Cross Cultural Family

Our Curl Journey – Hair, Heart and Identity

One of the best parts of being a parent is that I can fix things. Like a caped crusader I can kiss a boo boo, find a lost blankie, provide comforting arms when their scared. But I’m an extremely limited super hero. There are so many moments I won’t be able to rescue them from.  I’ve been parenting long enough to know fixing everything isn’t my primary job. That doesn’t mean I don’t try.

It was the third scariest moment of my life. Standing in an ethnic hair store, watching a tear roll down my daughter’s tender face as she realizes that this is her reality. It was a simple request. “I want to swim and then be able to play, not all this complicated hair routine.” My daughter and I don’t have the same hair journey. Her gentle curls are fine like mine but curly like her Chadian father’s. All our affection for natural hair and loving your curls she still won’t be able to jump out of the pool and run into her life without thought, planning and hours spent “doing hair.” I have a college degree and years spent in Africa. I knew when I needed help.

I’m thankful for the way our family represents the beauty of God’s creation in each of us. I’m thankful for the puzzled looks that children give us and for their innocent questions. Learning to ask what seems like a simply question has been the hardest hurdle for me to cross.

The good news is hair is the center of community for much of our world. I hope someday she’ll be able to appreciate the hours of laughter she’s spent with wise woman lovingly bringing her hair to life. I’m thankful for the bond it’s created in us as we’ve braided, combed, curled, nourished and nurtured her sweet tresses.

By the grace of God and some miracle in his design my sweet daughter was born bi-racial when the Natural Hair Movement began. Women of all ages began educating themselves and reaffirming their commitment to their curls. Multi-ethnic hair products have become available at Target today. The internet offers women of all colors instructional videos, opinion and product like never before. I’m so thankful for the education I’ve received from these women who will never know how much they ministered to me and terrified me. If you’ve never been to an braiding salon or an ethnic hair store the Saturday before Easter than you have no idea the effort, time and expense so many of our beautiful sisters have spent on their Sabbath tresses.

Natural hair, it can be overwhelming, messy, imperfect and expensive but the look of confidence in her eyes when we get it right is priceless. The help I’ve received has not only helped us learn about hair but also given us a place in a beautiful community with members being added every day.  Our repertoire has grown from simple twists or braids to crochet styles and faux dreads. Afro puffs still make my heart go soft and I love the auntie that gave her blue box braids this summer with an affection only a white mama can understand.

These days it’s special watching her grow and care for her hair on her own. But I still love separating the curls with my fingers, massaging conditioner into the root myself. Each style becomes a mother’s prayer. It’s a prayer for peace, for beauty, for strength.

A prayer she finds her own voice in this world and delights in her unique expression of God’s glory.

From my heart to yours. . .

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Not all who wander are lost. . in ...

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The child of missionary parents, writing became a natural was to process my adventures across the world.

Ndjerareou means 'he who builds the road in Ngambai, Nate's tribal language spoken in Chad, Africa.

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My Insta-happenings

  • Thank you 2017. I'll admit we're glad to see you go. We partied hard, there were Cheetos, gummy bears and all kinds of nonsense. This little man is expecting snow tomorrow #texassnowdreams and gave his all with a killer game of hide and seek. He won't let go of his "light saber." Thank you Auntie Minga and Uncle Banga for making special memories with our family. Uno is not for the faint of heart! #2018
  • Family road trip for the last few moments of 2017. Introducing Auntie Minga to Magnolia Market.  Chad, Africa to Waco, TX with all our love along the way. #milestomagnolia #ndjerareoujourney #waco #austinorbust
  • In our house, my husband has created a unique tradition, watching every version of A Christmas Carol we can get our hands on. I’ve been known to roll my eyes at the constant barrage of Bah Humbugs, but this year I see it with new eyes. .  Scrooge’s heart is reshaped when he sees the painful state of the world and the kindness that others have shown him. Christmas becomes a battle cry to care for humanity and accept the love and redemption we don’t deserve. This year more than ever I feel the need to “keep Christmas in my heart.” . .  Unlike other years, I will be looking at any form of holiday celebration as a communal cry for hope. Holiday cups of coffee, middle school concerts, letters to Santa, Christmas jammies, teachers’ gifts, bell ringers and red buckets, overpriced holiday experiences, ugly sweater parties, white elephant gifts, beautiful families smiling from stacks of perfect paper cards, all the things that can make a mother hyperventilate and bring out my inner Grinch. . .  This year I’m cherishing every expression of Christmas. I’m embracing and proclaiming it back into the world. Merry Christmas! .  Click the link in profile to read the full article. . .  Special thanks to @fathom_mag for a great year!Photoby Bob Ricca .  #christmasspirit #merrychristmas #fromourhearttoyours #achristmascarol #deckthehalls #joytotheworld #peaceonearth #goodwilltoall #fathommag #bahhumbug #writersofinstagram
  • Thankful to Nana! Your advocacy for our Alzheimer's & dementia community is inspiring! An inter generational singalong was a great way to kick start the holidays! The Musical Memory Singers is a great cause! #singalong #musicalmemorysingers #alzheimers #dementia #alzeimersawareness
  • "It is a happy talent to know how to play." -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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It may have only lasted for 30 minutes but it was delicious to watch him frolic. Thankful for languid  afternoons, family and all the laughter .
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#klydewarren #abilenetx #cousins #freeplayarlington #familyfun
  • No one told me it would require solitude to put pen to paper
And yet my loneliness provides a voice

In the space between wonder and wandering my soul speaks

The margin between exultation and despair is the place I reach out

The prayer to be heard becomes a longing to be understood 
The desire flows into rhythm and story flows out into the world

When the Lord spoke the world into being he created from the void 
From nothing he created life and beauty 
And it was good.

The divine spark of creativity is a gift 
Left over from the beginning of time

Yet the act demands that I enter into the void

The space between belonging and being lost

To listen to the wild call of the soul

To hear it echo in a silent space 
The one that bubbles up with bravery 
To think or dare to place your vision into the sea of life 
A call to from nothing into something

It is the imprint of the creator

Like a prayer we pour our energies into the space of humanity

An offering to the divine 
A reflection of something sacred in the broken reality of our world

May I never loose the hunger to enter the void

Grant me faithfulness to doggedly pursue the gift

To steward to act of creating something from nothing 
Honor the creator 
Build a bridge to my sister

Speak truth in the darkness

Story on the soul

The Lonely Act of Creation - A Poem by S.K. Ndjerareou . .

#poems #writersofinstagram #inspiration #lakecomo #italy #neverstopwriting #explore
  • Here's to wild lands and all the places we've dreamed about. Thank you autumn for your natural inspiration. .
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#fall #wanderlust #inspiration #wildlands #jrrtolkien #autumn #herestoournextadventure #booksquotes #inspiringwords #booksareadventures #
  • From our porch to yours! #happydayofcandy