Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt

 

Some mornings it takes a little bit of extra coffee and sunshine to get my confidence going. Other mornings it takes an army of awesomeness to prove I can handle whatever the day has in store. Most mornings my mojo is inspired by the fact that I have to get my minions moving and on the bus.

Last week I ambitiously tried to open a new bottle of vitamins. The vitamins were recommended by my friend Emily and I was excited to see if they would help boost energy and assist in keeping focus as my exhausted brain faced another week of grading, parenting, and farming.

The problem was the cotton was stuck. I did not have the mental or physical dexterity to remove the stupid cotton ball from the bottle. As the sun had not risen yet and my coffee had not brewed, I was not sure I had the capacity to get to those vitamins. I was stuck in in my self-doubt (and cotton). In fact, I was so stuck; I video recorded myself trying to get the dumb old cotton out of the bottle.

With just a bit of persistence (and a fork), I was able to free the cottong and try out my new vitamins.  Continue reading “Don’t Get Stuck in Doubt”

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A Hook Out of Water – Wise Words Wednesday

A Hook Out of Water

Last week I had the pleasure of taking my niece and nephew fishing with us. They had not been fishing much and were VERY excited to go to Grandpa’s pond and reel in their first big catch.

My sister had lovingly chosen fishing poles for each of them. An Avengers pole for my nephew and a Moana pole for my niece. As I carried them to the kitchen table with my tackle box, my nephew looked suspicious.

“What are you going to do to my fishing pole?” he asked in his little voice.

“I’m putting a hook, weight, and floater on it so you can go fishing,” I replied.

His eyes got the size of saucers and he said, “A real hook? Yippee!”

My niece was equally excited about her “real hook,” but at nine years old she was too cool to say, “Yippee!”

The “Yippees” kept coming until it was time to put bait on those “real hooks.” Both of my guest anglers were appalled to tears that I would expect them to touch a worm. They wanted to used the fake bait my daughter had in her tackle box. I said, “Okay, but the fish don’t bite as well on them and those fake baits stink way worse than worms.”

“Worms are gross,” my niece informed me.

“They may be gross, but the fish sure love them,” I said. Continue reading “A Hook Out of Water – Wise Words Wednesday”

If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings

Unhurt feelings

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Often when I mention my blog, people tune me out. That’s okay. Many times when I invite people to read my blog, they smile and say, “That sounds cool, but I don’t have time to read,” and then they tell me about something else they read on Facebook. It’s okay.

If you don’t read my posts, it doesn’t hurt my feelings.

I write for myself and for those who do need the messages I compose.

I write for the opportunity to share my experiences and the lessons learned in daily events.

I write for other educators and farmers. We have the toughest careers there are. Someone has to get our message out there.

I write for the moms and dads who find joy and frustration in the role of parent and hopefully provide comfort in knowing that we’re not alone in our parenting struggles.

I write for those who suffer from self-doubt, worry, and guilt. We need to let that stuff go and hopefully my posts help others (as well as me) move on from that negativity. Continue reading “If You Don’t Read My Work, It Doesn’t Hurt My Feelings”

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”

goodreads.com – My Newest Obsession

Goodreads.com is a home for book reviews, book recommendations, book lists, book clubs, and author bios and I am now obsessed with it.

If you already enjoy Goodreads, you might find humor in my newness or appreciation for the joy the site has brought to me. Please comment about any features you like or dislike on Goodreads. I had read about Goodreads from a number of other bloggers’ sites, but until our local librarian recommended it to me recently, I had not given it much consideration.

I checked out the site on Thursday and Friday created my account. Now I can’t stop reading reviews, searching for books that I have read or want to read, and am so enthralled by the give-aways, book clubs, and Goodreads blog that I am having trouble concentrating on what I wanted to type here.

goodreads addiction 6There are  many features to this site that I find beneficial. I love how the genres are organized. The search options are everywhere. I can even automatically search for the books I get from Amazon.

Good Read Addiction 2One of the best features for me is the ability to make a “Book Shelf.” I created a Book Shelf for the book club I sponsor at my kids’ school. I was able to find all of the book on the Mark Twain Reading list and add them. This will allow me to rate and review the books as soon as I read them. I can refer students and parents to this list and the sharing grows from there. Now I just have to get my hands on all those books. 🙂

I had the local library’s website open in split screen yesterday so I could start requesting some of the books that intrigued me from the Goodreads site. There is a way to find your local libraries and their catalogs through Goodreads and request your books. (I may wear out that Request button.) I still have to set the library request feature up on my account; searching for books and authors has prevented me from dedicating enough time to it. 

Goodreads is on Twitter (of course) and I have really enjoyed the prompt posts they have published and found some very positive reviewers and followers in the Goodreads’ throngs. Continue reading “goodreads.com – My Newest Obsession”

Freedom in the form of Forgetfulness – Wise Words Wednesday

Freedom of Forgetfulness

There are so many things I wish I could forget and even more I wish I didn’t.

As my 20th high school reunion looms, there are words, experiences, and embarrassments I wish I could forget. If I could just forget them, I would be free to worry about what I am going to wear, who is going to watch my kids, or how much older I look than I did in 1997.

However, the teenage angst I imposed on myself and the nature of teenagers made high school tough. So tough, in fact, that I purposefully kept distance from most everything I related to those four hallowed years. Those ugly emotions and insecurities held me captive for two decades. Sometimes I still have butterflies in my stomach, when I run into people from high school.

In the planning of our class reunion, Amanda (class president) hunted me down on Facebook and became my “friend.” I have always admired Amanda’s calm demeanor and terrific sense of humor, so I was like, “Cool. Amanda and I are friends again.” After I became Amanda’s “friend,” Amber, Angie, and Jennifer found me and we became friends again. Then I found Casey and Tamara, and we became “friends” again. I think you can see where this is going. Continue reading “Freedom in the form of Forgetfulness – Wise Words Wednesday”

Abandoning Time

Abandonded time

Time is tough to abandon but it sure is nice to let it go sometimes.

Playing in the creek is one of our favorite summer pastimes. Throwing rocks, building bridges, hunting crawdads and tadpoles, fishing, and picking wild flowers are the best ways to forget that there is a life too full of demands waiting beyond those creek banks.

I think my favorite thing about the creek is that it provides us with “rush free” fun. We are able to abandon our watches and phones. We are able to abandon the worries of dishes, laundry, and bill paying. We are able to abandon the stresses of schedules and calendars. We are trying to abandon time.

Rarely does a day pass when my kiddos fail to ask if we can go to the creek. They understand and appreciate the fact that when we are at the creek, they are free to play, work, and dream right along with those currents. The fact that the water, animals, and plants are all there naturally makes it the perfect place for us to play and grow. The fact that the creek never reminds us that we have to be somewhere else is magic.

On our last trip to the creek, my son caught some amazing crawdads. (They were huge!) He put them in a bucket and dutifully added rocks and fresh water to the bucket to make the crawdads happy. When it was time to leave, he cried. Oh, how he cried! He did not want to release the crawdads.  Continue reading “Abandoning Time”

Surviving a Stampede for Daisies

Daisy stampede (3)1

Are daisies worth dying for? My children thought I was willing to risk my life for these precious wild flowers.

Saturday a storm was rolling in, winds were billowing, the cattle needed care. Hubby and I were going to drop off a mineral tub and do a quick check of the cows we had just moved to new pasture. The kiddos were in the back seat of the truck taking in every moment.

As we parked at the top of the pasture, I noticed a thick patch of daisies. We had friends coming over for a BBQ later that night and I thought some daisies in a vase would be nice. While hubby unloaded the mineral tub, I hopped out to pick a fist full of flowers. As I was picking, the cows start to make their way to us.

Coming closer the herd picked up speed. They could smell the grain on the back of the truck and were excited about the mineral bucket.

Where I crouched picking daisies, I could tell the cows weren’t coming near me. From where my children sat, I looked like a sitting duck for the stampede. Continue reading “Surviving a Stampede for Daisies”

On Quitting – Thoughtful Thursday

 

Kelly Smith 2

Kelly’s portable “office” 

At my old office, I surrounded myself with framed quotes.  They helped motivate me and, I hope, inspired some of the people who came and went in the little non-profit I managed.

One of my favorite quotes was this, by William G.T. Shedd: “A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are for.”

I had to come to terms with my own “shipness” (it’s not a word, but I’m making it so) after the birth of my third child threw my work-life balance into an overwhelming tailspin.  After weeks of crying in the daycare parking lot and crunching household budget numbers, it was made clear that something would have to give.  That something?  The job I’d loved for a decade, the one I never imagined leaving,

I saw a job ad for an adjunct communications instructor at the area technical college.  I hadn’t applied for a job in more than ten years, but I enthusiastically submitted my name for the position. A part-time job would allow me to keep my professional life active and free up much-needed time for my three kids, including one with cerebral palsy who logs multiple doctor’s appointments each month.

While I waited, I continued to struggle in my full-time career.  Even though I was stressed to the breaking point, I still didn’t know if I was ready to leave.

The day I finally hit a wall at work and came home devastated was the day I received a phone call about interviewing for the part-time teaching position.  The relief and excitement I felt was the answer I’d been waiting for.

As soon as the interview was scheduled, I gave my notice at work.  I didn’t even wait until I had the job, because I was that secure in the decision.  I knew I could no longer “make it work” (said in my most exaggerated Tim Gunn voice). Continue reading “On Quitting – Thoughtful Thursday”

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