Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!
There are two scenarios for this holiday season that come to mind when I think of what’s worthy of effort.
Scenario 1: Putting up Christmas decorations, particularly outdoor lights, is a tough job. It requires precarious positioning of one’s self while attempting to securely attach, mount, or hang the lights in a way that is both esthetically pleasing and able to withstand potential blizzards. Once the lights are in place and any necessary medical attention has been sought, the display of glowing Christmas spirit can warm even the coldest of Grinch hearts.
Was it easy to get those eight pre-lit reindeer with Santa’s sleigh AND the inflatable Snoopy snow globe on the roof? No.
Could you ever imagine the amount of time it would take to assemble your Made-in-China nativity using words that baby Jesus should never have heard? No. But you do it anyway, and it’s worth every watt of energy and effort because you are letting ALL your Christmas lights shine.
Scenario 2: The second scenario of the season is a bit tougher. As our world continues to battle the COVID crisis, I encourage you to envision a holiday where you loosen your hold on what tradition says we MUST do to make Christmas happen.
Will it be easy? Nope. Worth it? Absolutely!
Continue reading “Absolutely Worth It – Wise Words Wednesday”
Today I served as lector for the Palm Sunday mass at our church. This wasn’t unusual, as I have been the lector for this particular mass many times in the past. The unusual part came as I was reading to an almost completely empty church. (Only Father T., another lector, and four members in the choir loft were there with me.)
While this was unusual as masses go, it is the new “normal” for those seeking to take part in celebrations of faith as we seek to stay afloat in the Coronavirus pandemic.
The news of our church broadcasting via Facebook Live may not be headline news, but I believe the impacts of social media-shared services across the globe provides a groundbreaking new definition for “Where 2 or 3 are gathered…”
Matthew 18:20 New International Version (NIV)
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
I know there have been times when church attendance was low and often there are only a handful of parishioners at any one service. The unique element of the social media-shared services is that the two or three in church are joined in spirit and faith by hundreds, maybe thousands, in their homes. The words, actions, prayers, and petitions are all being shared simultaneously via the world wide web. Continue reading “Where 2 or 3 are Gathered … The New Meaning”
Greeting cards are one of the best parts of birthdays, anniversaries, saying thank you, or just to brighten someone’s day. At my son’s 7th birthday party, I gained a new appreciation for the messages inside greeting cards.
A few of the boys made cards to go with their gifts. These were particularly sweet and showed some serious artistic promise. Others purchased greeting cards they thought the birthday boy would enjoy. (His loves for the color yellow, Legos, outer space, and dinosaurs were well represented.)
The magical epiphany of greeting card messages came as the huddle of wiggling wish givers waited for my son to sound out the words inside a store-bought card. One of my son’s buddies (who had made his own card) exclaimed, “It came with all those letters already inside!”
That 7 year-old boy realized something as simple as a card already containing an expression of friendship was something to celebrate. The fact there was an option to give a card with the message right there inside was something to be proud of, to feel excited about, and to make a gift extra fancy.
Here is your Intentergy challenge for today. You are just like that card. You already have the letters inside you. Dedicate your intent and energy to putting the message out there for others. Be proud of your accomplishments and of your friends and family. Share excitement for great things happening around you. Fancy things up a bit with some flattering, faith-filled, or funny messages. You were sent here with all those letters already inside you. It’s okay if you don’t sound like a Hallmark commercial. The simplest sentiments and discoveries (like a card with the letters already inside) are better anyway.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Special shout out to my friend Angela for being the mom who sacrificed herself as a warrior in the Nerf gun war. Angela took one for the mom team allowing the Nerf war teams to be even. I salute you!
Samuel Clemens (a.k.a Mark Twain) is well known for the wit and wisdom of his writing but in today’s quote, I would like to point out he was a pretty darn good motivator as well.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain
While this may seem like the most basic of statements, there is meaningful motivation here.
The old adage that the first step is the hardest to take falls right in line with Twain’s thinking. There isn’t anything quite so difficult as starting something new.
If starting something is just like any other task, shouldn’t new beginnings get easier as we start more and more things?
Of course not, the more we do the harder it is to juggle all the old and the more painful it is to consider the possibility of taking on new commitments.
Here’s the beauty of starting something; it is also a chance to change or finish another part in your life.
Continue reading “Started Getting Ahead – Wise Words Wednesday”
Sweet Home Alabama is hands down one of my favorite movies. No matter what mood I am in or how I am feeling, it makes me feel better. One of the scenes that I can never miss is the one with Melanie and Jake in the coondog cemetery.
When Melanie wipes her eyes, sniffs and says, “It’s funny how things don’t work out,” Jake smile and replies, “It’s funny how they do,” my heart flutters and my mood soars.
I don’t care who you are. There HAS to be a time when this statement was true for you.
There are many experiences in my life that I never would have imagined turning out the ways they did, but each one had its own way of working out.
Whatever you are facing today, I encourage you to remember there is joy in the optimism that all situations have a way of working out.
Tough choices, challenging changes, heartbreak, illness, or seeking purpose are all means to a new beginning. Don’t let the tears and sniffles outnumber your dreams and hopes. Don’t dwell on how funny it is that some things don’t work out. Rejoice in the fact that they will.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. My heart also flutters when she says, “So I can kiss you any time I want.”
In February of 2002 I took a long-term substitute teaching position at a small, Catholic school in Loose Creek, Mo. That position sealed my understanding that God was calling me to be a teacher. In August of 2002, I began my teacher education program only to receive a call in October that the same small school needed me. A teacher had quit. I rearranged my newly laid plans and went back for another long-term subbing.
At the end of that second year, the school secretary gave me a framed saying, “Only angles can wing it. The rest of us have to work at it.”
That saying sits on my bathroom counter today. Every morning it is my motivation to get going and work on making my day count. Every night it is my reminder that even the most imperfect days are days I did my best to keep up with the angels. Continue reading “Only Angels Can Wing It”
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”