One of my favourite smells is the lemon scented gum tree. After heavy rain, you can smell the lemon – it is fresh and summery. I could smell these gums on my way to my morning swim. A beautiful way to begin a new year.
Last year I read 51 books, which surprised me. In my head, I thought that all I did was work, but somehow, I found time to read almost a book a week. There was a lot of crime in that list, a bit of romance. My favourites were The Children’s House by Alice Nelson, Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak and Transcription by Kate Atkinson. Two others that I found inspiring Desperate Women of the Bible by Jo Kadlecek and Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown.
Right now I am reading two books Scrublands by Chris Hammer and Enjoying God by Tim Chester. Both books capture the essence of my life: it is messy and I seek to see God in it.
On November 1, another ridiculously hot day, I began swimming as my new exercise. It was too hot to walk, so I visited my local pool and bought goggles, ear plugs, a cap and a kickboard. This was either going to be the most expensive swim ever or the start of a new habit. After two months, I can say it is a habit I love – I swim at least three times a week and am now swimming 1km. I could barely swim one lap when I started. I am sleeping better, I feel better.
I did a little bit of sewing and no writing.
This year, I hope to do some writing and a little bit more sewing as well as read, swim and work four days and keep it to four days – that is the challenge!
Returning to lemon scented gums, or trees in general. I read Psalm 1 this morning with Tim Keller in My Rock My Refuge. It is like returning to an old friend.
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”
That is another thing that I did last year, I read God’s word regularly and it refreshed and revived my soul. I love what Keller says about this Psalm: “…to know how to mediate on and delight in the Bible is the secret to a relationship with God and to life itself….God’s Word gives us the resilience of a tree with a source of living water that will never dry up.”
When do you smell the lemon scented gum best? After it rains. Last night it poured. It deluged and this morning it shed its aroma for all to enjoy.
This year, I will also continue to meditate on God’s word and delight in it. I like the idea of being like that lemon scented gum – you know it has been watered. It is like it is saying “it is well with my soul today”. Life will continue to be messy and I will continue to seek God in it. I don’t have a photo of a lemon scented gum, but this is one of my favourite places to sit with a cup of tea.