“I got you something,” Mom said as she pulled the mug out from behind her back. “I saw this and I thought of you.”

Gifts aren’t all about gifts, you know. Heaven knows—and so did she—I didn’t need another coffee mug. But it wasn’t as much about the mug as it was about the thought. I won’t try to rewrite the age-old adage; it’s the thought that counts.

She knows how much I like circles and patterns (and coffee). And this one had an interesting texture, too. Each circle is an indent in the ceramic, like mini craters over the surface of the mug. It’s smooth, but not. And it’s larger than the typical coffee mug, which is good for Mondays. Or when you’re having one of those days and just need more coffee.

The story behind this mug isn’t just that my mom gave it to me. It’s that my mom knows my story, knows me, enough that she knows what I delight in. Even if it’s as simple a joy as a circled coffee mug. Because there is a certain warmth in being known by each other. My mom knows my story—even some parts of my story that I don’t even know. And she loves me! And she thinks bout me when she sees something I might like.

This gift was birthed out of that marriage of knowledge and love.

Now, every time I use this mug, I think of my mom. And sure, the coffee is good. But it’s the thought that counts.


Monday Mugs is where I tell the stories behind my coffee mugs. Each one holds a story (and coffee, of course) of somewhere I’ve been or something I’ve seen. Because if even a coffee mug has a story, so do you. The photos are my actual mugs, not lookalikes found online. So grab one of your own mugs (fill it with coffee first) and hear the stories of mine. And don’t forget the cream and sugar.

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