Smells and Whistles

Something smelled horrible as I started the treadmill at the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center.   Sweat times a thousand!  Was it coming from the carpet?  From the men dripping beside me?   I could hardly stand it!

People grimaced as they walked by.  What was it? One staff member hovered nearby, sniffing.  What? Had someone reported it?  Alert!  Bad smell in the back corner!  Check it out!

My imagination went faster than my running shoes ~ until the truth hit me with a gasp.  No!!  It couldn’t be!

Ever so inconspicuously, I dropped my nose to my sleeve and inhaled.  Then coughed.  It was me!!!

To further confirm it, I poked my nose around various parts of my shirt like a curious dog.  The odor worsened with each sniff!  I’d never smelled such horrible B.O.!  Either my shirt got crammed in an overstuffed washing machine or orphaned before making it to the  drier!

I broke into a sweat at the realization, and scolded myself because sweating would only make it worse ~ if that was possible!  There was only one solution: cut short my workout time and hit those showers like a fuming cannon!

That’s when the Holy Spirit, my comforter and friend, slipped this reminder into my spirit:

It’s easy to smell everybody else’s stink and overlook your own.  I’m your life’s fragrance.  No matter how much you stink, I continually shower you with love and grace, making all things new.

Wow.  Thanks, Holy Spirit.  I needed that.  We stink, but Jesus covers us clean as a whistle.  Isn’t this the foundation of our faith, the truth God uses to draw us to Jesus in the first place?

My stink incident reminds me of my assignment at my agency’s writing blog.  They want to know what’s on our wish list or prayer list as writers.

What do I want?  What do I need for my life and ministry?  I need to hear the voice of God more clearly.  Hearing Him is my life-tool, a true ministry necessity.  And since the Holy Spirit is free for the asking, so is hearing God’s voice!

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me. John 10:27-28

If we’re in a relationship with Christ, we can say:

“Holy Spirit, fill me afresh. Give me wisdom and direction. Help me hear your voice so I can be more effective ~ more positively fragrant for you. Amen!!”


It’s your turn.  What’s on YOUR wish list/prayer list that could help you to fulfill your God-dreams?

Did this post quicken any questions, quirky or otherwise?  Feel free to ask, and I’ll try to answer the best I can.  With the Holy Spirit’s help, of course.  Thanks!

You and two others have a chance to win a copy of my Zondervan gift book, “A Friend in the Storm.”  Simply leave a comment between now and December 24.  And if you don’t yet regularly receive this blog, now’s a good time to sign up and increase your chances to win.  On December 25, we’ll draw two names from the comments, and a third name from the new blog sign-ups.


  1. Sheryl you are an inspiration to me and a lot of people. I am like you, in that i need to hear Gods voice and more clearly and more often. The Holy Spirit is my friend. Thank you Sheryl, keep inspirering us. Richard

  2. Thanks for your honesty, Cheryl. On Tuesday I had a tile back splash put in my kitchen. Two men worked at it all day. That evening after they left, hubby put something in the trash and the smell about knocked us over. I could even smell it and my nose is not that good. Here I had put a chicken wrapper in there the evening before and forgotten to take the trash out. We were so embarrassed to think that those two men had to work beside that all day and what they must think of us.
    In response to your question, I guess I’d like to KNOW when I smell bad to God. Like Richard, I’m thankful for forgiveness and the Holy Spirit in our life.

    • I feel your embarrassment, Dianne. We’ve done that kind of thing before. Good ol’ chicken wrappers. They get us every time.

      Then I think of grace, God’s grace, smelling like the finest perfume. He lavishes it on us. We’re covered, sins, smells, and all. What a thankful thought.

      Thank you for stopping by. May the fragrance of Christmas be poured fresh in you this Christmas!

  3. I continue to love your heart for God, and the amazing way you allow us in. Thank you for who you are!

  4. What a great blog post! I would love to win a copy of your book! Thanks and God Bless! makeighleekyleigh at

  5. I agree, Cheryl. “I need to hear the voice of God more clearly,” too! So, I’m adding that one to my wish list. Thanks for the reminder. Blessings!

  6. Great reminder, Cheryl. And great prayer, too– to be able to hear God. I’d love a gold note card on my pillow in the morning to know what my next book series should be but I’ve not found that God works that way so I’ll be spending a lot of time in prayer.

    Have a great Christmas!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jordyn! Reading your comment, I’m praying for you and your next series! Keep ’em coming, you gift lady you! Merry Christmas!

      • Meant to say “gifted lady.” : )

        Last night our family went Christmas caroling in the Intensive Care Unit at the Mayo Clinic. I thought about people like you who are nurses and doctors. What another great ministry! God bless you in ALL you do!

  7. Michelle Prince Morgan |

    I would love to win. I need God’s voice to survive. Sometimes I need Him to bop me upside the head to open my eyes.

    • Yeah, I think we all need a good bop on the head every now and again. : ) But God is faithful. He knows us and deals with us exactly how we need to be dealt with. Blessings, and Merry Christmas!

  8. Cheryl, you are awsome. I just read this today. I am so far behind in responding to my emails. Praying for you as you seek God for His direction regarding your writing talent. God has blessed you with your ability to put your thoughts in writing.

  9. Thanks Bonnie!! God bless you, and happy New Year!!

  10. To be honest, my wish list top gift from God would be a godly, honorable, and fine husband. Been widowed a quarter of a century, and the path of this soldier is getting way too lonely without a companion. I know Jesus is with me always, but I need Jesus’ love with skin and hair on his head. A prayer partner and spiritual leader would sure make life more blessed.


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