I’m a hairstylist, and although I know it shouldn’t be this way there are times (I’ll admit) that I live under a ridiculous falsehood:
‘that when my hair is fixed and looking nice I’m gonna feel and appear like a total put together mama, and I’ll be able to handle any challenge that may come about that day…I’m gonna feel good about myself…no matter what…all day long.’
On my “very” best days my hair is colored, which means grays are covered and I start the day out with a female version of James Bond’s can-do attitude…My husband is going to read this and be like, “do you even have any idea who James Bond is?” and I’ll simply reply, “…not really.”
…I’m 34 years old and I have more than a fair amount of gray hair. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma, therefore I blame it on that. Nevertheless, I feel my age is far too young to parade gray hair around so I color it and it drives my husband absolutely crazy. Nathan believes I should embrace this premature graying and accept it for what it is, but I can’t bring myself to do it at this point. Maybe when I’m in my 40s, but in my 30s it’s just not gonna happen.
I realize there are some who would agree with my husband, BUT I also know there are a lot of people out there who are covering up “gray areas” of their lives…
Whether it’s depression, an eating disorder, a spending habit, perhaps a lump on their body, an addiction, a broken heart…you see, some of us are covering up “gray hairs” also, so to speak.
Chris Tomlin (a Christian musician) sings Good Good Father, a song regarding and recognizing God’s immense love for us.
The other morning I listened to this very song and noticed I can finally get all the way through without choking up as I sing along to the words. I wasn’t always able to do so before…And I’m thankful beyond measure.
I’ve intentionally and passionately pursued Christ for the past five years, not perfectly but with great effort. I’ve read and memorized scripture. I’ve counteracted and demolished negative thoughts by applying God’s faithful word where fear and worry long to thrive.
But in all that, can I just be honest and admit that for a long time I failed to see that God loves, loves, loves me deeply and without limitations…He LOVES me with unconditional genuine love. Keep in mind I’ve believed in Him since I was a young girl, and was taught of His love from a young age but the idea and reality of His love never struck me until more recently.
We see them displayed in homes, dangling from necklaces, even situated high on hilltops…
THE CROSS—some with intricate detail, others with simple yet solemn features
Recorded in Genesis 3, we learn where Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden…
Thus sin irrefutably began and has been an ongoing consequence ever since.
As a result, in the Old Testament times God required animal sacrifices, the shedding of blood, which provided an evanescent covering over sins. (Leviticus 4)
The sinner could then receive and experience temporary forgiveness, making the person right with God. However this was a repeat process, because the animal could never purify one’s conscience from sinful deeds the way Jesus’ blood would be able to. Hebrews 10:11-12
Cuddled up on the couch with my two youngest children on each side of me, and a blanket draped across our laps, we finally finished a novel we had slowly been reading through.
Empty containers once filled with popcorn and half drank cups of hot chocolate with shrunken marshmallows sat on the worn wooden table before us, alongside the thick-paged children’s novel.
Moments before my boy and girl urged me, “read on mommy, keep going.” …And now here we were another book done, the last words fresh in our minds, but discontent spread across each of their young faces.
They both agreed they didn’t like how the story had ended. They didn’t think it was fair that over the many times this book had excitedly left them in suspense as we’d finish a chapter and wait a day or two to start the next—the ending had now done the same, but this time left them unsettled instead of satisfied.
When I wrote my last blog-post (First Jesus, then coffee) I didn’t know I’d have a part two until I was just finishing up.
It prompted me to consider a recent conversation my husband and I had… ‘The way we’re living day to day—the things we’re saying and doing, our behavior and actions are all a representation of our Christian faith.’
When we’re asked to give our testimony, we want it to be an accurate reflection of who we are in Christ and ultimately who Jesus is. As His followers we need to portray Him well, not only outside of our home but inside also.
For the two of us, while growing up, our view of God was misrepresented therefore we lived a life apart from Him—and I wouldn’t blame our parents for that; more than likely they had misconstrued ideas or a void of Christ as well during their years at home and prior to that it’d been an ongoing defect passed down generation after generation.
I recently finished teaching my little home-schooled boy a lesson in his history book regarding the Revolutionary War (1775-1781). Many battles took place during those years as our country fought the British in effort to gain independence from them.
It wasn’t until 1781 that victory came to the American people with the help of the French soldiers at Yorktown, Virginia when the British were trapped, and their General, Charles Cornwallis, agreed to surrender.
Imagine the excitement the Americans must have felt at that moment. The Declaration of Independence had been signed years prior and now the long and no doubt tiresome war would finally cease.
I think my son (if he would have lived during those years) would have humbly and nobly signed a 57th signature to that very important document. He’s also mentioned he would have fought right beside those brave Colonists, which comes as no surprise since he can often be spotted mimicking a combination of victory and defeat while acting out a war scene between an assortment of Lego action figures.
As we studied this chapter on early American history my little “historian” thoroughly soaked it all in, which prompted me to take the discussion a bit further by challenging him on the topic of ‘surrender.’
While exploring the broad areas of surrender my boy voluntarily commented how a combination of Legos and electronics consumes much of his free-time and how he may need to consider “surrendering” some of that to something of more value and worthwhile.
Our family began a tradition a few years ago that we look forward to each Christmas season. At some point, shortly before Christmas Day, we devote one evening to “light sight-seeing” and have somewhat of a set routine…
After loading up in the vehicle, we drive the few miles into town, with a pit stop to the local convenience store first, where we fill up cups of overly flavored hot chocolate, cappuccino, or coffee to sip on during our adventure. It’s not Starbucks by any means, but it excites my children to choose from the many options, mix flavors, and make their own concoction—plus its way easier on the pocket-book!
This year after returning myself, the kids, and our piping hot beverages to the vehicle we were greeted by my lovely husband, who was patiently waiting on us and who I figured was also creating the perfect Christmas music play-list…but as we left the gas station parking lot let’s just say ‘Joy to the World’ wasn’t music to our ears…and I hardly think when Axl Rose belts out ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ he’s referring to sweet little Baby Jesus, although I believe my husband would beg to differ apparently… Continue reading “Light of the World”
He walked over to my “temporary” desk while I substitute taught and the words abruptly and nonchalantly spilled from his mouth, “my dad just recently died.”
Taken aback, I looked up from the top of my glasses and the pile of papers I’d been sorting to place a face to the small voice that had just offered me such matter-of-fact information. A young boy of about ten years old with light-colored hair, freckles, and a fair skin tone stood just feet away from me.
My mind quickly searched for words of comfort to give and with concern shown on my face the normal cliché consoling-phrase jumped its way out, “I’m really sorry.” …and I really meant it, but as I offered those overused words, my heart felt unsatisfied and desired to extend on the moment.
For years now I’ve worked at a nursing home where I doll-up ladies and trim men’s hair one day out of the week. Most of these men and women will complete their last years of life here so it gives me such an opportunity to analyze my outlook on life as I build relationships with this elderly generation and learn about and from their lives.
I’ll always remember one of my ladies who had her hair “fixed” weekly by me, she always seemed to be in a positive state of mind…until I’d seat her in the salon chair…anyone with a “cosmetology degree” knows that with that degree comes more than just hair— somewhere hidden in that name must include: counselor.
I love this time of year—from the cool, crisp days, to the layers of crunchy fall-colored leaves scattered across hibernating front lawns.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas plans under way and a love of baking in the kitchen with my two girls, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg spices never grows old and seems to create the perfect mixture. I longingly look forward to the autumn season weeks before it arrives.
My husband enjoys it for other reasons…the fall season for him means camouflage hunting attire, the ideal rifle of choice, and a deer permit with high hopes of filling a tag with a trophy buck.
But it also proves to be a busy time of year for our family. It can be easy for us to become distracted from the routine of everyday life as we tend to shuffle in a few extra plans for the holidays and if I’m not careful that alone can complicate our lives. Continue reading “Autumn Update: REST”