Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Scents" and Sensibility

Do you like flavored coffee? I do...sometimes. Right about now, a cup of pumpkin spice coffee sounds yummy! It smells and tastes like fall.

Last year, I was visiting my sister and decided to buy some flavored coffee. She's not really a coffee drinker, but she likes cappuccino, so we thought we'd get a good flavored coffee and "doctor it up". The flavor we bought (some kind of chocolate) sounded so good, but when we started brewing it, it smelled a little strange. But, we figured that it had to be good. It was chocolate, right? We poured ourselves two big mugs, and took our first sip. It was terrible!!! However, I had paid good money for the coffee, so neither of us wanted to admit that it wasn't any good. After about three drinks, I couldn't stand it any more. "Do you think this tastes funny?" I asked. I could almost see her relief as she said yes.

We didn't want to give up on it just yet, though (it was chocolate, remember?). We thought maybe we had just made it too strong. So we poured out that pot and made another one. It was just as terrible as the first!

The moral of this silly, but true, story is that the scent was warning us that our other senses may not enjoy this experience very much, but we didn't have the sensibility to listen. Aroma and smell can tell us that something very enjoyable is in store, or it can warn us to stay away (think skunk!).

I. Scents

Think about your home. What scents surround you? What scents greet visitors when they walk in the door? What aromas do people associate with you and your home? Now, I'm not talking about air fresheners or candles here, although I like both. My mom always says that she wants people to associate certain aromas with her home.....the scent of freshly baked bread, chocolate chip cookies, and clean laundry are just a few of the scents that I associate with my mom's house. It's fine to have a banana nut bread candle burning (one of my friends just gave me one....mmmmm!), but when was the last time it was actually banana nut bread baking that smelled so wonderful? 0ne of my husband's favorite scents in our home is Pine-Sol because it means I've been cleaning!

Scent is important because it is helps us identify things. When we smell smoke, we think fire! When you smell something good in the oven, you get hungry. Moms, when you smell a dirty diaper, you know a change is needed.

As the keepers of our homes, we should recognize that scent is important. Does your home smell inviting, clean, satisfying? Or does it need a little maintenance in the scent department? When your kids are grown, what scents will remind them of home?

II. Senses

Scent is only one of our five senses. One of the things that we can think about as creative homemakers is appealing to all five senses in our homes. A sweet-smelling candle won't cover up a home that looks dirty, floors that feel sticky, noises that are annoying, and food that isn't tasty.
It is a big task to try to get all of these things together at the same time! As I write this, my desk is cluttered and needs a good straightening! However, we should think about this, and make the effort to keep our homes at their best.

III. Sensibility

We mustn't conclude without using our sensibility to think about the spiritual side of this. We've talked all week about attitude being our spiritual aroma. What is the attitude or atmosphere of your home? The most beautifully decorated, sweetest smelling home is worthless if it is filled with attitudes of bitterness , greed, spite, or selfishness. Proverbs 15:17 says, "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith."

Our homes should be filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, laughter, and patience. If there is a spirit of tension or contention, then we need to work on the spiritual aroma of our home.

Let me ask you, when people come to your home, do they feel comfortable, welcome, at peace, relaxed? Do people know that your home is a Christian home when they walk in the door?

Set the mood in your home. Use all of your abilities and sensibilities. This doesn't have to require large budget. Just do your best to keep your home neat (it doesn't have to be museum quality), sweet-smelling, and sweet-spirited. Pop something good in the oven, or put on a fresh pot of coffee. Play beautiful music. Make your home a place of comfort and welcome for your family and for others who may enter.

Tomorrow's Topic: Giving Makes "Scents"

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