Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sense and Scents-a-bility

My face was pampered today when my daughter and I went to the Lancome counter at Belk’s to have her friend, Brian, give each of us a makeover. When he finished with his magic, I felt very pretty and very pampered. It certainly was nice to have him pamper me, so I asked Brian how he feels when he is able to help someone look extra special with a 'spruce-up' like he provided for me. He told me that it is a wonderful feeling...very rewarding. I can imagine that he must go home each day with a good feeling because of what he does for countless women, doing their makeup. This afternoon I had on colors I’d never have tried on my own, but his expertise proved those colors to be exactly what I could wear! Who knew?!? (Brian did...) And I watched as he did the same thing to my daughter, with some of the same colors, but achieving a completely different look!

After getting some samples of Lancome products and a purchase for each of us, Hannah Beth and I wandered around to the other counters in Belk. She took a squirt of Clinque’s “Happy” perfume and as soon as I smelled it, I was taken back to her college days when that scent would linger in the bathroom long after she’d left for classes.

We also went by the Estee’ Lauder counter. I wanted to take a quick spritz of “Private Collection” - the scent that Joe gave me for my birthday while I was pregnant with the beautiful girl standing next to me. I used up the last of that fragrance just before her second birthday and haven’t worn it since. When I leaned over to let her smell it, I asked if she remembered that scent. She did! She remembered it! I thought that was pretty neat. I may have to start wearing it again, because even as I am sitting in my favorite chair typing this blog, I still have that faint, sweet scent in my nostrils...and somehow it makes me feel content inside!

One more thing I did before we left the Estee’ Lauder counter...I took one of the scent cards and sprayed “Youth Dew” on it. That scent always makes me think of my mother. It was her favorite. As she got older and her sense of smell diminished, she would spray on way more than she should...but I didn’t mind because it was “her scent.” I had no idea what memories that scent would later stir...

I miss my mother. She lived a long life and was very ready to go home to Heaven. But I don’t think I was ready to see her go. She could have lived to be one hundred and I still wouldn’t have been ready! Smelling that “Youth Dew” today made me happy. It was a scent-memory that I’d forgotten I had. Just like the scent I sprayed on myself today has given me warm thoughts and feelings of early motherhood...Mother’s scent brought good feelings, too.

Of the five senses that God built into each one of us, the sense of smell seems to be my strongest. Certain odors or scents can stir up memories for me and transport me for just a moment back to the time that matched that scent. It’s a good feeling. I enjoy it.

Now, lest I become too serious in this blog - something I try to steer away from because I’d MUCH rather make someone laugh with my thoughts and stories - I must leave you with another thought: There are smells that take you back to someplace you might not want to go. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones that proper people would never talk about in public...or write about on a blog.

Well, no one ever accused me of being too proper, so let me stir up a few scented memories for you:
...the first whiff that lets you know a diaper is in desperate need of changing.
...what is ‘in the air’ the next day after a really good Italian dinner.
...what is ‘in the air’ the next day after a really good Mexican dinner.
...what happens to you when you toot in the grocery store and try to move away from it quickly so no one knows you emitted said toot. (don’t say you’ve never done that. I know you have. I was behind you!)
...what happens when you sneeze or cough and you have an ‘air leak.’

I remember a kid in the sixth grade who had a signature 'fragrance.' Each time he emitted it, he would smile like he’d given us all a great gift. Great gift, my foot! But I have to tell you that after all these years if I smelled that emission today, I’d know that he was somewhere in the was that distinct!

Yes, I suppose this is a tasteless way to end what started out as a pretty sweet little blog posting. But we all know that this is something that every human being deals with. It’s just that most of us don’t blog about it.

Maybe you’ve heard the saying: “The one who smelt it is probably the one who dealt it.”

Again, I know this isn’t a dignified subject to write about in a blog, so forgive me if you’re offended. And if you ARE offended, then think of it this way...if God meant for that air to stay in there, don’t you think He would have made a place to put it? Well, He didn’t...but He DID make a place for it to leave!

P.S. I downloaded a "Whoopie Cushion" app on my phone. I haven't used it yet, but there's always a first time...

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Divine Appointments

Have you ever heard of such a thing...or experienced one? On a recent Sunday morning, I had just such an appointment. The headache I developed that day was turning into more than just an uncomfortable inconvenience. As I stood in the front of the church, leading music alongside my daughter and our worship leader, my head began to hurt. By the time the music had finished, I went straight to my husbands office to get into quiet surroundings and give the discomfort every opportunity to leave the premises of my head before I needed to teach Sunday school. Even though I hurt during class, the lesson went rather well but I decided not to be part of the worship music team in late service because of my pounding head. I waited till my husband stood up to deliver his sermon, slipped into my regular spot in the back pew right next to my hairdresser Kirk (who is one of my best ‘girlfriends’). As Joe started speaking, I looked at Kirk and told him there was no way I could “sit through this.” No, I wasn’t under conviction...I was just in pain.

I sat in a chair just outside our sanctuary where the sound was much easier to bear and listened to my pastor. About five minutes into the sermon, a young woman appeared in the hallway. I hadn’t seen her for weeks because she is in a job that keeps her away from our little town quite a lot.

She asked if we could talk and I realized right away that she was on the verge of tears as she looked at me. Her first words were, “I think you're the only one who can understand how I’m hurting...” as her words gave way to tears. I spoke her name and asked if she’d had a miscarriage. She nodded, held up two fingers, and then we just hugged and cried.

It was as if God had allowed that headache. I know He didn’t cause it, but He certainly used it. Had I not been sitting there, my precious hurting friend would not have had someone there who knew exactly how she felt. We were having a ‘divine appointment’ right there in the hall of our church! At the moment I’m writing this blog, I’m thankful for that awful headache!

I took my friend into my husband’s office where we could have some privacy. This dear girl had two miscarriages in the last year. She knew that I’d experienced multiple miscarriages and felt that I could help her. I certainly pray that I did...

People want so much to be able to say something to one who has experienced this kind of loss. Words like “at least you know you can get pregnant” or “something must have been wrong with the baby” might make the person feel as though they are comforting the hurting parent. But in my experience, nothing could be further from the truth! Many times over, other women who have experienced lost pregnancies have agreed with me. Let me put it to you this way: Would you go through a line at the funeral home and tell a grieving widow, “at least you know you had a husband” or “there must have been something wrong with him” and that’s why she doesn’t have him anymore?!? Of course not.

In my opinion, this is still a life that ended too soon. Don’t try to smooth things over in an attempt to comfort. It doesn’t help. We don’t need someone to try to smooth things over, we just need someone to listen, hug us and cry with us. There isn’t a single thing, in my opinion, that can make that experience easier to cope with. No, that life didn’t stay around long enough to grow and be born, named and held...but that life was still important. It had a beating heart.

I didn’t try to say anything profound that would make my friend feel better. Instead, we shared a box of tissues as she told me how she was feeling inside and that she was angry with God for letting this happen...not once but twice. I told her that I got angry with God, too. And I stayed mad at Him for a while. I even told Him how angry I was with Him. And when I did, no lightening struck and turned me into a greasy spot on the floor. I was like an upset little girl who couldn’t get what she wanted and made sure that the person who was preventing it would know exactly how I felt. Yes, I even stomped my feet a few times as I cried. I still don’t understand why God allowed me to carry those children under my heart only to NOT allow me to carry them in my arms. I have one wonderful daughter who was a joy to raise and I would have loved every one of her siblings just the same as I did her...but it wasn’t to be. I don’t know why. But I had finally come to the place where I could tell God: “I’m not mad at You anymore. I don’t understand why all this happened but I trust You. I don’t like any of this, but I love You.”

Those are the words I shared with my friend. I hope it helped her find a way to express her feelings freely with her Heavenly Father. He already knows how she feels. After all, His Son died...

Always remember that if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!