Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life's A Dance....

Well, it is a Sunday night and the conclusion of a whirlwind weekend. And I mean, for real, a whirlwind. My sister came in on Friday afternoon with her 2 babies and later that night my Mamaw and Aunt got to PC to stay with my Mom. They all came to my house for lasagne and cupcakes to celebrate 2 May birthdays (Eli and my niece, Lyla) and my Aunt's graduation from college. Lyla really enjoyed her cupcake. :)
Saturday was "THE DAY"! Dance recital day. I've felt so silly that it has been such a big deal around here, because I know there are much more important, serious things going on in the world. But for us, it was a big deal! I've been so busy the last few weeks that I just don't think I've had time to be nervous. Saturday morning was no different. Preparing breakfast, throwing a load of laundry in the washer, keeping up with 5 kids. :)  Then, about 11:00 it hit. The nerves. It has been a LONG time since I've felt that particular kind of nerves. I was a bundle of nervous energy. I stopped midday to take my vitamins and I was drinking some water THE BOTTOM OF THE GLASS FELL OUT. Y'all, I can't even explain it. I've never seen anything like it. The entire bottom just totally fell out. I'm not superstitious, but I found myself hoping it was a sign. A good sign. Like bad rehearsal, good show. Bottom of glass falling out, I won't fall on stage? I don't know. It was crazy, and something that would only happen to me. :)

I was glad when it was time to get busy doing hair and make-up so I had something to do. I love doing stage make-up. It's like you get to be 4 again and just put on make-up until you look like a clown. I have recently discovered fake eyelashes and I heart them. They took some getting used to, but once they're on, they stay and you don't have to worry about mascara running. Which would have been the case 9 hours later after two back to back recitals. Before we left we attempted some pics and we got one of me and Jenny with all of our kids. It was a miracle. I love how Lyla is looking at me like, did they hire a clown for my birthday???? :)

The recitals went so well! I just couldn't be happier or prouder of my girls. For Kate's dance I went to the front of the stage because we didn't want them looking to the side to watch me the whole time. It didn't matter. Not one of those girls even noticed I was there. They did soooo good! ALL of my tiny tots went on stage! Woo-hoo! That was my goal. Everything else was icing on the cake. :) By the time mine and Sarah's dance came, my legs were literally shaking, y'all. I was seriously hoping they would hold me up. They did. I don't know what the dance looked like, but I survived.

Josh ran between shows to grab us some sandwiches from Subway. It brought back so many memories as we sat on the stage and ate. I promise it was just yesterday that I was rehearsing for my senior recital and he was bringing me fast food. The second show went super smooth even though we had fewer dances and Sarah had some super quick changes. That girl amazed me!

I just felt so loved. By the girls, by the teachers I work with, by my boss. They were all so sweet and I felt like they were giving my soul hugs with the words of affirmation they spoke. I felt loved by my family. My aunt, cousin and Mamaw made an 8 hour trip to be there (my Mamaw NEVER missed one of my recitals for 16 years), my sister made a 3 hour trip with 2 little ones and my SIL and T were there, too, giving up time on Leah's last Saturday in the states. My Mama was there just like she was for all 16 of my recitals. She gave me the sweetest card and told me that she knew how proud my Daddy would be. This was my first recital without him and I won't lie, it made it a little bittersweet. But my Daddy knew better than anyone how much I love dance and I don't doubt that he would be over the moon excited for me.I know this weekend was good for my Mom too, to see that all of that time and money she sacrificed over the years paid off!! Josh especially made me feel loved. He played such a big part in the recital. He edited all the music for us, created an awesome slide show and did an awesome job running sound. He gave me flowers. And most importantly, I think he was as excited as me.

I didn't think that anybody else realized what this weekend meant to me, but after Saturday I believe that those closest to me really got it. For me, this recital was so much more than a show. It was a dream come true to dance with my daughter. It was an amazing offering of grace and love from a Heavenly Father who brought something I love back into my life at a time when my heart needed something to keep it going. It is a testament to my God and the work He has done in my life. 11 years ago, I hung up my dancing shoes. I had gained quite a bit of weight and felt like I didn't know my body anymore. Then, I started having babies. Surely, my body would never be able to dance again. In the midst of body changes, major life changes and a serious depression, I lost a part of me. I started dancing when I was 2 and I didn't know what life looked like without it. When I went through my depression the last thing I wanted to do was dance.  Then, God healed my depression, but I have still struggled with health issues. In the last several years I have finally been able to lose the weight and begin to feel relief from some of my health issues. But more than the body issues, there has been healing in my heart. There has been joy restored. Life has dealt some tough blows the last few years, but in the midst of it, I've been given the opportunity to do something I love and to remember just how much a part of me it is. My Mom and Josh have both noticed the happiness it has brought me. T (that's Josh's Mom) :), told me as soon as the show was over that she cried the whole time Sarah and I were dancing because she remembers how depressed I was after Sarah was born, and to see how God has worked and how He has used that precious little girl in my life. We danced to Uncle Kracker's "Smile" and that song just totally applies to how I feel about that child. I am so undeserving of the gifts and blessings I've been given, but I'm just going to be thankful for them right now!

I was sharing with someone that 11 years ago, I wanted to be the star. I wanted to be onstage and be praised and admired. That was my dream. It wasn't meant to be. I am so grateful that God refined that dream and now allows me to share what I love with little girls and be a part of their lives. I had no idea that dance would ever be a part of God's plan for my life again. I've learned that whatever He does, He does it all for His Glory. I pray that my story brings glory to Him and the power He has in our lives. We are never alone. We are never forgotten. Sometimes our dreams and desires have to wait while He works in us, but He knows our hearts and He has a plan. And that plan is better than all of the flowers or standing ovations in the world!


Lori said...

Emily, I am so thrilled that you had this experience and so many people who love you were there to share it with you!! So, so thrilled! You heart fake eyelashes, but I heart these last two pictures!! FANTASTIC!!! Know that a friend who loves you (but couldn't be there) was thinking of you and is SO pumped that you were so encouraged!

Karen said...

*wiping tears*

Melody said...

Ohhhhh I just love this post and I'm so happy for you. Your girls are just sooooo blessed to have you as their teacher. How cool that God brought dance back into you life. He really does know the desires of our hearts.

Home: Inside and Out said...

Sometimes you make me laugh (okay most times!) but tonight you made me cry. I enjoyed this was good for my own soul. I'm so happy for you and the work God is doing through you and in you! :) :)