You Can’t Hide Yer Lyin’ Eyes (Or Hair Color): Tales of Tween Years Gone Awry

I prayed for my baby girl to have curls. I don’t know why I did, but I did. You know the prayers you pray that are a little out there and then God decides to remind you how He really is listening… to everything? Check. She had a head of hair from birth. Actually a long tail at the nape of her neck. Her curls were and are the kind that inspire poems. My hub and I used to recite one in particular that you’ve probably heard: “There once was a girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead-
when she was good she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid.”
Hmm…fast forward 12 years.
I am not a slave to fashion by a long shot. I rarely wear make- up. OK, I confess. I never wear makeup. She wanted to wear makeup in elementary school. I do not fuss to get ready to go anywhere. I’m a shower, dress and go, girl. She takes 45 minutes to get in her pajamas. Longer to dress for the day. Longer still to pick and find shoes.
She went through years of wanting straight hair. Her much more patient Dad, painstakingly straightened that head of hair. It was beautiful still, this thick, glorious mane. 
Currently she is fine with her hair, curls and all.
not the color.
The perfectly fine, beautiful shade of brown, that I love.
God’s perfect choice for her.
I barely go to the hair dresser either. 
I cover the grey periodically. 

How is this my child?
1st grade: “Mom, I want to color my hair green.”
5th grade: “Mom I want to dye my hair pink.”
No. No.
7th grade: “Mom, I want to bleach my hair blonde.”
No. No. No.
We are heading out of the house to her Chorus program. Yesterday.
“Mom, can we stop at the store so I can get some gum?”
“Can I go in by myself while you are in the Post Office?
“No, I will let you go in by yourself after the Post Office since it’s on the way, if you want to run in then and I will wait in the car.”
We arrive at the local Drugstore “Let me give you some money, Honey. I want you to get a drink for Chorus, too.”
“I brought my own money.”
“Oh, are you sure you have enough?”
“I have enough.”
I am sitting in the car feeling, quite good about this progress. She carries a Navy Blue Bag with white stars over her shoulder and I sit in the car thinking that my girl is doing so well. Here she is going into the store on her own for a pack of gum. Something she hardly does. She rarely, no, never, carries a bag but thought she should TODAY to to carry her gum, money, chorus folder etc. I am suspicious of nothing and enjoying a blissful mom moment that will go up in a puff of delusional smoke soon. 
We arrive home from Chorus, my sweet Tween wants to shower. Sure, no problem. It’s early but I like this pro-active approach she’s sporting. She had a shower yesterday morning but she sometimes pushes the shower frequency limit so this is another sign of progress, right? She’s getting it, I think to myself. Perfect. Personal Hygiene victory!
Into the bathroom she goes.
Enter the theme from Gilligan’s Island here…
It was like a three hour tour. I mean shower. 
Repeatedly we knock on the door and inquire. Dinner is ready.
She finally comes out and slips quickly down the hall to her bedroom. 
“Mom, can you come here?”
I stand outside her door, “Yes?”
“Mom, promise you won’t be mad.”
“What are you talking about? Open the door.”
To which she replies, “Promise me, you won’t be mad.”
“Open the door, now.” I say in an increasingly impatient tone.
I am looking at my daughter, who has wet hair and and wears on her face the look of fear intermingled with victory.
Her hair is now a shade of orangey, blonde.
I decide to let her live.
At least long enough to hear her defense and the details of this latest scheme. 
There are only two questions going through my head.
What would the amazing Recovering Church Lady do in this situation?
What would my hero in motherhood and life Sharon Linder do if this was one of her girls? 
What would you do if it was your Tween? 
(Mean or derogatory comments will be deleted!)
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1 Corinthians 13 for Real Life Marriage (Featured Guest Post by Melanie Wilson)

A real life marriage! 

It is that day of days for Love, and I had asked if any of my lovely sisters would be willing to share a special post on their very own Love History…a post dedicated to or about their significant other (Let Me Count The Ways (My Hubby is Awesome) Link Up. Well I was blessed by each one I read, from Mattresses and Marriage to Sneezes and Goofy Grins, I was encouraged by the ladies who stepped up and wanted to shout THANK YOU- you bless me with your faithful friendship, camaraderie, wisdom and words! Melanie has a place called Psycho With Six. Now that is a subtle name for a blog! But I really just got a kick and SMILE as I read her take on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Here it is and I dare you to NOT smile! 
My husband and I were married 20 years ago today. I shared how I found unexpected love on my personal blog. Like millions of couples, we included 1 Corinthians 13 as part of our ceremony. I love this passage of Scripture still, but I see it differently now that I have experienced real marriage–not the romance-novel kind. Here are verses 4-7 for real.

Love is patient.

It doesn’t explode when it discovers you’ve driven through the grass when the ground is wet. Well, actually it does, but it forgives.

Love is kind.

It doesn’t suggest you just take a shower or workout when you have the body-ache-and-ready-to-die kind of flu. Well, actually it does at first, but it learns. It offers to get you medicine instead.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It doesn’t suggest you aren’t qualified to play mixed doubles tennis and never will be. Well, actually it does, but at least it admits there are players much worse than you.

It does not dishonor others.

It doesn’t make you feel like a fool for buying the latest and greatest gadget that falls apart the first week. Well, actually it does, but it apologizes.

It is not self-seeking.

It doesn’t want to know what’s for dinner when you’ve had a hard day. Well, actually it does, but when it discovers how worn out you are, it takes you out to eat.

It is not easily angered.

It doesn’t get upset over a mess. Well, actually it does. It blows its top without getting the whole story, but than it laughs at itself when the explanation is given.

It keeps no record of wrongs.

It doesn’t remember the last time you ordered way too many pizzas for the party. Well, actually it does, but it’s willing to give you another chance.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

It doesn’t snicker when it discovers you’re wrong about something you were certain of. Well, actually it does, but it gets you to laugh at yourself.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

It doesn’t let you learn the hard way, doesn’t stop believing in you, doesn’t divorce you. Actually it doesn’t.

I thank God for the 1 Corinthians 13 love He gave me 20 years ago and pray we have at least 20 more years of real life marriage. Happy Anniversary, Mark! Thanks for loving me.

Thanks, Melanie, for that sweetly done fun take on Love and Marriage! Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! May God Bless each one of you in your marriages as He continues to live and move and have His being in YOU, being glorified as we each yield to HIS good and perfect will. 

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Patience {An Untimely Post}

“If I have not the patience of my Saviour 
with the souls who grow slowly; 
if I know little of travail (a sharp and painful thing) 
till Christ be fully formed in them, 
then I know nothing of Calvary love.” 
 ~ Amy Carmichael
Holding back tears again, I stare at the framed print on the wall.
 It shows two cherubs and the Love verses from Corinthians.
 Ugh. I am weak and weary. 
I feel sick. 
Jealousy and envy tag-team me, 
I double over, 
wincing as I imagine the lovely mother-daughter scenarios 
taking place everywhere else. 
Anywhere else. 
But here. 
I forget sweet memories and truth.
I hurt deep.
There seems to be no consolation. 
Just walls erected.
And one mom feeling defeated,
as her daughter reclines, throwing cheerios
across her bedroom.
Defiant rebellion.
Glorying in her seeming victory.
“I hate you”, she smirks. 
The words fall to the floor as a 
Cheerio bounces off my chest.
Good times. 
I’ve already read enough words that should have me feeling all-powerful.
Quiet time, prayers, Scripture, wisdom, encouragement.
I shrink, and see the images again dance across the screen of my mind…
happy mothers, smiling, relishing their seemingly completely compliant children.
I remember her small. 
Still defiant.
Hands on hips in the yard, looking at the house next door.
She stares long and hard. Her back to me.
She is wearing only undies or is it a pull up?
The memory gets blurrier with the years.
She looks back and huffs these words: 
“I’m thinking about buying the house next door, so I don’t have to live with you.”
She is 4.
I ask God why He hates me.
Love is patient…
I am angry that this is the first line of 1 Corinthians 13. 
I find myself seething.
I take a walk to get out of the house. 
Dog walking is like my version of Cheers.
Free Psychotherapy. 
I step into a role where I am loved, cherished, outright idolized- 
let’s face it those dogs worship me.
I am the giver of walks!
My neighbor, Kevin with his wife has raised two girls. 
Every time I walk by he shares a bit of wisdom.
Today I walk, and almost pass without conversation.
Not happening, God wants my ear.
We say hello.
We make some small talk. 
I am not a good hider.
I just don’t do fake well.
He catches me, and somehow he is sharing wisdom again.
He says, “Ya know, I had two girls and it’s not easy.
If I had to give advice I would say this: patience.
I cringe.
He says a few more things about choosing my battles, 
winning the war and we admire 
the beautiful, unfinished, carved table he is sanding.
I know wisdom when I hear it.
I know God loves me.
I am that table.

God is sanding me.
I am not enjoying it.
I am not sure how I am going to look at the end of this journey.
I am not feeling beautiful.
Kevin comments on the detail,
“I’m a stickler about the sanding.”
He points out a mark on the leg. 
“It takes time, but it’s worth it in the end.”
The table is exquisite but will be a treasure when he is finally satisfied 
with his efforts and attention.
He sees the beauty yet to be revealed.
I know.
Lord, I know you are not finished with me yet. 
I know you love me with an everlasting love.
I know You love the daughter You have given me as well.
Help me to remain in your love, steadfast and true.
Forgive me my weakness, failure and sin.
Make me beautiful in your eyes.
In Jesus name. Amen.
“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. 
That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, 
which is always the more convenient season. 
God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. 
He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, 
honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.” 
~ Matthew Henry

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