Friday, March 28, 2014

March in the Rear View Mirror

End of March. One quarter of the way through 2014. Does that make you roll your eyes, too, and wonder where the days go?

Time for the link up with Chatting at the Sky, Emily Freeman, and her collection of thoughts, reminisces and randomness for what we learned in March. And maybe, even some profoundity. That's profound, not profane...

Thinking back over March, I didn't remember learning anything in particular. Picked up my journal, thumbed through March's pages. There was more there than I thought.

 I am coming out of - at least I hope I am coming out of - a time of brain fog. An actual term, actually, for a condition caused by: A - poor nutrition, B - hormonal mess, C - lack of exercise, D - vitamin deficiency, E - just because, F - lack of sleep, G - stress, H - any combination of the above. Take your pick. (This is an unofficial, personalized re-interpretation). A nutritional book I've been reading, and somewhat following, recommends not eating any grain. For the experiment, I drastically reduced any breads, cereals, or pastas. What I learned, is that I can focus on protein for breakfast, eat a big salad for lunch, and feel full. Didn't think that was possible without crunchy chips or slice(s) of bread. While I am not going completely gluten free, I am cutting way back, and discovering I do feel better without it. Except for once in awhile, when a little bit tastes extra yummy. Learning to find the balance point. And clear out the brain fog.

Finished up Grace for the Good Girl, this month, by Emily Freeman. It brought back to me lines from a very old hymn. Found the words in one of our ancient hymnals, "In the Secret of His Presence", by Ellen Lakshmi Goreh:
"In the secret of His presence
how my soul delights to hide!
Oh, how precious are the lessons
which I learn at Jesus' side!
Earthly cares can never vex me 
neither trials lay me low;
For when Satan comes to tempt me,

to the secret place I go, 
to the secret place I go."

"When my soul is faint and thirsty,
'neath the shadow of His wing
There is cool and pleasant shelter,and a fresh and crystal spring;And my Savior rests beside me as we hold communion sweet:If I tried I could not utter 
what He says when thus we meet,what He says when thus we meet."

"Only this I know: I tell Him all my doubts, my griefs and fears;Oh how patiently He listens!and my drooping soul He cheers:Do you think He ne'er reproves me?What a false friend He would be,If He never, never told me of the sins which He must see,of the sins which He must see."

"Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord?Go and hide beneath His shadow:this shall then be your reward;And whene'er you leave the silence of that happy meeting place,You must mind and bear the image of the Master on your face,of the Master on your face."
                 (sorry about the formatting, my computer and I are not working well together)

"Frozen" came out this month on DVD. I imagine you have heard the theme song, "Let It Go." If you live in a house with girls or granddaughters you have probably heard it hundreds of times. For me, "Frozen" tied in with the message of Grace for the Good Girl. Elsa learned to let go of her mask of fear, hiding from her sister, the people, not allowing them to see, to know who she was. She replaced that mask with love - love for her sister, her people, and she rediscovered the joy in life.

We received photos of two ultrasounds this month, both long awaited grandbabies. Woohoo! One, a little boy, due in August, the other, due in October. Our youngest grandson turns one next week. Exciting days of growth and learning and challenges for them and their parents - remembering the times I fed and fought with and talked with and taught and played with and helped our children to grow - now it is their turn, with their own children, and I am caught in this blurred time warp of it being just yesterday or ages and ages ago.

Two of the books I checked out from the library have a common thread. The Backyard Parables, a garden book, by Margaret Roach, an author familiar from her days as the editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine, and I also read her detailed and sometimes technical blog about gardening. Jeff Goins recommended an author, a writing book, Marion Roach Smith, The Memoir Project. Hmmm, similar names, so I looked them up. Yup. Margaret is big sister to Marion. Pretty cool that I would have both of their books, on unrelated topics, not knowing their connection. I like to discover things like that, life's little coincidences that make me feel like maybe, just maybe, I am on the right track.

March was a month of garden classes and symposiums, three Saturdays in a row. Good timing for me. Too early, too cold to get out and work in the garden. Good to focus my thoughts on planning and learning and visions of gorgeous gardens to come. The group of us who volunteer at the local xeriscape demonstration garden started our winter clean-up today, trimming, clearing up scattered leaves and tumbleweed, pruning back, and raking up winter's debris. I learned how much I could be doing in our yard, now, even though we can't plant yet. At the demonstration garden, the plants I helped plant last spring have tiny green shoots, the grape hyacinths bloomed, and the feeling of life, surging beneath the dead-looking foliage, encouraged me. Even though it is still freezing at night, the wind can be icy, and most likely we will have more snow, the plants know it is time to begin to grow. To reach for the sun. Me, too. To leave March behind with a glance in the rear view mirror, and look ahead to April and spring.

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