Chocolate cake and berries

Feel the Love Friday (With a Side of Encouragement)

Cynthia Herron Encouragement 4 Comments

Welcome, welcome, welcome! Delighted you stopped by!

Have you had a great week?

If you’re still on the fence about that, I hope you feel better soon. You’re about to get loved on!

Sit back, relax, and pop a cyber berry and some chocolate cake. Settle in for just a few minutes while we visit.

This week my blog was all about encouragement—something I fear is in short supply these days. Check out these posts if you missed them:

As you know, this isn’t a blog about writing.

I do like to share personal insights from time to time as they relate to the writing life and offer some perspective about the process.

Beyond that and really more to the point, my gift is encouragement. As it relates to writing, yes, but also how it affects our day-to-day lives.

I meld those thoughts—thoughts about God, family, writing, the Ozarks—into slice-of-life vignettes in a heartfelt, homespun way. It blesses me to bless you.


Since it’s Friday (or maybe Fried-day, depending how your day’s shaping up), I think some fun is in order.

Let’s start with a little story.

You may remember me mentioning my educator son from time to time. (Yes. I am a proud mom of a grown son and a teenage daughter. Two kids, ten years apart. Because God does have a sense of humor.)

Well, several years ago when our son was on the other side of the desk as student, not teacher, he gained some valuable lessons. Lessons he would carry into adulthood and ones that would forever influence his own teaching style.

Many of his teachers were fabulous, especially when he became homebound for a time during his illness and subsequent surgeries. (I’ve shared some of that season here, here, and here.)

Some teachers visited him in the hospital and delivered beloved treasures—books, smiles, and encouragement. Others sent notes and cards, while still others dropped by our home with small gifts to cheer him on. His homebound teacher, in particular, was a delight.

Besides tutoring him and catching him up on his studies, she mentored him on a level he appreciated, respected, and remembered.

Mrs. M was a far cry from another teacher he’d had as a small youngster. (Here’s a snippet about that experience. WhewWee!)

But back to the story.

One glorious, sunny day, our high school son sat in class along with other bright, young minds. There was a student teacher that day, as there had been for the past month—a petite, energetic gal full of life and teacherly love. She had only one annoying habit—probably a nervous tic, yet very obvious and distracting.

“Mom, you’d have to see it to believe it. Ever since she came a few weeks ago, it’s gone from bad to worse. Today was kind of the breaking point.”

I couldn’t imagine anything being that terrible. After all, she’d made it this far. This little gal was all set to be a teacher.

“Well, what does Miss So and So do? Is she inept? Do the students not like her? Does she eat jello with a toothpick? Whaaat?”

Son blew out a sigh, tossed his backpack on the couch, and paused.

“She uses a certain word. Two really, but they sort of blend together.”

Oh. Dear. “A word? As in… a bad word?”

“No. Nothing like that.” He grinned, then laughed. “It’s ‘Mmm Kay’.”

“Well, okay. If you don’t want to—”

“No, Mom. That’s the word—MmmmKaaay. For ‘okay’. Like all the time. After every question, every sentence. Everything.”


“Yeah. Weird. For example— ‘Pass your papers forward, mmmkaaay?’ ‘We’ll talk about the test tomorrow, mmmkaaay?’ ‘Don’t forget your homework, mmmkaaay?’ and even, ‘It’s a great day, mmmkaaay!‘”

Ahhh. Call it mom intuition, but I sensed where this was going. “The students did something, didn’t they?”

He nodded. “Well, not me. But it started with one…and then it just kinda…grew from there.”

As my son filled me in, I suppressed the urge to giggle.

Apparently the last straw came that afternoon. After the 79th mmmkaaay (and yes—the kids counted), a female student scrawled out the word MmmmKaaay in big, bold letters on a sheet of notebook paper. Other kids followed suit.

Whenever Miss MmmKaaay asked a question or made a statement, one by one, each student raised his/her sign high in silent, smiling agreement. Since the student teacher had a habit of turning her back to the class while she paced and waited, she never saw the affirming display of support.

This continued for the entire class. All fifty minutes worth.

What’s a mom to do?

I pictured the scene in my mind and I could only shake my head.

Was it any wonder how this ended?

151 mmmkaaays later, it ended with the teacher being none the wiser.

She smiled.

The kids smiled.

And then she bid them a Happy Friday, mmmkaaay.

And they bid her one in return.

The encouragement here?

Humor is cathartic.

It diffuses tension and alleviates stress.

It motivates. Cultivates. And lights a creative fire under ordinary, stick-in-the-mud life.

While grins and giggles aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, generally, a little laughter will stir the feel good pot.

Hope I just stirred yours on this feel the love Friday!



A grin and a giggle sunny-side-up!

(Click to Tweet)

The one word I’ll never forget. And I bet you won’t either.

(Click to Tweet)


The Upside of Mistakes (Yep. I’m dishing!)

Like Cats? Meet Miranda. Take Two! (Our feline princess. With photos!)

10 Ways to Thank a Writer (Practical share-the-love tips)

Be a Different Egg. Don’t Get Scrambled! (In honor of creatives.)

What’s been the best part of your week?

Do you have a funny to share?


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Blessings Always,

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