There is beauty in the days that screech to slow.

I woke up in the middle of the night.  My daughter had crawled into our bed and squished between her and my husband; I couldn’t sleep.  

I put her back to bed and scrolled through a little social media, running across one of those favorite lists, and as I read various random facts about my friend, I wondered if I even knew these things about myself anymore.  

In these busy days of just keeping up, did I even remember what I liked to smell?

I thought for a while and made myself fill out the list.  As I sat up listening to the rainstorm, I noticed that a lot of the things I loved centered around what had been repeated in my childhood with the people that I love, places we visited every year, things we ate.  It wasn’t the things but who we were with and what we were anticipating in the days ahead.

Earlier that day I had gone to my parents’ house because I needed some books, purely to decorate our shelves.  My dad is a book saver and gave me boxes of his old books and the old Family Bibles. These Bibles were staples from my childhood.  As he took them off the shelves, in my child’s eye, I remembered them. They were weathered. Years of the texts where my God cried out to their hearts.  Years where He poured into my home through those pages.

My dad had Bibles from his parents and grandparents, and the whisper rang through: “This is what matters.  Seek to know the One who has cried out through these pages for generations. Dig deep and know Him well. Pour into the things that make your heart sing and listen for the still, small voice that cries out to your heart.”  

When I was initially thinking through that list, the answers to my “loves” were rooted in things of the past, things from my childhood.  As I come to know my God as I pour through the pages of His great book, what do I love now? I long to know more about my God. I notice the change as I read books a friend has told me to read for years.  Books I couldn’t make it through are becoming texts I crave.

As I sit in this rainstorm, I hear a drip in our fireplace.  As I get a bucket to catch the water, I wonder. How is my listening lately?  Is my mind cluttered with the day-to-day and am I hearing all around me that I should?  As God’s voice calls to my heart, am I hearing him? Am I sealing the cracks in my heart so that as God waters my soul, it doesn’t leak?  

Again, I will choose to recenter.  I will choose to look and to listen and to follow.  There were Bibles from a few of my relatives that were in perfect condition, with cards from their parents’ funerals tucked neatly inside.  

I want my Bible to look like my mother’s.  I want my kids to remember mine as I remember my father’s.  Through those pages, God reached deeply into my parents’ hearts, and now He reaches into mine.   

So, my favorite smell is the smell of the taxiway getting off of an airplane in southern Florida where my mom would take my sisters and I to visit our grandparents.  My favorite food is the fried chicken from a small town restaurant in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota where we would visit my dad’s parents. My favorite things were the ones that were repeated.  Repeated with the people that I loved. I find that now my most precious moments are those that are repeated with my kids and my husband, and my most precious truths are discovered in time repeated with my God.  It’s the small moments over and over where “like” is built and “love” is found.

It’s why I love creeping towards 40.  I wouldn’t want to unknow the precious truths that God has tenderly poured into my soul…moment-by-moment, day-by-day.  

I long to see what He has for me.  Not to do, but to know; not to like, but to love.  So I’ll look, and I’ll listen, and day-by-day I will seek to find.  Always and forever. This is the free life.