Perfume, Liturgy, and FRIENDS:: What’s Saving My Life Right Now

Most of us can easily point to the things that are sucking the life out of us or draining our energy, but we rarely take time to acknowledge the simple things that are giving us life and bringing us joy.

In her book, Leaving Church, Barbara Brown Taylor talks about a time when she was invited to speak using the prompt, ‘Tell us what’s saving your life right now.’ Some of my favorite bloggers (Anne Bogel and Tsh Oxenreider) have made it a regular practice to share their own short list of the things that are saving their lives right now. I love the concept so I’m joining in with my own list!

The following are just a few of the things that have been saving my life and bringing me joy recently.

  1. This enneagram 4 perfume from All Tribes Apothecary.

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This beautiful perfume smells like drinking jasmine green tea in the middle of the forest and I love it. It is made by All Tribes Apothecary, who uses pure botanical oils to create natural perfumes and artisan aromatherapy. This four perfume is part of the enneagram line, with unique scents based on each different enneagram type. I’ve never worn perfume before and it feels like a fancy luxury. The scent is rich and unique and reminds me to embrace the lighter, more creative sides of my type 4 personality. For these winter days of being stuck inside, perfume that smells like the outdoors does wonders to boost my mood.

2. FRIENDS.

The TV show. But also the people.

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Last year, Jacob and I watched Brooklyn 99 almost every night and ended our days with a healthy dose of laughter. This year, it’s going to be Friends. It’s not a perfect show and it’s not the best television has to offer, but it makes us laugh. And at the end of the day, all we really need is to laugh. Together. Plus it’s just so dang nostalgic.

Our real life friends are pretty great too 🙂 Even if our life doesn’t look like a sitcom, the community that we have here in Grand Rapids is truly a gift. Navigating life post-college (yet still in school 😛 ) sucks and you all make it just a little bit easier.

3. Liturgy.

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Liturgy seems to be leaking into my life in all the best ways recently. Beginning to observe the liturgical calendar, visiting churches with a rich liturgy in their service, and an amazing book on the formational powers of habit. The past few years have felt chaotic and off-balance and a bit like drowning. These deep historical rhythms feel like I’m beginning to stand on some solid ground. In You Are What You Love, James K.A. Smith says that “He meets us where we are, as creatures of habit who are shaped by practices, and invites us into a community of practice that is the very body of his Son. Liturgy is the way we learn to ‘put on’ Christ.” The calendar that we orient our lives around, the words that we say at church on Sundays, and the things that we choose to celebrate all have the power to direct our love towards or away from Jesus. Liturgy is helping me learn to ‘put on’ Jesus in a whole new way and I cannot wait to keep diving deeper.

4. Breath prayer and the Presence Project.

The Presence Project is a journey through 12 different ancient and modern spiritual practices meant to teach us to rest in God. It is being led by a wonderful spiritual director that I found through Instagram, Summer Gross. Each month, Summer leads those involved through a teaching about the chosen practice and this month it happened to be breath prayer. Breath prayer is something that I’ve tried before but intentionally practicing the prayer every single day for the past few weeks has been totally different. When I was feeling anxious, or angry, or even joyful, I breathed in the phrase The Lord and breathed out the words is my shepherd. Connecting the prayer and the truth to my breath really allowed it to sink down deep into my heart and soul in a way that mere words haven’t before. The breath prayer slowed me down and prompted me to linger and recognize the sacred moments in my day, like this beautiful winter sunset.

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What is saving your life right now? Maybe it’s one big thing or a few small things? I’d love to hear what is bringing you joy these days! Please comment or message me and share your own list. 🙂

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