Friday, February 21, 2014

a haircut turned into a life lesson.

Chop, chop. ✂️ #igdaily #instagood #afterlight #haircut #newdo

this is more than a haircut.

it's a symbol of liberation...of possibilities...of letting go.

blah, blah, blah. you're thinking, why do all bloggers have to turn every single thing in life into a lesson? i don't know. i don't think i have always thought this way but the older i get, the more aware i am of how much i can learn from the big and the little things in life.

the current season that Ryan and i have found ourselves in is the last place in the world we imagined. while we were engaged and even in the early months of our marriage, we envisioned to be in a certain place at a certain time. are we the only married people who do that? no, if you all are honest out there, i think not. i'm sure there were many of you (married or single) would ask the question and probably say the following:

how in the world did i get here? 
i didn't sign up for this. 
this wasn't the plan! 

psssshaw. plans go out the window every single day. you certainly can and should plan for the future. save up money. work towards goals. however, you plan with flexibility. sort of like our Peru team leader said at our last meeting: plans can be like mud. you mix it and mold it together and throw it against the wall to see if it sticks. if it sticks, it sticks. if it doesn't, you figure something else out.

i also think you make plans not only with flexibility but also with your hands palms-up and fingers stretched out wide-open. letting go.

have you ever held onto something (and i'm talking literally) so tightly that after a few minutes, your little muscle fingers start to ache? your nails might even be pressing too deeply into the palm of your hand, cutting into the circulation? whether it was a balloon at the carnival or plastic grocery bags on your walk home or the monkey bars on the playground, it's uncomfortable, awkward and maybe even painful.

i think i hold onto my life plans too tight like the point that i start to hurt myself. i let worry consume me. i let fear paralyze me. i forget to look out for the good things in life. i forget that the God who loves me is the One ultimately in control. i forget that it's okay to let go because God wants me to trust Him with all of those plans so that He can take care of them for me.

so back to the haircut.

at first when i sat in the salon chair, i felt a twinge of fear and even regret. why? because i've had my long hair for fooooooooorever. i haven't rocked a short hair cut since the year after i graduated college (that's nearly 10 years ago, people!). and also every time i plan to get a haircut, i end up loving my hair the day of the appointment. but then as i put my hair into the hands of my hairstylist and she started to snip away, every lock of hair that fell onto the floor made this weighty mop feel lighter and lighter. and i almost wanted to cheer her on, keep going! go shorter, go shorter! 

and taking a shower that night and then brushing through my wet hair without having to deal with tangles and a sore scalp from a constant tug of war with my hair and brush, that is called LIBERATION. (and yes, all caps was more than necessary.)

my point? sometimes it's time to let go. whether it's your luscious locks to those plans we might be holding onto to tightly, let them go. from my past experiences, sometimes letting go means making room for better plans. sometimes letting go means strengthening our faith. sometimes letting go means to give yourself a chance to breath. so let's ride through this crazy wild ride called life with our arms raised high above our heads - and instead of fear consuming us, let's enjoy the thrill instead.

"casting all of your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7 

much love.
{happy friday, friend.}


  1. One, your hair cut is BEAUTIFUL wow. and thanks for your other thoughts especially the last verse that you posted. I needed that today!

  2. cute! Ironically my husband and I were just discussing planning yesterday. Our pastor told us "The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps" Proverbs 16:9.

  3. Beside loving your new haircut, this was so well written! Thanks for always keeping it real and giving some great wisdom!

  4. Such an amazing post. I have no problem with bloggers making everything life lessons by the way lol because honestly most things you do in life (decision wise) are lessons, whether coming from something good or something bad. When I cut my hair last year I had such a similar revelation so it's perhaps something everyone can relate to. I love the scripture you used, I'm gonna write it down to remember during times I am latching on to control ;)

  5. What a lovely post! :D Love the haircut too!

  6. Great post chica. Being newly married is definitely a wake up call.. I've felt the same way.. and nothing anyone can warn you about because everyone has different experiences... I love the new hair cute and your life lesson behind it. I'm gonna chop a couple inches off mine in May when its about summer time here to change some things up :)

  7. great post! I tend to be an overplanner and then annoyed when things don't end up the way I planned. sometimes we do just need to let go. oh and your hair looks so cute!
    -- jackie - jade and oak

  8. I felt the same way when I chopped my 15 inches off. I was tired of putting so much "stock" in my hair. I have loved the growing out process so much, that now I don't even know if I want my hair long again. You look amazing either way! :)

  9. yes yes and yes. love this. love you. love your words and love your hair.

  10. love this post so much, Illy. So much truth in it, especially for the season I am in as well.

    ps- your haircut is perfect.

    xo, rn

  11. I know exactly what you're talking about. At first I feel nervous but once the hair cut is happening I'm thinking in my head "yeah, cut cut cut!"

    I'm wondering if I'll have the guys to chop my hair after the wedding. I know I will need a change. I was contemplating bangs again. :]

    You look super cute and it honestly seems quite fitting for you! xo JA

  12. It's crazy how exactly on point you are with how I'm feeling at EXACTLY the same time. In fact a lot of the time I plan to blog something to work through it and then I read your post and feel like you explained JUST what I was feeling and so I no longer need the release.
    So YAY for you. I'm going to start saving my pennies because I definitely need that liberation from this LONG hair that's been around for too many years. Time to let go of that clutch.
    Thanks friend!

  13. What a great post :) I am getting to the point where I turn pretty much everything into a life lesson also haha but you look gorgeous with your short hair and a little off subject but I love your bracelet!

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  14. This is such a great post. I always noticed people cut their hair right after high school or college. It really is a symbol of liberation. It's a new chapter!

  15. So appropriate... Just purchased yesterday Katie daisey's let go print!!!

  16. One of my favorite quotes: Let go and let GOD. <3 Love this post :) And I think everything in life should be a lesson, isn't that the point?


  17. I laughed when you mentioned how bloggers turn the most mundane things into deep posts because I am hands-down super guilty of that. :)

    But back to your post. As a fellow plan-maker, it's definitely easy for me to make plans and then get frustrated when things don't go my way--but like you said, sometimes we've just got to let go. Let go and let God take back control. Thanks for this reminder!

    p.s. Super cute haircut, by the way! Shorter hair definitely does make it easier on our scalps when it comes to de-tangling!

  18. Such a beautiful haircut! You look stunning. Have a marvelous weekend

  19. I think the reason I ended up married the first time is because I held on too tightly to something I should have let go off. So I get it.

    And by the way I LOOOOOVE the cute! You look beautiful as always.

  20. I love this. You're a great example to all of us to cut off our cares and completely let go.

  21. I think your team leader has got something there. I have been married 30 years and flexibility is the best tool to have. Funny I just assumed it would be easy when I was 26, and then it wasn't. But we stuck together and now that we are less than 10 years to retirement, there is a big payoff. Because through all of the tough stuff that comes with life, I learned he truly has my back.

  22. Did you donate? Making big donation CHOPS have been some of the most rewarding experiences I've had. Now, my goal is always just to grow it out to donate- in honor of someone I love who is fighting cancer. Your stunning locks would help others in so many ways! If you fit the criteria to donate in the future, help spread the work about how our hair can help others in their battles. Cheers to you and your gorgeous new do!

  23. I just cut 4 inches of my hair and now I want it even shorter as well. Literally letting go can be very figurative too! You look great! xo

  24. I totally agree that sometimes letting go means making room for better plans. It's so true and it's needed:) Such beautiful post, darling.

  25. Oh my! I can only imagine how painful it is to let go of your long hair. It’s hard to cut them short when you’ve been wearing long hair for so long. Hmm. In case you miss your long hair, you can just attach hair extensions. Hehe! Anyway, this is a great life lesson, Ilene. It’s, indeed, advisable to let go sometimes. Thanks for a great read! :)

    Tommy Clark

  26. You had a good point there, Lily. It can be really a challenge for some women to have a haircut, or even to change hairstyles. It's like making a great decision in life. Well, I'm glad that you liked the result of your haircut. It's a good move you did there. Thank you for sharing your haircut story, and for giving an inspirational message to everyone. All the best to you!

    Collene Puterbaugh @ Baja Hair Center

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