This really happened.

One morning, just like any morning, I was putzing around the house in my pj's, picking up breakfast dishes, sipping on coffee, doing whatever. The boys had all left for school, Steve had gone to work, and the house was quiet and still. Just the way I like it. I took my Mac and my coffee to the couch where I plopped my big butt down to get some work done. (Um, alright, so we all know that "getting some work done" is code for "lurking on Facebook". But that just sounds bad, doesn't it?) Okay, so was I "working" and sipping and enjoying quietness and stillness, and just, generally, really liking my morning. That's when "The Very Awful Thing" occurred.

I really can't believe I'm about to tell you this. It happened about a year ago and I swore at the time that I would take it to my grave. But, I am nothing if not transparent, so I truly hope that you will enjoy this moment at my utter emotional expense.

So anyway, as sometimes happens when you drink eleven cups of coffee before 9am, nature called. And called and called. Until, finally, at the very last possible moment, I set my computer aside, nestled my coffee cup in between two couch cushions, and sprinted into the bathroom to...ahem...take a pee. In just a few quick steps I had swooped into the bathroom, undone what needed undoing, and was already seated.

And that is when it happened.

A quick glance down revealed - right there, on my thigh, not three inches from my lady goodies - the black beady eyes and thin curving tail of a gecko. ON MY THIGH!! Like it had been chilling out all morning INSIDE OF MY PANTS!! This really happened....TO ME!!! I. Had a lizard. In my pants.

Well, I did what any good missionary would do; I screamed, calling on the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (at which point I may have added a colorful middle name - something else to add to the long list of reasons I'm not really qualified for this job) to smite that little bas...eh...critter, and damn him to hell for molesting me on what had been such a lovely morning, while simultaneously smacking at my bare thigh until I was positive that the little hitchhiker had jumped to the floor. And this all happened mid-pee.

If you have never had a mid-pee emergency, you should count your self lucky. It took every ounce of control to remain seated, finish my business in a calm and orderly fashion, and retreat quickly back to the living room where I began to pace, like a stark raving madwoman, back and forth, wheezing "I did not sign up for this. I did NOT sign up for this. I did NOT sign up for THIS!"

God and I had a heart to heart that morning. In my hysteria, I let Him know quite clearly that I had had enough. "I did not sign up", I told Him, "for lizards in my pants! Oh, and you know what else? I didn't sign up for mushrooms growing on my t-shirts. I'm not down with having my butt grabbed by a dude on a bicycle. I am not okay with ants living in my sofa. No, just no. And here's something else, I most definitely did not sign up for having my house robbed, my purse stolen, or my credit card used in Vegas! But this, God, this? This is the last straw! I cannot live like this...with lizards in my pants..."

And then I started to cry, like really sob, with snot and tears and everything.

"God? All I really wanted was to serve you. All I wanted was to honor you by obeying your call. All I wanted was that you would Bless us in all this." I bawled and bawled and bawled. I'm pretty sure I cried out a full year of frustration that morning. Eventually, all of the hysteria had drained out of me, the tears and snot dried up. You can just imagine the vision of beauty I was. When it all over, my house was still and quiet again. Just me and the gecko. And God, he was there, too.

Sometimes I'm jealous of people that read the bible and just get it, or go to church, hear a message, and let it change them. I am not like them. They learn about God in tidy, conventional ways. I learn about God when a creepy crawly with suction cup toes makes it from my ankle almost all the way to the land of milk and honey. So this is how it came to pass that a pervy gecko helped me redefine the way I think of Gods blessing.

I'm not an "audible voice of God" kinda girl. I believe it can happen, but it never happens to me. On that morning, while I was wailing like a lunatic and ticking off my laundry list of hardships, I want to say there was the faintest whisper...like a breath of air. I was with you... I was with you... I was with you... I was with you...

I am with you.

And I was reminded of the real Blessing of God. He is with me. He has always been with me. He was with me before I even knew Him. He's been with me all the way. His presence is His Blessing. I think it even says that somewhere in the bible...

...and they will call him Immanuel, God is with us....


  1. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!! I laughed so many times reading this, and I also thought of people I want to forward it to so they can read it.

    You said, "Sometimes I'm jealous of people that read the bible and just get it, or go to church, hear a message, and let it change them. I am not like them. They learn about God in tidy, conventional ways."

    BS. No one really GETS truth in tidy packaging. They hear sermons and Bible verses that way; but those are just concepts, ideas, doctrines; that isn't how one really GETS something. THAT happens in LIFE, and that's what you're writing about.

  2. thanks for the transparency. i love life lessons. and I especially love how you can capture these priceless life moments so eloquently. you are a gifted artist.

    love you.

  3. John, thanks for taking the time.

    Mark, Point taken. Thanks for the insight!

    Kathy, I LOVE YOU!! and I hate living life apart from you!! :( thank you for your encouragement.


  4. Oh, Jamie! This is SO my reality too! Though my latest critters have been rats! Every time I get a new critter in the house I keep thinking I've lived the worst of it. I'll keep telling myself that! Praying for you!

  5. I think I just lost a lung from laughing. You can do that, right? Yeah, I just lost a lung from the spasmodic laughing/cough fit you just gave me with this hilarious post. So thanks for that.

    I'm adding your name to the list of people I pray for that's stuck on the sun visor thingy in my car. So you know.

    Missionary on, sister. :D

  6. I am SO glad I clicked on the link in today's blog (excellent, by the way) to read this hysterical story. Thank you for letting us in on this particular morning of your extraordinary life.

  7. No fair making a girl cry. first thing in the morning. at work.

  8. I cried when I wrote it and I cried today when I read it. It was a pretty big moment of clarity for me. :)

  9. This is phenomenal writing. Anne Lamott has got nothing on you. I hope you've started on your book.

  10. I realize you wrote this a long time ago, but I'm just reading it...I live in Laos and have daily warfare with those stupid little lizards too. Sometimes I have to stop the urge to squish them (mostly because it'd be really gross)...
    Thanks for the awesome story!!

  11. This post is awesome. I'm coming out of the stalking shadows to out myself because you're just too funny and I can't help but say something. I know this is an old post, but when I find a blog I like, I try to go back to the beginning and catch up. I LOVE how open and honest you are. I was wondering if you'd be ok with me posting about your blog on my blog because I know the girls who read my blog would LOVE you and would also be great prayer warriors for you as "the very worst missionary" (which I don't think is true ... it should be called "the most honest/hilarious missionary." :) Anyway, my email address is fionaborne@hotmail.com or you can check out my blog (http://bornetotravel.blogspot.com/) and let me know if you're ok with me linking to you.

  12. This was just a brilliant post! I read it to my husband not 20 minutes ago, through gasps of laughter, and then was able to sneak up behind him as he was going "Numero Uno" and screamed "CHAMELEON! CHAMELEON ON YOUR LEG!"

  13. Oh my Dad! That was fabulous! Love it.

  14. it made me cry as well. maybe cuz im jealous of your strength to say "He is with me" even through all types of hardship. thank you and bless you.

  15. Bwuahahaha! I am just now reading this, Jamie, but I wanted you to know that when I read your post:

    1) I laughed VERY hard
    2) I totally understand the whole learning to lean experience.

    I feel like I'm learning everything all over again sometimes :)

    PS...still giggling as I write this.

  16. That's just great! We live in Kenya and can relate. We often have floors that are wall-to-wall ant carpet. Instead of the crunch of snow or leaves, it's ant carcasses.

    I'm sending this to my I'm-not-a-pansy-missionary-kid daughter.

    BTW, here in Kenya, a local tribe believes if an chameleon falls on you, you have to go to the hospital had get your head shaved. In your case, not so sure.

  17. A lol'ed. Jamie, you're awesome.

  18. Jamie,
    I don't know how exactly it happened, but I found your blog today and I've been wetting my pants since!

    My Costa Rica is actually Le République de Niger in west Africa . . . and last week I had a scorpion on my boob (eventually the sucker got me in the back of the leg) . . . and that was one of many, MANY arguments with the Lord about what I did and didn't sign up for. But each time He's right there, in the midst of my screaming, whispering gently.

    Keep the stories coming . . . your writing is brilliant!

  19. Oh man, first you had me crying because I was laughing so hard and then just crying because it was a beautiful moment (PMS is my defense)

    I too have had many tearful "I did not sign up for this" arguments with God... though none of them involved a gecko trying to get fresh... certainly gives me some much-needed perspective.

    Thank you.

    ps. Really? Mushrooms on your t-shirts?

  20. I'm sending back my diploma from seminary today to rid myself of the pretense that I understand anything as deeply about His eternal presence as this post reflects. I repent in fungus and ashes.

    may your tribe increase

  21. Jamie-i'm just nicely getting into your blogs. you are so refreshing! thanks so much for being real and transparent and authentic! what a joy to be a christian, and to know "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee..."(Hebrews 13:5). please keep sharing your incredible gift of writing!

  22. Ahhh Jamie you are now added to my list of "I shall not envy..."
    There I was envious of my neighbors oh so green thumb compared to my large front yard become a doggie outhouse and my surrounds of weeds hiding the swing set and any true floral yard beauty. I had just mildly conquered that when reading your post I realized I am envious of your skill with words. What an art! (Your words-not my envy)

  23. This made me lol so hard haha
    Nice post!

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