Monday’s Message – December 21, 2020

Welcome to the official first day of winter and Christmas week! After a few weeks of not feeling well, I’m ready to get back in the real and proverbial saddle. I visited with Atticus this weekend and he was not at all happy that I’ve been missing in action. With the sun shining, I am certain to get in at least one little adventure with Atticus today.

My kids have mastered the Christmas countdown so the excitement continues to build in our home and I’m certain Jesus’ birthday bash is going to be a good one, even if we are just celebrating here at home. In my message video today, I talk about the grace and blessings that come from a simple holiday at home. Special thanks goes to my friend Molly for sending this friendly reminder meme about the first Christmas and reassuring us that simple is good, especially this time of year.

As always, I wish you a week of positivity, peace, and success. Keep Intentergy in your giving and receiving and that energy will carry you into the new year with an optimistic outlook and plenty of possibility.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Don’t forget your Old Year’s Resolutions!

P.P.S. If you are still looking for gift ideas for me, be sure to follow, share, or comment on any of my posts. Sharing is caring after all.

Absolutely Worth It – Wise Words Wednesday

Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!

There are two scenarios for this holiday season that come to mind when I think of what’s worthy of effort.

Scenario 1: Putting up Christmas decorations, particularly outdoor lights, is a tough job. It requires precarious positioning of one’s self while attempting to securely attach, mount, or hang the lights in a way that is both esthetically pleasing and able to withstand potential blizzards. Once the lights are in place and any necessary medical attention has been sought, the display of glowing Christmas spirit can warm even the coldest of Grinch hearts.
Was it easy to get those eight pre-lit reindeer with Santa’s sleigh AND the inflatable Snoopy snow globe on the roof? No.
Could you ever imagine the amount of time it would take to assemble your Made-in-China nativity using words that baby Jesus should never have heard? No. But you do it anyway, and it’s worth every watt of energy and effort because you are letting ALL your Christmas lights shine.

Scenario 2: The second scenario of the season is a bit tougher. As our world continues to battle the COVID crisis, I encourage you to envision a holiday where you loosen your hold on what tradition says we MUST do to make Christmas happen.

Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!

Continue reading “Absolutely Worth It – Wise Words Wednesday”

Mess Magic

The Magic Mess

Who feels like they are in the midst of a mess right now? A holiday recovery, end-of-year, I-ate-too-many-desserts, what’s-with-this-weather mess?

The holiday meltdown isn’t just for snow, fudge, and small children. We all have the right and inclination to collapse into the most cataclysmic of chaotic mindsets this time of year.

Here’s the good news… the magic is in the mess.

With the heaviest of holiday heaps coming on, eating Dove chocolate is still one of my favorite therapies. As I frantically re-created a lost answer key for my COM 111 final, ithe shiny wrapper of a caramel-filled chocolate provided this golden nugget of peace… the magic is in the mess.

I almost wept at these words. How did that little chocolate know I needed to that mantra in my life?

This morning, as my children are sleeping in, hubby is on the farm, and the end-of-year book work stares me down, I can’t help but hope that this magic mess mantra could become a part of my daily routine.

Why can’t it?

On any given day of any given year, a magician can pull a rabbit from a hat, find the exact card the lovely assistant chose, or a quarter from the unsuspecting ear of a child.

How do they do it? Continue reading “Mess Magic”

Don’t Be Like My Cactus

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January 2nd – Photo of Christmas cactus

Don’t be like my cactus.

For Christmas, my sweet friend Sarah gifted me with a beautiful Christmas cactus. The bright green was a very merry addition to my holidays.

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December 24th – Photo of Christmas cactus

When I received the cactus on December 13th, it had some small fuchsia blooms. On December 22nd I noticed the blooms had gotten larger. The morning of December 24th I was pleasantly surprised to find them in full bloom. With their vibrant arrival, I found a brighter sense of the holiday spirit and shared that with my family and friends. Each time I caught a glimpse of that Christmas cactus, my heart blossomed with a new floret of holiday fervor. Continue reading “Don’t Be Like My Cactus”

Elf Spotting …continued

Elf Spotting and the Trouble that Follows (Reblogged from 2016)

 

 

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Three years ago Chippy the elf showed up on our front porch. He made his magical appearance after my sweet daughter wrote a letter to Santa asking for one of his handy helpers to visit our home.

My husband and I were leery about this new holiday watchman but went with it. I mean how much trouble could one elf be???

After three years the magic of Chippy is alive and well, if you consider daily wrestling matches and crying fits over who found him first to be magical.

Seriously! Everyday there is a tremendous tumult over who finds Chippy first. It is so magical I need stronger coffee in the morning and extra melatonin at night to get past all the Christmas spirit his presence brings.

That silly elf has brought more trouble than I could have imagined, but he has also brought some humor to some pretty angry situations.

For example: In the  middle of one of their daily brawls, my daughter yelled out, “Get off my hair. Chippy sees you and he is going to tell Santa.” My son replied, “Good! Maybe Santa will bring you a new brush for your messy hair,” and continued torturing my little girl’s curls. The elf just kept smiling. Continue reading “Elf Spotting …continued”

What Color Are Your Pancakes?

Blue Pancakes (6)

Blue pancakes are the usual in our household (when we have pancakes). I usually like to keep my breakfast dates with friends (when I can schedule breakfast dates). This past week my friend Erin and I had a breakfast date planned, but my sitter situation became bleak. I offered to make breakfast at my home (if Erin didn’t mind the three-ring circus running around while we visited). She was cool with hanging out at my house so we kept our date.

Blue Pancakes (7)As I was whipping up the pancakes, my youngest son asked if the pancakes would be blue. My daughter soon chimed in that she really wanted blue pancakes too (after all our pancakes are usually blue). I wasn’t sure how Erin would react to blue pancakes, so I left half the batch plain and the other half was blue. When Erin arrived, the kids stampeded to let her in and were in full three-ring circus mode. It seemed only right that there were blue pancakes.

In true awesome Erin fashion, she said, “I’m down with blue pancakes,” and happily ate blue and plain colored flapjacks with my family.

What color are your pancakes? Do you have a special breakfast tradition in your household?

As we begin the season of holiday feasting, think about the traditions that been upheld by your loved ones. My mom’s side of the family has had chicken and dumplings at every family function since time began (that maybe a bit of an exaggeration); it just isn’t a Frank family holiday without chicken and dumplings.

Is there something special your family will eat that is a unique tradition this Thanksgiving?

Traditions, such as blue pancakes and chicken and dumplings, make special days “special.” My hope for you is that you are able to remember and (if you can) enjoy the food feasts that make family “family” this holiday season. Be sure to share your traditions with friends and tell the stories of your childhood to your kiddos. Savor the meals and memories that have made you who you are and be grateful for the events that enriched those memories.

Remember not everyone has “picture perfect” holiday plans. Be considerate and kind (and inviting, if you can) to those who have less to be thankful for.  Make your newest tasty tradition be one that dishes out meaningful memories for yourself and all those for whom you love. Who knows, maybe blue pancakes will be your new Thanksgiving brunch or chicken and dumplings your new tradition of choice. Whatever it is you serve, whether it be food or memories, make them positive and full of energy that inspires grateful intent.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If you are making blue pancakes. you will need to pick up some blue food coloring.

Blue Pancakes (1)

 

 

 

Start Holiday De-Stressing Now

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Holiday StressSome evil person posted this Elf meme on their Facebook feed the other day and I wanted to unfriend them but they are related to me and I like them.

Unfriending people can add additional stress at the holidays, and this article is all about holiday de-stressing.

 

In keeping with the 12 Days of Christmas, I am proposing 12 Steps to De-stress for the Holidays:

Step 1: To begin take a deep cleansing breath.

Step 2: After you remember to start breathing again, I want you to say these words, “Happiness is the greatest gift I can give. A stressed out me does not make a holiday happy. I will not add unhappiness to my holidays.”

See. Don’t you feel better?

Step 3: Write down one gift you will give yourself. (This does not have to be a material thing.)

Step 4: Make a list of all the other people for whom you want and/or need to get gifts. (These do not have to be material things.)

Step 5: Make a calendar of all events you KNOW will absolutely be on your agenda.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 1 & 2.

Step 7: Establish a budget.

  • How much will you spend on each person?
  • How much do you plan to give to your church or charities?
  • How much should you plan to spend on extra party foods and drinks?
  • How much are your travel costs?

Add those costs up.

Step 8: Repeat Steps 1 & 2. Continue reading “Start Holiday De-Stressing Now”

When the Tree is Gone

When the Tree is Gone via Daily Prompt: Gone

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Every year my children and I enjoy decorating our home for the Christmas holiday. Even my husband perks up at the sight of the lights. I try to not put the tree up too early so as to protect the magic its lighting brings. After the feast of the Epiphany (the wise men’s arrival), I dutifully take down all the decorations.

The emptiness created by the absence of tree, garland, and lights gives our home an incomplete feel. The rooms seem stark and the light seems cold. What is it about the time after the tree is gone that darkens our day?

When the tree is gone, the spirit of Christmas is not plainly visible. When the tree is gone, the remembrance of all those Christmas wishes fades. When the tree is gone, the twinkle of Santa’s magic dims and we forget about that whole peace on Earth and goodwill towards men thing. Plus, when the tree is gone, I find it a lot harder to just sit in my arm chair and read a book or watch my kids play. It’s as if the tree is a holiday anchor that holds us in place and reminds us to remain steadfast in the enjoyment of our home and family.

I challenge you to keep the Christmas spirit alive in your actions and words. Take time to sit in your favorite chair and read a book or snuggle with a loved one. Continue in your efforts to bring peace to the lives of those you encounter and yourself. Give the gifts of understanding and kindness in all you do.

Just because there isn’t a tree standing in your living room doesn’t mean you have to become a scrooge. Find joy in the simple elements of each day and you won’t have time to miss that silly old tree.

When the tree is gone, continue to shine as a light for others each day. Put some holiday in your heart and let your Intentergy keep the spirits of others alive and well.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. If you still have your tree up, that’s cool.

Are There Toys in Heaven?

Are There Toys in Heaven?

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Saturday we said good-bye to my husband’s aunt. She was a smart, funny, family oriented lady and will be missed.

As the kiddos and I whipped up some pancakes for breakfast Saturday, my oldest son asked, “Are there toys in heaven?”

It was one of those parenting moments we all pray about. We don’t pray for the moments to come. We pray for the right words when the moment arrives.

I said a quick prayer and did a mental dash through my heart before answering him.

I said, “I don’t know what heaven is like, but I believe that everything in heaven is so perfect that we don’t need toys or tv’s or distractions there. We are whole again, and, when we are angels, our days are filled with light and happiness and probably flying contests to see who can fly the fastest with our angel wings.”

This response seemed ok, at first. Then my son got teary eyed and said, “I want there to be toys in heaven because sometimes little kids die.”

Oh, man, those parenting moments just kept on coming!

I put down the pancake spatula, hugged him tight, and said, “God knows what we need. If there is a child in heaven who needs a toy, God will give him that toy. Remember, in heaven, there is no hurt or sadness.”

He hugged me back and asked for the big pancake on the griddle. 🙂

I finished making pancakes, fed the kids, and said a prayer. The first part was in thanksgiving for the innocent and pure hearts of my children. The second part of my prayer was for the young souls in heaven. I asked for comfort for those grieving the loss of those little ones and that those baby angels fly happily and wholly through eternity.

Today the intent of my prayer is again two-part.

png 1 One: May my children always possess the childlike wonder and curiosity they do now.

png 1Two: May everyone find solace in the knowledge that God knows what we need. He will provide for us when the time is right.

Intentergy is about putting positive intent into the things we do. Please take time as you continue to celebrate the Christmas season and prepare for a new year and use that time to take inventory of all that has been provided for you in your life and embrace the awe of what is yet to come.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. The pancakes were only slightly dark on one side. We just added butter. 🙂

 

 

Blessed are the Flexible – Wise Words Wednesday

Blessed are the Flexible – Wise Words Wednesday

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Flexibility is necessary in life. Flexibility is a special virtue this time of year.

We work so hard to fit all of the holiday shopping, meals, programs, parties, and family functions in that we forget to be flexible. This forgetfulness can lead to some major fits of stress and missing holiday spirit.

Allow yourself some breathing room this month. Give yourself the gift of flexibility.

Give the gift of flexibility to others. Remember we are all suffering from the season. Show compassion and patience for those who “mess” with your plans.

Flexibility towards yourself and others will lead to much more fa-la-la-ing and much less bahumbuging.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. It’s ok to do some mental warm ups before you get too flexible. You wouldn’t want to pull anything before Christmas. Breathe deep… Focus… Flex!