Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Lord of the Dance

Before I had kids I was really amazed by people who talked on and on about their children. I had no idea how totally captivating these little people are, how amazed I would be by each tiny accomplishment, how strong is mother-love. But now here I am, with the vast majority of my mental and physical energy each day devoted to these two little dynamos, and it doesn’t seem fair to keep all the fun of living with them to myself!

Sophie is 14 months old tomorrow, absolutely charming in every way. She smiles nonstop, belly laughs at her brother’s antics and is pure joy to be around. We’re having a lot of fun watching her little personality develop, and one of our favorite things is seeing her “dance”. It just cracks us up. Matt and I are both music lovers, so it’s a rare day that our home isn’t filled with music of some genre. About four months ago, we realized that whenever Sophie hears music, she starts to groove. If she happens to be crawling on her hands and knees when the tune begins, she’ll rock back and forth. If she’s sitting on the floor, she’ll move her entire torso in time to the beat. If she’s being held in my arms, she’ll start kicking her legs and waving her arms as well. Of course, as her parents we just think it’s the most adorable thing ever.

The first time I figured out what Sophie was doing, I was holding her during worship at church. Truth be told, I have a hard time standing still while singing to our great God. I love the words of both the old hymns and some of the newer songs, but I really love the musical style of modern worship. It just makes me feel connected, authentic and free. So there I was, swaying back and forth, singing my heart out (I’ve always been a loud singer) and my baby girl was about to take off flying, she was moving so enthusiastically.

It makes me deeply happy to know that part of mothering means helping both Jack and Sophie learn to enjoy worshiping God. Whether it’s in church or at home, through words or music, in prayer or acts of service, I’m really excited about encouraging them to find their own faith in Jesus and to express their love for Him in a way that’s meaningful to them personally.

While reading Acts 16 a few months ago, I was struck by the profound description of Lydia as “a worshiper of God”. Wow. If only that was the clearest, most concise description of me...

To be honest, I find it hard to carve out regular quiet time these days. Although I grab Bible verses here and there and pray while going about my daily tasks, I miss the way it used to be when I could really focus on studying the Bible and have long, uninterrupted conversations with God. My worship times are a bit more, shall we say, creative at the moment. Spontaneous. Kid-oriented. Dancing around the living room to a worship CD. Telling and retelling stories about Jesus. Getting excited about His creative genius in nature. Reminding Jack and Sophie that when we pray, God listens. Singing songs like “This Little Light of Mine” and meaning every word.

My methods of worship may have changed with this season of life, but the object of my affection remains the same. Oh, that is one of my very most favorite things about God! He can do anything for anyone at any time, except change His character. Forever faithful. Constantly caring. Always, always good. There’s a gracious plenty in this world that I don’t understand, and when my heart hurts from carrying the burden of wondering why such things are allowed to go on, this is the one thing that finally brings me comfort -- God can be trusted. His righteousness has not changed. He knows what He is doing, and His timing is perfect. One day I will worship Him face-to-face! But in the meantime, I practice here and now.

* * * * * * *
Dance, Dance, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He.
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He.
(from Simple Gifts, a 19th century Shaker song)

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. (Acts 16:13-14a NIV)

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