bout a year before my daughter Eden was born, I began doing the large majority of my ministry in the mornings. (And by ministry, I mean serving the Bride of Christ and in turn, being ministered to.) (I love how those two go hand in hand.) I had someone over for breakfast before work about once a week. I met people at our local coffeeshop to talk and pray. Thankfully, I didn't have to be at work until closer to 9, and that gave me an hour and half or so to meet up with people. I found myself getting up earlier and earlier each day to be ready for the day and not rushing around at the last minute.
And as that cranked up, I started getting cranky. Not because of the ministry, but because of the time crunch it put on my day. I started lamenting that my morning routine was taking too long.
There were all of these things that I wanted to do on a consistent, daily basis, and there just was not enough time to do it. The morning seemed like the best time for me to do my devotions, to exercise, take a shower, wash my hair, pluck my eyebrows, floss my teeth, lotion up, take my vitamins, eat a healthy breakfast and pack a healthy lunch, start dinner in the crockpot, and leave my house in decent order as I walked out the door.
Are you exhausted yet?
So while it seemed like a vain prayer at the time, I asked the Lord to maximize my time in the mornings.
I wanted to get as much stuff done while my husband Brandon was at work so that when we were both home that evening, we could spend time together and I wouldn't feel the need to be running around finishing the routine I didn't get to in the morning. I also didn't want to be consumed with myself, and it seemed like the more time I spent on myself, the more I thought about myself. I didn't like being that person.
So I began asking the Lord to somehow make the morning longer, and/or to rearrange my priorities so that I could focus on what mattered.
I had no idea how He would answer.
It started innocently. My aunt came to visit and I complimented her on her beautifully curled hair. She told me it had been that way for over a week.
My first thought was, "That is disgusting."
Followed by, "Wow. How can I get in on THAT??"
So she told me about dry shampoo, and I didn't believe her. But I was intrigued.
I wanted to go a week without washing my hair, but let's be realistic. Some days, I almost felt like I needed to wash it twice. My hair is so oily and would get limp and stringy quickly.
But I decided to give it a whirl. I went to Sally's and bought some fancy dry shampoo, and it got me through the day. No one else noticed my hair being different but me. It turned out that the first month would be a psychological battle of deciding that I really looked fine. I learned that it wasn't all about me and no one was critiquing my hair on a scale of 1 to 10 every day.
I started small, just trying to beat my last record and go a little longer without shampooing. At first, I counted the hours and days until I could wash it again.
Somewhere along the line, I heard about cornstarch and baby powder. Those are what really did the trick for me. Had I had those at my disposal at the beginning, I may not have fought as much of a psychological battle as I did. The powder would actually absorb the oil and give me more volume on top. The perks were numerous. My hair had extra volume. I used less shampoo. My hair fell out less. My hair grew faster. It kept curl and color longer. In fact, shortly thereafter, I got red highlights, the red lasted two months, and the next time I got my hair highlighted, I STILL had red streaks from the year before.
The biggest perk was the hour (plus) of washing, drying, and styling in the morning that I gained.
I found a recipe on Pinterest for DIY baking soda shampoo. It also did wonders for me. It includes a vinegar rinse, and that smell was less than awesome. But rinsing my hair in it with cold water closed my hair follicles and added shine. I seemed to be able to go longer when I wasn't using chemicals to strip my hair of oil with my cheap 99 cent shampoo.
I write this post not to brag or encourage you to be obsessed with your hair, but to encourage you to talk to God about the little things.
He cares about time management, and He loves to answer in creative ways. Put Him to the test and see for yourself!
Some battles I still have to choose. My eyebrows don't always get plucked and my nails aren't always polished perfectly. (And you know what? No one seems to notice but me!) But I was able to start having coffee dates in the morning and inviting people over for breakfast without sacrificing my time in the Word or exercise. If you make Him a priority and make the Gospel a non-negotiable item in your day, He will make good on His promise to add all these things to you.
These days, I have to think hard about when I washed my hair last. But I CAN tell you the last time I had coffee with someone who needed to hear truth-- and who spoke truth to me in return. I can tell you the last time I had someone over for pancakes and blueberries. I can tell you the last time I spent an hour in the Word soaking up God's promises.
And I would much rather remember those things.
Cara Cobble Trantham is a freelance writer whose passion is to encourage women of all ages to draw closer to the Lord. She lives in Greeneville, Tennessee, with her husband and one-year-old daughter. She loves to send cards in magazine envelopes, counsel ladies over sugar and cream (with a little bit of coffee), and read a good book at the beach. Her bucket list includes eating pizza in Chicago, staying at a bed and breakfast in Savannah, and following a recipe without leaving out an ingredient.