The Sweet Smell of Rain
By Sheila Campbell
From my kitchen window I watch the clouds building in the southeast. The dark billows look
like giant black waves with foaming peaks. White streaks within the dark mass threaten to
pelt the earth and all that lies within its path with rocks of ice. As I watch the storm
approach, I wonder how the storms in our lives would look if we could see them coming? If
we could see them building on the horizon, how would we react to their approach? How
would we prepare? How would we shelter our hearts?
The Texas panhandle has a dry climate and moisture—however it comes—is always
welcome. So as the rolling clouds begin to cover the great expanse of sky and blot out the
late afternoon sun, I watch with both anticipation and apprehension. The storm hits, and the
house echoes with the deafening sound of wind and rain. The clattering of small hail sounds
against the windows. Lightning zigzags across the sky and thunder rattles the windows,
seemingly shaking the very foundation of the house. I am thankful for the shelter of home
that protects my family from suffering permanent harm.
Storms of life hit us in much the same way. Like the deafening sounds of rain and wind,
they can consume our thoughts and block out all else. They rumble through our lives like a
spring thunderstorm, shaking the foundation of our hearts. But if we have sheltered our
family in the Word of God and built our foundation on the Rock, then we have a shelter in
Being a homeschool family has helped provide this shelter by allowing us to be together on
a daily basis. We often talk about the benefits of life’s storms upon the gardens of our
hearts and how “a little rain” can wash a heart clean, refresh our outlook, and motivate us
to reset priorities. When we thank God for the rain in our lives, we find not only that our
hearts are thankful, but often a ray of joy returns even before the storm has passed. It may
not always be that “dance in the rain” gladness, but there is a contentment evident of a
sheltered heart in the midst of the rain.
While the storm rages outside, my children and I gather inside. We talk about the benefit of
the rain and the necessity of spring storms as we warm ourselves with hot chocolate and
wait for the storm to pass. We know there may be some damage, and once the storm
passes, some repairs to make, but we pray the damage will be minimal, and we take
comfort knowing that we will tackle those projects together.
As the storm outside begins to pass, the winds calm, the lightning ceases, and the thunder
becomes just a distant rumble. The rain and hail that once pounded against the windows
and fell in sheets beyond slows to a gentle, steady rhythm that washes away the dirt and
grime of winter. I wrap a heavy jacket around my shoulders and step out onto the shelter of
the porch. The air is cold, but it smells so clean and crisp. The clouds become lighter and
glow with a pink hue as the setting sun drops beneath the clouds and colors the land with
long rays of fuchsia and gold. The awe and beauty, the quiet stillness, and the sweet smell
of the rain-washed land make me wonder if this is how a storm-washed heart appears.
I wrap the jacket closer and gather my children to me. I lift up a prayer of thanks for the
passing storm and the new growth that will result. Despite the cold, I know that spring and
new life are not far away, and my heart rejoices.
Sheila Campbell began homeschooling in 1991, and after the death of her husband in 2001,
she homeschooled as a single parent. She also was the parent of a special needs child
whom she cared for at home until his death in 2004. These difficulties have strengthened
her walk with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and it is her prayer that her words will
encourage and inspire others. Sheila invites you to visit her blog at
Copyright 2012, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in
the March 2012 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, the family education magazine.
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