I spent most of my adolescent years trying to tame my eyebrows. Unfortunately, the House genes supplied our family members with bushy brows. That was okay for the House men but not for my sister and I. Every morning, I would sit on one side of the tiny bathroom vanity with my feet in the sink while my sister sat on the other side with her feet on the toilet so we could get as close to the mirror as possible and we would pluck away.
I was committed to win the battle of the bushy brow.
Fast-forward thirty-five years. My daughter came in the house with what appeared to be caterpillars on her face. It was all I could do not to grab my tweezers and start plucking – saving her from the bushy brow monster.
I realized her friends also had caterpillars above their eyes. Then I realized that bushy brows were now very vogue. So I have joined EPA – Eyebrow Pluckers Anonymous and have stocked on something called Brow Fantasy.
Another way I was tortured as a young girl was with perms. As in, hair permanents. I have the straight, stringy hair gene but my mother insisted I needed curly hair. So every couple of months I would sit on a stool, dutifully handing my mother a perm rolling paper every time she said, “paper.” She would roll my hair on the tiniest perming rods possible so my hair would have the tiniest chance of having any curl at all when we finished the process. I sat on the stool and watched my friends ride their bikes up and down the street.
A whole Saturday wasted for the sake of curly hair. Curly hair that would only last for about six weeks in my genetically straight, stringy hair.
When I was pregnant with my second daughter. All of a sudden, I came to my senses and told my hair stylist to give me a cute cut for my straight hair. That was the end of my perming days.
I was thrilled when two of my three girls ended up with curly hair so that they would never have to know the torture of getting a perm. But, when they hit adolescence, curly hair was taboo and board straight hair was the fashion trend. I didn’t have to spend money for my girls to get perms but I did have to take out a small loan to help them purchase the hottest, fastest, safest straighteners.
I listened to them lament how long it took to straighten their perfectly beautiful, curly hair.
Fashion trends come and go. Curly hair is back in style so my girls have time on their hands. Wait, maybe not because now they have to spend time making their eyebrows dark and thick. They got the Templin thin brow gene. All of them.
Why is it that we are not satisfied with the way God made us. If we have curly hair, we want straight. If we have thick hair, we want thin. If we are tall, we long to be short. Short people want to be tall. I’ve known people that eat and eat and can’t gain weight (I am not fond of these people. Just kidding. I love them but do not understand them.) I’ve known people that eat like birds but do not have bird legs.
Hold on a minute, I’m not saying we just let ourselves go and say, “this is how God made me.” In the Bible, Esther was beautiful but still spent a year going through an intense beauty regime before being presented to King Xerxes – six months of oil and then six months of perfumes and ointments. What?
I’m just grateful for a sixty-minute massage every year or so.
What I am saying is that we need to appreciate how God made us. Not just our outward appearances but also our inward make-up. God created us with specific gifts and talents. Specific gifts and talents for each person.
If God made you with a propensity towards number crunching, go be the best number cruncher. If God gave you an eye for decorating or designing, go be the best decorator or designer you can be. If God gave you the gift of mercy, you would make a great nurse. If you have the gift of teaching, there are a lot of kids whose lives can be changed by your gift. If you have the gift of gab, go sell something or use your voice to encourage someone. If you are creative and artsy, the world needs you to uplift and encourage. If you want to be a stay-at-home mom, then do it. (I did and loved it.)
God designed us inside and out. Embrace it.
For we are God’s masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10
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You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13