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Monday, December 17, 2007

I'd like to start today's post by welcoming all new visitors who found their way here from my friend Lysa's blog. I can't wait to bless someone with some beautiful file folders and a copy of my book work@home: A Practical Guide for Woman Who Want to Work From Home. To look at the file folder options, go to my other website: http://www.roselanecottage.com/ and click on "Cottage Office" then click on any of the three tabs that include file folder sets.

This website is something my husband and I started from scratch when he decided to start working from home. Next year, we've decided to expand our decorative office products. After I go to Atlanta in January for the HUGE home and gift market, we'll start adding new products.

If you are losing the battle to keep your work place or home office organized, I'd like to invite you to subscribe to my blog during the month of January for a series on organizing your work space. We'll take a look at lots of affordable ways to bring beauty, inspiration AND order to the place where many of spend hours a day.

I love Lysa's holiday give-a-way idea. Most women I know give and give during this season, and deserve something special! Please post on Lysa's blog today to get a jump start on your beautiful office organization.

On to my thoughts for today ...

Yesterday was a day of joyful sacrifice. I say sacrifice because the plans I had for the day were given up for others. I didn't get any Christmas cards addresses, presents wrapped, menus planned for the week or any of the other things I intended to do. Those are all things I love to do, and fit in with my heart for honoring the Sabbath.

Instead, after church (we attend at 8:30) my oldest daughter looked at me with pleading eyes, and said "Please mommy, call the hair place today." Cathrine is 12 years old, but is more like a 7 or 8 year old. She's from Liberia, Africa and came to America when she was 10. Cathrine can single-handedly cook a meal, tackle a cleaning project better than me, and can save a soccer ball from going out of bounds and look like a pro doing it. But because of her extreme deprivation in education, nutrition and exposure to basic concepts that we take for granted, Cathrine is challenged in language and education. Also, she also can't stand to be noticed by her classmates. So Cathrine doesn't want to go to school looking any different than she did the day before. Which leads to the challenge of getting her hair done.

Let me back up and say, when we adopted our daughters, the most challenging aspect wasn't their lack of education, it wasn't the cultural differences, it wasn't that they were two girls entering a home of all boys (although that was the 2nd hardest thing) - it was a white momma trying to care for beautiful black hair. My two little sweethearts gave me soooo much grace. And I can't tell you how many caring women stopped me at Walmart or track meets to slip me the name and number of someone who "can help you with their hair."

We finally decided it was worth every penny to get it braided professionally. And since my daughters had never had long hair, we put in extensions.

But getting the hair ready to be braided is a process which I am slowly learning. I learned I had to take OUT the old braid BEFORE bringing the girls in for new braids. I learned this the hard way by going to our appointment and having every face in the salon stare at me in shock and the owner say in front of everyone, "Did you want US to take out their braids?" Can you say, "Awkward"?

Then I learned I'm supposed to relax their hair before taking them in. Then I learned I'm not supposed to relax their hair on the SAME day they put in new braids. I guess these are all things black women know from experience. They just don't know how clueless I am. But everyone is kind while they correct me.

So getting Cathrine's hair re-braided is a process. And since she doesn't want to go to school without her braids (everyone will look at her), she wanted to get it done in one day. But I kept putting it off, because it's such a hassle. In fact, I kept giving Cathrine excuses and suggestions ... we're so busy, how can I do it in one day?, maybe you'll just have to go to school with it straight (which brought on tears because of the stares she knew she would get).

But it needed to be done, and Cathrine's sad face broke my heart. Even when I called the salon, I was sure they'd say no. So here's how the conversation went:

Hi Gail, it's Glynnis (She knows who I am now, since I kind of stand out among her clients).
Hi Glynnnis
Gail, I need to get Cathrine's hair braided, but I bet you are pretty busy today. (pause - hoping for agreement) Is there any way I can bring her in?
How about 11:30?
Hmmm ... I'm not sure I can get her ready that soon. (it was 10:30 and I still had to take out her braids and relax the hair)
How about 12:00?

Oh the rejoicing that happened in the Whitwer household. Then an explosion of activity occurred while her sister Ruth and I flew into action to remove the braids. Even Robbie got drafted into unbraiding. We got it done in a record 40 minutes (it's taken us hours before), another 30 minutes to relax it and we made it to the appointment only 5 minutes late.

Then 5-1/2 hours later, Cathrine emerged looking like a rock star! It didn't actually take that long, but they gave her a break in the middle while they worked on other clients.

At the end of the day Christmas cards were still in their boxes, the week's menu was unmade, and presents were still in bags on the floor of my closet. But my daughter was gloriously happy.

And I went to bed with a smile on my face.

In His Love,

Here's my beautiful daughter this morning before school.


Digging for Pearls said...

What a sweet picture!

Anonymous said...

I did pop over from Lysa's site but was very interested in your book before that. I saw it posted in the bottom of one of the Proverbs 31 devotionals. I would love to work from home instead of leaving my family every day. I guess I'll just keep on praying about it!
Kristi Gerdon

tdm4him said...

OH Glynnis- Your daughter is beautiful...my goodness what an awesome responsibilty; braided hair...she looks thrilled - makes my heart happy for you. Thank you for your blog - I ventured over via Lysa's site - and was intrigued by your work at home...I will check that out in a bit...clicked on your blog inadvertantly - but decided to read your todays post -what a joy! God Bless you for your heart and your willingness to give up your plans for your daughter...isn't that we are called to do as MOm's, but yet sometimes it is so hard. Have an awesome day tomorrow. Going to look at your other site now. God Bless you this Christmas Season.

Rachel Olsen said...


Hugs ~ Rachel

Amy L Brooke said...

Catherine is beautiful.

I got here from Lysa's site but I went to She Speaks two years ago and was in the writing track.

Would your book be good for someone who needs to be the sole support for her family? I have a friend in a very difficult situation. Her situation has changed drastically over the last few months. She wants to be home for her girls (5 & 7) but . . . . Is it feasible for someone to completely support themselves and family from home? Any thoughts?

Chappyswife said...

Oh, she is pretty! I know what you mean about hating to put off projects that are important to us, but oh the joy when we get to see how happy our children are when we stop to put their wishes before ours! It's worth it.

cella said...


I have been receiving the newletter for a year or so. I am not into blogs at all, but stumbled into yours. What a pleasant, self adjusting, refreshng experience. I too attempt to be all things in my womanhood. Often losing sight of the one who has created and controls my wonmanhood. I believe God allows these overwhelming situations in order for us to regroup and catch our breath.

A selah moment from 7 days Behind The Veil Throne Room Meditations by John Paul Jackson reads "What we focus on we make room for. Where is our focus-have we felt Him lately?" This has caused me to pause and be very reflective over my life, God's will for me and my family. I appreciate your site.

Your experiences with your daughters hair are not only true for "white momma's" ,although the challenge may be greater :}. The fact that you have taken those girls as your own speaks loudly for you and your purpose in the Kingdom of God.

Marcella Jones

Min. Sharon said...

I ended up here after responding to "Adding Beauty to Order" and I am so glad I did. As an Afr. American female with a daughter, I can relate to the hair braiding/unbraiding episodes and I must admit, I am a bit like Cathrine. When I am ready to get it done, I want it done and in one day.

I tell you, we have so many plans for our days and all that we set out to do, but the joy of the Lord is evident when we are obedient to his will. Sometimes we must go off course from one plan to fulfill another purpose. God has blessed those little girls mightily with you as their Mom. I look forward to reading more here on your site and getting pointers in other aspects of spiritual growth.

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