Toni Perms and Holiday Dresses

I sat in the  “cherry” decorated kitchen at my friend June’s house, last week.   There were nine  ladies crowded around the kitchen table, watching the last video of our Bible study series; staring up at the television mounted on the wall. Extra treats, and colorful wrapped presents line the counter for a full afternoon of celebration.

The temperature outside was frigid and about 20 inches of snow dumped on us the day before. Several of us still had more shoveling to do, clocks that needed resetting due to a spattering of power outages, and need to pour out the water jugs we filled when the storm warning was issued. We laughed at our own perseverance and dedication to our study.  Bragging that we are die hard, true, northern Michiganders- hearty, taking the cold and snow in stride. It is typical winter weather here in this quaint little town that sits right on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Winter, though less appreciated than summer, has remarkable beauty that unveils another dimension of nature; under grey and purple skies everything outdoors is layered with fluffy white snow appearing undefiled and pure. The tender boughs of the evergreen trees are bending low from the weight of heavy snow. There is now a pause, as if nature is taking a breath. There is a rest from the assault of the frozen precipitation. Here we sit, watching our video, learning of our God and our people’s history. No one would ever know that under our festive holiday garb is long underwear and cuddle duds.

Large flakes began to fall and the flurry of activity at the bird feeder catches my eye. I gaze out the kitchen window and watch the chickadees, sparrows, and even a crimson cardinal scurry to eat with their peers. I remembered what Messiah said about me, the birds and all those who trust in his name:

Matthew 6: 25-26 “Therefore, I tell you, don’t worry about your life — what you will eat or drink; or about your body — what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds flying about! They neither plant nor harvest, nor do they gather food into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they are?”

Staring out the window at the white wonderland vista, a memory from long ago flashed in my mind, it was vivid, as if it occurred this morning. I was at a birthday party for a childhood friend. A glossy black and white photograph of our eating birthday cake at her kitchen table is kept in my box of memories on the closet shelf. All the little girls were about five years old, decked out in our fancy stiff crinoline dresses, with black patent leather shoes. Our moms fixed our hair with barrettes and bows, we were styl’in with curly hair, ringlets, and pageboys! Much of which I am sure was the help of Toni Home Permanents…”which twin has the Toni?” We laughed and giggled as we played games. When the birthday girl opened her presents each watched with barely contained anticipation of her reaction to our gifts.   The photo is faded, but the camaraderie of girlfriends is ever present.

Fast forward fifty plus years. These are not the same girls but women from that era all the same.  Our lives witnessed first hand heavy phones with a short cord that hung on the wall or sat on a desk, black and white television, typewriters, Kresge’s dime store, rock and roll, Sputnik, bomb drills, Ozzie and Harriet, the assassination of president Kennedy, men on the moon, the Beatles, bell bottom jeans, the feminist movement, personal computers, the internet, cellular phones, 9-11, the “tech bubble”, TSA, DNA, genetic engineering, “over the top” TV shows, and we all belonged to the group know as “BABY BOOMERS.”

At one time we all were little girls with dreams of a future filled with fancy dresses, fame, a beautiful wedding with a handsome man who would love us forever, adorable babies, a three bedroom ranch with a new model Chevy in the driveway.  Dreams vanish when reality replaces idealism. Living in this world brings to our door life, death, joy and sorrow, and often paths far from what we dreamed. Each woman’s story is unique and treasured, the saga nearing the final chapters.

I recall my own life and path; it weaved all over the place, mostly in the wrong direction. But Romans 8:28 gives us ‘the save’-“Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose;” We not only put our faith in the redemptive work of Yeshua but turn every aspect of our lives over to him, and he will impart to us wisdom, understanding, and even a redemptive purpose of those experiences. Wherever our route has been, Ha Shem can covert it to testimony for his glory!

Thumbing through the pages of my Bible I follow along with the Scriptures as the lesson progresses. Tears fill my eyes several times as the Words come alive and I am amazed at my God. I am in awe of his loving kindness and his sovereign will in the lives of those who walked in faith long before me.

We gathered, not just for a party but to learn more about our Messiah Yeshua, (Jesus).  Our lives have come a long way and our priorities have shifted dramatically; from the temporary things of this world to the eternal things in the Kingdom of God. Also, we traded in our Toni for Miss Clairol.

Continue to dream, but not as before; be like ahveenu Avraham (our father Abraham):   By trusting, Avraham obeyed, after being called to go out to a place which God would give him as a possession; indeed, he went out without knowing where he was going. 9 By trusting, he lived as a temporary resident in the Land of the promise, as if it were not his, staying in tents with Yitz’chak and Ya’akov, who were to receive what was promised along with him. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with permanent foundations, of which the architect and builder is God.  Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 11:8-10

 This is where our future lies!!


Baruch Ha Shem (Bless God), Sarah Anne

Scripture quotations are taken from the Complete Jewish Bible, copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. Published by Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc. Distributed by Messianic Jewish Resources. All rights reserved. Used by permission.


Author: Patricia Anne

I am a believer and follower of Yeshua (Jesus) and attend a Messianic Jewish congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I write about life lessons; by experience and observation. I am always challenged on how to live a Godly life in this season and in the midst of this sinful world. I follow the events in the world and the political climate. I stand with Israel.

3 thoughts on “Toni Perms and Holiday Dresses”

  1. Hi Sarah! I’m ashamed to say this is my first visit–I’m rather late (not an expert blogger) at realizing you’ve been following my blog, so hopped on a plane to get here. I so love this post!! Wow, takes me back–but what I love most is “the save” and your reminder about Romans 8:28. I’ve been a Christian since age 13, but didn’t catch on to much until this past Easter (slow learner)–so I’m hardly a Bible scholar, can’t memorize scripture or keep the verses straight. Nonetheless, throughout my “broken road”, that was the one scripture I did know, and could match up with the proper verse!

    So, I’m thrilled to meet you, Sister–and hope we can stay in touch better, now that I know where you are (I’ll put you in my blogroll–that’s the only sure-fire trick that works for this gal).

    Wishing you a wonderful day with HIM–God bless you abundantly!

    1. Hi Caddo, I am new to this blogging and obviously reading my comments and email.Thank you for you kind words and and sharing your talent the Lord has blessed you with. Sarah Anne

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