Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Haircut--Part 2

I have posted before about Carter's affinity for screaming during haircuts. If you missed the background story, read "The Haircut", in my November 16, 2007 post.

Yesterday we reached a new level of embarrassment. I naively called First Cuts to make the dreaded haircut appointment, and we were told there were some "notes" in Carter's file. The receptionist sweetly explained they would have the "quiet room" ready for us when we arrived.
Upon getting there, we sheepishly approached the front desk, upon which the receptionist looked up disapprovingly and said, "Is this Carter?" They were really not looking forward to this.

She whispered to one of the hairdressers and gestured toward the back of the store. The hairdresser went from smiling sweetly to a resigned sigh as she led us to the back of the room.

The quiet room is in the very back of the store, and it separates the "special" haircut chair from the rest of the room by a glass partition. "When he cries, it scares the other kids," she explained as she shut the door behind us.

It was horrible. I had to hold Carter on my lap, and all the other moms and kids stared at the banished mother and child who were on display through the glass in the "quiet room."

Carter did well for about 2 minutes. However, as soon as the first chunks of hair fell on his hand--he refused to wear the cape--he screamed. He didn't stop until he got down from the chair. He is deathly afraid of his own hair falling on him. I don't understand. At first I thought it was the razor or the idea of being messy, but I realized he thinks we are mutilating his head somehow. Seeing chunks of hair falling on him is torture to him. He tries to shake it off, which only sends hair flying all through the air onto me and the rest of him.

Luckily, they gave us the fast hairdresser. She had his hair done in about 5 minutes. Carter's lung capacity was a huge motivation for her. After a good dusting of baby powder to get the hair off Carter's arms and hands, we paid a generous tip and hobbled out once again. You can see the before and after pictures on this post.

I had heard they are less afraid of haircuts between 2 and 3 years old. Carter is 2 and 1/2 now. I'm still waiting. The hairdresser told me the next baby won't be afraid of haircuts. "You always get a good one and a bad one," she reassured me. Well, we are already banned from Supercuts, and now we are banished to the quiet zone of First Cuts, so I'm praying she is right.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Make Every Effort

When I taught third grade, we would introduce the kids to typing programs during computer lab. At first, the keyboard was tedious, took time and seemed much more of a pain than a learning tool. However, by the middle of the year, those children who had practiced their typing on a regular basis were beginning to see the benefits of the tool. Suddenly, searching the internet was easier. Finally, typing out an essay was faster than writing it by hand. It would frustrate me when I witnessed some of my students stuck in phase one of the keyboard introduction, refusing to practice and missing out on the usefulness of the tool they had before them. They expected any typing to be done by their parents or teacher, thinking that it was too much work to learn finger placement and practice typing accuracy and speed. They were missing a huge benefit.

Today and next week in our church's Women's Bible Study, we are studying the first half of II Peter 1. Today we studied the necessity of using the tools God has given us. First we camped on the well known verse of II Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and goodness." It is convicting to read that passage and realize we have no excuse to say we are lacking a tool to be holy in a situation. God has given us the Holy Spirit and His Word to guide us in our actions. In my Bible's commentary on this verse, John MacArthur even writes, "To be godly is to live reverently, loyally, and obediently toward God. Peter means that the genuine-believer ought not to ask God for somthing more (as if something necessary to sustain his growth, strength and perseverance was missing) to become godly, because he already has every spiritual resource to manifest, sustain and perfect godly living." (Pg. 1922, NASB) How often, when I have sinned, do I run in repentance to God and ask Him for more strength next time I face that situation?! He has given me His strength already! What I lack is obedience.

In conjunction with this verse, we studied the famous passage of I Corinthians 10:13: "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." Growing up, I always thought that this verse meant God would give me a moment to flee the temptation through supernatural means--a phone would ring, a person would interrupt the conversation, the electricity would go out, etc. Something would interrupt the moment enough that I would have a way to escape the tempting situation. Again, I was putting much of the responsibility on God, without much effort on my part. Of course, God graciously can, and does, do this from time to time, but that is not what this verse is primarily saying. As we just mentioned in II Peter 1, God has ALREADY given us the means necessary to escape and fight temptation. We have His Word and the Holy Spirit. If we truly are saturated in the Word and know God, His pure and perfect will, then we will be able to recall truth to fight the sinful lie we are facing.

Here comes the convicting application. We must make an effort. The strength and holiness is all God's, but He lovingly equips us. We must use the tools He gives us. We must be in the Word daily--reading, studying, memorizing, meditating. We must have prayer and have quiet time to listen to and converse with God. We must respond to the Holy Spirit when we feel conviction or prompting. We must make every effort to use what God has supplied to us.

II Peter 1:5 tells us that to avoid the corruption of the world we must be "applying all diligence" or "making every effort" to exercise godly qualities. In fact, Peter even lists several upon which to focus. There is no doubt that this requires effort.

Despite what the world tells us and what our fleshly nature desires, the Christian walk is not an exercise in laziness and just gathering blessings from above. We are aliens in this world, fighting a daily battle against sin and Satan, and denying our flesh to become more and more like our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thankfully, God gives us all we need to do this successfully. We just need to make every effort to utilize His gracious gifts to us.

Monday, September 8, 2008


For six years now, Ryan and I have participated in a marriage ministry at church. It has evolved over time, beginning as a group for young marrieds with no kids. The group is now much bigger and encompasses marrieds--ages 20's to 40's--with or without kids.

It has been an amazing journey to make friends with other young marrieds before any of us had children and to be there as some of us have had our first and second (and third) babies, as we have struggled with financial difficulties, as we have navigated our marriages with the adjustment of children, as we have grown in our walks with God, and as we have become more apparent and real in our own friendships with one another.
We have the ability to turn to others to ask about quiet time with newborns, disciplining in a Biblical manner, ministering to our spouses in creative ways, potty training, date night ideas, etc, etc. From this group has sprung moms groups, CARE ministries providing meals, flowers, cards and prayer, activities groups (see our 80's night picture above), workout groups, babysitting swaps, open doors into other service areas at church, and a million other networks that bless the socks off many people. There have been a thousand baby showers, dinners brought to families in need, kids clothes and maternity clothes swapped among Thrivers, prayer warriors lifting up anything from doctor's appointments to marital problems, small group Bible studies and accountability meetings.

This Thursday, Thrive starts up again. Ryan and I cannot stress what this group means to us individually and as a couple. We joined the group as an engaged couple six years ago. We quickly found friends who would be dear brothers and sisters in Christ to us. Our marriage has always had a support system through this group and the couples who attend it. From the beginning, we learned the vital importance of centering EVERYTHING on God and His will for us. We have been spurred on and prompted by others going through similar situations.

The purpose of Thrive is to have a group that spurs us on to grow in our walk with God, mature in our relationship with our spouses and deepen our friendship with other couples in our same lifestage. This year we are studying the book of II Timothy. Our theme is "Finish Well." Ryan and I spent the summer writing the homework/small group questions for the year, and I am so excited for the encouragement and conviction that will come from this study. In addition, we are stepping up our accountability to require more from us, knowing that God wants us to be progressing forward.

God has used this group tremendously. It is such a blessing that I sometimes feel guilty for enjoying it so much. I cannot wait for this year to start in order to see where God is leading the group.

You can learn more about Thrive at the Compass Bible Church website: and clicking on the link to the marriage ministry or by joining Facebook and viewing our group site: Thrive marriage ministry on the Facebook network.

Hebrews 10:24-25

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."