Uncategorized

Does God Blink?

I recently picked up a book called, “God Never Blinks” by Regina Brett.

She said it took her 40 years to find and hold on to happiness.

Before that, happiness eluded her.

She said, “I always felt that at the moment I was born, God must have blinked. He missed the occasion and never knew I had arrived.”

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I’ve never felt like He blinked and missed my entire existence, but at times, I confess to feeling like I’m dialing His holy number, and He’s too busy to take my call.

I know I’m not alone in this because several friends have asked me questions about it lately.

One friend said, “You know how people say God is in the details of your life? Is He really? I’m having a hard time believing that. I don’t see Him in the details of my life.”

Another friend said, “Sometimes I pray, and I stop and say, ‘wait, am I just talking to myself here? Or are you really there listening?’ If He’s listening, why isn’t He answering?”

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Some friends have mentioned their lives haven’t turned out like they planned. They never thought they’d be dealing with the problems or challenges they are now facing. “I thought I was doing what God wanted, but if that’s true, why did I end up here? Did God really want my life to be like this?”

Believing that prayer works and that God is listening takes faith.

And faith is hard work.

Faith requires a degree of trust and confidence in God that sometimes feels out of our reach.

The problem is that our plans and our timing don’t always jive with His. Our plans are usually easier, delivering what we want quicker with less sacrifice.

He requires things of us we don’t want to offer up… like patience, forgiveness, endurance, humility, hard work, discipline, and did I mention patience? That’s a tough one for me.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

To me, that’s the essence of faith — trusting that everything will eventually work out.

 

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We beg God to help us, and when we don’t see the changes we want, we wonder if He’s too busy to help, doesn’t care about us, or if prayer simply doesn’t work.

 

LDS Apostle Richard C. Scott said, “Seldom will you receive a complete response [to prayer] at once. It will come a piece at a time, in packets, so that you will grow in capacity…”

So, God doesn’t answer immediately because He wants me to “grow in capacity?”

Sadly, I’m so shortsighted that sometimes I’m more interested in having my problem solved than I am in having my character built or my capacity expanded.

After one of Steve Harvey’s shows, he gave a little talk to his studio audience. It was really quite profound. He wasn’t necessarily talking about prayer, but he was talking about how sometimes we have to go to the edge of the cliff and jump, trusting that our parachutes will open and we’ll be okay.

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Now, I’m going to quote Steve Harvey here and I don’t want you sending me messages about my grammar because if you know Steve Harvey, you know this is how he talks.

Think of what he says as it relates to prayer…

“Now, here the problem. Let me just be real with you. When you first jump [or pray], let me tell you something, your parachute will not open right away. I’m sorry. I wish I could tell you that it did, but it don’t. When you jump. It’s not going to open right away.

“You going to hit them rocks. You going to get some skin torn off on them cliffs. You going to get all of your clothes torn off. You going to get some cuts on you. You going to be bleeding pretty bad, but eventually, eventually the parachute has to open. That is a promise of God. That ain’t a theory. That’s a promise.

parachute“His promise is true because, listen to me, you cannot name one single thing God has not gotten you through. Name it. And if He ain’t got you through it, He currently pulling you through it right now. And the living proof of it is, you sitting in here. If he hadn’t of got you through it you wouldn’t even be here.

“So, if He ain’t never not got you through it, why would He not let your parachute open?

“It has to open, man.”

The same principles apply to prayer. The answers might not come immediately, but answers will come.

God doesn’t blink. He doesn’t miss what’s happening in our lives. We just have to remember He is in the business of making us better, not just making our lives easier.

 

 

Community, Family, Uncategorized

A Visit to the Beauty Shop

When I was growing up, my mom went to the “beauty shop” every week to get her “hair done.”

That meant she went to Beth’s, the neighborhood salon, and Beth shampooed, conditioned and towel-dried her hair. Then, she wrapped her wet hair around rollers, and sat her in a chair under a hooded hair dryer.

Think Truvy in Steel Magnolias.

truvy

 

After sitting under the hair dryer, probably reading a romance novel, Beth styled mom’s hair and sprayed enough hair spray on it to last for the next week.

Then, Mom slept on a pillow with a satin pillow case to keep it from getting messed up.

Last week I had the pleasure of going with my mom to “get her hair done” at Helen’s, a salon she’s probably been going to since Beth died many years ago.

I had so much fun walking around that salon that my mom worried I’d offended Helen.

I couldn’t help myself.

It was a step back in time.

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It made me think of Dolly Parton as Truvy saying, “I don’t trust anyone that does their own hair. I don’t think it’s normal.” Or, “The bigger the hair, the closer to God.”

I didn’t mean to be rude, I was just fascinated and impressed.

The thing about Helen’s and other salons like this is that they are not just places to get your hair done, they’re places of friendship and conversation that span decades, even generations.

Not only has Helen done my mom’s hair, she did my Grandma’s and two of my aunts’ hair. She knows a lot about my family.

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A well-worn chair in Helen’s salon

She asked my mom about my aunt, who is now in a memory care unit of an assisted living facility.

“I miss her,” she said. “I remember when she started to get dementia. I was out of town and she called me and said, ‘Helen, where are you? I went to get my hair done and you weren’t there.'”

Helen said, “I’m on vacation. Remember, I told you I’d be out of town?”

My aunt didn’t remember.

“That was the beginning,” Helen said. “Then it just got worse. It was hard watching her go downhill.”

Helen even styled my Grandma’s and another aunt’s hair when they died so that they would look beautiful for their viewings and funerals.

IMG_6270While touring the salon, I heard my mom telling Helen about something, and then she said, “Helen, what would mama have done?”

Who has that kind of relationship with their hair stylist?

Not many of us can ask our hair stylist about how our mothers would have handled a situation or a problem.

It struck me as unique and beautiful that my family has “roots” (pun intended) with Helen’s hair salon.

Helen and my mom
Helen and my mom

My visits to the hair salon are never as personal or friendly as my mom’s visits to Helen’s.

The guy who does my hair is just that… a guy who does my hair.

I like him. I know he’s from Turkey and that he’s married and has a young daughter. But that’s the extent of our relationship. He doesn’t know my mom, my sister, my family, or what my mom would do in any given situation. He just knows about my hair.

Helen’s may not be a high-end, fancy salon, and it might not make the historical register, but for many women, like my mom, Grandma and aunts, it has been a personally significant place where a woman named Helen dedicated her life not just to cutting and styling their hair, but to witnessing their lives, keeping their confidences, and being their friend.

IMG_6271From the clock with hands made of scissors to the “rain hats” for sale on a peg board, it was a charming salon, full of stories.

Someday I’m going back with a notebook and pen or a tape recorder and I’m going to say, “Helen, tell me everything you know about my family.”

So, watch for another blog on this topic because I sense that after years of doing my mom, grandma’s and aunts’ hair, Helen knows a lot more than how to style hair…