I gave in to temptation and colored my hair right before bed.
And then at 11 o’clock P.M. I washed my hair 37 times because hair color called Espresso is named that for a reason.
Why are people like me allowed to use chemicals? I mean, removing a mattress tag is punishable by law, but applying toxic dye to our head at our bathroom sink is A-okay?
I fell into bed with my damaged pride and slept fitfully. When the alarm sounded the next morning for church, I was still in a bad hair mood with a tingly scalp, a stiff neck and a-gone-to-bed-too-late hangover. I went back to sleep. Yes, I skipped church because of hair. Please, don’t judge.
The house was sluggish until after noon, our regular routine turned on its side.
What started out as a simple “don’t do that” to one of my kids ended up in a full blown tantrum. We generally handle these in stride. But I was cranky and we let our child’s behavior turn a rocky parenting moment into marital strife because we disagreed on how to handle the blowout.
Please tell me you’ve been there.
Just like that, our day went from lazy Sunday to the END TIMES if you know what I mean. While my husband and I retreated to our bedroom to try and get on the same page, I could hear my kids arguing in the other room.
The tension in our house was thick. And these are the moments, I am weakest. I feel most inadequate in every area of my life when I feel most human. And in those moments, I feel like one big failure.
But even that reminder can fall short on the bad days.
We said our “sorry’s.” Again. Because it’s still the only way to start over even as the sun is setting. But we just couldn’t seem to get along or get it right all day.
I wanted the day to end because sometimes it feels like you can’t wait for those new mercies in the morning. I just needed them now.
Everyone was scattered, reading and doing their own thing, and I longed to have a do-over, and I’m not just talking about my hair.
“Can we just pray together?” I asked my husband with tears right on the edge of spilling over. And what I really meant was can my family just pray with me, for me?
We piled up on our bed, too many legs and arms and too little space and we held hands. It was an awkward Little House on the Prairie moment for sure. But no one pulled away or complained. Our kids could feel the tension and they wanted a do-over as much as we did.
Our youngest asked if she could pray first. Bless her. And then my husband led us in a simple prayer. I couldn’t hold my tears then because this is what I needed. Just knowing we are in this together, and although we fight together, we love together.
My teen daughter rubbed my hand when she saw my tears and whispered, “It’s okay, Mom.” I nodded.
Because now it was.
So, what do we do with those bad days? We let them go. And we start anew, not with perfection in mind, but forgiveness and love.
And we decide the color Espresso isn’t so bad after all.
by Kristen Welch, We are THAT family
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Your post reminds me of the children’s book, “The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. I think we all have many more of those than we care to admit. What I’ve found, though, is even on those days, what blessing can I take from these days…even if I really have to search hard? When I read your story, I rejoice in the part that finds you a tangled web of legs and arms, together, PRAYING!! Because you asked if you all could pray…God was able to bring beauty from your ashes that day. Had you had an A-Okay day and Espresso had been a beauty sensation, you may not have ended up communing with your Heavenly Father, as a family, in prayer. That, would be my “take away” from that day. Raise your hair color box to God as an Ebenezer to His faithfulness to meet you no matter how you come to him. Loved this post because I’ve been there…
We also have that book and get a kick out of it.
Beth Williams says
So, what do we do with those bad days? We let them go. And we start anew. I have had many many bad days in my life! Praise God He gives us new mercies the next day and a fresh start! I’m always asking for forgiveness and love when I mess up!! The best part of the whole ordeal is that you all prayed together and the youngest started first!! Prayer is always a good place to start healing!
Made me cry. I’ve had many do-over days…it’s comforting to know you do, too. And hey…if Espresso is what you’ve been wearing lately, you’re rocking it. ♥
Mary Flaherty says
Aw, such a sweet and transparent story. It made me cry! Yes, we have all been there…or at least I have! Yes, it’s okay, yes, you’re human, yes you make mistakes. But the wonderful part of family is that they’re with you for the long haul. You’re the only mom your kids have and the only wife your husband has so this is as good…or as bad…as it gets. They love you anyway. Do overs are always acceptable in families. Thanks for sharing that poignant and funny story (I really wanted to see your hair)!
Paulette Sackett says
Oh Kristen, you just described my week. Thank you! You are not alone, and neither am I. ‘But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ Romans 5:8. Praise be to God that he loves us in our messes. Blessings to you!
Rebecca Jones says
You are not the only one. May I suggest Garnier, Chestnut, perhaps. And you can remove tags as long as you bought it. I like your Little House moment. I have felt like I was in the tornado in the Wizard of Oz, with things spinning out of my control. I’m sure my family thought I was the wicked witch, and some days I felt like it. That’s why I stay focused on Jesus, He has to be in control. Your honesty is refreshing, there’s a lot going on inside us.
And we all have too many of these days. All women need to relax, and seek His peace and rest everyday.
Thank-you so much for sharing this with us,
I’m glad your bad day ended well. I’m with Bev, if it wasn’t for your mishap you might of missed out on that special time with your family.
The other day my 9 year old son was lined up for a race, pushed and landed hard on the pavement. His coach told me he was going to run over and pick him up. I’m sure the Lord must of been with him because he managed to get up and finish with cuts, scrapes, and all. Although he was disappointed, his coach told him he was proud of him. I’m so grateful to him for that.
I agree Kristen, let the bad days go and carry on, with love and gratitude.
Right now we’re in a chapter where the overarching umbrella of life is not really that awesome. There is stress. There is worry. These things can easily derail our days. What we’re trying to do is take it just one day at a time. I think I really understand what that means now. Things in general might not be that good. But we can choose to make the best of each day, make good memories with our boys, let them know they are loved and taken care of, hug each other, snuggle on the couch and watch a movie after the kids go to bed, give ourselves permission to take joy in the little things. Because a lot of little good things add up to a big good thing, and that helps when it feels like the weight of the world is on our shoulders.
Kristen, I totally laughed about your hair thing. I get ya! I did this same thing, however, my hair turned out with white streaks and orange tints. AWFUL! It was a Saturday night also. (Why do we do this to ourselves!?!?!??!) I ran to our 24 hour grocery store with my friend and a hat covering my disaster. We tried to fix it but to real no avail. I wish I could have skipped church the next day but I’m on staff and was leading worship the next day! YES… that’s my life. The biggest embarrassment was when people came up and said, “Oh, you got your hair colored… it looks nice!” LIES….LIES…. LIES! But they were trying to support and love me, I get that but really people! AAHHH…. After many tears shed and humiliation pie served and eaten, I headed to my hairdresser the next day and she saved the day with her magic and expertise along with the friendly reminder of: “Leaving the coloring to the professionals!” 🙂
Love these words and your reminder of grace. I love that you pray together with your kiddo’s and hubby. What a great way to strengthen the family and grow together! Love your words, Kristin! Thank you!
Beth Werner Lee says
This book I love and want to adapt into a movie has a moment where M. Paul says, “you ruined my day!” because it’s his birthday and Lucy replies, “No Monsieur, just an hour or two of it, and that unintentionally!” I love how your title puts a day in perspective and reminds me that a bad day isn’t a bad life
Esther Dawn Littlefield says
Such a good reminder – prayer is that chance to reset. A good reminder for me, as I had that kind of morning with my daughter. When we take that moment to pray, we finally acknowledge that we need help – we can’t do this on our own.
Nancy Huskey Straw says
Today, I got up feeling this way. My anxiety hit and loneliness set in, as well as the “shoulds”. Thanks for this post. I will be counting my blessings.
Denise (Life With the Lid Up) says
Beautiful. I mean really…. the falling apart and then seeking the Lord to mend it.
True. I think we as women have a special gene for letting the little foxes spoil the vine! Self forgiveness is a DAILY struggle for Christian Women because not only are we FEMALE, But CHRISTIANS, too!!!
We know we can’t be perfect, but we seem to have a second skin or tattoo of Christian perfectionism placed on us by the Church and Ourselves.