Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beards, Bangs and Bigger Fish...

My husband recently grew a beard.  Not your typical, nicely groomed beard.  But a gruff, scruffy, long, full-on mountain-man beard.  He and 9 of his buddies had decided to hike Mt. Whitney and in a spirit of manliness, outdoors-ness, and all things rugged and mountain climb-y, Jon decided to stop shaving until the hike.  Now the day of the hike has come and gone, but the beard is still here.  Jon hasn’t gotten around to shaving it and he’s kind of indifferent toward it.  What’s interesting though is that I get approached ALL the time - by both husbands and wives, friends and strangers - with the exact same question:  “So, how do YOU like the beard?”  This is usually posed by wives who can’t believe I “let” my husband have a beard or husbands who are trying to convince their wives to give a green light to facial hair.  The first time I was asked, without even pausing to think, I blurted out, “His beard? Oh gosh, I have way bigger fish to fry than to spend time hating on Jon’s beard.”  My response surprised even me a little.  But it was true.  Time has a way of offering perspective.  Years ago, I would have absolutely cared.  Who wants scratchy kisses?  I mean, really.  Until your husband has a brain tumor and survives and then you realize that the person who wants scratchy kisses is you.  I want them.  I want his kisses in whatever form they present themselves.  It’s interesting how Life does that.  Refocuses you. Jon once spent 2 years saying he wanted to shave his head and I kept talking him out of it.  Then one day, he said in passing, “Man, I just want to shave my head.” And I paused and thought to myself, “Why the heck do I care so much?  If he wants to shave it, he can shave it.”  And so we did it right then and there.  And guess what?  The world didn’t stop.  “But he has the best hair!  Many men would kill for his thick, beautiful hair.  Why would you ever want to shave it??”  Well, because…  Bigger fish. 

I remember when I was a new mom and my son Jackson wanted to wear his Superman costume to the grocery store.  “Sweetie, that is not appropriate.  We wear clothes to the store, not costumes.”  Fast forward 8 years as our 4th child heads out the door in her princess dress.  “You look beautiful, Snow White!  Let’s go shopping!” I exclaim, much to my daughter’s delight. 

Time.  Life.  Perspective.  Oh how I wish I would have had that from the beginning.  How much time did I spend ‘Majoring in the Minors?’ Too much.  Taylor begged to cut bangs for a full year.  “But honey, bangs are more trouble than they’re worth.  Growing them back out is such a pain.”  But after a year, I took a deep breath and thought to myself - Bigger fish.  So we cut the bangs.  And she looked beautiful.  And she loved them.  And I did too.  And now, a year later, she wants to grow them out again.  And so we start the growing process.  And if she isn't patient enough to let them grow out, and decides to cut them again?  Bigger fish.  

What are the bigger fish?  I want my kids to be kind.  Compassionate.  Generous.  Forgiving.  I want them to reach out to the kids in their school who are “outsiders.”  I want them to love mercy.  I want them to walk humbly. I want their hearts to break for those who are in need.  I want them to know that God loves them.  No matter what.  And I do too.  I want my husband and  I to have a thriving marriage.  I want him to feel respect and I want to feel loved.  I want to parent our children as a united front.  I want to be on the same team.  No matter what.  I want to encourage him in his passions and experience him encouraging me in mine. I want our intimate relationship to always be exactly that.  Intimate.  I want to be a kind and loving light in our community.  I want to model to our kids the compassion, grace, mercy, generosity…  And on and on the list goes.  

SO.  If something conflicts with those Big Fish, then I will give them time and attention.  If something doesn’t conflict?  Then we cut the bangs.  Shave the head.  Grow the beard.  

There is freedom in Majoring in the Majors.  A release of what other people think…  No more people pleasing.  No more unimportant standards / expectations.  Allowing my husband to be a grown-up man and choose his own darn haircut.  ;)  Allowing my 7 year old to stretch her creative muscles and experiment with bangs.  Because as time goes on, the battles we face in life are going to get bigger and more important.  Our battles must be chosen wisely and with intention.  

And so today I will run errands with Belle and Ariel.  I will pin back my 8 year old’s bangs as they are in that “awkward” stage, and tell her how beautiful she looks.  And I will grab hold of my husband’s long, scruffy beard, pull it toward me, and smooch those lips.  If I can find them in there.  ;)  Oh, and just for the record, in case he reads this:  Yes babe, “no motorcycle” is still on the GIANT FISH list.  ;)
I’m still a work in progress…  ;)  


2nd grade birthday book for her classroom... "Really honey? You get to pick only 1 picture to put in your book. You want this one? Of you last year? Dressed like Anna?"
Perfect. Bigger Fish. 


  1. I have a blog too. It's a hodgepodge of crafty goodness, culture differences, and an occasional life lesson!
    Anyway, since we moved from California to Mississippi, it's been interesting to see the cultural differences, facial hair being a big one! I 'let' my husband grow his beard out as well. Turns out I love it! Same reason you stated: Bigger Fish. We spent almost a year apart as he worked in Mississippi and I had our 2nd child in California. When we were finally together again, perspective changed. He can shave his head, grow his beard, whatever he wants, as long as he is seeking God and being the man of integrity that I married, I am joyful! He doesn't have a say how I cut my curly hair; it's not on his head to deal with. And the rugged look, it's kinda sexy on my man! I also love how the kids react to his "tickley face!"

  2. And it was the PERFECT picture for the book!!!