Thursday, February 28, 2008

To Manipulate or Not to Manipulate..

Saturday was a very busy day. Nothing new there.
However, for the FIRST time in my life, I colored someone's hair.
I had NEVER before done such a thing.
Now don't get me wrong,
I have been getting MY hair colored since I was 24.
Necessity required it! ;)
Now, confession time. I guess you see my title?
Yes, paragon of motherhood that I am, NOT! :)
Living Outside the Box girl that I am (I WISH, I STRIVE, I TRY!)
I attend a church where we preach the whole Word of God.
We don't compromise the message of the Gospel to "reach more people".
(people really DO respect and want the truth!)
We also do NOT dress it in religious behavior,
at least as much as we know how to refrain from that.
You like jeans? Come on in. You have tatoos, body piercing and purple hair? Come on in!
It's your heart that counts.
That you have a heart after God.
You have a past? Baggage?
So did Saul, so did Mary Magdelene.
Still struggling to get the past OUT of the now and INTO the past?
Come on in! Become a student of The Word.
Find a place to serve. Grow. Learn.
Communion is my favorite thing.
I actually tear up.
I generally sit near the front.
It distracts me to sit elsewhere.
So, it is my wonderfully good fortune to see the people from the back
all the way to the front, one row at a time, file forward for communion.
It's young, old, dressed up in the Sunday best,
dressed down in the latest trend in grunge,
rich, poor, in between,
every color, every style.
To me it is TRUE beauty!
It makes me immeasureably grateful that God works in us,
and teaches us how to come together,
even though many of us, (you would think),
would not have so much in common.
Until we talk, until we share stories.
Then we all find, we 're not so different after all.
Not in what really matters.
That He made us.
That we all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
That Jesus is our hope, our salvation.
That He likes the many flavors we come in!
He made us to be different and diverse for good reason!
Now, all that said. I got a chance to "practice what I preach"!
I failed. Miserably!
No one would have known.
But, in my heart, I know, I chickened out!
As you can see, my Wild One,
who is into the whole music/skater thing,
was ready to have his dark brown hair dyed black, and streaked red.
I completely didn't mind for myself.
But, as you may recall from this post,
I often choke when it comes to how even the potential of stress,
between my conservative husband (whom I adore)
and my conservative & wild young child may play out.
Jason just likes all sorts of different things!
And we have always loved that he does.
But, since the teen angst has come to visit our house for the second time in our lives,
I was afraid (shameful to say) how my husband would handle this.
I FEARED this so much (to my everlasting chagrin),
that I seized on the opportunity to "minimize the impact" -
(you may pause here to translate this as manipulate the situation),
by informing young son, that putting a hair straightener,
black hair color, then bleached streaks then red over the bleach,
would be too many processes at one time.
The processes would have to be staggered about 1 month apart,
or he could do serious damage to his hair.
Were these facts true? YES, emphatically so.
Was I secretly glad to have less to inform my husband about?
YES! Shamefully so!
Was my young son really hurt to know that once again,
something he has wanted, thought he was going to attain was out of his reach?
YES, Emphatically so.
Did he take this as a sign of personal failure on his part? Yes.
Was I horribly disgusted to realize I had taken a completely healthy situation
and made it a big stinking mess?
Yes! Emphatically so.
What to do? I prayed! Like urgent smoke signals to Heaven.
"Lord, I have done it again. PLEASE intervene for the sake of my son!
I get what I did wrong, what to do now"?
Enter The Lord, riding on a white horse, who is named faithful and true...
(inspired) Me: Jason, lets just do the color, all the colors you wanted,
(I won't tell you what he said red streaks in brown hair would look like!)
I will go back and get the black tomorrow,
we can do the straightener in a month or so.
Jason (with the reluctance that comes from many disappointments):
I dunno. (then eventually) OK, let's do it, Mom!
Me (relieved beyond measure!): You got it kid!

Now for the REAL gift! Not only did we do it.
But this whole conversation was in front of my Honey, his Dad.
Who turned up in the room expectedly.
Guess how he handled it?
Wonderfully, he was such an encouragement to Jason.
Guess who wins the Donkey-butt prize? Yeah, me!
Why oh why could I not just trust God, trust my husband,
and not make things unnecessarily complicated?

Now at least two of his friends are getting permission
from their parents for me to do THEIR hair!

Is God just crazy patient with us? Tender good?

"Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony
and being of the same mind and one in purpose,
having the same love, being in full accord
and of one harmonious mind and intention.
Do nothing from factional motives

[through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends]
or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance.
Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind)
let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself
[thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]."
Philippians 2:2-3

By the way, we touched up the sides yesterday, and made them more black.
So, where you see brown in the pics, it is now jet black. He is pleased as punch!

I love this kid! I betchya' couldn't tell! And His Dad, too!

Ya'll still love me, right? I'll learn! Eventually! :)


luvmy4sons said...

I SO get this post. Our family NEEDS us to manage things. They couldn't possibly work it out without us managing the situation and taking control, right? I could so relate. My heart went out to you. How awesome that you stopped mid manipulate and pulled back and walked by faith and voila! God rewarded that! How awesome! When our oldest simply wanted to wear his hair longer I bit my tongue. We endured some comments at our old church that were hurtful. That just made me want him to go even more crazy to challenge them more about their superficial standards! Eventually God led us elsewhere. I love it that you allow your son to express himself! You go mamma!

Sharon Brumfield said...

Well CUZ--I guess it runs in the family. So I'll have to let you pass. :)
I'm proud of you!
God is still teaching me in this area.
Our church is very down to earth. We are all sorts. I agree it is good to have that mixture.
God has taken me where I would be really tempted to look at the outside so that He can teach me to look at the heart.
My first reaction my be.......but then God gives me a gentle nudge and I step back in line. He is teaching me.
I am learning to keep my mouth shut now until He has time to turn my heart.
Bottom line--I don't want someone judging me so I soooooo try and not judge someone else. Notice the word try.
YOU and your son would be welcome in our church. :) Ya got to have all types or we would be a boring bunch of people.
And it is good for keeping each other on our toes.
And hey.....if God can change my hair color--you can change your sons. HA! ;)

p.s I know this post was on manipulation but looks like God hit me with the judging thing. Hmmm
Guess I am not ready to be taken out of the oven just yet. :)

Nicki said...

Oh girl! You go!! That is so awesome!! (deep breaths.....) I KNOW my day will come with my girly's and this wild crazy stuff!! =) I'll remember your wise words!!

Irritable Mother said...

Still love you?
Are you kidding???
I love you MORE!
*big grin*

Joyful Days said...

...for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1Samuel 16:7

There are many areas of "growing" and experimenting going on at my house. One I decided a long time ago that was not a hill I was "willing to die on." But when I came face to face with acting on what I "said" I would do--it took a big heap of swallowing to let it really happen.

You are a good momma!! He looks so happy.



Carole said...

One time I came home from work and found the entire high school basketball team in my kitchen using my clippers to shave their heads before a big game. My kids were no where to be found. But the kids felt loved and safe just because they knew our doors were always open. You are well on your way to "coloring" a complete team. Keep up the good work. You are doing a great job.

Cecily R said...

My mom always tells me to choose my battles when it comes to motherhood (and anything else for that matter). I figure if hair dye is the vice, you're doing a great job! Who cares what his hair looks like? He's obviously a great kid and I applaud you for letting him express himself. Battling about it would have just caused stress and there are more important things to worry about.

P.S. I think he looks pretty good. Cool Mom!

A Stone Gatherer said...

So when this happens to me (my son wanting different color hair) I should remember this and just do?! I know I need to breathe more!

freetofly said...

Leslie, you have my number! I just get TOTALLY convinced that they can't get along without me! BIG mistake! I generally just muddy the waters. But, hopefully I am learning! Thanks, girl! I'm a-goin'!

Sharon-cuz, thanks for the pass and the welcome! Should I ever be so fortunate as to travel to the Big Easy, I will make sure to come by for the visit!

As far as judging goes, we ALL do it to varying degrees. It's ugly, but, it's fact. I mean I judged my husband in this post. I assumed I knew what his reaction would be. I was wrong! It's not always about the obvious things that we judge. So don't feel bad! Hey, I'm on the oven shelf with you!

Nicki, deep breathing is good! But, I know you are going to do well! Make plenty of time to look them in the eyes & listen to them! Laugh together! Be consistent. You'll be great! I wish I was as wise as you are when I was your age! Thank you for your kind words!

Karen, that is so sweet! :) As they say in Ghost - Ditto! :) Thank you!

Hi, Julie! I LOVE that scripture! Love it!

I know what you mean, I always thought we would never struggle with the hair thing. When he was little, he was a free spirit that way & we rejoiced in it...I realize that as he has gotten older, we sometimes let fear creep in, & that makes us be tempted to make that knee-jerk reaction. I think we're learning! Thank you! He really is happy! I think it has meant the world to him that his Dad supported him in this. Truly.

Carole, what a wonderful picture! I know that did your heart good! Thank you for that thought! It is my hope and prayer that our home, our family will be that place- those people where they know they are welcome and they are appreciated. One of the guy's Mom talked to me last night about his hair, I will be coloring it! :) Whodathunk it?! :)

Cecily, your Mom's right! And so are you! Thanks!

A Stone Gather, I would NEVER presume to tell anyone that. But I am thrilled that we said yes. And not just said it, but supported him/made him feel good about it.

You ever say things that you didn't know you knew 'til the words came out? I was talking with another kid's Mom about this last night. And these words came out as I explained the diff in Jason's attitude this past week. "I believe it said I LOVE YOU in a way that he could hear it, from his father." This was something Jason really needed. When they are in the turbulent years...they can't always hear the I Love You the way we are use to saying it...they sometimes need to hear it in a fresh way...for Jason, this was definitely it. I'd color it 16 diff colors just to get the reaction we have had out of him.

Ya'll: You ladies made me laugh & tear up when I got up early this a.m. and read these comments! Really, I appreciate so much you taking the time and sharing such kind, wise and funny words!

Happy Leap Year Day!

Regina said...

Hey There!
that hair is awesome! Don't worry we all go through these lessons and isn't it great when we come through having actually learned something! I have 5 kids 14-22 so I know, it doesn't really get easier but it sure does get more interesting!!
You rock, Super Mom!

Denise said...

You are totally wonderful.

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!