Crayons on Carpet

March 5, 2010

I was talking to my mom this morning on the phone.  Brady was five feet away from me happily coloring at his desk.  I suddenly see him lean over with his green crayon and make two swipes of his crayon on our carpet–very light colored carpet.  I was in such a state of shock that it happened that I could not even get the words out to fuss at him.  (I am sure my mom got a kick out of hearing this situation.  I kept hearing stifled giggles on the other end of the phone!!!)  This happened 15 minutes before we needed to leave to head to his doctor’s appointment.  I quickly attempted the iron on a paper bag trick, but not one drop of that crayon came up. 

Needless to say, we left in a rather frantic state for the doctor’s appointment with those two big ole ugly green marks still on my carpet.  Since my day had several appointments and errands to complete, I fretted all day about these mark.  They were like this big green cloud looming over my head.  I pondered stressed over the situation thinking: “What if I cannot get the crayon up and it is stained permanently?  Then we might have to get our carpets cleaned or worse replaced before we try to sell the house in two years.” 

When I finally got home, I called my friend, Mandy.  I told her about the situation, and she asked, “Well, are they washable crayons?  If they are, it will come up with soap and water.”  When I hung up the phone with her, I went to look at the crayons.  In big bold letters it said “WASHABLE”.  I started laughing.  The solution was so darn simple– soap and water.  A little Dreft and a little water and the crayon was out of my carpet in ten minutes. The answer was right in front of my eyes, but I was so wrapped up in the problem I could not see the solution. 

I am still laughing as I write this.  How often does this happen to us?  We find ourselves in what feels like a predicament.  We stress about it.  We fret about it.  We think of all the horrible outcomes that could happen.  When in reality, the solution is so simple.  It just takes us opening up our eyes or having someone open up our eyes to the basic information that is in front of us. 

Questions for today:
1.  Is there a situation in your life that you just need to laugh at?  Go ahead…have a good chuckle at yourself!  It will make you feel better! 
2. What in our lives needs to be re-framed so we can see the solution?  Can we do this alone or do we need the advice of a trusted and wise friend to help show us the way? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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  1. Briana

    Becky, I just have to say how much I’ve loved reading your blog. Thank you so much for the humor, the candidness, the probing questions, and your endless joy 🙂

  2. Judy

    I’ve had the same experience, Becky, but it was with kid’s paint. I was cooking dinner when my daughter spilled some paint on our carpet. When I found out, the bottle was already half-empty! I panicked, so I called carpet cleaners (Greensboro-based) right away. Upon seeing the stain and the culprit, the cleaner told me that it was washable with water and soap. But they were already there, so I just let them clean the mess up. Lesson learned from a carpet cleaner (Greensboro, NC-based): don’t panic!

  3. Becky Eldredge

    Judy, thanks for sharing! I laughed so hard at myself. My older brother still makes fun of me about how much I stressed about this.

    Glad to know I am not the only one that missed the obvious in front of me!


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