Batter Up! – First (Make change happen)

Batter Up! – First (Make change happen)

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So excited to lead off, my son beat everyone onto the field.

 

The first batter of a team is called the lead-off hitter. At a recent game my son was awarded the honor of being the lead-off hitter. He was so excited; he beat EVERYONE onto the field.

This is a key position in the batting line-up because your team is counting on you to hit your way on base and get the game going on a good note.Being the lead-off hitter is a lot of pressure. You don’t want to start the game with an out.

In life we are offered chances to be the first to take on a task or start a movement. Do you embrace those opportunities, do you shy away from the chance, or are you empowered by the ability to start things off with change?

If you are not presented the lead-off spot, do you cheer on your teammates or those who step up to the plate before you? Are you ready to give them support for their efforts and rally them in losing situations?

Today my wish for everyone is that they would feel the same excitement and enthusiasm my son felt.

I hope that each person finds it in their hearts and minds to step up to the plate for a cause or opportunity that leads to positive change in our world. Be the lead-off player who brings it home for the underdogs or who bolsters your team with a hit to the heart of an unkind adversary. Take the lead. Make change.

By: Melanie A. Peters

 

Get a Towel

Get a Towel

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Monday morning as I was writing, my children were eating their breakfast and watching Sports Center (as all “normal” American children do). My son came running into the office to tell me that he spilled his cereal.

My response was, “Get a towel and I will be right there.” His response was to stand there and stare at me.

I hit “Save” and headed to the kitchen. I found a nicely splattered, milk mess. Again I told him, “Get a towel.”

He just looked at me.

I grabbed a dry towel and a wet wash cloth. Handing the dry towel to my son, I said, “If you will wipe up the spilled milk, I will wash off the sticky stuff.” He started wiping up the milk (as I took this photo, of course).

When I asked him why he didn’t get a towel before coming to get me, he said, “I didn’t know what to do. I thought you were going to be mad at me.” Continue reading “Get a Towel”

Catchin’ Crawdads

Catchin’ Crawdads

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One of the coolest parts of playing in the creek is catching crawdads. On our last creek excursion my husband, daughter, and son caught two crawdads, and you would have thought we discovered a new species. Well, I guess the crawdads were a new species to my kiddos, because they had never had one in their possession before.

As a kid I caught a few of the snappy, creek dwellers and I now harbor fond memories of trying to keep them alive in a big jar with water and rocks.

Crawdads are simple creatures. They hang out under rocks and wait for their food to float by. When something big enough is caught to share, they feed off one another’s catch.

They know all the good hiding places and forage for the simple floating foods.

When you catch a crawdad, they wriggle and try to pinch you with their claws and seek to return to their home of rocks and water. They probably do want to hurt you, but not because they are mean, but because they just don’t feel safe.

We are a lot like crawdads. Continue reading “Catchin’ Crawdads”

Green Grass Moments

Green Grass Moments

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In early summer (when we have been lucky enough to have rain) the fields are tall and green. It almost looks like the cows can hide in the weeds.

There is something magical in watching the grass and weeds dance in the wind. As I enjoy the breezes that blow my hair back, the frolicking foliage makes the day so much more grand.

The old adage of greener grass on the other side of the fence feels true here.

As I walk down our gravel drive and take in the view of the cows, trees, and grass, the field seems to be a softer, more peaceful place. My crunchy footsteps on the rocks sound like rude interruptions to the scene. I move to walk along the fence row, but even the swoosh of my feet in the grass seems too harsh for the pastoral setting.

Maybe it was God’s way of telling me to stop and take in the sights and sounds that were being provided. So I stopped, looked, and listened. I could hear the cows move, and moo, and munch on the grass. I could hear the birds calling out to one another. I could hear the distant hum of the fans in our barns, cooling the turkeys. A bunny ran, and stopped down the driveway to check me out, and then went back on his little bunny way. The neighbor’s rooster crowed. It was a terrifically rural moment. Continue reading “Green Grass Moments”

PJ’s in the creek = Mom of the Year for me

PJ’s in the creek = Mom of the Year for me

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Yes, that is my son in his Paw Patrol jammies playing in the creek. Doesn’t he look so happy?

On an impromptu visit the creek, my kids found their way into the water. Slowly they “accidentally” got their toes wet. As Daddy and I were discussing the fence line, oops, their ankles got wet. Before you knew it, my oldest was up to her waist because a frog “scared” her into the water. 🙂

As the kids started splashing and finding tadpoles, crawdads, and seas shells, my husband and I enjoyed their laughter and listening to the remarks made about their nature discoveries.

It was as much fun for us to watch as it was for them to play.

Now to address my son’s pj’s.

It was a stay-at-home day and it had started out cloudy and rainy. Continue reading “PJ’s in the creek = Mom of the Year for me”

Good Game

Good Game

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We all know that in children’s sports the game ends with a line up and hand shakes or high fives between the teams and everyone says, “Good game.”

In professional sports the athletes on the winning team line up and congratulate their own teammates, while the losing team heads for the locker room. How did this happen? Who said, “Ok, you guys get paid for this, so you don’t have to shake hands anymore.”?

I would love to see the tradition of “good game” extended past college sports. Recently some  high schools have banned the post-game hand shakes because teams broke into fights during the ritual. Clearly there were bigger issues there than an inability to shake hands civilly. Those coaches and parents need to step up and impart understanding and civility to their players.

Parents and coaches need to be the first ones to show kids how to be good sports and to emphasize that competition is healthy but common courtesy is necessary. Kids need to know that the ability to show grace after a win or a loss is as important as the effort you put into that win or loss.

Yes, always do your best! Yes, winning is fun. Yes, losing stinks. Being a decent human being is imperative.

As you attend the competitive events in the lives of those you love, be sure to compliment them when they show sportsmanship along with athleticism. Point out the good attributes of your competitors, as well as those of your team. Good play is good play no matter who kicks the ball, makes the shot, or throws the out.

We all have something to contribute to our teams, and one of the most admirable skills is that of sportsmanship.

So put your hand out for a shake or a five and remember that “good game” means just as much as good play.

By: Melanie A. Peters

Summer’s Downhill Slide

 

 

Summer’s Downhill Slide

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Summer fun going fast.

My daughter recently discovered how much fun it is to ride her bike down the hill of our drive way. She hasn’t mastered riding her bike up it, but, boy, can she ride down it!

As I watched her ride down for the second time the other day, I realized I was witnessing moments of fleeting fun. How long will she shout out, “Watch me, mama!”? How long will it be before she isn’t excited about that hill or her bike anymore? How long before the muggy, summer days start to shorten and the chill of fall sends us in early?

I know. I know. Summer is just getting started.

I thought this would be a great time to remind everyone to slow down and enjoy it because, like those rapid rides down the driveway, another summer will be in the history books too soon and we will be asking, “Where did the time go?”

Have some cold lemonade or popsicles on the porch. Catch some fireflies. Eat some watermelon and have a seed-spitting contest. Run through the sprinkler. Enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass or marvel at the rows of newly bundled hay bales. Create a masterpiece with sidewalk chalk. Feast on fresh garden vegetables. Take twilight walks and be serenaded by the crickets. Count the stars of the nighttime sky. Ride a bike down that big ol’ hill.

Make summertime last in your heart and memories.

By: Melanie A. Peters

Perennials – anniversary of beautiful things

 

Perennials – anniversary of beautiful things

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I really enjoy the perennials in my flower beds. Not only are they beautiful but they are dependable.

Each year I can count on them to show up just when spring and summer are taking off, and I know that their colors and fragrances will attract the buzz of bees and the flutter of butterflies.

When they bloom, I celebrate another year of wonder in the miracle of their growth.

Similarly, I celebrate the anniversary of saying “I do” to my husband. Today we celebrate ten years of marriage. Like my perennials, I am always amazed by the beauty and dependability of our love for each other.

No, we don’t always flourish in agreement. Yes, we sometimes fail to sprinkle one another with compliments or quality time, but we do always find safety and happiness in coming home to each other and joy in watching our children and lives together blossom.

Today celebrate the miracle of something that is dependable in your life.

Enjoy the sensation of an embrace or kiss. Be reassured by the ability to count on their presence. Feel the flutter of the butterflies in your stomach from the excitement of confidently knowing they are a part of your life.

By: Melanie A. Peters

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!

 

Come back when you have a real problem…

Come back when you have a real problem…

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A few weeks ago a rock hit my passenger side window and chipped it. Immediately two long cracks forked away from the chip and spread to the outside of the window. Bummer!

I called around to get quotes for a replacement and the lowest bid came from the same dealership that I purchased my car. This surprised me a little because in my experience dealership body shops are not always known for having the best prices.

Well, the first replacement came in, and I arranged for my best friend to pick my kids and I up for a playdate while it was repaired.

Shortly after we left the shop, my cell phone rang. It was the body shop. The replacement glass was cracked just as badly as my existing glass and they would have to get another one. The gentleman from the shop was so apologetic and so nice. I felt worse for him than me because at least I got to hang it with my best friend; he had to tell a customer that he couldn’t finish a job when it was promised to be done.

A few days later the second glass came in and I arranged to bring in my car and have it installed. For this appointment I brought my entire briefcase with me. Pens, notepads, computer, phone, and a list of things to take care of while the body shop did their thing.

I had returned exactly three texts and two emails when the technician came back in and said I was ready to go.

What????!!!?

Ready to go? I hadn’t even looked at my to-do list!

He said they were happy to get me back on the road and apologized again for not being able to fix it the week prior. I told him I appreciated him.

He said, “Hey. No problem. Come back when you have a real problem for me to fix.”

I thanked him again and repacked my briefcase so I could get back to work. As I drove away, I could not get past what he said about having a “real problem.”

Too often we view daily set backs as “real problems” when there is a very simple solution, if we are willing to be patient for it. I would also like to believe that my willingness to work with them on getting the replacement made it easier to fix my not-so-real problem.

Today I hope any problems you have are not “real problems.” If you do face a “real problem,” one that threatens your life or happiness, I hope that the resources are there for you to find the solution or resolution.

Put your energy into solving issues that arise with positivity and patience. Make your problems possibilities and you will find yourself smiling at real successes instead of “real problems.”

By: Melanie A. Peters

 

 

 

 

Love your decisions – Wise Words Wednesday

Love your decisions – Wise Words Wednesday

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I can be the world’s worst when it comes to being happy with my own decisions. I second guess myself sometimes. I guess that is human nature.

It is my intention for this post to encourage others to resist feelings of self-doubt.

If the adventure you are on is fueled by a dream or a belief that you are passionate about, don’t let it go (especially not because of what others think). Love what you are doing because you love yourself.

With energy and passion guiding you on your journey there is no real room for self-doubt. Fill your actions with positive purpose and dedicated intent and there is no stopping you or the love you are generating.

By: Melanie A. Peters