This month of March, sandwiched between the frigid hours of February and the sunny weeks of April, is famous for its kites, for its lengthening days and for hours and hours of basketball.
My family has always had an addiction to college basketball. We lived for 16 wonderful years just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina, and were absolutely intoxicated with the earthly delight of cheering on those North Carolina teams to victory. Having had three athletic boys before finally giving birth to two little girls, the basketball rites of March became as familiar and dear to us as the perpetual pounding of orange spheres on our driveway, the vibrant roar of a crowd in our small-town basketball gym and the secret anxiety that filled our minds as we each filled out our brackets.
The media world calls it "March Madness," and the sports world refers to it as "The Big Dance." For the family McLeod who lived at 816 East Academy Street, it was simply an annual opportunity for family bonding, cheering on our teams and experiencing the agony of defeat and the thrill of victory.
I am now older than the young mom of those exciting days, and my rambunctious and competitive children have all grown and flown. In this quieter season of life, I have learned to enjoy the games of March with greater temperance and with much less angst. Even as I will be watching the Cinderella teams and the traditional champions on the hardwood, I wonder what teams my boys are cheering for. You see, a mother's heart never forgets.
I remember—but I must also look ahead. I must tie my heart not to the memories of yesterday but to the calling in which I live today. I must move ahead into these days of March with a song in my heart and hope on my lips. I can remember sweetly, but I must forge ahead bravely.
And so, this March, I have decided to sing a song of gratitude for the life I have been given and for the hope that springs eternal. In this season of my life, rather than focusing on the "madness" of March, my heart is tied to the "gladness" of March! Each day, I am choosing to sing a song that has shaped me and has laid a wonderful foundation for my faith.
"A mighty fortress is our God! A bulwark never failing!"
"It is no secret what God can do/ What He's done for others, He'll do for you!"
"There is none like You!/ No one else can fill my heart like You do!"
"Through it all/ through it all/ Oh I've learned to trust in Jesus/ I've learned to trust in God!"
"Something good is going to happen to you/ happen to you/ happen to you!"
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! Sweetest name I know!"
Every month of the calendar year, we are all just ordinary folks who are trying to deal with the madness of life by tying our hearts to the gladness that only He brings. And so, during these dreary days of March, I choose to sing louder. As I live on the bridge between the sweet memories of yesterday and all that is yet to come in the victory of tomorrow, I choose to sing a song of gladness!
Will you sing with me?
Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written 10 books, including The Rooms of a Woman's Heart; Defiant Joy!; Holy Estrogen!; No More Ordinary; Refined; Joy For All Seasons; Let There Be Joy!; Pass the Joy, Please!; Guide Your Mind, Guard Your Heart, Grace Your Tongue; and Stormproof, which releases on March 1, 2019. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at carolmcleodministries.com.
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