The Big Blue Blob–Ruining My Friend’s Carpet

Have you ever done something really stupid? After your mistake, you wanted to crawl in a hole and hide.

Last Wednesday night at small group, Karen, our leader, welcomed me into her lovely home and asked me to put on a name tag.

It was our first meeting. Fourteen ladies. Some of us had never met.

I popped the cap off the blue PERMANENT Sharpie and dropped the marker onto her spotless, cream-colored carpet. The stain bloomed, deepening in color.

Panicky heat rose up my neck. “Oh, Karen, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I did that. I’ve ruined your carpet.”

This is how the stain looked (and felt!) to me.

 

“Julie, don’t you worry about a thing,” she said. “I have grandchildren. My house isn’t perfect. We’ll clean it up later.”

What else could she say? I’d ruined her Berber carpet! 

“Let’s work on it now before it sets,” I said.

Because if it doesn’t come up, I’ll never forgive myself. 

“We’ll do it later, after the meeting.” She hugged me.

But the one blue eye stared at me.

I couldn’t leave it alone. “Do you have any carpet cleaner?”

“Let me go check, sweetie. The carpet’s going to be fine and you are too. I promise.”

But it’s a permanent marker. 

She found a bottle of rug cleaner, but it didn’t help. She gave me a quick wink as the doorbell rang.

More faces. Multiple explanations. Gentle laughter.

The spot and I had become the center of attention.

Everyone offered suggestions on how to get THE PERMANENT BLUE STAIN JULIE MADE out of Karen’s carpet.

“Try hairspray or rubbing alcohol,” someone said.

Karen didn’t have either one.

Another lady offered to put her foot over it.

Such a big to-do about my accident.

A friend texted her husband and asked him to bring cleaning supplies. He showed up while Karen was teaching.

So… I … had … to … keep… waiting. I couldn’t absorb any of the teaching for stealing sneaks at the big, blue, blob.

Then Karen closed in prayer. When she finally said “amen” I dropped to my knees. With my right hand on the hairspray, I held up my left hand. “Please, Lord. Help me.”

Everybody watched expectantly.

Slowly, with alcohol and hairspray, the ugly thing lost its battle.

Glorious relief!

None of my new friends condemned me with words or looks.

Not one.

Two hugged me.

Have you ever known the sweetness of instant forgiveness? Click to Tweet. Please share what happened!

When others graciously forgive us, we’re able to forgive ourselves. Click to Tweet. 

Thoughts? Feelings? Comments?

Love,

Julie

 

 

Comments

  1. Ohhhhhhhh, girl.
    I have fairly severe hypoglycemia, only at the time of this incident, I didn’t understand what it did to my body and my brain. So, scene set?
    HOURS after I was supposed to serve Easter lunch, our (well fed) pastor drove by in a vintage car, lent to him by a friend. He came to show it to my car-loving husband. All our guests were outside, swooning over a stupid CAR. So were many of our neighbours.
    I didn’t care about the car, I cared that all the food I’d cooked was ice cold.
    As he and his wife got in the car to drive away, he couldn’t get the door shut. He tried several times. Nada.
    So, I yelled, yes, YELLED, “Maybe if you lost a few pounds, you could get the door shut!”
    Even the birds in the trees hushed.
    Then he pulled the seatbelt out of the door.
    My husband looked at me and said “Great, now we have to move!”. Suffice it to say, my pastor thought it was hilarious, and knew me well enough that what’d said was completely out of character for me. All was forgiven.
    By him.
    Hubby was mortified, MORTIFIED. But finally came around.
    And every time I can’t get my door shut because the seatbelt is in the way?
    Oh yeah, you know what I think of.

    • Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Jennifer!!!!

      Somehow, this helps. A lot! Thank you, thank you–love your honesty!

      XOXOXOXOXOX

  2. Patricia Martin says:

    Your prayer friends were true symbols of grace, Julie! But I am so glad that you were able to get out the stain.(: When I do something wrong, I cannot focus until I make it right. God takes the stain out of our lives and then, we do not have to worry about it anymore! (: vOnce, when I was visiting a relative’s house, my sister dropped an expensive ornament to the floor. Unfortunately, my relatives were not as gracious as your friends.): please pray for me as I have a hard test today with a teacher who does not like to help with answering questions?
    How are your Easter plans coming along?
    Easter is next month! Ahh!
    Xoxox

    • You’re absolutely right, Patricia. It was all GRACE. ANd now, I’m cringing for your poor sister…..

      Okay, saying a prayer for you. Let me know how it goes. Wonder why teachers don’t like to answer questions when his/her students are confused and need a little help. :/

      No big Easter plans yet. How about you?

      Love,
      Julie

  3. Oh yes! Several things come to heart. I’m so thankful for beautiful souls and easy forgiveness. I’m trying to learn to allow that kind of grace for muself!… Love you, Julie.

    • Shawnelle, Grace for myself. That’s it. And the thing is, Karen instantly forgave me. And everyone was sooooo kind.

      Love you dearly.

  4. Mary says:

    When I was a teenager, I attended a youth group each week. The meeting was held in the family room of our hosts’ impeccably decorated home. We were sitting on the floor in the middle of the room around a thick pillared candle, and I jostled the candle, letting loose a FLOOD of hot was onto the carpet. It was everywhere. I was mortified. We tried to dab it up with paper towels, but you can imagine the mess, especially as the hot wax dried. Wax sinks in very quickly to a deep pile carpet… did you know that?

    The adults could not have been more gracious and kind to me. “Don’t worry! No problem! Just leave it!” They did not say a single unkind word. The next week, when I returned, there was NO SIGN of the wax. The dad had patiently ironed paper towels on the wax over and over. The heat from the iron melted the wax and the paper towels soaked it up. The wax was entirely gone.

    To this day, I don’t remember the lesson we were discussing that evening, but I remember the example they set for me about forgiveness. I guess that’s grace: having been forgiven, we can forgive others!

    Mary

    • Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Mary.

      This is beautiful. I have tears. Yes, yes, yes, yes This is how I felt! And I’m sure that next week, you were headed back dreading seeing THE STAIN. And it was gone. And even forgiven the minute it happened.

      Pure Grace.

      • Mary says:

        Julie, anyone who invites the two of us to their house will want to put down dropcloths before we arrive. LOL!!!!

  5. Monica Morris says:

    I still cringe at memories of things I’ve done like this. And while others tell you, over and over again, ‘NO BIG DEAL,’ to me it sometimes becomes a very big deal. And it takes over my mind. See, I’m still cringing. How blessed we are to have our Abba Father who sees past our mistakes. Who lets them go. Just like your friend, Karen. I’m thankful for my Father and the people in my life like Karen. Thanks for sharing such an important lesson! <3

    • Ohh, yes, Monica. Absolutely–it was God loving on me through my friends.

      His hugs. His unconditional love.

      I can tell–you totally get how I felt.

      So much love, my friend…

  6. Carm Russell says:

    Even though I knew I’d probably be forgiven, I still felt awful when my almost 3 yr old min pin rescue dog ((sadly still in potty training) relieved himself on the carpet runner in the RV of dear friends who let spend the night there. One day to drive to SA from DFW and back is not easy. So Gail and Marsha graciously let me stay with them. I even put out a training pad for Jack. But he is not always mindful of them. Anyway, I cleaned the spot as best I could but to truly get rid of that kind of spot means washing the runner (cheapest, least time consuming, & easiest option) cleaning it professionally, or replacing it. All of which would fall on my gracious hosts as this happened the morning we were heading back to our home in DFW. And I definitely was not going to leave without telling them. So we were saying our goodbyes I told Marsha and her immediate response was “that old thing; don’t worry it’s washable.” How relieved I felt even though I knew that was going to be their response. I’m sure if it needed cleaning or replacing they would not have let me. And here’s the funny part, the spots not visible after being sopped up and dried so I put a place mat already on the floor on the rug runner so they’d know which one to wash.

    God in His goodness through Gail and Marsha forgave me the instant I asked.

    Carm
    ⚓️

    • Carm, I’m hugging you in my heart. I felt myself physically relax when I heard Marsha’s response. You know exactly how I felt. And then to experience His forgiveness through our friends, and even bigger than that–

      God’s forgiveness for anything I could ever do and have already done.

      Whew. So big. So big.

      • Carm Russell says:

        Mine mishap could so easily been hidden ( by not saying anything). I’d rather risked the very small possibility of no forgiveness, partial forgivenes, or whatever Marsha and Gail response would be than to know I had been deceitful and ungracious in any way to people who have been nothing but kind to me! Their like my second parents.

        Hugs to you for sharing your embarrassing situation so others know about forgiveness.
        Xoxo

  7. Julie!! Oh, bless your heart. I can so relate. There’s just no peace when you know you’ve hurt someone, damaged something. You cared. And you know she probably did, too, but she cared more about you. And there always seems to be a simple solution … if we just know, or have the supplies … what a lesson in that. I’m going to be thinking on this today. And thank you for sharing this, being real … xoxo

    • Yes, Shelli.

      You nailed it.

      Karen cared about me more than her carpet. I’ll never forget that feeling…hoping I’ll always forgive quickly. There’s no greater gift.

      So much love to you and your precious girls.

  8. I’m just so thankful you didn’t obsess about it. Lol. Btw, in my little mind, I see the following…

    During the teaching, God notices Julie’s eyes glancing toward the Big Blue Blob. “Julie? I’m over here. Hellooooo. Over here, Jewels. Yo, Julie baby. Here.”

    But alas, all that Julie can see is the Big Blue Blob. After many minutes pass, God, in divine frustration, eyes the horrible stain. “Oh, for crying out loud. BE GONE!”

    Suddenly, some ordinary alcohol and hairspray are imbued with supernatural power. The hideous, shameful Blob fades away. Not a surprise, really. He is after all in the business of removing stains.

    (I admit to an odd and vivid imagination.)

    • Dang, that’s a great reenactment of what happened and how I felt, Chuck!! Really, really good!

      You nailed it.

      Loved your takeaway. Priceless.

  9. marci says:

    Oh, Dear Julie, When I saw that tiny blue spot- barely visable, and then what it looked like to you, I could relate. There have been times when I have seen a problem, situation so much bigger than it was. Later, looking back realizing how it really was not as big as I had made it out to be. Sometimes I think we have the hardest time forgiving outselves. My most recent redfaced moment. When I pay the insurance I always try to have the exact amount of the bill. She always makes a comment about me having the exact amount, but last time, I had looked at the wrong line, and though I had the right about of $$, I gave her less change than the bill. When she commented on it, I felt so bad. I fummbled in my bag, and came up with another $1, but she smiled and kept saying “Don’t worry about it!”.. That was grace, and though I was embaraced, I did what I would not have done in times past. I thanked her, said Bless you, and accepted th gift she had given me.
    Thank you for always showing us that we are not alone in our struggles. We all go through the same things.

    God Bless,

    • Yes, yes, yes, Marci’a. THAT’S how I felt!

      The overwhelming sweetness of His Grace. You understand.

      Thank you!

  10. Oh, boy. I could feel your pain! Such a lump in the throat, a mind that couldn’t concentrate, a heart that beat way too fast. I’m so happy it came out.

    I’ve been there, and it seems there are remedies for almost anything, including mascara which I have dropped onto my carpet more than once. God always forgives, and with grace, so do new friends! Love and hugs and thanks for sharing!

    • That was the thing, B.J. Most of the ladies I’d never met. And still they were soooo kind.

      Yes, I know the stain felt bigger than it actually was, but I knew God was whispering a message to me.

      You’re exactly right. God ALWAYS forgives and He doesn’t hold grudges.

      I love you.

  11. Julie Gilleand says:

    Whenever there is a snowstorm coming and I see it on the weather radar map, showing the snow in blue, I always say that there’s a big blue blob coming! And today we are really getting slammed, snow-wise, and I had just gotten done telling my office roommate Leah that there’s a big blue blob coming! Then I pull up your blog (I almost said blob, lol) and saw your title! Well of course your big blue blob had nothing to do with snow, but still, I got a kick out of the coincidence! I’m pretty sure I would have felt exactly as you did in the same situation. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on anything else the whole time and would have been so relieved to see that blue dot vanish! And the grace of your friend is a beautiful, healing and freeing thing, isn’t it? I think I have more experience with condemnation and criticism from people than I do that kind of grace unfortunately, but I guess it makes it so that God’s grace and forgiveness to me is that much more precious, and I think that is a good thing 🙂

    Of course you know now that everytime I see a big blue blob on the weather map, I will think of this story, lol. God bless!

    Leafy Julie

    • I wish we’d have big, blue, blobs of snow in GA. That would be so heavenly~~~~~ I think.

      So glad you get it, Other Julie. When I read my own blog, I wonder why it felt like I’d spilled a gallon of paint, but it did.

      Forgiveness….it’s such a beautiful thing.

  12. ahhhhhh! feeling relief. Forgiveness…so sweet xo

  13. Anna Haney says:

    When my father in law passed away in 2010, it as, naturally, a stressful time. The stress was even greater between my husband and his twin brother, though, and that only made it worse. Don and I had driven separate cars to his parents’ house and we were going to go onto the funeral home because it was too stressful there. We had only been married 6 months and I was trying so hard to help everyone. As I backed out of her yard, I hit the mailbox and looked up and saw my mother in law and another brother in law staring at me through the living room window. I felt horrible.
    As soon as my mother in law arrived, I ran to her, apologizing all over myself for hitting the mailbox. She
    took me into her embrace and said it was just an old mailbox. She loved me. That mailbox wasn’t even used anymore. Don and I had contacted the postmaster about having the mail delivered to a box on her front porch due to her limited mobility.
    It felt so good to be instantly forgiven. It also seemed rather hard to believe.

    • Anna, I’m tearing up reading this. I promise I am.

      I also squenched (word?) down in my chair, embarrassed for you.

      I want to give others grace and forgiveness as quickly. Nothing like it.

      “Just an old mailbox.” I love it. Bet she’s a dear lady.

      Thank you.

      • Anna Haney says:

        She is a treasure. I wish I could be more like her. She will be 94 in December. Her life has not been easy and I have heard stories of how others have hurt her, disrespected her, and I get fighting mad. She just smiles and says “it’s in the past and God will take care of it.”

        • marci says:

          Thanks for this comment. God really does heal our wounds doesn’t He? and the wisdom, forgiveness, and love of your Mother in Law. It really is up to God to take care of it! Your mother in law sounds like such a blessing.

        • such a gentle, tender, spirit she is, Anna.

  14. Being the tomboy, non-domestic diva that I am, I’ve experienced several similar experiences. Does a lot for my lack of confidence in the gift of homemaking. :-/ Love you to pieces!

  15. I know that feeling. You are blessed to have good friends. Thanks to the rubbing alcohol and hair spray. I didn’t know that they are that useful.

    • I had no idea, Heart. I just held my hand on that spot for a long time and prayed. And prayed some more.

      Thank you for reading!!!

      XOXOXOX

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