Friday, June 11, 2010

Guest Blog! Life Lessons from Bad Hair Cuts

Hi Everyone!  I've asked my good friend from my ECU days and fellow blogger, Caroline Collie, to guest post for me this week.  She is currently living and ministering in South Africa with her Hero Hubby and adorable son.  Hope you enjoy!

When Amanda asked me to guest post again (Gosh, I can’t believe she asked me back!) I thought about writing a little something gearly toward what is likely to be a mostly-American audience. I wondered if I could perhaps narrow things down to write specifically to women. Are you mostly ladies out there, mayhaps? Then I thought about writing something specifically for Moms. Because I get the feeling a lot more Moms are reading blogs that Dads these days. For some strange reason.

Then I decided I didn’t really feel like excluding anyone, why not write about something anybody can relate to? Like a bad hair cut. 

So here’s the tale of my recent bad hair cut, and a few things I learned in the process.

One hard thing about moving to a new place is trying to find someone to cut your hair the way you like it. After four years in Scotland I got one of the first hair cuts I reallyliked at a price I could afford. We moved a few weeks later.

Here in South Africa I’ve just had two hair cuts so far. The first wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for. The second was beyond disappointing. You see, I had asked for not much off the length (because Hero Hubs likes the long hair) but I still wanted some layers to give it a bit of movement, and the old layers in my hair needed shaping up anyway.Sorry guys, this may not seem universal at the moment but stick with me. I can only describe the act that followed as precisely NOT what I was hoping for. He took a lot off the length, and only left a little long hair in the back. He hacked into my long locks with layers galore, the shortest of which start around my ears. It is ridiculous. I left rather sorrowful and have been pulling the top layer of hair back with bobby pins or a hair clip since the cut, which was just before we left for a trip a few weeks ago.

And while it was a disappointing thing to walk through which made me feel very far away from home (the stylist was French, by the way) I did learn a few things in the process.  Would you like to hear about ‘em?

The lessons started as soon as I got back in the car. Hero Hubs had been meeting with a friend from church who is interested in helping out with Samaritan’s Feet here in South Africa. He is originally from Zimbabwe and his family is still there. His father died when he was sixteen and he wasn’t able to finish school because he had to start taking care of his family. He works and isn’t able to do much else, because he sends the money back to his family in Zim. At sixteen he was basically the head of the household. 

Lesson Number One: It’s perhaps self-explanatory. When you hear a story like this, does your hair really matter that much?

Over the next day or so I tried to figure out how to get my hair to look at least somewhat how I would like for it to. I began to realise I had a choice in the situation. I could pout and be bothered and be grumpy because I missed my old hair, or I could choose to get over it and move on.

Lesson Number Two: Life is too short to waste time moping about things that won’t change. Think about the things you have to be thankful for and choose joy!

A few days later, I was standing in front of the mirror and using my straighteners to give my ends a bit of a flip to spruce things up. Suddenly, I can only point to Jesus for this, I remembered the incredible ghd hair straighteners that were in my closet. My sister in law let me borrow them when we first arrived because she said she wasn’t using them. I packed them up when mine finally arrived on the boat from the UK but had forgotten to return hers to her. The discovery: they really helped convince my hair to do something I was happy with! Things were looking up!

Lesson Number Three: Learn to work with what you’ve got. All Moses had was a staff. Like, a walking stick. But God was able to do amazing things with that simple walking stick, when Moses was willing to put it to good use. One little boy offered five loaves and two fish. With it, God fed at least 5,000 people. Sometimes I think we already have what we need in life, in God, even among our things, but we can spend too much time focusing on what we’re unhappy about, how we wish things were different, and what we could change if we only... and we miss out on making the most of what we do have in God, in our family and friends, even in our closets.

The Big Lesson:

This is what I feel like I’m arriving at over and over again. From the mouths of many sources, from the words of many books, from the lyrics of many-a-song:

If you don’t feel like you can change the whole world, look at what you can do -- do what you can with what you have.

Five loaves and two fish? A degree in marketing? A heart for the homeless? A steady golf swing? God can use anything for good and for His glory. Even a borrowed set of hair straighteners can bring glory to His Name.

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