Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Treasuring the Present: Healthy, Red Hair (Any Length)

Thank you for all the photo editing help.

Today, I want to warn you... I am on a soapbox.  :-D

I love that different people are passionate about different things.  I love hearing people talk or write about subjects about which they are passionate.  Some people are so energetically and aggressively passionate about subjects that I do not understand and about which I really don't care.  Some people get so passionate about things that I wouldn't normally care about... but when I hear their stories behind their passion, I begin to get excited.  I may never share passion for their particular subject, but I enjoy hearing them and get inspired by their stories.

One of my passions is women donating their hair to women and children who suffer from hairloss due to serious illness.  Many people are familiar with the agency LOCKS OF LOVE, which is one such organization... another is called CHILDREN WITH HAIRLOSS.

I understand that many women do not want to deal with the very long hair necessary to donate 8-10 inches of hair.  I also understand that many woman do not want to part with their long hair even when they have 8-10 inches to spare.

Measuring 10 inches
For many years, I thought of myself in the second group of women... I had 8-10 inches to spare, but I didn't want to give it away because I loved my long hair.  And to be fair to me, I didn't really have 8-10 inches to spare -- my hair would have been really short if I had chopped off nearly a foot of hair.

About 5 years ago, however, the Lord changed my heart and impressed upon me the great mission of giving away my hair.

I still did not want to have short hair, so I devised the compromise that I would give away 10 inches of my hair, as long as I still had hair down to my shoulders... that meant the hair would have to get REALLY long before I would give it away, but I was determined to grow it and give it a try.

When I go running and work out with long hair, the long hair
I was very nervous about growing out my hair to become THAT long -- ten inches below my shoulders.  I was living in hot, humid Nashville at the time and I didn't know how I was going to deal with hair so long.  An interesting thing happened that time, however... the Lord began to impress on me that the hair wasn't mine.

There's enough hair here to share.
The moment of realization happened when someone complimented my hair, and I didn't say it out loud, but in my head I said, "Thank you, I grow it myself."  As soon as I thought those words, I realized how UNTRUE that thought was!!!  I do not grow my hair myself.  I have absolutely NO CONTROL as if and how my hair grows.  The fact that my hair continues to grow, and does not fall out, and is healthy is completely the grace of God.

As I had this revelation and gratitude for my healthy hair, God told me that I would not be annoyed by my long hair because I was growing it for someone else.  This was not my hair to be annoyed by... it was just mine to grow.  I can't really explain it any other way.

My hubby wanted a picture like this
For two years, I was annoyed by my long hair.  I enjoyed it.  I treasured it.  I cared for it -- better than when it was just my own.  I was guarding something that was growing for someone else, and it was a privilege.

When my hair finally did begin to drive me crazy, it was time to cut it, which I did three-and-a-half years ago.

For the past three-and-a-half years, I've been growing my hair for someone else... and this past weekend, the time had come to give it away again.

Last picture with long hair, 2012
I believe that the Lord honors sacrifices... even as trivial as hair.  Chris and I talked about my giving my hair away, we prayed about the timing, and we spent time specifically treasuring and playing with the long hair while it was still on my head.  We both really like my long hair... but we are SO fortunate that my hair is healthy and it grows.

First picture with short hair... see my pony-tail to donate on the left?
Now we get to treasure the season of my having short hair and look forward to the seasons ahead that it gets longer a little at a time.

Now my work-out hair is SO LIGHT!
If you have ever considered giving your hair to a wig-making organization for women and children with hairloss, I would sincerely encourage you to pray about it.

It may be something you've never considered, or you've considered and dismissed for any number of reasons.  The Lord can meet those doubts and reasons and give you the grace you didn't think you have to cope with the months of long hair -- or cope with the months of short hair.


Have you ever been in close contact with a woman or girl fighting for her life against a horrible medical condition?  Have you ever watched the strength drain and the frustration grow?  After everything the woman or girl has fought... after all the medical indignities... after her body has turned on her... to add insult to injury, her hair begins to fall out.  Your hair can go towards creating beautiful wig for a woman who is fighting for her life.  Your beautiful hair can be shared to remind the girl fighting that she is still feminine and beautiful.

Last Spring, friends and family of mine attended a Bridal Shower for me.  If memory serves, about 15 women attended -- 3 of them were growing their hair out to donate, and 1 woman was fighting cancer and attended the shower wearing a wig.  I was overwhelmed by the selflessness of this group of women that 1/5th of the women present were working toward giving their hair, and 1/15th of the women was a recipient of hair.  We didn't talk about it at the shower... but I was touched by the statistic.  When you donate your hair, it doesn't always go to women far away -- you never know how near to you a woman might be needing hair like yours.

Can you see my short hair?
Please consider donating something you have to spare for someone who is living without.

When I think of hair donation, I think of a quote that many of my friends who have a heart for adoption say --
"I cannot do everything, but what I can do, I will do."

I can grow hair.  I can sacrifice hair every few years.

What I can do, I will do.

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