I had deadlines. Projects to tackle, emails to answer, phone calls to take. As soon as I walked in the house after school drop-off that morning, I gave myself exactly five minutes to load the dishwasher before parking my bottom in my desk chair for the remainder of the day.
Dishes in, table wiped, faucet off—and that’s when I saw it. Sitting on the counter beside the sink, my husband’s favorite Starbucks travel coffee mug, dirty. Hand-wash only.
I could’ve let it sit. It was his coffee mug, after all, and he didn’t expect me to wash it. I don’t drink coffee unless it’s made by a barista, laced with oodles of chocolate, and poured into a disposable to-go cup. So in our house we have an unspoken agreement that the kitchen coffee maker, the coffee grounds, and the half-dozen ceramic mugs my husband used to leave sitting in the car week by week—which is why I bought him the travel mug in the first place—are all his deal. So let him scrub his own precious mug. I had other stuff to do.
How long would it take me to wash that coffee mug? Sixty seconds, tops? And I was already standing at the sink. The water was already hot. The scrub brush was just three inches from my fingertips.
Why shouldn’t I wash the mug?
Better question—why should I?
If washing that mug says I love you and I’m thinking of you and You matter to me, isn’t that worth a one-minute sacrifice out of my day?
Isn’t it worth way more than that?
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
Deep relationships aren’t built on emotional highs. They’re made strong through a bunch of little gestures that are so easily overlooked and underspent. And when we pass on those little gestures day after day after day, when we get in the habit of thinking me instead of you or us, even the emotional highs (if we’re blessed enough to get them) can’t fill the cracks left by missed opportunities to express love for the people God placed in our sphere.
Yes, I had deadlines. I had a stack of to-do’s waiting at my desk. But I grabbed that travel coffee mug and scrubbed it shiny clean for the love of my life, the man God picked out of a crowd for me even before I knew who God was. He deserves my attention and my sacrifice and my willingness to serve—even when it’s inconvenient—because loving him is, in essence, loving the One who gave him to me. And all it took was a travel mug to remind me of that very core truth.
So what about you? What little gesture can you make today and tomorrow and the day after that? What easily overlooked choices can you make that say I’m on your side? Day after day, those little choices will add up. And one day we’ll look back over the years and be able to say to the people God gave us, Our relationship is strong because I loved you in the little things. I was true to you in thought and deed.
I washed your mug.
Because you mean the world to me.
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Becky Kopitzke is an author, speaker, dreamer, believer, family cheerleader and recovering perfectionist. She lives in northeast Wisconsin with her husband of 16 years, their two tween daughters, and a feisty Morkie named Prophet.
On her devotional website, beckykopitzke.com, Becky offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect women in need of God’s outrageous grace. The story she shares today is from her newly released book, Generous Love: Discover the Joy of Living “Others First” from Baker Publishing.
In this new book, Becky inspires us to make a difference in today’s dark world by loving the people around us well. Through relatable stories, practical ideas, and careful application of God’s Word, Generous Love equips readers to break free from the shackles of self-absorption and discover how much sweeter life can be when we reach out to bless others with the unconditional love of Christ.