What I learned: Spring 2019
I love this practice of taking note, remembering and recording the lessons of each season. I started last fall when my blogging buddy, Erica told me about this practice that Emily P. Freeman was leading. I encourage you to try it too so that you can go back and read it to remind your self of some of the little things that are so easily forgotten. Thank you for letting me share my list of What I Learned each season.
I am too busy in May.
May is the most brutal month of the year. I have been manhandled and pushed around by all the things that we stuff into May. I felt like I was always looking at my clock thinking, “I’ve got an hour before I have to go to this graduation, that farewell picnic, this church event, that end of the school year event, what am I going to do with a whole free hour?” How about work on the vacation plans we are finalizing or clean something for the big visit with family that we have been anticipating for months. We have been out of town, back in town and out of town and back, all in the course of four days. We are just exhausted. What makes May crazy? I think it is having kids and getting all their activities wrapped up well and then launching them into summer. I feel like we run from thing to thing in December, but nothing like May. The things in May are so personal. Everyone understands about not being able to make it for a Christmas party, but you can’t call you friend and say, I just can’t make it to your picnic before you move or your child’s graduation, because I just have so much going on and I can’t breathe. Nope, you go to all the things that the people you love are celebrating, because your friend will have another Christmas party, but her baby girl, that you have watched grow up will be going away to college and you want to hug her and tell her that you remember when she was 6 and rode a horse for the first time like she was a seasoned horsewoman. You need to hug your friend and her sweet baby before they move away and you may not see that infant face until she is six and bossing around a troop of younger brothers. May is so full of moments that will never come back and you have to go around town gathering them up and taking pictures at proms and parties and end of the year pageants. It’s fine, you can nap by the pool in June.
I am a gardener.
I have always wanted a garden and this year I have my first one. Watching a garden grow is magical. There are so many lessons and applications that become real as I tend it. It is changing the way I pray. That is an odd thing to say, but the Bible uses agriculture so often to paint a picture for us that makes a spiritual principal tangible. From the first moment I dug my hands into that soft soil I thought of Jeremiah 4:3 “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts!” The soil mix that we created by following The Square Foot Garden recipe was so soft and easy to work. It yielded to my hand as I planted my garden boxes. I never had to use a spade and each square was planted in minutes. There are 16 spaces in each box, so that is 64 plants and it took minutes. This is my first garden but I am not new to growing things and I grew up helping with a garden. When I felt the ease of soft healthy soil with no stones, thorns or weeds, I thought this the picture of how I want my heart to be as God tends it and plants things in my life. As I felt the pleasure of working in the ground, I prayed that my heart would be like this ground and God would be pleased to care for me and tend my life and well being. I have been watching it grow and flower and soon we will harvest good things, like tomatoes and cucumbers and more herbs than I will be able to use. I have found that I go and water it with a reverence that helps me stop and breath. There is nothing virtual in these squares. These are real plants that will grow real fruit to be enjoyed by many. I want my life to be this real, this rooted and in synch with the rhythm of the seasons of life on this planet.
I am a writer, so I write.
I participated in a writing challenge last month that really changed the way I am thinking about writing. I thought that I would get a blog and write and write and get all the things in my head out into the world to live or die there instead of languishing in my skull. But sadly, writing is a very small part of blogging. You can write volumes and volumes but if no one can find it on a Google search, no one will see it. If your pins aren’t good enough on Pinterest, no one will visit. If you don’t do a Facebook live about the new post you just wrote, no one will be excited enough to share it with all their friends. If the pictures are not good enough, no one will like it on Instagram. And I could go on and on with the list of things that weigh me down when all I want to do is write beautiful sentences. That is why the challenge I did was so good for me. I just wrote things. I did not have to think too hard or promote every poem. I just made a commitment to write. I missed a few days over the weekend because it was May and as I have explained, I was busy. But I came back and picked it up on Monday and finished. It felt so good, so freeing to write something fresh and hit publish before I could take it back and edit it until it died a withering death. I need more of that, in fact, I am doing it right now with this post. I usually collect my thoughts for my What I Learned post and mull them over as the season progresses so that this quarterly reflection grows gradually. But I am taking Anne Lamotte’s advice from Bird by Bird and I am writing because that is what writers do.
I plan to collect all my poems from the #HopeWriterLife challenge and put them in a post very soon. I will be sure to promote them on all my social media channels so go and follow me on all the buttons below and subscribe to hear my latest news.