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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Achoo (04/11/13)

TITLE: Cold Case Closets
By Lori Dixon
~8th Place


My sweet man has an obsession. Now, I am not divulging anything that he would not admit himself, but in fact, in a service to others, he has given me permission to share.

His confession? He cannot walk by a sale of paper products without stocking up. And, by stocking up, I really mean stock piling.

Now, we live in a very small, modest townhouse. It does not include a walk-in pantry, or large locker or storage area. The only spot for storing things is through the garage, under our stairs which is where we stash our Christmas tree, seasonal decorations, and a few bins of my Ďthiní clothes, (which Iím sure Iíll fit into again real soon so I keep them handy).

That being said, when my tissue-aholic husband comes home every other month with twenty-four rolls of paper towel, 96 double rolls of bathroom tissue and dozens upon dozens of boxes of facial tissue, I often break down and cry.

Which is okay as clearly I have a variety of products with which to dab my eyes.

With nowhere else to store his purchases, he somehow manages to shove them into the over-packed closet. Watching him open the door and toss yet another roll in, I am mystified by how he can break the laws of gravity. (Kind of reminds me of how I once defied the laws of physics by getting my size 14 thighs into a size 10 pair of jeans . . . until I near ruptured my spleen and had to place the pants in the bin under the stairs).

For sure, my husbandís ability to store infinite amounts of tissue is downright inspiring.

This magical, secret closet is viewable from the street whenever we open our garage door. It appears to be like any other door but we who live here know the truth. The danger that lurks behind. If one isnít careful and absentmindedly opens the door fully, a tumble of tissue will most likely leave the poor sap buried alive.

When buying a home, women usually check to see if there are ample storage closets because letís face it, we all have stuff we want to hide. Stuff that isnít pretty and does not nor should not be put on display but rather squirreled away from our friends, family and especially strangers.

Secret stashes of sports equipment, toys, items that were earmarked for goodwill before Christmas and are now jammed in behind the fake tree . . . and stockpiles of sale clearance items saved for a rainy day . . . or a stuffy nose.

There is a booklet written by Robert Boyd Munger called, ĎMy Heart Christís Homeí and in it he writes about different rooms representing parts of our life that we share with Christ. In his story, thereís a dreaded closet storing dead stinky things from a life before Christ. Sad to say a lot of us hold onto not only awful things from our past, but we drag in new disgusting things as well.

Like the man in Robertís story, we also have done our best to hide our nasty secrets in the hall closet of our heart, in some vain attempt to fool not only others, but Christ Himself. The messier this closet becomes, the more we manage to stuff in. Not wanting to have anything fall out, we sneak it open just a crack and toss in more garbage. This way we are not forced to acknowledge or deal with the junk inside. We just keep tossing, stashing and dashing. But eventually, when the stench of our life becomes overwhelming, we finally hand over the keys to the Lord and allow Him not only access, but we beg Him to clean it out andóbest of allótake full ownership of our whole heart!

As I wrote down these thoughts, contemplating my own reality in this area, I stopped and reread the little booklet before venturing into the disastrous avalanche that was awaiting me.

You see, my discount shopping husband didnít just bring home some bargains; he also brought home some nasty virus and is under the covers sniffling and coughing. Thankfully he reminded me that he is fully preparedólike a good Cub Scoutóand we have enough supplies for a whole season of colds, flus and allergy achoos.

But with him being sick, itís up to me to go open that dreaded closet and fetch the tissues! Lord have mercy!

Accept Jesus as Your Savior Right Now and be Certain of Eternal Life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 04/19/13
This is delightful. Be grateful for you sweet man. I loved reading this from start to finish and your humor shines through. Very well done.
Christina Banks 04/19/13
After reading the title, I wondered if this was going to be a law enforcement story, instead it was a delightful devotional given with humor. I hope you were able to retrieve the tissues without being buried alive.
Judith Gayle Smith04/19/13
What a fun and quite passionate read! Since you yourself proffered no red-nosed "WHACHOO!", I feel blessed to give you Gesundheits to fill your paper products to infinity - and beyond.
Alicia Renkema04/22/13
I chuckled in many different places in this story. You sure have a gift for keeping your reader engaged. You had many wonderful lessons in this story, and "My Heart Christ's Home" is one of my favorite booklets ever. I read the small, original version right after I was first saved when I was 14, and recently ordered a copy of the larger version because it speaks so when to non-believer and believer alike of how we can keep growing in the Lord. My only "red ink" would be this -- your husbands obsession with buying and hoarding the paper products seemed secondary to the word / theme "Achoo" itself. Now, if the reason he has the obsession were because he was afraid of getting a cold and not having a big enough supply of tissue, that to me would have made it more central to the story. You did start to focus more on that toward the end, but it did seem a little bit of an after thought. All in all this was a hilarious read and very well written. Your husband is a real sport to have given his permission for this story. I enjoyed this very much.
dub W04/22/13
Truly enjoyed the article. My beautiful bride is quite the opposite, but your metaphors of the life closets was to point. Thanks for the delightful article.
Cheryl Harrison04/22/13
I loved the humor in your story. I have used the "My Heart, Christ's Home" many times. It is a great teaching tool. Thanks for sharing. Great job!
Dana Anders04/23/13
humorous. I liked the opening sentence too - really draws you in.
Linda Berg 04/24/13
Enjoyed this story. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into the closets of your life.
Christina Banks 04/25/13
Congratulations on your EC!
Sheldon Bass 04/25/13
Congratulations on a great 2nd!
I somehow missed this one beforeómy loss. Your piece has a great message: the hallmark of every good piece of writing in my estimation. Great work. I love the story, "My Heart Christ's Home." I've passed out many copies of that story to people my wife and I witness to. So powerful. Loved the humor in your entry. Congrats again!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/25/13
Two weeks in a row! Happy Dance! This was a delightful read. You had me giggling and picturing some of those houses with the coupon clippers who horde tissue too. Great writing!
Bea Edwards 04/27/13
Creative look into men's idiosyncrasies. Refreshing too, as it seems that us women most often carry the obsession label. Not that I'm any more than a bit OCD.
Well crafted and congratulations on your EC placing.
Bea Edwards 04/27/13
Creative look into men's idiosyncrasies. Refreshing too, as it seems that us women most often carry the obsession label. Not that I'm any more than a bit OCD.
Well crafted and congratulations on your EC placing.
Beth LaBuff 04/29/13
This is so cleverly written and is packed with smile material (besides tissues). :) I loved the "tumble of tissue." Congrats on your ribbon and Editor's Choice award!