Again I apologize for the lack of posting, but sleeping til 9, getting up to make breakfast, lounging in pjs and playing video games just took precedence.
A couple of months ago during fall break I got to take Annaliese to dance class. Marty usually does that because I work every afternoon. I was so excited because there was the promise of getting to see what Annaliese was learning; the fruits of her labor. Jennifer was so gracious to let me watch even though she hadn’t really planned on it.
I took my seat and pulled out my phone, all eyes on my baby girl. As I was watching I began to notice some things. First of all my daughter has my rhythm, bless her heart, but secondly, there is a lot to be learned from dance class.
1. If you take your eyes off the leader, you will mess up. The girls did pretty good as long as their focus was on the right spot. If it wandered to the wall, a spot on the floor, or the person beside them, they were going to mess up. They might stumble, they might get behind, they might run into the person beside them. In my life, if I take my eyes off what guides me, I will mess up, I will stumble, I will get behind, I might even hurt the person next to me. That’s why we have to have a relationship with the leader as well. Those girls trust Jennifer, they know she will not lead them down the wrong path. It’s not about the rules, it’s about the trust they have in her. Sometimes I wish my faith were a list of rules, but it’s not, it’s a relationship. I have to trust that God and His word will not lead me down the wrong path. I am a fallible person, I’m going to screw up. Jesus said the most important things are to Love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves, that all of the law was summed up into those two things. It’s not a list of rules, it’s relationship. When we have the relationship, we’ll know what we’re supposed to do. Just like Marty and I and the other parents encourage our girls to listen to Mrs. Jennifer and trust her, we have to do the same with others in our faith. Encourage the relationship, make disciples.
2. You cannot focus on the faults of the person next to you. Yep, that one hit home. Annaliese did pretty good, but there was one girl next to her who was very concerned with what everyone else was doing. Her eyes got off Mrs. Jennifer, and she ended up having to be corrected… a lot. Now, I know that we are supposed to help those along the path with us, but sometimes we focus on their faults instead of what we’re supposed to be doing. Just like this little girl, we get so concentrated on the others that we don’t see what we’re doing.
3. Sometimes you have to freeze so you can refocus. There were a couple of times that the girls just got too distracted and Jennifer would say, “Freeze.” The ballerinas knew that this was a time to stop and refocus. This was made clear to me last night, I came in from my first afternoon back to work, dropped off some kids, listened to their mother vent 15 minutes about life, picked up PePe’s pizza, and ate quickly so that Marty could get to Bible Study. The kids wanted to play a game that involves me doing a lot of set up. They began to argue about the pieces, whose turn it was, and were making the noises of the video game it’s based on…I wanted to scream! So I put them in the bath, poured in some bubbles (thanks Mimi for the stocking stuffers!), shut the curtain and pulled out my Kindle. I needed to freeze. I needed the 20 minutes of letting my mind refocus and calm down. I never understood that about my mom, but now I totally get it. The noise and distraction had just gotten to be too much.
We’ve done a retreat twice with our youth ministry called Enjoy the Silence. We go to a remote cabin, with no cell service, we don’t take video games or tvs or electronics and we have 2 days of silence. Marty teaches, we have reflections, the youth worship through singing, art, prayer walks. It is the best thing ever, and I always come back refreshed, refocused. We need times of silence in our lives in order to refocus on the important things, and most importantly, not go insane!
4. It’s good to come together for encouragement. At the end of class the girls all come together and Jennifer gives them a sucker, gives them positive reinforcement, and they put their hands in and say, “1,2,3 Princess Snakes!” Don’t ask, I don’t know where it came from. But, Annaliese loves it! She loves those girls, and she longs for Thursdays at 3:30.
When I was younger, I totally didn’t get the need for church involvement, I mean, I was involved! My dad took me to Father/son work days at church because I was the oldest of 3 girls. Seriously. If the doors were open, the Foleys were there. I totally get it now. If I didn’t have my church family, I’d be lost. I need that time together, I need encouragement, I need positive reinforcement (even if it hurts sometimes). I need these people to be my family, my friends, my community. That’s what we’re supposed to be. Now, I just think we need a really cool chant.
1,2,3 Baptist Buffaloes anyone?