A Positive Twist on My Spider Phobia {sort of}

spider webs in the grassI hate spiders. If you know me, you know this. I don’t mind bugs. I’ll even pet a snake. But don’t get me anywhere near a spider. I have tried to talk myself out of my spider phobia for most of my life, but it hasn’t worked yet. Why, I ask myself, do 8 legs bother me so much, when 6 are no big deal?! I have no idea! I would love to overcome my fear, but believe me, purchasing a pet tarantula is not going to do it. {I will admit that even typing that word made me cringe a bit. I have a serious problem, I know!}

Thankfully, my children do not have this fear. Yeah!! In first grade, my son found special joy in checking out books from the school library about such creatures. As I picked the kids up from the bus stop, he would excitedly tell me about the library book that he brought home that showed pictures of the bird-eating tarantula {eegghh, that word again!} and I would feel my skin start to crawl. I had an urge to ask him to throw his backpack with said book in it out the window {really!!}. Once in the house, I found it hard to pick up his backpack and move it. I told him on a number of occasions upon hearing of his latest book choice, that it was fine if he chose to check out such books, but he needed to take the book up to his room and make sure it made its way back to his backpack on next week’s library day, and not to leave it lying around the house because I DID NOT want to see it ANYWHERE!! At first he did not follow my commands and I was caught off guard with the gruesome book covers more than once, but now he is better at keeping it out of Mommy’s sight.

I know, I know–I need to be tough for my kids and not show them my fear, but frankly, I’ve just decided to be honest with them and let them know that Mommy has issues too. I think they get a bit of a kick out of it. Plus, it allows them to be brave and kill spiders for me when they are found around the house.

I will also admit that I do kill them when necessary. I would certainly rather have them dead than lurking around the house ready to surprise me with their disgusting presence whenever they have an opportunity. Eeerrgghhhhh!! I HATE spiders!

I actually found and attempted to kill two ginormous spiders on our front porch last week, on two different days. I know it’s not environmentally prudent, but we keep a can of bug spray in the garage and I sprayed the daylights out of those things and they kept moving, leaping and doing sickening little spider cartwheels. Uugh, the image of them is still burned in my mind and I’m wriggling in my chair as I type this. {Again, if you know me, you know what “the spider fit” is and I’m feeling one coming on right now.} Anyhoo, I called in my husband as back-up and asked him to be my hero. I even handed him the fly swatter. As he approached the scene he stated each time, “Ew, that IS a big one” and I felt a little justified in my inability to conquer the thing. Thankfully that was soon followed by, “Got ’em.” The first one was right outside our front door and Ken felt bad killing it because he said it had probably been guarding the entrance to our house. Just the thought of that sickens me. Good riddance!

So where am I going with this? All of this to say, that in spite of my sheer revulsion of their mere existence {I am sure there will not be spiders in heaven}, I found myself out on my front lawn this morning taking pictures of the beautiful spider webs that covered our yard in clusters. I don’t know if this happens all the time and I just noticed them today because of the way the sun was hitting them as I backed out of the driveway, but it really was remarkable. I knew that I wanted to come back home after dropping the kids off at school and spend some time taking pictures of them. I prayed that they would still be there when I returned. And they were.spider webs in the grassI grabbed my camera and focused on their intricate designs. Some were more perfect than others–so tiny and detailed. I stepped carefully, as to not disturb what might be the perfect web that I wanted to photograph. I continuously put out of my mind the fact that for every one of the hundreds of webs I saw, there was a lurking SPIDER! Seriously, my yard was full of spiders!! What was I doing in the midst of all this?! It is probably a fact that my yard is crawling with spiders every day. A fact that I think I would have been perfectly fine not realizing! But, for a few minutes this morning, I appreciated the beauty of their perfect little creations and thanked God for instilling such talent into these {in my opinion} otherwise disgusting arachnids. I’m thankful that I could witness their handiwork. But if one of them crosses my path…I’m CRUSHING it!

23 comments

  1. Debbie says:

    I hate spiders as well. I can kill just about any bug, but Dennis has to do the spiders! However…I have to say, if you can go across the world multiple times to adopt children you are braver than 99% of the population. So, the heck with spiders…you are one strong woman!

    • lgroh says:

      Well, you would know about bravery too! {and determination!} The words you chose to write here actually encouraged me to continue in another writing endeavor that I’m working on–so thanks!! 🙂

  2. Emily says:

    hilarious! and awesome! I LOVE seeing spider webs….they are truly miraculous. I don’t mind spiders, but my husband won’t touch/kill them to save his life. He once trapped one in a jar until I got home to kill it. No joke! I tease him that they only reason he married me was to have a spider killer in the house at all times. 🙂

    • lgroh says:

      Thanks Emily! 🙂 That’s so funny about the spider in the jar. Did you dump it out and step on it or what? I give him credit for doing that much. Probably would have been easier if he had just squished it–ha!

  3. Breann says:

    Reading this made me chuckle, because I know how much you fear the little things. But it made me cringe also, because I fear them too. So many times this week I have leapt out of my skin almost thinking a spider is near my foot. Usually it is a lizard though, thankfully. Drew gets a kick out of it. The leap is usually accompanied by a terrified shriek, “AHHH SPIDER!!!”

    • lgroh says:

      Hope you adjust to those lizards. How about cockroaches–have you seen any of those yet? Be strong!! 🙂 I know your mom shares my fear–it was so fun connecting with her about that, although I wish we could both/all get over it.

  4. Mary Jo says:

    I enjoyed reading your post! We differ in that I kind of feel bad for killing spiders because I know they are trapping and killing other bugs that are around the house! If the spider is big and I don’t want to get near it, I will put the long tube on the vacuum hose and get it that way. 🙂 I have a fear of cockroaches. About a year ago we had one in our guest room while Matt was at work, and the girls saw a side of me I had hoped they would never see. 🙂 The thing would not die! I had sprayed it a bunch and then dropped a huge etiquette book on it. When Matt got home several hours later and picked up the book to see it, it’s legs were still moving! (Now I am cringing 🙂 ) Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I share a similar phobia!

    • lgroh says:

      Hi Mary Jo! I’m glad that there aren’t normally cockroaches around these parts. I remember seeing a HUGE one in FL once and I’m not sure I’d do well with them either. It’s funny that you dropped an etiquette book on it 😉 “How to Properly Kill a Cockroach” comes to mind–ha!

  5. What cool pictures! I need to show my wife this post. She isn’t a friend of spiders either. Awesome that you found beauty in your fears!

    • lgroh says:

      Thanks Jonathan! “Beauty in my fears”–nice phrase. Yes, please forward it to your wife–it’s always comforting to know others understand your fears 🙂

  6. Rose says:

    These are beautiful photographs!
    But, spiders…yuck! I try my best not to squish them, I’ll catch them and toss them as far from the house as possible…like in the creek or the woods…but yuck!
    I’m with you on the not-liking-spiders-thing! This time of year they are everywhere!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Laury says:

      Thanks Rose! They DO seem to be everywhere these days. I give you credit for catching them and tossing them! I’m either squashing them or running from them!

  7. Rocky says:

    I am not a friend of spiders either, but I agree with you about their beautiful webs. I used to see them in the morning, when I was kid walking my trap line in the country. They collected dew and looked amazing in the morning sun. The spiders, however, make me shudder. Nice article. Great blog!

    • Laury says:

      Thanks Rocky! I appreciate you coming over to check my blog out. There is something peaceful and breathtaking about dew-covered webs in the morning sun–nice memory.

  8. Heather says:

    Love your cover photo of the countryside and your cottage garden.

    Those photos of the spider webs are fascinating – spiders are so industrious.

    If its any consolation I get my husband to deal with unwelcome critters around our home too.

  9. Brett says:

    So fun reading this. When I was young growing up out in the country, I wasn’t afraid of spiders… ok, maybe black widows, but now that I am older something has changed. I hate seeing the all over the place around the house. Funny how times have changed, but yet when I am outdoors, in the mountains, I don’t think about the little creatures at all.

    What I love most about this post is the beauty God creates for us even when we don’t take the time every day to appreciate what has been made for us. Spiderwebs are beautiful and your pictures definitely show it.

    • Laury says:

      Hi Brett–Glad you enjoyed my post and Thanks for your comment! It is cool how God leaves beautiful fingerprints everywhere, whether we take the time to acknowledge and appreciate them or not 🙂

  10. Oh my goodness, I have to admit, while I enjoyed reading your post, because I can so very much relate, I got a little bit itchy and squirmy just reading about those creatures. I really hate to say that I hate any living thing, so I will admit to the fact that I DO NOT HATE spider, but I like them very far away from me!!

    • Laury says:

      Hi Michelle–thanks for your comment 🙂 I guess if reading my post made you feel itchy and squirmy then I did my job of pulling you into my story, ha, ha, but yah, I get what you’re saying about hating things. I don’t usually use that word either. I think spiders are the only things I would use that word with and I really wish I didn’t feel that strongly. I know they do their part in keeping the bug population under control and their webs really are incredible. Maybe some day my phobia will subside. Until then, like you said, I will prefer them very far away from me!

  11. I don’t fear spiders nor any other insects and I love that they create webs to catch those other pesky gnats. I also take pleasure in destroying their webs especially when it’s on my car’s antenna!

    • Laury says:

      Hi Antionette–thanks for stopping by! Sounds like you appreciate the spiders more than their webs, and I appreciate the webs more than the spiders 😉 I wish I had your courage in this area. Hopefully some day they won’t bother me anymore.

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