BLOG––Encouraged by Faith

Smelling Broccoli

Posted by Lynn Utley on

Just a little over a month and a half ago, my sense of smell returned for the first time in a year. I pulled the top off a pot of steaming broccoli and opened the oven to remove baked salmon and I ... could ... smell ... them!!!!!!  

I was reduced to tears––as I almost am again writing this. For the better part of a year, I have yearned for this. 

Okay, maybe not smelling broccoli but just smelling something! The smell of soap, a scented candle, or the favorite cologne that my husband, Marvin, wears. I would have been happy to smell pretty much anything. 

I recognize it was no coincidence I received this “gift of smell” one month before Thanksgiving. God’s timing is impeccable. As I sit here writing this, I realize getting my sense of smell back was about a lot more than smelling again.  

It was about realizing what it’s like to lose something valuable and then experiencing an amazing appreciation for when it returns.

It was about understanding that I shouldn’t ever have to lose things to be thankful that I have them to begin with.  

It was about God giving me ample time to prepare and transform my heart to be grateful at a time when we all genuinely want to be––but because of the madness of the season––we often end up frustrated, preoccupied, annoyed and everything but grateful.

What did smelling broccoli for the first time in a year cause me to be grateful for?

I am as grateful to be able to smell garbage as I am to smell the deliciousness of my favorite Thanksgiving dish. And I mean that!

I am thankful that while it could be viewed as a chore, I had the opportunity to drive five hours on Thanksgiving day to visit both my Terre Haute family and my Chicago family.

While family can and will bring drama and dysfunction during the holidays, I am grateful that when we are together, God’s grace is present and we manage to dwell on the goodness that each person brings. 

I am grateful that despite how attractive staying home on holiday sounded, my wonderful husband sacrificed the solitude of our house for the chaos of someone else’s.

While my 93-year-old grandfather has spent more days on this earth than he has left, I am grateful to be in his presence. In just five minutes he passes along more wisdom than I might get in a day. 

I am grateful that when we gather as a family, we bow our heads in the name of Jesus. 

Most of all, I am grateful that God is my Father, Jesus is my Savior and the Holy Spirit is my Keeper. 

Thank you, Lord, for broccoli!

What about you? What keeps you grounded and grateful when life is full of stress and busyness? 


Lynn Utley works as an Account Manager for Johnson and Johnson Healthcare systems.  She is married to Marvin Utley, an Elder at North Central church. They have two children, Kamryn and Logan.

Lynn loves to spend time with her family. She enjoys traveling to her daughter’s volleyball tournaments and attending her piano recitals.  She enjoys quiet time with her husband and loves vacations with family to Florida and the Carribean.  

As a Christian woman, Lynn continues to yearn for and learn from the word of God.  She believes we are all on a journey to better understand God’s will for our lives as we live and mature in Him. Her mission is to encourage as many people as she can by exampling Christ while she is on this earth.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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