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Pine trees, Armpits, and Peace

Yesterday I had a really wonderful moment. Well, I had lots of really wonderful moments, but one is sticking with me. Because of the power of a smell. Think about it- you don’t tend to forget a really strong smell and the feeling it generates; such as the smell of a batch of chocolate chip cookies baking.  Or a big hairy guy with stinky armpits giving you a bear hug. Or a big stinky bear giving you a hairy guy’s armpits. Ummm, pretty good chance you’ll remember most everything about the encounter(s).

So back to my wonderful moment- I walked outside after we had received overnight rain. I was overwhelmed by the smell of damp pine trees. It’s one of my favorite smells in the whole world, right after the smell of my babies. Now, I know you are feeling overwhelmed with me, right? So I am in the middle of savoring the wonderful smell, and I catch a whiff of horses. And damp, well, you know- horse poop. Mmmmm. Call me crazy…..

So my point to this odoriffic story is the place that those smells  instantly took me too. I felt the feeling of peace that I feel when typically surrounded by the fragrance of things I love. Like being on a hike, smelling the pine trees. I find such joy, peace in these times. Life slows for a bit, and I am able breathe deeper.

Or working with horses. I think horses are one of God’s amazing gifts to us, (especially the female gender. Of people, that is). I feel such calm, and again, peace when holding company with these glorious creatures. Unless its an Appaloosa, and then it is more of a stinky, armpitty, hairy guy hug kinda feeling. Not so yummy. It may even involve words no decent person should say… hey, I’m just keeping it real. They are Appaloosas, after all. Jesus probably would have enjoyed an Appaloosa. He could love any creature, I’m sure.

Our real peace comes from our Heavenly Father. Trusting his plan, walking with him. But I fully believe he gives us experiences in our life to remind us how amazing life is with him; of the peace he wants us to always have. Especially if we take those moments  to take a deep breath and savor the fragrance of life he gives us; all he has to offer. To enjoy the reminder that he created us to worship him; what better way than to fully enjoy the things that stir our hearts.

Think for a moment about what takes you to a place of peace, contentment. When do you feel most calm? It could be gardening, reading, teaching, cooking, exercising……. For me, it is also the pursuit of a taking an amazing photo, having total silliness with my kids, and snowshoeing.

Having peace in my heart is not generated by the presence of these activities. It comes solely from God. But being present in these activities reminds me that he loves me so much to give me such abundant blessings, and gives me a chance to say thank you to him for allowing my heart to be saturated with such glorious experiences.

Take some time this weekend to allow yourself to savor the joy and peace of whatever delicious place you feel the presence of God. Discovering wellness and restoration involves mindful participation in and thanksgiving for the things that you take joy and find peace in.

Just watch out for bears. And stinky armpits.

-Erika

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About Erika Barrett

Endlessly curious and a strange mix of too simple and way too complicated, I'm in awe of the beauty and glory this life offers, celebrate resourcefulness and finding simplicity in life. I am a certifying LifeCoach, specializing in helping others find a way forward towards crafting a life of joyful purpose. I'm also Masters Level Practictioner of Splankna Therapy, which is a mind-body-spirit therapy model. I'm a currently single mama to three beautiful souls, and I love to be outside, adventuring and exploring, laughing, playing in the water and hugging those around me. I'm a believer that life is rich when we become aware of the little moments placed before us and embrace them fully-the joy, sorrow, beauty, love and pain. Life is too short to be so serious, yet there is so much devastating brokenness all around us that feels crushing. My writing is about a journey into wholeness and restoration. For me, you and those around us. So won't you join me in diving into our experiences and hearts? Feel free to share a thought or many, and please, please, love those you're with.

One response »

  1. Erika, I love what you wrote. Great way of bringing out your stirrings of so many fragrances, smells and some odors! Sour sweat! Ikk.

    I had a wonderful April morning delight time walking Sadie at the lake well before the sun came up. We had some rain last night so things were damp and smelled fresh and woodsy. The redbirds talked back and forth to each other. I came home and sat on my patio and continued taking in the lovely morning.

    A bit ago I sat on my patio and saw a bunch of faces in the clouds –one truly looked like a gorilla’s head and face with a perfect row of teeth. There were patterns like sand just after the ocean waves recede. And I enjoyed fresh lemonade I just made and some apple and cranberries infused with mango juice. Yummy!

    I’m so glad you continue writing!
    Love,
    Momma

    Reply

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