Friday, August 28, 2009

Left Out

And it is Jehovah who has today declared you to be a people for His personal treasure. (Deuteronomy 26:18)

Yesterday I felt left out. It was over something that should not, in truth, get to "decide" how much I am worth. Unfortunately, I have operated much of my life under the impression it does. Anyway, I felt left out (not, by the way, by any of you reading this-- it had to do with work). To quote Zoolander, "And it HURT!!"

My reaction as usual: anger, sadness, bitterness, defensiveness. All the good things in life right? Not really. Something in me knew this reaction was not something I should wallow in, but I did anyway. I felt sorry for myself, I moaned and complained to Casey and another friend over facebook chat, and decided to be generally in a bad mood.

Then I decided (GENIUS) to think about what God would say to me right then. I thought, "I need to feel wanted and appreciated, even treasured and chosen." I looked up Deuteronomy because I remembered something about treasure in that book. And I found the verse above.

I am God's treasure. He thinks I am unique and beautiful and precious. Precious in the way you would treat an expensive necklace by placing it in a special velvet lined box, and putting it on a special place on your dresser so it never gets lost or damaged. Even more than that, I am HIS treasure, not just some general treasure in a museum people pay five bucks to come look at on Sundays. I am in His personal collection of treasures that He looks after and cares for in a very personal and emotional way.

That's the cool thing about being His kid, I can always know that no matter how many times in life I will feel left out or "not good enough" I am always in God's personal treasure collection, which never changes. And God is the trump card of placing value on something. That is amazing. That makes me feel beautiful.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I want to be a Carnie

So, Casey and I got to see Cirque du Soleil this past weekend in Denver as part of our second anniversary festivities. I was amazed, moved, and scared spitless during the course of the two hour show. Most of all though, I was SO IMPRESSED by the showmanship most all the performers had in their own area of expertise. Even when they messed up, ie fell off the tightrope (which they rarely did) they presented themselves as if they were the best in the world at what they do. And they are. Then, they got up and tried the trick again and most times succeeded with flying colors (literally). I told Casey, "If I had just one tenth of their showmanship, I think I would be a 100% better performer than I am now." I was changed as a performer by just seeing this amazing show.
Even better, I discovered they are auditioning for dancers in... drum roll... Sydney, Australia next month. Boo. But I also found out, with some poking around, that they have prospective performers apply online first and if they can't make it to the actual audition, they can audition by having a talent scout check their skills out near their city. This is exciting-- just the idea of auditioning for such an amazing company sounds so fun. I know it's a long shot. A really long shot. However-- so was getting into an actual ballet company for me about two years ago. And look what happened!
Ok, ok, I know. It's CIRQUE DU SOLEIL. But there's something about what they tell us as kids, "You can do whatever you want when you grow up." How often do we hear THAT as adults? The reality of this is saddening. We can use a little of that optimism in our lives and hearts. Maybe (whatever it is we'd like to do) is not in God's plan for us-- or our bodies (have you seen how FEW vertabrae these acrobats have???) but I am thinking it is good to dream. If I'd never dreamed of dancing profesionally I would not be in beautiful Denver right now.
Whoever it is telling you it is too late to go for your dreams, tell them to shut up. Then, start dreaming and planning and preparing. If you don't go for it, you never know if you couldn't have done it. And that's my dose of optimism for the day.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Stella and her cave

So today was Stella's (our tiger-tabby cat) second try on a leash. Yesterday we put the harness and leash on her and took her outside to see if she would "walk." Sure, sure, a cat that has been inside for most of her life will take RIGHT to being confined in a pink corset-like contraption and walk willingly by our side, in a world full of new sounds, sights, and especially smells... Hey, it was worth a try!

She did not like it yesterday. At all. While on the grass, we had two little girls come up to us and want to pet her (which would have been fine if they had walked slowly up to her and not run, creating a full blown panic inside her I'm sure). I think this is what freaked her out the most. However, she did seem very interested in the scents being carried by the wind into her nostrils and looked around curiously (although still nervously) the whole time. Today, she seemed a tad bit more comfortable being in the fresh Colorado air. I think it helped that I just let her sit on our porch with some treats (she left them uneaten-- very uncharacteristic of her).

What I want to share, and what hit me hardest, is this: Immediately after coming back inside, she slinked into her "room" (the spare bathroom) and jumped up onto her scratching post/contraption and disappeared into the "cave" part of it. The kitty-mama part of my heart sank-- what did I just do to my babycat? Why did she feel she needed to hide away when all I wanted to do was to show her the wonderous outside world, which she had lived in quite happily the first two months of her kitten life?

It kinda reminds me of myself and God. He often brings me "outside", out of the "cave" of my everyday life, where I aptly ignore Him as I attend to all the things that don't involve Him. In my cave the air is stale and everything is "safe" and predictable. He wants to show me how wonderous it is to walk beside Him (without the pink leash, of course) in world full of inconcievably bright sunshine and new adventures, fresh air and fresh words from Him, to walk and talk with Him about everything going on inside my heart, even the things I've locked Him out of. Maybe I let Him take me out for a couple minutes, but soon I meow to get back into my comfortable and dark cave where I can get back to MY stuff, stuff that I don't always involve Him in.

It's a cycle. A little while outside walking with God in the fresh air, and then a lot more time doing MY thing all by myself, with the air growing stale and I not even noticing. Writing it down like this, it sounds quite silly of me.

I hope he comes knocking again soon, waiting for me to come for a walk with Him, inviting me to invite HIM into every part of my life.

The cool thing is-- He never stops asking. All I have to do is look up. He's always there. See you all later- I am going to go get my sneakers on.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Julie & Julia- Mastering the Art of Commitment

I saw Julie & Julia today with a friend. It is one of those movies that is unusually long, but you don't even notice until it is almost over. This movie is based on two true stories-- Julie Powell (who actually DID cook her way though Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child) and the "french chef" herself, Julia Child. For me, it was a great time to see this movie. It is all about committing yourself to something you love to do, even when commitment is a hard thing to muster up. She is feeling a little lost in her life, but loves to cook, and so decides to cook her way through Julia Child's book in a year. She figures it will help with her tendency to "quit" things halfway through. Amy Anderson is a great actress, very vulnerable, and seems like someone you'd want to hang out with. Meryl Streep as Julia Child is of course, amazing. I don't know if there is a role she couldn't handle without spellbinding her audience in the process.

This movie inspired me today. And I'll tell you why. I am five months into my seven month break from the dance company, and feeling pretty detached from the day to day grind I was part of up until March. I try to make it into class as much as I can, and go to the gym here and there, but I often wonder how in the world I am going to just jump back into the daily exhaustion once the end of October rolls around. I am more practiced in changing diapers at the daycare these days than the endless tendus that make up the life of a professional dancer. What is more, I feel tired already. And I haven't even set foot into the studio yet.

Watching this movie, I am reminded of that one little word that makes any career possible. Commitment. Why did God bring me here to Colorado? To dance. More than that, I honestly believe I am supposed to be in THIS company for the time being. He has given me the instrument-- my body-- to dance with, and it is my job to continue in it. Commitment (at least for me) does not come easy with any job, even when I love it and can't imagine what else I would be doing at this particular moment. Possessing a love for something, to DO a particular something, is a gift. I've found that each day it is my choice to open that gift once again. To leave the ribbon untouched and the paper taped to the box is an option. But is it a good one?

I love that this movie is based on a true story. It can't have been easy sticking to that year deadline of making her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But it proves to me that it is possible to committ to something you love over and over. What else would I rather be doing right now? What else could I possibly choose that would be right for my life at this very moment? I believe I am right where I need to be. The gift sits in front of me each day waiting to be opened, and I am praying God will give me the gumption and commitment to open it up, over and over, until God switches it out for another box-- another gift.