Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Blessing of Scent - goes on and on....good or bad

So yesterday I talked about how very susceptible I am to smells. That includes bad smells. Once again, it is very unfortunate that I live in a housefull of boys and dogs. There are times I think they are having contests to see who smells the worst...

but that subject aside....

Things that smell bad can totally ruin my moment. Food - for example. There are some things I cannot eat - for the smell alone. But smell is linked to taste. So it is really not that surprising.

The same goes for my essence in the world. I can totally leave a bad scent - and put a bad taste in other folks mouths. I am constantly embarrassed by my behavior. Especially when it comes to my competitiveness. Matters not if it is for myself, my husband or my children. In my head - I compete. I want them and me - to be the best. I struggle with it more than anything. I am at constant war with my nature. Which is as it should be. It would be worse if I allowed it to go unchecked.

2 Corinthians 2:
14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God's word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.

It is so important that we consider others before ourselves. That does not mean we change who we or or compromise our beliefs. It means - especially for me - that I consider other's feelings and how I can best help them in their journey in this life. I should guard my knee jerk reactions and when they go unchecked ask forgiveness if injury was given.

I love the idea that we leave places better for our being there. I pray that I strive to do this every day. But also to be real. Transparent. I do not want to be less than God meant for me to be, but to grow into who God made me. This is the hard part.






sanc·ti·fy

[sangk-tuh-fahy] Show IPA
verb (used with object), sanc·ti·fied, sanc·ti·fy·ing.
1.
to make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate.
2.
to purify or free from sin: Sanctify your hearts.
3.
to impart religious sanction to; render legitimate or binding: to sanctify a vow.
4.
to entitle to reverence or respect.
5.
to make productive of or conducive to spiritual blessing.
 
This word is an odd one in that it has been done and is being done for those who believe that Christ died for them and gave his life so that they might live eternally. It is complete and yet it is an ongoing process as well.

I suppose I should be thankful that this process - though painful at times, will ultimately be what leaves others with a proper view of Jesus - the aroma of Christ.

I know that I cannot control other's perception all the time. I know that I cannot put Jesus in a pretty box and try to make him more enticing. I cannot produce an aroma of Christ that is pleasing to all....but I can continue to do my best to love those around me. To serve others the best I can and to strive to be full of the Gospel so that it will not be me they are seeing - but see God for what he is. A giver and restorer of true life. If they will.

If the best I can do for those who know me is be helpful and encouraging, if they cannot possibly believe I am a servant of God or even that there is a God - then the very least I can be is loving....so that I am pleasant...not offensive. Wouldn't it be awesome instead of thinking Christians are haters of sin that the majority of people's first impression of us was that they loved being around us because we were so pleasant? So encouraging? So loving? wow. novel.

I cannot give up my time of prayer - or in the Word. It is what sustains and gives me the ability to do these things. Otherwise - it is hopeless and all I do is in vain.

So I suppose - sense - I mean since smell is so important to me - I should continue to do my best to produce a lovely scent.

And yes - I do take a bath - almost every day.

 
 


 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Blessing of Scent

I was watching some vague movie - I don't know the name of it. The premise was quite crazy but one of the college girls was depressed and went to a local town to stay in a cheap hotel there. She left to eat at a diner after a nice shower. The waitress there asked her where she was from and she told her the local college. The waitress immediately said, "I hope you are not here to commit suicide". Apparently many of the college kids feeling much pressure and thinking there was no way out came to that town and threw themselves off the bridge - depressing in and of itself. But the odd thing was, the young woman replied," well, I might have done so except I found something that changed my mind." Of course the waitress asked what it was and the girl produced a bar of soap. "Smell", she encouraged. The waitress took a sniff and seemed impressed and nodded her head, as did the cook and the bus boy.

I wanted to smell that soap so bad.

But I totally got what she was saying. I am very susceptible to scent. So it is unfortunate that I live in a houseful of boys and dogs - but there are things I can do to remedy that. (wink)

There is nothing like the smell of Earl Grey tea to me. I smell it and am immediately comforted. I am not sure why my olfactory receptors hone in on this particular scent and claim it as an aid in calming my nerves - but they do. You can go for a fascinating explanation HERE.

I love the technicalities of why our sense of scents is so important - but it matters not. I can simply exist on knowing there are a few things that seem to make life much more pleasant and that is smell. There is nothing like the smell of the Gulf...all sand, salt air and even the fishiness. I love the smell of horses - hay, grass leather and yes - even manure (Not when I've stepped in it - but mingled with the other). I have a new candle that seems to brighten my mood - cilantro-lime. It is THEE happiest mood enhancer ever. I could go on - clean clothes, herbs - all of these things make me appreciate the simplest things. I take it so for granted.

So today - I am thankful, so very thankful for this thing I take for granted so very often.

I am going to go light my candle. (smile)


Friday, March 22, 2013

Misery To Obtain Obedience....

It's a parental tactic. When the boys are finding their happiness in pestering each other, or telling me they are bored - there are things I can do to make them unhappy and want to stop the behavior that is not helping anyone. I can make them walk around serving that brother they pestered and made scream all morning. Or I can get them busy doing things they hate doing - like cleaning sinks and toilets. Putting them in a state of misery causes them to rethink their actions. It's a good thing. And what is really great is, when they know you are good as your word, they will remember that they would much rather find something more useful with their time than complaining or pestering. And it works great - when I do it.

How do I know this?

My heavenly Father does it to me. And it works like a charm....eventually.

Think of the people of Israel. They delayed God's true vision for them by 40 years while he allowed them to suffer in the wilderness. (see Deut. 1). He got mad at them. Fed up with their whining and lack of trust. Seems so familiar.

Thankfully my time in the wilderness has been a wee bit shorter than that. But I see what he is trying to do.

Well over a year ago, I had a vision for my writing, for my artwork and crafts, for my singing, for helping others. I stepped out and gave it a shot...it was half hearted and I got the wheels rolling. But I got lazy. It was easier to look to others to provide employment for me. I did not have to be proactive. I could just do what they told me.

So - I floundered when I took on a job that seemed to be an answer to prayer. I didn't even really apply for it. I called the manager and she put me to work within a couple of days. It turned out to be one of those things I wish I had never done. While I was in that job, I was made miserable. I longed for the days when I was teaching the children, taking care of my own children and serving my husband. My goals were hard to see, my mission to serve totally left at the wayside. All I could put my hand to was what I had to do to keep the job and the bare minimum of taking care of my family. There was no joy in that. I was drained. I was anxious. I was in misery. Depression and listlessness became my constant companions.

This is NOT what God wanted for me. And yet - I am quite sure he allowed me to go there so I could learn.

And he has given me a prophet in my pastor. He will speak truth to me from the pulpit and my heart will quicken when it feels he is talking directly to me. We do not step out to do great things for GOD. We doubt his ability to see our efforts are multiplied to point to him and give him glory. I think it is all up to me. I am so obtuse.

So today - free from the burden of that job - I step out once again. I am committing myself to prayer and seeking. Asking God to give me direction and to make the path clear to me. My goals are: To serve my master, to provide for my family while seeing to their needs. To find my peace and joy in the gifts and talents God has given me. To glorify him in all I say and do.

I will not belittle myself. I will not scoff at things that seem too high to obtain. I will be diligent and not grow weary, but keep God's word as my encouragement and nourishment to grow more like my heavenly Father - so that I can do and complete the work he has set before me. I can be whatever the body of Christ needs for me to be to complete the work in JOY that he would have me do.

Ephesians 4


So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work