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I picked these gardenias from my neighbor’s beautiful bush this morning. I’ve been spying them for a week or so and finally couldn’t resist. Gardenias are the smell of the past for me. Growing up we had a huge gardenia bush right outside my bedroom window. It wrapped around the corner of the house and the aroma poured into both of my opened windows.

I could hear the whippoorwills calling from the woods, and inhale the gardenia fragrance as I fell asleep each night in the spring. My mom never wanted for store bought flowers because we regularly picked fistfuls for her. Pickle juice was poured at the roots whenever a jar was emptied, and the bush never lacked for water because it was next to the outside hose where we would cool off on hot Florida afternoons. (And yes, we drank hose water!)

Gosh I miss those carefree days of childhood. Don’t we all?

Isn’t it wonderful that God has given us beautiful reminders of times gone by, sprinkled them with beauty, like the gardenia bush and the whippoorwills?

The gardenias sitting on the counter are also a reminder that I cannot live in the past.

There are days I wish I could catapult back to avoid the messiness of adulting, but this isn’t what God expects of me. Even on the worst of my Weary by Wednesday weeks I have to live now, trust now, and put away immature and childish reactions to life.

Paul tucked this little reminder in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 to remind me when I’m tempted to waller to long in the smell of the past.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV)

God isn’t a joy stealer. He doesn’t want me to forget special memories or my childhood. He does however expect me to mature and grow up spiritually. The only thing worse than a toddler rolling on the floor screaming for candy at the check-out line, is a grown adult in full blown tantrum mode. Put it away, the smell of the past can be overwhelming sometimes, so be cautious how long you linger.

How about you? What are some of your favorite smells of the past? How is God working in you right now to grow and mature your faith?

Thanks for sharing your Wednesday with me, I’m praying for each of you this week.

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