My 8-year-old daughter made peanut butter cookies yesterday morning. I ran to the grocery store on an early morning errand and came back to the smell of burnt cookies, wafting through the rooms of our home. Mmmm…. At least it kept me from eating them for breakfast.
My boys’ bathroom upstairs is a mixture of too much shaving cream, not enough soap, a zesty overuse of toothpaste – the decorated ceramic sink evidence of this – and a reminder that flushing the toilet is a gift to mankind, not just the family. Upon opening my older girl’s bedroom door, one is hit with the sudden onslaught of warm sugar, vanilla, and spring flowers. Lots of spring flowers…
Each room in my home has a scent; indeed, each person in my home has a scent. I roll over and breathe in the scent of my husband and am grateful – both on sweaty days for his sacrifice and for the more peaceful moments where breathing Him in is like inhaling the Holy Spirit into my soul. Every parent can attest to taking a nibble of their child’s head and smelling a fresh bath or a day filled with sandbox and swings.
Breath. It has a purpose. Yes, it is life-sustaining. By breathing in, we draw in oxygen and draw out the carbon dioxide. But if each breath were an act of concentrated observation, might we not pause to marvel the sweet aroma and majesty of our creator?
I am reading a biography about Chiara Corbella Petrillo, an Italian mother who saw her suffering as a true gift from our Father to know him better. The authors, Simone Troisi and Cristiana Paccini, speak about the sanctifying aroma of holiness. This phrase has woven its way into my soul and is playing a soft constant pad, as my musical son would call it, over my days. When someone walks into my home, I want them to pause. I want them to breathe all the sights, sounds, and smells of my home and truly feel Our Lord’s presence here. How we choose to see and respond to our circumstances is an embrace or a rejection of God’s sanctifying grace.
May all who walk alongside us be wrapped up in the scent of holiness. That is my desire, my aspiration, and my prayer for my journey and for yours.