Old sweatshirts and Vanilla Ice

It’s funny how smells and sounds can be so powerful. There’s a soap that takes me back to my sophomore year of high school, when I had a new driver’s license, a great group of friends, and my first real, hunky boyfriend. Every time I smell this Dove bodywash I’m taken right back to spring of 1997, when I sported my high-wasted jeans and fake Doc Martens.
I also love the smell of my husband. When I have a particularly rough day, I’ll steal one of his old t-shirts to wear to bed, and for some reason it brings me great comfort. I was worried that once he moved in and we started to commingle our laundry that this smell would fade, but somehow it survives. I think Mr. Right worries that this smell is more of an odor, but it’s not. It isn’t a cologne or soap, just… him. I can’t describe it, but any girl who’s borrowed her boyfriend’s sweatshirt probably knows what I mean.
Sounds are also so powerful. There are several songs (Vidalia, Baby Blue) that take me back to my annual two-week camping trip to Garner State Park back in high school. We would two-step to these old songs under big, starry skies in South Texas and relish in the freedom of being teenagers. Ace of Base reminds me of my first cheerleading tumbling classes back in the seventh grade, when I was trying to master that elusive back-handspring.
(I don’t have any pics of me learning the back-handspring, but here’s a
lovely photo of me from the 7th grade… look at all those braces. And those bangs!)
Vanilla Ice will always have a special place in my heart – his one-hit wonder is my absolute favorite song in the whole world (don’t judge me) and is a sure way to make me laugh. All of my closest friends have probably seen me perform the words by memory at least once. Maybe twice.
Over the last few months, as I’ve struggled with being sick and have gotten more discouraged, music has played a big part in bringing me comfort. I’ve always loved Ginny Owens, and this song in particular has been my anthem:
Cause I’m not who I was
When I took my first step
And I’m clinging to the promise You’re not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to you
Then I will walk through the fire
If You want me to

So When the whole world turns against me
And I’m all by myself
And I can’t hear You answer my cries for help
I’ll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley If You want me to


I love this because it talks about knowing that God is good even if he doesn’t seem to answer our prayers for healing, or rescue, or whatever it is we think we so desperately want. It reminds me that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and that this trial, too, serves a purpose. It brings me great hope.

What songs have brought you comfort during difficult times? You know… besides Vanilla Ice?

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