Happy Valentine’s Day!
I have a different sort of tablescape post for you this week. Our church hosts a meal and a little entertainment for our JOY (Just Older Youth) group at church each month. It gives the older crowd a reason to gather with their friends for food, fellowship, and fun.
At last week’s gathering, I snapped a few pictures before the guests arrived.
The entertainment for the evening was Patricia Neely-Dorsey, who read her poetry to the group after enjoying a special meal. I took no pictures of her and/or the group (sorry). I was on kitchen duty and only caught the last bit of her poetry readings.
Miss Margaret is the tireless woman behind the JOY gifts of love each month. I have no picture of her, either, but she wouldn’t want that anyway. She directs our kindergarten/preschool program for the community at our church. Everyone loves Miss Margaret…because she loves THEM (us).
You should see the kids run to hug her at any and all events! After her full days of managing the kindergarten program, once each month, Miss Margaret plans, prepares, and serves nearly a hundred JOY guests. Her table settings are always done with love and beauty, keeping with the theme of the season.
This time, place mats are laminated copies of an image depicting Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s poem Meet My Mississippi. That’s very fitting for this group, many of whom have lived in Mississippi their entire lives, working to improve our town and state along the way.
Miss Margaret made a large image of the poem to hang on the wall to accompany the Valentine decorations. Beyond that, Miss Margaret cooks the food!
I won’t give away her age, but Miss Margaret continues to serve this JOYful group each month when she should be sitting with them herself and being served!
But, she would never allow that. This night is her gift of love to them. In love for her Savior, Jesus, she serves. And loves. And gives.
She is love, just as Jesus is Love.
Who came to mind when you read the title of this post? Miss Margaret comes to my mind. Every time.
She always loves and encourages others – no matter what’s happening in her own life. Just over a year ago, she lost her husband to cancer (shortly after her mother’s passing). Miss Margaret knows they aren’t gone…just in a new location…heaven. Through her hard journey, Miss Margaret never stopped hosting JOY nights. She needed to grieve, but there would be time for that later, she said. Always putting others first. That’s what she does. That’s what we’re supposed to do. (I admit to being too selfish sometimes.)
She is inspiration for us all!
PS: I’m sharing this post at Tablescape Thursday.
PSS: I’ll be on Facebook Live at some point tomorrow. Join me if you can – to see how to add vintage tin paintable wall paper to an old dresser. If you miss it Live, you can always see the replay. Update: See the post with Facebook Live video here.