Dancing

LITTLE GIRLS DANCING

I know you’re there.

Standing in the corner, sneaking peeks at her hair and her clothes and she’s so in shape…and then looking down at yourself feeling frumpy and plain.

I know you’re there.

Sitting in front of your computer, looking at her blog and her twitter followers and she seems to have it all figured out…and you feel insignificant and invisible.

I know you’re there.

Worshipping in church or volunteering at school, and she’s got so much talent and she’s such a servant and her heart seems so pure…and you suddenly feel so very selfish and very, very  average.

I know you’re there, because I’m there, too. 

It’s a lonely dance for one, this comparison thing, because true dancing is made for two. For partners, for groups, for community. For a body.

And that’s what we all are, isn’t it? A body of believers, a body of women, a body of image-bearers all figuring out the moves that work for us individually and for our age and our limitations…dance moves that represent who we are.

And yet all we do is watch everyone else dancing and try to dance like them.

Why is so hard to stop doing that?

Head Truth tells me I am beloved and chosen and unique and set apart. That I am loved and that thought beautiful and a one-of-a-kind creation.

But heart truth has enormous, giant walls with guards and gates that keeps Head Truth out. And those guards are always whispering criticism and convincing me that Head Truth is just theory — and only applicable to everyone else.

I’m tired of dance moves that are awkward and uncomfortable. I’m tired of the snickers from the guards when I’m dancing awkwardly.

I’m tired of dancing alone.

I’m ready to embrace the Head Truth and make it connect to my heart. And I think that starts with choosing to believe my head even when my heart wants to dismiss it. (tweet)

So I believe each truth my head speaks to me, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day.

And I gather up my friends, my sisters, my body and I start dancing with them once again.

And I dance awkwardly at first because I don’t exactly how I dance yet.

But as I figure out what feels natural and right, first by recognizing what feels unnatural and wrong, I break down the walls and shoot down the guards and unlock the gates…

one unadulterated and carefree dance at a time.

MDS-SIG-01

Fan of the Church?

I’m honored to participate in our pastor’s current sermon series, “#1 Fan?” as a guest writer. Here is the fourth installment:

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We took turns in what we affectionately called “the hot seat.” The five of us would gather around our sister, our friend…each laying a hand on some part of her back, her arm, her knee. We’d speak scripture over her, or lift up a word of encouragement. Most often we’d sit in silence…waiting to see what the Lord would have us to pray. Those were the moments that were the most special…the moments where God seemed to shout from the rooftops, “I AM, AND I LOVE HER!”

Often we’d enter into our meeting time without the usual pleasantries…we’d just nod hello, sit down and begin to pray silently, unloading our baggage from the day, the week, the month. We’d exhale…often very, very loudly…and just embrace the presence of the Lord in that place. And we’d stay silent until it was time to speak. We always just knew when it was time — when it was time to meet, when it was time to pray, when it was time to speak.

God had it all under control.

And then He would speak. And when God speaks, He creates things, and He created hope and joy and peace and grace…just tons and tons of grace…and He created life where there was dry, weary and tired bones.

We didn’t limit our group to just us five…but most often it seemed that we were the only ones that could meet. And we couldn’t have created a more eclectic group if we’d tried. Different seasons of life, different careers, different strengths, different weaknesses. But when we met together, it just worked. As if we were each a point on a star…shooting into opposite directions, but united at the core. As we walked into each other’s houses, our identities, our personas and our facades just dropped at the doorway. We met together as nothing more than women desperate to hear from God Himself.

And that was always more than enough.

It’s been 11 years since we first met. Our lives are in different seasons once again…different careers, different states, different strengths, different weaknesses. Different directions, different successes and different failures. Yet, when it’s time to meet, we just know it — we’re united at the core. And we meet. And we pray as we always did, dropping it all at the door and simply walking into comfortable and welcoming silence. Praying what the Lord would have us to pray, allowing for moments for God to continue to shout from the rooftops, “I AM, AND I LOVE HER!”

It’s an Acts-generation sisterhood. It’s small and seemingly insignificant…literally just a handful of us, walking side-by-side the best we know how. But it’s changed my world forever. And for the better.

“There was an intense sense of togetherness among all who believed.” (Acts 2:44, The Voice)

Adapted from a post earlier this year.

Building (Thanksday #74)

The women come from all walks and seasons and sizes and shapes. They’re the Breakfast Club of friends, if you will. A melting pot of trials and victories and losses and gains. They’ve walked with each other through boyfriends, jobs, marriages, miscarriages, children, homes, moves, laughs, cries, pounds lost, pounds gained, hair colors, hair styles, risks, comforts, frustrations, fights, make ups and make overs. And yet they still stand. The enemy has huffed and puffed but could not blow their House down.

Their House is not built with straw or built upon the sand. It’s built upon a Rock, you see. And the mortar that holds the bricks together as the House is built is Love.

It’s taken years to build this House. It’s incomplete, but it’s beautiful. They build it slowly but solidly. And brick by brick and wall by wall, the House has provided shelter and safety for these women. There are times when the rain comes in and the wind tosses them wildly, for there is no roof. But they are never overtaken by the rain or by the wind. The rain dries and the wind settles and they are again at peace, and can again take flight. Because if this House had a roof, they would never be free to fly.

They aren’t able to visit the House frequently. They may stop over for a weekend or a day or a week or a month. But one thing is unspoken and known deep in their bones: when they walk through the door, they can drop their baggage, flop on the couch, exhale loudly and be loved.

I miss these women and this House that God has built. This House is five strong — five points on a shooting star that has no limits in the worlds God has created. Five points that blaze into opposite directions, yet are united at the core. Five points that need to once again face the Son and gain enough Light to continue to twinkle and shine for His name’s sake.

And tomorrow, I get to walk through the door and drop my bags and exhale loudly and be loved. Tomorrow, I get to again become part of a star that twinkles high above the house. Where I can look up into the velvet night and see this star shining bright, since there is no roof to block my view. I get to lay the mortar of love and put down a few more bricks, further building this House on a Rock.

This is what I am most grateful for this week — my House, my Rock, and the Son that binds us all together.

What are you grateful for?