Monday, February 2, 2015

Guest Post: The Red Crayons of Life


Ever develop a full-proof plan to make each day go smoother only to have inconveniences pop up at every turn?  What about the mornings that you wake up ready to attack the world but the world has other plans?  Life isn't happening like you imagine or desire.  Your expectations for parenting are keeping you from being the mom you desire to be.  {Read how my expectations nearly ruined our family.}

Today I am sharing with you a guest post from a dear friend discussing such frustrations annoyances.  Read as Lizz describes the "red crayons" in her life.

It's Sunday, which means Monday is tomorrow. Obviously.

Like most households, I assume, Monday is when we get back to our regular schedule after a fun couple of days doing mostly what we'd like. Two days of fun also make for a house that needs to be whipped back into shape. Laundry has usually piled up and everything is just a bit out of place from the different comings and goings. Add all of that to the fact that Monday is a day full of activities out of the house for us and it can get pretty crazy.

That brings me to my point...

This morning, I decided to be proactive with how our week started. I made a list yesterday of all the things that I should get done this weekend so I could start the week off on the right foot. I was going to finish my chores from the week, get a head start on this week's chores, and start my research for an article that has a fast-approaching deadline. Well...

My first step to getting a head start on my week was to change loads and fold the load of clothes that I'd left sitting in my dryer yesterday. I put some bread in the toaster and went to do just that. Unfortunately, the clothes were still damp as it was a rather large load. That was the first glitch in my perfect little plan, but since the clothes didn't smell of mildew, I just set the dryer for a bit more time and went back to fixing breakfast so we'd get to church on time.

After breakfast, I headed back to the dryer and began tossing the clothes in the laundry basket. As I did so, I noticed red marks on almost all of the large load of clothes. I looked closer and realized that it looked like wax. Before I could even finish my thought, a crayon wrapper tumbled to the ground. It was a red crayon wrapper. The mystery was solved and I wanted to cry or scream.

Instead, I did what every modern mama would do and I turned to Facebook. My friends came through and suggested all sorts of things that should help me get the crayon out of the clothes. Oddly enough, no one mentioned what I actually did which was to toss all the clothes in a bag until I have the motivation and time to actually tackle them. I'm hoping to get the laundry caught up first. Of course, if I wait for that, I might never work on the stained clothes...

The rest of the day went pretty much as it started. Little inconveniences seemed to pop up here and there and I realized I had a choice. I could either get upset that my day wasn't going according to plan or I could let go of my illusion of control. With God's help, (and a quick email to a friend) I chose the latter.

As the day turned into evening and I received some phone calls making one of my activities a bit more challenging tomorrow, I just sighed and thought, "it's just like the red crayon." I can either be upset about what happened or count my blessings.

I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've cried over the red crayon, or spilt milk or whatever. However, today I was reminded of how it's up to me as to whether I let something so little (though very annoying) ruin my day.

Perhaps I'll even leave some of that clothing stained as a reminder not to make big problems out of little problems. (At the very least it would be an excuse to skip what is sure to be a tedious task.) Regardless, I do pray that more and more I would learn from the "red crayons" in my life, because like it or not they will be there. Fortunately, so will He, helping me through both the big and little inconveniences of life!

Thank you Lizz for this great reminder.  A reminder that inconveniences will happen.  A reminder that we can let go of our expectations for perfect.  A reminder that God will hold our hand through both the big and little inconveniences of life. 

Want to change your view of the "red crayons" in your day? Read how my days have changed from lemons to lemonade.


  1. I loved your use of "the red" crayon to illustrate the little bumps in the road. And you are so right, how we view the crayons in our life makes all the differences.

    I had so much I planned to do today but instead, I had a whole box of crayons that took my attention today...

    9am - red crayon announced we are having company tonight and I need to prepare a dinner.

    10am - blue crayon called and wanted to know if I could babysite little light blue crayon for an hour.

    12pm - Grown up pink crayon wanted me to go get her lunch from a restaurant.

    1pm - blue picked up light blue crayon (it was a long hour :)

    1:30pm - medium sized orange crayon called and asked me to bring her paper to school for her.

    2:30pm - medium sized orange crayon and her sister, little yellow crayon decided to ride the bus to my house after school today because they needed help with a school project.

    5:00pm - dinner is cooking, house is clean, projects are underway and red crayon shows up and wants to know what I have been doing all day:)

    6:30 pm - markers show up to hand out and eat dinner with the crayons.

    7:30 pm - Big blue and little light blue crayon drop by and hang out because they are bored and mommy is at school.

    9:00pm - Markers go home and crayons go to off to watch some t.v.

    Now what was it that I was going to do today?

    (I hope you don't mind my long comment but your post inspired me to reflect on the wonderful crayons I shared my day with:)I too amd so blessed!

  2. This is how I feel 99% of my days. I definitely need to learn not to freak out over the few crayons here and there.

  3. Oh my gosh, I love this post! One of the things I do when red crayons pop into my day is repeat this verse out loud, "Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually." 1 Chronicles 16:11. The other day I did that as I was facing having to give up a fun night out with my friends because my daughter was having an anxiety attack. When I asked myself, where is your face in all this Lord, the answer I got was, "sacrificial love". My Lord sacrificed his life for mine, so I can sacrifice a little of my control and plans for the love of my children. :-)

    1. Love how you use this verse to refocus. Thank you for sharing!


The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.