Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Adventures in the Scary, Brown Boxy House

"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."   ... 2 Corinthians 12:10


On Saturday, Tom and I drove to a nearby estate sale inside a small, basic two-story square style of house I've meant to show you for two years because people improve upon these dozens of homes, change the appearance, their creativity being limited only by imagination, lot size and, ok, often money. 

Once inside this one, I saw crowds of milling folks so I immediately vanished up the stairs where a woman and I stared at an entire bed with an audience of scary 1920's dolls with eyes aimed at us. "I'd be afraid to sleep in a room with those dolls," she said, shivering.

But what was worse? Downstairs. Oh, people were jammed into boxy (boxy!) rooms and everything was brown-- brown carpet and drapes and tile and some rooms had brown paneled walls. People stepped sideways, trying to grab at things and when I knelt to the carpet beside two boxes of books, I felt I'd done a foolish, dangerous thing. And did I even venture into the one-doorway kitchen? Nope. My fluttery heart told me, "Go in there and you'll be forever trapped in that box!"

Ack! That "must get out of here before you start quivering" feeling began circling inside my head. I saw too many people in too few square feet surrounded by too much clutter and too many boxy rooms so I went and found (relaxed, calm) Tom in the center of what resembled Olivia de Havilland's snake pit

I told him, "I've got to leave. Now. I'll meet you in the car." 

Though it takes an opera-house-sized crowd for Tom to start falling apart, he understood, smiled, and said he'd be there soon.

This doesn't happen to me every time, just sometimes. And you know? I don't mind it much because it helps me better understand my fellow crowd-fraidy-cats. The quivering makes me more sympathetic to you who know exactly what I'm describing here.

I mean, months ago I told a relative how I almost never go to WalMart because there's too much stuff and too many people and after 15 minutes I'm practically racing my cart to the check stand, the rest of my list be darned.

I was serious, but she laughed. And then stated she loves shopping at WalMart.


What I want is my weaknesses--the ones God doesn't deliver me from--to contain some value. I want them to make me empathize with you and encourage you that you're not alone and you'll be ok. We both will be. And that just because we have weaknesses, it doesn't mean we are 100% weak throughout. Rather, God can show Himself strong by keeping us together when, without Him, we'd have crumpled into a heap. And we can do anything He asks us to do. Anyway.


This experience must have really gotten to me (took awhile to calm down at home, even) for I had a rare nightmare that night. Someone had tricked me into becoming trapped in a white (and well-lit, fortunately) garage and I couldn't believe I'd not realized what was happening until it was too late. Yikes. (Fortunately I awoke soon after the door shut behind me.)

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ"   ... Galations 6:2.


Thanks so much for praying for Naomi's trip from Nashville! She arrived here at 2:30 this morning(!) safe and sound.


I'm enjoying this free kindle book:  How Much Joy Can You Stand? How to Push Past Your Fears and Create Your Dreams.  Although (disclaimer) this is not a Christian book and I skipped over her paragraph about seeing a psychic. Alas.

I'm able to identify with so much of it, though, especially when I apply it to writing in this blog. (I'll just let that stand all mysterious-sounding.)  :)



Terri Cheney said...

I was just thinking of an old house I lived in for years. The living room was a perfectly square room with 14 foot ceilings. The carpet was dark brown, the walls paneled dark brown and during a freak summer storm while the roof was being replaced, the ceiling was stained a permanent dark brown from the soot in the attic and water mixing. It had one window, overlooking a porch and the bottom half of that window had a big huge AC in it. I loved that house, but loathed that room...and it was the only one we could cool or heat so I lived years in that single room for much of that marriage, in darkness, longing for light. I realized the other day how symbolical that part of my life truly was to the light I live in daily now, a much happier life in a for real marriage.

So I do sympathize both on the crowd issues and the darkness and the boxed in feeling. I'm not keen on any of those things. I hate to get in a store that is dark or crowded or jumbled and disorganized. I start feeling it within me as well and I don't want to be there.

Terra said...

Yes, our fears and problems can make us more tender to other people, and helpful toward them. I don't care for those huge stores either, or even a claustrophobic house with tiny brown rooms. I will take a look at that kindle book.

Terra said...

Thanks for suggesting the free book, I went to Amazon and got a copy. It looks like a good energizer.

Anonymous said...

Having a gimpy leg which sometimes hurts a lot, like recently, I try to avoid crowds too...it is just easier. But sometimes I do feel rather trapped as you describe...though generally I am bothered moreso by lighting and sound (like bad so-called music...I call that noise...not all music is music you know...) I have had to leave restaurants quickly because in short order my head was splitting...and that can happen in stores too.
Elizabeth in WA

Judy said...

I certainly do understand this.

Bonnie said...

Stores/homes don't bother me but airports do. Really uncomfortable. Not sure why....I think it's 'cause everyone is running around mostly tired and grumpy and anonymous and pushy. It just feels like the opposite of what I usually surround myself with. lol. Those feelings are so real, aren't they.