The Power of “Yet”

The Power of Yet

Do you know the power of “Yet”?

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is a book by Joshua Hammer. I learned about The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu on Goodreads and I want desperately to read it. However, after laboring through the first few chapters, I realized that I do not possess enough knowledge about Timbuktu, Mali, or the plight of the Islamic peoples as they have been tortured by Al Qaeda. The words of Adbel Kader Haidara, the original Bad-Ass, were beautiful, terrifying at times, and wonderfully descriptive, but my ignorance of how to pronounce and process many of the words left me feeling lost. After page 70, I put the book back on my “To Read” list. I just wasn’t smart enough for this book.

When I told my husband about being confounded by the book, he told me that I would get it; I just might have to read it a few times. He was hinting at the “Yet.”

The Power of Yet 3.jpgA few days after re-shelving The Bad-Ass Librarians, I was speaking to my friend Donna. We were discussing The End of Your Life Book Club and the reads that were recommended in it. It was fun to compare what she had read to what I had read and what we both still wanted to read. It was then that I told her about Hammer’s book. I shared my disappointment in myself for not being educated enough to read the book. That is when Donna reminded me of the power of “Yet.” Continue reading “The Power of “Yet””

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Thoughts on Fear – Thoughtful Thursday

Thoughts on Fear

I am always impressed by the way some individuals are able to encapsulate the emotions that are shared by literally millions. The sadness that has invaded our lives and hearts in recent weeks has largely been caused by fear.

The following are posts or lyrics of others that I have found quite profound. Hopefully their words will eliminate any insecurities that you may have about isolation and separation because of the fear that has invaded your thoughts and emotions.

Kelly Sanders Smith, a friend and fellow teacher, shared this thought on Facebook and opened my eyes to a sad reality about what the generations after mine sadly consider as common place.

Fear Post 1


Cami Walker, my friend and author of 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life, recently shared this post on www.29gifts.org. I love how she is taking tragedy and turning into a positive challenge of love.  Continue reading “Thoughts on Fear – Thoughtful Thursday”

Responsible Reading and Radical Listening – The Time I Met Will Schwalbe

There were so many things I wanted to title this post… “Long Live the Tree Books,” “Becoming a Watch Deputy,” and (the title that almost made the cut) “Buying Books We Knock Over.” (I call dibs on all these titles for future posts.)

This past spring Aunt Carol recommended that I read The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe. The End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir of the books Will and his mother read and bonded over during her diagnosis and treatment for Stage IV pancreatic cancer.

I am not gonna lie. Reading this book made me feel smarter because Will and his mother Mary Anne read some AMAZING stuff. (I have an entire Goodreads book shelf dedicated to books I learned about in The End of Your Life Book Club.) It wasn’t so much the knowledge about the books they read that increased my intelligence; it was the way Will conveyed the powerful life lessons fostered by their reading, conversations, and the tremendous responsibility assumed because of their reading that made me feel smarter.

Will SchwalbeWill was announced as the author of the 2017 Capital READ in June. I was so excited! The date went immediately on my calendar and I ordered a new hardback copy of The End of Your Life Book Club from Amazon Marketplace.

Will Schwalbe 2When my copy arrived, I discovered that I had unwittingly ordered an autographed copy. I was bummed because I wanted my copy to be signed when I met Will. (Silly thing to be bummed about, right?) My signed copy ended up being a cool thing. Continue reading “Responsible Reading and Radical Listening – The Time I Met Will Schwalbe”

Out of Order Wishing Well

Out of Order Wishing Well

As we visited one of Missouri’s fine state parks, we stumbled upon what we believed was a wishing well. My children ran ahead to check it out and plan their wishing strategies. After arriving at the “well,” we discovered it was a clever cover-up for a water hose hydrant used by the state park.

When they discovered no wishes were to be made, I had three bummed babies. As we made our way past the “well,” I asked my daughter what she would wish for. I already knew the answer but thought being able to tell her wish would cheer her up.

“I’d wish for a horse, and a barn, and a saddle,” she said wistfully. I smiled and hugged her. “I would wish for that too,” I told her. Then she asked, “Mama, why did they close the wishing well?” I had to think for a moment and then I told her, “The well wasn’t closed; it was out of order. They just have to find the right way to get the wishes to come out again. Just keep wishing and maybe they will get it fixed.”

I don’t know if that was the right advice to give my girl, but hopefully she will hold onto her dreams and remember just because something doesn’t work at the moment, it might work in the future. Continue reading “Out of Order Wishing Well”

The Gift of Giving

 

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After reading You are a Badass by Jen Sincero, I was inspired to read other publications Jen recommended in her book. Cami Walker’s 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life was one of the books recommended by Sincero. In her book Walker tells the story of how a prescription of intentional giving and journaling has helped her battle the pain and hindrances caused by her multiple sclerosis. It is a powerful story and really propelled me toward a stronger giving purpose.

Taking the 29 Gifts Challenge was a positively impactful experience. For 29 days I intentionally gave gifts and journaled about my giving. The act of giving and reflecting on the impacts made through giving made my life more meaningful.

Excitedly I joined the 29 Gifts Community at http://www.29gifts.org and began to follow Cami Walker and the 29 Gifts page on Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/29Gifts/. Both of these connections inspired me as I saw that there were many others who had taken the 29 Gifts Challenge and were motivated by the book’s message. Continue reading “The Gift of Giving”

A Fire All My Own

via Daily Prompt: Solitary

I think I found where world peace should start…

After a long day of travel, we arrived at our rented, vacation cabin. We spent the evening checking out the lake and camp grounds, did some fishing, and tested out the kayaks. When the kids finally realized they were hungry, each began to gather smalls sticks to start our fire. Hubby purchased firewood from the local woodshed and got it going. I dug out the hotdogs, buns, marshmallows, and skewers.

The open-flame grilled dogs were extra delicious and the kids probably wasted more marshmallows than they ate, but it was fun to watch. When the camp fire and “roasting” things began to lose its appeal, the kiddos hopped in the hot tub. I cleaned up the meal mess. Hubby checked out the area map and brochure of attractions.

It was not until well after dark and the kids were tucked into their respective beds that I was able to do what I wanted on vacation…sit quietly.

There is something powerful and energizing in a camp fire. Watching the flames dance and hearing the logs crack you are fully award that in front of you is a living, breathing creature. Even though I was alone by the campfire, I could not feel lonely.  Continue reading “A Fire All My Own”

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”

Eagles Without a Nest

Homeless Eagle 1.jpg

One of the most impressive sights at the local creek is that of the bald eagles. For a few years now a pair of eagles have raised their family in a huge nest high above the creek bank. This spring a terrible thunderstorm blew their nest down.

Even though their nest has been gone for three months, the eagles remain. It appears they may be building a new nest in a tree across the pasture, but they are often still perched in the tree that held their old home.

Even without their giant nest, the eagles are so picturesque and stoic. (I guess that’s why they were chosen over the less suave turkey to be our national bird.) 

The frequency that those eagles return to the empty branches of their fallen home tells me that they are a lot like us.

Homeless EagleLike the nestless eagles, we gravitate and return to what we know and cherish. Home isn’t defined by what we have but where we feel comfortable.

Storms are going to come along and change everything we have ever known, but we must hold fast to what is at the center of ourselves and continue to return to what keeps us safe and makes us strong.

The eagles don’t seem bothered by the fact that they are homeless. They continue to fly high, gather food, and reign over the creek and its surrounding fields.

The Intentergy challenge for today is to be like these eagles. Know what makes a place home for you. Continue to persevere after tragedy and rough times. Stay strong. Do what you have to do to get through. Allow turmoil to bring about new beginnings and don’t let change chase you from what defines you.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Don’t tell the eagles they are homeless. They think they already own the whole, darn place.

 

 

 

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”

Opry Dreams – They Do Come True

Opry Dreams 3Singing has always been an important part of my life. In particular church and country music have played prominent roles in what I felt moved to sing. For this reason the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee has always held a very special, almost sacred, spot in my heart.

Opry Dreams 2In early June, two of my sisters and I took our mom to Nashville to celebrate a very special birthday. As part of the trip we enjoyed a show at the Grand Ole Opry. It was fantastic! There was even a special guest appearance by Alison Krauss. Lori Morgan was the closing session’s host and we were introduced to the sounds of an AMAZING gospel group called The Whites. (You have to hear them!)

The next day I thought I purchased tickets for the four of us to tour the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the Gaylord Hotel. When we made our call to confirm our tickets, we learned that the tour had actually changed two days earlier (but it hadn’t been edited on their website) and instead we would be visiting the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Wax Museum. This was NOT a happy point in the trip.

To make a long story short, my sisters ditched the falsely-advertised tour. Mom and I went on the tour of the Grand Ole Opry and skipped out on the wax museum.

Our choice to take the Opry tour led to my dreams becoming reality. Continue reading “Opry Dreams – They Do Come True”