Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a parent who is inundated with the behaviors and requests of their children? It’s like trying to locate the queen bee in a hive of crazy. Nobody is concerned about or can comprehend what’s being said, focus is going in a million directions, and the constant buzz is enough to drive everyone in and outside of the hive crazy.
This past weekend I witnessed my friend, Jamie, at the heart of her own wild hive. We were hanging out at a friend’s shop, and for some unknown-to-our-children reason trying to have a conversation.
While Jamie balanced her son on one leg, her daughter traipsed passed walking her baby doll by the hair. Without warning, the baby doll leapt onto Jamie’s vacant leg and began marching up her arm and then rested on her head. Shortly there after, Jamie’s husband asked her about something he couldn’t remember, and she replied calmly with whatever he needed to know. Barely skipping a beat, Jamie continued on with our conversation. After finishing her sentence to me, she politely asked her daughter to take the doll to play somewhere else. Her daughter’s response, “But I need you to be my jungle gym.”
Well, there you had it.
Jamie was needed.
She was a comfy place to sit for her son, reference library for her husband, an apparatus for her daughter’s baby doll activities, and a hub of conversation for me.
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.
Happy Monday, everyone! In this week’s Monday’s Message, I just want to express thanks for everyone who read, commented, and sent kind thoughts our way after publishing The Colors of Change. Your support and faith for good things to come is greatly appreciated.
I’m excited to say that this week’s Wise Words Wednesday was inspired by my son’s homework for computer class and his surprising knowledge of Bible verses. Please be sure to check it out and hopefully find some peace and inspiration for yourself.
Additional inspiration was provided by my friend Jamie and her daughter Kate this weekend. So be sure to check out my post Friday on “….and All the Other Things.” If you struggle with the demands of being called to fill too many rolls, this post is for you.
As we are fully immersed in the holiday season, be sure to give yourself the gifts of grace and time. Know that you are not perfect, and that’s okay. You deserve time to be healthy, happy, and dedicate room for planning and coping with all that comes your way this time of year.
If you want to check one gift off your list, be sure to give the gift of Intentergy and put some positive purpose and energy into someone’s day.
Change is something that comes at us at all different speeds. Some change happens in a instant. Other times developments modify our course gradually, and it isn’t until we’ve rounded a corner that we notice something is different.
Earlier this fall, I witnessed an unusual change. After coming around the bend in their county road, I noticed a small section of leaves had turned a bright yellow in the tree at the end of my parents’ driveway. Maybe it was the way the sun was shining or the striking difference between the yellow and green, but that one section really stood out.
When I mentioned the yellow spot to Dad, he said, “Yeah, I noticed it too; it looks kind of odd, but I guess all the leaves will be changing soon.”
Funny how we can see changes in the world around us more easily than we see oncoming transitions within our own lives. Often, we find ourselves or a loved one suffering from a serious condition, where there seemed to have been no warning signs. It’s odd how we can’t see the forest for the trees when many symptoms are waving the colors of change right before our eyes.
Right now, my family has fallen into the ranks of waging war with cancer in my father.
Yes, there were little signs that things weren’t quite right with Dad, like his unusual upset stomach at Easter, his more frequent naps, or the newly-found food sensitivity where he hadn’t had issues before. Never did we imagine those hints of trouble would lead us to a diagnosis of colon cancer. Once we eventually convinced Dad to go to the doctor, and had a finite diagnosis, it was like reality had stampeded a color run through our world, and we were splattered with a rainbow of tests, surgeries, chemotherapy, medications, and side effects. Who knew the colors of change could be so extreme?
At family gatherings, does your family segregate meals dividing its members between the “kiddie” table and the “grown-ups table”?
If your family does, this is a post for you.
If your family doesn’t, this is still a post for you because we could all use some blessings sent with good intentions (even if they didn’t start that way).
Dating back farther than my memory serves, my mother’s family has hosted all of its meals with separate tables for children and adults. As our legs and attitudes grew, my cousins and I lamented the fact that we were forced to dine at the “kiddie” table. My grandmother used to always tell us to be grateful because at least we weren’t like “the Dooley’s down the road.” Grandma would continue on with the story that the sweet Dooley family had ten (10) children and not enough chairs, so at meals they had to sit on the floor.
My grandmother also maintained the practice of saying, “And all for baby Jesus,” at the end of every meal prayer.
As a teenager, I maintained the practice of being a pain in my grandmother’s rear.
At one holiday meal where I feeling particularly disgruntled at my “kiddie table” status, (I’m sad to say I don’t remember the holiday or year), I followed up my grandmother’s closing blessing, “And all for baby Jesus,” with, “And God bless the Dooley’s. May they all have chairs to sit on.”
Since my jump start back into blogging, I’ve heard from a couple of folks who are excited to see me writing again and a few who are eager to share ideas for content. One of my sweet neighbors asked why I quit doing my Monday videos. My response, “I guess life happened.” This Monday’s Message is for you, neighbor!
In my video I spoke about struggling with the feelings of overwhelm and how to make our life journey more enjoyable. There are lots of solutions and people to support us. We just have to find what works best for us as individuals.
At the start of every month, I make a menu planner for my family’s meals, update my phone and wall calendars, and have a heart filled with optimism for a productive 30 days.
At the end of every month, I wonder where the hell time went and am so grateful I planned all those meals. I am not always able to stick to the meal plan but usually have the ingredients that allow flexibility in feeding our masses without repeats of frozen pizza and cereal too often.
Meal planning is just one way I keep myself sane, but the there are lots of easy solutions out there. Today’s Monday Message is all about riding the struggle bus and attempts to keep it together in simple ways.
The one thing I’ve learned about my lists though is that I can’t put too much on them or I get lost in the listing and fail to follow through the with the doing. If you are getting started on your holiday planning, give yourself 4 or 5 tasks to kick things off, as soon as they are tackled, assign some more awesome jobs to get a jump on. (You can always use my friend Lori’s theory of “One Thing Done”; she starts every list with one thing she has already accomplished and marks it off. That way she always starts with success.)
Another simple solution for flexibility and fulfillment is to keep basic dinner or gift-giving supplies on hand. I always keep goods for making stroganoff, spaghetti, or a soup in my pantry. This makes for easy dinner prep and meals to scarf down when we have to scamper to afterschool or evening events.
As for the gift giving essentials, you can never go wrong with:
a gift card to Target, Walmart, or a local store/restaurant (many schools sell gift cards as fundraisers; you can support schools and keep one or two on hand at the same time)
blank greeting cards
a few craft paper gift bags and white tissue paper
a couple essential items to give as gifts (i.e. coffee cup, water bottle, hand towel, umbrella, drawstring gym bag, etc.)
Sometimes you need a gift of cheer and others you simply run out of time before a special occasion. People can always use practical things, so stock up on cool utilitarian stuff when you can.
As always, thanks for taking time to make Intentergy a part of your day. Hopefully, these posts continue to put energy with positive purpose into your day.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Let me know if you ever need help with your struggle bus.
P.P.S. Let me know if you have any post ideas! I’m making my list for upcoming stories.
November Bloggers BeLOnG – Monday, November 8th at Missouri River Regional Library 6:30-7:30 PM CST
If you are a blogger, or have considered blogging, sign up to join us for this free session!
The adage “Red at night, sailor’sdelight. Red in the morning, sailor, take warning,” is one I’ve heard my entire life. Not one to question wives’ tales or adages, I never doubted the ideology behind fearing a red morning sky. After a week of hearing the weather man predict potential storms, I felt a little anxious when I saw the early, rust-colored sky just beyond the clouds.
As the day drew on, rain sprinkled, the wind blew in frequent gusts, and clouds were the dominant residents of the sky. A storm of destruction never arrived, but drizzle and cold made the day dreary. Thinking about the “Red in the morning,” part of the adage, my mind wandered to a friend of mine. This sweet friend was in my thoughts because not too long ago she told our gal pal gang that there were some flags going up in her relationship. She said they weren’t necessarily “red flags,” but definitely had a pink hue. I prayed for her and listened whenever she wanted to talk. As weeks passed, there were times when we felt like my friend and her significant other might work through their rough patches. Two weeks ago, the rough got rougher, and it was obvious the uncertainties were probably not going to go away. The relationship crumbled. I was sad for her, but so very grateful that she had us (the gal pals) to talk things through and provide support. Her emotional storm is still raging because life is just that way, but hopefully, clear skies are headed her way.
If you are in a situation where there are some red morning warnings, consider how you prepare for those cautious circumstances.
While there might not be a hurricane brewing, there could be some hurtful happenings headed your way.
Think about ways you can head off the storm, and talk with the person or maybe step away from the situation that seems to be setting off the sirens in your heart or head.
The best way to weather any storm is to surround yourself with healthy relationships and be equipped with honesty, grace, and resiliency.
I will readily admit that have sometimes ignored those red morning warnings in my own life. I got soaked in tears a time or two and raged with despair, but now I’m older, wiser, and more prepared.
Life is always throwing storms in our path, but we have the power and ability to face those floods with optimism and tenacity. Today, I encourage you to think about the issues brewing on your horizon and establish a game plan for facing those downpours.
You should also be grateful for all those beautiful red night blessings, when life is peaceful and provides something beautiful. (In my opinion, sunsets are so underrated.)
If you are in the midst of tough times, know that you are not alone. Reach out for help and find safety in those who love you and provide trust, strength, and reliability.
If you are a sailor, thank you for this lovely adage and the chance to use it for Intentergy.
As I listen to my children bicker and fight over a kickball game in our basement, I am frustrated by the unkind words they use and the mean way they pick apart one another’s attempts to kick, run, and throw. It hurts me to hear them use such forceful language when it’s supposed to be a fun game.
What I have to remind myself is that their play is a way to learn the basics of the game, how to handle conflict, and ways to work with others while being competitive. Those viscous kickball games are growing opportunities for turning thrown stones into bridges for better play and successful communication in the future. (That doesn’t make their taunting any easier to hear though.)
Unfortunately, my kiddos’ emotional “rock collecting” has not been limited to the jabs and insults of their siblings. My children (like all kids) have come home with hurt in their eyes and frustration in their hearts from things said and done at school and sports practices. Seeing my kids hurt by the words and actions of others is probably the hardest part of being a parent. These challenges have forced me to dig deep into my repertoire of comfort and advice, but also add to the School of Hard Knocks’ curriculum as my children earn their diplomas in adolescence.
“When people throw rocks, you can either build walls or bridges. Be a bridge builder” – Lynda Mullaly Hunt
The last time I posted any Intentergy was August 18th. That post was to announce upcoming Bloggers’ BeLOnG Sessions. Since then, I’ve done two Bloggers BeLOnG and one Blogging for Beginners Sessions, but written absolutely NOTHING. (Today’s post is the equivalent to the typing walk of shame.)
The worst part is that all of the sessions I’ve spoke at have been on blogging. I feel like a huge hypocrite. And a hypocrite is the worst kind of -crite… so I need to get writing again.
The trouble with getting started again is that it’s really hard to know what to do first.
Ideologies range from taking small steps to diving in head first, but I think what most of us need is an option to move somewhere in between a shuffle and a dive.
Do you feel like you are on pause in some aspect of your life?
Do you feel like you need a push to get back to one of your personal goals or just back in the habit of something that makes your life better?
Well, I’m going to take my proverbial first step to get back to blogging today by offering you a push in the direction of getting going again.
In January, I wrote about making vision boards with my gal pals. I’m pretty proud of how well I stuck to the majority of my visions, but some definitely fell by the wayside. (Sadly, my guitar has not gotten the attention is deserves.)
Did you make a vision board or a New Year’s Resolution? It’s probably not too late to visit those resolutions, even if you have to modify them in a more attainable increment for the remainder of this opportunity-filled year.
On a recent night out, my friends were talking about how much they needed to start losing weight because of health issues. Most of the issues were rooted in diet and lack of activity. My friend Erin shared how she worked her way back into getting fit by starting with 5 minutes a day on her elliptical. After one week of running on her elliptical for 5 minutes a day, she increased her time to 6 minutes a day, and then 7 minutes, eventually working her way up to 45 minutes a day. This was the same method I used when I got started with my workouts as well, and it made my heart happy hearing that those kinds of intentions are productive for others. Sharing the process was a good thing, the but the greater part about Erin sharing her story was that we agreed to be cheerleaders for one another. Every time one of us reaches the goal of 5 minutes on the elliptical or one week of working at it everyday, we will be there to celebrate and cheerlead for one another to keep going. Finding a cheer squad for yourself is definitely one way to get back into the swing of things or start making progress.