I never realized when I opened my own business that it would be such a fertile ground for ministry. From making classes accessible through low tuition rates and scholarship opportunities to providing a healthy environment for kids, there is something special happening at this place God has given to me.
Opportunities also come up to talk about faith. Just this week I dealt with a set of cousins that are dear girls but both struggle with their own personal issues relating to family. They have been spending a bit too much time together and are starting to get on each other’s nerves. In her frustration, one cousin made some very embarrassment comments about the other in front of the group of kids. A lesson in reconciliation was in order. Though the conversation was directive in nature, I could see both girls soften as they apologized and offered forgiveness to one another. Even more than what was happening between them was the seeming relief of having a mediator. They both felt loved. After a few minutes of conversation, one of the girls said she wished I would come live with them.
The conversation was such a reminder that kids thrive within good boundaries. This same little girl lied to me earlier in the week telling me she had not brought a drink with the hope that I would give her soda. I corrected her and gave instruction for how she should have handled the situation. She apologized, and today when she wanted soda, she politely followed the instructions, “Miss Jenny, I brought water, but I would still like something else to drink. May I have some soda?”
I am entrusted with my business, with the families, and the students. The best part of this week was not the new enrollment numbers, the mostly-well-behaved kids, or the much needed rent money that came in. The best part of this week was getting to talk about Jesus with a couple of the students and getting to shower some love on kids. Praise God that He has entrusted me with my business.
The weeks pass as if a day…
This week’s highlights were:
- 15 delightful girls at Dance, Dance, Dance camp.
- Much progress working on my business.
- A training for a possible new job opportunity to supplement my other work.
- A conversation about eternity with a local police officer (story forthcoming).
- An evening out with a friend and hearing the ways God is blessing her life.
- The opportunity to introduce two girls at camp to some conflict resolution skills.
- Learning that boundaries given in love will make a child feel more loved than giving in to their sin (the same two girls!).
- Tastes of God’s glory and touches of His love.
Outside my window… night is falling (writing this Sunday evening).
I am thinking… what a busy week I have ahead of me.
From the learning rooms… teaching a bunch of girls a bunch of fun dances this week at camp.
I am thankful for… my Heavenly Father.
From the kitchen… fresh blueberries- a gift from a sweet friend.
I am wearing… this very different skirt with turtles on it. I’ve had if for a year and finally felt in the mood to wear it.
I am reading… Deuteronomy.
I am hoping… to have a week even better than last week filled with reminders of my Gracious God.
I am creating.. art projects for this week’s camp.
I am praying… for more grace and opportunities to share the Gospel.
Around the house… I accomplished nearly everything on my to-do list today!
One of my favorite things… an organized room, John Piper’s sermon playing…
Have a blessed Monday!
HT: The Simple Woman’s Daybook
The weeks pass as if a day…
This week’s highlights were:
- Six amazing little girls at Princess Ballet Camp.
- Two successful open houses at my studio and the blessing of new faces registering for fall.
- A makeover of the art room at the studio- thanks to the moms who painted, and painted, and painted to cover the cave of wood paneling!
- My Vista Print order came. Lots of great promotional materials. Time to paint the town!
- An eternity conversation with my mechanic (story coming this week).
- Reminders of God’s faithfulness through friend’s encouragement.
But I love the actual even more…
A New Style of the Limbo
Summer Camps at my studio are in full swing, which means less time to blog (for a few days). The girls had such fun doing the Limbo… with a little twist.
Stay posted this week: Wordless Wednesday, Reasons: Part IV, and more!
One of my dear little dance students has such a way with words. She is the child that will talk to everyone… and then talk, and talk, and talk some more. She is the one that is sure to let me know she is being a good listener- by talking. As I sat down in the waiting area with some of the dance moms, she asked, “Would you please pray for my mom?” “Of course,” was my reply. “What’s wrong?” In her typical projecting voice she said, “Oh, it’s kind of private!”
You see, word travels quickly with this little girl. She means well, but she hasn’t quite learned the art of bridling her tongue. I wonder how many of us are just as quick to speak when given the chance. We look forward to getting the latest news and quickly e-mailing, texting, or blogging it for the world to see. We take lightly the confidence others place in us. We guise gossip with sharing information for the purpose of prayer. We betray confidence even in the small things.
I think of the Proverbs 31 woman who, “opens her mouth with wisdom.” (Proverbs 31:26a). How convicting to think of the number of times I have opened my mouth in foolishness. But it is no mistake that godly speech is addressed in the picture of Proverbs 31. Using wisdom in our words is an area where we can all grow in grace. Let us not be like little girls, quick to speak and share others’ secrets. Let us be slow to speak so that when we open our mouths, it is with wisdom.
Sometimes the best finds are to be had at thrift stores. Exhibit A: The Glory of Christ by John Owen for $0.99. I can’t wait to read it!
If you are just joining, please see Reasons: Part I and Reason: Part II.
If God loves us and wants us to know and believe in him, why be so completely invisible? What is the purpose of being so illusive to those who believe and worship him?
This is an interesting reason for rejecting Christianity. First, it can be argued that God is not invisible. He came to earth as a man, Jesus, and revealed Himself in human form to hundreds of eye witnesses who recorded the account in Scripture. Second, anyone that has seen a glimpse of God has hardly been able to handle it. Think about Moses when he came off the mountain after meeting with God. His face shone and the people could hardly look at him. And they were only seeing the effect of God, not God Himself. We could not handle seeing the glory of God in the infinite form.
However, we do see glimpses of God all around us. Creation evidences God. Our very existence is evidence of God. The design around us indicates a Designer.
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own parts have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28 KJV
So my restatement of the reason would be:
God’s glory is so great that we cannot see Him and live. In His goodness, we see evidences of Him through the creation, through the eyewitness accounts of His Son recorded in Scripture, and through our very existence. He is invisible only to those who choose not to see the evidences He has given.
The past month of my life has been a difficult season. I have felt very much alone with silence from God. I have prayed, sought wise counsel, searched, and still had no clear answers to some very pressing questions. I was feeling especially discouraged last night, and wrestled with God about opening His word. I must admit that I do not always feel like reading my Bible. (Side note- I’ve used the word feel several times in the past few sentences. That is key- my knowledge of God does not always connect with my heart. I KNOW He is still there when He is silent.) I finally opened my Bible and turned to where I am reading in Deuteronomy. Now, when I am feeling down, Deuteronomy is not my first choice for verses of comfort. But God saw fit to let me land on a chapter about the wilderness.
For the LORD your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing. Deuteronomy 2:7 ESV
The Lord does not forget His people: the Israelites in the wilderness or His daughter in her own wilderness. Does that mean I will not wander around a bit longer? Not necessarily. I may wander around much longer. I may never see an earthly Canaan. But my hope is not in what this life holds but rather what I know is on the other side. Heaven is my home, and I can trust the One who cares for me to do so even in the bleak desert. So I wait, and I do what I do not feel like doing all the time- I trust in My God even in the wilderness.
Chicken for Dinner?
We have referred to my home as the city-farm on more than one occasion. We have a variety of animals at any given time, and chickens have their own little home built from scrap wood and structured in the brush behind our house. The bird coop has been vacant for nearly a year, but today we decided it was time to move in a new flock. A drive to a chicken farm provided us with 15 laying hens.
The drive home was eventful- the stench filled the van, and all I could do was laugh at the precocious situation. My brother is pictured here with two of the birds. Do not worry, carrying the chickens upside down keeps them calm while loading them into the crates. And we will not be having Sunny, Blackie, or Tutu for dinner… but we may be having eggs.