. I doubt myself. I doubt my calling. I doubt my ability. I doubt that God will make up the difference. Sometimes I doubt he’ll even show up.
It’s not just my speaking brave that’s sometimes broken. It’s my wife brave, my mothering brave, my friend brave, my life brave and my writing brave. Some days I’m all out of brave. When I’m waiting for test results, while trying to figure out how to be the parent of adult and not so adult kids when the cursor blinks and I’m afraid to write what I’m really thinking. Sometimes my brave is broken when my husband is dealing with a somewhat stable but sucky health issue and I’m about to drive across the state to speak…leaving him home to cope. Which I know he can do. But I’m afraid I’m a bad wife if I do…
This morning, my brave is broken, both the cup and my soul.
Here’s what I’m learning about bravery of all kinds: it’s all broken, it is part of being human and humans are perfectly imperfect. Broken.
It makes me need God, all the more.
Dear lord, I am brave help me with my fear. I believe, help me with my unbelief. I love you, help me with my fear of disappointing you. Lord, I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made, help my with my insecurity. I trust, and I fear. Lord, mend my broken brave. You are the potter, I am the clay. In Jesus name, amen.