“Wallpapering Can Test You”

It was back in 1972 in Kansas City… Overland Park, Kansas to be precise, and we had just moved into our first house. It was a 3 bedroom two story, a den with a fireplace, nice yard…we were thrilled. As part of our fixing up, I was going to wallpaper the small bathroom off the kitchen… “no problemo”. 

I was using the newly developed self-adhesive wallpaper that any imbecile could put up. We had picked up a nice pattern and I thought hey, let me throw this up before dinner. Well, it started out slow as some of my first cuts were not precise…..hmmmmm. I began to make progress as I would make some cuts, my assistant Judy would soak it in the water, and I would pop it up. Despite a few frustrations, it was almost done. Standing back to admire my work, the sheets suddenly began to roll back down the wall onto the floor. “Oh my gosh, are you kidding me”. It was like a cartoon, a comedy, a farce … Abbott & Costallo…. The Stooges”. I was ready to give the wallpaper, the manufacturer, the hardware store clerk, and my assistant a piece of my mind…. you could feel the pressure building… it was going to be a big explosion…. when all of a sudden my assistant began to laugh uncontrollably. I was shocked. My emotions hung in the balance…should I  run around the neighborhood screaming? Well, fortunately I joined my assistant in laughing…yes, uncontrollably. It was actually funny, and after only 50 years I’ve almost forgotten the story.

You can learn so many lessons when wallpapering. It will test you. You’ll find out if the virtues you’ve been working on have actually taken root…. things like patience, perseverance, joy, kindness, long suffering. You’ll find out if you have perfectionist tendencies; I find that you notice every flaw as you’re going thru the process….”auuuugh, the line is crooked, the seam is too wide, I thought the color was lighter”. Yet, I also find that when you look it over a few days or a few weeks later you realize. “hey, it looks pretty good, in fact very good…. I’m happy with the job.” Wallpapering is  a workshop in human life. I’m surprised that the saints haven’t mention it more in their writings.

I guess the moral of the BLOG is that life often has a way of testing you, of showing you how you’re growing in virtue, or not. The test could come in the form of an unreasonable boss, a crying baby up during the night, a traffic jam on the N.J. Turnpike, or even wallpaper rolling off the wall. So if you find yourself passing these surprise quizzes with an A or B….great; but if you FLUNK, instead of running around the neighborhood screaming, have a good laugh. And as you peek out of the side of your eye, you may see the Lord having a little chuckle. Don’t worry, he’s not laughing at you, he’s laughing with you. 

In order to keep our sanity it’s good to not take our self too seriously and be able to laugh at our self a bit. Remember,  “ a cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)  

3 thoughts on ““Wallpapering Can Test You”

  1. Haha! When I saw the Wallpaper title, I thought it was going to be a story about you and I wallpapering the kitchen with that teeny tiny vine pattern and we had to match it…


  2. I forgot our first wallpaper story😂🤩 I guess that’s why we were led to do a fair amount of wallpapering so that we could grow in virtue🙌🏻💕
    Thanks for that memory😊🤗


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