Thursday, January 13, 2011

Simply Empowered

I started the year with a commitment to GO.


I dubbed 2011 the year to step out of my box and go out of my comfort zone into unfamiliar territory. I even asked God to nudge me, so to speak, into areas which stretched me beyond where I like to be.

I’m not sure I expected Him to answer me so readily and so literally, but He did.

Have I mentioned that I’m afraid of the dark?  Well, I am.  For no small reason have I earned the title baby of the family.  I blame my overactive imagination. In 49 years, I have never… not one single time… allowed myself to be caught alone in the darkness.

So you can imagine my comfort level when The Great Ice Storm Adventure left me without power just as the blue hour was stealing the last bit of daylight from the sky.

I waited for a little while, hoping that it would rally as it had the other fourteen times it had gone out that day.

It showed no gumption whatsoever.

There I was, sitting home alone, in the dark, with the woods still crackle- popping around me.  In response, I did what any normal 49 year old mother of two would do; I called my mom. There wasn’t a single thing the Duchess could do for me since she lives over an icy river and through a piney stick woods, but I called nonetheless. 

I also called the husband in Atlanta.
And both of my daughters at school.  

All four had the great privilege of talking Debbie off the ledge. All four gave me the same sage advice.

Light some candles.
Well, thanks.

I rounded up every candle in this house, large or small and gathered them to illuminate the living room. Now folks, there’s a name for a dark room illuminated with candles.


Honestly, there is little comfort in sitting in a room
which looks like the set of a horror movie. 

But then…

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I decided that it really wasn’t worth all the dread and drama. In fact, when I stopped hyperventilating long enough to look around me, it was fine, almost cozy. And somewhere in the middle of it all, I decided to take my little candle and venture about the house to find things to occupy my mind in the darkness.

I gathered up some hoarded magazines and used the time for a sort and purge. Then, I took my candle back into the darkness to find my reading glasses because I got sidetracked by the cover stories which had kept me from tossing them away to begin with.

I stayed downstairs in that living room for hours before blowing out the candles and heading upstairs to the darkness called my bedroom. It was while I was carrying that little light of mine that I heard a quiet blowing sound.

Like music to the ears.

(By the way, it's hard to do the happy dance while holding a lighted taper.)

Now, if you’re thinking that the sound of that power returning is this week’s simple pleasure, you would be wrong. While I did enjoy the simple blessing of the amenity that I too often take for granted, it wasn’t the return of the power that gave me my greatest pleasure this week.

It was knowing that I had stared down a 49 year old monster and lived to tell the tale.
Facing my fear  is this week’s simple pleasure.

Sharing this with Dayle at
A Collection of This and That
For her Simple Pleasures party.
Head on over to enjoy other simple pleasures.


Heather T. said...

Debbie, you are adorable and this was a wonderful simple pleasure testimony!! You go girl :)

Sonja said...

oh good girl!! Isn't it funny how those monsters we always feared are not so fearful after all when we are forced to face them. I'm proud of you!! Gives you a whole new appreciation for the beauty of candles!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, how I love stories with a happy ending! We are so much alike, Debbie.

I used to be so afraid of the dark when I was a child because we lived in the country and had big scary antique furniture and lots of "family" in paintings and photos around the house, STARING that zombie stare!

On top of that, my father was a big game hunter in his youth, and we had "heads" that would watch you if you got up to go get water during the night. I would have to go down the hall to the living room where they hung, through the dining room where they hung, and into the kitchen (sanctuary). It was like roaming through a jungle! And their eyes glowed in the dark from the fire in the fireplace as it burned down and from the flames from the iron and marble little space heaters (this was a very OLD house) as they burned to keep us from freezing to death. And their horns cast shadows on the wall, too.

There were screech owls and lots and lots of piney stick trees and oaks that cast ghostly shadows on the lawn through my window. Once we moved to town, the heads were banished to my aunt and uncle's cabin (thank you, Mama!), and life became normal with central heat and air. GLORY! While I'm still not overly fond of the dark, I can be by myself now, provided the burglar alarm is good to go! ;-) But this post, yeah, I can identify!!!


Sheila :-)

Ann said...

I'm doing the happy dance for you! Terrific blog and I totally understand the "simple pleasure" of it all! : D

Dianne said...

Thanks for making me split my sides so early in the morning--Oh my, I am a "big baby" too and just night before last got up and went and turned every light in the house on because I thought I "heard something."

This was so, so funny, Debbie. You are a hoot.

Kelli said...

Laughing hysterically!! The smile is huge as I say thank you!! Glad to hear you're warm and cozy with our without power. God did not give Debbie a spirit of fear!!

Dayle said...

Sweet Debbie, you made me laugh and made me sigh. I don't like total darkness either, and I can so relate. But look at you! You conquered that fear all by yourself... with God's help, of course. You GO, girl!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Well I just have to applaud...because God is doing the same thing in my newly turned 50 year old this was just a shot in my arm. Yesterday He took me out of my comfort zone...way out of my comfort zone and I survived.
What an awesome God we serve and I am so glad you looked that fear in the face and came out with a smile!! Go girl!! What an awesome year is in store.

Red Couch Recipes said...

going without power is NOT fun at all, but you seem to have received something positive about it -- glad you made peace with the dark! Joni

Angel said...

So great! You got your first challenge for your "GO" theme and passed with flying colors - all green :) I am impressed and inspired!

Denise said...

So very proud of you baby sister for staring down that fear. I would say you passed with flying colors. (GREEN...) I'm not crazy about being in the dark either. Add a storm on top of it and here comes the crazy train. God is so good and so faithful to pull us through. Thanks for sharing your fears and how God helped you persevere.

PS I would have called mom, too.

Ms.Daisy said...

Thanks for another laugh session today, it is so much fun to read about your adventures. I'm glad too that you overcame your fear of the dark. A perfect Simple Pleasure.

P.S. I keep the rest of my collection of nativities on a bookshelf and a gateleg table. I only put those away that are under the tree. Don't ask!:)

sarah said...

Debbie...I love this. You crack me up. I had visions of you roaming around the dark....just like you described and now I'm cheering for faced your fear....and won!!!! Way to go.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Debbie, secret time, I am a 67 yr old lady who has never slept in the dark and God willing never will. I have faced my fears of sleeping with my back to the door...(afraid someone will slip up behind me and put a knife in my back)only took me till I was 60 to get over that have no clue where that fear came from, unless some tales my older sister used to scare the baby(me) with, but we have always had a light on, my oldest sister had the mind of a 2 yr old so we had to have light with her, then we lived in town, street lights, then my children, night lights..I'm hopelessly lost. DH always keeps a flashlight beside bed in case of lights going out.
I am so glad you were able to face your demon down, pray I will too one day.

Lynn Richards said...

Go, Debbie, GO!!!

Laura said...

Wow -- what an experience! You should be so proud of yourself. You didn't mention the temperature. I'll bet it was a bit chilly, too! What a neat testimony of facing down a demon.

Carol said...

I used to gather some candles and read. But now that I need reading glasses....not so easy.
But where we are now we almost never ever lose power.
Yay for you!

Katia said...

Hi Debbie,
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, so nice to meet you.
Oh my, I have to tell you my ice storm story. The news started announcing this ice storm and it could turn bad......long story it did. We were without electricity almost 3 days. I gathered every candle in my home, btw, I am a candle lover, so it wasn't too hard to find them. We hurdled into one bedroom, lit an oil lamps and candles. the next day we went and bought one more oil lamp. The oil and the candles helped keep us warm for almost 2 days. Then a friend brought a generator and had electricity for a little bit before the power was totally restored.
After that incident we have kept oil and candles supply every winter in our home.
Yes, I totally agree with you, facing those giants in our lives, are truly a simple pleasure.
Thank you for sharing your precious story with us.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Congrats Debbie! We're a lot stronger than we know:@)

FrouFrouBritches said...

YAY Debbie! Look at your being all gutsy and stuff! I hate to be alone in the dark because it's BORING! It's good if you can read though. I hate being without power and trying to keep the kids calmed down and entertained.

By the way, I call my momma when I get scared too! And she lives an hour away - like she could do anything for me if something happened!

Congrats to you!

On Crooked Creek said...

God is so good! Glad you're doing fine now and that you put your faith in Him (one more time) to trust that all would be well!
Thanks for visiting On Crooked Creek today and leaving your sweet comment. I have seen the pink dishes as well, but think it was in Leavenworth. They sometimes have them under Vintage dinnerware on ebay. . .pricey though!
Stop by again soon.

Donnie said...

I'm so happy you were able to accomplish this. Thankfully we are never totally alone whether in the dark or the light.

Jen said...

Yay, yay, yay for you! Don't you just love it when a huge, old fear is just GONE! So excited for your freedom. And good job telling this story!

Sharon Kirby said...

Debbie - 1 Boogeyman - 0

I am also VERY afraid of the dark, so I know that this simple pleasure was NO SMALL FEAT!! It was simply a victory!!

FYI - The room DID look spooky, as did the magazine cover featuring a story about "strange symptoms" - Hmmm...was "jumping into bed from two feet out so the monster under the bed doesn't grab your legs" listed?!

Hang in there, my recovering scaredy-cat friend...

Sunny simple life said...

Good for you! I hate being home alone. I have always homeschooled and had kids around so when I am home alone (which is rare) I get very creeped out. Thanks for your kind words today.

Joan said...

Debbie - this is too funny! (I'm sure it wasn't funny to you while sitting there in the darkness.) Thanks for giving me a laugh this evening and I'm happy you overcame your fear of the dark!

Anonymous said...

That must be the hardest thing to face...a fear that has been with you for so long - keeping you trapped! But now you are free from it! - what a wonder that is - yes, the fear is gone, now you get to enjoy the feeling for a long time to come....


Amy Kinser said...

Isn't God amazing how He calms us through a He is the light in the darkness, how He wants to be our strength at all times if we will just allow Him to be.

What a sweet lady you are, Debbie. A sweet friend...

Southern Gal said...

Good for you! I suffered from that same fear especially when we were first married and my husband worked shift work. I got caught in a black-out one time and did the same thing - called my mama and told her I couldn't see my hand in front of my face! I'm so thankful the Lord took that fear from me. Looks like He's doing the same for you.

Anonymous said...

We had a power outage while at church and it was the best time! I found some candles and we sang by candlelite!!

When our boys were small they loved power outages because then we could play like the children on Little house on the Prairie!

Angel Wings and Apron Strings said...

Debbie you are so fabulous!! Funny..and BRAVE.
Glad to hear that your fear was the thing to go! God is so good - and He has a great sense of humour too :-)
Well done!

Miss Char said...

Well I'd like to attach a gold star for you Debbie but I haven't a clue if you can add an icon to comments. We all have our little secrets as to what unnerves us, I'm so glad that you have looked the darkness in the eye and stared it down...of course looking at decorating magazines helped I'm sure.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh you poor thing! I don't mind staying alone and I don't mind the dark, but I would not like to be home alone in the dark!... You made it, that is what counts!


Anonymous said...

I LOVE it!!!! Off you went and faced it. Very inspiring.

I stopped by to say hi and to let you know that I am temporarily led to make my blog private--just a season. I am sending you an email which google sets up as an invite to the blog. Just thought I'd explain before I do so. Look forward to staying in touch.


Graceful said...

Debbie -- I love this story -- you are a fabulous story-teller! And hey, we all have fears (mine is throwing up...just as irrational as anyone else's!). Glad you conquered your fear of the dark and had a rather nice evening for yourself! Way to GO! ;)

Shay said...

Debbie~ You have a great way with words. I love hearing you as I read. Loved the content and the title. You Go Girl!

CAL said...

Having experienced lost of electricity quite a few times I sure do sympathize with your fears.

I was so thankful for my reading book light and passed the time reading. The nights were always the longest and I actually looked forward to going to bed.

Crystal Mary said...

Fear is the channel satan loves to work through. Light, well "Jesus is the light of the world and in HIM,there is no darkness." Whenever afraid, remember, in a tiny candle flicker, He is there.. God Bless. CML

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Good for you Debbie! Not only did you face your fear but you were able to see it as something positive too. I don't know how in the world you could purge those magazines in the candlelight though. I would have been thinking I might be missing something. You certainly showed a great deal of perseverance. Sorry to hear you have been w/out power. We were blessed not to have lost ours, this time. This really was such a wonderful post. I really like how you were able to turn something negative (and scary) into a positive. It was very uplifting to read this. Thank you!

Scribbler said...

What a great story! Confronting your fear is the only way to deal with it. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the nice comment.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Although I think that facing your fears is not a simple thing, you have certainly done a beautiful job of turning it into glory for God. I love reading your posts! laurie

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

good for you! What an encouraging post for all of us as we each have our own frights to face.

Anita said...

Wow, that is a big deal!! Good for you! We have been so concerned about the power going off I keep jugs of water and a bathtub filled. The kids are growing one of those plastic frogs that gets larger the longer it sits on the water. Yay. I have a 100-year-old silver oil lamp on the dining table ready to go just in case!

Terry said...

Congratulations on a goal accomplished .
You have a great blog .
I had a wonderful time visiting .
Until next time
Happy Trails

Through My Red Door said...

Thank you for stopping by and welcoming me back so warmly. I've so missed visiting you and have just spent hours catching up. I've been laughing all night!

I have to ask though, if you've ever written a book. Because if you haven't, may I suggest you do. And if you have, please tell me the title(s) so I can buy.

Reading all your stories that I've missed for the past month or so has been so much fun. You really are an inspiration.

May God continue to bless you in 2011!



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