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My Dad Permed my Hair


Welcome back to Dorie's Stories {devotional} Blog!!!

For this post, I wrote a brand new devotional story that will be featured in my upcoming next book! Don't worry -- I'm not writing about perms because I think they are back in style. At least not for elementary school students.

But who knows? None of us thought "mom jeans" would ever be considered trendy. They used to be part of some kind of mom uniform, best worn with a turtleneck/sweatshirt combo.

You can see from my picture that my perm did not start any trends. I do believe that splatter paint jumper was my favorite outfit and was popular at one point, but I don't know what kind of ninja move pose I'm doing with my hands. Keep in mind someone paid to have this picture developed and printed.

I digress. Here it is... a dad-perm-themed Dorie story.

From a future chapter from my currently unnamed next book . . .

Chapter ?: My Dad Permed my Hair

My dad permed my hair. No, he was not a licensed hair stylist. It was definitely his first perm. I’m not sure if we were trying to save money on haircare or if it was because my dad was an engineer and could figure out anything. His daughter begged to get a perm and he was going to make it happen.

I had gotten a bad short haircut that summer and we had moved to a new state. I was starting a new school in a few days.

I was desperate.

But then, I remembered seeing spiral perm boxes at the grocery store.

This was my answer.

Surely the picture on the front of the box was the result of these miracle kits. I truly believed that it somehow would produce long ringlets no matter what the pre-perm hair length was.

I don’t blame my dad for what ensued. We bought the kit and I convinced him to get the smallest, tightest curl rod size because...”the tighter the curl, the better,” everyone always says.

He meticulously followed the step-by-step directions and the next day, I started a new school sporting a granny perm.

This was a rough start to the fifth grade.

Unfortunately, wearing your hair in tight curls that were cut over your ears was just a trend in nursing homes for the most part at this time. It did not catch on in elementary school. I had to wait the two years it took to grow out.

I did find myself to be a bit of a target to bullies as the new kid with the fresh perm.

I would come home crying about the newest insults, some revolving around my Polish descent. (I guess the kids were getting bored with the hair comments and wanted to mix things up a bit.)

My parents tried to help. I remember my dad giving me Polish inventor facts as comeback lines.

He told me to tell the children about Copernicus, the Polish scientist who was the ‘father of modern astronomy’ and was the first to propose that the earth revolved around the sun. I went into school armed with this newfound information.

This ammo didn’t quite deliver the sting I was hoping for.

I was even given laxative gum by a nerdy kid in the gifted program. I considered this to be my low point.

Enter Erica.

Erica was taller than our whole class by a torso. That’s probably not completely accurate, but from my stature, it definitely felt true.

She stood tall, but she did not stand for bullies. She knew how to put them in their place even without using Polish inventor facts. And more importantly, she was my friend.

I knew if Erica was around, the kids at school would not dare say a word to me. She would encourage me and lift me up. She was a big part of my middle school survival.

I don’t have much interaction with ‘bullies’ outside of that middle school experience, but over the years I developed my own habit of bullying. It started slowly with a frustrated sigh or a disgusted glare, but moved into comments meant to tear down and name-calling and screaming at the mirror.

I had become my own bully. Unfortunately, there is no real escape from a bully inside your own head.

Enter Jesus.

Jesus has some words for bullies…for those thoughts that seem to taunt us every time we make a mistake. Truth-filled words from the Bible combat the lies that we start to believe.

Words like…

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10 NLT

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.”

Psalms 139:13-14 NIV

“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.

He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Psalms 34:18 NLT

The truth is a powerful comeback line to the bullies in our heads.

You are a masterpiece.

You were created new in Jesus.

You were knit together in your mother’s womb.

You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Maybe it’s time to remember that we have a best friend, a mighty Savior, a heavenly Father who is ready to rescue us and stand up for us.

It’s also probably good to remember that perm is short for permanent and that your hair will never look like the picture on the box…and it’s probably not a good idea to consider doing a perm that comes from a box.

Reflect & Journal:

Have you ever struggled with bullying yourself with your thoughts? I recently started employing a new method that has stopped these internal insults in their tracks: I brought in a best friend. Whenever a negative thought surfaces, I shut it down by saying something my best friend would have said in my defense.

Write down some of the negative thoughts you have heard on the left side of this journal entry and then write down on the right side what your best friend would say to them if she heard it! You can also say God's words: “You are a MASTERPIECE!”

. . .

I hope you enjoyed the devotional excerpt! Feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy a devotional story involving dad perms and how to stop bullying yourself with comeback lines from the Bible.

Here’s the link to share:

With hope & joy, Dorie Mclemore

P.s. next time, I’m planning to post another devotional story excerpt from my book, Hope Looks Good on You! A Comedian's Joy-inducing Daily Devotional for Women. Make sure you are subscribed at the link above to get the notification in your inbox!

To purchase a copy of the full devotional book, click below:

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