Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It's just hair

I've been going to the same lady to cut my hair for 20+ years now.
She knows my natural curly hair.
We have an honest relationship.
She'll tell me "no" when I take her a picture of impossibility out of a magazine.
And I'll tell her when she needs to fix what she did.
She knows when she's given me a cut I don't like because after a few days I'll call her back to see when she can fit me in her tight schedule.
But overall she has gotten it right the first time.

There have been only a few hair cuts over the years that I've absolutely hated.
But never enough to go find someone else to put up with my head of hair.

We've been through a lot together over the years.
Three salon moves.
My wedding day.
Short styles.
Long styles.
Births of my kids.
Our daughters' graduations.
Shattered dreams.
Births of my grandgirls.

We have laughed together.
We have cried together.
Like ten years ago when her 15 year old son went to sleep and never woke up.

She gets me compliments on my hair.
Like this sweet one Lisa Whittle wrote on her blog last summer after we met at She Speaks...
I told her she had great hair. And I meant it. (She does.)

So after all that history, how do I tell her that I hate the hair cut that she gave me on Saturday?

I don't.

Because I know that even though I was in her chair and
even though she knows my hair and
even though the customer is always right,
I also know that I didn't have her full attention on Saturday.

Instead, she had mine as she told me about her wedding in May.
And how only 3 weeks as a new bride she found out she has cancer.
Our tears and my hair fell to the floor as she told me she'll be starting 3 rounds of chemo soon.
And how her bottle blond hair will soon be falling out.
She looked up at the ceiling and bit her lip as she said It's just hair.
The cheerleader in me wanted to show my support by telling her to go ahead and just shave all my hair off, but the vain girl in me wouldn't even suggest it.

So now I have a choice.
Call her up and tell her that my teenage son Aaron said, "Mom, no offense, but you have kind of a tomboy haircut."
I can let it be and pray for her as I promised her I would do.

What I thought was going to be my day to get beautified actually turned out to be an hour of listening, crying and silently begging God to give me the words to say to her.
As I sat in her chair listening to her fears come out through her trembling lips I knew that I just needed to listen.
I carry a pocket Bible in my purse so when I went to get my wallet and write her a check,
I grabbed that first and read her Jeremiah 29:11-13.
As I inserted her name and personalized the verses she started to cry again and thanked me as we tightly hugged each other.
And I thanked Him for the words He gave me to say to her.

And as I left her salon looking like a tomboy with a bad hair cut and tiny pieces of my own hair all over my shirt from us hugging, I never felt as pretty as I did that moment.
Because I honestly didn't care about my hair.

When someone is faced with the possibility of losing her life, the importance of hair that gets compliments really becomes meaningless.
It's just hair is what she said about the side effect she knows is coming her way from the chemo.
And It's just hair is what I told my son when he gave me his sweet opinion of my new do.

Let's take a look around us and see who needs our prayers.
When I look beyond the boundaries of my personal space, it's amazing the needs of others that I see and how my problems become really small.
So before we complain or whine about the petty things, like a bad haircut, let's pray.
Pray for those who are facing real issues like Randy & Shalana
and heartaches like this young Momma who lost her little boy 8 years ago on August 26th.

Text ColorAnd remember...
It's just hair.

For me anyway,
but to her it's watching cancer
take what it can.

~Many Blessings~


Runner Mom said...

You precious thing! It will grow back! I will keep her in our prayers as well.
Love you!

Yolanda said...

Lelia, I'm telling you this spoke volumes and so much truth IN LOVE. Gotta young man super close to my heart thats dealing with colon cancer right now. Gotta a man about my age this the healer God chose for me this side of heaven, that HE uses his hands and knowledge, going through cancer. The stuff I got going on, is pocket change, notta, compared to all of you said, it's just..... fill in my own blank.

Love YOU,

Beth.. One Blessed Nana said...

This message just pierced me to the quick. You are so right. What is hair compared to life?

I too have 2 dear friends battling this cursed disease and it just breaks me down. I will lift up your sweet friend.

HisPrincess said...

I read a quote on some email I received yesterday, it said something like "if we threw all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back"

How true is that?

So glad that you were able to be there and bless your hairdresser.

You are's only hair...

Danielle said...

How humbled I feel right now. Girl, God has placed some amazing people in your path lately. I love that we get to share thos people with you, too.

Shanda said...

I always leave here inspired in some way. You are right; it is just hair. Thank you for being you and for allowing God to speak so clearly and freely through you!

Rachel said...

Golly... that hit me right where it counts. And memories came flooding back.

Five years alongside a friend at chemo appointments. Many surgeries, medicines, trials.

And the loveliest thing of all was a pair of blue eyes twinkling during cherished conversations.

Absolutely, it's just hair. Thank you for reminding me of the focus.

Mari said...

I met a wonderful woman at She Speaks this year who is battling brain cancer. Even with no hair, she's beautiful becaue her spirit is beautiful!

And I can say th esame for you dear Lelia. Your spirit is beautiful and so the hair just doesn't matter. I will pray for your hairdresser. May she know God's peace!

An Imperfect Perfection said...

I got goosebumps reading this. May God bless you for what the gift of friendship, listening, caring and understanding ... all what you gave to your hairdresser. I only hope and pray that I can handle a similar situation as beautifully as you did. I'm praying for her too...

Joyfulsister said...

Hi Sis,
All I know is that you have a heart of compassion and you have already followed your heart!!
You are so loved my sistah!!!

Hugz Lorie

Andrea said...

I am reminded of how thankful you and I should be to have our hair. We, too could easily be in her shoes. Your hair will grow and be trimmed again, but she faces a tremendous battle. I am praying for your friend. GOD BLESS YOU for being faithful to our Heavenly Father and exuding HIS grace and love.
Blessings, andrea

PS: you have an award at arise 2 write

Letters From Midlife said...

I know well how it feels to get one of those bad haircuts from a trusted stylist. You chose the better response in this case. There were circumstances at work beyond her just not paying attention to what you wanted. It will grow back and God certainly used you to minister to her.

Do you look good in hats in the meantime? I don't so I was pretty much stuck with my bad haircut until it grew out! I also haven't gone back to the stylist because she did it twice in a row so it was more than just one bad day for her. I found someone else but now she's moving so I need to find another stylist.

Sarah Dawn said...


Delighted to meet you. Real life meets real God over here. Your story, laying down your hair to be there for a friend.

Blessings to you from Costa Rica,
Sarah Dawn

PS This Sunday I am starting a new post, it's all new to me as I just began to blog a few months ago, but a place where people can post prayer requests and prayer warriors can join me in battle.

Liz said...

Beautifully written, beautifully said. And yes, it is just hair!
God is faithful.

Jennifer said...

WOW. As I sit hear with tears streaming down my face, you have made me realize that "my stuff" isn't so bad after all. When I look beyond my boundaries, my stuff is pretty trivial. Thank you for that reminder. I will be praying for her!!!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

For so many reasons, I love this post, Lelia. One of your bests; you always have a way of bringing raw humanity into the light and grace of Jesus Christ. You are a good friend, and you're right... the hair will grow again. Every time you look at it, may the memory of this time "before the mirror" buoy your spirits and keep you to the road of peace.


Paula said...

This is a wonderful post Lelia, and just what I needed to hear! Like with what the world throws at us, it's just 'hair'; it won't matter one bit in eternity. What matters is our prayers for others. Looking passed the temporal and focussing on the eternal. Love ya! xo

StitchinByTheLake said...

Lelia just yesterday I got my last haircut from my hairdresser of 15 years. She's retiring, not because she wanted to but just because of circumstances. While her tears are for something far less heart wrenching than your hairdresser, tears are tears are tears. God calls us to do what he would do - cry with his people, pray with his people, read scripture with his people. When we do those things we do what we are called to do and what he expects us to do. You are so very right - it's just hair and it will grow. And because you did what God called you to do her heart was comforted. blessings, marlene

Holly said...

Love this are right. It's just hair. But oh, that can be so hard to say. Love you read about your obedience. Love it.
Also LOVED the mouse poem you wrote for Lysa!!! VERY clever!
love you

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Beautiful post Lelia!

Kimberly said...

"And as I left her salon looking like a tomboy with a bad hair cut and tiny pieces of my own hair all over my shirt from us hugging, I never felt as pretty as I did that moment."

Beautiful, Lelia. But then, you have always had such a beautiful heart. You always look pretty in the pictures I have seen of you, but it's your heart I have always loved. Your heart that has always encouraged me and challenged me and blessed me. This is a beautiful post by a beautiful woman of God...beautiful inside and out. :)

And thank you so for your comment. I don't feel deserving of it whatsoever...but I thank you. You blessed me tremendously.

Praying with you for those weighing heavy on your heart,

Melissa Stover said...

what beautiful words for your sweet friend. your post touched me.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Lelia: Love this post. I have gone to the same hair stylist for 33 years! Since I was 12 years old. She knows details about my life that only the Lord knows! :) It's a special relationship indeed.

Will be praying for your friend/hair stylist. She is blessed to have you as a friend and prayer warrior.

Your sacrifice of hair represents the fragrance of prayer being lifted up to our mighty God.

Revelation 5:8
"Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."

Looking to Him,

Jen said...

just a wonderful reminder of the things that are truly important...and hair isn't one of them. Loved this post....

On Purpose said...

Oh girl you are so beautiful...and I am absolutely in LOVE with the Jesus that shines so bright through your life!

Trust and know that He knows your heart right now...and He loves you so much for being His daughter to another in need of time, love and a hug!

Beams of Light Ministries said...

Hi! I'm popping over from Lysa's blog. What a beautiful post. The Scripture you shared is one of my favorites.


Edie said...

Oh Lelia, what a blessing you are. Saying a prayer right now for this lady. Thank you for sharing.

I just got a cut that I'm not thrilled with too but it's just hair after all.

Tyler and Connie Boyd said...

Reading your post reminded me of 1 of the 2 reasons I wanted to start a blog to begin with. I wanted to be transparent, and really share what is no my heart and what lessons the Lord is teaching me. Problem is, I've been struggling with slowing down or perhaps even stopping enough to figure out what I'm being taught or apply my lesson (when I do get it) for more than a day or even worse, a few hours. Thank you from someone who recently struggled with an 'i-hate-my-new-short-haircut' story of my own to help me relate to what you're saying here.

Blessings to you.

~Grace and Peace said...

What a beautiful name for a beautiful Daughter of the King who wrote a beautiful post. Oh, God must have been so happy when He saw you that day as you minister to your hairdresser. I bet He said, "That's My girl!"

Your post was timely, I had a bad haircut a couple of days ago. My son and I call it the "Uncle Enzo" cut from Seinfeld. But you're right. It's just hair...Thanks for the wake up call!

Deborah Ann said...

Sniff...sniff. This story really touched my heart. I love how I got pulled in by your humerous outlook on hair, and before you know it my heart got seared.

You're invited to come visit me at

Even God laughs sometimes!

Julie P said...

Beautiful post...came here via Lysa T's blog. What a strong reminder! I pray God will bless you as you continue to reach out to others on His behalf.

Pat said...

Oh my Lelia,
This post really hits the mark about what matters and what doesn't.
Great Word girl!

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

How very sweet! And how real.

God bless you for being there for your matter the cost! Mississippi

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

Oh, you sweet, sweet person. I just love you.

Lea said...

I'm praying for your friend Lelia.
Big hug,

AnooCre8ion said...

Lelia, this is so touching. God bless you for being there to give her some words of comfort. I am definitely praying for her.


Jess said...


Thank you.


Linda said...

This is a touching reminder of life's priorities. I can say It's just to so many things that seem important at the moment. But. . .
It's just a car.
It's just a little time.
It's just a . . .

Jamie said...

So touching...really puts things in perspective.

Naomi said...

Blessing that dear lady like you have, and referring to God as you so faithfully do, says "phooey" to a good haircut any day! (As an aside - for I believe you, and think the same, that it simply is just hair that grows back - I've had some shockers in my time, but one of the worst, grew into one of the best... truly, once it got an inch into growing, it was great!!!)... I love the way you take the real stuff you go through and learn from, and then put it to a 'page' and make it worthwhile reading - God is working it for all of us. Thanks for being His precious stewardess... Loads of love, Naomi xxx

Leebird said...

Oh Lelia girl...Cancer is so raw in my memory after burying my brother-in-law on August 15th. My nephew Matt turns 19 on the 5th. My heart twists in a knot just thinking of him celebrating his b'day without his doting dad there.

I will surely pray for your hair stylist...and for you to be a ray of hope to her. Love you, Lee

Samantha said...

Thank you for sharing this. So much truth to what you've said here...

Praying for your friend and her husband,

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Oh my word, Lelia. You've done it again. I seriously thought this was going to be a light-hearted story about your hair and maybe a small lesson in being kind when we get something wrong. But oh, no, girlfriend, you went MUCH deeper than that. If you could see my face, my mouth would appear to be on the floor.

Lelia, this puts all problems in perspective. To just be married, diagnosed with cancer, and then her to have such a wonderful attitude of it's just hair, even though she must be dying inside.

I'm so glad you carried your Bible, especially that day. I'm so glad God spoke the words to share. His Word does not come back void so I'm sure she will hold to those verses tightly.