Woman holding coffee cup in the fall

Have you ever experienced what others may see as a random everyday moment of little importance, but to you, it feels so personal, so pointed, so downright special? It’s as if God is singling you out with a unique blessing, distinctly meant for your eyes alone.

Some call these moments ‘God winks’; others call them daily blessings; still others may see them as mere coincidence or good karma. I simply believe the Holy Spirit moves when and where He is requested. And I can tell you, I have been seeking Him more and more as of late.

The perfect coffee cup

I recently walked into my favorite little thrift store on downtown Commercial Street in Springfield, Missouri. I hadn’t visited in a while. Not since they drug out the Christmas merchandise and knocked down a wall, doubling the size of the quaint downtown store, known as 11:11, which proudly supports veterans. 

As I walked into the store, my eyes immediately landed on this large, heavy clay cup. With a peace sign! 

Normally, a mug would be the last of my needs. But with a recent communal endeavor to clean out my mug collection, using them as planters and outsourcing them to friends and family members, I’ve gotten rid of or repurposed quite a few.

In fact, the mug I use at work is barely large enough to hold my coffee each morning. It’s quite awkward filling it to the brim, then taking ridiculous tiny steps from the kitchen to my office, praying no one jumps out to startle me or question why it takes me ten minutes to walk less than 50 yards. 

Thus, when I saw this mug, I knew it was meant for me. It has a peace sign on it, for crying out loud! Yes, I realize it is the 60s-inspired, ‘Make love, not war’, type of peace sign. But the premise still rings true.

Grandma peace coffee cup

My grandmother, Joann Dolores Mann Wadlow, always used the term ‘peace and love’ at the end of her handwritten cards and letters. We thought it was a little nutty, but it was something endearing that she always did. Ever since those days, when my mom, my aunt, or me see a peace symbol, we joyfully announce, ‘It’s mom/grandma!’

Peace beyond understanding

I used to think it was weird when adults talked about an intrinsic desire for peace. I mean, wealth, wisdom, favor, and blessings, sure. But peace? I really didn’t get it…..

Then I became an adult. And I realized how brutal certain seasons of life can be. How daily stress and anxiety can hold one’s sanity and peace of mind hostage, literally stripping a person of their ability to function. It was then that I started to seek peace. In relationships, at work, with family, and with my children (one of whom is very much a teenager), deep down to the bottom of my soul.

On a large community scale, yes. But more in my mind, my heart, and my constantly nagging conscience. In some of the more traumatic storms of life, when all seemed out of control and I was barely keeping my head above the metaphorical water surrounding me, I sought that much-needed peace. And it was poured out upon me—full, free, graceful, and true. ‘The peace that passes all understanding.’

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7

I finally realized why peace is such a recurring theme in God’s Word. Why my sweet grandmother constantly talked of this imaginary substance that made life so much more enjoyable.

Why it is said repeatedly in certain denominations. It finally clicked—just what was so magical about this word, which stands for something incredible I never again want to live without.

Once you experience the peace of God’s spirit, you will never be the same. It is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received.

No matter how difficult the season, how attacked my spirit feels, or how deep the pit in which I find myself trying to escape, when God pours out his supernatural, superseding, all-encompassing peace, the problems of this world simply fade away into the ether. It is truly my drug of choice. And I would recommend it to anyone. 

This coffee cup find seemed particularly fitting in my current season of life, not to mention my absolute favorite holiday season of all, Christmastime!, where peace and goodwill are given and received in larger doses than any other time of year.

I welcome this new mug to my vast collection. It is large enough to hold the k-cup setting I prefer. But more importantly, it is a daily reminder that, a bit like my morning caffeine, peace is a substance I truly cannot live without. 

And I thank my grandmother for instilling in me a respect, desire, and true affinity for this particular version of peace that comes only from my Lord and Savior, Jesus.

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