Shattered Mugs and Choosing Truth and Love Over Emotions

By Kim Harms

I wouldn’t say I’m not a morning person, but when I wake up, I need a few minutes. I prefer my trip from the silence of sleep to the loudness of day to be a gradual one.

This was easy when my teenage boys were young. They each have a limited number of words to use each day, and would rather not to waste them all in the morning. But my youngest, he’s a different animal. He turns on when he wakes up and turns off when he falls asleep.

Sometimes in the summer my little early riser is out sitting on the couch by the time I meander to the living room. And sometimes that doesn’t bode well for me.

The fog was barely lifting from my head one morning last summer when I pulled a coffee mug out of the cupboard and proceeded to drop it on the granite countertop. It shattered. If I was a swearing person, I would have had some choice words.

As I stood surveying the damage, I heard a little voice.

“Mom, I know how to get a cup out of the cupboard without breaking it. All you have to do is climb on the counter so you’re on your knees and…”

I missed the rest of it because I was trying with all my willpower to not say something unkind.

I know how to get a mug out too you little booger. Now please keep the rest of your little boy words inside your head.

Starting a morning that way will throw me off for the whole day if I let it. The key is in knowing I have a choice and then making the right one. My emotions tell me to stay grumpy, to withhold love from this sweet little guy because he contributed to the ruining of my peace and quiet. But reality says, “He didn’t do anything wrong. Lewis was legitimately trying to help you. Thank him, let go and move on. This very little thing doesn’t have to ruin your day.”

Oh how often I have to fight against the emotions to get to the side of truth. It is hard work. But I never regret it when I overcome my selfishness.

God is not unaware of this human struggle. In fact, we are reminded over and over in scripture to go to truth first always. If we focus on truth and choose to obey, our wrong emotions generally turn themselves into right ones.

Psalm 119:11 (NIV) says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

God wants us to know his word. He wants us to learn from him. He wants us to put what we know to be true into practice. And he promises to give us his peace.

It is worth the fight against the flesh to land in the peace of God. It’s a joy filled existence. And it allows us to receive little gifts we might otherwise overlook.

For instance, Lewis, who can completely overwhelm me with his words and spunk before the sun has fully risen, also often overwhelms me with his sweet gentle spirit when I put him to bed.

The other night he told me I am the best mom in the history of the universe, and then proceeded to sing himself to sleep while I listened from the other side of his door. A little gift that I wouldn’t have taken the time to relish in, if I had let something trivial ruin my day.

God is good, isn’t He?

Kim Harms

Kim Harms is a writer, speaker and contributor at CT Women (formerly Today's Christian Woman), and has a degree in English: Literary Studies from Iowa State University. Her work can be found in many publications including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Guideposts, Creation Illustrated and a variety of devotionals. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries in 2016 after being diagnosed with breast cancer. She writes about her "Life Reconstructed" at Central Iowa is home, and she lives there with her husband Corey and their 3 ever-growing man-children.

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