The Crayon Drawer

We bought a new desk for my home office! Though we have been slow to get it set up, this week we finally got it in place and ready to use.  So my assignment has been to transition the stuff out of my old desk and into the new one.  For a girl who is quick to make decisions and has no trouble delineating between useful items and junk, this ought to be an easy process:

Sort through the drawers.
Throw away items that have no use.
Relocate the ones that do.
Simple, right?

Then why is the drawer with crayons such a big deal?  I mean, the youngest of my four kids is 17 and clearly, none of them has any use for crayons anymore.  Yet there are still dozens of crayons taking up room in the top left drawer which, due to it’s convenient location, has been the hub of much creativity and imagination for the last 15 years of our homeschooling journey.

Today, it’s undisturbed. Little hands no longer paw through it seeking the perfect shade of blue for the sky or the right red for a flower garden or fire truck. It’s impossible to calculate how much artwork germinated from that drawer and spread all over the the refrigerator door before finding a permanent home in a box marked “Kindergarten” or “First Grade.”

No, no one asks to borrow a crayon from me anymore. But something made me want to keep them around even though there’s no practical reason to do so.

“Dad & Mom” ~~ Leia’s Artwork – 6 years old

Of course, it’s obvious that the hesitancy about the crayons has nothing to do with wax sticks and colored pigment.  They are a tangible reminder of change.


We all go through them.  Some are dramatic and painful.  Others pass almost without notice.  Anticipation and excitement about new possibilities are often punctuated with hesitancy and fear of the unknown.  What lies ahead?  And what will we leave behind in the process?

Into these unsure moments, God speaks tenderly.  “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Isn’t that exactly what you need to know when you’re facing uncertainty?  That you’re not alone and that it’s not up to you to figure out what to do next?  God reminds us in these verses that He is interested in what’s happening in our lives, and promises to strengthen us to face whatever comes our way.

I’ve been through a lot of transitions in my life, and like everyone, will no doubt go through many more. But even when stability seems tenuous, we as believers have to choose to immerse ourselves in the Word of God and hang on to what we know is true regardless of how we feel.  God’s steadfastness and unchangeable nature give us the only solid foundation to stand on even when everything else in our world seems to be shifting.

So I’ll finish going through all the drawers and moving my stuff into my new desk soon. And the crayon drawer?  It’ll be cleaned out too.  In the meantime, I’m trusting God’s ‘righteous right hand’ to help me let go of where I have been and as He reveals where He wants me to go next.  But for now, I’ll think I’ll keep a box of crayons in my new desk drawer… just in case.


9 thoughts on “The Crayon Drawer

  1. Joe Rodroguez says:

    Needless to say, a tear jerker for me. Yes, I admit, I am one of those sensitive and emotional guys who is adjusting to the transition from crayons to cars! How quickly they grow, Karen.
    I am grateful for the leftover crayons, lego pieces, and dismembered action figures that remind me that change is inevitable and that God helps us even through that difficult time of seeing our babies become men and women. Better yet, men and women of God! Thank you, Karen. Keep shining for Jesus!

  2. Bisi says:

    Hi Karen interesting to see how you can draw wisdom from a new desk and crayons. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Emily J. M. (@CalledtoWatch) says:

    “God’s steadfastness and unchangeable nature give us the only solid foundation to stand on even when everything else in our world seems to be shifting.” Such a good reminder!

  4. Dawna says:

    Oh how sweet
    I loved the scripture.
    What caught my attention the most in this telling is His words:
    I will help you.

    How simple.

    How deep.

    In labor the transition from muscle pulling up to open the cervix to muscles pushing down are considered the hardest, the weirdest and the most emotionally uncertain. This is when women are typically minutes from the end but order an epidural and scream at their family and say things like “I can’t do this anymore.”
    It’s short but it’s hard.
    Knowing it’s short helped us as I labored. Knowing it would come and knowing I’d feel this way made it easier somehow.
    Preparing for transition should be a natural element. We need to embrace it and even celebrate it but we often don’t know we are in it and we yell “I can’t do this anymore!”
    If only we treated the Holy spirit as labor coach and realized yes, this is transition. What is good is yet to come. What was is going. But we go from
    Glory to glory, right?
    But I’m fact transition is hard. So hard.
    Clearly remembering the chubby hands digging in your drawer (so poignantly shared) is so tender and bittersweet and all too real here, too
    Thank you for this.
    Love you so very much

  5. Carrie Anderson says:

    Hola, Karen! I found you through the Tune In Thursday linkup at Dare 2 Hear.

    What I have discovered as an adult convert to Christianity is that the life of a Jesus Follower is constantly in flux. I also discovered that when I resisted the change and kicked against the goads my life was much harder. But as I learned to embrace the change, and change my perspective I discovered the Grand Adventure that life with Jesus actually is.

    At least we can say being a Jesus Follower is never boring! And now I’m wanting to buy a box of crayons – just in case. 😉

  6. Rachel Davidson says:

    My home schooled children are out of the house now. I gave supplies and books to current home school moms. They were delighted to get things they needed (for free) and I was able to move on, knowing those things were being used by someone else…. And not taking up space in my house! It made it easier to let go.

    Beautiful, beautiful post. I am sure we all connect. Blessings.

  7. Jerralea says:

    Most of the time, I’m all for change. Until I run up against something like … empty nest syndrome. Then I find myself trying to prolong the transition!

    I’m so glad He never changes in this topsy-turvy world we live in!

  8. Tammy Goff says:

    Love this Karen! Transition is very hard sometimes but the beauty is you end up right where you belong! Loving life in Kentucky!!

  9. Linda Stoll says:

    I loved this post having just had a few grandgirls here for the weekend, watching them use the art supplies, savoring their creativeness, thinking maybe I should restock and replenish those drawers.

    And yes, I hear you about transitions. Change happens in a moment, but transitions can last forever.

    So good to connect with you here today, Karen …


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