Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fluffing out the Dander

I found a cat brush in the garage a few weeks ago and found out that Gwigsy loves to be brushed! He will warmly allow even Jesse the Manhandler to brush him to his heart's content. This morning I decided to try to get ahead of the cat's hair loss a little, so I brought him outside and began brushing vigorously. I brushed against the grain, I grabbed clumps of hair and pulled, I even took my hands and ruffled his fur to fluff out the dander... He kept on purring and the fur just kept on flying. I never did get to the end of it, but I have to believe that it made a difference in how much fur he will leave behind on the sofas and beds for the next day or so.

As I did this, I felt the wind fluffing out the dander in the trees around me. The leaves are still green, but there are fewer of them all the time as the days get shorter and the weather gets (a little) cooler. And the wind is blowing briskly today, flapping the flag and raining brittle brown oak leaves onto the patio. The winds of change are blowing!

It actually feels like a perfect day for cleaning out the dander in the house, as well. Wednesday is my official cleaning day. Last week on cleaning day, I got inspired to pull out all the furniture and vacuum behind and underneath. I pounded the dust out of the pillows and cushions, tumbled all the throws, and let the fresh air in. Today, I have opened the windows to change out the air. If time allows, I will vacuum up another week's worth of tracked-in dirt, and shake out the doormats. Otherwise I may have to do it tomorrow.

As I see (and cause) this fluffing out all around me, I naturally start to wonder where else there is dander that needs to be fluffed out. I do feel a bit of stale air in my soul, a lingering heaviness resulting from being in limbo for so long. We have been living with family in Texas for three months now, and while life is very good and I have no right to complain in light of people all over the world with more difficult situations, I still feel out of control. I am dependent on the good grace of others, and I am still anchored to a vacant house and 10 years worth of debt. There are a lot of days when I really struggle with overcoming that heaviness, when any attempt to verbalize my feelings only ends in tears. So I keep it to myself, quietly escaping into my TV shows, my Internet projects, and my daily tasks.

Last night was a surprising chance to fluff out a little of my own dander. I had the chance to hear a bestselling author share her story. Several years ago, she was a young mom very much like me, who had an idea she wanted to share with other moms. She turned her idea into a book, which eventually led to an improbable career as bestselling author and public speaker. Well to make a long story short, her story intrigues me and is even now percolating through the thought-analyzer in my brain.

After the talk, I found myself shaking her hand and sharing just a wee bit of myself with her, and walked away with a gift copy of one of her books, entitled “The Power of a Positive Mom.” Now I don't know about you, but I can definitely use more positive in my life. And that encounter was a great start! This particular book was a great gift because I intend to use it as part of a small group for at-home moms at my church in the spring. But now it also represents another mom's successful attempt to share her thoughts with a larger audience, which is an inspiration for me at this time in my life.

To cement the positive effect of the evening even more, I also found myself walking out the door of this event with an armful of gifts and door prizes. For some silly reason little gifts are very meaningful to me right now. I think it's because so much of who I define myself as, that being the material goods I surround myself with, is either in storage or given away because it didn't fit in the moving truck. And on this night, I was ridiculously gifted, between having my dinner paid for, winning the table prize, receiving a door prize (everyone receives one at this dinner), and completely undeservingly receiving a second door prize. All before I was given the book I inquired about.

So I received, among other things, a new coffee mug. I am a girl in need of a new coffee mug, since mine are all in storage and when I did get one out it got broken by the dog (see my entry from September 21 for that story). But lo and behold, when I looked closer at the mug, I read the caption and have since seized upon it as my mantra for this season in my life. I am fairly certain that this mug was sent directly from God himself, to little ol' me. It is now my new best friend. Check out the photo below:

Yes, it's time to clear out the old air in my soul. It's time to tackle the tasks I have been avoiding, make a plan for moving forward, and seize the power of a positive mom. Oh, did I tell you her secret? The power isn't really from the mom at all. It's the power of God. I know that, I just don't use it. I keep looking to a future time for the solution for my lack of equilibrium. Time for that to change.

I promise that I do not have some surprising spurt of energy that is going to catapult me into change. I am still planning to invest time into my favorite TV shows, as well as my Internet projects. But it is time to fluff out a little of the dust and dander that have settled in my heart. Today, I choose to put my limbo into God's hands and start my "happily ever after" now.

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