Signs of Faith

sign of faith

Recently I had the opportunity to visit our local ambulance district headquarters with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. It was a terrific experience.

The girls were able to see all of the equipment and try out some of the life-saving gear used by the ambulance personnel.  Dana, our guide, took time to show and explain each part of the ambulance district offices, garage, training rooms, and living quarters. The sign in the picture above was hanging in the living room.

This sign was probably one of the greatest examples I have ever encountered of what faith truly is. The reality of what those medics and responders face daily struck me with tremendous force as I read and re-read those words, “Faith makes things possible, not easy…”

“Faith makes things possible, not easy…”

How many times have I found myself trying to reassure a student that I had faith in them?

Rarely did they realize my faith was in their ability to be successful at a task, not in the ability for the task to be done without some effort. Oh how I wish these words were in my teaching vernacular for the last decade!

What about all those times when I prayed for help with making a huge decision? Continue reading “Signs of Faith”

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All in One Bite?

Bite

Chocolate covered strawberries are a treat that many of us enjoy. My father-in-law loves to make this special treat for the kids. He works hard to use perfectly ripe strawberries and make them look extra delicious. Every time he drops the special strawberries off he can’t wait to see the kids dig in.

The problem is my kids LOVE strawberries and they LOVE chocolate, but they won’t eat them together. They methodically pick the chocolate off the berries, eat the strawberry, and give the chocolate to me (because it touched a strawberry).

What is wrong with eating them all in one bite?

Do you eat chocolate covered strawberries?

I guess those tasty cocoa-covered fruit are a blend of two enjoyable things. Some people enjoy can only enjoy them separately, while others find the combination irresistible.

I have the problem of finding the combination of being busy and needed too irresistible. I love to be busy. I love to help others. I live to feel needed and appreciated. The problem is I sometimes drown myself in being busy and fail to find that perfect balance of needed and healthy.

Do you ever do this?

Continue reading “All in One Bite?”

Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday

Opportunity Visits

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor”Into the Woods

These words always seem to pop up in my life at just the right time.

For the last month, I have not been writing much (the whole, “I’m too busy” thing). Each day that I don’t write separates me from the messages I wish to share and the healthy practice of jotting down my thoughts and experiences. Those thoughts and experiences may not come again. Reflecting on this quote from Into the Woods, I find myself with renewed vigor for writing and encouraging others to share their own thoughts and works.

What talent or passion have you been neglecting?

“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor.”

I have wrestled with finding time to take a break for myself. Creating opportunities for quiet, peaceful time with my family has also failed to make its way into my schedule. If I don’t instigate those calm, restorative moments with my family and for myself, who will?

Please take time for yourself and those you love. Peace has to begin in our hearts and homes before it can be found all over Earth. Continue reading “Visits from Opportunity – Wise Words Wednesday”

Knotted Fun = Not Fun for Mom (Sometimes)

In Knots 1

My kids have been dragging home loops of knotted yarn. They spend hours of their day trying to make patterns including: Jacob’s Ladder, teacup, spider web traps, Eiffel Tower, bow and arrow, and other geometric shapes with the yarn between their fingers.

Hours, I tell you!Hours they should be cleaning rooms, doing homework, practicing basketball, or being productive in some way.

The hours of employing imagination and making yarn shapes are really not what get me worked up. It’s the random yarn loops lying around EVERYWHERE and the knock-down-drag-out fights over who has whose “special” yarn loop.

Seriously, it’s a knotted circle of string!

In Knots 2The knotted fun for my kids has not exactly been fun for me, but I am always seeking the positive in situations so I thought I would share what I discovered after researching the knotted fun phenomena. Continue reading “Knotted Fun = Not Fun for Mom (Sometimes)”

Spilling into 2018

Spill into 2018 1

Less than three sips into my first glass of New Years Eve wine, I knocked over the entire cup in a fit of excitement to show my “good” coat to a friend. The wine flowed right on over to the corner of a jacket laying on the table. It was NOT my coat. AAAHHHH!

I quickly wiped the coat off and dried up the table.

Then the worry set in.

I HAD to find the owner of the coat.

What if it was their “good” coat?

What if they yelled at me?

What if they told everyone I was a raving drunk, who destroyed their coat and any hopes of a happy new year? (I may be exaggerating, but I really was worried.)

I asked everyone I saw if the coat was thiers, but had no luck locating its owner.

I was just about to trudge the walk of shame to the front of the dance and kindly ask the amazing band singer if I could borrow his microphone. I needed to find the owner of that coat. As I went back to grab the coat, the cutest, little brunette was getting something from the purse next to THE COAT.

Continue reading “Spilling into 2018”

Security Brought on by Blankets

Security Brought on by Blankets via Daily Prompt: Blanket

Stolen blanket 1

When you become a parent, you give up the rights to many things. Six years ago I gave up ownership of a blanket.

The blanket was a Christmas gift from my Secret Pal. I liked the blanket. It was festive and cozy. My two year-old liked it more.

As I was 8 months pregnant at the time, I couldn’t chase her very well when she ran away with it. I was too round and too nauseous to run. I really didn’t put up much of a fight.

She sure loved that blanket. Stolen blanket 21It went everywhere with her. It made her feel safe in any situation and comforted her when she was sick or exhausted. That blanket provided a lot of security for my little girl.

Today that blanket continues to be her traveling companion and provides needed comfort often. It also makes a great foot warmer when she is playing on her tablet. 🙂

png 1 What is it about a blanket that provides us with comfort?

Many of us have that one special blanket that softened our childhood. It provided security when we felt scared and soothed us when we needed consolation. Security blankets and leaving them behind are rite of passage.

When I was little I didn’t carry around a blanket. I had a frilly, silk pair of underwear that I loved. Yup, underwear. Today not many little girls have silk underwear with lace sown across the back, but in the early 1980’s a few of us still donned them. I didn’t wear the silky underwear though. I held them between my fingers as I sucked my thumb. Sounds pretty cute right? Well, eventually it wasn’t cool to carry around a pair of underwear or suck my thumb, so I moved on, but we don’t all have the luxury of outgrowing our security blankets.

png 1 Did you have a security blanket?

When my son was born, his godmother gave him a sweet, snuggly blue blanket with his name embroidered on it. The blue blanket wasn’t a big one. It was a small, square fleece with sateen border. It had just the right-sized tag for my little guy to wrap his finger in and he rarely went anywhere without it. One day when he was 2 1/2, we had multiple doctor and pharmacy appointments for his ear infections. It was a rough day. It only got rougher that night when we realized blue blankey was gone!!!! I called and drove back to all of our stops the next day. No blankey was to be found. My mom lovingly made him a new one, but it was just never the same.

png 1 Have you ever lost your security blanket? Continue reading “Security Brought on by Blankets”

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”

When Life Gives You Bananas…

We all know the adage, “When life give you lemons, make lemonade.” What about when life gives you bananas?

Recently my mom came into a pile of bananas. Literally, there was a pile of bananas at her work that were just going to be thrown out because they were overripe. Not wanting to let good bananas go to waste, Mom politely asked if she could have them. Her manager said, “Yes, my wife will kill me if I bring home another box of brown bananas.”

When she got home Mom set to work putting the soft, but still yummy, bananas to good use. She baked a banana cake, banana bread, and banana muffins. She still had a few of the aged fruits left over; she will surely come up with a clever way to use them. (Fertilizer for her rose bushes, maybe?)

Bananas (3)Saturday night, Mom and Dad joined us for dinner. She brought the banana cake. It was awesome! (In fact I had one of the last pieces this morning with my coffee. A terrific way to start a Monday morning.) She plans to share her banana muffins with her co-workers at school. I am sure the banana bread has a generous future too.

What do you do when life gives you bananas?

Do you toss them out? Do you let the fruit rotten? Do you make them into something that is still enjoyable? Do you fertilize your flowers? Continue reading “When Life Gives You Bananas…”

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)

 

 

 

Three Gifts from Santa

As I spoke to many of my friends this weekend about holiday shopping, a few asked me about this tradition so I am re-blogging my post about the Three Gift Tradition celebrated by my family.

I am grateful to all who have taken time to read and share this tradition. I hope that the message shared is one that will inspire you to give with greater intent and grace.

Intentergy

Three Gifts from Santa

three-gifts-from-santa

Every year Santa delivers three gifts for each of us. That is it. Three.

My children receive three things from the jolly old elf and are ecstatic. The gifts are usually three things from my children’s wish lists or fun things they will use.

When people hear that my children only receive three gifts Christmas morning, they are shocked.

Here are Santa’s reasons for the tradition of three gifts on Christmas morning at our home:

5. Santa is magical but he is also practical.

4. Santa wants the family to spend time together. He doesn’t want all of Christmas to be spent in separate parts of the house with our new things. He wants us together.

3. Santa wants our children to know they are loved and the number of gifts under the tree can NEVER amount to the measure of our love.

2.Children receive so…

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