Mom and I stopped by Walmart a couple of days ago to pick up a few items, and I noticed bundles of roses discounted to $2.98 per dozen—an “after-Valentines-Day-special.” Mom loves roses, particularly red ones, and I can’t help but gaze at yellow roses anytime I see them, so I bought a dozen red and a dozen yellow to spruce up Mom’s kitchen table. Every time Mom walks into the kitchen, she smiles as she sees the roses; they truly do brighten up the kitchen. And my heart is warmed to see Mom smile.
This morning, though, I moved the vase of roses to a coffee table while we ate breakfast. As I was washing dishes after our meal, one of the cats knocked the vase over. I rushed over to grab the spilled flowers and to sop up the water. The vase was intact, and only one rose was scathed—a solitary red bud.
As I carried the vase to the sink and dropped the broken red rose into the trash can, Mom said, “We just can’t have anything nice around here. The cats knock things over.” She picked up the single rose bud in the trash and continued, “These were so pretty, and now it’s ruined!”
I calmly filled the vase back with water, and placed the 23 roses back on the table. I said, “Mom—it was only water. I’ve already dabbed that up. The vase wasn’t broken. There are still 23 beautiful roses in the vase.” I’m not sure she heard me completely (she wears hearing aids), and I saw her walk away from the single rose in the trash with a somber look on her face.
About an hour later Mom took a nap. When she got up and walked into the kitchen, her face lit up. “The roses are so pretty! You can’t even tell that one is gone!”
I just smiled, glad that Mom still thought the arrangement of roses was as pretty as they were before.
Then I thought about the small things that I worry about each week, each day. Sometimes I focus so much on the one bad thing that happened or the one thing I cannot change for the better that I fail to see the 23 blessings still in the vase.
Mom’s nap and brief time away from the “disaster” brought a better perspective when she saw the roses anew.
We all need that, too: a brief respite from the worry or problem that seems to take over our thoughts and time. Perhaps that’s time away for a walk or a nap. Maybe that’s time spent around a fire pit with a friend to talk and laugh. Maybe that’s time spent reading a favorite passage from the Bible or praying for a fresh perspective and a restoration from worry.
Whatever your respite choice, may you see the blessings and joy that remain once you return with a fresh perspective.