Pull a Swap-a-doodle

Swapping out negative energy or non-productive habits for ones that can propel us in a positive direction isn’t always easy. Most of the time our pessimistic mindset is the first hurdle we face. We start off by failing to believe in our ability to reach a goal. Today’s focus for Intentergy is to remind you of the power of the swap-a-doodle.

Positive energy can come from just about anywhere, but the swap-a-doodle stimulation for me came from Jen Hatmaker, one of my favorite authors. In her book, Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You, she encourages readers to make the world a better place by pursuing their dreams. Hatmaker points out that when we make excuses for not having enough time or resources to chase our dreams, we simply need to switch out something that isn’t part of reaching the goal for a choice that can help create opportunities. Jen reminds us on pg. 118 that making the move towards attaining success rarely impacts others in the ways we fear and usually leads to finding support from friends and family. Along with a cheering squad, we often discover the shift “just replaces something that already held open time slot or energy required. You get to do a swap-a-doodle and plug right in.” That, my friends, is the beauty of a swap-a-doodle.

As 2023 is still a relatively new year, I encourage you to figure out which swap-a-doodles might make your year a swapping success. If it’s healthier habits, re-establishing relationships, or capturing a new career, I have absolute faith that you possess what it takes to shift with gusto the elements necessary to be triumphant in turning things around. With a little humor, determination, and flexibility, you have what it takes to swap-a-doodle with the best of them. So stop doodling and get swapping!

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Swap-a-Doodles can also be referred to as switcher-roos, flippy-floppies, and/or out-with-the-oldies-in-with-the-newbies.

P.P.S. What swap-a-doodle are your seeking this year? I’m letting go of a little sleep for more writing time.

Sources:

Hatmaker, Jen. 2020. Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You. Nelson Books; Nashville. pg.118.

Jane Jetson Aspirations

It is the year 2022, and I aspire to be Jane Jetson 40 years in advance. I say 40 years in advance because The Jetsons portrayed society in the year 2062. My aspirations to be Jane Jetson most likely stem from laziness or exhaustion (not sure which), but I can tell you that my robot vacuum lacks the personality of Rosie Jetson and my wardrobe has far fewer digital options than Jane’s.

I can only imagine what it would be like to press a button and a fully fresh face and hair style would materialize. Forget the frustration of not having anything to wear, I could just step into my holographic closet apparatus and create my perfect look by swiping through the digital designs. My dishes would wash themselves, food prepare itself, and the laundry would wash, dry, and fold all on its own. It would be magical.

Maybe it’s her cool triangle-shaped collar, or her ability to juggle all the galactic challenges of being a woman of the future, but I know that I would love to put myself in her spacetastic shoes. Clearly, Jane is a woman who knows how to handle her bumbling husband, reign in her teenage daughter, keep her brilliant son from getting too big for his britches, and maintain a social life and philanthropic endeavors through her work with the Skypad Apartments’ recycling company and Galaxy Women Historical Society. Who wouldn’t want to be like Jane Jetson?

Continue reading “Jane Jetson Aspirations”

Breaking News: Plane Lands Safely

In the last few weeks, I’ve had two friends going through a tough time with their kiddos and school. So tough, in fact, that both transferred to a different school. When my gal pal, Cindy, reached out to let me know of their decision, I shot a quick text to our friend Lisa letting her know we are here if she or her kiddos need us. Change is hard, but leaving one negative situation to face a new, overwhelming one can be a lot to take. I didn’t want them to feel like they were alone. After sending love, support, and humor in our texts, Lisa thanked me for reaching out to her. I told her to not spread the news of my goodness; I didn’t want people to think I had gone soft. She sent back, “Ha!! Good news doesn’t seem to travel as fast as bad news, so your secret’s probably safe for a little while. LOL”

It made me sad to think about the snail-mail pace of positive reports and a story that had come across the morning news reaffirming this depressing dispatch. Lisa’s situation and the CBS Morning News inspired me to put some Intentergy into broadcasting some cheerful correspondence.

Continue reading “Breaking News: Plane Lands Safely”

Reasons to Get Out of Bed

The alarm clock ringing might be the #1 reason people give for getting out of bed, but it’s not that ring, ring, ring that really calls us to rise. My alarm clock is working fine, but I’ve been struggling with motivation to get moving in the morning.

It’s not just that it’s winter, and I want to hibernate, but that I really haven’t felt successful or inspired as of late.

I know I’m not alone, if you are feeling like there’s not enough good reasons to get going in the morning, check out my recent telephone conversation and how it helped with my dragging drive.

I called for tech support as I was working on the cataloging system for our elementary school library. We are relatively new to using this cataloging system, and this was not my first tech call. I had already spoken to Keith, the company representative, in the past. Keith is in Canada. I am in Central Missouri. When Keith takes my call, I always ask how things are in Canada, and he kindly tells me about the weather there. As we waited for the computer system to reboot my account, I asked Keith how many tech support calls he answers on average each day. He said, no one had ever asked him before, but, ironically, it was just discussed at a recent meeting. Keith said his average daily call count was 12.

Because I know that my past calls have all lasted between 30 minutes and 90 minutes, I thanked Keith for his time and his assistance. He laughed and told me that most people probably wouldn’t think of what he does as valuable. I pointed out that his service calls help me to provide library resources to over 130 students and faculty. While my school is a small one, I know he assists large colleges, universities, churches, and high schools; all with patrons in the thousands. I happily went on telling him that his 12 calls a day help thousands of people with their writing, reading, and research. He has a tremendous ripple effect on the success of all those patrons, and that’s a great reason to get out of bed every day.

Keith didn’t speak for a few moments. Actually, I was afraid he hung up on me or lost connection. When he did speak, the sincerity in his voice was so sweet. After saying, “Thank you,” Keith told me that it had never occurred to him to value his position in such a positive way. It made my day to know that I had brightened his.

After hanging up with Keith, my library software was working, and my mojo was much improved.

Continue reading “Reasons to Get Out of Bed”

Biblical Surprise – Wise Words Wednesday

Fifth Grade homework can be tough. Last week my son’s computer teacher assigned an “About Me” Google Slides presentation. Each slide had a theme and criteria for creation. Of course, there were the “My Family” and “Favorite Hobby” slides, but the one slide that stuck out to me on the rubric was, “Favorite Scripture Verse.”

While this is my son’s sixth year attending a Catholic school, and we attend church every week, I wasn’t sure my son knew any particular Bible verse, much less which is his favorite.

While making dinner, switching laundry, and helping with other homework, I left him to work on the presentation, and waited for his cry for help.

As expected, his call for “Mom” rang out when he hit the scripture slide. His plea was followed by a demanding, “I need the Bible.” (Insert sarcastic Mom statement about needing more than just the Bible in his life, followed by son’s annoyed eye roll.)

After taking a deep breath and mentally preparing for a meltdown, I asked if he knew any Bible verses that he liked.

To my Biblical surprise, he responded with, “Duh, Mom, I know it’s in Exodus; I just don’t know the exact number.”

Exodus?!? That seemed like an unusual place to select a favorite verse, but who am I to question divine inspiration.

My 10-year-old proceeded to tell me that his favorite verse is when Moses parted the sea allowing the Israelites to flee Egypt unharmed. This is a very powerful scene, but I wasn’t sure what made it inspiring to him. At the risk of being slaughtered by yet another violent eye roll, I asked what it was about the parting of the sea that stood out.

Continue reading “Biblical Surprise – Wise Words Wednesday”

Blogging for Beginners – Upcoming Dates

Are you a blogger? Have you considered starting a blog? Do you want information on how to make your blog the best it can be? Join us for our Blogging for Beginners class! Melanie A. Peters of http://www.intentergy.com will go over the basics of blogging.

August 23, 2021 – 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM CST @ Missouri River Regional Library in Jefferson City, MO
Click Link Here to Register for this free session.

August 25, 2021 – 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM CST
@ Osage County Library in Linn, MO

20 Books of Summer +1 #20BooksofSummer2021

Thanks to Cathy at https://746books.com/2021/06/01/its-20-books-of-summer-time/ for sharing the 20 Books of Summer Challenge again!!! Yay summer reading!

During the summer of 2020, I participated in Cathy’s #20booksofsummer2020 and I LOVED it!

I enjoyed reading my choices and the posts of others readers as they shared their summer read picks. It made a season of quarantine feel like it a had some sense of community.

For Summer 2021, I am eager to dive into my summer reads, but I’m going to challenge myself to 21 reads before September 1st! #20booksofsummer2021 +1.

As the volunteer librarian at my children’s school, I host a reading club each year, and I always try to include the books in contention for the Mark Twain Award. There at 12 books nominated each year, and I have yet to be disappointed whenever I read those nominated. Students love them and often make informal waiting lists on my library desk for the Mark Twain Award titles. These 12 titles will definitely make up part of my 21 reads this summer, so I thought I would kick the list off with the nominees.

Shine!
Summer Read #1: Mark Twain Award Nominee #1: Shine by J.J. and Chris Grabenstein
Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Summer Read #2: Mark Twain Award Nominee #2: Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary D. Schmidt
The Bridge Home
Summer Read #3: Mark Twain Award Nominee #3: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
New Kid (New Kid, #1)
Summer Read #4: Mark Twain Award Nominee #4: New Kid by Jerry Craft
Song for a Whale
Summer Read #5: Mark Twain Award Nominee #5: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly
Shouting at the Rain
Summer Read #6: Mark Twain Award Nominee #6: Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation (Charlie Thorne #1)
Summer Read #7: Mark Twain Award Nominee #7: Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart Gibbs
Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse
Summer Read #8: Mark Twain Award Nominee #8: Me and Sam-Sam Handle the Apocalypse by Susan Vaught
Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen
Summer Read #9: Mark Twain Award Nominee #9: Bernice Buttman, Model Citizen by Niki Lenz
The Memory Keeper
Summer Read #10: Mark Twain Award Nominee #10: The Memory Keeper by Jennifer Camiccia
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA
Summer Read #11: Mark Twain Award Nominee #11: The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Benda Woods
White Bird: A Wonder Story
Summer Read #12: Mark Twain Award Nominee #12: White Bird: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

M.C. Higgins, the Great
Summer Read #13: M.C. Higgins, the Great by Virginia Hamilton is a book I often recommend to students in the library, but it’s beena while since I read it the first time and want to revisit this amazing story.
Continue reading “20 Books of Summer +1 #20BooksofSummer2021”

Light from Last Year

As I made my way around the corner, light from our basement stairwell startled me. My children are notorious for leaving on the lights throughout the house, but this time I was the only one awake and certain that I had turned off all lights before going to bed the night before. The glare from the stairs was unexpected and demanded investigation.

I made my way down the steps, and as I reached the bottom landing, I had to smile. The radiant light was shining through the artwork completed a year ago on our basement windows. The sun had not shone in a few days and its rays were something I really needed and appreciated in that quiet moment.

The windows found in my home and those around the globe, may not have held a candle to the ones found in our parish churches, but they allowed a creative light to shine in our hearts and homes last spring. In the throws of pandemic quarantine, I sought ways to bring joy and creativity to my children’s activities. As Easter approached and the weather kept us indoors, I joined thousands of other parents giving kids permission to paint their windows. Using tempera paint we created “stained glass” windows.

At the time, this was a fun and uplifting experience. Now, the fear and anxiety that came with the haunting pandemic are lessened and the pressures of what to do with ourselves in those uncertain times have diminished, but the artwork on our windows is still there brightening our days.

I could wash the windows and take down the reminder of what COVID 19 did to our lives last spring, but keeping the color on those panes has also been a positive prompt encouraging us to keep faith in spite of fear and that things will improve if we find ways to stay optimistic. It is in the light of last year that we can feel pride in our resourcefulness and gratitude for what we have accomplished and the continued blessings of our lives. So if you are feeling down or there is a darkness hanging over you, please know that there is light at the end of every tunnel and even the most stained of windows have the ability to let brightness shine in you.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Washing windows is a sad subject because washing windows makes me sad. Please don’t ask me to was these windows. 🙂

Stinky Valentines

What do you do when your loved ones think your valentines stink? Well, I’m writing a blog post about it, but hopefully, there is a lesson to be learned from having stinky valentines.

Our recent crazy schedule and even crazier weather prevented me from taking the kids shopping for their valentines this year. I had a window of approximately 2.5 hours to get groceries and run errands in town one morning. Prior to making my mad dash to the big city of Jefferson City, I asked each child what kind of valentine and treats they would like to share with their classes. Each one reported what they would like, but all three ended their request with, “Just get something.” (Clearly, their love and gratitude was shining in those moments.)

For my 8 year-old son, I purchased dinosaur valentines with Rice Krispie treats. For my 10 year-old son, I purchased his standard sports valentines with ring pops. For my 12 year-old daughter, I purchased chocolate craze valentines and Fun Dip packets. The chocolate craze valentines came complete with chocolate-scented erasers.

I thought these were fairly successful purchases, but the 12 year-old was not pleased with the chocolate craze valentines and proceeded to tell me they were stinky and kind of creepy. The 10 year-old nosed his way into the conversation and agreed with the 12 year-old that her valentines stunk.

I was shocked! As a choco-holic, I could not fathom the idea that people wouldn’t love chocolate-scented erasers!

According to my daughter, it’s wasn’t a big deal. She was fine with just taking the Fun Dip packets, but it’s the principle of the thing. How could my family think the valentines I selected stank?

Continue reading “Stinky Valentines”

Easily Distracted By…

Maybe it’s the frequently falling snowflakes or the walls starting to close in after nearly a year of COVID quarantines, but being easily distracted seems to a more common occurrence these days. Even as I draft this post, my mind has already wandered off to granola bars, coffee, the laundry in the dryer, and what the heck my kids are doing. (Deep breath. Focus.)


Have you found your mind wandering with greater abandon lately? Has it been tougher to hold tight to your train of thought? Well, you are not alone.

When I Googled “How to focus better,” the search produced about 2,890,000,000 results. Yikes! That’s A LOT of information on focus and why we struggle with it. Perhaps the fact that there are nearly 3 billion internet options tells us that we have too much at our fingertips. That abundance of information and distractions makes maintaining concentration confounding.

Continue reading “Easily Distracted By…”