I’ve always been a pencil person. I have a power sharpener by my desk, and I zip a pencil in it every time I so much as jot down an item on my grocery list. Then back into the pencil cup it goes, tip upward, one yellow beast in a bouquet of wrist stabbers.
Mistakes get erased. No dull-tipped pencils, and certainly no pens, ever cross my desk. My eraser dies before I run out of graphite, so I keep a pack of extra erasers handy. Because what good is a pencil if you can’t erase mistakes? What good is any writing utensil if it betrays you by revealing your imperfections?
This is, of course, why I have 15 novels sitting here unpublished. When I was in therapy, I told my therapist what I felt my headstone should say.
Here lies Rachel.
She nearly did so many things.
On Valentine’s Day, my friend gave me a gift. A journal and a pack of glitter gel pens. I’ve had some of these babies before. I doodled with them, admiring the slick way they lay down ink, turning the page to watch the sparkles. But I’ve never really written anything with them. Especially not in a wonderful new journal! It’s even my favorite color!
So what was I to do? Every pretty pen I’ve ever owned has dried out, wasted, owned by the wrong girl. A pencil person, unable to shine. Girls like me don’t deserve shimmery ink. Do we?
Trying Something New
Deep breath. It’s just a pen and a journal. The pages can be torn out. I worried that I would have bad penmanship or get behind trying to record a scripture while the pastor was talking. I worried that the ink would bleed through the page. I hate that. I might misspell a word. The horror.
But, wielding a glitter pen, I committed words to the page. And I made a mistake. I knew it! No eraser. I needed to start over, maybe tear it out and rewrite all my notes later. Then it occurred to me that I could take notes in an ugly notebook, in pencil of course, and then transcribe carefully, slowly, into the journal. That’s when I realized that my perfectionism was rearing its ugly head, not only making me feel horrible, but causing me to miss the sermon.
So I stopped. And I wrote this verse, because it was from my re:generation book, and it had hit me just right.
“For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
I wrote it in green glitter and then added some red, which made it look like a bad attempt at making it 3D. But I didn’t care. I’m free. Flawed, but loved. I went back to my sermon notes and scribbled out my error, and it made a nice little glittery blob on the page. Man, you could really see the sparkles in a blob! Beauty from ashes.
Glitter Pen Girl
I’m officially a glitter pen girl now. I still try to turn my mistakes into perfect round spots, or even better, hearts or flowers. But I’m not so worried about erasing everything now.
You mean more to me than you will ever know.