Light from Last Year

As I made my way around the corner, light from our basement stairwell startled me. My children are notorious for leaving on the lights throughout the house, but this time I was the only one awake and certain that I had turned off all lights before going to bed the night before. The glare from the stairs was unexpected and demanded investigation.

I made my way down the steps, and as I reached the bottom landing, I had to smile. The radiant light was shining through the artwork completed a year ago on our basement windows. The sun had not shone in a few days and its rays were something I really needed and appreciated in that quiet moment.

The windows found in my home and those around the globe, may not have held a candle to the ones found in our parish churches, but they allowed a creative light to shine in our hearts and homes last spring. In the throws of pandemic quarantine, I sought ways to bring joy and creativity to my children’s activities. As Easter approached and the weather kept us indoors, I joined thousands of other parents giving kids permission to paint their windows. Using tempera paint we created “stained glass” windows.

At the time, this was a fun and uplifting experience. Now, the fear and anxiety that came with the haunting pandemic are lessened and the pressures of what to do with ourselves in those uncertain times have diminished, but the artwork on our windows is still there brightening our days.

I could wash the windows and take down the reminder of what COVID 19 did to our lives last spring, but keeping the color on those panes has also been a positive prompt encouraging us to keep faith in spite of fear and that things will improve if we find ways to stay optimistic. It is in the light of last year that we can feel pride in our resourcefulness and gratitude for what we have accomplished and the continued blessings of our lives. So if you are feeling down or there is a darkness hanging over you, please know that there is light at the end of every tunnel and even the most stained of windows have the ability to let brightness shine in you.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. Washing windows is a sad subject because washing windows makes me sad. Please don’t ask me to was these windows. 🙂


Talents and Skills – Light Required

Light Required

“Talents and skills are like any other living thing – they can’t grow in the dark.” – Rachel Hollis

Recently, my daughter discovered vaulting at horseback riding camp. If you look up the definition of vaulting on a horse, it is something like “gymnastics and dance on horseback.” (A terrifying sport for the parents of ambitious, fearless, young equestrians to watch.) 

Due to our already overloaded schedule, we told her that adding vaulting lessons to her extracurricular activities was not an option.

She raged at us saying, “You mean there is a sport I really want to try, and you won’t let me?”

Hubby and I responded in unison, “Yes!”

She stormed off to her room and cried the tears of a desperate adolescent.

As I listened for the storm to subside, I had to think of a way to assuage her disappointment and remind her that the word “No” is a part of life and remind her that she already had A LOT of things she is good at and enjoys.

When I felt it was safe to enter her room, I reminded her of when she decided that gymnastics was the ONLY sport that would perpetuate her existence.

Hubby and I rejected her initial pleas to take lessons, but after she spent months (and I mean like 18 months) watching videos, practicing with her cousins, and teaching herself techniques and stunts in the backyard and basement, we saw it was something she was truly dedicated to and good at. Once she had shed light on her talent and allowed it to grow, it was clear that there was something there and now she rocks at all of her gymnastics classes, performances, and meets.

I told her, if she felt vaulting was something she really wanted to try, she needed to educate herself and work with our horse at home on the basics. The only way to see if she really likes it is to shine time and effort on it. She saw what I was saying and the situation became much brighter.

“Talents and skills are like any other living thing – they can’t grow in the dark.” – Rachel Hollis

If there is something you are considering starting or have an interest that you believe would make your life more complete, I challenge you to shed some light on it. Hiding it in the recesses of your heart or behind excuses is no way to develop into the person you want to be. The only way you can improve is to shine some time and energy on it. (This is sage advice from the parent of a desperate adolescent.) 

Put your Intentergy into lighting up your passions and radiating in the success of your skills and talents. It’s not gonna happen if you keep them in the dark. Get shining, my friend, or at least let some sunlight land on your efforts.

By: Melanie A. Peters

P.S. I have not seen my daughter watch one video on vaulting and have not heard one more word about lessons. She has however moved on to American Ninja Warrior and put some time into turning our swing set into an obstacle course. I may need another diversion before she asks for ninja warrior lessons.

P.P.S. If you mention vaulting, this post, or anything related to the subject to my daughter, you will feel the heat of a 10,000 suns scorching your soul. (Also, sage advice from the parent of a desperate adolescent.)


Why are shadows so darn scary?

Why are shadows so darn scary?


The weather was BEAUTIFUL this past weekend so I took my kiddos to the local playground. As we were swinging, my youngest son said, “Look how big I am!” (He was admiring how large the afternoon sun made him appear.)

My daughter was sitting on the swing next to him and she asked, “Mama, why do shadows scare me sometimes?” I laughed and told her I knew what she meant. I explained the meaning of the expression “Afraid of their own shadow.” She told me that she wasn’t afraid of her own shadow, just afraid of shadows sometimes because she didn’t know what they were.

Again, I assured her she wasn’t alone.

Here is the heart of my message. There are a lot of things out there that frighten us. Most of them are the unknown. Some of them are cold and dark. Some of them make small things seem enormous. Here is what we need to do to shed light on those scary old shadows:

png 1 Stop! Take a look at what is casting its shadow your way with an open-mind. When you allow yourself time to develop a clear perspective, it is a lot easier to find solutions to the situation that frightens you.

png 1 Shine your own light on the shadow. If the thing that frightens you is hanging around because of something scary a loved one is facing, be a beacon of joy and hope for them. When you share joy, it multiplies. Shadows don’t stand a chance when hope glows in the hearts of the frightened.

png 1 Tell the shadow to go away. If there is a threatening person or situation that continually darkens your door, let it go. Tell it to move on. Stand firm and move with unwavering intent to leave that shadow behind you.

png 1 Laugh it away. When you are able to face your fears and laugh in their shady faces, you are no longer afraid. You have put power into your own hands and taken charge of the situation.

png 1 Acknowledge that there will always be shadows to cross your path. Not every day can be all sunshine and roses. Not every song can be love and laughter. Not every story has a happy ending, but you can start a new tale or rewrite your personal history as you over come your shadowy fears. They exist but they the can only scare us if we let them.

By: Melanie A. Peters


P.S. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been scared by my own shadow once or twice.