I have an ongoing case of the heebie-jeebies.

This morning as I was reaching for the coffeepot, I came across a big, fat, black cockroach trying to squeeze itself under a cupboard door in the kitchen. I poked at it with a broom, and it turned around and I’m pretty sure it gave me the finger.

There was a time when this kind of stuff made me scream and howl and jump around, arms and legs flying, hands wringing, until somebody came to my rescue. The problem with this is that A) none of the men in my family are really all that interested in coming to the aid of a damsel in distress, and B) a few of those same men are terrified by all manner of insect, including, but not limited to, rolly-pollys, fuzzy caterpillars, ladybugs, and butterflies. Not. even. kidding.

When I asked my oldest how it was even possible to be frightened by a butterfly, his response was, “Have you SEEN a butterfly’s FACE?!”, and then his whole body shuddered like a little chihuahua. And I was like, “That’s retarded.”, but that didn’t change his mind.

Needless to say, I learned not to even bother with doing an impression of a Native American rain dance every time a creepy crawly crossed my path, cause nobody in my house cares if I am being mauled to death by a June-bug (which I’m almost positive could happen). Instead, I learned to just kill the little ba…ug…bug. I mean, somebody’s got to do it, right? Might as well be me.

I guess you could say that I’ve grown accustomed to doing battle with all manner of invader. There was a sewer rat once. One night a bat swooped on into the livingroom. There have been scorpions, and these other things that look like a giant ant with scorpion arms and a pincher head that are poisonous like scorpions. And there are always tarantulas. And every kind of beetle. And I’ve noticed the word “infestation” comes up in our everyday conversations more than it used to. Ants, fleas, moths, centipedes, millipedes, termites, spiders, roaches, giant mosquitoes. It’s like they all take turns “infesting”, finding their way into every dark recess, and then laying in wait to scare the bajeezus out of you when you flip on the lights. It happens all the time. I’m kind of used to it at this point.

This morning, I laughed in the face of my uninvited guest, then, with forethought of malice, I called my loyal canine companion, who, in a flurry of fur and teeth, dispatched the buggar promptly. I felt like Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts as she shouted, “Off with their heads!” …or at least, I would have, had the oogyness of going toe to toe with a cockroach not trumped the glory of the win.

As I sipped my coffee, I considered whether or not my fortitude for things of a spine tingling nature had actually increased. Had I grown braver? Was I less afraid of this cockroach than I had been of the first, the thirtieth, the hundred and seventieth?

See, I really wanted to feel proud of myself for not freaking out, for not acting like a total girl, for not crawling out of my skin, and shrieking in terror. Like I said, I wanted to be proud, but mostly, I just had the heebie-jeebies.

The willies. The jitters. The creeps.

But there wasn’t one single moment where the feeling showed up and then nother where it left. The heebie-jeebies were just there. With me. The roach didn’t shock or surprise me. It didn’t scare me. It didn’t startle me. It was like I was ready for it. Like I was already on high alert, on the look-out for nasty crap that you would never, in a million years, want to be coexisting with under the same roof.

And then it hit me; I have had the heebie-jeebies, nonstop, for two and a half years.

Two and a half years.

Like, being creeped out is just part of who I am. And I can’t decide if that sucks or not, but I think probably not – Like, in the whole grand scheme of things, is consistently being ready to karate chop a flying insect out of the air such a bad thing?

Nah, I didn’t think so either.

I’m, basically, like some kind of badass ninja bug annihilator. One that carries a lot of tension in her shoulders cause she always, and I mean always, has the heebie-jeebies.

I can handle that. *shudder*

PS – Dear Reader,

If there is any message of significance here, I fail to see it – Your non creeped out ideas are totally welcome; we can call this segment “Pin the Bible verse on the Very Worst Missionary”.



  1. Carrie on February 16, 2010 at 10:53 am

    The next time you kill a mosquito, think of me 🙂 I hate any and all mosquitos. They love me and that's a big problem. At my last campmeeting, one bit me on the eye lid and my eye swelled like I had been punched. I wore sunglasses indoors. So embarrassing.

    As for scripture, remember, there is a time to kill. Snort.

  2. chrisnoelle on February 16, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    "Wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove???" maybe?

  3. Zac on February 16, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    If there is any message of significance here, I fail to see it – Your non creeped out ideas are totally welcome; we can call this segment "Pin the Bible verse on the Very Worst Missionary".

    Perhaps in a roundabout way all those creepy crawly heebie-jeebie inducing bugs are all Adam's fault. While he was naming the animals in Genesis 2:19 He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.

    What probably happened
    *Cockroach crawls up*
    Adam: "I shall call you, the Cockroach!"

    What should have happened
    *Cockroach crawls up*
    Adam: "Ugh, you give me the heebie jeebies!" *grabs rock and smashes the cockroach* "That will be the end of that… Next!"

    You could also blame Noah when the Cockroaches showed up for the Ark.

    *this could apply to scorpions, hornets, and all other bugs that suck!

  4. Becky Aguirre on February 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I think I agree with Carrie on this one, lol!

    One night in our jungle house growing up, I spent about an hour trying to decide if the scary-looking thing up in the windowsill was a tarantula or not…I couldn't sleep, so I finally crawled out from under my mosquito net to investigate only to discover it was a creepy looking wad of twine. sigh.

  5. Pam on February 17, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Shudder, squirm, chills, hair on end, TOTAL HEEBIE JEEBIES! Blech! :oP I am the one who rescues all spiders and releases them outside, I feed the birds in the yard and happily greet the bumble bees and butterflies. But I live in California and have never been face-to-face with big fat cockroaches, scorpions or tarantulas. If I was, it would be on.like.Donkey.Kong. That's definitely an "us versus them" issue.

    I was looking for a good "creature-related" Scripture but got stuck on the word "courageous." I especially liked the Book of Joshua since Chapter 1 had this three times, "Be strong and courageous…" Maybe God just wants you to remember that. Goes along good with your "We fight dirty" post too. Stay strong, Wright family!!! :o)

  6. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on February 17, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Carrie and chrisnoelle, let's combine your two suggestions and say "There is a time to kill every wise serpent and harmless dove." Whaddaya think?

    Zac – I do blame Adam. And now I am especially curious about how the "cockroach" got it's name…. Hahahahaha..

    Becky – I totally know that feeling! Every little piece of fuzz, or leaf or whatever, makes me think "insect!" Where did you grow up??

    Pam – These definitely ain't no California roaches!! Love your spiritual take on the matter!

  7. Shauna on February 17, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    ewww. reminds me of living in Sarapiqui and the ongoing battle to keep creatures OUT, especially at night. We would be working in our offices and have to keep our feet up off the floor in case of slithering, crawling invaders. I got nothing Biblical for you though!

  8. Robin Dowty on February 18, 2010 at 12:54 am

    Hi Jamie,
    As I was scratching the ten mosquito bites on both of my ankles today, I grumbled to my daughter that I had no idea in the world why God made mosquitos! Or scorpions, or roaches for that matter! One of those questions I get to ask Him in eternity I guess. I absolutely love your blogs,
    thanks for sharing.

  9. Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary on February 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    Shauna – I would think that Sarapiqui would be worse than the central valley simply because there's been less development and all. The things we have come across outside of the suburbs are SO MUCH BIGGER/SCARIER than what we usually have creeping in under our doorframe.

    Thanks Robin!! So good to hear from you! 🙂

  10. Becky Aguirre on February 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I grew up in Colombia, MK. I spent most of my time at the MK boarding school and vacations in the tribe with my family…bugs and critturs abounded in both of my 'homes'…

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