Capture the Fluffy Moments

Twice a week, a soft knock taps on our gate, alerting me that our vegetable lady has arrived.

She is a sweet lady who comes with her sister with baskets of fruits and vegetables on their heads. She might offer me her cell phone and ask me to translate an English text from another “toubab”, the local name for foreigner, into French. She might ask me to teach her the name of a specific produce item in English. I ask her for the name of the same item in Wolof, the local language. I ask her about her sick son and she asks if my girls like school. I tell her that the fabric of her dress is beautiful and she smiles at my jeans.

After I purchase my produce for the coming days, she pulls out her calculator to add up my total for the morning. I scramble for cfa, our local currency, so that I can pay her in exact change.

It was in one such moment that my dog broke loose from his collar, plowed into me while I was crouched down searching my coin purse for 800 cfa, and knocked me out into the dirt road in front of my house.

“Toubab in the street!” I could almost hear whispered with laughter from those walking past. Not to mention all my produce spread out around me.

But all I cared about in that moment was that my collar-less puppy was loose! And he was quite anxious to get into the street. His whole body tensed with the possibilities of adventure. I had a hold around his neck, yelling for my husband to come get him, all while trying not to let our dog jump up on my vegetable lady! She is terrified of dogs… part of the reason Zander, our puppy, was tied up to begin with!

I want a peaceful, welcoming moment with my vegetable lady… not a crazy “can I buy produce and keep my 6 month old, 50lb German Shepherd contained” moment with her twice a week.

My husband came and got Zander back into the gate, I picked myself up off the sand, gathered my produce, repacked my bag, paid the vendor, apologized profusely for the near death experience and headed in for the morning. All while shaking my head at Zander with his silly puppy grin. He KNEW that he’d done something bad but he sure thought it was fun! I glanced over and saw Jeremy shaking his head too at the broken collar still attached to the leash.

The whole situation was quite humorous and I’m still laughing about Zander plowing me into the street. I did not even hear him coming! It was a total “Surprise! I’m here to play with you! What kinds of things are in the street today?” puppy moment.

The moment plays in slow motion in my mind, reminding me of the truly goofy things that happen each day.

It might be the dog plowing you over into the street, or trying to walk through huge sand dunes with grace, or giving a valiant effort to getting rid of a mouse in your kitchen or even tackling the termites taking over the cupboard. It could be locking your keys in the truck or getting a nail in your tire. It might be watching workers take 3 days to replace a door with one mishap after another because they aren’t sure how to do the job they are trying to do. It could be the huge spider that makes your daughter scream or the gecko hiding under the bed.

So many things about our lives are, if we step back and look at them with humorous eyes, quite funny and should add a lightness, a fluffiness to our days.

{I am not diminishing them either… for my daughter, that HUGE spider is a BIG deal!}

Yet, with a shake of our heads, we can smile, snap a picture for instagram, write a silly facebook status and move on with the day.

Where these things could make a mess of our attitude and possibly steal our joy, let us purpose to not give in to the very real annoyance. Let us allow God to flood our heart with the humor of the moment. Let us laugh and capture the fluff.

Take a step back, look at it with new eyes and maybe even crack a smile. This life is full of such moments… let’s enjoy them!

Now, I’d love to hear your captured fluff moment. What is a moment that replays with hilarity in your mind? Was it an annoyance at first and funny later? Were you able to laugh right away and capture the joy? How can you allow God to flood your heart with fluffy joy each day?

And while you do that, I will be trying to find a stronger dog collar…


  1. Michele Call February 24, 2016

    We had a moment like that last night. It was a rare night that I made it bed early, at 10:30. I’m not sure when my husband joined me but we both were awoken at 12:15 by the pitter-patter of feet running around in our bedroom. Confused, we flipped on the light to find 2 huge cockroaches playing. They were fast and it took some time and a lot of furniture moving for my husband to kill them. Then there was another in the bathroom. More furniture moving, and some spraying later, we were ready to turn the lights out and try to go back to sleep. Not five minutes later, we heard more scurrying, this time coming from the bookcase right by the bed. So the lights came back on. Thankfully this one was easier to kill. But now we were wide awake and decided to stay up a while reading. I did keep a good attitude this time, primarily because I knew I knew gone to bed early enough to get enough sleep. The cockroaches and slugs in our bedroom have been a big source of lost sleep, and not funny to my 8 month pregnant self!

    1. Jenilee February 25, 2016

      Ah!!! Eww! Ok, we had a cockroach run around our bedroom about 2 weeks ago. Only it had a bad leg and was NOT fast. So slow in fact that I wasn’t sure if it was a huge cricket or a cockroach! My husband thought it was hilarious that I couldn’t tell the difference but it was the slowest cockroach ever… and now quite dead. lol Thankfully we weren’t asleep yet… what a horrible way to wake up! but funny too, right?

    2. Grace L February 25, 2016

      We’ve got a little dog that likes to chase and kill bugs! Or maim them until they are disabled. Sure comes in handy, although thankfully our cockroaches stay in the kitchen and only come out to play at night when we are not there:) Love having a bug eating dog!

    3. Amy Young February 25, 2016

      When you mentioned the scurrying of feet . . . I thought children were coming to join you in bed :)!!! Not bugs :)! EWWWW is right!

    4. Anna February 27, 2016

      Ugh.  Cockroaches are the worst.  I always try to remind myself that they don’t bite or sting, but that doesn’t seem to help.  I’m familiar with that click-clack of feet, and can understand why it was hard for you to sleep!

  2. T February 25, 2016

    Yesterday, as I got out of a taxi a few blocks from my house (to buy bread on the way home), I felt cold on my backside!  I was soaking wet from the taxi seat, but hadnt’ noticed it til I got out (I had on 3 layers of clothes).  I was pretty horrified as I had to walk past a manland cafe, then a manland shop and started home.  Thankfully, a neighbor saw me and waited for me to catch up.  Showing her, we laughed together, but did squirm a bit wondering what had made me wet!  I changed and went back to get bread, as I couldn’t make myself stand in a line then.  I would have heard lots of “That foreigner’s pants are all wet!” at the bakery.  Maybe that could be a whole week’s theme sometime–“That Foreigner”.  😉

    1. Jenilee February 25, 2016

      No, no, no… I can NOT do mysterious wetness… yucky. lol Sounds like you kept your head and got your bread too! I have got to ask… did you shower? Because I think I would have needed a shower and TONS of soap 🙂

  3. Jenilee February 25, 2016

    oh and yes… “That Foreigner” is a fabulous idea 🙂

  4. Emily Smith February 25, 2016

    A while ago, I was getting dressed up in the traditional Japanese kimono. The two women helping me were in what sounded like a very intense problem solving session. The friend I was with started laughing and then translated for me. The goal of the kimono is to make the body look as straight as possible and they were trying to figure out how my western curves fit into that picture of beauty. About two seconds later, one of them apologizes and then shoves her hand down the front of the kimono and starts to…shall I say “rearrange me.” After a very stunned second, I just started laughing. She kept apologizing and kept trying. (I think there was a discussion of how to make my waist look bigger and balance out all other curves) Ultimately, my western figure won the battle. I pretty much thought the entire situation was funny. I was thankful both for their willingness to go through all of the work to set up the occasion for us and for their desire to make everything as authentic as possible. We got a lot of fun pictures in the end, too.  (The picture attached is me trying not to laugh while they readjust the neckline for about the 800th time)

    This moment sticks out because I remember I could have chosen to be mortified or I could just laugh. I went with laughter and it made for a much happier experience.

    1. Julie B February 25, 2016

      I laughed out loud at your description of the Japanese ladies trying to rearrange you!  So true….in Asia they just don’t get all of our curves!

    2. Jenilee February 25, 2016

      Oh so cute! What a great story and I’m sure something you will always remember. It really is much more fun to laugh, to choose joy when we really have every “right” to be upset or frustrated or even offended. Thanks for sharing with a picture too!

    3. Amy Young February 25, 2016

      Emily … I love the picture and thanks for sharing the story!! 🙂

  5. Julie B February 25, 2016

    Last fall my friend and I were involved with what we call “the baby rescue”.  We took a very young, extrememely ill 1 month old to a hospital accompanied by her very very young single mother and another mother (the mentor at the shelter) and her child.  The 1 month old was seriously near death – and after traveling dirt back roads using our phone GPS (who knew they would work in our country?)  we made it just in time.  The baby was resuscitated and admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.    After a very tense several hours as we were heading home with the mentor mother and her child in a taxi, my friend sent me a text to the front seat stating that there was a lice infestation in the back seat.  So…what’s a girl to do?  Stop and buy lice shampoo and then convince the mentor mother that she and the other gals at the shelter needed to use it!  As my friend and I were heading home…. finally…..all we could do was laugh….the day had been stranger than fiction!    What a way to top off the day!  Laughter is a wonderful way to release tension and great medicine for our souls!  My friend and I call ourselves “Lucy and Ethel “due to some of the “adventures” we get ourselves into!  What a fun way to live life when we can laugh!

    1. Jenilee February 25, 2016

      I love the “Lucy and Ethel” analogy. I’m sure many of us feel like that sometimes! Sometimes every day! Ew on the lice. I would have to MAKE myself choose joy for that one 😉 And what an incredible ministry too… just beautiful. Thanks for sharing a piece of it with us!

  6. Anna February 27, 2016

    Most of my *fluffy* stories involve bugs or something disgusting.  We spent a month in Ethiopia, and after Thanksgiving dinner, some of us sat around a bonfire.  At one point I realized that we were all telling stories about various parasites that had been in our bodies- like bot flies.  The M version of scary ghost stories around the campfire- “and then I pulled the worm out of my flesh…”  At least we can laugh about it later!

    1. Jenilee February 27, 2016

      yes. so true here in West Africa. Mango worms, sand fleas, parasites… yep. and everyone has a story!

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