Sunset on the lake

A Reminder to Live

I believe that everything that happens has meaning and purpose. I believe God set this universe into motion and continues to work through every detail of it. I believe he is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives in an effort to bring each and every one of us into a relationship with Him.

This 4th of July we spent the day on Lake Pend Oreille on my aunt and uncle’s hugely awesome houseboat (hugely awesome defined: extremely impressive and large; inspiring great admiration and possessing great size). The kids were beside themselves with excitement, to say the least. The drive from our house to Hope, Idaho, where we were to meet the boat, meanders along the shores of the lake with spectacular views of the water and surrounding mountains. As a side note, the air conditioning in my car decided to die right before temperatures in our little piece of paradise decided to climb into the 90’s and 100’s for an unusually long heat wave. I couldn’t get an appointment to have it recharged for a number of days so I was sweating and driving with my windows down.

As I crossed the bridge that separates Pack River from the glorious Lake Pend Oreille, the combined smell of water, the Pack River Delta vegetation and 95 degrees of sunshine came rushing into my car and sent a shiver down my spine. It was one of those good shivers, like when the sun warms your whole body on a cool day, or when you climb into your bed wearing new socks with new sheets on the bed, or an Epidural in the middle of labor. The smell was so alive that it reminded me that I was alive; it reminded me to live.

God gave us our senses for a reason. Yes, there are practical purposes for a sense of smell, but what I experienced was a reminder about life; a reminder that life is short and I am alive and while I am alive I must live. It seems a silly little thing and lot of meaning to put into a little smell, but just one little smell set my whole day into a new direction and a new focus. I began to think about what other smells remind me that I am alive whenever I encounter them. The following is a list of smells that remind me to live:

  • Coffee…it’s the best part of waking up (even better if it is being brewed before I get out of bed)
  • Bacon in the morning
  • Bacon
  • Fresh cut grass
  • Fresh baked bread at Grandma’s house
  • A horse barn
  • A sweaty horse
  • A recently bathed horse
  • Pretty much just a horse
  • Lilacs in the Spring
  • The earth after it rains
  • Dirt
  • The water on the lake at sunset
  • Babies
  • Puppies
  • My husband after he cuts firewood
  • My husband after he showers
  • Carrots straight from the garden
  • A creek while you are sitting in the shade fishing for brookies
  • A Christmas Tree
  • A Campfire
  • Chocolate
  • The morning at sunrise
  • A fresh cut hay field
  • Grandpa’s cigar
  • A mountain trail
  • An old Violin
  • Leather
Daily I am given little reminders to live; to live big and to live for Christ. Most days I am moving to fast to listen to these reminders, but because my air conditioner died, I got the message. On that day it was a simple little smell. What reminds you to live?Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” I pray that I would remember that lesson that I learned. That I would count my days and LIVE.
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