And with a joyful heart

My Valentine’s day actually went rather well.  I took heed to some advice about taking a few minutes a day to do something that could (or most likely will) change your day, to maybe make it more joyful.  I originally thought that this practice would work well at home, not thinking that it would be successful in the classroom as well.

I scored.

I don’t mean with all the chocolaty goodness my students bestowed upon me.  Not that I play favorites, ever, but that sweet little girl who brought me a Starbucks gift card instead of chocolate, was, well, I liked her a lot this morning. 

I mean I made a positive and wise choice (can you tell I say that often?).

From the moment those little monkeys entered my classroom, I felt it.  The storm.  The storm was brewing and it was going to be huge. I immediately felt defeat.  The monkeys were all hyped up and I had not allowed a bit of sugar to touch their lips . . . yet.  We struggled through morning work and routines, the pledges, and even into devotions.  I wanted to go home. 

But that God of mine, once again, decided to show up.  I love when He does that.  He actually visits often but I somehow turn him away declaring that I can certainly handle my first graders just fine without him.  I am an idiot.  In the midst of discussing the second fruit of the spirit, I was convicted.  Convicted that I, Mrs. K, did not have that fruit at that very moment.  I was lacking JOY.  While I was wrestling with allowing joy to enter my heart, the students were obviously uninterested in anything I had to say.  A few looked as if they were about to doze off and most of them were entertaining their neighbor.  I jumped up, grabbed the rowdiest Christian kid CD I had and we let loose.  I let them go wild.  It started with “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”  And you better believe we yelled out, “WHERE?”  Deep deep down in my heart.  And then it was contagious and they were all infected with the bug.  The bug of joy.  Well, all but two very serious little monkeys who looked at me like I had lost my ever loving mind.  I did catch one of them mouthing the words and slightly wiggling in his seat. 

 12 minutes of this and all was well.  We moved onto math.  Only three sets of tears at this point but we still had joy.  Oh yes we did.  Tears flowed b/c somehow the math lesson was a bit on the frustrating side.  Spontaneous declaration of  “Let’s have math centers”  cured all the distress.  Still joyful.

Only two sets of tears in the gym during free play time.  I looked at the squabbling ones and locked my jaw and muttered, “We will be joyful and love one another!”  It was said with strong emphasis.  And followed by another chocolaty morsel in my mouth followed by a hot cup of coffee.  I was joyful.

I was such a kind teacher and scheduled an oral Language Arts assessment this morning.  It actual worked in my favor.  It kept those little darlings focused.  It was the calm before the storm.  Actually, my room mom came in to help set up for our lunch.  A few other moms attended our little shindig.  The kids did pretty well, with the exception of the normal three who tend to “pop” out of their seats often. 

One set of tears during the little lunch party.  Something about the kid trading his McDonald’s toy with his friend and then all of a sudden wanting it back.  The drama.  Two were upset about not getting what they had ordered (both moms were in attendance and assured the little ones that they did indeed make that choice).   We made it through all of that and then grabbed our boxes from the hall.  The entire Elem. building had a box decorating contest and one of my little guys won.  See pic below. The kids LOVED passing out goodies to their friends.  I allowed them 15 minutes (something I would not have typically done . . . too unorderly) to sift through their treasures.  They were extremely calm and content.  Joy came once again.

Then the sugar kicked in and I kicked them out to the playground while the mothers cleaned up for me.  By the way, I have the best mothers a teacher could ever ask for. 

Then we heard the most lovely sound. 

The dismissal bell.

And we were most joyful indeed. 

What do you think about this cute little fellow and his roboty creation?  This little guy is one of my monkeys and just happens to be one of my best friend’s son (so I have permission to post his picture).


May you find JOY in the love from our Lord Jesus Christ on this Valentine’s day. 



  1. sincerelyanna
    Posted February 14, 2008 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    Now that is one cool Valentine’s box. Is he one of your “poppers”? Because he’s a cute one, if he is!

  2. Sheli
    Posted February 15, 2008 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    I would have to disagree…I think I have the best moms in the world….1 starbucks card, 1 java ranch, 1 chipotle, 1 amc card, and oodles of candy…wow!:)

  3. Tiffany
    Posted February 15, 2008 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I, too have asked the Lord to bring back the joy in my heart. I have found myself too often of late muddling through days, feeling depressed (ok, I said it) and out of sorts. But, when I began asking the Lord (and I am grateful beyond words that He HEARS!) for joy, he began showing me all the small joys or “graces” he gives each day. Life is made up of the ordinary, run-of-the-mill events that in and of themseslvs seem pretty mundane. But, when we begin to view those events with the idea that “his mercies are new every morning and great is his faithfulness”, joy begins very slowly bubbling up in our hearts. He is GOOD! He is FAITHFUL! He is CRAZY ABOUT ME! He REALLY, REALLY CARES! And then we find that he is sending his love to us in a myriad of ways all day long. It’s the much needed item on sale, it’s the smile of a grocery clerk, it’s the birds singing sweetly in my chimeny, it’s the caress of a cool breeze, and on…and on… and on… And, oh, that is the JOY!

  4. Posted February 15, 2008 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I loved ‘the joyful heart’ blog. I read all about you and then waited to scroll to the bottom. My 9 year old is home with strep and she said ‘oh, how cute’ when we viewed your family. This is my first visit to your blog. It’s a breathe of fresh air! Thank you…I’ll be back, often. Theresa

  5. Posted February 15, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    No, silly me…this is my second time visiting. I viewed your house photos. Anyway, thanks for your comment on my blog. Like I said, I’ll be back. Theresa

  6. Posted February 20, 2008 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I can SO relate to ALL of that. It is hard to be in a party mood when the kids go so crazy! When I taught K5, I would wait until the end of the day to let the kids open their valentines. They could eat any or all of the candy in their box, but I would not open anything for them or read anything to them. Sounds grumpy of me, but it was great. The kids had a blast eating as much candy as they could, and then I sent them home, tee hee!

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