My mom, being the one who had to listen to my whining protests, decided that my long hair had to go. This decision was made when I was in the fourth-grade, and it was one with which I agreed.
There was a downside. It was the year of the mullet. Not only is the mullet an eye sore, it’s a lot of work. My hair still easily knotted in the back and a brush was no longer the sole implement required to style my baby fine tresses. Each morning my mom had to stand over me with a hot curling iron to make the top portion of my head look more feminine, which in 1984 meant high and fluffy.
Fast-forward 30 years and you will still find me complaining about my hair. I have dyed it various shades. In my attempts for the perfect color, my hair has been green, pastel orange, purple, gray, and pink. All unintended. I have also tried myriad styles: short and bobbed, long and spiral permed, short and spiral permed, pixie, etc.
Once, as I sat in the salon chair of a former stylist eagerly waiting for her to transform me into a super model with just a few clips from her scissors, (I tend to have high expectations) she said the most peculiar thing to me.
“You are so lucky to have straight, fine hair.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said with surprise. “I wouldn’t wish this hair on anyone, plus what is with my crazy hair line in the back that grows upward and that hideous cowlick?”
“It’s much better than having hair like mine,” she bemoaned. “It’s so thick and coarse.”
I looked at her long, voluminous, perfectly coiffed blonde hair and giggled.
“This is too funny,” I said. “You have my dream hair!”
“Well, I guess we all want what we don’t have,” she replied.
How true that is. For sheep, the grass is always greener on the other side. For women, the hair is always prettier on the other head!
Moreover, it doesn’t stop with hairstyles. I will be perfectly happy with my blog’s design until I see the makeover another writer’s site recently got and then, suddenly, I determine that my online space needs spiffing up. I will feel content in my house until I overhear the sales rep at Home Depot tell another customer that “Aqua Chiffon,” is the most popular color for living room walls and I realize that I don’t even have anything close to that shade anywhere in my home.
It’s easy for me to brush off this cycle of comparison as innocent, human nature, but in reality it’s unhealthy and emotionally dangerous. Disparaging what belongs to me opens the gates of envy, coveting, and bitterness. Focus shifts from God and His goodness to selfish desires and I begin to lose sight of blessings that surround me. When I’m in the mode of comparison, discontentment and want, the vision of my heart blurs and I open myself up to being more susceptible to commit other sins in the name of pride.
Why is it so much easier for me to want something I cannot have than to thank my savior for the many gifts I possess?
My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.
Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. – Colossians 2:6-10
So while the grass may appear greener, hair prettier, furniture grander, homes bigger, and figures thinner … I now try extra hard to not be so interested in the proverbial other side. I am going to focus on how to make my inside look more like Jesus and foster a spirit of thankfulness for all He has given me.
What about you? Please use the comment section to share something about your life for which you are thankful and no longer desire to change.
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Angela Nazworth is a flawed and forgiven recovering perfection who writes mostly about the beauty of grace, faith, friendship, vulnerability and community at angelanazworth.com. She is a wife and a mother of two, who manages philanthropic communications for a nonprofit, national healthcare association. Angela’s also an encourager, a lover of good books, coffee, girl’s night out, sunshine, and waterfalls. She believes the creator of the universe is both the author of and lead character in her life story. With every experience she learns more about who she is in Him … and takes another step on her journey to love others better. You can also chat with Angela via Twitter.
10 CommentsLeave a comment
Angela glad to have you here. Jelly thank you for graciously sharing this space. I was going to say sharing “your” space but it’s all GOD’s space right? And you are honoring Him in this space. What a beautiful portrait of how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity. Angela, I’ve had the grass is greener experience with looking at a speaker I admire. I considered crafting my talks in the same structure as she does, opening with powerful illustrations. I’d slam myself for not not coming up with her clever wordplay. But God. He is so loving and gently guided my eye away from her and back to Him where He affirmed that HE had given me MY voice and only my authentic voice could reach those He’s called me to reach. Blessings to you for finding contentment in Him, with who He uniquely created YOU to be.
Hi Tyra! Thank you for that gracious welcome and for sharing a part of your story. I’m so glad that you are going to embrace the authentic speaking voice and style that God created when He made Tyra. I hope to one day have the opportunity to hear you in person.
[…] join me at Purposeful Faith today. I’m sharing about what three decades of bad hair days taught me about […]
I pray Angela that my heart can rest in the knowledge that God has given me just the right gifts to promote the learning, the heart and the will to do what he has set before me. It’s not always easy to remember, but that is so the truth. Thank you for inspiring my heart in this post!
Oh Angela. Your humor and beautiful way with words reveal so much of what so many of us struggle with and long to change. How easy it is to want what we don’t have and miss out on the goodness of what we do!
Today I’m grateful for laundry that it never ends, because it means two of my three kids are still living at home. Our oldest moved out last month and I miss him so much. Even his laundry and dishes in the sink. 🙂
I praise God for the 3 that are still making messes. 🙂 I love your perspective Renee. Thank you for your comment here today. Kelly
Welcome Angela! What a wonderful post. I know how you feel. But I was the one with the thick hair. My sister called me, “Oh little one with hair like bush.” I learned to be content with what I have…by using a flat iron!
I would be a goner without my flat iron! ha! -Kelly
Angela!!! Welcome to this space. We are thrilled to have you and your beautiful words here. I think what you said here is right on… “Focus shifts from God and His goodness to selfish desires and I begin to lose sight of blessings that surround me.” I have experienced that one and you expressed I so well. May we fix our eyes on Jesus and thank Him for all He has given to us…may I thank Him for all He’s given to me! Thanks so much for this post!
We love having you Angela!!!! – Kelly