Cave

person walking on rock formation under cloudy sky

Photo by Pete Johnson on Pexels.com

It’s only when we fail to stand our ground that we cave.

Only when we fail to be true to ourselves, we cave.

When we fail to be honest, we cave.

We fail to believe; we cave.

Fail only when we cave.

 

The times when I have felt least successful are those when I felt I caved to insecurity or scrutiny of others. It was in allowing the foundation of what I knew was right to crumble. I let my emotions cascade in an avalanche of uncertainty around me. I caved.

One instance from junior high, where I personally caved, still haunts me.

In 6th grade, recess changed the social dynamic for everyone at my school. The 6th grade girls were assigned the parking lot between church and our grade school along with the 7th and 8th grade girls for recess. There were no soccer goals, basketball hoops, or kickball fields in this lot. As someone who always loved sports and being active, this move was not an exciting one for me. The other girls seemed perfectly happy to sit on the steps next to church and clump in tightly knit circles gossiping away our precious free time. Recess was not much fun as far as I was concerned, but I made the most of it floating from group to group, checking to see what the topic of conversation might be, or if there was a chance of athletic ambition from anyone.

One day I ran to talk to one of the 8th graders, who played basketball on the school team with me. She was talking to two others girls and I was excited to see if they wanted to talk basketball.

As soon as I entered their circle, one girl took me by the arm and turned me around. “You are like a wart. We want to burn you out of here,” she said and pushed me in the opposite direction of their conversation. Continue reading “Cave”

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What’s Comin’ Will Come… – Wise Words Wednesday

 

Hagrid

Hagrid is a trustworthy, gentle giant in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. He is the caretaker of Hogwarts and has a soft spot for creatures that most would consider terrifying or hazardous, but when it comes to standing up for what is right, no one would ever doubt which side Hagrid would be on.

HagridIn the books Hagrid, Harry, and the people of the wizarding world faced some pretty treacherous villains and situations. With each challenge came the opportunity to be steadfast and brave. As a reader, it was breathtaking to encounter the harrowing battles and escapes. Always fighting the fight between good and evil, Hagrid and company were perpetually prepared to face what came next.

“What’s comin’ will come and we’ll meet it when it does.” Continue reading “What’s Comin’ Will Come… – Wise Words Wednesday”

Inking God’s Plan

Ink Speaks 2

Whatever your stance on tattoos, the power of self-expression through ink cannot be denied. Just as writers have put words to paper for centuries, tattoo artists have given power to the markings on their human palletes.

Recently our friend Evan experienced a very dramatic change in his life. Like most, he was angry and confused at first, but after time to think things through, Evan has started the task of moving past the hurt and letting the emotional wounds become battle scars.

As part of his healing process Evan chose a way to make God’s word a permanent reminder that the plan for us is bigger than we can ever understand. He chose the simple scriptural emblem of “Isaiah 14:27.”

Nothing can stop God’s plan for your life.

Continue reading “Inking God’s Plan”

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”

Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears

Pig PlayPig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears
Guest Post by Wade Orscheln

In the last few days I have been inspired not by a paid motivational speaker, not by my boss, not by a famous person or athlete, not even by an adult, but by the great youth we have in agriculture.  The last few days I have found myself running back and forth from home to Sedalia trying to watch my FFA students exhibit their livestock at the Missouri State Fair. Which reminds me that I must thank my principal for letting me out of those beginning of the year teacher meetings so I could attend these shows.  These kids give me hope in our future.  They showed me a passion and drive I thought that had been lost in our American youth.

Maybe I’m becoming soft with age, but several times during the youth swine show I found myself drying my eyes.  I got to witness a blind young man with the help of a friend who served as his eyes exhibit the 4-H reserve champion barrow.  I watched as his friend embraced him with a big hug.  The smile on his face and the tears in the eyes of the crowd was priceless.  I just wish for a moment he could visually see how great his duroc barrow really was.  I wish he knew how motivational he was.  He didn’t just show the 4-H reserve champion barrow but showed the world that a disability doesn’t have to disable.

I got the opportunity to listen to a judge speak before selecting the youth show overall champion barrow. He spoke about, that what was going on in the swine barn that day wasn’t about the livestock at all, that it was about the kids in the show ring.  After his speech I witnessed a young man get the slap that every livestock exhibitor dreams of.  That slap that the judge gives your animal when choosing the grand champion. Instantly the young man wrapped his arms around the judge and broke into tears. These tears were tears of joy and passion. Continue reading “Pig Play: Driven by Emotion, Inspired by Tears”

Why Moms Need Capes – Wise Words Wednesday

Moms with Capes

Moms are the ones who need capes.

Recently I rescued a little boy from the top of a climbing wall at the local park. His cape was hung up on the back side of the wall and he couldn’t get it over. His arms were draped over the wall behind him at odd angles. It was a frightening moment.

The incident was not, however, unexpected. I had witnessed the boy and his mother arguing about the need to take off the cape while he played. She said, “Take it off.” He said, “No.” It was obvious that she wanted to enjoy their time at the park so she let him have his way.

When I heard his cry for help, I was only about 20 feet away. Without hesitation I ran to him and said, “Don’t be scared. I am a mommy and I am going to get you down.” I lifted him high enough for the snag of the cape to release and his arms to fall down to me. Gently, I set him down so as to not scare him or invade his space too much. His poor mother was coming our way. She thanked me and said, “Wow, you were fast.” I told her it was no problem.

The boy still would not take off the cape. He ran and climbed up to the top of the playground. His cape caught on the slide as he slid downward. Another scary moment. His mama took the cape this time. He cried on the side of the playground until he decided it was better to play than pout.

As I packed up my own little villains, I walked past that poor mom. She thanked me again. I replied, “Moms are the ones who need capes.” She said, “You got that right.” Continue reading “Why Moms Need Capes – Wise Words Wednesday”

Wrongness and Visionaries – Wise Words Wednesday

Visionary Wrongness

There is nothing worse than finding out an idea was a “bad” idea. There are ideas that demand such confidence that is is painful to not have faith in their potential. It is only when we give that idea a chance that we find out if we are visionary or wrong.

sheldoncooper1Sheldon Cooper’s character rarely allows doubt to filter into his decision making process. When a notion is questionable, Dr. Cooper turns to what he knows – science. When science can’t solve it, he blames the conundrum on the imperfections of humanity.

When I am unable to work out a problem, or I begrudgingly discover an idea was not so great, I have to turn to what I do know – my gut instinct. (My attachment to science isn’t as strong as Dr. Cooper’s.) Continue reading “Wrongness and Visionaries – Wise Words Wednesday”

Passion isn’t Part Time

LeBeautique Passion

Owning your dream business is never a part time endeavor (no matter how often it is open). Christina (LeBeau) Rogers and Kylie (LeBeau) Dickneite are the owners of LeBeautique in Westphalia, Missouri. While the shop is only open a few days a week, their passion for the boutique and their clients is anything but part time.

Recently, Kylie told me she had her dream job, “even if it’s only part time.” Anyone who speaks to these ladies knows their passion for the boutique is definitely full time. The sisters are always thinking about which customer would be perfect for the newest romper or what accessories they can find to go with the cute boots coming in this fall. Constantly on the search for items that will bring joy to their customers, Christina and Kylie make their shopping all about the future.

LeBeautique 3In March of 2016 the LeBeau sisters opened LeBeautique after their friend Carrie asked, “Why don’t you LeBeau girls do something with that space up there?” Carrie is the owner/operator of The Stone House Salon. The front two rooms of the Stone House had sat empty for some time. That space would soon become LeBeautique. Kylie and Christina has always enjoyed the sport of shopping and frequently aspired to open their own shop. Carrie’s prompt was their jumping off point. Continue reading “Passion isn’t Part Time”

The Beauty of Acceptance – Wise Words Wednesday

Accepting Beauty

Have you ever been to a point in your life that you only see the negatives? Were all you thought about was what you didn’t have, but wanted to have? Where you picked out everyone else’s flaws because you weren’t satisfied with yourself?

Well I have, and let me tell you what I was doing. I was wasting my life. I was missing all the beauty in my life and losing out on my precious time. You see, I never saw the beauty in what I had. I missed out on some amazing talents, time with my family and memories with my kid. I saw what others were achieving and hated it because I wasn’t doing something exciting with my life.

It wasn’t their fault. They were ACTUALLY DOING something with their life, and I was just crying about mine.

It wasn’t until I was sitting in the back-church pew on Saturday night telling God how much I disliked Him for putting my family though hell that I realized it wasn’t Him. He wasn’t the one making my life seem awful. Negativity was something that I felt I needed to survive. In all honestly what I needed was hope, faith, and courage. Seeing the beauty in life is something many miss. Getting up early just to watch the sunrise and listen to the first sound of the birds can be relaxing and an amazing time to meditate on the day’s happenings. Watching the wind blow through the tress doesn’t have to be a sign of rage and anger anymore. It is the voices of all my loved ones gone from this earth talking to me.

Amy K 1I now sit in the back pew at church and thank God for what He has faced me with. I know that He will never hand me more than I can handle. Having faith in Him took the weight of the world off my shoulders. Seeing the beauty in these gave me the hope I needed to become a stronger woman, wife, mother, and friend.

Now I know that to some they are like, “Duh! Get your head out of your butt and look at what you have.”

In all honestly, after having that dark cloth blinding you for so long, it takes some time to see the real color of the life you live. Not everything has to be black. Why not have your world colored by the joy, the beauty, the success of others? Surrounding myself with others who are positive gives me more courage than I could ever have dreamed of. You see for me, I was heading down a dark and lonely path. Shutting out all those that cared about me. It has taken a lot of work and I’m still not perfect, but I am making progress.

By: Amy Kemna

Guest post for 2017 Lessons Learned in the Last Year Intentergy series.

P.S. I have seen so many amazing transformations in Amy the past year that I just had to have her tell her story. Amy, you are beautiful, and I am thankful for your friendship and willingness to share your thoughts on how wonderful life can be when we gracefully accept God, our imperfect lives, and ourselves. 🙂
– Melanie A. Peters

Walking Between the Drops

Walking Between the Drops

Walk between the drops

The ability to walk between rain drops was a mystery explained to me in the 5th grade. Only angels can walk between the drops.

Between the church and elementary school I attended, there was a parking lot. On Tuesday and Friday mornings, all of the school children attended mass. On rainy days we would dash across that parking lot from school to church and back again.

From underneath the overhang of the rectory, Msgr. Huels used to taunt us with, “Only angels can walk between the drops.”

I never understood the meaning behind this jeer, but I knew I really wanted to be able to walk between those rain drops. I was secretly scared of Monsignor. His gravely voice and demeanor intimidated me.

In the spring of my 5th grade year, one of my classmates (who was not afraid) returned Monsignor’s taunt with, “Nobody can walk between the drops!”

I didn’t want to get wet, but I was also too scared to move away from the scene.

The growlly voice of the old priest snapped, “Those rain drops tell me who the little devils are.” Continue reading “Walking Between the Drops”