Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When life gives you the unexpected...or goth blue hair

Have you ever had one of those moments in life where you suddenly kick into extreme panic mode and ask yourself, "What on earth have I gotten myself into?  This is NOT what I expected!"  I think we all have.  Not so long ago I found myself screaming these thoughts, along with a little inner dialogue that went something like this: "My husband is absolutely going to kill me!  What kind of mother would do this?!"

It all started with an innocent trip out to see my sister and her family. When visiting, the idea came about that the girls could dye their hair.  My oldest daughter looks up to her 12 year old cousin and thinks the world of her.  This is something my niece has done several times to her long gorgeous locks. It's nothing but a little temporary dye added to the bottom couple inches of the hair.  Some kids use kool-aid or even sharpie markers to accomplish this effect.  My sister already had everything there at the house, and after a little begging, prodding, and pleading from my 8 year old, I caved.

So begins the process of coloring.  My brave and experienced sister, bare hands and all, dove in and began to apply a bluish color to the ends of my daughter's hair.  My niece and my youngest daughter were next in line.  Yes, you read that right, I was even going to allow my little 4 year old to have this done too.  Go ahead, say it..."Are you kidding me?"  At the time, I was just thinking to myself, "There's no harm in a little temporary color?  It's actually quite fashionable!"  I mean, I have a friend who sports hot pink hair like a rock star.  Who knew?

Well, right from the start, the couple inches on the bottom of my daughter's hair soon covered half of her head.  This may look ok on someone (like my niece) who has miles of long hair flowing down her back.  However, when you have shoulder-length hair, it is no longer subtle, but overtakes the entire head.  It was a lot more than I thought it was going to be.  But, this mama stayed calm.  Afterall, once it was rinsed, it would fade and lighten, right?  Wrong.  I began to rinse my 8 year old's head as my sister began to apply color to my 4 year old (gasp)...This time, I did ask that it only cover the bottom inch or so.  Go ahead, you can say it again, "What were you thinking?"  

After we rinsed my 8 year old's head, I proceeded to blowdry it and instantly felt sick to my stomach and regret rose from deep within.  My daughter looked like a child of goth...or rather, a very angry cookie monster.  I panicked.  And when a mama panics, it's only natural for her kids to panic too. I know my sister saw the terror in my eyes and she immediately went searching for her color remover. We frantically began applying and rinsing, applying and rinsing.  My girls were in tears as they bent their heads over that frenzied bathtub of color debacle.  There was blue splattered all over the place.  My 8 year old was in tears because she didn't want all the color to be removed.  My 4 year old was just plain terrified, beside herself, and fearful of getting soap and water in her eyes.  Neither of them were listening well or cooperating with me, making my job a whole lot more difficult than it needed to be.  Hunched over the bathtub, we were maniacs on a mission of "rinse and repeat."

As we scrubbed I looked over at my sister and told her, "One day we will remember this day and laugh about it."  Though at the time, there were no smiles in that little stress-filled room.  Only tears of splattered goth blue.  I wish I had taken a picture of the scene.  But when in panic mode, one does not think or dare to do so.  However, my brave and gloveless sister took one of her stained hands, so there is proof to mark this "Are you kidding me?" moment.  Just take a look:

As I was out running errands yesterday, I came across this:

I took a picture of this and texted it to my sister.  Both my sisters and I have a whole library of "you have got to be kidding me" moments.  But as I read this plaque, our hair debacle incident took center stage in my mind.  I think there is a lesson we can pull from this story...

Some seasons in life feel permanent, that the struggle will never fade.  When we find ourselves stuck, paralyzed by fear, the unknown, or life not turning out as we had expected, there are a few things we can do to press on:

1) Stay calm.  Invite God and His peace into your moment or circumstance.  (Don't panic like a crazed mama who has just ruined her pure and precious girls.)

2)  Listen to His voice.  (In the midst of our hair hysteria, I just wanted my girls to listen to me.  Despite their protests, I knew what was best for them.  And God knows what is best for us too.)

3)  Cooperate.  (If my "bent over the bathtub" girls would have just cooperated with me and followed my instructions, things would have gone much quicker and smoother.  Sometimes, we just need to bend  before the Lord and follow His lead, even when we don't understand where He is taking us.)

4)  Let God do the work that needs to be done.  (Let Him work in you and your circumstance.  Do the work He is calling you to do, and let Him handle the rest.  Ultimately, it is He who holds the color remover.)

We are all going to walk through this life and find ourselves stepping into those "Are you kidding me?" moments.  Some may be tiny stumbles that barely scrape our knees,  others may be of gothic proportion that land us hunched over in pain, discomfort, and disbelief.  Remember that God is the One who permanently washes the stains out of our hearts and makes our paths straight and clean.  He will always be there, through the good and the bad, and even in our "you have got to be kidding me" moments.  Our seasons of struggle are temporary.   And just as the fine print on that box of hair color promised me it wasn't permanent,  He too, is true to His everlasting Word.

All for His glory,

*for those of you left wondering, after only two short days there was no trace of goth blue lingering on any strand of hair.


  1. Loved it Amanda!

    1. Thank you for popping in for a visit Ellen!

  2. And NO picture of Brookie's hair?!?!?!?!?!?! LOL - I love the way you turn life into a lesson! I love YOU!

    1. I know, I know, I know....after all the de-coloring, it was very very subtle at the ends of her hair. and after 2 days, there was no trace of color at all. you know that YOU are the rock star I was referring to here, right?! the one who rocks the hot pink do! I love you too!

  3. Love this anecdote and how it applies to us and our relationship with God. Another good one, as always!

    1. thank you a mommy of 4, i am sure you've had (and are in for) a lot of "not so funny at the time, but now hilarious" stories with your crew. i appreciate your encouragement my friend.

  4. Such a fun reminder of my own sister adventures! Frosting our hair with turkey basting bags and crochet needles as our tools of choice! I've not been brave enough- YET, to color my daughters' hair. They would love it though! Maybe this summer. Thanks for a sweet reminder of God's desire to move us forward. It's a great reminder to have faith that He is leading us "through" those circumstances that don't feel like we're moving at all. ~Cory-Lynn