Wednesday, July 2

3 More Coffee Mugs! - A Dose of Encouragement

Last Friday was my birthday.

If you hadn't heard you should read last week's Dose of Encouragement I'm Too Sexy for this Card and have a laugh.

So because 2 of our kids are living in different countries from us and the third was working at a Christian Youth event all weekend, cards and presents were arriving in the post.

Yes you are probably thinking that I got coffee mugs from all three of them because of today's title but you would be wrong!

Well partly right and partly wrong!

Our oldest son sent me Dvds

because he knows that Fred and I love to relax watching a dvd usually of a mystery or crime series
and both our sons love this series so they want to get us to love it too.

Our second son sent me a Taster Set of 5 bags of coffee

because he knows how much I enjoy my coffee and he and his brother enjoy trying out new coffees too and they know I'll always share.

(I know you are thinking - this is leading up to the mugs now because coffee and mugs go together)

No not yet!

I think this is the point when I should mention that Fred also bought me a present but it was quickly returned.

 Due to the fact that HIS idea of what indoor plant I would like was nowhere near MY idea of what I wanted to put in our house.

All because he knows I like the colour Blue!  (I've also blogged about that HERE)  

But then our daughter's present was

                                               (drum roll)

                                                             a mug.

Look at that happy face!

That is the face I had for the dvds and the bags of coffee as well.

But not the face I had for the plant.

Fred did not hear the happy voice and thank you's that the kids heard about their presents.

No he got a

                            "I can't believe you bought me that thing" 

                                                                                                face and voice.

You see it was obvious to me that he had just gone into the supermarket (3 mins drive from our house) to get something and spotted the plant and decided to buy it because he did not have a gift for me.

Now in all fairness to me, Fred had asked me what I wanted for my birthday a couple of months ago and I said I wanted to go away for a few days.  He had agreed but things don't always go as planned and he had his bout with food poisoning and two trips abroad with work and then was again not feeling too good so there had been no trip in the end.

And that plant was not a good enough substitute: given that I didn't like it and it was too big to put anywhere in the house.

All I could say was:

                 Look at the mug Linda sent me.

                        It suits me exactly.

                                She knows what I like.

                                       She pays attention when I say something.

You see a few weeks ago I had noticed that two of my mugs were getting rather faded and it was hard to read what was written on them

The one on the left says MUM & the one on the right says MOTHER

I mentioned about the mugs saying that the mum and mother were very faded so perhaps it would soon be time to get a replacement one with grandma on it (hint, hint) and Linda immediately thought that she would get me a mug to replace these ones.

Well she told me later that she had to get me one with mother on it as she wasn't in the position to get me one with Grandma yet.

Linda also designed the mug herself.

Not only did the mug have Mother on it but it had butterflies and they were blue - my favourite colour!  -  but of course you know that by now.

If you didn't know that I love butterflies then you should read  "I was Going to Miss the Butterflies"

If you could see closer in to the picture of me with the mug you would also see that there is something else written on the other side of the mug.

Mother knows best.

And oh did I think that I did!

But I was wrong.

Because the next day I discovered that Fred had been planning to get me something else all along 

It was exactly what I had wanted but I had not asked for it.

He had been listening to me when I talked about this months ago.

I told him that he shouldn't have kept it a secret so I wouldn't have been annoyed at him.  

But he didn't see it like that.

He saw it as a surprise for me not a secret.

He knew I would love it.

Nothing to do with BLUE or with MUGS.

How many times do we think we know what is happening?

How many times do we think we know best because of our view of a situation?

How many times do we get it wrong?

How many times do we look back on something and realise that God was planning something that we could not see, or that we could not understand because we did not see what He saw or know what He knew.

We don't know everything; only God does.

We don't know what is best; only God does.

How many times do we turn to Him with the wrong attitude and ask why something hasn't happened yet?

How many times do we think we know the best time and way for our prayers to be answered?

How many times do we think He wasn't listening to us?

I am guilty of all of this as well as the attitude I took on my birthday.

Are there any of us who are not guilty of behaving like this toward God at times?

Thankfully God is ready to forgive our attitudes just like Fred was ready to forgive mine.


  1. Poor Fred.
    'Sometimes the mistakes we make lead us to gifts that we never dreamed possible' - I nicked this from the last poster.
    I really enjoyed your post Sandra.

    1. Hi Trish nice to meet you, thanks for dropping in.

  2. I do love your doses of encouragement's! Happy Birthday!! and thank you for sharing with #thankfulthursday

  3. Cute story! Thank goodness the plant wasn't the gift. Sometimes you really do get disappointed. My husband didn't get me anything for our first anniversary! That was a fight!

    1. Oh dear these husbands are not always thinking straight! At least not straight as we see it anyway.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday.. my hubby surprised me with my birthday present this year... that he gave me one. Since we have been together I have been so disappointed with what he has done or not done and this year he made it up.. Maybe it takes 8 years for him to figure out what I need. Although I wasn't happy that he spent so much and we didn't have the money to pay for it right now.. But then he explained why he bought it and the thought behind and it was the perfect gift !

    1. Oh I am so happy for you. There is a lovely feeling of "He really does care about me" when they do this kind of thing.

  5. You have wonderful "kids" and you are blessed! Thanks for sharing at the #WWDParty and enjoy the weekend!

  6. Happy belated Birthday, I love your new cup, my son gave me my mother cup, its probably 25 years old and I cherish it, its faded too, like me. Hope you can stop by and share your story. Enjoy your week!

    1. Hi Karen, the little things are the things that can touch us so much.

  7. Glad you got gifts that made you happy - at least in the end! :)

  8. Happy birthday! Wonderful story, and oh, so true!

  9. Our first Christmas, my husband bought me a dress. The clerk asked, is she about my size, and my hubby said about. The dress was 2 sizes too big and back it went. He refuses to buy me gifts and says to shop for what I want, so I do. I can understand if you don't like the plant, back it goes. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

    1. Oh husbands but we would not be without them Hazel.

  10. Ah, poor Fred! Glad he got it right, and so lovely that he kept it a surprise! You are right, we should accept more and not judge too harshly. Reminds me of me going into a tirade about "where is this relationship going" when my then-boyfriend had taken me to a restaurant with a ring in his pocket to propose!! Thanks for linking to #AllAboutYou

    1. Oh yes the cringe factor during those lovely times.

  11. Thank you for this 'dose of encouragement'! I am so frequently guilty of thinking I know exactly how things should happen and what is best when God really has the best plan all along!
    Found you through the #AllAboutYou link party.

    1. Hi Sarah thanks for dropping in. Exactly right He knows best but Oh how we think we do instead.

  12. I can so relate! But, yes, I need to have faith that God knows much better than me!

  13. Happy birthday, friend!! How precious of your kids to send gifts even though they couldn't be with you. Appreciate you sharing your heart with us at Testimony Tuesday!

  14. Love the plant. So funny. Love how thoughtful your kiddos are! Thanks for sharing.

    1. That was a funny plant and the whole episode seems funny now too, which is good for relationships

  15. Much of what you described was "reality". Actually, it was my birthday last Wednesday... now I'm 69... and I didn't get any birthday gifts. Got 3 cards from friends out of town. Yesterday my husband and I went to lunch, b/c we both had time. My daughter said something on FB and my son and his son left a message on my home number. But the other 5 grandkids didn't say anything. It was a bit unusual. They all are right here in town. USUALLY, birthday situations are a bit different. But my husband is working at church so hard, so often there isn't a chance to get together. I was at a hospital for about 32 hours between the late 8th and early 10th when I was with a Bhutanese couple whose baby was going to be delivered. I was buried at the hospital most of the time, but a local friend met me for lunch for my birthday and I took people back and forth connected to this group of people. When I got home I collapsed from the tiredness of that 32 hours with little rest or sleep. Anyhow, birthday issues get sidetracked. I AM a muggy person, but I'm not a coffee person... sometimes chai tea or other tea, but that's pretty much it. Anyhow, I've yammered too long, but you grabbed my sharing attention again... mostly likely b/c the birthday was so recent and maybe similar to each other. That's interesting, to say the least. Bless you.

    1. I'm glad that it isn't always what happens on the birthday that is most important.

  16. I enjoyed reading this post, hugs to Fred, lol

  17. Happy belated birthday! I am going through a season in my life right now where I need to trust in God's plan, but it's very hard! I am a planner, so I like to be in on the plan : )

  18. I love a story with a happy ending! I am visiting from the So Much at Home Link up. I also wanted to invite you to our weekly link up, "The Art of Home-Making Mondays" should you like to join us :)

    1. Thank you Jes I will certainly hop over soon and take a look

  19. This post was so good I had to read it to my husband! Thanks for the laughter and encouragement!

    1. Oh Sarah I'm so glad you had a good laugh and your husband.

  20. Good analogy of how we sometimes are with God.

    Happy Birthday!!

  21. Hello Sandra :)

    Happy Belated Birthday!
    What a great experience to share, one that I know I have been guilty of as well. The need to trust God and not man. He is so faithful.
    A young woman at church shared with me that she and her husband have small notebooks to record when each of them mentions a 'like'. I think this is a fabulous idea and we have incorporated it into our marriage. Otherwise I wouldn't always remember the exact details of the wanted item.
    Have a blessed day and thanks for sharing :)

    1. Yes good idea. Another list for my ipad app. I love lists and this could prove to be a very useful one so I wonder if I could get Fred finally interested in a list?

  22. Lovely new mug, Sandra. Would you believe it-- I just bought myself a fancy-pancy new coffee mug for the first time ever today. (All of our other mugs have been randomly collected for free over the years.) I drink a lot of tea so thought I needed something beautiful to enjoy while I do so.

    Oh. And hoping the plant survives too ;-) Happy belated birthday, girl! Thanks for linking up!

  23. What woman could not relate to this? In my 50s, I am still striving to avail myself to control of the Holy Spirit so that I am kinder and more gentle with my husband. We are all flawed flesh....

  24. Stephanie Trembley20 October 2019 at 23:48

    Happy belated birthday! Love this!!

  25. I remember that Sandra... but I love the lesson! Thank you for the reminder