What’s that smell?
Oh, it could be the peaches in the crockpot simmering away to make peach butter. Or maybe it’s the fresh laundry that’s hanging to dry in my dining room. Possibly the essential oils I used with my steam mop the other day?
Nope, nope, and nope. This was definitely NOT a good kind of smell.
I looked down at my shirt.
That’s what I smell right now, as I sit in front of my computer typing. If you’ve ever been spit up upon by a small human, you understand. It’s not the most enticing smell! It’s actually kinda nasty. I mean, if you really think about what it is…but let’s not. Yuck.
My point being, smells are important. Why? A smell is like a clue. You sniff a few times to get a better whiff of whatever aroma is in the air in order to figure out what it is, right?
My random brain made this connection today. What if my heart gives off a scent? What would others smell?
Recently, I reacted to an inconvenience with irritation. Anyone who understood the situation probably would have justified my reaction. It was frustrating!
My far-from-godly reaction revealed to me that I needed a heart check. I smelled selfishness!
In another scenario, I became irritated again. This time toward my husband.
“Why can’t you just…” Ever said those words?
“I specifically said…”
“Why didn’t you…”
The situation became not-so-great as I spewed my aggravation. When we paused the “discussion,” I was able to hear the Spirit speaking to my angry heart. Instead of focusing on my husband’s actions, I started thinking about my own.
I sounded so demanding and selfish. I was not showing mercy or giving grace. I said unkind words and exhibited ugly impatience.
Yep. Spit up.
After asking God to forgive me, I had to ask my husband to forgive me, too. Thank God for those smelly aromas that clue us in to the issues in our hearts!
The Bible says in Matthew 12:34b
…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
I always applied that verse in a negative way for some reason. Maybe that’s because my mom used to say when I had a bad attitude, “What’s in your heart shows on your face.” She could always tell!
But it’s true in the positive sense as well.
What if our hearts were full of Jesus? What if they were abundantly full of Him?
Love, unselfish love would dictate our actions and REactions. Joy would show on our faces and influence our words. Peace would reign in our souls and homes. Longsuffering patience instead of irritation and frustration would be our instinctive, godly response throughout a stressful day. If our hearts were abundantly full of Jesus Christ, we would treat our family and others with gentleness and goodness. Unalterable faith would steady us when life gets shaky. We could interact with others in meekness, free from the pressure to be the best and only concerned about pleasing Jesus. Our lives would be balanced by temperance, no longer controlled by the selfish desire to indulge our flesh, our sin nature. What if, indeed.
I don’t know about you, but that’s my dream life right there.
“What if” begs the question
Why isn’t my life this way? How can I make sure my heart is abundantly full of my Lord Jesus?
You KNOW what I’m going to say.
Spend time with Him.
When was the last time you were reading His Words and the Spirit opened your eyes to behold yourself in His mirror and you CRIED because what you saw was so far from what He wants you to be?
When was the last time you physically knelt in prayer, begging God to hear you? And not just begging for an answer to your troubles, but just for the eyes to see Him better?
When did you last seek His FACE and not just his hand?
I was just there.
It was hard to spend time reading the Bible. It was hard to pray. The one thing I needed most was the one thing I kept putting off. I began to smell some not-so-good scents wafting up from my heart. Anger, selfishness, discontentment…
I knew in my heart that I was sinning, and that something needed to change. So I started spending time with Jesus. At first, it felt forced and it was awkward. You know, like when you meet up with a good friend you haven’t seen in a long time and it takes a while to get warmed up? But after just a few days of spending just a few minutes a day reading His Word and praying, I started to notice some different smells.
These were better, like the peaches in the crockpot or fresh laundry.
I said “Thank you” instead of “It’s about time.”
I said “That’s okay” instead of “Seriously?!”
I woke up in the morning actually EXCITED about meeting with Jesus. And all I had to do was make a feeble effort to spend time with Him. God promises us that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. And I’ve never experienced the fulfillment of that promise in such a tangible way before. Let me tell you, IT’S AWESOME!
If you’re not sure where to start, let me offer some tips. These are things that I’ve done that have always helped.
- Pick a place. If you check out my Instagram page, you’ll see a picture of my quiet time spot. @emilienoelblog Same spot every morning I can possibly be there.
- Pick a time. Think out ahead of yourself. What’s your week going to be like? When do you usually get up? My two month old has started sleeping through the night, but he wakes up early in the morning to eat. So instead of going back to bed like I would have before, I run downstairs and make my coffee, and then bring it upstairs to my quiet time spot. It’s my little routine. You come up with one of your own.
- Pick a plan. I knew I needed some help. So, I purchased the devotional book Renew by Paul Chappell. You can also take a look at that in my Instagram feed. Here are some awesome devotional guides produced by the Daily Grace Company that may help as well. The Daily Grace Co.: Equipping Women in the Word
What’s in your heart right now? I hope it’s abundantly full of Jesus.