Today I'm Thankful for...
...no rinse shampoo.
Washing Ashley Kate's hair has always been an emotional task for me.
I've poured my heart to the Father while rinsing, brushing, and braiding her hair. I've cried my eyes out more times than I can count during the process. I've laughed so hard I couldn't contain my joy at the silly things she's done during some of those times too.
There is something so personal and intimate about washing her hair. Its always been my job. Something no one else has ever done for her. Just me. Just her mom.
Some days its a smooth and easy process. Other days its been rough going as I do my best to tenderly and as easily as I possibly can remove those stubborn tangles. Her hair is so long it easily gets twisted into knots depending on how she feels. If she's been sick and spending most hours of the day in her bed then the shampoo process is hard...difficult...and painful. We've cried together on several occasions. Her not understanding why I'm hurting her. Me not wanting to hurt her and longing for her to have the ability to understand that.
More than once I've been ridiculed on this blog for braiding her hair. I've been told I was vain, and selfish, and called some pretty ugly names. I've never understood people's harsh response to something I've only ever done out of love and protection for her well being. I've often thought "if they only knew how horrible it will be the day she does wake up if its not cared for and its not tied back". They just didn't know. What they thought I did out of vanity, I was truly doing out of love for my sweet girl.
The last few months have been difficult. Daily tasks and cares have become almost impossible. Ashley's body is heavy. Swollen and mis shapen from struggling organs and a venous system that no longer can do its job properly. Bathing and shampooing Ash is a job. A job that takes a lot of physical strength as well as emotional strength. I cry my hardest tears on bath day. Its so very difficult for everyone in the house. As she cries and complains from the physical discomfort of being moved, shifted, and lifted the house quickly clears usually leaving just her daddy and I.
There are so many parallels I can draw from her physical battle to my spiritual life. From the smooth and easy to the hard and difficult. From the outside ridicule from people who just don't understand to the days that I cry out and complain because I just don't understand what God is doing in me either. I see how the "house has emptied" and yet there are those who lovingly, steadfastly, have remained to aid us in the task of raising Ashley Kate. I try so very hard not to be hurt by those who had to step out, back up, and leave. I focus on the ones who jumped in, shampoo dripping, tangles twisting, and have never stepped out of the room. Ultimately, the end result is beauty. Either way. The hard washes or the easy. They have all resulted in beauty. On her head and in my life.
God never promised me it would work as well as no rinse shampoo, but today I am thanking Him for the bottle on my counter that made her struggle just a little bit easier today. Now I'm going to reap the benefit and breathe in her sweet fragrance all day long. God is good. He really is.
No rinse shampoo...its a gift. It really is.