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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Flowers ForLOWER Stress
By Rick Rupe


FLOWERS . . For LOWER Stress

Life is often about trying to keep a peaceful cooperative balance within us and with others. However, daily obligations, responsibilities, commitments, deadlines, plain old chores and routines can often overwhelm us. Schedules fill quickly with friends, family, church, careers, projects, school, sports, clubs, neighborhood, and community activities, and all the meetings and events that they require and that we really do enjoy “most of the time.”
There must be a way to find peace in the midst of the chaos and the rush of each day. We find ourselves exhausted and tired on those days when it all must get done because of some tight schedule, emergency, or promises that we made.
In the midst of these crazy days, it’s then that we need to take a breath and find just a moment to be still and to thank God for our family, friends, and blessings.
We’ve heard the old expression, “Stop and smell the roses!” In our typical day, where are the roses? Flowers are fine if we work out side from April through October but what about inside, at night, in the winter, or how about those who work in factories, driving trucks all day, or deep in the concrete city far from the green grass, trees, and the beautiful flowers.
Wherever you are, if you just slow down and get your senses about you, you’ll very likely become aware of or locate some pleasant sensation, inspiration, or relaxation. It could be a fragrance, a painting, sweet candy, music, a sincere hug from a friend, a wag or a purr from your pet, or the old reliable deep breathing. Deep breathing works simply because it causes us to focus on our sensory self and it takes us away from the more complex mental chores that we are usually immersed in. Those with physical jobs will definitely benefit from a few relaxing deep breathes.
Still there’s nothing quite like the beauty of God’s earth and the instant peace that it suggests to the eyes and the nose. If flowers are near by, either in a natural settings, a planter, or in a vase, I will always try to enjoy them. Flowers in all of their amazing shapes, sizes, colors, and textures are quite beautiful to behold. One needs to get closer to appreciate the bouquet, but one finds that it’s well worth the effort. God’s most precious and beautiful handiwork can be realized in the miracle of each and every flower.
Stop and enjoy whatever flower is available to help make a hectic day slip away for just a moment. Provide your own flowers so that when the moment arrives, “and you know that it will,” you’ll have that special photo, or that Far Side desk calendar, a daily devotional guide, a favorite scripture, an uplifting verse, a poem, a slogan, or maybe an old baseball hat.
Pick your favorite flower to keep near by and when that time comes, stop and enjoy for your own peaceful balance in this too often stressful world of ours.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Michelle Burkhardt10/10/05
Nice description and detail ...I would only suggest to separate paragraphs.
Jan Ackerson 10/11/05
Since most of your piece is written in 2nd person, giving advice to an unseen reader, you might want to eliminate the "I" and the "one" in your 6th paragraph. Good advice here; I especially liked your reference to the Far Side desk calendar! I miss Gary Larsen, don't you?
Gabrielle Morgan10/11/05
Sound advice. Good thoughts and well written.