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Pleasing Aroma part 2

I promised to share what God was challenging me with. I wish I had a word for it, but the best I can come up with is aromatherapy.

I am familiar with many complementary therapies because I work with women who are preparing to give birth. I know about some herbs, can give a good massage, can demonstrate a few key acupressure points and can tie a rebozo like nobody’s business. But I have always been drawn to aromatherapy. This is very strange because I am a woman who is bothered by scents, most chemicals give me migraines.

Something is different about aromatherapy. The oils are plant oils, not manufactured chemicals, and they do not cause the pain and aura that things as common as bathroom cleaner can cause for me. In fact, the few oils I have actually bring me joy!

Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.

Over the last two months God has been pulling and tugging me to learn more about aromatherapy, to learn how to include the oils in my daily life with him. To include the oils in my worship. Does this sound strange to you? Have you read this?

Exodus 30:22-33

Then the LORD said to Moses, ”Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels  of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane,  500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin of olive oil.  Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. Then use it to anoint the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony,  the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand.  You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.

“Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.  Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come.  Do not pour it on men’s bodies and do not make any oil with the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. Whoever makes perfume like it and whoever puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from his people.’ “

Don’t worry, I won’t be making the sacred anointing oil. But I can see that God is calling me to do something different.

I have been hesitant to start because I don’t know that I want to take the time to learn something else new now. What if I do this and it doesn’t contribute to my growth in Christ? What if I do this and I’m just being selfish because I like aromatherapy? This certainly doesn’t look like anything I see other Christian’s do, so why should I think God is calling me here?

Well, for one thing God keeps bringing me back to it.  For another, I actually have had amazing times with God when I use my oils to scent the air before I sing or use my aromatherapy oils to massage my feet and cry out to God. I don’t know why it makes a difference, but it does. What if a year from now I discover that aromatherapy theory works and I was able to study more efficiently leaving more time to spend with God? What if I discover aromatherapy does help in healing. What if the hype behind it is all just hype, but the scents themselves help me to enjoy each day more? I don’t know what God has in store with this, but I am willing to learn what he wants to show me.

So, what is the whole point in sharing this with you? Because I know God well enough to know that I am not the only woman he challenges.  I also know God well enough to know that times of change in life (such as when you are expecting a baby or have a newborn) tend to be times of great growth spiritually. I am willing to guess that you have been feeling a tug from God to try something new. I just wanted to encourage you to follow where God leads.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas and childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student in a nursing program learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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