Still At It…

This Mamas HeartToday a friend texted that she was sad I quit my blog.

I was sadder that someone thought I gave up my Intentergy.

As most of us have been in a whirlwind with the events of the last few weeks, I felt it was my duty to take time and share some Intentergy and reassure everyone that there is still plenty of energy with positive purpose here.

Two weeks ago I had the distinct privilege of sharing some positive purpose with the teachers at St. Teresa School in Campbell, Mo. We faced the frustrations of teaching in spring time…. little did we know 6 days later, we would have to walk away from our schools and move learning into the homes of our students.

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The beautiful staff at St. Teresa took me at my word that I could be paid in chocolate.

At our meeting the teachers and I discussed the power of counting up our blessings and successes and not letting the count downs lead to let downs. Even though I was afraid they might string me up for blaspheme, I shared my belief that we shouldn’t count down the days until summer break. They may have furrowed their brows at me a bit, but after hearing a story from my first year of teaching, they began to understand my reasoning behind this belief.

My first year I filled a position that had been the turnstile for a revolving door of educators. The students were more accustomed to teachers leaving than teachers staying.

One March afternoon, I was tutoring a student in my classroom and we heard my neighboring teacher loudly announcing how many days were left until summer break. I tried to cheer the struggling student by saying, “You’ve improved so much this year. I bet you’ll be glad to move on to bigger and better things next year.” 

The student frowned and said, “I guess you’re gonna leave too. You want to get away from us just like they (the other teachers) all do.”

My heart ached. What a sad accusation!
That is when I began my practice of counting up.

I started keeping count of successes both in my mind and on the board in my classroom.

In the yearbook lab, we changed from displaying “Pages Remaining” to “Pages Completed.”

In English I, we counted up how many chapters we had read of To Kill a Mockingbird and how many sections of their decade project were finished for History class.

The process of counting up made such a HUGE difference as we battled the lull of spring time in a classroom.

Things are different now, as we can’t meet in the classrooms, gyms, boardrooms, and churches, there isn’t a lot of certainty in what we can count on. As the COVID-19 crisis continues, we all find ourselves in limbo. One terrific way to defeat insecurity and fear is to quit counting on it. I encourage you to take time to count up the joys and successes that are still in your day.

Count up the ways you are blessed.

Count up those that are there to support you and those for whom you can offer your support.

Count up the blessings that come with creative menu planning and resourceful reuse of household items.

Count up the ways you can still serve others.

Count up those unmatched socks.

Count up the puzzles and games in your closet and get a tournament going with your family.

Count up the UNO’s and “Do not pass Go’s.”

Count up the baskets made in a driveway basketball hoop or how many times a ball is caught and thrown without being dropped.

Count how many blankets you get use to build a fort in your living room.

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You may not be able to measure the level of crazy, but you can always count hugs, kisses, and Minecraft games played.

Pull out photo albums, and I bet you will be reminded of more memories than you can count.

Don’t let the countdown of things you don’t have, be the thing that brings you down in these tough times. While we may be limited in our interactions for the sake of health, we are never limited in the positive potential of each day.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I’m not telling you what you have to do with the unmatched socks after you count them. All I’m saying is they are soft, washable, and readily available if the number of empty toilet paper rolls adds up to more than rolls with paper.

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