I like neat and orderly. I like predictable and scheduled. I like obedience and perfection.
It’s amazing I’ve made it this far in life without constant soul-crushing disappointment.
As a child (maybe 8 or so?) I vividly remember my mother buying me the 64-pack of Crayola crayons-the huge pack with the sharpener on the back-at the grocery store one Saturday morning. I loved new crayons.
The smell. The pointy tips. The colors lined up neatly.
I couldn’t wait to get started with them.
But first, I had to entirely clean my room. This wasn’t some sort of bargain my mom struck. with me. A “clean your room, you get the crayons” agreement. I, myself, felt compelled to clean my appropriately tween-disheveled room before bringing the perfection of the brand new crayon box in.
I had to do it first before I could fully enjoy the beautiful crayons.
Now, as an adult, I often feel like I am still swept up with “cleaning my room” before I can bring in my “new crayons”. However, at 35, cleaning my room entails so much more than picking up my discarded outfits on the floor and organizing my Cabbage Patch Kids. It means unrealistic demands on my husband and children, predictable and appropriate behavior from everyone, including myself, in all situations, and a complete understanding of complex issues such as marriage and faith- just to get started.
I want every aspect of my life neat and orderly before I bring in the new crayons. My relationship with my husband and children, major life-altering decisions, and relentless forward progress in my story make up my crayon box these days. And frankly, I just wish all of those things would stay out of my way until I’ve cleaned up my mess and I am ready for them.
In my struggle to prep the space in my life I’m missing out on the joy of using the crayons. And that can’t happen.
I need to find the joy right here and right now in all my mess. To love fully, take risks, and embrace the beauty of the chaos.