You recognize it immediately. You feel like you have been sucker punched. Your breath gets cut short. You gasp. Your heart leaps into your throat and your stomach drops. There it is…
The aftermath of… an ink pen in the dryer.
Ok, ok… So maybe I am being just a wee big melodramatic. But seriously, most folks who have done laundry (which I am hoping is a majority of the readers out there) know that feeling.
You open the door and there inside your once-pearly white dryer are smeared-in stains of an ink pen that met its melty fate. And don’t even get me started on the condition of the clothes that were in that load. Sigh.
Oh, and it doesn’t just have to be an ink pen– it could be gum, play-doh, lipstick… Regardless, its a mess. A frustrating mess at that.
As an army wife, I think there is some clause buried deep between our marriage certificate and enlistment papers that says this ink pen in the dryer experience is a right of passage. Army uniforms have A LOT of pockets. When we are in a hurry, sometimes that blessed pen gets overlooked.
The first time this happened to us was during our very first red phase as a drill sergeant here in Georgia. We had been married less than a year and in this state for less than a month. My adjustment to Georgia and the ridiculous absence of my husband/purpose in life was going a little less than smooth. (Can you say stressed out?)
Our washer/dryer set was less than a month old. It was the first set we had ever owned due to apartment living for all of our adult lives. That fateful night, my husband threw in a load of laundry. (Side note: Praise Jesus my husband even DOES his laundry.)
I heard that familiar buzz to signal the end of the dryer cycle and went into the kitchen to switch it out. I opened the dryer and… well, just insert the feelings from the first paragraph here.
I was already emotionally exhausted and that ink pen that had exploded/melted all over his uniform and our beautiful brand new dryer put me over the edge. I was so steamed. Frustrated. Angry. And my beloved was in the living room. Oblivious.
Slam! Stomp, stomp, stomp! <mumble, mumble, mumble>. For the next hour or so, I tried every method I could to remove the ink from the inside of my precious dryer. Ajax, SOS pads, steel wool, lysol, etc… Even hot, angry tears didn’t work.
It took the better part of the evening for me to recover. And forgive my husband. And relinquish my fantasy of a forever-white dryer.
Wouldn’t you know it– I encountered another ink pen in the dryer last week. This time, I was the one who did the laundry. It was first thing in the morning and I went to switch the load between rounding up breakfast and heading to the living room to sit at the feet of Jesus… In peace.
I opened that dryer door, saw the epic fail that was my laundry/dryer, and mumbled some combination of “Frick” and “Crap.” (I think it was Crick? Or Frap?) Suddenly, I stopped. I decided that this would NOT ruin my day, and I was going to turn it over to God.
That’s what I did. I cleaned out the dryer, sorted through the clothes to survey the damage… Then moved on to have Jesus time.
Guess what? My day went really well.
Here’s the thing. We are all gonna have “Ink pen in the dryer” kind of days. You know– The ones where it all seems to fall to pieces, sometimes before we get started. But God cares about our challenges– even if they seem trivial. Like an ink pen in the dryer. If it matters to you… it matters to God.
I had a choice. And so do you. Next time you are faced with an ink pen in the dryer kind of day, pause for just a second and consider what is at stake.
Give it over to God… Because He can wash us clean daily… even those tough stains remaining from an ink pen in the dryer.
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)
Did you enjoy today’s post? When was the last time you had an “ink pen in the dryer” day? What did you do? I would love to hear all about it. Leave your comments here.