It’s an old saying, “Stop and Smell the Roses”!  I realized recently that not only is it important to stop, it is even more important to notice that there are roses to smell in the first place.  Let me explain.

This time of year  I spend a bit more time on my road bike.  My sisters and I train to do the “Tri for the Cure” relay each year.  My designated contribution to this cause  is to ride my road bike for 12 miles.  Not a far distance but something I just can’t do without a little practice.  I hop on my bike, place my earbuds in my right ear ( so I can still hear cars on the left), and I ride several times a week.  There is one particular hill that is a challenge for me and I put my head down and focus on pedaling ,usually timed with a great Bon Jovi song to help me make it to the top. I never look to either side of me in my determination to get to the top of this hill without stopping.  Last week I had to take my son to a new practice field for baseball and as I was driving along this familiar road, I see a beautiful garden filled with shasta daisies , daylillies, and roses.  I started laughing, thinking about the many times I have passed this same garden but was so focused on getting to the top of the hill I never realized the beauty that was off to the right of my vision. Not only did I not stop to smell those beautiful roses, I never saw those roses.

Sound familiar? I thought a lot about that this past week and it made me reevaluate how I prepare for things.  I see myself as a determined person.  Raising four kids, loving my husband of 26 years, and working in ministry does not give me a lot of free time.  I was astounded that I had missed the garden because I love flowers so much.  I could see myself doing this in other areas of my life and God pointed that out to me in seeing this garden that had gone unnoticed before. Do you ever have such focus that all that surrounds you becomes a blur?

I have a new perspective as I begin yet another school year with my kids and a new calendar year with ministry.  Yes, there is always a lot to get done, but I don’t want to miss the “beautiful gardens” along the way.  My encouragement to you this week and in the months to come would be to actually see those “flowers” in your life in the first place so that you can take the time to stop and soak in the beauty and sites and smells that are your everyday life !

Blessings !