One time, many moons ago, I wanted a perm. Back in the days of Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Janet Jackson, everyone wanted a perm. All my friends had one, and of course, I wanted the same, the bigger the hair, the better. Ah… I can still smell the fragrant bottles of Rave hairspray that have probably left a permanent coating on my lungs. The problem was, I had to go to a reputable salon to get this bad boy. Thankfully, my mom drew the line at my idea of doing it myself. She was okay with Funyuns as my breakfast of choice, but she drew the line at my do-it-yourself perm idea. She quickly realized my cosmetology limitations when I used a crimping iron on my Malibu Barbie’s hair. Who knew it would melt like butter, along with half of Barbie’s scalp?

The real problem was I needed $50 to make this happen. My parents could have just given me the money, but they told me the words all children long to hear, “You have to earn it!” The good news was my papaw had a sawmill, and he told me I could earn the money working for him. The bad news was I had to work in a sawmill! My job was to stack the wedges and bind them with rubber strips from old tires. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, did I mention it was the middle of July??? Sweat and sawdust is not such a pleasant combination. To add to my misery, his idea of lunch was potted meat and crackers. I asked him what in the heck was in potted meat. Let’s just say, some things in life should remain a mystery.

My precious papaw gave me the $50, but I worked my tail off for it. It’s funny that I’m 42 years old, but I can still remember every detail of that day. I have found that the moments or the things that have meant the most in my life were built upon sacrifice. My papaw , like my parents, could have just given me the $50, but there would have been no real appreciation for my hideous perm. When we give of ourselves, it shifts our perspective.

In 2 Samuel, David had sinned against God and is hoping for mercy. The Lord commanded David to build an altar on a threshing floor. What I love most about this is that the owner of the threshing floor is willing to “just give” it to David, as well as oxen. But David said, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” He did build that altar, but he paid for the threshing floor and the oxen. It is not true sacrifice if you give what do not want or need. It should cost us something. This includes giving of ourselves, our time, effort, and with the gifts we have been blessed. With sacrifice comes love.

I’ve got to tell ya, that perm was definitely not one of my best ideas, but I understood the value of what it cost.

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