a dye job and tears

We had bounced around the idea of a box highlighting kit, DanO and I. If we are going to get serious about kicking our student loan debt where it hurts, my 3-4x a year highlight appointments were one of the first things on the chopping block.

And you know what? I really was ok with that. Sure, the idea of my husband taking a box of Revlon to my tresses makes me more than a little nervous, but I acknowledge that getting my hair highlighted is completely a vanity thing for me. I am happy to swallow my vanity if it means living debt-free. Bring on the box kit.

My sweet friend Cindy knew very little of this when she handed me an envelope as we were sitting in Caribou Coffee.

I won it at a raffle, but I don’t color my hair, so I thought of you.”

The outside of the envelope read “Complementary Cut and Color, a $135 value”

I started crying immediately.

Because, no, I don’t need my hair highlighted, and no, I would be by no means ‘suffering’ to go without a professional dye job. But, I recognized this as the extravagant love of my Heavenly Father, and the kind thoughtfulness of a friend.

(a friend that I totally started crying in front of in a coffee shop and I think maybe she got a little misty eyed, too.)

I am leery of the message that if you are wise, faithful, and generous with your finances that God will bless you with financial security or earthly possessions. We are not promised security or comfort. I think what really happens is that because you are living intentionally (being wise, faithful, and generous) you notice God’s blessings - whatever form they may take.

Tuesday night, my blessing took the form of some hair dye, aluminum foil, and a fun conversation with a sweet expectant mama who did an impossibly good job with my color and cut.

{sorry for the blur, but look! pretty hair!}

If you live in the Twin Cities, Meranda at Studio Bodair in Lakeville did a fantastic job on my hair. I highly recommend her!

:: :: :: Let’s chat.:: :: ::

How have you experienced – or given! – extravagant love?

20 Responses to “a dye job and tears”

  1. Mrs. MidAtlantic

    What a sweet friend, to give you such a wonderful (fun) gift! No, we don’t NEED our hair colored… but it sure boosts the spirit! And just in time for Christmas. Enjoy!

  2. Erin

    Extravagant love– yes. Because Christmas presents aren’t really *needs*, are they? In the grand scheme of things if there’s not much under the tree the world won’t come to an end. But every year at Christmas we seem to face new financial challenges, and EVERY year God provides gifts for my kiddos in amazing ways. He is extravagant.

  3. ann @ my life as prose.

    what a fun story! i better the touch up this time of year is the hardest to give up, too! when i used to highlight my hair, i didn’t mind it natural in the summer because the sun would highlight it, and honestly in the summer i wear less makeup and somehow look prettier. it’s summer magic, i guess.

    as for extravagant love … yes. thankfully, quite a few times. i think lately, though, it’s been the kindness of our friends who live “back home” and take turns letting us stay with them, some times for more than a week at a time. i know that a house guest can be disruptive, especially with little ones who have schedules and get so. excited. whenever someone is around to play with :) but the fact that each time a holiday rolls around, and someone else is opening their door to us is such a blessing to myself and my husband.

  4. Lisa

    Such a great blessing!

    Long story condensed: In fall of ’08, my husband was out of work but was in the final stages of accepting a great job. We decided to “try” for our first baby at the same time, believing everything was working out. A month later, the week that all the banking institutions crashed in October of 2008, that job offer was rescinded and we found out I was pregnant. The rest of the pregnancy and right after Jack was born was very tight, but in the end we somehow always had enough (he found a couple part time jobs to make it work). One month, we were $600 over our budget, and panicking, but didn’t tell anyone but God. The next Wednesday night church service, my good friend comes up to me and hands me two envelopes. Each was handed to her by someone in the church who wanted to remain annonymous, but wanted to help us out. Each person had given $300. God knows, and it thrills Him to bless us!

  5. Vanessa @ Strickly Speaking

    Oh I’m so glad they were tears of thankfulness and gratitude rather than a botched dye job from DanO (because that’s totally what I thought was going to happen when I first started reading this.)
    I’m constantly humbled and reminded of God’s extravagant love for me, my husband and our kids through His people. As missionaries who raise our entire salaries from supporters who love us, love God and are passionate about what we’re doing, I’m often in tears when I hear stories of people who have given sacrificially towards us so that we can do what we’re doing and fulfill God’s calling on our lives.
    It’s so humbling and yet so exciting to see God’s family working together to spread His fame. :)
    Loved this story. :)

  6. Emily

    What a fun and thoughtful gift! I live in burnsville and in need for a cut and color myself and will definately check them out.

    During my miscarriage (my employer didn’t know I was pregnant, because it was early on and I was waiting for our first appointment before I told them…otherwise I’m sure things may have gone differently) I was offered a benefited position with my current employer. It came with a raise and health benefits that are far better than what we had through my husband’s employer and 1/3 cost. I believe in my darkest moments, Heavenly Father was stepping in and making sure we were taken care of, and in a far better financial position for when we start trying again.

  7. Kelly

    Awesome post. Your blog is easily becoming one of my favs. Keep being you – write whatever you feel and I am loving it.

    Not long ago I got a very upsetting letter in the mail. I was running late for work and took two letters in the mail that day (don’t ever read mail first thing in the morning). One was the difficult letter and the other was a sweet note from a friend – Her letter read: don’t worry about anything, pray about everything, ask God for what you need. How strange that out of a stack of mail, I chose those two together. I thought for a moment about what I needed, what I needed from God to make things better and as tears streamed down my face, all I could think of was that I needed a hug.

    Later that morning I sat in my office and two students came to my door wearing shirts that said “Free Hugs”. They explained to me that today was national hug day and asked if I would like a hug……….wow……..not only does God listen, give us what we need, but he also has the most amazing sense of humor. ;)

  8. Erin

    I would give you a highlight gift cert too, you’re so sweet

    I am hoping for something kinda sorta similar in as far as a gift and trust in humanity. We are in contract to sell our house, a move we desperately want to make. The buyer refuses to put down a deposit so we have to pack up and move out with nothing holding this buyer in the deal. He asks that we just trust him. So I am forced to put my trust in this stranger and faith that God will take care of us as we undertake this huge move. It stresses me out tremendously and I am disrupting our christmas and the last of my maternity leave, but I am working on letting go and having faith. It’s hard, but even as I write this I’m feeling better. Xoxo Erin

  9. Jessica

    “I am leery of the message that if you are wise, faithful, and generous with your finances that God will bless you with financial security or earthly possessions. We are not promised security or comfort. I think what really happens is that because you are living intentionally (being wise, faithful, and generous) you notice God’s blessings – whatever form they may take.”

    This is the best thing I’ve read in a long while. I feel like some financial blogs with a Christian leaning tend to suggest that their success is due to their level of connection with God, as if someone who is going through tough times isn’t faithful enough. I much prefer this way of looking at things.

    We have been very blessed in that we have never dealt with serious financial worries, but there have definitely been times where unexpected money came our way that made things easier or just more fun. In retrospect, God was also definitely watching out for us when I had my son and quit my job…my husband’s salary was probably 2/3 of what it is now, and we really hadn’t planned specifically enough for the enormity of going from two incomes to one. We had always used my (much smaller) income for remodeling, vacations, and other “splurges”–but babies are expensive too (I get annoyed when people say they aren’t!), so we should have looked much more carefully at what our situation would be like. Surely it was grace that got us through that, and I feel glad that I have a smarter head on my shoulders now about planning for the future and managing money in general.

    Great, uplifting post!

  10. Annie

    Well worded: “because you are living intentionally (being wise, faithful, and generous) you notice God’s blessings”
    I like this a lot.

  11. Karey

    “I think what really happens is that because you are living intentionally (being wise, faithful, and generous) you notice God’s blessings”

    – I LOVE THIS! So true.

  12. Marilyn

    It’s so good to read yours and everyone else’s stories of extravagant love. It makes my heart feel so full.

    When we first moved about a year ago, I was in such a horrible place – crying and angry all the time. I had been reluctant to tell any of my friends about how down I was because I just didn’t want to share such an ugly side of me. However, one of my friends kept on calling until I finally told her what was going on. She let me just cry on the phone with her – for a long time. It was so extravagant of her to just love me when I was being utterly unlovable.

  13. Ann

    In the middle of my husband taking a job in ministry with little pay, we received a completely unexpected check in the mail last week from people we hardly know. Their generosity was such an incredible gift and a sign of such care from our Heavenly Father. We are so thankful!

  14. Stephanie

    I read your blog all of the time, but don’t usually comment. I REALLY loved this paragraph…
    “I am leery of the message that if you are wise, faithful, and generous with your finances that God will bless you with financial security or earthly possessions. We are not promised security or comfort. I think what really happens is that because you are living intentionally (being wise, faithful, and generous) you notice God’s blessings – whatever form they may take.”
    My hubs and I did the Dave Ramsey envelope system and budget to help us get rid of college loans, and it was definitely hard at times, but it was AMAZING to see how God was so faithful and always provided for us. We were able to continue to give to our church and to the missionaries we support and still make progress in the snowball effect! I think you were right on with noticing God’s blessings. The gift cards we were randomly given were not so random anymore… Keep writing and I will keep reading!

  15. Ellen

    I am the person that had the drawing that Cindy won the gift certificate from. The drawing was to raise funds for a half marathon my husband and I participated in for Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America on 12/4. When I was talking about the fundraiser with Meranda, she right away wanted to contribute a prize. So she donated the free haircut and color valued at $135. What a generous prize! She is one of the sweetest people I know and feel good everytime I see her. Cindy is a former co-worker of mine that I respect, laughed with and she made my day so much more bearable. Cindy is the kind of person that inspires you to want to be a better person. I miss her!

    I am so happy to hear about your story. God is great and is an all loving God! Merry Christmas!

  16. Katie Steiner

    Wow! We’re in the same boat of trying to live debt free, but we saved up a little bit of money to give our kids, families, and godchildren simple Christmas gifts. A few days ago, I checked the mail and opened an unexpected bill for $200, due immediately. I didn’t know how we were supposed to pay it and afford Christmas gifts. THE NEXT letter I opened from the stack was a Christmas card from a relative along with a check for $500 and a note saying that it was to help with Christmas expenses!

    I too believe that God does not promise us material goods, security, or comfort. But He has blessed us abundantly, on this occasion and at many other times in the past, and we’re so thankful!

  17. Jenny

    I love your blog so much! I read it prior to having my son, and now I find it even more meaningful. Oh the Lord has been so extravagant in His love for me, and it has literally taken my breath away these first 3 months of my son’s life. The Lord surprised us with a baby when I thought it would be impossible that month ( December of last year), and furthermore has provided for us financially so that I could take the school year off to be with him( I’m a teacher.) The lord has been so generous.


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