A monthly newsletter to support and inspire your #HeartspokenLife. March's theme is “Becoming.” [Reading time under 5 minutes].
March 9, 2019
What's going on at Riverwood
After days of being sick with the flu and desperate to get out of the house, I walked down to our low water bridge last week and was revived by the bracing winter air. The stately sycamore trees stood sentinel along the banks. The river was swollen from recent rains and snowmelt, but the debris left on the bridge told me the waters were receding. I tried to capture it in this quick video.
The flow was fast and dramatic, and under winter's gray sky, it was downright menacing in its darkness and coldness, especially as it roiled and rippled beneath my feet as it passed through the pipes under the bridge. Downstream, the water I was watching would join with the South Fork and travel on to meet the Potomac River at Harper's Ferry. From there it would flow into the Chesapeake Bay and eventually the open sea.
Suddenly, in that beautiful place, I could hear the language of the river and what it wanted to teach me: Nothing stays the same. There's no need to resist. If you allow it and let go of what's unnecessary, life will unfold as it should and when it should. Don't waste your precious energy trying to push the water to go faster or swim against it. It's far better to move into the flow with gratitude and appreciation. Every drop of water plays its part perfectly and so should you. No more. No less.
I gave thanks.
What's going on in your part of the world? Send me a photo and I'll post it to the Heartspoken Facebook page.
✧ NORTH—Faith: Lent can be a time of transformation
Lent began this week with Ash Wednesday on March 6, 2019. My friend and author Jean Wise wrote a wonderful post about Lent on her Healthy Spirituality blog. She suggested several different ways we might make this season transformative because we are called to become…to change…to grow. Scripture is clear on this:
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. ~2 Corinthians 3:18 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Take a moment to pray and reflect on what you could do during Lent—give up, take on, do differently—so that when Easter comes, you, too, will be transformed.
✧ SOUTH—Connection: Recognize that others are becoming too
It's so easy to put people in boxes of our own creation. We forget that our adult children are grown up and try to control them. We judge friends and loved ones for mistakes they made years ago. We are annoyed by a co-worker's behavior when we have no idea what personal challenges they are facing at home. We are impatient with an elderly friend's neediness, forgetting how many hours they spend alone and possibly afraid.
Just as the cells in our body are constantly being replaced by new cells, so each person is changing, evolving, and becoming something different than they were in the past. The most compassionate thing we can do is create space for their humanity just as we hope others will create space for ours. What's this space for? It's where the light and love flow in and nurture us as we become new and better versions of ourselves.
✧ EAST—Self-Awareness: We are always becoming
Reading Michelle Obama's beautiful memoir Becoming (Here's my review) was a powerful reminder that change is constant, and no matter where we are on life's path, we are becoming the person we will be tomorrow. That's so liberating because it means we can put down so much unnecessary baggage — baggage we were sure we needed for yesterday's journey but which is entirely unnecessary for tomorrow's. I shared this quote in my review:
“Becoming requires equal parts patience and rigor. Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done.” ~Michelle Obama
That is such a beautiful mantra that will serve us well in pursuit of the #HeartspokenLife.
✧ WEST—Nature: Embrace both the mud and the miracles
In the wonderful podcast “The Growing Edge,” hosts Parker Palmer and Carrie Newcomer gave their March episode the theme “Mud and Miracles.” It's one of the important lessons we learn from nature: that life is messy as we slog through the mud and muck, yet even when we're the most miserable or uncomfortable, the miracle of new growth is working beneath the surface to burst forth in the extravagance of springtime. CLICK HERE to listen to the latest episode or to see their Question of the Month.
What I'm loving right now: watching for signs of spring
Much of the yard is still covered with sheets of snow, but I've turned into a super sleuth looking for signs of spring! The maple tree across the driveway has taken on a pale pink sheen from the tiny flower buds emerging along its branches (later this month, they'll pop out like this photo). The forsythia buds are beginning to swell, and I know very soon, they'll burst forth in all their yellow glory.
The early bulbs—crocuses and daffodils—are pushing through the cold, crusty soil to emerge from their winter hibernation.
Carrie Newcomer, singer/songwriter, captured this quickening of early spring in her song, “The Beautiful Not Yet.” “Life is always lived between then and soon, right here and now, in the beautiful not yet.”
Always be on the lookout for “the beautiful not yet” in the world around you and in your own soul.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
If you're in need of a last-minute St. Patrick's Day gift, take a look at the beautiful Celtic jewelry and gifts at Celtic by Design, owned by my friend Julie O'Shaughnessy. Or check out these St. Patrick's Day finds from Amazon.
Green Rice: Comfort food with a twist
I've posted a delicious recipe for Green Rice that our family enjoys for both its color and its flavor. If you're choosing green foods for St. Patrick's Day weekend, give this a try. Please share your favorite recipe on the Heartspoken Facebook page.
Did you miss any of these recent posts on my Heartspoken blog?
Self Knowledge: 6 Ways To Discover Your Truest Self – Self-Knowledge is considered a virtue in all the world's great religions and philosophies. It is one of the four keys to unlocking your most #HeartspokenLife. Here are six ways to discover your truest self. In so doing, you will become more integrated, more authentic, and more content.
A Heartspoken Book Review: Becoming by Michelle Obama – This absorbing and compelling memoir not only told a remarkable story, but it also offered practical but inspiring examples of perseverance, resilience, courage, and vulnerability.
A Heartspoken Moment: Pay Attention – This is the second in a monthly series of short, actionable reminders for those who aspire to unlock the #HeartspokenLife.
Should Christians Forgive AND Forget? Christians struggle with Jesus's teaching about forgiveness, yet we are commanded to forgive over and over. But do we have to forgive AND forget? Maybe not…
Word of the Week – I'm posting these on Fridays for my Faithful Writers group, but many of you Heartspoken readers enjoy learning new words too. I include meaning, derivation, and usage. Recent words include “cacophony,” “fructify,” vituperative,” and “xenophobia.”
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“In March, winter is holding back and spring is pulling forward. Something holds and something pulls inside of us too.”
~ Jean Hersey
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See you in April when our focus will be New Growth.
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