Page 146 was a busy day as I cleaned the building early and was out on the mower by 7 AM. One thing that I’ve learned the hard way over the years — more accurately, one thing I’m continuing to learn the hard way — is the necessity of stopping to smell the roses at every opportunity. Today was a day that was filled with work and expectations as I prepared for some vacation time. It would have been very easy to work longer today than what is good for me, and in past years I’ve been known to do that often. While there are still days that I put in far more hours than what is healthy for me, as God teaches me about balance and rest those days become fewer and farther between so the occasional extra long day isn’t that bad. 🙂
Most of the work day consisted of mowing and running the weadeater to trim around the building. I did manage a little bit of writing as well when I would take some short breaks from the outside work. With school still in session, someone else will have to take care of making sure the inside of the building is clean and ready for Sunday, but I did get the outside work taken care of. Even though I still had to get everything around that I plan to take with me and pack for vacation, I headed to the riverwalk once the work day was done. It really was an opportunity to stop and smell the roses! There were a variety of rose bushes full of buds with a few of them open to provide a glimpse of their summer beauty. Not only did I stop to smell them, but I photographed several of them as well. Further along the walk I could hear the beautiful sound of a baltimore oriole and eventually located him in a tree where I could take his picture as well. Knowing I had a lot to do I kept the walk short while still enjoying the time I spent along the river. When I got back to the truck I headed home and began the process of deciding what to take and then packing it.
I love vacations! I always have and I think one of the reasons I enjoy them so much is the willingness of my parents to stop and smell the roses — often literally — when we had the occasion to travel when I was young. State park visits were commonplace on the trips we would take, mostly because they were free or nearly so and because there was always space for 3 active boys to run and explore after riding in the car for hours on end. We would stop and soak in the beauty and wonder of creation at parks all along our way and once we reached our destination, there would be more parks to explore. I think that is one of the reasons that God wants us to set aside times to rest. His desire is that we would seek out the free (to us) gift of His presence and enjoy the pleasure of running free as His children. He wants us to spend time basking in His goodness and soaking in the beauty and wonder of His presence. He calls for us to stop and smell the roses often and recognize Him as the creator of every detail of that rose.
I pray that you and I would continually learn to stop and smell the roses in life. I pray that we would value the time God gives us with our families. I pray that we would learn to set limits when necessary so that nothing would crowd God out of our lives. I pray that we would understand the great value in just being — being with family, being with friends, and being in God’s presence. I pray that my family and I have a wonderful vacation filled with rest, refreshing, peace, and God’s presence as we take time to stop and smell the roses.