Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Journey of Hair, continued...

    It has been six weeks since my first shave.  I have since shaved four more times.  (Wow, this feels like I'm in confessional.) The third time, my husband was here to assist.  Since he really likes the style on me, it was nice to have his help in it.  That was Friday evening.  Here we are on Sunday, exactly six weeks since I first started this, and I decided to go all the way.  I took my razor to my head.  The hair I had was very short, like sandpaper.  OMG, shaving that was NOTHING like shaving my legs.  This was more like shaving a porcupine!  Wow!  Don't think I'll be doing that again.

    I continue to get good comments about my shaved head.  A few look at me like I have a second head growing on my shoulder (queue scene from "How To Get Ahead in Advertising"). I have had a few people, mostly from church, who asked if I was sick/going through chemo.  They were so relieved when I told them no.  I have found that even those who aren't too keen on the shaved head idea, soften when I tell them that I donated the hair to Children With Hair loss.
    Some people really like that hats that I sometimes wear.  :)  I have a couple cloche hats that I got from Amazon, this one, and this one.  In fact, I think I need/want to buy one in blue.  Next month, I am going with our church's youth group to a Baptist summer camp for 5 days.  I plan on taking a nice assortment of head scarves and various types of coverings.  Partly to protect my head from the sun, and partly for modesty.  Something I have noticed about wearing scarves and bandannas is the bristly scalp acts like velcro to them.
    I watched a video on youtube yesterday that really struck me.  In it, the young woman talked about why she shaved her head a second time.  She said that she had received comments from girls with alopecia or going through chemo, who said it really gave them the encouragement to face the day without feeling like their hair, or lack there of, defined them or was the only thing that made them beautiful.  So to every girl, every woman facing hair loss, here's to you.  You are beautiful with or without hair. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Further realizations and questions about hair and faith

I have to say, some of the reasons I gave for shaving my head, are so true.  The amount of time I now take in getting ready has decreased drastically.  I haven't touched the shampoo or conditioner in a week and a half.  Sorry *Pantene.

However, there are some drawbacks and insights to this too.

1. My head gets cold very easily.
    A.  Solution: wear a hat or scarf on my head.
          1. Plus: variety is fun, and I have an excuse to increase my hat and scarf collection.
          2. Minus: after a while, it gets to be bothersome.
    B.  Babies' heads get cold.  Even if they aren't complaining about it, because they haven't figured     that part out, their little head is cold.  Cover it up.  I have always been bothered by seeing new             babies with no hat to keep their heads warm.  Now that I have no hair to protect my head, I                 really am bothered by the sight of a baby without a hat.  It's not summertime yet, y'all.
2. My head gets hot easily when it's warm outside and the sun is beating down.
    A.  Solution: Sunblock and/or light hat
    B.  Minus: I live in Texas, and the weather changes constantly.

Here's an odd one I bet you never thought about:  In searching for head covers to keep my head warm, protect it from the sun, and provide an amount of modesty to my head when needed (like in prayer), I have found that most coverings suitable for a woman with no hair, are marketed toward cancer patients.  Every one I have searched on Amazon has been labeled a "chemo cap".  Hmmm.

Final thought for today: in 1 Corinthians 11:2-15, the focus of men and women's hair and coverings seems to revolve around when praying and prophesying.  Nothing mentioned, that I see, about just normal every day life.  So that being said, why is it that so many of the conservative Christian women that wear head coverings, wear them all the time, not just in prayer and prophecy?  Is there an additional reason that is in the Bible or is this simply a tradition that they choose to do regardless of what the Bible says?  Curiosity here, not criticizing.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Christian Woman's Journey of Hair


I have a bucket list.  I'm willing to bet you do too.  Learn a new language.  Visit a foreign country.  Take up a new hobby.  Get a degree in something I'll probably never utilize.  Do something out of my comfort zone.  Read all those books on my "100 books you should read before you die."  One of my bucket list items has been to shave my head.  

Now, I have been growing my hair out for the past two years or so, and it was getting to a nice length.  Not long, but just past my shoulders.  I had aspirations of having it down to my rump.  I stopped coloring it, preferring to let the gray show as it comes in.  But every time I got a head ache, I would wonder "would this hurt so much if I cut off my hair?"  I would think to myself that if someone I knew ever went through chemo or something, I would cut my hair in solidarity with them.  

Then one day, I had this powerful urge to cut it all off.  Donate it, and shave it.  It was either that, or dye it blue.  My hair stylist convinced me it would be a bad idea, and too high maintenance.  I talked about it with my husband.  I mentioned it to my mom.  Then, I called my friend, and asked her to come help me shave my head.  I ignored the voice in my head saying "Sarah, your hair is your covering.  It is your crowning glory.  Don't you think this might make God sad?"  

Sunday of last week, I shaved my head.  Okay, let's back up a little while I take you through the process:
This is how things were looking just before I cut it all off:
1. I started with clean combed hair.

 2. I sectioned the hair into five sections, tying each one off in tiny hair bands.


3.  I cut just between the scalp and the hair bands.  (The second set of bands half way down each pony tail was there for added measure.)  Now, I could have simply evened this out, and been done with it.  But.....I didn't.  Here's the hair, once it was cut off and bagged.  I know it doesn't look like much, but in that quart size bag is all of my hair.  
PSA:  This, with a bag of hair I had intended to donate on a previous occasion, was sent two days later to www.childrenwithhairloss.us where children experiencing hair loss, whether from cancer, alopecia, etc. can receive a wig designed for them, at no cost to the family.  



4.  I went over my head with the clippers, using the #8 or 1" guard.  Now, I could have stopped at this point.  But let's face it.  I'm all in.  And this is a bucket list item.  Might as well check it off now.  So I put on the #1 or 1/8" guard, and started shaving my head.    


Here is the final result.  Turns out, I have a great shaped head for this.  Wearing hats is more exciting. I have a few new ones now.


So, that was a week ago.  Here we are at Sunday again, and I have shaved my head again, because my hair likes to grow.  I tried to go blonde once, and after 4 days, my roots were showing, I decided blonde was too high maintenance.  Here I am with a shaved head, wondering is this something I will keep up with?  I don't know.  Because today, I started having an attack of the Christian conscience.

Now, before I get into that, let me side step a moment and say that I got so many compliments on the hat I wore.  It was a purple cloche hat that I found on Amazon.  FYI, the colors shown on Amazon, are not necessarily indicative of what you will actually get.  Just a general guideline.  Either way, it is a very pretty hat.

Okay, back to the attack of Christian conscience.  After church I started looking online at more hats and coverings that I might use.  See, as a Christian, I do follow the tenant that says a woman's head should be covered during prayer.  Since I don't have hair to cover my head at the moment, I need some...options.  Multiple options (wink, wink).  +++ I can hear some of you saying, "But Sarah, your hair isn't your covering.  A hat or scarf...is your covering.  You're reading the scripture all wrong!"  I am still working that part out.  Which brings me back to my point.  I was looking for hats, when I came across Radical Christian Woman which talks about whether Christian women should wear a head covering.  As I started to read this site, as well as The Head Covering Movement, I began to think about that little voice I had ignored the week before.  Have I dishonored God by shaving my head?  What were my reasons for shaving my head anyway?

 I had previously told myself anything that would make my actions acceptable and even logical.  Shaving my head would cut down on my shower time and getting ready time.  It would eliminate the need for hair care products completely.  It's a bucket list item, and it's less permanent than a tattoo.  It would make donating my hair so much easier.  Hindsight is an odd thing.  After I shaved my head, and after I had several people ask me why I did it, I realized the truth.  My answer, in all honesty, is control.  After losing my father this past December, my Grandmother last year, and almost losing my mother in January, plus every other thing that has been going on that I had no control over, I needed to feel a sense of power.  Of control.  I needed to know that there was one thing that was in my hands.  I know it seems silly.  Control over hair.  It sounds like such a small thing.  But did you look at those pictures?  That is NOT a small thing.  It's a huge thing.

Once I had that realization, came the question: Did I just dishonor God by taking control?  Did I just rebel or prove myself unfaithful?  Good questions.  That is the journey I find myself on now.  So stick around, as I seek to discover the answer to those questions and these: Who am I without my hair?  Does my hair or lack thereof define my relationship with The Father?  Was there truly any braveness or nobility in the act of shaving my head or just a spirit of rebellion?  I do not ask you to shave your head.  That is only and always a personal decision.  Just, pray for me that I will hear God's voice and understand His Word as I move forward.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Laugh when you should cry

Sometimes you laugh when it's not funny. Sometimes that's all you can do because if you don't, you can't help but be swallowed up by what is really going on.  Because what's really going on is so overwhelming at that moment, and if you don't laugh, you're liable to cry and you don't know if you will be able to stop.
  We are in the middle of a job change. Let me tell you something: it's scary.  I know that God has us. I know that we will be ok.  But change is scary, and sometimes fear and doubt creep in where they don't belong.  Tonight I am awake when I should be asleep.  My stomach is irritated. My mind racing.  Yet I know that this physical reaction to an emotional distress will prove to be fruitless. If not for the now lack of desire for that coveted ice cream. See? Already a light. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Erasing History

    I do not watch or listen to the news much, but sometimes it is hard to avoid the headlines.  In the past year/s there have been an increase in news reports of police brutality, specifically towards "black" people.  Most recently, an attack on a predominately "black" church.  Along with this is a influx of people (political leaders) saying we need to deal with racism: delete specific words or phrases from our speech, be more inclusive, do away with stereotypes, etc.  Ban the Confederate flag.  Demolish the Confederate memorial carving from Stone Mountain.  

    Before I get to my point, let me preface by saying that racism is bad and just plain moronic.  Slavery was bad and should have never happened.  (Though historians will neglect to teach that Africans were initially enslaved by their own people, a trend that was later picked up by Europeans.)  I do not, nor have I ever, thought that any human should be judged based on the color of their skin.  The same applies for gender.  

    Now, horrible and tragic things have happened in human history.  As Americans, our country has seen and continues to have less than stellar moments.  Those moments in time that we look back and wish that we could try again to do it right, to correct those mistakes.  We cannot though.  What we can do is teach our history to our children and grandchildren.  We can show them how humans went wrong, and how to live better.  In order to do that, we have to keep that history fresh in our memories.  Hiding from it isn't going to help.  Pretending it didn't happen will not change anything.  How are we supposed to learn?  

   There are a couple of petitions out right now trying to order the ban of Confederate flags and removal of the Confederate memorial carving.  Why?  Because it's offensive.  I say, that in doing this, you become the ostrich with it's head stuck in the sand.  Pretend it didn't happen.  Well guess what?  It did.  And it was horrible.  Now some people see the monument and say this war happened and we lost.  A lot of people died fighting for something that they believed in.  Whether it was right or wrong, they fought for it.  Never forget.  Others look at that same monument and say "this is a battle we won.  We fought for freedom for all and won.  Never forget."

    Consider the 9/11 memorial in New York.  Where two towering buildings once stood, is now a memorial hole in the ground, with a reflection pool.  Some might say, "look here:  Something horrible happened here and a lot of people lost their lives.  We, as Americans, came together in a dark time of our history and stood in solidarity against those who would see our country crumble.  We must never forget".   Yet, someone else might look at that memorial and say "this is when we struck.  This is when we fought to take down America, for all their 'freedoms' ".  Does anyone look at that memorial and say "This offends me.  Take it down."  

    Yes, I just compared the two events as being on the same level.  Just let that roll around in your head for a moment.  We cannot erase these moments from our history.  They are there.  Taking down a monument or memorial is not going to help us move forward.  The hate will still be there.  Only, when a few generations have passed, nobody will remember why they were taught to be angry in the first place.  They will hate for hate's sake.  It's like, why do women shave their legs?  I don't know.  Because our mothers shaved their legs.  Because our grandmothers shaved theirs.  But why?  Who said we should shave our legs?  What is the purpose?  Where and when did it begin?  I'd be willing to bet that this was not taught at home or school.  Just a social norm that you blindly accepted and went along with.  Never questioning it.  And so it goes.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Knitting is like...

Knitting is like a dear friend that even when you haven't seen each other in a while, when you meet again, you pick up where you left off, and nothing seems to have changed.  A really good book.  You know how it will end, (because you snuck a look at that last page) but you still enjoy the story.  Knitting is like a relationship.  You work on it and work on it, and it never seems to end.  Until one day it does, and even though you should have, you never saw it coming.  Just WHAM!  The end.  Knitting is like raising a child.  You start out with this tiny little thing, and you work on it every day.  Lovingly helping it to grow.  Each stitch is done with such care.  You make a mistake here and there, but you pick up that dropped stitch along the way, and hope that the finished result is something beautiful despite its inherent flaws.  You see them, but you love them anyway.  Sort of like a signature.  Then one day you get to the end of the pattern and you have to give it away, because it was never meant to be yours anyway; and you want to hold on just a little longer.  Maybe you even drug out the work a little longer than necessary just to spend a little more time with it.  But eventually you do, let it go; and you hope that whomever receives it, loves it as much as you loved making it.  There's a reason why knitters/crocheters are so passionate about their work.  What's your passion?

Monday, June 30, 2014

Corpus Christi or bust

The boys and I had a mostly great weekend.  We went on a trip with the Cub Scout Pack to Corpus Christi, Tx.  That is about a 8-9 hour drive.  Along the way, we stopped in Hearne, where we had lunch at Camp Hearne, a POW internment camp that housed German POWs during WWII.  From there we drove to Lake Corpus Christi State Park, where we set up camp for the night.  Did you know there is a Scout camp near it?  
I am going to be upfront and tell you that I am coming to grips with the realization that camping and I do not get along.  I don't think I will be doing it anymore for as long as I can avoid it.  Now, give me an RV or a cabin, and you have yourself a deal.  Otherwise, deal's off.  My boys did great though.  We got a little rain that Friday night.  Ok, early Saturday morning.  I slept maybe 2 hours.  On Saturday we headed the rest of the way to Corpus Christi and boarded the USS Lexington.  The Pack was signed up for the overnight program, and let me tell you that after not sleeping in a tent, sleeping in ship's quarters was a dream.  
The USS Lexington, CV-16, is a World War II-vintage Essex Class aircraft carrier.*  Our Pack got to tour the ship and sleep overnight on the ship, taking two meals in the ship's galley as well.  Now, this is a lot of ship to explore, and my boys were all over it.  Even the youngest was up and down stairs like nobody's business.  We had a blast.  Though the youngest is in no hurry to return to it because it is so big.  On Sunday, after we left the ship, the boys and I headed to the beach while the rest of the Pack went to the Texas State Aquarium right next to the Lexington.  The two younger boys hadn't been to a beach in nearly four years!  The boys all decided that when they grow up, they want to live near the beach.  I can't say that I blame them.  We discovered that the ocean water in the Gulf of Mexico is considerably warmer than that of the Pacific Ocean, i.e. California coast.  That will be something to research this year with the boys.  
Initially I had been dreading the long drive home.  I even began to feel a bit stressed during the first half of the drive, as I became very tired, very quickly.  But, a stop at the gas station and a Monster Coffee energy drink later, and I was good to go.  The boys and I had tons of fun coming up with different games to play as we drove.  We got home last evening and were very happy to be home.  Though there was some stress and hurt feelings in the beginning, the memories made with my children are priceless.  I am glad we had this opportunity.  What would I do different in the future?  Rent an RV or travel trailer, or even check into a hotel rather than attempt to sleep in a tent.  Me, exhaustion, not a good combo.  
(Today we are still in our pajamas, watching TV and getting caught up on laundry.)