Do you use all the crayons in the box?

The Crayola box of 64 colors was my favorite. Suddenly, our choices weren’t limited to 8 or 16 or 24. A new box meant fresh crayons with no torn paper and sharp new points. They were in neat rows, all the same height in four sections of rainbows. There was even a sharpener on the back of the box. Bonus! Some of my crayons never lost their point because I didn’t use them. I favored the blues and yellows, a couple of the greens, browns and, quite sparingly, red. But raw umber? Not likely. Ochre? No thanks. Definitely not Salmon. And you can bet I worked hard at coloring inside the lines.

crayons
Google images
made with Color Therapy app
made with Color Therapy app

Adult coloring books are a thing now giving us grownups an excuse to color without pretending we’re doing it for our kids or grandkids. I have a coloring app on my iPad. Amazon has even created a page for their most popular adult coloring books.  My app has a variety of patterns and with a tap of my finger I color in the sections on the design I’ve chosen. With far more than 64 colors to choose from, I’ve determined to use more than the blues, yellows and earth tones.

Digital coloring helps me take the risk of trying something new. If the color isn’t what I want, click, and another color appears. I try new combinations and learn which shades compliment and which ones are flat out ugly. Art is subjective, of course.

Coloring is one way I practice self-care. It’s a simple grace I give myself. It is always grace we need to mend the bruises of our soul. Grace that reminds us to breathe when the world is moving too fast. Grace that holds us when we’re tired of holding everyone else.

While my coloring is neat and deliberate and always inside the lines, grace has ignored every line in my life. It is messy and beautiful at the same time. It’s like a Picasso or Pollack, both styles I don’t like for their helter-skelter approach. Yet, what I need is messy grace that isn’t about trying to get it right. I need the scribble of colors, the splash of paint spilling over ignoring the lines I’ve drawn around my life.

apple painting

Grace paints the evening sky where clouds are wisps of orange bleeding over the indigo of the sky. Grace is irregular in its designs and speaks of creation. It is disorder painted across the order with which God created the world.

It’s hard to understand this grace. It’s hard to let go the urge to even try to understand it because it’s not made for knowing other than to know we are loved. I am loved. My irregular lines, the crooked smile and left foot that is slightly bigger than the right. My messy life of fighting anxiety and depression, of negative self-talk. The harsh words I yell from behind my steering wheel. Yes, grace says I’m loved even when those dark shades seem to paint my life.

A friend gave me this:
crayons sign

14 Comments

  1. laurajdake said:

    color therapy app is my favorite! Hope and Grace…love it! thanls for these words.

    October 11, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I color in that app in meetings sometimes. I find it helps me focus better. Glad you like it too Laura. It really is a stress reliever.

      October 12, 2016
      Reply
  2. Annie said:

    We need to visit a museum together. 😉 Jackson Pollock is one of my all time favorites! Your work reminds me a lot of Cezanne… There is something so wonderful about being creative without worrying, isn’t there? I think that’s what coloring often offers: Creativity without the stress.

    October 11, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      That would be a wonderful treat Annie. Museums are wonderful to visit alone but to have someone with your knowledge would add so much to my understanding. Until then….coloring it is 🙂

      October 12, 2016
      Reply
  3. Linda Stoll said:

    Coloring’s become my go-to therapy, my calming oasis, Debby. Especially with praise music whispering peace. Love the hues of the pencils, but the glittery pens are my absolute favorite.

    Note to self … replenish the supply!

    ;-}

    October 12, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I never had much luck with the glittery pens Linda. Actually, I prefer paint but that’s not always possible and this little app often helps keep me focused during meetings. Keeping the supply stocked is a must!

      October 12, 2016
      Reply
  4. Debby,
    I love that tag (or sign?) your friend gave you and I love this post! I hear you on the negative self-talk since I do plenty of that myself, and I’m so glad you included that lovely image you painted (that I saw on IG the other day)! It is so hard to understand grace at times, but I’m so grateful for it! xo

    October 12, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I love it too, Valerie but I still haven’t found a place on my wall for it. I could use your decorating skills! Yes, I think grace wasn’t meant to be understood, just accepted and shared.

      October 12, 2016
      Reply
  5. What a cool app! My girls and I color and listen to praise music sometimes. It is so relaxing and brings me joy! I have a hard time using some of the colors. 😉

    October 12, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Oh, I think coloring with the kiddos is sacred time. So glad you and your girls enjoy that…gifts of grace. Thanks Sarah.

      October 12, 2016
      Reply
  6. Anne said:

    Oh, what a beautiful picture of grace! Even when we color outside the lines, God’s grace is still there. Being artists and creators is a small way we are like our creator.

    October 12, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      Hi Anne. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your words. Yes, I am so thankful for God’s messy grace!

      October 13, 2016
      Reply
  7. I could swear my crayons then are still there! Especially the white one.
    These are beautiful works of art. Just like our lives, huh?

    October 14, 2016
    Reply
    • Debby Hudson said:

      I like that perspective, Lux, that our lives are beautiful works of art. Yes, yes they are!

      October 14, 2016
      Reply

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