Friday, September 13, 2019

The Polka-Dot House (And What It Taught Me)

" ... and make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands..."   ... 1 Thessalonians 4:11


Way back in the 80's, Tom, Naomi and I lived in Chester, CA, a tiny-ish mountain town.

One day while driving to the post office, I pointed then told Tom, "Look! Why are there polka dots all over that house? Well, paper plates anyway."

Tom glanced over, then smiled and said, "Oh, that's the ______'s house. They repainted it last week and I heard some of their neighbors complained about the color. Told them they should paint it over. So, ha! Looks like the _____'s are showing them."

Oh my. How I admired their spunk! And personally, I adored the new paint color. (Can't you just hear the owners' line of thinking? "So they don't like our color choice? Maybe they'd prefer it with polka-dots.") ツ

Recently their son posted an old photo of the house at a Chester Facebook page, so here you go--

Hey. It's one thing to form an opinion, but to wait till your neighbors finished painting then feel it's acceptable to walk over and say you hate the color? That they should pay more money to paint over it?

Wow. (And no, there wasn't any official homeowners association involved.)

Lesson #1: Like the Bible says, we should mind our own business. Do what God gives us the freedom to do and allow others the same privilege. 


As we rode down the street, I recalled the times people tried talking me out of what I truly wanted to do. Of the decor, books, music, art, etc.,  I personally preferred.

Lesson #2: Don't let outsiders make you feel your tastes are wrong or trivial. Personal taste is so very subjective and God designs each of us with a unique combination of desires, dreams and callings. You know, for this reason--

" ...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose."   ... Philippians 2:13

Something else? All these decades later many folks on that Facebook page said they recalled that polka-dot house. They'd even repeated this story to friends in various states. 

So today I'll leave you with this--

Lesson #3: People often remember boldness and uniqueness. Bravery to stand alone for what you believe is like a bright light in this darkening world and oh Honey, how we need more Light.

Much more Light so to help others find the godly way they were created to travel.

True, it's not a simple thing to stand alone, but oh my, the afterward of obedience is always worth it.


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15


Betsy said...

Oh so true! When we built our house, we had it painted yellow. It was a pale yellow and I really liked it. Well, fast forward about 12-13 years or so and it needed repainting because we all know the quality paint that builders usually use. I chose yellow again to some peoples consternation. After all, everyone else in the neighborhood has brown, forest (dark) green or tan houses. We stand out. Well, the color is a "bit" brighter than the original color but I still absolutely love it. It's a happy color. It makes me smile to see our house when I return home. I'm sure you've seen photos of it on my blog. It isn't gaudy. It just isn't brown or dark green. We don't have an HOA either so we can do whatever we want. We have had lots and lots of people stop when we're working in the yard and tell us how beautiful the house is so there's that too.
The inside is another story. I have stuff. Most of it is sentimental and given to me as a gift. Nothing is decorator style. It doesn't match, but it makes us smile. And helps us to remember the people who gave it to us. And it reminds me to pray for them. That's more important to me than perfectly matched, tan and beige decorations. No, it will never look like a model home. It looks like OUR home. With our memories in it.
Gosh, that kind of turned into a rant didn't it? I really didn't mean it too. It just seems that sometimes in this world, the opinion is that we have to do something a certain way or it's wrong. Nope, nope and nope. God made us all different. With different tastes and abilities. He likes us that way.
Okay. I'm done. Sorry about the soapbox. Have a wonderful weekend Debra.

Rebecca said...

How we need more Light!

Pam said...

When I look back over the past 6 decades of life (yikes), it's obvious that I was easily swayed by what others thought was acceptable. I was insecure and wanted to fit in. Constantly changing styles were my guidelines. Then something wonderful happened in my 50s. Gradually, I started paying attention to what I liked and what was most comfortable for me and my family. Gradually, we have purged our home and our lives of those things that don't fit who we are. I like living this way!!

Terra said...

Oh those jokers with their polka dot house. Hilarious reaction to the neighbors' criticism of their color choice. Now I am a senior citizen I care much less about others' opinions of me, what I do, think, wear, etc. It is rather freeing. Of course the Bible teaches us that to follow Jesus is freedom.

Anonymous said...

Great post.

Debra said...

Your home sounds lovely, Betsy! As you know, my house is yellow, also. I still love it after these years and my red door, too. I think some modern ideas of decorating are changing, which is good. I love the shows, Good Bones and Home Town! Oh my, their use of color is always perfect to me. But I do also understand peoples' desires these days to live in simpler surroundings. Their lives tend to be complicated so coming home to stream-lined simplicity most likely feels soothing. Again, I get that. :)

Rebecca--yes! Much more light, right? :)

Pam--I'm so happy you've found your way to doing what you feel is best even if it doesn't match up with others! There's such freedom in that. Truly.

Terra--thanks for making me smile! :)


Thanks, Everyone! Blessings, Debra

Unknown said...

We loved Chester and our polka dot house! We share the story with friends in Oregon now. You all are right about following the instincts and talents God has given you. It is happiness and joy beyond belief to just let Him lead you where He wants you to go. I don't know that He had a hand in the polka dots, but we made people happy!