Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Whiff

Photo source

I'm cleaning the kitchen floor (forever cleaning this kitchen floor)
and there it is.
A gift.
She is here.

It is my grandmother's smell.
The smell of her house,
my place of safety,
a refuge.
A place where I didn't have to work
at being loved.
A place where my offers of help would be refused
(until the very end, that is)
because she loved to serve.
Because she loved to love.
Because she loved to love me.

And at times when my world threatens to crash in,
When every part of me is overloaded,
When I have come to the end of myself,
I long.
I long to be in this tangible place of refuge,
in that tangible place with her.
My grandmother,
the one who has been gone for too long already.

And in this whiff,
in this visit from her,
I am grateful, and then, as though God has brought me a gift
that has been unasked for,
I ask "Why?
Why did you bless me with this gift today?"

And He replies,
In your overwhelm, I want to ease your burdens.
In your rush, I want you to remember.
In the depth of your loss, I want to find you.
And in the haziness of life,
I want to give you clarity, relief.

All this with a whiff
In a moment.
A moment shared with a God who knows what makes me pause.
A moment with questions and thanks and joy and missing that which is no longer.
A moment of peace,
A moment of love.
Even while cleaning the kitchen floor.

Linking with Emily at Imperfect Prose.  A place to find inspiration.


  1. Such a beautiful poem! Made me tear up.

  2. So beautiful. I am astounded by your flow and the beautiful way you compose words into life.

  3. wow this is beautiful

    They say smell is our strongest sense. I think of my grandmother when I smell fresh peach pie. This time of year too so need to get some peaches!

    Even while cleaning our floors we can worship, can't we?

  4. Lovely. You've whisked me into your kitchen and into your memory and into your heart. How did you do this with so few words?

    While the Dervish Dances -

  5. This is beautiful, Jen. I hope you rest in your sweet memories today and in a Jesus that loves you so very much. Blessings, friend.

  6. What a sweet moment, Jen, and what a gentle, loving God we serve.

  7. lovely, lovely thoughts...penned in a beautiful way...He meets us in the most unlikely of places, doesn't he?

  8. The sense of smell evokes powerful emotion and memory. You captured it so well. What wonderful memories.

  9. Oh, this happens to me sometimes too, smelling Pine Sol or a caramel cake or peppermints. We are blessed by having good memories attached to tangible things. God is good.

  10. this is lovely..sounds like your grandma was a great person...such childhood memories can carry us far..

  11. This is beautiful and brings back great memories. It's so funny how even little things can carry such a heavy impact. Thanks so much for sharing - it touched my heart.

  12. this is lovely i am glad first you had a gandmother that gave them to you but that God continually reminds you as well...very nice...

  13. Jen...this is beautiful. I miss your Grandmother for you and how kind of our Father, to give you this favor from his hand today. Love that about him.
    By the way....I think you're really a ghost writer for Sarah Young because I'm reading one of her books right now and you guys write so much alike. I'm kidding of course but it seems like your hearts have similar communion with Jesus. I simply love reading you both. Thank you for sharing your conversations with us. And generating conversations in this awesome community here.

  14. Jen, this is the part that really grabbed my attention, "A moment shared with a God who knows what makes me pause." God knows us that well. And loves us so much that He gives us these moments. Amazing love and a beautiful memory of your grandmother. Many blessings!

  15. Oh my goodness, there is something about the 'whiff' of grandma. Just recently Mom had me look at a jewelry box of my grandma's to see if I wanted anything. She opened that thing up and I nearly fell over with her 'whiff', tears came to my eyes, I grabbed that jewelry box and put my whole face in the box just relishing in that 'whiff' of her. OHHHHHHH, I know what you mean, I KNOW!!! I took the whole jewelry box, (with nothing in it) just so I could once in a while stick my face in it and get a little piece of her, I get it!!!

  16. He can find us anywhere, we can find Him most often on our knees!!! (Just a little scrubbing humor)...just a little taste of eternity can infuse so strongly with power and courage in the moment...


  17. Love moments like this. And I love how the Lord meets us where we are! Not even the routine is routine because God finds a way to make them about Him. :)

  18. This is beautiful. Thank you. My grandma has not been gone long and now my mom's health fAils. I am hopeful my kids will remember her.


  19. It is amazing that after 24 years, I still get whiffs of my granny, and I tear up, and in the loss, I am so grateful for the time I had with that beautiful woman. God gives us these whiffs

  20. Jenn this is a beautiful post. What an awesome grandmother you must have had! I love the idea of a whiff. sometimes I get whiffs of smells that bring me to such happy places. it can be the most random things at the most random times.. but I am going to start seeing those as the whiffs of God. God bless my new bloggy friend

  21. Oh, Jen, I've missed you! I can't quite get my writing done in the 24 hour window of your linky these days, so I've missed it for several busy weeks in a row and I'm so sorry. I did post a short reflection tonight and put it out there at about six places because I've been so out of touch. I'll leave you the link at the bottom.

    BUT - I wanted to say thank you for this lovely, lovely post. I love the genuine loving way in which you have paid tribute to your grandmother's presence in your life. To love unconditionally is such a grandmom thing - so glad you had that. And you've inspired me to keep offering that kind of love to my grandkids, especially the youngest ones just now. LOVED this. And welcome back from your special time away!

  22. Such beatiful words here. So thankful for this memory the Lord brought to you.

  23. This is so touching, what a precious gift from a loving Father... and what a sweet grandmother she was, how that love you felt from her stays with you and offers you strength and comfort. That is a gift!

  24. Tears are flowing on this one!!!

    The other day, at DollarTree, the woman ahead of me in line was SUCH a look-alike to my own grandma (who passed ten years ago) that I nearly hugged her. But instead, God gave me a full conversation with her that left my heart so incredibly full of happiness and joy...because it wasn't her, but in a was her for me. :)

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!

  25. As I read your loving words I am waiting for the oven buzzer to go off. In said oven is my grandmother's famous cheesecake recipe for my nieces' first birthday. As I infuse the ingredients with love it brings me back to her kitchen and the times we use to bake together. Such solace and just as I think this gift can't get any sweeter my two girls race downstairs to the kitchen and exclaim how wonderful it smells - she has done it again brought family together in the heart of the home. Thank you for sharing with such fullness. I am smiling amongst the heat ;). You rock lil lady!

  26. My throat is tight. I relate to this so much only my whiffs have reminded me of my dad. God in his greatness has breathed that whiff in my direction at some very pertinent times, too.

  27. I love love when there is a smell that reminds me of someone or some memory. My grandma wore Estee Lauder perfume and when I smell it...which isn't very often these days it takes me right to her. Love that you were comforted this moment...

  28. that he spoke to you this way, so deeply, through a whiff... girl, this is sacred ground. and that he cares about us, so--what a reminder. thank you.

  29. Love this Jen...
    In moments like this, I always sense He wants me to catch an extra glimpse of how much love He has for me.
    I can always relate to what you write...

  30. The smell of Jergen's handsome reminds me of my great Aunt Jean. I use to stay all night at her house when I was a little girl . . . play with her jewelry etc.

    I am sorry, Jen, for the loss of your grandmother. I am glad that remembering is helping you.


  31. God follows us where we are -- doing our earthly work and gives us a whiff of Heaven. Bless you, Jen.

    I hope your Sunday is full of joy,

  32. This post really spoke to me and brought me back to my Granny. We had very much a similar relationship-she was safe. Around her, it was OK to be me. This May was 17 years since she died, and I think of her everyday. And sometimes, when I'm entering my front door, I get the whiff-of her house, my safety, and I just stop. I stop and take it in. And everytime I do, I never want to move from this house. I don't want to lose the whiff from God. Just lovely!

  33. I read this a few days ago but my heart was in a place I could not take it in because the waves crashed into my heart so. This is beautiful Jen. Just so beautiful. <3


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