30 September 2013

Of Showing Off

A little over a week ago our new five-year-old - a fact she will tell anyone and everyone with whom she comes into contact - "I'm five!" - ventured out for a sleepover with her doting aunt, a part of a birthday gift from said aunt.

With oversized backpack hanging from her shoulders, filled with all the precious things required for such an adventure (P.J.'s, hairbrush, storybook and dance clothes for the next morning), she bounced to Aunt Dayla's car, ready for an evening of pizza and girl time. 

She's so grown up.

She returned to us the following morning, post dance class, decked out in tights and leotard, sporting fancy new nails. Well, the finger nails weren't new, but the hot pink polish on the fingers and sparkly purple on the toes sure were.

And was this girl proud.

For the next 48 hours, at least, everyone she met was a new audience for her excitement.

"Look!" She would announce, proudly holding out her fancy fingers to anyone who may or may not listen - cashiers, the friendly custodian at church, the operator of the inflatable place, and countless others- "My Dayla did them!" (After the sleepover, Aunt Dayla officially moved away from her more formal title, or even the less formal "Dia" coined when this girl could barely form more than one syllable in a row, into the much more intimate "My Dayla." I think she's kind of loving it.)

And as this girl boldly and eagerly shared her news with all she met, it made me wonder.

Why is this not the way we show Christ to others?

When was the last time we initiated a conversation with a total stranger, let alone used the opening line of, "Look at what My Jesus has done for me!"

Let us move forward with faith like a child. He has created in us something beautiful - should we not be eager to let His handiwork shine?

16 September 2013

Of Dance Lessons

Micaiah began taking dance lessons last week. It was maybe an exciting moment for Mommy because I've always wanted my children to find something they love and have the opportunity to pursue it. And this girl loves to move to music.

We had chosen a program taught by dance students at a local university (some may not realize our town actually boasts two small religious-affiliated universities within its borders, but, in fact, we do). I had spent absolutely zero time in my past eleven years in this region (more than a decade! How is that even possible?!) on said university campus and felt like a freshman all over again as I roamed the small grounds attempting to find the one spot I was supposed to be.

Except I would be the only freshman toting an over-eager near-five-year-old in leotard and tights as I sought the one university student awake on a Saturday morning who might be able to actually help me find where we should be. It was not an easy task as my eyes combed the tree-laden grounds with not a human being in sight. We did finally prevail upon one lone baseball player on his way to breakfast (it would appear the sports players are the only ones alive at that hour) who attempted to aid our quest, but his directions ended us at a locked door.

Finally, after 10-15 minutes of searching (which is a long time when you're standing in a square of about four buildings and, thus, have limited options, really) and some questionable advice from a cafeteria worker who, apparently knows nothing about her workplace beyond the cash register or the tables of the dining hall (and who can blame her - it's not like she's ever needed to find her way to the fine arts building for ballet), and a few tears (the frustration of arriving early and being in the proximity of the desired location but having not a clue how to get there may have worn on Momma's stress level just a tad), we made our way to the right place, just in the nick of time.

In fact, Micaiah was the only student in her class for that first lesson, so I suppose we could have been as late as necessary - but you could not have convinced me of the fact as I desperately sought our destination.

Week Two was bound to be much better. I was toting two extra boys to entertain for that 45-minute span and this fact made me a little nervous, but at least we knew where we were going and that fact alone thrilled my sometimes-nervous soul.

On the way, as Emmett chattered about going to sissy's ballet (pronounced "buh-LAY") class, Micaiah asked me ever so sweetly, "Mommy, did you take ballet class?"

Thinking fondly upon my one year at the city hall in small town Nebraska, clad in tights and little pink ballet shoes, I responded, "When I was very little."

"Did Grandma know how to get there?"

I responded tentatively, unsure where we were headed, "Yes . . . "

"Well, maybe she should have taken me last time."

Thanks, daughter, I love you, too.