Your Journey

Part Seven

You are fearfully and wonderfully made!  Does anyone believe this anymore?  The bible tells us this, but I look around and find more unhappy people than ever.  They do not want to be who they were born to be.  They want to be someone else.  They are not happy with their lives.  

You have a calling that is unique to you!  No one in the whole wide world is created for your purpose and for your journey.  If you really think about this, it can bring peace to your soul.  

I am wondering if social media has a lot to do with this dissatisfaction?  YouTube?  When we see what others are doing or what they have, we can tend to lose our personal focus.   

For example, I found myself wanting my garden to look like those I was following on Instagram or YouTube.  I wanted all the plants they have.  I wanted my yard to look like their yard. I wanted what they wore for garden attire.  Good grief, how does a person keep up with this kind of living?  This kind of thinking keeps us from being personally creative. 

I knew my yard and my situation in gardening is specific to me.  No one has what I have.   If I take the time and energy and put it into the uniqueness of my situation,  think how beautiful life and my garden would be.  

In my personal observation, I feel the happiest people on earth are individuals who are content with who they are.  They walk in their gifts and talents. They are thankful to the God above for how they were fearfully and wonderfully made.  They have the peace of knowing they have a Savior.

God’s Word-Psalms 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well. (NIV)

 

Having Faith

Part Six

Having faith in yourself might be the hardest hurdle when chasing your dreams or sharing your gifts.   You will think you are not good enough.  You might feel that you need to clean up your life before God can use you.  There is good news for you.  Except for Jesus, God never uses perfect people to accomplish His will.  

You will not find one earthly perfect person in the Bible. (except Jesus) 

I am reminded of Moses in the Old Testament.  Moses was asked by God (burning bush) to go to Pharaoh to free the Israelites.  I am sure Moses was overwhelmed by the calling.  He began to give God all the reasons he was not adequate for the job.  “I am poor in speech, please send someone else.  Who am I to talk with Pharoh?  ”  Exodus Chapter-4

But God told Moses that He would be with Him.  He would help Him speak and teach Moses what to say.  

When I began writing for this blog, I could come up with every reason not to start.  For example, “I am not a good writer.  I didn’t go to college.  I have no experience with a blog.   I have many flaws.” : (  (Just to name a few).   If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, I am sure you have found grammar errors and poor writing.   Writing a perfect blog is not my goal.  My goal is to encourage couples in their marriages.   I don’t have to have perfect writings to encourage!  : )

It is easy to focus on our weaknesses instead of God’s strength within us.

I am thankful God is with me and will help me, whatever my calling may be.  

God can use you right where you are at.  He will be with you!  He is not looking for perfect! 

Such great news!

The Hurdles

Part Five

Anytime you are called to a ministry or using your gifts for others, you will find that it will not come without hurdles.  You will face people that don’t believe in what you are doing.  They might discourage you.   It is easy again to compare and look around at what others are doing and feel inadequate.  You might want to give up.  You might have some people who disagree with your mission.  It may be something no one has ever done before.    It’s Important to keep your focus on your purpose for your dreams to move forward.  You will need to surround yourself with those who will support and encourage your calling. 

We found this to be true when we started ‘Dance with Me Ministries’ over 13 years ago.  We began to approach the small group pastor of our church about teaching ballroom dance to married couples.  At the time, no dancing was allowed in the denomination we were attending.   There had never been a dance ministry.  So as you can imagine this was our first hurdle.  We shared with a Pastor about our mission of gelling ballroom and marriage ministry together.  He became our first big supporter.   Thank you, Pastor Dave!  He loved the idea of a ballroom dance marriage ministry.  He approached the other Pastors and elders of our home church about our small group idea.   We were on vacation at the time of receiving the news that we had the okay to begin ‘Dance With Me Ministries.’  It surprised us both.  It was a bit frightening, to say the least.  We didn’t think we would get past that first hurdle.  

Excited to share the news with others in the church, I began to spread the news of our upcoming dance ministry small group.  One of the first church ladies I spoke to, just laughed at the idea.  Not sure exactly why, but you definitely will run into those who don’t share your vision.  

We have had venue changes,  couples drop-out of our class,  low attendance, discouragement, challenges of writing curriculum, and Covid for more hurdles to jump.   

But Dan and I can share how God has opened doors when we needed doors to be opened.  God jumped the hurdles and laid them down as they came before us.   We just ran right over those laid-down hurdles. 

Don’t look around and keep your focus.  Believe in yourself.  Believe in your mission. 

God’s Word- Jeremiah 29:1111 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Gifts and Talents

Part Four

What are your gifts and talents?  Some of us go through life never really knowing what they are.  We won’t know what our talents and gifts are if we are always wanting what others have.  

I always wanted to be a great singer.  Let’s even say a good singer.  I am neither.  I always have admired those who are gifted musically.   But there was a time in my life that I had to come to the conclusion that it is just not going to be.  I am not going to make it on American Idol.  : (  This is not a gift that I have been blessed with. I knew I had to look at what gifts the good Lord has given me to be able to bless others. 

I have the gift of hospitality.  I love having people over to my house.  I enjoy having friends over to share a meal together.  When you are working in your gifts and talents-it is easier to accomplish.  You will have the desire to work out your purpose in life.  If I was still chasing my music dream, well let’s just say, it would be unpleasant on everyone’s ears.  I wouldn’t be ‘blessing’ anyone.  I might not even have friends. : (

One of our icebreakers in our dance class is, “Share a gift or talent your spouse has.”  We always enjoy hearing what the husband or wife shares about the other.  In fact, it is sweet to see a husband and wife smile when the other shares their special gift. 

If you don’t know what your gift or talent is, ask the one closest to you!  Ask your husband, wife, friend, or family member.   Pray that  God will reveal to you your gift or talent.  Pray to God on how to use your gift to bless others. 

You will change the world!

God’s Word- Ephesians 3:20

20 Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us (NIV)

Your Purpose

Part Three

A real danger in a marriage is comparing your spouse or yourself with others.  It will bring dissatisfaction in all areas of your relationship. You will not be happy.  

It is so easy to look at what others have.  It’s amazing how perfect a person can look on Facebook.  

It’s easy to be jealous of what others have.  Maybe a new car, a big house, perfect kids.  When comparing sets in, I am finding myself not happy with what I have been given. 

God has called each one of us to a specific purpose.  He has given each of us unique gifts and talents.    If we concentrate on what we have been given instead of what we don’t have- it will bring us true satisfaction.  We will fulfill our purpose, our mission!  

Comparing will bring you dissatisfaction every time. 

 Key: Don’t look around, look within!

God’s Word-1 Thessalonians 1:3

 It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. 

Why Am I Dancing?

Part Two-Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

I can be a very competitive person.  Ask my family.  I don’t like to lose in games. I always want to win.  I want to be the best.   It seems to be part of my personality.  Can I use that as an excuse?  When it comes to dancing, I can also be competitive.   Dan is not so much this way.  

At the beginning of our dance experience, it was hard not to compare myself with the other outstanding dancers. 

To enjoy my dancing experience, I knew I had to ask myself one question:  Why am I dancing?

I am dancing:  because it is time to spend with my husband.  It’s a date.  It is a night out having fun.  I am learning a new skill.  It keeps me socially and mentally healthy.   I will meet new friends. 

Admiring other dancers will encourage me to keep practicing and not to give up! 

It’s not a competition.  

It’s not “Dancing with the Stars.” 

To be content in my dancing journey, I can’t compare myself to others!  It spoils the fun!

God’s Word-1 Peter 5:6-7

6-7 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you. (The Message)

2009

The Beat Of God’s Heart

Part Six

How do I “get in Sync” with the beat of God’s heart

  •  Tell the Lord of your desire to be in sync with the rhythm of His heart
  •  Tell Him that you need Him – that you can’t do life on your own
  •  Admit you have made mistakes in your life that are not pleasing to Him – sin
  • Confess that you believe Jesus made  the perfect sacrifice for your sins by dying on the cross and that His resurrection from the dead proves that He is the Son of God, and through faith in Him, your sins are forgiven
  • Ask the Lord to help you in your decision to follow after Him

God loves us so much, that He wants to be a part of our lives.  Being in sync with God’s heart will change your life forever. 

Won’t you take the invitation? 

God’s Word-John 3:16-17   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Flesh Versus Spirit

Part 5

Trying to do life without God is like trying to dance without music.  

Flesh gives birth to flesh, which only produces fleshly things.  This ends up being “Me focused”, which is deadly in a marriage. 

God’s Word-Galatians 5:19-21   Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

This is not how I want my marriage to look. But…

Spirit gives birth to Spirit, which produces spiritual things.  “It’s not about me.”

Galatians 5:22-23  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

For us to walk or should I say dance in the spirit, we will need God’s help.  It is impossible without God. 

East Coast Swing 

Triple Step, Triple Step, Rock Step

The steps are small and light

Oldies, Country, and Big Band

  • Love Can Move Mountains-Celine Dion
  • Why Don’t We Just Dance-Josh Turner
  • Somebody Like you-Keith Urban
  • I Run to You-Lady Antebellum
  • Operator-Manhattan Transfer
  • Why Wait-Rascall Flatts

In Sync

Part Four

How do you make your marriage flow like the music in a dance?  The Holy Spirit can take your marriage from walking to dancing.  The Holy Spirit should play the role in our lives much like the role music plays for the ballroom dance couple.  It dictates what we do, day-to-day. 

When we surrender our lives to our creator God, and His Son Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides within us.  This will guide us through the ups and downs of life.  We don’t ever have to do life alone.  

If Dan and I are listening to different “music”, we will not be in sync together as a couple.  We will not flow together. It will be much more difficult to keep our marriage close. 

Each of us has to choose what “music” to listen to. Will it be earthly or heavenly?  

If you let God guide you in your marriage, you will no longer be walking, but dancing!

Swing

Count:  slow-slow-quick-quick 

Keep Knees relaxed.

Think:  1950’s rock and roll 

  • In the Mood by Glen Miller – a traditional song from the swing era
  • Rock & Roll Music by Chuck Berry – 50s rock & roll
  • (Let me Be Your) Teddy Bear & All Shook Up By Elvis – 50s rock & roll
  • Little Deuce Coupe or Runaround Sue by the Beach Boys –  50s rock & roll
  • Take Me as I Am-Faith Hill
  • Hello Dolly-Louis Armstrong
  • L-O-V-E –Nat King Cole
  • Stuck Like Glue-Sugarland
  • Come Dance With Me-Frank Sinatra
  • The Twist-Chubby Checker
  • It’s Only a Paper Moon-Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
  • Hallelujah, I Love Her So-Ray Charles
  • Happy (from Despicable Me 2”) Pharrell Williams
  • Rockin’ Robin-Bobby Day
  • Powder Your Face with Sunshine-Dino

God’s Word-Ephesians 4:30  Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

It’s A Dance, Not A Walk

Part Three

It’s a dance, not a walk.  This is a phrase Dan and I heard from our instructors as we began ballroom dancing together.  When you begin taking ballroom dance lessons you will look a bit stiff at first.  Your steps will look very mechanical.   You will be concentrating on what step to do next.  You are trying so hard not to step on your partner’s toes.  There is so much to think about.  The music takes you to a new level with your dance.    

The music will make your dance flow.  The music has to “get into your soul.” The music will take you from walking to dancing. 

Feel the music, let it get inside you.  The music will take you down the dance floor and put a flow to your step.  

It’s a dance, not a walk. 

Rumba

Count:  slow (hold step for 2 counts)-quick-quick (side together),  slow-quick, quick (Latin hip movement.  Hint – it’s all about the knees…)

A spot dance with small steps

Think:  Latin, sassy, romantic

  • The Way You Look Tonight by Michael Buble
  • Quando, Quando, Quando by Michael Buble
  • Wonderful Tonight by (you guessed it, Michael Buble)
  • The Way I Am-Ingrid Michaelson (More complex beat)
  • Smooth Operator-Sade
  • Jardin D ‘himer-Duo Gadjo and their Hot Friends
  • Lovesong-Adele
  • You’ll Be In My Heart- Vio Friedmann
  • Endless Love(rumba)Ballroom Orchestra-Hits for Ballroom Dancing
  • Song from a Secret Garden-Ballroom Orchestra and Singers

God’s Word-Psalms 108:1   My heart, O God, is steadfast;  I will sing and make music with all my soul.