Thursday, November 29, 2012

It Started with a Cupful of Love

The letter was lying on top of a very large stack of papers to be graded.  "Please Open!" it read below the fold.  I easily recognized the handwriting as belonging to one of my most active wiggle-worms.

"Probably another letter tattling on someone," I thought to myself.  With a sigh, I reached and opened the note.

"Dear Mrs. Joyner," it started, with all correct capitalization.  "I hope your neck feels better."  Ahh, my students knew my grumpiness came from this big pain in the neck I have been nursing for the past several days.  I grimaced to think of that grumpiness I had unintentionally been unloading on them--demanding silence as they worked on their writing project, expecting them to not fidget in their seats at all as we planned our  Christmas door display.  I not only was a grump, I was the Grinch.  I continued to read.

"I can't wait to see you tomorrow."  I stopped, with a lump in my throat and tears filling my eyes.  I have been so empty and lonely lately.  I've felt unwanted and unappreciated.  Overwhelmed.  Over-extended.  But definitely not over-flowing with joy or peace this holy season. And with these simple words, I felt a stirring inside, similar, perhaps, to the Grinch's stirring.  Someone enjoyed me for me--not for what I could do for them or would do for them; not for any reason other than to enjoy my presence.


Sweet love!

We all need that--to be enjoyed for who we are and not for what we give or for what we can do for someone.  Sometimes we just need to be enjoyed for being!  We have so many demands on us.  I hear my name called so many times each day that I want to change it to an unlisted name.  Each time "Mrs. Joyner" is spoken, it comes attached with a demand, a need, and I am so empty I cannot rustle up enough energy to fulfill anyone's needs.  Today I just needed someone to love on me a bit.  And this child did.  He finished, "I hope you have a good day.  And I hope you have a good weekend."  I closed the letter and tucked it into my purse.  I smiled.

This small child poured a cupful of love back into the empty bucket of my soul.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Teenage boys gathered around a dining room table.  Quips and jabs, laughter and smiles.  Loud, loud, loud.  I love it.

I am a mama of one; however, I get to "mama" a lot of my son's friends.  Life is fuller, richer with the giving of oneself, the living and the loving.  I am glad that this season is full of loud, hungry, hilarious teenage boys.  And I get to be "mama".