That Rain Smell


I work in two different buildings.  Most days, around noon, I shut down my computer, pack up all my things and walk to a different building, only to unpack my things and turn on another computer.  Often, if it’s raining or too cold,  I can convince the maintenance guys to give me a ride to the other side of campus if I promise to bring them in some sort of baked good (just kidding, they’d do it even if I DIDN’T bribe them just because they’re so nice!).  Yesterday I walked.  It was rainy on and off all morning, but not raining  when I was walking.  The air was fresh with that smell that comes with a spring rain.  I know you know that smell.  It smells like life…it smells like new growth.  If smells had a color, this smell would be green.

A couple of years ago I read a really great book by Ann Voskamp titled One Thousand Gifts.  The subtitle is fabulous:  “A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.”  Seriously, can you imagine?  (I’m sure on a different day I’ll talk about the concept of living fully…oh how I hope I am living fully…)  How does Anne Voskamp teach you to live fully?  By seeing the Lord in all you do throughout your day.  In the little things, like the smell of bread baking in the oven, or the way the light reflects off the bubbles your dish soap makes.  You start noticing, appreciating.  And then you keep track.  You write it down in a gratitude journal of sorts – or maybe you don’t write it down, but you still notice.  Finally, you thank God for whatever that thing is, no matter how small.

I read this book a few years ago, right after the miscarriages – such Spirit anointed timing.  I certainly wouldn’t have come up with that on my own.  It was just because some of my girlfriends were reading the book and I joined them.  It was good, you guys.  Such a great thing to do during a dark time.  Imagine, keeping a gratitude journal after you just lost baby after baby… In lieu of recent events, I think I’m going to start up a list again: That smell of rain from yesterday?  That’s on my list for sure.  Along with the paint marks on my arm from my most recent furniture endeavor, the rich conversation that was had over lunch today, and the way the trees are waving in the wind outside my window right now.

If you’re in a dark part of your journey, even if you’re not, I suggest reading this book, keeping a gratitude journal of your own and following Ann’s blog.


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