Faith is Not Believing that God can, It's Knowing that He Will


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Confessions of A Guinea Pig

Being the first born is interesting. It has its pros and its cons, its up and its downs, its benefits and its drawbacks.
Sure, you get to do everything first but then again you have to do everything first. You sort of are the one to break your parents in as they break you in, you’re their first child and they want to be the best parents that they can be. As a children you’re expected to be the model of obedience. You want to be perfect. But you can’t because there’s one thing in your way…your human nature. Oh boy.

I was corrected for things that my brothers would easily get away with. Haha. J
But I did grow up being disciplined and I’m a pretty disciplined person now so I guess it was good for me. J
Here’s some things that I have dealt with as the firstborn, if you are too, can you relate?

My mom felt like I needed to be reading when I was five, she started teaching me when I was four,  I didn’t read well until I was seven.
I had chores and jobs to do early on; I didn’t have a bunch of older siblings to do them for me.
I had my parent’s undivided attention. My dad would play with me on the floor, and my mom would read books to me.

I was the first one to reach adolescence and become a teenager. That was a big deal.
My parents and particularly my mom had the excruciating job of teaching me how to drive. Or maybe I had the excruciating job of my mom teaching me how to drive but I have a feeling is the former. Haha
A babysitter is never needed because I’m a live in. J

I had the huge blessing of seeing Titus, Levi, and Lily Kate come into the world. I wouldn’t trade that experience for ANYTHING.
Because I’m the oldest I’m a pretty good caregiver. I know how to change a diaper, burp and bathe a baby, and buckle a baby’s car seat. I know how to take care of children. I’ve had lots of practice!
I’m an excellent children’s book reader!

I once asked Gabe if he wished he was the oldest. He promptly replied, “No, because I’ll live longer.” Which can be translated, “I won’t die first.”
I want to be healthy at 100! Haha
God has placed you in the family that He wants you in. He has put you in the perfect place in your family. He knows that it is the ideal place for you.
I read that the many of presidents were firstborns, and that middle children are good peacemakers. Comediennes often are the youngest in the family. Only children make good entrepreneurs. Every role has its blessings!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

what strange creature's brother's are. ~ jane austin

I’ll be honest. My brothers are wonderful gifts. They’re not bad at all, they’re just balls of energy that keep going, and going, and going like the Energizer Bunny. They challenge my ability to hold my tongue and use a kind tone, it provides ample oppurtunity to do hard things! Meal time is SO loud sometimes. Does this happen to other people? Please tell me it does. J

But I was thinking about it and I came up with a few thoughts on the subject of brothers. I would love to hear your's as well. J

If I didn’t have brothers I wouldn’t have picked up a children’s book after I outgrew them.
I would always have perfectly calm, peaceful days.
I would have a pretty boring Christmas, there’s nothing like seeing them open the gifts you give them.
I wouldn’t have a Levi to shower over the top affectionate compliments.
I wouldn’t have a Titus to jump onto my lap and leave me black and blue after he hugs me. That boy is HARD!
I wouldn’t have a Gabe to watch “I Love Lucy” with.

I would be really selfish. Not that I’m selfless by any stretch. Sometimes I’m ashamed at how selfish I can be towards them. It’s a thing I’m always working on; it’s a small hard thing that takes daily diligence to conquer. Sometimes I win, and other times I loose.
I wouldn’t know how much boys can eat!
I wouldn’t know how a little boy’s brain works.
If I didn’t have brothers I wouldn’t know that a dog is vital to a boy’s existence.
I wouldn’t know how great they think gross things are.

I would have a perfectly clean bathroom.
I wouldn’t know every Veggie Tales song by heart.
I wouldn’t have a puppy that I really like more than I ever thought I would.
I wouldn’t have a little brother to sing to at night when he won’t go to bed.

I wouldn’t be able to listen to Levi sing at the top of his lungs.
I wouldn’t have any brothers to tease.
I wouldn’t have any brothers tease me.
I wouldn’t have any need for inner dignity…because my outward is nonexistent at times.

I wouldn’t feel like I needed to pull my hair out.
I wouldn’t have them to laugh with.
We would have peaceful meal times and quiet Bible studies.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you all about Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone.
I wouldn’t be interrupted in the middle of a conversation.
My brothers are weird, energetic, fun, kind, funny, and interesting.
Without them my life would be peaceful, normal, and boring….very boring.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


The boys got a dog two weeks ago. He’s a mutt, a mixture of English Setter and another breed that I can’t recall.
His name is Rosco.
He is dark brown with white spots.
He is around nine weeks old.
He is very small.
He is very cute.
He is very playful.
He has deep blue eyes.
He has floppy ears.
He likes to nip at our ankles.
He is very playful at night.
He has personality. He thinks he’s very tough bad boy.
He has discovered that I am the only girl who likes him. Lily Kate tries to kick him whenever he messes with her. She panics. Fortunately he doesn’t get around her very often. My mom and Lydia tolerate him; they’re not huge animal people. He likes me because I play and cuddle with him.
I drag a blanket around on the floor and he runs after it. Then he jumps on, but most of the time he has one foot on the floor that he uses to “push” himself with. He looks like he’s surfing.
He is the runt of the litter but what he lacks in size he makes up in weight.
He’s sleeping through the night now which is nice.
He’s not quite potty trained yet. About 80% of the time he goes on the paper or outside but he still has a few accidents.
Cleaning up is quite pleasant.  L
It was a surprise for the boys, Titus was absolutely ecstatic! His face just lit up. He has taken such good care of him. He’s been very responsible, he makes a great parent. haha

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Year

Sometimes the thing you want to do most is the one thing that seems so out of reach or hard or scary.
At least that’s how it is for me. I remember thinking of the one thing that I wanted so very badly was the thing that seemed so difficult, nearly impossible to get.
If you know me you know that dancing is a big part of my life. I love it, I do it all the time.
I had the goal of being a ballerina when I was little; along with the desire to be an astronaut, a singer, an actress, and a figure skater. None of which ever evolved into anything. As a singer I can carry a tune but that’s about it, as an actress I feel intimidated, as an astronaut I found that it required math and science smarts that I just didn’t possess, and as a figure skater, well I’ve never even stepped on ice.
But when I dance I’m comfortable.
Ballet is tough. I came to that realization during the first few weeks of pointe. It felt awkward, and it hurt. They don’t call pointe shoes “torture booties” for nothing! J
When you begin pointe you have to make a decision. Is this really worth all the time, money, and energy? Is this something that I want to stick with?
I don’t remember ever wanting to quit. I loved my studio and all my teachers and friends and pointe didn’t take up that much time.
After being at my studio for seven years we moved. The Studio was one of the things I missed most.
In our new town I started at a small studio that had been around for years. The training wasn’t that great so I decided to switch to another. That school was really good. That was my first look at the high levels of ballet. It wet my appetite. It intimidated me but it filled me with longing, and that longing as never been quenched.
I saw dancers who were better than me, I got to take classes with some incredible teachers, and I heard about girls going for auditions for summer intensives. They had done so many things that I hadn’t. It made me push myself more. It made me realize what the advanced ballet world was like. It made me a little panicky, like is this something I really want to do, but I loved it.
At this studio the classes were taught by very good teachers and the girls were trained to be professional quality dancers. The classes also were very expensive. I was able to take a ballet and pointe class there and just the one day a week greatly improved my ability and stamina.
With other siblings involved in activities it wouldn’t have been at all fair for my ballet to take up such a large percentage of time and money.

So I decided to take matters into my own hands. I was going to take charge of my own ballet education. If I was going to succeed as a dancer it was going to be through my own hard work. I wasn’t going to be able to spend every night of the week in the studio or go away for a month to “ballet boot camp.” I was going to do my very best to be the very, very best dancer that I could be. If I wanted this I was going to have to get it.
 I vowed to myself that I was going to be my own teacher. I would take what I learned in class and build on it. I was going to strengthen myself, and stretch myself to new levels. I was seriously going to look at ballet for the first time as a career, not a pastime or a hobby.
The next day Lydia went for a run around our yard. Around and around. When she came in she said that she ran thirty laps. I had never been a runner, and I didn’t enjoy it, but I said, “I bet I can run thirty-two.” My favorite book is "Do Hard Things" its had tremendous impact in my life and I am now motivated to push myself to do things that I don't exactly enjoy. Running wasn't something that I enjoyed.
I went around and around and around. When I was at thirty I was like, “I’ve just got to go two more!” But when I did I felt like I should go more. Push, push, push.  Call me a weenie if you want but I felt like I couldn’t do it. But I made the last lap my fastest. I had never felt that sort of satisfaction before. It felt awesome!
As I was sitting on the back porch steps taking off my shoes I remember thinking, “I’m going to do this, this is going to be one of my ways to strengthen myself.” Honestly, one of the reasons I was doing this was because I wanted to get a good part in my studio’s production of “The Nutcraker”, I thought that it would help. Little did I know that I wouldn’t even be in Georgia by Christmas! I believe that it was one of the ways God helped me stay in shape while I was out of ballet during the months of transition. I've done it ever since, and honestly I didn't think that I would keep doing it. But after several months I started to see changes. My ankles and calf muscles became a lot stronger.
That night I decided to put on my pointe shoes. I rarely wore them outside of class but I thought that it would be good for me.
I have put them on every day since then for an entire year (except for one day when I fell asleep after a long trip and forgot. I could have kicked myself for spoiling my record!:)
365 days. That makes me feel awesome. Not because I’m this “oh so diligent person” or anything but because it has helped me grow in character as well. There are some days when I feel like, “What is the purpose of this? Why am I putting myself through this?” But I really believe ballet is something that I will always love. I don’t know God’s plans for me but I do know that He gave me this love for ballet. I want to use it for His glory.
My ultimate goal is to start my own professional Christian ballet company. I love choreography and I love music. Creating ballets is what I would love to do.
When I was twelve or thirteen I heard the story of Margaret Wilson, a Scottish martyr who lived during the 16th century. Her story really touched me. She was only sixteen or so when she had to flee her home and escape to the mountains because the government was out to arrest her because she stood up for her beliefs. She was eventually arrested and put on trial. She was convicted because she would not swear the oath that proclaimed that the English King was the head of the church instead of Jesus Christ. She was sentenced to be drowned in the sea at the young age of eighteen.
As the tide came into the shore she was tied to a stake driven into the sand. As the waters rose she said,
“We are killed all day long, we are accounted sheep for the slaughter. But I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I remember thinking, “I want other people to know about her.”
So anyway, pardon my being longwinded but I just wanted to share. J This is my one year mark! So I want to encourage you if there is something that you wish to accomplish, do it!
“And with God all things are possible!”
"Thank God every morning when you get up that you have something to do which must be done, whether you like it or not. Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance, self-control, diligence, strength of will, content, and a hundred other virtues which the idle never know."
Charles Kingsley
"Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance."
Samuel Johnson
"I never could have done what I have done, without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one object at a time."
Charles Dickens
"Give us, O Lord, a steadfast heart, which no unworthy affection may drag downwards; give us an unconquered heart, which no tribulation can wear out; give us an upright heart, which no unworthy purpose may tempt aside. Bestow upon us also, O Lord our God, understanding to know you, diligence to seek you, wisdom to find you, and a faithfulness that may finally embrace you; through Jesus Christ our Lord."
St. Thomas Aquinas
"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential."
Winston S. Churchill
"Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air."
John Quincy Adams
"When your will is God's will, you will have your will."
Charles H. Spurgeon
-“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.” Proverbs 22:29

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance. ~Balanchine

Just FYI I did not take nor do I own these pictures. I found them on Google Images. Aren't they lovely?
"To dance ballet is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful." ~Agnes De Mille
Now that's what I call perfection!
"You have to love dancing to stick to it. It gives you nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive."
~Merce Cunningham
(My favorite picture)
"Talent is cheaper than salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." ~Can't remember who
Attitude Derriere
"Every artist was first an amateur." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ah, poor feet.
 "Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." ~Winston Churchill
Ballet Magnificat
 "Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost."~ Helen Keller

Pointe, what a tiresome, torturous, painful, lovely, beautiful thing.