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“Full Spray Ahead”

August 26, 2022
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I opened the bottle and took a small sniff, still unsure what my thoughts would be about this new leave-in spray. Like all the other humans at some point in their lives, we had come across some days that required a little tightening of the belt. One of the first pennies I pinched was buying expensive products for my hair. I was thrilled when my hubby found a generic brand of one of my most expensive favorites, and I crossed my fingers that it would be a close enough imitation that it could tame this crazy curly hair.

I closed my eyes and took a breath in, letting the aroma fill my senses. It smelled great! Surprisingly, I thought it might even smell better than the original that cost way more money. The texture looked right, and the color was the same as the other. I put the lid back on and set the bottle in my hair care basket for it to await its first triumphant spray and praised my husband for his brilliant find.

The next morning, I washed my hair, gave it a quick pat with the towel, and grabbed my new-found treasure. I lifted the bottle to my hair and pressed down the button on the top. What happened next? Nothing. I pushed it again and again assuming the bottle had to prime the lovely solution up to the nozzle and finally after several pumps . . . a tiny drip. More attempts produced the same.

Although I knew the bottle was full, every time I pressed the button, I received only a few small sprinkles. Not enough to do much of anything with. Since it was a product that required an even application, I was not going to get very far with this even if I poured it in my hand. I needed the full spray. All I could think was All the product in the world and it’s trapped inside that bottle. What a waste.

And there it was.

That was the phrase that reminded me of how often I do not live a full spray. I have been given all this joy and faith, with the mission to spread it evenly to all the world, and some days all they get is a drip. Whether clogged up by circumstance or blocked by things that don’t matter, I trap it inside, never letting kindness and hope rise to its full potential. I hang back, letting out tiny bits at a time, not getting very far. I might look good and even smell good to the one that does try to push my buttons, but all the wonderful blessings inside just stay trapped.

What a waste.

If I want to get anywhere, I have to live at full spray. When this bottle is all filled up with the good things of this world, I must shower it out upon others. If I don’t, just like that bottle, I am not living up to the very purpose I was created for. I can’t keep it trapped inside—God needs me at full spray.

Shannon Leach is a slice-of-life encouragement writer and the owner of A Repurposed Heart and ARH Inspirations. Her authentic stories and books about leadership, life, and loving people focus on encouraging others and reminding them they are not alone. Her work can also be found in Guideposts and multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and is the co-founder of the nonprofit The Fostered Gift.
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