Forested Parking Lots and Crowded Adventures

They barely fit into the five seater Saturn now. Long legs, broad shoulders and gangly arms elbow gently into each other, as my teens settle in comfortably. Their preschool brother is close by in a generational blue tufted car seat. 
This Saturday, I was squirming excitedly in the front seat, and they were tucked in snugly in the back seat as we drove off to get our Christmas tree.  It’s tradition to race through the tiny lot of a local family owned hardware store, deciding upon the perfect tree.  It takes imagination to see past the sparse sides, and the occasional mangled lower branches to see a tree’s potential. This one? That one? Our family paced the tree aisles, sniffing the pine sap, and fingering the fir needles. 
A black felt hat fell over my toddler’s eyes, as he ambled through the parking lot forest with us, curious about this adventure.  We took some cheesy family photos in the lot beside our chosen tree, already imagining its true beauty.  A battered hand written sign over the exit urged us to cut off the bottom two or three inches of the tree so it could soak up sufficient water to stay fresh all season. 
My husband and oldest son stood on either side of our car securing our tree to the top with twine. Their sizes and frames are so similar now. 
At home, while the tree warmed up and the preschooler napped, I twisted green wire around cinnamon scented pinecones for a natural tree ornament. The smells of pine and cinnamon filled the house. 
 Later, Christmas carols serenaded us while our family of five circled the colored lights, suspended pine cones and cinnamon sticks, and wrapped the tree in tiaras of wooden red balls. 
God has whispered to me this week since …
…of fragrance. Am I softly exuding an aroma that is pleasing and points to the Source?
  For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. (2 Corinthians 2:15) 
of the Artist’s ability to see past my sparse sides and mangled edges to the true beauty and potential that I can be once he entwines me with His light and beauty. 

…of having my hard impervious edges cut off so I can soak up life-giving Water each day, so I’ll stay alive and vibrant. 
What about you? Floating fragrance, disguised potential, or a need to soak up fresh daily water… what is God most whispering to you today?

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  1. cabinart on December 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Jennifer, this just makes me want to hang out with you!! What a great looking family you are part of – your authenticity just shines!

  2. Jennifer Dougan on December 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Cabinart Jana,

    Thank you! I would love that. You could give us classes on art as well. What fun that would be! 🙂 Thank you.


  3. Cheryl Barker on December 15, 2011 at 1:08 am

    God is whispering "Trust Me" to me. Good food for thought about the aromas our lives are exuding…

  4. Jennifer Dougan on December 17, 2011 at 1:40 am

    Hi Chery,

    That "trust me" seems to be a never ending lesson for me too. Thanks for stopping by.


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