Ink Pen in the Dryer

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.

What might a laundry fail could be a faith victory... Your choice.

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.

Faithfully Inky,

“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. 🙂

Categories: attitude, calm, Clean, faith, frustration, God, husband, washed | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

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29 thoughts on “Ink Pen in the Dryer

  1. kelliwommack

    Wonderfully written. Joyfully received with some good laughs on the side…especially during the crick and frap! Needed to hear that TODAY….

    • So glad it made you grin, Kelli– It was super fun to write. Hope your day doesn’t involve a melty ink pen of any kind 🙂

  2. (o: I am NOT going to have a pen in the dryer (or even crayon in the dryer) day!! (o:

    Thank you Sharita!!

  3. Thank you Lord (o:

  4. Yes just the other day I left my beautiful red tube of lipstick in the wash. All of our clothes came out tye dyed! There were tears followed by a Frap! But then I realized that this was God’s way of allowing me to go shopping. I had to be obedient, yes?! Praising Him for giving me the ability to laugh about it and for reminding me that this is a little inconvenience and to let it go! Great post sister and have a blessed week!:)

    • Ha ha, yes! Love it… taking a mess and turning it into a message… to go shopping 😉 Thanks for making ME smile today!!

  5. Aunt Jan

    My dryer looks just like yours, and no, I’ve never found anything to take it off. I fretted about it coming off on something else (white shirt), but if I couldn’t get if off with any type of cleaning product, how could it come off in my next load of laundry! Just a reminder that I should be more careful in looking through pockets, and a reminder to be thankful that I HAVE a dryer that works. I still like to hang clothes outside on the line, but that’s not always possible. Keep up your fun, interesting and inspirational posts. I read them every day. Because I don’t comment, doesn’t mean that they don’t make an impact on me.
    Love you and have a wonderful week

    • I worried about the same thing, Aunt Jan… But seriously, if the strongest chemicals on the planet wouldn’t take it off, I am pretty sure my dress shirt isn’t going to be the magic answer ha ha! I wish we lived somewhere that we could have a clothesline but alas– perhaps that is a dream for another military post.

      Thanks for your encouragement– I am so grateful that these words are speaking to you– and while I appreciate the comments, you are still a wonderful and faithful cheerleader! THANK YOU! Love you too!

  6. howyh

    Hairspray. Just spray it on and it comes right off. Though if it is a super heavy stain it wont take all of it off but most of it. 🙂

  7. Momma Lex

    This story makes me laugh since I saw that dryer first hand. Thanks for making me smile. I’ve started washing D’s jeans separately since he doesn’t always remember to go through his pockets and remove coins/bills, pens/pencils, receipts, bullets, nuts/bolts, etc and I don’t either-that way I don’t ruin my clothes 🙂 I remember years ago when Brandon was a little boy I just happened to see him putting some worms in his coat pocket so I was thankful I made him release them back to nature before coming into the house and eventually into my washing machine. Have a blest day-hugs!!

    • BAHA! Ma, your comment made my literally laugh out loud. While I am super thankful that Brandon has outgrown the stage of putting worms in his pocket, (at least I ASSUME) I can’t help but think worms might be easier to remove from clothes/appliances than ink. 😉

  8. Bless your heart! I’ve washed a few pens and even missed a few pocket watches. Thanks for sharing this really blessed perspective!

    • You are very welcome Tina… I haven’t (at least to my knowledge) washed any watches or electronic devices… Although I know my little bro’s iPod met it’s demise in the washing machine.

  9. Jenn Gifford

    Worms?!?!?! HAHAHA!!! That is GROSS!! Our kids have put some pretty creative things in their pockets thus far(not as creative as what they’ve put in their mouths!! YIKES!!) but nothing as good as worms. Can you imagine what laundry with cooked worms would smell like?!?!?! I guess that’s a mom for you….trying to imagine what it would smell like…. wow….right in the middle of my comment Zech threw a pickle up in the bathtub… it’s literally taken me like 20 minutes to make this comment after cleaning the mess 🙂 Anyway, Loved the article as I always do!!

    • Jenn, in your spare time (HA!) you should blog your family adventures. Seriously, vomitty pickle in the bathroom? That’s a new one 😉

      • Jenn Gifford

        Yeah, the vomitted pickle in the tub was a first actually!! We’ve had LOTS of interesting things that have floated in our bath-tub…I won’t got into detail…might not be blog appropriate!! But yes, I once started a blog and just haven’t kept up with it!! I need to though…so many things that I don’t ever want to forget that I need to record!! But if anyone could inspire me to get on top of it~it’d be you!! So when I do make a blog post you can bet it’ll be you who motivated me 😉

  10. CJ

    I had little brothers that collected horny toads all sizes and put them in their pockets. I nevered washed any of them, but I did washed and dryed little brothers’ crayolas, all over my clothes.

    • Well, knowing your brothers Mama… Crayolas are pretty good considering what it COULD have been 😉 Love you!

  11. fullherlife

    Sharita girl, I love seeing how God is working in you! We serve a great and holy God who’s joy it is to clean us up! ~ Blessings in your cleanings today friend, Amy

  12. Oh, yes…mine was a everybody is throwing up and I am gonna puke from cleaning up said stuff. I did write a blog about it…about how I gave it to God. I realized how much God cares about all things in our lives and will help us through it. the blog is called, And then there was throw-up or hope. see it here:

    Thank you for a great reminder that we all have bad days and that giving them to God is the best remedy.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Dionne… Gross things are a part of life I suppose :-S

      Also, I tried to pop over to the link you posted here and it said unavailable. Just FYI 🙂

  13. I think the melted bubblegum in my dryer may be the worst “ink pen” kind of moment lately- always seems to be some hidden pocket i miss in the kids’ clothes! Glad Jesus loves me despite all my sticky messes. Fun to meet you today- popped over from SDG

    • Amen to Jesus loving us through the sticky messes! I haven’t washed bubble gum… but I do recall receiving a pretty ridiculous haircut from going to sleep chewing gum and waking up with it in my hair. 🙂

  14. I have washed so many keys, phones, dollar bills ( there’s never a $20!) Sudafed tablets, reading glasses, golf tees and loose change…never an ink pen. Thankfully, the hubby and I NEVER wash our clothes together…when He used to do the laundry, I would wind up with pink or blue undies…God does a sense of humor!!! Have a great day! Laurel

    • Ha ha, that makes me laugh, Laurel. It is definitely a dangerous practice to was wife/hubby clothes together 🙂 Glad we have both learned that lesson and yes, I am super thankful that God has such a hilarious sense of humor. Blessings!

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