Ed and I were blessed to have gotten to go on a little get away trip this weekend. The trip was originally planned for his birthday over a month ago, but the weather had different plans for us that weekend.
We were very excited to finally go to this secluded cabin, as we were eager to find some rest and solitude from the crazy busyness of life. The cabin was quaint and cozy, just as we expected. When we arrived on Friday night, I turned my phone off and committed to not turning it back on until Sunday morning so that I could truly focus on resting as I’ve been having quite the hard time at work lately…as Spring Break gets closer, teaching becomes more and more challenging!
As we slowly woke up Saturday morning, having no clue what time it was and with no agenda for the day, I already felt more at ease.
I made us a nice little breakfast that our host graciously provided complete with bacon, biscuits, eggs, and orange juice…all the yummy things 🙂 After we enjoyed the meal together, I decided to skip doing the dishes right away, and opted instead to take a seat, and do some reading.
I sat down and took inventory of the cabin looking at the cute signs posted on the walls and as I sat there, I noticed a wooden sign on the wooden sign that read “I Hope You Dance”.
After having a challenging week, I was so touched by the sign. When I graduated high school, my Mom made a video compilation of the most embarrassing photos of me throughout my whole life, as any good Mom would do. The song “I Hope You Dance” was the background music to the video, so this song holds a special place in my heart and I feel like it’s a song she signs over my life and wishes for me as I continue to grow.
The crazy thing was, I had JUST stumbled upon the song the other day and texted my Mom telling her I heard the song and was so thankful for her…she texted me back joking that I was overly emotional due to my female hormones and I agreed. But as I saw this sign, it suddenly got much deeper and more meaningful for me.
I took a picture of the sign (as you see above) eager to show my Mom and so excited that I had sat still long enough to see the camouflaged sign. I thought of how easily I could’ve missed the sign if I hadn’t taken the time to sit and contemplate.
I continued to take inventory of the cabin, looking first at the pictures and other signs around the “I Hope You Dance” sign and I realized how ironic the picture actually is and how it offers up 2 very distinct ways of living: by the ways of the world or by the ways of the Lord.
On the little shelf to the left of the wooden sign, I realized another sign that says “Do More of What Makes You Happy”. A very catchy, cute phrase that at first seems reasonable, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how opposite these 2 signs were.
I think we all WANT life to be like the sign on the left. We want to be happy and we want to do things that make us happy and that we’re good at.
BUT…I think God desires more for us. He desires us to take the more “camouflaged, I Hope You Dance” route, if you will…
I couldn’t help but think that while my Mom sings this song over my life, God does too. He has these same desires and wishes for us. He doesn’t always want us to just choose what makes us happy (contrary to what the world will tell you)…sometimes He wants us to choose the hard thing and to trust Him through it, knowing that the hardest things in life have the greatest potential for growth.
If we take time to open our eyes and fix them on God and the truth of WHY we were created, I believe that we will remember that life won’t always be easy or pretty, but that doesn’t mean that the hard thing isn’t God’s will, purpose, or calling on our lives.
I think of this in my own life with regards to teaching and how it would be so easy for me to just quit. I can think of 10 reasons very quickly as to how my life would be more simple if I did quit…but there’s always a voice in the back of my head that wonders, would I truly be more content choosing the “easy” route? I think of all that I’ve learned through the hardships of teaching and I can’t help but tear up. I am proud that I’ve stuck to the hard thing. I’ve kept going and I’ve persevered and it has brought so much joy and growth to my life.
Just like the song says, time is a reel in constant motion. We only have so long to live…and so we need to choose…Are we going to do more of what makes us happy or are we going to accept God’s invitation to dance with him through the ups and downs of life?
Don’t fear the mountains in the distance and don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Have faith and choose to do hard things and challenge yourself. You never know how you will grow unless you try. I hope you dance…