I exposed myself yesterday. OK….not really…but sort of….lol! We took the family swimming and I had a dilemma. I began to think about it ahead of time. Would I, or would I not go without anything on my bald head. I’ve not gone public with my white shiner….and I wasn’t sure I was ready to be that brave. I already get many sympathetic stares with my scarves.

I decided to ask Charis and Meleah. How would they feel about mommy going swimming in the buff (naked head I mean). We had a nice discussion over lunch. Meleah thought going buff would be just fine. Charis got the giggles and thought people might laugh. She voted I wear a swim cap.

When we got to the YMCA the girls and I changed into our suits. There I was, bald head for everyone in the locker room to see. So far so good….no major stares…..but then again most people try NOT to stare in locker rooms! I looked at Charis and I said “seriously Charis….do you think its OK for mommy to go swimming like this.” I don’t know if she was just so anxious to get swimming or what….but she said…”mom, I think its OK.”

So with everyone in agreement I made a major step. I went bald. And you know, no one really stared. I actually don’t mind if they do. Some people try not to look. They purposely won’t look your way or divert their eyes. I know if I saw a bald woman with a one year old in her arms, I would take a second glance. It’s not that we mean to stare, it’s just we feel for people who have struggles in their lives. I actually find it comforting that people care enought to look a bit longer. Some even come up and say something….. like “hang in there.” One person even gave me a little hug. Now that I know what I know….I will probably say a quick prayer for them.

Matthew 6:25-33 is all about not worrying. Summing it up it says don’t worry about your clothes (or hair), your body, what you will eat or drink. If God provides for the animals, even the little birds, won’t he provide for you.”

So I learn to be strong and couragious. I am learning not to care so much about my looks. I’ve always been a bit self-consious maybe vain even, a little bit too focused on me. We ladies have a way of doing that don’t we. I’ve never been one to wear lots of make-up….a little mascara for my very few eye lashes. People would always ask me “are you sick” when I didn’t wear mascara…lol! However…..they are becoming so few now….that I’m not sure I’ll even be able to wear mascara much longer. (This too will pass since I only have 7 more weeks of chemo!)

So here I am learning to dig deeper. Wanting to be inward focused rather than outward focused. Stressing less about the little things, knowing God cares for me and even has plans for my bald head…..even if it is just learning to be bold.


8 thoughts on “Exposed

  1. Christa H. says:

    The song by Crystal Lewis taken from Isiah 61:3 comes to mind as I read this:

    He gives beauty for ashes, Strength for fear,
    Gladness for mourning, Peace for despair

    When sorrow seems to surround you
    When suffering hangs heavy o’er your head
    Know that tomorrow brings Wholeness and healing
    God knows your need Just believe what He said

    When what you’ve done keeps you from moving on
    When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
    Know that forgiveness brings Wholeness and healing
    God knows your need Just believe what He said

    Jen you ARE a beautiful woman! No doubt your shiny bald head was a beautiful sight! What an inspiration you are to your girls to understand that you don’t have to have hair, even eyelashes to be gorgeous!

  2. throwslikeagirl74 says:

    Lovely post Jen. 🙂 I have been thinking about just the same things and you expressed them so well. I have not gone public (somehow the blog doesn’t count) yet. 🙂 But the day is coming.

  3. Hi Jen-
    Thanks for emailing me! 🙂 I certainly cannot equate your journey with my journey. But I can definitely relate with that sense of being “exposed”, the sympathy stares, and feeling a loss of beauty. You have a really good attitude about the staring. I really used to hate it when people stared at me. I always just want to blend in. But that’s impossible. Thanks for sharing about praying for those people that stare or comment. I think I will do that too! 🙂
    Love, Kari

  4. Deb Kloosterman says:

    Dear Jen,
    ….At the top of your blog, where you describe yourself, I think you need to add: author!

    I follow your posts to see how you are and find myself wanting to reach thru the screen and hug you…..and tearful when things are rough….and cheering you on as you make it thru another round of chemo and/or are feeling stronger….emotionally and physically….what a wonderful family you have, and friends too…from all over! {btw, we honeymooned in Chris’s family cabin during the winter….Up North too….:) } What wonderful girls you have, and what wonderful lessons you are teaching them….it was more important to swim with them than what others thought of your beautiful head! It was more important to YOU….and that speaks volumes to your girls!

    It’s great to see the end nearing with Chemo! Hooray!…

    and seriously, you have a talent with words…not just spoken, but clearly written……and I’m certain you are helping others in so many ways, to look deeper at themselves, or express themselves, or to focus on what is really important, by your amazing way of expressing and documenting your journey…..Thank YOU for sharing…..we continue to pray for you and your family and hold you all dear in our thoughts and hearts…warmly, Deb

  5. Sarah S. says:

    Good for you! I felt a sence of pride reading your post. I have not yet lost my hair (I will this week) But I have had lots of wooried moments about it. The stares mostly. You are very brave. Bald chicks rock! 🙂

  6. Karel Shadley says:

    I am so happy you decided to “bear it all”. You have sent a great message to your girls and other women. God is using you to touch so many people’s life through this experience. It is truly a blessing to see how your embracing each new experience and the strength God is giving you to get through this. We will keep praying.

  7. Your Mother-In-Law, Kim says:

    You are truly beautiful, with or without hair.
    I Love You,

  8. Pedro, Angela & Elijah says:

    You go Girl!! You are such a beautiful person, and you are setting such a great example for all of those who are around you. I am happy that you were able to enjoy your day of swimming with your girls!
    We have been thinking about you.
    -Many Blessings!
    Angela & Pedro

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