Dance When You Feel Like It (and even when you don’t).

dancing-on-daddys-feetThere’s a framed piece of art in my laundry room. It’s a contemporary image of a woman in movement. The title?  “She Who Loves to Dance.”

A dear friend gave it to me shortly after my confession that once I got to heaven I was certain Jesus would take me to my room and it would be filled with mirrors and a dance bar!

My dancing days seem to be far behind me. And yet my bucket list still has this…

Ballet on pointe’

My age and current level of fitness (*ahem lack of fitness) make this dream rather laughable.

Ballet dancing on pointe’ requires phenomenal strength. Those lithe limbs you see on stage that appear to be floating are not!

I’ll never forget the ballet teacher that had us “hang” from one another’s extended arms. The ballerina’s outstretched “wings” may look relaxed but they’re fighting like crazy for flight! The dancer’s nemesis can be best described in one word——–


Gravity is fruitful and frustrating all at the same time. Think how hard it would be to cook supper if we were stuck to the ceiling! Of course, a little less gravity would do wonders for the sags my fifty-year-old frame is sporting!

What’s a DoAhead to do?

In my younger days, I would have told you “Defy gravity by dancing if you feel like it! Let the moment, the music move you!”

However, life has taught me more about “dancing” than my best instructors ever did. Trials and tribulations have yielded an important revelation about the art. If we really want to call ourselves a dancer…

It’s imperative to dance when we don’t feel like it.

It’s easy for me to allow feelings to be the engine of my train. I can’t tell you the number of times I responded this way or that way, pursued this thing or that thing because I felt like it. Not all bad of course, and yet-


  • When I don’t feel like doing supper dishes I remember how good it will be to wake up to a clean kitchen.
  • When I’m tempted to make a smart comment to an unkind store clerk I think about how rotten I’ll feel afterwards.
  • When I consider making a purchase that would be hard on our budget, I imagine how it will feel to look at numbers that whisper “you have no self-control”.

The above are simple choices.

However, sometimes we must boss around the feelings that arise in much more difficult circumstances:

  • Watching a loved one face a terminal disease doesn’t inspire pirouettes.
  • Journeying through addiction (either our own or a loved one) doesn’t leave us leaping to a joyful tune.
  • Perching from a porch as we look for the prodigal seems more like a season of mourning than a season of swaying as we savor living life while we wait.

And yet…

The sacrifice of praise when life is tough is undeniably hard, but I’m convinced it’s His gift! It has the power to lend a beautiful perspective to even the most difficult situations.

When grief or suffering is the music that cues our opportunity to dance how will we respond? Will we follow His lead? Despite our feelings will we take His outstretched hand and move to the beat of His heart?

A heart that pounds out love, mercy and grace with every dip, turn and glide.

I’ve played it both ways friends. There have been times I chose to “sit this one out”.  Jesus always understood.

But Oh, the joy when I chose to give grief the respectful nod it deserved and then…MOVED!

I thank God for all the times He so persistently asked me to dance!

Through pages of  Psalms!

“Thank God—He’s so good. His love never quits!” Psalm 11:29

Through wisdom pearls of Proverbs!

“A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul…” Prov. 13:19

Through New Testament invitations!

“Get down on your knees before the Master, it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” James 4:10

If we dance when we don’t feel like it doesn’t take long until——–

We feel like it.

Today my prayer for all of us is that we step out in obedience and dance regardless of our circumstances.

May we offer up the sacrifice of praise.

He desires that from us because he knows what it will do for us!

Whatever music is cueing in your life I pray you’ll hear his heartbeat in the background and His whispered invitation——–

Shall we dance?

(Join me and others over at Suzie Eller’s #livefree this weekend. Beautiful stories, beautiful prayers.)

Your (Still Learning to Waltz) DoAhead Friend,


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