Headbands Don’t Stretch


If it was an obsessive compulsive disorder, it was one that all of my sisters have shared. Strangely, I’ve never heard of other little girls with the same issue, so maybe it was more of a genetic issue.

Or maybe since I’ve never before talked about it publicly, I should suspect others are also hiding behind their silence.

Well, I’m ready to bring it out into the open:

I’ve broken more headbands than I can count.

There, I said it.

I never intended to break a single one of them. Honest!

It’s just that when I was a little girl I had this compulsion to try to put my (or my sisters’) headbands around my waist. You know, those hard plastic ones that came in both bright and pastel colors?

There must be something addictive about this behavior. Maybe it’s the extreme concentration it involves. Maybe it’s the challenge of having failed so many times in the past. Whatever the case, I tried more times than my mom wished I would.

I’d happen to pick up a headband the way you might pick up any object lying nearby. And then…it just seemed like I should try to stretch it around my waist.

To be sure, I did have a very small waist (I even had to wear suspenders with my skirts until I was in forth or fifth grade).

Slowly…carefully…I’d pull the hard plastic ends further from one another while gradually drawing the headband nearer toward the desired position.

I’d often come oh, so close to get the headband opened wide enough, but just as I could pull it onto my body…snap!

I don’t know how many headbands I broke in this manner, but I do remember the last one. My mom happened to be nearby as I quietly took on the challenge. She suddenly noticed what I was doing.

“Stop, it’s going to break.” (I don’t think she enjoyed constantly replacing headbands.)

“Oh, no it won’t; I can feel when it is about to break,” I assured her. “I’m very careful.”

“No, stop. You can’t tell. It is going to break.”

I was almost there—the closest I’d ever been. “Really, I can tell. This one is bigger.”


I had been so close!

What my mom said next is what curbed my headband breaking habit forever.

“I know it seems like it should work, but headbands aren’t made for that. They always broke when Nichole tried it and when Michele tried it. It’s just because they aren’t made to open that wide.”

That set my wheels turning. I had not known that my older sisters had the same infatuation with stretching headbands. Hmm…so they tried too. Maybe it’s not supposed to work.

What had moments before seemed an object of skill was suddenly reduced to simple logic.

Headbands don’t stretch.

Not sure what crazy designer decided this, but headbands weren’t even made to stretch.

They may bend, but they don’t stretch.

It’s a fact—proven by many broken and discarded headbands.

And I’m learning another fact as well. I have limits as well.

If I don’t sleep, I crash. If I don’t eat I crab. 🙂

I wish I didn’t.

I wish I could go on and on like the Energizer bunny. I wish I could serve without sleep and give without exhaustion.

But eventually, I snap.

Thankfully, I’ve never snapped irreparably…you know, like the headbands. But it is a possibility. We can snap past our limits and live with broken health or unraveled emotions.

We can bend and even stretch to a point, but there is a point past which we snap—which is good. It reminds us that we are not God.

We have limits.

We are finite.

And we prove we know that when we rest.

Physical rest can replenish our minds and bodies. Spiritual rest—pausing to drink from the well of God’s Word—allows us to replenish our souls.

Are you trying to stretch too far?

It won’t work. It hasn’t worked for all the Christians before you. And it won’t work for you.

Headbands weren’t made to stretch.

You weren’t made to live without God’s renewing.

 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.—Matthew 11:28–29