Praising God with __________.

In the kitchen at church on the door where all of the supplies are housed is a poster that someone tacked up which states the mantra of ladies who spend their time in church kitchens.

Praise God with Paper Plates !

And we have done that this week. We have, and still are involved in all sorts of hands on praise by teaching the children that are with us from 9:30 to 12:15 every day this week. . .but yesterday, well, yesterday, folks, I was praising God with snakes.

Before you get visions of some back water church with a burlap bag full of rattlers and cotton mouths, allow me to explain.

As I have mentioned on various occasions, Tony is a science teacher. He likes all things sciency and mathematiky and precise. When Thad was not quite a year old and Victoria was not quite four, a teacher friend of Tony’s decided to get rid of her reptile collection, and Tony, who is also frugal, decided not to pass up an opportunity to get some free (very expensive) snakes in the form of a 4 foot boa constrictor and a 1 1/2 foot corn snake. I cannot BELIEVE I’m about to do this, but here’s what they look like.

This is a real, live picture of the now nearly 8 foot boa on our kitchen floor. . .


Should you care to see even MORE pictures of reptiles, here is a web link to what the corn snake (now 3 feet long) looks like. And here is one for what the boa looks like up close. Really, I can do without the visuals as even looking for the photos to post here for YOUR viewing curiosity is making me nauseous, but I know some people are fascinated by the snakes.

Although I have been bestowed with the status of “Coolest Wife in the Universe” (and Tony will tell you that himself) for allowing all of these creepy-crawlies into our home (the boa is actually on the back porch in a LOCKED cage), I, personally, don’t like them at all. I tolerate them because Tony likes them, and Victoria and Thad like them, and Tony’s students LOVE them. But they make me a little sick.

I do not feed them, or watch them being fed. I will DEIGN to buy their “food” as long at it is in a receptacle through which I cannot see. I have touched each of them, with ONE finger, precisely ONE time when we first got them so as not to pass on my snake hatred to Victoria who clued in on it herself about two years ago, so now I can outwardly loathe them to my heart’s content. I will proudly list all the inhabitants of our menagerie (1 boa, 1 corn snake, 1 green tree frog, 1 Australian White’s tree frog, 1 Rosy tarantula, several bullfrog/bullfrog tadpoles in various stages of metamorphosis, crickets with with to feed the frogs and spider, 2 crawdads, 3 Red-Eared Slider turtles, two chickens, and a rabbit) because I truly AM proud that my husband is so good with animals. But (did I mention?) I do not like the snakes–in any way, shape, or form.

That being said, we carried the entirety of the reptile/amphibian/arachnid collection to church yesterday for the kick-off of VBS. We have live animals 4 days this week at VBS, and my co-coordinator thought the snakes would be a good attention grabber for the first day. She was correct, but the R/A/A collection had to be taken to church along with two adults and two children, so we divided the load. I left the house very, very early with the tarantula in its aquarium on the floorboard of the truck, and the corn snake in its aquarium on the seat next to me. The screen lid of the aquarium is latched on with bungy cords which I checked for security.

I had started the truck and was driving down the road in morning traffic when it became necessary for me to look out of the side-view mirror on the passenger’s side. Up until that very moment, I had been busy with getting started and not paying attention to the reptile next to me, but when I checked my mirror, the posture of the snake let me know he was not enjoying his truck ride at all. About a foot of his body was straight up in the air like a stick. . .then he swayed. . .then he flopped against the glass of the aquarium. . .then he climbed all around his stick like quick silver. . .then he was back over on the side nearest me again. Evidently the vibrations of moving vehicles are not particularly enjoyable to snakes. All of this transpired in the few seconds that I actually LOOKED at the snake.

Needless to say, I just about lost my Corn Chex.

At this point I whipped out my cell phone, called my co-coordinator and said,

“Suzy, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE Jesus. I mean, I really, really, REALLY love Jesus, ’cause today I’m praisin’ God with snakes.”

The rest of my drive was spent averting my eyes and trying to figure out ways to see who was on my right side without having to actually look in that side view mirror. It was worth it, because we had a LOT of visitors that go to church nowhere but came to ours because they liked the flier.


They also liked all the snakes, which Tony drove home–both of them. I opted for the great big spider.

Today the Houston Mounted Patrol came with two horses. We had Officer Treat with Lofty and Officer Sealy with Tucker. They did not gross me out in the least. On the contrary, despite the blazing heat and 99.9% humidity, I gladly stood on the front lawn as Tucker munched to his heart’s content on green grass and petted, and petted, and petted all over him and breathed in the hearty fragrance of horse sweat and did not avert my eyes no not even one time. It was great!!!

So, “Praising God with ___________.” It’s all about thinking outside the box, people.

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7 thoughts on “Praising God with __________.

  1. Egads, woman!! There’s a boa constrictor in your KITCHEN!!! I’m all wobbly now.

    How absolutely awesome that your flier worked! You’re praising God with creatures and artwork and organization and sweat and ALL KINDS of fun stuff! 🙂 Happy days. 🙂

  2. Praising God that I have a friend that is as crazy for kids as I am!
    You are great and are touching so many for Him!

  3. Ewwwww! I don’t like snakes but I’m not super-afraid of them (like my mom.) But I could NEVER have one in my house. As I write that I can see Kenny wanting one…… His teacher’s boyfriend would bring his to school and ALL the kids loved it.

    Have a great VBS and Praise God for non-churched visitors! That’s being Jesus….

  4. I’m laughing at your comment Sarah. . .’cause I never thought of it that way. I only ever thought of the service aspect, but our very sedate, white haired, perfectly coiffed, bespectacled ladies with a paper plate in each hand marching “a la Israelites around Jericho” in the kitchen is most certainly an image. . .

  5. You ARE the COOLEST! I see nothing wrong with keeping critters around the and in the house. Although, around here we have enough snakes outside our house – no need to bring them into it. Also spiders. And frogs.
    Zaner’s been begging for a terrarium – with lizards, turtles, frogs… so… we may not be too far away from having a mini-zoo ourselves.

    I love reading your tales.

Tell me what ya think.

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