My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Last week I posted my story “Dancing Queen” and then remembered it was not the first time I was encouraged to dance. So here I am shaking my tail feathers in 2009 and the reason why below.Image

Approaching the church where our friends daughter was having her high school graduation ceremony it became clear that I had misjudged the travel time and arrived far too early.  This would account for the sparse amount of cars in the parking lot, upon which I double checked my watch, it confirmed my oversight.  Rather than waiting around with my two sons I suggested  a quick look at the Good Will store just down the road. Wasting no time, off we went, bargain shopping in our blood coursing through our veins.

Once there, it was “divide and conquer”, three people with seemingly choreographed moves fanning out to their promising sections of interest. The boys headed for electronics,  while I ventured to the wall hangings, acute to the fact our wall space is limited. Regardless,  there I stood  looking at a eye catching wooded sign.  Rich  brown tones, golden accents and letters gracefully  spelling out the invitation “I Hope You’ll Dance”. Promptly I began reasoning with myself how the colors were indeed perfect for our living room, softly in awe of this item while its’ tempting price tag boldly  declared BUY ME!.  Surely our  walls could accommodate just one more modest sized plaque. Looking at my watch yet again, being  mindful not to be late to the commencement, I made my purchase, found my sons and away we went.

Later after the sweet ceremony, my evening came to a close relaxing at home. “I Hope You’ll Dance” was my song choice for the night… listening to it over and over on YouTube, letting it’s lovely truths lull me.

The  very next day a dear friend and former neighbor stopped by to drop off a graduation gift for our son Trent.  During her visit she wondered if one of our two sons would dance with her daughter Evelyn at her Mis Quince Anos celebration, and much to my delight our oldest son Derek agreed to.  My heart  warming as my mind dawdled down memory lane. It seemed like only yesterday when this  wonderful family had moved into our neighborhood from California. My husband and I found ourselves instantly forging a friendship with them.  Their two children were the same age as ours, a three year old and the other, a mere eighteen months.  Now standing before us  was a beautiful  young woman and handsome young men. Where did the time go?

Just as quickly as vivid snippets of the past quickly inundated my thoughts, they just as rapidly took a  sharp turn. With a flip of the switch a light bulb moment illuminated my mind as to why I was so drawn to the “I Hope You’ll Dance”  plaque; a fresh new perspective, a fascinating mystery solved.  But you know how the saying goes, “there is always more to the story” and this is no exception. Shortly after Derek was asked to dance with Evelyn a change of events occurred,  leaving her first dance to now be with her father.

As the months passed, my thoughts didn’t reflect on that wooden plaque unless it was time for a occasional dusting, which come  few and far between.  Before I knew it October rolled around and the time had come for Evelyn’s Mis Quince Anos.  Decorations were up, people arrived and the celebration began. Halfway through the event the banquet hall  was hushed to stillness as a  beautifully touching slide show of Evelyn life was played. Thoughtful moving music added sentiment to the presentation and then the unexpected happened… the song “I Hope You’ll Dance” began to play… Those words  gave me  that same stirring that happened four months prior when I found my sign at Goodwill. Thus, it was not a big surprise when later in the evening the DJ invited the audience to a group dance, choosing to seize the moment, longing to conquer my fears of looking foolish and uncoordinated. Collecting myself together, and in one quick moment I stepped onto the dance floor and danced;… something I have not done for over 25 years!  It’s been said, “To conquer life is to take one step at a time”.  How fun to do it in the form of a dance step… having no doubt that I looked foolish, the unpolished dancer that I am, somehow it seemed rather okay, I was just obeying the “Sign”… I Hope You’ll Dance.


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Dancing Queen

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Strolling through the household items while at the Salvation Army store my eyes became completely drawn to a beautiful picture frame. Black glossy details on crisp white ceramic with a swirl of chartreuse, its’ top bedecked with a stunning jeweled crown.  Upon examining the framework more closely it revealed the beautiful scrolled  words  “Dancing Queen” written on the base. Thus far this little gem was scoring winning marks on all counts… then suddenly plummeting from it’s current number one position.

How could I, a bona fide two time ballet school drop out, who preferred  clinging  to the ballet bar rather than  venture out onto the dance floor possibly relate to the declaration “Dancing Queen”?  Not an affirming  message I hoped to add to my newly decorated craft room.  For when decorating I find it important  that it matches the color palate or theme.  Advantageous  if it holds a special meaning or memory, that stirs my heart in such a way making me confident it will make our house more like home.

Even though its’ title threw me off momentarily  this item was compelling enough to keep a hold of it tightly in hand pondering it as an option. Continuing leisurely, I made my way through other favorite sections of the store, while music softly played. Suddenly, I heard something that made my ears perk up to the next song serenading us overhead;  to my utter astonishment  it was the song from  Abba, the “Dancing Queen”.  Temporarily frozen in my tracks, clutching a frame bearing the very same title, I somehow  gathered my senses.  My legs began to propel onward looking for my family, excitement mounting while eager to show them this silly coincidence.

No other sign now needed, this 2.99 purchases had a special meaning for me!  What glory would it unfold as it graced my new space?, which  formally had been our oldest sons room. Perhaps its’ presence reminding me to see myself in a new  light, that had through time grown dim. During my childhood years I dreamed of being a ballerina yet  early on it was clear I lacked the confidence and determination to be one.  Plagued with self depreciation in the mirror of my mind it revealed a distorted image. Over and over rehearsing the lies and half truths  till they spun out of control.

This frame already began igniting  truths to see  myself not with  limited abilities but rather unlimited possibility.  Dancing if not fully in body  (though I still give it a try in  private) certainly could allow my spirit to confidently move within my soul.  An open invitation  graciously extended to all His sons and daughters.

Our King of Kings and Lord of Lords who rejoices over us with singing, lovingly calling us to dance with Him; moving us with glided steps, twirling freedom and  leaps of faith  producing joy before our feet even touch the floor.  Eyes fixed on the lover of our soul never longing to stray nor wander from His plans and purposes… in step with His lead.  While He remains completely enthralled with us regardless of our two left feet, capturing His acceptance  with reckless abandonment.

What a comfort to know that this dance school drop out is free from the shame of past mistakes and labels imprinted with lies as ink. The safety of the ballet bar no longer needed beyond its’ true intent and purpose.

Clinging to Christ alone and letting go of our crutches, may “We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his doors to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand–out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise”.* Today may you accept His invitation to dance, walking away from past hindrance or good intentions, stepping out into your life filled with a plethora of dreams, a gleaming new start pulsating with vibrant hope.  When you do you don’t be surprised to experience what Abba sings so poignantly that not only can  you  dance you’ll be…  “having the time of your life”.

*Rom. 5:2-4 The Message Bible.