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The Yellow Cup

Everyday Mommy is holding a summer writing contest. The theme is What My Children Taught Me About God. This is my entry.

The Yellow Cup

I stood in the middle of the kitchen with my four year old’s arms wrapped around my ankles, impeding my ability to walk. Not only was I unable to move, but I was also being subjected to crying at such decibel levels that I was sure my ears were about to start bleeding.

Was she physically wounded? No. There were no sibling-inflicted bite marks on her body or budding bumps on her head from a fall. She was having a tantrum because I had given her the blue cup instead of the yellow cup at the table for dinner.

As I stood there, unable to move, I raised my eyes heavenward in exasperation at the ridiculousness of pitching a fit over the mere color of a beverage glass. Heaving a rather large sigh, I attempted to inch my way in the direction of the table. A four year old clutching your legs is a lot heavier to move than you might think, and is not something easily ignored.

I stopped and raised my eyes heavenward once again, pleading silently for the strength necessary to deal with yet another emotional crisis from one of my four children. And all over a simple cup for crying out loud! I was about to tell her that it was only a cup and all the other cups on the table were just like it only they weren’t YELLOW!

Then inspiration changed my entire perspective on things. It was as if I was being asked how many times had I ‘thrown a fit’ over something to my Heavenly Father in prayer that was utterly and entirely inconsequential? How often had He shown me great patience when I was upset at being given ‘the blue cup’ when I yearned for the ‘yellow cup’? He never scolded me, or made me feel like what I was agonizing over was silly. My emotions and feelings were valid and I always came away from my communion with Him believing that He had heard me and understood my heart.

I sat down on the floor with my sobbing four year old and held her in my arms. I explained to her that I understood she was upset, who wouldn’t be? The yellow cup was so incredibly…uh…yellow! Anyone could see it was the most beautiful cup on the table and to be able to drink out of that cup would be so thrilling! She wiped her soggy face on my shirt and turned her beautiful blue eyes up to me. I proposed that since this was the most yellow of cups, we would take turns drinking from it at mealtime. She shook her head in agreement and then asked if it was ok that tonight be her turn. I looked at my six year old, who happened to be in possession of the coveted yellow cup and she nodded her assent. All was well once again.

This may seem a trivial matter involving a child throwing a fit over a cup---and on some level it is. But it was also an inspired moment for me to feel my Father in Heaven’s hand reaching out to me, parent to parent, to resolve a crisis that was, for my daughter, a significant trial. It also showed me the eternal nature of parenthood, as I go to my Father in prayer over the color of my cups.


  1. Yes! So true...

    How many things can be worked through if we're just willing to let someone feel the way they feel (even when we think it's ridiculous)and then they come out of it understanding something even greater - that we care about them! ANd you are right - that's exactly what Heavenly Father does for us...

    Loved this post!

  2. Thank you both. I'm still working on the color of my cups. It's not easy.

  3. Very sweet. I love the application, and I love the 4 yo's ability to adapt and the 6yo's ability to share.

  4. What a great way to look at it.


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