Priceless Presents from Pupils

Originally posted on Miss P’s Ponderings on April 30, 2012

   Yes, I’m a fan of alliteration, so I had fun with the /p/ sound when coming up with today’s title.  It was prompted by two lovely yellow daisies which were delivered to me first thing this morning.  It was such a sweet way to start my Monday and fingers crossed…my landscapers (Mom & Connor) will be able to replant them outside before their life ends.

   You know, as a teacher, I receive lots of gifts of affection throughout the year…through the years.  I’ve had some zany gifts, tasty gifts, crafty gifts, and many…many purple gifts.  Today’s daisies prompted me to think of those gifts.

   Over a decade ago, there was a girl named Laura in my class.  She was such a sweet girl who worked so hard.  Christmas came rolling around.  As I do every year, I told the kids not to get me anything but if they wanted to get something for the classroom that would be great.  However, the day of our Christmas party arrived, and many gifts were eagerly brought to me to open.  I opened candles and mugs.  I opened chocolates and ornaments.  Lots of sweet, sweet gifts.  However, the gift I remember most dearly came from Laura.  You see, her family didn’t have money to go to Wal-Mart and pick up something, so she made me a gift.  She drew pictures, rolled them up like posters, inserted them into an empty wrapping paper tube, decorated the outside of the tube, and then wrapped it.  I made over that colored paper roll just like I made over the candle.  Both gifts were given from the loving heart of one of my little blessings, but I knew Laura…gave all she could.  She gave me her best.

   Many moons ago, I had a sweet blonde girl named Britney in my class.  Her mother was contemplating opening a sweet store.  So, guess what?  Every time she made a new sweet treat, I would receive not a sample but a plate full of tasty treats.  I actually remember the chocolate covered pretzel rods.  They were my favorite.  It wouldn’t have mattered if I had tried to lose weight that year, as those tasty treats, which Britney brought in with a shining smile on her face, would’ve won.  They were delish, and oh they smelled so sweet!

   A few years ago, I had another girl in my class by the name of Kaitlynn.  She was a hoot!  I received countless drawings of horses and every purple candy known to exist.  I received purple Laffy Taffy, purple suckers, and purple Jolly Ranchers.  You see, she loved horses and I love purple, so she shared both with me…frequently.  She gave me what mattered.

   This year, I have a boy in my class who frequently asks me if it’s OK for a student to love his teacher.  I assure him that there are all types of love, so it’s perfectly acceptable.  This year, besides drawings and a flower or two, he brought me a big purple ring.  I wore it proudly that first day and made a point of showing it to the other teachers.  Now, it’s hanging by my “recess bag” to decorate the door, as it made my finger sweat. His gifts undoubtedly say “I love you!” each time they arrive.

   Also, this year, I have a sweet girl in my class who often thinks of me when they eat something sweet at home.  She’s brought me a cinnamon roll, brownies, cookies, and Hershey kisses.  Her mom shared that her daughter always asks if she can bring me something.  Whenever the sweet treats arrive, I thank her joyfully and note that I’ll eat it when the kids go to special class for my morning treat.  In response, she grins from ear to ear.  It seems her thoughts are always directed at bringing me something to show her affection.

   Then, there was today’s daisy.  The girl who brought it to me isn’t in my homeroom, and she isn’t in my language class.  She is in my neighboring class, and our two classes read together daily.  Our two classes also do Fun Friday together and occasionally play Jeopardy games together.  So, I’m the Aunt-Teacher to her class.  Her mom, who also teaches in our building, asked me if I received the gift this morning and shared how her daughter was adamant about getting Miss Pflaumer a flower as well.  Then, she shared how the flower she bought me was purple, but today…the purple flower was looking puny, so her daughter decided she couldn’t give me a gift that wasn’t healthy.  She wanted to give me the best, and she wasn’t willing to settle for something that didn’t measure up.

   Yes, if you want to feel special, become a teacher….at least an elementary teacher.  You may experience lots of stress and a huge workload at times, but your students will make you feel loved by their words and actions.

   So, all those gifts…made me think.  They made me think about the gifts we offer our Teacher, our Father, our God.

Do we use our talents like Kaitlynn and offer gifts from our abilities?   Do we make certain our gifts will matter to the One we give them too…that they’ll mean something?

Do we offer Him presents that have a sweet aroma like Britney?

Are our thoughts constantly prompting to give Him a gift from the heart like my little girl in this year’s class?

Do we bring Him presents from a heart overflowing with love, so He knows how much He means to us…like my student this year?

Do we look at our gifts and realize we can offer something better and exchange it, so He’ll know we gave the best we had to offer like my daisy-giver?

Or…do we do like Laura…and the widow who gave her mite (Mark 12:42-44)…and give all we have to give?

Whatever you give Him…do so with all of your heart…and do so joyfully. 

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.–2 Corinthians 9:7

   Thanks for reading, but my daisies and I are heading home.  Blessings to you all<><

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