There’s No Place Like Home & The Smell Of Roses.
One of my favorite stories that cultivated a grateful heart is my turtle story. We were staying at the Hawaiian Hilton near Waikiki beach and I was going on about how we needed to go to the other side of the island to see the giant sea turtles. Don was making headway in his surf lessons while I was practicing my paddling technique thinking about all the sea turtles that I was missing.
Paddling my longboard out to the right of the surfers, I find the calm turquoise waters of Waikiki to myself. Sitting up on the board, legs dangling, I suddenly see a dark mass coming fast toward me. A shark? But I wasn’t frightened – I was more fascinated as to what this could be. It stopped to the side of my board and then a big green turtle flipper slapped my leg while I laughed with glee and joy. Can you imagine, the turtles were here all along? And this turtle came to tell me so.
Stop and smell the roses
“Stop and smell the roses” comes to mind. If we do not take time to slow down and appreciate what we have – we may miss what we were looking for in the first place. We can be in such a hurry to get somewhere that we may not see that we are already there. Perhaps growing a grateful heart is what we need.
This recurring theme sparked again last February. Pictures of Japan’s breathtaking cherry blossoms popped up in feeds, the parks blanketed in pink. I then read that Washington D.C. was the place to be for cherry blossoms in the USA. The thought of blossoms and Abe Lincoln got my heart moving, leading to Don and I planning a trip to D.C. after our television job wrapped.
But then on March 13th, our work notified us that we were shutting down. Covid had hit. We decided to postpone the DC trip as no one knew what was going to happen.
Although bummed, I soon discovered that my town has the most beautiful cherry trees, and they were blossoming. Down I went to the library, which sits on the lake to wander idyllic paths with exquisite flowers. I took selfies galore, graceful trees bursting in full bloom. Here in this peace, I realized once again, I was looking elsewhere for something that was already in my backyard.
There’s no place like home
“There’s no place like home” echoes. Sometimes I think I need to be somewhere else but learn God already has me where I am supposed to be. Don and I always say, “Peachtree City is exciting!”. We never know what is going to happen next, but what we do know is that God always provides for us.
Here I was looking elsewhere when I already have a wonderful husband, home, blossoms, lakes, and idyllic paths. On that Hawaiian trip I already had an awesome beach, and a turtle – please!
Looking back, I see God was preparing me for the drastic changes in our world. To show me that although circumstances in life will change, God never changes. I find true joy in my intimate personal relationship with Jesus because this never changes.
When our minds race or we become unsettled we can slow down and smell the roses. Count our blessings and acknowledge gratitude for the people and things in our lives that mean so much. We can praise and rejoice in our glorious Creator for His love, promises, and blessings. We can live in joy with Jesus, growing grateful hearts, content in our backyards and homes, putting to rest worries and burdens.
Spending Time In The Word: Scripture Verses For Growing Gratitude
There is nothing like spending time in the word with my bible. As I meditate on verses and ponder their meaning & how they apply to my life, the Holy Spirit nudges me into deep prayers and thoughts with Jesus.
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 NKJV
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 KJV
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.. Psalm 28:7 KJV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 NKJV
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 KJV
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians Colossians 3:15 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
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