Written by Steph Van Rossen

Today as I drove into work I literally saw someone stop and smell the roses. Nothing obtuse – just a woman on her morning walk who saw a gorgeous red rose dangling over the fence. She decided to stop, to pause on wherever she was going and to smell the roses. To admire the beauty around her.

There is something so friendly about these early spring days. The first glimmer of sunshine and warmth after winter. I am a winter girl, through and through, don’t get me wrong, but there is an undismissable promise of hope alive in the air at the start of Spring. This year I feel it more deeply than I have others. Partially because of the merry-go-round of sickness that is young children and childcare. But the usual winter illnesses, the unceasing runny nose, is weighted with a greater burden in these Covid days. There is much greater caution, more concern, discerning to stay home and ultimately, less rest.

Inspired by this unknown woman’s pause to smell the vivid red rose and the glow of an early spring sun, I’m starting my day outside. Instead of drafting this blog, or another, or checking my email – all in my office, I am instead – here. On a bench at the border of a garden, with my office at my back, feeling refreshed by the breeze, the birds and the hope of spring.

I am reminded of the call to “be still” of a blog I’ve already shared, to “come to me” and “rest.” How easily we forget.

My children love to be outside. They love to run, adventure, forage and explore. One of the things they love most about being outside is watching the birds. They also love to watch them from inside too, it is a wonderful distraction for my nearly two year old. Sometimes we’ll call out, “is that a magpie outside?” He’ll charge off to the window in search of this would-be new friend, instantly forgetting whatever drama we distracted him from.

I too love watching the birds. I find myself thinking about how beautiful they are, how fascinating, as they trill about in search of food and flowers. I love to lie on the grass¹ and watch the leaves sway and the clouds shift and transform. But how often are we caught up in the have-tos, the;

  • I’m too busy hanging up the washing to watch the birds or to lie in the grass or play with you
  • I’ve got work to do

Or whatever else is on your list, nagging for attention.

I’m grateful for this moment. Of being productive,² yet also feeling refreshed. Of sensing in my soul the hope of spring in the air and the promises of God in the wind. I wonder if you’ve heard this lyric in worship lately, it comes from Matthew;³

If He dresses the lilies with beauty and splendor

How much more will He clothe you

How much more will He clothe you

If He watches over every sparrow

How much more does He love you

How much more does He love you⁴

If you can, take a moment and step outside. Admire the splendour of the flowers, the smell of the crimson rose, the beauty of the rosella’s feathers.

Breathe in the hope of spring.

Let the promises of God be absorbed into your soul –

How much more does He love you.

 

Till then, go well,

Steph

 

¹ Disclaimer: not literally. I’m actually allergic to grass. I do love to lie on a blanket or a rug on the grass. Haha.

² Another disclaimer: It takes more time to draft by hand (as per the photo) and then type up, I get it. So “productive” uhm not as much. But it is a demand of my personality.

³ Matthew 6: 28-30 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?”

Also, Luke 12:27-28

Jireh (2021) by Steven Furtick, Chandler Moore, Naomi Raine, Chris Brown.

[I 100% listened to this on repeat while typing this up. Go listen if you haven’t already; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC-zw0zCCtg]