What the Mirror Can’t Tell You

The scissors snipped.

Photo: Astrid Westvang, Creative Commons, cc license

A chunk of hair slipped into the sink below, and instantly I knew. This was something best left for the ones who know: the pros who can feather and layer hair styles, not leaving a gaping column of hair, slashed off in error.

Have you ever just wanted a change? I wanted subtle face-framing layers. Studying hair styles for a few days, I found some ideas, and grabbed the scissors Tuesday night. Halfway through one side of my head, I knew, and a laughing dread slipped chuckles out of me while I stared into the mirror.

Mark walked in after I finished the second side. Seeing the seven inch-long locks of hair in the sink and my sheepish grin, he groaned and laughed with me. “What did you do?”

Shyly I flipped the hair in front, and we stared at the forlorn results in the mirror. Big brown eyes framed by two painfully-obvious haircut fails looked back, and we laughed. He hugged me, and I shook my head, giggling and pressing in deep.

There’s a safety in a marriage love that is breath-taking and stalwart, that settles deep into our bones. This love, modeled first by our Creator God, seeks to love unconditionally, to see beauty in a soul that whispers, moves, breathes, and lives, unhindered by outer accouterments.

I showered the next morning and arranged a quick haircut appointment, but our beauty is never limited by hair styles or clothing or jean size, women. Your beauty flows out from you in the way your laughter dances in your eyes, the way you sneeze so uniquely, and the way you treat the people in your life. You are loved and delighted in by an Artist God. And the loved ones in our lives? They strive to love as well as this God Being, who models it first to us, and then watches it trickle down to the people around us.

Into a dark six-thirty morning, my six-year old crept quietly around the bed to whisper in my ear. “Hi, Mom, I’m awake.”

“Hi, buddy. You can play in your room. Dad and I are going to sleep a bit more, okay?”

The door clicked shut behind him. Mark and I moved sleepily to the center of the bed, and snuggled into spoon mode. His right arm slid under my pillow. Pulling me close, he wrapped his left arm around me. We slid aside my long hair from tickling his face, and adjusted our pillows in automatic mode. There is a rhythm that sinks deeply into loved ones, where nestling in can come without thought or much wakefulness. I slid back, feeling his chest rise and fall in slow breaths against my back. My breathing soon matched his, the warmth of his body wrapping my frame, and we dozed.

There is a safety in a love that is breath-slowing, breath-forming, and stalwart. It settles in, deep into our bones, freeing beauty, freeing us to see love and give love, modeled first to us by our God.

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  1. Brandee Shafer on December 5, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    So refreshing to read about your marriage. I really want to see a photo of the new hair!

  2. Houseofmills on December 6, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I agree..lets see the hair. =)

  3. Jennifer Dougan on December 6, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Brandee, thank you. Marriage is a great thing, huh? So much work, but so worth it. Like any good friendship, I imagine. πŸ™‚

    Grinning about the hair photo request,
    Jennifer Dougan

  4. Jennifer Dougan on December 6, 2014 at 3:49 pm


    Great Clips did a great job of smoothing out my chunks. It's shorter now, layered all over, but still hangs past my shoulders.

    Merry Christmas,
    Jennifer Dougan

  5. Floyd on December 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Wow. You always have the perfect story to remind me of the kind of husband I'm called to be… You are blessed, sister… just maybe not as much with scissors!

  6. Wise Hearted on December 6, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    My thoughts as I read the sentence of cuddling together like spoons. Spoons are heated and bent into shape, such as a marriage. It is the hard times that mold us into the spoon we will be and doing it together means we stack well. Love post my wise sister.

  7. Rachel on December 7, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    "The way you sneeze so uniquely…"
    I love this! I could feel the emotion of an almost-ache while looking in the mirror after a haircut/makeup/hairdo flop…I've done things like this before!
    Love you!

  8. Cheryl Barker on December 8, 2014 at 4:49 am

    Hope you were happy with the haircut fix πŸ™‚

  9. Bill (cycleguy) on December 8, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Nice to hear how you two cultivate your marriage. We used to spoon too until age and back issues entered the picture. I miss those days. But even after 41 years you find a comfort level that works.

  10. TC Avey on December 8, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    It's so wonderful to experience security and freedom in a loving husband/wife relationship…even when don't always look or act our "best".

    I've never given myself a bad haircut but I've received one that left me in tears. Thankfully hair regrows and can be fixed.

    Have a blessed week.

  11. Alecia Simersky on December 9, 2014 at 1:48 am

    I'm so glad I stopped in tonight. Your words are like balm to a frazzled soul. So nice to sit back and read such beautiful thoughts.

    I would love to see your hair as well!

  12. Jayne on December 9, 2014 at 3:03 am

    I would never even attempt to cut my curly top! lol Love your sweet story! so refreshing! Merry Christmas!

  13. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Thank you, Floyd. That's the kind of spouse I want to be too. πŸ™‚

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  14. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 1:47 am

    oooh, Betty, good analogy of the spoons melting under refining fires, and cooling to be stronger and more lovely. πŸ™‚ Thank you for that image.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  15. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Hi Rachel,

    Grinning with you. Yep, that gasp afterwards. Aiye!

    Jennifer Dougan

  16. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 2:00 am

    Hi Cheryl, yep, they are very helpful, and it's just a silly thing anyway, huh? Hair grows back and isn't important. A first world problem to have, huh?

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  17. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 2:01 am

    41 years?! Congratulations! Isn't marriage a great thing? Hard work some days, but worth it.

    Have a nice week. Is it warm enough there to still cycle or not now?

    Jennifer Dougan

  18. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 2:06 am


    Oh, you had a haircut that reduced you to tears?! Ouch. Was it in middle school? I had a few instances of those too. One of mine was with a crazy wild perm in the 80s.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  19. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 2:08 am


    I'm so glad you stopped in this week too. Thank you. I'm thankful my words were a balm to a frazzled soul just now. You are kind and encouraging too.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  20. Jennifer Dougan on December 10, 2014 at 2:13 am


    I always wanted curly hair as a teen, and still think that would be fun many days! πŸ™‚ Enjoy it for me. πŸ™‚

    How is the decorating going? How is life? When do your grown kids get to visit this month?

    Jennifer Dougan

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