April 29th has been planned on the calendar for months around here. And no, I'm not referring to the Royal Wedding. How dare those royals go and pick the busiest day on the Fidler's calendar to get married? How rude! Our day started with Josh and I accompanying Eli and 50 trillion other kindergarteners (slight exaggeration) to Gulf World. We were put in charge of 2 other boys besides Eli and we had lots of fun going from reptile shows to bird shows to dolphin shows and checking out sharks and turtles and stuff in between. We came home and had an hour and a half before Eli's ballgame. In that time Eli and I went to pick Sarah up, ran to the store, and entertained 4 neighborhood children in our backyard. Josh met with some church members. We headed to the ballgame. Eli did great. T and Dandy and Aunt Leah got to watch him play for the first time this season and even brought an early birthday present, a new bat! It was a good bat, he hit really well and even hit one out of the infield! Did I tell y'all he doesn't even use the Tee anymore? Yeah, I'm a little proud. :) We left there and I came home to fix supper and have a mini breakdown. Really, I did. Fish sticks and tears, that was on the menu. It was just one of those days. I know I was just totally exhausted. I also got something in my contact and it was hurtin' real bad, so even when I wasn't crying, it looked like I was.
Our night still wasn't over. Our dancers were performing at Relay for Life. I orginally planned on all of us going, but Kate had joined me in the cryfest and I decided she'd best head to bed. Sarah and I headed out to complete the final activity of the longest day in a long time. Before we danced they did a very serious ceremony and played songs and lit candles and pretty much had me doing everything in my power to avoid the ugly cry (or any crying at this point). Finally, it was time to dance. There were 9 dances, but only 1 of them was my class. My sweet ballet girls dancing to a song from Titanic. I was so impressed with all of the girls who danced before our class and super proud of Sarah who did her tap dance and ROCKED IT! I was pumped. I couldn't wait to see my girls. And then.....I got the news every dance teacher dreads. My CD wouldn't work. WOULD.NOT.PLAY. Thankfully Barbie had grabbed my other CD from the studio BUT this particular song has a skip in. My girls have practiced a million times with the skip so I just let them know to expect it and keep going. Well, it skipped where it usually does, but it didn't stop where it usually stops. Instead of going to the next part it went back and the girls were getting way ahead. I started hollerin' "GO BACK! GO BACK!" and thankfully one of the girl's heard me and figured out where she needed to be. The other girls realized what was going on and they got back to where they needed to be. Now, I share all of the activity of the day and the exhaustion and my emotional state to let you know the frame of mind I was in. I was humiliated. I was hating on myself for messing the girls up. I felt like a loser. I had one dance. One dance and it got messed up. Have I mentioned I was already at the point of handing out the party favors at my pity party? I wanted to crawl under the stage. I perhaps blew things a little out of proportion.
It's amazing what a good night's sleep will do for you, isn't it? I woke up with a fresh perspective (and the ability to see out of my right eye) and was suddenly overcome with such pride in my girls. I realized that last night I focused so much on the mess up, but I did not recognize how awesome the girls did. They never stopped dancing. Not once. Do you know there are dancers twice their age that couldn't keep dancing like that? I've seen teens literally stomp, throw fits and walk off stage when they get off count or have music mess ups. And here are my sweet 8 and 9 year olds dancing their hearts out, even if it's the wrong part or the wrong music!
I don't know about y'all, but I think God can use so many things to speak to us and teach us. Last night was a moment for me. Not only did I learn to have 15 back up CDs :), I feel like God reminded me that life is a lot like that dance last night. We plan and we practice and we organize and we study and we do all kinds of things to live this life, but we just don't have a guaranteee that things will go the way we plan. As I thought about that, I was reminded of the natural disasters that literally destroyed homes and land and lives. Like the scratch on that CD, tornadoes ripped through bringing to a screeching halt the beautiful song of people's lives. I can't imagine being in their shoes. Absolutely cannot imagine. I know it wasn't an event anyone planned on. No one says, "After we've been married 15 years and have 2 kids and have just bought a new house a tornado will come and wreck it." We just don't plan that way. It's not in the choreography of our lives. The truth is some events in life call for you to get back in step, and some call for new choreography altogether. Whatever the case, the key is that we keep dancing. Even when it's not perfect. Even when it hurts. Even when we want to hide under the stage. Even when it's not what we rehearsed. We have a Heavenly Father saying, "GO HERE! DO THIS! THIS IS WHERE WE ARE AT!" And, sometimes, He carries us.
"though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand."
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”