Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. (1 Peter 4:10)


I finally recognized a few days ago that I have a “thing” for pens. I buy pens whenever I am feeling stressed or anxious. I buy pens when I am embarking on some new project. I buy pens when I don’t really need them.

Let’s face it. I buy pens when I see them.

The fact that Tom liked to do his crossword puzzles with a red ballpoint pen simply gave me an excuse to buy a lot of them. I found 15 of them when I cleaned out one of my office drawers.

As I continue my “simplify and downsize” project in preparation for moving up north, sorting through the seemingly endless supply of pens of all kinds has caused me to take a moment to ponder and reflect. You see, I have always loved pens and paper. Even after I realized that I can write faster and better using keyboard and computer, I still found that when I really need to write, pen and paper work best.

 And as I begin to sort the pens out, I found it unthinkable to just throw them away. We are talking about literally dozens of pens, which I cannot and will not ever use — but I like having them. Just not ALL of them. Some of them have to go, right?

The rule is that each pen gets one chance to write. If it doesn’t write, it goes in the trash. If it writes on the first try, it stays. For now.

I think it would be far too scary to examine why, exactly, I have this affinity for acquiring and keeping pens. And paper. I have at least four reams of various writing papers, not counting a modest supply for my printer.

A writer’s soul in a pack rat’s body. I suppose I should count my blessings, that it is only pens and paper … and cords. I have thrown out a lot of cords, and only the ones in unopened packages are going in the rummage sale bin.

Don’t judge me. I’ll bet everyone has at least one thing that they love to acquire and collect…and that they have trouble getting rid of.

But what am I going to do with my collection of coffee mugs?

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