Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Life is like a box of crayons
I was reading a talk this morning Knowing when to persevere and when to change direction by Janet G. Lee. I never know when something is going to prick my mind and heart so that I ponder on it again and again. This talk did just that to me. I love the stories that are told and then how they tie it into a gospel principle. Janet did just that and now I want to add it to my coping strategies and to read on those really hard days. Do you have quotes or talks like that? No matter how many times you listen or read them they speak peace to your soul.
I am not always weighed down with worry everyday but I am almost always tired and aching, especially this time of year. This limits what I can do on a given day. You can say I only have a few options available to me and that can be very frustrating. It means walking by messy rooms and not being able to clean them. It means saying no to things I really want to do. It means prioritizing and sacrificing. It also means resting when I want to be tackling my long list of to dos. For example. yesterday we traveled and saw some fun things but today I am exhausted so my house and other things are put on the back burner. That is okay, mostly, unless I start to get frustrated and worry someone might come over and see the mess. Energy is a precious commodity for me and once it is gone then I only have certain options available. Making the most of what I do have available is a slow process and frankly I don't always accept it.
Here is where Janet's talk spoke volumes to me! She starts out telling a story about her 5 year old daughter going to register for Kindergarten. Her daughter was offered a box of crayons and to pick her favorite color but she just stood there. Her mother knew her daughter could write her name so she was surprised at this response. After several attempts from the teacher to have her pick a crayon she wouldn't do it. Janet wondered why and her daughter said "The teacher said to choose my favorite color, and there was no pink crayon in the box"
I have never thought of my life this way. The pink crayon is like my energy. When it is gone I still have other colors to use. I just really want to color with the pink though and that makes me paralyzed and my thoughts very negative. Janet says " How many times are we, as Heavenly Fathers children immobilized because the choice we had in mind for ourselves just isn't available to us, at least not at the time we want it"
Is my progress halted because my health is almost always missing from the box of life? It is not in y control and definitely not something I would pick for myself. Yet everyday there are some crayons missing and it makes it so hard! I could continue to pout or stay in bed or watch T.V to pass the day away, convinced that my options are bleak and colorless. Instead I have to color my life with other colors. It can be beautiful and different but that is okay. Some one else was touched by Janet's daughters story and they wrote to her saying
"I don't have all the colors of crayons I want-but I do have all the colors I need. When I need new or different colors in my life, Heavenly Father will make sure that I have them. I know he will never give me a challenge beyond my reach or beyond the tools he has given me to work with. I also know that the challenges and trails I have are in reality blessings, and I will be better and stronger for having gone through them."
I want to feel differently than I do. I would like to have all the answers but that may not happen in this life. Many of you may not be ill but be waiting for the perfect partner , job or profession. These crayons may not be available to you.But I do know that Heavenly Father is there. He hears are prayers and he will not leave us comfortless and our life colorless and devoid of meaning and joy. There are some hard lessons to be learned that I or you would not pick. Illness and death are very tough pills to swallow but the sooner we do the sooner we can look for new colors and new opportunities in life. Until then I am going to scribble and color with what I have and stop looking for what I don't. Life is beautiful. At leas for today I am coloring and seeing the picture clearly. I do hope that my pink crayon is back tomorrow.When our life is over and we have endured and made use of all we do have, then we will have it all back. It will be like getting a new box of crayons with all the colors we could want or need! I can't wait!!