HUMAN kind – Wise Words Wednesday

HUMAN kind – Wise Words Wednesday

Human kind

“We are only human.” – A saying that is often spoken, but too often forgotten.

We all make mistakes. We are all different. We are all human.

Today be kind because we are all human. Be human. Be kind.

By: Melanie A. Peters

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Pop Up Showers

Pop Up Showers

Behind the Clouds.jpg

As I drove home today, it was obvious that rain was making its way to us. When the rain came, it fell hard and fast, making it difficult to drive. I slowed down, turned up the wiper speed, turned down the radio, and kept moving forward.

As my garage door closed behind me, I gave thanks for safety and shelter. After carrying in all my bags from the car, I noticed the rain had stopped and the sun was peaking through. I love the weather!

That pop up shower was a lot like our daily encounters. Sometimes a storm of trouble will come out of nowhere, but we hunker down and work through it. Other times we see it coming and can do nothing until is rains down on us. Those downpours strengthen us and actually refresh us for what life has in store.

Today I hope you do not experience too many unexpected whirlwinds or dampened plans. If you do find yourself facing a storm of sorrow or tribulation, stay strong. Slow down. Focus on moving forward. Turn down the distractions. Turn up the decision-making tools that will allow you to see clearly. Listen for the peace that follows the thunder and rain and know that you are a survivor.

By: Melanie A. Peters

The Adhesive Power of Guilt

The Adhesive Power of Guilt

Guilt Glue

Guilt is sticky. Guilt is a sin. It is a nagging, draining, power-sucking sin. We are not intended to feel guilt by nature, but our human condition allows us to attach guilt to our hearts and minds.

I am the worst when it comes to feeling guilty. I will let the slightest mishap or slip of the tongue weigh me down like a 2-ton anchor. I am not sure why I am so attractive to guilt, other than the fact that I am so desperate to always do the best job possible. The realization is starting to sink in that my definition of “best job possible” sometimes equates to a job that is “not really possible.” I need to get better at letting go. We are all a work-in-progress.

I’ve been working hard to wash away the residue left from past guilt and have found that it makes living a lot easier. My desire to avoid the attraction to guilt has made it easier to notice the way it clings to others. It hurts me to see when those I love let guilt hold them back in their relationships. Guilt stinks!

Guilt is a real drag. Like a ball and chain kind of drag. That is why I say guilt has adhesive powers. Once you feel guilt for one thing, all the other possibilities come rushing in and stick to you, like a piece of old toilet paper on the back of your shoe. Sometimes you don’t even know it’s there. The worst part is that guilt has an especially power grip on those who fall prey to its burden. Continue reading “The Adhesive Power of Guilt”

Meet the Locks

Meet the Locks – Funny Friday

Meet the Locks.jpg

On our recent camping trip, we experienced some embarrassing but funny mishaps. We arrived at the state park on a Thursday. There were very few campers at the park, so we quickly earned the devoted attention of our camp hosts.

We were greeted promptly and provided doggy bags for the puppy, a park map, activities for the kids, fast fire wood delivery, and a wonderfully friendly history of our hosts’ entire lives. It was nice.

Upon returning with the aforementioned firewood, our hosts talked to us about the different types of fire building techniques. As they critiqued our fire building, shouting and banging started inside our camper. The three-year-old had locked himself in and could not get out. Of course we didn’t have a key, so my husband and I tried to talk him through the unlocking process with no luck. Our camp hosts patiently sat in their golf cart and called out advice and offers to go get their camper keys.

The three-year-old soon grew tired of our coaching and climbed up on our bed in the camper, stuck his face out to the window screen, and sang, “Nah, nan, nah, boo, boo.” This received tremendous laughter from our other two children and the camp hosts, but hubby and I were not as amused. The hosts then said they would go get their key for us. In their absence my husband got the idea to send our daughter through the hole under the fold-up couch. He was able to hold the seat up long enough for her to climb through and unlock the door (just in time for the camp hosts’ return.) We thanked them and assured them we were set for the night. We were wrong. Continue reading “Meet the Locks”

Socks are the Enemy – The Struggle is Real

Socks are the Enemy – The Struggle is Real

Socks are the Enemy

There are very few households that can boast an affection towards sorting socks. There are even fewer individuals who voluntarily admit to liking sock folding. Socks are the enemy.

We usually need two socks per day. Most of the time those socks are expected to match. These expectations lead to the struggle.

Washing, drying, and finding the matches for those necessary stockings are the strategies for conquering the footwear fight.

I recognize that socks are the enemy, but in the name of positivity, I want to give three good reasons for folding socks.

  1. You are able to meet the social standards for wearing matching socks.
  2. You are validating the notion of “sole” mates. We all have a match out there somewhere. (pun intended)
  3. Folding socks can be therapeutic. Yes, there may be a few strays at the bottom of the basket, but you have just made organized sense of your foe. You have systematically and successfully sorted, matched, and put away that big ol’ mess. Your family’s feet can thank you for your service, and now you don’t have to look at that pile of perpetrating socks for at least two or three days. 🙂

Fold away, my friends, fold away!

By: Melanie A. Peters

What do you want to learn?- a first day question for students

What do you want to learn?– first day question for students

What do you want to learn

On August 23rd I began my teaching journey at State Tech. My lesson plans were written, my Introduction PowerPoints ready to go, syllabi were photocopied, and my broom was ready to fly. (More about the flying broom will be discussed in later posts.) What I was not prepared for was the openness my students would show towards learning.

To kick things off in my COM 101 course, I created a grammar pre-test. It was important to know what grammar skills my students possessed. It consisted of 15 multiple choice questions and was not for a grade.

Within a minute or two of starting the test, I could see frustration forming on the faces of my students. After four or five minutes, their grumblings were audible. By the time they finished their pre-test, I could almost smell a mutiny. In my most professional and reassuring manner, I tried to persuade them it would ok.

We finished up the pre-test and headed back to our regular classroom. I observed head shaking and defeated student reactions as I followed them. I had just learned that grammar was not my students’ strong suit.

Fortunately, I had anticipated this and had a question ready for them. Continue reading “What do you want to learn?- a first day question for students”

I didn’t want them to see me

I didn’t want them to see me

I didnt want them to see me.jpg

Today was the first day of school for my kiddos. My 7 year-old arrived eager, confident, and happy. She has a terrifically sunny disposition and sees good in most everything.

My 5 year-old can be a bit nervous at times, but is a lot of fun. He was soooooo ready to go to kindergarten. He smiled big and was the first one in the car.

When we pulled in the school parking lot, a switch flipped. He went so white I thought he would faint. After a very tearful departure, my day was ruined. I was terrified that my son was miserable and would never like school.

As the day progressed my fears eased and I went about my necessary tasks. Unfortunately one of the tasks brought me right past school to the post office.  We live in a small town. There was no avoiding it. It was near lunch time and I just knew my son would be out at recess, see me, and take off running. What was I going to do?

I sped.

I drove as quickly as was safely possible past the school, never pausing to look at the faces of the playing children. I ran in and out of the post office as quickly as possible and got the heck out of Dodge. No children came crying down the street so I felt like I bypassed that landmine and went back to my to-do list.

Getting groceries was the last thing to do on my list. After purchasing all of the things on my list, I could do one of two things.
1. Drive the four miles home, drop off the groceries, and prolong my son’s misery by not being one of the first parents at school.
2. Go sit in the parking lot and work on my coursework for the new class I start teaching next week and greet my babies with open arms as soon as they were dismissed.

Option 2 was my choice.

It turned out to be a terrifying decision. I was going to park in the back parking lot (so as to not be visible from the school), but as luck would have it, there were classes on the back playground having P.E. Continue reading “I didn’t want them to see me”

Read + Know + Grow + Smarter = Stronger Voice

Read + Know + Grow + Smarter = Stronger Voice

The More You Read.png

“The more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the smarter you grow. The smarter you grow, the stronger your voice when speaking your mind or making your choice.”

I memorized these words from a bookmark I found at the library when I was 12.

Whenever people tell me they don’t like to read, I recite this poem to them. Often they ask me to repeat it a few times and agree there is merit to my message, but they still don’t like to read.

I understand. There are ways of learning that don’t appeal to me either.

Reading books or references works can be cumbersome. Reading instructional texts can be torture. Reading something you are interested in can change your life.

Books like You are a BadAss (Jen Sincero) and 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life (Cami Walker) helped me to find my voice in creating my blog. In the Meantime (Iyanla Vanzant) got me past the greatest heartaches of my life. The Holy Bible is a centuries old guide of how humanity has time and again been called to serve God and one another. I find a lot of advice in its pages. Continue reading “Read + Know + Grow + Smarter = Stronger Voice”

First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story

First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story

Wrong Way

Fourteen years ago I walked into MLK hall on the campus of Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO ready to start my journey as an education major. I studied my schedule and made my way up two flights of stairs to my first classroom. It was Humanities 101. I wasn’t sure what a humanities course would be about, but I knew I was eager to get started.

The instructor was a wiry, animated man, who admitted to being technologically challenged, so his syllabus would be ready at our next meeting. (“The stupid copier wouldn’t give up his papers.”) His movements were jerky and delibrate and his build gave him the aura of a scarecrow. But clearly this man had a brain and was a talented storyteller. The story he told about names in the local telephone book and where they came from was intriguing. He shared the historical roots of names and explained how they were related to those of famous American writers. It was a really cool start to my semester but I could not figure out how this would tie into my humanities course, so I sat tight.

As the discussion got deeper, the clever man upfront began talking about the expectations of an advanced level literature course and a sinking feeling of “wrong place at the wrong time” grew in the pit of my stomach. Soon he asked everyone in the course to share what they hoped to get out of the class and what their plans were beyond graduation. I officially knew I was in the wrong class. Continue reading “First Day’s Wrong Way: A back-to-school story”

Mommy Doesn’t Like Being Crabby

Mommy Doesn’t Like Being Crabby

Too often I find myself saying, “Please don’t make me crabby,” to my children.

Then I have to remind myself that others can’t make us feel a certain way; we control our emotions. And, yet, my pesky offspring just know how to push my buttons.

I have always heard that those we love the most have the greatest power to aggravate or annoy us. We are most easily agitated by the ones we live with. It is our daily interactions that make us vulnerable to the bothersome bantering, but those same squabbles teach us to stick together, even when we annoy each other.

There are many benefits to letting our kids see us overcome our aggravations. It allows them to learn that life isn’t always roses and rainbows. Hopefully we provide them with opportunities to see how loving, caring invidividuals deal with stress. When siblings and cousins bother each other, they learn how to resolve conflicts and how to communicate past their differences.

Put your energy into resolving your stresses in the healthiest ways and your grumpiness will come much less easily. If you do find the grumpiness coming on, it’s ok; stay positive and the crabbiness will scamper right away.

By: Melanie A. Peters