God’s Gifts of the “Scents” of Life

Dear Reader:

It all started with my neighbor Vickie. She texted me Monday afternoon, as a summer thunderstorm rumbled through Summerville bringing us lots and lots of rain. Since we are both gardeners rain makes us very happy.

Vickie texted “Rain, yeah!” and I texted back: “I know! I am SO HAPPY! I was dreading watering this evening with this suffocating humidity! Happiness is a summer shower!” Vickie then texted back: “Smells wonderful!!!!”

I immediately jumped up and ran to the deck where my new pink “Honeymoon” hisbicsus sat drinking up the water while it and the lounge chair both dripped large droplets of rain off them.

I took a deep breath and breathed in the scent of fresh rain. I had forgotten (until Vickie mentioned it) just how wonderful an aroma it is! Even with my smell and taste senses slightly challenged by long periods of past chemo infusions and now oral daily chemo pills …I could still detect that alluringly refreshing scent.

Suddenly a true story came flooding back to me that I have posted a couple of times over the past seven years…but I would like to share it again (like I did with Vickie in our last text Monday)…

The Smell of Rain

 A cold March wind danced around Dallas as the doctor walked into Diana Blessing’s small hospital room.  It was the dead of night and she was still groggy from surgery.  Her husband, David, held her as they braced themselves for the latest news.

    That rainy afternoon, March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only twenty-four weeks pregnant, to undergo emergency surgery.  At twelve inches long and weighing only one pound, nine ounces, Danae Lu arrived by cesarean delivery.

    They already knew she was perilously premature.  Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs.  “I don’t think she’s going to make it,” he said as kindly as he could.  “There’s only a 10 percent chance she will live through the night.  If by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one.”  Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Danae could face if she survived.

     She would probably never walk, or talk, or see.  She would be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on.  Through the dark hours of morning as Danae held onto life by the thinnest thread, Diana slipped in and out of drugged sleep.  But she was determined that their daughter would live to be a happy, healthy young girl.  David, fully awake, knew he must confront his wife with the inevitable.

     David told Diana that they needed to talk about funeral arrangements.  But Diana said, “No, that is not going to happen. No way!  I don’t care what the doctors say, Danae is not going to die.  One day she will be just fine and she will be home with us.”

   As if willed to live by Diana’s determination, Danae clung to life hour after hour.  But as those first rainy days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana.  Because Danae’s underdeveloped nervous system was essentially “raw,” the least kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby.  All they could do, as Danae struggled beneath the ultraviolet light, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl.

      At last, when Danae was two months old, her parents were able to hold her for the first time.  Two months later, she went home from the hospital just as her mother predicted, even though doctors grimly warned that her chances of leading a normal life were almost zero.

      Today, five years later, Danae is a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She shows no sign of any mental or physical impairment.  But that happy ending is not the end of the story.

     One blistering summer afternoon in 1996 in Irving, Texas, Danae was sitting in her mother’s lap at the ball park where her brother’s baseball team was practicing.  As always, Danae was busy chattering when she suddenly fell silent.  Hugging her arms across her chest, Danae asked her mom, “Do you smell that?”

      Smelling the air and detecting a thunderstorm approaching, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain.”

      Danae closed her eyes again and asked, “Do you smell that?”

      Once again her mother replied, “Yes, I think we’re about to get wet, it smells like rain.”

      Caught in the moment, Danae shook her head, patted her thin shoulder and loudly announced, “No, it smells like him.  It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.”

  Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Danae happily hopped down to play with the other children before the rain came.  Her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and the rest of the Blessing family had known all along.  During those long days and nights of the first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive to be touched, God was holding Danae on his chest, and it is His scent that she remembers so well.


I would love to think that God smelled like a recent rain shower…so fresh, clean, and inviting. It got me thinking of other scents I could easily associate with our Creator…scents that I love.

  1. Old books…not new ones (along with old libraries)
  2. *Freshly cut grass
  3. popcorn
  4. bacon
  5. fresh mountain air
  6. new car
  7. vanilla
  8. fresh rain
  9. campfires
  10. newborn baby

I imagine that God will be exactly what we think and imagine…smelling and looking like our favorite things in life.

*If you have a minute…let me know what one of your favorite scents in life is.

*And speaking of the smell of freshly cut grass Tim, my wonderful grass cutter (and fireman) cut my grass for me yesterday afternoon and when he finished he said he had some news he needed to tell me. His wife, Stephanie needs surgery…a hysterectomy…and after much prayer he has decided to stop cutting lawns on the side until she has completely recovered…their third child, a little boy, is still just a baby and Stephanie won’t be able to lift him for the first few weeks.

Tim has someone else set up to help me keep my grass cut until he can return. I assured him…that this was no problem and then asked him if it was okay to ask all of you (blog readers) to say a prayer for his family as they face this challenge in their daily lives.

He was so grateful for the gesture. Tim is such a hard-working young man and as I have discovered, like all firemen, he must find other ways to supplement his income. All prayers for a successful surgery and complete recovery for Stephanie will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

*Later yesterday afternoon I walked around the yard where Tim had just cut…and that wonderful aroma of freshly cut grass enveloped me. Thanks God.

Yesterday I also had a chance to meet Walsh, my oldest son for lunch on Daniel Island and we got to ride out to see how his and Mollie’s house is coming along…it is coming along very well it appears.

Meanwhile Mollie and the boys are having fun in New Hampshire…peeking out of tents! Tell Nana and Papa hello!

So until tomorrow: Here is a new word for a great meaning.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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11 Responses to God’s Gifts of the “Scents” of Life

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Love this story. Walsh and Mollie’s new home is beautiful.
    My favorite smell is a baby puppy!
    Have a great day.💕


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I should have guessed…Sis Kinney agrees with you too! Babies and puppies! Just got the eclipse magnet from Toni….love her works and her story and most of all I love you.


  2. Sis H Kinney says:

    Good morning, Becky!
    Beautiful story; I do remember your telling it earlier, and it is still a wonderful story! Just beautiful!
    My favorite scents seem to coincide with yours. LOVE the smell after a wonderful rain shower – but newborn baby (and puppy!) smells are also wonderful! And, bacon!! Isn’t it grand how our sense of smell can just conjure up such wonderful thoughts and memories?
    Walsh’s and Mollie’s new house looks very nice! I know they’ll be happy to get settled in before Baby Girl Dingle arrives!
    We, too, are looking forward to a new house; we decided it was a BIG mistake to buy the house in Fuquay-Varina, so we’re selling it and will tear this small cottage down and build something a tad bigger and more fit for year-round habitation, once the other house sells. We’ll truly become “mountain folk.” We’re looking forward to it, so I know the anticipation Walsh and Mollie have about their home! And, as much as we love the mountains, we both do miss the Low Country every now and again!
    Much love,


    • Becky Dingle says:

      How exciting! A new home! We learn from our mistakes don’t we and this helps us narrow down what we don’t want and know then what we do. Lessons on life! In the meantime keep smelling that wonderful fresh mountain air…I should know we would share the same scents…great minds think alike!


  3. bcparkison says:

    Love the story! Makes ones breath stop to think about this child knowing something we have yet to experience. My love smell is new turned dirt, as in farmers getting ready for a new crop and my lemon tree when it is in bloom.
    The new house looks to have a great location. Lots of trees.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Walsh and Mollie are so excited and it will always be special for having this upcoming blessing of joy be born there…new turned dirt…great choice…and always anything with a lemon scent …so refreshing. John and Mandy have a lemon tree and every time it looks like they are getting a lemon…an animal beats them to it.


  4. bcparkison says:

    And Prayers for Tim .and his family


  5. bcparkison says:

    Oh..I just had to re-post this …some more people need to read the story…hope you don’t mind.


  6. Rachel Edwards says:

    What a beautiful story…Love the smell of rain…Walsh ‘ s house looks so nice…

    I live the smell of cookies baking…or a scent that reminds me of a particular person…

    On Aug 16, 2017 6:06 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: It all started with my neighbor > Vickie. She texted me Monday afternoon, as a summer thunderstorm rumbled > through Summerville bringing us lots and lots of rain. Since we are both > gardeners rain makes us very happy. Vickie texted “Rai” >


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Love both of those choices Gin-g…cookies baking in the oven is over the top fabulous…and smells of people are so precious. When Doodle, Carrie, and I stopped by Lassie’s Saturday night…I stopped in the house and said…It stills smells like Poppy and Dee-Dee!


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