The following was the first Sunday Coffee Cup post. I have been considering ending the series (mainly because I have already told all of my mug stories), and it seems fitting that as my sister was the subject of the first post - her passing this past week should be the occasion for my last Sunday Coffee Cup post.

You can read them all here. So, please settle in and enjoy how this all began and know this will be the last weekly post of the Sunday Coffee Cup. I'm sure a significant mug may find it's way into my life and end up here sporadically...however, here's the ending as it was the beginning...

We all have them stashed and stacked in the cabinet. Why do we collect so many coffee mugs and cups? Some are little more than clutter. A plastic memento of a meaningless event or casual encounter with a random company. Yet, for me, what I see when I reach for a Sunday morning cup for my coffee is a cupboard full of significant life moments, memories of time well sent and people kindly known. My Sunday morning coffee cup selection is never really casual. Each time I choose a mug, I'm choosing to remember and reconnect with a segment of my life.

It seems selfish to keep all of these moments to myself, so each Sunday I'll plan on posting a Sunday Coffee Cup photo and story. Enjoy this inaugural post.

My Sister - Burp!

It was Christmas of 1999. I was just months past my departure from the ordained ministry, my spirit and my life still reeling from the trauma of personal burnout. Finances were bottomed out. I was working my first 'sales' job and beginning what would become a new career chapter. It was one of those life moments when all I had of certainty and peace was each emotion filled moment, each small rational choice and a tenuous faith that somehow God would see me through.

The trip to Myrtle Beach, SC for our extended family Christmas gathering was tentative, lacking in joy and confidence. There were to be few gifts given, few life accomplishments to celebrate. Enter my sister.

My sister is, and mostly has been throughout her life, a mess. Sometimes that 'mess' was of the playful, mischievous childhood variety of 'mess.' A mess you find yourself admiring for tenacity, boldness and undaunted determination. Sometimes my sister's 'mess' was more of the personal life catastrophe variety. Bad choices, bad timing, bad comrades and all in the worst possible order. Mt sister was going through a 'mess' of the second variety in 1999. She was, simply put, in worse shape than I was - at least it looked like it from the outside looking in.

That year, my sister took the time and a few of her very limited dollars and bought me a Christmas present. She gave me a perfectly selected mug. When I unwrapped it, the crass imprint on the outside and the playful lettering inside the rim gave me pause. The I felt a giggle forming deep inside, a giggle that begin to bubble up into a joyous laugh.

Now, years and gallons of coffee later, I still cherish this bold, playful, timely and loving gift. It makes my Sunday cup of coffee perfect. Thanks Sis!

NOTE: My sister died 5/12/12. I'll miss her. RIP Pam.