Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rescued Crayons

I suppose there has always been a part of me that wants to do things right. Do you know what I mean by that? I went to school where I was taught there was a right way to hold my pencil, to form my sentences when I write, to do any number of things. There was a right way, and everything else was the wrong way.

Incidentally, I still hold my pencil wrongly. Yet, somehow, my penmanship has always been much better than most of my peers. Odd, don't you think?

Perhaps we are all meant to do things just a bit different. And perhaps, things don't always fit neatly into categories labeled right and wrong.

Yet, the desire to squeeze into that mold still occasionally comes back to taunt me. Sometimes I cringe at the incomplete sentences I use in my writing, or the ones that would be considered run-ons by my grammar school teachers. Or the ones that I begin with the words "but" or "and".

I write that way because, honestly, that is the way I think. And I want my writing to reflect that. When I write, I want whoever reads it {even if it's only me} to hear my voice.

Perhaps this little quirk I have will help illustrate my point.

I get upset when my kids lose crayons and the set is incomplete. I love when they are all safely put away in their cardboard house, lined up and unbroken and just waiting to create something colorful and lovely when bidden.

I also hate it when they break them and then just throw them away. It seems to me that they should be somehow rescued. There must be some other use for these misfits.

{This also reminds me of the year we wondered if it were possible for one-year-olds to have OCD, since my fourth son, Josiah, refused to eat a banana if it broke in half. I ate, ahem, rescued, a lot of rejected bananas that year.}

Anyway, I can't stop my children from breaking crayons and I am not willing to employ my husband's strategy either. He suggests we stop buying them crayons all together. But I just can't bring myself to do that. I am just not willing to deprive my children of having crayons. Shouldn't every child get to color?

So, I have taken to picking up the broken, beat up crayons I find lying around, peeling off the papers that list their names, and tucking them into a little box I have reserved just for this purpose. Even broken crayons can color a pretty picture.

And then it hits me. I am like those broken crayons! No matter how much I admire the beautiful set of unmarred crayons, I am much more like the conglomeration of mixed up, yet vibrant, colors inside my little box. The things I say and think are not always ordered. They are not picture perfect. They are more likely to be random, just like pulling a chance piece of rescued, colored wax out of my box.

But they can still color a pretty picture.

I am thinking this year may be the beginning of me not trying so hard to do everything right. I don't even need to emulate those I admire most. I can let them be them and me be me. I can learn from others and still make things my own.

I am feeling right now like this is really pretty freeing.

And free is good.


  1. That was a Great blog about crayon's Amy.When my Children were Younger and the Crayon's got Broke,I wen't about collecting them too and putting them into a jar or a Box.Then every sooften we would take all those crayons that were broken and put them intoa Muffin Pan with layered Cup Cake Liners..we would bake them on warm for a bit until they all melted together.Then we would peel them and have Wonderful Brightly Colored Crayons..Check on line how to do it.It has been many years since I did that..It isa Great Craft for the Children to put them into the Muffin Tin's in what ever color they wanted them..Good Luck Veona...

  2. mmmmm...yes. let's. let's just be ourselves, the way we are with pretending, no pretension. doesn't that sound terrific?

  3. You can take those broken crayons, put them in an old muffin tin and in the oven at a low temperture and melt them into a cool new creation of multi colored fun. I have seen the directions online at other blogs.

  4. Great post.

    As you know, me and my girls made homemade crayons out of broken ones just recently. They turned out so pretty! I love the analogy, that God redeems our brokenness into something new and beautiful and something with a purpose.

    I love the ending to your post, too, that you are feeling freed to let others be them and you be you. This can only bring good, I believe.

    Thanks for sharing!


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