The Dancing Queen Has an Aha Moment

Have you ever found the answer to a problem in a bizarre way? That happened to me this weekend. Saturday morning, I was stumped.

My problem just so happened to be about writing, but it could’ve been about anything.

Thinking too hard and drinking way too much coffee, I sat in my office staring at dozens of sticky notes. I couldn’t figure out how to fix the plot in my novel.

By 10 a.m., my brain already felt like this.

A knotted-up mess. 

Ever so gently, my word for 2016 came to me.

DANCE. Why don’t you dance?

Now? 

I can’t dance. 

I have to fix this problem.

Take a break. Dance. Let it go. 

I can’t. 

Work comes before play.

Always.

Those are the rules. 

Then four words came to me. Four one-syllable words.

Do you trust Me? 

Yes, of course but…

Then dance–the gentle thought brushed against my heart.

Don’t laugh, y’all, but I did.

I got out my chair, twirled around in my office (no one was home but me), and I boogied my way downstairs–

Like I was the room monitor, slacking off on my duty.

Then I did something really wild and crazy. I hopped into the car. Drove to the YMCA.

For 30 minutes, I played solitaire on the treadmill as though I had absolutely nothing better to do. 

I acted like a kid during recess and danced–mentally and physically. 

Guess what?

The best thing happened–

When I forgot about my problem, the answer came. I knew what to do! How crazy is that?

Back at home, I moved a few sticky notes around on my whiteboard and fixed my plotting issue. 

Sometimes trusting God means we let go, take a break, and dance. Click to Tweet

Is this an aha moment for you too? Or have you always known about the dancing secret? I bet you have! 🙂

P.S. If you have a minute, watch this video from 1978. “Dancing Queen” used to be my fave song back in the day.

If you can’t see the video, click here. It’s impossible to watch it without dancing!

Love,

Julie–the Dancing Queen 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Shoes, New Word, New Thoughts!

My word for the year, FOLLOW, keeps following me around. Several weeks ago, I fell off the treadmill at the YMCA. Bending over to tie my shoe, I forgot the ground was moving. Probably looked like a total idiot. Landed face down. Bumped my chin. Scrapped my knees and elbows. People rushed over. So embarrassing! Promised myself I’d never let that happen again.

One night last week, my husband Rick and I were going to the “Y.”  I have an old pair of worn-out tennis shoes and a brand new pair.

Here’s the bottom of my new shoes. Safe. Study. Great for treadmill walking.

Bottom of my old ones. Slippery. No arch support. Good for tromping through the woods with the dog.  

I was in a hurry that night. Not paying attention. Guess which ones I wore?

Stepping onto the treadmill, my feet flopped around like I was wearing house shoes. And then my right shoe came untied.

Oh, no. Not again.

Stubborn me–not wanting to lose precious work-out time, I didn’t pause the machine.

I balanced myself with my arms, jumped to the sides, and tied my shoe.

Just like before.

When I jumped back on, the treadmill was going full-speed ahead. Had to run like The Road Runner not to fall off.

 “You did this to be funny, didn’t you?” I said to Rick, who was laughing. “You made it go faster when I wasn’t looking.”

“No, silly. You were in such a hurry, you hit the high-speed switch when you jumped off.”

On the way home, I sensed God talking to me. Again.

Remember your word is follow.

Don’t live in such a hurry. That’s how you fall.

Slow down.

Follow Me.

Trust My timing. I’m never late.

Any more Road Runners out there?

Love,

Julie

 

My One Word for 2013…(Gulp!)

I didn’t have the warm fuzzies for my 2013 word like last year’s word… SURRENDER. Sunday afternoon, trying to run from my word, I asked our son Thomas to teach me to use free weights at the YMCA. He demonstrated the first exercise by lying on a bench while lifting a weight over his head. “Your turn.”

He handed me the tiniest weight possible–opposite of the ones below. “Easy-breezy,” I said.

He taught me how to pull these ropes while holding my elbows close to my body. It took several tries to get it right, but Thomas was patient with me.

Then he called his girlfriend Brittany for suggestions. Yikes! She’s a personal trainer. They work out together.

Brittany suggested I lunge across the room while holding a five-pound weight. I did it without too much effort.

“Grab me a heavier one,” I said feeling smug. Kinda show-off-y.

Thomas handed me a bigger weight. Halfway across the floor, I thought I might throw up or pass out.

“You okay, Mom?”

I sat down. Caught my breath. Nodded.

“Here’s our next one,” he said. “Watch me first.”

Oh, dear.

Thomas hung upside down by one foot…and did sit-ups…while holding a weight. “Now, you try.”

“You’re crazy! I can’t do that.”

“Sure you can.”

It took me forever to master hanging like a possum.

Then Thomas moved near my feet so I could see his face.

Very slowly, I did one single sit-up holding a weight–the most difficult exercise I’ve ever done.

But wow! When I made it to the top and saw Thomas’s grin and heard him say, “Good job, Mom,” that’s the moment I embraced my new word. 🙂 🙂

Lesson Learned: You can do more than you think you can.

My word for 2013 is FOLLOW.

I pray I’ll follow God without arguing.

I pray I’ll follow without running ahead thinking I know best.

I pray I’ll follow and not lag behind, letting fear keep me from trying.

Do you have a 2013 word?

Love,

Julie

Not Your Everyday Sunset

Of course, I expect to encounter God at church, but in a shopping center parking lot?

After I went to the YMCA last Thursday night, I followed the same routine as always. I got into my car to head home. Flipped on the radio. Drank some water. Turned right at the light.

And then I saw the sunset. I’m telling you, there was something different about this sunset.

I tried to look away–even drove past it. After all, I needed to get home. I had supper to cook, dishes to wash.

But my car had a mind of its own that night. It turned around and circled back to the Goody’s parking lot. I got out and stood there, staring.

This is crazy. I look like an idiot.

But the sunset.

I almost forgot to breathe. I took pictures.

People stared. I decided I didn’t care.

The heavenly glow appeared to hover above my everyday world.

WOW.  What are you saying to me, God? Why couldn’t I ignore this sunset?

I’m here with you, He seemed to say. Closer than you think.

Here? In the parking lot? I glanced at a chewing gum wrapper in the street.

Especially here.

I’m in the nitty-gritty of your everyday life. Believe Me. Look for Me.

But sunsets don’t last. I can’t even see the whole thing.

Worship Me anyway. Now. Always. Forever.

So, standing beside my car in the Goody’s parking lot, worshipped Him at sunset. “Thank You. I love You,” I whispered.

What a moment. I almost missed it.

Has anyone felt compelled to stop your everyday routine (even your car!) and worship?

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens…” Is.40:26 NIV

Love,

Julie