Stop & Smell the Roses

Jenny & Savannah of MAIEDAE started a series called Sunday is our Sabbath. I love it. It is just the weekly reminder I need to slow down, unplug, breathe, destress, spend time with people without stressing over deadlines, times and to-do lists. They have a weekly challenge focused on slowing down and a hashtag to use to share with others (all on Monday of course….we are trying to unplug πŸ˜‰ )
My husband (and everyone else who knows me) has been commenting on my stress levels lately. I have this weird / terrible habit of adding things to my to-do list when I am stressed out. I think MORE. If only I could have more time to do this, make this, film this, learn how to do this, meet everyone for coffee, work overtime at work, and redo the bedroom I would be less stressed. As if my energizer bunny could kick in and wipe out the unending list and I would be so ahead that stress would be absent. 
It is completely illogical when you write it out in a list like this, but in my head it is what I need. More things to say that I have accomplished, more worth & value because I did it all and more, more encouragement & praise because I never stop. I work, I stress, I never stop because I am afraid of stillness. I am afraid of what my heart looks like when I take time to look at it. I am afraid that if a day goes by without a single item checked off of my checklist that I am somehow less – maybe even worthless. 
I define myself by what I produce and I lay in bed at night thinking of all the ways that I “let people down” – yes. These are real relationship breakers here – things like forgetting lemon juice at the grocery store, not picking up Starbucks for everyone on the way into the office because I am already late, and letting the coffee spill sink into the carpet because I got distracted doing laundry. 
I am going to say something that shouldn’t be radical but is – you ARE NOT defined by what you produce and neither am I. We have intrinsic value, deep beauty, and are loved immensely. None of that can ever change by what we do or don’t do. 
Do you see these flowers? They were a gift. A gift that reminded me to let go. To pull a Elsa and just let it all go! That perfect girl that I strive to be? It is unrealistic and well, dumb. Because the more I stress, the less I love. and the more I pile on my list, the less I enjoy. 
Tomorrow is Sunday, I hope you read this as you are cuddled on the couch with piles of blankets or with squinty eyes as you read it on your phone still in bed. Why? Because you need a break too. We all do. We need a day set aside for friends, family, books, Jesus,  and peace – that to-do list? Forget about it! It will patiently wait until Monday. Don’t miss the now because you are so worried about what is next. 
Stop and smell the roses… and send the roses. Because your resting will allow others to rest and your care will encourage others to care. Today I challenge you to rest. Maybe that includes writing a note to a friend, chatting after the service, spending an extended lunch with a friend, taking an afternoon nap, sending a bouquet to a friend who needs some encouragement, or even buying one for yourself to brighten up your home. 
PS:These flowers are from the Bouqs and that is the ONLY way to go if you are in the mood for flowers! 

Author: Elizabeth Mayberry

  • I really liked this post! Flowers sure are a beautiful way to brighten someone's (or your own!) day πŸ™‚ I'm excited to check out that company!

  • This post is beautiful and full of so much TRUTH! I struggle with the same thing on and off, and it's so important to recenter myself and remember what's actually important. The Bouqs sends beautiful flowers (I actually got the same bouquet a couple weeks ago) and they really do brighten up a room. πŸ™‚

  • I needed this, big time! You nailed me– I totally read this while curled up on the couch under a blanket. πŸ™‚ I had a giant list of things to do today, but this gave me the motivation to quickly take care of what was completely necessary, and then take some time out for myself. I feel refreshed and balanced and far more at peace than I would have otherwise– so thank you!

  • There is so much truth in this. I can especially identify with the part about being afraid to be still and examine my own heart – without anyone else around to distract me or tell me just what I want to hear so that I can allow myself to shy away from reality. Even as I read this, and I was saying "Yes! Yes! Finally someone put this thing into words!" it hasn't really sunk in to inspire a change, though I want it to so desperately. Just know that this post was what I needed and I am so grateful for that.

  • So fun! Love them πŸ™‚

  • You are so welcome! Sometimes we all just need a reminder – or need someone to tell us to just. slow. down.

  • mmm. This is so beautiful. It is so great to know you are not alone. And don't stress about change, just take baby steps.

  • Rachel

    I love this! I try to do this every Sunday as well! I need a day of nothing for my sanity and to be able to give my best during the week. And I am curled up on the window seat with my coffee!!:) it's lovely!

  • These are so beautiful! I'm a big sucker for fresh flowers. they bring beauty everywhere they go.

  • Yes! So proud of you!

  • I so agree!