Lent is a time to offer our sacrifices and sufferings to the Lord. Sometimes, we choose those offerings; other times, they are given to us to use as a way to draw closer to the Lord.
In the midst of suffering and sacrifice, it is easy to think that we are alone in the suffering and that it is meaningless, and just painful. It is not.
This is why I came up with this design for our “Offer It Up” mug. When we reach for our coffee or tea, it doesn't matter what time of day, we can remember to give the suffering and sacrifices of that moment to the Lord.
Now, I have to be honest.. I used to truly dislike the saying “offer it up”. Frequently, it seemed that I was told this in a dismissive and condescending tone when the person giving the platitude did not know the depth or the reality of my suffering.
However, with grace and peace, I have come to learn that this moment of “offering it up” needs to come from me. From my soul, not as a bandaid from another but as a personal gift to use the moment of suffering and sacrifice and tie it to the suffering of the Lord.
In these moments of self made decision and commitment to give my sufferings to the Lord, this seemingly dark and pointless pain becomes a beautiful gift to the Lord. The hand drawn colorless flowers represent this. Without color the flowers seem dark and bland - similar to our suffering without it being a gift. By taking a step back, the colorless flowers (suffering) - when turned into a gift, are in fact beyond beautiful.
I highly recommend NOT giving this mug as a gift to a friend who is going through suffering. Instead, I would highly recommend getting this mug as a gift to yourself as a reminder of the beauty of your suffering when tied to the cross of Christ.
Also, check out our Freebie Vault to give this beautiful phrase a home on your phone during this Lenten season, or for whenever you are in the season of needing a reminder that your suffering offer up, is a gift to the Lord.