Sensible Flowers

Spring Bulbs

A Tidbit of Peace

I work in the investment profession, so when craziness infects the financial markets, I know I’m in for a challenging day. So on August 8, I caffeinated thoroughly before going to the office. The markets were in freefall and I knew my day would bring extra challenges.

The day’s hecticity exceeded my expectations. The phone lines sang in chorus. My inbox listed, threatening to capsize under the weight of urgent messages. Staff members marched through the halls, their steps a quicktime cadence. The engine driving office pleasantries sputtered and died, starved for air.

I pulled my prayer beads from my purse and hung them from the corner of my monitor.

“Be with me today,” I prayed. “Be with all of us.”

It was late in the day before I turned my attention to the incoming mail waiting on my desk. I was tired. My brain ached like an overused muscle. Nothing in the day, so far, had made sense.

I opened an envelope from a client. She’d mailed a payment for our services, wrapping her check in a sheet of notepaper before tucking it into the return envelope we’d sent her.

I studied the paper. The woman’s name was neatly printed across its top. Across the bottom a pretty row of grape hyacinth, red tulips, and daffodils graced the page. I permitted myself a moment to admire the flowers, whose rendering reminded me of a botanical illustration.

I realized the flowers were all spring bulbs. No random mixing of sunflowers and irises here: these flowers, if planted together, would bloom together. They belonged together.

The flowers made sense.

I plucked my prayer beads from the monitor, felt the smooth stones, fingered the cross that hangs from them.

And I offered up thanks that God is in control, even when Wall Street is spinning like a kamikaze.

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
 14 The LORD sustains all who fall
And raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to You,
And You give them their food in due time.
16 You open Your hand
And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
Psalm 145:13-16 (NASB)


  1. Oh, Sheila. I didn’t realize you work in investing. What crazy times for you! How blessed they are to have you – your calm words and peaceful presence are surely a gift in these times.

    Blessings to you!

  2. Thanks, Deidra. I work with an amazing group of people. It’s a good gig. 🙂

  3. I love picturing you sitting there with those prayer beads. Sometimes I just need a concrete reminder, Amen? I love the way you see, Sheila. It opens my eyes.

  4. Amen! Thank you, Laura.

  5. What a hectic time for you!

    Yet, you exude peace. You dwell with the Lord. You find peace in a Person. And it shows.

  6. An ornate display of flowers even on a check!!

    In times like these, it amazing how God can bring us peace from something unassuming.

    Such a simple thing that blessed you even on a hectic day!

  7. Jennifer, Hazel,

    Some days I think the peace is His second greatest gift to us (after salvation)….

    Thanks for reading.

  8. You work in investing? Curiouser, and curiouser! Just when I think I’m beginning to know you, I find out something new. Both times I’ve sent a child to college, the markets have gone into nose-dives. Psalm 145 is a rock of refuge for times like these.

  9. Nancy, I work for an RIA, but I don’t do investing. I’m the operations manager. So I handle all the other stuff (HR, IT, Accounting, supervise admin staff, etc.) so the people who are good at investing are free to focus on investing. 🙂

    I’m curious. What would you have guessed my career to be?